Integrated Management of Acute Malnutrition (IMAM) Consultancy – UN Children’s Fund

Closing date: 16 Nov 2016

UNICEF Zimbabwe is inviting proposals from Individual international consultants for provision of technical support in implementation of the Integrated Management of Acute Malnutrition (IMAM) Program


The Zimbabwe Vulnerability Assessment Committee (ZimVAC) assessment from June 2016 reported a deterioration in the nutritional status of children. Results showed that levels of acute malnutrition were poor to serious, with the Global Acute Malnutrition (GAM) rate ranging from 5% to 17% in selected districts. Average national acute malnutrition levels increased from 3.3% (ZIMVAC, 2015) to 5.7% (ZIMVAC February, 2016) and 4.8% (ZIMVAC, June 2016). The slight improvement in the national GAM rate between February and June assessments is a result of the little harvest that some communities realized. The nutrition situation is expected to deteriorate especially during the lean hunger period from January to March 2017 as the little harvest will have run out. It is projected that 4.1 million people will be food insecure. This translates to 42% of the rural population, including children (ZIMVAC, June 2016).

If critical nutrition interventions are not scaled up in these districts, the situation will worsen thereby contributing to an increase in the child mortality rate, wasting levels and increasing stunting levels. This will reverse the development gains achieved to date. In 2015, 37% of households had poor and borderline diets. This has increased to 45% in 2016. This will deteriorate further during the lean season (January-March 2017) exposing vulnerable children to the risk of malnutrition and death. This indicates the urgent need for a nutrition focused emergency response. Addressing wasting, is of critical importance because of the heightened risk of disease and death for children. It will be difficult to continue improving rates of child survival without improvements in the proportion of wasted children receiving timely and appropriate lifesaving treatment, alongside reductions in the number of children becoming wasted in the first place through preventive interventions. Repeated or prolonged bouts of untreated wasting can lead to stunting. Severely wasted children are on average 11 times more likely to die than their healthy counterparts (McDonald et al, 2013). Furthermore, a child with Moderate Acute Malnutrition (MAM) is up to four times more likely to die than a well-nourished child, and a child with Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) is nine times more likely to die than a well-nourished child, especially below the age of two (Prentice et al; 2013). While the immediate risk of mortality is higher for a child with SAM than MAM, the total number of children affected by MAM is greater, therefore absolute mortality is higher for MAM than SAM. Furthermore, according to the global Emergency Nutrition Network 2014, treatment of acute malnutrition will contribute to countries’ efforts in reducing stunting as un-treated acute malnutrition contributes to stunting in the long run (Khara and Dolan; 2014).


The project aims to save the lives of under-five children with acute malnutrition through improved multi-sectoral coordination and integrated emergency response in 10 drought affected districts of Zimbabwe. This will be realized through mass screening for early case identification of moderate and severe acute malnutrition, provision of supplementary food for prevention of moderate acute malnutrition and behaviour change communication for improved infant feeding and child caring practices. In addition, this nutrition sensitive response will strengthen linkages with health, HIV care and treatment, WASH and Social protection. The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), Zimbabwe Country Office seeks to hire a qualified IMAM Consultant to provide technical assistance in emergency response to the ten most vulnerable districts, ensuring implementation of active screening, referral and management of acute malnutrition.

Broad Objective

To provide critical lifesaving nutrition interventions and preventive care to vulnerable children and women in the 10 Zimbabwean districts with the highest levels of acute malnutrition by :-

Raising awareness on improved key child caring practices among service providers and care providers

  • Ensuring iron and folate supplementation to 80% of pregnant women for at least 90 days through monitoring
  • Improving nutritional status of children through counselling 80% of mothers and caregivers of children under two years by VHW
  • Ensuring improved vitamin A supplementation to 80% of children 6 – 59months
  • Ensuring distribution of nutrition therapeutic commodities RUSF for management of MAM in children under two years in partnership with MOHCC
  • Supporting and monitoring of screening at least 182,392 children under-five for identification of acute malnutrition
  • Supporting and monitoring of referral and treatment of an estimated 12,817 (80%) children with SAM and 80% of children with MAMMethodology & Expected Output

    Under supervision of Nutrition Manager, UNICEF and in close collaboration with National Nutrition Department Nutrition Surveillance and Emergency Preparedness Manager as well as the provincial and district health authorities and partnering NGOs, the IMAM consultant will provide technical assistance on scaling up Nutrition emergency response for the IMAM programme. The methodologies applied to this consultancy will include but not limited to:

  • Coordinate capacity building activities for health workers on active screening and management of acute malnutrition.
  • Provide logistical and technical support in quantification of supplies, support the distribution planning, and ensure availability of supplies throughout the year.
  • Monitor progress of the IMAM programme implementation process for better results by compiling monthly outcomes data on IMAM.
  • Coordinate nutrition emergency response activities with different partners in the Nutrition Sector
  • Compilation of relevant reports

Major Tasks & Deliverables

Task: Write an inception report and prepare implementation plan for the emergency response in the 10 districts.

Deliverable: Write an inception report and prepare implementation plan for the emergency response in the 10 districts.

Task: Provide technical assistance on scaling up the nutrition emergency response for the IMAM programme, especially in capacity building for facility based and community based health workers; active screening and referral of malnourished children; reporting and supervision

Deliverable: January 2017 Monthly Activity Report (including IMAM data).

Task: Provide technical support for implementation and monitor performance of IMAM programme and compile monthly output data

Deliverable: Monthly activity report to provide information and progress on each task mentioned above to supervisor as required. Monthly monitoring reports and follow-up action taken on gaps identified (including IMAM data)

All deliverables should meet the expected quality as assessed by the Supervisor of the consultancy assignment.

Payment Schedule: Payment shall be on a monthly basis upon submission of a detailed monthly report on activities carried out and the outcomes (including IMAM data).


The consultancy will begin 1 December 2016 and end on 20 November 2017

Consultancy Requirements


  • Advanced degree in Nutrition, Dietetics or Health or its equivalent.

Work Experience

  • At least eight years of progressively responsible professional work experience on management of acute malnutrition in emergencies with experience in Community based health and nutrition programmes.
  • Knowledge of humanitarian and development issues is an asset.
  • Able to work within various teams and be able to contribute to the overall success of that team
  • Able to demonstrate a flexible and adaptable approach to work.
  • Ability to communicate fluently in English required.


The Nutrition Manager will be supervising the IMAM Consultancy.


Application Procedure

If interested and available, please submit your application letter, CV, a Technical and all-inclusive financial proposal detailing professional fees, travel related costs (for an estimated 10 field travel days per month) to email address: by 16 November 2016. To quote “IMAM Consultant” as the email subject heading.

Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.