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Development of the Acceleration Facility Strategy Consultancy

USA - Other cities

The Fund is seeking a consultant to develop a short strategy for the Acceleration Facility, which aims to advance the delivery of high-quality education services by making targeted investments in global and regional public goods in order to improve education preparedness, planning and response in sudden-onset and protracted crises. This will achieved through a mix of desk-based reviews as well as consultations with key stakeholders which will then set the direction for this important funding modality over next four years. (Duration: 30 working days)

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 & Rationale

Education Cannot Wait (ECW) is the first and only global fund dedicated to addressing systemic change to significantly improve the delivery of Education in Emergencies (EiE) and protracted crises.  Launched at the World Humanitarian Summit in 2016, ECW became fully operational in 2017 and has recently launched its first ever Strategic Plan for the period 2018-2021.

ECW employs three funding modalities: A First Response - short-term response to rapidly support a sudden onset emergency or an escalation of an existing crisis; A Multi-Year Resilience window, offering more predictable financing for protracted crises and which fosters joint programming to address the humanitarian-development nexus; and, an Acceleration Facility (AF) the goal of which is to: ''advance the delivery of high-quality education services by making targeted investments in global and regional public goods in order to improve education preparedness, planning and response in sudden-onset and protracted crises“ ECW Strategic Plan 2018-2021.

Global and regional public goods are defined as products that can be used in a wide array of countries and crisis contexts to improve responses, build capacity, and deepen the field of education in emergencies. Examples of public goods that could be advanced by the AF include setting up and/or strengthening rapid response global coordination mechanisms (e.g., education clusters, education working groups, refugee coordination groups), collecting country-level data around crisis needs (including those targeted to under-represented groups, such as refugees), and building an evidence-base around potential interventions (including those that are not funded by ECW)” – ECW Operating Model Design, 2016. Public goods could also encompass support to the application of standards/tools such as the minimum standards developed by the Inter-Agency Network of Education in Emergencies (INEE) and specific gender-targeted interventions as part of ECW's Gender Strategy.

The ECW 2018-2021 Strategic Plan outlines the broad objectives of the AF and the ECW Operating Model Design already defines how it will operate. As a general consideration, it is proposed that ECW's AF's grant support, leverages other ongoing ECW initiatives and contributes and builds on these and vice-versa, notwithstanding the possibility of advancing innovative and stand-alone initiatives.


The purpose of this Consultancy is to facilitate and lead the development of an AF Strategy up to 2021 aligned with the ECW Strategy timeframe and an associated costed implementation plan for the AF over the period 2018-2021. The strategy will set the ambition of the AF in terms of high-level objectives and clarify key assumptions as well as trade-offs for these objectives.

To determine the strategy, the Consultant will design and conduct a targeted consultation process, capitalising on the existing INEE Working Groups to capture feedback and inputs from stakeholders such as stakeholders in local governments, multilaterals, INGOs, and local civil society organizations. This will ensure complementarity with existing efforts and a focus on the highest priority needs in the field as well as building on previous founding documents which broadly define the AF design (including reports from the Overseas Development Institute report and the Boston Consulting Group, the approved ECW Operating Model Design, ECW Strategic Plan and Gender Strategy).

Guiding principles

  • The development of the overall strategy will be guided by a group of ECW Executive Committee members, referred to from hereon in as the Acceleration Facility Steering Committee (AFSC).  The role of the AFSC is to a) agree the overall process for the development of the strategy to ensure it fulfils the overall objective of the AF, aligns with the ECW strategic plan and capitalizes as much as possible on work to date and in the pipeline; b) participate in the development of each output of the strategy process by offering technical inputs, perspectives and relevant experiences; c) review, discuss and agree key outputs at each step in the development of the strategy so that it evolves progressively with consensus at each step before moving on to the next one; and d) advocate for the implementation of the strategy, once it has been endorsed by AFSC members, within the wider ECW Executive Committee.
  • Overall, interventions supported by AF investments will be linked to ECW's five core strategic objectives. Three priority objectives have been identified by the AFSC for 2018-2021 as follows: 1) Increase financing; 2) Improve joint planning and responses; and 3) Strengthen capacity to respond. This does not preclude proposed interventions (which may arise from the consultative process outlined above) that support the other two objectives (on increasing political commitment and improving accountability) but priority will be given to these three.
  • The operating guidelines for the AF outlined in the ECW Operating Model Design still apply, including the allocation of the 5% of overall ECW funds raised to support AF activities. At the time of writing these TORs the target of the total funds to be raised by ECW over the period 2018-2021 had yet to be finalised and thus it is not yet possible to translate the figure of 5% of overall funding into a projected budget envelope. Once the total has been agreed, this figure will be calculated.

Expected results:

The expected result of this Consultancy is a final version of the AF Strategy and costed Implementation Plan which has been endorsed by the AFSC and subsequently approved by ECW's Executive Committee.







(Estimated # of Days)


  1. Consultancy design and time-frame - based on these TORs, develop a more detailed strategy development process, an indicative structure for the strategy and a schedule for the tasks and deliverables outlined below.


2 days

August 7th

  1. Compile existing mappings - rapidly compile mapping work already done by existing actors in this field (for example from similar initiatives/learning agendas from agencies such GPE, USAID, DFID and Dubai Cares etc) through desk reviews to identify potential gaps and synergies


3 days

August 10th

  1. Using existing documentation and information available from similar funding windows elsewhere produce a concept paper for the Acceleration Facility which sets out its purpose, links to ECW's principal functions and how the AF contributes to ECW's theory of change.




  1. Identify strategic objectives for investment - develop a set of key questions (stemming from the outputs of deliverable 2 and linking these together with ECW's Strategic Plan and Gender Strategy), use them to consult with the INEE Working Groups and more broadly and analyse and prioritize the responses to identify strategic areas of investment under the ECW Strategic Objectives which will help define and guide the scope and scale of the AF strategy, including recommendations regarding any phasing of the work over the period of the AF strategy 2018-2021.


7 days

By August 31st

Includes 10 days for responses through INEE Working Groups

  1. Describe in detail each objective – use the outputs of deliverables 2 and 3 to define in more detail what each of these areas should (and should not) support


7 days

September 11th 

  1. Draft AF Strategy -amalgamate the outputs of deliverables 2, 3 and 4 to produce a first draft of the AF strategy, consult with the AFSC and revise it based on feedback


5 days

September 18th

  1. Develop AF Implementation Plan - based on the output of deliverable 5, develop and consult the AFSC on a costed implementation plan to put the strategy into action (this could be a broad 4-year plan, the first year of which is elaborated in more detail)




4 days

September 24th

  1. Final AF Strategy and Implementation Plan - Once deliverables 5 and 6 have been agreed by the AFSC, the complete AF Strategy package (Strategy and Implementation Plan) will be submitted to the ECW Executive Committee for approval. The Consultant will be expected to finalise the strategy and implementation plan based on any feedback received through this formal approval process.

2 days

September 26th


30 days


To qualify as an advocate for every child you will have…

  • An advanced university degree (Master’s or higher- Phd preferred) in one or more of the following disciplines: education, social sciences, public administration, or other related fields
  • A minimum of 10 years of progressively responsible professional experience in development and/or experience in education in emergencies and protracted crises
  • Developing country work experience and/or familiarity with emergency is considered an asset.
  • Demonstrated ability in leading, designing and conducting strategy development processes, preferably in crises contexts and concerning learning/research agendas for education portfolios, projects or organizations
  • Strong conceptual, communication and facilitation skills. Fluency in English is required
  • Established relationships with networks, research/academic institutions, and implementing organizations in the field of education in crisis and conflict an advantage.
  • 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.


Please indicate your ability, availability and daily/monthly rate (in US$) to undertake the terms of reference above 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 (EAC) 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.


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: USA - Other cities
  • Grade: International Consultant - Internationally recruited Contractors Agreement - Consultancy
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Education, Learning and Training
  • Closing Date: 2018-08-07

What does it mean?

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