Bangladesh nationals: National Consultant for development of national MHM strategy

United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF)
Dhaka, Bangladesh
Position Type: 
Organization Type: 
International Organization
Experience Level: 
Senior (10+ Years)
Languages Required: 


Please note: this job post has expired! To the best of our knowledge, this job is no longer available and this page remains here for archival purposes only.

Job Number: 522484 | Vacancy Link
Locations: Asia and the Pacific: Bangladesh
Work Type : Consultancy

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A. Introduction: Menstrual hygiene management (MHM) is defined as “women and adolescent girls using a clean menstrual management material to absorb or collect blood that can be changed in privacy as often as necessary for the duration of the menstruation period, using soap and water for washing the body as required, and having access to facilities to dispose of used menstrual management materials”(JMP 2012). However, some of the important factors have been identified that also impact MHM which include accurate and timely knowledge, informed and comfortable professionals, sanitation and washing facilities, safe and hygienic disposal, available, safe and affordable materials, referral and access to health services, positive social norms and advocacy and policy[1].

During her lifetime, a woman has to manage menstruation on an average of 3,000 days[2]. MHM is a prerequisite for ensuring that girls and women can participate in society with dignity and comfort. But in many cultures, it is considered as taboo and create stigma, shame, and silence among young girls, which often continues into adulthood and perpetuates the cycle of gender inequality[3]. The taboo often hinders adequate menstrual management necessary for health and wellbeing. Affordability of menstrual products is an issue in many countries, especially for people from lower socio-economic groups[4]. A study in urban slum in Bangladesh revealed that causes of unhygienic menstrual practices include lack of adequate WASH facilities, washing and drying facilities of menstrual rags and high price of sanitary pads[5]. Several studies have shown that lack of MHM-friendly facilities, information, MH materials and social support for schoolgirls and female teachers is a barrier to their full participation in school and thus to quality education[6]. Though limited, studies on MHM in workplaces in low and middle-income country shows women in workplace such as agricultural sectors, vendors, construction workers as well as manufacturing factories face numerous challenges in managing menstruation[7]. Like menstruation disability carries stigma, thus people with disability face layers of discrimination when they are menstruating[8]. Appropriate disposal of used menstrual material is also a major concern[9].Due to lack of privacy, basic materials such as sanitary pads, cloths and underwear, and most importantly access to water and latrines MHM is a major issue for women and girls in emergencies[10]. Inadequate MHM can have health consequences such as increased risk of reproductive and urinary tract infections[11].

Though not explicitly mentioned in any of the Sustainable Development Goals but it is directly linked in achieving a number of goals such as SDG 3(Good health and well-being), SDG 4(Quality Education), SDG 5(Gender Equality), SDG 6(Clean water and sanitation) and SDG 8(Decent Work & Economic Growth)[12].Bangladesh is well ahead in recognizing the fact that adequate MHM is the prerequisite for development and thus National Hygiene Promotion Strategy 2012, has given emphasis on this in its personal hygiene domain.

To better understand the overall hygiene situation, National Hygiene baseline survey was conducted in 2014 and it was revealed 82% women and 86% adolescent girls use cloths during menstruation. The majority of adolescent girls change their cloths three times a day.12% school girls and 27% adult women wash cloth with soap and improved water and dry in sunlight for repeated use. Just over a third of adolescent girls and women knew about menstruation before menarche.40% girls miss school for a median of 3 days a month during menstruation. School facilities may contribute in this regard.6% and 22% school girls reported to have provided with menstrual hygiene education sessions and to have access to unlocked and clean separate improved latrine at school respectively. Survey also states a substantial number of women and girls are forbidden to participate in both religious and non-religious activities.

It is obvious that the scenarios are much worse in slums and in emergency situations.

Based on the results from National Hygiene baseline survey several initiatives were being asked to be taken by the educational institutions which include ensuring separate latrines with MHM facilities, assigning a female teacher to discuss MHM, making sanitary napkin available at school and having these issues being monitored. Realizing the importance of the issue, different Government agencies and other stakeholders have taken a number of interventions and activities to improve the situation. In addition to that MHM is being integrated into WASH in Schools (WinS), adolescent health, nutrition and education sector programmes including the celebration of Menstrual Hygiene Day.

To execute the interventions in appropriate manner and to identify and fill the gaps, Government of Bangladesh and other stakeholders working in the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Sector felt the need to have a comprehensive national MHM strategy in order to ensure comfort and dignity among half of the population for sustainable progress of the country.  UNICEF has decided to provide the technical and financial assistance for the development of the national guideline and thus plans to recruit a consultant.

B. Purpose of Activity/Assignment:

The purpose of engaging the Consultant is to support the Local Government Division, Ministry of Local Government, Rural Development and Cooperatives in developing national MHM strategy including implementation plan in line with existing policy documents mainly National Hygiene Promotion Strategy and through consultation with the key stakeholders (i.e. Govt. /Private/non-Govt.).

Assignment for the consultant:

1.Desk review of secondary documents/existing policy.

2.Discussion with main sector players.

3.Tools development for situational analysis as well as assessment and mapping of different stakeholders which will be followed by development of a report.

4. Consultation meeting/workshop.

5. Submission of final draft of national MHM strategy.

6. Submission of final validated National MHM strategy to UNICEF.


Final MHM strategy should be submitted to UNICEF at the end of consultancy. Within the time there should be monthly deliverables. 

Final strategy should not exceed 30 pages.


Proposal should include:

•     Introducing delineating problem statement related to MHM

Proposed methodology of strategy development;

Description of deliverables and a timeline;

Work plan

Description of outputs;

A financial proposal; and

P11/CV of consultant.  


Inception Report

Desk review of secondary documents/existing policy:

c. Discussion with main sector players. Tools development for situational analysis as well as assessment and mapping of different stakeholders which will be followed by development of a report.

d. Organise workshop/consultation meetings

e. Prepare draft strategy and share with UNICEF officials and sector partners and incorporate inputs and comments

f. Organize consultation meeting

g. Finalize MHM strategy

h. Validation of the report with key stakeholders

i. Submission of final validated report


Public Health/Social Science/Behavioral science/MBBS/ Environmental science or Engineering. Advanced university degree (Masters) in social sciences with a focus on public health and adolescent health issues.

Profile: Knowledge/Expertise/Skills required

1. At least 10 years of extensive experience in development sector on gender equality programming either in the government, NGO, Development partners or UN organizations. Experience in working for relevant sectors such as Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights, disability will be an added advantage.

2.Experience in developing policies, strategies and/or behavior change communication.

3.Knowledge of the socio-economic barriers to gender equality and social inclusion, behavior change and WASH issues in country is necessary.

4.Experience with participatory and qualitative research tools, conducting surveys and data analysis especially strong gender analysis skills are essential.

5.Familiarity with Government policy formulation, experience of working with government.

6.Well versed with the policies, strategies and plans of WASH sector.

7. Ability to present data and evidence concisely and in an attractive manner and good writing skills.

8.Good written and verbal communication skills in English and Bangla are required.

9.Good facilitation skills to organize workshops and conduct consultations with government officials and relevant individuals/organizations as well as conducting key informant interviews and FGDs.

10.Knoweledge on MS office (word, excel and PowerPoint) is required


[1] Puberty education and menstrual hygiene management (UNESCO 2014)

[2] Menstrual hygiene: breaking the silence

[3]: Water, sanitation, and hygiene and menstrual hygiene management, a resource guide (WASH advocates 2015)

[4] Systematic review of menstrual hygiene management requirements, its barriers and strategies for disabled people

[5] Menstrual hygiene: breaking the silence

[6] Menstrual hygiene management in schools in South Asia – Synthesis report 

[7] Managing menstruation in the workplace: an overlooked issue in low- and middle-income countries

[8] Systematic review of menstrual hygiene management requirements, its barriers and strategies for disabled people

[9] Menstrual Hygiene, Management, and Waste Disposal: Practices and Challenges Faced by Girls/Women of Developing Countries

[10] Understanding the menstrual hygiene management challenges facing displaced girls and women: findings from qualitative assessment in Myanmar and Lebanon 

[11] Effect of menstruation on girls and their schooling, and facilitators of menstrual hygiene management in schools: surveys in government schools in three states in India, 2015

[12] Role of menstrual hygiene in sustainable development goals

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UNICEF’s core values of Commitment, Diversity and Integrity and core competencies in Communication, Working with People and Drive for Results.

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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.


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.

Opening Date Wed May 22 2019 21:00:00 GMT-0600 (Mountain Daylight Time) Bangladesh Standard Time
Closing Date Sat Jun 08 2019 11:55:00 GMT-0600 (Mountain Daylight Time)