USAID Advancing Nutrition (USAID AN) Consultancy – Conduct a review of current and former food fortification promotion messages, interventions, materials and tools; and review the industry marketing strategies, interventions, materials and tools for industrial fortified foods

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Consultancy Type: Individual Consultant (TBD)

Organisation: USAID Advancing Nutrition (USAID AN)

Activity Name:  To conduct a review of current and former food fortification promotion messages, interventions, materials and tools; and review the industry marketing strategies, interventions, materials and tools for industrial fortified foods.

Duty Station:  Uganda

Date of Request:  June 16, 2022

Place of Performance: Uganda

Provider(s): Individual Consultant (TBD)

Period of Performance: June 27, 2022 to August 6, 2022

 

USAID ADVANCING NUTRITION CONSULTANT AGREEMENT

 

  1. 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, 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 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. Anemia is at 32% among women of reproductive age (15-49 years), and 33% for adolescent girls (15-19 years). 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, and 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.

 

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, 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. The low demand and consumption of fortified foods, particularly maize flour is attributable to a number of factors including; knowledge gaps on the health benefits of fortified foods among the population.

 

As the country continues to invest in efforts to scale up and strengthen the food fortification program through the public and private sector, it is critical to invest in efforts to increase demand for fortified foods targeting targeting policy makers, processors, and consumers, through raising awareness of the benefits of fortified foods leveraging advocacy and social behavior change communication interventions. To achieve this, the Ministry of Health with support from USAID Advancing Nutrition intends to hire a consultant.

 

Objectives of the Consultancy

  1. Conduct a review of current and former promotion messages, interventions, materials and tools for fortified foods
  2. Review industry marketing strategies, interventions, materials and tools of fortified foods
  3. Identify existing knowledge, attitudes and practices of the various audiences along the food fortification chain.

 

Under the two objectives the consultant will include the following scope for the exercise:

  1. Review of current and former promotion messages, interventions, materials and tools  for food fortification from projects including public and private sector, partners such as SPRING, etc. messaging to understand: 1) what messages are in the public domain and who are the target audiences; 2) if messaging is accurate; 3) is it reaching the target audiences; and 4) whether the messages influence positive behavior change. Messaging in support of fortified foods is likely targeted to one of the following audiences: consumers, food processors, or policymakers; 4 What interventions, materials and tools have been used promoting food fortification.

 

  1. Review industry marketing strategies, interventions, materials and tools  of fortified foods

 

Uganda’s food fortification efforts must include claims and advertising to promote healthy foods and good dietary habits. Fortified foods should be positioned as a complement to the diet to avoid the risk of misleading statements and statements that may result in an incremental increase in the consumption of the fortified staple food vehicles. During the scoping exercise, USAID Advancing Nutrition documented that consumers are driven by brand loyalty, not by a uniform logo indicating that a food is fortified to standard (e.g., Big Blue F). With those findings in mind, this activity will convene key informant interviews, focus group discussions and stakeholder consultative meetings to explore: 1) the current marketing strategies and interventions, materials and tools are for food fortification; and 2) who is still using the Big Blue F and any plans to revive or adapt this logo.

 

Activities

  1. Develop a formative assessment protocol for two objectives, including a logistics plan.
  2. Gather current and former promotion messages
  3. Conduct a review of current and former promotion messages, interventions, materials and tool
    1. Create analysis matrix
    2. Complete interpretation of findings
  4. Gather and appraise examples of industry marketing strategies and interventions, materials and tools for fortified foods
  5. Synthesize findings from review of industry marketing of fortified foods
  6. Work with other partners including USAID SBCA to conceptualize and organize a co-creation session with key stakeholders to appreciate the food fortification landscape and appreciate how best SBC approaches can be implemented.
  7. Conduct a design workshop with key stakeholders to get their input in the most effective strategies and get their input into the SBC approaches and marketing strategies
  8. Suggest recommendations of the most effective strategies and initiatives of how the activity might adapt these in the scaling of the food fortification interventions under this project.
  9. Provide technical and logistical support to design and lead key informant interviews and focus group discussions with each audience/key stakeholders to  assess the content and efficacy of previous and current messaging and collect feedback on barriers to and motivators of fortified food purchase and consumption.
  10. Develop interview guide for industry marketers, exploring brand loyalty and other factors that might influence fortification behaviors
  11. Write a report with recommendations, based on findings from the objectives.

 

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:

  • Consultant should be knowledgeable of the task assigned to them and extensive and proven experience on food fortification work in social marketing, public health and social behavioral communication will be an added advantage.
  • Master degree in global health and nutrition, social sciences or a related discipline
  • Significant experience in social and behavioral change is required.
  • Experience with qualitative research including protocol development, data collection tool development, data analysis and interpretation.
  • Social or commercial marketing experience is highly desirable
  • Excellent analytical and writing skills.
  • A track record in being responsive and adaptable to sensitive deadlines

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.

 

All interested applicants should submit the above documents to hr_uganda@advancingnutrition.org by June 24, 2022. Please include the consultancy title in the subject line of the e-mail.

 

Deadline: 24th June 2022

 

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