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Home-based individual contractor to support the Regional T4D section to deploy Learning Passport Platform for ECE (11 months)

Geneva (Switzerland)

  • Organization: UNICEF - United Nations Children’s Fund
  • Location: Geneva (Switzerland)
  • Grade: Consultant - Contractors Agreement - Consultancy
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Education, Learning and Training
    • Technology, Electronics and Mechanics
    • Information Technology and Computer Science
  • Closing Date: 2020-08-07

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The UNICEF Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia (ECARO) is looking for an individual contractor consultant to work with countries in the region for the successful adaptation and deployment of the Learning Passport global platform, and other related solutions, to accelerate the achievement of ECD results.

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, results

Background & Rationale

Since 2010 UNICEF has been promoting the use of innovative tools to deliver various programs intended to have positive social impact and different programme teams is taking lead to identify, prototype, and scale up digital solutions to strengthen UNICEF’s work for children.  Recognising the potential of digital solutions in improving quality of life and services for children and their families, UNICEF Europe and Central Asia Regional Office (ECARO) supports development and scale up of technology-based solutions across the countries in ECA region.

UNICEF’s work on early childhood development (ECD) in Europe and Central Asia (ECA) recognizes that every growing child need nurturing care, good health, optimal nutrition and a stimulating and safe environment that offers plenty of support for early learning. With the current COVID19 crisis, solutions are needed to ensure continuity in early childhood education services and to support the youngest learners, their caregivers and educators, during and post the COVID-19 pandemic. Recognizing the potential of digital solutions, UNICEF is rapidly seeking to deploy practical resources and materials to support early learning.

One of these digital solutions is “Learning Passport” which is supported by UNICEF HQ and delivered through a partnership between UNICEF, Microsoft, Cambridge, and supported by the Boston Consulting Group.

The Learning Passport, a partnership between UNICEF, Microsoft, Cambridge, and supported by the Boston Consulting Group, has been established to, 1) provide local, contextualized content with a supplementary library of global content, mapped together via research by Cambridge; 2) provide a platform to serve this content to children and youth online or offline, via a platform being developed by Microsoft. And 3) with an individualized record of learning for a user, that is portable across physical and digital borders. The Learning passport, as an extraordinary emergency response, will create Country-level sites available on request, to Country Offices (CO) that would like to make access to curriculum and learning materials available for students with connectivity at home. While the platform has primarily been used to date for older students (primary to adolescence), the platform will be adapted in ECA region to support preschool age children, their caregivers, and their teachers to ensure age appropriate and quality early learning. The envisioned digital platforms aim to enhance continued engagement with families and parents on learning at home by providing practical resources and materials that can be applied in home settings. Its second aim is  to strengthen professional development opportunities and facilitate  collaboration between preschool educators and other staff on sharing ideas, best practices and activities that can be implemented in kindergartens. Ultimately, the digital preschool platforms should support building and strengthening of a national community of practice between parents, teachers and children, with shared principles around early learning and development.

In the ECA region, six countries will be supported to deploy Learning passport platforms and to develop appropriate content in line with the needs and requirements of different user groups. The UNICEF ECARO will guide and support the process of deployment of digital platforms at the national level.

Purpose

Under the supervision of the ECARO Business Analyst, Technology for Development section, in close collaboration with the ECAR ECD Advisor, the individual contractor will work with countries in the region for the successful adaptation and deployment of the Learning Passport global platform, and other related solutions, to accelerate the achievement of ECD results. The individual contractor will also complement the Regional T4D Business Analysist in liaising with all stakeholders to build a preferred set of solutions with the aim to lower the barrier of entry into COVID-related digital initiatives and increase solution portability from one country to the other.

How can you make a difference?

Description of the Assignment:

  • Development of technical recommendations for the adaptation of Learning Passport and its features to maximize its utility for different user group (in very close collaboration with T4D specialist hired separately for this project)
    • Map needs and requirements of different user groups
    • Support development of a regional configuration with features well matched with the needs of different user groups
    • Map features of the Learning Passport requiring adaptation and alternative digital solutions that can be integrated
  • Technical assistance for deployment of LP regionally with a focus on young children:
  • Under the guidance of the T4D Manager, provide ongoing support and technical assistance to Country Offices to deploy and adapt LP, for use at CO level, maximizing available features;
  • Assist Country Offices in identifying and assessing other learning management initiatives, or new phases of ongoing initiatives, with potential to improve the UNICEF ECD programmatic and emergency response;
  • Support the process of ensuring LP can support low connectivity areas across countries, exploring engagement with Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) and Regulatory authorities, and solutions for offline content accessibility.
  • Support testing of LP in terms of functionality, suitability, alignment with technical specifications at the regional and country levels. Coordinate the testing process across countries and provide feedback and oversee bug fixing process
  • Capacity building with country offices on technology related issues and digital learning solutions
  • Research and Monitoring:
    • Analyse data populated through LP platforms and monitor uptake and performance of digital solutions
  • Capture lessons learnt from various countries; and share common resources if available; 
  • Partnerships and building blocks:
  • Research, identify and engage with potential regional and country specific T4D partners (including, but not limited to, the private sector)
  • Explore partnerships for longer term sustainability of digital solutions and their implementation (including supporting development of a donor proposals)

Expected results: (measurable results)

The individual contractor will deliver the following outputs and products within the timeline indicated. *Noting that these timelines depend on resources and personnel being available within the relevant countries in a timely fashion.

Contractual arrangements:

  • Duty Station: The contractor will be based remotely preferably within the Europe / ECA region time zone.
  • Timeframe: The assignment is full time between 8-11 months starting ideally from August 2020. Preferably the candidate will be available for 11 months, however a shorter assignment of 8 months may be considered.
  • Payment Schedule: Payment will be made at the end of each month after receiving a monthly report and an invoice
  • Supervisors: the contractor will report to the Regional T4D Business Analyst and the ECD Regional Advisor.
     

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

 

  • University degree(Bachelor)in Information Systems Management, ICT Management, International Development, Education, Digital Education, Instructional Design, Digital publishing, ComputerScience or another related field.
  • A minimum of 5 years of experience in identifying, designing and implementing solutions for large-scale projects with technical components – including supervising external vendors and software developers; responsibility for business analysis, budgets, contracts, project management and procurement, etc; A minimum of 3 years of experience as per above may be considered if complemented by an advance University degree (ie. Maters).
  • Working experience or good knowledge of instructional design, digital publishing or e-learning platform configuration;
  • Experience in supporting and coordinating project activities across a large organization and with other international partner organizations desirable;
  • Extensive experience in requirements engineering related to applications for children, educators, and parents desirable
  • Extensive experience in bridging the gap between technical and non-technical people desirable
  • Experience in Open Source digital tools, mobile and emerging technology applied to public health, education and ECD is extremely desirable;
  • Exposure to UNICEF, UN or other INGO programmatic areas, including (but not limited to) health, nutrition, child protection and/or education, and experience in applying technical solutions to address programmatic issues is considered an asset;

Other skills and attributes:

  • Hybrid background combining technical skills, strong conceptual ability to integrate the capabilities of available technology, the organizational needs and functions that technology must support;
  • Understanding of international development issues;
  • Must have strong skills in business analysis and technical project management;
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills a must. Presentation skills are an advantage;
  • Understanding constraints of working with various partners, but also the strengths of representing an international organization;
  • Basic understanding of set-up and administration of ICT services, networks and mobile services;

Language Requirements:Fluency in English is required. Knowledge of another official UN language is considered as an asset.

Competencies

  • Self-starter, with ability to multi-task and work to deadlines,
  • Analytical and conceptual thinking,
  • Attention to details,
  • Able to work in a multicultural setting,
  • Highest standards of integrity, discretion and loyalty.

For every Child, you demonstrate…

UNICEF's values of Care, Respect, Integrity, Trust, and Accountability (CRITA) and core competencies in Communication, Working with People and Drive for Results.

View our competency framework at

http://www.unicef.org/about/employ/files/UNICEF_Competencies.pdf

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.

UNICEF has a zero-tolerance policy on conduct that is incompatible with the aims and objectives of the United Nations and UNICEF, including sexual exploitation and abuse, sexual harassment, abuse of authority and discrimination. UNICEF also adheres to strict child safeguarding principles. All selected candidates will be expected to adhere to these standards and principles and will therefore undergo rigorous reference and background checks. Background checks will include the verification of academic credential(s) and employment history. Selected candidates may be required to provide additional information to conduct a background check.

To apply:

Interested candidates are invited to submit:

  1. Letter of interest, including your approach to the assignment and proposed fees (monthly) to undertake the above TOR. Please note that applications without a proposed fee will not be accepted.
  2. A CVs and/or Personal history form (downloadable from http://www.unicef.org/about/employ/files/P11.doc). Alternatively, if a candidate profile in the UNICEF e-Recruitment System is available, you may download it and submit it as part of application.

Remarks:

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

Individuals engaged under a consultancy or individual contract will not be considered “staff members” under the Staff Regulations and Rules of the United Nations and UNICEF’s policies and procedures, and will not be entitled to benefits provided therein (such as leave entitlements and medical insurance coverage). Their conditions of service will be governed by their contract and the General Conditions of Contracts for the Services of Consultants and Individual Contractors. Consultants and individual contractors are responsible for determining their tax liabilities and for the payment of any taxes and/or duties, in accordance with local or other applicable laws.

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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