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Consultant at Helen Keller International (HKI)

Posted on Mon 09th May, 2022 - --- (0 comments)

Helen Keller International (HKI) - Established in 1915, is an international non-governmental organization (NGO) dedicated to saving the sight and lives of the most vulnerable and disadvantaged. Headquartered in New York City, HKI currently conducts programs in 21 countries in Africa and Asia, as well as in the United States.

HKI implements integrated package of cost-effective interventions that are proven to improve maternal and child nutrition. HKI supports policies and programs on food fortification, vitamin A supplementation, infant and young child feeding, nutrition-sensitive agriculture, community-based management of acute malnutrition and prevention and treatment of neglected tropical diseases. At the core of HKI’s programs is advocacy and social behavior change communication to various stakeholders. HKI also undertakes cutting-edge research to influence policy decisions and inform program quality.

We are recruiting to fill the position below:

Job Title: Consultant

Contract Number: 7200AA18C00070
Location: Abuja (FCT) 
Program Name: USAID Advancing Nutrition
Activity Start and End Date: May to June, 2022
Name of Subcontractors/Subawardees: Helen Keller International
Name of Prime Implementing Partner: JSI Research and Training Institute, Inc.

Terms of Reference (TOR)

  • Recruitment of a consultant to conduct consultative process to select priority food value chains or food groups for promotion and identify information, knowledge, and input gaps that may hinder their production, processing and consumption in Bauchi, Kebbi, and Sokoto States

Major Stakeholders:

  • Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD), Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning (FMFBNP), Federal Ministry of Health (FMOH), Federal Ministry of Education (FMOE), Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN), Breakthrough ACTION, Integrated Health Project (IHP)
  • In Bauchi, Kebbi, and Sokoto: State Ministries of Budget and Economic Planning, State Ministries of Agriculture and Rural Development (SMARD), State Ministries of Health (SMOH) and other members of the State Committees on Food and Nutrition (SCFNs), and co-located Feed the Future (FTF) implementing partners and projects.
  • Geographic Coverage: Bauchi, Kebbi, and Sokoto States

About USAID Advancing Nutrition

  • USAID Advancing Nutrition is the Agency's flagship multi-sectoral nutrition project, led byJSI Research & Training Institute, Inc. (JSI), and a diverse group of experienced partners.Launched in September 2018, USAID Advancing Nutrition implements nutrition interventions across sectors and disciplines for USAID and its partners. 
  • The project's multi-sectoral approach draws together global nutrition experience to design, implement, and evaluate programs that address the root causes of malnutrition. 
  • Committed to using a systems approach, USAID Advancing Nutrition strives to sustain positive outcomes by building local capacity, supporting behavior change, and strengthening the enabling environment to save lives, improve health, build resilience, increase economic productivity, and advance development. In Nigeria, the project aims to meet the following objectives;

Objectives of the Project

  • Objective 1: Strengthen multi-sectoral linkages and coordination through technical assistance to the Government of Nigeria, the Mission, and implementing partners
  • Objective 2: Support the Government of Nigeria to strengthen wasting prevention and treatment services
  • Objective 3: Generate evidence and test innovative approaches to improve nutrition programming and inform future designs.

Activity Description

  • Under the second objective of the project, the project will work to strengthen state-level food systems, which will begin with a consultative process to select priority food value chains in each state. 
  • We will bring together food systems actors, including decentralized government ministries, departments, and agencies; producers and farmer organizations; private-sector off takers, processors, and service providers; as well as implementing partners, to identify and prioritize value chains or food groups that are the most promising in terms of nutritional impact. We will hold three workshops as psart of this activity in each state. 
  • The first will be to select the priority value chains or food groups. The second will be to identify specific knowledge, capacity, and input gaps that are impacting food systems actors ability to promote, produce, or process the priority food products. 
  • The design of the workshops will be informed by an initial desk review of available value chain information, including studies and reports produced by implementing partners already working in the three states or working on value chains of potential interest. While the workshop will be to disseminate the findings to stakeholders in each of the targeted states. 
  • During this meeting, the USAID Advancing Nutrition project will present the consolidated results of the previous workshops and its proposed support and illustrative activities to promote the key value chains/food groups in the states.

Context of Project Locations

  • Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa, with an estimated population of 211.4 million in 2021. It is also one of the continent's youngest countries, with 43 percent of the population under the age of 14 and 23 percent in the adolescent age range of 10 - 19 years of age (UNFPA 2021). It is likely that this trend of a growing, young population will continue. 
  • The national total fertility rate is 5.3 children per woman; however, rates are much higher in Bauchi (7.2), Kebbi (6.5), and Sokoto (7.0). Early marriage and an early start to childbearing are driving these trends. Among unmarried adolescents between 15 and 19 years of age, 11.5 percent have already given birth to at least one child. 
  • Among married adolescents of this age group, 44 percent have already given birth to at least one child. Unsurprisingly, the age at first birth in Bauchi (17.7 years), Kebbi (17.6 years), and Sokoto (18.3) is well below the national average of 20.4 years (NPC and ICF 2019).
  • The food security situation in Nigeria is expected to deteriorate moving into early 2022. All of Bauchi and Kebbi are projected to be in Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) Phase 2 (stressed) with parts of Sokoto reaching IPC Phase 3 (crisis). 
  • In the states in the northwest, this is driven by ongoing conflict and market restrictions, with markets in the worst-affected areas of Sokoto having little to no market activity. National factors, including a poor harvest and high food and non-food prices, are expected to hit poor households especially hard throughout the country (FEWS NET 2021).
  • Positioned in the northeastern part of Nigeria, Bauchi State has favorable conditions for agricultural production. The Gongola and Jama rivers provide access to water for irrigation and support fisheries (Sadiq et al., 2014). 
  • However, cattle, goats, and sheep are widely reared, while rabbit, fish, and poultry production is also on the increase. Food crops primarily include rice, millet, sorghum, groundnuts, maize, cowpeas, and soybeans in addition to a variety of vegetables (Bauchi State Government, 2020). 
  • In recent times, consumption of Irish potatoes and other roots and tubers is also gaining prominence, though cultivation of these crops is low. Orange flesh sweet potato has been introduced to the farmers by the Women in Agriculture Unit under the state's Agricultural Development Programme as part of improved complementary feeding efforts.
  • In line with the project objective to strengthen state-level food systems, a consultative process to select priority food value chains or food groups in each state will be held. 
  • The consultative meeting will bring together food systems actors, including decentralized government ministries, departments, and agencies; producers and farmer organizations; private-sector off-takers, processors, and service providers; as well as implementing partners, to identify and prioritize value chains or food groups that are the most promising in terms of nutritional impact. Three workshops will be held as part of this activity in each state. 
  • The first will be to select the priority value chains or food groups and the second will be to identify specific knowledge, capacity, and input gaps that are impacting food systems actors ability to promote, produce, or process the priority food products while the third workshop serve as dissemination and validation of the findings with each of the states. Information from this exercise will inform message development that will fits into the SBC package. While the third workshop will used to disseminate and validate the findings with the state and the value chain actors.

Objectives of the Workshops

  • The general objective of this activity is to gather information through a consultative process to identify value chains / food groups that are the most promising in terms of nutritional impact as well as form the basis to design and develop key SBC messages that will be used to promote the production through consumption of these key food groups and develop specific grant(s) to support the respective states in line with the identified gaps and challenges. 
  • In view of the above, a consultant is expected to lead the consultative workshops including desk reviews in compliance with the international best practices, with the support of USAID Advancing Nutrition country's team and under close supervision from the Advancing nutrition Technical team.

The specific objectives are:

  • To produce a full mapping of selected value chains/food groups, including the type, name and location of actors, the quantified flow of resources and communication taking place between actors, and a geo-referenced map of where they are located;
  • To analyze the production systems with particular emphasis given to the source of inputs and market for outputs;
  • To analyze the nutritional value and business models adopted by actors along the value chains;
  • To analyze strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats along the value chains.
  • To analyze the opportunities to promote the production, processing, consumption as well micro and small enterprises along the selected value chains;

Expected Outputs

  • Prioritization of value chains/food groups according the to the listed criteria.
  • Identification of key local actors for the selected value chains/food groups particularly those that can easily be accessed by vulnerable producers in target areas;
  • Narrative analysis and visual presentation of production systems for the selected value chains/food groups.
  • Map relevant value chain actors in line with the selected value chains/food groups
  • Detailed description of the selected value chains/food groups - in terms of processes, actors’ capacity / business model, support services (including existing capacity building opportunities), accessible markets, etc.;
  • Documentation of key existing services by Government and private actors that can support and enhance the selected value chains/food groups processes (e.g. inputs distributions, information systems, trade associations, processing, warehousing infrastructure);
  • SWOT analysis for the identified value chains/food groups clearly highlighting risks and benefits for vulnerable actors along the chain, particularly youth and women.
  • Definition of viable and profitable business development opportunities along the selected value chains/food groups, with a particular attention to youth and women's businesses;
  • Analysis of key gaps along the selected value chains/food groups and clear recommendations for the project on priority support activities.
  • Validation / dissemination workshops in Bauchi, Kebbi and Sokoto states.

Users of the Findings
The result of the consultative workshop will give direction to the program as regards to the most appropriate strategies to support the production, processing, storage and the consumption of the selected value chains/food groups in target states.

  • USAID Advancing Nutrition country team for easy implementation.
  • USAID Advancing Nutrition Technical and Senior Management Teams for informed decision making.
  • Government technical extension services (through Advancing nutrition facilitation)
  • Other partners of the project and external agencies working on nutrition
  • Value chain actors.

Geographical Scope

  • The workshops will be held in Bauchi, Kebbi and Sokoto States.

Scope Covered:

  • The value chains/food groups pre-identified during the desk review will be subjected to an in-depth analysis during workshops using the predetermined criteria. Clear recommendations will have to be formulated to the project management team on how to intervene to support key value chains/food groups. 
  • The consultant/s will work closely with Advancing Nutrition team and any other relevant stakeholders in executing the task. This would ensure participation and coherence throughout the workshops in order to achieve the expected result. 
  • The consultant will also work closely with external stakeholders jointly identified with the project with the project team, in order to ensure participation and appropriation of the workshop methodology and findings by relevant stakeholders.

Crosscutting Issues:

  • Throughout the planning and the workshop processes, gender, norms, beliefs, and protection concerns should be addressed. All data should be disaggregated by sex and age and different needs of women, men, youth (male and female) should be considered throughout the workshop process.

Key Deliverables

  • The consultant/s will be expected to conduct the proposed workshops in line with the approved activity protocol and methodology taking into cognizance USAID Advancing Nutrition team review, feedback, and approval.

Other key deliverables will include (both in hard and soft copy): during the activity proper would include:

  • Desk Review
  • Copies of tools to be used
  • Raw data
  • Visual mapping of value chains and production systems
  • List of key improved inputs (seed varieties, technology etc.) available in the region but not yet adopted in the target communities.
  • Power Point Presentation delivered during validation workshop/s.
  • Draft report
  • Final report


  • The consultant shall determine the appropriate methodology in line with the activity protocol to be employed for the workshop in collaboration with the organizations technical team.

The process should as a minimum include the following steps:

  • Step 1: Induction and planning meeting with the USAID Advancing Nutrition team.
  • Step 2: Literature review/desk review.
  • Step 3: First of the consultative workshops to identify the value chains/food groups
  • Step 4: The second workshop will focus on identifying specific knowledge, capacity, and input gaps
  • Step 5: The third workshop will focus on Validation and Dissemination of findings to the stakeholders.
  • Step 6: Submission of draft report for inputs
  • Step 7: Submission of final report

A participative approach will be particularly welcome in order to stimulate a self-reflection by key value chain actors. Also, key government institutions and partner agencies also involved in the nutrition and agricultural sectors will be involved in the workshop both as participants and beneficiaries of the final findings.

Tentative Timeline
The anticipated duration of the task is 22 working days, (May 15th-18th June) 2022. [DEM1]

Below is a tentative timeline for the study:

  • Desk review - 5 days
  • Conduct workshops - 9 days
  • Prepare draft report - 4 days
  • Review comments and finalize report - 4 days
  • Total Number of days - 22 days

Management Arrangements:

  • The consultant will directly report to the Chief of Party USAID Advancing Nutrition in Abuja with technical support from the Nutrition/Food Systems Technical Advisor. 
  • The consultant will submit all outputs directly to the Nutrition/Food Systems Technical Advisor who will coordinate the technical validation of the work before declaring it ready for dissemination. 
  • Any comment to the final report put forward by USAID Advancing Nutrition team will have to be promptly addressed by the date agreed between both parties or as soon as the comments are received by the consultant. 
  • The consultant will consider all comments to finalize the report and will submit it to the Chief of Party USAID Advancing Nutrition without delay. Accommodation and internal transport will be taken care of by USAID Advancing nutrition.

Ethical and Legal Matters:

  • The ownership of the draft and final documentation belongs to the agency and the funding donor exclusively. 
  • The document, or publication related to it, will not be shared with anybody except USAID Advancing Nutrition has approved of it. USAID Advancing Nutrition is to be the main addressee of the analysis and its results might impact on both operational and technical strategies. 

This being said, USAID Advancing Nutrition is likely to share the results of the analysis with the following groups:

  • Donors
  • Various coordination bodies
  • Government stakeholders

For independent consultancies, it is important that the consultant does not have any links to project management or any other conflict of interest that would interfere with the independence of the activity.

Intellectual Property Rights:

  • All documentation related to the assignment (whether or not in the course of duties) shall remain the sole and exclusive property of USAID Advancing Nutrition.

Consultant Profile / Expertise Required

  • If it is a consultancy firm, must have been registered with Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) and Tax Regulatory Agency (Tax Clearance) (for corporate consultancy firm).
  • Evidence of CAC and Tax Clearance for a corporate firm
  • Masters qualification in a discipline related to Agriculture, Agro-economy, Nutrition or other relevant discipline or commensurate work experience in lieu of graduate qualification.
  • Proved experience (at least 10 years) in Agriculture and Agricultural Value Chain, Nutrition or related programming.
  • Experience in carrying out at least two Studies related to Agriculture and Agricultural Value Chains or nutrition with at least one as the lead consultant.
  • Extensive experience in organizing workshops, data management and analysis, including data collection tools design, database design, management, and data quality checks.
  • Extensive experience in quantitative, qualitative analysis, and socio-economic analysis value Chain.
  • Robust experience in applying participatory methods of data collection and validation and in recommending solutions that are context specific and community-adaptive.
  • Good interpersonal skills with the ability to communicate and negotiate clearly and effectively at all levels, considering cultural and language difficulties with tact and diplomacy.
  • Strong personal discipline and capacity to respect deadlines, even if under pressure.
  • Ability to communicate effectively in the English language (oral and written).
  • Ability to communicate effectively in local languages (Hausa is a strong asset).
  • The ability to work closely in a team, to be patient, adaptable and flexible.
  • Understanding the social and economic context of Norther Nigeria is an added advantage.
  • Relevant experience in a similar work in Nigeria is preferred.

Terms & Conditions

  • This is a local posting in Nigeria, and as such, is subject to local terms and conditions.

Application Closing Date
14th May, 2022

How to Apply
Interested and qualified candidates should submit a Cover Lletter and Resume to: [email protected] using the Job Title as the subject of the email.

Minimum Details in Application
The applicant should send the following documents:

  • Technical and Financial Proposal detailing his/or her understanding of the ToR and methodology that will be used to undertake the task including proposed methods, human resources employed, and final reporting template. 
  • Also include profiles of previously related tasks carried out in the last 3 years, team composition and CVs of key personnel, detailed work plan, and budget. 
  • When available for distribution the applicant should also annex copies of any relevant study report authored or co-authored by him/her.

Important Information and Notice

  • Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.
  • In the spirit of our founder and namesake, Helen Keller is dedicated to building an inclusive workforce where diversity is fully valued.
  • We are an Equal Opportunity Employer where all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information, disability, or protected veteran status.
  • We are committed to providing reasonable accommodation to individuals with disabilities. If you are a qualified individual with a disability and need to request an accommodation during the application or interview process, please contact us at the email above


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