United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF)

Consultant (GBV User Research)

United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF)

Job Description

GBV User Research Consultant (National and Non-national candidates) Purpose of Activity:

UNICEF works in 190 countries and territories to protect the rights of every child. Defending children's rights throughout their lives requires a global presence, aiming to produce results and understand their effects. UNICEF believes all children have a right to survive, thrive and fulfil their potential - to the benefit of a better world. Every year an estimated three quarters of the world’s children experience some form of violence. In humanitarian settings throughout the world, the dual burden of being female and young relegates adolescent girls to the margins of society where they are largely invisible, unheard and deprived of their basic human rights.  Many forms of gender-based violence (GBV) — including sexual exploitation and abuse, trafficking, rape, early marriage, female genital mutilation/ cutting, sexual harassment and honour killing — are directed at girls. Data show that in societies across the world, gendered discrimination and inequitable gender norms and systems are much more likely to limit girls’ ability to go to school, live free from violence, self-direct their life course, and enjoy a level of social status and value equal to that of their brothers and male peers.

Adolescent girls are uniquely disadvantaged during humanitarian crises, protracted displacement and the aftermath of such emergencies. Not only do emergencies increase the risk of GBV for adolescent girls; they also increase their health risks, diminish their educational opportunities, and expose them to other rights violations.

UNICEF is directly involved in addressing gender-based violence (GBV) in some of the world’s most intense and complex conflicts and disasters. GBV in its various forms constitutes a global crisis which undermines social and economic progress; as one of the world’s greatest human rights violations, GBV must be addressed to ensure universal rights and principles regarding equality, security, liberty, integrity and dignity of human beings. Preventing and responding to gender-based violence in emergencies (GBViE) is recognized as a life-saving measure and an essential component of Humanitarian Action.

As a lead agency in addressing GBViE, UNICEF has expanded its on-the-ground programming in recent years and made prevention of and response to GBViE one its targeted priorities in its Gender Action Plan (GAP) 2018-2021. The GAP is integrally linked to UNICEF’s Strategic Plan (SP) and provides a clear programmatic focus on the gender-equitable results that UNICEF aims to achieve across all areas of its SP. UNICEF is also a leading agency in the development of programming and tools related to GBViE, including supporting the development of the Call to Action Roadmap, the implementation of a multi-country GBViE evaluation, the implementation of the revised IASC GBV Guidelines (2015)). In 2019, UNICEF launched its Gender-based Violence in Emergencies Operational Guide, a document that outlines the Agency’s vision and approach to GBViE, along with a GBViE Programme Resource Pack that contains practical tools for implementing GBViE programming. Both the Operational Guide and the Programme Resource Pack reflect UNICEF’s three-pillar approach to GBViE programming – services for survivors, community-based prevention and integration of GBV risk mitigation across other sectors’ interventions.

UNICEF has a track record of leadership and innovation in the development of GBViE knowledge, evidence, programming and tools. It will continue to build evidence and learning on what works in addressing GBV in emergencies. Research will complement existing initiatives and learning efforts in the sector to better understand and address the problem of GBViE, building on existing collaborations with Columbia and Johns Hopkins Universities. In 2020, the global community will mark the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Fourth World Conference on Women and adoption of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (1995). A five-year milestone will be reached towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. 2020 is therefore a pivotal year for the accelerated realization of Gender Equality and the empowerment of all women and girls, everywhere.

Safe spaces for women and girls have been established as a key approach of reaching adolescent girls and providing them with key information, links to services, skills-building, peer connection, and support. Yet, access to physical safe spaces is often limited for adolescent girls because of security concerns, gender norms, and domestic responsibilities. UNICEF has been developing a platform to act as a virtual safe space for adolescent girls to access gender-based violence information. The virtual safe space model is designed to facilitate Access to Information and services in a way that is safe, culturally appropriate and accessible to adolescent girls, particularly those who face higher levels of marginalization, such as girls with disabilities and married girls. Piloting of the virtual safe space platform has taken place in Iraq and Lebanon with adolescent girls, their female parents/caregivers and female staff working at traditional (“static”) safe spaces. Adolescent girls provided feedback throughout the piloting phase, and UNICEF is now ready to update the platform to incorporate the needs and preferences they have expressed as well as adding new content.

UNICEF is now working to create a revised version of the VSS that puts the safety of the adolescent girls and women at the forefront, broadening the scope of the content, and building in new interactive elements.  In the context of Covid-19 pandemic – and the limitations on gathering in physical safe spaces – there has been even more demand to expand this platform to be accessed by adult women as well. In addition, the platform will be expanded to cover topics beyond Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH) into GBV, life skills, self-care and empowerment.

Scope of Work

The User Research Consultant will be responsible for designing and conducting user research, and identifying the best methods based on research goals and resources. The User Research consultant will be responsible for all aspects of research (planning, recruiting, moderation, Analysis, reporting) for both generative (participatory Design) and evaluative (usability testing) research. They will be using a variety of user testing methodologies to reveal actionable participant insights.

  • Develop budget and the research roadmap for user experience research in across in Ecuador based on available resources
  • Lead the human centered design process to effectively derive insights from women and girls who will be using the VSS and the various stakeholders involved in the process in close collaboration with UNICEF Ecuador and partners.
  • Assess the digital divide that exists in terms of access.
  • Assess digital literacy and social constraints that limits adolescent girls and women’s digital engagement
  • Combine qualitative and quantitative methods (e.g., conducting interviews, focus groups, survey sampling and design, and Experimental Design)
  • Translate research into actionable design and product results.
  • Combine qualitative research and user-centered design methods, including but not limited to concept-testing, competitor analysis, diary studies, contextual inquiry/observations, or ethnography. Motivated to use creative but rigorous qualitative research methods with expert facilitation skills
  • Enhance our understanding of the needs of women and girls’ through application of appropriate research methodologies such as customer journey maps, user segmentation, creation of personas, and usability testing
  • Conduct user research at all stages from discovery to validation, using a variety of methods to understand the participants and their relationship to our products.
  • Translate research findings into clear insights, durable frameworks, and actionable recommendations to guide product development. Communicate findings and illustrate suggestions in compelling and creative ways
  • Create user journeys, personas, and user flows
  • Lead design sprints to turn HCD insights into actionable points
  • Take ownership of product user experiences, providing feedback on style guides that enable designers, developers, and product managers to effectively build intuitive and beautiful products
Accessibility compliance

  • UNICEF is now committed to be a role model and produce highly accessible learning resources. We count on vendors to work with UNICEF to select appropriate technology, define requirements and best practices, and design templates to meet these objectives. We aim at the level AA conformance per the WAI (W3C) recommendations.
Work Assignment Overview

Product 1: Develop budget and the research roadmap for user experience research across the selected safe spaces by projecting a plan with activities, delivery and review dates. Within 3 days.  Product 1.1:  Work with the CO to determine which local partners, NGOs, and government officials need to be engaged for the consultation. Stakeholder Mapping with established focal points. Within 5 days. Payment 1: 5%  Product 2: Develop questions, surveys to be used during the human centered design process with women/girls and partners and have these vetted by the CO team. Research methodology and questions. Within 10 days. Payment 2: 15% Product 3: Understand the needs of women and girls through qualitative research and human centered design with support from country ICT officer and T4D focal point (if present). Insights from HCD process.

Product 3.1: Focus on understanding the participants and partners and their relationship to our products to ensure that they cater to their needs. Product specific insights.

Product 3.2: Lead design sprints with CO and HQ team to turn HCD insights into actionable points with support from T4D teams. Actionable items posts sprint. Payment 3. Within 30 days. Payment 3:  20% Product 4: Translate research findings into clear insights, durable frameworks, and actionable recommendations to guide product development. Final research findings. Final research findings. Within 35 days Product 4.1:  Create user journeys, personas, and user flows and provide guidance with regards to wireframes and mockups to the UX team. User journeys, personas, and user flows. Within 45 days Product 4.2: Train and organize with partners the conducting usability tests with support from CO and co-facilitate the usability test process. Usability testing conducted in physical safe spaces. Within 50 days Payment 4: 45% Product 5 :  Share usability test reports with the developers. Usability testing findings.  Within 60 days Product 6: Provide feedback on final product. Within 70 days Payment 5: 15% Minimum Qualifications required:

Knowledge/Expertise/Skills required:

 Work experience
  • 4-5 years consumer researcher experience, including end-to-end research experience with various methods (e.g., interviews, usability testing, contextual inquiry, surveys, concept testing), with experience conducting both qualitative and quantitative research
  • 3+ years of UX research experience across early stages of product development
  • Strong understanding of user-centered design principles and UX best practices
  • Prior experience working on GBV and/or gender projects.
  • Experience with wireframing, process mapping, qualitative research, usability testing, survey research, card sorting, journey mapping, persona development, quantitative research, or process flowcharting
  • Strong understanding of confidentiality, safety and ethical concerns related to working with women, girls and GBV survivors in line with international standards (e.g. GBV Minimum standards)
  • Familiarity with UX concepts such as user journey, persona, user-centered design, etc.
  • Experience applying user research to digital products
  • Experience with working in cross-functional Agile teams to design large-scale digital experiences that meet business objectives
  • Deep understanding of when and how to apply different research methods during each phase of product development
  • Exposure to international professional contexts and/or multicultural environments within the United Nations Systems, preferably in UNICEF.
  • Prior experience working in projects focused on women and girls preferred.
  • Prior hands-on experience in innovating and using modern technologies and methodologies to support UNICEF's learning initiatives is desirable.
  • Attention to detail, excellent organizational skills, ability to work well with others.
  • Ability to work with virtual teams
  • Excellent organizational and analytical skills
  • Excels in collaboration and is team-oriented
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills
  • Fluency in English and Spanish are required.
This selection process is open to national and non-national candidates, if travel is required related costs will be considered apart. Please upload a methodological and financial proposal, and updated CV.  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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