Early Childhood Development (ECD) Project Manager, Individual Contractor, Brasília, Brazil
This consultancy seeks to advance UNICEF’s policy dialogue, programming and partnerships in the area of Early Childhood Development (ECD), working under the direct supervision of the Deputy Representative and in close collaboration with Programme teams, Social Policy and M&E, PFP (Private Sector Fundraising) and Communication teams as well as with prospective partners from government, civil society, private sectors and other, bringing high quality technical leadership and strategic direction and coordination.
Background & Rationale
Despite Brazil’s growing commitment with ECD, data on young children’s health, development and learning indicates that efforts for young children should give attention to family caregiving practices including nutrition, stimulation and nurturing care. For example, breastfeeding rates are at 41%; childcare coverage is 34.2%; and home practices of caregiving, support and stimulation are recorded for 674,629 families. In addition, one of the largest epidemics facing Brazilian society is the high level of violence and exposure to violence. It is estimated that almost 2/3 of children under 5 years of age experience harsh discipline and aggression at home (based on regional data). This has a significant impact on young developing minds through raising levels of stress to toxicity.
Brazil has a long history and strong legal and policy framework for ECD, and considerable investments have been made to scale up ECD at both Federal and State levels (eg. from the PIM programme developed in 2003 in the State of Rio Grande do Sul, to the more recent ECD Pact, the Federal policy, the inclusion of Criança Feliz in Bolsa Familia, the Harvard Leadership Institute course on ECD etc.). In addition, there are a number of government and non-government partners, including academia, foundations, UN agencies and the corporate sector actively engaged in the ECD agenda, presenting a diversified and large partnership landscape.
In 2019 UNICEF committed to strengthen its role and strategic positioning on ECD in Brazil, building on its past engagement in support of the ECD agenda, to bring its thought leadership, technical expertise and municipal engagement to advance quality, integrated ECD interventions for the most vulnerable families and communities. Following the Strategic Moment of Reflection, UNICEF developed a draft programme framework and agreed to concentrate its value add on strengthening the role and capacities of families to provide responsive and nurturing caregiving to their children, prevent violence and promote stimulation and care.
The individual contractor will provide strategic direction, technical expertise and partnership development to advance UNICEF’s policy and programming on ECD in Brazil, with the focus on integrated approaches to strengthen the role of families in responsive and nurturing caregiving. Working under the supervision of the Deputy Representative, the individual contractor will be accountable for the design, implementation and monitoring of activities under Programme Output 2.4, providing of technical guidance, strategic coordination and quality assurance to UNICEF programme and non-programme teams in the area of ECD.
Result 1: An Integrated ECD Strategy and narrative is developed with an emphasis on empowering families
- Using the ECD framework developed by the Office in 2019, draft a compelling strategy and narrative (theory of change) for UNICEF’s policy and programme engagement in the ECD agenda in Brazil
- Lead a series of consultations with UNICEF programme teams in Brasilia and field offices to have clarity and ownership of the ECD narrative and operational strategy around family strengthening , ensuring input based on the experiences of UNICEF colleagues in implementation at the state level.
- Consult and build partnerships with external partners, working closely under the guidance of the Deputy Representative and senior international ECD experts, to further sharpen the narrative at the Federal/National, regional and international levels and to finalize the strategy.
- Provide inputs to the design of the new Selo edition, ensuring that ECD results, tools and strategies are included
- Provide inputs, as required, on ECD results and strategy in the context of UNICEF’s Country Programme planning process for 2022-26.
Result 2: A coherent 2020-21 ECD Workplan is developed and implemented with contributions from programme teams and field offices
Lead the development and implementation of a coherent 2020-21 Workplan for the ECD Output (4.2), providing technical assistance and quality assurance to UNICEF programme teams and field offices in the following areas:
- System strengthening and multi-sectoral service delivery: leveraging existing ECD actions in Selo and PCU platforms to focus on systemic action aimed at empowering families, including through better parenting programmes on early stimulation and responsive caregiving, better leave policies for working families, and quality affordable child care.
- ECD measurement: work closely with the SP/M&E team and national partners to incorporate tools to measure child development outcomes (SDG 4.2.1 and SDG 4.2.3) into existing household surveys, such as the Brazil Annual Household Survey (POF), DHS (PNDS), and/or through digital data collection systems
- Evidence-based advocacy: working closely with the Communication team, develop a public advocacy strategy on ECD around nurturing care, particularly strengthening family care, supporting the expansion of Criança Feliz and strengthening linkages between ECD and violence prevention through the concept of the first 1,000 days of protection focusing on young children’s developing brains that are harmed by toxic stress and how family engagement can change that into virtuous cycles of intergenerational progress. Leverage global assets and influential champions.
- ECD leadership and capacity building: assess how UNICEF Brazil can leverage ECD executive Leadership (ECD Executive Leadership Brazil-Harvard to support modules on family strengthening and build capacity for decision makers, from the private sector using this established platform.
- ECD in the humanitarian response: provide technical guidance and assistance to the Humanitarian Manager and field programme teams to design and implement ECD interventions for vulnerable Venezuelan families on the move in Brazil.
Result 3: Public and private partnerships are secured to advance ECD, including through business engagement to strengthen family friendly policies
- Using the Family Friendly Policies in the ECD agenda (UNICEF FFP), design and implement a flagship initiative to advance the role of businesses in advancing ECD through Family Friendly Policies, working in close collaboration with PFP, Programme and Communications teams
- Identify new partnership opportunities and lead proposal development and co-creation with the private sector to advance UNICEF policy and programming as well as business engagement on ECD.
- Nurture relationships with key ECD networks and stakeholders, including government, business, academia and foundations
- Provide inputs to the Brazil ECD Case Study on CCD in the Crianca Feliz programme, being undertaken by the UNICEF LACRO consultant.
- Ensure UNICEF is strategically positioned and actively engaged in national and regional ECD policy forums and networks.
The services included in the contract will be delivered continuously, with the same intensity throughout the months. The results will be evaluated by the following deliverables (the timelines provided below against specific deliverable are tentative and may vary):
- Draft integrated strategy (end of February);
- Draft workplan and technical assistance to programme team (end of Feb?)
- Strategy consultations completed and finalized Strategy (end of March)
- Consultations completed and draft concept note developed for the business engagement flagship initiative (May);
- Technical guidance on systems strengthening and multi-sectoral service delivery, with draft strategy for ECD in new Selo strategy (June)
- Roadmap for measurement work developed with national partners and Data and Analytics team (July);
- Evidence based advocacy strategy on ECD developed (June/July)
- At least one proposal supported/developed on ECD (May-June)
- Coordination, technical guidance and roll-out of key activities as well as contribution to Country Programme Planning exercise (October, November)
- Final report and contribution and preparation of annual reporting on ECD work and results
The individual contractor will develop a workplan based on the above deliverables and tentative timelines and payments will be made based on monthly reporting against the workplan and submission of deliverables.
- Punctuality in meeting deadlines
- Quality of the contents
- Timely provision of the deliverables,
- Full adherence to the monthly workplans and diligences as agreed with Supervisor,
- Satisfactory quality level of reports and actions (quality of inputs, analysis, register of activities, recommendations, etc).
Immediately upon signature of the agreement, the UNICEF supervisor and the selected individual contractor will meet for detailed discussion of the Work Plan and the quality criteria for product delivery. Regular meetings will also be scheduled at a distance or in person to follow up the activities defined in the Work Plan.
The monthly reports shall be subject to review and approval by UNICEF after delivery by the individual contractor. If needed, revisions and alterations may be requested by UNICEF related to quality and technical depth parameters. Only after final clearance from the UNICEF Brazil, will the payment be processed.
Key competences, technical background, and experience required Deadline
- Advanced degree in Management, Education, Psychology, Sociology or other social science field is required.
- A minimum of 5 years of professional work experience at national or international levels in the field of ECD is required. Experience in UN system agency or organization is an asset.
- Fluency in Portuguese and English is required. Knowledge of Spanish is an asset.
- Knowledge of ECD policies, stakeholders and initiatives in Brazil.
- Knowledge on children’s rights issues, including the Convention of Rights of the Child and the Statute of the Child and the Adolescent.
- Experience in policy analysis and programme management.
- Team work skills and capacity to work with tight deadlines.
- Knowledge in the use of digital media tools and social networks.
- Experience in the production of materials for learning programs or content for social mobilization initiatives.
General Conditions: Procedures and Logistics
- UNICEF will provide the individual contractor all required core equipment and material for fulfilling his duty, including computer.
- Expenses related to these travels will be covered by UNICEF and paid to the Consultant as per UNICEF travel rules and regulations.
- No contract may commence unless the contract is signed by both UNICEF and the consultant or Contractor
- No consultant may travel without a signed travel authorization prior to the commencement of the journey to the duty station.
- Consultants will not have supervisory responsibilities or authority on UNICEF budget.
- A financial proposal that includes the fee for the assignment based on the deliverables must be submitted.
- Payment of professional fees will be based on submission of agreed deliverables. UNICEF reserves the right to withhold payment in case the deliverables submitted are not up to the required standard or in case of delays in submitting the deliverables on the part of the consultant
- Final rate shall follow the “best value for money” principle, i.e., achieving the desired outcome at the lowest possible fee. Consultants will be asked to stipulate all-inclusive fees, including lump sum travel and subsistence costs, as applicable.
In case of government officials, the contract cannot be issued without prior written clearance by the Government, or unless on leave without pay.
 E.g., training the front-line workers on Care for Child Development, as part of Crianza Feliz; through the Baby weeks; inclusive ECD interventions, particularly focusing on babies affected by Zika; as well as by promoting ECD through its 2 flagship municipal initiatives -- the UNICEF Municipal Seal (SELO) and the Urban Centers Platform (PCU).