RFP for Consultancy under WFP Project

RFP for Consultancy under WFP Project


The Afghanistan Research and Evaluation Unit (AREU) is an independent research institute based in Kabul. AREU’s mission is to inform and influence policy and practice through conducting high-quality, policy-relevant research and actively disseminating the results, and to promote a culture of research and learning. To achieve its mission, AREU engages with policymakers, civil society organizations, researchers and students to promote their use of AREU’s research and its library, to strengthen their research capacity, and to create opportunities for analysis, reflection and debate. For additional information, please see www.areu.org.af.

Project Title: [Formative research to inform social behavioral change interventions to promote mother and child nutrition in Afghanistan] 

Date of Start: 1st March, 2023

Date of contract ending: 31st August, 2023



The scale of food insecurity in Afghanistan has risen dramatically since August. As of January 2022, 95% of Afghans are facing insufficient food consumption as compared to 81% prior to August 2021. 1 Currently, more than half the Afghan population faces crisis (IPC Phase 3) or emergency (IPC Phase 4) levels of food insecurity. 2 This is the highest number of acutely food insecure people ever recorded in the country. Economic collapse, rise in food prices and inflation, and drought are the key drivers of hunger in the country. They have worsened the already precarious food security situation of rural Afghans and contributed to internal displacement. Meanwhile, many cohorts of Afghans facing food insecurity for the first time. The effects of food insecurity are exacerbated by poor access to health services, particularly in rural areas.

In this context, the health and nutrition status of women (particularly Pregnant and Lactating

Women (PLW)) and children under five years of age are of concern. Although updated data is limited, the Nutrition Cluster estimated 4.7 million children and PLW need life-saving treatment for acute malnutrition. Twenty-eight of 32 provinces in the country have global acute malnutrition prevalence above 10 percent, which is a high prevalence according to the World Health

Organization benchmark. While ensuring adequate access to services to treat acute malnutrition is essential as a life-saving measure, there is a clear need to prevent children and women from becoming malnourished in the first place. Measures proven to prevent malnutrition and enhance maternal and child health include micronutrient supplementation and weight gain during pregnancy, early initiation of breastfeeding, exclusive breastfeeding (EBF) for six months, and safe complementary feeding thereafter.


Availability and affordability of nutrient rich foods for families are major constraints to adopting these measures; especially when considering that the cost of meeting nutrient requirements is generally highest for adolescent girls and PLWs within households. 4 Unfortunately, given the scale of food insecurity, many Afghan families have restricted access to the nutritional resources needed to support PLW and infant young child (IYC) health. In June 2021, the Fill the Nutrient Gap (FNG) report for Afghanistan found that 88% of the population are unable to afford a nutritious diet, with a nutritious diet costing on average three times more than a nutrient poor high energy diet. 5 Recent WFP data shows that since August 2021, Afghan families have on average dramatically reduced their intake of nutritious foods in favour of high-energy staples such as cereals (wheat and rice). Average household consumption of proteins has halved in the past six months, and consumption of fruits and dairy have more than halved.


While the food insecurity situation in Afghanistan is alarming, there is still scope to address mother and child malnutrition through interventions that extend beyond provision of food and dietary supplements. Data available prior to November – March 2021 – when food insecurity was also extremely high 7 – indicated that infant and young child feeding (IYCF) practices were generally sub-optimal in Afghanistan, with scope for improvement to attain better nutrition outcomes. 8 In 2020, WFP commissioned formative research on stunting prevention in Badakhshan province, to assess the dietary behaviours of mothers in the 1000 days of a child’s birth. The baseline findings including wide-spread negative practices such as wide-spread use of pre-lacteal and post-lacteal feeds, owing to myths and misconceptions around nutrition and power dynamics within the home.


Objectives of the Research:

This research aims to understand the barriers and enablers of optimum dietary behaviours for

PLWs (adult and adolescent), and children under 5, and infants from 0 to 24 months.

The findings are expected to inform Social Behavioural Change (SBC) strategies in Afghanistan.

Accordingly, this research has the following objectives:


Knowledge and Information:


  1. What are the current knowledge, attitudes, and practices (KAP) of the target audience and key influencers related to maternal nutrition and IYCF – types of food consumed (meal frequency etc), food preparation?
  2. What are the behaviours and family/social norms/taboos related to food that prohibit the proper dietary intake for the target audience?
  3. How are disclosures around pregnancy and lactation status managed at the household and community level – who is informed and when (including but not limited to, key decision makers/budget holders in the HH, healthcare workers)?
  4. What are the key barriers healthcare workers face in communicating and on boarding PLW and households to beneficial practices? This question should take into factors specific to beneficiaries and said healthcare workers, to inform SBC strategies for both.
  5. Outside of the household and community, what are the trusted/preferred sources of information on maternal nutrition and IYCF practices, if any (e.g., media, health-care workers, internet etc), and which are available?


Duties and Responsibilities:

The consultant will perform minor tasks that provide intellectual and program support to AREU, including reviewing and providing inputs on AREU draft publication, research proposal, framework, and other documents; identifying potential staff and consultant; and identifying potential research and communication opportunities.


Specific responsibilities

  1. Responsible for methodology development, Quality control of the data collected, writing the inception and final report and implementing other specific research actions.
  2. Input on the research tools provided by the donors and on the codebook produced by the AREU research team.
  3. Analysis of the data, writing the final study report, and publication of data collected across the range of Social Behavioral Change Interventions to Promote Mother and Child Nutrition research activities.
  4. Communicating relevant research findings at relevant meetings with external actors (government, UN, donors, NGOs, academia, and media).
  5. Ensuring research findings and write-ups meet the needs of AREU’s target audiences, particularly policy-makers, donors, and development practitioners.



Activity Deliverables Timeline
Develop study methodology and refine instruments Deliverable 1: Inception report, including research methodology, and feedback on instruments including suggestions for improvement and adaptation to local context.


3 weeks after contract signature
Translate instruments to Dari and Pashto Deliverable 2: Translated FGD and IDI instruments and field guides


5 weeks after contract signature
Train enumerators, pilot and finalize research instruments Deliverable 3: Brief note of training and pilot activities, and delivery of final instruments.


8 weeks after contract signature
Complete data collection in the field Deliverable 4: Raw audio recordings, transcripts (original language and translated). Field notes.


10 weeks after contract signature


Transcribe and translate data and notes from field observations Deliverable 5: Translated transcripts of FGDs, IDIs, in-field observation forms, and notes, and written exercises


11 weeks after contract signature
Coding and analysis Deliverable 6: Coded dataset, i.e. finalized set of codes, coded transcripts of FGDs and IDIs


13 weeks after contract signature


Write up report synthesizing findings Deliverable 7: Final report (approx. 50 pages inclusive of executive summary and conclusion) presenting the data collected, using an outline agreed with WFP 15 weeks after contract signature


The Consultants who have related expertise and skills in mentioned above section are invited for the provision of proposals along with CV and simple of related research report for consultancy of the mentioned project. This service must be started not later than 15th of May 2023. The proposal should clearly articulate your capability and experience of carrying out the mentioned consultancy assignment.


The duration of this contract would be from 15th May, 2023 up to 31st August 2023 with 30 working days. The consultancy fee will be paid on daily basis upon submission of the deliverable.


The consultant will work closely with the AREU research team and the consultant will report to AREU Research Manager and AREU Director.


AREU will deduct applicable Afghan income tax (currently 7.0%) at source from the consultancy total fee (USD xxxx) for work completed under this contract. The Consultant will be provided with relevant documentation regarding the withholding of tax deposits by AREU.


The consultancy fee will be paid through wire transfer and the cost of international wire transfer or other money transfer fees will be borne by the Consultant.


Submission of Proposals & CV along with sample of relevant study report


The proposal must be in English, and in the soft version should be submitted by email no later than Wednesday, 10th May 2023 (2:00 pm Kabul, Afghanistan local time) to [email protected]


For any questions related to above TOR   contact with this number:  0792992037.

[social_share show_share_icon="yes"]