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Purpose of assignment & Background:
The nutrition status of 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 (18.9%), wasting (10.5%) and obesity (7% and on the rise) (DHS, 2009). 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 contributing the malnutrition problem.
The first 1000 days of life -from the start of a woman's pregnancy until her child's second birthday- offers a critical window of opportunity to develop a strong foundation to shape a child's future and the future of a society. The right nutrition during this period is critical for brain development, healthy growth, a strong immune system, and protection from chronic disease later in life. If children do not get the right nutrients in then 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 interventions 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 had designed a Social Behaviour Change Communication Strategy for the first 1000 days of life has been developed to coordinated SBCC package of activities that effectively protect, promote and support appropriate maternal nutrition and infant and young child feeding (IYCF). The strategy presents key evidence-based SBCC actions at five levels of society -individual, household, community, healthcare service and the wider environmental level, to enable individual and social behaviour change to take place. The SBCC Strategy and an accompanying action plan, provides detailed guidance for implementing the strategy, including concrete actions and timelines.
In this regard, UNICEF is seeking a national consultant to provide technical and operational support to roll-out the SBCC strategy and action plan.
What are the objectives to which the consultancy is related?
The purpose of the assignment is to support the coordination and implementation of activities planned under the SBCC Strategy and other relevant nutrition activities implemented in the target islands, and advice relevant departments and managers at the MoH and HPA on best ways to strengthen the existing service delivery platforms. The main objective is to provide technical expertise and operational support to roll out activities of the SBCC Strategy and action plan. The specific objectives are to:In consultation with relevant managers and decision makers in HPA, design and 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, Support the implementation and coordination of the SBCC strategy at central level, and sub-national level in the target five atolls. Supportthe integrationof 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 centresin the target 12 islands. Support the implementation of activities planned under the SBCC Strategy and other relevant nutrition activities implemented in the target islands.
Consultant will be mainly based in the Health Protection Agency and work closely with UNICEF. There will be travel / outreach support to SBCC demonstration sites and islands.
UNICEF Programme Specialist for Health, Nutrition & HIV/AIDS. From the Government, the Head of Nutrition section in Health Protection Agency, Male, Maldives will provide support and guidance.
Major tasks to be Accomplished
The consultant will be coordinating and implementing the activities outlined in SBCC strategy and action plan. Key tasks include, but is not limited to:
Main Purpose: Support the coordination and implementation of activities planned under the SBCC Strategy and other relevant nutrition activities implemented in the target islands, and advice relevant departments and managers at the MoH and HPA on best ways to strengthen the existing service delivery platforms
Support the implementation and coordination of the SBCC strategy at central level, and support implementation in public health units of 12 target islandsLead the implementation of the SBCC action plan: provide overall technical support to the SBCC-activities, coordinate and implement the activities with key stakeholders. Develop a detailed operational plan, with timelines to implement the SBCC action plan and strategy for a 12-month period Develop and manage the SBCC action plan, operational plan, and ensure smooth, timely and effective roll-out in the 12 target islands Coordinate steering community meetings and technical group meetings on a need basis Build partnership with relevant institutes and champions. Engage with them and utilize their support Ensure timely and quality delivery on assigned activities, including management of budgets related to those activities and its reporting Contribute to and provide inputs on the annual work plan, required project reports, baseline data, tools and indicators for monitoring and evaluation, collection/sharing of lessons learned. Travel to the field / target islands (approx. once every quarter) to support implementation and monitoring of activities in the 12 sites 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 Document lessons learned, monitor and track progress, and carry out cause corrections to the action plan, approached, and implementation process as needed. Operational plan with timeline developed Orientation sessions and advocacy sessions on the SBCC strategy and action plan, to staff of 12 target islands Hold (2) steering committee meetings and (3) technical group meetings (approx., to be confirmed) to update stakeholders, seek guidance and expertise Mission reports from visit to target islands
In consultation with relevant managers and decision makers in HPA, design and 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 careDevelop and refine as needed all relevant SBCC related tools and materials in close collaboration with technical staff, stakeholders, and donor. Strengthen the capacity of staff in project sites, implementing partners, stakeholders and others in implementing SBCC interventions in the project. Conduct advocacy sessions with the health managers and community leaders to raise the profile of first 1000 days and the importance on 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 Support to develop recipe books/ video and other innovative resources Develop key training, educational, counselling resources and job aids and awareness-raising tools Capacity building (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 (including recipe videos and book) Advocacy sessions conducted to senior staff and leaders of 12 target islands, and policy makers, senior management of MoH & HPA
Supportthe integrationof 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 centersin the target 12 islands.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 integrated. 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 beneficiary Compile resources on and background materials on SBCC core messages Supervise and monitor the implementation 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. Orientation of it to relevant staff. 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.
Note: detailed activities are included in the SBCC action plan
Estimated duration of contract:
it is estimated that the project will take approximately 11 months between February 2019 - Jan 2020.
Official travel involved (itinerary and duration):
Frequent travel to project islands
Qualifications or specialized knowledge and/or experience required:University Degree in nutrition, public health, social sciences or similar field required, and advance degree preferred. Relevant past experience can be considered in lieu of qualification, based on competencies demonstrated. Experience in nutrition or health promotion will be desired. Previous work on nutrition programme or promoting or training breast feeding, and Infant feeding practices will be an asset. Experience as a trainer or facilitator will be an advantage. 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. Past experience in training, facilitation will be an asset. Understanding of the Maldivian health context. Able to travel to islands and work with the local communities. Must be able to manage diverse view points and work in demanding situations.
Deadline for application: 28th February 2019, before 06:00 pm
Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted and advance to the next stage of the selection process.
This vacancy is archived.
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