Nutrition Causal Analysis (NCA) Consultant

Closing date

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Nutrition Causal Analysis (NCA) Consultant

Zimbabwe, Bulawayo and districts in Matabeleland North province

68-day contract scheduled for April 2021 to August 2021. (Specific dates and deliverables to be confirmed)

International Medical Corps is a consortium member implementing the USAID-Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance (BHA) funded Resilient Food Security Activity (RFSA), Amalima Loko in Matabeleland North province of Zimbabwe. The USD75 million Amalima Loko project seeks to elevate the livelihoods of more than 67,000 vulnerable households across five districts of Zimbabwe’s Matabeleland North: Binga, Hwange, Lupane, Nkayi, and Tsholotsho.

The project looks at improving human health and livelihoods, with the health and nutrition component (Purpose 3) looking at improving the adoption of care, nutrition, health, and WASH practices for women of reproductive age (WRA) and children under five (CU5) years. The project also aims to improve nutritional adequacy among WRA & CU5. International Medical Corps’ role is to technically lead on the health and nutrition activities for Amalima Loko.

A Nutrition Causal Analysis (NCA) will be used to conduct research that aims to better understand the underlying causes of undernutrition in Matabeleland North. Specifically, the NCA will provide Amalima Loko with a contextualized understanding of the causal pathways of undernutrition and the context specific causes of undernutrition as well as identify the most promising pathways to change. The NCA will enable the program to design a more effective, context-specific response to address and prevent malnutrition.

International Medical Corps is looking for a consultant to conduct a Nutrition Causal Analysis (NCA) in Matabeleland North province. The NCA will help to identify variables that are associated with undernutrition in the operational context, examine the factors collectively so that the magnitude of the associations can be assessed and the relative importance of each determinant can be assigned. The NCA will enable the program to design a more effective, context-specific response to address and prevent malnutrition.

Specific objectives of the NCA:

The objectives of the Amalima Loko Nutrition Causal Analysis are:

  1. Identify and characterise the key risk factors, including context-specific practices, beliefs, and socio-environmental factors for under-nutrition amongst women and young children and maternal and child morbidity in the Amalima Loko project areas;

  2. To identify and characterise the key factors related to undernutrition that are contributing to increased maternal and young child morbidity in the Amalima Loko project areas

  3. Enhance the projects’ understanding of the key factors that drive poor animal-source food (ASF) consumption and the poor minimum acceptable diet among women and young children, contributing to the high burden of undernutrition and sub-optimal health practices;

  4. Identify culturally-acceptable, locally-sourced, and affordable nutrient-rich foods[1] that are available in the Amalima Loko projects areas.

  5. Determine what interventions can be supported to improve availability of a locally sourced, culturally acceptable nutritious diet amongst women and young children in the project areas.

  6. Uncover acceptable and feasible behaviors and the enablers required for their effective practice that are most closely linked with improvements in nutrition outcomes for women and young children.

  7. Suggest interventions that Amalima Loko can adopt to improve availability of a locally sourced, culturally acceptable nutritious diet amongst women and young children in the project areas

The NCA Consultant is expected to conduct the following activities:

· Desk review of key multi-sectoral secondary data (including Amalima Loko project documents, Nutrition and Health survey documents, Amalima project documents (evaluation report), National Nutrition Survey, ZimVAC reports, DHS survey reports etc)

· Refine and finalise NCA protocol based on a BHA approved SOW for the NCA and feedback from the Amalima Loko team

· Design data collection tools and train project team/local enumerators on the tools

· Lead field-based pre-testing of research tools

· Lead the data collection process and manage data collection among enumerators

· Lead the data analysis in conformity to the data analysis plan

  • Present key findings with specific, evidence based recommendations for Amalima Loko programming
  • In collaboration with key project staff, share and discuss findings with the Amalima Loko team and stakeholders
  • Lead the final write up of the NCA report with specific, evidence-based and multi-sectoral recommendations that support Amalima Loko outcomes

Timeline for Consultant Activities:

  • Desk review, workplan and protocol development (10-12 days)
  • Tool development, training, data collection (15-20 days)
  • Analysis, validation of NCA findings with stakeholders and report writing (15-20 days)
  • Report finalization and presentation development (10-15 days)

· Bulawayo

· Districts of Matabeleland North (Binga, Hwange, Lupane, Nkayi, Tsholotsho)

Qualifications and Competencies

Advanced university degree in nutrition, epidemiology, public health, behavioral sciences, social sciences, or related fields. Significant knowledge of nutrition interventions and proven extensive experience in conducting qualitative and quantitative causal analysis of undernutrition and food insecurity.


  • At least 6 years of experience in research and programming to prevent and treat child malnutrition in humanitarian or fragile contexts in Sub-Saharan African countries (preferably in Zimbabwe)
  • Demonstrated technical expertise in global nutrition topics, including prevention and treatment of child malnutrition in Sub-Saharan African countries
  • Demonstrated expertise in qualitative and quantitative research methods
  • Proven success designing, implementing and analyzing an NCA study or similar rigorous research (preferably within a project funded by USAID/BHA)
  • Experience with recruitment, training, and supervision of a team of enumerators within a research project
  • Strong capacity for meeting deadlines, an ability to prioritize tasks within his/her work program
  • Ability to strategise for work effectively, independently and in teams to deliver high quality products
  • Excellent facilitation skills, ability to bring together stakeholders from different sectors and backgrounds. Strong information-gathering and analytical skills, coupled with excellent written and oral communication skills.
  • Excellent report writing skills

Key outputs include:

· Refinement of the research protocol

· Outline of enumerator training

· Research tool development

· Compilation of the preliminary findings in interim report

· Present key findings to project staff and stakeholders

· Comprehensive final report outlining causal pathways. The following outline is to be used:

  • Executive summary

  • Background

  • Justification

  • Methods and approaches

  • Results

  • Conclusions

  • Recommendations: in particular, specific and detailed, evidence-based and multi-sectoral recommendations geared towards improving the Amalima Loko project implementation and outcomes, based on the research findings

[1] including indigenous fruits and vegetables

How to apply

Qualified, interested candidates should submit their letter of interest with the following:

  1. A 1-page cover letter outlining interest in this work and previous related experience
  2. A technical proposal (maximum 5 pages) highlighting previous experience in conducting a NCA and a detailed description of the stipulated survey data collection methodology as per this ToR
  3. Curriculum Vitae: Detailed CV(s) clearly highlighting experience and capacity with 3 professional references.
  4. Writing sample - example of previous nutrition research (i.e. final research report, project brief). This will be used as proof of successful execution of a similar piece of work.
  5. Financial Proposal, including cost estimates for services rendered (including training materials, software, etc.), including daily consultancy fees.

This position is open to international and local consultants. Zimbabwe-based consultants are particularly encouraged to apply. Interested applicants are requested to submit the aforementioned documents through e-mail to recruitmentzimbabwe@internationalmedicalcorps.org with the email heading ‘NCA Consultant’ by 05 March, 2021. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

International Medical Corps never asks job applicants for a fee, payment, or other monetary transaction. If you are asked for money in connection with this recruitment, please report to International Medical Corps at the reporting email address provided at the end of this document. International Medical Corps’ Reporting email address: report@InternationalMedicalCorps.org. Please do not submit your CV or application to the reporting email address, it will not be considered for review.