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Consultant Cost of Diet Analysis - Concern Worldwide

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Regine Kopplow

Sen. Adv. FNS Concern Worldwide

Normal user

28 Jun 2019, 16:06

Terms of reference

External Consultant for Cost of Diet (CoD) Analysis for Concern Worldwide’s Irish Aid-funded Liberia WASH Consortium  project in Grand Bassa, Sinoe and Grand Capemount counties in Liberia

The Liberia WASH Consortium (LWC) was launched in 2008 and it quickly established itself as one of the two leaders, along with UNICEF, for addressing Liberian WASH challenges. The Consortium effectively engaged donor representatives, government officials and other NGOs in policy discussions, strategic planning, and learning events, apart from delivering improved WASH services in a complex environment. The LWC remains a key actor in the sector, as evidenced by its recent success promoting policy reform (2015 – 2018).
The current project, involving three members of LWC (Action Against Hunger, Concern Worldwide, WaterAid), aims at researching the different immediate and underlying causes of the high rates of child stunting in Liberia: 35.5% at national level, with peaks of 41% in Gran Bassa and 38% in River Cess. The results of this research, along with Nutritional Causal Analysis and Barrier Analysis results will inform the development of a SBCC strategy that will be promoted for adoption across future and current programs.

According to the 2018 Comprehensive Food Security and Nutrition Survey about 81% of the food consumed in Liberia is sourced through markets; most households rely on markets, especially in urban areas, with only 11% of food sourced from the household’s own production. This heavy reliance on markets as a source of food and the high cost associated with it can crowd the household income for other basic necessities, potentially acting as a barrier to adopting proper hygiene and good child caring practices and environmental sanitation such as safe water storage, handwashing supplies and sanitary materials/disposal of waste.

Purpose of the Consultancy
The overall purpose of the proposed assignment is to understand the causes determining sub optimal feeding and to explore the acceptability and economic feasibility of identified options to improve the consumption of nutritiously diverse food of households in the communities studied.

The CoD results will help to understand and identify nutrients hardest to obtain from locally available foods, and identify foods that are the least expensive sources of energy and nutrients. This will vary in different livelihoods zones, and therefore the CoD is planned to be conducted in three counties, which are reflective of different livelihood zones, and therefore are likely to have variations in available foods and the cost of those foods. The aim is that this information is then used to promote low cost but highly nutritious foods and that the saved cost from the designed diets can be used for other household needs, including WASH. Undernutrition is determined not only by adequate nutrient intake but equally by nutrient loss. Inadequate access to clean water and unsafe sanitation and poor hygiene practices increase the risk of oral-faecal transmission of diseases that will lead to malabsorption and nutrient loss, and this sub-optimal micronutrient status subsequently contributes to stunting.

Specific objectives:

  • To estimate the combination and amounts of local foods needed to provide a typical family (for each of the 3 target livelihood zones) with a quality diet meeting their average needs for energy and recommended intakes of carbohydrates, protein, fat, and the main micronutrients (minerals and vitamins; details to be agreed with the consultant prior to the start of the CoD study).
  • To estimate costs and affordability, and provide an economic appraisal of the options including value for money.
  • To explore the acceptability of options and compare and contrast them according to potential impact, likelihood of success and risk.
  • To recommend what foods should be considered when developing recipes for complementary feeding and pregnant mothers.
  • To understand the correlation between the market price and seasonal availability of various foods with consumption pattern.
  • To develop a training curriculum for communities based on the Cost of Diet findings.



  • An advanced university degree in Public Health, International/Global Health, nutrition disciplines or other relevant disciplines, with specialized training experience in nutrition and food security related surveys/specifically on Cost of Diet assessment. Demonstrable capacity and research experience of at least 5 years in surveys/assessment in the field of nutrition and food security.
  • Proven record in conducting Cost of Diet assessments and analysis in West or Eastern Africa or similar setting; experience in conducting leading, training and supervising survey teams; proficiency in the use of  data analysis software packages ( preferably CoD software) and excellent skills in the interpretation of context specific health and nutrition survey results; proven record of research and survey report writing skills; good communication and coordination skills and experience in working with NGOs; fluency in English (written and spoken).


  • Experience working in West Africa; knowledge of local nutrition related practices, believes and food preferences and an overall understanding of the causes of malnutrition in the West African context. Experience in working in agriculture, WASH and markets is an asset.

Objectives and Specific Tasks to be undertaken by the Consultant(s)

  • Conduct a Cost of the Diet assessment as per standard methodology, in three different counties of Liberia identified by Concern and LWC partners. These are Grand Bassa, Sinoe and Grand Capemount.
  •  Lead on the preparation of the CoD assessment
  • Conduct literature review
  • Prepare and carry out the data collection
  • Data entry into data analysis software
  • Data analysis and interpretation
  • Report writing
  • Writing of a policy brief
  • Dissemination of findings


  • Inception report with detailed methodology, assessment tools (quantitative and qualitative tools and field manual) and operational plan with timeline;
  • Data collectors training material;
  • Draft assessment report including data set;
  • Power point presentation of key findings to Concern Worldwide Liberia, government and NGO multi-stakeholder platform and local (county level) government staff;
  • Final assessment report incorporating comments for the use of the project/country program including but not exclusively:
  • Overview of the nutritional status and feeding practices (and any other relevant information) in the study region (desk review).
  • A clear description of the method to arrive at the Cost of the Diet.
  • A clear and concise description of the diets calculated, their costs and judgement of the affordability; highlighting the possible impact of current food prices on the cost and affordability of the diet, paying particular attention to the contribution and significance of animal source food, fruits and vegetables to the diet, and thoroughly discussing the findings with particular focus on seasonality (availability, affordability).
  • Recommended options for a nutritious and diverse diet that considers preferences of households at a minimum cost.
  • Recommendations on the implementation of forthcoming LWC nutrition project or similar future projects in the study area.
  • The final report should include an overall introduction with background, and methodology; the findings should be organised in three sections (one for each District assessed). The conclusion and recommendations section should cover the District specific aspects both separately and globally. The report should be maximum 30 pages long, plus annexes.
  • A 2-3 page policy brief discussing the cost of a nutritious diet for individuals and households living in the project area, providing recommendations for decision makers (government representatives, policy makers, program managers, researchers and other professionals) on what is needed to make the diets, especially for children of extreme poor households, more nutritious and affordable at the same time.
  • Provide all the data and analysis outputs (both raw and final) electronic data to Concern Worldwide Liberia.

Final payment is dependent on the submission of a good quality, well-written final report and completion of all agreed outputs (as detailed in the TOR). In addition to methodology, findings and discussion, the report should include a comprehensive executive summary and a section outlining clear and concise conclusions and recommendations. 
A digital copy of all reports will be required by Concern at the end of the piece of work. All data sets generated will be handed over to Concern together with the final reports.

Lines of Communication  

  • Country Director on progress and issues arising
  • Program Director on progress weekly/fortnightly


A tentative timeframe foresees:

  • 1 day for travel
  • 2 days for desk review
  • 1 day to prepare data collection tools
  • 3 days for training of enumerators
  • 15 days for data collection (5 per district)
  • 9 days for data entry, cleaning and analysis (3 per district)
  • 10 days for report writing
  • 1 day for travel

Total: 42 working days, of which at least 30 in Liberia


To be considered for this consultancy, applicants should submit the following required documents:

  •  Consultancy proposal which includes, at a minimum:
  • Understanding of the TOR
  • Profile of the consultant(s) including CV(s) & availability for this assignment
  • CoD  design & methodology including for data collection and analysis
  • Proposed timeframe with dates
  • Budget  as per below narrative
  • At least one example of previous work similar in topic or nature to the final deliverable for this TOR

The assignment is contingent to approval of donor funding, but is planned to start as soon as possible.

The total budget for the work will be negotiated with Concern and the lead consultant in compliance with Concern rules and regulations. All anticipated costs should be included and detailed in the budget.  The consultant daily rate must be quoted in EURO.  In accordance with Liberian revenue regulations, Concern will deduct 15% Withholding Tax (WHT) from this gross fee. In addition to consultancy fees, Concern will cover international flights and local travel, visa expenses, and basic lodging, as applicable. Proposals submitted without a detailed budget will not be considered.  Insurance and medical expenses, including vaccinations, are not covered by Concern. If other expenses are anticipated, these must be approved by the Country Director in advance.

Proposals without a detailed budget will be disqualified from consideration.  A complete budget includes all relevant line items by category, unit costs, number of units, unit definitions, and total cost, with explanations where necessary.

Please submit applications to the Liberian Desk Officer at Concern Worldwide at:   by midday  GMT 15th July 2019.

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