Consultancy: Product Innovation Specialist Vitamin A Product Innovation Centre, Copenhagen, Denmark

Organization: UNICEF - United Nations Children’s Fund

Country: Denmark

City: Copenhagen, Denmark

Office: UNICEF Copenhagen

Closing date: Monday, 15 February 2021

Consultancy: Product Innovation Specialist, Vitamin A, Product Innovation Centre, Supply Division, Cph

Job no: 537845

Position type: Consultancy

Location: Denmark Division/Equivalent: Field Results Group

School/Unit: Copenhagen

Department/Office: Supply Division, COPENHAGEN

Categories: Consultancy

Consultancy: Product Innovation Specialist, Vitamin A

Product Innovation Centre

UNICEF Supply Division

Duration: 11.5 months with the possibility for extension

Location: Copenhagen or Remote

Travel: Light travel to key meetings may be required, travel to visit relevant country programmes may be required, circumstances permitting.

Start Date: March 2021


UNICEF procures and supplies over 5,000 products to address the needs of children. In 2019, UNICEF procured $3.826 billion worth of goods and services from all over the world, including life-saving commodities to improve the health, education, safety and well-being of children. Much of UNICEF Supply Division’s (SD) work focuses on working with suppliers and a range of partners to ensure the availability of life-saving products. SD’s work in product innovation drives the research and development of new or improved products and drives the initial demand, hereby ensuring access of fit for purpose and value for money products that can benefit children around the world.

UNICEF currently procures high dose Vitamin A Capsules (VAC) which has proven to be a very effective, low-cost intervention to address vitamin A deficiency in children 6-59 months. Globally, approximately 400 million children suffer from vitamin and micronutrient deficiency, and as part of UNICEF’s 2020-2030 strategy UNICEF aims to continue and scale the promotion of Vitamin A supplementation as a routine service to children. In addition, UNICEF both procures and receives vitamin A supplements as Contributions-in-Kind from Nutrition International (NI).

The existing dosage of Vitamin A supplementation delivered via capsules has not dramatically changed since its introduction in 1977, with infrequent updates since that time. Current administration is through a single-dose dispenser or a graduated spoon and in most countries, delivery is by a health worker or community health worker. The UNICEF Nutrition Strategy 2020-2030 calls for product innovation to improve the delivery mechanism of Vitamin A which in turn can enable caregivers and community members to take on an enhanced role in VAS administration. With product innovation there may be potential for improvements that reduce the programmatic costs of supplementation and strengthen VAS programs‘ resilience, sustainability and robustness.

UNICEF Supply Division is therefore seeking a consultant to supplement the work of the SD Product Innovation Centre (PIC) in the position of "Vitamin A Specialist - Consultant" to drive the early exploration and viability phases of the Vitamin A Innovation Project in close collaboration with the Medicines and Nutrition Centre and the nutrition team in UNICEF Programme Division.


The overall purpose of this full-time consultancy is to explore the potential viability and impact of a new Vitamin A delivery mechanism on UNICEF nutrition programme objectives.


The consultant will lead key activities aiming to validate project viability and define the desired product delivery mechanism characteristics. This is envisioned through a 2-phased approach including follow components: Phase 1: Project viability

Undertake a Market Landscape to understand evolution of technologies and need for R&D

Outline the regulatory considerations and how best to work within them and meet the aim of the project

Explore cost/benefit of a product evolution for the introduction of self-administration of vitamin A supplements

Outline parameters/guardrails/implications of product innovation to work within set dosage limits and pharmaceutical product categorization

Map key market stakeholders, understand and mitigate associated risks identified

Forecast demand utilizing existing market research in the procurement strategy with additional self-administered factors and estimated costs documented and projected

Work with the Innovation Manager to establish project team with assigned roles and responsibilities

Phase 2: Define desired product

Establish and consult an Advisory Committee to act as an expert sounding board for the project

Develop a draft Target Product Profile based on market feedback and consultation

Develop clearly rationalised recommendations for whether or not UNCICEF should do anything to incentivize the R&D, and if so, which modality would be needed.


Managing key activities through the two phases of the envisioned product innovation process:

The consultant should deliver the following for the project (using existing documentation where available in consultation with Technical Specialist, Medicines and Nutrition Centre): Phase 1 and 2 documentation:

Market Landscape

Risk overview and mitigation related to supplier base

Supplier consultation to understand limitations, incentives and implications of evolving the delivery of the product including the regulatory framework.

Demand forecast

Stakeholder mapping of all relevant actors

Project team and Advisory Committee

Target Product Profile

Consultation matrix with key stakeholder feedback

Outline of business incentives and constraints to understand how/if UNICEF and partners can and should stimulate research and development in the field.

Tags business development commodities country programmes food technology market research nutrition education procurement product development project management research and development

A final report for the project outlining potential next steps and recommendations

Project documentation (as relevant according to outcome of phase 1 and 2 activities)

Innovation Strategy

Innovation Review Board Submission Documents (internal documentation)

Project Presentation

Maintain a project plan with key milestones



Master’s Degree in Nutrition, Pharmaceuticals, Food Technology, Food Science, Public Health, Innovation, or another relevant discipline

A First university degree combined with additional five years of relevant work experience in new product development, innovation or project management or additional courses in relevant subjects will be considered in lieu of a master’s degree if the candidate can demonstrate high level of experience with related projects.

Work Experience:

Minimum five years of relevant, progressively responsible, professional experience is required

Preferred candidate will have experience in managing innovation projects or managing scientific trials eg. acceptability trials or field trials, in either public or private sector.

Experience of working in business development/innovation/R&D of nutrients, foods, medicines, pharmaceuticals or related products

Knowledge of deploying nutrition products in developing countries is an asset.

Health and nutrition education or experience is asset

Understanding of regulatory methods for medical products and/or pharmaceuticals is an asset

Knowledge of the environment in which UNICEF operates is considered an asset


Fluency in written and spoken English is essential.

Knowledge of another UN language would be an asset.


Qualified candidates are requested to submit:

Cover letter/application


Financial quote at a monthly rate in US Dollars. Financial quote should be inclusive of service fees, taxes and all living expenses . DSA will not be paid in addition to monthly rate for this consultancy.

Examples of previous, relevant projects or work

2 written references from previous employers, or contact details for 2 referees who may be contacted

Please note that this advertisement will close on 15 February 2021. Please indicate your availability and daily rate to undertake the terms of reference above. Applications submitted without a monthly rate will not be considered.

UNICEF considers best value for money as a criterion for evaluating potential candidates. As a general principle, the fees payable to a consultant or individual contractor follow the "best value for money" principle, i.e., achieving the desired outcome at the lowest possible fee. Please note that consultants and individual contractors are responsible for assuming costs for obtaining visas and travel insurance.

Successful applicants will be evaluated by the following criteria: Applicant


Overall Response (15 points)


Overall match between the TOR requirements and the application


Technical Capacity (55 points)


Minimum 5 years of relevant professional experience


Education (as outlined in ToR)


Experience in Research & Design


Project management experience


Understanding regulatory environment


Working in developing countries




FINANCIAL PROPOSAL (max. 30 points)

Monthly rate

Other costs

Total estimated cost of contract

FINANCIAL PROPOSAL - Weight Combined Score


TOTAL SCORE (max. 100 points)

Advertised: Feb 02 2021 Romance Standard Time Application close: Feb 15 2021 Romance Standard Time