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Front of Pack Labelling and Sodium Reformulation Consultant (Mapping of stakeholders and industry opposition) 6 months consultancy, Abuja
Vital Strategies, headquartered in New York City, is an international public health organization. Our programs strengthen public health systems and address the world’s leading causes of illness, injury, and death. We currently work in 73 countries, supporting data-driven decision making, advancing evidence-based public health policies and programs, and mounting strategic communication campaigns. Our programs are concentrated in low- and middle-income countries and cities in Africa, Latin America, Asia, and the Pacific. Resolve to Save Lives is a global health initiative that aims to save millions of lives by reducing preventable deaths from cardiovascular disease and preventing infectious disease epidemics. Resolve to Save Lives (RTSL) is housed within Vital Strategies. Since September 2017, Resolve to Save Lives has worked closely with low- and middle-income country governments, the World Health Organization, academic and other civil society partners to build capacity for and implement a core package of interventions to reduce cardiovascular disease. The Resolve to Save Lives Cardiovascular Health Initiative focuses on large-scale hypertension management, global elimination of trans fat (TFA), and effective interventions to reduce sodium consumption. Resolve’s cardiovascular health programming and surveillance is being supported in India, China, Thailand, the Philippines, Vietnam, Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Turkey, and the PAHO region in partnership with national governments and organizations. For more information about our cardiovascular health programming, visit: www.linkscommunity.org. Resolve to Save Lives seeks a qualified expert to support the development of a front of pack labelling (FOPL) policy and efforts to achieve reformulation of sodium in food in Nigeria. The consultant is expected to support the groundwork for the development of FOPL and sodium reformulation work. This entails undertaking a comprehensive mapping of the key actors to enable identification of essential stakeholders and their roles. The consultant is also to map out key industries that would be affected, their potential reaction including opposition whilst determining the strategic leaning and direction of the Government on the proposed FOPL and sodium reformulation. The consultant would report to the Nutrition Policy Advisor at the RTSL Nigeria country office. S/he would receive technical support from the RTSL Country Representative in Nigeria and the Director of Nutrition Policy and Surveillance based in New York. S/he would also work closely with New York based program staff who lead on public food procurement, sodium reduction and TFA elimination. This position would be based in Abuja for a duration of 6 months ( effort level of 10 days per month) with travel to the field as the need arises.
Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) were estimated to have led to over 600,000 deaths which is about 29% of all deaths in Nigeria in 2018 according to the WHO, with Cardiovascular diseases accounting for about 230,000 of those deaths. In recent times, the prevalence of NCDs have been increasing in the country, and this has been attributed to a concomitant rise in risk factors such as hypertension, obesity, tobacco, and alcohol intake as well as consumption of unhealthy diet. Unhealthy diet is among the top 10 risk factors responsible for the greatest morbidity and mortality in Nigeria. The prevalence of unhealthy diets amongst the populace is high at 74.8% while the mean daily salt consumption is 9.6g/day which is above the WHO recommended daily limit of 5g/day.
The Government through the FMOH and other agencies is committed to devising and implementing innovative strategies to decrease the consumption of unhealthy diets by the populace ultimately reducing morbidity and mortality from NCDs and malnutrition. This has led to the development of strategic policy plans such as the NCD Multisectoral Action Plan -NMSAP (2019-2025). The Government has also set targets of reducing both mean population consumption of sodium and premature mortality from NCDs by one-third by 2025. To achieve the above, the Government has outlined a roadmap of activities which includes reformulation of processed foods to contain less salt content and adoption of standards for front of pack labelling in the NMSAP.
RTSL and its partners are currently working with the Government and its agencies on developing and implementing various policies geared towards developing an FOPL and commencing sodium reformulation of foods. In this initial stage of development of FOPL and sodium reformulation work, RTSL aims to identify all key stakeholders and their roles – Political office holders, Government, and its agencies, CSOs etc., as well as gauge potential response/opposition that may be elicited from the food industry. This would enable the constitution of a coalition of CSOs and NGOs to serve as an expert advisory group that would support the Government in the formulation and implementation of the FOPL and Sodium reformulation in Nigeria.
Specific terms of reference:
Identification of key stakeholders with their interests and roles in the food policy development process, and how it relates to proposed FOPL and sodium reformulation work. (These stakeholders may include but are not limited to Government ministries, agencies, and parastatals in health, agriculture, trade, and industry sectors, Civil Society Organizations and Consumer groups, NGOs, Academia and Science community)
Undertake a comprehensive assessment of the current laws and policies and their potential impact/relevance to a potential FOPL policy and to setting sodium targets for packaged food.
Analysis of legal framework for FOPL and sodium reformulation in Nigeria including the existence of mandatory nutrient declaration labelling, review of national, regional, and international laws to determine the feasibility of the proposed FOPL and sodium reformulation work.
Review of current nutrition policies including policies on labelling to ascertain the viability of the proposed FOPL and sodium reformulation work.
Assessment, landscape analysis, opposition matrix, and relationship mapping of national government structures, committees and MDAs involved in food policy development and how this would apply to front of pack labelling and/or salt target setting.
Document private sector potential response to food policy regulation, governance and oversight of the FOPL policy, and sodium reformulation initiatives.
Clearly document the findings to give a clear picture of the existing food policy landscape, with a clear power mapping of food industry stakeholders – manufacturers, suppliers, and pressure groups with their potential response to the proposed FOPL and sodium reformulation work.
Survey the CSOs and NGOs to determine their interest and likely level of support for the proposed FOPL and sodium reformulation work.
Based on the above work, determine the feasibility of front of pack labelling regulations, mandatory sodium reformulation targets and voluntary sodium reformulation targets.
Support RTSL in convening and building a coalition group of key CSOs and NGOs as well as an expert advisory group to support the development, formulation, and implementation of an FOPL policy and Sodium reformulation in Nigeria.
Report on key stakeholders for FOPL and sodium reformulation in Nigeria identifying their roles, relationships, and interest.
non communicable diseases
Situational analysis report on current nutrition policies and legal framework in the country with recommendations to enhance the feasibility of FOPL and sodium reformulation work in the country and about developing recommendations based for moving policy action forward, based on the findings of the mappings.
Report documenting potential response/strategy of key groups such as Food industry and CSOs, as well as overall policy strategy based on the leaning, direction and position of the Government and its agencies on the proposed FOPL and sodium reformulation.
Recommendations of best way forward for RTSL and potential allies to push nutrition policies that could reduce salt in packaged food.
Required Qualifications and Competencies:
An individual consultant, firm, NGO or CSO can apply.
Applicant must be able to demonstrate 10+ years’ experience in the field of public health, public health policy development/implementation, NCDs, and/or Nutrition.
Post-graduate degree in public health, nutrition, public policy or related field
Demonstrated experience developing health policies or firm knowledge on the policy development process in Nigeria.
Knowledge of the national landscape for nutrition policy in Nigeria, including across sectors
Firm knowledge on the policy development process
Knowledge of legal frameworks related to public health in Nigeria.
Policy research experience
Exceptional written and oral presentation skills
Well-honed facilitation skills
- $ Salary Offer POA