UNICEF is seeking an expert consultant to develop a tool for investors and other actors looking to analyze or benchmark companies on the basis of children’s rights, consisting of a common framework for assessing how ready companies are to proactively manage potential and actual adverse Child Rights impacts with which they are involved (due diligence) and a methodology for assessment. This tool aims to provide these actors with a core set of indicators for child rights due diligence, a discussion on weighting and materiality (possibly highlighting some particular industries), a method for quantifying and scoring child rights due diligence, and elements of a methodology to integrate this model intro ESG research and Analysis. It will also outline and aim to provide solutions to some anticipated challenges in applying this analysis (lack of disclosure data being anticipated as one of the main challenges). 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, hope The Children’s Rights and Business (CRB) Unit within the Private Fundraising and Partnerships (PFP) Division is responsible to develop guidance for companies, governments, and civil society to address business impacts on children’s rights. Traditionally, UNICEF’s engagement with the private sector focused mainly on mobilising funds and other resources towards implementation of (often philanthropic) programmes for children. Today, UNICEF recognises that such interactions only touch the surface of the potential business has to contribute to UNICEF’s mission and the global agenda for children. UNICEF now works with all stakeholders – companies, government and civil society – to create an enabling environment where business can respect and support children’s rights. In 2019, UNICEF launched the Investor Guidance on Integrating Children’s Rights in Investment Decision Making in partnerships with Sustainalytics. The guidance aims to help investors understand how children’s rights are material business activities of companies they are investing in and outlines different ways in which investors should consider children’s rights in risk mitigation and generating social impact. A key point of feedback from investors on the guidance was the need to have clearer metrics and systems to rate companies on the basis of child rights performance in order to implement their child rights obligations. Currently, many investors perform an ESG analysis as part of building their portfolios, but this rarely include child rights issues systematically.Apply Now
CONTEXTInvestors can have major influence on its investees in terms of responsible business practices, and social issues and Human Rights are clearly emerging as issues of concern for many investors. However, children’s rights risks, beyond Child Labour, aren’t systematically featured in this process. Children tend to be indirectly affected by company policies, either through their parents’ working conditions, through products consumed by them or through impacts on communities affecting them. Efforts of business aimed at improving social responsibility thus tend to partially leave children out, resulting in less effective risk mitigation and social impact on children. UNICEF and partners have developed a number of tools and guidance products for businesses to help them understand and take action on their impact on children, looking at impact through the workplace, marketplace and community, as well as specific industries and business models. These outline the basis of what constitutes child rights due diligence for a business - how to assess impact, formulating policies, implementation measures, disclosure and remediation. How can you make a difference? UNICEF is seeking an expert consultant to develop a tool for investors and other actors looking to analyze or benchmark companies on the basis of children’s rights, consisting of a common framework for assessing how ready companies are to proactively manage potential and actual adverse child rights impacts with which they are involved (due diligence) and a methodology for assessment. This tool aims to provide these actors with a core set of indicators for child rights due diligence, a discussion on weighting and materiality (possibly highlighting some particular industries), a method for quantifying and scoring child rights due diligence, and elements of a methodology to integrate this model intro ESG research and analysis. It will also outline and aim to provide solutions to some anticipated challenges in applying this analysis (lack of disclosure data being anticipated as one of the main challenges). The tool is intended to be used either as a stand-alone model for a child rights focused analysis (for example as part of building a portfolio focused on children’s rights in a financial product, or develop a “top 100 child friendly companies”), or to inform child rights aspects within a human rights or ESG risk assessment. It will not cover aspects of actual child rights performance (this will be the focus of a future second tool), but rather focus on the very basics that are an essential first step towards improving child rights performance. One potential additional application of the tool would be an exchange-traded fund (ETF) for children. The indicators from the tool could help investors define the minimum criteria that companies must meet to be qualified for the ETF. It can also enable companies to self-assess and improve their business impact on children. The consultancy is structured around 4 deliverables, to be completed by 15 December 2020: MAIN TASKS & DELIVERABLES Under the guidance of the supervisor of this contract, the consultant will be responsible for delivering the final tool for investors on benchmarking child rights due diligence. This is expected as a 20-30 pages document to be issued as a UNICEF publication for an external audience. Anticipated content includes:
- Materiality analysis of child rights due diligence interventions and topics
- Indicators for child rights due diligence adapted for use by investors in assessing child rights due diligence of potential investees (output/outcome level)
- Method for quantifying and scoring
- Anticipated challenges and solutions to data gaps/sources of information
- Draft of methodology section of the tool (due by 15 October): This section constitutes the following sections:
- Guidance for the intended user on how to use the tool
- Guidance on how investors should analyses the materiality of different types of child rights indicators in different types of investment activities and financial products. This section should also outline the interlinkages with related ESG topics (labor, gender, ICT good governance and general ESG).
- List of indicators, outlining standard indicators relevant for all companies as well as specific indicators for different industries/business models. As a basis for the development of indicators, the general section (pages 12-19) of the “Children’s Rights in Impact Assessments“ should serve as a good basis. The anticipation is that this can be condensed to no more than 10 primary indicators, and a few additional supplementary ones that link to specific business contexts and/or industries. These should be compared to indicators used for general human rights due diligence in other frameworks (such as World Benchmarking Alliance) and aligned as far as possible to enable easy integration of children’s rights as part of general human rights due diligence.
- Indicators selected should be outlined with explanations of what the indicator entails, as well as a section on correlation with existing reporting/disclosure frameworks (to be expanded upon in 3)
- Draft of data sources section of tool (due by 15 November):
- Incorporate comments from supervisor and other UNICEF staff and partners consulted on section 1, and
- Draft quantifying and scoring methodology section consisting of a framework to assess performance in each indicator building on approaches commonly used in ESG research. This section should include methodology for relative weighting of indicators within the first section, as well as possible variances of weighting of certain indicators based on company context, size and industry.
- General section on sources of information to inform materiality analysis and the assessment of companies on the basis of indicators and specific sources of information by indicator (expanding upon deliverable 1). As company disclosure on children’s rights is generally quite weak, this section would highlight potential sources of proxy data and other methods of Data Collection that investors and others could use to populate the assessment framework and rate companies in the absence of explicit disclosure on children’s rights.
- Final draft (due by 30 November): Delivery of final draft tool, incorporating comments received on sections 1 and 2, and:
- Introduction section
- Section outlining anticipated challenges in performing this assessment by investors or ESG research providers and potential solutions.
- Integration of comments and finalization of tool (due by 15 December)