INTERNATIONAL CONSULTANT: To support the development of a Family Planning Policy in The Gambia

Contract Type: Consultancy
Closing date: 15 June 2018 - 5:00pm(Banjul time)
Duty station: Banjul, The Gambia

Location: Banjul, The Gambia; possibility of travel to other locations in The Gambia

Timeframe: 30 work days (6 weeks) between May and July 2018

 

1.    Background

In 2018, The Gambia housed an estimated population of 2.16 million inhabitants (World Population Prospects Revised, 2017) of which 50.5 percent are women. The total fertility rate is high as each woman has an average of 5 children during her reproductive life. The population grows very rapidly (3.01 percent, 2018). The population is mostly young (63.55 percent are under 25 years old). A demographic structure that suggests the need for the country to invest intensively in youth employment, education, health and empowerment to harness the demographic dividend.

The high fertility rate may be attributed to the low utilization of family planning in the country. Despite high knowledge (96% of currently married women and 99% of currently married men know at least one method of family planning) and access to family planning, the Contraceptive Prevalence Rate (CPR) among married women in the country has long been less than 10% and remained 9% (8% modern and 1% traditional) in the GDHS 2013. As a result, the unmet need for modern contraceptives stood at about 25%.

 Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH) is fundamental to individuals, couples and families, and the social and economic development of communities and nations. However, the burden of reproductive ill-health in terms of both life and economic losses are enormous in most of the low-income countries, including The Gambia who puts SRH issues among the top priorities on its development agenda. These have been reflected by the adoption and being a signatory of many of the international and continental declarations, plan of actions, and strategies (the Plan of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development, the Millennium Development Goals, the Sustainable Development Goals, the Maputo Plan of Action, the African Union Roadmap on Demographic Dividend…) as well as the development and implementation of the national Reproductive and Child Health Strategic Plan (2007-2014) and the national Reproductive, Maternal, Neonatal, Child and Adolescent Health (RMNCAH) Strategic Plan (2017-2021).  Nevertheless, if Family Planning is recognized as a key component of RMNCAH, it is worth noting that the country does not currently have a National Family Planning Policy.

The need for a comprehensive, integrated and culturally appropriate Family Planning Policy in Gambia is vital. Family planning is a public health intervention that promotes well-being for all families. The availability of family planning services allows everyone, married couples, couples and individuals to achieve desired family sizes by assisting with pregnancy planning, birth spacing, and preventing unintended pregnancy. Family planning contributes also to the empowerment women and young people, thus to unleash their potential.

Further to a request from the Government of The Gambia, UNFPA seeks to hire an international consultant in order to provide technical assistance to the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare to develop a comprehensive National Family Planning Policy.

Scope of work 

In the formulation of the National Family Planning Policy, full recognition has to be given to the sensitivities that would be involved in adopting a Policy and its implementation. As the success of the policy will be contingent upon changes in individual behaviour and attitudes towards the family and resource planning decision-making process, it is important to underline that the policy has to be formulated keeping in view the essence of the Gambia cultural and traditional values, while respecting the views of religious leaders.

More precisely, the National Family Planning Policy has to be developed through a participative approach underpinned by the use of evidence from legitimate data sets from relevant authorized government bodies. This Policy has to be supported with a structured analysis of the context of the Gambia in the field of Family Planning. It must take into consideration perspectives of leaders, religious leaders, women leaders, youth leaders, members of the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare and other relevant government institutions, including Parliamentarians, some development partners and civil society to construct a policy that reflects the needs and desires of the people of the Gambia that is appropriate to their culture, context, structure and economic ambitions. It has to propose a delivery strategy that is contextually appropriate for the Gambia today and in line with the principle and values of Family Planning which are:  holistic; responsible parenthood; health and well-being of the family and individuals; respect the right of individuals and families; freedom for choice and decision; respect of culture, tradition and religion; voluntarism; the right to have children; human dignity; comprehensive; inclusive and non-discriminatory.

In that perspective, the International Consultant has to provide technical and strategic guidance to the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare in the development of the National Family Planning Policy. Through the undertaking of a desk review and the facilitation of consultative meetings with relevant stakeholders, he or she has to support the design and development of the National Family Planning Policy.

The anticipated duration of the contract is 30 days, starting in June 2018. The Consultant will work for the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare on a full-time basis and be based at the UNFPA Country Office within the following timeframe:

TASKS

TIME FRAME

Write and submit inception report

1 day

Desk review with a focus on the SWOT analysis of the following Family Planning components:

  • Service Delivery: Quality and accessibility of the family planning services to couples (and individuals) to achieve desired family size by assisting with pregnancy planning, birth spacing, and preventing unintended pregnancy.
  • Human Resources: Availability of qualified and competent health professionals (including doctors, midwives and nurses) in the family planning program, in order to deliver safe and quality services to clients.
  • Information, Education, and Communication: Availability of Information, Education, and Communication (IEC) services to provide comprehensive and quality family planning information to couples (and individuals).
  • Commodity security: Availability of family planning commodities, logistic services, educational materials, drugs, consumables and other supplies for the family planning program.
  • Financing: Availability of funds to finance family planning information and services and its execution in a transparent and accountable manner.
  • Leadership and Governance: Guarantee good governance and leadership in implementing good and quality family planning services through good coordination, planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation, and through the provision of standard operating procedures (SOPs) and guidelines on family planning services.

6 days

Formulate a supportive policy 

3 days

Working through relevant stakeholders (religious leaders, women leaders, youth leaders, members of the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare and other relevant government institutions, including Parliamentarians, development partners and civil society)  to identify additional issues on policy support to support implementation

5 days

Write and submit the DRAFT National Family Planning Policy

10 days

Provide technical support to the partners on how to roll out the National Family Planning Policy

2 days

Validation of National Family Planning Policy

1 day

Update and Finalize Policy Document

2 days

Total

30 days of work

 

Deliverables  

-    An inception report, which clearly illustrates how the consultancy shall be executed.
-    A draft of National Family Planning Policy

Payment schedule  

Payments by UNFPA are delivery-based. Any deliverable not meeting the required specifications will have to be re-worked and re-submitted at no additional cost to UNFPA. The proposed payment schedule for this assignment would be staggered payment upon submission of the inception report and progress report on completed tasks outlined against planned outputs.  Based on the report and satisfactory performance, payments will be certified by the supervisor.

Type of supervision that will be provided and management of consultancy 

The International Consultant will work under the overall supervision of the UNFPA Head Office and the direct supervision of UNFPA Program Analyst. The supervisor will have frequent interactions with the Consultant at various stages in order to brief the Consultant on the situation/assignment; agree on the process and clarify the deliverables; provide feedback and comments on intermediary products; and track the progress made by the Consultant. The supervisor will evaluate the Consultant’s work and certify delivery of work.

The International Consultant reports weekly to the UNFPA Head of Office in accordance with the ToR of the National Family Planning Consultancy.

Place of work and official travel involved  

The Consultant will work full-time in and out of the UNFPA Country Office in Cape Point, Bakau. Regular office hours are 8:00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. from Monday to Thursday and 8:00 a.m. to 13.30 p.m. on Fridays. Office space and printing would be supported by the Country Office; however, the Consultant is responsible for bringing his/her own laptop (e.g. to use during meetings or when travelling).  UNFPA will cover one economy-fare round trip from the Consultant’s home country to The Gambia. Other travels within the country would be facilitated by the Country Office.

Desired background and experience  

The International Consultant should hold at a minimum:

  • Graduate level degree (MA, MPH) in International Health and Development or related program (coursework in Family Planning / Reproductive Health / Population Studies is preferred);
  • 5 years’ experience working in health and development in general, and development of Family Planning Policy, preferred;
  • Excellent judgment, conceptual and analytical thinking ability;
  • Skills (Experience) in advocacy, communication and interaction with governmental and nongovernmental partners in health;
  • Ability to communicate effectively in English (orally and in writing);
  • Strong skills in MS Word, complex MS Excel documents and Power Point;
  • Sound knowledge of the context of West Africa.

Application Process

All applications should be submitted through the email: vacancy.gambia@unfpa.org  Interested candidates should submit an updated CV, a completed P-11 form and a cover letter, addressed to:

The Representative

UNFPA, The Gambia

UN House

5 Kofi Annan Street

Cape Point, Bakau

The posting period is from Monday, 4th to Friday, 15th June 2018, 5:00 P.M. Banjul time.

 

We are no longer accepting applications for this position.

the Gambia
Population : 2.1 mil
Fertility rate
5.4
Maternal Mortality Ratio
706
Contraceptives prevalence rate
12
Population aged 10-24
33%