United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF)

Local Expert (Support Development, Integration and Adoption of Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation Issues Into The National Education Curricula)

United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF)

Job Description

UNICEF Armenia CO is looking for the local expert that will develop and support the integration and adoption of climate change adaptation and mitigation and disaster risk reduction related education standards and topics for the national curriculum framework and state subject standards that are inclusive, interactive, innovative, gender-and age-sensitive at various levels of work (school, community, national) in line with 21st Century Skills learning principles. 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. No one is more affected by a changing climate and its implications than children and adolescents. A child born today could be living in a world with an average temperature that is 4°C warmer by their 71st birthday. Addressing the impacts of climate change and environmental degradation is imperative for protecting the world’s and Armenia’s most vulnerable environments and populations, especially children, girls and boys alike, as they are disproportionately vulnerable to the impact of climate change. Children and adolescents, boys and girls, living in poverty are even more vulnerable to external shocks, as this results in multiple vulnerabilities, requiring complex and integrated solutions. As per the 2019 Social Snapshot and Poverty Report by the Armenian Statistical Committee, every third child (or 29.2%) in Armenia lives in poverty and 1.5% in extreme poverty, as compared to 23.5% and 1.0% respectively for general population. Urban-rural disparities continued to persist. The Armenian climate highly varies due to a diverse topography, its landlocked central continental position, and widely varying elevations, which result in a wide range of microclimates and the presence of diverse ecosystems. Observed impacts and induced natural disaster of current climate conditions in Armenia include drought, heat waves, flooding, landslides, hailstorms, frost, rock falls, flash floods, mudflows and avalanches. While there are no available analyses on the direct impacts on children and adolescents from these threats, extreme events have been calculated to cost the agricultural sector 15-20 million USD per year. Armenia’s climatic conditions are anticipated to change over the next century. Thus, climate change action needs to be taken now. Children, adolescent girls and boys in particular can be and are agents of change around the world and they are actively engaged in proposing solutions on how to slow down climate change and environmental degradation, reduce the effects of poverty on various vulnerable groups of the population, and create socially and environmentally sustainable communities. UNICEF in Armenia with the support of the Austrian Development Agency (with funds of Austrian Development Cooperation) and in partnership with Ministry of Environment, Ministry of Territorial Administration and Infrastructure, Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sport are implementing “Adolescents for Climate Change in their Communities” (2019-2022) three-year project supporting  adolescents become agents of climate actions and solutions contributing to create socially and environmentally sustainable communities in Armenia. The 2019-2023 programme of the Government of Armenia (GoA) contains a dedicated chapter on “Environment”, where climate action in accordance with international treaties, including eco-education and awareness raising is stipulated as priority for the Government. Moreover, the programme refers to balanced territorial development, strengthening of the public administration and finance management systems at the local level[1]. With the current revision of the national education curricula, the Government is aiming at providing new content to a 12-year compulsory education, revising national standards and curriculum, subject curricula, promoting the use of 21stcentury skills, including critical thinking, innovation, and analytical and creative skills, with particular focus on civic, financial, and entrepreneurial education[2].Furthermore, the Law on General Education does not specify provisions on environmental education and education for sustainable development within the programs and modules of teachers training, which precedes compulsory attestation that teachers pass every 5 years, although its necessity is evident[3].Particularly, it is of utmost importance to support mainstreaming climate change, disaster risk reduction,  and environmental sustainability into the national curriculum throughout the education reform processes led by the Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sport (MoESCS) and in line with the Government’s Strategy on Development of Environmental Education and Upbringing adopted in February 2018[4]. UNICEF intends to support the Government in introducing and adopting innovative 21stcentury tools and methodologies for learning, community risk analysis, engagement of all, participatory decision making, local climate budgeting and action, specifically targeting adolescents. 21stCentury Skills are focusing on learning skills (critical thinking, creativity, collaboration, communication), literacy skills (information, media, technology), and life skills (flexibility, initiative, productivity, social skills), this also includes human rights and gender equality, and non-discrimination principles, so that adolescent girls and boys can become active citizens, learn in an interactive manner, be empowered, be more prepared for employment later in life, deepen their knowledge on the rights of the child and expanding their knowledge in the fields of social issues, environment and climate change at community level, and understanding the linkages between national and global levels. [1]Government programme 2019-2023, https://www.gov.am/files/docs/3133.pdf, chapter 4.8 [2]www.gov.am/files/doc3133.pdf, page 32 [3]“Environmental Education and Education for Sustainable Development in General Education System in Armenia”, AUA Acopian Center for the Environment, 2015. [4]www.irtek.am/views/act.aspx?aid=93900 How can you make a difference? UNICEF supports national education curricula development and teacher reforms initiated by MoESCS and provides advice on inclusive education, 21stCentury Skills, incorporation of disaster risk reduction, climate change, environmental education and sustainable development across the curriculum and standards. The purpose of this assignment is to develop a set of evidence-based recommendations on how and where to mainstream climate change, including innovative approaches, gender considerations and vulnerabilities, into the national curricula and subject standards from preschool to general education developed with adolescents and teachers. The local expert will develop and support the integration and adoption of climate change adaptation and mitigation and disaster risk reduction related education standards and topics for the national curriculum framework and state subject standards that are inclusive, interactive, innovative, gender-and age-sensitive at various levels of work (school, community, national) in line with 21st Century Skills learning principles. With this aim the local expert will be actively involved in the activities of the technical working group in charge of revision of national curriculum under the supervision of MoESCS, as well as he/she will be part of the thematic groups working on different disciplines related to curriculum reform processes by providing technical inputs and advocating for relevant school curricula changes. These will be further shared with the MoESCS for wider public discussion and adaptation into the overall curricula reform process (2019-2021). Supervisor: The selected contractors/individual experts will be supervised by and report to the UNICEF Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) Officer and Project Coordinator of the project on “Adolescents as Agents of Climate Action in their Communities” with regular de-briefing with UNICEF Deputy Representative about the progress of the analyses as needed. The selected contractors/individual experts will work with UNICEF Country Office Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) Officer and representatives of the Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sports (MoESCS) on daily basis. The DRR team will provide support in contacting government partners, subject-related stakeholders, local NGOs, etc. Major tasks to be accomplished The local expert is expected to: a) Together with the technical working group, as well as separate thematic groups (per subject discipline) under the MoESCS, develop and agree on the scope, criteria and methodology for the desk review of national legislation related to curriculum reform, in consultation with key governmental and non-governmental stakeholders; b) Together with technical working groups liaise with key government (primarily MoESCS) and other partners (e.g. Regional Government, local self-governmental bodies, leading NGOs) and UNICEF to ensure ownership and participation in the process; c) Supportthe technical working groups, as well as separate thematic groups under the MoESCSin the desk review of the national legislation relation to education curricula reform, including general and pre-school education; d) Developa set of recommendations and advocate for incorporation of climate change and disaster risk reduction (DRR) education related standards and topics into the National Curriculum Framework and State Subject Standards that are inclusive, interactive, innovative, gender-and age-sensitive at various levels of work (school, community, national) in line with 21st Century Skills learning principles; e) Ensure participation of and consult with teachers and adolescent girls and boys from target regions in the process of development of climate change education related standards and topics through online platform discussions and consolidate their inputs in the revised national education curricula; f) In collaboration with MoESCS, train the technical working groups and advocate for incorporation of the proposed legislative and curricular changes; g) Together with the technical working groups, revise the recommendations and comments made byline-ministries, stakeholders, UNICEF and submit the final package of the revised curriculum with climate change and disaster risk reduction related standards and indicators to UNICEF and MoESCS. Deliverables: The contractor is expected to produce the following:
  1. Implementation plan including a work plan – mid-July 2020;

  2. A review of the national education strategies and policies for creating enabling environment for effective climate change and DRR education – end July 2020;

  3. Submission of the 1st draft set of recommendations on climate change and DRR education related standards and topics, including training of the stakeholders and advocating for incorporating them into the National Curriculum Framework and State Subject Standards that are inclusive, interactive, innovative, gender-and age-sensitive at various levels of work (school, community, national), to the partners/validation – mid -September, 2020;

  4. Submission of final package of the revised curriculum recommendations on climate change and DRR education (revised based on the feedback from the partners) – end-October 2020.

Payment Schedule: The payment will be done as per the following tranches:
  1. 30% - after submission of the review of the national education strategies and policies

  2. 50% - after submission of the 1st draft set of recommendations on climate change and DRR education

  3. 20% - after submission of final package of the revised curriculum recommendations on climate change and DRR education

The deliverables should be drafted in Armenian. UNICEF reserves the right to withhold all or a portion of payment if performance is unsatisfactory, if work/outputs is incomplete, not delivered or for failure to meet deadlines (fees reduced due to late submission: 20 days - 10%; 1 month-20%; 2 months - 50%; more 2 months – payment withhold). All materials developed will remain the copyright of UNICEF and that UNICEF will be free to adapt and modify them in the future. This ToR is an integral part of the contract (SSA) signed with the consultant. Timeframe: The assignment is expected to take place during the period of mid-June 2020 –end October 2020. The exact schedule of the activities will be agreed with the contractors based on the project implementation progress. The final date for the submission of final deliverables should be October 31, 2020. Procedures and logistics: In case if the Contractor needs to travel in order to perform his/her assignment, adequate resources will be allocated from the project funds to cover travel expenses of the consultant in accordance with the existing UNICEF travel policy. The contractor will work remotely and will not have UNICEF account. He/she must complete mandatory on-line courses prior to the issuance of contract as appropriate. UNICEF in Armenia does not arrange health insurance coverage for the consultant. UNICEF requires individual contractors/consultants to be medically insured for the contracting period. UNICEF in Armenia reserves the right not to pay the Contractor or withhold part of the payable amount if one or more requirements established for this assignment is not met or deadline set for the accomplishment of the tasks is missed. Qualifications or specialized knowledge/experience required for the applicant:
  • Advanced university degree in Education, Environment, Public Policy, Social Sciences or related technical field and at least 5 years of experience in Curriculum Development, Education, Environmental Management, Organizational Development, or related field;

  • Proven good knowledge of national legislation on General Education, Environment, etc., principles of national education curricula, as well as environmental, climate change and DRR related policies;

  • Familiarity with 21st Century Skills and learning principles;

  • Demonstrated experience in report analysis and report writing and/or in writing policy papers;

  • Proven experience in development of adaptation and mitigation standards in the field of environmental education and climate change.

  • Profound understanding and knowledge on the situation of children and adolescents in Armenia, in-depth knowledge of the multidisciplinary approaches to climate change, environmental sustainability, community development, Paris Agreement,  Sendai Framework on Disaster Risk Reduction, UNFCC and the Kyoto Protocol, CRC and other international treaties, conventions, guidelines, etc. and other related processes, is an asset;

  • Demonstrated awareness on gender equality, child rights and equity principles;

  • Proven ability to effectively engage with a broad and diverse spectrum of professionals and to work well with both government, regional government, local communities and non-governmental partners;

  • Ability to work within the international and multicultural environment;

  • Very good negotiation, communication and presentation skills with government and community members;

  • High analytical and conceptual skills and ability;

  • Good knowledge of computer applications;

  • Fluency in written and spoken Armenian;

  • Attentiveness to details and compliance with timelines.

Previous experience in similar assignments and knowledge of English is an asset. Terms of the application The deadline for the submission of applications is July 6, 2020. Applications should include:
  • Cover letter;

  • CV;

  • Concept Note describing the vision and approach for climate change and DRR education;

  • Financial proposal all-inclusive fee in AMD, including separate lines for the consultancy fee and travel costs, as deemed necessary for the assignment.

Please note that incomplete applications will not be considered. The final selection of the consultant will be realized by UNICEF CO in Armenia based on evaluation of previous experience in implementing similar assignments, competence in conducting similar activities, and the contractor’s overall access to expertise and qualifications required for performing this task. 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. 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: 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.
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