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Formative Nutrition Assessment Consultant (Re-announcement and revised TOR)

Terms of Reference for Consultant (Revised version)

August 29th to October 26th – 15 working days

Background

As an upper middle income country, Thailand has been experiencing the dual burden of under and over nutrition, and a growth in a number of health and nutrition issues usually associated with more developed countries. Over 70% of deaths are now from non-communicable diseases like heart attacks, cancer, respiratory diseases and diabetes. This change is noticeable in the health and nutrition status of children and adolescents. The number of overweight children under 5 years of age doubled between 2005 and 2012, where it is now 11%.

Thailand is also going through a dietary, nutrition and health transition. Modern supermarkets and convenience stores now control about 50% or more of the food distribution and retailing system. This has led to an increasing availability of calorie dense foods, as well as foods higher in sugar, salt and oil than raw unprocessed foods. Poor diet and nutrition along with insufficient active play and physical activity has led to problems of obesity and other diet related diseases. Today, Thailand suffers from the second highest rate of obesity in Asia.

Besides over-nutrition, there are also issues of under-nutrition among children. Tackling issues of nutrition quality is particularly difficult with low budget allocations and an absence of means and knowledge regarding the nutritional benefits of a diverse and healthy diet. The Ministry of Education has recently increased its subsidy per student’s head to Tambons (local administration offices) for school lunches from 13 to 20 THB5 per student which has helped increase the capacity of school to provide more nutritious meals. However, there needs to be more support in terms of promoting nutrition knowledge among school staff, driving good lunch habits and supporting the most vulnerable children who may not receive sufficient food at home for breakfast. Without a healthy breakfast, children are not able to concentrate and their learning abilities are impaired.

To promote positive nutritional practices and physical activity among children, adolescents and communities in Thailand, Cargill, a global corporation, and Save the Children have entered a partnership. The “50 Healthy Schools” project will be implemented in Korat and Saraburi provinces between August 2018 to March 2020, reaching 5000 children aged 7 to 14 over the project period. Together, and in partnership with local schools and the government, we will promote nutrition and physical activity, first in 12 existing Cargill-supported schools, so that they can be “model schools”, and then in 38 “cluster” schools in the vicinity of the existing schools. Our key objectives are to:

  1. Increase children’s knowledge, attitudes and practices (KAP) towards their nutrition and well-being;
  2. Increase in children’s daily physical activity.

To achieve these objectives, the project will implement activities to:

  1. Improve opportunities for children to learn about nutrition - through nutrition and wellness sessions and school wide nutrition promotion
  2. Improve opportunities for physical activity – through Active Play sessions and School-wide physical activity promotion
  3. Strengthen school systems to promote nutrition and physical activity – through school policies, and healthy canteens and kitchens

For more details, please request for the project’s concept note.

Consultancy Description

  • Purpose of the consultancy

A critical first step for the project is to do a formative assessment involving key project stakeholders, other relevant institutions (universities, WHO, FAO, and other UN agencies), to understand the magnitude and depth of issues surrounding undernutrition, obesity and physical activity. Leveraging their insights and intimate knowledge on issues, we will ensure our project interventions meet priority needs in the schools and communities in a holistic and integrated manner.

This study will take place during September and October 2018 to understand the key nutrition and related issues, and the most appropriate ways to address them, in the first 12 schools, and will include data collection of other schools in the district to prepare for project expansion in 38 new schools reaching the full target population of 50 schools. 

  • Approach

Through primary and secondary data collection, the study will focus on the following areas of enquiry:

  • Mapping of:
    • Schools and communities in Korat and Saraburi Provinces’ sub districts: Information should include data on student population (by grade) which can be collected from the National Education Information System (http://www.mis.moe.go.th). We encourage the consultant to map any public infrastructure used by schools for physical education.
    • Local stakeholders, existing organizations such as CSOs, CBOs and duty bearer working in the area on school health and nutrition. This is to have an understanding of which other organizations are working in Saraburi and Korat – as local community-based organizations, OR as NGOs with local presence. They may be working on nutrition and physical activity or complimentary issues around education, health and child protection.
  • Review of:
    • National and local government policies and programs to promote nutrition and physical activity, its progress to date and areas for improvement. This landscaping of national and local government as well as schools initiatives to promote a nutritious diet and physical activity will help to better position the “50 Healthy Schools” project within the local context.
    • Services that promote nutrition and physical wellbeing of children – does the school or local government provide services such as annual growth monitoring, micronutrient supplementation, deworming, that supports children’s overall growth and development? Are there other services that schools and children can avail of for their nutrition and physical wellbeing?
  • Primary data collection:
    • Health education and health promotion approaches for target schools and communities – what are the good practices and what are the areas for improvement? An understanding of school lessons and the curriculum, extra-curricular activities, and teacher training will be important to design supplementary sessions on nutrition and physical activity sessions and to integrate within the existing system. We need to gather key materials from the government and other development partners working on the topic, so that our messages and materials align with, complement and supplement health education and promotion elsewhere in Thailand. Information on regular health promotional events in schools and communities OR opportunities for them will also be identified.
    • Differences between genders and socio-economic groups with respect to their knowledge, attitudes, practices and access to information and services for their nutrition and physical wellbeing. Gender differences become starkly evident during adolescence, and this is true also when it comes to attitudes and behaviors to nutrition, diet and physical activity. We often find reduced physical activity among girls at this age, and some differences when it comes to nutritional preferences and intake between boys and girls. Food choices are dependent on socio-economic status, therefore understanding difference between diet and physical activity of different socio-economic groups within target schools and communities will be important. We will adjust our project design and ensure we are being gender sensitive at a minimum and promote equality through our programming.

Once the study is completed, a joint workshop with Cargill and other key stakeholders, from local government, schools, and development partners will take place in Bangkok at the end of October 2018 to further detail our project plan.

  • Scope of the consultancy

 Methodology

A consultant will be hired to conduct the study and analysis, and will work in close liaison with the project coordinator and technical advisor. The following is the outline of a suggested process; however, it would be expected that this would be further refined by the consultant. The research shall be undertaken based on Save the Children International requirements and must be in line with Save the Children’s ethical guideline (annex II).

Preparatory work

  • Literature review of secondary data available online and in print, to understand the study context and to prepare for the formative assessment.
  • Development of survey protocol and the tools to be used for collection of data. Note: the survey tools will have to be approved internally.
  • Development of sampling methodology for administering the tool (as applicable).
  • Pre- testing of survey tools

 Field Work

  • Meeting with stakeholders to collect data –at national, local government, school and community level
  • The consultant is expected to collect gender disaggregate data and analyses gender gaps and trends as applicable.

 Data processing, analysis and reporting

  • Discussion on preliminary findings of research results
  • Draft and Final Reports
  • Presentation of key findings to SCI and attendance at the collaborative design workshop

Objectives and Deliverables       

The consultant will deliver on the following objectives:

Deliverables

Timeframe

Desk review*

September week 1

Data collection plan/tool/ Protocol*

Field visit / data collection

September week 3

Presentation of preliminary findings to SCI*

September week 4

1st draft report due to SCI*

October week 1

2nd draft report*

October week 2

Presentation of the final findings

Participation to the collaborative design workshop

End of October 

Translation (English to Thai) of the summary of the report

October week 2

* Each of the following deliverables do not systematically require a presentation but will have to be approved by the Save the Children staff in charge of managing the consultancy.

Management

The consultant will report to the “50 Healthy schools” Protect Coordinator and will also work closely with the technical advisor. Save the Children will approve all plans and documents developed by the consultant.

Time frame

29th August to 26th September 2018 but the consultant is expected to be working only 15 full working days.

Budget

The applicant is requested to submit the proposal, work plan, and detailed budget (including estimated cost per day) with their application. The financial competitiveness of application will be considered in the selection process. All costs associated with delivery must be included, SCI will not pay for travel, per diem, translation, supplies, or any additional staff support time needed.

Qualifications

  • Thai or international applicant
  • Language proficiencies required include Thai and English
  • Experience in conducting consultation with community members and government staff
  • Proven track record on expertise in health and nutrition
  • Proven experience with qualitative research methods
  • Ability and willingness to travel to field study areas (Korat and Saraburi Provinces)
  • Ability to work independently and meet tight deadlines

Submission for the consultancy application

Submissions for the consultancy must address the TOR and include:

  • Name and contact details of the applicant
  • Resume of the lead consultant
  • A cover letter outlining the relevant experience and expertise of the consultant as well as initial ideas on the approach to be taken to achieve the consultancy objectives
  • A draft summary proposal of the research scope, design, methods and field implementation approach (max 5 pages)
  • A detailed quote in THB (including travel and other costs) 

Submissions should be addressed to: hr.thailand@savethechildren.org

Close date for submissions: 26 August 2018

Please indicate in the subject as “Formative Nutrition Assessment  Consultant_Name of candidate”

Only shortlisted candidates will be notified.

 

“We need to keep children safe so our selection process reflects our commitment to the protection of children from abuse.”

Contact : hr.thailand@savethechildren.org


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