Nutrition Consultant

UN Children's Fund, Central Serbia, Serbia
 UN Children's Fund logo
Job Summary

Job Description

UNICEF in Serbia is seeking an experienced Nutrition Consultant to organize and facilitate workshops aimed at investigating current diet realities among first-time mothers and adolescents from a wide variety of settings, as well as their knowledge of and beliefs around food, dietary habits and influencers. An easy-to-use workshop manual will be provided by UNICEF. Duration of the assignment is up to 1 month.

Purpose of Activity/Assignment:

The first 1000 days of life, from conception to a child’s second birthday, is a critical time when good nutritional status can reduce the risk of negative maternal and perinatal birth outcomes and can have lasting effects on the health of the child and well being of the mother. Nutrient needs increase in adolescence to meet the demands of pubertal growth and brain maturation. Adolescent girls remain particularly vulnerable to malnutrition during this stage of the life-cycle due to higher iron needs, early marriages which can lead to early pregnancies, and increased susceptibility to obesity. A growing body of international evidence shows that addressing nutrition problems and adopting healthy dietary habits during early years and adolescence can be important for potential ‘catch up’ growth, improved cognition and reduced risk of non-communicable diseases later in life.

To target important topic for child well-being and development, and closely examine key issues affecting children UNICEF Headquarters Office (HQ) is publishing every year the flagship publication, The State of the World's Children (SOWC) This year’s SOWC is focused on nutrition, and UNICEF in Serbia is starting initiative to collect voices from the field from two age groups of adolescents and mothers through 4 one day workshops.

The workshops aim to investigate the current diet realities among first-time mothers and adolescents from a wide variety of settings, and their knowledge of and beliefs around food, dietary habits, and influencers. More precisely, among adolescents, topics investigated will include adolescents’ knowledge of food and healthy dietary practices, values attributed to foods (including perceptions of “traditional” and “modern” diets), interpretations of food marketing, perceptions around body image, and the role of gender-related factors and peer pressure. Among first-time mothers, the workshops will investigate issues related to early childhood nutrition including breastfeeding, complementary feeding, and commercial foods, including baby foods. They will also explore mothers’ knowledge of their responsibilities, any support they receive, and the main challenges they face when feeding their 8-18-month-old children. The focus groups for mothers will also investigate infant feeding practices and challenges that mothers face in feeding children properly.

Work Assignment Overview

An easy-to-use workshop manual will be developed by UNICEF Headquarters.

  • Number of Workshops: In Serbia 2 separate workshops will be implemented for each of the groups: (1) adolescents and (2) first-time mothers, in two different locations and settings in the country (urban and rural). There will be 4 workshops in total, each lasting 5-6 hours.
  • Size: Workshops are designed for groups of 10-20 participants.
  • Dates: All workshops have to be completed by the end of May 2019.
  • Reporting: Translated data (in English) and worksheets filled by the participants during workshop activities will be delivered to the project team.
  • Consultant will provide: venue, facilitation, translation of the worksheets, data collection, transport, and miscellaneous expenses (e.g. photocopying).

All steps need to be discussed with UNICEF Serbia Office prior to the beginning and during the process.

Task 1: Identify and invite the participants for 4 workshops (up to 40 adolescents, and up to 40 first time/young mothers); organise venue and provide the materials.

  • Note: Workshop methodology is designed for a maximum of 20 participants per group.
  • Deliverables: Translated worksheets that will be filled in by the participants.
  • Timeframe: 10-20 May 2019

Task 2: Organize and deliver 4 workshops (with up to 80 participants in total) in 2 different settings, take notes, collect and record data.

  • Deliverables: List of participants; photos or videos from the workshops – produced in coordination with UNICEF Serbia office; translated worksheets from the workshops into English; collected written authorizations for the participants of the workshops for adolescents.
  • Timeframe: 20-25 May 2019

Task 3: Data analysis and reporting.

  • Deliverables: All worksheets are available in electronic format. Two reports are produced (for Mothers and for Adolescents), including several quotations.
  • Timeframe: 25-30 May 2019

Minimum Qualifications Required:

Advanced university degree in Public Health, Nutrition or a related technical field

Knowledge/Expertise/Skills required:

  • At least 5 years of experience in nutrition and/or other related areas.
  • Excellent knowledge of the nutrition habits of Serbian citizens and their dietary patterns.
  • Knowledge of nutrition recommendations for mothers, young children and adolescents.
  • Ability to organise and lead workshops/focus group discussions.
  • Familiarity with data collection and analysis methodologies.
  • Strong communication skills (written and spoken).
  • Sound judgement and high degree of accuracy.
  • Ability to meet tight deadlines through excellent time management, organization and multi-tasking skills.
  • Fluency in both English and Serbian.