International Consultancy on Functional Assessment of the Commissions on Child Rights and Child Rights Units at the district and province levels, (P4), Dushanbe, Tajikistan

Dushanbe

In view of the institutional changes that took place in the country, including the transfer of the Social Protection portfolio from the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection to the Ministry of Health, the setting up of the new Department on Child Rights Protection, the establishment of the Ombudsman for Child Rights, and the recent revisions of the Regulation of the Commission on Child Rights (Decision No. 29 of 25 January 2017) and of the Regulation on Guardianship (Decision No. 30 of 25 January 2017), the main purpose of this assignment is to assess the functionality of the Commissions on Child Rights and Child Rights Units at district and province levels in Tajikistan.

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Post Title: International Consultancy on Functional Assessment of the Commissions on Child Rights and Child Rights Units at the district and province levels
Duration: 16 October 2017 – 31 January 2018 (36 workind days)
Location: Dushanbe, Tajikistan
Closing date: 29 September 2017

BACKGROUND
The main authority in charge of children issues in Tajikistan is the Commission on Child Rights under the Government of the Republic of Tajikistan (CCR). The Commission is responsible for coordinating policy on child protection at national level. It was established by Decree No. 423 of the 7th September 2001. The Commission is a permanent, interdepartmental, consultative body, established to coordinate the activities of the State and institutions working with children in need of special measures of protection. The Deputy Prime Minister of Tajikistan is the head of the CCR. In 2015, a new Department was set up in the Directorate of Human Rights Guarantees of the Presidential Executive Office (PEO) to serve as the Secretary of the Commission on Child Rights and to coordinate and oversee children’s issues in the country.
The same structure exists at the province and district levels. The Commission on Child Rights at province level is comprised of substructures working with children at province level and the same applies at district level. The Commissions on Child Rights at province and district levels are led by the Deputy Governors and Deputy Mayors respectively. Based on the Regulation amended in 2008 , the CCR took the responsibility for the tasks formerly performed by the Executive Committee of the Commission on Minors (COM) and Guardianship Authority. As per the 2008 Regulation, the Commission on Minors was abolished and its responsibilities transferred to the CCR. As a result, the functions of the COM are to be performed by the new Commission on Child Rights established in each Local Authority at province and district levels. Despite the fact that such changes took place eight years ago, the practices vary widely in different parts of the country. In January 2017, the Government of Tajikistan introduced new revisions to the Regulations on CCR and on Guardianship. The various Government stakeholders concerned with children’s issues at all levels are now expected to apply the revised regulations.
The members of the CCR include the following ministries and institutions:
Over and above its traditional mandate over education (from preschool to tertiary), the Ministry of Education and Science (MOES) is responsible for boarding schools, schools for children deprived of parental care, the Special School and the Special Vocational School for young offenders. It sets the criteria for admission and is responsible for the management, treatment and care of children within these institutions. The MOES is also responsible for the Guardianship and Trusteeship as per the Regulation dated 25 January 2017. In August 2016, the MOES was identified as the focal ministry for the Law on Child Protection of March 2015. As per Government procedure, the Ministry is expected to develop a Plan of Action for implementation of the Law in consultation with other relevant Government institutions. This also involves the drafting of the bylaws, regulations and other guiding documents that are needed for the effective implementation of the legislation. Given its new responsibilities over Child Protection, the MOES should be given particular attention during the present assignment.

The Ministry of Health and Social Protection of the Population (MOHSPP) has responsibility for all children 0-4 years old and children with severe disability. The Ministry has authority over four baby homes for children aged 0-4 in Dushanbe, Khujand and Istaravshan. It is responsible for the staff, management and care of children placed in these homes. There are three residential institutions for adults with disabilities that also accommodate children, namely in Yavan, Dehmoi, Panjakent. In addition, there is one residential childcare institution for children with severe disability (Chorbogh). Besides residential care institutions, the MOHSPP outsources the services of local Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) to provide rehabilitation services to children with disabilities. Currently there are 28 such day care centres operated by CSOs with Government funding spread across the country.

The Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA) set up the Service on Prevention of Delinquency among Children and Youth and this entity is responsible for preventing juvenile delinquency and for taking protective measures towards children who have been abandoned or are homeless (i.e. children on the street). The Ministry is responsible for the Reception and Referral Centres in Dushanbe and Khujand.

The Committee on Women and Family Affairs under the Government of Tajikistan (CWFA) was established in 2004 and its most recent Regulation was approved in December 2006. Its functions include the development of state policy to promote and protect the rights and interests of women and the family, gender equality and equity, and the promotion of women’s participation. Its role is largely advisory rather than one of service delivery. The Committee runs the Girls’ Support Service in Dushanbe that provides services to girl victims and at risk of abuse, violence and trafficking.

The legal framework that governs child protection includes the Law on Child Protection that was adopted in 2015 with the aim to define government’s policy towards child protection in the country as well as respective responsibilities of the government bodies at different levels to address child protection issues. However, the adoption of bylaws that are needed to implement the legislation is still pending impeding the operationalisation of its provisions. Despite the real achievements made in the country in protecting children, more remains to be done to translate the existing policy and legal frameworks into concrete improvements in the well-being of children.

On 19 December 2016, the Commission on Child Rights adopted its Plan of Action for 2017. Activities No. 7, 34 and 35 included in the Plan relate to the functional assessment of CCR and Child Rights Units (CRU) , the development of guidance on the revised regulatory frameworks for use by the CCR and CRU at local level, and training of the CCR and CRU. UNICEF committed to supporting the CCR in the implementation of this set of activities. It is in this context that the present TOR were developed in order to carry out the Functional Assessment of the Commissions on Child Rights and Child Rights Units.

This assessment is intended for decision-makers at national level, including the Commissions on the Child Rights at national and subnational levels, relevant ministries, Parliamentarians, as well as for development partners to review and make evidence-based and informed decisions towards addressing child protection issues in the country, including through strengthening the child protection system.

OBJECTIVES
In view of the institutional changes that took place in the country, including the transfer of the Social Protection portfolio from the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection to the Ministry of Health, the setting up of the new Department on Child Rights Protection, the establishment of the Ombudsman for Child Rights, and the recent revisions of the Regulation of the Commission on Child Rights (Decision No. 29 of 25 January 2017) and of the Regulation on Guardianship (Decision No. 30 of 25 January 2017), the main purpose of this assignment is to assess the functionality of the Commissions on Child Rights and Child Rights Units at district and province levels in Tajikistan. In particular, it aims to:
- Examine the scope and capacity of the existing child protection system, accountability mechanisms;
- Provide key stakeholders with a clear picture of the structure and functions of the current child protection system;
- Assess the effectiveness of the child protection system to reach out to and assist children in need;
- Describe the current legal and normative framework, noting strengths as well as possible gaps and outlining the country’s future policy agenda in child protection.
The functional assessment of the Commissions on Child Rights and the Child Rights Units should address six basic elements influencing the design and functioning of the formal child protection system: i) structures (relationships between system components and actors), ii) functions (governance, management, enforcement), iii) capacities (human resources, infrastructure, funding), iv) continuum of care (promotion, prevention, response), v) process of care (identification, gatekeeping, reporting, referral, assessment, treatment, follow-up) and vi) accountability (data collection, quality standards, analysis, communication).
One of the key expected results of the assessment is to generate evidence that will inform the development of guidance for the CCR and CRU to effectively deliver their duties, taking into account the latest regulatory changes, as well as the development of training content for the staff of the CCR and CRU.
The specific objectives of the assignment include:
• Provide an overall picture of the formal child protection system in districts and its links to existing structures that ensure continuum of services for children in need of protection;
• Make an overall judgment about the relevance, effectiveness, sustainability as well as budget allocation and expenditure analysis of the child protection mechanisms that address the needs of vulnerable girls and boys, with a focus on children with disabilities, children deprived of parental care, children in contact with the law, and children at risk of or exposed to violence, exploitation and abuse vis-à-vis international standards;
• Provide specific and solid recommendations towards improving the functioning of the Commissions on Child Rights and the Child Rights Units.

SCOPE
The functional assessment of the Commissions on Child Right and Child Rights Units should include the following:
1. Analyse the goals of the Commissions on Child Rights and Child Rights Units, their 'position' within the national legal and strategic framework (through desk review, semi-structured interviews);
2. Assess and analyse the frequency and content of interactions between the Commissions on Child Rights and Child Rights Units and other authorities and service providers at district and province levels, including but not limited to referral mechanisms;
3. Examine the role of the Commissions on Child Rights and Child Rights Units towards coordination in district and province levels, identify and analyse the challenges hindering the functionality of the CRU and CCRs;
4. Analyse the reporting lines at different levels: district and province levels, both vertical and horizontal;
5. Assess and analyse the level of internalisation of the content of the newly revised Regulations on CCR and Guardianship to inform the development of guidance for the effective implementation of the revised Regulations;
6. Assess and analyse the functions, including the ones related to governance and management of child protection system and enforcement of the child protection legislation, policies and strategies by the CRUs and CCRs at district and province levels;
7. Assess and analyse the scope of work of CCR and CRU and their ability to deliver their duties in light of the Law on Child Protection and other related laws and regulations;
8. Assess and analyse the available human resource capacity, infrastructure, and budgetary allocation and expenditure at district and province levels;
9. Assess and analyse the role of the CRUs and CCRs towards awareness raising activities to promote the rights of children;
10. Review comprehensively the existing gatekeeping mechanism (identification, reporting, referral, assessment, treatment and follow-up) and child protection services in 8 selected districts and provide recommendations towards the reform of the child protection system considering the country context and the international standards;
11. Assess and analyse data collection and use of data by the Commissions on Child Rights and Child Rights Units to inform the decision-making process.
The geographical scope of the assessment will include district and province levels. Eight districts will be covered, namely Shughnon (Mountainous Badakhshan Autonomous Province), Firdavsi, Sino, Ismoili Somoni and Shohmansoor (Dushanbe), Isfara (Sughd Province), Vakhsh (Khatlon), Rasht (Direct Rule Districts). One district per province has been selected and in two provinces, i.e. Sughd and Khatlon, two districts have been selected to compare areas where UNICEF had child protection related interventions with areas where such interventions did not exist.

TASKS
1. Carry out a desk review of relevant documents on child protection system, focusing specifically on the institutions responsible for child protection in the country, i.e. the CCRs and CRUs at all levels
a. Review the current legislation and bylaws regulating the work of the Commissions on Child Rights and Child Rights Units in the country;
b. Review the documents related to the functions of the Commissions on Child Rights and Child Rights Units including, but not limited to, studies, situation assessments, mission reports;
c. Review available administrative data. Sources may include TransMonEE database hosted by UNICEF Regional Office and the State Agency of Statistics under the President of the Republic of Tajikistan;
d. Situation analysis reports, research reports, project documents, legislation, Standard Operating Procedures.
2.Gather view of senior officials at national and district levels to gain an understanding of the work of the child protection authorities at national, provincial and district/city levels, with a focus on the CCRs and CRUs
a. Meet with partners at national level, including the Commission on Child Rights under the Government (Department of Child Rights Protection under the PEO), the Ministry of Health and Social Protection, the Ministry of Education and Science, the Ombudsman for Child Rights, the Agency of Statistics under the President and other relevant government partners to discuss their interventions within the existing child protection system;
b. Meet with selected civil society organisations at national and district levels working on children’s issues, including organisations involved in the areas of children without family care, family support care, children with disabilities, child labour and violence against children with the aim to identify their contribution towards child protection system, including but not limited to service delivery, referrals, coordination, etc.;
c. Meet with representatives of local governments in eight selected districts, including the Chair of the Commission on Child Rights, Child Rights Unit, Education Department, Health Authorities, Social Protection Department, Social Assistance at Home Unit to seek their opinion on the roles of each entity, interaction between the substructures, how the cases dealt at local level, whether existing resources are sufficient to address the child protection issues, what are their expectations, etc.;
3.Carry out interviews with the main stakeholders working in the area of child protection
a. Carry out meetings, interviews or focus group discussions with the CCR at national level, CCRs at province and district/city levels, Ombudsman for Child Rights, Ministry of Education and Science, other line ministries, local authorities, key implementing partners and stakeholders, including civil society organisations: (day care centres, baby homes, selected residential childcare institutions).
4.Data analysis
a. Assess and analyse the existing data collection mechanisms in place, what data is collected, how often it is collected, whether it is shared / transferred, and whether this data is effectively used in decision-making and policy-making processes;
5.Draft Report
a. Draft a comprehensive analytical report based on the information and data gathered. A draft report will be submitted to the UNICEF Country Office and to the Department of Child Rights Protection under the PEO;
b. Present the report with preliminary findings and recommendations and receive feedback;
c. Finalize the report based on the feedback received from stakeholders. The report should provide concrete recommendations on how best to strengthen the child protection system in light of Tajikistan’s context and resources. It should also provide concrete way-forward to improving the functionality and effectiveness of the CCRs and CRUs;
d. Submit the final report to UNICEF Country Office and the Department of Child Rights Protection under the PEO.

DELIVERABLES AND TENTATIVE TIMELINE

# Deliverables/ Number of days/ Location /Timeline
Installment I - 30% of contract amount
1. Desk review is conducted/ 5/ Remotely/ October 30, 2017
2. Inception report explaining the methodology to be used to carry out the assessment is produced/ 5/ Remotely/ November 03, 2017
3. Field visits for data collection is completed/ 14/ In-country/ November 24, 2017

Installment II - 30% of contract amount
4. The first draft report is produced and submitted to UNICEF/ 7/ Remotely/ December 12, 2017
5. Initial findings of the functional assessment are presented to stakeholders and feedback and recommendations are received from stakeholders/ 1/ In-country/ January 18, 2018
6. De-briefing meeting with UNICEF and DCRP of the PEO is held/ 1/ In-country/ January 19, 2018

Installment III - 40% of contract amount
7. Final report with incorporation of UNICEF and DCRP PEO comments is submitted/ 3/ Remotely/ January 25, 2018

INDICATIVE STRUCTURE OF THE REPORT
The final report to be submitted to UNICEF Country Office and the Department of Child Rights Protection under the PEO should be presented in the following format:
• Executive summary; • Purpose; • Description of the assessment methodology, data collection, etc.; • Limitations; • Findings; • Conclusions; • Recommendations

The Annexes to the report should contain the TORs, data collection instruments and other relevant information, reference list of consulted documents and other materials. The report should be provided in English in both hard and soft copies.

PERFORMANCE INDICATORS FOR EVALUATION OF RESULTS
The evaluation of the results will be based on:
1. Technical and professional competence (quality of the product delivered to UNICEF);
2. Scope of work (No. of meetings with the stakeholders);
3. Quality of work (quality of methodology, draft and final report);
4. Quantity of work (completion of the tasks indicated in the table above within the set timeframe)
In addition, such indicators as work relations, responsibility, initiative, and communication will be taken into account during the evaluation of the consultant’s work.

REQUIRED SKILLS AND QUALIFICATIONS
To be able to carry out the assignment, the consultant should meet the following minimum requirements:
• Advanced university degree in the fields of Social Sciences, Law, Development Studies, or Public Policy;
• At least 8 years of work experience in a relevant field;
• Strong knowledge of child rights, child protection system approach and child care system design and reform, social protection and social welfare;
• Familiarity with rights-based approaches, gender mainstreaming and institutional strengthening concepts;
• Proven experience in designing and conducting assessments;
• Strong analytical and conceptual thinking;
• Excellent writing skills;
• Excellent communication and presentation skills with stakeholders;
• Fluency in English (written and spoken), knowledge of Russian and / or Tajik is an asset.

RESERVATIONS
All materials developed will remain the copyright of UNICEF and UNICEF will be free to adapt and modify them in the future.

WORKING CONDITIONS
The consultant will work under the direct supervision of UNICEF Chief Child Protection and the guidance of UNICEF Child Protection Officer / Childcare.
The consultant will team up with a national consultant who will assist in delivering some of the tasks listed in these TOR, in particular in liaising and communicating with Government officials. Furthermore, the consultant will be expected to engage with the multi-sectoral Government Working Group to be set up in order to guide and facilitate the functional assessment.
The consultant will work both in UNICEF Office in Dushanbe and from home and will be expected to travel to some districts outside of Dushanbe.

TERMS OF PAYMENT
The rate per day of professional fees will be in accordance with the complexity of the ToR and the level of expertise required, which is estimated at P4 level.
The contract fee will be paid by bank transfer as per schedule above and upon delivery of the set assignment and submission of the final report (upon completion of the contract) with the required deliverables certified by the Chief Child Protection.
Should the contractor fail to complete the assigned tasks, UNICEF will have the right to withhold up to 50% of the consultancy payment.
PROCEDURES AND LOGISTICS:
UNICEF does not provide or arrange health insurance coverage for consultants.

EXPRESSION OF INTEREST
UNICEF accepts applications from individual consultants. For the purpose of selection, a consultant is requested to submit a Technical Proposal, which will include the following documents and information
• A completed Expression of Interest form (see Appendix A) and responses to the questions, including the professional fee/rate, per person day;
• A work-plan, showing the inputs;
• A proposed timeframe;
• Updated consultant’s curriculum vitae, academic degrees/diplomas;
• UN candidates should upload at least two latest performance evaluation reports;
• A summary of experience in similar assignments;
• A financial proposal with a description of unit costs (in US Dollars). This should include fees, travel-related costs, accommodation, as well translation costs (if the consultant is not fluent in Russian or Tajik).
The proposal will be a key basis for the selection.

APPLICATION PROCEDURES: The link to review detailed Terms of Reference would be available at the following links: www.untj.org/jobs, www.unicef.org/tajikistan/resources, www.facebook.com/uniceftajikistan.
The candidates who are interested to apply for the position should follow the electronic application's instructions at:
http://jobs.unicef.org/cw/en-us/job/507138?lApplicationSubSourceID=

To view our competency framework, please click here. 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.
Apply
  • Organization: UNICEF - United Nations Children’s Fund
  • Location: Dushanbe
  • Grade: P-4, International Professional - Mid level
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Social studies
  • Closing Date: 2017-09-29

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