United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)

Consultant (Desk Review for School Violence Related to Disabilities)

United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)

Job Description


Parent Sector : Education Sector (ED)

Duty Station: Multiple

Job Family: Education

Type of contract : Non Staff

Duration of contract : From 1 to 6 months

Recruitment open to : External candidates

Application Deadline (Midnight Paris Time) : 15-JUN-2020

UNESCO Core Values: Commitment to the Organization, Integrity, Respect for Diversity, Professionalism


Please note that the recruited candidate(s) will work remotely.

I. Background & Rationale

UNESCO seeks a consultant or a team of consultants, including a research institution to conduct a desk review of the published and grey literature on violence and bullying against children and young people with disabilities in schools and other learning settings, which will contribute to the advancement of the understanding and the documenting of this topic and inform a series of international policy dialogues organized by UNESCO and its partners around this theme. The consultant(s) will work closely with UNESCO’s Health and Education and Inclusion sections to achieve the objectives and deliver the expected outputs detailed below by latest 30 November 2020.

Violence at school is a widespread phenomenon, occurs in all countries and affects a significant number of children and adolescents. The evidence suggests that it is mostly perpetrated by peers but, in some cases, is perpetrated by teachers and other school staff. Almost one in three children has been bullied by their peers at school on one or more days in the past month. Physical bullying is the most common, and sexual bullying is the second most frequent type of bullying across all regions, except for Europe and North America, where psychological bullying prevails. One in ten children is affected by cyberbullying nowadays, and one in three children has at least once experienced a physical attack in the past year. Data from sub-Saharan Africa suggest that both girls and boys are victims of Sexual Violence mostly at the hands of their peers rather than teachers. Corporal punishment is still allowed in schools in more than 65 countries and is frequently used in many countries even where it is officially outlawed.

The social and economic costs of school violence and bullying are high. Bullied children and victims of school-related violence have lower self-esteem, often do not feel a sense of true belonging in school, suffer from lower learning outcomes and are more likely to miss and drop out of school. Bullying can have a significant impact on children’s Mental Health, Quality of Life and risk behaviours.

Children who are perceived to be ‘different’ in any way are more likely to be bullied. International surveys, such as Global School-based Student Health Survey (GSHS) and Health Behaviour in School-aged Children (HBSC), reveal that physical appearance is the most common reason for being bullied, with race, nationality or skin colour the second most common reason. According to a systematic review on violence affecting children with disabilities (without a focus on learning settings) published by the Lancet, children with disabilities are more likely to be victims of violence than are their peers who are not disabled. Reasons for increased vulnerability to violence and bullying include stigma and discrimination, which also make it difficult for children to report experiences of violence.

There are more than one billion people with some form of disability, accounting for 15 per cent of the world population. An estimated 5 per cent or 93 million children of those aged 14 or younger live with disabilities, but numbers could be much higher. Nearly half of the children with disabilities are out of school. To the extent possible, UNESCO promotes the development of inclusive education systems and inclusive schools that welcome learners with disabilities, as one of the most effective means to combat discriminatory attitudes and gender-based discrimination, to create welcoming communities, to build an inclusive society and to achieve education for all.

Similarly, little is known about the magnitude of violence against children with disabilities in schools and other learning settings. As confirmed by the UNESCO commissioned report, entitled Behind the Numbers: Ending school violence and bullying, there is limited data on the experience of school violence and bullying among children with disabilities. This includes a lack of evidence on the nature and scope of school violence and bullying affecting children with disabilities, and factors contributing to increasing their vulnerability. Little comprehensive and comparable data on the location of incidents of violence or perpetrators is available. Given the scarcity of data on the topic, consequently, there are limited policy and programmes available to effectively respond to school violence and bullying against children with disabilities.To that end, building on the Behind the Numbers report, UNESCO commissions a follow-up desk review to address the gaps in the evidence, with a particular focus on school violence and bullying against children with disabilities. Given that more than half of children with disabilities are not in schools (either placed in specialized and closed institutions, either home-schooled or entirely denied their rights to education), for the purpose of this exercise, the conceptual framework of school violence and bullying will be expanded to include other learning settings, such as specialized institutions, education at home and other facilities where relevant and will not be limited only to schools.

II. Purpose of the contract

To develop a background paper, approximately 30 pages or 12,000 words in English based on a review of the published and grey literature, which will inform a series of international dialogues on policy issues related to school violence and bullying and inclusive education that will be organized by UNESCO and its partners during the last quarter of 2020. The purpose of the desk review is to search for, assess, collate, synthesize and present the available evidence on violence and bullying against children and young people with disabilities in schools and other learning settings and identify gaps in the data. The topics of interests broadly include the following categories.


  • The demographic, socio-economic and disability characteristics of children and young people with disabilities who are victims of violence and bullying in schools and other learning settings. Individual factors that make some them more or less vulnerable than others: gender, age, ethnicity, colour, sexual orientation and gender identity and types of disabilities (physical, mental, visual, hearing, visible or invisible).

Types of violence:

  • Nature and types of violence and bullying (psychological, physical or sexual violence) affecting children and young people with disabilities.

Influencing factors:

  • Prevalence of violence and bullying against children and young people with disabilities depending on the approach to disability (medical, social and others) in a given context/country and depending on the types of learning settings (inclusive schools, specialized/closed institutions, home-schooling and others).

  • The extent to which violence and bullying at school hamper the inclusion of learners with disabilities into mainstream classes and schools.

  • Other factors that increase or decrease the vulnerability of children and young people with disabilities to violence and bullying at school, family and community level.

Policies and programmes:

  • Existing provisions in the national, sub-national and local policies for preventing and addressing violence and bullying against children and young people with disabilities in schools and other learning settings;

  • Available programmes/interventions, including but not limited to teacher training, learning materials, awareness-raising, behaviour change, that have been put in place by governments, education authorities, school, education facilities and NGOs to prevent and address violence and bullying against children with disabilities;

  • Evaluations, assessments and reviews documenting the outcomes and impact of and achievements and lessons learnt from policies and programmes directed at preventing and addressing violence and bullying against children and young with disabilities in schools and other learning settings.

Secondary interest:

  • More studies focus on stigma and discrimination against children and young people with disabilities in various learning settings than studies on violence. The consultant(s) may also be expected to cover the issues concerning stigma and discrimination targeting children and young people with disabilities in schools and other learning settings.

The consultant(s) will also be expected to identify data gaps in the aforementioned areas of interest should the evidence be absent or low quality and suggest areas for further research.

III. Activities, deliverables and timeline

  • Briefing and planning: A proposal of the work, including a detailed search strategy and review and Analysis framework / Inception report including a detailed outline (End-of-June 2020)

  • Identify and consult key informants on published and grey literature to be included in the review: Database of documents and materials for review and analysis + list of key informants consulted (including key informants from UN and international NGOs) (Mid-July 2020)

  • Desk review and analysis: Draft paper with key findings and conclusions/recommendations (End-July 2020)

  • Finalization of technical paper based on reviewers’ comments: Final background paper/Final Report (full report, including executive summary) & PowerPoint presentation (Mid-Aug 2020)

  • Presentation of findings at the international events: PowerPoint presentation (Oct-Nov 2020)

COMPETENCIES (Core / Managerial)Accountability (C)Communication (C)Innovation (C)Knowledge Sharing and continuous improvement (C)Planning and organizing (C)Results focus (C)Teamwork (C)For detailed information, please consult the UNESCO Competency Framework.REQUIRED QUALIFICATIONS


Advanced university degree (Masters or PhD) in the field of Social Sciences, social work, inclusive education or related fields.

Work Experience

At least 10 years of relevant experience in designing and conducting research and literature reviews in the subject matter.


Fluency (oral and written) in English.

  • Proven knowledge and expertise in the areas of disability, inclusive education, special needs education, violence and bullying

  • Proven excellence in production of analytical work, both written report and brief presentations of research

  • Good communication and interpersonal skills


Please note that all candidates must complete an on-line application and provide complete and accurate information. To apply, please visit the UNESCO careers website. No modifications can be made to the application submitted.

The evaluation of candidates is based on the criteria in the vacancy notice, and may include tests and/or assessments, as well as a competency-based interview.

UNESCO uses communication technologies such as video or teleconference, e-mail correspondence, etc. for the assessment and evaluation of candidates.

Please note that only selected candidates will be further contacted and candidates in the final selection step will be subject to reference checks based on the information provided.


Interested individuals or research institutions should submit a cover letter, CV(s) and electronic copies (in English) of two publications on related topics of which the candidates are the main author(s), together with a brief proposal on the approach to the assignment, estimated costs and number of days it will take to complete the assignment, to Mr Sylvain Séguy (s.seguy@unesco.org).

Deadline for submission: 15 June 2020 before midnight (Paris time).

UNESCO applies a zero tolerance policy against all forms of harassment.

UNESCO is committed to achieve and sustain Gender Parity among its staff members in all categories and at all grades. Furthermore, UNESCO is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, nationality and culture. Individuals from minority groups, indigenous groups and persons with disabilities, as well as nationals from non-and under-represented Member States (last update here) are equally encouraged to apply. All applications will be treated with the highest level of confidentiality. Worldwide mobility is required for staff members appointed to international posts.

UNESCO does not charge a fee at any stage of the recruitment process.

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