Azerbaijan: International Consultancy on financial assessment of introduction and implementation of wheat flour fortification programme in Azerbaijan

Organization: UN Children’s Fund
Country: Azerbaijan
Closing date: 15 Apr 2018

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Fortification is the process of adding vitamins and minerals to foods to prevent nutritional deficiencies. Wheat flour, maize flour and rice are primarily fortified to prevent diseases, strengthen immune systems, and improve productivity and cognitive development. Fortification is successful because it makes frequently eaten foods more nutritious without relying on consumers to change their habits. Wheat flour is the staple most commonly fortified (already in 87 countries) with iron in large-scale fortification programs. In Azerbaijan, recent surveys show that every fourth child under 5 age and every third woman of reproductive age are anaemic. This high prevalence of anaemia among children and reproductive age women is an emerging issue of public health that may cause to lower productive human capacity, leading to huge health care expenditures and economic losses of the country. This happens due to various micronutrient deficiencies leading by iron deficiency.

For many years, UNICEF has supported the Ministry of Health (MOH) to develop a law on wheat flour fortification as an easiest and cheapest way to reduce anaemia among population particularly for children and pregnant women. UNICEF has already supported pilot project on flour fortification in Azerbaijan in 2005-2007. The results of pilot project showed significant reduction of iron deficiency and anaemia among population including children and pregnant women. However, this pilot was not able to scale-up nationwide and the anaemia prevalence level remained high along the years.

Continuous efforts have been made by UNCIEF to advocacy with the government to develop and adopt the law on flour fortification and recently achieved some good progress. A draft Law on Flour Fortification has been developed followed by a round table consultation with multi-stakeholders and achieved good consensus. Before endorsement of the national FF legislation, the Government of Azerbaijan needs a clear perspective over all financial aspects of this program in terms of costs, benefits and potential influence on the cost of the flour/ bread.

This ToR outlines the purpose of assignment, major tasks to be accomplished and required qualifications of candidates.

  • Justification

  • A high-quality financial assessment is a critical step to support the policy makers in Azerbaijan to decide on the choice of the law and also throughout the process of adoption of the national law and implementation of the national program. The Country Office has no existing capacity and requires international expertise to support the initiative.

  • Outcome/Output
  • The consultancy will contribute to the UNICEF Country Programme 2016-2020 planned results on:

    Outcome: Quality and equitable social services

    Output: Strengthened public and private sector commitment and accountability to legislate and implement nutrition interventions

    Activity Cost-estimation for flour fortification program in Azerbaijan

  • Goal/Objective

  • The consultant will provide technical support to the Government of Azerbaijan and UNICEF to conduct a financial assessment on introduction and implementation of a flour fortification program in Azerbaijan.

    The assessment should include key financial elements of the policy development and implementation process, and the implication of such a policy and programme towards the flour and bread market. More specifically:

  • Costs estimation for initiation of the programme;
  • Estimation of possible long term maintenance costs;
  • Estimation of potential impact on price of flour and bread;
  • Additional analysis on potential economic benefits of reduction of the prevalence of anaemia and folic acid deficiency to the country’s development.
  • Recommendations on funding mechanisms and modalities to cover initial and ongoing costs of the program Deliverables:
  • A comprehensive report with below main chapters;

  • Background
  • International experience on financial solutions for food fortification initiatives.
  • Assessment methodology
  • Cost estimates for implementation of flour fortification in Azerbaijan
  • Estimates on the benefits: cost ratio of Flour Fortification in Azerbaijan
  • Forecasts on influence of fortification on prices and recommendations on elimination of this influence
  • Recommendations on fiscal space, funding mechanisms and modalities for implementation of flour fortification in Azerbaijan
  • How can you make a difference?

    Guided by the UNICEF Health and Nutrition Officer and the member of Health Committee, to:

  • Conduct a quick desk review on international experience and methodology on financial assessment for food fortification programmes (such as iodine salt, flour fortification, etc.)
  • Collect all necessary data with the support of a national consultant for cost-benefit analysis and price projections
  • Estimate costs of implementation of flour fortification in Azerbaijan, including all types of costs covering both initial stage and long term maintenance (equipment, premixes, taxes and duties related to the ongoing cost of fortification including import duties, custom fees inspection fees and quality control and assurance costs, etc.)
  • Provide forecasts for possible influence of all these costs on price of flour and bread.
  • Provide estimates on the benefits: cost ratio of Flour Fortification in Azerbaijan
  • Develop practical recommendations applicable to the country’s context on fiscal space, funding mechanisms and modalities for implementation of flour fortification in Azerbaijan without increase of flour/bread price.
  • To qualify as an advocate for every child you will have…

    An international consultant firm or individual consultant is required with following qualifications:

  • At least post-graduate degrees in Food Science, Food Technology, Nutrition, Nutrition policy and economics or a related field
  • At least five years’ experience is devising medium to large-scale food fortification programming in specifically in Middle Income Countries
  • Strong knowledge in food fortification, QA/QC and food safety.
  • At least 10 years’ experience in strategic planning, financing, performance improvement and monitoring.
  • Technical expertise on financial and economic analysis and budgeting.
  • Experience in research, policy development, management and programming-related work.
  • Ability to work with minimal supervision;
  • Evidence of having undertaken similar assignments;
  • Demonstrated experience in working with government partners and other stakeholders, especially in supporting public-sector institutions clarify mission and strategic direction.

    The consultancy firm/ consultant is also expected to bring/possess the following skills and competencies:

  • Must be result-oriented, a team player, exhibiting high levels of enthusiasm, tact, diplomacy and integrity;
  • Demonstrate excellent interpersonal and professional skills in interacting with government and development partners;
  • Skills in facilitation of stakeholder engagements/workshops;
  • High level written and oral communications skills in English; Knowledge of Russian language is a plus
  • For every Child, you demonstrate…

    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….

    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.


    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.

    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

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