Consultancy for Institutionalization and scale up of parenting programmes in the UAE – Abu Dhabi for 6 Months

UNICEF - United Nations Children’s Fund

The UNICEF Gulf Area Office (UNICEF GAO) is unique in its mandate. It is accountable for providing programmatic support to Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Kuwait and Qatar. In addition, it identifies, cultivates and sustains partnerships with Gulf-based partners to generate resources for the organization globally. UNICEF has a role to play in ensuring rapid development in the Gulf is child sensitive and child focused and that children remain at the heart of the national development dialogue.

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, love

Evidence-based parenting programmes and interventions are a scalable and cost-effective way to support parents and caregivers and prevent abuse, neglect and adversity in childhood. They contribute to good mental health and well-being for children and their caregivers and reduce risk-taking behaviours throughout the life course. Once initial start-up costs have been covered, the cost of delivering parenting interventions per family is roughly comparable to the cost of a routine childhood vaccination programme.

Despite this strong, evidence-based investment case, a WHO survey has estimated that only around 25% of countries globally have established parenting programmes that reach all who need them.  There is therefore growing momentum behind a global Call to Action in support of a collective action framework that urges for increased investment in evidence-based parent support initiatives across the globe.

According to the Policy Call, government action for universal provision of such support would comprise a “minimum” or “essential” package for implementation at scale.   It would include a minimum of five to seven in-person sessions delivered at home or through center-based interventions for all parents and caregivers of children under the age of five; and follow-up “booster” sessions when children reach middle childhood and adolescence.  The intensity of such support may vary where families are in particularly challenging circumstances.

In order to promote this Policy Call, a three-year programme has been initiated that aims to increase the number of Governments that commit to implement publicly funded parenting support interventions and services.  To support this objective, a draft programmatic framework is in development. The programmatic framework will establish “benchmarks” and define a series of “checkpoints” that will permit the objective measurement of progress in policy implementation both within countries and allow comparison between countries.  The policy standards aim to establish preconditions to universal parenting support within the country and will reflect core domains addressing issues of legal and policy framework, evidence-based content and delivery modalities, human and financial resources, coordination, and data collection, monitoring and evaluation.

The UAE is one of five countries selected for piloting this framework (Mexico, Serbia, South Africa, United Arab Emirates, and Zambia). The countries are all ‘trailblazer’ countries. The trail blazer countries would seek to create opportunities for scaling and institutionalization of parenting programmes.

The UAE of late has been making significant investments in child wellbeing and protection, with some emirates in particular, such as Abu Dhabi, leading some pioneering work in child protection systems, early childhood development and parenting across age groups. Plans are being made for scaling up a few promising parenting programmes in the country, with a stronger focus on parenting. The Ministry of Health and Prevention (MOHAP) in the country is also in the process of developing plans and programmes for rolling out the CCD framework.

The programmatic framework has been developed by a consultancy team contracted by UNICEF New York through Parenting for Lifelong Health. A senior consultant/s will be contracted to lead the piloting of the tool in UAE and developing a final assessment tool based on findings from the country. The senior consultant will work remotely supported by a local consultant fluent in Arabic and familiar with UAE context to assist in the research and review processes, collecting information, communicating and coordinating with relevant authorities in the country. Based on that, this term of reference represents the tasks and deliverables of the local consultant to support work on ground.



How can you make a difference? 

Purpose of this consultancy:

To assist in the national assessment of progress in policy implementation toward universal parenting support in the UAE, using the draft national assessment framework.

The assessment will take place under the supervision of Chief, Child Protection, at UNICEF Gulf Area Office and with regular support and input from the Parenting for Lifelong Health consultancy team, and UAE partners and stakeholders. The local consultant who should be fluent in Arabic and familiar with UAE context will support a senior consultant and assist her in the research and review processes, collecting information, communicating and coordinating with relevant authorities in the country. The local consultant will be guided in the assessment by the UNICEF GAO in relation to coordination with national actors, and by the senior consultant & PLH consultancy team providing support to familiarisation with the framework, methodological development and national contextualization of the tool, technical support, and quality control of results.


Work Assignment

In coordination with the senior consultant, the local consultant will contribute to the following:

Task 1: Participation in online familiarisation with the national assessment tool

The local Consultant will participate in an online ‘training/familiarisation’ training session(s), likely to be two sessions (one for introduction and one for follow-up clarification). The purpose will be to ((i) train the local consultant on the framework and methodology for conducting the assessment (desk review, key informant interviews, stakeholder reflections]; (ii) Contribute to refining the framework and methodology through participatory exercise with the senior consultant and other participating stakeholders; and (iii) Contribute to the adaptation of the methodology and framework to the national context where necessary.

Task 2: Rapid desk review

The local consultant will assist the senior consultant in conducting a desk review of national policy and programming documents relevant to universal parenting programmes, with the aim of identifying the national parenting context. This will include research on the national family context and parenting practices; current legal and policy context on issues relating to parenting from at a minimum the ECD, child protection, and health and nutrition sectors; resources available on current parenting interventions being implemented in [country]; and data collection, monitoring and evaluation on issues related to parenting.

Task 3: Benchmarking assessment


Participate in conducting the key informant interviews (KIIs) with key national and sub-national actors using the a questionnaire aligned to the assessment framework,  that will identify data on laws, policies, systems and processes related to parenting, and will collect stakeholder perceptions on progress towards universal parenting in UAE – [to determine, but to include at least the following: national / federal ministries covering child protection, ECD, adolescent health, family status, and other national drivers of harsh parenting; sub-national government stakeholders covering the same contexts; civil society, media and private sector providers of parenting interventions; academics conducting research related to parenting and religious leaders.

Contribute to the consolidation and analysis of the KII findings within the assessment framework.

Contribute to the compilation of a draft national report, including completed programmatic framework, assessment methodology, and summary of key findings and present to UNICEF, PLH and other and stakeholders for review

Task 4: Participatory consultation on draft findings with key stakeholders

Under the supervision of the senior consultant, facilitate a series of consultative meetings with key stakeholders from UAE [number, membership, process to be determined] to collectively review findings and reach consensus on benchmarks and checkpoints. Facilitate the meetings in Arabic when necessary.

Contribute to the draft the final national benchmarking report [UNICEF CO to advise on template] including the completed assessment framework for review by [UNICEF and national stakeholders] and national recommendations / examples of good practice to be made available to key partners.

Task 5: Final national report on UAE parenting policy

The local consultant will support the senior consultant and UNICEF in a validation / launch meeting with key national stakeholders, including presentation of assessment process and results. The local consultant will then contribute to the preparation of a final report to UNICEF incorporating feedback from the validation meeting.


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

  • A Master’s in social sciences/social work/development
  • At least 5 years of relevant work experience on child rights/wellbeing/protection, in particular on parenting programmes
  • Demonstrated experience in conducting assessments, studies, development of polices.
  • Fluency in Arabic and English is required.
  • Familiarity with the middle east/gulf context



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. 


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