Consultant – Early Childhood Expert, Education Outcomes Fund (EOF), Remote (1 month), REQ

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UNICEF - United Nations Children's Fund

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GB Home-based; London (United Kingdom)

Application deadline 8 months ago: Monday 2 May 2022 at 22:55 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, education . . .

There are few greater challenges faced by the global community than the twin crises of learning poverty and youth unemployment. In response, the Education Commission (chaired by Gordon Brown, former UK Prime Minister and UN Special Envoy for Global Education) and the Global Steering Group for Impact Investment (chaired by Sir Ronald Cohen) came together to create EOF. We aim to improve the education and employment outcomes of 10 million children and youth by supporting governments to utilize a range of innovative finance instruments at scale, including outcomes funds and other results-based financing (RBF) instruments.

EOF is backed by a range of world leaders who support this objective, as well as leaders in education and impact investing. Our Executive Committee includes Sir Ronald Cohen, Sir Michael Barber, Dolika Banda, George Werner and Rob Jenkins. Our High-Level Steering Group includes, amongst others, Aliko Dangote, Aicha Bah Diallo, Henrietta Fore, Jakaya Kikwete, Felipe Calderon and Christos Stylianides.

EOF supports improvements in the quality of education and skills programs, with a special focus on underserved populations, including the hardest to reach; rural populations, girls, children with disabilities, and refugees. It measures (and pays for) what matters – both core skills like literacy and numeracy, but also critical 21st Century skills such as socio-emotional skills, ICT skills, and other broader fundamentals of a quality education. It helps close the persistent gap between the skills needed by employers and those attained by today’s youth by paying for employment and retention outcomes.

For all the above, EOF pays primarily on the basis of the results achieved, ensuring that taxpayer-funded domestic resources, aid, and philanthropic funds are only used to pay for what works. This is a game-changing way to finance results in education. It is more than just a fund – it is a powerful new set of partnerships and way of working.

Together with our supporters, we believe this is the early stages of a much larger movement. Our approach is at the cutting edge of development finance, shifting risk to the private sector, crowding in private capital, and harnessing the capacity and capability of non-state actors, with huge potential to achieve better outcomes for children and youth around the world.

Rationale for the consultancy

EOF is in the process of drafting a guidebook for results-based finance in early childhood, with a focus on exploring how and in what way results-based finance can support improvements in quality and reach of children with early childhood care and pre-primary education at a global scale. The guidebook will be part of a larger intellectual foundation for utilizing results-based finance in the early childhood space with the intention of having audiences with both potential donors (philanthropies and others) and governments. The work intended from the early childhood expert will enable the field to be reflected in an accurate and nuanced way throughout the publication.

The tasks will include the following elements:

  1. Undertake a thorough review of the Guidebook in its entirety (around 90 pages excluding appendices, please see the table of contents outlined below).
  2. Perform edits of the Guidebook, in particular in the highlighted chapters below, where early childhood is the primary content. This includes addressing comments from previous reviewers, improving the clarity, quality, and flow of writing, adding more specific examples or data when needed, and identifying areas for improvement.

How can you make a difference?

The consultant will provide technical expertise and quality assurance within the field of early childhood, with the Guidebook intended to be a publication for public good, providing original content to help funders and governments assess the relevance of utilizing results-based financing models in early childhood programs.

The consultant will report to and work in collaboration with EOF Chief Program Officer, Manager, and other members of EOF’s early childhood program team.


Tasks****End Products/ Deliverables****Duration/DeadlineThe selected consultant is expected to:

Perform a review, edit and address comments throughout the guidebook with specific focus on the below highlighted chapters, to increase overall quality and accuracy, align with current developments in the field and ensure stronger coherence and transition in the chapters.

Guidebook table of contents

  1. Foreword
  2. A readers guide
  3. Executive summary: Overview of the main messages and content of the guidebook
  4. Acknowledgements
  5. Glossary of key terms

1. The imperative for Early Childhood Development

2. Global progress, challenges and opportunities in early childhood

2.1. The current state of play: pre-primary access, equity, quality and funding globally

2.2. Challenges faced and lessons learnt

2.3. The opportunity for a pragmatic partnership with non-state actors

3. The use of results-based finance (RBF) to accelerate progress in early childhood

3.1. General introduction to RBF

3.2. The history of RBF for ECE and ECD

3.3. Recommended RBF models with the greatest potential in early childhood: The “RBF toolkit for ECD”

3.4. What we can achieve – strengthening early childhood systems with “RBF toolkit for ECD”

4. Implementing the “RBF toolkit for ECD”

4.1. RBF viability

4.2. RBF design

4.3. A high-level implementation guide to develop the RBF toolkit for ECD

4.4. Addressing historic challenges with impact bonds and other RBF instruments

  1. A roadmap for the sectorUpdated version of the Guidebook with edits and all comments addressed throughout the highlighted chapters

Improve clarity and quality of writing and add more specific examples throughout chapters 1, 2, 3, 4 and where relevant

21 full time working days between May 3rd – May 31st, 2022To qualify as an advocate for every child you will have…

  • An advanced degree (Masters and/or PHD) in early childhood development, early childhood education, human development, measurement, health and child development or other fields relevant to advancing the early childhood area.
  • Minimum of 5 years of combined experience between academic and work experience in the field of children and or human development, health, financing education, early childhood development and evaluation;
  • Supported or written key publications within the field of nurturing care, early childhood education, financing early childhood education, early childhood development or similar.
  • Fluency in English is required. Proficiency in Spanish, French or Arabic is preferred. Knowledge of another official UN language (Arabic, Chinese, or Russian) is an asset.

Duty Station

Home-based. Candidates are expected to be available during working hours in the Europe / Africa / Middle East time zones.

Duration 03/May/2022 - 31/May/2022

Proposed Payment Schedule

Payments will be made monthly. The proposed rate should inclusive of all professional fees, daily allowances, living allowances, and other administrative costs and should assume a full-time commitment.

Insurance: Consultants and individual contractors are fully responsible for arranging, at their own expense, all insurance, such as life, health and other forms of insurance, covering the period of their services as they consider appropriate. They are required to certify that they are covered by medical/health insurance.

How to Apply:

Qualified candidates are requested to upload a cover letter, resume/cv, and their proposed fees (monthly rate in British Sterling) by 26 April 2022. Please also indicate your availability in your cover letter.

Applications submitted without a financial proposal will not be accepted.

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.

  • Think and act strategically
  • Nurture, lead and manage people
  • Innovate and embrace change
  • Manage ambiguity and complexity
  • Demonstrate self-awareness and ethical awareness

To view our competency framework, please visit here.

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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