Consultant - Health and Nutrition Coordinator

United Nations Children's Fund, Micronesia, Fiji

Skill Required:, Project/ Programme Management
Preferred Experience: 
5 years
Closing Date for Applications: 
21st January, 2021

Job Description

The Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) is a group of 607 small islands, 65 of which are inhabited, located in the Micronesian region of the Pacific. FSM is divided into four states: Yap, Chuuk, Pohnpei and Kosrae, which are spread over approximately 3 million km. FSM had a population of 105,000 as of 2016. The population is relatively young (with 35 per cent below 15 years), but out-migration and a reduction in fertility rates have recently led to a decline in the proportion of individuals aged 0–19 years old. A large proportion of FSM’s population lives in Chuuk State (47 per cent) and Pohnpei (35 per cent). A total of 77 per cent lives in rural areas. FSM is highly prone to disaster and climate risks, including tropical cyclones and droughts. FSM is one of a number of PICs that is in a Compact of Free Association with the United States of America (US).

Child mortality rates in FSM have been declining over the past few decades. However, FSM has not yet been able to meet international child mortality reduction targets of < 25 by 2030, and it has among the highest child mortality rates in the Pacific Island Countries and Territories (PICTs) group. Most child deaths are due to congenital disorders, pneumonia, prematurity and complications during delivery (WHO and MCEE, 2018).

The maternal mortality ratio stands at 70 deaths per 100,000 live births, which is still above the SDG target. The infant mortality rate (IMR) decreased from 40 deaths per 1,000 live births in 1996 to 10.2 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2010, however more recent estimates put this at 16.5 deaths per 1,000 live births (2017). Known deaths are primarily those reported by hospitals, so figures are not entirely accurate as infant deaths in the outer islands are not consistently reported. The IMR remains higher than the regional goal of reducing newborn mortality to less than 10 by 2020. A total of 80 per cent of pregnant women make at least one antenatal visit; however, only 19 per cent do so during their first trimester.

Maternal and child nutrition are significant problems in FSM. As of 2012, 25 per cent of children aged 2–5 years had a body mass index greater than the 85th percentile (Partnership for MNCH and UNICEF, 2013). Information on childhood wasting and stunting is not available, which represents a significant data gap. Anaemia rates are high among pregnant women (38 per cent) and pre-school children (19 per cent) – significantly higher than the regional averages. Obesity and associated non-communicable diseases are a significant public health concern for FSM’s adult population, especially women. As of 2013, 84.2 per cent of women ≥ 20 years of age were estimated to be either overweight or obese (Lancet, 2014). The transition from traditional nutrient-rich diets to the consumption of imported high-calorie, low-nutrient foods (mostly processed foods high in free sugar, salt and fat) is a significant factor in rising levels of obesity.

As a response to the high levels of all types of malnutrition (anaemia, obesity and potentially also stunting), FSM is currently formulating framework of High Impact Nutrition Interventions, which is ongoing and aimed to finalized by early next year, to be followed by development of training materials to train health workers.

How can you make a difference?

In response to the global COVID-19 pandemic and with the support of UNICEF, the Federated States of Micronesia has developed a COVID-19 contingency plan, which outlines a whole-of-government approach to mitigate the impact expected from COVID-19. The COVID-19 Contingency Plan describes in detail the different response measures that will be implemented throughout the outbreak and recovery. The plan provides a standardized framework for FSM (National and States) in its response to the COVID-19; provides technical information and guidance for coordinated efforts of all levels in Government in collaboration with stakeholders to minimize the impact of COVID-19; in terms of serious illness or overall deaths, and to minimize social disruption and economic losses, and assist States and health care systems with preparedness and response planning at different phases of the COVID-19 outbreak in order to ensure optimal medical care and to maintain continuity in provision of other essential community services. Travel restrictions and lock downs have brought about an urgent need for UNICEF to strengthen it’s presence in the office through recruitment of national technical expertise for sustainability and continuity of the momentum that has been gained.

UNICEF pacific is seeking a qualified and skilled national consultant of FSM to support the UNICEF team and the Department of Health in FSM with management and administration in the development, planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of Health & Nutrition programmes in the context of child survival and development within the country programme.

Scope of Work

The consultant will support the International Maternal and Child Health Specialist in provision of effective technical leadership, management guidance and programme support to facilitate the application and adaptation of UNICEF policies and strategies to achieve programme goals and expansion of UNICEF assisted Health & Nutrition interventions in all 4 States in the FSM. The specific activities include, but are not limited to:

  •  Support the National Nutrition Technical Working group establishment at National and State levels including finalization of the National Nutrition Action Plan with clear multi-sectoral linkages to WASH, Education and ECD;
  •  Support with advocacy for UNICEF’s technical and financial assistance to the DoHSA to be included in the DoHSA system;
  •  Facilitate local level coordination with stakeholders to conduct stakeholder consultations, as well as validation of gap analysis, and other necessary in-country support in finalization of HINI framework which will be led by International Technical Experts recruited to support the development of High Impact Nutrition Interventions,
  •  Strengthening of essential health and nutrition services in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic;
  •  Support the UNICEF office with follow up and contacts to identify and review current documents articulating the role delineation plan for FSM DoHSA at National and State levels;
  •  Technical support and follow up to ensure that stakeholders are engaged in activities towards the implementation of the Effective Vaccine Management improvement plan;
  •  Initiate the review and enrich the situation analysis report of FSM with regards to the current situation and state of the Health Information System starting with Maternal, Child Health and Nutrition.
  •  Support and organise the dissemination of documents including Policy briefs and formative research findings through effective and updated C4D approaches.
  •  Organize a weekly call with Health and Nutrition Section Suva for technical advice, guidance and briefing on work progress.

Work Assignment


  • Familiarisation with tasks and deliverables of the assignment, orientation and establishment of contacts and key stakeholders in FSM for implementation of the agreed activities.
  • Orientation of EVM Technical consultant and introduction to key relevant stakeholders in FSM
  • Facilitation of continued engagement of key stakeholders to advise the development of HINI and the training package
  • Ensure stakeholder consultation on HINI Gap Analysis and review of draft HINI framework at states level and the final endorsement of the HINI framework.
  • Necessary coordination with in-country stakeholders and other coordination support to International Expert in finalization of HINI training materials
  • Facilitate the continuation of National Nutrition Technical Working group meetings
  • Follow up of DCTs
  • Drafting of PV HACT reports
  • Weekly Call with the Health and Nutrition Section, Suva


  • Facilitate meeting between UNICEF relevant colleagues in Suva with DoHSA and Finance to discuss possibilities for UNICEF Financing through DoHSA
  • Facilitation of continued engagement of key stakeholders to advise the development of HINI and the training package
  • Facilitate meetings for dissemination of Policy review findings to key Government counterparts
  • Identify role delineation documents
  • Follow up of DCTs
  • Drafting of PV HACT reports
  • Weekly Call with the Health and Nutrition Section, Suva


  • Follow up and facilitation of key action points identified together with the MCH Specialist for the various programmes including but not limited to NTWG, HINI, MICS, EVM, COVID-19 health response and Health Care on Air
  • Follow up of DCTs
  • Drafting of PV HACT reports
  • Weekly Call with the Health and Nutrition Section, Suva

To qualify as an advocate for every child you will have

  • An advanced university degree Post-graduate qualifications, Master’s or higher in in Health, Nutrition or Public Health, or equivalent
  • 5 years’ experience working at National or State level coordinating stakeholders from multiple sectors for improvement of health and nutrition;
  • Experience in coordination of National or State level programmes and technical working groups an advantage
  • Experience working or collaborating with multisectoral partners, international agencies, UN Partners an advantage
  • Proficiency with relevant Windows-based technology at a high level, especially Microsoft Office
  • Ability to work independently, under pressure, and within deadlines, including strong planning and coordination skills
  • Excellent communication and cross-cultural skills
  • Fluency in English is required. Knowledge of the local language is an asset.


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