Helen Keller Intl Consultancy Announcement – Markets Nutrition Literature review

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Helen Keller International


Nature of Services: Consultant, Review of the literature on market and nutrition in zone of interest of USAID-funded Yalwa project, Niger

Summary: The Market and nutrition review of literature Consultant will conduct a review of the published and grey literature and catalogue what is known about local market, current supply of nutrient-rich foods (products available, unit quantities, price), dietary intake/quality/nutrient gaps among pregnant and lactating women and children 6-23 months. While there should be special attention given to the Feed the Future-supported value chains of cowpeas, poultry and small ruminants, it should include other economically viable nutritious food products found in the markets as well.

Duration: 20-days.

Background: The consultancy will be one of three formative research studies to be performed under the U.S. Agency for International Development-funded Markets and Nutrition Activity, Yalwa (“fulfillment” or “blossoming” in Hausa), which targets zones of interest (ZOI) in the regions of Maradi, Tillabéri, and Zinder. Yalwa is designed to support the objectives of the Regional Resilience in the Sahel Enhanced (RISE) II initiative and to expand and improve market linkages for nutrient-rich foods; build individual and institutional capacities to produce, promote and sell these products; encourage vulnerable populations to buy and consume these foods; and engage processors and traders to profitably meet increased demand. Yalwa will train and mentor a cadre of service providers who can provide market actors with high-quality services to support the growth of nutrient-dense products in the markets of the ZOI. While three value chains will be prioritized – livestock, poultry and cowpea – the production, processing, promotion, supply and demand of other promising nutrient-rich products will also be supported. New market linkages and better services will be developed to increase the organizational, financial, and risk-management capacity of farmer organizations, livestock market management committees, and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) – agro-dealers, traders, processors – and generate increased sales and incomes. Special strategies will be pursued to expand the participation of women and young entrepreneurs in these markets.

The three studies are planned sequentially to identify the most appropriate foods and food products to promote among both market actors and consumers and to provide a better understanding of how local markets shape nutritious food options in Yalwa’s ZOI in order to inform the design of interventions to expand availability, access, affordability, convenience, desirability and consumption of nutrient-rich foods . Thus the three studies will be guided by a conceptual framework proposed by Turner et. al. (Figure 1 below)

The first phase of the formative research is the subject of this request for services: a review of the existing literature on the current food environment and household purchasing and consumption patterns, and of relevant interventions implemented to date. This review will be performed remotely, in the consultant’s home country office. The final report will inform the next phases: a survey of markets and products/prices in the ZOI; and a study of consumer practices, preferences and the most important influences on food purchases. All three studies will aim to better define the gap between the nutritional needs of households and current market options.

Figure 1: Conceptual Framework from Turner, et. al. (2018)

The review of the literature should cover both grey and published literature. This will include reports produced under REGIS-ER, previous and three recently awarded Development Food Security Activities (DFSAs) as well as other donor-funded activities. A preliminary collection of reports has been compiled by the Yalwa project team and will be shared with the consultant as a starting point for the research, but the consultant will be expected to seek relevant references contained in these documents and conduct additional internet searches to ensure an exhaustive inclusion of the literature in both French and English. The review of literature will focus on the following objectives:

1. Compile what is known about local food production and imports into the ZOI (products available, unit quantities, price per unit) as well as dietary intake/quality/nutrient gaps among pregnant and lactating women and children 6-23 months.
2. Summarize what is known about what, when, where, why, how, and by whom food is produced or purchased as well as the gender, socio economic and cultural factors that shape decisions around diets and food purchases in the ZOI.
3. Identify high-impact nutritious foods currently missing in the diets but potentially available and accessible that Yalwa could promote to improve nutritional status for targeted beneficiaries.
4. Identify promising intervention models for supporting production, processing, marketing and consumption if nutrient-rich foods.

1. Complete bibliography of the literature reviewed. A list compiled to date to be submitted by end of day 5.
2. Draft of the literature review report to be submitted by the end of day 15.
3. PowerPoint summary of key findings to be submitted by the end of day 17.
4. Participation in remote workshop (via Zoom or other online platform) to share key findings with Yalwa reviewers and discuss feedback and recommendations on additions/revisions on day 18.
5. Final report of the literature review including the bibliography of all the documentation reviewed and the validation workshop recommendations by the end of day 20.

  1.  Experience with public health nutrition and/or market systems in developing countries, particularly in West Africa.
  2. Experience realizing literature review in a relevant area (nutrition, market systems or similar sector).
  3. Ability to work rapidly and in an organized fashion.
  4. Ability to work well with other professionals of varied cultural and professional backgrounds.
  5. Ability to compose clear, compelling written documents in English.
  6. Academic qualifications, such as master’s in public health or master’s in business administration.
  7. Ability to read and easily understand written French and English.
  1. Specific technical knowledge of analysis and field experience in international nutrition and/or market development in low income countries.
  2. Speaking fluency in French and English
Specific Requests for Information:
    Please describe the nature of your experience as a public health or market system professional and why your experience is well suited to the nature of the work described above. In particular, please be sure to address the qualifications and experience listed above and comparable project work. In addition, please provide your CV, a relevant writing sample, and three references who may be contacted by Helen Keller Intl. These references should be existing clients with service requirements similar to Helen Keller Please submit your proposal to consultants.recruitment@hki.org noting the title “Literature Review-Yalwa Project” in the subject line.
Please submit your proposal to consultants.recruitment@hki.org noting the title “Literature Review-Yalwa Project” in the subject line.