Consultant to undertake a comprehensive literature review on community-based animal health workers (CAHWs) programs At Vétérinaires Sans Frontières International

Location: home-based

Type of contract: consultancy contract

Languages required: English, French

Duration: 45 working days between May and September 2022

Application deadline: 7th May 2022


The VSF International network supports families and farmers’ organizations in 38 countries in Africa, the Americas and Asia. In 2020, it reached 2.07 million families and among them, provided direct support to 4,700 animal health professionals, including 4,300 Community Animal Health Workers (CAHWs). CAHWs deliver quality proximity animal health services to livestock keepers in countries where veterinary services may shortfall. For decades, the VSF International network strengthened and advocated for the development of CAHWs, not only by reinforcing their technical competencies and supporting a sustainable business model, but also through the integration of CAHWs into local and national animal health systems and regulatory frameworks (including for supervision and official recognition) in collaboration with public and private veterinarians. VSF International drafted a definition for CAHWs: “Selected by their communities and in collaboration with private veterinary doctors, the veterinary public services and supporting bodies (projects and NGOs), Community-based Animal Health Workers (CAHWs) provide basic services and give husbandry advice to livestock keepers. They are in charge of disseminating certain farming techniques in order to optimize animal production. They also play an important role in epidemiological surveillance”. Despite their key role, CAHWs development and deployment face several constraints and challenges (VSF-Int policy brief, 2018). Indeed, in the different countries where they are operating, CAHWs legal status varies widely, from official recognition to prohibition. In the field, CAHWs face lack of standardized approaches in terms of supervision, coordination with private and public vets, training (some trainings last 48 hourswhile other last 3 weeks), lack of common nomenclature, and suffer from inadequate supervision. There are numerous factors that lead to this disparity, but they mainly relate to the lack of agreed criteria around the definition, training, qualification, supervision, and deployment of CAHWs in both the public and private sectors. To address these issues, OIE and VSF International are jointly implementing a two-year project entitled “Strengthening the enabling environment for community animal health workers through development of competency and curricula guidelines” and funded by USAID/BHA.The project will allow the implementing organizations to provide an in-depth assessment of the training context and needs for CAHWs at the global level, based on regional and national-level analyses, and to develop guidelines for CAHW implementation models, competencies, and training, which will be key to support global recognition and harmonization of CAHWs training and services.

To proceed, the project will first identify and describe the main training and implementation models for CAHWs at the global scale. A general comparative assessment of CAHW training programs, institutional frameworks and operational set-ups will be done through literature review and regional expert consultations. On a second stage, the literature review work will be consolidated with a more detailed analysis in 3 or 4 countries in Africa and Asia. The information collected and analysed will allow OIE to develop competency and curricula guidelines for CAHWs (after appropriate validation and testing), and VSF to produce guidelines and recommendations on the sustainability of the CAHWs models.The project aims to:

-Inform key stakeholders involved in CAHW training and supervision of strengths and weaknesses in current training models and provide them with recommendations to improve the sustainability of CAHWs systems

-Produce OIE Competency and Curricula guidelines for CAHWs and disseminate them to key stakeholders involved in CAHW training and management

-Inform key stakeholders involved in veterinary services legislation and management of the value of harmonization and role definition for CAHWs

VSF International is therefore seeking for a consultant to undertake the collectionof CAHWsprograms and training manuals and conduct the literature review activity.PurposeThe purpose of this consultancy is:

(1)To collect, review and analyse relevant CAHW programs and program evaluations, to identify successes and failures and the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT) that led to these outcomes. The review should include:

-A comparative assessment of CAHWs programs, in terms of:

o Training system: whether there is formal regulatory and/or legislative recognition of training quality, training framework(training operators, selection criteria of CAHWs, length and content -harmonized or not-,final examination, certificate of attendance, refresher training available, etc.)

o Operational and business models (working status, authorization delivered, means for supervision, payment system, allowed/prohibited activities, etc.)

o External factors which can influence sustainability (such as reliable supply chains for quality pharmaceuticals, equipment and supplies, institutional setup, mechanisms for functional cost recovery, farmer willingness to pay, etc.)

-A focus on CAHWs’ role in emergency preparedness and early warning systems, including animal disease surveillance as well as their contributions to One Health. In this regard, the review should include an analysis of the role that CAHWs can play in some relevant aspects of One Health such as farmer awareness-raising about good hygiene and other biosecurity measures, detection of zoonoses, proper use and management of antimicrobial agents and other veterinary medicinal products, and medical waste disposal. The role CAHWs play in antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is of particular interest for the project.

(2)To collect CAHWs’ training manuals and curricula from international organizations, NGOs, governments, and other training providers actively engaged in the training of CAHWs and share the materials to OIE for analysis.(3)To identify stakeholders who could be involved in the regional expert consultations (intended to consolidate and validate the findings from the literature review and the case studies)


The assignment will focus mainly on Africa and Asia, two regions with significant CAHW activity with the potential of global dissemination of the competency and curricula guidelines developed and the lessons learned.


The consultant will undertake collection of all the required information/publications from various sources, including NGOs, international organizations, government departments, ministries, and other relevant sources.Information will be gathered through semi-structured interviews with key informants and review of both published and grey literature on CAHW project reports, program evaluations, curricula and training manuals, among any relevant documentation. VSF International and OIE will support the consultant in collecting information through official letters and sharing of contacts wherever required.


The consultant is expected to provide the following deliverables:

(1) A report based on a comparative assessment of CAHWs programs, in terms of training systems, operational and business models and external factors which can influence sustainability as well as policy recommendations for a sustainable deployment of CAHWs worldwide and within each region.

(2) One summary sheet per each reviewed CAHWs project, completed with relevant information and key indicators learnt from the analysis

(3) An exhaustive directory of stakeholders involved in CAHWs programs and training (NGOs, international organizations, training providers government departments and ministries) with focal points, systematised per country, including a shortlist of relevant stakeholders who could be involved in further regional expert consultations

(4) The database of documents and publications reviewed.

(5) PowerPoint presentation of the results of the review and analysis, to be presented to the VSF teams and at the OIE ad hoc group (location and date to be defined)

All deliverables will be in English.


The assignment is expected to be completed in 45 working days between May 2022 and September 2022.

Collection and analysis of documents: May-June 2022

Report outline: End of June 2022

Draft report: Mid July 2022

Final report+ other deliverables: End of July/beginning of August 2022

Presentation of findings: September 2022 (date to be confirmed)

Duty station

The consultant will be home-based. The consultant is expected to use own computer and other equipment required for the task.


The consultant shall report to the VSFInternational’s project manager.The deliverables will be reviewed by a team of CAHWs expert within the VSF International network.The consultant will follow the work plan and time schedule agreed with VSF International. He/she will submit and share the progress of the activities as agreed to the project manager, who will be supported by the project Steering Committee. It is expected that the consultant will attend an initial briefing with OIE and VSF-Int project managers along with the Steering Committee, a mid-mission meeting to assess the progression of the work, and a final debriefing including the presentation of the PowerPoint (location or mode to be defined). The assignment is technically and administratively fully accountable to VSF International.

Property rights and confidentiality clause

All products, of whatever nature, produced within the framework of this consultancy, will belong to VSF-Int without any limitation. VSF-Int decides autonomously and without limitation on the reproduction, exploitation,and all forms of use of these products.The consultant is obliged to keep the work entrusted to him by VSF-Int confidential and to keep confidential all information and documents related to the consultancy within the framework of the mandate as defined in these Terms of Reference.



-Fluency in both English and French languages,

-In depth understanding of the CAHWs programs and challenges

-Strong conceptual and analytical skills

-Excellent oral and written communication skills

-Ability to review, edit, proofread long documents

-Ability to resume large volume of reports and publications, and to meet deadlines

-Ability to work with large and geographically dispersed teams

-Advanced knowledge of Microsoft Word and Excel (or similar software)

Education / Experience:

-At least 10 years of relevant experience in the field of animal health, livestock, rural development and/or other related subjects

-Education to at least Master’s degree level or equivalent

-Extensive reviewing and writing experience

-Experience of working in international contexts, especially with NGOs and international organizations

-Field experience in CAHWs settings would be an asset.

How to apply

Interested candidates should send an expression of interest comprising:

-Technical proposal (max 3 pages), including methodology and workplan to comply with the requirements of the assignment

-Financial proposal

-Curriculum vitae

Proposals should be written in English and sent to the following email address:, strictly indicating on the subject line “Consultancy project CAHWs”. Only short-listed candidates will be contacted for interviews. The deadline submission of applications is 7th of May 2022.

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