ECD IYCF Consultant

  • Location:
  • Salary:
    negotiable / YEAR
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  • Posted:
    1 month ago
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UNICEF works in some of the world’s toughest places, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. To save their lives. To defend their rights. To help them fulfill their potential.

Across 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, every day, to build a better world for everyone.

And we never give up.

For every child, health

UNICEF Ukraine


The war in Ukraine continues to destroy infrastructure, livelihoods and increase vulnerabilities of affected populations. The situation remains volatile and unpredictable, requiring comprehensive emergency preparedness and planning to ensure the greatest needs can continue to be met. Communities continue to face limited access to basic and essential water, health and education services, with some services in parts of the country non-operational.

The situation of Ukraine’s healthcare system is critical, with numerous challenges affecting maternal and childcare, including direct damaging of health care facilities, and migration of healthcare professionals. The number of children who are exclusively breastfed in Ukraine has been historically low even before the war; only 20 per cent of babies under 6 months were exclusively breastfed in 2012, with many dependent on infant formula. The already low exclusive breastfeeding rates during the first six months of life have dropped further since the war — a recent survey conducted by UNICEF in October 2022 reported rates of around 15 per cent. With worsened access to breast milk substitutes (BMS) due to the war, this puts children’s nutritional status under significant risk. Although at times of war relevant data is limited, according to the multi-sectoral needs assessment (MSNA) led by the Health Cluster in December 2022 (WHO Ukraine, Health Cluster, published March 2023), 45% of households with babies under 6 months were facing problems feeding them.

Although many maternity facilities in Ukraine have a status of being baby-friendly, very few comply, including breaching the International Code of Marketing of BMS by often pushing mothers towards formula from the very start. Healthcare workers have poor knowledge, low capacity, and poor commitment to support successful initiation and continuation of breastfeeding at various levels of healthcare, including maternities, perinatal care centers and primary level. New mothers usually associate breastfeeding with pain, suffering, inconveniences, loss of freedom, and lack of an enabling environment.

Myths about breastfeeding are widespread and supported by healthcare professionals, including pediatricians advising to feed infants with cow’s milk or dentists claiming harm to teeth from breast milk. The support that women can receive to breastfeed remains limited.

A recent localized satisfaction survey conducted in June 2023 for the UNICEF’s home visiting programme in Zhytomyr Oblast which promoted Early Childhood Development (ECD) interventions, demonstrated that about half of the 100 families visited by the home-visiting nurses posed questions about how to breastfeed their children and asked about appropriate infant and young child feeding (IYCF) practices.

Human resources to provide training on support to breastfeeding for healthcare professionals are also limited. At the same time, demand for this kind of training increases considering new conditions of the National Health Service (NHS)’s package “Medical care for newborns in complicated neonatal care” (for any facility aspiring to provide services within this package), demanding that at least one neonatologist or pediatrician at the facility provides services of a breastfeeding consultant.

Immediate action is necessary to address these urgent and complex challenges to protect the well-being of individuals and communities.

How can you make a difference?

Purpose of assignment:

The purpose of this consultancy is to strengthen UNICEF support to the Government, including during war emergency, through UNICEF Nutrition Programme, including:

  • Based on the results of the joint UNICEF-KIIS-US CDC IYCF assessment, identify and propose to the Health Specialist, the number of programme actions for UNICEF, MoH and other duty bearers.
  • Support the Health Specialist in mainstreaming the area of IYCF, including continuum of care in the first 1,000 days of life from perinatal care to ECD, including UNICEF-supported universal progressive home visiting programme.
  • Conduct a detailed analysis of the caregivers’ responses collected through the interviews of the national “Spilno for Health” hotline, focusing on issues related to breastfeeding and IYCF, particularly identifying bottlenecks, categorizing them (health workers, parents; knowledge/skills, religious and other beliefs, etc)  and proposing actions to address those to the Health Specialist.
  • Support analysis of existing practices and guidelines in IYCF.
  • Support the Health Specialist in identification of appropriate nutrition related questions for future UNICEF-supported assessments, survey and other data collection activities (in collaboration with UNICEF H&N M&E officer)
  • Capacity mapping in the area of IYCF in targeted Oblasts’ HFs (perinatal centers, maternities, pediatric hospitals and PHC facilities, including those participating in HV programme) where ECD interventions are implemented.
  • Organization of capacity building events on the topic of IYCF with focus on breastfeeding.
  • Support the Health Specialist in collaboration with SBC and Communication Section in organizing and facilitating a high-level event on the presentation of the results of the iodine survey and importance of adoption of the national legislation on salt iodisation and food fortification
  • Participation in internal meetings and meetings with partners, counterparts.
  • Preparation of progress updates for donors, UNICEF CO management.
  • Provision of inputs to donor reports.

The consultant will work under the supervision of the UNICEF CO Health Specialist.

Work assignment overview:

Deliverable Deadline # of w/days
1. A written analysis of existing practices and guidelines in IYCF, bottlenecks identified through the National Hotline “Jointly to Health” and based on the results of the joint UNICEF-KIIS-US CDC IYCF assessment 28.10.2024 105
2. Capacity mapping and at least 8 capacity building events on ECD IYCF within KFW, French grant projects are facilitated. 28.10.2024 95
3. Organization of a high-level event on the presentation of the results of the iodine survey is supported. 31.12.2023 20
4. Progress monthly updates for donors, UNICEF CO management, inputs to donor reports on project implementation are provided. 28.10.2024 30
Sub-total: 250

Please provide an all-inclusive financial proposal including travels to carry out the deliverables listed above.

To qualify as an advocate for every child you will have…

Education: An advanced university degree (Master’s or higher) in one of the following fields is required: Medicine, Public Health, Health Management or higher education in other fields with previous professional experience in project management, implementation of initiatives in health.

Professional experience: 

  • A minimum of two years of professional experience implementing initiatives in the area of health.
  • Experience working in a humanitarian emergency is an asset.
  • Cooperation with/supporting a UN system agency or organization is considered an added advantage.


  • Ukrainian: Proficient/Native [C2];
  • English: Upper-Intermediate [B2].

Skills and competencies:

  • Knowledge of the Ukrainian healthcare system, related context and challenges
  • Good organizational skills, ability to manage complexity
  • Working with others, good communication skills
  • Networking and partnership building
  • Drive to achieve result for impact

For every Child, you demonstrate…

UNICEF’s values of Care, Respect, Integrity, Trust, Accountability, and Sustainability (CRITAS).

To view our competency framework, please visit  here.

Payment of professional fees will be based on submission of agreed deliverables. UNICEF reserves the right to withhold payment in case the deliverables submitted are not up to the required standard or in case of delays in submitting the deliverables on the part of the consultant.

UNICEF is here to serve the world’s most disadvantaged children and our global workforce must reflect the diversity of those children. The UNICEF family is committed to include everyone, irrespective of their race/ethnicity, age, disability, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, nationality, socio-economic background, or any other personal characteristic.

UNICEF offers reasonable accommodation for consultants/individual contractors with disabilities. This may include, for example, accessible software, travel assistance for missions or personal attendants. We encourage you to disclose your disability during your application in case you need reasonable accommodation during the selection process and afterwards in your assignment.

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 be expected to adhere to these standards and principles and will therefore undergo rigorous reference and background checks. Background checks will include the verification of academic credential(s) and employment history. Selected candidates may be required to provide additional information to conduct a background check.


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

Individuals engaged under a consultancy or individual contract will not be considered “staff members” under the Staff Regulations and Rules of the United Nations and UNICEF’s policies and procedures, and will not be entitled to benefits provided therein (such as leave entitlements and medical insurance coverage). Their conditions of service will be governed by their contract and the General Conditions of Contracts for the Services of Consultants and Individual Contractors. Consultants and individual contractors are responsible for determining their tax liabilities and for the payment of any taxes and/or duties, in accordance with local or other applicable laws.

The selected candidate is solely responsible to ensure that the visa (applicable) and health insurance required to perform the duties of the contract are valid for the entire period of the contract. Selected candidates are subject to confirmation of fully-vaccinated status against SARS-CoV-2 (Covid-19) with a World Health Organization (WHO)-endorsed vaccine, which must be met prior to taking up the assignment. It does not apply to consultants who will work remotely and are not expected to work on or visit UNICEF premises, programme delivery locations or directly interact with communities UNICEF works with, nor to travel to perform functions for UNICEF for the duration of their consultancy contracts.

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