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Consultancy: Adolescent Substance Use Consultant - Req. #557686

New York City

  • Organization: UNICEF - United Nations Children’s Fund
  • Location: New York City
  • Grade: Consultancy - Consultant - Contractors Agreement
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Public Health and Health Service
    • Children's rights (health and protection)
    • Sexual and reproductive health
    • Drugs, Anti-Money Laundering, Terrorism and Human Trafficking
  • Closing Date: Closed

The aim of this consultancy will be to assess programmatic gaps and opportunities in addressing adolescent substance use in LMICs, understanding the intersection with adolescent mental health, and identifying areas where UNICEF could have the biggest impact. The consultant will work under guidance and general supervision of the Health Specialist (Adolescent Health, Mental Health, School Health) and in coordination with other technical specialists working in NCD prevention and mental health at HQ and regional level to achieve the objectives below.

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: Adolescent Substance Use Consultant

Section/Division/Duty Station: Health Programme Team - Programme Group NYHQ

Duration: 75 days – January 2nd  to November 15th, 2023        

Home/ office Based: Home Based


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 has over 12,000 staff in more than 145 countries.


Purpose of Activity:

Under Goal Area 1, adolescent health and mental health are key result in UNICEF’s 2022-2025 Strategic Plan. Addressing the health needs of the adolescent population is an increasingly prioritized areas of programming across regions and is an integral part of the health agenda both in regular and emergency settings. UNICEF aims to increase support to country offices in programmatic response across the substance use continuum with a focus on reaching young people through primary care, education, and digital platforms. Efforts will build upon ongoing efforts in the areas of mental health, school health, and adolescent health.

The aim of this consultancy will be to assess programmatic gaps and opportunities in addressing adolescent substance use in LMICs, understanding the intersection with adolescent mental health, and identifying areas where UNICEF could have the biggest impact. The consultant will work under guidance and general supervision of the Health Specialist (Adolescent Health, Mental Health, School Health) and in coordination with other technical specialists working in NCD prevention and mental health at HQ and regional level to achieve the objectives below.

Objective 1: Provide a deeper understand of the adolescent substance use landscape at global and regional levels.

  • Conduct scoping review of emergent issues, existing guidelines, and best practice to address adolescent substance use in LMICs, summarizing approaches, identifying opportunities/gaps around them and outlining the unique value proposition for UNICEF’s response.
  • Conduct a stakeholder mapping to identify the main actors in the space (funders, implementers, researchers), effective strategies for LMICs, and intervention areas at both global and national levels.

Objective 2:  Support UNICEF in development of a technical note on adolescent substance use and recommendations for priority actions based on the scoping review and stakeholder mapping.

  • Provide key input in developing a programmatic guidance that outlines key principles, synthesizes UNICEF’s approach, and references existing guidance and standards across program entry points (mental health, NCD prevention, adolescent health, school health).


Objective 3: Technical support and capacity building of programming teams to operationalization recommendations for priority actions at country level.

  • Training workshop and technical assistant mission to priority regional and country offices on addressing adolescent substance use in mental health, NCD prevention, adolescent health, school health programs.

Scope of Work:

Geographical Coverage

The scoping review and stakeholder mapping will be conducted at global level, with attention to differences in regional epidemiological, cultural, or other contextual factors. The technical note will be designed for roll out in countries with programming in the areas of mental health, adolescent health, NCD prevention, or school health.

Terms of Reference / Key Deliverables:

The following activities should be implemented by between January 2023-. The consultant is welcome to suggest reasonable changes to the timelines based on the scope of work.

  • Inception report
  • Scoping Review and Stakeholder Mapping
  • Review and validation of the Scoping Review and Stakeholder Mapping
  • Technical Note development
  • Technical Note Review and Launch
  • Capacity building/Country TA 


The consultant is expected to deliver the following outputs:

  • Inception report detailing the task approach, work plan, and methodology.
  • Scoping review and stakeholder mapping
  • Technical Note
  • Training Workshop/Technical Assistance to at least 2 regional offices and 2 country offices 



  • Medicine (Psychiatry), Nursing (Psychiatric/Mental Health), Clinical or Counselling Psychology, Global Mental Health, Substance Use/Addiction
  • Full command of spoken and written English is essential, working knowledge of other UN languages is an asset.

Work experience:

    • Minimum 5 years’ experience with programming or service provision related to adolescent substance use/mental health in LMIC context
    • Experience with policy and/or research related to substance use and young people in LMIC context
    • Clinical degree and background with specialization in mental health/substance abuse/addiction
    • Strong knowledge and understanding of humanitarian principles, child safeguarding measures and established international standards on mental health and psychosocial support for adolescents and children 


  • Strong organizational and facilitation skills whether face to face or remotely with diverse stakeholders 
  • Demonstrated experience with desk research and program or stakeholder mapping, preferably including remote coordination
  • Comfortable to work independently while coordinating closely with different teams 


  • 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.

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. 

The selected candidate is solely responsible to ensure that the visa (applicable) and health insurance required to perform the duties of the contract are valid for the entire period of the contract. Selected candidates are subject to confirmation of fully-vaccinated status against SARS-CoV-2 (Covid-19) with a World Health Organization (WHO)-endorsed vaccine, which must be met prior to taking up the assignment. It does not apply to consultants who will work remotely and are not expected to work on or visit UNICEF premises, programme delivery locations or directly interact with communities UNICEF works with, nor to travel to perform functions for UNICEF for the duration of their consultancy contracts. 

This vacancy is now closed.
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