Rwanda: International Consultancy to Provide the Technical Assistance to the National Early Childhood Development Programme/ NECDP/MIGEPROF, Kigali, Rwanda

Organization: UN Children's Fund
Country: Rwanda
Closing date: 10 Aug 2018

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Background :

The achievement of sustainable development, as reflected in the 2030 global Agenda for Sustainable Development, depends on the health and productivity of a country citizens. Preparation for this begins before the birth of children and continues through their childhood. It is well recognized that the origins of adult health, cognitive ability and well-being stem from the genetic-environmental interactions that begin in the child first 1,000 days (from conception to 24 months) and continue into the school years.

Over the last decade, the country has made remarkable progress in different areas including poverty reduction, improving maternal and child health including reduction of maternal and infant mortality, assuring food and nutrition security, gender promotion, improved water and sanitation services and many others, however, despite the progress, improvement in nutrition still represent an unfinished agenda. Stunting (low height for age) affects 38%; underweight (low weight for age) affects 9 % and wasting (acute malnutrition or low weight for height), which is associated with a high death rate, affects 2.2% of children younger than five (Rwanda, DHS 2014-2015). ÂAnemia levels remain high at 38% among children under five, and 17% among women in the reproductive age. Only 18% of children between 6 and 23 months receive minimum acceptable diet (Rwanda, DHS 2014-2015). Furthermore, overweight and obesity appears to be on the rise with 8% of children younger than five being overweight or obese while this is as high as 21% for women putting them in high risk of getting non-communicable diseases such as diabetes and high blood pressure.

The government of Rwanda recognizes the remaining challenge posed by the nutrition situation in the country and has renewed efforts to improving early childhood development outcomes with attention to reducing stunting focusing on the first thousand days of life from conception until a child celebrates his second anniversary. In this regards, the government is giving high priority to the delivery of high impact interventions focusing on effective integration of services under the key six pillars of early childhood development (ECD). These are maternal and child nutrition, health, hygiene, positive parenting, early stimulation and school readiness, paired with enhanced monitoring and evaluation systems and quality policies and guidelines, efficient and effective coordination for all food and nutrition interventions, as well as strong governance frameworks at both central and decentralized level.

Within government structures, the highest-level convening body is the national early childhood development programme (NECDP) within the Ministry of gender and family promotion (MIGEPROF) whose mandate is to coordinate and implement multi-sectoral nutrition specific as well as nutrition sensitive interventions as well as early childhood development interventions. A national food and nutrition technical working group under the NECDP provides technical oversight and coordination for food, nutrition and WASH. Coordination mechanisms at district have also been established to support implementation of District Plans to Eliminate Malnutrition(DPEMs) with the goal of having sustainable community based nutrition interventions. In his mandate to accelerate the reduction of stunting through ECD services among other duties, the Head of Department of Nutrition and Hygiene is the Government SUN focal point in Rwanda.

National food and nutrition policy and strategic plan (NFNP&SP) 2013-18 were built on several achievements that have improved the status of household nutrition and food security in Rwanda since 2007, outlining strong multi-sectoral strategies to address the high prevalence of child stunting and high levels of anemia in children and women. Building on past achievements, the government is working on further strengthening existing nutrition interventions, including reinforcing integration of services, improving and scaling up nutrition sensitive activities as reflected in the national strategy for transformation and the Health Sector Specific Plan 4.

Justification:

As part of its new country programme, UNICEF has renewed its commitment to accompany the government of Rwanda in its journey towards reducing the prevalence of malnutrition and improving early childhood development outcomes including providing financial and technical support to update the national food and nutrition policy. Considering the complexity and scope of this task, an international consultant will be recruited to undertake the assignment with the support of a national consultant under the technical guidance of national early childhood development programme (NECDP) and the national food and nutrition technical working group team. ÂPrior to the development of this policy, a rapid in-depth strategic review for nutrition specific interventions will be conducted to complement the existing strategic review for food and nutrition security in Rwanda. Â

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Objective, purpose & Expected results

The overall objective of the consultancy is to provide technical support to the government of Rwanda through NECDP team to update the national food and nutrition policy. The food and nutrition policy will be aligned with the national Early Childhood Development policy and other related national policies and strategies.

Description of the Assignment

Under the guidance of NECDP, the consultant will perform the following tasks:

  • Conduct an in-depth review of current nutrition policies, strategies and programmes to complement the existing Strategic Review for Food and Nutrition Security in Rwanda conducted in 2017, and provide strategic recommendations to guide the development the new policy.
  • Organize consultations with government ministries, especially the Social Cluster ministries, involved in the fight against malnutrition as well as with all other key stakeholders in the nutrition sector to identify key high impact interventions to be included in the new food and nutrition policy based on lessons learnt and achievements from 2013-2018 food and nutrition policy
  • Draft and finalize the updated national food and nutrition policy taking into considerations inputs, comments and recommendations from various stakeholders to ensure that the document is enriched through multi-stakeholder consultations
  • Deliverables

    Deliverables for this assignment include:

  • Report of the in-depth review of existing nutrition policies, strategies, programmes including identification of implementation gaps, and with strategic recommendations to accelerate progress towards improved food and nutrition outcomes (10 working days).
  • First draft of the new food and nutrition policy (20 working days)
  • Second draft of the new food and nutrition policy incorporating comments by the nutrition stakeholders (15 working days)
  • Final new food and nutrition policy validated by the National Nutrition Technical Working Group and approved. (5 working days)
  • Reporting Requirements

    The consultant will be based in UNICEF Rwanda office, in Kigali. The consultant will work under supervision of the Chief of Nutrition section as well as the Coordinator of NECDP and collaborate closely with the NECDP team and the Nutrition Technical Working Group.

    Duration of consultancy

    The consultancy period shall be from 15th August to 25th October for a total of 50 working days. The contract should be open until 31 October to allow finalization of payment.

    Working arrangements

    The consultant will work from UNICEF under supervision of the Nutrition section chief in UNICEF Rwanda as well as the Coordinator of NECDP and collaborate closely with the NECDP team and the Nutrition Technical Working Group.

    Evaluation Criteria:

    The best candidate will be evaluated and selected based on the best fit on most of the qualifications outlined above. The most suitable candidates may be invited for an oral or written interview or both.

    The Technical Evaluation is weighted at 75% and 25 % for the Financial proposal (ie monthly rate).

    Payment Schedule:

    The schedule of payments should be approved by the relevant authorized official at the planning stage.

    All payments will be linked to performance and deliverables as stipulated in the TOS and as regulated by UNICEF rules and regulations governing managements of SSAs

    Policy both parties should be aware of:

  • Under the consultancy agreements, a month is defined as 21 working days, and fees are prorated accordingly. Consultants are not paid for weekends or public holidays.
  • Consultants are not entitled to payment of overtime. All remunerations must be within the contract agreement.
  • The transport within Kigali will be covered by the Consultant, while the transport of field will be provided by UNICEF.
  • No contract may commence unless the contract is signed by both UNICEF and the consultant.
  • The consultant will be required to sign the health statement for consultants / individual contractors prior to taking up the assignment.
  • To qualify as an advocate for every child you will have…

    The candidate should possess following qualifications:

    Education:

  • Advanced university degree in Nutrition, Public Health or related field, with experience in nutrition policy and strategy development in the context of developing countries.
  • Work Experience:

  • At least 8 years of professional experience in the Nutrition and/or Public Health field;
  • Sound experience in reviewing and drafting policies and/or strategies;
  • Previous experience in nutrition programming in the context of developing countries;
  • Knowledge of Rwanda nutrition landscape is an asset.
  • Language:

  • Fluency in English required. Knowledge of another UN language (preferably French) or Kinyarwanda is and asset.
  • 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.

    The technical competencies required for this post are :

  • Strong analytical and problem solving skills, excellent written and oral communication skills; effective organizational skills; high drive for results; high commitment; teamwork and strong interpersonal and intercultural skills. Computer literacy especially with Excel and database management.
  • 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.

    Remarks:

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

    The application which does not include the Technical and Financial (All-inclusive) proposal will not be considered.

    How to apply:

    UNICEF is committed to diversity and inclusion within its workforce, and encourages qualified female and male candidates from all national, religious and ethnic backgrounds, including persons living with disabilities, to apply to become a part of our organization. To apply, click on the following link http://www.unicef.org/about/employ/?job=515025

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