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.
This consultancy requires a high level of specialization and expertise in the intercultural approach but also in the knowledge in the development of culturally sensible educational materials in indigenous languages.
Given the progress achieved in 2020 with the products of the consultancies on i) the systematization of good practices in the responses to the care of indigenous children and adolescents; ii) the repository of materials and iii) the protocol for the development of educational materials for IBE with cultural and linguistic relevance; It is necessary that during 2021 we include this consultancy with the level of expertise that allows accompanying the countries in the use / application of all those tools and systematized knowledge to continue advancing in closing gaps in the attention to students of indigenous peoples, a population that in 2020 has been the most neglected and in all the countries of the region the one that has been left out of the educational services.
It is important to guarantee the accompaniment with an expert in management of intercultural bilingual education systems with strong experience in public management, which allows knowing the mechanisms and strategies to work with the technical teams of the ministries in charge of these tasks.
For every child, education
UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate this commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children.
UNICEF Latin America and the Caribbean Regional Office is based in Panama City, and operates in 36 countries and territories, through 24 national offices spread throughout the region.
UNICEF works to put the rights and well-being of the most disadvantaged children at the center of the social, political and economic agenda, in line with our equity approach, working across our organization and with our partners in government, civil society and the private sector to support public policy changes, drive social participation, and increase investment for children.
According to IWGIA data, in Latin America there are more than 45 million people who belong to more than 800 indigenous peoples, of which half have less than 3,000 people. 1 And 1 of every 3 inhabitants in the region is Afro-descendant.
The health crisis has hit indigenous peoples and Afro-descendants hard. So far in the pandemic, the children and adolescents of these towns are the ones who have been most affected in their right to access education. Most of the countries in the region have difficulties in getting educational service to the rural areas where the territories of a large percentage of the indigenous population are located, due to the lack of electricity and internet, and thousands of indigenous students have left without access to education.
According to official data collected in the "UNICEF Call to Action"2, the gaps in access to connectivity are enormous in the region: in Colombia only 34% of students in rural areas have internet and 66% in urban areas. In Paraguay, only 8% of indigenous girls and boys have access to the internet, 92% do not have this service. In Ecuador, only 11% of poor households access the internet, including the majority of the indigenous population. In Peru, only 1% of students in rural areas, with the majority indigenous population, have access to “Aprendo en casa (I learn at home)” classes on the web, 38% access through TV and 52% access through radio3. There are 48% of students from rural areas who do not access any of the three platforms designed for distance education.
On International Women's Day, UNICEF Regional Director pointed out that “today more than ever it is urgent to guarantee all rights to all girls and boys without any discrimination, especially in access to basic services such as education. It is worried that girls and adolescents from the various indigenous communities in our region do not have access to inclusive education, in intercultural and bilingual aspects. They are barriers that translate into lower learning achievements and that are widening the inequality gap”. 4
Faced with this situation, the education section of LACRO has formed a regional team of education specialists from the country offices to analyze the situation of children and adolescents of indigenous and Afro-descendant populations and their access to education in times of COVID-19, with the objective of identifying the critical and common challenges faced by intercultural bilingual education (IBE).
The team has identified the following points:
- Although in some countries there had been advances in basic services, particularly with regards to intercultural bilingual education (IBE), the forced closure of schools in most countries is affecting the indigenous populations more severely. Countries seek to serve boys and girls who cannot attend school at this time, however inequities and inequality are much more starkly revealed due to not having invested more in education.
- Most countries have opted for various forms of distance education, using the Internet, TV or radio. However, it is precise the indigenous and Afro-descendant populations, the majority in rural areas, who have the most difficulties in accessing education, either because there is no coverage or because they do not stably have access to electricity, Internet, or the instruments to follow the learning sessions.
- Although there are countries that are offering distance education in native languages, in most of them, it is offered only in the predominant language (Spanish, Portuguese) or there is not enough cultural relevance in the learning contents. Only four countries in the region offer it in native languages. In Peru, for example, of the 47 indigenous languages, distance education programs are being offered only in 9 languages, those with the largest number of speakers.
- Likewise, in the context of distance education, there have been deficiencies in digital skills for indigenous girls and boys, as well as for the teachers who serve these groups.
- All the ancestral wisdom and knowledge of the community is being wasted, and the role that indigenous wise men and women can play. The health crisis has also revealed many damages to the environment, which affects the quality of life of these populations and progress towards the goals of sustainable development.
- In 2020, five countries in the region began pilot experiences to reopen schools with a hybrid blended strategy with a view to plan the progressive return of students to the classroom by 2021. However, the second wave suggests that a good part of the school year will remain virtual and that it is urgent to improve remote education strategies for indigenous rural areas.
- Many low-income students have dropped out of school in all countries, and it is very likely that many indigenous and Afro-descendant boys and girls who are not receiving educational services will also drop out and will not return again, given the situation of poverty, and the fact that their families engage in informal work.
2 UNICEF: UNICEF Call to Action - Indigenous communities and the right to education in times of COVID-19.
3 MINEDU – DIGEIBIRA: Pedagogical proposal "I learn at home" Rural Monolingual Spanish and IBE with digital technologies. Working paper. June 2020.
4 Message from the Regional Director of UNICEF in the webinar “INDIGENOUS WOMEN IN LEADERSHIP: FOR THE EQUAL FUTURE IN THE WORLD OF COVID-19”.
How can you make a difference?
Purpose of the Assignment
Under the overall guidance of the Inclusive Specialist and taking into consideration the critical points mentioned above, it is proposed to carry out an in-depth analysis of the improvements in responses that the countries, after the experiences and difficulties of the previous year, are anticipating and executing works in 2021, using the various materials educational resources that were designed to better reach students, particularly indigenous and Afro-descendant students. To this end, the use of the regional repository of educational materials and resources for the IBE will be monitored and supported, as well as the protocol for the adaptation and elaboration of materials with cultural and linguistic relevance for indigenous and Afro-descendant students at the pre-primary, primary and secondary levels. These products will make it possible to support government initiatives effectively and in a more organized way, with creative and sustainable solutions.
1. Prepare a report on the new responses that the countries of the region are giving this year 2021, to guarantee educational service to students from indigenous and Afro-descendant populations, improving the remote education strategies developed in 2020. To do this:
- Identify the new aspects that allow a better reach to indigenous and Afro-descendant students.
- Identify the resources and materials that have been designed for students and teachers.
- Systematize examples of new good practices for remote educational assistance to indigenous and Afro-descendant students with an inclusive, intercultural and bilingual approach.
- Identify the difficulties and challenges that persist in serving indigenous and Afro-descendant students.
2. Provide support to the countries (at least three) in the use of the “Repository of Resources and Learning Materials of the LAC Region for indigenous children”. For that:
- Prepare a report on the materials most used by the countries, both by the states and by other institutions of civil society and indigenous organizations.
- Identify difficulties in using the repository and provide recommendations for its improvement.
3. Advise / support the countries (at least three), both government entities (public) and institutions of civil society and indigenous organizations, in the use of the “Protocol for the adaptation and preparation of teaching materials for pre-primary, primary and secondary education of indigenous peoples”, so that they can have culturally and linguistically relevant materials to serve indigenous students. For it:
- Draft a report on the processes of preparing materials in indigenous languages and / or in Spanish with cultural relevance that are being developed in some countries, using the Protocol.
- Identify successes and difficulties in the use of the Protocol and provide recommendations for its improvement.
4. Collect information on the school reopening in indigenous territories and / or Afro-descendant communities of some countries in the region, reporting the following:
- The improvement of the basic infrastructure and conditions of the schools: provision of water, bathrooms, spaces for social distancing, and cleaning and disinfection of spaces and furniture, etc.
- Design and application of biosafety protocols against Covid-19: use of masks, differentiated schedules (entry, breakfast and lunch, recess, outings), use of thermometers, hand washing, social distancing of students, etc.
- Participation of the community and parents in the entire reopening process, from improving school conditions and defining the protocol, to permanently monitoring notices for the success of face-to-face or blended education in pandemic.
- Development of learning processes in schools: role of teachers, attitudes of students, prioritization of skills, leveling of learning, evaluation, among others.
- Opinions and notices from indigenous and Afro-descendant organizations about the school reopening and face-to-face or blended classes in their communities, as well as their recommendations to guarantee the safety of students, their families and the communities.
5. Recommendations of key actions for advocacy and implementation of IBE skills strengthening projects with an inclusive focus on key actors in the education systems.
1. Systematization of new responses in 2021 concerning IBE in the non face-to-face modality for indigenous and Afro-descendant populations, based on the experiences gained in 2020.
2. Report on the use of the regional repository of resources and materials, with recommendations for its improvement.
3. Report on the application of the Protocol for the adaptation and preparation of educational materials with cultural and linguistic relevance for the IBE, and recommendations for its improvement.
4. Gather information on the school reopening and the development of the face-to-face or blended modality in indigenous territories.
5. Recommendations of key actions for advocacy and implementation of projects to strengthen inclusion competencies in key actors of the educational systems.
1. Sistematización de nuevas respuestas en el año 2021 de atención con EIB en la modalidad no presencial a las poblaciones indígenas y afrodescendientes, en base a las experiencias ganadas en el 2020. [45 days]
2. Report on the use of the regional repository of resources and materials, with recommendations for its improvement. [70 days]
3. Report on the application of the Protocol for the adaptation and preparation of educational materials with cultural and linguistic relevance for the IBE, and recommendations for its improvement. [100 days]
4. Gather information on the school reopening and the development of the face-to-face or blended modality in indigenous territories. [130 days]
5. Recommendations of key actions for advocacy and implementation of projects to strengthen inclusion competencies in key actors of the educational systems. [160 days]
Supervision: The contractor will work under the supervision of the Education Specialist [Inclusion].
Workplace: This is a home based consultancy. No travel is involved.
Duration: This contract is expected to start on 15 May 2021 with an estimated duration of 6 months.
How to apply: Applications should be submitted online and should include: online application, resume, cover letter and financial proposal. Qualified candidates are requested to submit daily and monthly fees in their financial proposal.
To qualify as a champion for every child you will have…
- University degree on inclusive intercultural education, anthropology, social sciences or related fields. Masters or specialization degrees will be an advantage.
- A minimum of 10 years of experience providing technical assistance to international agencies and governments in the LAC Region.
- A good understanding of inclusive development is required with a bilingual intercultural approach and a proven track record in systematizing information on issues of inclusive education for indigenous and Afro-descendant girls, boys and adolescents.
- Developing country work experience and/or familiarity with emergency is considered an asset.
- Fluency in English and Spanish is required. Knowledge of French, Portuguese or a local language is an asset.
- Technical Knowledge: An expert in bilingual intercultural education issues with experience in revising, validating and analyzing materials in indigenous languages and knowledge of indigenous peoples and languages.
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.
To view our competency framework, please visit here.
Click here to learn more about UNICEF’s values and competencies.
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.
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.
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.