Consultancy: UNICEF Care for Child Development (CCD) Package Enhancements Case Studies, ECD Section, PD - NYHQ, Requisition #514507
New York City (United States of America)
The objective of this consultancy is to document and share lessons learned from each of the Care for Child Development (CCD) enhancement countries (Paraguay, Mali, and Sierra Leone) in the form of three case studies. The goal of the case studies is to help stakeholders at the global, regional, and country levels understand the process, challenges, and best practices that emerged during the design and testing of the enhancements made to the CCD package, and to use these findings to support implementation efforts and make recommendations on how to institutionalize the enhancement approach across platforms.
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BACKGROUND & RATIONALE
Early childhood development is critical to a child’s cognitive, social, emotional and physical development. Events in the first few years of life – and even before birth – play a vital role in shaping health and social outcomes. ECD programmes encompass a range of innovative approaches for care, development and early learning, from parenting support programmes to community-based child care, center-based provision and formal pre-primary education, often in schools. UNICEF works with partners to design and implement inter-sectoral evidence-based ECD programmes and policies that help young children reach their full potential by supporting families and communities, and by increasing access to quality early childhood care and education. The priorities and pathways to achieving ECD outcomes are: a) building, developing and implementing effective ECD policies, b) supporting parents and families and harnessing the demand for ECD, c) increasing access to quality early childhood care and education, and d) developing standards and indicators for effective planning, monitoring and documentation of the progress in ECD.
Care for Child Development (CCD) is an approach developed by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the World Health Organization (WHO) to strengthen early child development outcomes for young children in the first 5 years of life primarily through health services, but also through other child and family services. A number of interventions promoted by health services are recognized to promote early child development outcomes; for example, breast feeding; however, emerging evidence suggests that while nutrition and physical health interventions support children’s development, alone they are inadequate, thus attention to stimulation and responsive caregiving interventions is necessary. The practical evidence-based recommendations in CCD are designed to integrate the following features or components in existing services in order to:
- Promote stimulation by guiding caregivers to engage in play and communication activities with their young children to help their children develop motor, cognitive-language and social-emotional skills. These foundational skills support learning and behaviour in later life.
- Strengthen responsive caregiving skills by coaching caregivers during a play interaction with their child to observe, interpret and appropriately respond to their child’s signals. Responsive care is a fundamental parenting skill necessary for supporting children’s health, growth, behaviour and learning.
To date, the CCD package has been tested in over 50 countries and translated into 20 languages.
With a grant from the LEGO Foundation for the programme Promoting Quality Learning Through Play (2015-2018), UNICEF is developing enhancements to the existing Care for Child Development (CCD) package to address context-specific needs and gaps identified in three countries: Paraguay, Mali, and Sierra Leone. In Paraguay, the need for specific guidance on stimulating and communicating with children with developmental delays and disabilities, and on engaging fathers and supporting their role in co-parenting, was identified as a key gap. In Mali and Sierra Leone, the challenge identified was the need to better address the mental health and emotional well-being of the mother or principal caregiver, as it determines the quality of interaction with their children.
These enhancements will assist service providers and caregivers in effectively delivering and implementing the main messages of the CCD package, which are centered on play, responsive feeding, communication and stimulation. While designed to the context of the three programme countries, the enhancements are also intended to benefit other countries experiencing similar challenges.
In Paraguay, the enhanced CCD package includes the following additions:
- Information on how to stimulate and communicate with children with developmental delays and disabilities;
- Materials that facilitate the engagement with fathers and support their role in co-parenting;
- Recommendations on how to organize training activities by using existing delivery platforms such as social services.
In Mali and Sierra Leone, the enhancement strategy is centered on the need to develop a caring for the caregiver module, to be added to the existing CCD package. Caregiver mental health and well-being are an important prerequisite for maternal responsive care and stimulation. Thus, the enhanced CCD package, which will include this additional module, will address the following topics:
- Skills building (e.g. self-care, young children care and stimulation) and psychosocial support for the caregiver, especially those struggling with mental health and well-being issues, and with particular emphasis on pregnant adolescent girls and vulnerable mothers;
- Practical activities to guide and promote play and quality interactions between caregivers and children, taking into account cultural and local practices;
Note: the draft version of the CCD enhancement in Mali and Sierra Leone will be available in July.
UNICEF country offices and regional offices are in the process of developing and testing these enhancements, which will be completed by the end of this grant cycle in October 2018.
The objective of this consultancy is to document and share lessons learned from each of the Care for Child Development (CCD) enhancement countries (Paraguay, Mali, and Sierra Leone) in the form of three case studies. The goal of the case studies is to help stakeholders at the global, regional, and country levels understand the process, challenges, and best practices that emerged during the design and testing of the enhancements made to the CCD package, and to use these findings to support implementation efforts and make recommendations on how to institutionalize the enhancement approach across platforms. The case studies will explore specific strategies/approaches and key lessons learned in relation to the following topics:
- Effectiveness of enhanced training manuals/materials/methodology to build frontline workers’ capacity to play and empower caregivers to provide responsive care and stimulation to their young children in Latin America (including capacity to promote positive father’s engagement in co-parenting and young children’s development, and support children with disabilities)
- Caring for the Caregivers in West Africa – documenting the process and methodology used to develop a new model aimed at improving caregiver mental health and well-being
- Intersectoral entry points used to enhance the delivery and reach of the CCD package (e.g. engaging other sectors in the delivery of the CCD package, beyond the Health sector)
- Use of technology to increase the reach and improve the relevance of CCD messages and content to caregivers/families
NOTE: The case studies should also highlight the different characteristics of play that support deeper learning as identified by the LEGO Foundation. More information will be provided on this during the inception phase of the consultancy.
The consultant will be responsible for producing the following deliverables:
- Inception report outlining the proposed content, focus, and methodology of each case study, to be informed by:
- Calls with key stakeholders, including: UNICEF Headquarters (Early Childhood Development Section); UNICEF Regional Offices (West and Central Africa Regional Office; Latin America and the Caribbean Regional Office); UNICEF Country Offices (Paraguay, Mali, Sierra Leone); and The LEGO Foundation.
- Document Review: Review of relevant documents and reports pertaining to the programme Promoting Quality Learning Through Play (2015-2018), including the programme proposal, programme annual reports, and supplementary materials shared by UNICEF Country Offices and Regional Offices.
The inception report should include the following information:
- Purpose and Scope: Confirmation of the objectives and the main themes of the case studies;
- Questions and Assessment Criteria: Key questions identified for each case study and assessment criteria
- Methodology: Data sources, data collection and analysis plan, and a discussion on the limitations of the methodology;
- Proposed structure for the final case studies;
- Workplan and timeline (including a travel plan);
- Resource requirements: Detailed budget allocations tied to activities and deliverables;
- Annexes, including the framework and questions for each case study, data collection toolkit, data analysis framework, stakeholders mapping, synthesis of preliminary interviews and document review.
Three case studies (each 10-15 pages, focused on the topics listed under the Purpose section) including the following sections:
- Documentation of enhancement strategy: This section should describe the enhancement strategy used in each country, specifically examining how the strategy was developed, the needs/gaps the enhancements address, and the main outcomes of the process.
- Best Practices, Challenges, and Lessons learned: This section should document the key best practices, challenges, and lessons learned from developing the enhancement strategies, and should explore how these lessons can inform further CCD-related work in each of the three countries as well as in other countries/contexts.
- Human interest stories: Each case study should include a boxed-out story that provides a quick snapshot of the characteristics of play that support deeper learning, specifically focusing on how these characteristics are being reflected in the life of a child.
- Photos and videos: Each case study should also include documentation in photos and videos (e.g. of counselling sessions and interviews with caregivers and counsellors) to complement the narrative sections of the report. Specific logistics related to this digital documentation will be discussed with each country office during the inception phase.
- Summary report (1-2 pages) synthesizing key findings from the three case studies
- Power Point Presentation summarizing key findings from the three case studies
SUPERVISION AND DUTY STATION
The consultant must be located in North America. There will be one field visit to each of the three countries selected for this programme (Paraguay, Mali, and Sierra Leone). The consultant will also travel to UNICEF New York Headquarters for meeting(s) with the ECD Section.
The consultant will work under the supervision of the ECD Specialist managing the LEGO Foundation-UNICEF partnership.
TIMELINE, DELIVERABLES AND PAYMENT SCHEDULE
Start Date: 1 September 2018
End Date: 15 February 2019
QUALIFICATION REQUIREMENTSNOTE: Final timeline to be determined and confirmed during inception phase of the consultancy in collaboration with UNICEF Country Offices in Paraguay, Mali, and Sierra Leone.
- Advanced university degree (Master's), preferably in social sciences, early childhood development (ECD), communications or related field
- Minimum of 8 years’ work experience in ECD-related field at national and international levels
- Demonstrable experience preparing field-level case studies, and/or documenting and assessing results of ECD programmes
- Strong qualitative data collection, analysis, and synthesis skills
- Understanding of UNICEF’s mandate and programmatic areas of work, particularly in ECD
- Highly developed communication and interpersonal skills; including report writing in English, ability to communicate with multiple stakeholders
- Fluency in English and working proficiency in Spanish or French required. Candidates with fluency in English and working proficiency in both Spanish AND French preferred
- Prior work experience in the three programme countries (Paraguay, Mali, Sierra Leone) or in the three programme regions (Latin America, West Africa) desired
- Previous work or consultancy experience with UNICEF desired
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.
With the exception of the US Citizens, G4 Visa and Green Card holders, should the selected candidate and his/her household members reside in the United States under a different visa, the consultant and his/her household members are required to change their visa status to G4, and the consultant’s household members (spouse) will require an Employment Authorization Card (EAD) to be able to work, even if he/she was authorized to work under the visa held prior to switching to G4.
At the time the contract is awarded, the selected candidate must have in place current health insurance coverage.
Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted and advance to the next stage of the selection process.
UNICEF is committed to diversity and inclusion within its workforce, and encourages all candidates, irrespective of gender, nationality, religious and ethnic backgrounds, including persons living with disabilities, to apply to become a part of the organization.
- Organization: UNICEF - United Nations Children’s Fund
- Location: New York City (United States of America)
- Grade: International Consultant - Internationally recruited Contractors Agreement - Consultancy
- Civil Society and Local governance
- Children's rights (health and protection)
- Supply Chain
- Closing Date: 2018-07-25