To conduct formative research, develop food fortification BCI strategy and advocacy messages and materials
The Micronutrient Initiative (MI) is a leading international organization working to deliver health and nutrition programs to the region’s most vulnerable
Micronutrient deficiency is a major public health problem in Ethiopia. According to the Central Statistics Agency (CSA) 2011 report, 69 percent of the population consumes cereal based diet which is limited in nutrient density. Similarly, less than 2.7 percent of the population consumes animal based diet that significantly contributes to the current magnitude of the micronutrient deficiency. Moreover, 96 percent of breastfed children aged 6-23 months consumes less than the four recommended food groups (EDHS 2011).
In order to address this high level micronutrient deficiency in the country, the government has initiated different programs including supplementation, bio-diversification, home fortification, large-scale food fortification and supportive public health interventions that reduce infections and/or increase the absorption capacity of micronutrients, such as de-worming, malaria prevention and control, and Water and Sanitation interventions.
The Ethiopian government together with partners has shown unfaltering commitment to combat malnutrition and prioritizes nutrition and the control of micronutrient deficiencies and hence the National Nutrition Programme (NNP) has set targets to prevent and control micronutrient deficiencies for children under 5 as well as Pregnant and Lactating Women for Iron, vitamin A, Iodine and Zinc.
Ethiopia has taken a step to fortify food vehicles to address micronutrient deficiency by putting universal salt iodization program as an initial action. Universal Salt Iodization (USI) was enacted as a mandatory law in 2011 and since then improvements has been observed. To strengthen USI program in Ethiopia and start to fortify other food vehicles, an integrated and aggressive effort is required from the government and partners.
Currently along with salt iodization, flour fortification with iron and folic acid and edible oil fortification with vitamin A and D is selected by the government to play a significant role in the reduction of micronutrient prevalence. Hence the government of Ethiopia, with a support from MI and other partners had established a National Food Fortification Unit and organized a National Food Fortification Steering and Technical Committee. A five year National Food Fortification Plan of Action (FF PoA) is being developed by the government of Ethiopia with the support from MI and other partners which is expected to guide the country for sustainable and effective fortification program.
One of the major pillars of a food fortification program is program communication and advocacy to create awareness among policy makers, food industries and consumers. Among the stakeholders involved are policy makers to create legislation making fortification mandatory; millers to correctly fortify the flour; government authorities to monitor for compliance with the legislation; bakers to require and bake with fortified flour; and consumers to purchase and consume fortified products.
Therefore, for the implementation of the activities under this ToR, MI is keen to work with a qualified consultancy firm to conduct formative research, develop BCI strategy, food fortification messages and delivery materials.
To conduct formative research, develop evidence-based BCI strategy and develop advocacy messages and materials to improve Knowledge, Attitude and Practice of policy makers, industrials, and consumers about fortified foods with special emphasis to wheat flour fortification
In close consultation with MI Ethiopia and key stakeholders, the consultancy firm will take responsibility to the achievements of the following key activities to make sure they are delivered as per the specific objectives;
The overall objective for the formative phase is to collect qualitative data for a rapid assessment of KAP for policy makers, private sector/industrials, and consumers about the benefits of food fortification, such as wheat flour fortification. The research shall provide indicators and sufficient information that will enable the government and the National Food Fortification Steering Committee to design, implement, and monitor and evaluate a communication strategy for food fortification program. Hence, this activity strives to generate information that will be used to develop a BCI strategy based on the specific setting of the Ethiopian people culture and lifestyle.
Based on the findings of the formative research, the purpose of this activity is develop a BCI strategy to improve KAP related to food fortification (such as wheat flour fortification) in the country for policy makers, private sector/industrials/millers, and consumers (adolescent girls/WRA, bakers). This BCI strategy will include the tools and materials focusing on advocacy for policy makers and private sector and on demand creation for consumers about food fortification.
This is intended for the development and production of communication materials about the benefits and values of fortified foods. Implementation of this activity will be made under the leadership of the Ministry of Industry, Health and other relevant sectors with a technical advice by special team established within the core consultant firm/ad agency that is entirely dedicated for development and production of BCI materials. This will ensure that all materials are designed, produced and disseminated in line with the government policy, guidelines and plans.
The assignment is for a team led by a BCI Specialist who has experience on developing evidence-based BCI strategy and SBCC materials. The lead consultant shall hold Master degree in health communication, Behavioral /social sciences and at least 10 years intensive experience in designing, implementing evidence-based BCI strategies. The consultancy team will include a qualitative research specialist with a PhD in public health, nutrition, communication or other social sciences with 10 years of experience conducting research for public health programs.
Contents of the Proposal