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International Consultancy on Capacity Assessment and Roadmap Development in ECD in Azerbaijan (40 working days).

Baku (Azerbaijan)

  • Organization: UNICEF - United Nations Children’s Fund
  • Location: Baku (Azerbaijan)
  • Grade: Consultant - Contractors Agreement - Consultancy
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Education, Learning and Training
    • Social Affairs
    • Children's rights (health and protection)
    • Monitoring and Evaluation
  • Closing Date: 2021-12-27

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The purpose of this consultancy is to provide technical assistance to UNICEF and the Government of Azerbaijan in conducting a role module and capacity assessment of relevant stakeholders on ECD in Azerbaijan and facilitate a national discussion on coordination and management of multi-sectoral ECD. The consultancy will involve engagement with the critical sectors in ECD, including but not limited to health and nutrition, education, child protection, social protection, and financing for ECD. Using transparent planning and participatory processes, the consultant will design and implement a comprehensive assessment of the national and sub-national enabling environment for ECD, including policies, regulations, programmes/services and stakeholders on ECD that will inform next steps on ECD in the country. It will guide UNICEF and national partners in the establishment and strengthening of a multi-sectoral ECD coordination mechanism in government that may include development of terms of reference, interagency agreements, etc. In addition, the assignment aims to support the development of an integrated ECD policy and planning instruments on ECD, for example, a roadmap and result-based actions plans that are comprehensive, multi-sectoral and properly resourced, with clear linkages and contributions from existing sector plans and budgets.

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, development

Background:

Early childhood development refers to the cognitive, physical, language, motor, social and emotional development of children from conception to 8 years of age. Evidence shows that the early years of life are critical for children’s healthy growth and development.  During this period essential neural pathways are formed that lay the foundation for health, learning, productivity, and social well-being throughout the life course. Early childhood development is a cross-cutting area, in support to the acceleration of results defined by each Key Results for Children (KRC s), specially during the first 5 years of life. It is mainly related to KRC1 (Immunization), KRC2 (stunting), KRC3&4 (quality education &learning), KRC5 (child marriage).

UNICEF Azerbaijan has promoted Early Childhood Development (ECD) since 2018 as one of the SDG Accelerators to support the country’s long-term human capital development. The programme interventions started from a pilot project of “Integrated Social Services for the most vulnerable children” in four districts with the financial support of EU.  The ECD project included three key components: maternal and child health and nutrition and nurturing care through introduction of the Universal Progressive Home Visiting model, community-based early learning and preschool education, integrated social services for families with children with disabilities, and community and family-based parenting education. Different studies conducted in 2019-2020 on ECD revealed the need for the strong coordination among stakeholders to level up the development of ECD.  In addition, further analysis and evidence-based interventions are needed to ensure sustainable financing mechanisms in ECD. In April 2021, a high-level meeting was organized jointly by UNICEF, the Heydar Aliyev Foundation and the State Committee for Family, Women and Children’s Affair to launch the national ECD Campaign, where a strong engagement with the relevant line ministries and Parliament was realized involving senior government officials from the Ministry of Health, the Stage Agency for Mandatory Health Insurance, the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection for the Population, as well as parliamentarians from the Parliament Committees of Health, Education, Social Welfare and Family, Women and Children. The engagement with all the partners in ECD was for the purpose to take the ECD from pilot to a national level policy discussion and intersectoral coordination both at the Government and the Parliament.

How can you make a difference?

The purpose of this consultancy is to provide technical assistance to UNICEF and the Government of Azerbaijan in conducting a role module and capacity assessment of relevant stakeholders on ECD in Azerbaijan and facilitate a national discussion on coordination and management of multi-sectoral ECD. The consultancy will involve engagement with the critical sectors in ECD, including but not limited to health and nutrition, education, child protection, social protection, and financing for ECD. Using transparent planning and participatory processes, the consultant will design and implement a comprehensive assessment of the national and sub-national enabling environment for ECD, including policies, regulations, programmes/services and stakeholders on ECD that will inform next steps on ECD in the country. It will guide UNICEF and national partners in the establishment and strengthening of a multi-sectoral ECD coordination mechanism in government that may include development of terms of reference, interagency agreements, etc. In addition, the assignment aims to support the development of an integrated ECD policy and planning instruments on ECD, for example, a roadmap and result-based actions plans that are comprehensive, multi-sectoral and properly resourced, with clear linkages and contributions from existing sector plans and budgets.

Scope of Work:

The ECD consultant will be mainly in charge of:

1.  Conduct rapid situation analysis and role module and capacity assessment of ECD services in Azerbaijan

  • Country context in terms of existing policies, programmes, and interventions in support to ECD and life cycle approach interventions within UNICEF, the Government and development partners.
  • Existing data, monitoring system and information gaps identified to support programming and advocacy for scaling multisectoral interventions during the early years of children.
  • Profile of workforce involved in ECD/nurturing care services provided at community level (health, nutrition, social protection, social services, education) and analysis of the quantity and quality of services and their capacities. 
  • Partnerships (existing and emerging) and financing opportunities (public and private) for modelling and scaling multisectoral interventions in support to young children and families.

2.  Facilitate an in country technical workshop with line ministries and other key stakeholders

The technical workshop will support UNICEF Azerbaijan’s efforts to establish partnership mechanisms and approaches at the country level to advance ECD agenda. It should present the analysis to government, parliament, CSOs, private sector, academia and other stakeholders from all relevant sectors and using results of the inception report, discuss priority areas for action and strategies on how to harmonize goals, objectives, and strategies of various agencies on ECD. The workshop will be an attempt to undertake widespread consultation and consensus building with key government units on ECD and other key stakeholders (CSO, NGO, development partners, etc.). The workshop should also reveal the ways of establishment of a national coordinating mechanism or strengthening the existing mechanisms to include coordination function for ECD, including development of terms of reference, inter-agency agreements, or memorandum of understandings that specify organizational roles and responsibilities for each level. The findings of the workshop will be reflected in final report and will serve its completion.

3.  Design an Integrated ECD development roadmap

The integrated ECD development roadmap should be based on findings of situation and capacity assessment (deliverable 1) and conclusions of technical workshop with key stakeholders (deliverable 2). It should reflect key strategies UNICEF Country Office as well as stakeholder for further development of ECD in the country. The Roadmap will orient on how health, nutrition, early learning and social protection sectors could be leveraged to promote  ECD including nurturing care interventions specially during the first 5 years of life, focusing on support for (i) quality of service delivery, (ii) support to community workers, (ii), responsive care, positive discipline and support to parents, specially adolescent caregivers in both development and humanitarian context.  It should reflect gaps to scale interventions-based evidences and advocacy and key strategies to accelerate multisectoral interventions in the country in the benefit of full development of children 0 to 8 years of age. The document will be presented to Azerbaijan Country Office team for feedback before final validation.

Work Assignment Overview

 Tasks/Milestone: 

 Deliverables/Outputs:

Timeline:

Inception phase - Developing report with situation, role module, and capacity assessment of ECD services           

Inception report (not more than 20 pages), with assessment of ECD services

10 working days

Design the technical workshop with line ministries and other stakeholders

Design of technical workshop

Facilitating face to face of technical workshop with line ministries and other stakeholders

Technical workshop

10 working days

Presentation of final report and clear roadmap for the development of ECD in the country in Azerbaijan

Final Report (not more than 50 pages excluding Annexes) with roadmap including an Executive Summary/Policy Paper (two pages).

20 working days

Supervisor of the consultancy is UNICEF Health & Nutrition Specialist.

Start date: December 2021

End date: March 2022

To qualify as an advocate for every child you will have…

  • An advanced university degree in Public Health, Social Sciences, Education or Developmental Psychology.
  • At least 8 years of experience in the area of ECD advocacy, awareness, programme management and programme design.
  • Relevant professional work experience at national and international levels in the social development field, and specifically in early childhood development within health and nutrition systems.
  • Professional record of conducting needs assessments and studies
  • Ability to convene different sectors and stakeholders to achieve multi-sectoral coordination.
  • Sound political judgement and the ability to navigate politics and identify key players and make sound judgments about influencing strategies to achieve outcomes.
  • Strong analytical skills, excellent drafting of professional and standard reports and communication skills; excellent facilitation capacity.
  • General knowledge of UN evaluation policy, norms and standards, including a human rights-based approach to programming and results-based management, including gender equality and child.
  • Experience in working with UN / UNICEF and government entities.
  • Excellent mastery of English including in report writing and presentation.

For every Child, you demonstrate…

UNICEF's values of Care, Respect, Integrity, Trust, and Accountability (CRITA).

To view our competency framework, please visit here.

Applicants are required to provide:

  • A short cover letter, highlighting relevant experience with similar type of assignments (max 300 words).
  • CV of the individual applicants
  • A technical proposal with tentative workplan and timeframe
  • Financial proposal
  • Samples or links to related work previously conducted by the consultant

All consultants & individual contractors regardless of contract duration must complete the applicable mandatory online courses prior to signature of contract. The link to these courses will be provided during the selection process for the successful candidates.

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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