Research Consultant for the Multi-Country under-five Mortality Determinant Analysis (Health Section) – UNICEF ESARO

Nairobi | Nairobi

Background and Justification

Survival and development right is the sixth article under the Convention on the Rights of the Child and is about basic rights to life, survival and development of one’s full potential (UN, 1948). Under-five mortality is one of the most important indicators of the health of a nation, as it is associated with a variety of factors such as maternal health, quality and access to medical care, socioeconomic conditions, and public health practices. Along with fertility and migration, childhood mortality determines important demographic variables such as population size, growth rate, the age-sex distribution and the spread of the population.

Under-five mortality rate in the East and Southern Africa Region (ESAR) declined throughout the last 20 years. According to the latest UN estimates (IGME report 2014), in 1990, the ESAR under-five mortality rate was approximately 165 deaths per 1,000 live births, while in 2013, the rate was 74 deaths per 1,000 live births. Some countries have significantly reduced their under-five mortality rate within a short period of time, which has generated questions among researchers and policy makers. Besides, mortality determinants remain unclear for many countries in the region. Identifying factors behind the significant decrease of under-five mortality is of great interest for policy, advocacy, learning and programming purposes.

The proposed study will look for factors behind progress in different country settings such as countries with significant reduction or have met MDG4, those with limited reduction and countries with low or no reduction.

A consultant is needed to support the development of the multi-country research paper as defined in the 2015 annual work plan of the Health Section. ESARO team will initiate and closely coordinate the design of the study but the Consultant is expected to provide support in collecting additional information (quantitative and qualitative) from selected countries (up to 5), conducting the data analyses, as well as helping in the write up of the overall paper.

Scope of Work

1)***Goal and Objective*****:

Overall main objective is to assess the relative importance of major improvements in levels of health interventions, social and environmental determinants of population health, measured as under-five mortality rate (U5MR), at country level. The study will also project lives saved in the next 5 years by scaling up effective MNCH interventions.

Under the supervision of the Regional Health Advisor the consultant will provide technical support and advice during the design and the development of the research paper by exploring easily understandable and accessible information and analysis of the current mortality level, trends, determinants, risk factors, disparities and success factors in selected countries of the region. It is also expected that the consultant will have specific roles on additional data collection, levels and trends analysis and multivariate analysis. It is therefore desirable to have candidate with strong skills and experience in multivariate statistics, conducting qualitative and quantitative investigation, as well as excellent communication and writing skills.

2)*Provide details/reference to AWP areas covered:***

This assignment is part of the ESARO Health Section AWP 2015-2016 which is recorded in vision under the following code: (Vision code).

Specifically, in the workplan it falls under Output 1.1 (Enhanced partnership capacity for the generation and use of evidence for improved health policies and practices around the ESA regional priorities); Deliverable 1.2 (Evidence: At least ten studies/ evaluations in countries completed and disseminated to inform and document best practices for health strategy development); Activity 1 (Undertake multi-country research/study to understand the factors behind progress or lack of progress behind under 5 mortality reduction and support the development of costed National health strategies and RMNCH plans in the region (e.g. Malawi, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, Ethiopia, Madagascar))

3)*Activities and Tasks:***

Support to the ESARO research team:

• Provide technical support to the design of the multiple regression model for selected countries in ESARO region, including desk review and support the identification of the most relevant data and indicators for primary data collection in selected countries.

• Undertake review through collecting necessary materials for desk reviews

• Support the design and preparation of predictor variables, including statistical testing for blocks of variables and LiST modelling

• Support the finalization of the research paper

Field visits and investigation at country level

• Together with country office team, undertake field work for necessary data collection of qualitative and quantitative information related to risk and success factors, including policy and programmatic component. Specific activities at country office may include the following: Coordination of the scope of works, Interview of key stakeholders, collect and compile relevant secondary data (country reports, survey report, etc.).

4)*Work relationships:***

ESARO health section have constituted a writing team to complete this assignment. It is expected that the consultant will work closely with this team, under the supervision and overall guidance of the Regional Health Advisor. In addition to the design of the methodology for the research, the consultant will interact with MoH of selected countries, including key stakeholders involved in the implementation of Health related MDGs such as WHO, UNFPA, WB, USAID, Communities, Health service users, etc.


· An approved work plan and inception report (to explain how the consultant intends to conduct the research) agreed with UNICEF health section after 1 week of commencement of consultancy

· Study methodology developed and approved by ESARO writing team

· Questionnaires and tabulation plan developed prior to country field visits

· Quality database available with sets of dichotomous variables from DHS data and country surveys

· Secondary analysis results

· Final consultancy report or draft research paper submitted, including a quality executive summary and ready to use power point presentation


(Estimated # of days or months) Timeline/Deadline Schedule of payment 1. Agreed research workplan and inception report 5 30 Nov. 2015 1 2. Questionnaire and tabulation plan 15 3. Trip reports from field visits and data collection 30 15 Jan 2016 2 4. Draft report that include secondary analysis results from multivariate analysis 15 29 Feb 2016 3 5. Full report of the consultancy or approved draft research paper 15 15-Apr 2016 4 TOTAL 80 days

Payment Schedule

Payment will be made upon satisfactory quality deliverables as scheduled and described above.

Desired competencies, technical background and experience

The qualifications, experience and competencies required from the consultant will include the following:

a) Relevant advanced university degree (Masters as a minimum) in areas related to social science, health, anthropology, advanced statistics, Social Development, Sociology or related field

b) Substantive prior experience in conducting multi-country research of this nature;

c) Good understanding of the ESAR countries context and capacity in specific relation to political socio-economy factors within and outside of government;

d) Knowledge of and access to relevant country offices or stakeholders who act as gatekeepers for commissioning and using evidence within and outside of government (demand side);

e) Knowledge of and access to relevant country offices or stakeholders who generate information and evaluative research which influences government (enabling environment and supply side);

f) Examples that can be furnished of the consultant’s previous consultancy reports and studies independently and/or with a team.

g) Expert and demonstrated level of writing and editing skills in English, to tight deadlines.

h) Knowledge of relevant advanced statistical package such as SPSS or STATA

Administrative issues

The ESARO Health section will provide access to information and country level contacts and will be accessible via email or in person throughout the contract period. Progress face to face meeting will take place at least once every month. Virtual conference calls will be conducted on weekly basis.

The contract is for 70-80 days over a six month period. The consultant is expected to be present in Nairobi for the duration of the contract. Some travels to a maximum of 5 countries are anticipated. The anticipated start date is November 15th, 2015 until April 30st 2016.


While in Nairobi, the consultant will be provided with office space and while necessary with working material, information resources and appropriate office equipment and access to UN premises.

As stipulated above, the consultant will be asked to undertake multiple missions in selected countries.

As per UNICEF DFAM policy, payment is made against approved deliverables. No advance payment is allowed unless in exceptional circumstances against bank guarantee, subject to a maximum of 30 per cent of the total contract value in cases where advance purchases, for example for supplies or travel, may be necessary.

UNICEF reserves all copyrights on material, including primary and secondary data analysis, documents, photographs and graphic designs. No data or findings can be published without the permission of UNICEF and any publications arising from the work will be co-authored with UNICEF staff. The use of UNICEF material for any purpose, including repackaging in hard copy or compilation for any digital platform or any electronic media, is prohibited unless prior written permission is obtained.The unauthorized use of the UNICEF name and logo is against international law and is expressly forbidden.


All other reasonable and likely risks will be identified and reasonable relevant risk responses and possible mitigating actions put in place.

The candidate selected will be governed by and subject to UNICEF’s General Terms and Conditions

Interested and suitable candidates should ensure that they forward their applications (a cover letter, CV, and signed P11 form which can be downloaded at, quoting the indicative all-inclusive fee range and the consultancy Title “**Health Research Consultancy**” and reference ESARO/SSA/HLTH/2015-034 on or before 06 November, 2015 to:

The Human Resources Manager

UNICEF Kenya Country Office

Email address:

Applications submitted without an all-inclusive fee/ rate (fee, travel and living expenses) will not be considered. Please note that only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

UNICEF is committed to diversity and inclusion within its workforce, and encourages qualified female and male candidates from all national, religious and ethnic backgrounds, including persons living with disabilities, to apply to become a part of the organization.

Before applying, please make sure that you have read the requirements for the position and that you qualify.
Applications from non-qualifying applicants will most likely be discarded by the recruiting manager.
  • Organization: UNICEF - United Nations Children’s Fund
  • Location: Nairobi | Nairobi
  • Grade: Mid/Senior
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Health service
    • Health service
    • Health service
    • Health service
    • Health service
    • Health service
    • Health service
    • Health service
    • Health service
    • Health service
    • Health service
    • Health service
    • Health service
    • Health service
    • Sexual and reproductive health
    • Sexual and reproductive health
    • Sexual and reproductive health
    • Sexual and reproductive health
    • Sexual and reproductive health
    • Sexual and reproductive health
    • Sexual and reproductive health
    • Sexual and reproductive health
    • Sexual and reproductive health
    • Sexual and reproductive health
    • Sexual and reproductive health
    • Sexual and reproductive health
    • Sexual and reproductive health
    • Sexual and reproductive health
  • Closing Date: 2015-11-06

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