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Its objectives are:
To enhance the quality and availability of nutrition and HIV services in target community councils
Number of women (15-49) who were nutritionally counseled on IYCF practices at UNICEF-supported sites
To reduce barriers and increase utilization of nutrition and HIV services in target community councils
Number of health workers and community volunteers trained on key nutrition interventions, including infant and young child feeding practices, management of malnutrition, maternal health, and hygeine promotion
To increase appropriate care-seeking among communities for nutrition and HIV services in project community councils
Number of HIV-exposed infants receiving a virological test for HIV within 2 months of birth
This Terms of Reference (ToRs) are issued to identify qualified and experienced individuals/consultants to undertake a baseline assessment of nutrition and HIV programs in target community councils. Consultants would need to have access to a network of experts with experience in undertaking research and evaluations for health programs, particularly Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn and Child health and HIV programs. The consultant will assess nutrition and HIV service delivery and utilization in target community councils to document baseline program status and set trackable indicators to determine, at the end, if programme results are met.
Scope of Work
- Goal and Objective:
Under the supervision of the the R&E Specialist the consultant will assess nutrition and HIV service delivery and utilization in target community councils to document baseline program status and set trackable indicators to determine, at the end, if programme results are met.
The overall objective of the consultancy is to document the pre-intervention situation of nutrition and HIV in target community councils and craft appropriate indicators to set their baseline values as pertinent to the evaluation questions. Sources of data include: survey, interview or consult different sources of information such as households, health workers, health service providers, government officials, reports and records, etc. Additionally, the consultant is required to develop an evaluation framework for the programme. Key indicators include:
- Existing practices vis-vis optimal feeding;
- Rates of mother-to-child transmission of HIV;
- Existing structural barriers to optimal feeding practices;
- Adherence to ARV;
- Current quality of health services in community councils;
- Number of children exclusively breastfed;
- Proportion of HIV pregnant women who receive ARVs for PMTCT;
- Appropriate care-seeking among communities.
The Specific Objectives are:
- Design an evaluation framework for the programme
- Adapt and finalise data collection tools and required forms, training manuals and data management plan
- Identify, recruit and train data collection and data management teams
- Collect quality data in the field, review data entry screens and enter the data and submit clean datasets to UNICEF for review
- Conduct data analysis and submit assessment report
- Under guidance from UNICEF and Ministry of Health, share the results with national stakeholders.
- Provide details/reference to AWP areas covered:
The activity aligns to the rolling workplan (2019-2021) signed by the Ministry of Health and UNICEF under output 1.2 By 2023, parent and caregivers have increased capacity to practice and demand quality MNCH, infant, and young child feeding (IYCF) and hygiene practices.
- Activities and Tasks:
The consultant is expected to develop an evaluation framework for the programme and document baseline program status . The baseline survey will be followed-up by an endline survey after three years with the aim of conducting a summative evaluation based on the United National Evaluation Group (UNEG) evaluation criteria, namely relevance, effectiveness, efficiency, impact and sustainability with a particular focus on the impact criterion. Further details on the UNEG criteria can be obtained from: http://www.unevaluation.org/document/detail/22
Specifically, at the end of the project, the evaluation will seek to answer, but not be limited to, the following questions:
- Are the objectives of the programme appropriate in the overall problem context, and are they meeting common needs and priorities?
- To what extent have the various activities transformed the available resources into the intended outputs in terms of quantity, quality and timeliness?
- To what extent has the availability and readiness of quality nutrition and HIV services improved, in project community councils?
- To what extent has the community awareness improved and demand for quality services increased in project community councils?
- To what extent has the project reduced the barriers to the utilization of nutrition and HIV services?
- To what extent has the project strengthened the health system for improved maternal and child health outcomes?
- To what extent has the project enhanced the quality of health services in selected community councils in Lesotho?
- To what extent has the utilization of nutrition and HIV services increased in project community councils?
- To what extent the utilization of nutrition and HIV services have resulted in improved maternal and child health outcomes?
- What objective indications are there showing improvements in maternal and child health?
- What difference has the project made in maternal and child health of the intended beneficiaries?
- What are the unintended positive and negative consequences?
- To what extent has the intervention build implementation capacities of national and local partners?
- Is the project designed in a sustainable way?
- Is the project designed in such a way that the interventions will continue to influence desirable/ intended outcomes even after its completion?
- Will the beneficiaries be able to access maternal and child health services on a long-term basis?
- Will the Government of Lesotho be able to maintain the project benefit after the end of DFID-UNICEF support?
It is therefore critical that the baseline survey information is aligned with the above evaluation criteria and questions.
The overall evaluation approach will be based on the specific theory of change for the project. To this end, the evaluative baseline will be guided by the conceptual framework/strategy and logic models and results frameworks which will need to be discussed and made explicit at the initial stage of the inception phase.
In order to adequately address the evaluation criteria and answer the corresponding questions, the evaluative baseline will employ mixed-methods. The quantitative component of the baseline survey should ideally be based on a statistically robust design and should be complemented by a qualitative data collection, including focus group discussions, in-depth interviews and key informant interviews. Conducting desk reviews of relevant documents and reports will also constitute an important part of the baseline.
To the extent sensible and feasible, an adequate representative sample of households will be drawn randomly from an appropriate sampling frame. The final sample size will be determined with appropriate level of significance (5%) and statistical power (80%) and a minimum detectable effect size of half a standard deviation for the key indicators enabling appropriate inferences from the anticipated changes in the same areas. However, the consultant can propose alternative sampling options based on the desk review and analysis.
The baseline will also involve qualitative data collection from communities, service providers and health authorities: in-depth interviews (IDIs) with pregnant, lactating mothers and caregivers; key informant interviews (KIIs) with community members, HSAs, DHO; and focus group discussions (FGDs) in each study sites. Insights from these qualitative interviews and discussions with community members provide complementary data to that obtained through the quantitative survey and will allow examination of issues at depth.
Gathering and analysing secondary data available from the communities, health facilities and other government sources will also form an important part of the baseline assessment.
Based on the above generic guideline, the prospective firm will propose a detailed design and methodology for the evaluative baseline survey. The final methodology and questions will be agreed with UNICEF at the inception phase. The study team is required to review agreed indicators for answering each evaluation question at the inception meeting. A model template will be provided to the study team for this purpose.
The identified consultant will aim to provide a detailed sampling plan that will include:
- Power calculations and sample size determination at the facility, community and household level to ensure robust measures of change at outcome and impact levels;
- Suggested sampling frame and plans for enumeration and listing;
- Clearly defined probabilities of selecting the sampling units;
- Sampling weights to be used in the data analysis.
The approach and methodology should include, but not limited to, the following:
1. An appropriate survey design with relevant approaches that will document status to enable measure changes, contributions and cost effectiveness while meeting the quality criteria.
2. A quality assurance plan for all data collection processes, analysis and training of field staff, as relevant.
3. A data triangulation plan taking stock of all relevant data sources available;
4. A data analysis plan, in which the procedures related to the data to be analysed under the evaluation design and sampling plan will be described and detailed. The data analysis plan is integral part of study plan.
The consultant will develop an Evaluation Framework that will provide the overall design and methodology thatÂ UNICEF shall use, upon completion of the end-line survey, to answer the main evaluation questions. Such a framework will, among other things, specify clearly how the baseline information shall be used later on to evaluate the project. The framework will also provide an evaluation design best suited to help ultimately help answer attribution questions (outcome or impact level). Potential designs to consider would be experimental, quasi-experimental or non-experimental ones that rely more heavily on qualitative approaches. The framework will also include an evaluation matrix that will link the evaluation criteria and questions to the chosen methodology. The matrix will specify the indicators, data sources, and data collection and methods used to answer each question. The indicators chosen will be specific, easily measurable and relevant to the corresponding evaluation questions and theory of change. The evaluation questions and indicators will include reference to human rights, gender and early dimensions. The consultant will also describe potential limitations to the framework and how they could be potentially addressed.
This baseline assessment and the subsequent evaluation will explore gender and human rights issues related to the subject of evaluation. To the extent sensible and feasible, the baseline survey should gather gender-disaggregated data.
The study will follow UNICEF guidelines on the ethical participation of human participants, including children. All participants in the study will be fully informed about the nature and purpose of the study and their requested involvement. Only participants who have given their written or verbal consent (documented) will be included in the study.
The prospective consultant is expected to provide a detailed plan on how the following principles will be ensured throughout the study: 1) Respect for dignity and diversity 2) Fair representation; 3) Compliance with codes for vulnerable groups (e.g., ethics of research involving young children or vulnerable groups); 4) Redress; 5) Confidentiality; and 6) Avoidance of harm.
Specific safeguards must be put in place to protect the safety (both physical and psychological) of both respondents and those collecting the data. These should include:
- A plan is in place to protect the rights of the respondent, including privacy and confidentiality
- The interviewer or data collector is trained in collecting sensitive information
- Data collection tools are designed in a way that are culturally appropriate and do not create distress for respondents
- Data collection visits are organized at the appropriate time and place so as to minimize risk to respondents
- The interviewer or data collector is able to provide information on how individuals in situations of risk can seek support
Estimated number of working days required
10 days from start of contract
30 days (40 days from start of contract)
10 days (50 days from start of contract)
- Including, theory of change, evaluation design detailing the sampling method, data collection tools, interview guides, other data collection instruments to be used) and draft evaluation framework.
- Draft report
- As per agreed outline
- Incorporating comments from UNICEFâ€™s Research and Evaluation Committee
- Including Microdata set in an appropriate format with corresponding metadata and documentation
- Including the final evaluation framework, revised based on feedback received on the draft evaluation framework as well as the outcome of the baseline survey data collection.
- The Final report should be provided in both hard copy and electronic version in English in the required UNICEF format (UNEG standards), respecting UNICEF Style Book (2014).
- Completed data sets (filled out questionnaires, records of individual interviews and focus group discussion, etc.)
- The final report which shall be compliant with the UNICEF – Adapted UNEG standards should include – but is not limited to – the following components:
- Executive Summary
- A tightly-drafted, executive summary is an essential component. It should be short and not more than five pages. It should focus mainly on the key purpose or issues of the study, outline the main analytical points, and clearly indicate the main conclusions. Cross-references should be made to the corresponding page or paragraph numbers in the main text that follows.
- Objective, Purpose and Scope
- Methodology (including limitations and ethical considerations)
- Recommendations (if any at this stage)
- Appendices, including ToRs, tools, and people interviewed, etc.
Standard UNICEF procedures will apply for invoicing and all other financial management requirements set out in the contract. Standard penalty clauses will also apply for late and poor quality deliverables
- Payment Schedule
- Payment Weight
- Inception Report
- Draft Report
- Final Report
- The consultant must possess at least 10 years of consultantal experience in the evaluation of development programmes, especially health programmes and health research with an emphasis on mixed method data collection and analysis.
- Proven recognized expertise on evaluation of high impact high impact maternal and child health intervention.
- Must have an advanced University degree (Masters or PhD) in one of the following disciplines: Public Health, Epidemiology, Biostatistics, Health Economics, or other relevant social science.
- The consultant selected will be governed by and subject to UNICEF General Terms and Conditions for individual contracts
- The Consultant will work on their own computer and use his/her own office resources and materials in the execution of this assignment. The consultant fee shall be inclusive of all office administrative costs i.e (travel, living allowance, and visa fees)
- The consultant will be engaged fulltime in country. However, working days will be determined as per the prescribed duration of each deliverable.
- The work of the consultant is full-time but is required to visit the ten districts for data collection and consultations.
- As per UNICEF policy, payment will be made against approved deliverables. Please also see UNICEF’s Standard Terms and Conditions attached
- The consultant payment is a Lump Sum inclusive of travel (a two-way travel based on economy class fares), living allowance, and professional fees; when the consultant is to travel outside Maseru and stay overnights, related Living allowance and transportation will be inclusive of the total contract value.
- As per UNICEF DFAM policy, payment is made against approved deliverables. No advance payment is allowed unless in exceptional circumstances against bank guarantee, subject to a maximum of 30 per cent of the total contract value in cases where advance purchases, for example for supplies or travel, may be necessary.
Each proposal will be assessed first on its technical merits and subsequently on its price. In making the final decision, UNICEF considers both technical and financial aspects. The Evaluation Team first reviews the technical aspects of the offer, followed by review of the financial offers of the consultant. The proposal obtaining the highest overall score after adding the scores for the technical and financial proposals together, that offers the best value for money will be recommended for award of the contract.
The Technical Proposal should include but not be limited to the following:
Detailed Methodology / approach to requirement detailing how to meet or exceed UNICEF requirements for this assignment. The consultant is expected to identify relevant ethical issues from the proposed methodology and seek ethical clearance as appropriate) in accordance with the rules and regulations of conducting research in Lesotho.
– Work Plan
Proposed work plan showing detailed sequence and timeline for each activity and man days
The Financial Proposal should include but not be limited to the following:
Bidders are expected to submit a lump sum financial proposal to complete the entire assignment based on the terms of reference. The lump sum should be broken down to show the detail for the following:
– Resource costs
Daily rate multiplied by number of days
– Conference or workshop costs (if any)
Indicate nature and breakdown if possible
– Travel Costs
All travel costs should be included as a lump sum fixed cost.
For all travel costs, UNICEF will pay as per the lump sum fixed costs provided in the proposal.
A breakdown of the lump sum travel costs should be provided in the financial proposal.
– Any other costs (if any)
Indicate nature and breakdown
Cumulative Analysis will be used to evaluate and award proposals. The evaluation criteria associated with this TOR is split between technical and financial as follows:
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.
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