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International consultancy to provide technical assistance in Iodized Salt Situation Analysis in Tajikistan

Dushanbe (Tajikistan)

UNICEF Tajikistan Country Office is looking to engage the services of an international consultant to conduct an update to the 2016 situation analysis with further analysis of the challenges existing on the supply side of the salt iodization process and provision of recommendations to address them.

UNICEF works in some of the world’s toughest places, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. To save their lives. To defend their rights. To help them fulfill their potential.

Across 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, every day, to build a better world for everyone.

And we never give up.

For every child, 

Tajikistan was among the first countries in Central Asia to adopt a national law on iodization of table salt (2002, amended in 2007), but Iodine Deficiency Disorders (IDD) remains a heath challenge especially in the south and in mountainous areas of Tajikistan. According to the 2016 Tajikistan Micronutrient Status Survey, the national median urinary iodine concentration (MUIC) for children 6-59 months and women of reproductive age (87.5 µg/L and 75 µg/L, respectively) was below the threshold value of 100 µg/L. For both groups, iodine concentration had fallen substantially since 2009. Moreover, IDD remains a significant public health problem in Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Oblast (GBAO) and Dushanbe (73.5 µg/l and 73.9 µg/l, respectively). Major efforts have been made by the Government and various donors in responding to the problem of IDD through Universal Salt Iodization (USI). Latest data (2012 DHS survey) indicates that over 84% of households sampled used iodized salt, but it varies from 75% in District of Republican Subordination (DRS) to 90% in Sughd. Despite the relative moderate coverage, a household survey conducted in Khatlon (using titration) in 2015 revealed that the mean salt iodine content of 600 salt samples was 3.86 mg/kg, which is too low to supply sufficient iodine to the population. The same survey also found that the majority of respondents (77%) knew about iodized salt while 74% reported actually using iodized salt.

The iodized salt situation analysis will build on previous iodized salt situation analyses such as the one conducted in 2016 which recommended specifically to:

  • Identify the extent and origins of deliberately produced un-iodized salt products targeted for human consumption.
  • Conduct a rapid but comprehensive study on the costs and benefits of selling raw salt to large producers vs. processing and marketing an iodized product.
  • Conduct a production and market characterization of salt in Tajikistan (manufacturers capacity and actual production, location, market sharing and geographic coverage).
  • Identify actions in collaboration with the salt industry to eliminate any counterfeiting of salt packages or the diversion of large bulk bags for unintended purposes.

How can you make a difference?

The proposed international consultancy aims to identify the potential supply-side barriers from producers’ perspective, including production efficiency, regulatory issues, and governmental roles for improving production, distribution and use of high quality iodized salt.

DESCRIPTION OF ASSIGNMENT:

The consultant will work closely with UNICEF Tajikistan, salt producers, food corporations, wholesalers, retailers, government regulatory bodies, and other relevant partners to conduct an update to the situation analysis. The update should cover at minimum the following:

  1. To review and document the past and present situation of the iodized and non-iodized salt markets in Tajikistan; retrace the existing background of salt iodization in Tajikistan since 2000 and document all initiatives that have taken place in this field;
  2. To understand and document the dynamics of each sector from producers, wholesalers and retailers: map/size the sector including the small-scale producers, identify the main players and document the marketing chains. 
  3. To assess and document the terms and volume of production, import and trade of salt, supply of KIO3 and to identify physical, economic, regulatory and behavioral factors that affect consumption of iodized salt and ensure the successful implementation of the national salt iodization programme.
  4. To identify the main large-scale producers, salt mines, and salt lakes, assess volumes produced and potential production figures, KIO3 supply routes and describe production processes, including potential bottlenecks.
  5. To identify obstacles and barriers to full implementation of the national USI programme, identify existing quality assurance and regulatory efforts of the government and stakeholder actors, including potential/existing bottlenecks.
  6. To identify/propose appropriate strategies for interventions and concrete next steps to increase the availability and marketing of adequately iodized salt to progress towards achieving USI including recommendations on how to sustainably remove supply-side barriers related to the production of quality iodized salt and highlight the areas where significant contributions can be made.

The methodology for conducting the required analysis would include:

  1. A desk/literature review of the 2016 salt situation analysis and other relevant documents, that provide background information and existing knowledge on salt iodization and iodized salt legislation, production, utilization, marketing and consumption in Tajikistan, including an assessment/status update of progress made towards the recommendations of the 2016 salt situation analysis
  2. Visit the main salt production and distribution centers and collect production and commerce statistics.
  3. Focus group discussions/ in-depth interviews with salt producers, inspection agencies, and local government officials;
  4. Interviews, focus-group discussions, or mini-surveys involving population, wholesalers, retailers, and food industry to assess their willingness to pay for high-value, iodized salt.
  5. The consultant will work with UNICEF and other stakeholders to finalize the exact methodology

The findings will inform recommendations for optimizing universal salt iodization in Tajikistan.

KEY DELIVERABLES:

1.Work plan, methodology and instruments for the assignment submitted. Deadlines: 10 September 2018;

2.Debriefing on the preliminary findings after the initial field visits. Deadlines: 30 September 2018;

3.First draft of the report, detailing the assessment results and recommendations submitted for UNICEF review. Deadlines: 20 October 2018;

4.Final updated report, incorporating the feedback provided by UNICEF. Deadlines: 30 November 2018 

 Payment Schedule:

  • Del 1.  -25% of consultancy fee upon UNICEF approval of the work plan, methodology and instruments;
  • Del.2-3 -25% after submission of the first report;
  • Del. 4 - 50% of consultancy fee upon UNICEF approval of all deliverables.

 Estimated duration of contract and remuneration:

The total duration of the exercise will be three (3) months from September 2018 to November 2018.

The selected consultant will work for a period of 40 working days.

Travel involved:

Consultant is expected to travel to Tajikistan. Travel plans to be pre-approved and agreed to by UNICEF Tajikistan.

Travel paid for by UNICEF shall be based on economy class travel, regardless of the length of travel. Costs for accommodation, meals and incidentals shall not exceed applicable daily subsistence allowance (DSA) rates, as promulgated by the International Civil Service Commission (ICSC). Consultants and individual contractors are responsible for assuming costs for obtaining visas and travel insurance.

Insurances:

UNICEF does not provide or arrange life or health insurance coverage for consultants and individual contractors, and consultants and individual contractors are not eligible to participate in the life or health insurance schemes available to United Nations staff members. Consultants and individual contractors are responsible for assuming all costs related to required inoculations, vaccinations and medical examinations.  
Consultants and individual contractors are fully responsible for arranging, at their own expense, such life, health and other forms of insurance covering the period of their services as they consider appropriate. The responsibility of UNICEF is limited solely to the payment of compensation for service-incurred death, injury or illness as per the provisions detailed below.

Recourse: 

UNICEF reserves the right to withhold all or a portion of payment if performance is unsatisfactory, if work/outputs is incomplete, not delivered or for failure to meet deadlines.

Ethical considerations: 

Adequate measures should be taken to ensure that the process responds to quality and ethical requirements. The contracted consultant should be sensitive to beliefs, manners, and customs and act with integrity and honesty in their relationships with all stakeholders. It should also protect the anonymity and confidentiality of individual information.

Mandatory trainings: 

Consultants and individual contractors, regardless of contract duration, must complete the applicable mandatory trainings. The link will be provided during the selection process for the successful candidates.

To qualify as an advocate for every child you will have…

Education: Advanced University Degree in Economy, Food Science, Public Health, Nutrition or Social Science.

Work Experience: At least 5 to 8 years of experience in qualitative and quantitative research analysis and relevant work experience in the field of food production, food control, and food trade.

Competencies: Working experience in Eastern Europe or Central Asia (ECA) region.

Technical Knowledge: Excellent facilitation, analytical and report writing skills.

Language: Fluency in English. Communication in the Russian language is an asset.

Qualified candidates are requested to submit:

  1. Cover letter/applications/CV.
  2. A technical proposal with proposed methodology/approach to managing the project, showing understanding of tasks.
  3. Financial quote for the consultancy in USD per deliverable, stating also the timeframe for completion of deliverable and/or daily rate in USD
  4. Examples of previous, relevant work experience
  5. At least 2 References

Queries can be sent to: tad-procurement@unicef.org with subject line International consultancy to provide technical assistance in Iodized Salt Situation Analysis in Tajikistan.

Applications must be received in the system by the 13 August 2018 at our website: http://jobs.unicef.org/cw/en-us/job/514931?lApplicationSubSourceID=

Please indicate your availability and rate per deliverable in USD to undertake the terms of reference above.  Applications submitted without a rate per deliverable in USD will not be considered. Currency of payment will be agreed upon at time of contracting.

Individual consultants will be evaluated based on a cumulative analysis methodology. The award of the Contract shall be made to the individual consultant whose offer has been evaluated and determined as:

a) responsive/compliant/acceptable, and

b) Having received the highest score out of a weighted set of technical and financial criteria.

* Technical Criteria weight – 70%;

* Financial Criteria weight – 30%;

For every Child, you demonstrate…

UNICEF’s core values of Commitment, Diversity and Integrity and core competencies in Communication, Working with People and Drive for Results.

View our competency framework at

http://www.unicef.org/about/employ/files/UNICEF_Competencies.pdf

UNICEF is committed to diversity and inclusion within its workforce, and encourages all candidates, irrespective of gender, nationality, religious and ethnic backgrounds, including persons living with disabilities, to apply to become a part of the organization.

Remarks:

Mobility is a condition of international professional employment with UNICEF and an underlying premise of the international civil service.

Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted and advance to the next stage of the selection process.

Before applying, please make sure that you have read the requirements for the position and that you qualify.
Applications from non-qualifying applicants will most likely be discarded by the recruiting manager.
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  • Organization: UNICEF - United Nations Children’s Fund
  • Location: Dushanbe (Tajikistan)
  • Grade: Consultant - Contractors Agreement - Consultancy
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Nutrition
    • Public Health and Health Service
  • Closing Date: 2018-09-02

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