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UNICEF Somalia Consultant – Infant Feeding Study Career Opportunity

UNICEF Somalia
Terms of Reference
Vacancy Ref No. UNSOM/2011/019
Functional Title: Consultant – Infant Feeding Study
Duty Station: Hargeisa
Duration: Four Months
Closing date: 1st May 2011
Purpose of Consultancy
Optimal breastfeeding behaviours such as exclusive breastfeeding for 6 months and continued breastfeeding to 12 months can reduce childhood mortality by 13%, making it the preventative intervention with the single largest impact on mortality[Lancet Child Survival Series, 2003].
Beyond a direct reduction in mortality, breastfeeding has significant benefits for both infants and their mothers including improved growth and nutritional status, improved cognitive and motor development, reduced morbidity, and a fertility reduction for the mother in the early months. The risks of late initiation and mixed and/or artificial feeding are enormous.
Despite this, prevalence of early initiation is only 23.4% and exclusive breastfeeding is very low in Somalia at 5.3%. Due to sub-optimal infant feeding practices in Somalia, the national prevalence of acute malnutrition for infants 0-5 months is 17.1% [National Micronutrient and Anthropometric Nutrition Survey. FSNAU, 2009].
Experience has shown that many women have some knowledge about the benefits of exclusive breastfeeding. However, engaging in the practice is rarely done. Breastfeeding is initiated late and mixed feeding with animal milks and/or sugared water is common. Semi-solid or solid complementary foods are introduced too early, often before an infant’s digestive system is properly able to digest them.
Addressing sub-optimal infant feeding practices will go a long way to tackling infant morbidity, mortality, and malnutrition. Previous studies in Somalia have focused on a behaviours towards infant feeding.
However, women in Somali communities rarely make decisions about infant feeding alone, and therefore understanding family/community dynamics involved in making decisions is vital to any communications programs. The outcomes of this study will help define what are the barriers and boosters to optimal infant feeding within families and communities, as well as elucidate the tipping point populations within the community that can be targeted in order to achieve sustained behavior change.
Purpose and Objective
Specifically, the purpose of the consultancy is to assess the barriers and boosters to optimal infant feeding
behaviours.
The specific objectives are:
·         To assess the barriers and boosters to optimal infant feeding in four or five different settings (pastoral/nomadic, pastoral/semi-nomadic, riverine, urban, and IDP)
·         To examine attitudes and behaviours of different population groups and sub-groups towards feeding of infants
·         To define where carers and those who influence them, get their information and support regarding the feeding of infants
·         To find out with what and when carers are feeding their infants, and why they choose to give that specific liquid/food
·         To examine communication channels, those already used and suggesting new ones, to optimize involvement of different community actors in the feeding of infants
·         To provide recommendations that will facilitate the design of practical, feasible, and measurable activities and communication messages to address sub-optimal infant feeding practice
·         To develop the capacity of UNICEF Somalia and partner organizations to conduct similar qualitative research projects
Suggested Background/Reading materials
·         Somali Knowledge, Attitude & Practice Study: Infant and Young Child Feeding and Health Seeking Behaviours. FSAU (2007).
·         National Micronutrient and Anthropometric Nutrition Survey, FSNAU (2009).
·         Milk Matters: The Role and Value of Milk in the Diet of Somali Pastoral Children in Liben and Shinile, Ethiopia. K. Sadler & Cately, A.: Feinstein International Center, Tufts University, and Save the Children (2009).
·         Femmes conseilleres: Actrice incontournable. Etude qualitative sur les roles et influence dans la famille de la communaute sur l’alimentation du jeune enfant, de la femme enceinte et allaitante.
·         UNICEF, MoH Djibouti, and The Grandmother Project (2007).
Methodology and Technical Approach
The consultant is to propose a methodology and research tools that will allow for the collection of the necessary information from the four livelihood research zones (pastoral, riverine, urban, and IDP). The consultant is to work collaboratively with UNICEF staff and partner organizations in order to help build their capacity in qualitative research.
Output/Deliverable
Deliverables are:
·         Research methodology, tools, and sampling design – two weeks from start
·         Capacity building and training of partners involved in designing, carrying out, and analyzing the study – 4 weeks from start
·         4 studies conducted (pastoral, riverine, urban, IDP) which comprehensively explore barriers and boosters to optimal infant feeding among community groups – three and a half months from start
·         Final written report with described methodology, results and recommendations as well as a Powerpoint summary of study, findings, and recommendations – end of consultancy
Management, Organization and Timeframe
The consultant will report directly to UNICEF Nutrition Specialist (IYCF). Duty station will be in Somaliland, Puntland, Galkacyo (total of 90%), and Nairobi (10%). DSA at UN rates will be provided for travel in Somalia.
The consultancy will last 4 months from signing of contract.
Budget and Remuneration
A 30% payment can be made in advance. A 40% advance can be made on completion of the surveys and the remaining payment can be made upon completion of all agreed deliverables. Targets and delivery will be reviewed by the UNICEF Somalia Nutrition team and, when possible, the IYCF working groups with the consultancy supervisor.
Qualifications and Specialised Knowledge
Required:
·         Advanced university degree in Nutrition, Public Health or related technical field.
·         At least 8 years of professional experience in the field of nutrition in developing countries
·         Previous experience in designing and implementing infant and young child feeding programs required
·         Previous experience designing and conducting qualitative research projects required
·         Hands on experience in development of communication messages and campaigns desired
·         Strong communication skills.
·         Ability to work independently with minimum supervision.
·         Aware of the latest developments in the area of nutrition and assessment methodologies.
·         Knowledge of Somalia operational context and readiness to travel to Somalia
·         Fluency in English, with excellent writing skills is required
·         Fluency in Somali is desired but not mandatory
Conditions of Work
The consultant will be provided with office space in Nairobi and any field locations as well as other administrative and logistical support. However, he/she will ensure that they come equipped with their own computer.
A working week is defined as 5 working days and fees are prorated accordingly. He/she will not be paid for weekend or public holidays.
He/she will be required to sign the Health Statement for consultants/individual contractors prior to the assignment, and to document that he/she has the appropriate health insurance
Exit and penalty provision:
The consultant and UNICEF may agree to reschedule deadlines if unforeseen circumstances arise. In the event that such rescheduling has not been agreed in advance by exchange of letters, and submission of scheduled drafts should not occur within the deadlines indicated within these ToR and the implementation framework, a fine may be deducted.
In the event UNICEF is unhappy with the work produced by the consultant, they may opt to terminate the contract or
mutually agreeable terms. Likewise, if the consultant is unhappy with new conditions given by its client it may opt to withdraw on mutually agreeable terms.
Email to: somaliahrvacancies@unicef.org
Only short-listed applicants will be contacted
Qualified female candidates are especially encouraged to apply
UNICEF is a non-smoking environment

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