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International consultant for RITEC case studies (part-time, home-based), Beijing, China

Remote | Beijing

  • Organization: UNICEF - United Nations Children’s Fund
  • Location: Remote | Beijing
  • Grade: Consultancy - Consultant - Contractors Agreement
  • Occupational Groups:
  • Closing Date: Closed

UNICEF is seeking an International consultant to expand existing dialogues and engagement with digital technology companies in China

UNICEF works in some of the world’s toughest places, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. To save their lives. To defend their rights. To help them fulfill their potential. 

Across 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, every day, to build a better world for everyone. 

And we never give up. 

For every child, integrity 

The most recent data shows that approximately 193 million Internet users in China are between 6 and 17 years of age. The growing importance of the internet and technology in the lives of children living in China, and the opportunities that they present, demand that while ensuring children are protected online, the opportunities that the digital world presents to children are not curtailed.
The Committee on the Rights of the Child’s General Comment No.25 on the Rights of the Child in the Digital Environment affirms that all children’s rights apply equally online as offline, and that there should be no distinction between the digital and offline environment. The General Comment calls on member States to ensure that the private sector undertake due diligence on the impact of their products and services on child rights in the digital space, and to take steps to monitor, prevent and act against business who infringe on the rights of children as enshrined in the Convention on the Rights of the Child. This explicitly places a responsibility on all technology and telecommunications industries to ensure that their products are safe for all children to use while also protecting all the concurrent rights of the child in and through the products and services that they develop and deliver.
Following the guidance set out in the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGP), all companies should undertake human rights due diligence on their own operations and those in their value chains. This means that all internet service providers should undertake ‘Safety-by-Design (SbD)’ due diligence to put user safety, especially children’s safety, at the forefront of the design, development and release of online products and services. The responsible use of technology should be carefully considered throughout the design process of every new platform and service, not just as an afterthought.
As digital technology plays an increasingly important role in children’s development, UNICEF’s Responsible Innovation in Technology for Children (RITEC) project aims to create practical tools for businesses and governments that will empower them to put the well-being of children at the centre of digital design. It includes eight components: competence, emotional regulation, self-actualization, empowerment, social connection, creativity, safety and security, and diversity, equity and inclusion.

How can you make a difference? 

In 2024, to expand existing dialogues and engagement with digital technology companies in China on the practice of Safety-by-Design and RITEC across all products and services, and in partnership with identified technology companies in China to provide a “deep-dive” into how the practice and principles of Safety-by-Design and RITEC can be implemented within the context of China, by identifying and sharing successes, challenges and promising or good practice using documented examples.
The case studies will provide important opportunities to showcase how Chinese digital technology companies are adopting Safety-by-Design principles in their products and services, and how these can be further embedded into core business practices both within China and across the region.

The case studies will be located within a child rights conceptual framework, that recognizes and reflects equitably the equal and indivisible rights of children as set out in the Convention on the Rights of the Child, and as applied to the digital environment through the Committee on the Rights of the Child General Comment no. 25 on the Rights of the Child. The case studies will also draw on the other global guidance on the rights of the child through which safety and wellbeing of children should be established, to establish the framework. These include the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGP) and the Childrens Rights and Business Principles (CRBP).

Scope of Work:
This consultant is expected to work on the following tasks:
1. The overall framework, methodology and workplan. The consultant should develop the overall framework, methodology and workplan, guiding the roadmap of the case studies and defining the method of data collection, scoring criteria of case studies, estimated timelines, and expected outputs of each stage.
2. A Self-assessment outline. The consultant should develop a self-assessment outline following principles detailed by RITEC and Safety-by-Design to be adopted by identified companies to critically evaluate how they have incorporated these principles into the recent development of products or services, including social media, edtech or other applications or services that may be accessed by children. These different case studies should ideally be distributed across different services and products, including for example short messaging, edtech, or other social media platforms.
3. Research frameworks for case studies. Working along with UNICEF, the government partner, and identified companies, the consultant should develop the research methodology and tools for each of the case studies, integrating tools for ensuring that the voices of children, and their views and concerns on safety of digital technology, and their vision, needs and requirements for safe platforms or products are integrated from the conceptualisation of the product or service. This framework may vary depending on the nature of identified companies, and the nature of the services or products on which the case study is focusing.
4. Development of case studies. The consultant should adopt an iterative approach, ensuring that consultation occurs at every stage of the process, to develop and improve all case studies following the research framework, aiming for documenting and showcasing good practice, and identifying and learning from challenges and successes. Each case study should pay particular attention to what works, and what doesn’t work, and how learnings can be taken forward, wherever possible applying these lessons to the particular type of industry.

The following deliverables need to be submitted:
1. A induction report with overall framework, detailed methodology and workplan. (5 working days)
2. A set of self-assessment outline for identified companies to evaluate their practices of incorporating RITEC and Safety-by-Design principles into the recent development of products or services. (5 working days)
3. A PowerPoint presentation at the launch roundtable to present the overall framework and the self-assessment outline to identified companies and the local research team. (5 working days)
4. Five research frameworks (methodology and tools) for five case studies respectively to guide identified companies to develop the first draft of case studies. (15 working days, 3 working days for each case study)
5. Five case studies along the lines of principles of RITEC and Safety-by-Design. (35 working days, 7 working days for each case study)
6. Two PowerPoint presentations to present findings of the case studies to stakeholders as required. (10 working days)

The consultant is expected to join conference calls with UNICEF China to discuss relevant issues and guide the local research team a minimum of 5 hours per month (on average).

The consultant is expected to make a visit to China lasting no more than five days to support the implementation of the project.

For detailed information, please refer to attachment.Download File ASSIGNMENTS AND DELIVERABLES.pdf

To qualify as an advocate for every child you will have… 

1. Master's degree in law, internet governance, cyber policy and security or another relevant social science field.

2. At least 5 years of experience working on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), safety and security, internet governance, or technology.

3. Track record of publications on child online protection and related issue.

4. Familiarity with challenges faced by governments and private sector in the area of child rights in the digital world.

5. Knowledge of technology society in China would be an asset.

6. Excellent written and verbal communication skills in English.

For every Child, you demonstrate… 

UNICEF's values of Care, Respect, Integrity, Trust, Accountability, and Sustainability (CRITAS). 

 To view our competency framework, please visit  here

 UNICEF is here to serve the world’s most disadvantaged children and our global workforce must reflect the diversity of those children. The UNICEF family is committed to include everyone, irrespective of their race/ethnicity, age, disability, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, nationality, socio-economic background, or any other personal characteristic.

UNICEF offers reasonable accommodation for consultants/individual contractors with disabilities. This may include, for example, accessible software, travel assistance for missions or personal attendants. We encourage you to disclose your disability during your application in case you need reasonable accommodation during the selection process and afterwards in your assignment. 

UNICEF has a zero-tolerance policy on conduct that is incompatible with the aims and objectives of the United Nations and UNICEF, including sexual exploitation and abuse, sexual harassment, abuse of authority and discrimination. UNICEF also adheres to strict child safeguarding principles. All selected candidates will be expected to adhere to these standards and principles and will therefore undergo rigorous reference and background checks. Background checks will include the verification of academic credential(s) and employment history. Selected candidates may be required to provide additional information to conduct a background check. 


Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted and advance to the next stage of the selection process. 

Individuals engaged under a consultancy or individual contract will not be considered “staff members” under the Staff Regulations and Rules of the United Nations and UNICEF’s policies and procedures, and will not be entitled to benefits provided therein (such as leave entitlements and medical insurance coverage). Their conditions of service will be governed by their contract and the General Conditions of Contracts for the Services of Consultants and Individual Contractors. Consultants and individual contractors are responsible for determining their tax liabilities and for the payment of any taxes and/or duties, in accordance with local or other applicable laws. 

The selected candidate is solely responsible to ensure that the visa (applicable) and health insurance required to perform the duties of the contract are valid for the entire period of the contract. Selected candidates are subject to confirmation of fully-vaccinated status against SARS-CoV-2 (Covid-19) with a World Health Organization (WHO)-endorsed vaccine, which must be met prior to taking up the assignment. It does not apply to consultants who will work remotely and are not expected to work on or visit UNICEF premises, programme delivery locations or directly interact with communities UNICEF works with, nor to travel to perform functions for UNICEF for the duration of their consultancy contracts. 

This vacancy is now closed.
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