Consultancy: Newborn health policies and action plans in humanitarian settings

Consultant: Newborn health policies and action plans in humanitarian settings

Duration: October – April (7 months)


Newborn deaths account for 48% of deaths among children under the age of five globally, resulting in 2.5 million lives lost each year. In addition, 2.6 million babies die in the last 3 months of pregnancy or during childbirth (stillbirths) and 303,000 maternal deaths occur each year. 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.

We have the knowledge and tools to prevent at least two-thirds of these deaths. Over the last several years, a concerted effort by Inter-Agency Working Group (IAWG) members under the leadership of Save the Children, WHO, 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.

In addition, the global Every Newborn Action Plan (ENAP), launched in 2014, provides a road map of strategic actions for ending preventable newborn mortality and stillbirth and contributing to reducing maternal mortality and morbidity. It sets out a clear path to 2030 with specific global and national milestones, and is based on evidence presented in The Lancet Every Newborn series, and developed within the Every Woman Every Child framework.

As of 2018, 90 countries, many of these countries with humanitarian settings and high neonatal mortality rates, had completed the ENAP tracking tool to facilitate country support in assessing progress, barriers, and resourcing technical assistance for newborn health in line with recommendations. Given global trends, we anticipate that over the coming years, even more countries with national newborn plans will suffer from humanitarian situations, only increasing this number.

As the ENAP community considers how best to provide further technical assistance, support, and recommendations to these countries in developing, implementing, and monitoring their newborn plans, we are looking for a consultant to undertake some deep dive case studies into a handful of strategically selected humanitarian countries to determine what has and has not worked well in terms of ENAP, and to make recommendations for future improvements.

Objectives of the consultancy:

  1. Undertake a mapping of countries with humanitarian crises that have national newborn policies and/or plans (particularly ENAPs)
  2. Conduct 4-6 in-depth case studies on newborn policies and plans at national (and where appropriate, sub-national) level in selected humanitarian/fragile countries
  3. Identify facilitators and bottlenecks to developing, implementing, and monitoring a national (and where appropriate, sub-national) newborn health plan in a country with a humanitarian setting or situation.
  4. Make recommendations for how to best adapt ENAP tools and technical assistance for these settings, including engaging humanitarian actors, adapting indicators, and implications for funding, etc.


  1. A proposed list of countries (4-6) for undertaking the case studies, in agreement with steering committee (members to be identified separately)
  2. A case study template that includes objectives, list of interviewees, and data collection tools
  3. A data collection plan and tools to capture insights and learnings from ENAP in humanitarian countries
  4. In-depth case studies from selected countries
  5. A report and PowerPoint presentation summarizing the findings and recommendations for future policy development and provision of technical assistance


  • Experience/knowledge of maternal and newborn health, with a key focus on newborn health, national policies, and/or ENAP
  • Experience/understanding of the humanitarian contexts and key actors
  • Excellent writing skills
  • Experience conducting interviews with MOH or government officials
  • Skills in qualitative methods
  • Strong experience/knowledge of newborn health, public health, and/or clinical maternal and newborn health knowledge


  • Development of plan & tools: November
  • Data collection: December – February
  • Presentation of findings & recommendations: March
  • Final report with recommendation submitted in April

To apply, please send an expression of interest and proposed budget to Elaine Scudder at by 9 October 2019.

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