Consultancy: Newborn health in humanitarian settings program training consultant

By the end of 2017, roughly 68.5 million persons were displaced due to conflict, persecution, and human rights violations. In addition, more than 10 million persons were temporarily displaced due to natural disasters. Over half of maternal and under-five deaths take place in settings affected by armed conflict or natural disasters according to Save the Children, State of the World’s Mothers, 2014. Addressing the human rights and sexual and reproductive health needs of women and adolescents affected by conflict and natural disaster is an issue of critical importance globally.

The neonatal period represents a particularly important and risky time for mothers and their newborns. UNICEF and WHO estimate that more than 3 million women and babies could be saved each year by investing in quality care around the time of birth, with special care for maternal complications and care for small and sick newborns. The neonatal period merits special attention within humanitarian settings, when health services and systems are interrupted and there are multiple competing priorities for humanitarian response.

While there are international standards that define emergency obstetric care & newborn care, the 2012 – 2014 Global Review conducted by the Inter-Agency Working Group for Reproductive Health in Crises (IAWG) highlighted that EmOC and ENC are among the most poorly funded and poorly provided components of humanitarian responses. Providers in many facilities across the settings lacked training in newborn infection management, and lack of training and capacity building is commonly considered one of the great barriers to implementing newborn care in these settings.

Over the last several years, a concerted effort by IAWG members under the leadership of Save the Children and UNICEF led to the development of an inter-agency Newborn Health in Humanitarian Settings: Field Guide (NBFG) and associated newborn supply kits. While newborn health care delivery has garnered interest and funding in the last year, there is still a lot to do to ensure that it is systematically integrated and delivered. To further global commitment and be held accountable, a five-year global roadmap to accelerate progress for newborn health was developed in 2019 that sets out a vision for improving health for the most vulnerable mothers and newborns in fragile and humanitarian settings.

To achieve the goals and priorities laid out in the NBFG and roadmap, as well as the SDGs and other global targets, we are looking for a consultant to help us answer the question: “what training content is required to increase delivery of and access to equitable, high quality maternal care (MNH) in humanitarian and fragile settings?” Once determined, this consultant will work with partners to develop a training (or potentially package of trainings) to be deployed through digital technology. The engaged partners will include experts from innovation and technology sectors; thus, this consultant will focus on identifying and finalizing the what of the training, rather than the how of delivering it.

Objectives of the consultancy:

  1. Undertake a mapping of current training programs and curricula related to MNH in humanitarian settings and identify the gaps that are serving as bottlenecks to implementation. This is to include information on how trainings are delivered – in person, through digital means, on the job or otherwise.
  2. Propose a training program or package (a new one to be developed, one that draws from already existing components, or a blend of both) that would meet the needs of the health care provider in key target context(s).
  3. Develop the content for a training curriculum based on steering committee consensus, in collaboration with a broader stakeholder group that will develop the delivery modality.


  1. Regular phone calls (biweekly at first) with the steering committee (members of the committee will be determined separately)
  2. A brief summarizing the mapping and recommendations for future training content, taking into consideration the target audience
  3. Final content for the training package(s)


  • Experience/knowledge of maternal and newborn health, with a key focus on newborn health and ideally experience with or knowledge of main training packages
  • Experience/understanding of the humanitarian contexts and key actors, and ideally with the Global Health Cluster system
  • Excellent English writing skills
  • The ideal candidate will have experience as a clinical trainer


  • Initial mapping completed by end of August.
  • Full recommendations are completed by October, when a stakeholder meeting is held to bring together newborn, humanitarian, and innovations experts to agree upon the developed product.
  • Training content completed by December.

To apply, please send an updated CV to Elaine Scudder at Deadline for applications is July 31st.

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