Individual/Institutional Consultant(s) to conduct Formative Research on Nutrition-WASH norms and practices in Pacific Island Countries

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Job Number: 507110 | Vacancy Link
Locations: Asia and the Pacific: Fiji
Work Type : Consultancy

If you are a committed, creative professional and are passionate about making a lasting difference for children, the world’s leading children’s rights organization would like to hear from you.

For 70 years, UNICEF has been working on the ground in 190 countries and territories to promote children’s survival, protection and development. The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments.

Purpose of the Assignment

The overall purpose of the formative study is to inform appropriate individual and social behavior change interventions for improved maternal and child nutrition in Kiribati, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and RMI.

The findings from the formative study conducted in collaboration with the MoH of target countries will guide the development of country specific communication strategies for improved maternal and child nutrition targeting the period from pregnancy to the child’s second birthday.  Additionally, the study will support UNICEF’s behaviour change communication strategy in the target countries for improving caregivers’ adoption of recommended maternal and child feeding and hygiene practices.

Assignment Tasks

The study aims at gaining insights into the social and behavioural determinants associated with maternal and child nutrition, care and hygiene practices and the mix of communication channels to address positive behaviour change. The key behaviours to be examined include infant and young child feeding among children less than two years; maternal nutrition with focus on pregnant and lactating women; and environmental sanitation. 

The individual/institutional consultant(s) will develop the research methodology. It is recommended that the Socio-Ecologic Model (SEM) is applied by the researchers to provide a comprehensive picture of the participant groups at different levels (micro, meso, and macro) and their power of influence on caregivers’ behaviours. In collaboration with the MoH, the consultant will identify select communities (urban and outer islands) in at least one province each in Kiribati, Vanuatu, Solomon Islands and RMI and the target participant groups.

To allow for an in-depth causal analyses, the research questions should examine the immediate, underlying and structural or normative causes that could influence address why caregivers adopt certain maternal, infant and young child feeding and care practices.; what are the main determinants (ie. social norms, taboos, beliefs, social pressure etc.) behind the behaviours; who/what are the main influencers, and what are the main barriers. The key questions to consider include, but are not limited to, are as follows:

The key questions to consider include:

  1. What are the key determinants of behavior related to infant and young child feeding, maternal nutrition (pregnant and lactating women) and hygiene practices?
  2. What are the roles and behaviours expected from mothers, fathers and grandmothers related to care of mothers, infants and young children?
  3. Are there differences in infant and child feeding practices based on age and gender? Are boys fed differently compared to girls? Why are there differences?
  4. What crops/foods are available locally – in home gardens, fields, local markets, and stores? Are there seasonal variations? How accessible are these food sources? What is the relative cost of the different types of foods available?
  5. Which foods are commonly used to feed young children? What foods are commonly eaten/avoided by pregnant and lactating women?
  6. What are the current practices related to hygiene practices including that of surroundings (use of soap and water for handwashing, handwashing practices of mother and child, raising of poultry and other small birds and animals)? What are the key determinants of hygiene practices?
  7. What are the perceived social norms and beliefs on raising chicken/animals in an enclosure? What are the perceived social norms and beliefs of a child’s play area?
  8. What are the main sources of information for individuals and families to learn about/obtain information on appropriate maternal and infant and young child nutrition, positive parenting and child care

Qualifications of Successful Candidate


Individual/Institutional consultant(s): Post-graduate degree in Nutrition, Public Health, Health Sciences, Social sciences including anthropology, global/international health and nutrition, or medicine

Years of relevant experience

  • At least 7 years of recent documented work experience in conducting nutrition and/or WASH related field research including quantitative and qualitative studies (eg. barrier analyses for behaviour change/focus group discussions/key informant interviews/observation studies) with focus on the first 1000-days lifecycle approach
  • Demonstrated recent work experience in formative, anthropological or operational research, data management and analyses (published materials, tools, reports etc)
  • Documented work experience working with governments and MOH
  • Substantive knowledge on maternal, neonatal, child health and nutrition (MNCHN), early child development and WASH-nutrition linkages
  • Strong inter-personal, teamwork and organizational skills
  • Solid understanding of and documented work experience in individual and social behaviour change techniques and strategies and  community platforms for nutrition service delivery
  • Equipment, tools and facilities to implement the study (software programmes and equipment for transcription, data analyses)
  • Familiarity with information technology, including proficiency in word processing, spreadsheets, and presentation software
  • Previous working experience in the Pacific and with health, WASH and nutrition programmes will be an asset.
  • Proven analytical and report writing skills;
  • Familiarity and experience of working with UN agencies is an asset


  • Fluency in written and spoken English required


  • Good facilitating, negotiating, communication and advocacy skills
  • Competencies of Successful Candidate
  • To view our competency framework, please click here

Detailed copy of the Terms of Reference is attachedDownload File EXTERNAL TOR Formative Research (WASH and Nutrition).docx

TO APPLY: The following documents must be included in your submission 

  • A cover letter describing how you meet each of the requirements listed above (max. 2 pages)
  • A detailed proposal that includes  your ability, availability and daily/monthly rate (in US$) to undertake the terms of reference above (including travel and daily subsistence allowance, if applicable). Applications submitted without a daily/monthly rate will not be considered.

INDIVIDUAL applicants are to include the following documents in their online submission on the UNICEF Employment Page:

INSTITUTIONAL applications are to submit their proposal to the following email address [email protected];

***For any questions or clarifications in relation to the above consultancy please contact us at [email protected]. ONLY INSTITUTIONAL APPLICATIONS will be accepted to the above email address , Individual applications must be submitted online on the UNICEF Employment page.**

UNICEF is committed to diversity and inclusion within its workforce, and encourages qualified female and male candidates from all national, religious and ethnic backgrounds, including persons living with disabilities, to apply to become a part of our organisation.

Opening Date Wed Sep 13 2017 23:00:00 GMT+0200 (CEST) Fiji Standard Time
Closing Date Thu Sep 28 2017 13:55:00 GMT+0200 (CEST)