Consultancy Jobs – Mapping Food Fortification Regulatory Process and Systems – USAID Advancing Nutrition (USAID AN)

Consultancy Title:   Mapping Food Fortification Regulatory Process and Systems to Monitor Quality and Food Safety across the Food Value Chain    

Organisation: USAID Advancing Nutrition (USAID AN)

Duty Station:  Kampala, Uganda

Provider(s): Individual Consultant (TBD)

Period of Performance:  May 23, 2022 – June 20, 2022 (25 LOE days)

Activity Internal Project #:    37462.1912.0002

Download Detailed TOR, Click Here

 

About US:

USAID Advancing Nutrition (USAID AN) is USAID’s flagship multi-sectoral nutrition project implemented by John Snow Research and Training Institute Inc. The project aims to support the Government of Uganda (GOU) to reduce micronutrient deficiencies by improving the quality of diet through strengthening compliance to food fortification standards, enforcement and monitoring.

 

USAID Advancing Nutrition works with the Nutrition division, Ministry of Health (MOH)  as the coordinating body and the Secretariat of the National Working Group on Food Fortification (NWGFF), the public sector (ministries, departments and agencies, regulatory bodies), the private sector (private sector institutions, food processing industries, associations), civil society organizations, partners, and academia and research institutions, to implement and support actions to strengthen food fortification for public health impact. Specifically, the USAID Advancing Nutrition project focuses on the following objectives: 1) increase the capacity of the public sector to enforce food fortification standards and regulations; 2) strengthen the capacity of the private sector to comply with food fortification regulations and standards and increase coverage; 3) strengthen partnerships and stakeholder coordination in food fortification; and 4) raise awareness on the benefits of fortified foods.

 

Background

Food fortification is the addition of essential vitamins and minerals (micronutrients) to foods during the manufacturing process to enhance the nutritional content of the end product for consumers. When fortified staple foods and condiments are appropriately produced, widely available, and regularly consumed by the population, a public health benefit is expected.

 

Food fortification in Uganda has been a priority since the early 1990s. In 1997, the Ministry of Health (MOH) issued The Food and Drugs (Control of Quality) (Iodized Salt) Regulations, 1997, mandating universal salt fortification in Uganda. The fortification program was expanded to additional food vehicles with the Food and Drugs (Food Fortification) Regulations, 2005, which called for industries producing wheat flour, maize flour, and edible oil and fat to voluntarily fortify their products. To promote increased production of fortified foods the MOH issued the Food and Drugs (Food Fortification) (Amendment) Regulations, 2011, which made fortification mandatory for multiple food vehicles, including edible oils & fats, maize and wheat flour. The regulation requires mandatory fortification with a specified premix formulation of all industrial mills producing a certain capacity of a food vehicle (twenty metric tonnes of maize meal and flour, ten metric tonnes of edible oils and fats, and all white and brown wheat flours), in twenty-four continuous hours in a single or multiple mill owned by the same producer or which is imported into Uganda (MOH 2011).

 

Progress has been made to date. The  Fortification Assessment Coverage Toolkit (FACT) survey findings showed that vitamin A in edible oil and fats, and iodized salt have shown positive traction. For example, in rural settings, the percentage of food samples that were adequately fortified was 61.7% for edible oil, 70.6% for salt according to WHO standards, and 71.4% for wheat flour. In urban settings, this percentage was: 50.0% for wheat flour, 55.0% for oil, and 63.8% for salt according to WHO standards (GAIN, 2015).  This has not been the case with cereal flours, especially maize meals. Findings from the state of maize flour in Uganda showed that despite the mandatory regulation and standards, of the 33 maize millers in Uganda with the capacity to fortify, 23 millers did not fortify (SPRING 2018).  Recent reports from the Pull Strategy 2 survey commercial monitoring of fortified food analysis conducted in 2019, show improvement in compliance with edible oils at 97%, and wheat flour at 94%, and maize flour still showing low compliance at 7% (FFI, GAIN, IFSBH 2019).

 

Despite notable progress in Uganda’s food fortification program, under-performance persists throughout many aspects of implementation, most notably around the critical element of regulatory monitoring. The World Health Organization guidelines on tracking fortification progress describe a key function of regulatory monitoring to include clear mapping and delineation of stakeholder roles and responsibilities to facilitate an efficient coordination, monitoring and feedback mechanism (WHO/FAO 2006).

 

USAID Advancing Nutrition will undertake a mapping of the existing process and systems to monitor fortification quality and food safety in collaboration with MOH, UNBS, NDA, and other relevant actors. The mapping activity will include a document review; interviews with key informants from the public and private sector, partners and other key stakeholders, and consultative meetings, among other possible approaches. The results of the mapping will inform the NWGFF of existing processes and systems for monitoring fortification quality and food safety at different levels while identifying gaps and/or areas of redundant data collection for improvement. USAID Advancing Nutrition therefore seeks a Uganda-based consultant to undertake this exercise.

 

Objectives of the exercise

  • To document existing regulatory processes and systems to monitor food fortification quality and safety at different levels of program implementation across the food value chain
  • To define and document information flow specific to regulatory monitoring for the food fortification program, as well as identifying gaps and areas of redundant data collection
  • Identify and document innovative and/or streamlined approaches and opportunities for collaboration, information sharing and data utilization to inform decision-making and track compliance with set standards and regulation so that timely corrective action can be taken.

 

Activities

The contractor will undertake the following activities:

  • Develop and present an inception report detailing the execution plan, schedules, relevant reports/documents for literature review and tools for the consultancy scope of work with the MOH NWGFF secretariat, USAID Advancing Nutrition team, and the NWGFF for consensus
  • Identify key stakeholders in the public and the private sectors, including academia, involved in the food fortification program in Uganda following the food value chain cascade
  • Conduct the mapping exercise using developed and approved tools across regions in Uganda. The exercise should involve all key institutions, and program areas across the food value chains. Literature review, KIIs, and meetings as required, should be used.
  • Write and present a comprehensive draft and final reports for the exercise (details under deliverables)
  • Act as the lead facilitator during the review and validation meetings of the inception, and draft reports with key stakeholders including the NWGFF, Nutrition Technical Working Group, MOH and USAID Advancing Nutrition before finalization of the reports
  • Write an abridged report summarizing the exercise.
  • Present and submit final reports (comprehensive, abridged versions), interview tools and other documents relevant to the SOW (e-versions and hardcopies).

 

Deliverables and Schedule, Download TOR

 

Consultant Qualifications

  • Level of education: Master’s degree in or food science; nutrition, public health, or equivalent degree with advanced Industrial food fortification experience.
  • Years of experience: At least 5 years’ advanced understanding and experience in design, implementation, evaluation within the regulatory monitoring processes and systems for food fortification program in Uganda.
  • Geographic expertise: Uganda

 

Travel: Ability to travel across the regions in Uganda, depending on need.

 

Experience:

  • Extensive knowledge and experience working with the Uganda public and private sector, and non-government systems and stakeholders on Industrial food fortification programs
  • Experience navigating the regulatory monitoring process across stakeholders/institutions and the food value chain, and experience with the Uganda policy regulation frameworks, strategies and standards for food fortification
  • Familiarity with the history and current food fortification efforts in Uganda and the global, regional and East African food fortification agenda, and regulatory monitoring processes and systems, including data flow and reporting
  • Knowledge and experience of food fortification programming and its relevant national and sub-national coordination entities including the national working group on food fortification, regulatory agencies like Uganda National Bureau of Standards, National Drug Authority, MOH, URA, the public and private sector, academia and research institution, and In-country partners and other key stakeholders
  • Experience conducting KIIs, and facilitating meetings
  • Experience designing and or evaluating food fortification programs/projects, especially those funded by USAID, and other donors is preferred.
  • Experience developing assessment tools preferred with advanced experience in qualitative and quantitative data collection, analysis and reporting.

 

Skills:

  • Excellent interpersonal skills
  • Excellent writing skills
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Excellent programming skills

 

Contact and Submission

The interested candidates should submit:

  • A technical proposal explaining comprehension of the Request for Proposal, Implementation approach to the assignment, the methodologies, tools to be used including schedule for the assignment
  • A financial proposal outlining expected fees and other related costs for travel and all necessary activities
  • Samples of similar or previous assignments.

 

How to Apply:

All interested applicants should submit the above documents to hr_uganda@advancingnutrition.org. Please include the consultancy title in the subject line of the e-mail.

 

Deadline: 20th May 2022

 

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