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  • Consultants at Helen Keller International (HKI)

  • Posted on: 16 October, 2019 Deadline: 20 October, 2019
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  • Established in 1915, Helen Keller International (HKI) works to save the sight and lives of the most vulnerable and disadvantaged persons. We combat the cause and consequences of blindness and malnutrition by establishing programs based on evidence and research in vision, health and nutrition.

    HKI currently conducts programs in more than 20 Asian and African countries, including Nigeria where we implement programs in Akwa Ibom, Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Cross River, Kano, Katsina and Lagos States. HKI seeks to employ a Safety and Security Officer (SSO) under the neglected tropical diseases control and elimination programs in Borno and Adamawa states.  The successful candidate will work under the direct supervision of the Country Director.

    Consultant to Conduct Formative Research on the Bill and Melinda Gates Project

     

    TERMS OF REFERENCE

    FORMATIVE STUDY TO DOCUMENT THE KNOWLEDGE, ATTITUDES AND PRACTICES ON BOUILLON AND MICRONUTRIENT FORTIFICATION OF BOUILLON AMONG REGULATORS, PRODUCERS, TRADERS, CONSUMERS , RESEARCHERS, NUTRITION PROGRAM MANAGERS AND PROFERSSIONAL ASSOCIATIONS IN NIGERIA.

    BACKGROUND AND RATIONALE

    The Bouillon Initiative, funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF), is being implemented across several countries in West Africa, including Burkina Faso, Nigeria and Senegal, to generate the necessary evidence through research to inform policy decision on bouillon and its micronutrient fortification.  A key activity under this project is to facilitate informed and constructive dialogue based on research findings, to support governments in making evidence-based decisions regarding bouillon.  In Nigeria, just like other countries, this initiative will fill an important policy gap, as bouillon is widely used as a condiment in cooking across the country. For example, over 100 million Maggi cubes are sold daily in Nigeria.[1],[2] Such widespread use has made Bouillon an attractive food vehicle for some private companies to add various combinations of vitamins and minerals to the product.  In Nigeria, this includes iron fortified Knorr, Royco and Maggi cubes, with an objective to address iron deficiencies among the population.  Currently, micronutrient fortification of bouillon is done voluntarily in Nigeria, with manufacturers at will to decide what types and levels of the vitamins and minerals to add to the product.  Although Nigeria has developed and adopted a bouillon manufacturing and safety standards, there is no national guidance on micronutrient fortification of the product. In addition, the Nigerian regulation on salt iodization mandates all food producers who use salt as an ingredient to use adequately iodized salt, not all the bouillon manufacturers comply with this regulation, despite salt being an important ingredient in bouillon. Moreover, there appears to be differing views among policy makers, manufacturers, traders, consumers, consumer and professional associations, regarding the consumption and micronutrient fortification of bouillon, which has partly hampered developing a comprehensive national guidance for bouillon fortification. For example, some people perceive bouillon consumption increases risk for impotence among men, kidney disease and cancer.  Ironically, these perceptions or views on bouillon are still fragmented and not well documented in Nigeria, making it difficult for government and other stakeholders to provide evidence-informed communication to the population.  This necessitate a research to clearly document and understand the knowledge, perceptions, attitudes and practices among various stakeholders in Nigeria, regarding bouillon use, its consumption, potential health risks and its micronutrient fortification.

    It is against this backdrop that Helen Keller International (HKI) in collaboration with the Government of Nigeria proposes to conduct a formative research to clearly document the preferences, attitudes, perceptions, knowledge and practices among various stakeholders, including policy-makers, the private sector bouillon manufacturers, consumers, consumer and professionals associations regarding bouillon and salt use and consumption, as well as micronutrient fortification of bouillon in Nigeria.

    HKI seeks to recruit a qualified consultant or a research firm to design and carry out this study using mixed-methods approach, including both qualitative and quantitative research methods.

    OVERALL OBJECTIVE

    This consultation aims to understand and document the preferences, attitudes and perceptions of policy makers, the private sector bouillon manufacturers, consumers, consumer and professionals associations on the consumption bouillon and salt use and consumption, as well as micronutrient fortification of bouillon in Nigeria.  Another key outcome of this work is to provide recommendations for developing evidence informed education on bouillon and its fortification in Nigeria.

    SPECIFIC OBJECTIVES

    The specific objectives of this formative research are:

    • Document the knowledge, attitude and perceptions of policymakers, private sector bouillon manufacturers, consumers, consumer and professional associations regarding the use and consumption of bouillon, and potential health risks associated with bouillon and salt consumption in Nigeria;
    • Document the preferences, practices and behaviors of consumers regarding the choice, purchase and use of bouillon in cooking in Nigeria;
    • Document the knowledge, attitude and perceptions of policymakers, private sector bouillon manufacturers, consumers, consumer and professional associations regarding micronutrient fortification of bouillon;
    • Document the perceptions and attitudes of policymakers, private sector bouillon manufacturers, consumers, consumer and professional associations regarding developing a national guidelines for voluntary micronutrient fortification of bouillon in Nigeria.
    • Using findings from this study, make recommendations for the development and implementation of evidence-informed plan for education regarding bouillon in Nigerian. 

    STUDY SCOPE AND TARGETS

    The formative study will use mixed-methods research approach, involving both qualitative and quantitive methods.  The qualitative methods will include literature review, in-depth interviews and focus group discussions as well as direct observations (involving visits to selected households to document how bouillon is used in cooking).  The quantitative methods will involve survey of some households to ask questions on bouillon using structured questionnaire.

    Key informant interviews will be conducted with policy makers, the private sector representative and members of consumer and professional associations, as well as leaders of religious groups and communities.  Focus group discussions, direct observations and structured interviews will be targeted to consumers at household level.

    The specific geographic areas for the study will be decided by the Country Working Group for Bouillon fortification.  However, Lagos and Abuja will be included for interviews with policy makers and officials of private sector companies.

    CONSULTANT PROFILE

    • For the purposes of this consultation, HKI requires the services of a consultant who meet the following criteria:
    • At least 5 years’ experience in conduction social science research.
    • Experience in designing and implementing a similar study and having led similar research in Nigeria is a plus.
    • Training in social sciences, including behavior science, sociology, anthropology, public health nutrition, at the doctoral or master’s level;
    • Good expertise qualitative and quantitative research methods, and demonstrated experience in using these in population-based studies;
    • Demonstrated proficiency in statistical software, including skills in analyzing both quantitative qualitative data.
    • Experience in training social survey investigators (enumerators)
    • Share copy of report or publication of similar work done. This is COMPULSORY.

    DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES

    The consultant will work under the technical supervision of the Country Working Group on bouillon and Helen Keller International for a successful completion of the consultation.

    The consultant will be required to:

    • Lead the Design of the formative research protocol with reference to the above stated objectives and in consultation with HKI and the Country Working Group on Bouillon. The study design will include the study area, sampling methods, sample size, data collection methods, data analysis and ethical considerations;
    • Propose a budget consistent with the activities to be carried out;
    • Develop data collection tools including survey questionnaires, group discussion guide, document analysis template and any tools deemed necessary. The consultant must ensure that the data collection tools are consistent with all research objectives;
    • Obtain approval of the protocol and tools from all relevant Institutional Review Boards.
    • Undertake a comprehensive literature review of similar studies,
    • Develop and implement a data collection and analysis plan.
    • Collect data during in-depth interviews with key stakeholders (decision-makers, fortified food control structures, bouillon producers, consumer associations, etc.) and focus groups with bouillon users and consumers.
    •  The consultant will collect this information with reference to the objectives of the consultation.
    • Develop a comprehensive report on the results of the formative research. Share the results of the formative research with the Country Working Group on bouillon for their review and validation;
    • Develop a policy brief based on the findings of the assessment report
    • Provide recommendations and guidance for the development of a communication strategy to address key issues related to the identified determinants.

    DELIVERABLES

    Deliverables/Tasks

    Content

    Time Allotted

    1

    Technical Proposal (Methodology) and Financial Proposal (Budget)

    Study protocol including sampling, targets to investigate, survey areas, etc. Budget proposal and work plan          

    5-10 days

    2

    Develop tools for training investigators and data collection           

    Questionnaires and guide for training of investigators, collection and analysis of data validated before the collection phase

    7 days

    3

    Preparation and submission of the final technical and financial report

    Submission of preliminary technical report with all study results for review by CWG and HKI
    Integration of feedback by the consultant to finalize the report
    Validation of final report by CWG and HKI
    Financial report submitted to HKI

    30 days

    4

    Proposed Directions for Developing a communications Strategy               

    Recommend key actions to be included in the elaboration of the target communication strategy

    7 days

    5

    Develop PowerPoint Presentation

    Summary of study key findings and recommendation

    5 days

    Method of Application

    [1]Engle-Stone R, et al. Consumption of potentially fortifiable foods by women and young children varies by ecological zone and socio-economic status in Cameroon. J Nutr. 2012;142:555-65.

    [2]Zhengxing C. and Oldewage‐Theron W. Household consumption of stock cubes and stock powder in the Vaal Triangle of SA. Nutrition & Food Science, Vol. 34(4), 2004.

    Interested persons should send comprehensive resume with a cover letter as ONE MS Word document and a similar work done to nigeria.recruitment@hki.org using the position title as the subject of the email. You will receive an auto response confirming your application. Note that applications will not be accepted after 11.59pm on Sunday October 20th 2019. 

     

    Note: There are no relocation allowances available for these positions.

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