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Europe and Central Asia Region


General Service
Job Level
Programme and Policy

Position level


Apply now Job no: 522224
Work type: Consultancy
Location: Belarus
Categories: Nutrition, Support: Programme, Early Childhood Development, Consultancy


Transform the nutrition and feeding practice of young children with severe developmental delays and disabilities and young children living in residential institutions

 Date of the СFEI: 30 April 2019

Closing Date of the СFEI: 20 May 2019 - EXTENDED till 31 May 2019 COB

Organisations that wish to participate in this Call for Expression of Interest are requested to send their submission on-line marked with “HNI Call for Expression of Interest” at the following address: nlukina@unicef.org and cc-ed to naleksandrovich@unicef.org by 20 May, 2019 - EXTENDED till 31 May 2019 COB



UNICEF Belarus Country Office is seeking Expressions of Interest (EOI) from experienced health and nutrition institutions (HNI) (National NGO (NGO); International NGO (INGO); Academic Institution; Community Based Organisation (CBO); Foundation; Other (please specify)) to develop Programme Cooperation Agreement (PCA) for the duration of 18 months to pilot a small-scale nutrition and feeding programme for children under three years old with disabilities and /or developmental difficulties with strong focus on parenting support and assistance.

The programme will be done within UNICEF’s Country Programme for 2016-2020 under

Outcome 1: “By 2020 families’ resilience and coping mechanisms are strengthened and parents know about the importance of the early years”;

Outcome 2: “By 2020 all children with disabilities (CWD) and special needs and their families receive adequate quality integrated services”

and working with government and other partners, UNICEF will contribute to achieve the following results:

Output 1: National system of early childhood intervention system is enhanced with nutrition and feeding age- and disability appropriate services;

Output 2: % of mothers and fathers of young children (0-6) practicing responsible parenting; Normative framework of home visiting system improved.

UNICEF Belarus and MOH work in partnership to improve the nutritional status of young children with disabilities attending Early Child Intervention (ECI) centers and those living in baby homes (BHs) outside of permanent family care. This will be achieved by establishing a system of age- and disability appropriate nutrition and feeding strategies and techniques. Additionally, UNICEF Belarus, MOH and a local Technical Advisory Group (TAG) to generate a set of amendments in the national nutrition and feeding standards and guidelines for young children with disabilities and children living in institutional care. The process will be taken to scale and ensure that every child with disability in Belarus is nourished.

UNICEF Belarus together with MoH aims at increasing the capacity of parents to apply better feeding practices at home. It is, therefore, imperative to transform the nutrition and feeding practices for this highly vulnerable families, due to their child’s disability, through sustainable and scalable solutions. The existing national system of ECI in Belarus is well-positioned to be a platform for nutrition and feeding interventions, where ECI specialists build their capacity of parents and where families are empowered to play an active role in providing needed interventions to their children.


In Belarus about 600 of children 0-4 with disabilities/developmental delays are living out of families and at residential institutions.   Findings from recent monitoring of 28 ECI centers and 5 residential in Belarus institutions showed that the majority of ECI specialists and baby-homes caregivers do not recognize the severity of harm caused to children by unsafe feeding environments and practices they provide.

While most efforts of the health system in Belarus focus on how to prevent disability, it is important to note that children who are born with or who are at risk of acquiring disability, also face significant issues related to malnutrition.  Unfortunately, their nutrition status is not assessed properly and individual diet plans are not common practice. Children who do not receive enough food or enough nutritious food are susceptible to stunting, wasting and micronutrient deficiencies. In extreme cases, such children, especially placed in residential care stay for a long time on unnecessary tube feeding or other inappropriate methods of feeding causing sever forms of malnutrition.

The challenge to ensure quality nutrition for children with disability needs to be addressed as early as possible and will be integrated is newly developed national regulation on the Early Childhood Intervention system (28 ECI centers). However, the capacity of professionals who can provide nutrition advice and practical guidelines for families of eligible children needs to be developed and is imperative, given that potential changes and recommendations by the state are already being imposed.

Now, most ECI specialists are not trained in nutrition and feeding counselling of parents. Parents of severely disabled children also have limited knowledge on nutrition, diets and feeding practices, which can cause a major frustration within the family and/or even irreversible harm. For example, wrong positioning of a child with severe disability could lead to inadequate feeding and sometime cause aspiration and even death.

Social and cultural beliefs and practices can lead to or exacerbate an already fragile nutritional state of child with disability. For example, the choice not to breastfeed newborns with visible disabilities is a form of usually culturally appropriate practice.


This programme intervention will improve the nutrition status of and feeding practices used for young children living outside of permanent family care in 8 baby homes and young children with severe developmental delays and disabilities attending 28 ECI centers, through building capacity of caregivers and service providers to address many of the root causes of malnutrition, anemia, unnecessary tube feeding, pseudobulbar and bulbar syndromes in young children with disabilities.

Local and international expertise will be used to build a nutrition therapy programme that is locally owned, locally contextualized, and sustainable. The programme intervention will include training for caregivers and service providers that will be designed to accommodate the crucial and unique nutrition and feeding needs of young children impacted by disability and/or institutional care. The programme intervention will complement traditional nutrition programs existing within in-service training of specialists through development of a support practical materials for them.

National system of ECI centers is well positioned to be a platform for implementation of this programme as they are located in local children’s medical clinics which serve all children, enabling extensive access and coverage. Therefore, the ECI service providers will be the main agents of change to optimal nutrition care for young children. This will limit future bottlenecks in ECI service provision that might be detrimental to the nutrition care of the children who participate in the ECI system. ECI service providers will be capacitated to provide families of children with disabilities quality practical nutrition-related consultations. This will be done through home visits during which a trained specialist supports families in organization of home environment and diet routines feeding equipment and utensils.

Objective: The general objective is to improve the nutrition status of young children attending ECI and residential centers through:

1.         Increase the skill and knowledge capacity of caregivers and service providers at baby homes and ECI centers with age/disability appropriate nutrition and feeding technics

2.         Increase capacity of parents to apply better feeding practices at home

Main results envisioned are:

•           A set of amendments in the national nutrition standards and diets for children living in institutional care and children with severe developmental delays and disabilities;

•           Young children living outside of permanent family care and young children with severe developmental delays and disabilities receive quality nutrition and feeding services;

•           Families are empowered and knowledgeable to organize children’s nutrition

The programme is intended for 18 months.

For more information, please see attached CALL FOR EXPRESSION OF INTEREST



Interested HNIs are encouraged to complete and submit the attached CFEI form. Institutions are asked to fill in the designated form for institutions. CFEI form should be sent to: nlukina@unicef.org and cc-ed to naleksandrovich@unicef.org , no later than COB 20 May, 2019 - EXTENDED till 31 May 2019 COB. Please quote “HNI Call for Expression of Interest” as the subject in your correspondence.

Emails only, please; calls will not be returned.

Detailed information and the document for submission of expression of interest:

Applications must be submitted in English.


Mobility is a condition of international professional employment with UNICEF and an underlying premise of the international civil service.

Only shortlisted applicants will be contacted and advance to the next stage of the selection process.

Advertised: Russian Standard Time
Applications close: Russian Standard Time

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