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Consultancy: Adolescence consultant – ACT program guidance, ADP - PD, Requisition # 503188

Home Based | New York City

Following the modification of the indicators and review of the piloting experiences, there is a need to develop succinct guidance that will clearly explain to non-data specialists the purpose of the ACT, its components and how to use it for advocacy purposes.

If you are a committed, creative professional and are passionate about making a lasting difference for children, the world's leading children's rights organization would like to hear from you.

For 70 years, UNICEF has been working on the ground in 190 countries and territories to promote children's survival, protection and development. The world's largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments.

Background & Rationale

UNICEF, in collaboration with key partners, has facilitated the development of an Adolescent Country Tracker (ACT) which seeks to provide a common platform to identify, measure and track progress across five domains of adolescent wellbeing, namely: health, education, protection, economic opportunities and participation.  The ACT is based, wherever possible, on existing indicators and data and includes five indicators across each domain in a 5x5 matrix. In addition to the 25 outcome indicators, there are also five "plus" indicators that provide a snap-shot of the physical, economic and social environment in which adolescent girls and boys live, learn, play and transition to work.    The aim of the ACT is to support advocacy and stimulate action for adolescents at a national level.  The ACT data will be compiled every 3-5 years (using globally available data) on a central data-base with links provided both to the meta-data used, information on each indicator, and guidance on how to use the information to advocate with government and other stakeholders for accelerated action to accelerate changes for and with adolescents.  The guidance will also  provide information on how to further develop a 'National ACT' by mining global data further, using local data where it is available from administrative sources, and/or by conducting tailored surveys where these may be necessary as well as selecting and measuring country-specific indicators which need to be highlighted. Country-specific indicators would focus on issues that are particularly pertinent to a country.  For instance some countries might choose to track levels of HIV infection or condom use amongst adolescents, whilst others might focus on levels of drug use or FGM/C.  National ACTs could also be constructed at the sub-national/regional level or focus on a particular group of adolescents such as those from an ethnic or linguistic minority or adolescents with disabilities.  Even when data gaps exist, they could be used to highlight the need for greater efforts to track and measure progress for adolescents. 

The ACT was developed with a range of partners in 2015 and field tested in eleven countries which either provided feedback or undertook a full piloting of the ACT over a three month period in 2016.  In countries which undertook a full piloting, local reference groups were convened to review the matrix as well as additional data that are available at country level and to discuss possible country-specific indicators which were identified as particularly relevant to the country context.  Overall, there was strong support for the ACT and a consensus that the tool would be very helpful in stimulating action and advocacy at national level, however, minor modifications were also suggested for a number of indicators and queries were raised in terms of the best way to interpret some of the data.  Changes to the indicators have now been agreed upon with the partners who were involved in developing the ACT and it is now essential to finalise the guidance notes that will accompany the ACT once it is launched. 

This consultancy comes as a joint effort between the Adolescent Development and Participation Section and the Data and Analytics Section who are responsible for populating the ACT data, providing relevant guidance on the meta-data and overseeing the data visualisation for the ACT. 


Following the modification of the indicators and review of the piloting experiences, there is a need to develop succinct guidance that will clearly explain to non-data specialists the purpose of the ACT, its components and how to use it for advocacy purposes.  

Expected results: 

The consultant is expected to produce a booklet of no more than 20 pages, and a summary booklet of no more than four pages, outlining:  i) What the purpose of the ACT is; ii) What the outcome level indicators, Plus5 indicators and country-specific indicators are and how to interpret them; and iii) How to use the data and information to advocate for further action. More specifically the booklet(s) will cover: 

  1. Indicator Guidance Note: Prepare guidance notes on each indicator to explain why the particular indicator/data was chosen; what it measures; how it can be compared across countries or regions, whether it is a current or reflective indicator; what the 'ideal' thresholds are for a particular indicator (e.g. in the case of time spent on particular activities like household chores or economic work); how it is linked to the SDGs etc. Based on a review of the comments and questions received from the pilot countries and partners on each indicator, prepare a table summarising the main areas that caused confusion or required clarification.  Liaise with D&A to review the guidance being prepared on the metadata in order to inform the preparation of the guidance note.  Provide information for each indicator on the kind of additional administrative data, sources of information or surveys that might be available at country level and could be used to further explore information presented under each indicator.  Explain the choice of each Plus5 indicator and clarify how these are relevant to adolescents even if they are measured at a higher household or national level.  
  1. Country Specific Indicator Guidance Note: Develop brief guidance note on the country-specific indicators.  Review comments from pilot countries and the list of suggested country specific indicators (CSIs) from the initial ACT development workshop and piloting exercise and develop further guidance on Country Specific Indicators. Clarify how stakeholders should focus at the level of outcomes for adolescents and include a list of possible CSIs under each domain as examples for countries to consider or build upon. 
  1. Advocacy Guidance Note: Prepare guidelines for stakeholders wishing to use the ACT data at a country level to advocate for action for adolescents.  Conduct in-depth interviews (by phone) with pilot countries (Tajikistan, Ukraine, Thailand and Indonesia) to ascertain how the countries convened their reference groups; what format they shared the data in; what additional resources might be helpful; how they facilitated the discussions with government and other counterparts; and what changes they might recommend going forward.  Include brief guidance on possible pathways for developing sub-regional or target-group-specific ACTs (e.g. for adolescents with disabilities, or adolescents from a particular ethnic or linguistic group).

Duty Station

NYHQ, or remote-based  


 Start date:           March 27, 2017                  End date:             April 11, 2017

Key competences, technical background, and experience required

  • Education: University Master's Degree or higher in development, social sciences, demography, or related field - a focus on adolescents would be desirable
  • Minimum of eight years of progressively responsible professional work experience in the area of social development research and/or measurement, ideally with experience measuring adolescent wellbeing
  • Experience in convening and coordinating inputs from field-based staff – ideally from UNICEF Country Offices
  • Proven track record of conducting literature reviews and in-depth interviews and consolidating quantitative and qualitative data from a variety of sources.
  • Strong command of English required
  • Ability to communicate effectively both orally and in writing
  • Ability to work in an international environment and under tight deadlines

To view our competency framework, please click here

Please indicate your ability, availability and daily/monthly rate (in US$) to undertake the terms of reference above (including travel and daily subsistence allowance, if applicable).  Applications submitted without a daily/monthly rate will not be considered.

UNICEF is committed to diversity and inclusion within its workforce, and encourages qualified female and male candidates from all national, religious and ethnic backgrounds, including persons living with disabilities, to apply to become a part of our organisation.

Before applying, please make sure that you have read the requirements for the position and that you qualify.
Applications from non-qualifying applicants will most likely be discarded by the recruiting manager.

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  • Organization: UNICEF - United Nations Children’s Fund
  • Location: Home Based | New York City
  • Grade: Consultancy
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Social studies
    • Youth
  • Closing Date: 2017-03-11

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