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Consultant needed for literature review on nutrition surveillance and early warning

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MERIAM Project Consortium- AAH USA

Action Against Hunger USA

Normal user

3 Apr 2017, 16:26


Literature Review: What are the success factors for nutrition surveillance and nutrition-related early warning programs globally and what has worked in MERIAM priority countries?

Reference: MERIAM Nutrition Surveillance / Early Warning System Literature Review
Location: Home-based (no travel)
Area of Interest: Nutrition Surveillance / Early Warning
Position Type: Consultancy
Duration: Contract to go through July 1st, 2017

I. Background
Previous efforts to predict increases in nutritional risk have been limited by the quality, availability and frequency of data collection, especially at sub-national levels. Recent improvements in data collection and management in Sub-Saharan Africa provide a compelling case to try again to build predictive models of undernutrition. The central aim of the MERIAM project is to identify, test and scale up cost-effective means to improve the prediction and monitoring of undernutrition in difficult contexts, in such a way that it enables an effective response to manage and mitigate nutritional risk. In pursuit of this goal, a cross-disciplinary team has been assembled comprised of experts, drawn from organisations and institutions that are world leaders in modelling and nutrition-related practice and research.

Action Against Hunger, the University of Maryland (UMD), the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (IHEID) and Johns Hopkins University (JHU) form the MERIAM consortium. Together, these partners bring have a wealth of experience operating in and conducting research on fragile and conflict-affected states; expertise in assessing a diverse array of risks at local levels and anticipating escalation of those risks through predictive modelling; global leadership in nutrition-related data collection and analysis methods, as well as extensive nutrition-related data and experience with building strong relationships with key stakeholders at local, regional and international levels.

II. Objectives
Action Against Hunger will hire a consultant during the Inception Phase of the project to lead the development of a literature review that identifies best practices and approaches in nutrition surveillance and early warning. More specifically, this consultancy will review the most up-to-date thinking around nutrition surveillance and nutrition-related early warning systems, including a global review of success factors, as well as specific country-level reviews of how systems have been implemented in the initial MERIAM priority countries (Ethiopia, Kenya, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan and Uganda). The review should answer the following questions:

--- What nutrition surveillance and nutrition-related early warning systems exist around the world and more specifically in the MERIAM priority countries including key stakeholders who manage them?
--- Which nutrition EW and surveillance programs have been considered successful and how is success defined for these systems (e.g., relevance, accuracy, specificity, utilization, impact)?
--- Which food security, nutrition, and other indicators are included in different systems and which serve as key indicators? What methodologies are used for analysis of data?
---- What suggestions have been made for the improvement of systems and methodologies and what are the challenges of implementing them?

MERIAM will use this review to inform the selection of country case studies, the development of the data modelling plan, the identification of additional data sources and for refining the research uptake strategy.

III. Methodology
This review will be home-based, accomplished through desk research (of existing peer-review or organizational literature ) and phone interviews with relevant specialists and stakeholders. The review will occur in two phases. In Phase One, Action Against Hunger expects that the consultant will develop an initial draft of a global review of nutrition surveillance and nutrition-related early warning systems, as well as national profiles characterizing the systems that exist in MERIAM priority countries. Major tasks during Phase One will include:

>> Participating in an inception briefing with the MERIAM Research and Uptake Coordinator;
>> Detailing the proposed methodological approach, including a systematic means of demonstrating how the literature was captured and analysed, with attention to the limitations of the methodology (if any), a preliminary outline of the global literature review, and a template for the national-level profiles;
>> Conducting an initial review of existing literature at a global level on nutrition surveillance and nutrition-related early warning systems, using prioritized literature from Action Against Hunger as a starting point, but moving into documentation from nutrition sector partners to describe global systems and identify success factors;
>> Conducting a review of existing nutrition surveillance and nutrition-related early warning systems in MERIAM priority countries, creating profiles of these systems as initially defined in Annex A.

In Phase Two, the consultant’s focus will narrow to provide further in-depth analysis on 2-4 MERIAM priority countries. Major tasks during Phase Two will include:

>> Integrating feedback from MERIAM consortium members on Phase One global review and country profiles and, as relevant, deepening the review and analysis for select countries.
>> Conducting key informant interviews with specific experts related to the select countries.
>> Developing case studies of successful nutrition surveillance and early warning systems in the selected countries, amplifying the level of detail of answers to the questions enumerated earlier and focusing on success factors and challenges
>> Drafting a comprehensive report, responding to all the guiding questions and including the two case studies. Annex B has a preliminary, high level outline.
>> Integrating feedback from MERIAM consortium members into the final report.
>> Supplying all final deliverables, including providing access (via a means of archival storage), to all articles identified by the literature review.

IV. Deliverables
The concrete deliverables Action Against Hunger expects from this consultancy are the following:

1) Participation in inception briefing: Week that contract is finalized
2) Detailed methodology, including proposed outline for global review and plan for key informant interviews (specifying any facilitation needs from Action Against Hunger): Within 5 working days of contract being finalized
3) Detailed outline of global review and country review profiles: 28 April 2017
4) Integrate feedback and propose methodology for deepening of literature review and developing case studies for selected countries:Within 5 working days of receiving feedback
5) Conduct key informant interviews and complete country specific research, generating summary notes from each call: May 2017
6) Draft report, including country case studies: 12 June 2017
7) Integration of feedback and final report & archiving of associated documentation: 25 June 2017

The quality of the deliverables will be assessed against an Action Against Hunger quality checklist and through review by relevant project partners. All outputs must be delivered in English and all written deliverables must be submitted in MS Word format. Access to all articles or sources referenced in the literature review or final report document must be provided (as complete files) either through a mass storage device or through an online, cloud-based storage system (e.g., Dropbox).

V. Timeframe
This consultancy is expected to require a total level of effort of about 30 days. All final products are expected to be delivered no later than 25th June 2017 with the contract period going through July 1st, 2017 to allow for any additional follow up with final report, associated documentation, and administration.

VI. Profile
The literature review is expected to be carried out by an international consultant with:
--- Knowledge of and experience with nutrition surveillance and early warning systems, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa.
--- Experience in conducting literature reviews.
--- Good communications skills, especially in terms of conveying technical content to a variety of audiences.
--- Ability to write clear and useful reports.
--- Fluency in English; Proficiency in French preferred.
--- Ability to manage the available time and resources and to work to tight deadlines as necessary

A consulting team may also be considered, in which case the proposal should identify a member as the senior consultant who would be expected to lead on engagement with key informants.

VII. Expression of Interest and Budget:
Contract period is expected to be from mid-April to July 1st, 2017. Applications should include:

• CV of consultant(s) including relevant work with nutrition surveillance and early warning highlighted;
• Budget and timeline with number of days expected for each deliverable with associated fees/ costs. If a team is being proposed the costs of each consultant should be clearly stated. Consultant(s) will be responsible for their own health insurance and basic equipment costs, but any other additional costs related to completing the work should also be included in the budget;
• Short proposal (no more than two pages, one page preferred) with a summary of expected methodology, including a brief list expected sources of information and any initially identified literature that may be included the review

The final service contract for the work will be signed with Action Against Hunger-USA.

Submission: All applications can be sent to no later than April 15th, 2017 with the subject line – “MERIAM Literature Review”. Su bmissions will be reviewed on a rolling basis and earlier applications or inquiries are encouraged.

Annex A. Phase One Expected Country Profile Components

The preliminary reviews of nutrition surveillance and early warning systems in MERIAM priority countries should include at least the following elements:

• Identification of EW and nutrition surveillance systems within the selected country
• Founding agencies and years active
• Implementing agencies
• Other implementing partners or key stakeholders
• Geographic coverage and granularity covered by the system including temporal frequency of collection for surveillance and time horizon for EW
• Data collection methodology including sampling
• Indicators collected
• Assessments or evaluations of the systems
• Cost of each system to develop and maintain (if information is available)

Annex B. Expected Final Report Structure and Content

The final report shall follow the following structure:
• Cover Page.
• Table of Contents.
• Executive Summary (maximum of two pages) describing the objectives, methodology and main findings of the review.
• Introduction providing an overview of the objectives and design of the review.
• Methodology used in conducting the review, noting the strengths and limitations.
• Findings of the assessment of existing nutrition surveillance and early warning systems.
• Country Case Studies providing a detailed review of nutrition surveillance and early warning systems in select countries
• Conclusions
• Annexes should be numbered and include at least the following: list of documents for the literature review, list of persons interviewed, data collection instrument

The body of the report shall be a minimum of 20 pages and a maximum of 30 pages (with annexes, a maximum of 50 pages). The final report will be submitted no later than the end date of the consultancy contract.

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