Friday, 12 February 2016

Research Consultants - Terms of Reference at Save the Children Nigeria

Save the Children is a leading international organization helping children in need around the world. First established in the UK in 1919, separate national organizations have been set up in more than twenty-eight countries, sharing the aim of improving the lives of children through education, health care and economic opportunities, as well as emergency aid in cases of natural disasters, war and conflict.

In Nigeria, Save the Children has been working since 2001. The early focus was on getting children actively involved in shaping the decisions that affect their lives. Today, Save the Children is working in seven federal states - Zamfara, Yobe, Jigawa, Katsina, Kano, Bauchi and Kaduna - focusing on providing basic healthcare and protecting children.

We are recruiting to fill the position below:

Job Title: Research Consultant - Terms of Reference

Requisition ID: sav-07062
Location: Gombe
Job Type: Temporary
Department: Advocacy

Job Description
Terms of Reference - To Conduct A Research That Will Feed Into The Development of Gombe State Food and Nutrition Policy and Operational Plans. Nigeria is among the 36 countries that contribute approximately 90 per cent of the world malnutrition problems. It has the 3rd highest prevalence of stunted children worldwide. A recent data from the NDHS (2013) indicated that 37 per cent of Nigerian children under the age of five are stunted; 29 per cent underweight and 18 per cent wasted. Only 17 per cent of infants below 6 months are exclusively breastfed.

The National Food and Nutrition Policy is a document that provides the framework for addressing the problems of food and nutrition insecurity in Nigeria, from the individual, household, community and up to the national level. It guides the identification, design, and implementation of intervention activities across different relevant sectors.

Nutrition is a multi-sectoral and multi-disciplinary issue involving various sectors including health, agriculture, science and technology, education, trade, economy, and industry. In recognition of this, various sectors in Nigeria have developed policies and strategies to address the nutrition perspectives of their mandates. These documents include: 
  • The National Health Policy and Guidelines therefrom, The National Agricultural Policy, The Agricultural Transformation Agenda, Science, Technology, and Innovation Policy, National Policy on Education, National Policy on School Health, National Policy on Infant and Young Child Feeding (IYCF), Early Child Care and Development 9.
  • National Population Policy, National Policy on HIV/AIDS and OVCs, National Policy on Non-Communicable Diseases, National Policy on Gender Mainstreaming, National Policy on Security and so on.
  • Despite these policies, strategies, and programmes, the multi-sectoral and multidisciplinary nature of nutrition makes the coordination of food and nutrition activities a challenge at all levels of government.
However National and States Committee on Food and Nutrition were established to among other things, coordinate food and nutrition actions and formulate a National and State Food and Nutrition Policy, with a Plan of Action. The Secretariat is domiciled in the Ministry of Budget and National Planning at the National level and Ministry of Budget and Economic Planning at the State level. This is because of their unique position as the government agency responsible for coordination and monitoring of all national policies and programmes, including budgetary processes, as well as all technical assistance in the country and state. 

Rationale for the development of the State Food and Nutrition Policy

  • Following the emerging concerns in the science, practice, and programming of food and nutrition activities at all levels of government and the need to reduce the malnutrition indices through improvement of budgetary allocation to nutrition activities and for MDAs to play their part in saving the lives of difficult to reach Nigerian, Gombe State resolved in the last State Committee on Food and Nutrition to develop State Food and Nutrition Policy with support from SC to guide and inform activities that would be implemented in 2016.;
  • Some of these emerging critical issues that would be included in the policy are nutrition in the first one thousand days of life, nutrition during emergencies, and upsurge in the prevalence of diet-related non-communicable diseases etc.
  • Similarly, there is increasing recognition of nutrition as a necessary condition for national development as espoused in the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
  • It is also worthy to note that the post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) require actions that will promote nutrition in national development.
  • The urgent need to scale up high-impact and cost-effective nutrition interventions, amplified by Nigeria’s recent sign up with the Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) movement in 2011 further justifies the need for the review.
  • The policy will enable the state to set targets and will be aligned to the National and Global targets, as well as establish strategies towards actualising the goal and assign roles to MDAs.
Nutrition Situation in the North East
  • Adequate food and optimal nutritional status are the foundation blocks for the building of healthy, secure lives, and thus form the basis for development in any nation.
  • It is well-known that the basic cause of the food and nutrition problem is poverty entrenched in the mechanisms of governance and institutions which drive the economy.
  • Conceptually, food insecurity, inadequate dietary intake, and infectious diseases are the immediate causes of malnutrition.
  • Under nutrition is most severe in northern Nigeria. Across this region of the Sahel belt, a third of children under five are underweight, half are stunted, and a fifth are wasted.
  • The stunting rate for children under the age of 5 is put at 51% in the North West, 48% in the North East, 29% in the North Central, 20% in the South West, 20% in the South South and 10% in the South East while wasting is 10% in North West, 12% in North East, 29% in North Central, 7% in South West, 6% in South South, and 5% in South East (NDHS 2013).
  • Moreso, an estimated 3.9 million children under five are stunted and 900,000 suffering from severe acute malnutrition in ten selected states from the North.
  • These states alone account for about 16 per cent of Africa’s burden of severe acute malnutrition in this age group.
  • Many displaced Nigerians have taken refuge in IDP camps, with over 300,000 people arriving in the camps since the beginning of 2015. Between January and May 2015, 20,002 children under five were admitted into therapeutic feeding programmes in the states of Gombe, Adamawa, Borno and Yobe from acute malnutrition. A total of 12,349 (81 per cent) children recovered and were discharged from therapeutic care.
Consultants Duties and Responsibilities
  • Under overall supervision of Nutrition Advocacy Advisor, the consultant will be responsible for formulating and facilitating the development of the Gombe State Food and Nutrition Policy and operational plan.
  • The consultant will work in close collaboration with project team in the states, Government counterparts i.e State Nutrition Officer, the State Committee on Food and Nutrition and State Government agencies as well as Partners; UNICEF, CS-SUNN and others.
  • Conduct a research that will feed into the development of State Food and Nutrition Policy
  • Conduct workshop to develop Gombe State Food and Nutrition Policy and strategic / operational plan.
  • Support Gombe State Committee on Food and Nutrition to finalize the costed operational plan in collaboration with Nutrition Partners in the State.
Expected Deliverables:
  • Consultancy implementation workplan (detailing number of days) and TOR/agenda for workshops
  • Inception report documenting findings from the desk review (research)
  • State Food and Nutrition Policy and a costed Strategic/operational plan
  • Detailed report of the process
  • The methodology for this work will include series of document review (Published and Grey). The policy will take into consideration the national and global nutrition targets and also draw inspiration from the reviewed National Food and Nutrition Policy.
  • The costed plan will build from the National Strategic Plan of Action (NSPAN) and include activities that will be implemented by relevant MDAs. The costing will be done using the activity/ingredient based approach.
  • The strategic plan will provide information on the cost needed to implement nutrition programs in the state.
  • The consultant will be paid at the end of the consultancy period and upon submission of satisfactory report to SC and SCFN
Key Competencies
  • At least 7 years working experience in International development
  • Post Graduate degree in Health, Nutrition or social sciences.
  • Good research methods and analytical skills.
  • Evidence of similar work done (This should be submitted with the proposal/application).
  • Working Knowledge of the Hausa Language.
Application Closing Date
16th February, 2016

How to Apply
Interested and qualified candidate should:
Click here to apply online