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Roster of local consultants in the Social and Economic Policy Unit at the Office of Research - Innocenti, Florence Italy

Florence (United States of America)

  • Organization: UNICEF - United Nations Children’s Fund
  • Location: Florence (United States of America)
  • Grade: Consultant - Contractors Agreement - Consultancy
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Scientist and Researcher
    • Legal - Broad
    • Economics
  • Closing Date: 2021-03-07

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The purpose of this call is to solicit applications for a Roster from individuals who are interested in working with the SEP unit in a consulting capacity.

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, Research

How can you make a difference?

1. Background

The UNICEF Office of Research - Innocenti (OoR) undertakes high-quality research that contributes to evidence-informed policy making.

Research activities are carried out in five main streams:

• Impact evaluation (quantitative and qualitative) of cash transfers and other social protection policy interventions on child wellbeing in low- and middle-income countries (Transfer Project; Gender Responsive and Age Sensitive Social Protection research programme or GRASSP);
• Research on multidimensional child poverty and policy responses;
• Comparative analysis of child well-being and policies in high-income countries, including Innocenti Report Cards;
• Research on public finance for children (COVID-19 and social spending and children, role of social spending in children’s wellbeing);
• Research on the strengthening of social protection systems (political economy analysis, financial sustainability and fiscal space analysis, building an investment case for social protection);

The purpose of this call is to solicit applications from individuals who are interested in working with the SEP unit in a consulting capacity.

Following the close of this call, an initial screening and short list will be made, from which selected candidates will be interviewed by SEP senior staff. Approved applicants will be placed on a pre-approved roster which will remain valid for a period of 24 months.

2. Duration of roster-based consultancies:

Consultancy arrangements may range from a fixed number of days to 11.5 months, depending on demand, project specifications and funding availability and will be subject to UNICEF General Conditions of Contracts for the Services of Consultants / Individual Contractors. Click here to view Download File General Terms & Conditions for Consultants and Individual Contractors.docx

3. Supervision and work arrangements:

Consultants who are selected from the roster will work under the supervision of the Chief of the Social and Economic Policy Unit and other senior staff in the unit.
Consultants may either be locally based in Florence (in which case they will need to have / get a valid permit of stay in Italy) or may work remotely, depending on requirements for each position.
Longer-term consultants of six to 11.5 months will usually work an average of 18-20 days per month and will be entitled to 1.5 days of leave per month plus official UN holidays. The Office of Research will not cover travel expenses to take on the assignment.
The work may include incidental travel to participate in field work, workshops or conferences; such travel will be governed by UNICEF travel policies for consultants.

4. Specifications by research streams

Consultants will work under the supervision of the Chief of Social and Economic Policy and other senior staff in the SEP unit.

a) Transfer Project and GRASSP

We are seeking consultants who can support research carried out under the Transfer Project and the GRASSP research programme at a range of levels (MA, pre-doc, post-doc and senior researchers). Thematic areas under which the Transfer Project is currently working include 1) cash transfers in development settings; 2) cash plus and system linkages; and 3) social protection in fragile/humanitarian settings. Current impact evaluations carried out under the Transfer Project with UNICEF Innocenti involvement include Ghana, Jordan, Lebanon, Malawi, Kenya, Zambia, Tanzania and Zimbabwe. New countries may join the Transfer Project portfolio over the period of the consultancy. More information on the Transfer Project initiative and outputs can be found here: https://transfer.cpc.unc.edu/

The Gender-Responsive Age-Sensitive Social Protection (GRASSP) research programme, seeks to strengthen the gender-responsiveness of social protection systems in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) by building a robust evidence base focused on ‘what works’, ‘how’ and ‘why’ to contribute to enhanced gender equality outcomes. The second workstream of GRASSP aims to unpack change pathways by exploring design & implementation features through impact evaluations. Currently, research is being conducted in Tanzania, Burkina Faso and Ethiopia. New countries may join the GRASSP research programme over the period of the consultancy.

The consultant(s) will carry out analysis of already collected data to provide rigorous evidence on the impact of national cash transfers programmes in SSA on a range of household, adolescent, and child outcomes related to development and protection. In addition, the consultant(s) may support new and on-going data collection efforts as needed. While staff in SEP currently work primarily on empirical evaluations and analysis, we are seeking to recruit consultants with quantitative and/or qualitative skills, to complement current ongoing and future work. Individuals with mixed methods competencies should specify this capability.

Specific activities may include:

• Questionnaire and protocol preparation, enumerator training, fieldwork observation, and report writing related to new and on-going quantitative and qualitative data collection efforts;
• Data cleaning and analysis;
• In-depth country-level analysis and manuscript writing related to impacts of cash transfers on child, adolescent, household well-being and gender equality outcomes and examine pathways of impact;
• Cross-country comparative research on the impacts of cash transfers on child, adolescent and/or household well-being and gender equality outcomes, including food security, schooling, mental health, transition to adulthood, child nutritional status, violence, child labor, and more;
• Dissemination of research findings including production of briefs, blogs and presentation at workshops, conferences and other events;
• Contribution to proposal and funding efforts for additional research streams under the Transfer Project, as well as current grant reporting;
• Capacity building of Transfer Project partners and UNICEF Country Office staff, around research and evaluation methods related to Transfer Project evaluation case studies.

b) Child Poverty

The team is redeveloping its stream of work on child poverty, in line with organizational strategy. This work stream will involve policy-based analysis to contribute to current goals and innovative exploratory work to identify new themes.

Specific activities include:
• Improvements to the conceptualization and measurement of child poverty in different contexts;
• Qualitative work on children’s and adult’s understandings of child poverty;
• Statistical and econometric analysis of primary and secondary data;
• Technical support and training to UNICEF country offices and National Committees and their national counterparts (e.g. national statistical offices);
• Contribute to funding proposals for new research on child poverty.

c) Innocenti Report Card and other research in high-income countries

In keeping with UNICEF's global mandate to advocate for the rights of all the world’s children, the longstanding Innocenti Report Card series focuses on the well-being of children in high-income countries. Designed to appeal to a wide audience while maintaining academic rigour, Innocenti Report Cards include one or more league tables ranking countries on aspects of child well-being. This work stream also includes other projects on social policy issues affecting children in high-income countries.

Activities under this stream of work include:
• Literature reviewing and synthesis;
• Sourcing and managing databases of indicators, figures, data sources, etc. in Excel or using other platforms;
• Statistical analysis of primary and secondary data;
• Preparing working papers and reports (or sections of) to publication standard.

d) Research on public finance for children
This work stream will involve the analysis of social spending and public finance in line with UNICEF’s strategic priorities.

Activities under this workstream include:
• Fiscal incidence analysis;
• Monitoring of social spending overall and social spending that affects children;
• Assessing the impact of social spending on children’s wellbeing and equity;
• Assessing the impact of shocks on social spending e.g. COVID-19;
• Assessing the child sensitivity and gender responsiveness of public finance;
• Collation and analysis of secondary data including sub-national public spending;
• Macroeconomic analysis and modelling;
• Technical support and training to UNICEF regional and country offices and their national counterparts (e.g. national statistical offices);
• Contribute to funding proposals for new research on public finance for children.

e) Research on the strengthening of social protection systems
This work stream seeks to strengthen the evidence around the key factors that strengthen social protection systems. It also includes the third research stream of GRASSP that aims to investigate how gender is institutionalized into social protection systems.

Activities under this workstream include:
• Political economy analysis of social protection systems and policy reforms in developing countries (horizontal and vertical governance, norms);
• Analysis of financial sustainability and fiscal space for social protection;
• Building investment cases for social protection through various methods e.g. cost of inaction, benefit-cost ratios, cost-efficiency and cost-effectiveness analysis, microsimulation modelling of returns to investment, local economy wide impact evaluation modelling (LEWIE);
• Macro-econometric modelling; assessing impacts of social protection at macro level including CGE modelling and social accounting matrices of social protection;
• Technical support and training to UNICEF regional and country offices and their national counterparts (e.g. national statistical offices):
• Contribute to funding proposals for new research on the strengthening of social protection systems.

5. Qualifications and/or specialized knowledge/experience required and desirable for being included in the roster

a) Quantitative researcher:
Essential:
 At least a Master degree in statistics, economics, public policy, public health or related field;
 Demonstrated experience at analysing large-scale household and/or school-based survey data, preferably in regard to children’s outcomes; experience with longitudinal data an asset;
 Ability to carry out statistical analyses autonomously;
 Excellent analytical skills and advanced quantitative skills:
 Ability to organize own work and to carry out a research project with limited supervision according to deadlines;
 Ability to speak and write fluently in English;
 Excellent knowledge of Stata and other statistical packages;
 Willingness to undertake project-related travel (depending on the project);

Desirable:
 Current knowledge of key issues in international development policy, notably as these are related to multidimensional child poverty, social policies and development assistance;
 Experience with survey design, field work and data collection;
 Knowledge of and/or experience in macro-econometric modelling and time series analyses;
 Experience of fiscal incidence analysis;
 Experience in political economy analysis;
 Knowledge of and experience in gender analysis/research;
 Recent (high quality) publications on relevant topics;
 Ability to work in a multi-cultural environment and establish harmonious and effective working relationships both within and outside the organisation;
 Fluency in other languages including French, Spanish, Arabic, and non-UN languages.

b) Qualitative researcher:
Essential:
 At least a Master degree in public policy, sociology, anthropology, public health or related field;
 Demonstrated experience at analysing diverse forms of qualitative data (participatory research, key informant interviews, focus groups), preferably in regard to children’s outcomes;
 Ability to carry out analyses autonomously, including hypothesis building and thematic analysis;
 Ability to organize own work and to carry out a research project with limited supervision according to deadlines;
 Ability to speak and write fluently in English;
 Willingness to undertake project-related travel.

Desirable:
 Current knowledge of key issues in international development policy, notably as these are related to social policies;
 Knowledge and competency in at least one qualitative analysis software (Nvivo, Atlas TI or others);
 Experience of qualitative research design;
 Experience with field work and qualitative data collection (including development of interview guides and enumerator training);
 Experience of qualitative research in developing settings;;
 Knowledge of and experience in gender analysis/research
 Knowledge of and/or experience in political economy analysis;
 Recent (high quality) qualitative or mixed-methods publications on relevant topics;
 Ability to work in a multi-cultural environment and establish harmonious and effective working relationships both within and outside the organisation;
 Fluency in other languages; including French, Spanish, Arabic, and non-UN languages.

6. Instructions for applicants

To apply, please submit your CV and an application letter indicating:

• preferred work stream (Transfer Project/GRASSP; Child Poverty; Comparative analysis of child wellbeing/Report Card; Public Finance for Children, Strengthening Social Protection Systems), note applicants can apply simultaneously to more than one work stream;
• preferred type of consultant (Quantitative researcher, Qualitative researcher, Mixed-methods expert);
• all-inclusive daily rate in USD;
• contact details (including emails and telephone numbers) of two professional referees.

Any application missing these elements will not be considered.

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.

Remarks:

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

Depending on the type and length of contract, you may be eligible to receive Paid Time Off (PTO) credit at the rate of one- and one-half days (1.5 days) for each full month of service, to be credited on the last calendar day of the month, and up to 17 days for a maximum of 11.5 months contract. 

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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