Consultancy: Virtual safe Space User Researcher (national and international)

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UNICEF - United Nations Children's Fund

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Application deadline 1 year ago: Saturday 6 Mar 2021 at 20:55 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

UNICEF Iraq is currently in its first year of implementation of the 2020 – 2024 Country Programme of Cooperation with the Government of Iraq, which is aligned with, and integrated in the new UN Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework (UNSDCF) 2020 – 2024. Although between 2012 and 2020 UNICEF Iraq has received a considerable amount of funds, during the past 4 years the office has experienced a drastic decrease in funding. An overwhelming majority of funds comes from public sector donors, while only a small percentage comes from private sector donors. Furthermore, one of the current challenges faced by UNICEF in Iraq is the short term, emergency nature of most funding envelopes, leaving a remarkable gap in terms of development funding, whose aim is to invest in activities fostering sustainable services and a resilient population.

Goal / Objective:

The purpose of this consultancy is to undertake human centered design process for the development of Version 2 virtual safe space for adolescent girls by gaining insights from women and girls, expected to use the platform in collaboration with UNICEF Country Office and partners. The consultancy will contribute to the realization of output 1 of the UNICEF child protection program i.e Strengthened child protection system with stronger legislative, policy, institutional, community structures and capacities to deliver high quality multi-sectoral, age appropriate child protection and GBV services and 2021 AWP.

Specific Tasks:

The User Research Consultant will work with UNICEF VSS development team at HQ; UNICEF team in Iraq and UNICEF implementing partners. S/he will be responsible for designing and conducting user research, and identifying the best methods based on research goals and resources. The User Research consultant will be responsible for all aspects of research (planning, recruiting, moderation, analysis, reporting) for both generative (participatory design) and evaluative (usability testing) research. They will be using a variety of user testing methodologies to reveal actionable participant insights.

  1. Develop budget and the research roadmap for user experience research in across specified regions in Iraq based on available resources
  2. Lead the human centered design process to effectively derive insights from women and girls who will be using the VSS and the various stakeholders involved in the process in close collaboration with UNICEF Country Office and partners.
  3. Combine qualitative and quantitative methods (e.g., conducting interviews, focus groups, survey sampling and design, and experimental design)
  4. Translate research into actionable design and product results
  5. Combine qualitative research and user-centered design methods, including but not limited to concept-testing, competitor analysis, diary studies, contextual inquiry/observations, or ethnography. Motivated to use creative but rigorous qualitative research methods with expert facilitation skills
  6. Enhance our understanding of the needs of women and girls’ through application of appropriate research methodologies such as customer journey maps, user segmentation, creation of personas, and usability testing
  7. Conduct user research at all stages from discovery to validation, using a variety of methods to understand the participants and their relationship to our products
  8. Translate research findings into clear insights, durable frameworks, and actionable recommendations to guide product development. Communicate findings and illustrate suggestions in compelling and creative ways
  9. Create user journeys, personas, and user flows
  10. Lead design sprints to turn HCD insights into actionable points
  11. Take ownership of product user experiences, providing feedback on style guides that enable designers, developers, and product managers to effectively build intuitive and beautiful products

Duration of Contract

It is estimated that the consultancy will require 70 working days spread days over a period of 5 months of which 35 days will be incounty. The research is expected to be carried out between February-June 2021.

Working Conditions

  1. Location: 35 days home based and 35 in-country (Erbil)
  2. Logistic Requirement: The consultant will work on his/her own computer(s) and use his/her own office resources and materials in the execution of this assignment. The consultant will arrange for insurance coverage for any eventuality throughout the entire duration of the consultancy. The contractor's fee shall therefore be inclusive of all office administrative costs.

Contract Supervision

The Consultant will report to the Chief of Child Protection, with day-to-day supervision by Child Protection Specialist – for systems strengthening and services. The Child Protection Specialist will have frequent interactions with the consultant at various stages in order to brief the consultant on the situation/assignment; agree on the process and clarify the deliverables; and track the progress made by the consultant. He will evaluate the consultant’s work and certify delivery of work including interactions with government and Civil Society Implementing Partners. The consultant will also work in close collaboration with VSS product development team from UNICEF Head Quarters.


The consultant is expected to submit the following:

  1. Project plan with activities, delivery and review dates; stakeholder map with focal points and Rese
  2. Stakeholder mapping with established focal points
  3. Research methodology and questions
  4. Insights from HCD process
  5. Actionable items post sprint
  6. Final research findings
  7. User journeys, personas, and user flows
  8. Usability testing conducted in physical safe spaces
  9. Usability testing findings
  10. Feedback on final product

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

The consultant is expected to meet the following requirements in terms of qualifications and experience:


  • Advanced university degree M.A./M.S. in psychology, human computer interaction, anthropology, or related discipline
  • University degree (Master's) preferably in anthropology, human-computer interaction, psychology or a related field or equivalent practical experience desirable

Work Experience

  • 4-5 years consumer researcher experience, including end-to-end research experience with various methods (e.g., interviews, usability testing, contextual inquiry, surveys, concept testing), with experience conducting both qualitative and quantitative research
  • 3+ years of UX research experience across early stages of product development
  • Strong understanding of user-centered design principles and UX best practices
  • Prior experience working on GBV and/or gender projects.

Specialised Skills:

  • Experience with wireframing, process mapping, qualitative research, usability testing, survey research, card sorting, journey mapping, persona development, quantitative research, or process flowcharting
  • Strong understanding of confidentiality, safety and ethical concerns related to working with women, girls and GBV survivors in line with international standards (e.g. GBV Minimum standards)
  • Familiarity with UX concepts such as user journey, persona, user-centered design, etc.
  • Experience applying user research to digital products
  • Experience with working in cross-functional Agile teams to design large-scale digital experiences that meet business objectives
  • Deep understanding of when and how to apply different research methods during each phase of product development
  • Exposure to international professional contexts and/or multicultural environments within the United Nations Systems, preferably in UNICEF.
  • Prior experience working in projects focused on women and girls preferred.
  • Prior hands-on experience in innovating and using modern technologies and methodologies to support UNICEF's learning initiatives is desirable.

Contractual Terms and Conditions

  • Candidates should submit a financial proposal for the assignment, outlining all-inclusive fees per deliverable (based on the number of days worked and daily rate charged).
  • Travel expenses to the duty station and within the country, if required, will be paid in accordance with UNICEF polices/rules and regulations for individual consultancy assignment.
  • Under consultancy agreements, a month is defined as 21.75 working days, and fees are prorated accordingly for actual days worked.
  • The consultant is not entitled to payment for overtime, weekends or public holidays, medical insurance, taxes, and any form of leave.
  • The Consultant must not publish or disseminate reports, data collection tools, collected data or any other documents produced from this consultancy without the permission of and acknowledgment of UNICEF Iraq.
  • The selected candidate will be governed by and subject to UNICEF’s General Terms and Conditions for individual contracts.

Please indicate your ability, availability and daily/monthly rate (in US$) to undertake the terms of reference above.

Applications submitted without a daily/monthly rate will not be considered.

UNICEF is committed to diversity and inclusion within its workforce and encourages qualified female and male candidates from all national, religious and ethnic backgrounds, including persons living with disabilities, to apply to become a part of our organization.

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.

View our competency framework at

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.


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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