United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF)

International Consultant (Conduct Child Marriage: Baseline Study on Use of Evidence in Gpecm in South Asia)

United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF)

Job Description

The objective of the assignment is to conduct a baseline study of the use of evidence within the Global Programme on Child Marriage in South Asia. 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, a future How can you make a difference? 1. Rationale: Child marriage[1] affects millions of young women and girls globally. While child marriage predominantly affects girls, boys are also affected: 156 million men alive today worldwide were married as children. While the rates of child marriage have declined in South Asia, in particular for girls under the age of 15 (World Bank 2017), the number of girls married as children in South Asia remains very high.  Member states have recognized the urgent need to end child marriage in international normative commitments and in the Sustainable Development Goals, which call for the elimination of all harmful practices including child, early and forced marriage by 2030 in Target 5.3. UNICEF and UNFPA’s Global Programme to End Child Marriage aims to enhance investments to support married and unmarried girls and provide evidence for the corresponding benefits; engage key actors – including young people as agents of change – in catalyzing shifts towards positive gender norms; increase political support, resources, positive policies and frameworks; and improve the data and evidence base. The Evaluation of Phase I of the Global Programme on Child Marriage found that the programme had “contributed to building a stronger evidence base on child marriage, though tracking has not offered an indication of data quality and usability to date”. The evaluation also highlighted that scaling up of programming on child marriage is taking place without sufficient evidence of the impact of interventions.[2]   Phase II of the Global Programme will therefore focus on improving data and evidence on what works. An integrated knowledge management strategy will be developed to improve understanding and use of the evidence base for change.[3] Greater emphasis on availability and quality of data and evidence does not always translate into uptake and utilization of evidence and data in programming.  Available research and evaluation on the use of evidence in policy-making and programming has primarily focused on evaluating the use of evidence in government and public sector policy making. Evaluation and measurement of use of evidence and data in development programming is less well developed.[4]   For example as highlighted by ODI, exactly how evidence is being used to make decisions about adapting development and humanitarian programmes is a ‘black box’ and often decisions are tacit and go undocumented.[5]  A review of frameworks for understanding research utilization in programming identifies key stakeholders – such as evidence producers, knowledge brokers and end users – as well as stages of utilization – such as identification of knowledge needs and research priority setting, undertaking research, translating research findings for specific audiences, dissemination of research findings, and institutionalization of the use of evidence in policy and programming, including through scale up of proven interventions.[6] For the two regional offices in South Asia, UNICEF ROSA and UNFPA APRO, evidence generation has been a priority under Phase I of the Global Programme. However, knowledge utilization and engaging country offices in using the evidence base for programming has not been consistent or comprehensive across country offices and agencies.  For this reason, the two regional offices are prioritizing monitoring and technical support to increase use of evidence under Phase II.  In order to support this and in line with the priorities of Phase II of the global programme, UNICEF ROSA and UNFPA APRO will commission a baseline study on the use of evidence in the design and implementation of Phase II of the GPECM. The baseline study will examine the extent to which evidence and research is being institutionalized in the GP ECM in South Asia by end users – country offices and their partners.  The study will assess the extent to which country offices are currently using evidence in their programming and will inform the work of the two regional offices in the support they provide to country offices as well as the work of the COs implementing the programme. [1] The term child marriage refers to both formal marriages and informal unions where one of the partners is under the age of 18. [2] UNFPA and UNICEF 2019 Joint Evaluation Report May 2019 UNFPA-UNICEF Global Programme to Accelerate Action to End Child Marriage [3] Phase II Programme Document 2020-2023 UNFPA-UNICEF Global Programme to End Child Marriage [4] See for example Jones, H. Background Note [5] Hernandez et al 2019 Towards evidence-informed adaptive management: A roadmap for development and humanitarian organisations, November 2019 ODI Working paper 565 [6] Kim et al 2018 A research utilisation framework for informing global health and development policies and programmes, Health Research Policy and Systems (2018) 16:9 2. Purpose: The purpose of the assignment is to conduct a baseline study of the use of evidence within the Global Programme on Child Marriage in South Asia.  This will include a) measuring the extent to which country offices and counterparts are aware of, have sought out and are familiar with available evidence; b) assessing which sources of evidence are most used and why; c) measuring the extent to which country offices are using evidence to inform the design and delivery of the programme; d) assessing what kinds of evidence are being used for programming, including the assessment of the strength of that evidence, and for what purpose; and e) understanding to what extent evidence is informing monitoring and evaluation of programme interventions.  In addition, the baseline will investigate the use of evidence for policy advocacy and will assess  The objective of the assignment is to conduct a baseline study of the use of evidence within the Global Programme on Child Marriage in South Asia.  This will include a) measuring the extent to which country offices and counterparts are aware of, have sought out and are familiar with available evidence; b) assessing which sources of evidence are most used and why; c) measuring the extent to which country offices are using evidence to inform the design and delivery of the programme; d) assessing what kinds of evidence are being used for programming, including the assessment of the strength of that evidence, and for what purpose; and e) understanding to what extent evidence is informing monitoring and evaluation of programme interventions.  In addition, the baseline will investigate the use of evidence for policy advocacy and will assess existing capacities for evidence utilization and related capacity and knowledge gaps.                                                                                                                                                                                                               In so doing, the baseline study will draw on the existing literature on use of research and evidence for programming and will develop a set of core indicators and tools for measuring use of evidence in the GPECM, which can be replicated at the mid-term and end of the programme.  For example, this may include indicators and tools that measure whether or not: - Evidence informs in-country data and research (for example informs research design and methodology, studies are not repeated on the same topics, previous studies in other contexts are used as a basis). - Available regional, global and out of country research and evidence is seen as relevant to the country situation and is therefore used in and informs policy advocacy and programming. - Increased capacity to use evidence in policy advocacy and programming is evident among staff and partners in the programme. - Evidence and data are demonstrated to inform programme design, implementation and monitoring. - Evidence can be shown to have changed programme design, implementation or delivery, and/or has informed programme adjustments including to address unintended consequences. -There is evidence that programme interventions and their impact are strengthened as a result of use of evidence and data - Extend of awareness of available evidence 3. Key Assignments/Tasks:
  • Desk review of methods and tools for measurement of use of evidence and data in development programming and policy advocacy.
  • Proposed methodology and indicators for the baseline study.
  • Design of tools and instruments for the baseline
  • Data collection to be determined based on the methodology. This is expected to include extensive discussions with country offices and partners, desk review of relevant materials, key informant interviews etc.
  • Baseline report including population of identified indicators
  • Summary report and presentation of findings.
4. Key Deliverables:
  • Desk review and draft methodology.
  • Draft report which includes the data collection and analysis
  • Final report with summary, baseline, and powerpoint.
Duration: 27 days between 10 April to 1 July 2020. Note: This is a home-based consultancy. The consultant is expected to independently source the material for the desk review, although some resources may be provided by the regional advisors. It is recognized that the academic literature on use of evidence and programme research and evaluations that assess use of evidence may be limited and that the consultant will also have to draw on other grey literature. The consultant will be introduced to child marriage focal points in both UNICEF and UNFPA to obtain more information on the programming to end child marriage, as well as literature and relevant material on child marriage programming and policy advocacy within each country. The consultant will be home based. The consultant will provide her/his own computer and software required to complete the work activities outlined in this TOR. It is expected that the consultant has internet and is able to communicate with the country offices via Skype, telephone or other communication device  Please provide a financial proposal along with your application. Application without the financial proposal will not be entertained. The consultant will be paid upon satisfactory completion of assigned tasks and receipt of key deliverables and as certified by the Supervisor/Manager. To qualify as an advocate for every child you will have
  1. Education: A master’s degree in anthropology, sociology, applied research, evaluation or other social science field.
  1. Work Experience:
  • At least 10 years of proven experience in desk reviews and research on use of data and evidence in social and/or development programming and policy advocacy.
  • Demonstrated knowledge and understanding of child protection and/or gender equality
  • 3 years’ experience in working on or supporting programmes to end child marriage, including monitoring, desirable
  • Proven experience in monitoring and evaluation of programming on harmful practices
  • Strong track record research publications desirable
  • Experience with methodologies that entail gathering information from distant locations virtually
  • Knowledge of and experience working in South Asia preferable.
C. Language Proficiency: consultant must be fluent in written and spoken in English. Knowledge of any South Asian languages would be desirable. For every Child, you demonstrate… UNICEF's values of Care, Respect, Integrity, Trust, and Accountability (CRITA) and core competencies in Communication, Working with People and Drive for Results. The functional competencies required for this post are:
  • Strong analytical skills
  • Technical expertise in the above areas
  • Exceptional research skills to access both published and grey materials
  • Excellent communication skills, including virtual verbal communication
  • Fluency in using Microsoft Office
For every Child, you demonstrate… UNICEF's values of Care, Respect, Integrity, Trust, and Accountability (CRITA) and core competencies in Communication, Working with People and Drive for Results. df 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 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. Remarks: Mobility is a condition of international professional employment with UNICEF and an underlying premise of the international civil service. 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.
Apply Now