Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility Consultant – Childhood obesity programme legacy - Impact on Urban Health

Consultant – Childhood obesity programme legacy

We are looking for an individual or consultancy firm to support us in building a strategic plan for the legacy of our childhood obesity programme.

Team

Programmes

Closing date

18 July 2022

Interview dates

Thursday 21 July – in-person

About the opportunity

  • Opportunity title: Defining a legacy for Impact on Urban Health’s childhood obesity programme – consultancy support 
  • Timeline: we expect to appoint a consultant by early August and have a written summary of our potential legacy and associated recommendations by the end of November 2022 
  • Contract type: consultancy contract for estimated 4 months 

Impact on Urban Health is 5 years in to a 10-year Childhood Obesity Programme. During the programme’s lifetime we will spend c.£45m and work closely with a wide range of partners to improve children’s health in urban areas. The programme focuses on breaking the link between low income and poor nutrition, by improving the quality of food options in lower-income neighbourhoods. We are looking for a consultant to help us define what a successful legacy, or exit, from the programme looks like that enables others to lead on changes that will continue to shift the dial on children’s health once our childhood obesity programme and funding ends. We want to make sure that bold changes to the food environments in places where children and families spend their time continue beyond the life of the programme, so that eating well and healthily is the easiest – not hardest – thing to do.  

Overview of our Childhood obesity programme

All children should have the opportunity to be healthy, no matter where they live. This includes access to a nutritious diet. Yet children’s chances of accessing healthy food – or being flooded with unhealthy food – depend strongly on where they grow up. As a result, children living in areas of lower average income are more likely to be both malnourished and obese.  

Specifically, we focus on changing early years settings, schools and high street food environments. We work with a range of types of partner that share our vision, including food charities, education settings, local government, investors and food companies (see examples below). We are also funding a programme of work to reframe the narrative on childhood health and obesity so that policy and solutions are targeted at changing the environments where children and families purchase and consume food, rather than promoting individual behaviour change.  We and our partners actively support policy change at local and national levels that improves children’s health and access to a nutritious diet. Please find more information on our partnerships and approach here 

Why define our programme’s legacy? 

We and our partners have learned a lot about what it takes to improve children’s health and address childhood obesity, and have a track record of impactful change at a local and national level. However, the gap in childhood obesity outcomes between those on high and low incomes continues to widen nationally, and there is much left to do. It is clear that addressing childhood obesity in its entirety would cost £billions and take another 15+ years. We see our role as being to catalyse sustained action from others, not on delivering the long-term solutions ourselves. We’re looking for a consultant who can help us think and work through the decisions we should be making now to enable us to play that catalytic role in the second half of the programme. 

We also think we can learn from other issue areas that have seen dramatic improvements, such as incidence of teenage pregnancy or smoking. And we want to learn from other foundations who have attempted similar exercises, for example those that have spent down their endowments. For more information on our thinking to date, see here.  

Project Brief

We aim to identify: 

  1. A legacy that supports others to continue to shift the dial on children’s health once our childhood obesity programme and funding ends  
  2. What success for the programme end point (end of year 10) looks like 
  3. What activity we should prioritise over the remaining 5 years to support our intended legacy 

We are open to a range of approaches to refining and answering our questions. We want this process to draw heavily on the expertise and experience of Impact on Urban Health’s staff and our partners. As such, we would expect the approach to include: 

Defining success  

  • Facilitate discussions with Impact on Urban Health’s team and partners to: (1) identify what success ultimately looks like on childhood obesity as an issue; (2) determine the shifts in the food system that may be needed to achieve success; and (3) define success for our programme end point in 2027 

Identifying and applying relevant best practice 

  • Research and assess what Impact on Urban Health can learn from similar efforts including: 
    • What we can learn from how success on other issue areas such as smoking, teenage pregnancy rates and mental health awareness has been achieved 
    • Foundations that have successfully spent down their endowments e.g. Atlantic Philanthropies or successfully spun out programmes of work  
    • Facilitate discussion around how best practice can be applied to our strategy, and in the context of our resources 

Identifying what from our programme and our partner’s work should be scaled and sustained 

  • Facilitate an internal Impact on Urban Health discussion to determine: what aspects of Impact on Urban Health’s approach should be adopted by others; which funded partnerships and aspects of our influencing work should be prioritised to support our legacy; and what gaps in current activity exist compared to our goals for 2027? 

Identifying the mechanisms needed to scale and sustain a healthier, more equitable food system 

  • Make recommendations and facilitate discussion on questions such as: who would continue to drive progress, what would they would be doing, how we can best enable them to be successful, and what can we test now? 

Ultimately, the outcome we are looking for is a strategic plan which builds on our thinking and work to date, and which has the support of both our senior leadership and childhood obesity teams. 

Specification

Specialist knowledge, skills and expertise 

Essential 

  • Experience bringing deep and precise thinking to strategic questions for complex organisations 
  • Experience of advising organisations focused on systems change  
  • Understanding of how strategic approaches adapt to changing external environments, including political environments 
  • Experience in working with a wide range of stakeholders and partners 
  • Experience of facilitating inclusive discussions, and bringing stakeholders with you on as part of the process 
  • An ability to create actionable, specific strategic plans 
  • An ability to deliver at pace 

Desirable 

  • Expertise in scaling and sustaining social impact 
  • Experience working on the social and commercial determinants of health 
  • Experience supporting foundations to develop exit/ spend down strategies 

We do not require experience working in the field of childhood obesity or children’s health.  

About us

Impact on Urban Health is part of Guy’s & St Thomas’ Foundation. Our collective mission is to build the foundations of a healthier society.

At Impact on Urban Health, we’re committed to achieving health equity by helping urban areas become healthier places for everyone to live. We take a place-based approach to improving urban health. This helps us understand how the local environment affects people’s health and to find solutions that work in practice.

The south London boroughs of Lambeth and Southwark have been our home for over five centuries. It is here that we work with organisations, groups and individuals – local, national and international – who are committed to achieving health equity in inner-city areas.

To drive better health in cities, we pay particular attention to the context in which people live and the wider determinants of their health, from finance and employment, to access to nutritious food and air quality.

We have four programmes that each focus on one of the following health issues:

  • childhood obesity
  • multiple long-term conditions
  • the health effects of air pollution
  • children’s mental health

We also have a research and development team that works across our programmes.

How to apply

  • Please send an expression of interest to Rebecca Sunter, Programme Director (Childhood Obesity) rebecca.sunter@urbanhealth.org.uk  and Matt Towner, Portfolio Manager matt.towner@urbanhealth.org.uk by 9am Monday 18th July.
  • Expressions of interest should be maximum five A4 pages, and include: 
    • Your approach including activities and outputs 
    • An indicative timeline, plus availability to start  
    • An indicative budget including day rates and team allocation  
    • Why your experience, skills and knowledge would make you a good fit for this opportunity 
  • Please note that this role is open to individual consultants, as well as consultancy firms. We are open to working with a consortium of partners. 
  • If you require more information, or have questions please contact Matt Towner, Portfolio Manager on matt.towner@urbanhealth.org.uk 
  • Interviews will be held on 21st July. We will aim for these to be in our office in Southwark. Please let us know if that date does not work for you when submitting your application. 

Example programme partnerships

Apply now

Email Rebecca Sunter (rebecca.sunter@urbanhealth.org.uk) and Matt Towner (matt.towner@urbanhealth.org.uk) to apply.

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