World Health Organization (WHO)
Consultant – Nutrition
( 2205699 )
Contractual Arrangement : External consultant
Contract Duration (Years, Months, Days) : 11 months
part-time basis (50%)
Job Posting: Jun 22, 2022, 10:24:43 AM
Purpose of consultancy
To provide technical expertise to activities related to the review and update of indicators for the assessment of iodine status.
Indicators to assess iodine status in populations are important for determining the magnitude and distribution of iodine deficiency as a public health problem and for monitoring and evaluating the impact of implemented public health programmes to address iodine deficiency. The World Health Organization, in collaboration with partners, has been providing recommendations on indicators for assessing iodine status and the control of iodine deficiency disorders since the early 1990’s. A summary of the guidance developed over time can be found in Urinary iodine concentrations for determining iodine status.
Current guidance is available in a 3rd edition of a programme managers guide on the Assessment of iodine deficiency disorders and monitoring their elimination that was published in 2007 jointly among WHO, UNICEF and the International Council for the Control of Iodine Deficiency Disorders (now the Iodine Global Network) . Guidance is provided on indicators for assessing iodine status and the monitoring and evaluation of programmes, including process, impact and sustainability indicators.
As new research has been published related to these indicators and more evidence is available for vulnerable population groups as pregnant women, lactating women and infants, there is a need to revisit the indicators and thresholds recommended for defining iodine adequacy and status. A scoping review and a consultation will be required to fully determine the indicators to be included in this update.
The preferred strategy for the control of iodine deficiency disorders remains universal salt iodization. It is recommended that iodine concentrations in salt be adjusted in countries based on their own dietary salt intake data. As strategies for salt reduction are implemented, careful monitoring of both sodium and iodine intake at the country level is needed to ensure that individuals consume iodine at levels that are effective and safe.
In order to progress towards the elimination of iodine deficiency disorders in all population groups, it requires the appropriate selection and measurement of indicators.
The overall objective for updating recommendations on the use and interpretation of iodine status indicators is to utilize new knowledge obtained since 2007 to describe:
- the indicators used in assessing iodine intake and inadequacy, the magnitude of iodine deficiency and effects on thyroid function at different stages of a programme for populations and for individuals; and
- how to use and apply these indicators in practice, including:
- indicators to use for which purpose and in which population groups (assessment of intakes, deficiency, excess, response to an intervention, individuals, populations, etc)
- recommended methods for the assessment of the iodine indicators, sample sizes needed for population-based studies and the reporting of results
- defining the public health significance of iodine deficiency/excess based on the available indicators.
In collaboration with WHO staff, finalize the scope of work on the indicators for the assessment of iodine status, coordinating with relevant internal and external partners.
- Deliverable 1.1: Contribute to forming a technical advisory group (call for experts, collection and review of DOI) by 30 August 2022;
- Deliverable 1.2: Conduct scoping review on indicators of iodine status by 31 October 2022, including but not limited to:
- Urinary iodine concentrations
- Thyroid stimulating hormone
- Breast milk iodine concentration
- Thyroid size (by palpation or ultrasonography)
- Deliverable 1.3: Contribute to the completion of a product plan for normative and standard-setting products by 30 November 2022.
Contribute to the planning and conducting of the first technical consultation on indicators for the assessment of iodine status.
- Deliverable 2.1: Contribute to the identification of experts and the establishment of the list of participants and agenda by 30 August 2022;
- Deliverable 2.2: Prepare presentations of the scoping review and present at the consultation.
In collaboration with WHO staff, facilitate the commissioning of evidence reviews.
- Deliverable 3.1: Contribute to the preparation of a ‘Call for review authors’ and terms of reference for evidence reviews by 31 December 2022;
- Deliverable 3.2: Contribute to the review of proposals received from the ‘Call for review authors” by 15 January 2023;
- Deliverable 3.3: Facilitate the follow-up with review authors to ensure timely progress and feedback on reviews (January – June 2023).
Contribute to the planning and conduct of the second technical consultation on indicators for the assessment of iodine status.
- Deliverable 2.1: Contribute to the establishment of the list of participants and agenda by 30 March 2023;
- Deliverable 2.2: Contribute to the coordination of speaker presentations for the consultation (April – consultation);
- Deliverable 2.3: Work with rapporteur to generate meeting report by 30 June 2023.
Qualifications, experience, skills and languages
Essential: Advanced university degree in nutrition or public health, with emphasis on micronutrients.
Essential: 5 to 10 years’ relevant experience in the field of public health, including micronutrients, writing technical reports or scientific publications.
- Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
- Previous expertise in reviewing and/or assessing scientific evidence in micronutrients.
Essential: Expert knowledge of English.
Desirable: Intermediate knowledge of a second UN language (Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian, Spanish).
Off site: Home Based.
Up to 4 visits to Geneva are expected for this consultancy.
Remuneration and budget (travel costs are excluded):
Remuneration: Payband level B – USD 7,000 – 9,980 per month
Living expenses (A living expense is payable to on-site consultants who are internationally recruited):
Expected duration of contract (Maximum contract duration is 11 months per calendar year):
part-time basis (50%)
- This vacancy notice may be used to identify candidates for other similar consultancies at the same level.
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