Baby-friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) Consultant at World Health Organization (WHO) November, 2023

Contractual Arrangement: External consultant

Contract Duration (Years, Months, Days): 15 days

Job Posting

: Nov 17, 2023, 9:37:30 AM

Closing Date

: Dec 1, 2023, 12:59:00 AM

Primary Location

: Malawi-Lilongwe


: AF_MWI Malawi


: Full-time

IMPORTANT NOTICE: Please note that the deadline for receipt of applications indicated above reflects your personal device’s system settings.


Since 1991, the Baby-friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) has helped to motivate facilities providing maternity and newborn services worldwide to better support breastfeeding. Based on the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding (the Ten Steps), the BFHI focuses on providing optimal clinical care for new mothers and their infants. There is substantial evidence that implementing the Ten Steps significantly improves breastfeeding rates.

The BFHI has been implemented in almost all countries in the world with varying degrees of success. Low coverage and sustainability of the BFHI programme due to the vertical programme implementation has been identified as a major contributing factor. In 2015, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) re-evaluated the programme and produced an updated implementation guidance document that presents the first revision of the Ten Steps since 1989.

The implementation guidance also recommends revisions to the national implementation of the BFHI, with an emphasis on scaling up to universal coverage and ensuring sustainability over time. The guidance focuses on integrating the programme more fully in the health-care system, to ensure that all facilities in a country implement the Ten Steps. Countries are called upon to fulfil nine key responsibilities through a national BFHI programme, including establishing or strengthening a national coordination body; integrating the Ten Steps into national policies and standards; ensuring the capacity of all health-care professionals; using external assessment to regularly evaluate adherence to the Ten Steps; incentivizing change; providing necessary technical assistance; monitoring implementation; continuously communicating and advocating; and identifying and allocating sufficient resources.

The third strategic priority of the WHO Thirteenth General Programme of Work 2019-20223 (GPW13) aims to improve human capital by using innovation and a life course approach, with a special focus on women, children and adolescents, to provide integrated services, and by enabling people to access the information, goods and services they need to survive and thrive at all ages. The Programme of Work recognises critical points across the life course where human capital can be improved through evidence-based interventions that address risk factors (such as nutrition and exclusive breastfeeding) and promote health and well-being.

WHO/Malawi is seeking the services of a suitably qualified candidate to serve as consultant to support the Ministry of Health to identify contextual factors that have facilitated or limited the success of scaling up and/or sustaining the implementation of BFHI and provide recommendations on how to strengthen the integration and institutionalization of the BFHI programme.


Inception report on the policy and programme integration status of BFHI and MNCH to Ministry of Health. Inception report to include details on methodology of the review process.

Conduct working session with stakeholders on the BFHI and MNCAH policy and programmatic review.

Develop checklist and any relevant tools to be used by field team and facilitate facility level situation analysis and compile field report

Plan and facilitate working session to present findings and recommendations to relevant technical working groups and stakeholders for validation

Qualifications, experience, skills and languages

Educational Qualifications

Essential: Master’s Degree in Public Health or related field

Desirable: Master’s Degree in child health Nursing and/or Nutrition with a child health focus


Essential: A minimum of 8 years of relevant professional experience in public health

Desirable: Minimum 8 years experience in policy development, designing and implementation of BFHI and/or MNCH; Familiarity with documentation of lessons especially in community health and nutrition.


Strong analytical and technical abilities particularly on BFHI and MNCH

Expertise in working with Government, UN, Development Partners and academic institutions

Ability to use prioritize, multi-task, and work well independently under pressure to meet deadlines

Ability to read, analyse and interpret complex documents

Ability to produce high quality work with accuracy and close attention to detail.

Languages and level required

Advanced English and Chichewa both oral and written

Additional information

  •    WHO has zero tolerance towards sexual exploitation and abuse (SEA), sexual harassment and other types of abusive conduct (i.e., discrimination, abuseof authority and harassment). All members of the WHO workforce have a role to play in promoting a safe and respectful workplace and should report toWHO any actual or suspected cases of SEA, sexual harassment and other types of abusive conduct. To ensure that individuals with a substantiated historyof SEA, sexual harassment or other types of abusive conduct are not hired by the Organization, WHO will conduct a background verification of final candidates.
  •  WHO has a smoke-free environment and does not recruit smokers or users of any form of tobacco.

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