International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) Recruitment – Role Description: Call for Interest – Nutrition-sensitive agriculture and food systems consultant.
International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) Recruitment – Millions of peoples are affected by food insecurity and malnutrition in the world. Rural populations and especially smallholder/marginal farmers are among the most vulnerable groups. IFAD, by promoting inclusive and sustainable food systems and nutrition-sensitive agriculture with an emphasis on rural areas, contributes to improving food and nutrition security for rural poor populations.
One of IFAD’s key objectives is to ensure that acceptable, diverse, nutritious and safe foods, adequate to meet the dietary needs of people of all ages, are available and affordable at all times and that poor rural people can make the right informed choices in terms of food production, purchases and consumption.
This would only be achieved if nutrition is adequately integrated in the design and implementation of IFAD’s investments/projects and if the capacities of project implementation units at country-level on nutrition-sensitive agriculture and food systems are strengthened. However, while IFAD is steadily strengthening the capacity of its teams and project management units (PMUs) to design and implement nutrition interventions, the quality of implementation is not always at a level to ensure the full achievement of the expected nutrition outcomes.
To respond to this challenge, IFAD in 2019 signed a financial agreement with the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD) to accelerate gains made in mainstreaming nutrition by leveraging IFAD’s loans to provide IFAD;s and governments country teams with additional capacity to achieve quality of implementation, bring interventions to scale and drive innovation.
Through the Nourishing People and the Earth through Inclusive and Sustainable Agriculture Programme, IFAD intends to complement its funded loan projects by providing catalytic support during implementation phase to selected nutrition-sensitive projects. Specifically, NORAD’ s funds will strengthen the capacity of IFAD and Project implementation unit staff on defining and implementing evidence-informed nutrition sensitive interventions, and generating knowledge and lessons learned from IFAD¿s investments to influence programming and policy decisions, therefore enhancing the quality and sustainability of interventions.
A total of 7 countries are beneficiaries of the NORAD Supplementary funds, covering 9 loan projects. Seven (7) country grants with their work plans and budgets were developed for a duration of 24 months each (starting from April 2021). The countries are:
Benin: Market Gardening Development Support Project (PADMAR) and Agricultural Development and Market Access Support Project (PADAAM)
Burkina Faso: Agricultural Value Chains Promotion Project (PAPFA) and Agricultural Value Chains Support Project in the Southwest, Hauts-Bassins, Cascades and Boucle du Mouhoun Regions (PAFA-4R)
Malawi: Financial Access for Rural Markets, Smallholders and Enterprise Programme (FARMSE)
Madagascar: Inclusive Agricultural Value Chains Development Project (DEFIS)
Sao Tome and Principe: Commercialization, Agricultural Productivity and Nutrition Project (COMPRAN)
Sudan: Integrated Agriculture and Marketing Development Programme (IAMDP)
Zimbabwe: Smallholder Irrigation Revitalization Programme (SIRP)
The objective of the Supplementary Funds Agreement is to improve intake of diverse and nutritious foods in order to reduce malnutrition in all its forms. This will be achieved through the implementation of activities grouped around 3 outcomes:
Outcome 1: Increased availability of diverse and nutritious foods for household consumption (promotion of integrated homestead gardens, promotion of traditional crops/neglected and underutilised species, development of farmer¿s capacities on post-harvest management)
Outcome 2: Improved Knowledge, Attitudes and Practices (KAP) on healthy eating habits and care giving practices (development of a SBCC strategy and tailored messages, capacity building of extension agents on SBCC and implementation of community-level SBCC sessions)
Outcome 3: Improved performance of selected Nutrition-sensitive investments (capacity building of project staff on nutrition metrics, support to knowledge management and capacity building of project staff and government staff on planning and coordination of nutrition at sub-national level)
This top-up grant will be implemented in a two-phase approach:
The start-up (preparation) period, where all the necessary assessments and surveys (such as the baseline survey, the SBCC assessment and the women¿s on-farm and off-farm workload analysis) and the strategic planning will be done. The findings of the assessments and the baseline will help to develop the nutrition strategy for each loan project and to set the monitoring and evaluation system of the NORAD SF activities.
The implementation phase, where the field-level activities will be implemented, in line with the nutrition strategy and the SBCC strategy (including production of nutritious crops, capacity building of farmers on post-harvest management, carrying out of SBCC sessions, capacity strengthening of loan projects staff and implementing partners on nutrition-sensitive agriculture, and support for strengthening of nutrition multisectoral coordination.
International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) Recruitment – IFAD is looking for an experienced consultant to support the start-up activities of the IFAD grant financed through the NORAD Supplementary Funds in support of Sao Tome and Principe COMPRAN. The consultant will provide technical assistance to the Project Management Unit with high-level strategic and technical advice to integrate the NORAD SF into COMPRAN, and to establish together with the project implementation unit the best implementation modalities to achieve the desired impacts.
Key functions and activities
In collaboration with the COMPRAN staff (project implementation team) and key stakeholders, the consultant is expected to perform the following tasks:
- Develop in a participatory approach a nutrition strategy and action plan for COMPRAN that integrates NORAD Supplementary Funded nutrition sensitive activities. Specifically, the consultant will:
- Conduct a comprehensive nutrition analysis to better understand the nutrition problems and their underlying causes, the most vulnerable groups affected and relevant interventions (in the field of agriculture, food value chains and rural development) to address these problems in the context of COMPRAN.
- Map Government and donors¿ interventions in nutrition and nutrition sensitive agriculture and identify how COMPRAN can leverage these for the benefit of the target group.
- Identify key interventions in nutrition sensitive agriculture to address these problems while integrating NORAD SF interventions.
- Allocate costs to the nutrition sensitive interventions that would be financed from the IFAD loan and Nutrition Grant.
- Define/refine the implementation arrangements for the nutrition sensitive interventions.
- Define relevant nutrition M&E arrangements.
- Develop the manual for the implementation of the nutrition sensitive interventions by COMPRAN.
- Support the project in the design of the baseline survey and data collection processes for the monitoring and reporting of nutrition sensitive activities.
- Provide technical support to COMPRAN PMU in the coordination of the following activities (implemented by service providers):
- SBCC assessment combined with a women¿s workload and time patterns analysis in rural areas the development of a nutrition SBCC strategy, messages and tools, building on the assessments NORAD SF baseline survey.
- Support the integration of NORAD support into COMPRAN strategic implementation documents
- Integrate NORAD results framework into COMPRAN¿s overall M and E system, and orient M and E staff on reporting
- Support the project in integrating nutrition into the COMPRAN targeting strategy, develop targeting template/guidelines where needed and orient the project implementation unit on its use (including on how to target NORAD SF beneficiaries)
Train COMPRAN PMU staff and key implementing partners on nutrition-sensitive agriculture and food systems within the framework of the loan project. Specifically, the consultant will:
- Assess the capacity of the project staff and partners to implement, manage and take decisions on nutrition interventions
- In addition to IFAD’s free online training tools, identify other free online training opportunities for the project staff
- Provide orientation and training to project staff and the nutrition specialist recruited to support project implementation
The specific and time-bound deliverables will be defined in the Terms of Reference that will be shared with the selected candidate.
The consultant will report to the Senior Technical Specialist, Nutrition and Social Inclusion, ECG. He/She will collaborate with the COMPRAN PMU staff, including the gender and nutrition expert, the M&E officer, as well as with the IFAD Nutrition Team based in Headquarters. All deliverables will be approved by the COMPRAN PMU and the NORAD SF Technical Coordinator.
- Advanced university degree (minimum Master’s degree) from an accredited institution in nutrition, social studies, agriculture, rural development, natural resource management, environment, economics or equivalent discipline in a field related to nutrition
- Minimum of 8 years of experience in designing and implementation of nutrition-sensitive agriculture and food systems interventions in developing countries.
- Proven experience in development of nutrition strategies documents, especially at programme level
- Knowledgeable about nutrition metrics in particular the Minimum Dietary Diversity of Women (MDDW), Food Consumption score (FCS), knowledge Attitude and Practice (KAP) surveys and social analysis
- Strong understanding of food and nutrition security environment, including policies, programmes, stakeholders and multi-sectoral coordination at central and sub-national level will be considered an asset
- Knowledge of social determinants of malnutrition especially those related to women empowerment
- Proven experience in working in rural areas of developing countries will be considered an asset
- Proven experience on capacity building of various stakeholders (including government staff) on nutrition-sensitive agriculture and value chains
- Project management- design, implementing, monitoring and evaluation of nutrition sensitive agriculture and food systems projects/programmes
- Conducting complex and multidimensional analysis of nutrition context to inform policy, project management and decision making
- Facilitation of training workshops on nutrition-sensitive agriculture and food systems
- Ability to coordinate and communicate effectively with different stakeholders
- Fluency in ICT
- Excellent written and verbal communication in Portuguese
- Excellent written and verbal communication in English or French.
- Applicants to this call for interest may undergo a first level screening and those candidates meeting the minimum requirements might undergo a more in-depth assessment, including written tests and/or interviews.
- As per provisions on maximum contract duration under the Handbook on consultants and other persons hired by IFAD under a non-staff contract, the number of days in which services can be rendered in a calendar year is limited to 240, and the number of days in which services can be rendered in five consecutive calendar years is limited to 960.
- This specific assignment is for 60 days, with possibility of extension depending on performance, funding availability and business needs. Duty station: Home-based, with possibility of travel to Sao Tome and Principe.
- Consultants are not considered IFAD staff. This consultancy assignment does not carry any expectation of employment or conversion to another type of contract with the Fund.
- In the interest of making most cost effective use of funds and resources, we are only able to respond to applicants who are short-listed for written tests and interview. Candidates who do not receive any feedback within three months should consider their application unsuccessful.