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State Consultants, Fgm/C Situation Assessment In Imo, Ebonyi And Osun States At The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)

Date Posted: 06/Jun/2014
Deadline: 20/Jun/2014

Background

The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the leading UN organization in Reproductive Health and Population and Development  is recruiting Consultants to provide consultancy services for a situation assessment and analysis, knowledge, attitude and practice/qualitative study on social norms around FEMALE GENITAL MUTILATION/CUTTING  (FGM/C) in three (3) States  -  IMO, EBONYI & OSUN STATES.

Female genital cutting (FGM/C) also know as female circumcision or female genital mutilation (FGM) is practiced at various scales in many communities and settings in Nigeria (NDHS, 2008). According to the national representative survey, 30% of Nigerian women are circumcised (NDHS, 2008).  But the 2003 NDHS established a prevalence rate of 19% which is an indication when compared with the NDHS 2008 data of 30% that the prevalence of FGM/C have increased over the past 5 years. Even the current UNICEF study places Nigeria prevalence at 27%, (UNICEF, 2013, Global Burden Report). In this same study, 35% of boys and men and 31% of girls and women reported that they do not know what opposite sex thinks about FGM/C; while 62% of all men and women think it should end (UNICEF, 2013). There have been variations in the states and ethnic prevalence and burden in Nigeria. It is greatest in the Southern zones, among the Yoruba (58%) and Igbo (51%), and among urban residents which helps to explain the zonal and urban-rural variations where these 2 traditional ethnic groups live in Nigeria. (NDHS, 2008). In the four (4) out of the six selected states, the prevalence also vary with Cross River state 38%, Ebony 62.3%, Osun 73.4% and Oyo with 71% respectively (MICS, 2011). There is also need for further research to ascertain a more accurate prevalence of the practice in Nigeria. Many reasons have been adduced for the continued perpetuation of this harmful practice which include: reduction of sexual desire in females to curtail perceived promiscuity and protecting virginity before marriage; ensuring husband’s sexual pleasure; promoting social integration and initiation of girls into womanhood; myths around the likely death of a baby whose head touches the clitoris during childbirth; as well as uninformed religious reasons, hygiene and aesthetic misconceptions among others. FGM is a violation of the human dignity and rights of girls and women and seriously undermines their health, security and physical integrity as well as a major cause of psychological and social problems. Gender and power relations underlie and reinforce the practice of FGM/C in societies.  This practice has persisted in Nigeria out of adherence to a cultural dictate that uncircumcised women are promiscuous, unclean, unmarriageable, physically undesirable and/or potential health risks to themselves and their children, especially during childbirth. These beliefs and collective pattern of behavior deployed by families and communities that practice FGM/C underpin this practice as a social norm which is embedded in widely held beliefs, expectations, and preferences. Individual families and communities prefer to conform to this practice on condition that they believe (a) most people in their relevant network conform to it and (b) that most people in their relevant network believe they ought to conform to it.

Justification:
Addressing the challenges of FGM/C in Nigeria has become imperative not only because of its harmful impact on the reproductive and sexual health of girls and women, but also because it violates their fundamental rights. So far, efforts to abandon this practice in Nigeria have used several different approaches which, in turn, have had implication for interventions. Some of these approaches include those based on human rights frameworks, legal mechanisms, health risks, alternative rites, positive deviance, training health workers as change agents, training and converting circumcisers. Interventions based on these approaches have targeted stakeholders at individual, interpersonal, community and national levels (Muteshi & Sass, 2005) with minimal result and knowledge gap on the dynamics and role of social norm as a key factor influencing FGM/C thus the need for refining understanding of how social norms operate to perpetuate this practice. Abandonment of FGM/C requires a process of social change that results in new expectations and collective behaviour change by families and communities which requires in-depth understanding of the nature of identified social norms, a firm grasp of the reasons behind them including reasons behind people’s choices and possibly change negative ones. The overall benefit of this approach is the attainment of positive social change that will eventually result in the abandonment of FGM/C which is crucial to the attainment of both national and international health and development goals. This benefit will also contribute to the attainment of National level Policies and promotion of gender equality, reduction of infant mortality rate, improving maternal health and overall respect and fulfilment of the rights of children especially the girl child. This study will therefore provide an analysis and understanding on the nature, types of social norms and their effect on social motivation of families and communities and FGM/C including proposal on strategy for a shift from old norm to a new norm in favour of FGM/C abandonment in 6 States in Nigeria. It is important at the commencement of the implementation of the global Programme in Nigeria to establish a baseline for interventions by undertaking a situational analysis including KAP assessment and in-depth study on social norms in the communities and states of focus. Furthermore, it is hoped that the outcome of the study will enable the development of appropriate communication strategy that will promote social change for the abandonment of FGM/C.
      
        Purpose:


        Based on the above, UNFPA/UNICEF joint Programme on the abandonment of FGM/C in Nigeria seeks to      conduct a situation assessment and analysis including KAP and qualitative study on social norms to inform strategies for the implementation of the Programme. The study will focus on two levels of interrogation (a) to determine the situation, current trends and prevalence of FGM/C (b) to gain in-depth understanding of social norms and its dynamics on social motivation of families and communities and the practice of FGM/C in 6 focus states in Nigeria.


Duties and Responsibilities


Study Objectives
The purpose of the consultancy is to (a) review and document the current situation of FGM/C, conduct a knowledge, attitude and practice survey including a sound analysis of the social norms; social networks that   influence and sustain FGM/C in three focus states (b) develop evidence informed strategy for social change towards the abandonment of FGM/C in Nigeria

The specific objectives of this study include:-

    Conduct a desk/literature review on the current trend and situation of FGM/C in Nigeria with reference to three States (Imo, Ebonyi and Osun)
    Conduct Knowledge, Attitude and Practices survey and in-depth qualitative study on social norms around FGM/C in Nigeria
    Undertake review of studies and interventions on FGM/C in Nigeria particularly in the three selected states to establish environment, determinants, strengths, emerging issues and gaps.
    Analyze the impacting motives, behavior, preferences of individuals within the social system and the interdependence therein.
    Undertake an in-depth analysis of community social networks influencing patterns and collective behavior around the practice of FGM/C
    Recommend how to change current social expectation and create new social expectation or both
    Develop a country specific strategy on FGM/C in the context of social norm and implication for programming in Nigeria

A literature search should flag case studies or ‘panels’ if any of communities where FGM/C has declined in
recent years and what drove those positive changes, drawing lessons into the national study report
including:-

    Map patterns of social norms, behaviors, social networks and references that are common to ‘reinforce’ FGM/C and on the other hand ‘positively abandon it.
    Propose key questions that would guide the study to achieve the objectives including the following:-
    What is the trend of FGM/C in the country and each of the three States? What changes have occurred over time, particularly recently and why?
    What are the drivers of change in FGM/C in high prevalence and low/non-prevalence communities?
    What are the commonalities and diversities in these drivers of FGM/C in the context of social norms, social networks and references that entrench or create positive change?
    What are the positive defiance that have emerged in communities where positive change has happened in recent years and what lessons to take into the recommendations of the study?


Methodology
The study will be conducted in three states (Osun, Ebonyi and Imo states) purposefully selected
based on various characteristics which are of interest in this study under the leadership and supervisions of one lead consultant. The study method, sampling designs and tools will be elaborated by the two lead consultants with extensive expertise in quantitative and qualitative study and analytical skills. The six state consultants will work jointly with lead consultants, the national taskforce on FGM/C including providing supervision to research  assistants elaborated in key roles below:-

State consultants

    Contribute to the development, pilot testing and finalization of the study tools,
    Support the lead consultant in the recruitment and training of research assistants
    Develop work plan and supervise the research assistant
    Participate in interactions and dialogues with the national taskforce on FGM/C and other stakeholders
    Support the establishment and sensitisation of state taskforce on FGM/C abandonment
    Organise state and community level dialogues and engagements
    In collaboration with the lead consultants, facilitate the state level stakeholders’ workshop.
    Supervise research assistants and participate in data gathering  processes and compilation in line with the standard protocol
    In collaboration with the lead consultants, prepare a summary state report and ensure wide circulation and validation of the same.
    Provide regular feedback of the process to the state taskforce on FGM, lead consultants and UNFPA/UNICEF focal point.
    Draft and review state level reports in line with the study protocol and share with lead consultants for harmonization
    Undertake any other assignment related to the study deemed necessary by the lead consultants and or by UNFPA/UNICEF


Key deliverables

    Inception report and draft work plan
    Report of consultation with state taskforce on FGM/C and other stakeholders
    Report on the recruitment and orientation of research assistants
    Report of training of state research assistants
    State level report

 


Competencies


Values

    Exemplifying integrity
    Demonstrating commitment to UNFPA and the UN system
    Embracing cultural diversity
    Embracing change

Core Competencies

    Achieving results
    Being accountable
    Developing and applying professional expertise/business acumen
    Thinking analytically and strategically
    Working in teams/managing ourselves and our relationships
    Communicating for impact


Required Skillset

    Stratigically positioning UNFPA programmes
    Providing conceptual innovation to support programme effectiveness
    Generating, managing and promoting the use of knowledge and information
    Providing a technical support system
    Strengthening the programming capacity of implementing partners
    Facilitating quality programmatic results
    Internal and External relations and advocacy for results mobilization.


Desirable skills

    Prior experience in organizing and engaging in community work especially social mobilization, facilitating community discussion
    Excellent knowledge of State, LGAs and communities


Required Skills and Experience


Qualification and experience required

    Post graduate qualification in social sciences, public health or a related area of specialty
    Demonstrated research ability with minimum 10 years experience
    Good understanding and experience in the field gender, gender based violence, community mobilization and dialogue
    Experience of working with UN
    Excellent writing skills and documenting
    Good inter-personal, advocacy skills and ability to work with range of government, UN and civil society development partners
    Ability to work with a team

Method of Application

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