Closing Date : 2019-05-31
Duty Station : Suva, Fiji
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Organization: UN Children's Fund
Country: Fiji
Closing date: 31 May 2019

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 fulfil 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, access to essential services

Across the Pacific, there are gaping problems in the provision of essential services to young children and their families. Legislation and policy on ECD has improved in recent years but there is little evidence that these have translated to equitable service delivery as they are usually limited in scope or mandate and have inadequate resources for implementation. Delivery of services is fragmented among public agencies scattered across education, health, finance, child protection and social protection and with poor coordination between central, local government and community partners. These services do not converge on the same child, hence diffusing the impact of interventions on young children and their families. The fragmentation produces sporadic and episodic activities, results in inefficiencies and wastes precious public resources.

Recently, PICTs have been making notable commitments to ECD. In September 2017, Pacific island governments gathered at the Pacific ECD Conference, with around 150 delegates, mostly ministers and senior-level government officials from across the sectors of education, finance, health, child protection and social protection - a first gathering of its kind in the region. Representatives from academia and development organizations also participated. The conference brought together 15 PICTs: Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Republic of Marshall Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tokelau, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu.

The momentous gathering resulted in a heightened and renewed enthusiasm for ECD. The conference also produced the Pasifika Call to Action on ECD, a critical regional document that guides post-conference actions on ECD, which was fully endorsed by all countries (see Annex 1). Subsequently, at the 49th Pacific Islands Forum in September 2019, Pacific leaders shared their concern over the increasing incidence of stunting in children and called for a "whole-of-government and whole-of-society approach" to address ECD. ECD has also been identified as a key priority in the 'Pacific Islands Forum' Leaders Communique, affirming a collective realization in the Pacific of the critical role of early investments in inclusive and sustainable development.

With funding support from the New Zealand and Australian government, UNICEF is supporting PICTs in translating the momentum gained from the conference to concrete advances on ECD. This support transpires in three levels: regional, national, and sub-national. At the regional level, the focus is on framing and acting on a collective agenda for ECD in the Pacific region, with the establishment of a regional and multi-sectoral body on ECD - the Pacific Regional Council for ECD (PRC4ECD), reflecting a council-approved expansion from the existing Pacific Regional Council for ECCE (PRC4ECCE). At the national level, the focus is on improving the enabling environment for ECD, specifically on multi-sectoral coordination, with the first phase kicking off in four countries - Kiribati, Solomon Islands, Marshall Islands, and Vanuatu. These countries were selected primarily because of the strong need for strengthened ECD services, coupled with significant commitment from their governments to ECD. At the sub-national level, the focus is on empowering provincial and community structures to coordinate service delivery and drive demand for quality service. UNICEF is supporting sub-national coordination in Guadalcanal province in the Solomon Islands and plans to gain lessons here for adaptation to other sub-national contexts.

All these levels of ECD coordination are mutually reinforcing. The regional council supports national and sub-national work by providing technical guidelines, brokering partnerships and being a platform for south-south cooperation. The national and sub-national levels direct the regional council's agenda and feeds it with content on ECD issues, data and implementation. Within the countries, national level coordination provides the mandates for inter-sectoral coordination through policies and regulations. The sub-national level operationalizes the coordination or integration of service delivery - all the way to the communities and children's homes. Across levels, there is specific emphasis on improving multi-sectoral coordination given empirical evidence demonstrating improved outcomes and efficiencies of coordinated inter-sectoral approaches to ECD. UNICEF supports governments by facilitating dialogues and coordinated action, providing technical support, and convening stakeholders in consultative and participatory sessions on ECD. Across four countries, UNICEF is also supporting the recruitment of a national ECD coordinator or advisor to be a primary focal point for ECD programming and coordination.

How can you make a difference?

The purpose of this consultancy is to provide technical assistance to each of the governments of Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Solomon Islands, and Vanuatu to strengthen their governance, coordination, and management of multi-sectoral ECD. The consultancy will involve engagement with the critical sectors in ECD, including but not limited to health and nutrition, education, child protection, social protection, and WASH. Using transparent planning and participatory processes, the consultancy will undertake the following main activities:

To design and implement a comprehensive assessment of the national and sub-national enabling environment for ECD, including policies, regulations, programmes/services and stakeholders on ECD that will inform next steps on ECD in the country;

To guide the establishment and strengthening of a multi-sectoral ECD coordination mechanism in government (may include development of terms of reference, interagency agreements, etc.);

To support the development of relevant policy and planning instruments on ECD, for example, National ECD Action Plan that is comprehensive, multi-sectoral and properly resourced, with clear linkages and contributions from existing sector plans and budgets;

To develop a national M&E framework and mechanism on ECD that effectively monitors the situation of young children and generates data and evidence for effective decision-making.

To qualify as an advocate for every child you will have

Education:

Team leader: Must have an advanced degree in social policy, politics, development studies, human development, education, psychology, or a relevant field;Team members: Each must have at least a bachelor's degree in social policy, politics, development studies, human development, or a relevant field

Experience:

Team leader: Minimum of 10 years of relevant experience in early childhood development, including work in international development, public policy, or government, with strong project management experienceTeam members: Each must have a minimum of 8 years of relevant experience on early childhood development, including work in international development, public policy, or governmentAt least one member must have regional expertise or experience in the Pacific;

Demonstrable Skills (across the team):

Ability to convene different sectors and stakeholders to achieve multi-sectoral coordination;Ability to work collaboratively and respectively in cross-culturally settings, working with a range of local and international stakeholders, ministerial and others;Sound political judgement and the ability to navigate politics and identify key players and make sound judgments about influencing strategies to achieve outcomes;Ability to provide mentoring and capacity building to colleagues and government partners;Excellent written and oral communication skills.

Languages (applicable to all members of team)

Fluency in English

Competencies (applicable to all members of team)

Good analytical, negotiating, communication and advocacy skills;Demonstrated ability to work in a multi-cultural environment and establish harmonious and effective working relationships, both within and outside the work place;Versatility, judgment and maturity.

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APPLICATIONS

Applicants must submit:

(a) a technical proposal including the general approach in fulfilling the requirements of this consultancy;

(b) a narrative explaining why the institution/team is qualified for this consultancy;

(c) In the case of institutions: (i) company profile paying attention to the description of the company expertise in the concerned field; (ii) latest audited financial statement, (iii) Track record-list of clients for similar services in the past three years, indicating description of contract scope, contract duration, contract value and contract references

For both institutions and consultant teams (i) Signed and dated resumes and declaration of availability of involved specialists during contract implementation period, (ii) Reference letters from prior customers, if available, (ii) financial offer (professional fee for total of 472 days, international travel (place of recruitment to Kiribati/Marshall Islands/Solomon Islands/Vanuatu) place of recruitment, in-country travel, living allowance during stay in each of the countries); (iii) examples of previous work relevant to the consultancy.

A Detailed Copy of the Terms of Reference is attached.ToR ECD Policy and Coordination_ext.doc.

Please refer to technical and financial evaluation criteria breakdown in Annex 2.

Advertisement Period: 16 May to 31 May 2019

Closing date: 31 May 2019

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.


How to apply:

UNICEF is committed to diversity and inclusion within its workforce, and encourages qualified female and male candidates from all national, religious and ethnic backgrounds, including persons living with disabilities, to apply to become a part of our organization. To apply, click on the following link http://www.unicef.org/about/employ/?job=522221

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