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Call for proposals - data collection firm to conduct 24h dietary recall surveys and collect anthropometric data in Vietnam
International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)
Full-time
Job Expired 15 Oct 2022
Expired
Posted 2 months ago
Job Description

The Vietnam adolescent nutrition and food environment study

24h dietary recall and anthropometry

1. Background

Food systems are not providing sustainable health diets (defined as: "A dietary pattern that promotes all dimensions of individuals’ health and wellbeing; has low environmental pressure and impact; is accessible, affordable, safe and equitable; and is culturally acceptable”) for everyone, everywhere: healthy diets are unaffordable for 3 billion people. Poor quality diets are associated with all forms of malnutrition and 11 million premature adult deaths each year.

Food systems contribute significantly to environmental degradation and biodiversity loss and are responsible for over 25% of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. While food systems are an important source of employment in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), many jobs are in the informal sector with low and uncertain income and poor labor conditions, especially for women and youth.

Diets are rapidly evolving due to changes in income, women’s employment, urbanization, and developments in technology, food marketing, and public policy. These changes, which happen in urban and rural areas, contribute to shifts in food environments (defined as: “The interface that mediates the acquisition of foods to people within the wider food system”). Food environments increasingly promote ready-to-eat, convenient, cheap, and often ultra-processed foods associated with poor health.

Adolescents’ increasing autonomy, openness to new ideas, impulsivity (including sensation seeking behavior), and desire to conform to peers is likely to make them particularly vulnerable to the negative effects of the rapidly changing food environment. Understanding and recognizing the realities of adolescent lives, diets, nutrition, and health is critically important for planning and designing successful actions to address adolescents’ needs.

Our proposed study of adolescents and their food environment in Vietnam seeks to fill some of the knowledge gaps. We will (1) describe and assess the nutritional status, dietary intake, and physical activity patterns of adolescents (and their mothers) in urban, peri-urban, and rural Vietnam; (2) assess the food environments these adolescents are exposed to and how these relate to adolescents’ diets; (3) identify micro-,small-, and medium-scale enterprises (MSMEs) that have the potential to increase delivery of specific types of more sustainable, nutritious foods and to understand labor structure within those enterprises.

This project is led by a consortium of organizations referred to as “Research Consortium” throughout these ToR. The study protocol will be reviewed by the Institutional Review Board (IRB) of IFPRI in Washington DC and by a local IRB in Vietnam.

This requisition is for a candidate collaborating data collection firm (i.e., a company, NGO, or organization; called “Collaborator” throughout this Requisition) to perform all activities to conduct 24h dietary recall surveys and collect anthropometric data specifically described under Section 5 below.

The work described below is part of a larger set of surveys, for which the Research Consortium will contract another firm, referred to as “Survey Firm” (see Table below). As explained below, Survey Firm and Collaborator will work closely together.

Name Who Summary of responsibilities
Research Consortium Consortium of research organizations (IFPRI, WUR, IRD) Overall lead of the study
Survey Firm Local firm Overall lead of the field activities, survey operations, and data quality
Collaborator Candidate collaborating Conduct 24HR and collection of anthropometric measurements
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NOTE : The Survey Firm will conduct household and food environment surveys. The Collaborator will conduct 24h-dietary recall and anthropometric measurement. However, these will be an integral part of the survey operations led by this Survey Firm, i.e., they will use the same tablets, CAPI platform, data system, and be an integral part of the team structure to ensure high data quality and efficient field operations.

Precautionary measures to be implemented by the Collaborator for the prevention of COVID-19 for staff and study respondents and their families are presented in Section 10 below.

2. General aim and objectives of the overall survey

The overall objective of the study is to carefully describe the nutritional status and dietary intake of adolescents 12 to 18 years of age and their mothers from households in low- and middle-income neighborhoods in urban, semi-urban, and rural Vietnam, to characterize the food environment these individuals are exposed to, and to gain an in-depth understanding of the individual, household, community, and food environments factors that drive these dietary outcomes. A key component of the food environment are MSMEs, so a portion of the study will concentrate on understanding both what they tend to sell and their employment structure.

The specific objectives of the proposed overall study are as follows:

  • Describe the nutritional status and the dietary intake of adolescents 12 to 18 years of age and their mothers from poor and middle-class households in urban, semi-urban, and rural areas in Vietnam.
  • Describe the food environment of adolescents 12 to 18 years of age and their mothers from poor and middle-class households in urban, semi-urban, and rural areas in Vietnam are exposed to.
  • Assess to what extent individual and household factors and the food environment affect food choice, nutrient intake, and nutritional status.
  • Document the level of inequality in nutritional status, dietary intake, and food environment exposure by age, gender, socioeconomic status, and residence.
  • Document food availability and services provided to buyers by different types of MSME food vendors.
  • Characterize labor structure and conditions, with a focus on gender and youth, among MSME food vendors.
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3. Design and setting of overall survey

A cross-sectional study will be conducted in an urban (Dong Da), peri-urban (Dong Anh), and rural (Moc Chau) districts in Vietnam. In each of the 3 sites, a sufficient number of wards/communes will be selected to sample 960 households with at least one adolescent 12 to 18 years of age (i.e., 2880 households total).

3.1. 24h dietary recall - Adolescent and primary female caregiver

We will conduct a quantitative 24h dietary recall from both the adolescent as well as the primary female caregiver of adolescent (which we expect to be the biological mother in most cases). For non-standard recipes, recipe composition data will be collected. A second 24 h dietary recall needs to be conducted in 15% of the sample (n=~150 in each site) on a non-consecutive day by a different enumerator. In addition, a food frequency questionnaire (FFQ) will be administered to assess the frequency of consumption of select foods. We estimate that each 24h recall will take around 45 minutes and FFQ will take 15 minutes. Detailed data collection protocols will be shared with the Collaborator later.

3.2. Anthropometry

Anthropometric data (weight, length, waist, hip and arm circumference) will be collected from the adolescents and their primary female caregiver (which we expect to be the biological mother in most cases). In addition, systolic and diastolic blood pressure will be measured. Detailed data collection protocols will be shared with the Collaborator later.

4. The role of the Research Consortium

The researchers of the Research Consortium will take the lead in the following activities:

  • Design of the questionnaires and data entry forms (Survey Solutions package) for the handheld tablets.
  • Sampling wards/communes and households.
  • Close involvement in the training of the selected enumerators and team leaders/supervisors during the 10 days training. During this training it is requested that any involved responsible parties from the Collaborator (including field coordinator) are present.
  • Supervision of data quality in collaboration with the Collaborator

5. Activities expected of Collaborator

Collaborator will conduct the following activities:

5.1. Acquire and maintain an inventory of survey equipment

This will include the following:

  • Kitchen scales (type to be approved by the Research Consortium) need to be purchased to weigh portions and to record recipes.
  • Small materials like backpacks, pens, registers, notebooks, printed documents (manuals, reference lists, sample, and food outlet lists).
  • Batteries for electronic devices as needed (including spare batteries to be carried by enumerators).
  • Inventory of all materials (e.g., GPS loggers, scales, tablets, etc.).

5.2. Obtain all necessary approvals from IRB and authorities to conduct the study

The Collaborator will obtain all necessary approvals to conduct the work. This includes approvals from national and local authorities to conduct the research. In addition, the Collaborator will inform and sensitize authorities, local leaders, communities, schools, and others as needed about the research.

5.3. Design all study activities

The Collaborator will put together a detailed plan of all field activities, the detailed timeline of these activities, and a detailed list of the human resource needs to carry out these activities.

5.4. Recruitment of enumerators/team leaders/data capture agents/field coordinator staff for survey

The Collaborator will be responsible for the recruitment of the necessary number of enumerators, team leaders, data capture agents, anthropometrists, and field coordinators to participate in the training and the actual survey. Essential qualifications for field staff are listed below:

24h dietary recall enumerators:

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Bachelor’s degree in social, health, and basic sciences or relevant equivalent experience

Experience: participation in at least one 24h dietary recall survey

Excellent communication skills

Computer skills: person should be at ease with working on a tablet

Anthropometrists:

​​​​​​​Bachelor’s degree in social, health, and basic sciences or relevant equivalent experience

Experience: participation in at least one anthropometric survey

Excellent communication skills

Computer skills: person should be at ease with working on a tablet

The detailed list of survey staff shall be submitted to the Research Consortium before the start of training. The Research Consortium reserves the right to veto the hiring of any of the proposed survey staff, and the Collaborator shall then propose new individuals satisfying the above criteria. The Collaborator will make the effort to recruit a gender-balanced group of enumerators. It is recommended that a larger number of field staff (+10%) is recruited for training than the number that will be employed for the fieldwork.

5.5. Development of questionnaire and tools and participation in programing of Survey Solutions entry mask

The Research Consortium will design the questionnaire and program it in Survey Solutions for direct entry during the survey. The Collaborator will need to translate all the tools into Vietnamese. Key senior Collaborator staff (e.g., field coordinator, etc.) shall assist in all phases of questionnaire design, to familiarize him/herself with all survey tools and devices. The Collaborator shall review draft versions of the questionnaire, be present at the pre-test of the tools/devices and provide feedback before and during enumerator training. In addition, extensive test of the Survey Solutions questionnaire will be performed by enumerators during training and pilot survey: the Collaborator will be responsible to collect feed-back on the CAPI, transfer it to the Research Consortium, and double check that reported mistakes have been adequately corrected.

With assistance from IFPRI, prepare the field implementation manual prior to enumerator training. The field manual will ensure quality of the data collection process.

Develop spot- and back-check protocols and share these with IFPRI for feedback prior to the start of data collection.

5 .6. Training of the 24 recall enumerators

The training will last for 10 days with an additional 2 days of pre-test in the field.

The responsibilities of the Research Consortium:

The Research Consortium will lead select aspects of the training. The detailed training calendar (including who will be training on what) will be developed in close collaboration between the Research Consortium and the Collaborator.

The Collaborator will be responsible for all logistical aspects of the training, including:

  • Provide the training room, training material, beamer.
  • All documents in paper (questionnaires, information sheets) will be printed by the Collaborator.
  • Ensure availability of all necessary equipment (see Section 6.1)
  • All refreshment during training.
  • Identification of neighborhoods where field tests can be conducted.
  • Transport to and from field tests.
  • Field coordinator will provide assistance and support for training.

Throughout the training, the performance of each enumerator/supervisor/data capture agent will be evaluated by the Collaborator (in close collaboration with the Research Consortium) with respect to his/her understanding of the questionnaire and tools, capacity to work with a CAPI/tablet, field capacities and general motivation. The best enumerators will be retrained to be part of the survey team.

5 .7. Training of anthropometrists

The training will be conducted by an expert in collecting anthropometry (the “trainer” below). As part of the training, the Collaborator will organize 1 practice session and 3 standardization sessions. Every standardization session takes 3-4 hours to complete (organized during 3 half days) for all recruited anthropometrists. Every anthropometrist will be asked to measure 10 adolescent volunteers twice (weight, height, arm, waist, and hip circumference). The trainer will also measure all adolescents twice to produce reference values. The technical errors and coefficients of variation for every anthropometrist will be calculated using the protocol provided by the Research Consortium.

The responsibilities of the Research Consortium:

Standardization: The Research Consortium will supervise the standardization sessions and process the dat

The Collaborator will be responsible for all logistical aspects of the training and standardization, including:

  • Provide all necessary anthropometric equipment, e.g., height board, scale, tape, etc. The equipment type and brand will be determined by the Research Consortium.
  • Recruiting a highly skilled and experienced anthropometry trainer.
  • Training room and material
  • Refreshment during training
  • Recruit 10 adolescent volunteers (12-18 years of age) per standardization session who accept to have their weight, height, arm, and waist circumference measured several times (two times by each anthropometry trainee) during a standardization session. It is recommended to compensate these volunteers for their time.

Throughout the training, the performance of each anthropometrist will be evaluated by the Collaborator (in close collaboration with the Research Consortium) for accuracy and precision of measurement, understanding of the survey, discipline, field capacities and general motivation. Only the best anthropometrists will be part of the survey.

5 .8. Pilot phase

The study will be pilot tested in urban, peri-urban, and rural neighborhoods that are not part of the study sites (~3-4 days) until all procedures and survey instruments have been mastered by all field workers. Every enumerator is expected to complete at least 2-3 24h recalls in the pilot phase in total. During the pilot phase we aim at testing the study tools and procedures, as if the study had started.

The Collaborator will ensure that the following logistical aspects of the pilot phase have been taken care of:

  • Liaise with community or social workers to contact ~ 30 households per pilot study day with at least one adolescent that is willing to participate in the pilot study (small compensations to be foreseen).
  • Ensure that all legal and other authorizations are obtained to be able to conduct the pilot study.
  • Ensure that community/neighborhood representatives have been informed and consulted prior to the pilot (if deemed necessary).
  • Provide enumerators with the necessary official letters, badges for identification, etc. as needed for the fieldwork.
  • Transport of enumerators to the pilot neighborhood. In case vehicles are rented for this purpose, the Collaborator will ensure that each vehicle used shall be duly insured, covering each of its passengers for all eventualities happening when in the vehicle.
  • Organize and implement the pilot as planned to include the presence of all necessary equipment.
  • Ensure informed consent is obtained as needed.
  • Ensure data quality inspection of the pilot data by team leaders as planned.
  • Ensure that all field staff are properly insured against injury and harm.

5.9. Organize data collection

The data collection is to be completed within the agreed scheduled dates.

The Collaborator will work with the Survey Firm to ensure that the following logistical aspects of the data collection have been taken care of:

  • Ensure that all legal authorizations are obtained to be able to conduct the study. This includes (but is not limited to) the Department of Training and Education and the People’s Committee.
  • Ensure that community/neighborhood representatives and school principals have been informed and consulted prior to the start of the survey (if deemed necessary).
  • Provide enumerators with the necessary official letters, badges for identification, etc. as needed for the fieldwork.
  • Transport of enumerators to the study neighborhoods. In case vehicles are rented for this purpose, the Collaborator will ensure that each vehicle used shall be duly insured, covering each of its passengers for all eventualities happening when in the vehicle.
  • Organize and implement the study as planned.
  • Ensure data quality inspection of the data by team leaders as planned.
  • Ensure that all field staff are properly insured.
  • Ensure informed consent is obtained as needed.
  • Organize the necessary communication and meetings between enumerators and higher-up staff to provide updates, discuss and correct commonly made mistakes, etc.
  • Organize for enumerators’ data to be uploaded daily to the data server.
  • Ensure that team leaders inspect the data from their enumerators within 24h after enumerators have uploaded the data to the server.
  • Organize weekly reporting to The Research Consortium on field activities.
  • In case of serious measurement errors highlighted by team leaders or the Research Consortium, ensure enumerators can/will revisit households/adolescents to correct errors.
  • Have team leaders validate the surveys completed by the enumerators of their team (Survey Solutions offers an online module to assess the quality of finalized surveys).
  • Deliver datasets with the translation of any open-ended questions from local languages to English as necessary.
  • Provide a detailed report covering the quantitative survey fieldwork including any issues related to data management and cleaning.
  • At the end of data collection but not until requested by the Research Consortium, data from all tablets and computers used for the survey will be erased.

The Research Consortium will receive the data while the survey is ongoing through the Survey Solutions server. The quality of data collected by enumerators, and validated by team leaders, will be checked and a list of comments/checks to do/edits will be sent to the field coordinator to organize a return to household if data is deemed of insufficient quality.

6. Required qualifications

  • Company, NGO, or organization with proven professional experience in collecting research data through large-scale household and other surveys.
  • Track record of submitting deliverables on time.
  • Experience working with international and national researchers or research organizations.
  • Experience with data collection using electronic devices (CAPI, tablet, computer).
  • Experience in building trusting and cordial relationships with local authorities, community leaders, and survey respondents.
  • Excellent communication skills in English.
  • Experience conducting fieldwork while observing preventive measures to limit the spread of COVID-19.

7. Timeline

The survey activities will take place in 2022 (Phase 1) and the first half of 2023 (Phase 2). Details on which activities take place when may be modified. The timeline below provides a tentative overview of phase 2. Collaborator’s activities will be mainly limited to this phase (diet and anthropometric assessment).

Activity Dates
Recruitment of enumerator team by February 28, 2023
Enumerator training March 1-10, 2023
Data collection March 13-April 30, 2023

8. Deliverables

8.1. Local IRB approval, completion of translated questionnaires

Due on November 15, 2022

8.2. Detailed fieldwork plan phase 2. Report of enumerator hiring and training (Phase 2)

Due on March 15, 2023

8.3. Mid-term report on fieldwork activities (Phase 2) + data

Due on April 30, 2023

8.4. Final report on fieldwork activities (Phase 2) + data

Due on May 31, 2023

9. Technical and financial offer

The following items must be included in the technical offer:

  • A presentation of the firm and previous experience in implementing surveys and studies.
  • Detailed CV of people leading the survey firm.
  • A short technical proposal. Clearly present any risks related to this work and propose mitigating strategies.
  • A detailed budget for the study including all activities listed above, number and level of staff members, salary costs, per diems, transportation cost (car/fuel), and other logistical costs. The budget should clearly show unit costs, the number of units/persons and number of days leading to a (sub) total. Please beware that the overhead is limited to 7% as specified by the funder.

10. Precautionary measures to prevent the transmission of COVID-19

Conducting field studies during the COVID-19 pandemic requires the implementation of strong mitigation strategies to prevent transmission of the virus. We provide an example of what these measures may look like. Depending on the severity of the pandemic at the time of the surveys, these measures will be modified. At a minimum, Collaborator will follow all government imposed COVID-19 rules and regulations.

Training of Investigators

  1. At the start of each day of training, all enumerators, support, and research staff will be examined by the Collaborator for possible symptoms (e.g., cough, difficult breathing, fever, fatigue). Fever will be measured with a flash thermometer. Suspect cases will be required to stay home, obtain a COVID-19 test and, if necessary, quarantine for 14 days.
  2. Enumerator training will be organized in large auditoria always allowing an interpersonal distance of 2 meters. The auditoriums will be adequately ventilated at each break. During breaks, interviewers will be asked to leave the auditorium in small groups to minimize contact. Meals, coffee breaks and practical exercises will be organized outside.
  3. The training and standardization exercises in anthropometry will take place outdoors.
  4. During training, all personnel will wear a face mask without exception.
  5. After each training day, the benches, tables, and shelves will be disinfected with an alcoholic solution (>70% v/v alcohol).
  6. Before transferring the interviewer teams to the field sites, each interviewer will undergo a COVID-19 PCR test. Positive cases will be quarantined for 14 days.
  7. We are training 10% more enumerators than needed for the study to have the possibility of replacing investigators who show symptoms of COVID-19 and who will have to be quarantined for 14 days.

Field Study

  1. The informed consent form contains a paragraph explaining to the head of the household and the interviewees how the interviews will be conducted. For each monthly home visit, respondents will receive a new face mask.
  2. All interviews will take place outdoors in the open air.
  3. Interviewers and anthropometric officers will wear a face mask during all interviews or measurements.
  4. The enumerator will keep a two-meter distance from the interviewee.
  5. Other members of the household will be asked to respect a two-meter distance from the enumerator.
  6. Anthropometry agents will record the height and weight of the standing adolescent or adult positioned behind the participant to avoid face-to-face contact.
  7. After each measurement, the measurement tapes, scales and length boards will be disinfected with a 70% v/v alcoholic solution as recommended by the WHO.
  8. Before starting the interview, the enumerator will assess the interviewee's temperature and probe for symptoms related to COVID-19. In case of suspected case of COVID-19, the interview will be cancelled.
  9. Prior to each workday, team supervisors will measure each interviewer's body temperature and assess the symptoms of COVID-19 (e.g., cough, difficult breathing, fever, fatigue). When a suspected case is encountered, the enumerator will be asked to be tested in the local hospital and, if necessary, observe a 14-day quarantine.
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