The UNICEF Latin America and Caribbean Regional Office is based in in Panama, operating in 36 territories, with 24
UNICEF works to put the rights and well-being of children at the heart of the social, political, and economic agenda, in
line with our equity focus, working across our organization and with our partners in government, civil society and the
private sector to support shifts in public policy, fuel social engagement, and increase investment for children.
For every child, protection
Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (MHPSS) is an institutional priority for UNICEF. Noted in its Strategic Plan 2018-
2021, building upon existing programming through child protection, health and education. Further, the recent Mid-Term
Review of the Strategic Plan has highlighted the importance of MHPSS across the organization, and a focus on this area
was further emphasized during the COVID 19 response.
Psychosocial support (PSS) is an integral component of child protection services in both humanitarian and development
settings. Such support services aim to address the psychological and social needs of children and families who are
vulnerable to or have been directly affected by violence, abuse, exploitation and/or neglect. It also responds to any
psycho-social needs, helping children to overcome difficult experiences, including in humanitarian contexts. These
efforts include culturally, age, gender appropriate, safe and stimulating activities to develop life skills, coping
mechanisms, and resilience. PSS services are often linked with other services such that referrals can occur for children
who may need extra support or protective services.
In all contexts, UNICEF strengthens the capacity of community members to support their children, be they part of the
social service workforce or families and neighbors. Types of programmes can include child friendly spaces to organize
activities in a safe and stimulating environment, help lines where children can ask questions and receive guidance. where
affected communities and children can be supported. In the context of COVID, PSS strategies in LAC have been focused
on strengthening virtual mechanisms for the care of children, such as helplines.
In the case of migrants there is a recognition of the need to different types of services. For example, the service may be
constrained by the time they are there, or if they have been returned to their country of origin how they perceive that
country for their future may be different from a person who has never thought of leaving. These services should also be
available even in transit areas and in their final destination. The support network around a migrant can be very different
from a person who is in their normal place of residence as most of them are mobile, and therefore the structures to tap
into for psycho-social support not as familiar to the migrant.
In diverse contexts throughout the region including those of natural disasters, human mobility and public health crises,
multiple models and approaches for providing this support have been develop and implemented. One missing piece in
the discussion however is the specific considerations for PSS programme design when working with migrants especially
children differentiated according to their age, sex and whether accompanied or not and differentiated as to the delivery
mode when working virtually and face-to-face. Further, while there are quality standards for PSS, these need to be
tailored to help orient such interventions and to support the monitoring of their implementation.
Given this, UNCEF through this consultancy seeks to deepen the interventions that are being developed in the region on
psychosocial support in the face of secondary prevention; as well as reviewing interventions aimed at migrant children
and in humanitarian settings.
How can you make a difference?
The purpose of this assignment is to support the UNICEF Regional Office in the identification of existing PSS
programmes and interventions in the Child protection system for children, particularly considering migrants and those
in humanitarian contexts, and develop a model of programme considerations against set standards.
The consultant will be developing the following tasks:
Identify Child Protection related PSS interventions of UNICEF in the region; existing resources, map with CO
and partners priority strategic areas for strengthening Child Protection PSS services, based on the mapping
developed by UNICEF LACRO/Health sector.
Define any specific considerations taking into account for each type of service (e.g. child friendly space, helpline,
support group, etc.), reflecting on target population (e.g. migrant, interest group, etc.) and context (e.g.
humanitarian, mobility, etc.) as well as recognized PSS standards, for the implementation of PSS in different
Develop three CP-PSS case studies that highlight different interventions considering setting and target
Analysis (e.g. strengths, weaknesses, gaps) of current psycho-social support practices for migrant children in
the region and identification of potential future programming and research areas as well as any missing tools
in the provision of PSS for children on the move.
Develop a guidelines for different members of the for child protection workforce, in coordination with other
social sectors, that articulate (i) placement of PSS in their work stream (ii) particular considerations if offering
PSS services (iii) considerations if the workforce member is considering a referral to a PSS service.
Elaboration of a practical-short guide adapted to the region on quality standards for PSS in Humanitarian
Presentation of the final deliverables virtually during webinars.
Expected Measurable Results
The following results are expected at the end of the consultancy:
Documentation of the Child Protection PSS interventions that are being implemented in the region, including
the care of migrant children.
Three Child Protection PSS case studies
Programming guidance document for PSS in different settings and for different population groups
Analysis of current psycho-social support practices for migrant children and considerations for future research
Guidance Note for child protection workforce to articulate PSS services within the different aspect of child
Practical-short guide adapted to the region on quality standards for PSS in Humanitarian settings.
To qualify as an advocate for every child you will have…
- Master's degree in in Social Sciences, psychology; social work; public health or similar relevant discipline.
At least 5 years of MHPSS programming, including in humanitarian contexts.
Minimum 8 years experiences working on child protection.
Demonstrated experience working in partnership with a broad range of stakeholders, including
donors, UN agencies and INGOs, national authorities, national/local partner agencies and
emergency affected communities.
Demonstrated experience preparing guidelines, documents and strategies.
Fluency in Spanish and English is required. Knowledge of French or Portuguese will be
considered an asset.
- Technical knowledge: Professional technical knowledge on MHPSS, social service systems, humanitarian and
Knowledge of UNICEF programme work in the LAC Region in the areas of child protection,
MHPSS or humanitarian response as asset.
Experience conducting programmatic analysis, collecting programmatic results and technical
support provision in humanitarian or development.
- Other skills: Capacity to work in stressful conditions.
High level of Integrity and commitment to UNICEF’s mission and professional values.
Excellent planning and organization skills.
Analytical and conceptual ability,
Background/familiarity with the regional context is a plus.
Familiarity with work in emergency contexts is an asset
Excellent communication skills, including demonstrated skills in writing for a lay and
Supervision: The consultant will work under the direct supervision of the Child Protection in Emergencies Specialist in close coordination with the Child Protection Regional Advisor and MHPSS Consultant.
Workplace: This is a home-based consultancy. There is no travel involved.
Duration: This consultancy is expected to last approximately 6 months, with an estimated start date of 26 April 2021.
How to apply: Application should be submitted online and should include: Resume, Cover Letter and Financial proposal. Qualified candidates are requested to submit daily and monthly fees in their financial proposal.
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.
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.
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