Consultancy to support collection of information related to waste management and end of life insecticide-treated nets (ITN)
The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) is the world’s largest humanitarian organization, with a network of 192-member National Societies. The overall aim of the IFRC is “to inspire, encourage, facilitate, and promote at all times all forms of humanitarian activities by National Societies with a view to preventing and alleviating human suffering and thereby contributing to the maintenance and promotion of human dignity and peace in the world.” The IFRC works to meet the needs and improve the lives of vulnerable people before, during and after disasters, health emergencies and other crises.
The IFRC is part of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement (Movement), together with its member National Societies and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). The work of the IFRC is guided by the following fundamental principles: humanity, impartiality, neutrality, independence, voluntary service, unity, and universality. At Geneva level the Health and Care Department consists of four teams: Emergency Health, Risk Communication and Community Engagement (RCCE), WASH and Community Health. This consultancy will support the work of the Community Health Team.
The Community Health Team houses the Alliance for Malaria Prevention (AMP), a partnership of more than 40 organizations, including government, funders, private sector, faith-based and humanitarian organizations, focused on three main activities: (1) coordination of partners involved in ITN campaign and continuous distribution activities; (2) development of operational guidance for planning and implementation of ITN distributions based on iterative learning and identified needs; and (3) providing support to national malaria programs and partners through technical assistance, mentoring and capacity building to reach the WHO GTS targets for high coverage and use of ITNs. AMP strives for equitable universal access to insecticide-treated nets for vector control leading to a malaria free future. AMP is a workstream within the RBM Partnership to End Malaria. Harnessing the global leadership and management systems of IFRC, AMP is uniquely positioned to support and advance country-level efforts to promote high-quality, high-impact, efficient distribution of ITNs to increase population access to nets in malaria endemic countries through both campaign and continuous distribution channels.
Since 2004, over 2.5 billion ITNs have been shipped to malaria-endemic countries as part of efforts to reduce cases of malaria and, in turn, mortality due to the disease. For many years, national malaria programmes were procuring ITNs for both campaign and continuous distribution with individual plastic packaging. However, given a lack of feasible waste management guidance, most national malaria programmes transitioned to unpackaged (“naked”) nets for mass campaigns and individually packaged nets for other distribution channels that may spend more time in storage before being distributed to a household. Despite the significant reduction in the number of individual plastic packages for ITNs for waste management through procurement of naked nets, there are still millions of ITNs being distributed through both campaign and non-campaign channels with individual packaging.
Over the past several years, increasing concern has been raised by national malaria programmes and partners about the management and disposal of plastic packaging and other ITN waste, as well as about the lack of sufficient, implementable guidance for end-of-life nets which are defined as ITNs that are no longer effective for malaria prevention.
Plastic packaging alternatives that truly biodegrade do not exist among ITN manufacturers mainly due to the cost of biodegradable packages. Existing guidance for end-of-life ITNs classifies repurposing into three categories – beneficial, neutral and misuse – but does not provide options for final disposal after ITNs cannot be further repurposed at the household level. While concerns have been voiced, there has been no concerted effort to pull together available information and identify prioritized actions for addressing issues related to waste management with a long-term view to reducing the environmental footprint of vector control with ITNs.
The overall objective of this consultancy is to support AMP’s Innovation and Evaluation, Continuous Distribution, Multi-Product and Country Support Working Groups with the collection of information about waste management of plastic packaging and end-of-life ITNs through a variety of methods to produce a report, supporting annexes and a prioritized list of actions for the AMP Partnership.
- Collection of information about:
- Procurement decisions about packaging by ITN distribution channel and the overall volume of packages requiring waste management entering countries (by country and channel as possible)
- Current practices related to management of plastic packaging (by country and channel as possible) and end-of-life ITNs
- Existing policies and regulations for import, management and destruction of single-use and other plastics, as well as for end-of-life ITNs (should include whether or to what extent policies are enforced)
- Options available (country level capacity) for management of plastic packaging and end-of-life ITNs such as recycling, incineration or other options
Information collection should include some or all the following sources: literature review (published and grey literature, including campaign reports), surveys, key informant interviews and others as identified by the consultant selected in her/his workplan.
Geographic focus:The information collection should be specifically focused on sub-Saharan Africa given the volume of ITNs shipped to countries each year. Innovative practices from non-African countries that are found during the information collection should be highlighted, including their potential applicability and/or comparability to country contexts in sub-Saharan Africa.
- In-depth assessment of health facility and household-level ITN waste management (countries TBD)
- Based on the information collected, identify 2-3 countries in which plastic packages from continuous distribution channels (e.g. routine, school, community) are managed at the household level and 2-3 countries in which plastic packages are retained at the health facility level for waste management
- Undertake detailed assessment about household level waste management including for end-of-life nets:
- Whether instructions are given to households about what to do with the plastic packages and, if yes, what they are
- Whether instructions or social and behaviour change messages are given to households about management of end-of-life nets and, if yes, what they are
- Whether written or pictorial instructions are made available for the household
- If no instructions are provided, what households are doing to manage plastic waste from ITNs
- Undertake detailed assessment about health facility level waste management including for end-of-life nets:
- Whether instructions are provided to health facility staff about what to do with the plastic packages and, if yes, what they are
- Whether health facility staff are given instructions or social and behaviour change messaging about end-of-life nets to provide to households and, if yes, what they are
- Whether written or pictorial instructions are made available for the health facility staff or the household
- If no instructions are provided, what health facilities are doing to manage plastic waste from ITNs
- Review the findings from the survey on container storage and update information from manufacturers about packaging options (beyond single-use plastic and oxo-biodegradable packaging) and recommendations for management of current packaging (if any).
- Summary report from information collection, including limitations, assumptions, key findings, major gaps and any recommendations for further information collection (including what, why and how)
- Summary report from in-depth assessment of health facility and household level waste management of plastic packaging and end-of-life nets
- Updated annexes (already exist) with information about:
- Ban on plastic imports
- Incineration capacity
- Recycling capacity
- Prioritized list of actions for the AMP Partnership to improve current approaches to plastic and end-of-life ITN waste management.
- French / English, with ability to write clearly in English (note all work products will be submitted in English for review)
- Experience in procurement and supply management and/or logistics
- Experience with ITN distribution
- Knowledge of recycling
- Ability to work independently
- Knowledge of requirements of main ITN funding partners (e.g. Global Fund, US President’s Malaria Initiative)
- Knowledge of current WHO policies in place for vector control/ITN waste management
- Knowledge of current guidance for end-of-life ITNs
 Any specific countries of focus will be discussed at the beginning of the consultancy.
How to apply
The timeframe for this consultancy will be from August to December 2022.
To apply for this position, please send your CV and cover letter including your daily rate to email@example.com. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.