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Evaluation of UNICEF Nutrition Information Project in the Horn of Africa (NIPHORN phase I) Career Opportunity

UNICEF Eastern and Southern Africa Office (ESARO), has been conducting a project called NIPHORN with an objective of revitalising the nutrition information systems in 5 countries in the Horn of Africa (Eritrea, Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia and Somalia). Following the end of the first phase of the NIPHORN project, UNICEF ESARO is seeking expressions of interest of individual technical consultants to conduct a comprehensive evaluation of this project.
The consultant should have a considerable knowledge/expertise in nutrition information and should also have the technical human resource capacity to support this extensive piece of work, estimating a two month time frame for completion of the work.
Closing date: 10 Aug 2010
Location: Kenya
Location: Kenya with travel to other countries of the horn of Africa
Background

In 2006 and 2007 UNICEF, in partnership with Tulane University, completed the analysis of nutrition information systems in the Greater Horn of Africa (Eritrea, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Somalia, Kenya, Uganda and South Sudan). The Nutrition Information Project for the Horn of Africa (NIPHORN) collected and analyzed all available large scale surveys (DHS, MICS etc) since the early 1990’s that contained nutrition related information and data, particularly anthropometric data.
The analysis gave a macro picture of trends in stunting, underweight and wasting in the region. NIPHORN also collected as many small scale nutrition surveys as possible dating back to the year 2000. The findings of the NIPHORN analysis indicated a move, between 2000 and 2006, towards better quality surveys in all countries, but many issues still needed to be addressed. Thus NIPHORN project drafted detailed proposals on methodology, quality, and clarifications of when area based nutrition surveys might be used.
In June 2007 UNICEF country and regional office then began implementing the project that is to be evaluated with key partners:
1.     Standard methodologies for sampling, training and data collection and analysis
2.     Standardization of basic indicators,
3.     Standard quality control methodologies,
4.     Reporting standards,
5.     Agreement on justification and timing of surveys.
Furthermore it was considered that improvement in these areas of focus would only have an impact if:
1.     Government, UN and NGO staff were part of the process and well trained in the implementation of the agreed standards
2.     There is a common central system of compilation, verification, and quality clearance of survey reports.
The NIPHORN Project and the plan to revitalize nutrition information systems in the Horn of Africa forms a key component of a region wide investment in early warning, humanitarian monitoring and food security monitoring systems. The Integrated Phased Classification (IPC) system and the Health and Nutrition Tracking System (HNTS) represent complimentary systems for the collection and analysis of food security, conflict, market, health and nutrition data. Nutrition information and data are a key linking component between the two systems.
Objectives
The purpose of this evaluation is to determine the degree of success and failure of the Phase 1 of the NIPHORN project to Revitalize Nutrition Information Systems in the Horn of Africa and to learn from the implementation of phase 1 to improve performance and outcomes in potential future phases of the project. Whilst UNICEF has been leading the first phase of this project it is expected that the evaluation will also be useful to other stakeholders, especially Governments, in making decisions about how to successfully and sustainably revitalize their nutrition information systems in the future.
The objectives of the evaluation are to measure to what extent the NIPHORN Phase 1 project has contributed to an improvement in the quality, credibility and availability of nutrition information and how far these improvements have contributed to improved decision making. It is expected that the evaluation findings will lead to conclusions resulting in recommendations useful for future normative, operational and organizational strategies for the revitalization of regional and national Nutrition Information Systems. It is also expected that the evaluation will look at both processes and outcomes, to determine to what extent the NIPHORN project is responsible for the potential achievements of the expected results and to what extent a potential failure in achieving the objectives may be due to the project processes themselves.
Scope of Work
The NIPHORN project aimed to achieve its objectives through three parallel approaches:
1.     Improving the quality of data collected, analysed and reported
2.     Improving the availability of this information
3.     Improving the use of the nutrition information in making decisions that improve the nutrition situation in the horn of Africa
Specific Objectives

To conduct an independent structured evaluation of the results of the NIPHORN project to Revitalize Nutrition Information Systems in the Horn of Africa. The evaluation should examine the relevance, impact, effectiveness, efficiency, sustainability, complementarities, coherence and connectedness of the project.
The evaluation should also examine the way and degree to which these results have been achieved (processes). The evaluation should develop conclusions and recommendations at both strategy and operational levels.
Timeframe: approx 2 months, starting September 2010
Conditions
Only those consultants who satisfy the following requirements will be considered as potential candidates:
1.     Have a proven record in conducting high quality evaluations and delivering support services to development organizations, and demonstrate sufficient managerial and technical capacity to undertake this assignment.
2.     Knowledge of the latest developments in evaluation methods and standards and in Nutrition Information issues.
3.     Minimum of eight (8) years of responsible professional work experience in nutrition surveillance and information systems and presentation of data and information in graphs, tables, maps (GIS) etc. Prepared to accept UNICEF’s General
Terms and Conditions
Interested consultants who meet the above requirements are requested to submit: (1) their profile, detailing in not more than three A4 pages: Their approach and capacity to deliver the above stated services. The profile should be supported by documentary evidence, such as CVs, reference of similar services rendered and (2) a description of the key elements of the evaluation methodology to be used, detailing in not more than one A4 page.
Only short-listed consultants from this expression of interest will be contacted.
Preference will be given to individuals, firms/companies from the East and Southern Africa Region.
How to apply
Consultant profile together with all relevant documents should be submitted in a sealed envelope and/or by e-mail clearly marked “Expression of Interest, UNICEF ESARO NIPHORN evaluation” and delivered to:
(1) Supply Section UNICEF Kenya Country Office Block “J”, United Nations Complex, Gigiri Nairobi to the attention of: Christopher Adomati – (email: cadomati@unicef.org) Telephone: (254-20) 7622196 and;
(2) UNICEF Eastern & Southern Africa Regional Office Nutrition Section, PO Box 44145, 00100, Gigiri, Nairobi Kenya (email: phailey@unicef.org and ddoledec@unicef.org ) Telephone: (254-20) 7622204

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