Consultancy: ECE Cost and Financing, Consultant - Req

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Application deadline 2 months ago: Saturday 9 Dec 2023 at 04:55 UTC

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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, hope.

Vacancy Announcement: Consultant

Consultancy Title: ECE Cost and Financing, Consultant

Section/Division/Duty Station: Education Section, Programme Group NYHQ

Duration: December, 2024 – September 30, 2024 / REMOTE


If you are a committed, creative professional and are passionate about making a lasting difference for children, the world's leading children's rights organization would like to hear from you. For 70 years, UNICEF has been working in 190 countries and territories to promote children's survival, protection, and development. UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations, and governments.


The project Reinforcing Better Early Learning and Development at Scale (BELDS) for Quality Inclusive Early Childhood Education in GPE Partner Countries builds on previous work supported by KIX to integrate Early Childhood Education (ECE) in sectoral planning.

Implemented through consortia of partners, the original project aimed to mobilize global knowledge to inform ECE policy, planning, and practice in the developing countries; develop a comprehensive e-toolkit of resources to adapt, enhance and scale-up proven approaches to strengthen ECE systems; and strengthen the capacity of national and international stakeholders on early childhood education policy, planning, and implementation. Working closely with five target countries, Lesotho, Sierra Leone, South Sudan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, the project generated evidence on the use and adaptation of tools in a range of contexts and highlighted successful approaches and lessons learnt in mainstreaming ECE into education sector planning.

Amplifying country experiences through UNICEF’s global and regional teams, the original three-year grant has: a) supported ECE system strengthening through tailored technical support to the Ministries of Education (at central and decentralized levels) in planning, costing, and implementing ECE programs to progressively increase the number of children participating in quality ECE b) contributed to the development of tools to support all phases of the ECE planning cycle through the ECE Accelerator Toolkit; c) contributed to the global evidence-base about approaches to effective planning for ECE and; d) mobilized knowledge sharing between GPE partner countries to enhance evidence-based policy and planning.

During implementation of the original project, consultation with stakeholders revealed a series of key gaps and needs in ECE planning, which now form the basis of the extension proposal. Under the proposed extension of the project, UNICEF and partners will: a) support the development of guidance for GPE partner countries around how to position ECE within the GPE Compact (b) support the progressive roll out of an ECE costing and financing tool developed and piloted under the original project to support budgeting, policy prioritization, and target-setting; (c) pilot tools to support advocacy, implementation, monitoring and evaluation which were developed but not tested under the original project; and d) support the development of new tools designed to facilitate greater inclusion of children with disabilities, and children in humanitarian contexts, as well as to support the uptake of gender-transformative ECE.

Under the extension phase of the KIX project, the cost and financing consultant will be responsible for supporting evidence generation and capacity building around costing and financing for the ECE subsector. Building on results achieved in the initial phase of the project, the consultant will support the scaling of the use of the ECE Accelerator Toolkit’s ECE costing tool through tailored country-level support. Furthermore, the consultant will provide thought leadership and technical expertise in supporting evidence generation and global advocacy in the field of ECE costing and financing.

Scope of Work:

Working with the Education Specialist (Early Childhood Education), the KIX project team, and the System Planning, Analytics and Data (ADAP) team, the consultant will provide technical expertise and support global capacity building and advocacy for ECE costing and financing. More specifically, the consultant will:

• Facilitate remote trainings to develop the capacity of national stakeholders in at least 5 countries (countries TBD, in consultation with Regional Offices), on the use of the ECE Accelerator simulation model tool, including supporting context-specific adaptations to the tool.

• Provide remote technical support to at least 3 countries (countries TBD, in consultation with Regional Offices) in running the simulations model. Simulation results will help inform advocacy and policy-making processes (such as in the context of Education Sector Planning cycles).

• Support global advocacy initiatives initiated through the KIX project on ECE costing and financing through the provision of thought leadership and drafting of advocacy briefs (at least 1 advocacy brief or similar knowledge product developed through the consultancy)

Terms of Reference / Deliverables

  1. Develop the capacity of national stakeholders on the use of the ECE Accelerator simulation model tool, including supporting context-specific adaptations to the tool.
  • 5 country-level trainings completed

Dec 2023 – Sept 2024

  1. Provide remote technical support to in running the simulations model.
  • 3 countries complete simulation using ECE Accelerator simulation model tool

Feb 2024 – Sept 2024

  1. Contribute to global advocacy initiatives initiated through the KIX project on ECE costing and financing
  • 1 advocacy brief (or similar knowledge product developed)

Feb 2024 – Sept 2024


1) Education

  • Master’s Degree in economics, education, social sciences, statistics or another relevant field. Knowledge and experience in early childhood education is a plus.

2) Work experience

• At least 8 years experience in supporting finance for education with government(s) and multilateral/bilateral agencies, such as costing, fiscal space analysis, budget formulation/ execution/ reporting, and value for money analysis.

3) Competencies

    • In-depth understanding of the capacity constraints and opportunities for ECE financing within systems and processes.
    • Demonstrated understanding of cost and financing simulations, ECE data systems and global datasets that inform strategic planning in education systems. Familiarity with ECE cost and financing simulations for policy advocacy will be an asset.
    • Excellent analytical, written, and oral communication skills. Ability to communicate clearly and sensitively with internal and external stakeholders.
    • Excellent inter-personal skills with a demonstrated ability to work in partnership with diverse teams and stakeholders.
    • Ability to work in a multicultural environment. Knowledge and experience in countries that are part of the KIX project is a plus.
    • Fluency in English. Competency in another UN language preferred


  • Completed profile in UNICEF's e-Recruitment system and provide Personal History Form (P11) Upload copy of academic credentials
  • Technical proposal with methodology for deliverables and timelines
  • Financial proposal that will include:
  • Cost per deliverable or lumpsum for the whole deliverables as indicated in the terms of reference
    • travel costs and daily subsistence allowance, if internationally recruited or travel is required as per TOR.
    • Any other estimated costs: visa, health insurance, and living costs as applicable.
    • Indicate your availability
  • Any emergent / unforeseen duty travel and related expenses will be covered by UNICEF.
  • At the time the contract is awarded, the selected candidate must have in place current health insurance coverage.
  • Payment of professional fees will be based on submission of agreed satisfactory deliverables. UNICEF reserves the right to withhold payment in case the deliverables submitted are not up to the required standard or in case of delays in submitting the deliverables on the part of the consultant.

Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted and advance to the next stage of the selection process

For every Child, you demonstrate…

UNICEF's values of Care, Respect, Integrity, Trust, Accountability, and Sustainability (CRITAS).

To view our competency framework, please visit here.

UNICEF is here to serve the world’s most disadvantaged children and our global workforce must reflect the diversity of those children. The UNICEF family is committed to include everyone, irrespective of their race/ethnicity, age, disability, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, nationality, socio-economic background, or any other personal characteristic.

UNICEF offers reasonable accommodation for consultants with disabilities. This may include, for example, accessible software, travel assistance for missions or personal attendants. We encourage you to disclose your disability during your application in case you need reasonable accommodation during the selection process and afterwards in your assignment.

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.

Individuals engaged under a consultancy 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. Consultants 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.

The selected candidate is solely responsible to ensure that the health insurance required to perform the duties of the contract are valid for the entire period of the contract. Selected candidates are subject to confirmation of fully-vaccinated status against SARS-CoV-2 (Covid-19) with a World Health Organization (WHO)-endorsed vaccine, which must be met prior to taking up the assignment. It does not apply to consultants who will work remotely and are not expected to work on or visit UNICEF premises, programme delivery locations or directly interact with communities UNICEF works with, nor to travel to perform functions for UNICEF for the duration of their consultancy contracts.

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