Position: Short-term Independent Contractor – Vietnam Program Advisor
Location: Vietnam (must already be based in Vietnam)
Employer: Vitamin Angels (VA)
Duration: April to December 2021
Apply by: 30 April 2021
Vitamin Angels (VA) aims to promote health and economic equity across the lifespan by ensuring nutritionally vulnerable, underserved populations have access to evidence-based nutrition interventions. VA focuses on interventions that target the first 1,000 days of life (i.e., from conception through 24 months of age) and children up to 5 years of age. These interventions currently include vitamin A supplementation (VAS) for children under 5, deworming for children under 5, and multiple micronutrient supplementation (MMS) for pregnant women.
VA seeks to continue strengthening its program in Vietnam. VA is seeking a consultant to:
- Support advocacy efforts to foster an enabling environment for the implementation of evidence-based nutrition interventions
- Provide technical assistance to ensure effective delivery of evidence-based nutrition interventions through scientific, learning, monitoring and evaluation, and supply chain solutions
The initial focus of the consultancy will be to support an in-depth assessment (i.e., landscape analysis) to identify barriers, constraints, and opportunities for integrating MMS¹ for pregnant women into the antenatal care platform in Vietnam, using a participatory approach.
Scope of Work
The Consultant will be responsible for the following:
- Support a landscape analysis to (i) map the context and readiness for implementing an MMS intervention and (ii) make recommendations about how to best make investments in order to effectively introduce and scale MMS in Vietnam. The Consultant will work closely with the National Institute of Nutrition and other key stakeholders to support the following activities:
- Desk review of the nutrition situation for pregnant women, existing policies and guidelines related to antenatal care including prenatal supplementation, and implementation of the existing antenatal care/prenatal supplementation program
- Stakeholder assessment to identify key stakeholders, understand their power or influence, and provide insights for communication/engagement moving forward
- Analysis of desk review and stakeholder assessment, including a draft report summarizing findings and recommendations
- Consensus-building workshop to share and discuss findings, and collectively identify priority actions for introduction and scale-up of MMS as part of ANC
- Support a supply readiness assessment to analyze the internal and external environments of Vietnam to support local, in-country, or regional procurement and production of MMS. In collaboration with Sight and Life, support with conducting key informant interviews across three pillars: (i) existing market for prenatal and adult supplements (multivitamins), (ii) local/regional manufacturing scenario and (iii) country-level regulations and policy framework. This should include consideration of the following:
- Desk review of in-country and regional scenario across each of the 3 pillars
- Designing a key informant list which includes private sector (regulatory and QA/QC), NGOs, relevant government authorities (revenue, drug regulator)
- Collecting answers to the questionnaire by speaking with supplement manufacturers, regulators, import/export agencies, pharmacists, and wholesalers or relevant experts in the supplement or pharmaceutical industry, visiting pharmacies, hospitals, and markets,
- Providing feedback on and administering a questionnaire to all the shortlisted key informants
- Transcribing and translating (if required) all the interviews and sharing with the Sight and Life team
- Engage in advocacy and advisory services to create an enabling environment for the introduction and implementation of VA-supported nutrition interventions (VAS, deworming, MMS) in Vietnam. Consultant will:
- Identify and engage key stakeholders, including NGOs, international NGOs, academia, local businesses/philanthropies, and government,
- Raise awareness and build consensus among key stakeholders regarding the benefits and effective use of VA supported interventions,
- Raise awareness regarding the need to develop new policies, improve existing policies, and effectively implement policies,
- Improve coordination between program partners and national and local government health authorities as it relates to VA supported interventions,
- Provide technical assistance to partners to ensure effective delivery of evidence-based nutrition interventions, including exploring opportunities to support partners with scientific, learning, monitoring and evaluation, and supply chain solutions.
The Consultant will submit the following deliverables:
- Landscape analysis report on maternal multiple micronutrient supplementation in Vietnam.
- Supply readiness assessment:
- Key Informant Contact List
- Answers to the questionnaire
- Transcribed and translated (if required) interviews
- Check-in with Sight and Life team, as and when support required
- Monthly invoices for services and expenses incurred (to be submitted before the last Monday of the month, for payment the following Thursday).
- And, at least, monthly budget for local travel and miscellaneous expenses.
- Completed VA trip report within one week of any program travel conducted on behalf of VA.
Required Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities
- Based in Vietnam
- Fluent in English and Vietnamese
- At least a Master’s Degree in Public Health or Nutrition or Community Medicine or equivalent professional experience
- Strong understanding of maternal and child health and nutrition in the region
- Minimum seven years of experience performing consultancies with INGOs, bilateral, or multilateral agencies
- Existing network of contacts within relevant bilateral, multilateral, private sector, and government agencies in Vietnam
- Some exposure to marketing and manufacturing environments would be useful, but is not essential
- Computer literacy, including experience with Microsoft Excel, Word and PowerPoint
- Willing and able to travel domestically during the consultancy
- Willing to work from home and in possession of reliable telephone/internet connectivity
- Superior written and oral communications skills
- Superior organizational skills and attention to detail
To apply, please email your professional resume and cover letter to [email protected].
¹ MMS for pregnant women has been demonstrated to be a safe, efficacious, cost-effective, and affordable intervention that improves pregnancy outcomes. The World Health Organization (WHO) currently recommends antenatal multiple micronutrient supplements that include iron and folic acid in the context of antenatal care, informed by implementation research.