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Consultancy for Development of the IGAD Maternal, Infant and Young Child Nutrition Advocacy Strategy and Tools

By September 28, 2018No Comments

Consultancy Terms of Reference (TOR)

for

Development of the IGAD Maternal, Infant and Young Child Nutrition Advocacy Strategy and Tools

Background

One of the key objectives of IGAD is to promote and realize the objectives of the African Economic Community. It is for this reason that compelling evidence of the link between nutrition in infancy and childhood and grey matter development, and the consequent economic productivity later in life is of substantial interest to IGAD secretariat and the Member States.  Maternal and child undernutrition impairs children’s physical growth and brain development, school readiness and educational achievement, and earning potential and productivity in later life.[i],[ii] In the IGAD 8 Member States, an estimated 11 million children under 5 are stunted and their physical growth and brain development compromised.  None of the IGAD member states have stunting rates of 20% or less, which is considered as low prevalence. Undernutrition of pregnant women leads to poor maternal and fetal outcomes, including one-fifth of stunting cases in children.[iii] Furthermore, all IGAD countries are in the group of Low and Middle Income Countries (LMICs) where 29% of children in are vitamin A deficient[iv] and 43% are anemic.[v] Globally, Anemia, often a result of iron deficiency, also affects 38% of pregnant women. The burden of maternal and child undernutrition is a real challenge in the IGAD region.

The food and nutrition situation in IGAD Member States is characterized by among others, acute food shortages, cyclic famine, hunger and sub-optimal maternal, infant and young child nutrition practices. The slow progress in reducing malnutrition in the IGAD region can be summarized simply as due to limited access to diversified food, suboptimal nutrition practices and limited access to health and nutrition services.

Hitherto is the unprecedented commitment among key stakeholders to prioritize the fight against undernutrition in policies national development plans. To this effect, 60 governments globally have joined the Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) movement (including 6 of 8 IGAD Member States).   However, and akin to other sub-Saharan countries, the national-level progress to strengthen national policies and strategies, planning resources allocation in nutrition remains limited.  Furthermore, the political economy of nutrition actions does not receive sufficient attention and impedes the implementation of effective programs at scale.  As a result, progress towards Member States (and regional) maternal and child undernutrition targets remains slow. The consequences are far reaching and include among others: increased morbidity and mortality, prevalent anemia cases among pregnant women, reduction in the physical ability to do work, increased absenteeism from school and work, reduced employment and earnings, reduced ability to resist infection, impaired physical and intellectual development in young children all of which are passed on through the generations. Malnutrition acts as a brake on the social and economic development of the individual, of the local communities, of nations, regions and of the global economy as a whole.

Sound maternal, infant and child nutrition is key contributor to a healthy population with propensity to reach optimum economic productivity of IGAD Member States and of the region. Placing the agenda of MIYCN strategically in the political, planning and resources allocation/budgeting processes at individual member states and at IGAD secretariat is therefore  key to triggering and sustaining economic prosperity in the region. Through the Regional Initiatives for Sustained Improvements in Nutrition and Growth (RISING), partners including IGAD are aiming to increase the effective coverage, at scale, of key evidence-based nutrition interventions. In the wider efforts to achieve this objective, advocacy for nutrition is indispensable.

The purpose of this assignment is therefore to within the context of the RISING initiative, provide a strategic and practical guide and tools for lobbying for MIYCN agenda at high-level political decision making, planning, budgeting and processes in the IGAD region. This assignment will therefore include the proposition of the appropriate platforms for advocacy, advocacy content and delivery media given the target audiences and the prevailing IGAD Member States’ contexts.

Project background and description

Advocacy for MIYCN at Member States’ and regional level is key to the goal of RISING Initiative – to contribute to the increase in effective coverage, at scale, of key evidence-based nutrition interventions. The RISING initiative is led by UNICEF East and Southern Africa Office (ESARO) and covers regions of East Asia and Pacific, Eastern and Southern Africa, South Asia, and Western and Central Africa. RISING initiative aims to strengthen the organizational and technical leadership of regional platforms to support scaling-up of key evidence-based interventions to improve nutrition (WN) and early childhood nutrition (ECN).The regional platforms include the Regional Economic Communities (RECs), regional associations and regional development partners.

 

The partnership for RISING initiative draws on the mandates of the RECs (ASEAN, ECSA, ECOWAS, IGAD, SAARC and SADC) to drive change among Member States in areas relevant to ECN and WN by advocating for adoption and implementation of policies, legislation and strategies, harmonizing policies and facilitating the exchange of information, and promoting interventions that specifically address the needs of their respective regions.

In this initiative, IGAD wider roles include the relevant and effective efforts in improving WN and ECN landscape in the region through:

  1. Harmonisation of policies and strategies, and adoption by member states
  2. Facilitating strengthening of MIYCN advocacy among the member states
  3. Capacity building of IGAD secretariat in nutrition programming
  4. Information generation and dissemination (knowledge management) for policy and programs use
  5. Effective coordination of the Member States for improved policy development, resource mobilisation and strategic focus.

Scope of the assignment

Purpose and objective of the assignment

The purpose of assignment is to develop strategies and tools for adoption and use by IGAD Member States and secretariat for advocating for MIYCN to be placed in the highest levels of policy development policy review, planning and resource allocation for improved and effective coverage, at scale, of key evidence-based MIYCN interventions.

The objectives of the assignment will therefore be to:

  1. Analyse socio-political, policy and multisectoral nutrition programming context and other decision making processes and contexts for the implementation of the MIYCN interventions. This will inform the basis for appropriateness and effectiveness of the advocacy strategies, messages and tools to be developed, as well as analyse the human capacity needs for effective advocacy.
  2. Develop a guiding framework for strategically placing MIYCN issues for multisectoral policy, planning and budgeting/resource allocation processes – a draft MIYCN advocacy strategy which clearly identifies the strategy objectives, audiences/platforms, advocacy messages and delivery modes.
  3. Draft a framework for monitoring and evaluating the IGAD region MIYCN advocacy efforts, as an integral part of the advocacy strategy.
  4. Develop practical tools for implementing advocacy strategy at IGAD Member States and regional levels for the various audiences/platforms, messages and the delivery modes

Approaches to use in the assignment

This work will involves conducting key informant interviews and desk review to concisely document the socio-political, policy and technical framework for MIYCN interventions, the potential advocacy audience and/or possible platforms for advocacy. This review will also analyse other critical decision making organs and processes at country and regional level that are key to effective MIYCN programming.  Based on the background analysis and the available information, IGAD MIYCN advocacy strategy will be drafted with included, among others, the advocacy messages (and delivery modes) and M&E framework for the advocacy efforts. Following the draft of the strategy, there will be the development of the advocacy tools for different target groups/audiences/platforms in varied national and regional advocacy platforms with specific messages respective for each of the key audiences identified. With guidance from IGAD and UNICEF, there will be validation of the advocacy strategy and the developed tools. Participants in the validation will be the Member States, RISING partners and other relevant stakeholders.

Expected deliverables for the assignment

The following are the expected deliverables for the assignment:

  1. An inception note specifying in details, the understanding of the TOR, the detailed approach in developing the IGAD MIYCN advocacy strategy and the advocacy tools. An outline of the advocacy strategy and of proposed advocacy tools will also be presented together with the inception note. The inception note will be presented to and reviewed by IGAD secretariat.
  2. Draft IGAD MIYCN advocacy strategy that will guide IGAD Member States to put MIYCN agenda at the highest level of political, policy and resource allocation decision making in the Member States and regional level for effective MIYCN interventions within the multisectoral nutrition planning processes. The strategy should be open for review with the changing context and continuous reaction and feedback from Member States and partners.
  3. Draft MIYCN advocacy tools to be used by Member States and IGAD secretariat for use in promoting and lobbying for MIYCN considerations in the multisectoral policies, plans and budgets.
  4. Final IGAD MIYCN advocacy frame work and advocacy tools with inputs, comments and concerns from the Member States and RISING partners taken into consideration and approved by IGAD secretariat as an official advocacy guide for MIYCN in the region.

Reporting and working arrangements

The consultant will be expected to work from his/her office/home and in some instances at IGAD offices in Nairobi and/or in other Member States. All meetings related to the assignments will be held at IGAD offices or in other locations as shall be specified. The consultant may be expected to travel to various Member States if and when the need arises. IGAD secretariat will provide administrative support to the consultant.  The consultant will report to the IGAD Program Coordinator on Health and Nutrition and will work closely with IGAD Nutrition Project Officer.

Duration of the assignments and terms of reference

The consultant effective days of engagement will be 30 days between September and November 2018. The effective remuneration will be based on the official IGAD daily ratings and as shall be further agreed between the consultant and IGAD. The payment terms will be as follows:

  1. 20% after submission of final inception note
  2. 40% with submission of draft MIYCN strategy and tools
  3. 40% with submission of final draft of MIYCN strategy and tools

Minimum qualifications needed

Great value is placed on the technical qualification and independence of the expert. Candidates should have the following basic and essential qualifications:

  • Advanced university degree in social and political sciences with relevant focus on advocacy at national and regional level;
  • Have relevant experience in advocacy in health, nutrition, food security and agricultural or or related fields;
  • Conversant with the current nutrition approaches including the SUN, 1000days approach and nutrition sensitive initiatives;
  • Have drafted advocacy frameworks, strategies, policies or related or reports at least within the last five years in the Horn of Africa or in  at least in two IGAD Member States is essential;
  • Over 10 years of country or regional level experience in policy, strategy and programme level;
  • Experience in collation and analysis of qualitative and quantitative data including in desk reviews;
  • Evidence of participation in national or international scientific bodies, committees, and other expert advisory bodies pertinent to the scope of this study is an asset.
  • Applicants must have excellent working knowledge of English. Working knowledge of French will be  an  added advantage;  
  • Strong communication and presentation skills

How to apply 

Interested candidates should send: Contact details, up-to-date curriculum vitae (CV) , a technical proposal not exceeding ten (5) pages, describing the consultant’s understanding of the TOR, proposed methodology, consultants’ role and detailed work plan linked to the deliverables with associated timelines, indicating the level of Effort (LoE) for each activity, at least one similar report by the consultant drafted in the past 5 years, Financial proposal of daily rating.

Proposals should be addressed by e-mailed / submitted in such that they are received on or before 5:00pm on 23rd October 2018. 

Any application received after this deadline will not be considered. The application should have the subject line Consultancy Terms of Reference (TOR) for

Development of the IGAD Maternal, Infant and Young Child Nutrition Advocacy Strategy and Tools” addressed to:

The Director, Administration & Finance, IGAD,

Avenue Georges Clemenceau,

P. O. Box 2653

E-mail:  procurement@igad.int and hr@igad.int

Djibouti, Republic of Djibouti

 

 

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