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Senior Consultant for National Child Marriage Prevention & Mitigation Strategy for Lebanon -Short-term Consultancy

Beirut (Lebanon)

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.

Child marriage, defined as a formal marriage or informal union before age 18, is a reality for both boys and girls, although girls are disproportionately the most affected. Evidence shows that girls who marry early often abandon formal education and become pregnant. Maternal deaths related to pregnancy and childbirth are an important component of mortality for girls aged 15-19 worldwide, accounting for 70,000 deaths each year. Child brides are at risk of violence, abuse and exploitation. Finally, child marriage often results in separation from family and friends and lack of freedom to participate in community activities, which can all have major consequences on girls’ mental and physical well-being. Where prevalent, child marriage functions as a social norm. Marrying girls under 18 years old is rooted in gender discrimination, encouraging premature and continuous child bearing and giving preference to boys’ education.
Whereas Lebanon has committed to addressing all forms of discrimination and violence against women and girls and ratified various conventions and declarations that prohibit such discrimination and violence (Convention on Elimination of Violence Against Women (CEDAW); the Beijing Platform Declaration and Platform of Action; the 1994 Cairo International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) Declaration; the Declaration on Violence Against Women; the Convention on the Rights of the Child; s – Women’s Rights Protocol; among others, not much has been done in regard to putting in place practical initiatives that explicitly protect children from child marriage. This gap has persisted in spite of child protection being a core government responsibility as articulated in The National Social Development Strategy (2011); National Action Plan to Eliminate the Worst Forms of Child Labour (2013); the National Strategy for Child Protection and Prevention against All Forms of Violence, Abuse and Neglect (2012); National Strategy for Women in Lebanon (2011 - 2021); and other sector policies and strategic plans. The drafting of a national strategy to address child marriage is an essential and key initiative seeking to address this gap. The recent GoL State party report to the CRC committee (2016) as well as the CRC recommendations highlight the need to address the issue of child marriage in Lebanon. This is in line with the  Joint General Recommendation/General Comment No. 31 of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women and No. 18 of the Committee on the Rights of the Child on Harmful Practices according to which:” the effective prevention and elimination of harmful practices require the establishment of a well-defined, rights-based and locally-relevant holistic strategy which includes supportive legal and policy measures, including social measures that are combined with a commensurate political commitment and accountability at all levels. The obligations outlined in CEDAW and CRC provide the basis for the development of a holistic strategy to eliminate harmful practices [such as child marriage]’.

Scope of work:
 UNICEF Lebanon Country Office  (LCO) is seeking to hire a senior consultant with strong gender and child protection background to support the Lebanese Higher Council for Childhood  (HCC) in the development of a national strategy to end child marriage by supporting HCC’s leadership of an engaged group of civil society actors, while also ensuring that a multi-sectoral collaboration is in place with engagement of key actors from  several sectors such as education, child & social protection, legal, youth, livelihood, health and communication for development (C4D). The consultant, working under the technical supervision of UNICEF Child Protection Specialist (GBV) will support the HCC to address effectively the intersection between safety/protection, material/economic, and social/religious drivers and reinforce positive social norms that promote marriage within the context of full consent from two adults.

Specifically, the incumbent will: -

i. Undertake a desk review of existing and concurrent efforts to better understand child marriage in Lebanon. This should include reviewing and mapping national strategies, frameworks, initiatives, and stakeholders supporting child marriage prevention and response; as well as regional or global strategies, frameworks, and initiatives that could inform or support these efforts. It should build on research already conducted and provide a mapping of policy and program initiatives (including interventions aimed at mitigating the contributing factors to child marriage), to provide an understanding of what is being done, what works, and what can go to scale including the mechanisms and strategies needed to do so. Given the large number of existing and concurrent research initiatives around child marriage, it will be critical to collate existing findings and coordinate with key focal points such as UNFPA, Lebanese American University, University Saint Joseph, International Rescue Committee, Danish Refugee Council, etc. in order to avoid duplication and minimize time demands on core child marriage key informants and partners.
ii. Organize 6 field level consultation workshops in Akkar, Tripoli, Bekaa, Beirut/Mount Lebanon and South Lebanon, and 1 National consultation with governmental agencies/relevant ministries representatives, judges, parliamentarians, religious leaders, UN and National and International NGOs from relevant sectors (including GBV, Child Protection, Health, Education, Social Protection, Youth, etc), academic institutions
iii. Organize 25 FGDs with men, women, boys and girls (married and not married) as well as community leaders from the different cohorts present in Lebanon (Lebanese, Syrian, Palestine refugees from Lebanon, Palestine Refugees from Syria) and from different settings (urban, rural, informal settlements), to identify priorities.
iv. Draft a National Strategy that has an explicit theory of change and evidence based logic for the prioritization of the most promising interventions for reducing child marriage in Lebanon. The strategy and its costed action plan should define the Outcome, Outputs, Activities and Inputs, timeline, responsibilities, budget and a clear M&E plan and timeline for implementation.  The action/implementation plan should outline clearly the roles and responsibilities of the different ministries and non-government stakeholders. Strategy development should build on the pillars identified through the National Consultation held in May 2016, the findings of the MENA RO study and any follow-on national studies undertaken by UNICEF or key stakeholders in Lebanon (see i.); ensuring a multi-sectoral approach that addresses the complex interaction between education, health, legal, protection, livelihood, other sectors and child marriage by leveraging a variety of resources and actors.
v. Regarding the costing of the national strategy, thought should be given and realistic proposal should be validated to ensure a budget (from the government) is allocated to implement the strategy.
vi. Finalize and validate the strategy and action plan with a clear timeline through national Consensus Building Workshop to present and endorse the strategy.
vii. Support to launching the strategy as needed (TBD).

The consultant is also expected to:
a. Make frequent extended travel in Lebanon to arrange and organize the focus group discussions and key informant interviews,
b. Conduct frequent field visits to understand context and ongoing programmes addressing child marriage. 
c. Present regular progress to the HCC, UNICEF and the steering Committee through meetings, national workshops and field workshops, validation workshops, and dissemination.
d. It is further expected that the Senior consultant is a fluent Arabic speaker (verbal and written fluency) as several meetings with key informants will be in Arabic and several key documents such as policies and draft laws are in Arabic. 

Suggested Methodology:
1. Desk Review of reports, research and other relevant information
2. 6 Stakeholder consultations (government and civil society, judges, parliamentarians, religious leaders, UN and bilateral Agencies); 5 organized at field level and one at national level, for validation purposes
3. Focus group discussions with 25 groups (boys’, girls’ groups, men, women’s groups, community leaders) from the different cohorts (Lebanese, Syrian, Palestinian refugees, urban, rural settings).
4. Bilateral meetings with relevant key actors involved in the development of the strategy (HCC, MOSA, UNICEF, Strategy Core Group, SGBV TF).
5. Co-facilitate national and field consultations with HCC and national actors.

Deliverables and Schedules:
To view the detailed deliverable schedule and payment plan, please see attached the full Terms of Reference

• The Consultancy will take approximately six months for all deliverables listed above to be completed.
• The Consultancy is expected to begin in July 2017.   

Reporting Requirements:
The consultant will report to UNICEF Child Protection Specialist (GBV)

The consultant is expected to  work closely with the Lebanese Higher Council for Childhood and will receive general guidance from the steering committee comprised of civil society organizations and key lines ministries, in close coordination with the UNICEF consultancy manager

The consultant will report on a monthly basis to the UNICEF Child Protection Specialist (GBV).
All reports/deliverables as specified above will need to be submitted to the UNICEF consultancy manager, in soft copies in USB or CD to the UNICEF Child Protection Specialist (GBV) within the stipulated time frame above. UNICEF shall be entitled to all intellectual property and other proprietary rights including, but not limited to, patents, copyrights, and trademarks, with regard to documents and other materials developed under the consultancy.
Payments will be made based on the above-mentioned payment schedule and deliverable submission, upon certification of deliverable receipt & satisfaction by consultancy manager & presentation of invoice by the consultant.

Profile Requirements:
UNICEF is looking for an experienced consultant with strong gender and child protection background to support the Lebanese Higher Council for Childhood (HCC) in the development of a national strategy to end child marriage by supporting HCC’s leadership of an engaged group of civil society actors, while also ensuring that a multi-sectoral collaboration is in place with engagement of key actors from  several sectors such as education, child & social protection, legal, youth, livelihood, health and communication for development (C4D)

Academic Background:

• The consultant should have an advanced degree (Master’s or equivalent) with specialization in n Social Sciences, Social Work, Gender, Monitoring and Evaluation, Development Studies, Law or a related field.

Years of relevant experience and skills:

• Minimum eight (8) years’ experience preferably in gender and child protection program design and implementation, delivering results with diverse teams, monitoring and evaluations tasks with an emphasis on addressing social norms and child marriage specifically.
• Proven experience with UNICEF and/ or other UN agencies, or Governments on developing national strategies related to child marriage. (If available, please share work-samples such as copies of the contracts and final strategies as part of application).
• Experience and understanding of the Lebanese policy environment, particularly in regards to child marriage and related gender-based violence and/or child protection issues. (If available, provide share work-samples of Lebanon specific-work undertaken reflecting evidence of the modality of the Lebanon context.
• Fluency in written and spoken Arabic and English. Reports will be submitted in Arabic and English. (Provide work-samples in English and Arabic as part of application submission).
• It is expected that the senior consultant will have a thorough understanding of appropriate methodology & tools, along with realistic time-planning skills for the specialized consultancy.

Administrative Issues:
• This Consultancy can be half in-country and half home-based, subject to prior agreement with the consultancy manager on travel dates etc.
• When at UNICEF Lebanon Country office, UNICEF may provide the consultant with temporary desk space, if available and access of Wi-Fi & printing facilities.
• Under this consultancy agreement, a month is defined as 21.5 working days, and fees are prorated as per number of days worked. Consultants are not paid for weekends or public holidays; any absence will be deducted from the negotiated payments. All remuneration must be within the contract agreement.
• Consultants are responsible to submit payment invoices along with deliverables over the course of consultancy contract.
• The consultant is expected to arrange for the visa requirements, if and when required.
• UNICEF Lebanon may facilitate with the visa procedures, however all visa related costs must be borne by the consultant. For any applicants who may be Beirut based expatriates/spouses of international staff etc., UNICEF will require work-permit review prior to contract issuance.
• The selected consultant will be required to share proof of heath/medical insurance prior to contract issuance. Health/medical insurance costs for the duration of this consultancy will be borne by the consultant and cannot be billed to UNICEF 
• The selected consultant may not commence work or travel until the relevant individual contract has been duly approved, signed by both parties and returned to the HR section, together with the required documents and certifications.

How to Apply: Consultants are expected to submit  an all-inclusive financial proposal showing cost-breakdown showing  professional fees (on a monthly lump-sum basis); living allowance costs and travel costs for Beirut to & from their home-base location (on the basis of the most economical and direct route, at the beginning and at the end of the assignment –in line with UNICEF travel policies). Beirut based consultants may only provide a financial proposal without the travel and DSA component. The all-inclusive financial proposal should be in line with the table in the Deliverable and Schedule section of these TORs. 

Application Supporting Documentation:

Please share work-samples such as copies of the previous work on Child Marriage such as strategy and contract documents as work samples.
Provide share work-samples of any Lebanon specific-work undertaken, reflecting evidence of full knowledge of the modality and specifics of the Lebanon context.
Provide work-samples in English and Arabic as part of application submission, as full fluency in written and spoken Arabic and English. Reports will be submitted in Arabic and English.

• All qualified international and national applicants are equally encouraged to apply. UNICEF Lebanon reserves the right to select either an international or national consultant in view of responses received.

 Please see attached the full Terms of Reference

Download File TOR CP.pdf


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: Beirut (Lebanon)
  • Grade: International Consultant - Internationally recruited Contractors Agreement - Consultancy
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Social Affairs
    • Social Affairs
    • Environment
    • Children's rights (health and protection)
    • Climate Change
  • Closing Date: 2017-07-11

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