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Individual Consultant: Technical Brief on Integration of Menstrual Health into Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights Policies and Programmes

Closing date: 14 May 2020 - 5:00pm (New York time)
Duty station: Johannesburg, South Africa

Duration: 20 working days

Purpose of Consultancy

Providing girls and women with the necessary information, resources, skills, social support, and water, sanitation, waste disposal and health services to manage their menstrual needs and other types of vaginal bleeding is important for girls’ and women’s health, well-being, mobility, educational and economic empowerment, and dignity. Yet many girls, women and people who menstruate in Africa, especially those who live in poor areas and affected by political, health, economic and social emergencies, have limited access to age-appropriate information, services and products to maintain their menstrual health.

Today many countries in Africa are moving towards more holistic responses to menstrual health management. Efforts are being undertaken to ensure that the focus on menstrual health management is expanded from product availability as a stand-alone solution to integrated, cross-sectoral policy and programmatic responses, including health, gender, social protection, education and water and sanitation sectors. These efforts are situated within sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) policies and programmes in development as well as humanitarian settings - throughout the reproductive life course, from menarche to menopause.  Despite these positive developments, in many countries across Africa, these efforts lack coherence and evidence that they work. 

It is against this background that the United Nations Sexual and Reproductive Health Agency (UNFPA) is engaging an international consultant to conduct a systematic review of global evidence on effective strategies and interventions for integration of menstrual health management into sexual and reproductive and rights (SRHR) policies and programming. These include those used for adolescent girls SRHR programming, comprehensive sexuality education for in-and out-of-school youth, family planning, post-partum and post-abortion recovery, vaginal bleedings and menstrual disorders, peri-menopause and menopause management, both in development and humanitarian contexts. The findings of this evidence review will form the basis for a comprehensive, technical brief which can assist UNFPA and partners to strengthen the integration of menstrual health in SRHR policies and programmes at global, regional and national levels.

Scope of Work

The consultant is expected to:

  1. Undertake a desk review of global evidence on effective strategies and resources for integration of menstrual health into SRHR policies and programming throughout the reproductive life course, both in development and humanitarian contexts;
  2. Compile and review existing guidance and other resources produced by UNFPA and other partners working on SRHR to support integration of menstrual health in policies and programmes;
  3. Identify key lessons learned and gaps in existing policy and programmatic responses to the integration of menstrual health in SRHR policies and programmes throughout the reproductive life course, both in development and humanitarian contexts; and
  4. Develop a technical brief/summary and checklist, based on the above tasks with references to existing resources for integration of menstrual health into SRHR policies and programming which can then be used to develop further technical brief for use by MHM and SRHR practitioners in the field.

Duration and Working Schedule

The consultancy is for a total of  20 working days to be undertaken between the day of contract signature and 01 October 2020.

Place where services are to be delivered:

This is a home-based assignment.

Delivery dates and how work will be delivered:

  1. A time schedule/work plan for the delivery of the assignment, including proposed, annotated table of content, and tools for literature review and analysis of evidence and resources (2 days);
  2. Desk review of global evidence on effective strategies and resources for integration of menstrual health into SRHR policies and programming throughout the reproductive life course, both in development and humanitarian contexts, gaps and lessons learned, and summary of key resources collected (5 days);
  3. Draft global technical brief on integration of menstrual health in SRHR policies and programmes (8 days); and
  4. Final global technical brief document with checklist and power point with a summary of recommendations to be presented at the African Menstrual Health Symposium in 2020 (5 days).

All documents collected, analysed and generated for the purpose of this assignment are to be submitted to UNFPA ESARO in electronic copies.

The consultant is expected to create, share with ESARO and maintain a google drive with all relevant resource documents and draft reports collected or prepared by the consultant for this assignment.

Monitoring and progress control:

The consultant is expected to strive to complete the assignment within the set deadlines as per the timelines indicated in this TOR and further agreed during the inception phase.

Supervisory Arrangements

The consultant is expected to work under the overall guidance of the Deputy Director of UNFPA Regional Office in East and Southern Africa and daily supervision by the responsible Programme Specialist, UNFPA ESARO and the Regional Coordinator for the African Coalition for Menstrual Health Management. The consultant is also expected to collaborate with the UNFPA HQ, other regional offices, country offices and external partners.

On critical benchmarks, the consultant may also be required to report to the Regional Health Systems Advisor, UNFPA ESARO.

Expected Travel

None

Qualifications and Experience

The consultant is expected to have the following expertise, qualifications and competencies:

Education:

  • Master's Degree in public health, medicine, gender or social sciences studies;

Experience and qualifications:

  • A minimum of 7 years of international experience from working with public health, sexual and reproductive health, gender equality, health promotion or in a related field;
  • Extensive knowledge on current evidence on what works on SRHR and menstrual health management throughout the reproductive life course, both in developing and humanitarian contexts; 
  • Comprehensive experience in conducting systematic literature review and analysis;
  • Proven experience in developing technical brief/guidance documents in the area of SRHR or related fields;
  • Proficiency in English; and
  • Working knowledge of French and Portuguese is an asset.

How to Apply

  • Deadline for application is 14 May 2020, 5 pm (New York time).
  • Interested applicants should send a short letter of motivation and a detailed CV to Ms. Maja Hansen, mahansen@unfpa.org with copy to Ms. Puleng Letsie, letsie@unfpa.org.
  • UNFPA will only respond to those applicants in whom UNFPA has further interest.
  • The United Nations does not charge a fee at any stage of its recruitment process (application, interview, processing, training) or other fee, or request information on applicants’ bank accounts.