International individual consultant to carry out a feasibility assessment for integration of the Parenting for Lifelong Health Programme into the national system
UNICEF CO in Montenegro is looking for an International consultant for technical support and carry out a feasibility assessment for integration of the Parenting for Lifelong Health Programme into the national system.
In 2018, almost two thirds (63%) of Montenegro’s children aged 1–14 years were subjected to psychological aggression within the family during the month preceding the survey (MONSTAT and UNICEF, MICS 2018) and 31% were subjected to physical punishment. Children aged 3-4 and 5-9 were more exposed to violent discipline than other age cohorts (almost 40% being physically punished). On the other hand, only 10% of respondents believed that children need to be physically punished in order to bring up, raise, or educate them properly. In Roma settlements, 6 in 10 (60%) of children aged 1–14 years were subjected to psychological aggression within the family during the month preceding the survey (MONSTAT and UNICEF, MICS 2018) and 41% were subjected to physical punishment. On the other hand, 19% of respondents in Roma settlements believed that children need to be physically punished in order to bring up, raise, or educate them properly. It is encouraging that more than three quarters (77%) of Montenegrin inhabitants stated in 2016 that in order to enable parents to raise their children well and without corporal punishment, the state should provide education about positive discipline alternative methods and support parents in implementing them (Ipsos, 2016, KAP).
Strengthening parents’ and caregivers’ child-rearing skills is one of key strategies to prevent violence and abuse from the outset by reducing the factors that make families vulnerable to violent behavior and this is less costly than significant consequences of violence against children (UNICEF 2014 “Six Strategies to Prevent and Respond to Violence against Children“, WHO et al 2016 „INSPIRE“). Evidence supports a number of different delivery modalities as being effective, including home visits, group-based training and support in community settings, and parenting as a component of comprehensive interventions (WHO et al 2016 „INSPIRE“).
In Montenegro, the Law on Amendment of the Family Law from 2016 prohibits all form of violence against children including corporal punishment. In 2017, the first ever Strategy on the Prevention and Protection of Children from Violence (2017-2021) was adopted by the Government. Support to parents in child rearing is recognized in the Strategy and several specific activities are envisaged including to design positive parenting programmes. The current Strategy for Early and Preschool Education in Montenegro 2016-2020 envisages a pool of thematic programs "for strengthening parenting and taking an active role in the upbringing and learning of the child", while the Strategy for the Realization of Children’s Rights 2019-2023 as part of its Objective “End all forms of violence against children”, envisages the implementation of parenting programmes under the responsibility of the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare.
Since 2017, UNICEF Montenegro, in partnership with the Government of Montenegro and with the support of the European Union, has been supporting the implementation of the Parenting for Lifelong Health for Young Children programme in Montenegro. This parenting programme aims to establish and sustain positive, nurturing relationships between parents or caregivers and their children ages 2-9 years, and thereby prevent and reduce the risk of violence against children and maltreatment at home and in the community, improve child behavior in families and allow children to grow up in nurturing, supportive family environments. The programme is delivered in a group-based format (10-12 parents), and in Montenegro over 12 weekly sessions.
The parenting programme has been delivered since January 2018 by kindergartens, primary health care centres and civil society organizations in five cycles in five Montenegrin municipalities (Podgorica, Cetinje, Niksic, Bijelo Polje and Berane). Between January 2018 and May 2020, it reached 465 parents. During the fifth cycle, half of programme sessions were successfully delivered online during COVID-19 lockdown. So far two generations of facilitators have been trained (in total 48 professionals – mostly psychologists, pedagogues, nurses, and preschool teachers). The training programme was accredited by the Bureau for Education in 2019 and the Institute for Social and Child Protection in 2018. Furthermore, 6 national supervisors have being trained and certified (in spring 2020). The training of trainers of programme facilitators is expected to take place in late 2020 or early 2021. The evaluation (pre/post) that took place in Montenegro during the first cycle of programme implementation showed that this parenting program has led to a significant reduction in physical and emotional punishment of children, reduction in dysfunctional parenting, as well as to the improvement in the wellbeing of children and parents (the results of the implementation of programs elsewhere can be found on the WHO website). At its session held on December 3, 2018, the Committee on Human Rights and Freedoms of the Parliament of Montenegro recommended the expansion of the program to all municipalities in Montenegro.
With a view to securing programme scale up and sustainability at the national level, UNICEF in Montenegro is commissioning a feasibility assessment in order to develop recommendations for the Government of Montenegro on how the programme can be implemented at scale by national service providers. The report will also be relevant for the possible introduction of the Parenting for Lifelong Health Programme for Teens in the future.
This activity is part of the EU-funded Action “EU and UNICEF for Early Childhood Development in Montenegro” (2020-2023).
2. Purpose and Objective
The purpose of technical assistance is to facilitate sustainability and scaling up of the Parenting for Lifelong Health Programme for Young Children in Montenegro in order to contribute to strengthening positive parenting skills among parents and caregivers in Montenegro and enabling children in Montenegro to grow up in nurturing, supportive family environments.
The objective of technical assistance is to support institutionalizing the Parenting for Lifelong Health for Young Children Programme into the national system by:
- Documenting evidence for the effectiveness of the PLH for Young Children programme in Montenegro and internationally,
- Proposing modalities for institutionalizing the programme in terms of coordination and planning, programme delivery, monitoring and evaluation, drawing on examples from other countries,
- Costing the programme based on a costing tool that can be customized in the future as variables change,
- Sharing reflections on a broader strategy for parenting support in Montenegro with a continuum of services/programmes (e.g. in-person sessions, online programmes, RapidPro/text messages etc).
The data collection methodology could include desk review; online survey(s) combined with individual/group interviews/focus groups (to be held virtually due to the epidemiological situation) with line ministries, relevant institutions such as the Institute for Social and Child Protection, Bureau for Education, UNICEF, programme implementers from health, education and civil society sectors, parents who participated in the program, other parents, and PLH program developers and trainers; preparation of a report.
The consultant is expected to work from home during the entire assignment due to the epidemiological situation with the novel coronavirus. UNICEF CO in Montenegro will secure interpretation services and facilitate the scheduling of interviews.
The report should include the following elements:
- Provide a brief overview of parenting programmes and available cost-benefit analyses,
- Summarize the experiences with PLH at the global level as well as its implementation in Montenegro to date,
- Outline evidence of PLH effectiveness in Montenegro and elsewhere,
- Describe current programme delivery platforms in Montenegro (health, education, social welfare, civil society), recruitment/referral strategies and issues of accessibility for marginalized populations such as Roma families,
- Describe current governance/coordination and quality assurance mechanisms, training and supervision,
- Describe existing monitoring and evaluation systems,
- Cost the programme (based on a costing tool that can be customized in the future as variables change – to be included as a separate annex),
- Outline potential limitations or challenges regarding scaled up implementation, including a risk-analysis,
- Provide recommendations for institutionalizing the programme within national systems with reference to points d)-h),
- Put forward potential innovative practices for making parenting support (in addition to the face-to-face programme) available/accessible to as many families as possible.
- Executive summary (2 pages).
The length of the report should be approximately 40 pages.
4. Activities and Tasks
Under the direct supervision of UNICEF Early Childhood Education Officer, it is expected from Consultant to complete the following tasks:
- Develop a detailed methodology for the assignment including interview schedule based on desk review, up to 5 working days.
- Collect data from the field including cost data (individual/group interviews/focus groups/online surveys), up to 7 working days.
- Write and submit to UNICEF draft and then, based on received feedback, final report including a costing tool that can be customized in future as variables change – to be included as a separate annex, up to 15 working days.
The Consultant is expected to work not more than 27 working days in total.
5. Key deliverables and timeframe
The Consultant is expected to produce the following deliverables with the following tentative deadlines:
- Detailed methodology for the assignment including data collection schedule based on a desk review, by 20 November 2020.
- Draft feasibility assessment report including a costing tool that can be customized in the future as variables change – to be included as a separate annex, by 4 January 2021.
- Final feasibility assessment report including the abovementioned costing tool, by 25 January 2021.
6. Management and organization
Management: The consultant will be supervised by the UNICEF Early Childhood Education Officer.
Organization: International Consultancy, individual, is required, meeting the criteria described below.
Schedule: The consultant will be engaged over the period from 16 November 2020 until 31 January 2021 for in total 27 working days.
7. Qualifications and requirements
The consultant is expected to meet the following requirements:
- Advanced University degree in social intervention, public health, social policy or a similar technical field;
- At least 7 years of professional experience with parenting programmes;
- Experience in conducting similar assessments for taking family strengthening and positive parenting initiatives to scale;
- Previous work experience with UNICEF/ UN or other international organizations is an asset;
- Excellent command of either English or local language (spoken and written);
- Excellent interpersonal and communication skills;
- Excellent writing skills, presentation skills, strong strategic and analytical skills, computer skills, negotiations skills;
- Demonstrated tact and high sense of responsibility and discretion;
- Demonstrates integrity and high ethical standards;
- Displays cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality and age sensitivity and adaptability.
8. Application procedure
- To apply for the vacant position please submit, CV, cover letter and P-11 form
- Candidates are requested to submit a financial offer as a separate document consisting of daily professional fee.
9. Selection method:
All applicants will be screened against the qualifications and requirements set above. Candidates fully meeting all the requirements will be further evaluated based on the criteria below:
a. Technical Evaluation - Interview – 70% of total evaluation – max. 70 points
• Education: 10 points
• Previous experience: 20 points
• Technical questions at the interview: 30 points
• Other: 10 points
Only candidates who obtain a score of at least 70% in the Technical Evaluation (i.e. who score at least 49 points) will qualify for financial proposal evaluation.
b. Financial Evaluation - 30 % of total evaluation – max. 30 points.
Financial scores will be calculated using the following formula [lowest offer / financial offer of the candidate x 30].
Upon conducting the recruitment process and prior to the signing of the contract, the consultant will be required to complete the following online courses. All certificates should be presented as part of the contract.
- Ethics and Integrity at UNICEF
- Prevention of Sexual Harassment and Abuse of Authority
- Sexual Exploitation Abuse (PSEA)
The courses can be found at the following link: UNICEF Mandatory Training/Learning Classes. Course completion certificates should be shared and retained with the human resources unit of the hiring office.
11. Budget and Remuneration
- Payment schedule
The payments will be made upon successful completion of the deliverables and submission of invoices.
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.
For every Child, you need to demonstrate UNICEF's values of Care, Respect, Integrity, Trust, and Accountability (CRITA) and core competencies in Communication, Working with People and Drive for Results.
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.
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.
Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted and advance to the next stage of the selection process