Consultancy - Early Childhood Development, Nairobi

Organization: UNICEF - United Nations Children’s Fund

Country: Kenya

City: Nairobi, Kenya

Office: UNICEF Nairobi, Kenya

Closing date: Monday, 28 September 2020

Consultancy - Early Childhood Development (0-3) ESARO, Nairobi Kenya

Job no: 534488

Position type: Consultancy

Location: Kenya Division/Equivalent: Nairobi Regn’l(ESARO)

School/Unit: Regional Services Div (ESAR), Nairobi

Department/Office: Reg Serv - Prog Section, Nairobi Regn’l

Categories: Early Childhood Development

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.

TERMS OF REFERENCE

PART I

Title of Assignment

Individual contractor, Early Childhood Development (0-3)

Section

ESARO Early Childhood Development

Location

Nairobi, Kenya with travel around ESAR (travel costs to be covered by UNICEF)

Duration

11.5 months

Start date

From: 15/10/2020

To: 29/09/2021

Background and Justification Evidence from neuroscience, economics and human development makes the case for why governments, communities and parents need to invest in young children, especially the most vulnerable, to ensure that they develop fully - emotionally, socially, physically and cognitively - and are enabled to acquire the skills, attitudes and knowledge needed to lead happy and productive lives. But despite the evidence, too many children - an estimated 250 million children (43% of 0-5-year olds) - from Low- and Middle-Income Countries - are in danger of not reaching their full potential.

UNICEF’s East and Southern African Office’s (ESARO) Early Childhood Development (ECD) Section provides technical support, advice, guidance and oversight to 21 UNICEF Country Offices (COs) in the region. Our objective is to support COs to scale up access to high-quality, integrated ECD opportunities and services. Our approach is to work across sectors, (health, nutrition, education, protection and Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH)), across age ranges (pre-natal care, first thousand days, pre-school, early primary school i.e. 0-8) and across contexts, including emergencies. We work in partnership with governments, civil society organisations, donors and academics, amongst others. And we are committed to achieve the sustainable scale-up of quality services for all young children and their families, especially for the most vulnerable who benefit most.

UNICEF’s global Strategic Plan and UNICEF Eastern and Southern Africa Region (ESAR) Regional Priorities commit the organisation, through its ECD programmes, to support the acceleration of progress in two main areas by 2021 namely, increasing the number of children who: i) receive stimulating and nurturing care from their caregivers and; ii) access quality Early Childhood Education (ECE) services. In both areas the ESAR has a long way to go. Data is scarce on the number of children receiving stimulating and nurturing care but using proxies we estimate that in at least 15 ESAR countries more than 60% of children are growing up in sub-optimal conditions. Data on ECE is more readily available; only three countries in the ESAR have more than 50% of children accessing ECE.

UNICEF ESARO is committed to supporting COs to implement sustainable, equitable and quality ECD programming at scale. COs need specific support to: i) strengthen the policy and regulatory framework around ECD; ii) identify entry points for taking ECD to scale; iii) provide specific technical support to governments on ECD workforce development, costing and financing, data and measurement and monitoring and evaluation; iv) use the best available evidence and relevant experience from the region and beyond to inform their approach and programming and; v) develop and build on partnerships to ensure sustainable scale-up of programmes.

Scope of Work

Goal and Objective Under the supervision of the ESARO Regional ECD Adviser, the consultant will provide technical assistance to COs within the area of Early Childhood Development as it relates to children aged 0-3 and their families with a specific focus on the first thousand days and on supporting parents and caregivers on early stimulation and responsive caregiving. Specifically, the consultant will advise COs on: i) how best to use existing health and nutrition systems and delivery platforms at national, sub-national and community levels to better support parents, caregivers and young children; ii) how to leverage UNICEF’s child protection and social protection programming to enable support for particularly vulnerable groups of caregivers and young children; ii) ECD costing and financing for scale up particularly within health and social welfare budgets; iii) delivery in emergency and fragile contexts; iv) data and measurement and assessing child outcomes; v) provision for young children with disabilities and developmental delays and vi) other issues related to the equitable scale-up of ECD services.

Providing technical support to COs to scale-up access to quality ECD services, including in emergency contexts, is a key activity within ESARO ECD’s Annual Rolling Work Plan (RWP) 2020-2021. UNICEF’s work in this area is guided in large part by the Nurturing Care Framework (NCF) which was endorsed at the World Health Assembly in May 2018 and which calls for an integrated approach to deliver on the outcome of ECD. Enhancing COs‘ capacity, especially around operationalisation of the NCF within health and nutrition systems and platforms is a particular focus of the ESARO RWP and a particular need in countries. Given the COVID19 context and its impact on the development of young children this support has become even more important.

Activities and Tasks The consultant is expected to undertake the following:

Develop an action plan focused on how to support ESAR COs to: i) identify ongoing and upcoming opportunities to embed ECD within national planning, bugeting and data strengthening processes; ii) adapt existing UNICEF interventions within the context of COVID-19 and especially within health and nutrition programmes, to include components that can support early stimulation; iii) support advocacy, awareness and resource mobilisation efforts on key elements known to be missing within health systems and; iv) strengthen the evidence base in terms of what works. UNICEF’s work at global and regional level on operationalisation of the NCF should be used to support efforts in this area.

Support ESARO’s efforts to establish partnership mechanisms and approaches at the regional level to advance ECD. This will include providing support to the joint WHO/UNICEF/AfECN strategy to embed ECD within the AU and its relevant organs.

Maintain a database that keeps track of: i) implementation of the NCF in ESAR and; ii) support given to COs in this area and contains information that can be used and adapted for different purposes, including documentation of best practice for south/south cooperation and learning across countries.

Support COs, including in-country - should COVID19 travel restrictions ease - to: i) identify entry points for ECD within national platforms as well as UNICEF health and nutrition programming; ii) improve ECD data and measurement, including through the strengthening of health management information systems; iii) improve knowledge on what can work to scale-up ECD using existing mechanisms at national, sub-national and community levels; iv) analyse the costs and implications of using existing mechanisms to scale-up ECD.

Provide day-to-day practical support to ESAR COs on ECD within their health and nutrition programming.

Support COs to strengthen capacity for the delivery of ECD in emergency contexts.

Draw from existing good practice and support ESARO’s efforts to provide guidelines, training and knowledge sharing opportunities to COs on ECD.

Document lessons learnt in supporting COs with scale-up. Work Relationship The consultant will work primarily with UNICEF CO ECD focal points. She/he is expected to work and liaise particularly closely with the ESARO Health and Nutrition Teams. The consultant will also be expected to liaise, from time-to-time, with: i) other ESARO sections relevant for ECD including child protection, social protection, education and WASH; ii) ESARO Senior Management; iii) UNICEF HQ ECD and Health and Nutrition teams and; iii) other relevant partners including the African ECD Network (AfECN), the WHO and others.

Outputs and payment schedule The Individual Contractor is expected to produce the outputs and be paid according to the table below: Outputs

Payment

Deadline

Monthly progress report which includes details on:

technical support provided to ESAR COs

strategic input made to support ESARO’s efforts to deliver on the ECD Framework for Action

guidelines and documents produced (to be provided in an annex to the report).

Monthly payment

15/11/2020

Monthly progress report which includes details on:

technical support provided to ESAR COs

strategic input made to support ESARO’s efforts to deliver on the ECD Framework for Action

guidelines and documents produced (to be provided in an annex to the report).

Monthly payment

15/12/2020

Monthly progress report which includes details on:

technical support provided to ESAR COs

strategic input made to support ESARO’s efforts to deliver on the ECD Framework for Action

guidelines and documents produced (to be provided in an annex to the report).

Monthly payment

15/01/2021

Monthly progress report which includes details on:

technical support provided to ESAR COs

strategic input made to support ESARO’s efforts to deliver on the ECD Framework for Action

guidelines and documents produced (to be provided in an annex to the report).

Monthly payment

15/02/2021

Monthly progress report which includes details on:

technical support provided to ESAR COs

strategic input made to support ESARO’s efforts to deliver on the ECD Framework for Action

Tags child development child protection early childhood development health systems human development information systems knowledge sharing management information systems monitoring and evaluation nutrition programmes public administration social development social welfare southern africa travel restrictions workforce development

guidelines and documents produced (to be provided in an annex to the report).

Monthly payment

15/03/2021

Monthly progress report which includes details on:

technical support provided to ESAR COs

strategic input made to support ESARO’s efforts to deliver on the ECD Framework for Action

guidelines and documents produced (to be provided in an annex to the report).

Monthly payment

15/04/2021

Monthly progress report which includes details on:

technical support provided to ESAR COs

strategic input made to support ESARO’s efforts to deliver on the ECD Framework for Action

guidelines and documents produced (to be provided in an annex to the report).

Monthly payment

15/05/2021

Monthly progress report which includes details on:

technical support provided to ESAR COs

strategic input made to support ESARO’s efforts to deliver on the ECD Framework for Action

guidelines and documents produced (to be provided in an annex to the report).

Monthly payment

15/06/2021

Monthly progress report which includes details on:

technical support provided to ESAR COs

strategic input made to support ESARO’s efforts to deliver on the ECD Framework for Action

guidelines and documents produced (to be provided in an annex to the report).

Monthly payment

15/07/2021

Monthly progress report which includes details on:

technical support provided to ESAR COs

strategic input made to support ESARO’s efforts to deliver on the ECD Framework for Action

guidelines and documents produced (to be provided in an annex to the report).

Monthly payment

15/08/2021

Final report

1.5 Monthly payment

15/09/2021

Desired qualification, competencies, technical background and experience

Required

An advanced university degree in one of the following fields is required: education, public administration, public health, nutrition, economics, psychology, sociology, human development, child development, family studies or another relevant technical field.

A minimum of eight years relevant professional work experience at national and international levels in the social development field, and specifically in early childhood development within health and nutrition systems.

Experience in and knowledge of ECD in East and Southern Africa.

Ability to work independently.

Excellent analytical, communication, writing skills in English language.

Desired

Experience in and knowledge of UNICEF’s activities at the country and regional levels on ECD in health and nutrition programming.

Experience in and knowledge of health (& nutrition) systems and processes (e.g. national policy/strategy/budgeting development processes) would be an added advantage.

Relevant experience in a UN system agency or organization.

Knowledge of French and Portugese would be considered as an asset

Administrative issues The consultant will use her/his own equipment (computer, digital voice recorder etc.) to produce deliverables. Office space will be provided in ESARO and Country Offices as needed.

Conditions

All travel undertaken by the consultant to fulfill her/his contract will be by the most economical fare and reimbursement will be as per UNICEF policy.

As per UNICEF DFAM policy, payment is made against approved deliverables. No advance payment is allowed unless in exceptional circumstances against bank guarantee, subject to a maximum of 30 per cent of the total contract value in cases where advance purchases, for example for supplies or travel, may be necessary.

The candidate selected will be governed by and subject to UNICEF’s General Terms and Conditions for individual contracts.

Risks

Risks include an inability to receive and respond to CO requests for technical assistance in a timely manner and potential delays in the finalisation of key documents. The UNICEF supervisor will take every measure to facilitate the work of the consultant and in particular her/his relations with the COs as key stakeholders of this consultancy.

How to Apply

Qualified candidates are requested to submit a cover letter, CV, and signed P11 form (which can be downloaded at http://www.unicef.org/about/employ/index_53129.html) to ________@unicef.org with subject line ESARO Individual Contractor, Early Childhood Development by Friday .

Interested consultants to indicate ability, availability and rate (monthly) to undertake the terms of reference.

Applications submitted without a fee/ rate will not be considered.

Advertised: Sep 15 2020 E. Africa Standard Time Application close: Sep 28 2020 E. Africa Standard Time