United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF)

Consultant (Operational Guidelines to Inform The Development of Cross Border Arrangements and Communication)

United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF)

Job Description

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.

UNICEF promotes the rights and welfare of all children and adolescents in everything we do. Together with our allies, we work in 190 countries and territories to transform this commitment into practical actions that benefit all children, especially focusing our efforts on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded, worldwide.

The UNICEF Latin America and Caribbean Regional Office is based in in Panama, operating in 36 territories, including 24 country offices.

As of February 2021, approximately 5 million Venezuelans1 have left their country, and many of them are in transit in countries within the region. Given the large number of arrivals, largely into Venezuela’s neighbouring countries, national capacities have been overburdened and challenged to adequately meet the needs of refugees and migrants. During this displacement, women, men, girls and boys are exposed to risks and protection needs, which increases their vulnerability.

At border areas, along the transit routes and in host communities, children may be at risk of smuggling and trafficking networks, forceful recruitment into armed and criminal groups, Child Labour, and sexual exploitation, as well as experiencing acts of discrimination and xenophobia. The risks themselves, and even more so if directly experienced, take their toll on the physical, emotional and psychological wellbeing of refugees and migrants. With the Covid-19 pandemic, lockdown measures and restrictions of movement may increase the risks of family separation. It can be challenging for migrants to access reliable information on safe routes, basic services, climatic and geographical conditions, support systems and assistance, information that would support the protection of refugees and migrants from Venezuela. Enormous efforts have been put in place by governments and humanitarian actors to respond urgently to the situation of Venezuelans in the region, by prioritizing assistance and resources, developing tools and response mechanisms2.

Governments, supported by IOM and UNHCR, have formed the ‘Quito Process’ which is an intergovernmental discussion forum to address such issues. From the UNICEF Regional Office we have been technically accompanying the ‘child migrant group’, since 2019, together with other agencies and entities such as UNHCR, IOM, IPPDH Mercosur, IIN OEA and MMI-LAC. In particular UNICEF is supporting the development of a regional cooperation mechanism for the protection of Venezuelan children moving through the region, that would enable the exchange of relevant information to allow for safe border crossing and avoid family separation between countries within the framework of the Quito Process.

The Colombian Government is leading the government discussions on this issue, within the framework of the Quito process. The idea is to have a mechanism of Regional cooperation for the protection of migrant and refugee children and adolescents in line with international standards, that reinforces cross-border Coordination mechanisms for the immediate care of migrant and refugee children. The aim is to have a protocol that allows protection systems and immigration authorities to, within their own procedures, policies, have an adequate and secure exchange of information for immediate attention to the Child Protection needs of migrant and refugee children.

A draft protocol document, “Protocol of Regional Cooperation for the Protection of Rights of girls, boys and Adolescents in the Context of Human Mobility” has been developed, although not adopted by the Quito Process, which pulls together the relevant legislative procedures and Human Rights directions. It requires distilling into a short usable tool, clearly indicating the areas to be considered within the national structures and potential ways to achieve the intention of safe cross border movement and sharing of data.

For every child, protection 

The purpose of this assignment is to develop operative guidelines that inform the development of cross border arrangements and communication to better serve migrant and refugee children and adolescents based on the draft document Protocol of Regional Cooperation for the Protection of Rights of Girls, Boys and Adolescents in the Context of Human Mobility.

How can you make a difference?

Specific Tasks and Expected Results 

The consultant will produce a operational guidance document in accordance with international standards that will improve cross-border coordination, and can be used by government at the national and local level. This is to be a short practical handbook-like document.

More specifically, the consultant will support the Regional Office in complete the following tasks: - Produce a work plan for the development of operational guidelines: This includes review of current draft of Protocol of Regional Cooperation for the Protection of Rights of Girls, Boys and Adolescents in the Context of Human Mobility, existing coordination mechanisms and procedures in the region that are already compiled, relevant international standards.

- Develop draft operational guidelines. These will be presented at the meeting of the ‘Child Migrant Group’ of the Quito process in April 2021.

- Final Operational Guidelines which considers the feedback of the reference group, and will be further informed by key informant interviews, group discussions, input from the ‘Child Migrant Group’ report of recommendations and conclusions of the process. The final product will be presented virtually during a webinar.


- Work plan and outline of the operational guidance, based on review of existing materials [estimate of 5 working days, expected deadline March 2021] - First draft of Operational Guidelines [estimate of 10 working days, expected deadline April 2021] - Final Version, pptx, webinar [estimate of 20 working days, expected deadline June 2021] Supervision: the consultant will work under the direct supervision of the Child Protection Regional Advisor in close coordination with the Child Protection in Emergencies Specialist. A reference group for the assignment will be formed to review the outputs of the assignment.

Workplace: the consultant will work home-based, using their own personal premises, materials, and equipment’s. The consultant will be required to have access to Skype/Zoom to facilitate the communication required during this assignment.

Duration: the estimated duration of this contract is three months, and expected start date during March 2021.

How to apply: application should be submitted online and should include CV, cover letter and financial proposal. Qualified candidates are requested to submit daily and monthly fees in their financial proposal.

To qualify as an advocate for every child you will have…

- Education: An advanced university degree in the social sciences (i.e. sociology, political science, international relations) or international development.

- Work Experience: A minimum of 5 years of professional, international experience associated with the support, Design, implementation of public policies, operating procedures for childcare, migration, human rights, preferably focused on the protection and assistance of children and, adolescents. Experience working in the UN or other international development organizations an asset.

- Languages: Fluency in Spanish and intermediate in English is required. Knowledge on Portuguese will be considered an asset.

- Technical knowledge: Experience developing standard operation procedures, ideally in a related area Experience in teamwork for validation processes with different actors.

- Other skills and attributes: Demonstrated excellent communication skills Demonstrated ability to engage and build collaboration with multiple partners. Ability to work efficiently under tight deadlines. Demonstrate strong communication skills, verbally and written. Demonstrated experience on UNICEF will be an asset For every Child, you demonstrate…

Core values of care, respect, integrity, trust, and accountability. UNICEF competencies: building and maintains partnerships, demonstrates self-awareness and ethical awareness, drive to achieve results for impact, innovates and embraces change, manages ambiguity and complexity, thinks and acts strategically, works collaboratively with others and nurtures, and, leads and manages people.

To view our competency framework, please visit here.

Click here to learn more about UNICEF’s values and competencies.

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.

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.


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.

1 According to the figures of Coordination Platform for refugees and migrant from Venezuela. https://r4v.info/en/situations/platform 2 For example, in Colombia there is an administrative measure for the birth registration of children of Venezuelan parents born in Colombia https://www.unicef.org/es/comunicados-prensa/unicef-saluda-decision-gobiernocolombiano-prevenir-riesgo-apatridia-ninos-nacidos-Colombia-padres-venezolanos and a temporary statute for the regularization for Venezuelan migrant families; within humanitarian actors there is a Coordination Platform for Refugees and Migrants from Venezuela https://r4v.info/en/situations/platform
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