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Research Consultant - Advancing adolescent girls’ participation in STEM, UNICEF East Asia and Pacific Regional Office (EAPRO), Bangkok, Thailand

Bangkok

  • Organization: UNICEF - United Nations Children’s Fund
  • Location: Bangkok
  • Grade: Consultant - Contractors Agreement
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Engineering
    • Physics and Mathematics
    • Maritime
    • Information Technology and Computer Science
    • Children's rights (health and protection)
    • Sexual and reproductive health
    • Civil Society and Local governance
    • Scientist and Researcher
  • Closing Date: 2022-08-17

The Gender & Adolescent Development Section, UNICEF East Asia and Pacific Regional Office (EAPRO) is seeking an individual consultant to design all aspects related to the research into adolescent girls and STEM careers, including designing methodology, tools, collaborating with an adolescent-friendly peer review group, writing the report and coordinating a virtual report launch with partners.

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 fulfilling 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 better future

UNICEF works to ensure the rights of all children in the East Asia and Pacific Region.  This means the rights of every child living in this country, irrespective of their nationality, gender, religion or ethnicity, to:

  • survival – to basic healthcare, peace and security;
  • development – to a good education, a loving home and adequate nutrition;
  • protection – from abuse, neglect, trafficking, child labour and other forms of exploitation; and
  • participation – to express opinions, be listened to and take part in making any decisions that affect them

How can you make a difference? 

The Gender & Adolescent Development Section, UNICEF East Asia and Pacific Regional Office (EAPRO) is seeking an individual consultant to design all aspects related to the research into adolescent girls and STEM careers, including designing methodology, tools, collaborating with an adolescent-friendly peer review group, writing the report and coordinating a virtual report launch with partners.

Purpose of Assignment: 

East Asia and the Pacific (EAP) is home to 277 million adolescents accounting for 23.1% of the world’s adolescent population and 13% of the region’s total population. Yet young people face various challenges to access quality and relevant education, to transition into decent work opportunities, and to meaningfully participate in community and political processes.

Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, adolescents and youth in the region have been impacted by lengthy school closures and economic downturns, both of which have had compounded impacts on young people’s mental health, learning, social development, safety, and employment prospects. The pandemic also accelerated the digital transformation of economies and education systems as companies and governments rapidly designed and deployed digital services. According to one McKinsey report, the speed at which companies and customers are turning to digital-first solutions has effectively served as a leap frog into digitalization for Asia Pacific, a shift that pre-pandemic would have taken 10 years. For young people, this means businesses and jobs are increasingly applying digital technologies across sectors and at a much faster rate than just 2 years ago, thereby accelerating the urgency for young people to develop Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) skills.

It is therefore necessary to invest in advancing adolescent girls’ aspirations in STEM and supporting integrated approaches to STEM skills development, career exploration and pathways to employment that are responsive to adolescent girls and young women’s needs and unique contexts. 

Through global partnerships with private sector leaders, such as SAP, Dove and others, UNICEF has designed focused programmatic responses to reach adolescent girls with digital and life skills; however, many programmes in the region do not yet extend to career guidance, mentoring at-scale, and other potential activities that would spark interest, exploration, and ambitious aspirations for adolescent girls to continue education or pursue employment within STEM industries.

Building on UNICEF’s 2020 research into barriers to girls’ leadership, the existing evidence base on STEM gender gaps, and evaluations of approaches to career guidance and transitions to work, the proposed research would aim to understand the entry points, role of private sector partners, regional examples, and potential models for promoting adolescent girls’ awareness and aspirations around STEM careers with a focus on the ASEAN region.

UNICEF EAPRO proposes to conduct the research in partnership with the World Association of Girl Guides (WAGGs) and the EU-ASEAN Business Council, as the organizations have identified a shared goal in developing gender-responsive STEM opportunities for adolescent girls. The proposed research would be a complementary piece to ongoing research led by WAGGs that aims to understand the demand for STEM-related activities among their adolescent girl members to inform their global programming.

The Consultant is requested to design all aspects related to the research into adolescent girls and STEM careers, including designing methodology, tools, collaborating with an adolescent-friendly peer review group, writing the report and coordinating a virtual report launch with partners. Specific deliverables are detailed further below.

By developing a deeper understanding of existing models for career guidance and pathways to STEM in ASEAN and by leveraging existing ASEAN and global partnerships, the research will help UNICEF shape country and regional programming through:

  • Providing regional programmatic guidance on approaches to advancing adolescent girls STEM career aspirations, drawing on successful models either in the region or led by UNICEF in other geographies.
  • The research responds to regional recommendations from UNLIMITED ASEAN and the Gendered Barriers to Leadership report
  • The research would be showcased at a joint virtual event developed with adolescent girls and with regional partners. The launch would bring together ASEAN business leaders and girl-focused organizations that would be in the position to take action on the recommendations.

Work Assignment: 

The Consultant is requested to design all aspects related to the research into adolescent girls and STEM careers, including developing an inception report, conducing desk review, designing methodology and research tools, collaborating with an adolescent-friendly peer review group, writing the report and coordinating a virtual report launch with partners.

The research aims to respond to 3 questions:

  1. What models have proven effective to support adolescent girls to transition to STEM careers in different contexts across ASEAN?
  2. Who are the stakeholders that should be engaged to positively influence adolescent girls’ STEM career ambitions?
  3. How might governments, UNICEF and partners do things differently to support adolescent girls to pursue STEM fields?

The methodology should include:

  • Desk research into gender-responsive career aspiration models and programmes for adolescent girls in STEM, including programmatic evaluations and global research frameworks;
  • At least 20 stakeholder interviews representing diverse voices, such as education sector stakeholders, parents or parent support groups, selected organizations leading STEM-career path solutions for girls in the region and girl-led organizations;
  • At least 10 stakeholder interviews with selected private sector partners to understand their interest and capacity to engage in this area. Partners fitting the profile will be determined with UNICEF and interviews should target CSR, Social Impact, HR, or Partnership Managers to understand appetite for private sector to engage on this issue.
  • 3 consultation-style virtual workshops with adolescent girls and young women to validate findings and recommendations. One workshop to be held on International Day of the Girl in October.
  • Coordinate input and feedback from a peer review group, including adolescent girls and young women leaders from the region.

The interviews can be conducted virtually and there is no travel anticipated.

In addition to conducting the consultations and interviews and writing the report, the Consultant is requested to develop copy for a 2-page brochure or infographic to highlight the findings that is easy to read and youth-friendly. This brochure will then be shared by UNICEF and partners on social media and will complement the longer report.

Finally, the Consultant is expected to develop with the peer review group and partners a virtual launch event to disseminate the findings, ideally with meaningful participation of adolescent girls themselves and various private sector partners. The Consultant can leverage UNICEF, WAGGS and EU-ASEAN Business Councils related networks for this aspect of the assignment, and the event will be co-hosted by the partners.

Work Schedule: 

The Consultant is required to report on progress bi-weekly through brief conference calls with UNICEF counterparts and collaborate closely with a diverse peer review group, including adolescent girls. In lieu of conference calls, written progress reports are acceptable should both parties agree.

The Consultant is required to prepare an Inception Report, Summary of Findings, Draft Report, Final Report, editorial copy for a 2-page brochure/summary and PowerPoint or similar presentation of results for the virtual launch. All documents to be prepared in Word format or similar, electronically, and in English.

Estimated schedule of deliverables:

No

Deliverable

Estimated number of days required

Estimated Completion Date

1.

Draft inception report with proposed methodology, list of research questions intended to guide the research, proposed list of stakeholder interviews, plan of analysis, table of contents for the report. Presented to peer review group.

10

Sep 16

2.

Final inception report incorporating feedback

3

Oct 7

3.

Overview/summary of desk review, data collection and analysis from Key Informant Interviews and Consultations. One Consultation to be held on International Day of the Girl in October 2022.

35

Dec 2

4.

First draft of the study made for initial comments by UNICEF’s technical team and peer review group; first draft of 2-Page Summary/Brochure.

10

Dec 16

5.

One final overall report and brochure incorporating reference group’s feedback, along with summary presentation on key findings and recommendations.

5

Dec 30

6.

One regional Webinar presenting the results, coordinated with UNICEF, partners and adolescent girl leaders.

5

Jan 30

 

Total Number of Days

68 days

 

 

Deliverables:

  1. Inception report, outlining the research framework, initial desk review, proposed methodology, potential stakeholder interviews, project timeline and proposed outline of report.
  2. Preliminary summary of research findings, including stakeholder interviews and 3 virtual consultations with adolescent girls (one to be held on International Day of the Girl in October)
  3. Draft report, not exceeding 40 pages and including Executive Summary, Introduction, Findings (can be split according to theme in different chapters), Case Studies, and Recommendations for UNICEF, governments, businesses and other stakeholders.
  4. Final report, not exceeding 40 pages, similar outline as above.
  5. Editorial copy for 2-page adolescent-friendly summary of the report to be converted into infographic or similar brochure (i.e. not copy of Executive Summary)
  6. Coordinate and design virtual launch event, with the support of UNICEF and partners, and present findings at event through PowerPoint presentation or similar format.

Duration of Contract:  5 months from 1 September 2022 to 31 January 2023 (68 working days)

Work Location:  The consultant will work from his/her premises.

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

Education:

  • Advanced degree in the social sciences (sociology, anthropology, development studies), Economics/Statistics or related fields relevant for the assignment. In lieu of an advanced degree, Bachelors degree and 10 years experience can be accepted.

Skills and Experience:

  • 5 years relevant work experience in international development, research or other relevant fields.
  • At least 3 years experience leading structured, analytical research in the areas of gender, education and skills, empowerment, employment with a focus on girls or young women.
  • Experience designing research methodologies and tools.
  • Diverse experience leading stakeholder interviews across a range of sectors (government, business, youth groups, education sector), with at least some experience doing so in Southeast Asia.
  • Previous experience leading participatory consultations for the purpose of research with adolescents or youth (in lieu of research consultations, participatory skills trainings for adolescents and youth may also be accepted, such as entrepreneurship, digital skills or employment-oriented trainings for adolescents and youth).
  • Previous experience leading research for UN, international development organizations or non-profit organizations.
  • Knowledge of major systematic barriers for girls empowerment, skills development, digital literacy, employability and similar related themes.
  • Proven experience of high-quality report writing and documentation.
  • Resourcefulness, flexibility, and the ability to prioritise large amounts of work while under pressure.
  • Good analytical, facilitation, communication and presentation skills.
  • Politically and culturally sensitive, awareness of gender issues, with qualities of patience, tact and diplomacy.
  • Fluency in English (verbal and written).

Desirable Skills & Experience:

  • Candidates based in ASEAN region.
  • Previous experience implementing programmes or field experience in ASEAN countries.
  • Previous research or experience targeting ASEAN countries.

 

Interested candidates are requested to submit a cover letter, CV or P-11, full contact information of minimum 3 references, availability, and proposed daily professional fee in USD by 17 August 2022.

Download File FORM P11.doc

For every Child, you demonstrate…

UNICEF’s values of Care, Respect, Integrity, Trust, Accountability (CRITA) and core competencies in Communication, Working with People, and Drive for Results.

To view our competency framework, please visit here.

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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.

UNICEF is committed to promote the protection and safeguarding of all children.

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