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Consultant-Gender related determinants of maternal health

  • Organization: IRC - International Rescue Committee
  • Location:
  • Grade: Consultant - Contractors Agreement
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Public Health and Health Service
    • Women's Empowerment and Gender Mainstreaming
    • Sexual and reproductive health
  • Closing Date:


The International Rescue Committee (IRC) responds to the world’s worst humanitarian crises and helps people whose lives and livelihoods are shattered by conflict and disaster to survive, recover, and gain control of their lives. The IRC operates in more than 40 countries and has been operated in Sudan was present in Sudan from 1981 to 2009. In November 2019 been re-registered in Sudan to respond to immediate needs due to the dire economic conditions, fragile political environment to provide social services post transition empowering post-conflict communities and refugees to recover in safety and build a productive, peaceful, and healthy future.

Each day almost 800 women die due to pregnancy or childbirth complications Ninety per cent of maternal deaths take place in Africa and Asia; the risk of a woman dying from maternal causes in sub-Saharan Africa is 1 in 39, accounting for 56% of the global maternal deaths. The loss of mother’s shatters families and threatens the well-being of more than one million surviving children every year.

Sudan has more than 10.6 million women of reproductive age (15-49 years). There are 1.2 million births every year, and on average a Sudanese woman gives birth to 5 to 6 children in her lifetime (Sudan Population Census, 2008). One in every 32 Sudanese women is at risk of maternal death. Maternal deaths are common in Sudan and disproportionately occur among the poorest, the rural, and the nomad populations. The maternal mortality rate in Sudan is estimated to be 295[1] deaths per 100,000 live births as of 2017. Over 60% of maternal deaths in the country are caused by easily preventable and treatable birth complications including hemorrhages, obstructed labor, eclampsia, infections, and complications of unsafe abortion.

Only 51% of women attend antenatal care and only 23% deliver in health care facilities. Sudan ranks among the worst in the world in maternal and infant mortality at 311/100,000 livebirths and 51.2/1000 live births, respectively.  To prevent maternal mortality following pregnancy, delivery and post-delivery in Sudan, there is an urgent need to understand the reasons for low utilization of maternal and child health services.

Gender norms and practices are some of the most significant determinants of women’s health. Gender norms influence not only the power relations of men and women inside the family, but also laws, policies, and state institutions, all of which shape health care provision for women. Gendered health systems are characterized by differential treatment of women, both as consumers and providers of health, based on cultural or religious justification.

This study aims to understand the challenges and barriers that are linked to gender which impact women’s access to health care especially delivery and post-delivery services in Sudan.  It aims to generate knowledge to inform future medium- to long-term health systems strengthening opportunities, particularly in locations where the IRC is implementing programmes.


IRC seeks an experienced consultant who can lead a gender analysis of maternal health services among poor, rural, and the nomadic populations in Sudan. The analysis is expected to provide insight into the socio-cultural and gender norms related to maternal health seeking behaviour, associated outcomes, and opportunities to shape norms to promote uptake of maternal health services. It will further seek to understand women’s agency and participation in planning and resource allocation for maternal health services.

The gender analysis will take a mixed methods approach, drawing on both quantitative and qualitative methodologies to inform findings.

Specific Objectives

  • Identify the determinants of maternal health that relate to gender norms and practices in communities Khartoum, Gederif, Blue Nile and South Kordofan states
  • Compare and contrast local and national public policies and programmes for maternal health and mortality-reduction to the situation in communities Khartoum, Gederif, Blue Nile and South Kordofan states and thereby identify gaps in policy and practice
  • Provide recommendations for health policy, practice reforms and incentives to address social and structural factors that undermine uptake of maternal health services


  • Inception report outlining the conceptual framework, research tools and methodology, administrative arrangements and budget.
  • Electronic folder of all applications, survey modules, interview guides and interview transcripts developed to organize, process and analyze the data as a final deliverable
  • Electronic files of the clean (final) quantitative and qualitative data collected and shared as a final deliverable
  • A power point presentation of initial findings and recommendations to presented at least in two validation workshops
  • 15–25-page, detailed report with 2–3-page executive summary


  •  A post-graduate degree in gender, measurement, research methods
  •  Over 10 years’ experience conducting gender analyses for international development and humanitarian projects
  •  Experience leading gender analyses with a programmatic focus in Sudan and the East African context more broadly
  •  Experience delivering trainings to and remote managing data collection teams
  •  Familiarity with best practice in the design and implementation of gender sensitive and transformative programming  with a focus on the following sectors:  livelihoods, WASH, education, and GBV
  •  Strong oral and written communications skills

Key Details:

 The position will manage remotely by East Africa Gender Equality and Advocacy Advisors and the IRC Sudan Deputy Director programs


The IRC and IRC workers must adhere to the values and principles outlined in IRC Way - Standards for Professional Conduct.  These are Integrity, Service, and Accountability.  In accordance with these values, the IRC operates and enforces policies on Beneficiary Protection from Exploitation and Abuse, Child Safeguarding, Anti Workplace Harassment, Fiscal Integrity, and Anti-Retaliation.

IRC et les employés de IRC doivent adhérer aux valeurs et principes contenus dans le IRC WAY (normes de conduite professionnelle). Ce sont l’Intégrité, le Service, et la Responsabilité. En conformité avec ces valeurs, IRC opère et fait respecter les politiques sur la protection des bénéficiaires contre l’exploitation et les abus, la protection de l’enfant, le harcèlement sur les lieux de travail, l’intégrité financière, et les représailles.                        

[1] Sudan situation report, Nov 9, 2020 (OCHA)

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Before applying, please make sure that you have read the requirements for the position and that you qualify.
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