World Food Programme (WFP)

National Nutrition Consultant-wae

World Food Programme (WFP)

Job Description

  WFP seeks candidates of the highest integrity and professionalism who share our humanitarian principles.

Selection of staff is made on a competitive basis, and we are committed to promoting diversity and gender balance.


Job Title: National Nutrition Consultant -(Feasibility Study and Development of a Concept Note to Establish a Centre of Excellence for Nutrition in Malawi) No. Position/s: 1 (One) VA No.: 142747 Date of Issue:    21 June  2021        Deadline: 04 July 2021 Type of Contract: National Consultant - When Actually Employed (WAE) -SSA Unit / Division: UN World Food Programme Malawi Country Office Duty Station: Lilongwe Duration of the Assignment: 40 working days Not To Exceed 31 August 2021


The World Food Programme (WFP) is the leading humanitarian organization saving lives and changing lives, delivering food assistance in emergencies and working with communities to improve nutrition and build resilience. As the international community has committed to end hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition by 2030, one in nine people worldwide still do not have enough to eat. Food and food-related assistance lie at the heart of the struggle to break the cycle of hunger and poverty. For its efforts to combat hunger, for its contribution to bettering conditions for peace in conflict-affected areas and for acting as a driving force in efforts to prevent the use of hunger as a weapon of war and conflict, WFP was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2020.

Malawi is a small landlocked country in Southern Africa. With a population expanding rapidly at 3 percent per year and the majority of livelihoods dependent on Agriculture, the population is highly vulnerable to the effects of climate-related disasters. Poverty is experienced by most rural families, with those headed by women suffering the most. Relying on small parcels of densely cultivated land for their livelihoods, rural Malawians are highly affected by Climate Change. Episodes of drought as well as severe flooding are increasing in frequency, intensity and unpredictability, giving the most vulnerable households inadequate time to recover.

Malawi’s challenges are also compounded by high rates of HIV infection (at 9.6 percent), low primary school completion rate (at 51 percent) and chronic under-nutrition (at 37 percent for children under 5). WFP continues to partner with the government, other UN agencies, NGOs, civil society and the private sector to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030, with a particular emphasis on reaching Zero Hunger (SDG 2), addressing structural drivers of hunger wherever possible.


The Department of Nutrition, HIV and AIDs (DNHA) is a central arm of the Malawi Government, mandated to provide oversight functions to the National Nutrition Response in policy, technical guidance and high-level advocacy. Through its mandate, the DNHA is orchestrating the Government Nutrition agenda within the National Development framework. Under a joint programme with the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) on improving and sustaining multi sectoral nutrition programming in Malawi, funds have been earmarked in 2021 towards conducting a feasibility study to inform the establishment of a Centre of Excellence (CoE) for Nutrition in Malawi.

For several years now, the notion of setting up a CoE for Nutrition in Malawi has been discussed. The recommendations from various consultations emphasized the urgent need to set up an integrated centre for ensuring and improving coordinated Capacity Building on nutrition, continued learning and nutrition information exchange among professionals of various technical background in Malawi. By establishing such a CoE for nutrition, it is envisioned that it will improve more nutrition research, evidence generation advocacy, partnerships and learning within and outside the traditional nutrition platforms within the country to facilitate learning to various district teams. A wellness centre has also been proposed to be one of the components to be considered.


The Government of Malawi has placed nutrition as one of the priority areas in the Malawi Growth and Development Strategy (MGDS) III and other development agenda as critical for human development. Adequate nutrition throughout the lifecycle is the centrepiece for physical and intellectual development of every individual. Nutrition is a major determinant of one’s intellectual performance, academic and professional achievements, and overall work efficiency at later stages. It is therefore a prerequisite for human growth and development, and an integral element for the socio-Economic Development of the country.

Over the past two decades, Malawi has made strides in reducing undernutrition, which is attributed to the multi-sector programming and investments in nutrition. Between 2004 and 2015/16, The Malawi Demographic and Health Survey (MDHS) showed a 16-percentage point in reduction in stunting (low height for age) from 53 percent to 37 percent. The MDHS 2015/16 reported 37.1 percent stunting in children under 5, of which 11.0 percent were severely stunted. Similar trends were reported for underweight (low weight-for age), a decline from 17 percent (MDHS 2004) to 11.7 (MDHS 2015/16) and wasting (low weight-for height) declined from 6 percent (MDHS 2004) to 2.7% percent (MDHS 2015/16). Even with the noted decline in undernutrition, continued efforts are needed to address the high rates of stunting and sustain the gains realized over the years.

A CoE for nutrition would further support evidence generation, knowledge sharing and information management for nutrition innovation and continued advocacy; partnership building and capacity strengthening. The centre will play a catalytic role in addressing pockets of nutrition vulnerability and close gaps in nutrition disparities by facilitating investigation of causal factors and addressing them.

Rationale of Setting up Centre of Excellence for Nutrition in Malawi

One of the main strategic steps the Government of Malawi is taking to champion sustainability of efficient nutrition is the CoE. Setting up this centre will contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals, especially towards achieving Zero Hunger (SDG 2) and combat all forms of malnutrition. The centre will facilitate standardization of continuous capacity strengthening of professionals from various technical backgrounds in nutrition, knowledge sharing and information management.

The centre will collate, curate, document and display standard methodologies in nutrition; disseminate nutrition information; develop policy briefs on nutrition topics; provide continued professional development; and, commission and conduct research on topical issues in nutrition. Lastly, the centre will also offer a library of the latest global, regional and country-level research on nutrition developments. In the establishment of the centre, teamwork will be established among key partners including other government ministries, donor community, academia, civil society, private sector, UN agencies, International Non-Governmental Organizations and National organizations.

It is with this background that WFP is seeking to recruit, on behalf of the Department of Nutrition, HIV and AIDs, a consultant to lead a feasibility study and development of a concept note to establish a CoE for Nutrition in Malawi.

Objectives of the Assignment

The specific objective of this consultancy is to:
  • Determine the feasibility of establishing a CoE for nutrition.
  • Prepare a detail master plan for institutional set up of CoE for nutrition and operational model.
  • Provide detailed plan for its operation to sustain itself.
  • Develop detailed requirements and cost estimates of setting up the centre.

Scope of Work

Support the team lead consultant to prepare a concept note, advising the feasibility of establishing the centre, with Analysis and description of the conditions under which such a centre would be feasible, provide a summary of the functions and mandate of the CoE and provide a framework and recommendations for next steps, including the steps and cost for the full establishment, relevant content for training and future development of programs, a set of activities and required equipment.

The study shall address, but not be limited to, the following topics:
  • Conceptual outline/ operation model concepts that includes the structural Design of the centre.
  • Suggest institutional set-up and arrangements, key partners including proposals on the centre’s leadership and governance.
  • Advise potential scope of work for the centre and its institutional structure.

Scope Of Work Cont..

  • Suggest/recommend a sustainable management model/institutional framework for development and operation of the centre.
  • Provide cost estimated of setting up of the centre/ cost estimates of infrastructure development.
  • Proposed operational/Business Model for the centre.
  • Needs assessment for required flagships including training facilities and buildings to operate the centre.
  • Propose expected long-term sustainability of operations and available strategies in this regard.
  • Proposed financing models and resource mobilization strategies.
The assignment will be conducted remotely, and will include field visit in Lilongwe, Malawi with travel to selected districts and will involve among others a desk review of existing literature including content review of existing curricula for integrated nutrition training, conducting consultative meetings including key informant interviews with key partners working in the areas of nutrition in Malawi including academia.

The tasks defined in this ToR will initiate activities and generate concrete outputs to advise the development of the centre as regards to content and physical architecture. A key aspect of the approach proposed here is that the feasibility study and the concept note, will outline the basic concepts, operations, and architecture of the CoE for Nutrition in Malawi.

Methods and Approach

The study shall be conducted through a consultative process and with input from key partners, as well as a review of relevant documents and studies. The consultant shall collect all available background information and data as may be applicable. This includes, but is not limited to documents, studies, and discussion papers on the concept for the proposed CoE. The consultant shall conduct direct interviews (over phone/email as may be viable) and consultations with key partners working in the areas of nutrition in Malawi.

The consultant shall prepare an agenda, plan, and conduct a two-day external partner’s consultation and review meeting for the draft report and presentation of final report for approval/validation. The consultant shall work together with a pool of specialists in DNHA to ensure that relevant partners are invited to this consultative review meeting. At the meeting, the findings and recommendations of the consultant shall be presented with open discussions among all partners which shall be incorporated, as agreed upon at the meeting, towards providing additional insight to the final report. DNHA will assist the consultants to establish a working relationship with the targeted informants/ institutions.

Key Results/Deliverables

The specific results of the assignment include but are not limited to the following:
  • Inception report to be submitted within 5 days of signing contract detailing the consultant’s approach to the feasibility study, providing a detailed work-plan and detailed methodology and how the assignment will be undertaken.
  • Detail master plan and operational plan on the institutional set up of the CoE for nutrition.
  • Estimated costs of setting up a fully functional centre


Education: Have a minimum of master’s degree in economics, finance, business, architecture or physical planning, project management or any other relevant field.

Experience: Have 5-7 years extensive experience and background in planning and development of detailed master plans or related fields with an emphasis on capacity building related projects.

Have undertaken successful feasibility and master-planning assignments for a project involving infrastructure development Language: The working language for this assignment will be English.

Other Details:

  • Ability to work with a range of nutrition partners, including high-level policy makers, government officials, academia, UN agencies, civil society, and private sector.
  • Strong communication, facilitation skills and experience in participatory approaches.
  • Familiarity and passion for current nutrition issues in Malawi, government processes, national policies, strategies, action plans for nutrition.
  • Excellent command of English, both spoken and written is required.


The consultant will be paid as follows:
  • After validation of inception report: 20%
  • After validation of draft report: 40%
  • After national validation and submission of final report: 40%

Working Arrangement

DNHA and WFP will provide the overall required guidance with regard to feasibility study of a CoE for Nutrition. It will be the responsibility of DNHA to engage other partners in all processes. The consultant will technically operate from the DNHA throughout the consultation period.


Application Mode

Interested individuals should apply by presenting the following documents:
  • Letter of Application, briefly describing the motivation behind the application and outlining the consultant suitability for the assignment, comprehensive methodology on how the consultant will approach and complete the tasks, etc.
  • CV indicating educational background and professional qualification, copies of degrees/diploma and letters of reference.
  • Certificates of good completion proving that the consultant has carried out similar assignments.
Female applicants and qualified applicants from developing countries are especially encouraged to apply WFP has zero tolerance for discrimination and does not discriminate on the basis of HIV/AIDS status. No appointment under any kind of contract will be offered to members of the UN Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions (ACABQ), International Civil Service Commission (ICSC), FAO Finance Committee, WFP External Auditor, WFP Audit Committee, Joint Inspection Unit (JIU) and other similar bodies within the United Nations system with oversight responsibilities over WFP, both during their service and within three years of ceasing that service.
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