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Individual Consultant (Maldivian National) Technical support to the Health Protection Agency (HPA), to coordinate the implementation of SBCC strategy for the first 1000 days of life, Maldives.

Male (Maldives)

  • Organization: UNICEF - United Nations Children’s Fund
  • Location: Male (Maldives)
  • Grade: Consultant - Contractors Agreement - Consultancy
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Public Health and Health Service
    • Nutrition
    • Technology, Electronics and Mechanics
  • Closing Date: 2021-01-28

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UNICEF Maldives is seeking an Individual Consultant (National) to provide Technical support to the Health Protection Agency (HPA), to coordinate the implementation of SBCC strategy for the first 1000 days of life, Maldives.

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.

Advert: TOR/2020/55

Individual Consultant (National) Technical support to the Health Protection Agency (HPA), to coordinate the implementation of SBCC strategy for the first 1000 days of life, Maldives.

Purpose of assignment & Background:

The nutrition status of the Maldivian population has shown slight gains over the past decades; however, these improvements are not in pace with major other developments the country has witnessed. Malnutrition of under-five children is still at a worrying level – with stunting (15.3%), wasting (9.1%), and overweight (4.9%) (DHS, 2016-2017). More recent assessments indicate that inadequate child feeding skills, lack of support to caregivers leading to low food diversity and density, coupled with heavy reliance on packaged food, and other related factors contribute to the malnutrition problem. The first 1000 days of life -from the start of a woman’s pregnancy until her child’s second birthday- offer a critical window of opportunity to develop a strong foundation to shape a child’s future. The right nutrition during this period is critical for brain development, healthy growth, a strong immune system, and protection from chronic diseases later in life.  If children do not get the right nutrients in the right quantities during this period, the damage is often irreversible.  It provides an opportunity to reduce the double burden of malnutrition in the Maldives. Social and behaviour change communication (SBCC) interventions are key for addressing social and cultural barriers to achieving nutrition goals, thereby reducing morbidity and mortality from nutrition-preventable health causes. 

The Health Protection Agency with the support of UNICEF and other donor agencies designed a Social and Behaviour Change Communication Strategy (SBCC) for the first 1000 days of life, and was launched in late 2019.   The SBCC strategy provides key directions to effectively protect, promote and support appropriate maternal nutrition and infant and young child feeding (IYCF). The accompanying action plan provides detailed guidance for implementing the strategy, including concrete actions and timelines.  In 2020, rollout of several key activities of the action plan were postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

UNICEF is seeking a national consultant to support HPA, to provide technical support and coordination to implement the SBCC strategy and action plan. 

Objectives:

The purpose of the assignment is to coordinate and implement activities planned under the SBCC Strategy and other relevant nutrition activities implemented in the target islands, and advise relevant departments, stakeholders, and managers to strengthen the existing service delivery platforms. The main objective is to provide technical expertise and operational support to roll-out of activities of the SBCC Strategy and action plan. The specific objectives are to:

  1. In consultation with relevant managers and decision-makers in HPA, coordinate the implementation of activities in the SBCC strategy for the first 1000 days of life, to improve health workers’ capacity in optimal maternal nutrition and infant & young child feeding, and early childhood care,
  2. Support the implementation and coordination of the SBCC strategy at the central level, and sub-national level in the target four atolls.
  3. Support the integration of SBCC key messages in existing platforms: within the Growth Monitoring Promotion, antenatal care programme and Infant Young Child Feeding Counselling services as well as anti-natal care programme provided at health centres in the target 12 islands.
  4. Support the implementation of other relevant nutrition activities (i.e. Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative, vitamin A and deworming coverage) 

Duty station: The consultant will be based in the Health Protection Agency in Male’. There will be travel/outreach support to SBCC demonstration sites and islands.

Supervisor: Programme Specialist from UNICEF Maldives Country Office, (on-site support by HPA head of nutrition)

Major tasks to be Accomplished:

The consultant will be coordinating and implementing the activities outlined in the SBCC strategy and action plan. Key tasks and deliverables include, but is not limited to the following:

Objective: Support the implementation and coordination of the SBCC strategy at the central level, and support implementation in public health units of 12 target islands

Tasks:

• Lead the implementation of the SBCC action plan: provide overall technical support to the SBCC-activities and coordinate implementation of the activities with key stakeholders.

• Develop a roadmap, with a timeline to implement the SBCC action plan and strategy and ensure smooth, timely, and effective roll-out in the 12 target islands

• Coordinate SBCC technical group meetings on a need basis

• Ensure timely completion of the project activities, management of budget-related to those activities, and progress reporting

• Provide inputs to the annual work plan, project monitoring and evaluation framework, tools, and processes (e.g, indicators, baseline data, field data collection).

• Travel to the field/target islands (approx. once every quarter) to support implementation and monitoring of activities in the 12 sites

• Document lessons learned and share with the key stakeholders from time to time.

• Based on evidence from field monitoring, including feedback from the target audience, make recommendations for course correction, i.e., changes in project activities, approach to implementation and other related proccess.

• Support the implementation of maternal and child nutrition interventions by the national nutrition programme.

Deliverables:

• Develop a roadmap for implementation, with consideration to COVID-19 context for 12 months

• Orientation sessions and advocacy sessions on the SBCC strategy and action plan, to the staff of 12 target islands

• Technical group meetings (aprox, to be confirmed) to update stakeholders, seek guidance and expertise

• Mission reports from visits to target islands

 

Objective: In consultation with relevant managers and decision makers in HPA, coordinate the implementation of activities in the SBCC strategy for the first 1000 days of life, to improve health workers’ capacity in optimal maternal nutrition and infant and young child feeding, and early childhood care.

Tasks:

• Develop and refine as needed all relevant SBCC related tools and materials in close collaboration with technical staff and other key stakeholders, including the donor.

• Strengthen the capacity of staff in project sites, implementing partners, and other stakeholders by training and onsite support in implementing SBCC interventions.

• Conduct advocacy sessions with the health managers and community leaders to raise the profile of first 1000 days and the importance of nutrition and responsive early childhood care.

• With the local health staff, conduct awareness sessions to parents and caregivers on key messages and nutrition information.

• Engage with community and conduct island wide activities

• Develop key training, educational, counselling resources and job aids and awareness-raising tools

• Undertake pre-testing of newly developed resources/tools.

• Conduct awareness /advocacy sessions on these tools

Deliverables:

• Capacity building approach and materials (trainings, sessions) agreed, tested, and implemented with evidence on positive changes in the practice of health workers care quality indicators.

• Training tools and awareness raising resources developed 

• Advocacy sessions organized and held with senior staff and leaders of 12 target islands, and policy makers, senior management of MoH & HPA (approx 10 per year)

 

Objective:  Support the integration of SBCC key messages within the Growth Monitoring Promotion and Infant Young Child Feeding Counselling services as well as anti-natal care programme provided at health centers in the target 12 islands.

Tasks:

• Provide technical support to the 12 target PHUs to strengthen infant young child feeding informative counselling, GMP and ANC platforms with SBCC and ECD messages. 

• Develop monitoring tool to track implementation through the platforms

• Support the senior staff / managers to supervise and track delivery of upgraded services, and any changes to the target populations

• Compile resources and background materials on SBCC core messages

• Supervise and monitor the implementation of the related project activities

• Collect growth monitoring data from all islands and compile and generate annual progress report and knowledge products to be used for advocacy.

Deliverables:

• Background resources on SBCC core messages compiled to one resource

• Guidance note to service providers developed to include SBCC messages in ANC, GMP and IYCF protocols.

• Monitoring tool developed to track delivery of key messages through existing platforms.

• Documentation of technical support provided to 12 PHUs once every quarter (through teleconference or visits)

• Capacity building (trainings, sessions) agreed, tested, and implemented with evidence on positive changes in the practice of health workers care quality indicators.

 

Objective:  Strengthen and build healthcare institutional capacity to implement and manage maternal nutrition and IYCF behavior change communication at key contact points at healthcare facility and community levels.

Tasks:

• Support the ongoing health information management system / DHIS-II to support efficient documentation and reporting of core maternal and child nutrition indicators

• Support the information management system piloting process centrally before rolling out to other growth monitoring facilities throughout the country

• Support revision of Child Health Record

Deliverables:

• Assist nutrition programme in updating data elements, forms and indicators, when necessary to adapt to system needs over time

• Indicator Profiles of pilot islands from the system

 

Objective:  Enhance visibility and positioning of maternal nutrition and IYCF at all levels and breadth of society.

Tasks:

• Rollout of the first 1000 day’s campaign with relevant stakeholders  

• Review existing IEC and support to develop videos, print materials and other innovative resources and support the dissemination process

• Collaborate and network with relevant NGOS, institutes and champions. Engage with them and utilize their support

• Engage with media periodically (as per plan) and create a buzz around the first 1000 days. Disseminate messages through mass media and utilize diverse channels.

• Support to enhance Mobile application on first1000days with feedback from relevant key stakeholders and community

• Support stakeholders including NGOs to develop social medial campaign, and associated posts

• Support promotion of MCN resources & SBCC key messages via awareness sessions, electronic & digital platforms and aid in dissemination of existing materials.

Deliverables:

• Rollout of the first 1000 day’s campaign with key stakeholders and island focal points.

• Awareness raising tools and materials (print materials/TV spots/ radio spots) developed as per the plan.

• Communication campaign organized

• Social media posts disseminated

Note: Consultant will be placed in HPA.  detailed activities are included in the SBCC action plan.

Estimated duration of contract: The estimated duration of the project is approximately 11 months starting from January 2021.

Official travel involved (itinerary and duration): Travel to project islands to implement and monitor SBCC activities, as and when required.

For every Child, you demonstrate…

UNICEF's values of Care, Respect, Integrity, Trust, and Accountability (CRITA) 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.

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 be expected to adhere to these standards and principles and will therefore undergo rigorous reference and background checks. Background checks will include the verification of academic credential(s) and employment history. Selected candidates may be required to provide additional information to conduct a background check.

Qualifications or specialized knowledge and/or experience required

  • University Degree in nutrition, public health, social sciences or similar field required, and advanced degree preferred. Relevant past experience can be considered in leu of qualification, based on competencies demonstrated
  • Experience in nutrition or health promotion, including training on breastfeeding, and Infant feeding practices is desired. Experience as a trainer or facilitator will be an asset. Extensive and highly relevant experience can be considered in-lieu of qualification
  • Basic project implementation knowledge. Experience in delivering project activities or conducting assessments/research/surveys will be an advantage
  • Understanding of the Maldivian health context and ability to manage diverse viewpoints and work in demanding situations
  • Able to travel to islands and work with the local communities.

Deadline for applications: 17th January 2021, 06:00pm (Maldives Time)

Application link:

https://secure.dc7.pageuppeople.com/apply/671/gateway/Default.aspx?c=apply&sJobIDs=537317&SourceTypeID=796&sLanguage=en-us 

For every Child, you demonstrate…

UNICEF's values of Care, Respect, Integrity, Trust, and Accountability (CRITA) 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.

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 be expected to adhere to these standards and principles and will therefore undergo rigorous reference and background checks. Background checks will include the verification of academic credential(s) and employment history. Selected candidates may be required to provide additional information to conduct a background check.

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.

Individuals engaged under a consultancy or individual contract will not be considered “staff members” under the Staff Regulations and Rules of the United Nations and UNICEF’s policies and procedures, and will not be entitled to benefits provided therein (such as leave entitlements and medical insurance coverage). Their conditions of service will be governed by their contract and the General Conditions of Contracts for the Services of Consultants and Individual Contractors. Consultants and individual contractors are responsible for determining their tax liabilities and for the payment of any taxes and/or duties, in accordance with local or other applicable laws.

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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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