Consultant (Nutrition SMART Survey) at Mercy Corps Nigeria

Mercy Corps has been present in Nigeria since 2012, focusing its interventions on humanitarian assistance, economic development, and conflict mitigation. With the ongoing insurgency, and other forms of identity-related conflicts, causing the displacement of thousands of individuals and communities in North-East Nigeria (NEN), Mercy Corps started its humanitarian response in the region in 2014 to address rising humanitarian needs. As the crisis persists, Mercy Corps’ strategy has also expanded to address the root causes of the conflict and seek to build the long-term resilience of communities with integrated multi sectoral programs that focus on governance, the recovery of markets and livelihoods, improving nutrition and food security, improving social cohesion and protection, youth empowerment, and enhancing local conflict management.

We are recruiting to fill the position below:

Job Title: Consultant for Nutrition SMART (Standardized Monitoring and Assessment of Relief and Transitions) Survey

Locations: Damboa, Bama, Dikwa, Ngala and Gwoza Local Government Areas (LGAs) – Borno
Employment Type: Contract

Activity Description

  • The ongoing conflict in Northeast Nigeria has resulted in enormous humanitarian needs in various sectors. Recent nutrition and food security surveys indicate that most people are food insecure, with poor or critical levels of both acute and chronic malnutrition. To respond to the existing needs and in line with the Nutrition Sector Humanitarian Response Plan Objectives, Mercy Corps collaborates with the Nutrition Sector Coordination and State Primary Health Care Development Agency (SPHCDA) to support and strengthen the quality and scale of nutrition services.
  • The focus is on emergency assistance packages to contribute to prevention, detection and management of malnutrition in vulnerable populations, especially children under five (CU5) and Pregnant/ Lactating Women (PLW), since these individuals are at high risk of becoming malnourished due to several existing inter-related factors, e.g., severe food insecurity, limited access to health and nutrition services, suboptimal Maternal, Infant and Young Child Feeding practices, high morbidity, extremely poor diets that lack nutrients for growth and development, and poor sanitation and hygiene.
  • Mercy Corps is currently implementing a USAID/ BHA funded program that aims at addressing Diverse and Acute Primary Threats II (ADAPT II) to Human Security in Northeast Nigeria through saving lives and preventing human suffering among displaced, returnee and host households in Borno State. This program is multi-sector and covers Nutrition, Food assistance, Agriculture, WASH, Shelter, Multi Purpose Cash Assistance (MPCA) and Protection to support the conflict-affected population.
  • The nutrition response supports both nutrition sensitive and specific interventions that contribute to prevention, detection, and management of malnutrition. These include:
    • Promotion of Maternal, Infant, Young Child Nutrition (via support groups, one-to-one counseling, and community wide SBCC for MIYCN);
    • Provision of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance through distribution of Fresh Food Vouchers, backyard gardening and poultry production aiming at improving dietary diversity among targeted households;
    • Nutrition surveillance activities i.e., community nutrition screening, nutrition surveys and assessments aiming at monitoring the nutrition situation of targeted vulnerable individuals;
    • Management of children with uncomplicated Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) through established Outpatient Therapeutic Program (OTP) services, as well as support referral and follow-up of SAM patients with medical complications to Stabilization Centers (SCs) and children with Moderate Acute malnutrition (MAM) to Targeted Supplementary Feeding Program (TSFP).
  • The programs in collaboration with the Nutrition Sector TWG, plans to support a Standardized Monitoring and Assessment of Relief and Transitions (SMART) survey. This survey will provide information and update on the current nutrition and food security situation in the targeted LGAs to inform current and future programming.

Purpose and Goal

  • The overall objective of the survey is to determine the magnitude and severity of malnutrition, mortality rates and food security situation amongst the population in the accessible communities of 5 LGAs (Damboa, Bama, Dikwa, Ngala and Gwoza) in Borno State, Nigeria.

Specific Objectives

  • To estimate the prevalence of acute malnutrition (wasting and Oedema) among children aged 6-59 months.
  • Determine the prevalence of chronic malnutrition and underweight among children 6 to 59 months of age
  • To estimate the coverage of measles vaccinations, vitamin A supplementation and health seeking behavior among caretakers of children aged 6-59 months,
  • Assess the prevalence of diarrhea and use of ORS and zinc among children under-five years two weeks preceding the survey
  • To retrospectively estimate the levels of crude mortality rates and under five mortality rates in a specific period (134 days)
  • To assess maternal malnutrition among the mothers of children surveyed.
  • To determine Infant and young child feeding practices (IYCF) indicators in the survey area for the age group of 0-23 months children.
  • To determine water, sanitation, and hygiene practices of the survey population.
  • To assess the current food consumption score and coping strategy situation of the surveyed population.

Approach and Methodology:

  • This nutrition survey will be conducted using a mixed method SMART (Standardized Monitoring and Assessment of Relief and Transition) methodology to assess the point prevalence of malnutrition and other indicators. The targeted population for the anthropometric survey will be children and their mothers among the sampled households.
  • The target group for the Infant and Young Child Feeding (IYCF) survey will be children between 0 and 23 months of age in the selected households. To assess the coverage of measles vaccine and vitamin-A supplementation, children aged between 12-59 months will be selected from the sampled households. To capture the prevalence of diarrhea, fever and cough, all children from the selected HHs will be considered. For mortality surveys, all members from the sampled household should be considered.
  • The survey should use household and WASH and food security questionnaires to get qualitative information and IYCF questionnaires to capture practices on infant and young children feeding.

Expected Outcome from the Mutrition SMART Survey:

  • Prevalence of global and severe acute malnutrition among children aged 6-59 months determined.
  • Prevalence of global and severe chronic malnutrition among children aged 6-59 months estimated.
  • Prevalence of acute malnutrition among women determined.
  • Retrospective crude mortality rates and under five mortality rates and the entire population determined.
  • Retrospective two weeks morbidity rate of children 6-59 months estimated.
  • Coverage of measles vaccination (9-59 months) and vitamin A supplementation status among children aged 6-59 months estimated.
  • Infant and young child feeding practices assessed specifically Exclusive breastfeeding under 6 months, Minimum dietary diversity, Minimum acceptable diet, Consumption of iron-rich foods.
  • Dietary practices of women with childbearing age assessed specifically Minimum dietary diversity, Minimum acceptable diet, Consumption of iron-rich foods.
  • Household food consumption scores and coping mechanisms assessed.
  • Water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) practices assessed.

Geographic Coverage of the Survey:

  • Borno State, Nigeria – Damboa, Bama, Dikwa, Ngala and Gwoza Local Government Areas (LGAs).

Expected Timelines

  • The survey will be conducted for a duration not exceeding 25 working days including field work, data analysis and report write up.
Activities No. of days Person Responsible
Survey preparations (Development and validation of protocol and tools, selection of survey teams & preparation of necessary logistics). 3 Consultant
Train the survey teams 5 Consultant
Collect data, enter it daily, and give feedback to the field teams 10 Consultant
Review the data, final analysis, submit and present preliminary results to IM TWG. 3 Consultant
Final report Compilation and submission 4 Consultant
Total number of days 25 working days for consultant

Key Deliverables
The consultant will be responsible for:

  • Develop the survey protocol following the Nutrition Sector format.
  • Develop/ adapt survey tools.
  • Train survey teams
  • Lead, monitor and supervise data collection.
  • Present the initial findings to the Assessment Technical Working Group.
  • Electronic files of the clean (final) quantitative and qualitative data collected and analysis as a final deliverable.
  • A summary version of findings should be shared as a final deliverable.
  • A final survey report as per specified format.


  • The consultant fees should include daily technical fees and any other costs related to his/ her travel and accommodation. Mercy Corps will work with the consultant to recruit survey personnel and preparations for relevant logistics for training and data collection.

The Consultant(s) will report to:

  • Mercy Corps Nigeria MEL Manager and Nutrition Advisor and work closely with Program teams, Technical Support Unit and Strategic Learning Manager.

Required Expertise

  • The selected consultant is expected to have strong expertise in measuring Mortality, Nutritional Status, and Food Security in Crisis Situations using SMART methodology and should be a recognized/ registered SMART survey manager.

Interested applicants should have:

  • Academic qualification in Nutrition, Epidemiology, Demography, or related program.
  • Demonstrated experience conducting and managing all aspects of nutrition SMART surveys.
  • Led at least two SMART surveys, preferably in different contexts.
  • Experience in Northeast Nigeria or any other conflict affected contexts is preferred
  • Excellent analytical, research, writing and concise and compelling communication skills; Strong visual presentation skills preferred.
  • Language skills: Professional capacity in English.

Application Closing Date
30th September, 2022.

Method of Application
Interested and qualified candidates should send the required Documents below to: using the Job Title as the subject of the email.

Application Documents
Applicants must submit the Following Documentation:

  • Technical proposal that defines among others, understanding of the terms of reference, survey methodology (i.e. specifics on sampling strategy, sample size determination, survey team composition, plan for field supervision and data collection quality checks, requirements for data entry and analysis, equipment and other required logistics)
  • Costof planned activities,
  • Examples of similar assignments, curriculum vitae and
  • Financial proposal – expected consultant fees on a per day basis and terms of payment.

Mercy Corps will examine all applications to ensure that they contain no amendments to the terms or any other irregularities and/or errors. Applications will be assessed according to the following criteria:

Technical Evaluation:

  • The applications will first be evaluated on technical merits. The technical evaluation assesses the capacity of the applicant, based on the submitted technical proposal, performance history, and references submitted. For this purpose, certificates and additional references may be requested and subsequently examined.

Financial / Cost Evaluation:

  • The financial/cost evaluation is based on the cost of services presented in the application. The evaluation is intended to assess and confirm that applicants provide good value to Mercy Corps for the cost of all goods and/or services offered.

Other Evaluations:

  • After ranking applications and applicants according to technical and financial criteria, Mercy Corps may consider other variables, including, but not limited to, record of past performance, integrity, and social responsibility.

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