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International Consultant for the Rapid Assessment of the situation of migrant and refugee children and families in Montenegro

Podgorica (Montenegro)

  • Organization: UNICEF - United Nations Children’s Fund
  • Location: Podgorica (Montenegro)
  • Grade: Consultant - Contractors Agreement - Consultancy
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Children's rights (health and protection)
    • Refugee rights and well-being
    • Migration
    • Emergency Aid and Response
  • Closing Date: 2019-09-19

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UNICEF Montenegro is seeking for an International Consultant for the Rapid Assessment of the situation of migrant and refugee children and families in Montenegro .

I Background and Context

In recent years the Western Balkans experienced an unprecedented rise in the movement of migrants and refugees headed towards the European Union (EU). This movement created challenges in ensuring a coordinated response to populations in need both EU in Member States and candidate countries along the route. Since 2017, Montenegro has been increasingly affected by this trend.

Mixed migration flows to Montenegro increased considerably since early 2018 as refugees and migrants have been seeking alternative routes through the Western Balkans to reach the EU. After a seasonal drop of arrivals over the winter, numbers of arrivals of refugees and migrants have increased in spring and summer 2019 – with figure of April (622), May (618) and August (769), among the highest recorded so far. Total of 3547 new arrivals have been registered by the Montenegrin authorities in the period: 1 January 2019 –16 July 2019, average of 18 new arrivals per day and 127 per week. Among the total number 8% are children and eight (8) unaccompanied minors were registered during the same period. In comparison to 2018, the number of families and children among refugees and migrants arriving in Montenegro has been increasing.

The Government, with support from UNHCR and IOM, invest considerable resources and efforts to ensure an adequate response. State institutions responsible for protection of migrants and refugees are equipped with legislation and procedures to deal with the situation. The Ministry of Interior manages and coordinates the overall response. Despite the Government’s best efforts, the system’s response capacities have been stretched in recent months, in particular dealing with increased numbers of families with children. There have been challenges in providing an effective, well-coordinated response, especially concerning access to adequate accommodation, health, nutrition and child protection services, mainly due to weak coordination mechanisms across line ministries/sectors, financial constraints, insufficient accommodation space and staff shortages, or lack of well-trained staff.

As a result, refugee/migrant families and children have been “falling between the cracks” of the system and were exposed to several risks which could be further exacerbated by increasing numbers, or a slowing of the migration flow, in case borders were to close. UNICEF, in coordination with UNHCR and IOM, assists the Government to strengthen the system capacity to support and protect refugee/migrant children and enable them to realise their rights. 

The vast majority of families with children transiting through Montenegro do not intend to stay and claim asylum in Montenegro but plan to continue their journey to EU countries or elsewhere. The average stay of refugees and migrants is 15 days (according to Ministry of Interior data) – which indicates that Montenegro is not a country of destination for most refugees and migrants. However, some families stay longer than planned due to various reasons. According to UNHCR there are only few asylum seekers who stay long enough in Montenegro to wait for their asylum application to be processed.

As per the UNICEF Action Plan in response to the refugees and migrant crisis in Europe, UNICEF is scaling up and expanding its response in countries with the greatest number of children on the move. In this context, and as a first step, UNICEF is assessing the situation of children and developing country specific plans in all affected countries, adapting the response to the situation of each particular country. In countries where UNICEF maintains a programme presence, UNICEF is implementing emergency interventions to respond to the needs of children as part of the government-led effort.

UNICEF’s proposed response to children on the move transiting through/stranded in Montenegro foresees a two-track approach: 1) Providing humanitarian assistance and protection to migrant, asylum-seeking and refugee children, in close collaboration with government authorities, UN agencies such as UNHCR, IOM, WHO and civil society; 2) Strengthening child protection, health and nutrition systems to ensure effective services to all vulnerable children in Montenegro, through capacity building, policy reform and technical assistance.


II Purpose and Objective

The purpose of this consultancy is to support national authorities and UNICEF Montenegro in the conceptualization of a quality and efficient system response to refugee and migrant children and women in Montenegro, both with temporary and prolonged stay in the country.

The objective of this consultancy is to produce a Rapid Assessment of the situation of refugee and migrant children and women in Montenegro, as follows:

  • Assessment of the situation of refugee and migrant children and women in health, nutrition, education, child protection, including child safeguarding, Gender Based Violence and Prevention of Sexual Exploitation and Abuse of children;
  • Assessment of the quality and efficiency of the existing system response, including by consideration of the support from national and international NGOs and the UN;
  • Identification of a potential system gaps in the response with regards to children and women in health, nutrition, education, child protection, including child safeguarding, Gender Based Violence and Prevention of Sexual Exploitation and Abuse of children;
  • Provision of the recommendation for the UNICEF’s potential response and value added, jointly with the priorities for the required response – including geographical and programmatic areas of priority with focus on the creation/improvement of child-friendly spaces in reception facilities; strengthening capacities of health professionals (re health and nutrition needs/risks, hygiene and immunization) and front line workers and social work professionals re child protection, case management, gender based and sexual violence etc.
  • Identification of potential partners (national and local authorities, NGOs, Red Cross, etc.) for the delivery of aid to the affected children and their families, in recognition of the principle of UNICEF as the provider of last resort;
  • Explore concrete collaborations within the regional context.


III Methodology and Technical Approach

The methodology will include:


  • desk review of the relevant legislative and policy documents and available publications/reports pertaining to migrant and refugee crisis; by taking into consideration international, regional and national context;
  • consultations with the Ministry of Interior and other national stakeholders and UNICEF;
  • develop a mixed method methodology combining quantitative and qualitative assessments and Human Rights Based Approach (by referring to UNICEF Rules and Procedures for Ethical Reporting), and use of comparative tools and resources developed by UN (Core Commitment for Children, Rapid Assessment (IRA) toolkit and other templates to be provided by UNICEF Montenegro);
  • field visit to Montenegro, including:
  1. consultations with broad range of partners: as follows Ministry of Interior, Asylum Centre and its branch units, Ministry of Health, Ministry of labour and Social Welfare, Ministry of Education, Institute for Public Health, Institute for Social and Child Protection, Centres for Social Work, Primary Health Care Centres, Border Police, UNHCR, IOM, Red Cross, relevant CSOs;
  2. gathering of existing information and reports prior and during the mission on a) the numbers and locations of children, disaggregated by sex and age group and origin wherever possible, b) their access to basic needs (food, shelter, protection, primary health care, psyho-social support, legal aid) – again disaggregated wherever possible, c) who is doing what where (and maps if possible) and resources available;
  3. sight visits to the reception units (Asylum Centres in Spuž, Konik, Pljevlja), and border areas (Božaj and others), reception centres, and any other facility or location where children are, or may be;
  4. if feasible, gather information from affected children and families on their main concerns with respect to their wellbeing;
  5. during the mission, inform in real time relevant UNICEF colleagues of ongoing changes on the ground;
  • delivery the Final Rapid Needs Assessment Report with concrete recommendations for improved coordination and delivery of a system response (across the sectors) and inputs for UNICEF intervention in supporting national stakeholders to strengthen the system response in a short and long term.

The Consultant is expected to work both in the field and from home.

Further details are presented in the section below “Activities and Tasks”.


IV Activities and Tasks

  •  The activities of the assignment will be conducted in close cooperation with the relevant national stakeholders, UN partners, under the guidance of UNICEF Montenegro team.

The consultant is expected:




Number of days and Timeframe


To review, within the preparatory phase, the Convention on the Rights of the Child, UNICEF Core Commitments for Children, the Global Compact for Migration (UN, 2018); UNHCR Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, the EU Migration Policy,  the Montenegrin Law on the international and temporary protection of foreigners with the amendments from 2019, the Family Law of Montenegro with reference to guardianship, the law on Social and Child Protection (with reference to the case management and work with UASC, GBV and VAC), the respective policy and legal framework in the area of health and education.

Home based

5 days

By 7th October 2019

To communicate with respective officials from the relevant institutions and UNICEF to receive in-depth guidance

Home based

1 day

By 10th October 2019

To develop and submit working Methodology, combining quantitative and qualitative assessment and Human Rights Based Approach, as well as use of comparative tools and templates developed by UNICEF.

Home based

5 days

By 17th October

To adjust the Methodology based on UNICEF comments and inputs

Home based

2 days

By 20th October 2019

Field visit, including consultations with the broad range of partners, sight visits and consultations with children and families.

Montenegro based

5 days

By 27th October 2019

Delivery of the Draft Rapid Needs Assessment Report

Home based

8 days (by 7th November 2019)

Integration of comments and delivery of the Final Rapid Needs Assessment Report

Home based

2 days (by 15th November 2019)

Total number of working days

28 days


V Key Deliverables and Timeframe

This assignment is expected to commence on 1st October 2019. The consultant is expected to spend a total of 28 working days on this assignment, out of which he /she will spend up to 5 working days in Montenegro while rest of the time s/he will be home based.

The Consultant is expected to produce the following key deliverables:


              Key Deliverables



Methodology for the Rapid Needs Assessment

By 17th October 2019

Draft Rapid Needs Assessment Report

By 7th November 2019

Final Rapid Needs Assessment Report

By 15th November 2019


VI Management and Organisation

  • Management: The Consultant/s will be supervised by the UNICEF Child Protection Officer.
  • Organization: International Consultant/s will be required for this consultancy. If more than one consultant is engaged for the assignment, the fee for each consultant will be negotiated depending on their qualifications, the scope of work required from each consultant and the duration of their engagement.
  • Schedule: This assignment will commence on 1 October 2019. 


VII Qualifications/specialized knowledge/experience required to complete the task:


The Consultant is expected to have the following qualifications/specialized knowledge/experience required to complete the task:


  • Master’s degree in Emergency Management, Public Health, Social and Child Protection, Education and/or other related social science;


  • More than 10 years of experience in the areas of children`s rights: health, education, social and child protection spheres, and/or others;
  • At least 3 years of experience of working in an emergency context;
  • Proven track record of working in a migrant and refugee response with focus on children and women;
  • Knowledge of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) and Core Commitment for Children and other relevant international and regional standards of importance for migrant and refugee response;
  • Proven analytical and research skills;
  • Previous work experience with UN/UNICEF or other international organization will be considered as an advantage.


  • Excellent command of English and local language;
  • Familiarity with local context and local language will be considered as an asset.


  • Effective communication and writing skills;
  • Demonstrate abilities to meet deadlines.


VIII Application procedure:

  • To apply for the vacant position please submit P-11 form through “apply” button;
  • Candidates are requested to submit a financial offer as a separate document consisting of a daily professional fee, travel costs for the visit to Montenegro and DSA costs for up to 6 days to be spend in Podgorica, Montenegro.


IX Selection Method:

All applicants will be screened against qualifications and requirements set above. Candidates fully meeting all the requirements will be further evaluated based on the criteria below.


1.           Technical Criteria - Interview – 70 % of total evaluation– max. 70 points

  • Education: 20 points
  • Previous experience: 30 points
  • Technical questions at the interview: 20 points


Only candidates who obtained at least 70% of points from the technical part (who will score at least 49 points) will be qualified for considering for financial proposal evaluation.


2.           Financial Criteria - 30 % of total evaluation – max. 30 points.

  • Financial scores will be calculated using the formula [lowest offer / financial offer of the candidate x 30].




Mandatory learning: Upon concluding the recruitment process and prior to signing the contract, all Consultants and Individual Contractors, including those working from home, must complete the following three online courses

  • Ethics and Integrity at UNICEF
  • Prevention of Sexual Harassment and Abuse of Authority
  • Sexual Exploitation Abuse (PSEA)

​In addition, Consultants and Individual Contractors must complete the following course before commencement of any travel on behalf of UNICEF. 

  • BSAFE security training 

The courses can be found on the following link: UNICEF Mandatory Training/Learning Classes​ .


Budget and Remuneration


  • Payment schedule

The payments will be made upon successful completion of the deliverables and submission of invoices.


  • Recourse

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.



  • Budget and Remuneration

Interested contractors are requested to submit their financial offer consisting of fee for the services to be provided, travel and subsistence costs, as applicable.


The total cost of the consultancy is estimated at the range USD 12,932 as in the table below. As part of the selection process, the office will select the individual who quoted the lowest fee from the list of individuals who are deemed suitable for achieving all tasks in time, and as per the criteria and deliverables stipulated in the Terms of Reference.


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.


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


We do our best to provide you the most accurate info, but closing dates may be wrong on our site. Please check on the recruiting organization's page for the exact info. Candidates are responsible for complying with deadlines and are encouraged to submit applications well ahead.
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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