United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF)

Consultant (Foundational Literacy and Numeracy - Education Section)

United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF)

Job Description

In close collaboration and working with the Education Specialist, Education Section NYHQ, the incumbent will support the effective implementation of the primary education work plan.

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. Consultancy Title: Support to Foundational Literacy and Numeracy Section/Division/Duty Station: Education Section/ PD/ NYHQ (Home Based).

Duration: From April 1st, 2021 to February 28th, 2022 (242 over 11 months, including Public Holidays and Time off).


If you are a committed, creative professional and are passionate about making a lasting difference for children, the world's leading children's rights organization would like to hear from you. For 70 years, UNICEF has been working on the ground in 190 countries and territories to promote children's survival, protection and development. The world's largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports Child Health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality Basic Education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments. UNICEF has over 12,000 staff in more than 145 countries.


The fundamental mission of UNICEF is to promote the rights of every child, everywhere, in everything the organization does — in programs, in advocacy and in operations. The equity strategy, emphasizing the most disadvantaged and excluded children and families, translates the commitment of children’s rights into action. For UNICEF, equity means that all children have an opportunity to survive, develop and reach their full potential, without discrimination, bias or favoritism. To the degree that any child has an unequal chance in life — in its social, political, economic, civic and cultural dimensions — her or his rights are violated. There is growing evidence that investing in the health, education and protection of a society’s most disadvantaged citizens — addressing inequity — not only will give all children the opportunity to fulfil their potential but also will lead to sustained growth and stability of countries. This is why the focus on equity is so vital. It accelerates progress towards realizing the human rights of all children, which is the universal mandate of UNICEF, as outlined by the Convention on the Rights of the Child, while also supporting the equitable development of nations.

In line with Every Child Learns, the 2020-2030 UNICEF Global Education Strategy, the Education Section leads global efforts for development of evidence-based policy guidance, standard setting and programme approaches, including a focus on enabling children and young people to progress through three key “transition points” duriUNICEF is committed to diversity and inclusion within its workforce, and encourages all candidates, irrespective of gender, race, sexual orientation, nationality, culture, appearance, socio-economic status, ability, age, religious and ethnic backgrounds to apply to become a part of the organization. ng their learning journey:
  • By 5 years old – every child is “school ready”, setting in motion a positive cycle of learning throughout a child’s life;
  • By 10 years old – every child has the basic reading and numeracy skills to access the academic curriculum (i.e. transitions from ‘learning to read” to “reading to learn”); and,
  • By 18 years old – every child has the transferable, digital, entrepreneurial and job-specific skills for work, life and engagement in their communities.
As part of these efforts, the Education Section is implementing a Foundational Literacy and Numeracy strategy which aims to increase number of children mastering foundational literacy and numeracy skill by 54 million by 2030.  The FLN programme aims to recommit and focus UNICEF’s efforts on improving foundational literacy and numeracy (FLN) skills for every child. This laser-sharp focus on FLN is anchored in four key elements: leaders who lead; teachers who teach; learners who learn; and parents who prioritize. As part of the programme, UNICEF will work alongside a coalition of partners at global and country levels drawing on global, regional and country-level expertise, key resources and tools to define country-specific FLN outputs to support and guide implementation at country level. The work will start in “early adopter” countries and gradually expand to other countries that express interest in the approach.

The FLN initiative forms part of the broader efforts to strengthen programming on primary education which also gives emphasis to strengthening school health and nutrition and improving delivery at scale of climate and environment education. These are in addition to the multiplicity of ways in which UNICEF supports governments to improve primary education including curriculum reform, data systems, strategic planning and teaching and learning resources. These form the body of work done by the primary education and which have become more urgent given the likely negative effect of the Covid-19 pandemic on learning. In order to ensure increased pace and quality of implementation of the primary education portfolio at global level, additional human resources are required.

Terms of Reference / Deliverables

In close collaboration and working with the Education Specialist, Education Section NYHQ, the incumbent will support the effective implementation of the primary education work plan including:
  • Provide Technical Support to the Design, implementation and results framework on FLN;
  • Provide strategic and technical guidance to target countries and support them to ensure progress is made on FLN as planned;
  • Support the development of school health and nutrition and climate education resources packages; and,
  • Provide inputs to primary education knowledge management strategy and products in order to integrate effective practices in primary education organization wide and among partners.

1) Education
  • Advanced university degree in education, human development, international development or the social sciences.
2) Required Skills and Experience
  • 5 years of professional experience at the national and/or international levels in education programme planning and management with a focus on learning in primary education.
  • Demonstrated technical expertise in foundational learning including programme design and monitoring.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of Child Development. Strong knowledge of education systems including education sector Analysis and planning is an advantage.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills in the English language.
  • Experience working in a developing country context and awareness of key partnerships related to literacy and numeracy, Climate Change and primary education broadly.
  • Ability to work independently as well as part of a team.
3) Competencies
  • Strong interpersonal and communications skills to work effectively with a team that is geographically dispersed
  • Self-directed/self-motivating personality, with proven ability to manage demands from multiple stakeholders while adhering to program deadlines and priorities
  • Quick to learn, motivated to self-teach and capable of independently translating new knowledge into practice
  • Fluency and strong writing skills in English are required.

  • Completed profile in UNICEF's e-Recruitment system and provide Personal History Form (P11) Upload copy of academic credentials
  • Financial proposal that will include: your daily/monthly rate (in US$) to undertake the terms of reference.

    • travel costs and daily subsistence allowance, if internationally recruited or travel is required as per TOR.
    • Any other estimated costs: visa, health insurance, and living costs as applicable.
    • Indicate your availability
  • Any emergent / unforeseen duty travel and related expenses will be covered by UNICEF.
  • At the time the contract is awarded, the selected candidate must have in place current health insurance coverage.
  • Payment of professional fees will be based on submission of agreed satisfactory deliverables. UNICEF reserves the right to withhold payment in case the deliverables submitted are not up to the required standard or in case of delays in submitting the deliverables on the part of the consultant.
U.S. Visa information:

With the exception of the US Citizens, G4 Visa and Green Card holders, should the selected candidate and his/her household members reside in the United States under a different visa, the consultant and his/her household members are required to change their visa status to G4, and the consultant’s household members (spouse) will require an Employment Authorization Card (EAD) to be able to work, even if he/she was authorized to work under the visa held prior to switching to G4.

Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted and advance to the next stage of the selection process For every Child, you demonstrate… UNICEF’s core values of Commitment, Diversity and Integrity and core competencies in Communication, Working with People and Drive for Results. View our competency framework at: Here UNICEF is committed to diversity and inclusion within its workforce, and encourages all candidates, irrespective of gender, race, sexual orientation, nationality, culture, appearance, socio-economic status, ability, age, religious and ethnic backgrounds 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, therefore, undergo rigorous reference and background checks, and will be expected to adhere to these standards and principles.

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