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Consultancy for Assessment of the status of Social Service Workforce in Lesotho and eSwatini


  • Organization: UNICEF - United Nations Children’s Fund
  • Location: Maseru
  • Grade: Consultancy - Consultant - Contractors Agreement
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Human Resources
  • Closing Date: Closed

The main purpose of this consultancy to conduct a mapping of social service workforce for child protection in the two countries. The goal of workforce mapping is to facilitate deep reflection and understanding of the status of the social service workforce in the two countries, to ensure that the workforce is well planned, developed and supported to provide the highest quality services to children and families by the workforce. Once completed, the information gathered from the mapping will inform advocacy, policy development, strategy design and program implementation to strengthen the workforce in the respective 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, Education and Opportunities.

Social service workers are often the first line of response for children at risk of violence, abuse, discrimination and other welfare and protection needs. Working closely with children and families, they identify and manage risks that children may be exposed to at home and elsewhere, especially those related to violence, abuse, exploitation, neglect, discrimination, and poverty. Social service workers promote children’s physical and psychological well-being by connecting them with critical social services – like health care, education, and social protection, as well as challenging harmful norms that violate a child’s rights.
A strong social service workforce is critical to meeting the needs of children without adequate family care and those in need of protection. One of the most important elements of a well-functioning child protection system is a qualified social service workforce – one that consists of both government and non-governmental professionals and paraprofessionals. But in too many places, the social service workforce is often under-resourced, lacking the financial, and sometimes political, support to protect children and their families. In the absence of well-equipped social service workers, the laws, policies, and programmes that governments establish to protect children risk being undermined.
Strengthening the social service systems in any country is a multi-layered process that involves creating supportive legislation and policies; developing recruitment, selection, employment, supervision, support, and registration procedures; establishing education and training programmes; improving working conditions, ensuring licensing and practice standards; recognizing the status of care professionals; and raising awareness to change mindsets on care. The mapping and assessment of the social services workforce is one of the critical initial stages that countries conduct to gain key insights on the status of national social services systems and to work towards its strengthening.
As in initial step towards strengthening their respective child protection social services systems, the countries of Lesotho and Eswatini wish to conduct a child protection social services workforce mapping and assessment.
To date, Lesotho does not have policies or legislation that address the definition of various categories of Social Service Workforce including community-based volunteers and their roles or functions. There are no governing or regulatory bodies for social workers or other categories of social service workforce and there is no system in place for registration and licensing for social service workforce, and there is no clear standardization of qualification for those working in child protection. However, the country has an estimated 600 Social Workers and Counsellors distributed across government and CSOs, 196 Lesotho Mounted Police Service Officers dedicated to work under Child and Gender Protection Unit (CGPU) and other cadre existing in Health, Education, Justice and Home Affairs.
Eswatini has no legislation that addresses the definition of the Social Service Workforce, and the Social Development Policy does not explicitly define the various categories of Social Workforce. There is no system for registering and licensing social workers hence, there is no data for social workers either on practice or not. The qualifications for those in child protection are not being standardized or monitored. At present an Association for social workers and other social service work force has been formed and registered to try and lobby for the establishment of a council among other things. The number of social workers working within CSOs is not available. In government Direction of Social Welfare has about 88 social workers currently. There is also no data on those hired by other Ministries or departments. The Royal Eswatini Police Service (REPS) has rolled out Domestic Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offenses (DCS) Units with specially trained law enforcers to all police stations, from 24 police stations.

How can you make a difference? 

Purpose of assignment:
To strengthen its child protection social services systems, the governments of Lesotho and Eswatini, with support from UNICEF, seek to engage an institution or individual consultant to conduct a mapping of social service workforce for child protection in the two countries. The goal of workforce mapping is to facilitate deep reflection and understanding of the status of the social service workforce in the two countries, to ensure that the workforce is well planned, developed and supported to provide the highest quality services to children and families by the workforce. Once completed, the information gathered from the mapping will inform advocacy, policy development, strategy design and program implementation to strengthen the workforce in the respective countries.
The respective country mappings will include a description of the size, scope, and structure of the workforce, as well as policy, legislation, education, child protection and professionalization mechanisms and systems in the two countries. Further, it they will highlight the unique aspects of each country’s social services workforce, identify challenges or trends, and generate discussion of recommendations to be incorporated into country-level workforce strengthening strategic plans and help to identify innovative practices that may be scaled up or serve as a model for other countries.
Scope of Work:
Under the general supervision of the Chief of Sections and day-to-day guidance of Child Protection Specialists in Lesotho and Eswatini, the consultant/ consultancy institution will:
1) Conduct an initial review of country-specific literature to gain a broad understanding of social service systems in each country and gather information pertaining more specifically to the social service workforce including policies, legal codes, regulations, recent assessments of childcare, protection and juvenile justice systems, and documents that explain key workforce definitions, functions, etc.
2) Develop a detailed workplan and methodology to undertake the assessment of the social service workforce for child protection of Eswatini and Lesotho.
3) Conduct the mapping of the respective social service workforce for child protection in both countries, which will include, but not be limited to, the following key elements:
  1. description of the size, scope, and structure of the social service workforce
  2. analysis of the social service workforce capacity including their level of education, skills, and competencies
  3. social services workforce policies, legislation, strategies, and systems
  4. key child protection elements of the country social service workforce
  5. in-service support for the SSW, including professionalization efforts, supervision and monitoring of social service workforce
  6. highlight the unique aspects of each country’s social service workforce
  7. identification of trends or challenges
  8. generation of recommendations to be incorporated into country-level workforce strengthening efforts
4) Coordinate and facilitate assignment periodic update meetings with multi-sectoral governmental and non-governmental child rights stakeholders in both countries
5) Draft country SSW mapping reports and costed capacity building plans to strengthen human, financial, and technical capacity to effectively coordinate and implement their expected mandate in the delivery of social services
6) Facilitate a workshop of relevant stakeholders to review and validate SSW mapping and the costed capacity building plan
7) Submission of final project report.
Work Assignment Overview:
Tasks/Milestone Deliverables/Outputs Timeline Estimate Budget (in BWP)
Inception report with clear workplan and methodology Approved inception report 10 days after start of contract 30%
Mapping of Social Service Workforce in Lesotho and eSwatini Mapping exercise report including recommendations
4th August
(30 working days)
Consultative meetings with Stakeholders Stakeholder report
23rd August
(5 working days)
Submission of draft Mapping report Draft Mapping Report
08th September August
(5 working days) 
Development of costed capacity building plan Draft capacity building Plan
29th September
(15 working days)
Validation of mapping and capacity building reports Validation report with recommendation
13th October
(5 working days)
Submission of final project report Approved project report
25th October
(5 working days)

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

  • An advanced university degree (at least Master’s degree) in Social Science particularly Strategic Planning, Public Policy, Public Administration, or any related field.
  • At least ten (10) years professional experience in Strategic Planning, Development and Change Management.
  • Evidence of at least ten (10) years’ experiences in guiding strategic planning processes and similar assignments carried out as required.
  • Good understating of planning and funding cycles of the public sector and of development partners.
  • Good understanding of Child Protection sector, Sustainable Development Goals, especially those focused on socioeconomic upliftment of vulnerable groups.
  • Excellent writing skills in English.
  • Strong understanding of the international, regional and Lesotho’s legislation and policies pertaining to child protection and children’s rights.
  • Experience in effectively facilitating the collaborative work of a wide range of stakeholders, including government and development partners.
  • Familiarity with UNICEF’s mandate and goals is an advantage.
  • Have no criminal record in abuse of children.

How to Apply:

Interested candidates should submit an online application through the Talent Management System (TMS) that consists as a minimum of the following:

-TMS Profile/ Curriculum Vitae

-Financial proposal must be ‘all inclusive’ of all expenses related to the assignment

-Incomplete applications will not be considered.

For every Child, you demonstrate… 

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

To view our competency framework, please visit  here

UNICEF is here to serve the world’s most disadvantaged children and our global workforce must reflect the diversity of those children. The UNICEF family is committed to include everyone, irrespective of their race/ethnicity, age, disability, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, nationality, socio-economic background, or any other personal characteristic.

UNICEF offers reasonable accommodation for consultants/individual contractors with disabilities. This may include, for example, accessible software, travel assistance for missions or personal attendants. We encourage you to disclose your disability during your application in case you need reasonable accommodation during the selection process and afterwards in your assignment. 

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. 


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. 

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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