Nutrition Specialist – Lesotho Nutrition and Health System Strengthening Project (LNHSSP)


Kingdom of Lesotho

Ministry of Health


Job description

DEPARTMENTProject Implementing Unit
JOB TITLENutrition Specialist
PROJECTLesotho Nutrition and Health System Strengthening Project (LNHSSP)
RESPONSIBLE TOProject Coordinator
DATE OF ISSUE14th April 2020

I. Introduction

The Government of Lesotho (GOL) is planning to implement the Lesotho Nutrition and Health System Strengthening Project (LNHSSP) with the International Development Association’s (IDA) financial and technical support.  The proposed project aims to support the GOL in implementing a multi-sectoral approach to improve health and nutrition outcomes over a five-year period.

The LS-NHSS project will be implemented nationwide and will have a strong presence at community level. Other implementing platforms will include health facilities, schools and agriculture extension offices. It is therefore imperative to work with the local governance structures and the community at large. Hence, the PIU seeks to engage a Nutrition officer to support the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Agriculture and Food security and the Food and Nutrition Coordination Unit to support the planning, implementation and co-ordination of all nutrition activities in all 10 districts of Lesotho in health facilities and in communities. The Nutrition Specialist will work closely with the Community Liaison officers to assist in the implementation of community-based project activities. He/She will provide technical assistance in planning, monitor implementation, conduct capacity building sessions, analyse project data and implement mitigating measures regarding nutrition issues for this project.

Job summary

Under the supervision of the Project Coordinator, the Nutrition Specialist will work closely with the Nutrition Unit within the Ministry of Health to plan and implement all nutrition activities within the hospitals and primary health care centres. The Nutrition specialist will need to work closely with the Department of Primary Health Care and Nutrition Unit to plan, train and roll out the Village Health Worker program including providing technical assistance in working with the mothers / breastfeeding support groups.  The nutrition specialist will also need to liaise with the Nutrition Department within the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security to implement the nutrition interventions within the nutrition clubs and support the coordination between village health workers and agricultural extension officers. On behalf of the PIU, the officer will be responsible to coordinate with all the development partners and stakeholders on nutrition related activities as well as work closely with the health team and PIU for the entire project.

II. Duties and Responsibilities

The specific tasks for the Nutrition Specialist will include managing all nutrition related activities under the project and ensure highest standard of implementation of the project activities within health facility and community level. The specific tasks include, but are not limited to: 

i. General tasks

  1. Gain a thorough understanding of the project operation and sensitize stakeholders on the nutrition related project interventions as and when needed;
  2. Provide expert advice and solutions to the PIU and development partners on implementation issues, contribute towards continuous monitoring of project activities, data analysis, identification of program bottlenecks and proposing solutions to address related challenges.
  3. Prepare any documentation and reports required by the stakeholders and World Bank to ensure that nutrition has been adequately addressed and in compliance with the LNHSSP project objectives and implementation guidelines;
  4. Coordinate and share information with consultants and the PIU members, provide cross-support as and when needed;
  5. Any other work assigned by the Project Implementation Unit.

ii. Specific tasks

Work closely with the Ministry of Health at the central and decentralised levels to support:

  1. Preparation of annual nutrition plans for MoH with national/district level targets, review and monitor implementation at central and decentralized level and all the other development partners,  
  2. Holding of monthly meetings to review implementation progress, identify program constraints and solutions for nutrition;
  3. Trainings and capacity development on nutrition related areas;
  4. Preparation of nutrition monitoring database and a comprehensive program dashboard to measure intervention coverage, training progress, nutrition supplies, etc
  5. Training by the Department of Primary health care of village health workers on nutrition and other related activities on VHW roll-out program focusing on infant and young child feeding counselling at community level, growth monitoring and promotion and screening of children for malnutrition;
  6. Meetings with development partners and other stakeholders to develop nutrition specific messages for the roll out of social and behaviour change activities;  
  7. Building and maintaining relationships with local stakeholders (such as local chiefs, religious leaders, community change agents, community organizations, and nongovernmental organizations);
  8. Community engagement, community mobilisation, establishing and working with the women’s support groups in communities including training of lead mothers, mapping of support groups and linking them to the VHWs, in close partnership with development partners;
  9. Engagement with field-based project implementation entities any areas of community mobilization, and citizen engagement;
  10. Support during the project preparation phase: contribute to the project design and the Project Implementation Manual, attend recruitment panel of positions in the project when deemed necessary, support of baseline studies matching his/her expertise, etc.

In close partnership with both the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security,

  • Provide technical support to implement the nutrition interventions within the nutrition clubs and support the coordination between village health workers and agricultural extension officers

III. Qualifications and Experience

  1. Master’s Degree in Nutrition or in Public Health with a knowledge of nutrition.
  2. At least 5 years working in Nutrition programs and have vast knowledge in Nutrition policy development, implementation and monitoring.
  3. 5 years’ relevant experience project experience working with communities especially in Lesotho;
  4. At least 5 years’ experience working with nutrition or related health sector
  5. In-depth knowledge of implementing nutrition projects and nutrition issues
  6. Experience in training and capacity building activities on nutrition with special focus on infant and young child feeding counselling and lactation management;

IV. Key Skills

  1. Ability to work independently and be creative and innovative; integrity and ability to work in a team;
  2. Good listener with demonstrated ability to present and win support for ideas as well as make effective and timely decisions;
  3. He/she shall have the overall responsibility for reporting progress on social safeguards and must possess adequate communication and documentation skills;
  4. Good mastery of standard computer applications: Microsoft Office Package;
  5. Excellent written and verbal communication skills in English; and
  6. Must be result focused and be able to work under pressure and tight deadlines.
  7. Ability to think strategically and conduct dialogue on social development policies and priorities, while maintaining a strong sense of realism with regard to in-country conditions and competing demands for resources.
  8. Team player with strong leadership abilities: experience in working with large teams of people from different background;
  9. Demonstrate ability to work independently with limited supervision on a wide range of social development activities, and achieving results

V. Reporting

The Nutrition Specialist will be reporting directly to the Project Coordinator.

VI. Duration

The duration of the assignment shall be for an initial period of 2 months (Preparatory Phase) and then extended to cover 4 years (Project period) based on satisfactory performance, subject to project needs and availability of funding.

VII. Duty Station

The duty station shall be the Ministry of Health Head Office, Maseru, with frequent field visits to project sites.

VIII. Remuneration

Successful candidates will be offered performance-based contract; subject to review after the first year with possibly of extension dependent on performance and availability of funds

IX. Application Instructions

Interested and suitability qualified candidates should forward their applications indicating the advertisement and position on the subject line of letter and envelope together with detailed curriculum vitae indicating work experience. (Day time telephone contacts, names and telephone contacts of 3 referees to reach the undersigned not later than 30th April 2020) to: 

Procurement Specialist email: [email protected]

Or submit to the following office after lockdown: Procurement Unit Ground Floor, Ministry of Health, Corner Constitution & Linare Roads, Kingdom of Lesotho, Telephone: (+266) 27323277

Only shortlisted and successful candidates will be contacted.