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UNICEF PACIFIC CONSULTANT: Technical Adviser – Pacific Education Coordination & Evidence Generation

Suva (Fiji )

  • Organization: UNICEF - United Nations Children’s Fund
  • Location: Suva (Fiji )
  • Grade: Consultant - Contractors Agreement - Consultancy
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Education, Learning and Training
    • Managerial positions
    • Children's rights (health and protection)
    • Maritime
  • Closing Date: 2022-01-23

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UNICEF Pacific is seeking to hire a technical consultant to strengthen knowledge and practice on education coordination and COVID-19-informed programming as relevant in Pacific Island countries.

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, an education 

In line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and especially SDG 4 for inclusive and equitable quality education, UNICEF’s Multi-Country Programme for 2018-2022 identifies the following outcome and output statements:
• Outcome: By 2022, more pre-primary, primary and lower secondary school aged children particularly the most vulnerable, are in school and learning.
• Output 1 (Early Learning): More young children have access to quality early learning opportunities
• Output 2 (Inclusion & Equity): Education stakeholders have increased capacities to identify and respond to learning needs of children not attending school and/or are at risk of dropping out
• Output 3 (DRR & EiE): The education system has increased capacity to build resilience and prepare children and school communities to respond to emergencies and disasters

In addition to the above, there are two cross-cutting areas that form an increasing proportion of UNICEF Pacific work in education, reflecting and linking to our work in each of the above areas. These are as follows:
• Regional and national collaboration on and development of goods and services: Across all of the above, UNICEF Pacific works in collaboration with a number of partners including supporting the implementation of PacREF.
• System strengthening and resilience, including strategic approaches to DRR and EiE and responses to COVID-19: Also, across and extending beyond all of the above, UNICEF supports system strengthening and efforts designed to strengthen the resilience of education system, including in emergencies.

UNICEF works in 14 Pacific Island Countries and Territories, each with its own national and cultural identity, spread across five time zones and consisting of 660 inhabited islands and atolls. Many of these islands are extremely remote, creating unique challenges for the delivery of quality, relevant education and learning in each context. UNICEF partners directly with each of the 14 countries and supports them also through regional initiatives in education.

One important initiative at regional-level is the Pacific Regional Education Framework (PacREF), for which UNICEF Pacific is one of 5 Implementing Agencies (IA). As an IA, UNICEF Pacific works closely with regional institutions and development partners to ensure relevant and coordinated support to each country, and to regional-level initiatives for the Pacific countries as a whole. Facilitating knowledge creation and sharing, through Pasifika led mechanisms and ways of doing, is key to all countries benefitting from this work. Efforts have been made to consolidate working arrangements across the IA, so as to establish a clear division of labour and assigning of regional resources in support of the PacREF outcomes.

Currently, National Fonos for coordination on PacREF are not connected to other existing national partner coordination models, in the few countries where these exist. The growing movement to establish and strengthen local education groups and develop compacts for coordinated support to the education sector presents an opportunity to strengthen coordination in education in Pacific Island countries, but it will be critical to review and document how to make this effective in the Pacific given the lack of such groups in most countries, and the lack of linkages between coordination mechanisms in the cases where multiple efforts do exist.

Also at regional-level, UNICEF plays a role as co-chair of the Pacific Education Cluster [PEC], together with Save the Children in line with the global cluster mandates. The PEC proposed to the PHES Steering Committee, who accepted the proposal that the PEC ToR be revised, to better reflect a proposed reporting mandate to the Pacific Heads of Education Systems [PHES]. As PacREF does not include any reference to strategy, policy or planning for DRR and EiE, the cluster is the mechanism through which these areas can be coordinated across the region and kept on the agenda of senior officials and Ministers. The PEC in 2020 also initiated a mapping of support to learning continuity initiatives led by different partners. All of the above present promise in the potential of PEC but it has not yet been possible to see these further advanced in 2021.

Similarly, UNICEF supports multiple countries with emergency preparedness and response, including as it relates to COVID-19, and provides support to several countries supporting national clusters for education coordination in emergencies. Both regional- and national-level clusters are guided or informed multiple structures and processes that often need to be reconciled to avoid duplication of labour and miscommunication, so a clear understanding of the efforts of NDMOs, Ministries of Education, OCHA, PHT/Regional Clusters, National education clusters, Sub-national clusters, Other relevant clusters (e.g. WASH, Protection), etc. is critical to maximize effectiveness of education-focused coordination.

COVID-19 response in education systems calls for timely and high-quality support to immediate needs as well as long-term system building. Within this is an important opportunity for knowledge creation and sharing, particularly given the simultaneous drive to strengthen readiness for COVID-19 and pandemics across education systems of all countries in the Pacific. UNICEF has committed to “learn from evidence”, as part of the GPE accelerated funding programmes in the COVID-19-related response and recovery efforts across Pacific countries. The learnings from this will not only be to the direct benefit of countries but also to inform ongoing and future UNICEF support to building resilient education systems.

The objective of this consultancy is to strengthen knowledge and practice on education coordination and COVID-19-informed programming as relevant in Pacific Island countries.

 

How can you make a difference?

Under the overall guidance and direction of the Chief of Education, the Technical Adviser is expected to provide strategic technical guidance and support to strengthen knowledge and practice on education coordination and COVID-19-informed programming as relevant in Pacific Island countries, covering both emergency and non-emergency programming.

The consultant is expected to apply analytical skills to design and conduct reviews of education coordination mechanisms (clusters and other emergency coordination groups, education partner coordination groups, etc.) as well as COVID-informed programming at national and regional levels in the Pacific, in both cases identifying good practices, common trends and challenges, key gaps and recommendations for further action. The reviews of COVID-informed programming will feed into further coordination and planning of the Pacific Education Cluster, as well as UNICEF-supported programming more specifically, and fulfilling UNICEF’s commitment to a “learning from evidence” review on COVID-19 response. The consultant is further expected to build on knowledge of effective coordination approaches and structures in Pacific Island countries to develop and/or strengthen coordination mechanisms, particularly the Pacific Education Cluster, while providing guidance and advice toward the strengthening of national clusters and partner coordination groups. The consultant is also expected to play a capacity building role, supporting the adaptation and facilitation of CORE 1 & 2 education cluster trainings for the Pacific, and, more broadly, on effective approaches to supporting national coordination for both disaster response and overall development coordination in the education sector. To these ends, the consultant will also be expected to provide strategic technical advice and guidance in the form of support to the development, design and revision of strategies, programmes, plans, concept notes, terms of reference, proposals, briefs, analyses and other relevant documents, as relate to coordination and COVID19 response, as required by the education team.

Education Cluster & Coordination Structures
• Conduct a review of existing national education coordination structures, including those focused on emergency coordination, and identify countries with existing good practices, champions, opportunities/plans to strengthen partner coordination.
• Conceptualize a Pacific Education Cluster structure, in coordination with Save the Children, that would be useful and relevant to Pacific Island countries and partners, linking to national, regional and global clusters, OCHA/PHT, PHES SC and other coordination efforts as relevant. Develop a ToR for the Pacific Education Cluster through a review of global and regional literature and best practice and engagement with regional and national partners, drawing especially on champions for emergency coordination from Pacific Island countries. Validate the TOR with PEC and support presentation to PHES Steering Committee for their review and guidance. Sustainability of the Pacific Education Cluster must be considered in this effort.
• Facilitate Pacific Education Cluster coordination, in coordination with Save the Children, including data collection, reporting, meetings and coordinated efforts, as relevant, fulfilling PHT/OCHA requirements as well as responding to country-specific needs.
• Review Education Cluster CORE 1 training experience in the Pacific and lead the adaptation of the Education Cluster CORE 2 training for the Pacific, in coordination with Save the Children, and in collaboration with at least 2 national education cluster leads, and support the facilitation of a Pacific cadre in CORE 1 and CORE 2-training.
• Provide technical advice and guidance on the conceptualization/strengthening of relevant education coordination structures in Pacific countries, especially education clusters, but also complementing and building on other sector coordination mechanisms such as Local Education Groups, National Fonos, etc.
• Provide technical reviews and inputs related to coordination mechanisms and approaches in documents (strategies, plans, concept notes, terms of reference, proposals, briefs, etc.) as required by the education team.

Evidence Generation (COVID-19 Response)
• In collaboration with the Pacific Education Cluster, conduct a mapping of COVID-19 response across Pacific Island countries and regional efforts, including government-led and partner-supported efforts. Validate the mapping with the PEC and facilitate discussions on PEC planning for support to COVID-19-informed resilience moving forward based on this mapping.
• Design and implement a learning from evidence (LfE) review of UNICEF-supported COVID-19 responses across the region, including initiatives for safe schools, learning continuity and systems resilience, and facilitate dialogues and shared learning across Pacific Island countries, including learning from implementation, with a focus on activities that influence systemic change in education at a system and operational level. Provide technical advice and guidance to discrete nationally-led learning from evidence activities such as surveys and consultations, to meet national needs and to feed into the regional learning from evidence review.
• Provide technical reviews and inputs related to COVID-19 response across the Pacific in documents (strategies, plans, concept notes, terms of reference, proposals, briefs, etc.) as required by the education team.

The consultant, in consultation with UNICEF, will develop a workplan, which will guide the planning and provision of technical support as per the contract, to be discussed and updated on a monthly basis or as needed. In the main, the consultant will be paid on set deliverables as outlined in the contract. A period of draw down days are also available in the contract to support related capacity building and coordination activities in relation to the scope of work. These will be agreed in consultation with the Chief of Education and may be invoiced jointly with payments for deliverables submitted. The consultant will work in close coordination with the Chief of Education, Education Specialist (EiE), Education Specialist (Resilient Systems), and Education Specialists and Officers in Field Offices.

Expected concrete deliverables include, but are not limited to the following:
• Final ToR for Pacific Education Cluster.
• Review of existing national education coordination structures, including those focused on emergency coordination.
• Pacific Education Cluster meeting minutes, reports, inputs to PHT requirements, etc.
• Adapted Education Cluster CORE 2 training for the Pacific and report on Pacific-focused education cluster training (CORE 1 & CORE 2).
• Technical review and inputs to conceptualization/strengthening of relevant education coordination structures in Pacific countries.
• Mapping of COVID-19 response across Pacific Island countries and regional efforts, including government-led and partner-supported efforts.
• Learning from evidence (LfE) review of UNICEF-supported COVID-19 responses across the region, based on national LfE discussions as relevant.

 

Supervisor: The consultant will be supervised by the Chief of Education, UNICEF Pacific.

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

  • An advanced university degree (Master’s or higher) in education, economics, psychology, sociology, public policy or another relevant technical field.
  • A minimum of ten years of professional experience in strategic programme and planning, management, and/or research within the field of education or related social sector.
  • Consultation, facilitation and negotiation skills – deliverable in a range of contexts.
  • Good understanding of Pacific regional education and cross sectoral architecture and how to leverage this for results. Experience working in the Pacific required.
  • Familiarity with UN and government systems strongly preferred.
  • Good ability to support policy dialogue: translation of analytical findings and evidence into development programme and policy discussions with government, development partners, CSOs and academia in relevant areas.
  • Good ability to support engagement with partners, particularly at regional and national level including institutions.
  • Experience with Inter-sectoral partnerships as well as networking with other key partners.
  • Solid communication skills, including strong written and spoken English language appropriate for diverse audiences and purposes.

For every Child, you demonstrate…

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

To view our competency framework, please visit here.

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.

This position is not considered an elevated risk role. However, UNICEF reserves the right to conduct further vetting/ assessment within the scope of child safeguarding as appropriate.

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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