Researcher and Social Behavior Change Specialist (International Consultancy, WAE) At World Food Programme

WFP encourages female candidates and people with disabilities to apply.

WFP seeks candidates of the highest integrity and professionalism who share our humanitarian principles. Selection of staff is made on a competitive basis. We are committed to promoting diversity and the principle of equal employment opportunity for all our employees and encourages qualified candidates to apply irrespective of religion or belief, ethnic or social background, gender, gender identity and disability.


Job Title: Researcher and Social Behaviour Change Specialist
Grade: CST II
Type of contract: When Actually Employed Consultancy
Duration: 5 months (66 working days)
Duty Station: Hybrid (in Dushanbe / Remote)
Vacancy Number: 178280
Date of Publication: 11 November 2022
Deadline of Application: 27 November 2022


Malnutrition is a critical problem in Tajikistan. Despite recent improvements, the country faces the highest malnourishment rates in Central Asia (World Food Programme Tajikistan, 2017). According to the Demographic Health Survey (DHS) 2017, 18 percent of all children in Tajikistan between the ages 6 and 59 months have stunted growth in rural areas and over 30 percent of women and girls of reproductive age suffer from anaemia, of these, 37 percent are overweight or obese. In addition, Infant and Young Child Feeding (IYCF) practices are particularly low, showing only 36 percent of infants under 6 months to be exclusively breastfed while children aged 6-23 months are reported to receive an extremely meagre diet characterized by insufficient frequency of food intake in general. Mainly the meals consist of flour and dairy products.

To support the ministry of health in collaboration with implementing partners and other stakeholders WFP Tajikistan has been implementing nutrition interventions in selected regions of the country.

In line with the upcoming WFP Tajikistan 2023 Country Strategic Plan (CSP), the nutrition behaviour change communication strategy will focus on improving nutritional and educational outcomes by reducing acute malnutrition in children U5, preventing overweight and obesity among school-going children, improving nutrition among adolescents and women of reproductive age, pregnant and lactating women, and WASH.


This is a call to engage an individual consultant to conduct formative research to shed light and provide insight into barriers and facilitators that inhibits adoption and sustenance of recommended nutrition practices around infant and young children feeding practices, dietary diversity of women of reproductive age (WRA), including adolescent girls, pregnant and lactating women and girls, and WASH. We further aim to understand the feeding behavior, barriers and motivators, media habits at the individual, household, and community level as well as unhealthy snacking habits for social and behavior change programming.

The assessment will consist of qualitative investigative techniques – focus group discussions (FGD) and in-depth interviews (IDI). Fieldwork is expected to commence the 4th week of November with final reporting to be completed no later than December 20th, 2022.


The research will take place in four regions namely Rasht district of the Districts of Republican Subordination, Shughnon and Ishkoshim districts of GBAO and J. Balkhi district of Khatlon region.


The contracted consultant is expected to perform the following tasks:

• Prepare a contextual analysis report and information gaps requiring additional formative research. Based on document review and consultation with stakeholders. The report should also include the landscaping analysis of other SBCC efforts ongoing in the country to ensure complementarity and avoid duplications.
• Based on the findings of the contextual analysis report provide input into the data collection tools.
• Participate in regularly scheduled conference calls with WFP to provide timely progress updates throughout the study period.
• Collaborate with WFP staff to implement this project with fidelity to the approved research protocol.
• Lead the data collection process, including the development documents and plan of analysis, training and supervising the data collection team, and providing overall guidance for the process.
• Daily memos emailed to WFP highlighting key research findings during pretesting and data collection.
• A report that discusses the procedures, themes, conceptual framework, observations, and any unusual or unforeseen events and circumstances from the FGDs and IDIs.
• Provide WFP with an electronic copy of cleaned databases, and interview transcripts.
• WFP will provide in-depth technical assistance, supervision, and monitoring for the above activities. The contractor is expected to work closely with WFP throughout the entire process.
• Analyse the research data and compile a publishable final report summarizing the findings and outlining recommendations for the development of SBCC strategy.
• Present the study outcomes and recommendations to internal and external stakeholders.


#. Deliverables / Timeframe / Payment Schedule

1.Support the desk review of existing research, best practices and approaches related to the current study / 10 days / 10%

2.Provide inputs to the workplan development with timeframes / 5 days / 5%

3.Comments on the data collection instruments / 2 days / 5%

4.Daily memos emailed to WFP SBC focal point person staff highlighting key research findings during pretesting and data collection / – / 5%

5.Formative study conduction in collaboration with data collection team / 20 days / 30%

6.A report that discusses the procedures, themes, conceptual framework, observations, and any unusual or unforeseen events and circumstances from the FGDs and IDIs / 5 days / 10%

7.Data analysis, presentation of study outcomes and recommendations for SBCC programme design / 10 days / 25%

8.Full narrative report summarizing the research findings, including key recommendations for the development of SBCC approaches; final format should be in a publishable form / 10 days / 10%

9. Submission of the original audio files of all FGDs and IDIs, written transcript of all FGDs and IDIs in the language of the FGD or IDI, written transcript of all FGDs and IDIs in English, original raw notes taken by the note taker / 4 days


Required experiences for entry into the role:

  • At least 5 years of experience in qualitative and quantitative research and evaluation designs and methods in the field of behaviour change and nutrition;
  • Experience in designing SBCC strategies and interventions that target malnutrition and poor dietary diversity in humanitarian and development contexts;
  • Experience in media landscape analysis for behaviour change purposes;
  • Strong interpersonal skills and demonstrated ability to work well as part of a geographically dispersed team and to forge and manage partnerships;
  • Ability to work in a multicultural, multi-ethnic environment; experience working in the UN or other international development organization is an asset;
  • Strong analytical, writing, and presentation skills;
  • Ability to work with flexibility and on a tight deadline schedule;


  • Advanced university degree in one of the following disciplines: Health Education and Behavioural Science, Nutrition, or Public Health or other relevant field;
  • First university degree with additional years of related work experienceand/or training/courses;


  • Fluency (level C) in written and spoken English is required.
  • Proficiency in Russian or Tajik is desirable.


  • Background information that includes an interpretation and understanding of the terms of reference;
  • Methodology and approach outlining a clear conceptual and analytical framework for the given study;
  • Previous experience of the consultant and expertise that will be of benefit to the current assignment;
  • Sample work relevant to the assignment;
  • CV or resume clearly identifying research experience and credentials;

WFP is committed to diversity and inclusion within its workforce. WFP has zero tolerance for sexual exploitation and abuse, any kind of harassment, including sexual harassment, abuse of authority or discrimination. All selected candidates will, undergo rigorous reference and background checks.

No appointment under any kind of contract will be offered to members of the UN Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions (ACABQ), International Civil Service Commission (ICSC), FAO Finance Committee, WFP External Auditor, WFP Audit Committee, Joint Inspection Unit (JIU) and other similar bodies within the United Nations system with oversight responsibilities over WFP, both during their service and within three years of ceasing that service.

How to apply

Interested candidates should complete their applications on-line on WFP website on the following link:

Applicants will have to register and create on-line CVs to be able to apply. Hard copies of CVs or applications through e-mail will not be accepted. Please ensure that your application contains accurate and complete information.

The deadline for submission of applications is 27 November 2022.

Female candidates and individuals with disabilities are especially encouraged to apply.

June 2024