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Consultant - Development of an Operational Guidance on Community Based Mental Health and Psychosocial Support for UNICEF

Background & Rationale

The escalation of conflicts and conflict-related displacement around the world and its impact on the development and overall well-being of children present the humanitarian and development community with acute challenges. Concerns are being expressed over the direct impact these conflicts have on children in terms of their education and development, as well as the long-term impacts on societies in terms of social cohesion. In this context, Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (MHPSS) forms a key area of response for UNICEF and partners.

Safe Spaces or Child Friendly Spaces (CFS) have come to be an important vehicle for the delivery of psychosocial support in emergency contexts and to address issues of child protection, gender based violence and psychosocial support. At the same time, there is increasing evidence that CFS, though quite useful as an immediate modality for response is limited in scope and does not always contribute to strengthening local government and community systems for sustainable care and psychosocial well-being.

For UNICEF, psychosocial support is intrinsically linked to child protection programming, especially in emergencies. Protection of children from violence is a foundation of psychosocial wellbeing; and providing psychosocial support is an essential element of any protection response in humanitarian contexts. Our experience shows that in many complex emergencies, MHPSS can also serve as an entry point for access to other services, including health, nutrition, WASH and educational or vocational training, as well as referral for other child protection care and services.

UNICEF promotes a community based approach to psychosocial support. While centre-based activities, such as Safe Spaces/CFS are important, interventions should have community participation and mobilization as essential components. Community mobilization and participation is important not only as a matter of principle, but also to ensure sustainability and scalability.

Over the last year, UNICEF has invested in developing a new narrative on psychosocial support, as well as a framework that clearly shows the shift away from a CFS focused approach to a more community based approach. UNICEF also has extensive field experience in community based approaches to MHPSS.

This consultancy would build on the new framework, consider experience from the field, both within UNICEF and among partners, and would come up with coherent approach to inform the work of field practitioners in developing community based MHPSS programmes.


The purpose of this consultancy is to help develop an operational framework for community based MHPSS. The consultant/s would work with the CP MHPSS specialist to develop and finalize guidance for a community based approach to psychosocial support.

Expected results: (measurable results)

The key deliverables of the consultancy will be the following:

1) The draft outline of the operational framework

2) A results log frame based on the operational framework.

3) A brief evidence review to be produced as an annex to the document.

4) Snapshot of 4-6 examples of field programming (to include UNICEF examples of South Sudan, Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq).

5) A consolidated final document of approximately 50 pages.

The development of the guidance would involve the following:

· Develop the outline of the new framework to strengthen the conceptual basis and the programme content for this approach.

· Develop a results logframe based on the existing framework.

· Undertake a review of the evidence on the issue globally and link it to the elements of the operational framework.

· Undertake a review of promising practices from the field to be reflected in the framework, with a particular focus on UNICEF experience.

· Provide links to existing resources, both with in UNICEF and outside UNICEF that would enable UNICEF country offices to effectively operationalize the framework.

Duty Station

Remote Based. No travel required either to the field or to the NYHQ


Start date: January 15, 2016 End date: March 30, 2016



(Estimated # of Days)


Draft outline of the operational framework

5 days of work

January 25,2015

Draft results log frame based on the operational framework

5 days of work

January 31, 2015

Brief evidence review to be produced as an annex to the document

8 days of work

February 10, 2015

Snapshot of at least 4-6 examples of field programming (to include UNICEF examples of South Sudan, Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq).

10 days of work

February 20,2015

Consolidated document of about 50 pages (1st draft)

7 days of work

March 5,2015

2nd draft of the consolidated document to be shared with a select group of country offices, serving as the Reference Group

5 days of work

March 15, 2015

Final Document

5 days of work

March 30,2015


45 days

Key competences, technical background, and experience required Deadline

· Advanced Degree in Social Work/Psychology/Public Health/Social Sciences or related fields.

· 10 to 15 years of Senior Level experience either in the design, development, evaluation and implementation of psychosocial support, with a focus on community based MHPSS.

· Experience in developing M&E frameworks related to the field of MHPSS.

· Proven research skills and demonstrated expertise in analysis and development of technical papers and reports as well as programmatic guidance related to MHPSS, including published work.

· Knowledge and experience in working in emergency contexts.

  • Capacity to work independently yet with ability to share information, receive feedback and engage in dialogue with partners.

· Good writing and analytical skills.

· Excellent interpersonal skills and ability to promote collaboration and consensus building.

· Fluency in English and knowledge of at least one additional UN language.

Applicants are requested to send their submissions to with subject line:

“**Consultant - Development of an Operational Guidance on Community Based Mental Health and Psychosocial Support for UNICEF**” by 16th December 2015, 5:00pm EST.

Applications must include:

· Cover letter,

· CV, and

· P-11 form[1] -

· Indicate where you heard about this advertisement

Please indicate your ability, availability and daily/monthly rate (in US$) to undertake the terms of reference above. Applications submitted without a daily/monthly rate will not be considered. Payment will be made as a lump sum at the end of the consultancy.

NOTE: Files should not exceed 5.0MB limit

UNICEF is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, nationality and culture. Individuals from minority groups, indigenous groups and persons with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply. All applications will be treated with the strictest confidence.

[1] P 11 form can be downloaded from our website at

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  • Organization: UNICEF - United Nations Children’s Fund
  • Location:
  • Grade: Senior - Internationally recruited position - Senior level
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Architecture, Building and Property Management
    • Public Health and Health Service
    • Social Affairs
    • Sexual and reproductive health
    • Civil Society and Local governance
  • Closing Date: 2015-12-16

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