National Consultant: Technical expert for implementation of nutrition programming for school age children and adolescents and prevention of overweight || UNICEF

  • Harare


DUE : 17 DEC 2022

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Supporting the Government’s vision of a prosperous and empowered upper-middle-income society, the 2022 to 2026 UNICEF Zimbabwe country programme is aimed at contributing to sustainable socioeconomic development that provides all children, including adolescents, with opportunities to fulfil their potential, lead a healthy life, access quality learning and protection and meaningfully participate in society.

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UNICEF Zimbabwe is seeking to hire an enthusiastic Technical expert for implementation of nutrition programming for school age children and adolescents and prevention of overweight in the Health and Nutrition Section. The purpose of this assignment is to implement key activities for nutrition programming of adolescents and school aged children as per the rolling workplan for 2023.

The face of malnutrition has changed, from most commonly presenting as undernutrition to the co-existence of hidden hunger (micronutrient deficiencies), undernutrition (stunting and wasting) and a growing prevalence of overweight and obesity. In Zimbabwe, the triple burden of malnutrition is observed within communities, schools, households and individuals in both rural and urban settings.

While anaemia reduces cognitive performance and endurance, affecting school going children’s education outcomes, teenage pregnancies are high with 24% of 15-24-year old’s having begun childbearing. Adolescents in Zimbabwe make up 25-30% of maternal deaths, thus significantly contributing to maternal and child mortality and the vicious cycle of ill-health and poverty. Additionally, young people (15-24 years) make up approximately half of all new HIV infections in Zimbabwe, and adolescents living with HIV are more prone to undernutrition and experience a myriad of problems resulting in poor adherence to antiretroviral treatment.

Zimbabwe has shown limited progress towards achieving the diet-related non-communicable disease (NCD) targets and targets for obesity, with an estimated 12.6% of adult women and 2.5% of adult men living with overweight and obesity (DHS 2015) . This is an increase from 10.6% and 1.8% for women and men respectively in 5 years (DHS 2010) . Following the first window of opportunity to correct malnutrition in the first 1000 days of life, adolescence offers a second window of opportunity for the correction of nutritional deficiencies and insufficient growth from childhood. Adequate nutrition and positive nutrition behaviors adopted during this critical age period are associated with the improved health and development of the future adult population, their future offspring, bringing potential intergenerational benefits.

Despite improvements in nutrition outcomes for children and pregnant women, much more needs to be done to combat child, adolescent and women’s malnutrition in all its forms. Nutrition programs for a long time have focused on under 5 children and pregnant and lactating mothers to ensure children survive and thrive, targeting the first 1000 days as a window of opportunity. This has left a ‘missing middle’ – a gap in programming aimed at school-aged children and adolescents (SACA), a missed opportunity in terms of the second window of opportunity to break the intergenerational cycle of malnutrition.

Contribute to the development of an implementation framework for nutrition through the education system
Ensure finalization of the School Nutrition Guidelines, compiling and coordinating input from all relevant stakeholders
Support the development and roll-out of a training plan for Provincial level and District level MoPSE and other relevant stakeholders on the School Nutrition Guidelines.
Develop tracker to monitor implementation of the School Improvement Grant in the target districts
Nutrition education and supplementation implemented through schools –

Provide UNICEF technical input for nutrition to the revision of the School Curricula, to ensure all aspects of nutrition are included in the revised curricula
Act as focal point for the quantification of necessary supplies (IFA for adolescents), following up stock balances and expiry , in collaboration with the supply officer and nutrition section
Prevention of overweight –

Coordinate and oversee the packaged food survey in collaboration with the Nutrition Specialist (MIYCAN) and the Nutrition Specialist (ESARO), under the oversight and guidance of the Nutrition Manager
Monitoring and supportive supervision –
Coordinate and participate in monitoring and on-job refresher training of school nutrition activities through joint MoHCC / MoE / FNC/ UNICEF supportive supervision
Monitor and support the routine data collection and reporting (IFAS & deworming) through schools
Analysis of data for SACA interventions, including the School Improvement Grant, for UNICEF reporting purposes
Other tasks as requested by the Nutrition Section

Major tasks and deliverables:

Major tasks and deliverables:




Coordinate completion of the packaged food survey

Packaged Food Survey final report

15 Mar 2023

IFA supplementation taking place in target schools

Supplementation reports

30 Apr 2023

Implementation framework is in place

SNP Implementation guidelines in place

16 Jun 2023

Monitoring, supervision and reporting of SACA activities on the ground

Monitoring reports (at least one for each target district)

15 Jul 2023

To qualify as an advocate for every child you will have…

An Advanced Degree (Masters) in any of the following disciplines:
Public health nutrition, nutrition, public health; health promotion
Home economics, food and nutrition science
Social marketing and advocacy
Food systems: food safety, food regulations

Knowledge/Expertise/Skills required:
Experience of nutrition programme implementation
Experience of working with adolescents and young people and of implementing programming aimed at adolescents and young people
Experience of working closely with various Ministries, including MoHCC and MoPSE

Fluency in English required.
Excellent writing skills in English

At least five years of progressively responsible professional work experience in Nutrition programming at national and sub-national level.

Further details can be found in the attached ToRDownload File Terms of Reference.pdf
If interested and available to undertake the individual consultancy, please submit your application online and attach the required documents including the technical proposal and an all-inclusive financial proposal incorporating an approximate number of travel days for field (local) travel.

Technical proposal: The Technical Proposal should articulate an understanding of the TOR and include the proposed Tasks/Milestones, Deliverables/Outputs, Timeline and level of effort by deliverable. The similar table provided in the TOR is indicative. Applicants may use the indicative table as a guide or deviate as per the proposed approach. The proposal should also cost-effectively propose the local travel proposed by the applicant to undertake the assignment.

Financial proposal: The Financial Proposal should include the costs (providing a daily rate as justification) for each task, including consultant fee, proposed travel costs and perdiem, communications costs and any other proposed cost.

For every Child, you demonstrate…
UNICEF’s values of Care, Respect, Integrity, Trust, Accountability, and Sustainability (CRITAS).
To view our competency framework, please visit here.

UNICEF is here to serve the world’s most disadvantaged children and our global workforce must reflect the diversity of those children. The UNICEF family is committed to include everyone, irrespective of their race/ethnicity, age, disability, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, nationality, socio-economic background, or any other personal characteristic.

UNICEF offers reasonable accommodation for consultants/individual contractors with disabilities. This may include, for example, accessible software, travel assistance for missions or personal attendants. We encourage you to disclose your disability during your application in case you need reasonable accommodation during the selection process and afterwards in your assignment.

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 be expected to adhere to these standards and principles and will therefore undergo rigorous reference and background checks. Background checks will include the verification of academic credential(s) and employment history. Selected candidates may be required to provide additional information to conduct a background check.

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Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted and advance to the next stage of the selection process.
Individuals engaged under a consultancy or individual contract will not be considered “staff members” under the Staff Regulations and Rules of the United Nations and UNICEF’s policies and procedures, and will not be entitled to benefits provided therein (such as leave entitlements and medical insurance coverage). Their conditions of service will be governed by their contract and the General Conditions of Contracts for the Services of Consultants and Individual Contractors. Consultants and individual contractors are responsible for determining their tax liabilities and for the payment of any taxes and/or duties, in accordance with local or other applicable laws.

The selected candidate is solely responsible to ensure that the visa (applicable) and health insurance required to perform the duties of the contract are valid for the entire period of the contract. Selected candidates are subject to confirmation of fully-vaccinated status against SARS-CoV-2 (Covid-19) with a World Health Organization (WHO)-endorsed vaccine, which must be met prior to taking up the assignment. It does not apply to consultants who will work remotely and are not expected to work on or visit UNICEF premises, programme delivery locations or directly interact with communities UNICEF works with, nor to travel to perform functions for UNICEF for the duration of their consultancy contracts.