In-person in Hungary: ECD Consultant (46 working days; with travel as needed) - UNICEF Hungary Refugee Response Office (RRO)

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Application deadline 16 days ago: Wednesday 3 Apr 2024 at 21:55 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, a voice.

Purpose of Activity/Assignment

As of 3 March 2024, more than 65,000 refugees from Ukraine are recorded in Hungary.

Based on data from the December 2023 Multi-Sector Needs Assessment (MSNA) conducted by UNHCR, one-third of the households (36%) have children with them in Hungary. Key priority needs identified by households include accommodation, food and language courses. One-third of households reported difficulties in accessing information, particularly concerning topics such as TP status, rights, entitlements, and available services in Hungary.

Furthermore, the results of a post-distribution monitoring (PDM) exercise conducted in the period of October – December 2023, in the context of a cash transfer programme established through UNICEF’s partnership with the Municipality of Budapest (and the Metropolitan Foundation of Social Policy), re-affirmed key challenges faced by refugees related to housing, food, language and health. Furthermore, 15% of households reported that kindergarten-aged children (3-6 years) were not attending kindergarten (which is mandatory), and 19% of households reported school-aged children (6-16 years) not attending school. In addition, children of 85% of households require additional assistance and social services.

As the uncertainties of the war in Ukraine persist, the insecurity, including experiences such as separation or a loss of family members, displacement and a lack of social support networks and basic services, can greatly undermine caregiver mental health and well-being and their ability to provide nurturing care to their young children. Young children are often disproportionally affected given their needs and vulnerabilities, with the highest child mortality rates, and a rise in disability and developmental difficulties in times of conflict. War is one of the biggest threats to early childhood development (ECD), and quality ECD interventions (e.g. early childhood education and care services, parenting support, support for young children at risk and with disabilities etc.) are needed to alleviate the effects of adversities.

In this regard, UNICEF partnered with municipalities across Hungary to provide ECD interventions for Ukrainian refugee children and their families. In particular:

  • UNICEF’s partnership with the Municipality of Budapest entails the launch of a grant scheme (through the Metropolitan Foundation of Social Policy), aiming to strengthen services and institutions within Budapest to support holistic early childhood development of Ukrainian refugee children. The call for proposals is open for applications until 31 March 2024, with the view of selecting the successful grantees by end of April 2024. The implementation period of this grant scheme is from 1 May to 31 October 2024.
  • UNICEF’s partnership with the Municipality of Debrecen entails provision of health care services, support to parents and caregivers on nurturing care practices (health, nutrition, infant and young child feeding, early stimulation, etc.), and capacity building for home visiting nurses, among others.

UNICEF Hungary Refugee Response Office (RRO) is seeking an ECD Consultant with experience in ECD and Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC), to provide coordination and technical support for the implementation of UNICEF’s ECD efforts with the municipalities as well as broader policy dialogues and engagement on ECD. The consultant will report to the ECD Specialist.

Scope of Work

Under the supervision of the ECD Specialist, and in close collaboration with Education, Child Protection and Social Policy colleagues of the Hungary RRO team, the consultant will provide coordination and technical support on the ECD activities under UNICEF’s work plans with the municipalities as well as on broader policy dialogues and engagement on ECD. More specifically, the consultant will:

1. Provide coordination and technical support: Contribute to technical aspects of the implementation of ECD activities under UNICEF’s work plans with the municipalities, including monitoring and reporting and supporting capacity building efforts in ECD and other related topics. As part of this work stream, the consultant will:

  • Conduct programmatic and field monitoring visits with municipalities (including third-party grantees under the Municipality of Budapest’s grant scheme) to ensure progress of activities (this includes support with implementation and reporting of the grant projects);
  • Support the identification of needs for technical support and capacity building, and delivery of tailored capacity building activities (including development of guidance and other support documents) to national, local and CSO partners on ECD and other related topics.

2. Provide advisory and technical support, including innovation, knowledge management on ECD

  • Provide technical advice to support the dialogue with key government partners, NGOs, UN system and other partners on strategies and best practices to influence ECD approaches and policies aiming at the inclusion of Ukrainian refugee children and other children from vulnerable groups.
  • Support ECD programme monitoring, reporting and documentation (ex through case studies, briefing notes, PPTs,).

Work Assignment Overview

*Tasks / Milestone******Deliverables / Outputs******Timeline / Deadline*****1. Provide coordination and technical support for the implementation of ECD efforts1. 10 programmatic visits and field monitoring visits (related to ECD activities with municipalities) conducted and reports submitted – the plan for the programmatic visits will be agreed upon with the consultant15 working days;

By 31 October 2024

  1. 5 capacity building activities on ECD and other related topics planned, developed and delivered to national, local and CSO partners10 working days;

By 30 September 2024

2. Provide advisory and technical support, including innovation, knowledge management on ECD1. Technical advice provided to, and technical consultations organized, UNICEF staff and partners working on technical support to the Government in the area of ECD10 working days;

By 31 October 2024

  1. 3 concept notes / briefs or PPTs on key ECD topics developed6 working days;

By 30 September 2024

  1. Case study on UNICEF’s ECD response in Hungary developed5 working days;

By 30 September 2024

Estimated Duration of the Contract

46 working days between April and October 2024.

Consultant's Work Place and Official Travel

The Consultant will be remote/home-based.

As part of this assignment, an estimate of four (4) mission travels are foreseen. The consultant will arrange her/his travel as and when they take place, and related costs will be reimbursed per UNICEF travel policy.

Travel Clause

  • All UNICEF rules and regulations related to travel of Consultants apply.
  • All travels shall be undertaken only upon the prior written approval by UNICEF.
  • The consultant must be fit to travel, be in a possession of the valid UN BSAFE certificate, obligatory inoculation(s) and have a valid own travel/medical insurance and an immunization/vaccination card.

Estimated Cost of the Consultancy & Payment Schedule

Payment will be made on submission of an invoice and satisfactory completion of the above-mentioned deliverables. UNICEF reserves the right to withhold all or a portion of payment if performance is unsatisfactory, if work/outputs are incomplete, not delivered or for failure to meet deadlines. All materials developed will remain the copyright of UNICEF and UNICEF will be free to adapt and modify them in the future.

Please submit a professional fee (in USD) based on 46 working days to undertake this assignment, without travel fees as these will be reimbursed as and when they take place.

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


  • Master's degree in Education, Early Childhood Development, Early Childhood Education, Psychology, Social Sciences, Pedagogy or other related field
  • Minimum of five (5) years of relevant work experience in programme planning, management, research in ECD, ECE or Education or a similar field.
  • Understanding of global or EU’s ECD agenda.
  • Experience working with state and NGO partners.
  • Fluency in English.
  • Fluency in Hungarian.


  • Experience working on refugee responses is an asset.
  • Experience working with or in an UN organization is an asset.

For every Child, you demonstrate…

UNICEF’s core values of Care, Respect, Integrity, Trust, Accountability, and Sustainability (CRITAS), and core competencies in Communication, Working with People and Drive for Results.

To view our competency framework, please visit here.

UNICEF is here to serve the world’s most marginalized children and our global workforce must reflect the diversity of those children. The UNICEF family 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.


Please include a full CV and Cover Letter in your application. Additionally, indicate your availability and professional fee (in USD) to undertake the terms of reference above. Applications submitted without a professional fee will not be considered. 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.

The selected candidate is solely responsible to ensure that the visa (applicable) and 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.

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.

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