Terms of Reference

Nutrition Cluster Coordination Consultant

Type of Contract (tick the appropriate box)

Consultant Contract

Individual Contractor

Institutional Contract



UNICEF Nutrition Cluster Coordinator for Ethiopia (international)


In light of the current developing emergency due to the poor food security situation in Ethiopia, the purpose of the consultant is to provide and facilitate the process that will ensure coordinated, coherent and effective emergency nutrition assessment and response on behalf of UNICEF, the UN nutrition cluster lead in collaboration with respective government institutions (DRMFSS/FMOH), UN OCHA, WFP and other humanitarian actors.

Expected fee

HR determines the consultancy fee based on the complexity of the assignment, educational qualifications and experience required and the selected candidate’s profile.


Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, The Nutrition Cluster Coordinator will be based in the ENCU within the Early Warning and Response Directorate (EWRD).


6 months

Start Date


Reporting to

Chief of the Nutrition and Food Security Section, UNICEF. Also, the team leader will provide regular update of the progresses to the Director of EWRD under the DRMFSS.

Budget Code/PBA No


Project and activity codes




According to recent joint Government and its development partners’ assessment findings, the onset of the 2015 belg/gu/ganna/sugum rains was delayed and ceased earlier than normal. The rains were erratic and inadequate in amount negatively affecting water and pasture availability and reducing belg harvest.Unseasonal livestock migration and large livestock deaths were reported in pastoral areas. Consequently, food insecurity deepened and malnutrition rose in affected areas. Between February and May, the number of nutrition hotspot Priority 1 Woredas doubled from 49 to 97, and ad hoc requests for relief food assistance increased. According to the NMA, late belg rains in May and June replenished surface water sources and rejuvenated pasture in receiving areas. However, inadequate rainfall in the first two dekads of July, with the exception of north western Tigray, pocket areas of western Amhara and parts of western Oromia where rainfall was adequate, overturned these improvements. Drought conditions continued in parts of Afar, Amhara, SNNP and Somali regions. An early retreat of the kiremt rains, unseasonal rains leading to flooding in the last quarter and dry spells are expected as the El Niño phenomenon strengthens. NMA therefore advises that particular attention is given to most of Tigray; eastern Amhara (North and South Wollo, Oromo, and North Shewa zones); most of Afar; eastern Oromia (Arsi, Bale, East and West Hararghe); Dire Dawa, Hareri and central and northern half of Somali regions to minimize the adverse impacts of the El Niño condition. The mid-year review of the 2015 HRD took these developments into consideration.


The June/July 2015 biannual nutrition survey results in 18 woredas (in five regions – Afar, Amhara, Oromyia, SNNPR & Tigray) indicated critical situation in Afdera Woreda (Afar region); serious in nine woredas (3 in Amhara, 2 in Oromiya, 2 in SNNPR and 2 in Afar); poor in four woredas (1 in Amhara, 1 in Tigray and 2 in SNNPR); and normal situation in the remaining four woredas (2 in Oromiya and 2 in Tigray). This implies that in about 56% of the surveyed woredas the level of nutrition status is serious to critical level. In those concerned woredas, nutrition partners are mobilized with HRF funds to strengthen the nutrition interventions. In three woredas in Somali region, the biannual nutrition survey is being undertaken.


The severe acute malnutrition (SAM) admission data from the FMOH community management of acute malnutrition (CMAM) programme indicates that about 111,076 children have been admitted for treatment for the period January to May. The current May admissions rate of 26,045 is a 10% increase from April.  This, however, does not portray the regional and woreda level deterioration that is being seen, particularly in the Belg affected areas. The June TFP report is not yet completed but the total SAM admissions so far reported in Oromia (12,456), SNNPR (10,315) and Amhara (3,355).  In the second half of year 2015, admissions are expected to fluctuate but will remain high due to the negative impacts of the 2015 Belg season and other aggravating factors.


According to the government 2015 mid-year review analysis, the 264 515 SAM caseload projected in 2015 is expected to increase slightly by 5.9 % to 280 337 SAM cases for 2015 i.e. about 138,644 cases are expected during July to Dec. 2015.

Specific Tasks

The overall role of the Nutrition Cluster Coordinator is to lead and facilitate the process of ensuring a coherent and effective emergency nutrition response, by mobilising Nutrition Cluster partners to respond in a strategic manner. The following are the major specific tasks and responsibilities:


  1. Leading and managing nutrition cluster coordination at national and sub-national levels:

  • Ensure appropriate coordination between all Nutrition humanitarian partners (including national and international NGOs, and other international organisations active in the sector) as well as national authorities.

  • Strengthen and maintain the existing Multi-Agency Nutrition Task force (MANTF) including the coordination at regional level.

  • Ensure full integration of the IACS’s agreed priority cross-cutting issues, namely human rights, HIV/AIDS, age, gender and environment, utilisation participatory and community-based approaches.  In line with this, promote gender equality by ensuring that the needs, contributions and capacities of women and girls as well as men and boys are addressed

  • Secure commitments from cluster participants in responding to needs and filling gaps, ensuring an appropriate distribution of responsibilities within the cluster, with clearly defined focal points for specific issues where necessary.

  • Ensure that participants work collectively, ensuring the complementarities of the various stake holder’s actions.

  • Promote emergency response actions while at the same time considering the need for early recovery planning as well as prevention and risk reduction concerns

  • Ensure effective links with other clusters (with OCHA support), especially Health, Agriculture and WASH.

  • Represent the interests of the cluster in discussions with federal DRMFSS and MoH, and regional DPPBs and RHBs on prioritization, resource mobilisation and advocacy

  • Act as focal point for inquiries on the cluster’s response plans and operations

  1. Facilitating development of a cluster strategy and response plan:

  • Identification of gaps;

  • Developing/updating agreed preparedness and contingency plans, and response strategies and action plans for the cluster and ensuring that these are adequately reflected in the overall country strategies, such as the humanitarian requirement document/contingency plans;

  • Drawing lessons learned from past activities and revising strategies and action plans accordingly

  1. Supporting the application of appropriate technical standards:

  • Ensure that nutrition cluster partners in the region are aware of relevant policy guidelines, technical standards and relevant commitments that the Government/ concerned authorities have undertaken under international human rights law;

  • Ensure that responses are in line with existing policy guidance, technical standards, and relevant Government human rights legal obligation.

  1. Ensuring that the performance of the emergency nutrition information and interventions is monitored and reported regularly:

  • Specifically needs to include an analytical interpretation of best available information in order to benchmark progress of the emergency response over time.  That is - monitoring indicators (quantity, quality, coverage, continuity and cost) of service delivery which are derived from working towards meeting standards (mentioned in point 3);

  • Ensure regular reporting against cluster indicators of service delivery (quantity, quality, coverage, continuity and cost) supports analysis of cluster in closing gaps and measuring impact of interventions;

  • Support the timely collection and analysis of relevant reports from mobile health teams and other relevant sources;

  • Support partners on identification of the right time and geographic area that need nutrition assessment;

  • Provide technical support in the planning and implementation of nutrition related assessments.


  1. Building Technical Capacity:

  • Promote and support training of humanitarian personnel and capacity building of humanitarian partners, based on the mapping and understanding of available capacity;

  • Support the federal and regional ENCU staff capacity in undertaking the role of nutrition cluster coordination, assessment, monitoring and reporting.


  1. Advocating and ensuring mobilisation of adequate resources:

  • Identify core advocacy concerns, including resource requirements, and contribute key messages to broader advocacy initiatives of the UNICEF and OCHA, and other humanitarian  actors;

  • Advocate for donors to fund nutrition partners and encourage nutrition partners to mobilise resources for emergency nutrition interventions;

  • Link with the federal DRMFSS management, UNICEF Nutrition Section Chief and head of UN OCHA (Ethiopia) on nutrition related advocacy issues.


The consultant will support the federal and regional ENCU team and build their capacity to ensure the fulfillment of the nutrition cluster role and responsibility.


She/he will also be frequently travelling to the field to monitor the situation and quality of the response in the drought affected regions and districts.


She/he will closely link with the UNICEF Addis Ababa Nutrition team to ensure correct and comprehensive information sharing and coordination.


Expected Deliverables

By end of September 2015:

  1. Cluster strategy and response plan developed for the drought related humanitarian action.


By end of October:

  1. Standard guidelines, protocols, procedures in place and are used by all partners, as shown by communication that documents have been shared or trainings been conducted.

  2. Report summarizing needs assessment, gaps and priority actions identified and recommendations for addressing these needs are presented


By end of December:

  1. Contingency plan at national and regional levels prepared

  2. Operational and technical capacities at national, regional and district levels built


By end of February:

  1. Overall report on consultancy including an overview and handover note for all tasks under this consultancy


Expected Background and Experience


Advanced University degree in any of the following fields: Nutrition, Public Health or a related technical field.


Work Experience

Minimum of five years with significant experience working in emergency nutrition contexts preferably UN or NGO experience at programme management level.


Language Proficiency

Fluency in English (verbal and writing) and another UN language preferred.


Competency Profile

i)  Foundational Competencies (Required)

Commitment [X]   Drive for Result [X]    Embracing Diversity [X]   Integrity [X]   Team Work [X]   Self-Awareness and Self-Regulation [X]


  1. Functional Competencies (Required)

Leading vision and change [  ]    Networking [X]   Strategic and Global Thinking [  ]    Planning, Setting Standards, and Monitoring Work [X]   Managing Resources [  ]   Decisiveness [  ]

Communication [X]   Team Leadership [X]           


  1. Technical Knowledge

a) Common Technical Requirements

    • Knowledge of humanitarian reform principles, international humanitarian law, inter-connectedness and reform pillars & reform updates

    • Knowledge of the cluster approach guidelines and Terms of Reference (and knowledge of how to apply them)

    • Knowledge of cluster participants (their mandates, capacities, attitudes, limitations) and how to integrate them into the cluster approach

    • Ability to mitigate and mediate conflict and disagreements among cluster partners

b) Function-Specific Technical Requirements

    • Ability to use and adapt cluster coordination tools (e.g. stakeholder mapping, NAF, CHAP, CERF, CAP, Flash Appeals, GAP ID, IM tools, Need-Capacity-Resource Mapping, Contingency planning etc.

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