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Consultancy, Development of Resources on Gender Transformative Approach to Parenting & Ensuring a Gender Perspective into ECD Programmes, for the Caribbean

Panama City (Panama)

  • Organization: UNICEF - United Nations Children’s Fund
  • Location: Panama City (Panama)
  • Grade: Consultant - Contractors Agreement - Consultancy
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Children's rights (health and protection)
    • Education, Learning and Training
    • Women's Empowerment and Gender Mainstreaming
    • Sexual and reproductive health
    • Project and Programme Management
    • Monitoring and Evaluation
  • Closing Date: 2021-10-22

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The UNICEF Regional Office is looking for a consultant to join our Education, Child Protection and Gender team to develop resources on a gender transformative approach to parenting, as well as ensuring a gender perspective into early childhood development programmes to inform and support policy development in the Caribbean.

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, a fair chance 

UNICEF advocates for and promotes an integral approach to early childhood development (ECD) that includes, early learning and quality education programmes, maternal and child nutrition, protection, health care interventions and family support services. Providing children and their caregivers adequate multisector interventions and special services is determinant for their present and future wellbeing. As part of UNICEF’s commitment to gender equality, ensuring a gender perspective into early childhood policies and practices – with caregivers and children alike – is equally prioritized.
 
One of the priorities is to support the development of evidence-based policies and practices that address caregivers’ unmet needs in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. Women and girls tend to do most of the caring for sick family members, household chores, and childcare responsibilities. COVID-19 has highlighted the critical role of caregiving and how it can fuel gender inequality. It has brought to the fore the fundamental role of caregivers, and the disproportionate impact on women and girls as one key facets of gender inequality. It has also resulted in the closure of many services – including schools and day care centres – shifting the responsibilities for their provision onto households. In addition, COVID-19-related school closure may see more girls than boys with increased caregiving work, resulting in possible gender gaps in education. However, the crisis also presents an opportunity for gender roles to shift within the home, to transform caregiving, including rigid ideas around masculinities.
 
The optimal development of children will depend on the interactions they have with their primary caregivers, including care that responds to their specific needs and caregiving roles. For this, it is important that countries prioritize policies and practices that are oriented towards the changing social norms where men are increasingly assuming roles as caregivers and the evolving family structures (two-parent, single-parent, adolescent mother/age-disparate, same-sex parents, mixed race and multi-generational). Promoting active fatherhood and shared responsibility in household task and care work will reduce stress, increase girls and adolescent’s time to learning and strengthening social networks, and contribute to greater family well-being.
 
Many of the issues related to interpersonal, or family, violence are grounded in gendered stereotypes and social norms that see violence as an appropriate response to day-to-day issues throughout the life cycle. Studies have shown that violence by caregivers is the most common form of violence experienced by children, and young children are generally most vulnerable to serious injury from physical violence, with fatal cases often found among infants. When violence occurs among parents or caregivers, particularly intimate partner violence against women, violence against children can occur – with a range of consequences for both adult survivors and young children’s mental and physical well-being. No matter what form of violence a child is exposed to, their experience may lead to serious and lifelong consequences. It is increasingly recognized that the intersections between violence against women and violence against children has implications for the integral development, education and social integration of girls, boys and adolescents.
 
Children also witness violence against women at home, siblings can witness incest and sexual violence predominantly against girls, but also boys. With the intergenerational nature of family violence, children witnessing or experiencing such violence are more likely to perpetuate and/or experience such violence as adolescents and adults. The rates of violence against women in the Caribbean, were already alarmingly high prior to Covid-19 and all indications show that these rates are increasing across countries.
 
Violence Against Children (VAC) has been established as a flagship priority for the UNICEF LAC, requiring inter-sectoral actions to contribute to its elimination. Within the UNICEF Gender Action Plan, gender socialization and gender-responsive parenting have been highlighted as key focus areas for collaboration work with ECD both to contribute to better ECD outcomes, as well as to bring together multisector responses to VAC. ECD and parenting practices have been highlighted within the Caribbean Regional Programme of the EU-UN Spotlight Initiative to end Violence Against Women and Girls. UNICEF, as co-lead with UNFPPA on the prevention pillar, has prioritized the strengthening of Care for Childhood Development, and other ECD, strategies. The current assignment will include a deep dive into Caribbean countries in selected products as a foundational contribution to the Spotlight Initiative Caribbean Regional Programme.
 
Therefore, UNICEF LACRO plans to hire an experienced consultant to support the ECD, Child Protection and Gender team to develop parenting guidelines and resources that links early child development with a gender transformative approach to raise awareness on the importance of positive parenting and gender socialization as a key strategy to reduce and prevent violence in early childhood and exposure to family violence as well as improve the wellbeing for young people and their families across the Caribbean.

How can you make a difference?

Purpose of the Assignment
 
Under the overall guidance of the Regional ECD Manager and in collaboration with the Child Protection and Gender teams, the consultant will develop guidelines and resources on gender transformative approach to parenting, as well as ensuring a gender perspective into early childhood development programmes to inform and support policy development in the Caribbean.
 
Specific Tasks
 
Under the direct supervision of the Regional ECD Manager and in collaboration with the Child Protection and Gender teams, the consultant will be working on:
 
• Supporting evidence generation, producing analysis and regional situation on: (1) violence against children and ECD in the Caribbean in the wake of Covid-19 pandemic; and (2) strategies that Caribbean countries, including multi-sectoral ECD Commissions and stakeholders, are implementing to reduce and prevent violence against children with a particular focus on early childhood.
• Developing a guidance note on strategies to address family violence prevention through gender transformative parenting strategies, including components of co-responsibility and gender socialization in the Caribbean.
• Supporting capacity building and training opportunities for UNICEF Country Offices, ECD-Child Protection and Gender task force and national/regional mechanisms governing ECD actions.
 
Expected Results
 
The consultant will be working on:
• Develop a desk review based on available information regarding violence against children in the Caribbean with a particular focus on early childhood
• Develop guidelines to address family violence prevention in Early Childhood Development programmes in the Caribbean region
• Systematize (3) good and promising practices that Caribbean countries are implementing to reduce and prevent violence against children with a particular focus on early childhood
• Provide technical support to UNICEF country offices and Regional Caribbean partners that are (and would like to work on) strategies to reduce and prevent violence against children, with a particular focus on early childhood
 
Deliverables 
 
- Develop a technical note based on available information regarding violence against children in the Caribbean in the wake of Covid-19 pandemic with a particular focus on early childhood (a word document and PPT presentation is expected). Estimated duration of 15 days.
- Develop guidelines to address family violence prevention in Early Childhood Development programmes in the Caribbean region (a word document and PPT presentation is expected). Estimated duration of 15 days.
- Systematize (3) good and promising practices that Caribbean countries are implementing to reduce and prevent violence against children with a particular focus on early childhood (a word document and PPT presentation is expected). Estimated duration of 15 days.
- Provide technical support to UNICEF country offices and Regional Caribbean partners that are (and would like to work on) strategies to prevent and reduce violence in early childhood and exposure to family violence. Estimated duration of 10 days. 
 
Supervision: The contractor will work under the direct supervision of the Regional ECD Manager and in close collaboration with the Child Protection and Gender teams. 
 
Duration: This contract is expected to start on the 1 November 2021 with an estimated duration of 6 months.
 
Workplace: This is a home-based remote consultancy. 
 
How to apply: Application should be submitted online and should include: 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…

Education: Master's degree in early childhood development, education, social sciences, gender-based violence/violence against children, international development or a related field
 
Work Experience: Eight years of professional work experience at the national and international levels in policy planning in related fields is required. 
• Current expert knowledge of child protection, particularly on protection risks affecting young children. 
• Current expert knowledge of gender, particularly on gender- based violence and the Care Crisis.
• Professional technical knowledge/expertise in Early Childhood Development.
• Knowledge and experience of strategies of implementing ECD or Child Protection Programmes.
 
Languages: Fluency in Spanish and English is required. Knowledge of French or Portuguese will be considered an asset.
 
Desired Technical knowledge 
• Knowledge of VAW and VAC trends in the LAC region; Familiarity with ethical protocols around addressing VAW and VAC.
• Capacity to communicate effectively and work collaboratively with RO and CO colleagues and external partners.
 
Other skills and attributes
• High level of Integrity and commitment to UNICEF's mission and professional values.
• Analytical and conceptual ability, negotiating, communication and advocacy skills.
• Strong organizational, planning, and analytical skills
• Excellent written and verbal communication in English and Spanish.
• Good judgment, initiative, high sense of responsibility, tact and discretion.
• Demonstrated cultural sensitivity and ability to establish harmonious working relations in a multicultural environment.

For every Child, you demonstrate…

UNICEF’s values of Care, Respect, Integrity, Trust, and Accountability (CRITA) and the following core competencies: Demonstrates Self Awareness and Ethical Awareness, Works Collaboratively with others, Builds and Maintains Partnerships, Innovates and Embraces Change, Thinks and Acts Strategically, Drive to achieve impactful results, and Manages ambiguity and complexity.

To view our values and competency framework please visit the following links: Our Values and Our 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 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.

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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