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Consultancy: ECE Education Sector Planning Consultant - Education Section, PD, NYHQ/Home based - Req # 540065

New York City (United States of America)

  • Organization: UNICEF - United Nations Children’s Fund
  • Location: New York City (United States of America)
  • Grade: Consultant - Contractors Agreement - Consultancy
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Operations and Administrations
    • Education, Learning and Training
  • Closing Date: 2021-05-14

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The purpose of this consultancy is to provide technical support in the area of education sector planning to ensure that that ECE is systematically integrated in Education Sector Planning processes. The consultancy will contribute to advancing UNICEF’s strategy for ECE, including the effective implementation of the KIX project.

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, hope.


Consultancy Title: ECE Education Sector Planning Consultant

Section/Division/Duty Station: Education Section, PD, New York/home based

Duration: 140 days over a period of 11.5 months



If you are a committed, creative professional and are passionate about making a lasting difference for children, the world's leading children's rights organization would like to hear from you. For 70 years, UNICEF has been working on the ground in 190 countries and territories to promote children's survival, protection and development. The world's largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments. UNICEF has over 12,000 staff in more than 145 countries.



The Education Section based in New York supports UNICEF’s commitment to advancing access, participation and relevant learning outcomes for marginalized children in its policy leadership and support to countries for excellence in programming.  Guided by the vision in the UNICEF Strategic Plan (2018-2030), Goal 2 “Every child learns”, the Education Section leads global efforts for development of evidence-based policy guidance, standard setting and programme approaches to pre-primary education. Under its Education Strategy (2019-2030), UNICEF has identified early childhood education (ECE) as one of its priority areas and strategic shifts to address the global learning crisis at its roots. Furthermore, UNICEF is scaling up its investment in pre-primary education with a decisive commitment to allocate 10% of its education resources to catalyze ECE results. UNICEF is committed to elevating the priority and status of pre-primary education by ensuring that it is systematically integrated in Education Sector Planning processes.

As part of these efforts, UNICEF Education Section was awarded a Knowledge and Innovation Exchange (KIX) grant to scale up an innovative approach and global toolkit to in-country capacity development for enhancing ECE analysis, planning and implementation (called the “BELDS approach”). This KIX project aims to support the effective and strategic integration of the pre-primary sub-sector within Education Sector Planning processes in five Global Partnership for Education (GPE) member countries (Sierra Leone; South Sudan; Tajikistan; Lesotho; Kyrgyzstan), while generating and mobilizing global knowledge on ECE policy and practice through the refinement and expansion of a comprehensive global e-toolkit (the “ECE Accelerator: Analysis and Planning Toolkit”) meant to support the scale up of quality ECE across all GPE member countries. UNICEF leads on this project, with its partners World Bank and Early Childhood Development Action Network (ECDAN).


The purpose of this consultancy is to provide technical support in the area of education sector planning to ensure that that ECE is systematically integrated in Education Sector Planning processes. The consultancy will contribute to advancing UNICEF’s strategy for ECE, including the effective implementation of the KIX project, which involves 3 main streams of work:

  • Stream 1: Country engagement in Sierra Leone, South Sudan and Tajikistan to further test, adapt and contextualize BELDS approach and the ECE Accelerator toolkit;
  • Stream 2: Country engagement in Kyrgyz Republic and Lesotho to test and adapt BELDS in implementation, review, monitoring and evaluation cycles; and
  • Stream 3: Ongoing knowledge generation, mobilization and sharing.

Terms of Reference / Deliverables

Working with the Education Section and the KIX project team, the consultant will provide technical expertise and support to countries (including KIX countries) with strengthening ECE in the context of education sector planning processes.  More specifically, the consultant will:

  1. Provide advisory and technical support (as relevant) to selected countries to strengthen ECE in education sector plans and associated operational/implementation plans and M&E frameworks (using the relevant tools from the ECE Accelerator Toolkit).  This includes:
    • Advice on planning for ECE:
      • reviewing the ESPs, operational/implementation plans to ensure that ECE is well-integrated and that there is alignment between ECE components and broader sector-wide components (policy directions, strategies, activities)
    • Technical support on M&E aspects for ECE. This includes:
      • supporting country teams, as needed, to define ECE outcomes, output indicators and targets for the ESP/operational plans and M&E frameworks
      • working with country teams, as needed, to render operational the ECE-specific M&E strategies
      • reviewing the M&E framework, ESP and tools for reporting on implementation progress and ensure that the ECE outcome and output indicators are well defined, measurable and that they contain timeframes and targets
      • reviewing the consistency of the monitoring tools and evaluation system for ECE at the national and sub-national levels
      • supporting the integration of ECE in Education Management Information Systems (EMIS), as needed
    • Technical support on costing and financing of ECE.  This includes:
      • reviewing ESP financial framework, planned ECE cost projections in light of expected financial resources, and suggest adjustments to ECE section of ESP based on realistic targets
      • reviewing the policy actions and reforms proposed in the ECE section of ESP for possible financial implications and proposing adjustments as needed
      • reviewing and advising on ECE financial frameworks, national and sub-national institutional arrangements for financing of ECE, etc.
    • Overall technical and strategic advice on strengthening ECE in ESPs.
  2. Support capacity building, knowledge exchange and learning around the BELDS approach and ECE Accelerator Toolkit in the area of ECE planning, costing/financing and M&E, through:
    • participation in webinars, “HQ office hours”, and other types of exchange meetings/events;
    • contribution to development of communications assets or other learning resources (ex. short videos on specific tools of the ECE Accelerator Toolkit).
  3. Contribute to the refinement and expansion of the ECE Accelerator Toolkit in the area of analysis, planning and monitoring/review of ECE plans, based on users’ feedback on the toolkit. This includes:
    • revising or improving key tools of the toolkit as needed;
    • supporting the development of new tools that may be identified to support ECE analysis, planning, and monitoring/review (more specifically, Section 5 of the toolkit on reporting ECE progress and engaging in review processes);
    • supporting the development of country examples such as populated tools or short case studies (as needed and relevant);

developing resources/tools (ex. tip sheet) to guide UNICEF country offices’ planning of their ECE programmes (how UNICEF country programmes align with ECE components of ESP development, implementation and monitoring).


(1) Education

  • Master’s Degree in economics, education, social sciences, statistics or another relevant field.  Knowledge and experience in early childhood education is a plus. Graduate or post-graduate qualifications in M&E highly desired.

2) Work experience

  • At least 8 years’ experience in supporting ESP processes, including designing and implementing M&E frameworks and plans.

3) Competencies

  • Extensive experience working with multilateral or bilateral agencies in the area of ESPs and M&E
  • Excellent analytical skills, including analysis of both quantitative and qualitative data and problem solving.
  • In-depth understanding of the capacity constraints and opportunities for reform within systems and processes
  • Excellent analytical, written and oral communication skills.  Ability to communicate clearly and sensitively with internal and external stakeholders
  • Excellent inter-personal skills with a demonstrated ability to work in partnership with diverse teams and stakeholders
  • Ability to work in a multicultural environment
  • Fluency in English. Competency in another UN language preferred


  • Completed profile in UNICEF's e-Recruitment system and provide Personal History Form (P11) Upload copy of academic credentials
  • Financial proposal that will include:
  • your daily/monthly rate (in US$) to undertake the terms of reference
    • travel costs and daily subsistence allowance, if internationally recruited or travel is required as per TOR.
    • Any other estimated costs: visa, health insurance, and living costs as applicable.
    • Indicate your availability
  • Any emergent / unforeseen duty travel and related expenses will be covered by UNICEF.
  • At the time the contract is awarded, the selected candidate must have in place current health insurance coverage.
  • Payment of professional fees will be based on submission of agreed satisfactory 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.

U.S. Visa information:

With the exception of the US Citizens, G4 Visa and Green Card holders, should the selected candidate and his/her household members reside in the United States under a different visa, the consultant and his/her household members are required to change their visa status to G4, and the consultant’s household members (spouse) will require an Employment Authorization Card (EAD) to be able to work, even if he/she was authorized to work under the visa held prior to switching to G4.  

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

For every Child, you demonstrate…

UNICEF’s core values of Commitment, Diversity and Integrity and core competencies in Communication, Working with People and Drive for Results. View our competency framework at: Here

UNICEF is committed to diversity and inclusion within its workforce, and encourages all candidates, irrespective of gender, race, sexual orientation, nationality, culture, appearance, socio-economic status, ability, age, religious and ethnic backgrounds 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, therefore, undergo rigorous reference and background checks, and will be expected to adhere to these standards and principles.

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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