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National consultancy to provide technical assistance in accelerating universal salt iodization (USI) efforts in Tajikistan

Dushanbe (Tajikistan)

  • Organization: UNICEF - United Nations Children’s Fund
  • Location: Dushanbe (Tajikistan)
  • Grade: Consultant - Contractors Agreement - Consultancy
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Nutrition
  • Closing Date: 2020-01-24

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The proposed national consultancy would provide technical assistance to the UNICEF country office for the implementation some of the recommendations of the capacity needs assessment and capacity building of salt producers on internal quality monitoring, and support Inspection Agencies in setting up effective supervision and quality enforcement mechanisms

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 the national law on iodization of table salt (2002, amended in 2007), but Iodine Deficiency Disorders (IDD) remains a significant public health problem in Tajikistan. Despite the major efforts made by the Government and various donors in the area of IDD/Universal Salt Iodization (USI), according to the 2016 Tajikistan Nutrition Survey, the national median UIC (MUIC) for children 6-59 months and women of reproductive age (87.5 µg/L and 75 µg/L, respectively) was significantly below the threshold value of 100 µg/L.

The 2012 Demographic Health Survey indicates that over 84% of households (in a sample of over 6,300) used iodized salt. However, the household survey conducted in Khatlon (using titration) in 2015 indicated that mean salt iodine content of 600 salt samples was 3.86 mg/kg, and 594 (99.0%) of the salt samples were inadequately iodized (<15 ppm) and only 2 samples (0.3%) were found to meet the national iodine standard. The same survey also found about population's knowledge and practice around iodized salt. The majority of respondents (77%) knew about iodized salt and 74% reported that they actually use it.  This suggests that, despite the presence of the national law and the relative success in social mobilization for families to regularly purchase salt labelled as iodized, significant problems remain in iodized salt production, internal and external quality control and regulation.

Based on UNICEF  cumulative experience from implementing the USAID funded USI project over the past 5 years, strengthened supply chain both on salt production and inspection spectrum are critical to successful USI programme. Weaknesses on either end of these spectrum left gaps in the quality of Iodized salt that reached end users, thus limiting the optimization of the gains of awareness of Iodized salt use. 

UNICEF Tajikistan has been supporting the Government's USI efforts, focusing on policy advocacy, capacity development, and demand creation. Considering the current situation as described above, UNICEF recently shifted its USI strategy to refocus on supply-side interventions, particularly the establishment of a rigorous quality control and assurance system by the major salt producers and external quality control authorities, while continuing the communication efforts. Accordingly, a number of activities targeting inspection agencies, namely Tajikstandard and Sanitary Epidemiological Services (SES), as well as salt producers are planned.

With a view to addressing the legislative gaps  and mobilizing stronger political commitment to USI, UNICEF intends to work closely with the high-level Micronutrient (MN) multi-sectoral working group established under the Prime Minister's Office. Specific focus of UNICEF support will be on enhancing USI monitoring, supervision and enforcement mechanisms by government inspection agencies. 

Against this background, UNICEF in Tajikistan is seeking the services if a national USI consultant to conduct capacity development aimed at accelerating USI efforts in Tajikistan. 

How can you make a difference?

The proposed national consultancy would provide technical assistance to the UNICEF country office for the  implementation some of the recommendations of the capacity needs assessment and capacity building of salt producers on internal quality monitoring, and support Inspection Agencies in setting up effective supervision and quality enforcement mechanisms.

DESCRIPTION OF ASSIGNMENT:

The national consultant will be responsible for the assignments stipulated below.

  1. Capacity building of salt producers:
  • Review of relevant assessment documents and development of the manual for salt laboratory method as well as for internal monitoring for salt iodization that responds to identified needs.
  • Development of capacity development plan and packages for salt producers on internal quality monitoring for salt iodization. 
  1. Support the inspection agencies to set up an effective supervision and enforcement mechanism, specifically:
  • Development of training and informational materials (such as e brochures or leaflets with information on the general labeling requirements for food in general; e.g. registration of approved brands, name and address of supplier, expiration date, net weight, and others) for salt inspectors.
  • Development of manual for monitoring and guideline/checklist for inspection visits at salt retail points.
  • Conduct training workshops for salt inspectors on inspection, at different levels and on proper documentation of inspections outcomes.

KEY DELIVERABLES

 

Tasks

Deliverables of tasks

Deadline

Estimated number of work days

1.

Development of the manual for salt laboratory method as well as for internal monitoring for salt iodization.

Manual for salt laboratory method as well as for internal monitoring for salt iodization prepared and approved by the government

28 of February 2020

10

2.

Training of salt producers on internal monitoring for salt iodization. 

Quality control/assurance workshops conducted for salt producers

15 March 2020

5

3.

Development of training and educational materials for the inspectors.

Training and educational materials developed and approved by the inspection agencies.

30 of March 2020

 

4

Development of manual for monitoring to carry out the inspection visits at any retail store selling fortified foods.

Manual for monitoring to carry out the inspection visits at any retail store selling fortified foods developed and approved by the inspection agencies.

30 of March 2020

10

5

Conduct training workshops for the salt inspectors on inspection, at different levels and proper documentation of inspections outcomes.

Training workshops for the salt inspectors on inspection, at different levels and proper documentation of inspections outcomes conducted.

30 May 2020

15

6

Prepare a completion report for the completed tasks.

Final consultancy completion report

30 June 2020

10

 The payment schedule is below:

  • 30% of consultancy fee upon submission of manuals approved by UNICEF and Government (deliverables 1-2);
  • 40% of consultancy fee upon submission of deliverables approved by UNICEF and Government (deliverables 3-5);
  • 30% upon Final consultancy completion report (deliverable 6);

Assignment period

From: January 2020 to June 2020 (50 working days)

Performance indicators for evaluation of results

The evaluation of the results will be based on:

  • Technical and professional competence (quality of the product delivered to UNICEF)
  • Quality of work (quality of the documents submitted)
  • Quantity of work (completing the tasks indicated in the table above)
  • Timeliness of submission of deliverables

In addition, such indicators as work relations, responsibility and communication will be taken into account during the evaluation of the consultant's work.

Reporting to: Nutrition Officer, UNICEF Tajikistan

TRAVEL

The consultant will be stationed in Dushanbe with travel to Khujand city , Sughd region (4 days), Kulob city (8 days) and Bokhtar city (4 days) of Khatlon region, Khorog city (5 days) of GBAO and Rasht district (5 days), total: 26 days

Conditions of Work

  • The consultant is expected to work independently.
  • UNICEF will provide support to secure meetings with relevant stakeholders and provide administrative support for the organization of any national and local level workshops/trainings. The consultant will provide his/her own computer and communications equipment (laptop, telephones, etc.).
  • Under the consultancy agreement, a month is defined as 21 working days, and fees are prorated accordingly. Consultants are not paid for weekends or public holidays. The consultants are not entitled to overtime pay. All remuneration must be within the contract agreement.
  • No work or travel may commence unless the contract is signed by both UNICEF and the consultant.

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:

The consultant should meet the following requirements:

Education: Advanced University Degree in nutrition, public health, social science or business administration or other related disciplines. Training in food fortification will be an added advantage

Work Experience: 5 years of professional experience in program management in the development field, and relevant work experience in the field of Universal Salt Iodization/Iodine Deficiency Disorder.

Competencies: Solid knowledge and work experience with grounded understanding of Government processes and procedures and familiarity with development of manuals in Tajikistan.

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

Language: Fluency in Tajik and Russian languages (written and oral).

EVALUATION PROCESS:


Qualified candidates are requested to submit:

  1. Cover letter/application/CV.
  2. A technical proposal with proposed methodology/approach to managing the project, showing understanding of tasks, work plan
  3. Financial quote for the consultancy in TJS per deliverable, and/or daily rate in TJS. The travel cost and DSA should be indicated separately in additional line.
  4. Examples of previous relevant work.
  5. At least 2 References

Queries can be sent to: tad-procurement@unicef.org  with subject line "National consultancy to provide technical assistance in accelerating universal salt iodization (USI) efforts in Tajikistan" Applications must be received by 14 January 2020 at our website: http://www.unicef.org/about/employ/index.php.  

Please indicate your availability and rate per deliverable in TJS to undertake the terms of reference above. 

Travel costs and DSA will be covered in accordance with UN rules and regulations. No other remunerations apply. UNICEF considers best value for money as criteria for evaluating potential candidates.  As a general principle, the fees payable to a consultant or individual contractor follow the "best value for money" principle, i.e., achieving the desired outcome at the lowest possible fee. Please note that consultants and individual contractors are responsible for assuming costs for obtaining visas and travel insurance.

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%;

TECHNICAL QUALIFICATION (max. 70 points) 70% 70
Technical capacity and relevant experience (70 points):

Technical Capacity (70 points)
- Understanding of tasks, objectives and completeness and coherence of response - 15 points

- Overall match between the TOR requirements and proposal - 10 points
- Quality of proposed approach/methodology - 10 points

- Quality of proposed work plan - 10 points

- Advanced University Degree in public health, nutrition, social science or business administration or other related disciplines. Training in food fortification will be an added advantage - 5 points

- 5 years of professional experience in program management in the development field, and relevant work experience in the field of Universal Salt Iodization/Iodine Deficiency Disorder - 5 points

- Solid knowledge and work experience with grounded understanding of Government processes and procedures and familiarity with development of manuals in Tajikistan - 10 points

- Excellent proficiency in Tajik and Russian languages (written and oral) - 5 points

Only candidates obtaining a minimum of 49 points in Technical Criteria evaluation will be considered for the Financial Evaluation.

FINANCIAL PROPOSAL (max. 30 points) (daily rate, lump sum, per deliverable) 30% 30

TOTAL SCORE (max. 100 points)  

The formula for the rating of the Financial Proposals will be as follows: FP Rating = (Lowest Priced Offer / Price of the Offer Being Reviewed) x 30

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.

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.

Remarks:

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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