USAID Project Consultancy Jobs – Landscape Analysis for Large Scale Food Fortification – USAID Advancing Nutrition (USAID AN)

Consultancy Title: A landscape analysis for large scale food fortification in Uganda, and a Regulatory Impact Assessment (RIA) of the Food and Drugs Food Fortification Regulations, 2005, as amended.

Organisation: USAID Advancing Nutrition (USAID AN)

Duty Station:   Uganda

Provider(s): Individual Consultant (TBD)

Period of Performance:    May 20, 2022 – June 30, 2022 (30 LOE days)

Activity Internal Project #:            37462.1912.0002

 

Introduction

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 of the 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, USAID Advancing Nutrition 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 defined as the practice of deliberately increasing the micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) during processing of food so as to improve the nutritional quality of the food supply and to provide a public health benefit with minimal risk to health. Food fortification achieved through industrial processing is a high impact intervention in scaling up nutrition efforts on reduction of chronic malnutrition including stunting and micronutrient deficiencies like Iron Deficiency Anemia, Vitamin A, Zinc, Iodine, and Folic deficiencies that result in impaired cognitive, growth and development, birth defects, morbidity and mortality .

 

The Uganda Demographic Health Survey (UDHS) 2016, registered stunting at 29%, Anemia at 53%, and Vitamin A deficiency at 9% among children 6-59 months. The uptake of interventions that contribute to reduction of stunting and micronutrient deficiencies like Vitamin A supplementation is at 62% for children 6-59 months, and for children 6-23 months, the minimum acceptable diet (MAD) is at 15% and only 40% consumed iron rich foods. Anemia is at 32% among women of reproductive age (15-49 years), and 33% for adolescent girls (15-19 years) and only 22% of women of reproductive age (15-49 years) who gave birth 12 months preceding the survey took 90+ Iron-folic supplements during pregnancy. The UDHS 2016, also indicates relatively high levels of anemia in men with 16% of men (15-49 years) and 26% of adolescent boys (15-19 years) anemic. Only 34% of school children consume school meals in schools . This situation points to the need for improvements in micronutrient intake across key demographic groups. Given the role that large-scale food fortification can have in reducing micronutrient deficiencies, coupled with the favorable public and private sector environment, this intervention should form a key part of Uganda’s national strategy to reduce micronutrient deficiencies.

 

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 and distribution of fortified foods, the MOH issued the Food and Drugs Food Fortification Mandatory Regulations, 2011, which made fortification mandatory for multiple food vehicles, including edible oils & fats, maize and wheat flour. The regulation requires food processors in specified categories  to add vitamin and mineral premixes of verified quality to their products as per the national standards. (MOH 2011) .

Uganda has made considerable progress in the enforcement and compliance of the food fortification regulation through support from the public and private sector, USAID, GAIN, FFI and other stakeholders. However, compliance and uptake of the fortified products is still low. Findings from the Fortification Assessment Coverage Tool (FACT) study conducted in 2015 with support from Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) reported household coverage of fortified foods, with 93% of households consuming fortified salt of the 99.5% who consume salt, 54% consuming fortified oils of 90% who consume oil, only 9% consuming fortified wheat flour of the 11% consuming wheat flour, and only 7% consuming fortified maize flour of the 92% that consume maize flour. Overall, the consumption of fortified maize flour is still low across the country partly due to the fact that most of the producers are small and medium scale, while wheat flour consumption is largely achieved in urban and peri-urban areas.

As the country continues to invest in efforts to institutionalize and strengthen the food fortification program through the public and private sector, the Ministry of Health with support from USAID Advancing Nutrition intends to hire a consultant to conduct a landscape analysis for large scale food fortification in Uganda with a secondary deep dive into the Food and Drugs Food Fortification Regulations, 2005, as amended.

 

Purpose of the Activity

The purpose of the Landscape Analysis is to understand the current large scale food fortification environment inclusive of all key institutions and programming areas including: policy regulation and standards; program management; production; marketing and distribution; regulatory monitoring; advocacy and awareness creation; monitoring and evaluation, and research, including enforcement by the public sector and compliance by the private sector to the food fortification regulation and standards across the entire food value chain. This will also take into consideration the ‘before, during and after the COVID 19 pandemic. The analysis should also document key achievements, barriers/challenges, opportunities and lessons, and strategic actions to inform future planning for the food fortification program across the different program areas across the entire food value chain.

A secondary deep dive into the Food and Drugs Food Fortification Regulations, 2005, as amended will also be conducted, referred to as the Regulatory Impact Assessment (RIA). RIA is a tool intended to assess the various options to address particular policy issues, and it includes an analysis of the likely costs and benefits associated with the introduction or review of a new policy or regulation. In this context, a deep dive into Uganda’s food fortification regulations will focus on key parameters including: 1) assess whether the regulations have been effectively implemented, and has enabled enforcement by the public sector, and compliance by the private sector; 2) assess whether or not there is need to review the regulation through the following options: Do Nothing- maintain Status quo; awareness creation and sensitization; strengthen coordination and institutional capacities; innovation of new actions or interventions; mainstream into existing policies/ laws and regulations; enforce existing policies, laws or regulations; review and amend existing policies, laws or regulations; and introduce a new policy/regulation. 3) assess the advantages or benefits and disadvantages or costs of each option selected, and clear recommendations and actions.

 

Objectives of the Activity

  • Conduct a landscape analysis of the fortification environment in Uganda, inclusive of all key programming areas (as outlined already above) and across the entire food value chain (a visual should be provided).
  • Support a Regulatory Impact Assessment for the Food and Drugs Food Fortification Regulations, to assess whether they have been effectively implemented, and has enabled enforcement by the public sector and compliance by the private sector, whether or not there is need for review of the regulations, and the benefit and cost implications.

 

Activities

The consultant 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
  • Conduct a Regulatory Impact Assessment for the Food and Drugs Food Fortification Regulations, 2005, as amended using a tool developed in conjunction with MOH Policy Unit and Nutrition division. Literature review, KIIs and FGDs; and travels to the field across Uganda will be required.
  • Conduct a landscape analysis of the fortification environment in Uganda, inclusive of all key programming areas (as outlined already above) and across the entire food value chain (a visual should be provided). This will also take into consideration the ‘before, during and after the COVID 19 pandemic. Literature review, KIIs and FGDs; and travels across Uganda will be required.
  • Identify key institutions in the public and private sector, partners, academia and other key stakeholders involved in the food fortification program in Uganda for the interviews across the entire food value chain.
  • Write a comprehensive and abridged report for Regulatory Impact Assessment
  • Write a comprehensive and abridged report for the Landscape analysis
  • 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
  • Present and submit final reports (comprehensive, abridged versions), interview tools and other documents relevant to the SOW (e-versions and hardcopies).

 

Deliverables and Schedule

The consultant will be expected to submit the following deliverables as per the consultancy timeline.

  1. Deliverable Name

Inception Report

 

Deliverable Description

Develop inception report detailing (execution plan, schedule, relevant reports/documents for literature review and tools for data collection) for the Regulatory Impact Assessment and Landscape Analysis report

Due Date: May 25, 2022

LOE Days: 4

 

Deliverable Description

Present the inception report for input and consensus from key stakeholders

Due Date: May 30, 2022

LOE Days: 4

 

  1. Deliverable Name

Draft Regulatory Impact Assessment Report

 

Deliverable Description

Draft report will include:

  • the status of implementation of the regulation
  • whether the regulation enabled enforcement by the public sector, and compliance by the private sector
  • whether or not there is need to review the regulation through the options highlighted above, and the advantages or benefits and disadvantages or costs of each option selected
  • clear recommendations and actions
  • a visual should be provided

 

Due Date: June 16, 2022

LOE Days: 5

 

  1. Deliverable Name

Draft comprehensive Landscape Analysis report

 

Deliverable Description

Draft reports from the literature review, and KI and FGD virtual and in-person interviews across all program areas and institutions across the entire   food value chain. The analysis will take into consideration the ‘before, during and after the COVID-19 pandemic’.

 

The report should also highlight key achievements, barriers/challenges, opportunities and lessons, and strategic actions to inform future planning for the different program areas across the entire food value chain.

 

Due Date: June 16, 2021

LOE Days: 9

 

 

4.Deliverable Name

Final Regulatory Impact Assessment

Final Landscape Analysis report

 

  1. Deliverable Description

Final reports in response to the feedback from presentation to MOH, USAID Advancing Nutrition, the NWGFF and key stakeholders through review and validation meetings as and when needed

Due Date: June 24, 2022

LOE Days: 4

 

  1. Deliverable Name

Abridged report for the for the Landscape Analysis report summarizing the exercise and strategic actions and recommendations

 

Summary report highlighting (achievements, barriers/challenges, opportunities and lessons and key recommendations), and strategic actions for different institutions and program areas along the food value chain

Due Date: June 31, 2022

LOE Days: 5

 

Deliverable Name

An abridged Regulatory Impact Assessment (RIA) Report

 

Deliverable Description

RIA report summarized for submission to the Ministry of Health with clear recommendations on the next steps.

 

6 .  Deliverable Name

Submit all tools, and documentation for the consultant

 

Deliverable Description

All tools used for the interviews, documentations including reports and materials collection (e-versions or hard copies)

Total LOE (Days)    30

 




Qualifications, Skills and Experience:

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 experience designing and/or implementing, and evaluating industrial food fortification programs/projects in Uganda.
  • Geographic expertise: Uganda
  • Travel: Ability to travel across the regions of l 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 Ugandan national-level policy regulation frameworks and standards for food fortification and the different program areas along the food value chain
  • Familiarity with the history and current food fortification efforts in Uganda and the global, regional and East African food fortification agenda.
  • 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, the public and private sector, academia and research institution, and In-country partners and other key stakeholders
  • Experience conducting KIIs, FGDs 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: 13th May 2022

 

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