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For every child, Education!
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In Education, the Gross Enrolment Rate for pre-primary remains under 2% nationwide as there are no public pre-primary classes. Children therefore usually start their education in Grade 1, around the official entry age of 7 years old. The few existing ECE centres in Afghanistan can be found within the private sector in urban centres, or supported by NGO/INGOs or UNICEF.
For the last few years, UNICEF has been implementing an ECE program based on the Khurasan Easy Learning curriculum in 4 provinces of the Eastern Region of Afghanistan. Currently, there are a total of 222 such centres open, with the following provincial breakdown: 25 in Nuristan, 54 in Laghman, 50 in Kunar and 93 in Nangarhar. The pre-primary course is targeted at 6-years old children, lasts 9 months per academic year, and aims at ensuring children enter Grade 1 with adequate school-readiness.
As a reference framework to study the various components relevant for the appropriate development of young children 0-8 years old, UNICEF and its partners usually focus on adequate nutrition, responsive caregiving, security and safety, good health and opportunities for early learning, as described in the UNICEF ECD Nurturing Care Framework(cf: https://nurturing-care.org/resources/Nurturing_Care_Framework_en.pdf).
Scope of work
UNICEF is the executing agency for the World Bank funded Education Emergency Response in Afghanistan (EERA) project, which is implemented from October 2022 to March 2024 (18 months). Under this project, one sub-component aims at doing a mapping of existing and adequate cross-sectoral platforms of Early Childhood Development (ECD) services in Afghanistan. This mapping would then be used subsequently to decide on appropriate entry points for the delivery of future ECD interventions, in a next phase of the project (beyond the scope of the World Bank funded EERA).
The scope of the work for the consultant would involve the following:
- A review of existing work from the UNICEF ECD/ECE taskforce and available documents from other sectors (Health, Nutrition, Child Protection, Immunization, Polio etc), including as relevant from other agencies such as WHO/WFP and FAO and hold focused discussions with relevant sector focal points.
- Visits to relevant identified sites, selected jointly with the UNICEF ECD/ECE taskforce and in close coordination with the Education Team, to collect information, observe programs and check suitability as entry points for possible outreach face-to-face activities to target mothers/parents/caregivers of young children. Those potential sites could be health facilities, Child Friendly Spaces, Women and Girls Safe Spaces, maternal waiting homes, nutrition outpatient centres or Early Childhood Education centres run by UNICEF for example, or any other physical locations recommended to be visited by the taskforce.
- Interviews, KIIs or FGDs of identified health, nutrition, child protection or immunization/polio workers in the field who are working closely with communities delivering services to mothers/parents/caregivers for young children: for example, community health workers or workers employed in the Day Care Centres for pregnant mothers, teachers or shura members of the UNICEF-run ECE centres, Child Protection Action Networks (CPAN), Community Based Child Protection Networks (CBCPNs) etc. Potential target groups for interviews would also be decided in close coordination with the UNICEF ECD/ECE taskforce as well as the Education team, potentially also involving other agency focal points. As advised by UNICEF at the time of running those interviews, it is possible that discussions will also be organized with the de facto authorities, at least at technical level, either at central level and/or at provincial level.
- Formulation of detailed recommendations of most appropriate entry points for UNICEF to plan face-to-face ECD interventions and leverage potential assets like the network of community health workers for example to reach beneficiaries (mothers/parents/caregivers and young children) with longer-term ECD interventions.
1. Inception report comprising:
- A review of internal UNICEF documents related to programming in various sectors targeting young children, any existing implementing partners program documents, etc.
- A plan for visits to a selected number of various physical sites decided in coordination with the UNICEF ECD/ECE task force, and in agreement with the Education Team, and potentially with other relevant agency focal points.
- A plan for interviews to a select number of assets such as the community health workers, health centre workers, UNICEF-supported ECE teachers and shura members, Day Care Centres workers etc.
- A methodology for information and data collection to assess the suitability of entry points for future ECD interventions, building off the UNICEF Nurturing Care Framework, comprising the design of all checklists and observation tools for data collection at the centres to be visited, as well as the design of a qualitative method with FGDs and KIIs for all relevant stakeholders involved and beneficiaries: implementing partners and public social workers, UNICEF focal points in UNICEF-supported centres or within communities, UNICEF technical extenders from various sectors who monitor the centres/sites, teachers, shuras, parents, community members, and any other relevant stakeholder.
2. Two progress reports based on mission notes from the visits to the identified sites, data and information collected from checklists/observation tools/FGDs/KIIs.
3. Final report including analysis of data and information collected, assessment of findings focusing especially on existing gaps within the nurturing care framework, highlighting suitable entry points for future ECD interventions for UNICEF to consider in the longer term (beyond the scope of this consultancy and beyond EERA). In addition to the report, a Powerpoint Presentation will be developed by the consultant, and the consultant will deliver the presentation to UNICEF and the World Bank to share key findings and recommendations.
Work Assignment Overview
For all tasks related to deliverable 1, the consultant will expect to work in the Kabul Office of UNICEF for those first 20 days, to facilitate exchanges with the Education Team, the ECD Task Force, colleagues from all relevant sectors, and to organize the logistics of the travel missions.
Review all available resources related to ECD policy, previous UNICEF work/plans related to ECD, discuss with focal points from Health, Nutrition, Child Protection, Immunization and polio, Education.
Review existing implementing partners documents from above programs, program documents, any ECD package being implemented, including supplies for ECD etc.
In collaboration with the UNICEF Kabul team from across above sectors through the ECD Taskforce and in coordination with the Education team, design the plans for visits of selected potential platforms for ECD service delivery, including some ECE centres.
Working with UNICEF Education Team, plan for the logistics of the visits, involving Technical Extenders for translation, ensuring security protocols are respected, organizing physical transport to sites etc
Design of all observation checklists and data collection tools, design qualitative method with FGDs and KIIs for all stakeholders involved and beneficiaries.
Inception report comprising:
20 working days
Visits to agreed selected sites, health centres, community-based centres, day care nutrition centres, pregnant mother’s waiting rooms, Child Friendly Spaces, Women and Girls Safe Spaces, ECE centres, and collect data through checklists, observations, and collect information through FGDs and KIIs of agreed stakeholders. Those sites will be mostly outside of Kabul. 30 days are expected to be spent outside of Kabul for travel/visits/information gathering.
Debrief of missions in Kabul with UNICEF teams (Education, Nutrition, Health and Child Protection mainly) as well as with the World Bank technical teams: this would expect to be for an estimated 5 days.
Two progress reports based on mission notes from the visits to the identified sites, data and information collected from checklists/observation tools/FGDs/KIIs.
Each progress report will outline progress made up till submission, draft early findings and observations, potential entry points for future ECD interventions, outline which kind of ECD intervention could be envisaged, highlight any gaps in the nurturing care framework which should be the focus of UNICEF’s future interventions etc
Attend debrief meetings with the UNICEF teams across relevant sectors (Education, Nutrition, health and Child Protection), with the ECD Task Force, and the World bank technical teams online.
35 Working days
All days for this deliverable will be spent from the consultant’s home, with regular online calls expected with the UNICEF team.
Analysis of all data and information collected.
Formulation of recommendations for possible future ECD interventions, outlining entry points and areas of focus on gaps identified in the ECD nurturing care framework, modalities for future interventions and how to best leverage identified assets (like the community health workers or others).
Development and delivery of a PowerPoint presentation for the UNICEF and World Bank teams. Feedback from this presentation will then be addressed within the final report.
Final report including analysis of data and information collected, assessment of findings focusing especially on existing gaps within the nurturing care framework, highlighting suitable entry points for future ECD interventions for UNICEF to consider in the longer term (beyond the scope of this consultancy and beyond EERA)
Development and delivery of a Powerpoint Presentation to UNICEF and the World Bank to share key findings and recommendations
25 days Working days
To qualify as an advocate for every child you will have…
- An advanced university degree (Master’s or higher) in Education, primary-education, ECD, Social studies, development studies, gender studies, language, Development Studies, or Social Sciences or its equivalent
- At least 8 years’ experience in the review, design, evaluation or implementation of Early Childhood Development programs in the humanitarian sector.
- Experience or proven knowledge in evaluation design, quantitative and qualitative studies, research studies, especially in children’s early years, pre-primary education, early learning and stimulation, positive parenting, health/nutrition/immunization for young children, early childhood development.
- Previous experience evaluating, assessing or developing ECD programs or strategies, or NGO-implemented programs in the field of ECD, early childhood health/nutrition/education.
- Developing country work experience and/or familiarity with emergency is considered an asset.
- Fluency in English is required. Knowledge of another official UN language (Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian or Spanish) or a local language is an asset.
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.
Interested consultants are required to apply online, indicating availability and all-inclusive lump sum fee to undertake the terms of reference.
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.
Advertised: 23 May 2023 Afghanistan Standard Time
Deadline: 06 Jun 2023 Afghanistan Standard Time
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