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International Consultancy to provide Technical Assistance on Nutrition and Climate Change, Eastern and Southern Africa Regional Office, Nairobi 28 views

Job no: 557901
Position type: Consultant
Location: Kenya
Division/Equivalent: Nairobi Regn’l(ESARO)
School/Unit: Regional Services Div (ESAR), Nairobi
Department/Office: Reg Serv – Prog Section, Nairobi Regn’l
Categories: Nutrition

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                                                                              TERMS OF REFERENCE

Title of Assignment Consultancy to provide Technical Assistance on Nutrition and Climate Change
Hiring Section Nutrition
Location Nairobi
Duration 5 Months
Start/End Date From: 2/1/2023 To: 1/31/2024

Background and Justification

Good nutrition is at the heart of achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). By declaring 2016-2025 the UN Decade of Action on Nutrition, the UN General Assembly fully endorsed enhanced efforts to ensure that good nutrition is achieved by all. Eastern and Southern African (ESA) region suffers from some serious environmental problems such as climate change, including deforestation, loss of biodiversity, land conversion, natural resource degradation that increasingly challenge food systems and nutrition.

The ESA region hosts several climate change hotspots where strong physical and ecological effects of climate change come together with large populations of poor and vulnerable communities. The nutrition impacts of climate change related disasters are already being felt in the region, with increase in severity and frequency of extreme events in recent years. Recent extreme events in the region include the Horn of Africa drought in 2017; and the current 2022 drought, the 2018/19 and 2021 drought in parts of southern Africa. Both the latest HOA drought and the 2021/22 southern Africa drought are recorded to be the worst in several decades. In addition, Tropical Cyclone Idai and Tropical Cyclone Kenneth (the strongest storm to ever hit Africa) in 2019, that affected over 1.85 million people (1 million of them children) and left more than 1,300 people dead and many more missing; and in 2020, the floods and desert locust outbreak (rapid locust reproduction catalyzed by prevailing weather conditions) in East Africa, worsening malnutrition in Ethiopia, Uganda and Kenya.

These climate change-related extremes pose a growing threat to the achievement of optimal nutritional status, both directly through affecting food production and indirectly through altering social and economic influences in people’s lives. Evidence and projections of climate change impacts on food and nutrition security have increased significantly in recent years. Notable among them are the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC, 2007) report, several Lancet Commissions on climate change and planetary health (2009–2015), and the 2018 Lancet Countdown on Health and Climate Change.

Besides amplifying the threats for underlying causes of undernutrition, climate change also interacts with efforts to improve nutrition. For example, changes in temperature and rainfall patterns affect production and productivity, as well as storage, packing and transport. This in turn affects the kinds and nutritional content of crops that can be grown or animals that can be raised. Since many smallholders in the region eat what they produce, this directly affects diets and nutrition and disease patterns. Major variations of temperatures, precipitation patterns and humidity have a strong effect on vector-borne diseases which contribute to undernutrition. Competition over increasingly scarce resources occasioned by climate change increases the risk of conflicts and migration patterns. These puts further strain on the already heavy workload of women and caregivers, negatively impacting their ability to provide proper care to infants and young children, heightening the risk of malnutrition. These effects put children at increased risk of both life-threatening acute malnutrition and life-changing chronic malnutrition, causing stunting and affecting cognitive development, especially when successive shocks leave families unable to recover.

The Eastern and Southern African Region has been facing repeated climate related disasters that increase malnutrition including drought, floods, cyclone. In the Horn of Africa, particularly eastern Kenya, southern Somalia, and certain Belg-receiving areas of Ethiopia, have already experienced four consecutive poor rainy seasons, resulting in below-average crop production, poor rangeland conditions, and rising cereal prices across affected areas. This is contributing to worsening food insecurity in a region already struggling with multiple other shocks (e.g., conflict/insecurity, macroeconomic challenges including the socio-economic impacts of COVID-19, and desert locusts). In the three HOA countries alone (Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia) an estimated 35.7 million people are faced high levels of food insecurity (IPC Phase 3+), including 230,000 people in Somalia facing Catastrophic levels of food insecurity (IPC Phase 5). Acute malnutrition is also alarmingly high with over 7.4 million children under five years of age estimated to be wasted in the HOA countries. Southern Africa has also been affected by droughts for most of 2021, and early 2022. OCHA’s report indicated that parts of southern Africa faced worst droughts in four decades, causing humanitarian needs to spike alarmingly. In the Grand Sud of Madagascar in 2021, a devastating combination of drought, pest infestations and sandstorms caused up to 60 per cent of crops losses and left more than 1.14 million people severely food insecure (IPC 3 and above), including 14,000 people facing famine-like conditions (IPC 5). In southern Angola, over 1.3 million people—nearly 50 per cent of the population analyzed in the 17 southmost municipalities—were in in Crisis (IPC 3) or Emergency (IPC 4) in August 2021, according to the Integrated Phase Classification (IPC) analysis. Admissions for severe acute malnutrition were higher than the previous four years.

Acknowledging the impact of climate change on its thematic service areas, including nutrition, beyond the response to climate related, nutrition emergencies, UNICEF ESARO aims to achieve climate-resilient services to children in the upcoming regional office management plan period (2022-2025). Building on the existing initiatives, ESARO prioritizes enhancing its work on climate adaptation to ensure that more children are safeguarded from climate-induced challenges and shocks to achieving good nutrition. This will entail supporting countries in the region to implement climate-risk informed nutrition programming with priority to humanitarian contexts, to enhance the climate-resilience of nutrition services to children. It also includes surge support to countries as well as working on shock-responsiveness of health systems to the impacts of climate. The priority countries include Madagascar, Angola, Mozambique, Somalia, South Sudan, Ethiopia, Kenya. However, the evolving situation may require support to other countries within the ESA as well

Scope of Work

Goal and objective Under the supervision of Regional Advisor Nutrition, the main purpose of this assignment is to coordinate a climate sensitive nutrition response to current nutrition emergencies in the region and provide support to current efforts to strengthen capacities of the UNICEF ESA Regional Office and country offices in climate sensitive nutrition programming, by providing support to various activities focusing on the nexus of nutrition and climate change, and enhance climate resilient and shock-responsive nutrition programming .

The objective of this assignment is to assess drivers of climate change impacts on nutrition and identify potential adaptation options to inform the development of a strategy on climate change mainstreaming in nutrition services, as well as support to shock-responsiveness of nutrition programmes to the impacts of climate induced emergencies. This will be achieved through providing data, information, knowledge and skills to analyse and interpret the relation between nutrition and climate change; support development of models on shock-responsiveness of systems; providing support to the development of training materials and toolkits on nutritional vulnerability as a component of risk assessment and resilience planning; contributing to the drafting of reports through provision of technical input to documents focusing on nutrition challenges in the context of climate change; and providing technical expertise for meetings, briefs and similar deliverables.

Specific objectives include:

  1. Undertake evidence generation/analysis: on how climate change has been impacting on food security and malnutrition outcomes; livelihoods, choice of diets and feeding habits; assess climate risks to food security and maternal and child malnutrition services provided, access to healthcare services, and how this impact would evolve in near and long-term future in the ESA region; document the impact of climate change on women’s workload, and child-caring practices resulting in repeated humanitarian disasters.
  2. In consultation with regional and country teams, develop a climate change – and nutrition program framework and strategy for ESAR, including development of conceptual linkage between the broader nutrition resilience and climate sensitive nutrition programming, and climate risk-informed nutrition indicators.
  3. Frame nutrition as a core element to be included within the strategies, plans and proposals to be funded with climate financing – e.g. Green Climate Fund, funding commitments arising from the COP-27 conference to support low income countries address the impacts of climate change, and identify opportunities for country offices to include nutrition
  4. In consultation with regional and country teams, further refine Surge Approach and other shock-responsiveness approaches that aim at improving the elasticity of systems to absorb climate induced nutrition shocks.
  5. Support country offices to integrate climate sensitive nutrition within their program documents, AWP/RWPs, donor proposals, and PCAs with partners
  6. Contribute to the UNICEF climate and resilience agenda through engaging on multi-sectoral climate change programming with relevant sections (WASH, Health, Social Protection).
  7. Provide surge support to countries in a major climate-related emergency in consultation with Nutrition Manager for wasting/emergency and the ESARO nutrition advisor.

Responsibilities and Tasks

Under the direction of the Nutrition Advisor, and in close coordination with other members and technical specialists of the Nutrition Team and other sections as appropriate, responsible for / support the development, planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of climate change and nutrition programming, the expert will:

  • Support to country Office activities focused on resilience of nutrition services to children in the context of climate change, and environment and natural resource degradation. These might include technical assistance to field level staff for the implementation of specific activities.
  • Develop capacity within ESARO and country offices to analyse and interpret the relation between nutrition and climate change. This will include developing risk assessment methodology, and training materials and toolkits.
  • Provide technical nutrition input to documents focusing on resilience in the context of climate change
  • Support the development of innovative approaches to improve elasticity of health systems for surge response during climate induced nutrition emergency like drought, cyclones and floods.
  • Provide technical review for nutrition components to diverse documents on resilience and climate change mitigation and adaptation.
  • Produce a document framing nutrition as a core element to be included within the strategies, plans and proposals to be funded with climate financing – e.g. Green Climate Fund, funding commitments arising from the COP-27 conference to support low income countries address the impacts of climate change, and identify opportunities for country offices to include nutrition
  • Support the nutrition advisor and team members by providing data, information and knowledge and expertise on nutrition aspects of resilience building especially in the context of climate change, including risk assessment and mitigation against humanitarian disasters resulting from climate change.
  • Support UNICEF regional office in development of tools to identify entry points, policy recommendations and programmatic actions to address climate change as a driver of malnutrition.
  • Provide surge support to countries in nutrition emergencies as needed
  • Perform other duties as required.

 Work relationships:

The consultant will work under supervision of the Regional Nutrition Advisor and works in close collaboration with the Nutrition Manager – NIE/Emergency and Nutrition Specialist emergency as well as Nutrition Specialist – NIS. He will be engaging with ESAR countries in consultation with Regional Nutrition Advisor and the Regional Nutrition team to undertake his tasks and objectives. The consultant is expected to engage closely with climate hub within the reginal team in generating analysis as well as developing proposed strategies for nutrition-climate programming nexus. Through regional nutrition partners forum and other opportunities, the consultant will engage with wider stakeholders


Payment Schedule

  • Payment is based on submission of deliverables, 7 days after the date of  submission of the deliverables stated above, to allow review and approval of the deliverable.
  • The estimated number of working days for each deliverable is indicative; actual time worked for each deliverable may vary.
  • The order of deliverables may vary – for example, if surge support to a climate related emergency is needed at short notice

Please note that the final remuneration will be negotiated by HR.


Potential travel is estimated from Nairobi to up to 7 countries in ESAR depending on agreed mission plans, for which ESARO would cover DSA and travel costs, through a reimbursement of actual costs incurred. Given the climate-change profile of the region, travel is expected to cover the following countries:

  • Ethiopia
  • Somalia
  • Northern Kenya
  • South Sudan
  • Madagascar
  • Mozambique
  • Angola

The candidate consultants should include an estimate of travel costs for a one-week mission to each of these countries in their financial proposal.

NB An emergency surge mission to a country may also be covered by the country.

If the consultant is not based in Nairobi at the time of contracting, international travel from the consultant’s home base to Nairobi and back will be covered (one ticket). This should also be included in their financial proposal.

Desired Competencies. technical background and experience

  1. An advanced degree or higher qualification in Nutrition, Public Health, climate change adaptation, disaster risk reduction, earth and environmental sciences, geography, or a related field. Degree in human nutrition is an asset.
  2. At least eight years of relevant experience in programme and/or policy support in the area of nutrition and climate change or natural resource management or humanitarian response.
  3. A professional work experience in the UN or other international organizations, national governments or the private sector is an asset.
  4. Knowledge and proven analytical skills and experience in experience in public health nutrition and/or emergency nutrition project development, drafting, implementation, monitoring, reporting and verification.
  5. Knowledge and experience in climate change risk analysis, adaptation and mitigation, and climate financing.
  6. Background/familiarity to approaches for development, implementation and management of nutrition program approaches to disaster risk management and reduction, resilience building, and linkage with health, WASH, social protection and food security programming.
  7. Ability to design mapping, landscape analyses, programme reviews etc and apply knowledge from contemporary research in the field of nutrition/DRR/climate change, and translate this into programming strategies for different contexts (humanitarian, urban slum, etc.)
  8. Fluency in English (verbal and written). knowledge of another UN language an asset.
  9. Must exhibit the UNICEF Core Values of:
  1. Care
  2. Respect
  3. Integrity
  4. Trust
  5. Accountability
  6. Sustainability

The following core competencies

  • Demonstrates Self Awareness and Ethical Awareness (1)
  • Works Collaboratively with others (2)
  • Builds and Maintains Partnerships (1)
  • Innovates and Embraces Change (1)
  • Thinks and Acts Strategically (2)
  • Drive to achieve impactful results (1)
  • Manages ambiguity and complexity (1)

In addition

  • Personal drive for results.
  • Ability to work effectively under stress, and in emergency settings
  • Ability to work effectively in a diverse and multi-cultural team to achieve goals.
  • Ability to develop new and nurture existing internal and external networks, partnerships and relationships which deliver results.
  • Ability to communicate clearly, confidently and persuasively, both orally and in writing.
  • Ability to analyze information, solve problems and make decisions in a range of contexts
  • Strategic thinking
  • The highest levels of personal integrity and commitment to adhering to required standards of conduct
  1. Languages needed.
  • Fluent written and spoken English is required and the following other languages are an asset: French and Portuguese.

Administrative Issues

  • The consultant is expected to be Nairobi based with potential travel from Nairobi to up to 7 countries in ESAR depending on agreed mission plans, for which ESARO would cover DSA and travel costs. An emergency surge mission to a country may also be covered by the country.
  • All travel (in case of any) will be by most economical fare and reimbursement will be as per UNICEF policy.
  • The selected candidate is solely responsible to ensure that the visa (applicable) and health insurance required to perform the duties of the contract are valid for the entire period of the contract. Selected candidates are subject to confirmation of fully vaccinated status against SARS-CoV-2 (Covid-19) with a World Health Organization (WHO)-endorsed vaccine, which must be met prior to taking up the assignment. It does not apply to consultants who will work remotely and are not expected to work on or visit UNICEF premises, programme delivery locations or directly interact with communities UNICEF works with, nor to travel to perform functions for UNICEF for the duration of their consultancy contracts.


  • The consultant will be home based in Nairobi but will be able to use available desks in ESARO’s offices in Nairobi on a “hot desk” modality depending on availability of desks (e.g. when staff are on leave or mission travel)
  • The consultant will provide their own laptop. ESARO will not provide any office or communications equipment
  • UNICEF will assist the consultant to acquire the visa, work permit etc in Kenya.
  • As per UNICEF DFAM policy, payment 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 advances purchases, for example for supplies or travel, may be necessary’.
  • Individuals engaged under a consultancy or individual contract will not be considered ‘staff members’ under the Staff Regulations and Rules of the United Nations and UNICEF’s policies and procedures and will be entitled to benefits provided therein (such as leave entitlements and medical insurance coverage). Their conditions of service will be governed by their contract and the General Conditions of Contracts for the Services of Consultants and Individual Contractors. Consultants and individual contractors are responsible for determining their tax liabilities and for the payment of any taxes and/or duties, in accordance with local or other applicable laws.


  • Risks include emergencies and crises that might affect country level access. UNICEF Regional and country office, will make the necessary follow up to minimize any foreseen an unforeseen risk
  • Personal hardship on the part of the contractor may also constrain timely and good quality outputs from the contractor. The contract with the contractor will specify terms in which a termination of contract can be done if the work will be compromised

How to Apply

Interested and qualified candidates should apply online using the button below. As part of their application, candidates should provide:
1. A technical note on the candidate expertise, methodology, resources/tools to be used (2 pages max)

2. A short CV (no more than 4 pages)
3. A financial proposal that should include the daily rate and total fees in USD for the assignment. (Any application without a financial proposal will not be considered)
4. 3 Referees.

UNICEF is committed to diversity and inclusion within its workforce and encourages qualified female and male candidates from all national, religious and ethnic backgrounds, including persons living with disabilities, to apply to become a part of the organization.

Advertised: Dec 13 2022 E. Africa Standard Time
Application close: Jan 15 2023 E. Africa Standard Time

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