Background: m2m’s Integrated ECD/RMNCH Model
There is a growing body of evidence on the importance of the provision of quality healthcare, proper nutrition, and psychosocial and emotional stimulation during early childhood as the foundation for success in future life. Children deprived of these influences due to poverty and associated risk factors including under-nutrition and inadequate stimulation, are likely to have lower educational attainment, lower adult income and poor parenting skills, thus perpetuating a cycle of intergenerational poverty and early childhood deprivation. The evidence posits that early and appropriate interventions, both in utero and during early childhood, can lead to positive outcomes, including raised cognitive, physical and social development, improved school performance, and enhanced future employment and earning potential. This social and economic return is beneficial for the individual, family, community and wider society as a whole.
Children who are exposed to HIV or who are HIV-positive themselves are particularly vulnerable to risk factors and this cycle of deprivation. They are likely to be subject to multiple shocks (adverse events) and stressors (parental illness and death, parental stress and mental health reactions, reduced stimulation and child care quality) which can be extremely detrimental to their wellbeing and development. Data from a number of studies suggests that these children are likely to suffer adverse effects on their mortality, health, cognitive development and emotional adjustment.
Based on this growing body of evidence, m2m builds on the success of our PMTCT/RMNCH peer education and support programme, with the incorporation of ECD interventions to improve the health and development outcomes of our clients (pregnant women, mothers and children aged 0-3 years), enabling them to have not only healthy lives, but also to thrive later in life.
m2m’s South Africa (Gauteng) Programme
m2m has been implementing our Mentor Mother Model at health facilities in Gauteng province for some years. Most recently, with funding from the National Department of Health (NDOH), Johnson and Johnson (J&J) and other donors, there has been a focus on PMTCT/RMNCH and adolescent health/pregnancy in a number of facilities and surrounding communities, with the addition of some elements of ECD programming. The latter has largely been an extension of interventions implemented as part of m2m’s Early Childhood Household Stimulation (ECHS) programme in Mpumalanga province (2015-19). Sites will continue to be supported by NDOH and, in early 2020, with funding from British Airways, m2m plans to remodel our programme at two locations in Gauteng (Dark City and Soshanguve), to align with the integrated ECD/RMNCH model already implemented by m2m in Malawi, Kenya and Ghana, which is aligned with the global Nurturing Care Framework for Early Childhood Development.
These two sites are important showcases of m2m’s work in South Africa for government, funders, and partners, and this is an opportunity to strengthen the programme implemented there, to create model sites. In addition, we wish to build on existing programmatic strengths and take advantage of and respond to unique contextual factors in South Africa. These include focusing on the needs of adolescent pregnant and postnatal mothers and aligning work with the South African National Integrated ECD Policy.
mothers2mothers (m2m) seeks a programme design/materials development consultant to assist its Department of Programmes & Technical Support (DPTS) and South Africa country programme to review, revise, and develop a comprehensive plan for implementing the ECD component of m2m’s programme in two locations in Gauteng province (including related tools and training materials), to align it effectively with m2m’s ECD/RMNCH model in other countries (Ghana, Kenya, Malawi).
The consultant will work closely with the Senior Technical Advisor – ECD/OVC and the SA Lead Consultant to:
1. Conduct a review of, and write a brief report on, m2m’s existing interventions being implemented at Dark City and Soshanguve, in relation to m2m’s integrated ECD/RMNCH approach, noting alignment and variances. This should include: a) activities currently implemented at facility and community levels; b) the tools, materials, SOPs and resources (e.g. toy kits) being used; c) the current personnel and their ECD qualifications/training; d) the targeted client types; and e) recommendations for any ECD activities that could build on/take advantage of current focus areas at the sites (e.g. teenage mothers) and Mentor Mother capacity.
2. Develop a framework to guide revision and adaptation of: a) ECD activities; b) TOT and Mentor Mother training modules; and c) programme tools and materials (including job aids), to ensure the programme at the Gauteng sites is aligned with m2m’s ECD/RMNCH model. This should indicate where revisions/adaptations are necessary and where gaps are evident.
3. Develop a brief overview of intervention components of the revised ECD/RMNCH model to be implemented in Gauteng.
4. As necessary, adapt m2m’s ECD/RMNCH programme tools and materials and/or those already in use in Gauteng. Where there are identified gaps, undertake a consultative process to develop new materials and indicate where strategic information/monitoring & evaluation tools need to be updated.
5. Adapt m2m’s ECD training manuals (facilitator/participant) for use in South Africa, ensuring that content is aligned with the South African National Integrated ECD Policy and local context, and covers any new/revised intervention components.
6. With reference to m2m’s existing TOT agendas, develop an agenda for a TOT to orient m2m South Africa Programme and Strategic Information staff on the revised programme.
7. Present drafts of all documents and adapted and/or newly developed tools and materials for m2m review and feedback.
8. Present final versions of documents, tools and materials for DPTS approval.
Weekly calls will be held between the Consultant and Senior Technical Advisor – ECD/OVC and SA Lead Consultant to monitor progress in the delivery of the project and to provide assistance and guidance, as required.
1. Brief report of m2m’s existing interventions, tools, materials, resources and ECD capacity at Dark City and Soshanguve; including recommendations (content framework to be agreed with m2m Liaison Officer).
2. Framework for revision and adaptation of: a) ECD activities; b) TOT and Mentor Mother training modules; and c) programme tools and materials.
3. Brief overview of intervention components of the revised ECD/RMNCH model in Gauteng (format to be agreed with the m2m Liaison Officer).
4. Revised ECD tools and materials, as agreed.
5. TOT agenda.
6. Revised ECD training manuals (facilitator/participant).