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For every child, commitment
West Africa is one of the regions most affected by malnutrition, with under five-year children and women of reproductive age constituting the most vulnerable groups. While the Region has made good progress, many countries are not on track to meet the global nutrition-related targets by 2025 or 2030. The region also faces micronutrient deficiencies, with anemia affecting women of reproductive age (between 45% and 62% in some West African countries). With rapid population growth and urbanization which bring changes in diet and food habits, West Africa is also facing a double burden of malnutrition, with growing over nutrition, characterized by increasing overweight and obesity prevalence. Overweight prevalence among under-five year children has increased from 2.2% in 1990 to 6.4 in 2010 and is expected to reach 10.6% in 2020.
Considering the negative impact of malnutrition on human and economic socioeconomic development, West African countries have initiated several interventions to reverse the trends. Unfortunately, with the predominant focus on children under five years and pregnant women, the state of health and nutrition of adolescents is sometimes forgotten. The 16th ECOWAS Nutrition Forum will therefore serve as a platform to discuss the state of adolescent nutrition in the west African region from different perspectives.
The ECOWAS Nutrition Forum has become the flagship nutrition event in the Region in recent years. The Forum started in 1996 as the West Africa Nutrition Focal Points network based on recommendation by the Ministers of Health of 9 francophone West African countries (OCCGE). The aim was to provide a consultative platform for solving the nutrition problems in the region. In 1999, the network was extended to cover all ECOWAS Member States. After its establishment in 2000, the West African Health Organisation (WAHO) started coordinating the Forum in 2001. Initially, frequency was annual but became biennial in 2004.
Thirteen ECOWAS Member States have hosted the Nutrition Forum since its inception, with Nigeria and Liberia being the only countries yet to host it. Typically, the Nutrition Forum is made up of Opening and Closing Ceremonies; Media briefing / Ad hoc interviews; Exhibition of nutrition achievements and products; delegates’ group meetings, social events (welcome cocktail, diner gala, tourist visits) and a technical session.
The technical update session comprises (i) country presentations on nutrition developments (which includes also key points regarding the implementation of the recommendations and the action plan from the last Forum and countries’ experiences); (ii) a review of nutrition initiatives in the region and (iii) technical presentations related to the conference theme. Panel discussions on different topics are also organized, as well as group work on topics of current relevance to nutrition in the region. There is also a formal anonymous evaluation of the Forum which aims to improve the organization of future fora.
The last Forum, the 15th ECOWAS Nutrition Forum was held in Bissau, Guinea-Bissau in October 2017. In keeping with convention, the regional mid-term review meeting was organized in Monrovia in November 2018 to review progress in the implementation of recommendations of the preceding Forum (Bissau 2017) by Member States, WAHO and Partners.
The tentative date for the 16th ECOWAS Nutrition Forum to be held in Monrovia is the 12-14 November 2019 (pending confirmation by Liberia). About 100-120 participants including country nutrition Focal Points, SUN Movement Focal Points, Development Partners, regional bodies, International NGOs, civil society, academics, local delegates as well as support staff and interpreters are expected to participate.
As in previous forums, three Planning Committees will be constituted to prepare the Forum. The host country has already constituted a Local Organizing Committee (LOC) with various sub-committees. Internally, WAHO will constitute a WAHO Nutrition Forum Committee. There is also the International Planning Committee (IPC) comprising WAHO, representatives of the Local Planning Committee of Liberia, Regional Intergovernmental Institutions, selected UN agencies, and selected international NGOs.
The objectives of the 2019 Nutrition Forum are as follows:
- To update participants on the regional nutrition situation and current initiatives
- To review the current state of adolescent malnutrition and diet-related diseases, risk factors, consequences, co-morbidities and current response in the region
- To evaluate the current (nutrition-specific and nutrition-sensitive) policies, programmes, interventions and best practices to improve and sustain adolescent nutrition in the region
- To explore mechanisms for strengthening health systems and financing for adolescent nutrition
- To analyze existing surveillance systems and the needed information on adolescent nutrition in the region
How can you make a difference?
The main objective of the consultancy is to provide technical assistance for the organization of the Forum, in close collaboration with the Planning Committees. This implies support before, during and after the Forum.
Scope of work
The Consultant will be responsible for the smooth preparation of the forum, facilitation of the forum itself and final report development after the forum.
Deliverables and Schedules
Description of tasks
Due date and expected number of days per task
Develop a roadmap and plan pre-forum meetings
A road map is developed for the preparation of the Forum. It contains the milestones, dates, list of key stakeholders to invite.
Road map is shared to IPC.
30th of June (3 days)
Pre-forum meetings are organised, with shared agenda, and minutes are disseminated.
Agenda of preparatory meeting are shared in advance of each meetings and minutes are shared 2 days after each meeting.
Agenda of meetings is shared with attendees; minutes of meetings as well.
As relevant. (8 days total)
Facilitate the technical preparation of the Forum itself
Drafting and implementation of the agenda: propose a methodological approach to be used during the Forum, in close collaboration with Local Planning Committee and the International Planning Committee. The expected output of each technical session, panel discussions, presentations and group sessions should be clearly articulated. The agenda and the methodological approach should facilitate participants’ involvement and sharing of experiences.
Agenda of Forum is developed and endorsed by IPC.
31st October (5 days)
Propose an outline for country presentations as they relate to the theme or sub-themes.
A document is drafted and shared.
30th September (1 day)
Serve as a Master of Ceremony at the official opening ceremony and during plenary sessions: regulate and ensure the proper conduct of all sessions as well as all presentations scheduled for the forum.
– Do daily summaries and draft comprehensive reports on the forum proceedings by focusing on the findings and recommendations of the various sessions.
– Participate in daily forum review meetings.
Summaries are shared to IPC.
12-14th November (tentative dates) (3 days)
Write report of the Forum
– Propose the outline of the report of the Forum
– Finalize and submit the report of the Forum within the time provided in the consultancy contract.
Final report from Forum is shared and endorsed by IPC.
The present contract will cover a period of 6 months, on a part-time basis, for a total maximum duration of 30 working days.
Weekly call with the supervisor will be organized and reported.
This assignment will be part-time and home-based, with travels to Liberia and one travel to Burkina Faso (Bobo Dioulasso to meet with WAHO team).
DSA and travel costs will be provided by UNICEF.
The consultant will use his own computer; an UNICEF email account will be created.
Bi weekly call with supervisor will be organised to discuss on progresses made and challenges faced.
To qualify as an advocate for every child you will have…
At least a master’s degree in nutrition or public health, epidemiology, agronomy, or related field – or equivalent professional experience. Additional qualification in Planning, Business Administration, Economics or Social science is desirable.
- At least 10 years of experience in public health programming or humanitarian project management, with high focus on nutrition programmes.
- Minimum of 3 experiences with similar assignment (high level meetings/workshops preparation and facilitation).
- Good understanding of the problems of malnutrition in the West and Central Africa
Fluency in French and English.
For every Child, fair chance
UNICEF’s core values of Commitment, Diversity and Integrity and core competencies in Communication, Working with People and Drive for Results.
The technical competencies required for this post are
- Ability to express clearly and concisely ideas and concepts in written and oral form.
- In-depth knowledge and understanding of the political context and development, and nutrition issues in general and adolescent nutrition in particular, in the west African region, or related sub-region
- Demonstrated excellent oral and written communication skills, including the ability to write various types of documents including health policy briefs, proposals, reports, and scientific papers
- Demonstrated ability to work within a multinational environment and with a diverse range of partners at the national, regional and global levels
- Good time management skills, including the ability to work towards tight deadlines, multi-task and work with a high degree of independence
- Demonstrated skills in the use of information technology
View our competency framework at
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.
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 organization. To apply, click on the following link http://www.unicef.org/about/employ/?job=523073
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