Call for proposals for MHM study - Southern Africa

Johannesburg, South Africa
Position Type: 
Organization Type: 
NGO/Civil Society
Experience Level: 
Not Specified


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Job Description

Review of Menstrual Hygiene Management as a Sexual Reproductive Health Rights issue in Southern Africa for effective WASH programme development

1.0 Preamble

WaterAid is an international organisation with a mission to transform the lives of the poorest and most marginalised people by improving access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH). WaterAid's vision is for Everyone, Everywhere to have access to WASH by 2030.

Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM) is increasingly gaining the recognition and attention it deserves in the region and globally. The launch of the African Coalition for Menstrual Health Management in 2018; elimination of tax on menstrual products by some countries and the development of national strategies for MHM in schools, evidence the progress being made.

WaterAid has been implementing MHM interventions in Southern Africa for over five years. In this time, we have supported the construction of MHM friendly toilets; community access to water and hand wash facilities necessary for the management of menstruation; public awareness and education and peer support clubs for learners among other efforts.

There is continued need to locate MHM in the broader demand for Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) to improve impact and sustainability. As such WaterAid has recently produced a brief entitled, A shared agenda: Exploring links between water, sanitation, hygiene, and sexual and reproductive health and rights in sustainable development. It examines the critical role of water, toilets and hygiene in a broad, inclusive and human rights based definition of comprehensive and integrated SRHR. It demonstrates how combined efforts in SRHR and WASH will improve outcomes in health, equality and attainment of human rights; and identifies the opportunities and entry points for WASH and SRHR actors to collaboratively drive greater action across sectors at the national, regional, and global levels.

2.0 Purpose

Building on the foundation of the shared agenda brief, WaterAid in Southern Africa intends to understand the fuller extent of the problem in the region; opportunities for change and the key players for influencing and collaboration. Focusing on the six countries in which we work, we are interested to reach conclusions to inform priority setting and programme development regarding:

  • The big collective SRHR issues affecting MHM in the region, supported by key statistics and significant recorded and unrecorded cases.
  • A smaller set of issues for country programmes defined by the extent of the problem, linked to current Country Programme strategy and capacity and contextual opportunities to drive change.
  • Areas of programme development and intervention beyond WaterAid's current MHM programmes
  • Examples of good practice in the region which WaterAid can learn from

This is necessary to equip us to develop and implement WASH and MHM interventions that more adequately:

  • Respond to the context and real needs of those who menstruate,
  • Raise awareness to the importance of menstrual hygiene on a grand scale and gunner public support,
  • Improve thought and practice leadership on menstrual hygiene in the Southern Africa region,
  • Establish effective partnerships and collaboration with private sector and development actors with influence partners, and
  • Drive towards greater political commitment, national coordination and improved financing for menstrual hygiene by national governments.

As such we have identified the need for a comprehensive assessment of how WASH interventions can contribute to addressing MHM challenges as a SRHR focused on a broad range of linkages including but not limited to:

  • Contraception
  • Pregnancy, childbirth, and abortion
  • Fistula and other reproductive tract injuries
  • HIV and AIDS
  • Sexually transmitted and other infections
  • Discrimination and rights to WASH
  • Sexual and gender-based violence and gender inequality

3.0 Scope

The scope of this study will include information gathering to help us fully understand:

  • What significant regional and national opportunities exist for advancing menstrual hygiene agenda, and foreseeable moments of change in the political economy of the region that can be capitalized to bring about gains in the area of menstrual hygiene.
  • What contextually relevant SRHR challenges impact on MHM and how best we should be playing our role to support their resolution.

The study will focus on six countries in Southern Africa in which WaterAid works (Madagascar, Mozambique, Swaziland, Zambia, Malawi and South Africa). The assessments will include aspects that help WaterAid to offer a solid evidence base of what the key SRHR challenges in the region are, which WaterAid programmes should aim to resolve.

This will be essential to:

  • Inform menstrual hygiene interventions in countries in ways that more systematically address SRHR and promote inclusion and equity
  • Inform policy development/review on MHM in households, schools, health facilities and commercial places with respect to issues such as, of tax on menstrual products
  • Fill knowledge gaps especially regarding what interventions would effectively target boys and men on MHM
  • Input into inclusive toilet designs and WASH service delivery mechanisms that enable MHM at all levels and for everyone.

4.0 Time Schedule and Reporting

The final product will be a detailed report that includes brief description of the methodology and scope and detailed presentation of key findings and recommendations including specific country briefs. A short 5 page abstract of key findings and recommendations.

The work is expected to commence by end August and carried out over a period of approximately 6 weeks or a time frame deemed appropriate. Exact number of input days and duration of assignment will be agreed with selected consultant.

5.0 Consultant/ Researcher Qualifications and Experience

  • The consultant must have a well-documented record of experience in relevant academic fields and knowledge of water, sanitation and hygiene.
  • A non-exhaustive list of relevant academic fields includes: Public Health, Social Policy, Sociology, Social Anthropology, Communication for Development, Behaviour Change Communication and Development Studies.
  • Prior experience in planning, implementing, evaluating and/or conducting research at national and/or regional level.
  • Knowledge of the WASH sector, MHM and governments' role in the delivery of sustainable services.
  • Understanding of government and the political economy of decision making including good knowledge of the working of Government (i.e. systems, protocols, procedures)
  • Proficient communication skills.
  • Good knowledge of Civil Society in Southern Africa is desirable.
  • An understanding of WaterAid and its interventions is an advantage.
  • Must be fluent in English and proficiency in French and/or Portuguese will be an added advantage.

6.0 Submitting an Expression of Interest

Individuals interested in conducting this work should submit a proposal not longer than 2 pages demonstrating understanding of the TOR, possible methodology and detailed budget for review. Please do also include your CV/s. Submit all in one document.

Expressions of interest will be reviewed based on competencies, record of previous work, quality of proposal and demonstration of understanding of the task. Applications should be sent to by 2 August 2019.