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Innovation Consultant, Gaborone, Botswana

Gaborone (Botswana)

UNICEF Botswana seeks to engage a technical service provider to adapt, set-up, and launch the RapidPro platform and U-Report.

UNICEF works in some of the world’s toughest places, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. To save their lives. To defend their rights. To help them fulfill their potential.

Across 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, every day, to build a better world for everyone.

And we never give up.

Background and Justification

The UNICEF Botswana Country Programme 2017-2021 aims to support the Government of Botswana in carrying out its mandate to reduce child poverty in all its dimensions, including support to HIV prevention, care and support for adolescents. While Botswana has made tremendous progress in tackling its HIV epidemic, there is still some way to go before Botswana can meet the goal of ending AIDS by 2030. Analysis of data between 2003 and 2013 shows that HIV prevalence among all three cohorts of adolescents and young people in Botswana (10-14, 15-19, 20-24) has either doubled or tripled, with strong gender disparity. Although the country has contained HIV-related mortality by rolling out Anti-Retroviral Therapy(ART) there are still more than 10,000 new infections each year, with adolescents being one of the most vulnerable groups for HIV infection and AIDS related deaths. Therefore, there is urgent need to empower adolescents and young people to make their participation in the Botswana HIV Response a meaningful part of their lives. Data from the Botswana AIDS Impact Survey IV (BAIS IV, 2013) and Botswana Youth Risk Behavioral and Biological Surveillance Survey(BYRBBSS 2016) point out that;

  • HIV prevalence among girls is double that of boys (6.2% and 3.6%).
  • HIV prevalence of young women is three times that of the male counterparts (14.6% and 5%) among 20-24-year-old.
  • Comprehensive knowledge of HIV is below 50% among youth.
  • Forced sex is high among youth, with 22% of youth reporting forced sex at first time of sexual intercourse (BYRBBSS 2016).
  • 13.4% of sexually active students reported ever exchanging sex for money drugs or gift. (BYRBBSS 2016)
  • Young people do not have social structures to turn to as they negotiate their first sexual encounters and extremely high teenage pregnancy rates continue to be reported, estimated at 13.4% (BYRBBSS 2016).
  • In 2015, 3,835 youth aged 15-24 years were newly infected with HIV, with 70% of new infections among girls (Spectrum 2015).

In order to capacitate young people to effectively participate in decision making on matters of concern to them, UNICEF Botswana seeks to engage a technical service provider to adapt, set-up, and launch the RapidPro platform and U-Report. RapidPro is an open-source SMS-based (text message) framework that manages data collection, complex workflows, and group coordination using basic mobile phones. The country office intends to strengthen engagement with adolescents and young people through U-Report, using HIV as the entry point. For example, the platform will allow adolescents and young people to speak out via SMS and other channels through polls and unsolicited messages on what is happening in their communities. It will also provide a forum to amplify their voices through local and national media, send alerts to key stakeholders about the issues being faced in their communities.U-Report is a relatively new initiative for UNICEF globally, within UNICEF Botswana there is presently limited capacity to implement the project with its current staff. Setting up a multisectoral project such as the U-Report requires technical expertise to assist the office in setting up the U-Report in Botswana.

Even though U-Report will use HIV/AIDS as an entry point, BCO will use the platform to accelerate results for the current Country Programme in general, e.g, the country office is exploring the option of using Rapid Pro for birth notification through technology for development (T4D) to accelerate universal birth registration in Botswana.

Scope of work (Work assignment)  


The overall objective of this assignment is to establish Rapid-Pro platform and take U-Report to scale, develop a concrete strategy to reach communities, gather relevant information,  empower communities to address child-specific issues and exert influence on local, regional and national stakeholders as part of a larger governance and accountability strategy.  He/she is also expected to ensure that information collected feeds into UNICEF and the Government of Botswana's programmatic goals.

Specific tasks:

Specific responsibilities of the assignment include, inter alia:

Adaptation of U-Report and other Real-Time Information platforms to Botswana context

  • Support the establishment of the National Steering Committee in gathering and refining requirements for the deployment of U-Report.
  • Work in close collaboration with the National Steering Committee to develop and implement the U-Report Implementation Strategy for 2018.
  • Work with Communication Officer and Programme Staff to ensure relevance of U-Report for programme implementation, knowledge transfer and skills acquisition.
  • Create Standard Operating Procedures and a Road Map to guide enhanced utilization of the U-Report platform.
  • Work closely with the vendor to assure the technical integration of the RapidPro platform and U-Report Botswana website are suitable to Botswana's needs.
  • Liaise with Botswana Communications Regulatory Authority and Mobile Network Operators to ensure effective management of required mobile services. Where necessary engage with technical service providers to support the adaptation / development of new products in line with requirements of the Government of the Republic of Botswana.
  • Work with UNICEF Global and Regional U-Report experts/advisers to ensure that U-Report Botswana is aligned with the global application.
  • Coach and guide the steering committee, including branding, building content, and advocacy efforts.

Launch and roll out of U-Report

  • Work in close collaboration with the National Steering Committee and in coordination with Communication Officer to develop and implement a U-Report Communication and Social Mobilization Strategy, ensuring that it meets the agreed Brand Toolkit specifications.
  • Work with the National Steering Committee to guide, design and deploy the Botswana U-Report platform and ensure the day-to-day management and related activities including design and preparation of initiatives for prototyping and maintaining the U-Report flows.
  • Work closely with the National Steering Committee to guide the pilot from launch to scale-up, liaising with appropriate partners, stakeholders and affected communities to ensure appropriate representation of all target populations in the U-Report pilot.
  • Develop a plan for a Media Launch and assist in setting up media launch of U-Report.
  • Work with the UNICEF Botswana Communications section, design awareness raising and advocacy plan to run both national and subnational communication campaigns across all media outlets (print, radio and TV), as well as strategies for reaching venues of community activism and dialogue).
  • Conduct training of trainers (ToTs) on the utilization of U-Report for partner focal persons.
  • Monitor and evaluate partner usage of U-Report and understand incentives and constraints involved between high level users and low level users.
  • Establish system to ensure that information collected via U-Report is available to program staff. 
  • Manage the RapidPro platform (Flow, groups, Messages, Polls, Medias, Channels, Mapping and Account).
  • Manage the Website (Updating, Dissemination of polls results, Videos and stories).
  • Manage the  U-Partners website (Partnerships, Rules and Key words).

Coordinate and support development and testing of innovation products

  • Prepare and contribute technical input into related innovation/(T4D) project plans, budgets and communication materials; identify, trouble-shoot and address system challenges and document resolutions; conduct routine user testing of any new features and provide quality assurance and documentation of end user experience for analysis.
  • Proactively scout for innovative ideas and opportunities related to the country office programme using RapidPro platform.

Work relationships:  

The individual consultant will be based in UNICEF Botswana and will work under the supervision of the Communications Officer. Technical support will be available to the candidate from UNICEF Regional Office and Global Innovation Hub as needed on request.


By the end of the assignment, it is expected that U-Report will be adapted to the Botswana context through the achievement of the following key deliverables:

  • Botswana U-Report Implementation Strategy signed off by the National Steering Committee
  • U-Report is operational in Botswana and sub-thematic groups are in place to respond to critical questions raised by children/youth
  • U-Report Website tested and functional
  • U-Report Media Campaign launched
  • Monthly report presented and approved
  • Communication and Social Mobilization Strategy and Media Launch plan signed off by the National Steering Committee
  • Monthly updates of UNICEF Botswana U-Report website
  • Initiatives, projects, processes and tools, are documented for the purpose of knowledge sharing.
  • Final report of achievements, successes, lessons learned, challenges and recommendations for scaleup/adaptation of the project and summary developed and approved.
  • Clear and concise documentation of the UNICEF Botswana  T4D roadmap for the country office, including assessment of T4D gaps, opportunities, standards, scaleup strategy and sustainability strategies for UNICEF Botswana.

To qualify as an advocate for every child you will have


  • University Degree in Information and Communication Technology (ICT), Computer Science, Information Science or related field.
  • 3-5 years previous work experience with U-Report and T4D.
  • Prior work experience with the UN as an asset.
  • Proven ability to conceptualize, plan and execute ideas as well as to transfer knowledge and skills.
  • Proven ability to manage relationships with partners, including government ministries, youth coalitions, universities, intellectual leaders, UN organizations, NGOs and the private sector.
  • Strong writing and communication skills and the aptitude to handling competing messages and priorities with multiple audiences.
  • Familiarity with information systems and communication technologies.

Ideally, you also have:

  • Experience with a high-level communications campaign across multiple mediums, with national brand recognition. 
  • Experience giving user-based feedback to the development of software applications.
  • Understanding of community-based channels of influence, community-based communication and development, participatory rural appraisal (PRA) methodologies, and/or ethnographic research.
  • Experience working with community based organizations.
  • Experience engaging with political structures, civil society pressure groups, and other channels of national influence.
  • Previous experience working in developing countries especially in Africa and with development actors: donors, UN agencies, civil society, government ministries.

Administrative issues

  • The consultant will be based in Gaborone, in the UNICEF Botswana Country Office.
  • The consultant will be supervised by the Communications Officer.
  • The consultant is required to provide verbal weekly updates and written monthly progress reports.
  • The contract duration is 11 months with a tentative start date of 1 August 2018.
  • Under the consultancy agreement, a month is defined as 21 working days. The consultant will be expected to work from the office premises 20 working days per month.
  • The consultant will use his/her own equipment to produce deliverables. Office space will be provided at UNICEF.
  • All travel required for this TOR should be quoted for in the financial proposal based on economy class fares.
  • As per UNICEF DFAM policy, payment is made against approved deliverables. No advance payment will be issued unless in exceptional circumstances against bank guarantee, subject to a maximum of 30 per cent of the total contract value in cases where advance purchases, for example for supplies or travel, may be necessary.
  • No contract may commence unless the contract is signed by both UNICEF and the consultant or Contractor.
  • Consultant will be required to sign the health statement for Consultant/Individual contractors prior to taking up the assignment, and to document that they have appropriate health insurance, if applicable.
  • The consultant will be governed by and subject to UNICEF's General Terms and Conditions for individual contracts .

How to apply

Qualified candidates are requested to complete an application and profile to the respective advertisement on

Please indicate your ability, availability, technical and financial proposal/quote to complete the terms of reference above. Rates must include all expenses related to the assignment (including administration and logistics).

Applications submitted without technical and financial proposals will not be considered.

For every Child, you demonstrate…

UNICEF’s core values of Commitment, Diversity and Integrity and core competencies in Communication, Working with People and Drive for Results.

View our competency framework at

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.


Mobility is a condition of international professional employment with UNICEF and an underlying premise of the international civil service.

Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted and advance to the next stage of the selection process.

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: Gaborone (Botswana)
  • Grade: International Consultant - Internationally recruited Contractors Agreement - Consultancy
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Innovations for Sustainable Development
  • Closing Date: 2018-08-10

What does it mean?

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