United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF)

National Consultant (Conduct Child Rights Impact Assessments of Covid-19 on Children Affected by Migration)

United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF)

Job Description

UNICEF in Uzbekistan will support the CRO to strengthen their capacities in conducting a CRIA as a contribution to the overall UNICEF ECARO-ENOC initiative. To this end, UNICEF Uzbekistan Office is looking for a qualified individual consultant to provide their professional expertise in support of the CRIA exercise.

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.

Background

In line with the Government’s national development plans, sectoral priorities and the United Nations Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework (UNSDCF) for 2021-2025, the new UNICEF Country Programme will include a stronger focus on exclusion and inequalities with a vision to realise the rights of every child. The 2021-2025 Child Protection Programme has been conceptualized with consideration of UNICEF’s Strategic Plan 2018-2021 and two strategic priorities on effective governance and justice for all, and Inclusive human capital development leading to health, well-being and resilient prosperity. These align with Outcomes 1 and 4 of the United Nations Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework of Uzbekistan, which are fully aligned with national priorities to support the Government to achieve the national SDGs.

The long-term vision for change in the area of child protection is to ensure that by 2025, the most vulnerable children, including children from disadvantaged and low-income families, children at early ages and those with disabilities benefit from a protective environment that prevents separation of children from families and deprivation of liberty, and effectively responds to violence, abuse, exploitation and neglect.

In 2019, UNICEF in partnership with the larger EU-funded cross-regional project ‘Protecting children affected by migration in Southeast, South and Central Asia’ has conducted a study on ‘Effects of migration on children of Uzbekistan’. The study report findings show that in Uzbekistan, children left behind often stay with their extended family members, with adult relatives acting as caregivers, when one or both parents migrate. Such children may face developmental, psychosocial and emotional challenges, since the absence of parents creates disruptions and displacement in care giving arrangements. Parental migration has detrimental effects on the education, health and social status of children as well. It can lead to early adulting of the child due to increased household duties and responsibilities which can affect eating habits, academic performance and cause depression. The full study report on ‘Effects of migration on children in Uzbekistan’, UNICEF (2019) is available at: https://www.unicef.org/uzbekistan/en/reports/study-report-effects-migration-children-uzbekistan One of the lessons learned from the previous Country Programme is that to make further progress in realising children's rights, there is a need to measure the impact of national policies, plans and services on the most disadvantaged families and children. Stronger national monitoring capacity will help build the accountable systems needed to adjust to rapid changes, including in crisis situations, such as seen with the Covid-19 pandemic.

UNICEF is aware that the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on children goes far beyond any health risks. Measures used to prevent and control the spread of the COVID-19 virus can for example expose children to additional protection risks. Disruptions to families, friendships, schooling and the wider community can have negative consequences on children’s well-being, development and protection. In this context, in May 2020, ENOC and UNICEF conducted a short online survey on Ombudspersons and Commissioners for Children’s responses to the new challenges generated by the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequently organized an online discussion.

Following up on the above and the ongoing collaboration, UNICEF ECARO proposes to further partner with ENOC to support national Child Rights mechanisms to assess key identified areas and specific vulnerable groups of children including those in institutional care, in detention/closed institutions, affected by violence involved in Child Labour, and affected by migration. Through this cooperation project, UNICEF will support ENOC to provide direct technical assistance (through webinars, and bi-lateral quality assurance) to a number of Ombudspersons for Children’s Offices in Europe and Central Asia for the undertaking and completing of specific Child Rights Impact Assessments (CRIAs) related to COVID-19  including the Child Rights Ombudsman  of Uzbekistan for the undertaking and completing of specific Child Rights Impact Assessments (CRIAs) related to COVID-19. ENOC will develop a Common Framework of Reference (CFR) and will train and guide the National Ombudspersons, on the methodology of the Assessment and assure the quality of the reporting.

Objectives

The Child Rights Impact Assessments (CRIA) will enable the Child Rights Ombudsman office in Uzbekistan (CRO) to assess the impact of COVID-19 on children affected by migration (i.e. left behind by migrant parents). This initiative will strengthen the overall capacities of the CRO in monitoring child rights. The assessment will contribute to lessons learnt for the decision-makers to ensure better preparedness and capability to respond effectively to a similar challenge in the future. The findings of the CRIA will allow the CRO to dialogue with the Government of Uzbekistan to inform their respective processes with regard to child rights.

UNICEF in Uzbekistan will support the CRO to strengthen their capacities in conducting a CRIA as a contribution to the overall UNICEF ECARO-ENOC initiative. To this end, UNICEF Uzbekistan Office is looking for a qualified individual consultant to provide their professional expertise in support of the CRIA exercise.

Timeline & Deliverables

Conducting Child Rights Impact Assessments (CRIA) for children affected by migration (left behind by migrant parents)

Tasks:

1.Adapt Common Framework of Reference (CFR) and Child Rights Impact Assessments (CRIA), namely: a) Attend together with the CRO staff the training sessions organised by ENOC on CRIA in the COVID-19 context, as part of the ENOC-UNICEF ECARO partnership; b) Examine the proposed CFR, developed by ENOC, and raise any issues /clarifications that may be required with the ENOC expert; c) Discuss and propose to CRO and UNICEF adapted tools for the COVID-19 CRIA in Uzbekistan.

2. Conduct desk review of state-issued normative acts in relation to migration and in response to the COVID-19 challenges, particularly in the two identified areas: child protection (violence against children) and access to social services (health, education, and child protection).

3. Conduct field Data Collection: a) develop questionnaires and guides for In-depth interviews and FGDs based on CRIA tools (in Uzbek) b) conduct In-depth interviews with key stakeholders at national, regional and district level authorities/ministries including health, education (school, preschool and Guardianship and Trusteeship), ministry of interior, prosecutors’ office, Commission of minors, ministry of employment and labour relations, migration, Mahalla and Family Support, local khokimiyats) b) conduct FGD with service providers, including NGOs (1 FGDs at subnational /regional and 1 at district level); c) administer questionnaires with caregivers and children (at least. 20 caregivers and 20 children) affected by migration from selected regions/districts (at least 2 regions, 2 urban and 2 rural districts) Important note: Child safeguarding ethical guidelines to be applied when interviewing children 4. Coordinate with UNICEF Uzbekistan office to make use of U-report or other appropriate tools to collect information about the impact of COVID-19 on children affected by migration (left behind by migrant parents) (as necessary) 5. Prepare and finalize report, namely: a) analyse findings and discuss with CRO and UNICEF Uzbekistan for the initial feedback to be reflected in the first draft of the report; b) prepare the first draft of the CRIA report for Uzbekistan for the feedback by UNICEF and ENOC; c) reflect feedback in the next rounds of draft reports and in the final report; d) prepare additional summarised versions of the report for advocacy and information purposes, particularly for: decision-makers; the EU Delegation and other international partners; and the general public; d) review the English translation(s) of the report and other written materials and ensure that they correspond adequately to the originals (in Uzbek and Russian) developed for this exercise.

6.Prepare in discussion with CRO and UNICEF Uzbekistan Round table for presentation of CRIA report, namely: a) prepare a draft concept note, agenda, list of participants, summary presentation for the official launching of the Uzbekistan COVID-19 CRIA; b) contribute to drafting joint press release (CRO and UNICEF) for media representatives; c) assist the CRO for the national launching event of the report as well as be available for assistance as needed for the ENOC launching of the main, multi-country COVID-19 CRIA report.

7. Provide inputs for the synthesis report (prepared by ENOC), namely: a) review the report and ensure that the report for Uzbekistan is adequately reflected; b) provide feedback and response to any queries from ENOC and UNICEF upon request; c) liase with CRO for their feedback for the synthesis report if necessary Deliverables:

1.1 Adapted CFR (Common Framework of reference) and CRIA tools (including e-tools if required) to Uzbekistan’s context and needs 2.1. Desk review report describing the most recent development and trends related to migration and COVID-19 response measures 3.1. Data collection from the field in Coordination with CRO and UNICEF is completed and includes: 3.2. Filled questionnaires from interview with families and children; 3.3. Filled questionnaires from in-depth interviews with key stakeholders 3.4. Transcripts from FGDs 4.1. Adapt questionnaire for the use by U-report 4.2. Coordinate with U-report on the course of action for conducting on-line survey 4.3 Incorporate findings of the U-report into the country report 5.1. Finalised report for Uzbekistan and other write ups adapted to various audiences in English, Russian and Uzbek 6.1. The report with findings and recommendations is presented during Round table 6.2. Presentation (in English and Uzbek) 6.3. Concept note, agenda, list of participants 6.4. Joint press release 7.1 Feedback provided to reflect Uzbekistan CRIA report in synthesis report prepared by ENOC for 15 countries Methodology/Activities

The methodology that the consultant will employ is a mixed-methods approach involving adapting CFR and CRIA tools, quality data collection and Analysis, engagement of those who will benefit from the report, regular feedback and group discussions with the UNICEF team (child protection and monitoring and evaluation)  and CRO to make sure, that proposed activities are feasible and correspond to the country context.

Management

The National Consultant will work under the direct supervision of a Child Protection Officer who will liaise with the consultant, provide technical guidance, coordinate with stakeholder. Draft report, and corresponding deliverables will be initially discussed with UNICEF team (Child Protection and Monitoring and Evaluation) and CRO. Final report and inputs for the synthesis report will be discussed with UNICEF, ENOC and partners. Consultant will play a role of a liason between CRO, UNICEF and ENOC. UNICEF will approve intermediary and final products.

Resource requirements and payments

The assignment timeframe is 70 working days within the period of March  to November  2021 (8 months). The consultant will be required to work home-based. If the quarantine situation related to COVID-19 allows for the consultant to travel, s/he will be required to travel to the regions in accordance with UNICEF travel rules and regulations.

The consultant will be paid against deliverables (specifying days per TOR) based on invoice and report on conducted activities with all necessary attachments (e.g. adapted CRIA tools, questionnaires, guides for in-depth interviews, FGDs, draft report, communication materials, final report, etc.) per below payment schedule:
  • April 30, 2021 – for deliverables 1.1; 2.1. (15 w/days)
  • May 31, 2021- for deliverables 3.1; 3.2; 3.3; 3.4; 4.1; 4.2; 4.3 (25 w/days)
  • August 31, 2021 – for deliverables   5.1 (20 w/days)
  • November 30, 2021 -for deliverables 6.1; 6.2; 6.3; 6.4; 7.1 (10 w/days)
To qualify as an advocate for every child you will have…

1. University degree in statistics, sociology, social sciences 2. Good command of written English (Examination of a previous authentic written work in English) 3. Proven work experience in conducting research/ study/assessment. Developing management information systems would be an asset Procedures and Working Conditions

This consultancy is mainly home-based with frequent visits/meetings to the CRO and the UNICEF Office. The consultant is expected to make use of own office facilities as may be required by the consultancy (phone, internet connection, computer, printer, etc.) The consultant will need to travel within Uzbekistan as required for the field data collection process (if the COVID-19- related quarantine allows). The travel expenses will be paid in accordance with UNICEF ‘Duty Travel’ rules and regulations as follows: 

If UNICEF determines that the Contractor needs to travel in order to perform his or her assignment, that travel shall be specified in the contract and the Contractor’s travel costs shall be set out in the contract. In cases where travel costs have not been set out in the contract, provisions of UNICEF Procedures on Travel apply (see DFAM Policy 5).

Travel paid for by UNICEF shall be based on economy class travel, regardless of the length of travel, subject to exceptional approval of business class travel by the Approving Authority (such approval may be granted normally for certified medical reasons).

Reservations

UNICEF reserves the right to withhold all or a portion of payment if performance is unsatisfactory, if deliverable(s) incomplete, not finalized or for failure to meet deadlines. UNICEF will reserve copyright of all developed materials and own primary data collected through this assignment. The materials cannot be published or disseminated without prior written permission of UNICEF. UNICEF will be free to adapt and modify them in the future. The contractor must respect the confidentiality of the information handled during the assignment. Documents and information provided must be used only for the tasks related to these terms of reference.

UNICEF undertakes no liability for taxes, duty or other contribution payable by the consultant on payments made under this contract.

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:

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.

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