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Home-based consultancy: Evaluability Assessment of National child care reform initiatives with a strong focus on de-institutionalization (DI), including in particular for children with disabilities (75 days)
United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF)
Grade: Unspecified
Closing soon: 27 Jun 2021
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Added 1 week ago
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.

For every child, results

This Terms of Reference is developed for an Evaluability Assessment (EA) which aims to look at the extent to which national child care reforms in Europe and Central Asia region (ECAR) with a strong focus on de-institutionalization (DI), including in particular for children with disabilities, are evaluable and can be evaluated in a reliable and credible fashion. The EA serves as a tool to assess the strategic and technical soundness of the proposed evaluation in response to the UN Convention on the Right of the Child (CRC), United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) and UN Guidelines for the Alternative Care of Children. It also takes into account any relevant regional frameworks, which in the case of ECAR, would include the EU’s commitment to support Governments’ transition from institutional to family and community based care; and the Regional Office’s (RO) flagship child protection programme on de-institutionalization. As such, the EA does not aim to provide summative assessments, findings, or prescriptive expert recommendations. Rather, it is intended to interrogate approaches developed and applied by governments to address child care reforms over a period of time, in particular to achieve sustainable reductions in the number of children in institutional care that are done with quality, and result in the expansion of family support services and family-based alternative care, looking at particularly vulnerable groups such as children with disabilities. 

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Several countries in UNICEF ECAR have been working on child care reforms with a focus on DI for over a decade with a collective wealth of experience and lessons learned that could benefit countries in the region and beyond. A number of study countries will be selected by the EA consultant in close consultation with UNICEF to represent the diversity of contexts in which child care reforms with DI objectives, including for children with disability, are being implemented.

How can you make a difference?
 
The overall purpose of the EA is to inform the timing of an evaluation and to improve the prospects for an evaluation producing useful results. Its subsequent objective is to determine, as systematically and objectively as possible, the present state of evaluability of the child care reforms with a focus on deinstitutionalization programme for children with disabilities, improve the evaluability of such reforms from the design, monitoring and evaluation and data point of view and suggest further actions on what type of evaluation to take place in 2022. Therefore, EA is to be conducted with the view of (i) improving the quality and usefulness of the evaluation of the national child care reform initiatives with a strong focus on deinstitutionalization, including in particular for children with disabilities and (ii) improving the quality and effectiveness of the reforms themselves.

Therefore, the principal objectives of the evaluability assessment to:

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  • determine whether government-led child care reforms have a clear and coherent logic that enhances the likelihood of achieving intended results of the child care reform
  • determine if the set of countries, to potentially be included in this EA, can yield meaningful results at the end of the implementation period and have main elements of the reforms in place i.e. gatekeeping, prevention, specialized services for children affected by violence, alternative care, inclusive education, inter-sectorial collaboration, ICF, etc.,
  • establish whether there are plausible paths to attain specified outcomes including outcomes for children with disabilities i.e. whether there are clear causal links between the reforms’ goals and results (inputs, outputs/activities, and outcomes). Revise and suggest these paths for a future evaluation.
  • think ahead about the evaluation approach and design and propose a clear evaluation plan for execution, including options for an evaluation design, including timing, evaluation questions, evaluation methods, resources and expertise i.e. draft a Terms of Reference with the aim of examining the next wave of needed reforms to address the over-representation of children with disabilities in the care system, as well as the trend towards increased cases of violence that require a specialized response.
  • determine whether there is a common vision for DI of children with disabilities and a shared understanding of the goals of the reforms among implementers and key stakeholders
  • determine whether there is a clear articulation of indicators of success in terms of needed reforms; and, whether data requirements and sources have been identified. Revise the existing monitoring frameworks and prepare them for a future evaluation.

Scope of the Evaluability Assessment: 

Period to be covered: The EA will cover the period of UNICEF ECARO’s current Flagship Results (2018-2021). However, the assessment timeframe should be informed by the assessment, based on timelines of reform implementation in selected countries that we would like to learn from, and relevant frameworks of engagement at the regional level, including with the EU.

Sectoral coverage: The EA will focus on the results of the ECARO Flagship Results (2018-2021) that is on deinstitutionalization, focusing in particular on children with disabilities and other complex needs. While spread throughout other programme areas, deinstitutionalization results are cross-cutting and interlinked, which means that other sectoral areas (Education, ECD, Social Policy, health, communication, C4D) and the associated ‘cross-cutting’ areas have a potential stake in the evaluability assessment.

Thematic coverage: The EA will cover national child care reform initiatives with a strong focus on deinstitutionalization including prevention and gatekeeping, provision for children with disabilities, planning for change, executing transformation, including redirecting resources from institutional care to expanded family and community based services, overall implementation frameworks and monitoring.[1]

Geographic coverage: The assessment is intended to sample countries where UNICEF ECARO works. A draft list includes Armenia, Georgia, Moldova, Bulgaria, Croatia, Romania, Turkey, Montenegro and North Macedonia. A final list of study countries will be identified during the inception phase.

Scope of evaluability assessment: Although some evaluability assessments focus narrowly on the technical elements surrounding programme logic and measurement (e.g., the existence of a theory of change and monitoring and evaluation plans, the SMARTness of indicators, data availability), the present exercise will examine evaluability more broadly (in addition to the narrow focus). Specifically, it will assess all of the key strategic elements including partnerships and common understanding/vision that should be in place in in order to maximize the likelihood that the deinstitutionalization programme will be successful in supporting achievement of its higher level results.

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Roles and Responsibilities in the EA process

The activity will be managed by the ECARO Evaluation and CP teams and conducted by external contractor.

The RO will be responsible for the day-to-day oversight and management of EA and for management of the budget.

A form of stakeholder / advisory group will be set up. Further discussion is needed on the form and membership of such a group but it will consist of relevant RO advisers, EU counterparts, UNICEF HQ representation, and other relevant stakeholders; and will be co-chaired by the ECA Regional CP Advisor and ECA Regional Evaluation Advisor.  It will provide guidance and supervision to the EA and subsequent evaluation.

The RO will assure the quality of EA and guarantee its alignment with UNEG Norms and Standards and Ethical Guidelines and provide quality assurance checking that the findings and conclusions are relevant and proposed adaptations are actionable. 

All major deliverables will be reviewed firstly by RO (zero draft) and then by the Advisory Board and COs. 

UNICEF as a commissioner takes the accountability of EA and ECARO is designated as a supervisor for EA. Support for this assignment will be provided by ECARO Regional Disability Focal Point.

The EA Manager will have the following responsibilities:

  • Lead the management of the EA process (design, implementation and dissemination and coordination of it follow up);
  • Convene the Advisory Group meetings; Facilitate the participation of those involved in the EA design;
  • Coordinate the selection of EA contractor;
  • Safeguard the independence of the exercise and ensure EA products meet quality standards;
  • Connect the EA contractor with the wider programme units, senior management and key programme stakeholders, and ensure a fully inclusive and transparent approach to the EA;
  • Facilitate access to all information and documentation relevant to the EA, as well as to key actors and informants who should participate information-gathering methods;
  • Provide overall guidance and administrative support; Oversee progress and conduct of EA, the quality of the process and the products;
  • Manage/support relationship between COs, partners, etc.
  • Approve the deliverables
  • Take responsibility for disseminating and learning
  • Disseminate the results

The RO and Advisory Group will:

  • Review and provide comments and feedback on the quality of the EA process as well as on the EA products
  • Facilitate the communication/presentation of results to COs and relevant partners at the regional and country level

The EA consultant will report to the EA Manager and conduct the EA by fulfilling the contractual arrangements in line with the TOR, UNEG/OECD norms and standards and Ethical Guidelines; this includes developing of the inception report, drafting and finalizing the final reports and other deliverables, and briefing the commissioner on the progress and key findings and recommendations, as needed. The EA consultant should also adhere to UNICEF’s Evaluation Policy, to UNEG’s ethical guidelines for UN evaluations and to UNICEF Reporting Standards. EA Consultant will sign a no conflict of interest attestation. The EA consultant must demonstrate personal and professional integrity during the whole process of the EA. The consultant must respect the right of institutions and individuals to provide information in confidence and ensure that sensitive data cannot be traced to its source. Further, the consultant must respect ethics of research while working with children including using age appropriate consent forms, age appropriate data collection, and principle of do no harm. Furthermore, the consultant must take care that those involved in the EA have an opportunity to examine the statements attributed to them. The EA process must be sensitive to beliefs, manners, and customs of the social and cultural environment in which they will work. Especially, consultant must be sensitive to and address issues of protection, discrimination and gender inequality. Furthermore, the consultant is not expected to assess the personal performance of individuals and must balance an assessment of management functions with due consideration of this principle.

Workplan and deliverables

A tentative time frame for the evaluation is provided below. The evaluation is expected to be completed within five months upon signing the contract (July – November 2021). This might be subject to change depending on the prevailing situation on ground at the time of EA. During the five months, the following list of activities are expected to be conducted:

The evaluation process at all stages should follow UNICEF Procedure for Ethical Standards in Research, Evaluation, Data Collection and Analysis.
 
 
For more information about the EA, please see the document  EA Detailed ToRs.docx.
 
Contractual arrangements: 
- Duration: The consultant will be expected to work for 75 days between July and November 2021.
- Duty Station: The consultant will be home-based. No travel is expected.
- Logistics:  The consultant will be required to use their own computers, printers, photocopier etc.
- Payment: Payment is contingent on approval by the Evaluation manager and will be made in four instalments based on the deliverables:
  1. 20% upon clearance of the finalized desk review report with the draft products (Jul-Aug)
  2. 30% upon clearance of an Inception Report (Aug)
  3. 30% upon clearance of EA report and refined desk review analyses products (Aug)
  4. 20% upon clearance of ToR, presentations and their conduction (Nov)
To qualify as an advocate for every child you will have…
  • An advanced university degree (Master’s) in  Social Sciences or other relevant subject areas
  • A first university degree with 8 years of relevant work experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree;
  • At least six years of experience in programme design and evaluation is must;
  • Previous record of conducting EAs;
  • Previous work experience with UNICEF and familiarity with child protection systems institutional development, policy dialogue, organizational development, monitoring evaluation and learning will be considered as an asset;
  • Experience in institutional development, policy dialogue, reform of the child protection system and organizational development and
  • Excellent communication and writing skills in English and interpersonal skills.

Project-Specific Qualifications:

  • Experience conducting evaluability assessments in the broadly scoped manner described above;
  • Strong familiarity (through evaluative work or otherwise) with UNICEF work in ECAR;
  • Demonstrated experience undertaking evaluative assessments of deinstitutionalization programme.

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 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.

To apply:

All interested applicants  are requested to include in their submission:

  • Letter of interest, including your approach to the assignment and proposed fees (daily) to undertake the above TOR. Please note that applications without a proposed fee will not be accepted.
  • A CV and/or Personal history form (downloadable from http://www.unicef.org/about/employ/files/P11.doc). Alternatively, if a candidate profile in the UNICEF e-Recruitment System is available, you may download it and submit it as part of application.

Remarks:

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] Helen Jones (2019) Deinstitutionalization for children with disabilities: technical guidance for UNICEF’s engagement in national reform efforts. UNICEF ECARO

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