Maldives: National Consultancy to develop Nutrition Policy for Schools, Package of Nutrition Intervention and School Food guidelines.

Organization: UN Children’s Fund
Country: Maldives
Closing date: 18 Oct 2017

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Terms of Reference for National Consultancy to develop Nutrition Policy for Schools, Package of Nutrition Intervention and School Food guidelines.

Maldives

TOR Reference Number: TOR/2017/19

Programme Information

  • UNDAF Outcome: Inclusive and equitable social service for children and adolescents, especially the disadvantaged and vulnerable groups improved
  • CPD Outcome: Inclusive and equitable social services for children and adolescents, especially the disadvantaged and vulnerable groups are improved by 2020
  • CPD Output 1.1: Comprehensive mechanism for child and adolescent nutrition interventions strengthened, especially in the regions with high malnutrition rates.
  • 2-year Result: Systems developed for delivery of child, adolescent and Youth Friendly Health Services
  • JRWP 2016-2017 Activity: 1.1.2.2. 1. Support to strengthen the nutrition and health components of the school health strategy
  • Purpose of assignment & Background:
  • School health is a fundamental element of a quality learning environment. Poor health and malnutrition prevents students from attending school, and affects their learning while in school.Â

    The School health programme was established in the education sector of the Maldives in the 1986 to address the health issues affecting school children. The overall purpose is to promote healthy lifestyles among students, by providing them with knowledge and skills that will enable them to take responsible decisions to protect their own health and well-being. Currently, the school health programme includes basic medical screening of children, health education and awareness on various health issues through core curricular and co-curricular activities, and provision of health information to students, teachers and parents. In addition, a school health policy was drafted in 2010, which provides directions for implementation of programmes and activities with a focus a whole school approach that fosters a healthy environment. In 2016, a School health strategy has been developed to provide strategic directions -Â the strategy also identifies concrete actions for implementing the school health programme.

    More recently, the Ministry of Education has been conducting health screening of students in early primary to assess the growth and key health indicators. This has enabled the capturing of baseline data on the health of children who has entered primary schools since 2014. The screening of primary one students have been done consequently in 2015, 2016 and 2017. The assessment provides annual data on health status of children entering primary schools each year, and has helped identify common issues affecting their health and well-being. Findings reveal that nutrition issues and oral health problems appears to be the two most common issues. According to the health screening 2015 data, of all the children screened in the atolls, 40% have some level of malnutrition, and while the total body mass index (BMI) show that only 36% of students have a healthy weight. Further, 16% of students were found to be are either obese or overweight. Overall, findings across the three years identifies nutrition as an area of major concern, with both under nutrition and over nutrition highlighted as issue affecting children.

    Nutrition improves child well-being, and enhances the learning ability, leading to better academic performance. Evidence shows positive links between a child’s level of nourishment and his/her level of learning achievement. The level of nourishment is also correlated with increased attendance, positive behaviour and consequently, improved child-teacher relationships. Adequate nutrition fosters mental, social and physical well-being, contributing to increased self-esteem and positive body image. Nonetheless, despite the evidence, the recognition of the benefits of good nutrition have not been adequately applied in by individuals, families, schools and larger community. An enabling policy environment is a key step towards addressing these within the school environment. Programmes or nutrition intervention package, resources and guidelines are also required to facilitate the roll-out.

    In this regard, UNICEF Maldives Country Office is seeking a national consultant to develop a school nutrition policy and intervention programme for the Ministry of Education.

  • What are the objectives to which the consultancy is related?
  • The objective of this consultancy is to strengthen the institutional capacity of the school health program by developing a school nutrition policy, and food guidance for schools.

    The specific objectives of the national consultant are to:

  • Conduct a desk review of existing literature that includes policy documents, research/studies on school health, and draft a rapid assessment (with a focus on identifying nutritional issues)
  • Develop, in a consultative manner that engages key stakeholders, a school nutrition policy.
  • Develop, in a consultative manner that engages key stakeholders, a package of nutrition interventions for schools to addresses the issues identified in the health screening assessment
  • Develop, in a consultative manner that engages key stakeholder, Âa food guide for schools
  • Conduct Âtwo advocacy sessions for school heads and policy makers, and four awareness sessions for teachers (Two in Male, one for South region and one for North region)
  • Conduct a comprehensive training for selected School Health staff (aprox 3-5 days)
  • The incumbent is expected to work closely with the School Health Unit, UNICEF and other stakeholders as suggested by the School Health Unit and UNICEF.

  • Duty station:
  • NA – Male, Maldives (based in the Ministry of Education), and home-based.

  • Supervisor
  • UNICEF, Programme Specialist and from the Government, the Focal Point from School Health Unit, Male, Maldives will provide support and supervision.

  • Major tasks to be Accomplished
  • The main role of the consultant is to provide technical expertise and carry out the following:

  • Conduct a desk review of existing documents and research on school health, and draft a rapid assessment, (with a focus on identifying nutritional issues).
  • Develop a School nutrition policy (with input and consultation from stakeholders and informed by the desk review)
  • Develop a package of nutrition interventions for schools (that addresses nutritional issues identified in the health screening, and targets both under nutrition, over nutrition and includes holistic interventions such as healthy lifestyle)
  • Conduct a stakeholder meeting to present, seek input and validate the nutrition policy and the outline of nutrition intervention packages
  • Develop, in a consultative manner that engages key stakeholder, a food guide for schools
  • Conduct Âtwo advocacy sessions for school heads and policy makers, and four awareness sessions for teachers (Two in Male, one for South region and one for North region). Develop resources to present the meeting.
  • Conduct a comprehensive training for selected School Health staff (aprox 3-5 days). Develop a training outline, resources to present and content of the trainings. The training outline and other materials needs to be commented and approved by technical group, MoE and UNICEF.

  • Estimated duration of contract
  • It is estimated that the work will take approximately 60 -70 calendar days between October 2017 – February 2018

  • Official travel involved (itinerary and duration)
  • Short field visits to to select islands for consultation for consultation, training and Âbefore the finalization of the policy documents

  • Qualifications or specialized knowledge and/or experience required
  • Must have at least an undergraduate degree in nutrition, dietics or food science, public health or relevant field. Advanced Degree in Nutrition is an added advantage
  • Relevant experience, preferably in developing nutrition related documents or working in school health or nutrition context
  • Experience conducting trainings is a requirement, and must have excellent facilitative skills
  • Excellent communication skills in English (oral and written) and Dhivehi language advanced skills in professional writing.
  • Able to lead groups and coordinate groups. Receptive to feedback and is flexible to changes. Able to travel if required
  • Have an open attitude towards working with people at different levels. Able to liase with different stakeholders and work proactively. Must be able to manage diverse view points and work in demanding situations.
  • Deadline for application is 18th Oct 2017

    Application with (i) updated CV, (ii) Updated P11 Form and separately (iii) a proposed (daily) fee in MVR and a (iii) expression of interest to be submitted as attachments with the online application. UNICEF may also ask for submission of relevant work.

    Application Link:https://goo.gl/ghGXrH

    ONLY SHORT-LISTED APPLICANTS WILL BE CONTACTED

    ANNEX 1: SELECTION PROCESS

    Interested candidates should submit an application along with the following documents and a price (daily fee) proposal quoted in MVR.

    Accompanying documents and testimonial

    Applicants are requested to back up their submissions by providingP11 Form

  • Updated CV
  • Proposed daily Fee
  • Evidence of experience in similar types of work in terms of references and work samples.
  • Application must be submitted through the UNICEF application web portal, by the given deadline (18 OCT 2017). Email applications will not be considered.

    How to apply:

    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=507830

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