Request for Consultant: Maternal and Child Wasting Project (MCW) in Bangladesh

  • Contract
  • Bangladesh
  • TBD USD / Year
  • Salary: TBD

Results for Development Institute

Results for Development (R4D) is a leading non-profit global development partner. We collaborate with change agents around the world — government officials, civil society leaders and social innovators — to create strong systems that support healthy, educated people. We help our partners move from knowing their goal to knowing how to reach it. We combine global expertise in health, education and nutrition with analytic rigor, practical support for decision-making and implementation and access to peer problem-solving networks. Together with our partners, we build self-sustaining systems that serve everyone and deliver lasting results. Then we share what we learn so others can achieve results for development, too.

We have a unique and vibrant culture at R4D. Diversity, equity and inclusion are at the heart of our work environment and help advance our mission. Diversity—of ideas, identities, perspectives and backgrounds—is vital to who we are and what we do. We seek people who embrace these values and will help reinforce them. Our work culture is collaborative, creative and entrepreneurial. We operate based on trust and respect. Teams across the organization frequently collaborate on programmatic work and support each other in continuously building a better R4D.

R4D’s Market Shaping practice area works with change agents to ensure that markets are transformed sustainably to drive increased access to (and improve appropriate use of) essential commodities, such as childhood pneumonia diagnosis and treatments, maternal health supplies, and nutrition supplements. R4D achieves this by aligning priorities and incentives of key market actors including policymakers, procurers, manufacturers, and financiers at the global and country levels to develop and execute solutions for underserved markets at scale.

1.2. Maternal & Child Wasting (MCW) Project Overview:

The “Increasing Access to Maternal and Child Wasting (MCW) Products: Market Analysis and Strategic Options” project funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation aims to address malnutrition in women and children under-five in South Asia (SA) and sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), where access to life-saving nutritional products remains suboptimal. Undernutrition for women and children is a major driver of infant and child morbidity and mortality. Supplementary and therapeutic products have the proven potential to save many lives and reduce the burden of acute malnutrition – but market access remains low even for the most mature of these products, and innovative products have an uncertain path to reaching scale.

Our project is focused on exploring the potential for the introduction and scale-up of four nutrition products: ready-to-use therapeutic foods (RUTFs), small-quantity lipid-based nutrient supplements (SQ-LNS), balanced energy protein supplements (BEP), and promising alternative formulations of RUTFs including microbiome-directed RUTF (MD-RUTF). This range of promising products is either in-market or progressing through the development pipeline and has the potential to save and improve lives by preventing and treating maternal and child undernutrition. But maximizing the impact of these products will require a better understanding of market barriers and enablers of scale and will require key actors to actively shape the markets for these products both within countries and internationally.

Phase 1 (June 2022 – September 2023): market analysis

Phase 1 started in June 2022 and has been ongoing up until now. We are looking for a consultant to continue this work starting February 1st 2023 onwards. Phase 1 is focused on identifying the market challenges and enablers to increase access to the priority nutrition products. Through data collection and collaborations with stakeholders, donors, implementing partners, and the Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh entities including the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, The Central Procurement Technical Unit (CPTU) at the Ministry of Planning, and The Directorate General of Drug Administration (DGDA) under the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, the team is analyzing four market-enabling aspects – regulatory environment, financial availability and avenues, demand for products from the government and public sector procurement channels, and supply/production stability – to identify barriers and key areas of opportunity to drive market access. The analysis will focus on the public sector market at the national level in Bangladesh. Phase 1 is expected to end with a milestone meeting with BMGF on or around September 1st , 2023.

R4D’s market scope is focused on the upstream market factors that influence introduction of a new or scale-up of existing nutrition products through government policies and programs. This includes holistically analyzing government’s policies, programs, quantifications (demand), and procurement of nutrition commodities to understand the “health” of the market to bring a product into the country and identifying strategies to improve the market. Upstream market factors include the demand from the government or donors to procure nutrition commodities for the public sector, financing from the government or donors to procure nutrition commodities through public programs, regulation of the public sector and policies that outline nutrition commodities to be included into programs, and suppliers who are or could be supplying to the public sector.

For this project, R4D will not be procuring nutrition commodities, analyzing downstream demand from consumers, assessing the supply chain challenges within the country, or assessing service delivery aspects that can influence availability.

Phase 2 (October 2023 – June 2024): strategic options

In Phase 2, R4D will build on the market diagnostic findings from Phase 1 to develop practical market shaping options to address the identified market challenges, leveraging the data and relationships developed during the first phase and adapting as new data becomes available. Recommendations will focus on cross-cutting options that can impact the whole product class or multiple products within the class but will also look at individual products where unique challenges are identified.

2. Consultant Role and Scope of Services

R4D is looking for an individual consultant, based in Dhaka, Bangladesh, to support and contribute to the MCW project. The consultant will work closely with a variety of country-level stakeholders and members of the R4D Market Shaping team in Washington, DC to carry out the following list of indicative activities over the time frame from February 1st, 2023 – September 30th, 2023, with a possibility of extension for Phase 2, pending fit and performance, to be determined approximately one-two months prior to the end of Phase 1. Over the course of the consultancy, R4D estimates an average of about 6-8 days of work per month. However, this estimate is only meant to provide an illustrative estimate of expectations. Given the nature of this work, the actual days of work per month may fluctuate and will be determined by the specific activities agreed upon between the Consultant and R4D. The individual will support our market analysis and development of strategic options to increase access to the focus nutrition commodities in Bangladesh.

2.1. Activities:

Phase 1:

  • Lead stakeholder management with key stakeholders in the nutrition sector in Bangladesh, including leveraging the consultant’s existing relationships, building, and fostering relationships with new key stakeholders for success on this project: government agencies including Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, The Directorate General of Drug Administration (DGDA) under the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, The Central Procurement Technical Unit (CPTU) at the Ministry of Planning, donors, implementing partners, civil society organizations, and development partners.
  • Pursue, prepare for, and expertly conduct interviews with key stakeholders in Bangladesh to understand the barriers and enablers for these nutrition products, and use findings to develop insights and hypotheses about the product markets (working closely with the MCW team based in Washington DC through remote working methods)
  • Support the development of analytic and written deliverables that synthesize information effectively and communicate key findings and policy recommendations from research and analyses to internal and external audiences.
  • Assist in the development of knowledge management and communication strategies to promote the sensitization, dissemination, and uptake of our work.
  • Conduct qualitative and quantitative research and analysis to identify market barriers to product introduction or scale up, including data on the regulatory environment, financial availability and avenues, demand for products and procurement channels, and supply/production stability.
  • The Consultant will support additional activities that are deemed critical to ensure the success of the portfolio of work, e.g., attending internal team meetings and following up on tasks in a timely manner, reviewing nutrition related policy documents and resources, contribution to strategic decisions around changes in activities and/or the timelines associated with each, as well as support planning efforts for any trips made by R4D team members to the country/city.

Phase 2 additional activities to the above:

  • Contribute to and guide the development of potential market shaping solutions via a hypothesis-driven approach to develop recommendations for country level stakeholders, leveraging existing analyses and empirical evidence, in phase 2, contingent on extension.

2.2. Illustrative Deliverables and Project Timeline:

  • As we take an iterative process to analyze the market barriers and develop strategic options, the consultant will provide input and feedback on various pieces of the project work; an illustrative list of deliverables is as follows:
  • Nutrition stakeholder mapping and engagement
  • Interview guides, notes, and key takeaways summarized from various stakeholder interviews, with translation of notes and data are provided in Bengali.
  • Data collection:
  • Collection of relevant data e.g. financing, quantification, procurement, pricing, and supplier data in pre-developed templates.
  • Data analysis:
  • Insights summarized from data collected. Most analysis will be conducted via Excel and summarized in slides, Word, or Excel.
  • Slides or slide decks developed for internal and external meetings, donor milestones, or internal knowledge management purposes. This may include summaries of background research and knowledge, reviewed policy documents, and learnings from stakeholder conversations.

Table 1. Expected timeline for project

Phase I

  • March 2023
  • Building on existing data and analysis, final market data on the regulatory landscape, financing, supply, and demand for nutrition commodities (RUTFs, SQ-LNS, MD-RUTF, and BEP, including alternative formulations of RUTF and corollary nutrition products, as decided by consultant and team members)
  • June 2023
  • Preliminary analysis of the market opportunities and barriers to introducing and scaling up priority nutrition commodities
  • August 2023
  • Final analysis presented to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and dissemination of findings to country stakeholders

Phase II

  • December 2023
  • Initial list of strategic options addressing market barriers
  • May 2024
  • Final delivery of market-shaping strategic options to address barriers identified in the market analysis

How to apply

Please click here to apply.