Consultancy WASH: Evidence synthesis and ecosystem mapping of Menstrual Health and Hygiene in West and Central Africa

United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF)
Home-Based / Remote
Position Type: 
Consultancy
Organization Type: 
International Organization
Experience Level: 
Mid-Level (5-7 Years)
Degree Required: 
Advanced Degree (Master's or JD)
Languages Required: 
English and French

EXPIRED

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Objectives

The purpose of this consultancy is to conduct a synthesis of existing evidence and to map the regional ecosystem in menstrual health and hygiene (MHH) programming for adolescent girls in the West and Central Africa Region (WCAR), with the proposed outcome of informing a coherent regional strategy for menstrual health and hygiene.

The primary objective of the consultancy is to analyse and synthesize MHH research and programme documentation in the region; to identify and map MHH actors and initiatives in the region; and to identify opportunities to strengthen regional MHH programming.

This consultancy will support the strengthening and scale-up of WASH in Schools (WinS) programs in West and Central Africa as an integral part of the operationalization of the Key Results for Children (KRC), in particular for KRC#4 Improved Learning outcomes and KRC#8 Ending Open Defecation.  

Background

The ability of adolescent girls to safely manage their monthly menstrual cycle in privacy and with dignity is fundamental to their health, psychosocial well-being, mobility and overall empowerment. Nevertheless, millions of girls in low-resource and emergency contexts are without access to adequate menstrual health and hygiene information, facilities and supplies whilst experiencing stigma and social exclusion. UNICEF’s formative research in West Africa has revealed girls often do not understand what is happening to them when they begin their menses.[1] It can result in a challenging transition to adult roles and responsibilities and signals a girl’s entry into a world in which her value is largely determined by her sexual and reproductive functions with significant impacts on her mobility, her participation in school and her community as well as her mental and emotional well-being.[2]

The global importance of these issues has been demonstrated in increased dialogue and commitments, such as the adoption of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs);[3]specifically SDG 5 calls for Gender Equity , SDG 6.2 for universal access to sanitation with a focus on the most vulnerable,  and SDG 4 for Education and the GPE (21 out of the 24 countries in the region are members). The 2020 GPE strategy outlines Increased equity, gender equality and inclusion as one of its three goals.

Menstrual Hygiene is also one of the five global priorities for adolescent girls under UNICEF’s 2018 – 2021 Gender Action Plan (GAP 2.0). As gender-responsive programming is a change strategy within the 2018-2021 UNICEF Strategic Plan (SP), MHH is a key programming area for several sectors. It also supports the realisation of three of the five goals within the SP. Additionally, UNICEF’s Global WASH Strategy (2016-2030) outlines five results areas, of which WinS and MHH support two, WASH in Institutions and Hygiene, respectively.

UNICEF has also played a critical role in raising the profile of MHH globally, convening partners through forums such as the MHH Virtual Conference and MHH in 10 Meeting, in partnership with civil society, governments, academics, women’s groups, and experts in health, education and Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH).

At the regional level, menstrual hygiene represents a key area of work under the UNICEF Investment Case for Adolescent Girls in West and Central Africa and is part of the of the WCAR Key Results for Children (KRC #4 Improved Learning Outcomes and KRC #8 Ending Open Defecation). Menstrual Hygiene also contributes to the WCAR Education Strategy pillar on Girls Education, which envisions a two-pronged approach focusing on mainstreaming girls’ education in ongoing work and developing and scaling targeted initiatives to address girls’ barriers to education, including interventions such as male engagement and puberty education.

Current MHH programming in the region has been informed by research conducted at school and community levels as part of a growing component of UNICEF’s programming for WASH in schools (WinS). In 2014, UNICEF launched the global WASH in Schools for Girls project which included four WCAR countries, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Niger and Nigeria. The qualitative research project aimed to understand the menstrual hygiene related barriers girls faced in school. To support the objective of creating a more supportive educational environment, each country established a technical working group, collected baseline data and developed basic intervention packages which were then disseminated in 100 schools. Technology is also being used as a platform for information sharing. In Cote d’Ivoire, U-report was used to interact directly with women and girls on issues regarding menstruation. In Guinea-Bissau, a board game for children was developed to share lessons on puberty education in an engaging and interactive manner.

Globally and within the region, over the next several years, UNICEF with partners, including WHO, UNESCO, WaterAid, and private sector intends to expand and scale up its work on MHH by designing and implementing a scalable multisectoral programming package to cover essential MHH information, support, services and facilities for adolescent girls in low- resource settings, building upon research already conducted across the globe.

Scope of work

The items below show the tasks for which the consultant will be responsible:

Rapid literature review of MHH research in WCAR:

  • Prepare a literature review of existing research related to MHH in West and Central Africa to determine (i) current MHH practices (ii) relevance and linkages between menstrual health and hygiene and development outcomes (within the Education, WASH, Health, Gender, and Adolescent development sector) for girls; (iii) key barriers to accessing MHH products and services (iv) relevant KPIs for menstrual health and hygiene in the region.

Mapping of MHH actors and initiatives in the region:

  • Conduct an overview of MHH programming in the region, including the identification of:
    • key actors (including, but not limited to, government departments, NGOS, social enterprises, private sector, intermediaries, civil society organisations, etc.);
    • key interventions on MHH;
    • key initiatives on MHH, at both country and regional level;
    • factors that influence access to MHH products and services for young girls; and
    • evidence on development outcomes achieved through MHH interventions across various sectors.

Facilitation of dissemination meeting with regional actors:

  • Prepare and facilitate regional meeting to disseminate results of study and discuss ways forward for strengthening MHH in the region, and  
  • Produce brief report outlining key outcomes and next steps from the meeting

Based on the findings from the literature review and mapping exercise, the consultant is expected to identify and provide recommendations for strengthening regional MHH programming, and UNICEF WCARO’s strategic positioning on this subject.

Deliverables and Schedules:

The consultant will furnish the following deliverables:

  1. Inception report
  2. Literature review i.e. working paper of MHH research in WCAR
  3. Desk-based mapping report of MHH actors and initiatives in the 24 WCA countries (Draft), and at the regional level
  4. Mapping report (Final)
  5. Prepare and facilitate an in-person meeting to share the findings and discuss ways to move MHH programming forward with regional organisations (PowerPoint Presentation)
  6. Brief meeting report

The contract will commence on 1st April 2019 for a duration of 4 months and will conclude on 31 July 2019

Reporting Requirements

The consultancy is home-based with travel to Dakar (if not based in Senegal), and deliverables will be shared with UNICEF WCA – Regional Office (WASH Specialist, Gender Specialist, Education Specialist).

Profile Requirements

Specific competencies, qualifications and experience required of the contracted consultant:

  • Experience with WASH in Schools and Menstrual Hygiene Management research and programming;
  • Experience in knowledge management and documentation of programming;
  • Master’s in public health, social sciences, or equivalent experience, in environmental engineering or a related field;
  • At least five years of experience in public health issues in developing countries;
  • Must be fluent in French and English
  • Prior experience working in the West and Central Africa region is advantageous.

Applications should include both technical and financial proposal and 2-3 writing samples with at least 1 on menstrual health and hygiene.

Administrative issues

The supervising officers will be the WASH Specialist – Sanitation and Hygiene and the Gender Specialist within the WCARO WASH and Gender Sections respectively. Bi-weekly calls between the consultant and UNICEF WCARO will be held via Skype or Skype for Business to ensure progress during the contract. Furthermore, the consultant will be required to liaise with the Education sections in WCARO, as well as the Sanitation and Gender Teams in NYHQ as necessary.

The consultancy will be home-based with travel to Dakar, and the consultant will be using his/her own office materials and resources. UNICEF WCARO will provide the administrative and logistical support necessary for the consultant to undertake the activities. The consultant is not allowed to use the materials gathered for this assignment in any other work assignment without the explicit written permission of UNICEF. The selected candidate will be governed by and subject to UNICEF's General Terms and Conditions for individual contracts. UNICEF recourse in case of unsatisfactory performance: Payment will only be made for work satisfactorily completed and accepted by UNICEF.

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

Profile Requirements

Specific competencies, qualifications and experience required of the contracted consultant:

  • Master’s in public health, social sciences, or equivalent experience, in environmental engineering or a related field;
  • At least five years of relevant professional experience in public health issues in developing countries;
  • Must be fluent in French and English
  • Experience with WASH in Schools and Menstrual Hygiene Management research and programming;
  • Experience in knowledge management and documentation of programming;
  • Developing country work experience and/or familiarity with emergency is considered an asset.

Applications should include both technical and financial proposal and 2-3 writing samples with at least 1 on menstrual health and hygiene.

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 competencies required for this post are….

View our competency framework at

http://www.unicef.org/about/employ/files/UNICEF_Competencies.pdf

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.

Remarks:

Mobility is a condition of international professional employment with UNICEF and an underlying premise of the international civil service.

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