Job ID 25696
Consultancy Title: Develop a position paper to advocate for procurement and consumption of fortified foods among public and private institutions in Uganda. The advocacy paper will target policy makers, learning institutions, hospitals, humanitarian stakeholders, prison services, police, and other security agencies. Organisation: USAID Advancing Nutrition (USAID AN)
Duty Station: Kampala, Uganda
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Date of Request: June 1, 2022
Provider(s): Individual Consultant
Period of Performance: June 13, 2022 – July 15, 2022 (25 LOE days)
Activity Name: Develop a position paper to advocate for procurement and consumption of fortified foods among public and private institutions in Uganda. The advocacy paper will target policy makers, learning institutions, hospitals, humanitarian stakeholders, prison services, police, and other security agencies.
USAID Advancing Nutrition (USAID AN) is USAID’s flagship multi-sectoral nutrition project implemented by John Snow Research and Training Institute Inc. The two-year (June 2021-June 2023) 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.
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. A study conducted in 2013 showed that 38 percent of school children were anemic. Anemia is an indicator of poor health and poor nutrition.
The Government of Uganda adopted food fortification as one of the proven cost-effective interventions to address the burden of micronutrient deficiencies. 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 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. Studies indicate that every $1 invested in food fortification generates $27 in economic return from averted disease, improved earnings, and enhanced work productivity .
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 iodization 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 increase production and distribution of fortified foods in the country, 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 (MOH 2011). 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.
Uganda has made considerable progress in the implementation of the food fortification program through support from the public and private sectors, USAID, Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) and other stakeholders. Findings from the Fortification Assessment Coverage Tool (FACT) survey commissioned in 2015 by GAIN and MoH reported household coverage of fortified foods, with 93% of households consuming iodized salt of the 99.5% who consume salt, 54% consuming fortified oils of 90% who consume oil, 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 despite the fact that maize flour is widely consumed across populations in Uganda including schools and other public and private institutions.
There have been some attempts to advocate for consumption of fortified foods through campaigns including the “Nutrition Now Campaign” implemented under the Office of the Prime Minister. However, the scope of such campaigns was not targeted to consumers in public and private and institutions. In 2009, the Ministry of Education and Sport (MoES) developed National Guidelines on School Feeding which were revised in 2021 to ensure learners feed on high quality diets. The guidelines encourage learning institutions to feed learners on diversified nutritious meals and use fortified foods in the preparation of the meals to boost the students’ nutrient intake. Unfortunately, a limited number of learning institutions have knowledge of and follow the guidelines. In addition, other public and private institutions like hospitals, prisons, police, and the army, and those procuring foods for the refugees procure unfortified foods, which calls for intervention.
As the country continues to invest in efforts to institutionalize and strengthen the food fortification program within public and private sectors, the Ministry of Health in collaboration with the Ministry of Education and Sports and the Office of the Prime Minister with support from USAID Advancing Nutrition plan to hire a consultant to lead the development of a position paper to advocate for the procurement and consumption of fortified foods among public and private institutions in Uganda. The paper will be used as an advocacy tool to build a case among policy makers, and decision makers among public and private institutions such as schools, hospitals, humanitarian stakeholders, prison services, police, and other security agencies for the procurement and consumption of fortified foods. The initiative is intended to increase the demand for adequately fortified foods and incentivize food processors to become and remain compliant with the current national food fortification standards and regulations.
- Develop a position papers to advocate for procurement and consumption of adequately fortified foods among public and private institutions. The advocacy paper will target policy makers, learning institutions like schools, hospitals, humanitarian stakeholders, prison services, police, and other security agencies.
- The advocacy paper will equip program managers with strategic information to effectively communicate to policy makers/decision makers, the unique value proposition on consumption of fortified foods in order address any concerns/reservations they may have in procurement and consumption of fortified foods.
The consultant will undertake the following activities:
- Develop and present an inception report detailing the execution plan, schedules, relevant resources including reports, policy briefs, case studies, as well as the tools to be used well aligned to the scope of work for review and feedback by MOH-Nutrition Division, MOES, OPM, PPDA, PSFU, the NWGFF USAID Advancing Nutrition, and other stakeholders.
- As part of his/her methodology, the consultant should clearly state among others the; a) advocacy challenge and the available opportunity(s) to bridge the gap, b) define the key target audience to cause the desired change c) elaborate on what is currently known or perceived about fortified foods among the target audiences, d) describe how each audience receives information d) establish measurable objectives for each target audience, e) suggest message points for each target audience, f) describe key process activities and suggest platforms to deliver the proposed messages, g) indicate the nature of materials and resources required to accomplish the task.
- Identify and interview key institutions in the public and private sectors, partners, civil society and other key stakeholders to ascertain key drivers/barriers for procurement and consumption of maize flour, wheat flour, salt, edible oils and fats in Uganda.
- Review existing procurement guidelines/systems of the key public and private institutions to identify opportunities for integrating fortification as a pre-qualification criterion in the procurement requirements of the maize flour, wheat flour, salt, edible oils and fats.
- Using relevant primary and secondary data, develop a position paper advocating for procurement and consumption of fortified foods among public and private institutions. The advocacy paper will target policy makers from MOES, Internal affairs, OPM, MOH, Defense, Cabinet/parliament, learning institutions, hospitals, humanitarian stakeholders, prison services, police, and other security agencies.
- Facilitate review/validation meetings on the draft position paper with MoH-Nutrition Division, MOES, OPM, the NWGFF, USAID Advancing Nutrition technical team and other public institutions or stakeholders targeted.
- Consolidate feedback from the review/validation meetings to develop and submit final advocacy papers for the targeted audiences.
Deliverables and Schedule, Download TOR
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 in designing and implementation of nutrition advocacy materials and activities in Uganda will be required.
Travel: Ability to travel across the regions of Uganda, depending on need.
Geographic expertise: Uganda
- Extensive knowledge and experience designing, implementing of Nutrition advocacy activities with one or more of the key public institutions highlighted
- Knowledge and understanding of the industrial food fortification program and its landscape in Uganda is required.
- Experience conducting key informant, FGDs interviews and facilitating meetings
- Experience working with USAID funded projects and or other development partners is preferred.
- Experience developing advocacy tools preferred with advanced experience in writing
- Excellent interpersonal skills
- Excellent writing skills
- Excellent communication skills
- Excellent programming skills
Travel: Ability to travel across the regions central Uganda, depending on need.
How to Apply:
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.
- Availability period.
- 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 [email protected] by June 10, 2022. Please include the consultancy title in the subject line of the e-mail.
Deadline: 10th June 2022