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International Consultancy - Comprehensive Assessment of Menstrual Health Management (MHM) knowledge and practices in Namibia

Windhoek (Namibia)

  • Organization: UNICEF - United Nations Children’s Fund
  • Location: Windhoek (Namibia)
  • Grade: Consultant - Contractors Agreement - Consultancy
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Public Health and Health Service
    • Sexual and reproductive health
  • Closing Date: 2019-10-20

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The Government of the Republic of Namibia has now embarked on concerted efforts to begin to address menstrual health management especially in schools. With UN support, the UN agencies in Namibia, namely UNICEF, UNFPA and WHO are increasingly prioritising MHM as part of their gender, WASH, adolescent, and education programmes. As stakeholders jointly pursue the menstrual health and Hygiene agenda, it is essential that these MHM interventions are informed by comprehensive qualitative and quantitative data. Further, national health and gender priorities require MHM data for meaningful and impactful interventions.

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There are a number of socio-economic and cultural factors which impact the menstrual health management in adolescent girls and women in Namibia.  Nationally, 67% of Namibians do not have access to improved sanitation facilities, however in the rural areas this figure is closer to 94%. The situation is especially challenging for women and adolescent girls who do not have the privacy or infrastructure for hygienic menstrual management. In many Namibian cultures menstruation remains a taboo topic, which continues to be associated with uncleanliness and shame.

Lack of suitable products and facilities for Menstrual Health Management (MHM) can limit female participation in education and employment, and can impact leisure activities, travel, and treatment within homes and schools. 45.7% of Namibian households have no access toilet facilities and hence practice open defecation. In the rural areas this number is as high as 70%.  Similarly, schools in poor, peri-urban, and remote rural areas have limited sanitation facilities, and in some cases none at all. Where flush toilets are available, they are often too few for the number of learners, and lack privacy.

The Government of the Republic of Namibia has now embarked on concerted efforts to begin to address menstrual health management especially in schools.  With UN support, the UN agencies in Namibia, namely UNICEF, UNFPA and WHO are increasingly prioritising MHM as part of their gender, WASH, adolescent, and education programmes. As stakeholders jointly pursue the menstrual health and Hygiene agenda, it is essential that these MHM interventions are informed by comprehensive qualitative and quantitative data. Further, national health and gender priorities require MHM data for meaningful and impactful interventions.

How can you make a difference?

Specific activities in the scope of work:

The study will take place in six regions, a representative sample of demographic and socio-economic contexts across the country and will focus on girls of school going age. The study will seek to establish baseline information in the following;

  1. Access to menstrual hygiene products;
  2. Access and use of WASH services and types of facilities used during menstruation at home and in schools;
  3. Establish social constraints and factors affecting menstrual health management;
  4. Types of products and materials used, and product and materials preferences;
  5. Participation and attendance (educational and restrictions related to social, religious, feeding activities?), or lack thereof, during menstruation an defect of the life of girls and women;
  6. Attitude and knowledge to, and beliefs about menstruation of girls, teachers, parents and other stakeholders;
  7. Age of Menarche and normal/abnormal menstruation;
  8. Understanding of, and access to, information about menstruation and the source and age at which it is made available;
  9. To compare and contrast the varied challenges and determinants across socio cultural economic contexts to identify points of intervention that may contribute to the challenges of menstruation for girls, with a focus on girls in schools but also those not in school.

Data will be both qualitative and quantitative gathered through use of interviews, focus groups and surveys with both male and female participants. The data will be disaggregated by age groups, school years, language, and geographical location so that this can be cross-referenced with national census and EMIS data. Perception data will also be disaggregated by sex with the inclusion of data from boys and men.

The sample should be reflective of regional contexts and should include rural, urban and peri-urban locales, as well as a range of socio-economic backgrounds. Schools can be used as the captive audience for data collection once approval has been sought from the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture.



  1. Conduct a rapid desk review of data, literature and policies which impact or inform the management of Menstrual Health and Hygiene in Namibia.
  2. Conduct a comprehensive assessment of Menstrual Health and Hygiene knowledge and practices in Namibia.
  3. Deliver a final report incorporating both the desk and field research with recommendations for implementation by the National School Health Task Force.


Research methodology

The methodology will be subject to a proposal by the consultant but should provide for adequate consultation with different Government Ministries and directorates as well as civil society organisations at regional and local level administration. It should also include consultations with adolescent girls (those menstruating and others) learners, teachers, parents/guardians, and ideally out of school youth. There should be a significant element of quantitative analysis, evidence-based findings and an emphasis on making clear recommendations based on a reflective sample.

While detailed methods of work should be established by the service provider, the following should be used to develop a detailed report;

  • Both qualitative and quantitative data, collected from a reflective sample that includes at least six of the fourteen regions of the country, including learners with disabilities and learners from marginalised communities.
  • Key informant interviews raging from national office to school level.
  • Input from target groups including learners (girls and boys), teachers, parents/guardians, out of school youth, officials from MoEAC and MoHSS, and Civil Society representatives.
  • Questionnaires, focus groups or other data collection tools may be used.

Data collection should include the following key MHM indicators;

  • % of girls aware of menarche before first menarche.
  • Main reasons for missing school (establish the % of learners missing school due to menstruation and number of days missed per month).
  • % or # of schools WASH facilities constructed with consideration for MHM.
  • Consideration of MHM in WASH infrastructure designs for institutional and public facilities (eg. schools, health facilities, market places).
  • % or # of respondents (eg. girls, boys, women, men, teachers, health workers, religious leaders and community leaders) with knowledge and attitudes of MHM.
  • Main sources of information about menstruation for girls.
  • % or # of women and girls using affordable and hygienic sanitary pads.
  • The type of materials/products used for menstruation, perception on the type of materials used and their preferred products.
  • The cost of sanitary pads on the local market.
  • The impact of menstruation on school going girls.
  • What forms of communication and media is available around menstruation i.e. sources of information etc.
  • Support on sanitary pads distribution interventions especially to vulnerable girls, by whom and the outcome of such interventions in comparison to where it does not exist.

For qualitative data it would be important to investigate

  • Attitudes of school girls/ boys/men/teachers towards menstruation
  • Cultural Taboos, Myths and Restrictions around Menstruation and use of facilities


Research management and specific responsibilities

The consultant will be undertaking the activity on behalf of the Integrated School Health Task Force, but will be contracted directly by UNICEF. UNICEF will be responsible for all contractual payments and oversight, while the activity itself will be coordinated by a Steering Committee comprising of MoEAC, MoHSS and UNICEF and UNFPA officials, as well as other relevant bodies who may be invited. Consultants will be responsible for arrangements and direct payment of any services rendered for the programme, and for any travel including and work permits and visa procurement.

Reporting and deliverables 

The consultancy is estimated to require 65 working days within 4 months, starting on 15 November 2019 and ending 13 March 2020. The consultant is required to work jointly with the Steering Committee co-chaired by MoEAC and MoHSS with UNICEF and UNFPA participation.




Estimated days


Inception report covering: a) assessment tools & data collection methods; b) work plan and timelines for deliverables; and c) report structure and presentation of the report to the Steering Committee for approval

5 days


Draft Desk Research: Draft desk review shared with steering committee for feedback.

10 days


Draft report and presentation to the Steering Committee: Completion of field research in 6 regions to be identified by the Steering Committee and analysis and findings of both primary and secondary data and information for submission to the Steering Committee for feedback.

NB: due to the fact that schools will have examinations at the end of the year, research with learners should be prioritised in terms of timings.

30 days


Final report: Reflecting key findings from both desk review and field research and agreed recommendations.

10 days


Research brief and management responses: Aimed and promoting the use of the research finding and role of UNICEF and partners in addressing the research findings

10 days



65 days





















The date for submitting the final documents will be established and agreed with the successful candidate.

Payment Schedule

The proposed payment schedule is as follows:

  • 30% payment upon receipt of Inception Report and Desk Review.
  • 30% payment upon completion of Field Research
  • 40% final payment upon completion.

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

  • Minimum qualifications and required skills:

    • Technical competence in the area of education, social policy, public health, gender, or similar social science. Familiarity with school health programming and systems strengthening;
    • 10 years of work experience in the area of education, school health, WASH, gender mainstreaming or related field;
    • Extensive experience working in the educational context of Southern Africa, and ideally within Namibia;
    • Evaluation/research methods and data-collection skills;
    • Analytical skills;
    • Excellent team working and communication skills;
    • Sound programme management skills;
    • English language proficiency;
    • Excellent writing, communication and interpersonal and intercultural skills.
    • Creativity and innovation.

Call for proposals

The process should be undertaken in a participatory manner such that possible capacity building takes place with the MoEAC and MoHSS staff.

The proposals should include;

  • Interpretation of the ToR and deliverables (identify relevance or possible gaps),
  • Brief proposal outlining analytical/methodological approach to preparing the assessment,
  • Consultancy profile and summary of similar work completed, examples of previous work to be included.
  • CVs of all individuals that will be involved in the completion of the assignment
  • Detailed budget including travel. Tax to be included as separate line item.

Evaluation weighting

60% technical

40% financial

100% total  


  • The contractor will work on its own computer(s) and use its own office resources and materials in the execution of this assignment.
  • The contractor's fee shall be inclusive of all office administrative and travel costs including any visas required which must be arranged prior to commencement of work.
  • Local travel (outside Windhoek and airport transfers (where applicable) will be covered in accordance with UNICEF's rules and tariffs. Flight costs will be covered at economy class rates as per UNICEF's policies.
  • The consultant must ensure proper organisation and documentation of workshops and consultation meetings held.
  • UNICEF and UNFPA shall be entitled to all property rights, including but not limited to patents, copyrights and trademarks, with regard to material which bears a direct relation to, or is made in consequence of, the services provided to the Organization by the consultant. In certain cases, UNICEF and UNFPA would be prepared to share intellectual property rights, requiring at a minimum, that UNICEF and UNFPA must be acknowledged in all use and publications of the data generated under the present consultancy, and retains the right to use the data for further analysis and publication with acknowledgement of the research institution concerned.  
  • As per UNICEF policy. Payment will be made against approved deliverables. No advance payment is allowed unless in exceptional circumstances against a bank guarantee, subject to a maximum of 30 per cent of the total contract value in cases where advance purchases, for example for supplies or travel, may be necessary.
  • Please also see UNICEF's Standard Terms and Conditions attached.

 How to Apply

Qualified candidates are requested to complete an application including profile to the respective advertisement on   Please indicate your ability, availability and financial proposal/quote to complete the terms of reference above.  

Rates must include all expenses related to the assignment (e.g. consultancy fee, travel/flights, field trips, living allowance).  Applications submitted without a fee/ rate will not be considered.

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

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.

UNICEF has a zero-tolerance policy on conduct that is incompatible with the aims and objectives of the United Nations and UNICEF, including sexual exploitation and abuse, sexual harassment, abuse of authority and discrimination. UNICEF also adheres to strict child safeguarding principles. All selected candidates will, therefore, undergo rigorous reference and background checks, and will be expected to adhere to these standards and principles.


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

We do our best to provide you the most accurate info, but closing dates may be wrong on our site. Please check on the recruiting organization's page for the exact info. Candidates are responsible for complying with deadlines and are encouraged to submit applications well ahead.
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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