Description

JOB DESCRIPTION

Expert consultant to support dietary assessment for the Urban Food Environments and Diets (UFED) Tool

CGIAR Research Initiative on Resilient Cities

Background

Resilient Cities, a One CGIAR Initiative, aims to improve urban and peri-urban agrifood systems by bringing together multiple, sometimes fragmented research streams within a common resilience agenda. Within this agenda, the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) is leading a work package on improving urban food environments and diets. This work package is starting from the urgent need to better understand food environments and diets.

There are currently a multitude of metrics, tools, and methods available to researchers and other stakeholders interested in gathering new evidence on food environments and diets, but insufficient guidance on how to select from among them. This guidance is especially lacking for which assessment tools are appropriate in urban and peri-urban areas. Packages of assessment tools should match the nutrition and health issues of vulnerable groups that are of concern, and the research questions that study teams would like to address, but they are also subject to different levels of resource and time availability. To date, guidance has also been lacking on how to design diet and food environment assessments in a complementary way, so that findings can be triangulated, and barriers to healthy food access better identified.

IFPRI aims to address this gap through the development of a new tool to guide researchers and other stakeholders towards appropriate food environment and dietary assessment metrics, tools, and methods for use in urban and peri-urban areas. This tool, known as the Urban Food Environments and Diets (UFED) tool, is envisioned as a web portal to guide researchers and other stakeholders towards assessment methods, tools, and metrics that can help them better understand urban and peri-urban food environments and diets.

Brief description of activities

Services requested from the Consultant would support the development of the Urban Food Environments and Diets (UFED) tool. The Consultant would specifically aid in the dietary assessment component of UFED, which includes: 1) an inventory of dietary assessment methods, tools, and metrics; 2) a guided set of questions that will match UFED users’ research priorities and needs with the appropriate assessment package; and 3) guidance documents presenting users with their recommended package, strengths and limitations that should be noted, and other relevant advice on dietary assessment in urban and peri-urban areas.

Activities to be undertaken by Consultant

1.Organize and host a virtual meeting with the UFED team to provide a landscape overview of dietary assessment methods, tools, and metrics. This overview should provide a comparison of the strengths and limitations of each, noting the types of research settings or objectives that particular methods or tools may be well-suited for.

2.Revise and further develop the UFED inventory of dietary assessment methods, tools, and metrics. The inventory should provide multiple options for assessing different dimensions of diet quality: nutrient adequacy, risk factors associated with non-communicable diseases, diversity/variety, consumption of specific food groups, overall diet quality, among others to be recommended by the Consultant. The inventory should provide an easy to interpret snapshot of the unique features of each method, tool, and metric, as well as the data, time, and resource requirements for each.

3.Revise and further develop the set of guided questions for users to indicate their dietary assessment priorities, needs, and context. The guided questions should provide a means of filtering the inventory and recommending a specific package of assessment methods, tools, and metrics.

4.Develop a set of user profiles that illustrate the different types of objectives, research questions, and levels of resources that possible users of UFED could have, and which package of dietary assessment methods, tools, and metrics might be most relevant for them.

5.Contribute to thinking about the unique challenges that urban and peri-urban contexts might present for dietary assessment and how these can be anticipated and addressed.

6.Contribute to thinking around how to link diet and food environment assessment and the considerations that should be made in designing studies to explore and test diet-food environment associations, factoring in the different dimensions of each.

Timeline of Activities

The proposed timetable for the work is as bellow:

Tasks To be completed by:
Prepare and carry out the virtual meeting on dietary assessment methods, metrics, and tools February 15, 2024
Revise and further develop the UFED inventory of dietary assessment methods, tools, and metrics. February 28, 2024
Revise and further develop the set of guided questions for users to indicate their dietary assessment priorities, needs, and context. March 7, 2024
Develop a set of user profiles that illustrate the different types of objectives, research questions, and levels of resources that possible users of UFED could have, and which package of dietary assessment methods, tools, and metrics might be most relevant for them March 15, 2024

Deliverables (due dates to be determined)

  • With input from IFPRI, an agenda for the virtual meeting
  • A virtual meeting with IFPRI Resilient Cities members, held over Team
  • In a format agreed upon with IFPRI, a revised version of the dietary assessment inventory of metrics, tools, and metrics.
  • In a format agreed upon with IFPRI, set of guided questions for users to indicate their dietary assessment priorities, needs, and context.
  • In a format agreed upon with IFPRI, a set of user profiles that illustrate the different types of objectives, research questions, and levels of resources that possible users of UFED could have, and which package of dietary assessment methods, tools, and metrics might be most relevant for them.

Qualifications

  • PhD in nutrition, epidemiology, or a related public-health field
  • Expert knowledge of dietary assessment methods, tools, and metrics
  • Experience designing and implementing large-scale dietary surveys, preferably including urban and peri-urban areas
  • Preferred experience advising governments and other national stakeholders in the design and implementation of dietary surveys
  • Preferred experience in the development of new tools and metrics for assessing diets
  • History of submitting deliverables on time
  • Experience working with international and national researchers or research organizations
  • Excellent communication skills in English

Location