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After UNICEF's initial 2017 Zika Response actions in the first four countries: Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras and Dominican Republic, UNICEF expanded Child Care and Family support activities during 2018 with USAID funding in four additional countries, reaching a total of eight. This included adding Jamaica, Nicaragua, Peru and Paraguay. The Regional Office (LACRO) continued providing overall guidance, technical support, oversight and coordination to the UNICEF Zika response programmes in selected LAC countries. Also starting during the 2018 programme period, a shift was made to mainstream C & S actions within UNICEF Regional Programmes (prioritizing ECD), with expanded support from an increased number of UNICEF LACRO Programme sectors. Some changes were adopted in the coordination mechanism, moving from a "vertical" approach (moving from the LACRO Zika Unit) to one of multisectoral involvement of Health, ECD, Social Protection, Gender, C4D and M&E sections in the Zika response, especially for the Child Care and Family Support (C & S) component.
Regarding the C & S component, the 2018 period represented a valuable time for advancing such initiatives in the previously mentioned eight countries. A two-prong approach was utilized, including:
(1) the identification and addressing of the more immediate C & S actions for young children affected by the conditions of the Congenital Zika Syndrome (CZS) and their families; and
(2) building-on designed strategies to advance family-focused and sustainable approaches considered essential to mitigate the impact of the conditions of CZS and other developmental disabilities and to promote the child's development and inclusion for those children identified.
In 2018 UNICEF response reached 518 families with children affected by Zika Congenital Syndrome who could benefit from non-clinical care and family support interventions. UNICEF continued leading this component based on agency experiences in the fields of ECD, Family Support and Childhood Disabilities (early intervention and inclusive ECD). These programme components are reflected in the Essential Components Framework (ECF), based on inputs from multiple technical sources (CDC and WHO), documented early intervention evidence, and field-based experiences gained internationally and in project countries.
UNICEF also focused on promoting a sustainable, multi sector and holistic approach which aimed at addressing the multiple, long-term impacts of the CZS, other congenital malformations and developmental disabilities, as part of an integrated plan to promote development, protection and inclusion of affected children and their families. The Zika Response has provided an opportunity to work specifically in combating stigma and discrimination against newborns and young children with CZS, but also more broadly with most developmental disabilities.
Coordination and joint efforts with key partners continued in 2018, at regional and country levels, for both prevention and child care and family support (C & S) components. In C & S, UNICEF collaborated with strategic partners like PAHO/WHO in the inclusion of Care for Child Development (CCD). Implementation of C & S interventions was strengthened through use of CCD, as it was an existing platform that was able to promote joint training and coordination of a variety of government sectors working with children ages 0 to 3 and their families. UNICEF has strengthened the CCD package with specific resources that address the needs of families with young children affected by the CZS, as well as other developmental delays.
Further, a Community Based Rehabilitation (CBR) approach has been utilized within selected country responses, along with promoting a close and collaborative coordination with ASSIST and other partners like Save the Children and IFRC which also received USAID funds for the Zika response.
The 2019 period represents a critical programme cycle for strengthening and completing the final stages of the USAID funded Child Care and Family Support initiative, in the selected priority countries and on a regional level. To meet requirements for supporting the final stage of the USAID funded UNICEF Zika response, UNICEF LACRO proposes to contract the services of a senior specialist with experiences in ECD, family-based early intervention, and inclusive childhood disabilities (preferably with UNICEF experiences in the LAC region), to assist the UNICEF LACRO team for the implementation of the final stage of USAID funded Child Care and Family Support (C & S) components and aiding the mainstreaming process for guaranteeing sustainability of efforts for non-clinical Child Care and Family Support to young children affected by the multiple conditions of the Congenital ZIKA Syndrome (CZS) and other developmental disabilities and their families.
Expected results (measurable results):
- Based on regional and country level materials and resources produced for the implementation of the Child Care and Family Support Regional Strategy, the consultant will develop a training strategy based on the Essential Component Framework (ECF) and existing materials collected, with clear orientations for UNICEF COs on how to best use them for further planning, training and direct services for children affected by the CZS and other developmental disabilities and their families. Furthermore, this document (guide) will support the mainstreaming of successful Child Care and Family Support interventions and strategies within regular UNICEF ECD programming.
- Provide remote and in country support to eight UNICEF country offices to develop a mainstreaming strategy to pursue the implementation of the Child Care & Family Support component across existing ECD programmatic efforts and other UNICEF strategic programmatic areas.
- To develop the regional mainstreaming strategy on Child Care & Family Support component across existing ECD programmatic efforts (4-6 pages document).
- Systematize three successful UNICEF CO experiences focusing on advancing mainstreaming of Child Care & Family Support, including content related to: lessons learned and strategies for potential application for other country experiences. An internal selection will be made of priority topics and countries, with the aim to prepare products for internal UNICEF use and for undertaking the final donor reporting process.
- Enhance the early childhood disabilities technical seminar within the regional Care for Child Development Package (CCD) and pilot the seminar in at least three countries that are currently implementing CCD.
Estimated Delivery deadline
- The consultant will develop a Child Care & Family Support training strategy that includes: concrete guidelines for countries on how to: structure country level capacity building efforts; establish a clear connection and coherence between C & S and ECD training actions; and propose clear recommendations on how to use existing materials and resource (in line with ECF). In addition to the training strategy, the consultant will make adaptations to the following resources/materials, if necessary:
- Updated Spanish and English versions of Essential Components Framework
- ECD - booklets (linked to materials prepared by Save the Children)
- 10 modules with background information and concrete orientations on how to support families with children with cerebral palsy â€“ produced by UNICEF Paraguay
- Six early childhood disabilities booklets, focusing on family related topics and orientation
30 May 2019
- The consultant will support eight country offices to develop their individual UNICEF CO mainstreaming plans and will produce mission reports with concrete recommendations on how to best use the training strategy and available resources for mainstreaming actions.
30 July 2019 (2 countries)
30 August 2019 (2 countries)
30 October 2019 (2 countries)
30 November 2019 (2 countries)
- To develop the regional mainstreaming strategy on Child Care & Family Support component across existing ECD programmatic efforts based on country needs (four- six pages document).
15 December 2019
- Develop a systematization of specific country experiences for UNICEF LACRO internal use and final donor reporting processes, with a priority for three selected UNICEF COs.
30 August 2019
- The following products are expected within the enhancement of the CCD childhood disability technical seminar:
- A condensed version of the seminar, including a power point presentation, with notes under each slide on how to best conduct this seminar and technical guidance notes with key recommendations for the facilitator.
- An extended version of the seminar, providing more in-depth information on the Child Care & Family Support training strategy and its materials.
- Pilot this seminar in at least three countries that are implementing Care for Child Development
30 June 2019
- The consultant will support the development of the draft of the Child Care and Family Support component for the final donor report and will prepare three presentations and bimonthly briefing reports on RO and CO progress towards achieving results of child care and family support components.
30 June 2019
30 August 2019
30 October 2019
Key qualification, technical background and experience required:
Advanced university degree (Master's) in social sciences, public health, and/or other related fields.
- 10 years or more of relevant professional work experience in fields related to public health, ECD, childhood disabilities, family support, and early/primary education.
- Professional experience working in developing countries preferably in the LAC region), with an in-depth understanding of ECD, childhood disabilities, and related fields in the LAC region.
- Country and/or regional programme experiences with UNICEF or similar organizations (preferably in the LAC region).
- Experiences in planning and managing intersectoral initiatives in the fields of ECD, childhood disabilities (with family focus) and education.
- Familiarity with emergency response strategies, as part of the main UNICEF programme areas.
- Networking experience with international organizations, universities, NGOs and other, non-traditional knowledge centers.
- Fluency in English and Spanish. Fluency in Portuguese and/or French is an asset.
- Professional technical knowledge/expertise in Early Childhood Development and Childhood Disabilities.
- Extensive knowledge of UNICEF programme work in the region in the areas of health, ECD, disability and/or early/primary education, with an understanding of related institutional priorities.
Other skills and Attributes:
- Capacity to work in stressful conditions.
- Willingness to travel extensively through the LAC-region (over 50%).
- Flexibility and adaptability to shifting conditions and work demands.
- Capacity to communicate effectively and work collaboratively with RO and CO colleagues and external partners.
- High level of Integrity and commitment to UNICEF's mission and professional values.
- Analytical and conceptual ability, negotiating, communication and advocacy skills.
This consultancy will be managed by the ECD Regional Specialist in close coordination with Regional Health Emergency Specialist (ZIKA coordinator).
Home based work, with frequent travels to Panama and to countries implementing Child Care and Family Support component in the LAC region (based on requests by UNICEF LACRO).
Estimated start date of this individual contract is: 15 May up to 31 December 2019.
Travel (if applicable)
Travel will be covered by UNICEF as per policy.
- Travel costs will be estimated and added to the contract once they are determined based on UNICEF Financial Rules and Regulations.
- For agreed country visits, the contractor/consultant will be responsible in administering their own travel. UNICEF will reimburse travel related expenses based on actual costs or on the below criteria whichever is lower and upon presentation of receipts.
- Any travel involved should be budgeted according to UN Travel Standards as a ceiling.
- Travel: http://www.un.org/ga/search/view_doc.asp?symbol=ST/AI/2013/3 Sect. 4, para. 4.2, numerals (d) and (e)
- Accommodation (Daily Subsistence Allowance, DSA): http://icsc.un.org/ (all countries and destinations can be found by navigating on the map)
Fees and how to apply:
Candidates are requested to submit:
- Technical proposal: cover letter (referring to the required qualifications, timeline, workplan, and proposed methodology, as well as contact references from three (3) previous work experiences)
- Financial proposal
UNICEF's policy is to pay for the performance of contractual services rendered or to effect payment upon the achievement of specific milestones described in the contract. UNICEF's policy is not to grant advance payments except in unusual situations where the potential contractor, whether an Individual consultant, private firm, NGO or a government or other entity, specifies in the bid that there are special circumstances warranting an advance payment. UNICEF will normally require a bank guarantee or other suitable security arrangement.
Payments will be made upon delivery and approval of deliverables by UNICEF. UNICEF reserves the right to withhold all or a portion of payment if performance is unsatisfactory, if outputs are incomplete, not delivered of for failure to meet deadlines.
Details of payments will be agreed in advance and individually between the consultant and UNICEF.
Evaluation Method and Criteria:
Consultants and/or Individual Contractors (CIC) will be evaluated based on a cumulative methodology, being the award of the contract made to the CIC whose offer has been evaluated and determined as:
- Responsive/compliant/acceptable, and;
- Having received the highest score out of a pre-determined set of weighted technical and financial criteria specific to the solicitation.
Technical component score
Max. 70 points
Economical component score
Max. 30 points
Max. 100 points
Only candidates obtaining a minimum of 60 points (of the total technical points) would be considered for the Financial Evaluation.
The technical proposal should include: cover letter referring to the required qualifications, timeline, workplan, proposed methodology, and 3 contact references from previous work experience.
Advanced University degree in early childhood development, education, social sciences, international development or a related field;
Master's degree in any related field.
Eight years of professional work experience at the national and international levels in policy planning in a related field;
Demonstrated experience in the preparation and publication of books, journals, technical reports, papers and materials on topics related to early childhood development, international early learning standards, large-scale assessments and educational systems;
Expert knowledge on early learning and pre-primary education;
Knowledge and experience in strategies to implement ECD Programs;
Fluency in Spanish and English, excellent writing skills in both languages is required.
Total Maximum obtained for Technical Criteria
(Note: the total maximum score must be equivalent to the weight assigned to the technical score)
Minimum score for technical compliance
In addition, separately from the technical proposal (as in another document), a financial proposal detailing the total costs of the assignment (not including costs for travel yet) must be submitted.
The total amount of points allocated for the economic component is 30. The maximum number of points will be allotted to the lowest price proposal and compared among those consultants which obtain the threshold points in the evaluation of the technical component. All other price proposals will receive points in inverse proportion to the lowest price; e.g:
Score for Financial proposal * Price of lowest priced proposal
Score for price proposal X = ---------------------------------------------------------------------------
Price of proposal X
Please note only short-listed candidates will be contacted. UNICEF reserves the right to make additional assessment of the pre-selected candidates, if needed
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, therefore, undergo rigorous reference and background checks, and will be expected to adhere to these standards and principles.