Support to review and update the existing theory of change for FamilyConnect, NOB, Kampala, Uganda 3 months (Ugandan Nationals Only)
Job no: 540097
Contract type: Consultancy
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Uganda is one of the over 190 countries and territories around the world where we work to overcome the obstacles that poverty, violence, disease, and discrimination place in a child’s path. Together with the Government of Uganda and partners we work towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals, the objectives of the Uganda National Development Plan, and the planned outcomes of the United Nations Development Assistance Framework.
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During the initial design and development of FamilyConnect, an SMS and USSD based tool used by the Ministry of Health (MoH) to improve positive care practices, health seeking behaviour and to do pregnancy mapping, a theory of change was developed to articulate the expected outcomes of the platform. Since then the platform has been implemented in 35 districts with several learnings about how it can and should support to improve maternal and child health in Uganda. The purpose of this consultancy is therefore to review and revise the previous existing theory of change and align it to the current needs and context.
Despite continued progress in the area of RMNCAH in Uganda, neonatal mortality has stagnated at 27 deaths per 1,000 live births. (UDHS 2016). The leading causes of newborn mortality are preterm births, birth asphyxia and severe infection and one third of child deaths is due to largely preventable or treatable conditions, such as malaria, pneumonia and diarrhoea. Maternal mortality remains very high despite that most maternal deaths are preventable, with haemorrhage, hypertension and sepsis among the leading causes. (Lancet 2014) A number of critical behaviours such as late initiation of antenatal care, inadequate newborn care and not sleeping under bed nets underpin poor health and nutrition outcomes and low utilization of RMNCAH services in Uganda. UNICEF has been supporting the MoH to implement several interventions to improve these critical behaviours using traditional and innovative methods such as mobile phones. Two of these interventions is Key Family Care Practices (KFCPs) and FamilyConnect (FC), an SMS and USSD based solution used for disseminating Social Behaviour Change Communication and to do conduct pregnancy mapping at community level.
In 1992 MOH adopted the Integrated Management of Childhood illnesses strategy that was meant to address or reduce the common childhood illnesses and deaths in Uganda. A lot of interventions have been done both at national, district and community level, including Capacity building, Health systems strengthening and community support. Under this strategy, VHTS were given basic information on Disease prevention, Care seeking and Health promotion to address the original 16 behaviours. The RMNCAH Communication strategy for development, underpinned the need for a multidisciplinary approach bringing together sectors such as the Ministry of Education and Sports, Gender, Labour and Social Development, Water and Environment and Judiciary and Constitutional Affairs and Internal affairs-NIRA including health to review the 22 key family care practices meant to address and promote holistic growth and development in children and adolescents. Key Family Care Practices (KFCPs) are common practices at the household level to ensure the proper well-being of children, adolescents and women of reproductive age. The KFCPs are based on the life cycle approach, and are practices with high impact on nutrition, survival, growth, wellness and development. The 4 categories of KFCPs are growth Promotion, development and protection practices; disease/illness prevention; appropriate home care and care seeking and compliance/response to illnesses.
With mobile phone ownership in Uganda increasing and 71 per cent of the population currently owning a mobile phone, the Ministry of Health has been exploring how to leverage digitization of key services to improve efficiencies and achieve behavioural change in the provision of maternal and child health services, for example antenatal care. (National Information Technology Survey Report 2017/2018) The SMS and USSD tool, FC has been implemented in Uganda since 2017. Since 2019, the Ministry of Health has been implementing KFCPs together with FC and Catchment Area Planning and Action (CAPA), an approach to help strengthen the mapping of health facility catchment areas and making sure no one is left behind from the provision of RMNCAH services. Through registration in FC by VHTs, health workers or self-registration, pregnant and lactating mothers (including HIV positive) and households receive targeted life cycle-based SMS messages during the first critical 1,000 days of life aimed to improve positive care practices and health seeking behaviours during pregnancy, childbirth and early childhood. In addition to registering mothers, VHTs are also able to report on community demographic data directly via SMS, strengthening the collection, access and use of community level data needed to improve service delivery. Using a combination of innovative and traditional communication channels such as KFCPs and FC, the MoH aims to improve positive care practices and health seeking behaviours in Uganda.
In late 2019, UNICEF contracted an institution to conduct an independent evaluation of FC. The evaluation looked at the period of implementation from January 2016 to December 2019 and was conducted from November 2019 to May 2020. Key recommendations to be addressed before scaling up included improving the existing theory of change, continuation of the work on ICT enhancements and integrating implementation with other available HSS interventions.
- Review background documents develop an inception report and work plan outlining the understanding of the assignment with key activities to be completed. Engage with UNICEF and MoH for input and guidance.
- Design and review the framework and tools to be used for data collection. Engage with UNICEF and MoH for input and guidance.
- Data collection;a) Desk review; b) National level stakeholder consultations – Key Informants and group discussions; c) Sub-national level consultations – Key Informants and group discussions (tentative: Yumbe, Ntungamo, Kamuli)
- Develop first draft of theory of change
- Feedback/consultation with UNICEF and MoH on first draft of the theory of change
- Plan and conduct a one day workshop with MoH Child and Reproductive Health Department and UNICEF for reviewing the updated theory of change with key stakeholders
- Final consultations with MoH, UNICEF and key stakeholders
To qualify as an advocate for every child you will have…
The selected Consultant should have:
- Advanced university degree in Public/ Global Health or Degree in Nursing, Degree Medicine, Pharmacy or Nutrition
- A minimum of 5 years’ experience in planning and implementation of health and nutrition programs at sub-national level.
- Experience with development of M&E frameworks, including theories of change.
- Excellent planning and monitoring and evaluation skills and ability to plan and oversee projects.
- Expertise in working with Results Based Management, including review and development of theories of change.
- Proven working relations with district & sub-district structures
- Good analytic skills and report writing skill
- Computer literacy, especially MS Office programmes
- Knowledge of the Uganda context
- Fluency in written and spoken English
- Good interpersonal and negotiation skills
- NOTE: In the application, please indicate specific experience with development of theories of change.
- Experience implementing digital health interventions (including but not limited to SMS/USSD)
- Knowledge of Key Family Care Practices and FamilyConnect
- Excellent facilitation skills, negotiation skills and oral and written communication skills;
- A repertoire of a wide range of facilitation approaches
- Strong qualitative and quantitative analytical skills
- Knowledge of the Uganda context is an added advantage
- Fluency in English.
Application Procedure/Call for Proposals
Interested candidates are required to submit a technical proposal on how they intend to approach the work. The proposal should include a timeline, and methodology, based on the Terms of Reference. The proposal must also include detailed CV of the consultant, as well as a financial proposal, clearly indicating daily rate for professional fees. The financial proposal must be all-inclusive of all costs (consultancy fees and where applicable air fares, airport transfers, daily living expenses). This is an international level consultancy and competitive market rates should apply.
Evaluation of Candidate:
The consultant will be competitively selected from a list of applicants based on their past experience of doing similar work (extensive experience in writing donor reports, in compiling and editing annual reports for various UNICEF offices).
For every Child, you demonstrate…
UNICEF’s core values of Commitment, Diversity and Integrity and core competencies in Communication, Working with People and Drive for Results.
The competencies required for this post are….
View our competency framework at
UNICEF is committed to diversity and inclusion within its workforce, and encourages all candidates, irrespective of gender, nationality, religious and ethnic backgrounds, including persons living with disabilities, to apply to become a part of the organization.
UNICEF has a zero-tolerance policy on conduct that is incompatible with the aims and objectives of the United Nations and UNICEF, including sexual exploitation and abuse, sexual harassment, abuse of authority and discrimination. UNICEF also adheres to strict child safeguarding principles. All selected candidates will, therefore, undergo rigorous reference and background checks, and will be expected to adhere to these standards and principles.
Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted and advance to the next stage of the selection process.
Advertised: E. Africa Standard Time
Deadline: E. Africa Standard Time