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International consultancy on Developing a Communication for Behavior and Social Change Strategy and Action Plan for Inclusive Education

Baku (Azerbaijan)

International consultancy for Developing A Communication for Behavior and Social Change Strategy and Action Plan for Inclusive Education

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.

For every child, C4D

The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) is, together with the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) and other international instruments, the foundation upon which UNICEF bases its efforts to uphold the civil, cultural, economic, political, and social rights of all girls, boys and women in the world, with particular focus on the most disadvantaged. UNICEF's conception of "disability" is grounded in the CRPD: that the barriers posed to persons with impairments are to be found not in their own conditions but in a society, that does not take their rights and needs into consideration. The Government of the Republic of Azerbaijan demonstrates strong commitment to support Persons with Disabilities including Children with disabilities by ratifying the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) on 21 July 1992, and the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) on 20 October 2008, which explicitly prohibits discrimination against children based on disability. 

However, challenges still exist. According to official statistics, there were over 71,000 children with disabilities or about 3% of child population (2016) registered in Azerbaijan to receive some form of State financial assistance after medical evaluation. Using the available data, UNICEF estimates that approximately 54,000 of these children are of primary and secondary school age.

The current government policies promote placement of children with disabilities in home-based education or specialized educational facilities. Government data indicates that some 12,400 children with disabilities are enrolled in primary or secondary level education, either in home-based learning (almost 9,000) or in special or residential schools (some 2,800). In fact, mainstream schools in the country are frequently inaccessible to children with disabilities, due to physical barriers, a lack of trained staff, and inadequately adapted school curricula, among others.

In supporting the implementation of the State Programme on Inclusive Education, UNICEF, in collaboration with MoE, developed a comprehensive conceptual framework and strategies to support education system reform for inclusive education. With the financial support of the European Union (EU), UNICEF and MoE developed a project on Modernizing the Education System in Azerbaijan through the Involvement of Civil Society and the Introduction of Inclusive Education. The project defined the below three key outcomes:

  • Outcome 1: Improved knowledge and capacity of pre- and in-service teachers on inclusive education through incorporation of modules of inclusive education in the national teacher training curriculum.
  • Outcome 2: Teachers, students and parents in seven districts (Baku, Sumgayit, Ganja, Guba, Shaki, Agjabadi, Gazakh) will benefit from local support and resources.
  • Outcome 3: Attitudes towards, and perceptions of, children with disabilities positively changed within the public, especially amongst parents

As part of the initiative, UNICEF and MoE jointly conducted a KAP study in 2017 to assess the exist knowledge, attitude, and practices of the society and identify main causes of the stigma and discrimination, social, cultural, religious and/or other factors that nurture the undesired beliefs and behaviors towards children with disabilities in Azerbaijan. The study also aimed to explore the linkages between rights of children with disabilities in education and other rights of health, protection and participation, and intended to understand the KAP study results and social norms at all levels from senior government officials, to service providers (health workers and teachers), parents and caregivers, as well as adolescents and children themselves.Some of the key findings form the study include:

  • Knowledge: Understanding of Disability as a concept, is very weak among participants at all levels of society. Disability is often defined by focusing on limitations or differences. Identification of children with disabilities is affected by the poor quality of available disability data at all levels. Weak knowledge on Inclusive education - 56% of the teachers indicated they have limited knowledge about inclusive education. Little awareness of the requirements of the UNCRPD, in particular, Article 24, General Comment No.4 on the Rights to Inclusive Education. Disability and inclusion are not a significant part of pre- and in-service training for teachers or health workers.
  • Attitude: Some participants think children with disabilities will learn more and increase their social skills in mainstream schools. However, it should be noted that all parents of children with disabilities in both mainstream and special schools, interviewed as part of the Baku case study, wanted their children to attend mainstream schools in age appropriate classes. Parents, children with disabilities and teachers have all mentioned bullying or fear of bullying was as a significant barrier to access mainstream education.
  • Practices: Research participants from all the health centres visited, are convinced that all children with disabilities in their area have been clearly and accurately identified. Parents continue to search for a cure for their children with disabilities that might waste time and money and often miss early intervention and learning opportunities. This is very much due to misinformation and social pressure for children to conform to an idealized norm. Many children with disabilities however still face serious social isolation. 

The key findings of this KAP Study are to support to develop a comprehensive Communication for Behavior and Social Norms Strategy and an Action Plan under the EU-supported Inclusive Education Project.

Objectives and expected results - Overall, a multi-year C4BSC Strategy is expected to reflect the recent KAP study results about the key barriers and shortages, exist social norms (undesirable pattern of behaviours, attitudes, beliefs, stigma and discrimination) towards the children with disability and on their full inclusion into the society. These comprehensive strategy and action plan throughout their implementation process will allow UNICEF Azerbaijan, in close cooperation with the government, to address those findings, through conceptual C4D/C4SC modules, strategies and actions.

Objectives of the consultancy - The overall purpose of this assignment is to provide technical support to UNICEF Country Office and MoE in developing and implementing a comprehensive human rights-driven Communication for Behaviour and Social Change (C4BSC) Strategy based on KAP study findings with a strong equity focus and an Action Plan. The C4BSC Strategy and Action Plan will help increase awareness about rights of children with disabilities, to address stigma, discrimination and social norms that nurture the negative attitudes, beliefs and challenges of eventual stereotypes that remain as barriers to full inclusion of children with disabilities in the society of Azerbaijan. The implementation of this Strategy and Action Plan will support to build a holistic and cross-sectoral supporting environment of inclusive society and increase demands for inclusive education.

The consultancy will contribute to further development of the existing set of resources and tools to support UNICEF Country Offices and their partners in improving their programming on Behaviour and Social Change, and to support the associated capacity building efforts to help general public (parents, teachers, health and social workers, community leaders, policy makers) positively change the attitudes and perceptions towards the children with disabilities and their inclusion into the mainstream education.

 Specific objectives and expected results are:

  • To develop a five-year comprehensive Communication for Behaviours and Social Change (C4BSC) Strategy and its Action Plan based on KAP study findings with a clear M&E framework. The Strategy should include practical design of a Community based Social Mobilization project and a Public Education campaign with detailed plans (clearly defining key messages, communication channels and tools, and activities, etc.) in a two-year timeframe to support the implementation of the EU-supported project.
  • To facilitate a training session for capacity building of selected key partners on basic concepts of communication for behavioral and social change focusing on initiation of effective implementation of the Strategy.

Proposed concept - Social-Ecologic Model is widely used as an effective framework to develop C4SC strategies. Although the KAP Study provided valuable information, it is noted that the analysis did not follow the social-ecological model and is lack of clear concept of social norms and specification between individual behaviours and collaborative social norms. The consultant is expected to further analyze and make sense of existing evidence to define the drivers, using theories/models (including social norms) and based on that design the theory of change/conceptual model for the intervention to address identified key expected changes at all levels of the social-ecological framework.

An Action Plan is to be developed based on the C4SC Strategy with detailed activities to further specify what, when, where, how and by whom the proposed strategies to be implemented through the programme cooperation and interventions.

In supporting the implementation of the EU-assisted IE Project, in addition to the overall C4BSC Strategy, it is expected to design more details for the national level public education campaign and a community-based social mobilization initiative as part of the Action Plan:

  • The design of a national public education campaign requires clearly defining key messages, targeted audients, communication channels, and activities, etc. Using traditional and social media it will address established misconceptions and stereotypes in relation to people with disabilities and their acceptance towards inclusive education. It is desirable the campaign also includes people/children with disabilities that will ensure their inclusion into the process as well as breaking stereotypes. The campaign will embrace nation-wide media and advertising campaign and may include celebrities and opinion makers, outdoor campaign, public speaking engagements by people with disabilities, involvement of young people, discussions and public debates about stigmatizing behaviours and social norms. For broader outreach the campaign against stigma may include TED type of talks or TV talks shows about disability topic that will generate innovative ideas by creative speakers including those with disabilities.
  • The Community-based social mobilization initiative will help the school administration to work closely with the local community to develop and implement a community-based social mobilization action plan customized for the local contexts to address the existing stigma, negative public perceptions and attitudes towards children with disabilities. The action plan will focus on communication activities to improve attitudes and acceptance of community members, in particular parents and children with and without disabilities, towards inclusive education. It will identify children with disabilities who may be able to return to school, reduce the use of home and special education, identify their needs and provide support to enrol children in the mainstream school classes.

Scope of work and tasks - In relation to the above objectives and results, the below methodology and key tasks are proposed:

  • Desk review and Inception Report (5 working days). The consultant will carry out a careful desk review of the KAP Study Report and relevant programme documents to understand the country contexts and be familiar with key issues and findings from the Study. To prepare an Inception Report, he/she will need to bring technical knowledge and expertise regarding global and regional C4SC strategy modules and good practices, to construct a Conceptual Framework for the C4CD Strategy based on social-ecological module or other Communication for Social Change modules, following a reformulated KAP analysis. Key KAP and social norms that need to be changed will be identified through desk review and reflected in the Inception Report. Major C4SC interventions such as community-based social mobilization and public education campaign should be considered and included as part of the strategy proposal following the design of the EU-supported Inclusive Education project. The Inception Report will also include a detailed work plan for the consultancy based on the TOR requirement.
  • 1st in-country visit (5 working days). Conduct interviews, meetings and consultative workshops with UNICEF and relevant stakeholders (direct partners of UNICEF in this particular project and other entities are involved in planning, designing and implementation of communication interventions addressing issues of children with disabilities), including the UNCRPD Steering Committee, to
    • fill out information gaps;
    • seek inputs for the development of the C4BSC Strategy and Action Plan including Community based Social Mobilization and Public Education campaign based on their needs, real situation and building on any relevant existing initiatives
    • identify and assess capacities of key partners in implementation of C4SC strategies
  • Home-based document development (15 Working days).
    • Draft the Communication for Behavior and Social Change Strategy and Action Plan to increase awareness about rights of children with disabilities, to address stigma and discrimination, and social norms that nurture the negative attitudes, beliefs and challenges of eventual stereotypes  that remain barriers to their full inclusion in the society of Azerbaijan, including a Monitoring and Evaluation framework with specific references on M&E (indicators, means of verification) and M&E plan describing the process and approaches for performance reviews.
    • Design specific concept and activity plan for the Public Education campaign and the Community based Social Mobilization initiative. Develop/conceptualise the communication materials and tools needed to implement the strategy and the campaign;
    • Develop a two-days training package for capacity building of key partners of C4SC implementation that will strengthen the knowledge and management skills of selected representatives of key Government officials and other relevant stakeholders (MOE, MOH, MOLASPP, MOYS, State Committee Family, Women and Children Affairs, DPOs and NGOs, Youth Organizations, media professionals, etc.) on implementation of the proposed C4BSC Strategy through effective communication methods, channels, tools and techniques in addressing the issues on inclusive education, so to the capacities of stakeholders and integrate C4BSC into their activities.

The above draft documents will be shared with the UNICEF Country Office for review and comments (two weeks). The consultant will incorporate comments and feedbacks to revise the documents before the 2nd in-country visit.

  • 2nd in-country visit (5 working days).
    • Conduct a presentation/validation workshop of the C4BSC Strategy and Action Plan at the high-level advocacy meeting for the key governmental partners (MOE, MOH, MOLASPP), who are going to be the part of the joint implementation of the strategy and action plan. among government partners and other stakeholders.
    • Facilitate a capacity development training/workshop and provide other relevant capacity-building activities (including through technical advice to relevant partners) and inform and kick-off the implementation of the C4BSC Strategy and Action Plan ensuring their participation and engagement in the C4SC initiatives.
  • Final report (5 working days). The consultant will incorporate all comments and inputs from the Country Office and in-country visits and produce final version of products. A brief final consultancy report will be prepared to summarize the progress, process, challenges and future recommendations for the implementation of the Communication Behaviours and Social Change Strategy and Action Plan.

Tentative timeline for deliverables:

  Tasks/Deliverables Proposed number of days Indicative timeline Payment Schedule
1 Desk review and Inception report 5 end August, 2018 30% including travel cost for the 1st in-country visit
2 Conduct the first in-country visit. Detailed agenda will be developed based on the Inception Report and discussion with the Country Office 5 Mid September18  

Draft / develop

    1. a comprehensive C4BSC Strategy and Action Plan,
    2. Concept Papers for national public education campaign and community-based social mobilization and
    3. Training package
15 By Mid-October, 2018 50% including travel cost for the 2nd in-country visit

Conduct the 2nd in-country visit:

  1. Presentation/validation meeting of C4BSC Strategy and Action Plan
  2. conduct training and other relevant capacity building activities for stakeholders
5 Early November  

Circulate and finalise the all documents and submit a final consultancy report

5 Early November 20% of total fee

Supervision and working conditions

The consultant will be directly supervised by the Communication for Development and Social Change Officer of UNICEF Azerbaijan and with close support of the Education specialist and overall supervision of the Deputy Representative. The consultancy is both home based and with two in-country visits. Regular emails and phone/Skype calls will be used to update the supervisor

Travel and Administrative arrangements:

  • The consultant(s) are expected to work remotely. Two trips to Azerbaijan will be conducted. International travel cost will be under the applicant's financial proposal and included in the contract and the consultant(s) will arrange international travel by themselves. The in-country field visits might be required, at UNICEF expense. UNICEF's approved per diem rates for Baku and elsewhere in Azerbaijan will be applied; UNICEF Azerbaijan will facilitate access to key literature and documents.
  • Deliverables will be provided in English. UNICEF country office in Azerbaijan will arrange any required translation.
  • UNICEF will issue a contract in USD. The payment will be made in USD by bank transfer;
  • The contract amount will be negotiated with successful candidate(s) being guided by UNICEF applicable fee range; Payment will only be made for work satisfactorily completed and accepted by UNICEF. UNICEF reserves the right to withhold all or a portion of payment if performance is unsatisfactory, if work/outputs is incomplete, not delivered or for failure to meet deadlines. All materials developed will remain the copyright of UNICEF and UNICEF will be free to adapt and modify them in the future.
  • UNICEF reserves the right to withhold all or a portion of payment if performance is unsatisfactory, if work/outputs is incomplete, not delivered or for failure to meet deadlines.
  • UNICEF is committed to diversity and inclusion within its workforce, and encourages to apply qualified female and male candidates from all national, religious and ethnic backgrounds, including persons living with disabilities.
    • Advanced university degree in the social/behavioural sciences (Sociology, Anthropology, Psychology, Health, or Education).
    • Extensive experience in the planning, management and implementation of social development programmes, social mobilization and behavioural/social change with practical experience in the adaptation and application of communication planning processes to specific programmes.
    • At least 10 years of relevant international work experience in development of communication for development, behaviour and social change strategies, with proven experience in designing, developing, and implementing strategies and action plans related to stigma and discrimination, social norms and other factors that nurture the undesired attitudes, beliefs and practices towards Children with Disabilities.
    • Proven expertise on child rights and social inclusion. Knowledge of global policies and development frameworks on children with disabilities, including Inclusive Education and issues of children with disabilities is preferable.
    • Knowledge of current developments in the fields of behavioural and social change theories, motivational psychology, mass media and mid-media strategy, community organizations and participation
    • Familiarity with UNICEF's mission and mandate. Experiences of working with UNICEF/UN and working in the CEE/CIS region is an asset.
    • International experience in similar context is required
    • Excellent verbal and professional written skill in English;
    • Excellent analytical and communication skills
    • Demonstrated ability to produce high quality results in a timely manner

Interested candidates are requested to submit the following documents and information:

  • Cover letter for the application
  • Individual resume/CV; Alternatively, if a candidate profile in the UNICEF e-Recruitment System is available, you may download it and submit it as part of application
  • Filled in P11 form (downloadable from;
  • 2-3 samples of previous work relevant to this consultancy-Communication strategies and action plans, campaign action plan, written articles and publications.
  • A financial Proposal includes proposed budget with a daily rate in USD and estimation of the travel costs.

Deadline: 07 August Baku Time by 17:00

All applications will be treated with strict confidentiality. UNICEF is an equal opportunity employer.

UNICEF is mandated by the United Nations General Assembly to advocate for the protection of children's rights, to help meet their basic needs and to expand their opportunities to reach their full potential.  

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.

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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: Baku (Azerbaijan)
  • Grade: International Consultant - Internationally recruited Contractors Agreement - Consultancy
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Education, Learning and Training
    • Social Affairs
    • Communication and Public Information
  • Closing Date: 2018-08-08

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