Terms of Reference for consultant(s)/consulting firm to conduct a Study on Nutrition Status of Mothers and Children within the SONGO working area, with development of an SBCC strategy and Nutrition Service Provider Training Module Development.


ICCO Cooperation (www.icco-cooperation.org) is an international organization, whose mission is to end poverty and injustice in the global south, in partnership with enterprising people. We invest in the power and dreams of entrepreneurial people, stimulate their entrepreneurial spirit, and connect them with businesses, governments and social organizations. 

ICCO Cooperation is playing the lead role to implement EU funded “Sustained Opportunities for Nutrition Governance (SONGO) project” to improve maternal and child nutrition in Kurigram and Gaibandha districts. The SONGO project is 5 years duration with 4 inter-linked outcomes; (1) establishing upazila nutrition governance, (2) improving maternal and child health, nutrition (3) improving WASH practices (4) enhancing availability and access to safe and nutritious food.

RDRS has been ICCO's long standing partner in a variety of large poverty alleviation and development projects in Bangladesh, often with food security components. RDRS will implement the project activities such as community mobilization, capacity building, committees formation, meeting organisation, workshops, monitoring, etc at a field level..

SONGO emphasizes the importance of sustained governance as a primary outcome and a precondition to achieve other outcomes that are based on NPAN2 and three interlinked pillars or pathways (as per the UNICEF Conceptual Framework on Undernutrition.

  1. HH food and nutrition security (including availability, economic access and use of food)
  2. Feeding and caregiving resources and practices (including maternal, HH and community levels)
  3. Access to and use of health services as well as a safe and hygienic environment (i.e. food, care and health).

While availability and accessibility of nutritious and safe food at HH level is a precondition for improved nutrition it does not automatically lead to improved nutrition among all HH members. Lack of nutrition, health and WASH related knowledge, attitudes and practices as well as intra-HH dynamics often impede nutrition improvement. Evidence has also shown that the extent to which women have access to and control over productive resources, time, knowledge and social support networks largely determine their own nutritional status and the kind of care they provide for their children and for the rest of the HHs. The nutritional status of a woman before and during pregnancy has a direct impact on the development and nutritional status of her baby. In order to address child undernutrition fully, the SONGO project will therefore employ nutrition-specific as well as nutrition-sensitive interventions through a lifecycle approach to deliver the right services and messages to the right person at the right time. The implementation will incorporate a Social and Behavior Change (SBC) strategy, using multiple approaches, ranging from interpersonal communication (such as counselling by health workers) to mass media (such as radio campaigns). SONGO will reach out to 120,000 HH final beneficiaries of which 95,000 HH are direct beneficiaries. The approach is based on proven and evolving experiences taking into account the importance of pre-conditions to address e.g. dimensions of availability and access to food as well as the required synergy between interventions and actors at various levels. Interventions will focus on mobilizing and coaching target groups as well as local public, private and development actors to collectively take the necessary actions towards improved nutrition.


Kurigram district:

  • Char Rajibpur Upazila: Char Rajibpur and Mohanganj Unions
  • Chilmari Upazila: Chilmari and Ramna Unions
  • Rowmari Upazila: Bandaber, Dantbhanga and Jadur Char Unions

Gaibandha district:

  • Gaibandha Shadar Upazila: Ghagoa, Gidari and Kamarjani Unions
  • Fulchari Upazila: Fulchhari, Udakhali and Kanchi Para Unions
  • Sundarganj Upazila: Belka, Chandipur, Haripur, Sreepur and Tarapur Unions


The study requires focus on nutritional behaviours identification and a brief SBCC strategy development based on the situational context and findings. Furthermore, based on these investigation findings alongside best maternal and child nutritional practices, a training module to be delivered to union level health and nutrition service provider staff, along with SONGO’s field implementation team will be required to be developed. Outputs of the consultancy will be required to achieve the following:

  • To identify the present situation of nutritional behaviours and s  indicators, inclusive of the rates of exclusive breastfeeding, birth weights of children, birth places, anemia status of pregnant women and adolescent girls, incidence of CU5 diarrhea and other maternal/caregivers practices to own and child nutrition.
  • To understand from existing health facilities, status of edema for children and their service at community level, quality of, use of and accessibility to growth monitoring services from a community level through to a district level.
  • To identify service area gaps and training needs for the service providers to administer core nutrition services, government mandated nutrition services and awareness raising actions (e.g. Nutrition Corner Capacitating, Breastfeeding Services etc.)
  • To develop a brief SBCC strategy to improve the nutrition status of child and mother in this working area based on study findings, present behaviours and capacity of service providers and the situational context.
  • To develop a training module  on maternal and child nutrition, SRH, gender for Union level government health & nutrition service provider and SONGO frontline staff for development of their awareness and capacity.

If the above areas for the community and/or higher administrative and working level can be meaningfully supplemented by performing of qualitative consultations, FGDs or KIIs, the consultant(s) may justify it as a part of the proposal at the time of application.


The consultant(s) will be expected to develop a nutrition study research output and SBCC strategy recommendation. They must:

  • Submit a study inception report, inclusive of a clear research methodology and detailed work plan for the consultancy period. This work plan shall be submitted for review and approval by ICCO Cooperation two (2) days after the signature of the contract and before commencement of the consultancy. Within this document, anticipated to be a adaption of the submitted proposal, the following should be considered:
    • Methodology for root cause analysis for maternal and child malnutrition, trend analysis of relevant interventions, innovation and invention for recommendations of interventions.  Furthermore where needed investigate cross cutting issues of nutrition i.e gender, disaster, disability, accountability.
    • Identification of the capacity of service providers and a training needs assessment.
    • Settle on an appropriate sampling method commensurate with the scope of the study as per the indicators set out in the Purpose of the Study section. 
  • Produce an overall study report (in English) based on the findings of service provision, public stakeholder qualitative findings, nutrition behavioural practices and sampled data. These combined findings must lead into a scalable presented SBCC strategic approach to address instrumental behaviour and practice gaps
  • A soft copy of all relevant data collected as part of the study - quantitative in .xls format, and transcripts of any qualitative assessments conducted.
  • Delivery of a first (soft copy) draft of the findings and a preliminary dataset of quantitative findings by the first draft submission.
  • Provide proof of any research clearance(s) sought or required for performing the scope of the investigation
  • Presentation of findings to and facilitation of joint analysis with ICCO Cooperation, the project’s partner organizations and other stakeholders.

The consultant(s) must also draft, and following finalisation deliver prints of a training module (Bengali) to be administered to frontline nutrition service providers (Examples include CHCP, HA, FWA, FWV, SACMO, FPI) and project staff, on mother and child nutrition and SRH. Soft-skills Capacity development of trainees for conducting of trainings/facilitating methods and counselling must also feature. This package must be inclusive of session formats, training administration material(s), handout(s), presentation and content materials as applicable. All materials must also be delivered in a soft copy (PDF) version. Finally a ToT document for Technical SONGO staff to deliver the training module must be provided.


  • The chosen consultant will liaise with the Nutrition Governance Advisor and PMEL Lead across the duration of the consultancy as the first point of call with respect to the investigation(s).
  • The consultant will be required to supply the expected deliverables listed below by the end of the consultancy. 
  • The consultant will complete the deliverables in a location of their choosing, with no requirement or undertaking on the part of ICCO Cooperation to transport them to project areas. Formal consent for collection of any data will be required in all cases of community and household points testing by the relevant parties.
  • All logistics will be handled by the consultant(s).


  • ICCO Cooperation will liaise regularly with the consultancy firm and work to address any arising research issues.
  • Will review any key collection/format materials prior to collection in a timely manner.
  • Provide feedback on preliminary deliverables within the stipulated timeframe
  • Brief the consultant(s) with a project based understanding of the working area, supplying other summary/research documents if necessary.
  • Ensure payments based on agreed terms


This consultancy is expected to be completed within 25 days. The consultant will be expected to start working two (2) days after the signature of the contract and before commencement of the consultancy in the 3rd week of June, 2019. The consultant will submit the first drafts of all required deliverables by day 20 of the consultancy period. Expected completion and submission of the final draft of the report and other deliverables specified will be by day 25 of the consultancy.


  • Higher level postgraduate qualification in the fields of nutrition, public health, social research, development or a related field. 
  •  At least 5 years experience in the design and implementation of training materials with a focus on nutrition and/or health service provision
  • Experience or proven knowledge of preparing modules and sessions and training needs assessment
  • Experience in Quantitative and qualitative data collection and analysis
  • Experience in interview design and implementation
  • Excellent documentation skills
  • Ability to work under pressure and to deliver in a timely manner without compromising quality standards.


Interested consultant(s) must submit the following documents for appraisal. Proposers who do not submit the below mentioned documents will not be considered for further evaluation.
The proposal should include:

  • Consultant CV including past achievements
  • Introduction letter including a brief overview of the assignment as understood by the bidder
  • Methodological outline for delivery of outputs, including clear sampling methods and sizes proposed
  • Preliminary detailed itemized work plan – including timeframes for submissions of drafts
  • Detailed itemized budget and price justification for the entire consultancy period, splitting the nutrition study, SBCC strategy and training module deliverable components.
  • Annexes: Any documents, such as work samples, or other information, which the consultant feels will assist proposal review team in evaluating the proposal 

Prospective consultants should submit a written proposal both hard and soft copy (hard copy by courier and soft copy via email) to;

Martin Mondol
Head of HR & Admin
ICCO Cooperation
Bangladesh Country Office,
T: +88 (02) 9861219
E-mail: hr.bd@icco.nl

For queries, please contact Mostafa Nurul Islam at mostafa.islam@icco.nl or for short queries +88(0)1712 501810


Deadline for submitting proposal
22nd June, 2019