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Purpose of the consultancy

The onset of puberty and the menstruation cycle is a fundamental and healthy part of the existence of women and girls. Menstrual health is directly linked to the fulfilment of human rights and while menstrual health is excluded from the Sustainable Development Goals, it is an integral component to achieving six of the current goals. It is also essential for African countries to harness their demographic dividend, advancement of the African Agenda 2063 and a key element in implementing the Global Strategy for Women’s, Children’s and Adolescent’s Health 2016-2030.                                                                                  

Maintaining health and hygiene during menstruation by providing girls and women with the necessary information, supplies and facilities required to manage their menstruation is important for girls and women’s health, well-being, mobility, and dignity. Yet, many girls and women in East and Southern Africa, especially those who live in poor areas and those that have been displaced or affected by emergencies, do not have access to appropriate information and menstrual health management facilities and products that are accessible, effective, comfortable, convenient, affordable and safe to use. This hinders the daily activities of girls and women, leads to stigma and discrimination, isolates them from their friends and local communities, increases the risk of school absence and drop-out, affects work performance and has potential implications on their reproductive and mental health.

As a result of strengthened advocacy and an increased body of evidence to document the challenges faced by adolescent girls during their menstrual periods, the issue of menstrual health management has gained more attention from policy makers, programmers, researchers, development practitioners and private sector companies in recent years, and many countries in Africa have incorporated menstrual health management into their adolescent’s sexual reproductive health programmes, school health, gender and/or water and sanitation (WASH) policies and strategies. Where education about menstrual health and puberty is available to students in and out of school it is considered an important platform for introduction of comprehensive sexuality education which provide a wider range of information and knowledge about sexual and reproductive health, including HIV prevention, contraception, pregnancy and sexual and gender based violence and empower young girls with skills and asset to make informed decisions and engage in decision-making that affects their lives.

Menstrual Health and Management is now widely integrated into cross-sectoral coordination mechanism and national education and health systems, curricula and materials, and in ongoing research on product acceptability and impact, learning, monitoring and evaluation. In addition, many countries are introducing a wider range of menstrual health management products including locally manufactured reusable and disposable pads and menstrual cups and are establishing new distribution channels. However, in spite of this progress, most of these efforts remain undocumented, limited in geographical coverage and scale are largely donor dependent. More needs to be done to better strengthen high-level commitment, coordinate, share knowledge, develop effective and innovative approaches to supply management and distribution, and ensure financial resources to sustain efforts and bring programmes to scale across the African continent.

It is against this background that UNFPA ESARO with the Department of Women in the Presidency of the Government of South Africa, SAT and selected partners will convene the first in East and Southern African symposium on Menstrual Health and Management.

In order to have an accurate record of the messages leading up to the event, actual proceedings, priority actions and recommendations, the services of 4 rapporteurs are required. The UNFPA ESARO and SAT seek to hire 4 Rapporteur consultants (One lead Rapporteur and three session rapporteurs) for the Menstrual Health and Management Symposium which will take place 28-29 may 2018, 2018 in  Johannesburg, South Africa.

Scope of work

The lead Rapporteur consultant will:

  1. Present the event report framework at an inception briefing meeting with UNFPA ESARO technical officers.
  2. Attend all facilitators’ meetings preceding the event.
  3. Assign rapporteur tasks to the three session rapporteurs.
  4. Take complete notes of the proceedings (in plenary discussions and one of the three parallel sessions) as per rapporteur’s template to be agreed with by UNFPA ESARO and SAT.
  5. Consolidate notes/recordings provided by three session rapporteurs and own notes.
  6. Present draft report for input by all partners.
  7. Present final report.

The session rapporteurs will:

  1. Take complete notes of the proceedings (in panel session discussions) as per lead rapporteur’s template and instructions.
  2. Provide summaries of each session to the lead rapporteur
  3. Consolidate all rapporteur notes/recording into a report to be provided to lead rapporteur.

Duration and working schedule

The lead rapporteur consultancy will be for seven (7) working days, including 1 day for the facilitators briefing meeting, 2 days at the symposium and four days for the report finalization. The 3 session rapporteur consultancies will be for four (4) working days, including the 2 days of the symposium and two days for consolidation of notes.

Deliverables for the lead rapporteur:

The consultants will be requested to consolidate notes, draft the report based on the presentations and discussions during the event, sessions, plenary, meetings etc. and finalize the report based on input from partners.

Deliverables for three session rapporteurs:

Session summaries and consolidated notes.

See attached Terms of Reference document for further details.