Consultancy: Implementation research (IR) on Integration of vitamin A delivery (VAS) into routine child health services: Reports synthesis and preparation of workshop - - Health/Nutrition/PD/NYHQ - REQ#532546
United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF)
Close on 9 Jul 2020
Location: New York (United States)
Grade: Consultancy
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Job Description

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Consultancy Title: Implementation research (IR) on Integration of vitamin A delivery (VAS) into routine child health services: Reports synthesis and preparation of workshop

Section/Division/Duty Station: Health/Nutrition/PD/NYHQ

Duration: 30 Working Days

About UNICEF

If you are a committed, creative professional and are passionate about making a lasting difference for children, the world's leading children's rights organization would like to hear from you. For 70 years, UNICEF has been working on the ground in 190 countries and territories to promote children's survival, protection and development. The world's largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments. UNICEF has over 12,000 staff in more than 145 countries.

BACKGROUND

Purpose of Activity/Assignment:

Vitamin A deficiency is a main contributor to all-cause cause mortality in children in settings of high under-five mortality.

Since the year 2000, UNICEF and its partners have been supporting countries to deliver Vitamin A supplements to millions of children to protect them against the devastating effects of Vitamin A deficiency, thereby reducing morbidity and mortality. Studies have shown that two high-dose supplements of Vitamin A per year, given between the ages of six months and five years, spaced four to six months apart, reduces morbidity and mortality. However, in countries with high under-5 mortality rates, coverage of two-doses of vitamin A supplementation has been in decline since between 2015 and 2016, with current coverage at 62% . The number of children aged 6 to 59 months left unprotected more than tripled during same period between 2015 and 2016, increasing from 19 million to 62 million.

Many countries have been using Child Health Days (CHDs) as a strategy to co-deliver Vitamin A with other effective health and nutrition interventions such as immunizations and deworming. In some countries, distribution of VAS has been combined with childhood immunization campaigns for polio and measles, but this is now changing.  Many countries are transitioning to a routine system of delivery, utilizing routine immunization approaches, community health workers, or other mechanisms. 

Since 2016, UNICEF has implemented the Enhanced Child Health Days (ECHD) project in 15 countries with the financial support of Global Affairs Canada (GAC). The ECHD project tests new approaches to Vitamin A supplementation delivery and strengthens routine immunization services with a goal to optimize the use of global resources. As part of the ECHD project, UNICEF undertook implementation research (IR) to better understand the most effective ways to deliver vitamin A in integrated way with less cost and to inform policy and program actions during transition from campaign to integration into routine child health services. Of the 15+ targeted countries, four have completed IR and submitted reports: Malawi, Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire and Benin. This consultancy will synthesize the reports into a compendium of lessons learnt and summarize best practices, which can be shared with other countries. The compendium will be useful in producing policy briefs and presentation brochures, which will be shared with stakeholders during an ECHD consultation workshop and at country level.

Purpose

The purpose of this assignment is to summarize evidence and lessons learnt from the implementation research IR conducted under the ECHD project carried out in four countries: Malawi, Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire and Benin in 2018 and 2019. The assignment will include: (a) a review and synthesize the ECHD IR project protocol and final reports from the four countries; (b) a compendium report of the research projects and summaries of implementation strategies, lessons learnt and best practices, (c)  a policy brief  highlighting the benefits of using implementation research (IR) in Vitamin A Supplementation (VAS) and (d)  preparations for and facilitation of a regional workshop involving ECHD countries.

Scope of Work:

The consultant will work closely under the direct supervision of UNICEF New York’s Nutrition Section and IRDS Unit, Health Section. Deliverables will be submitted electronically with through an in-person or online  workshop to be conducted in 2020. The calculation of the consultancy fee is based on the complexity of work and level of expertise according to UNICEF policy. The scope of the consultancy will include comprehensive review of the reports of enhanced child health days IR from four countries: Malawi, Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire and Benin and other relevant documents or reports, and a synthesis of key findings and lessons learnt for implementation research on vitamin A supplementation and salient points of public health and nutrition importance into a compendium report. The compendium report will be shared to inform scale-up in other countries. The consultant will develop materials for an in-person or virtual workshop involving ECHD countries in Q3 or Q4 2020. The virtual workshop will potentially be held through the Zoom platform and will be for 2 or 3 days and consist of sessions of  3 – 4 hours duration. One of the days dedicated to implementation research. Further details will be discussed during the contract finalization process but can be remote and/or office based (if the consultant is based in New York). The consultant will be required to facilitate the workshop online in Q3 2020.  Key activities to be accomplished will include:

1.         Conduct a review and synthesis of the implementation research reports on the integration of Vitamin A into routine child health services from four countries (Malawi, Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire and Benin). The synthesis and review will involve getting in contact with the country level implementers, policy makers and stakeholders involved in the Vitamin A IR implementation in the four countries. This online exchange will be facilitated by UNICEF CO staffs. 

2.         Produce a compendium of lessons learnt and best practices from the synthesis of reports. This compendium will include a Strength Weaknesses Opportunities and Threats (SWOT) analysis of each  country IR project/reports and summarizing of key findings, including strategies that worked well and those that did not; lessons  learnt during the planning, preparation, implementation and reporting phase; as well best practices that could be shared with other countries interested in implementing the vitamin A integration into routine child health services. 

3.         Produce a policy brief highlighting the benefits of using implementation research (IR) in Vitamin A Supplementation (VAS) and broader nutrition. The brief will be developed from the summary of lessons learnt from implementation research conducted across the four countries.

4.         Preparations of dissemination materials (presentations, brochures/pamphlets) from the synthesis, compendium and policy brief from IR on the integration of Vitamin A into routine child health services from four countries.  The consultant will be expected to co-facilitate the dissemination session that will be organized virtually or during an in-person meeting in the context of COVID-19. Further details on the workshop will be discussed with the consultant once on board.

5.         Development of two abstracts from the report synthesis and compendium  

Terms of Reference / Deliverables

 

  • Develop an inception report and methodology for the ECHD country IR report synthesis from the four countries (Malawi, Burkina Faso, Benin and Cote d’Ivoire).
    • A 2 to 3-page inception report with methodology for the report synthesis. 2 Days
  • Develop an initial draft compendium with synthesis and summary of the lessons learnt/best practices and key findings from the four country ECHD IR protocol and final reports based on approved methodology.
    • First draft of the ECHD reports synthesis compendium. 10 Days
  • Finalize the draft compendium based on inputs and comments from Nutrition and Health teams.
    • Final compendium ECHD report synthesis. 5 Days
  • Produce a policy brief highlighting the benefits of using implementation research (IR) in Vitamin A Supplementation (VAS) and broader nutrition.
    • Policy brief document. 5 Days
  • Develop draft plan and workshop materials for the ECHD workshop.
    • Draft brochures, policy briefs or posters for use and dissemination during the ECHD workshop. 5 Days
  • Development of an abstract for submission.
    • An abstract ready for submission. 3 Days

Qualifications

  • Advanced university degree in health, nutrition, social sciences or related field. Preferably a higher degree with knowledge of evidence generation, research methods and synthesis
  • Previous experience in synthesizing reports and, or systematic reviews of the literature
  • 8 years of relevant professional work experience with clear responsibilities; experience conducting reviews of the literature; documented knowledge of research relating to nutrition or Vitamin A, implementation research and maternal, new-born, and child programming.
  • Fluency in written and spoken English and French essential; fluency in another UN language is an asset.
  • Experience in integration of nutrition interventions in primary health care PHC and other services is an asset.  

Requirements:

  • Completed profile in UNICEF's e-Recruitment system and provide Personal History Form (P11) Upload copy of academic credentials
  • Financial proposal that will include:
  • your daily/monthly rate (in US$) to undertake the terms of reference (can be downloaded here: https://www.unicef.org/about/employ/index_consultancy_assignments.html 
    • travel costs and daily subsistence allowance, if internationally recruited or travel is required as per TOR.
    • Any other estimated costs: visa, health insurance, and living costs as applicable.
    • Indicate your availability
  • Any emergent / unforeseen duty travel and related expenses will be covered by UNICEF.
  • At the time the contract is awarded, the selected candidate must have in place current health insurance coverage.
  • Payment of professional fees will be based on submission of agreed satisfactory deliverables. UNICEF reserves the right to withhold payment in case the deliverables submitted are not up to the required standard or in case of delays in submitting the deliverables on the part of the consultant.

U.S. Visa information:

With the exception of the US Citizens, G4 Visa and Green Card holders, should the selected candidate and his/her household members reside in the United States under a different visa, the consultant and his/her household members are required to change their visa status to G4, and the consultant’s household members (spouse) will require an Employment Authorization Card (EAD) to be able to work, even if he/she was authorized to work under the visa held prior to switching to G4.  

Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted and advance to the next stage of the selection process

For every Child, you demonstrate…

UNICEF’s core values of Commitment, Diversity and Integrity and core competencies in Communication, Working with People and Drive for Results. View our competency framework at: Here

UNICEF is committed to diversity and inclusion within its workforce, and encourages all candidates, irrespective of gender, nationality, religious and ethnic backgrounds, including persons living with disabilities, to apply to become a part of the organization.

UNICEF has a zero-tolerance policy on conduct that is incompatible with the aims and objectives of the United Nations and UNICEF, including sexual exploitation and abuse, sexual harassment, abuse of authority and discrimination. UNICEF also adheres to strict child safeguarding principles. All selected candidates will, therefore, undergo rigorous reference and background checks, and will be expected to adhere to these standards and principles.

 

About UNICEF

For 70 years, UNICEF has been working on the ground in 190 countries and territories to promote children’s survival, protection and development. The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS.

UNICEF is the driving force that helps build a world where the rights of every child are realized. UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS. UNICEF is also the world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries. As a global authority UNICEF is able to influence decision makers at the global level and turn the most innovative ideas into reality.