Individual Contractor - Youth Engagement in Climate Action, LACRO, Panama (9 months)

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Application deadline 8 months ago: Thursday 7 Jul 2022 at 03:55 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, dedication

How can you make a difference?


The Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) region is composed of 33 countries of which 16 are Small Island Developing States (SIDS). Most countries in the region have reached macroeconomic standards which label them as middle or upper middle income countries. However, there is still a high and persistent level of poverty in most countries, despite sustained economic growth over the last decade. The Human Development Index (HDI) varies greatly across the region, and persistent economic inequalities translate into unequal access to land, water, adequate housing, infrastructure and services, particularly for the most vulnerable groups. Rapid urbanization rates exacerbate existing socioeconomic challenges. The probability of being affected by climate‐related events and climate change is strongly modulated by the pre‐existing conditions of poverty and inequality. For example, extreme events will strongly affect the rural and urban poor who often reside in informal settlements in high‐risk areas (e.g., flood plains and steep slopes). Besides being extremely vulnerable to natural hazards (both climate and non‐climate‐related), LAC has become increasingly vulnerable to the impacts of environmental hazards, including those imposed by climate change; according to the available scientific information the region will be severely affected even under lower levels of global warming.

The climate change crisis is no longer a purely environmental issue but, instead, a socio‐economic crisis, and, in particular, a child rights crisis. There is a collective moral responsibility to scale practical solutions to climate change with real potential to make a difference for children and youth to survive, grow, and thrive. The coming years will be critical to promote concrete solutions with the potential of securing large‐scale impact, particularly through catalysing partnerships (public, private, etc.) for climate resilience. With the recent growth in youth climate action, UNICEF and its allies have a unique role to play to ensure that children and youth voices are adequately heard and responded to by decision makers, empowering children and youth as changemakers.

The new Strategic Plan for 2022–2025, Goal Area 4, will aim to ensure that every child, including adolescents, uses safe and equitable WASH services, and lives in a safe and sustainable climate and environment. Work under this Goal Area, including in humanitarian crises and fragile contexts, will contribute to environmental, resilience and gender components of the 2030 Agenda.

In response to these challenges and the new SP, UNICEF LACRO a has been developed a new Regional Office Management Plan 2022 – 2025 to articulate the key shifts and programmatic realignment, which will be required to accelerate results for children in the LAC region over the next 4 years. The results structure follows the alignment with the SP goal areas, so that, in all contexts, including humanitarian and fragile settings, every child, including adolescents:

(1) survives and thrives, with access to adequate diets, services, practices and supplies; (2) learns and acquires skills for life and work; (3) is protected from violence, exploitation, abuse, neglect and harmful practices; (4) has access to safe, resilient water, sanitation and hygiene services and lives in a safe and sustainable climate and environment; and (5) has access to inclusive social protection and lives free of poverty.

Under Goal Area 4 (Safe and Resilient WASH and Sustainable Climate and Environment), programming is grouped around water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) services and systems strengthening, and climate, environment, energy, and disaster risk reduction (CEED) for children. Whereas UNICEF and partners will focus in the advocacy for child sensitive climate and environmental policies, the promotion of youth engagement on climate action, and the implementation of comprehensive programmes from a sectoral and cross‐sectoral approach. More specifically, this GA4 will support national stakeholders’ capacities to apply a risk analysis in sectorial decision making and to develop child‐sensitive risk informed programmes that reduce risks and climate impacts on children. This will include technological innovation (e.g., renewable and efficient energy and resilient water system solutions for off grid communities) and providing scalable solutions that ensure: 1. Access to safe and sustainable water and adequate sanitation and hygiene; 2. Quality and continuous education, both in time of stability and crises; and 3. Climate and environmental risk resilient primary health care system (including air pollution). Collectively, these efforts will improve equity and strengthening the resilience of basic services, children and their communities.

Purpose of the Assignment

Nature of Individual Contract: CEED Individual Contractor to support the engagement of young people on climate action in LAC.

Under the overall guidance of the LACRO Regional Advisor on Climate Change and Sustainable Development, the purpose of this individual contractor is to develop and implement a youth engagement strategy on CEED‐related topics for the region and assisting LACRO’s teams and country offices in implementing, documenting, reporting and monitoring the progress of this strategy and overall UNICEF contribution to child‐centered climate actions across the region.

The individual contractor will be expected to deliver the following products:

1. Lead the development and implementation of LACRO’s CEED youth engagement strategy guiding country offices and partners in rolling out the strategy.

2. Create and promote spaces for young advocates, youth‐led groups and youth‐focused partners to foster active engagement of children, adolescents and youth in climate and environmental policy and action.

Specific Tasks

1. Lead the development and implementation of LACRO’s CEED youth engagement strategy guiding country offices and partners in rolling out the strategy, including the following:

‐ Develop a situation analysis of the gaps and opportunities in current platforms, spaces and initiatives in climate and environmental governance processes linked to the Paris Agreement, Escazu Agreement, others, in LAC to increase engagement of children and youth. ‐Develop the LACRO’s CEED youth engagement strategy on climate and environmental action based on UNICEF’s sectors and comparative advantage including modes of engagement, objectives and expected results. ‐ Support Country Offices in identifying opportunities for children and young people to be engaged in platforms and spaces in climate and environmental governance processes and strategic frameworks (such NDCs, NAPs, DRM/Sendai and SDGs). ‐ Support resource mobilization efforts to finance and foster child and youth‐centered climate and environmental actions and spaces from bilateral, multilateral, public and private donors. ‐ Support knowledge management activities as required and linked to generation of content for social media outlets. ‐ Support the generation of data and evidence on children rights and climate change to inform strategic youth‐focused programming. ‐Represent UNICEF in relevant coordination forums, roundtables, meetings, and conferences.

2. Create and/or promote spaces for young advocates, youth‐led groups and youth‐focused partners to foster active engagement of children, adolescents and youth in climate and environmental policy and action. ‐ Provide technical assistance to cocreate spaces and dialogues (roundtables, hackathons, start‐ups) between young people and partners with public and private counterparts. ‐ Strengthen young peoples’ capacity to engage in climate policies and actions by developing and/or disseminating climate tools and resources and by conducting training sessions with young people and partners. ‐ Develop a mapping of good practices on youth engagement in climate advocacy at national and regional level.

Expected Results

Activity 1:

‐Regional CEED youth engagement strategy and workplan developed ‐Key milestones of the CEED strategy are implemented in target countries and key stakeholders. ‐Regional/ country NDC analysis tool and dashboard including criteria and indicators is available and used by UNICEF offices and partners. ‐Guidance and support on youth engagement tools and resources ‐Knowledge management mechanism established and “CEED activity Tracker”

Activity 2:

‐ Adolescents and youth are supported to have a more meaningful representation in climate activities and advocacy events (# of events / # of platforms / # advocates supported) ‐ Compilation of youth engagement in climate action good practices in the LAC region. ‐ Reports and communication products (social media packs) of UNICEF contribution on youth participation in regional and global climate and environmental events.


DescriptionDuration [in days]Expected deadlineMonthly report on activities and results30July 31, 2022Monthly report on activities and results30August 31, 2022Monthly report on activities and results30September 30, 2022Monthly report on activities and results30October 31, 2022Monthly report on activities and results30November 30, 2022Monthly report on activities and results30December 31, 2022Monthly report on activities and results30January 30, 2023Monthly report on activities and results30February 28, 2023Monthly report on activities and results30March 30, 2023To qualify as an advocate for every child you will have…

Minimum Requirements and Qualifications


  • Advanced university degree in a relevant area such as climate and environment science, geography, or related field of disaster risk management.

Work Experience

  • A minimum of five years of professional experience on programme planning, management, and/or research in climate and environment is required.
  • Working on youth participation and climate action advocacy.
  • Experience working in LAC developing countries is considered as an asset.


  • Fluency in Spanish and English is required. Knowledge of French or Portuguese will be considered an asset.

Technical knowledge

  • A minimum of 5 years of relevant work experience, in areas related to climate change, disaster risk management and international development.
  • Knowledge and technical expertise in risk analysis as well as in international climate policy and finance.
  • High capacity in coordination, analysis, and synthesis.
  • Good understanding of the climate action and development context in Latin America and the Caribbean region.
  • Familiarity with UNICEF programming and regional climate strategy framework is an asset.
  • Knowledge and technical expertise in one or more of UNICEF areas of global sectoral responsibility is an asset.

Other skills and attributes

  • Ability to clearly define objectives and plan activities and work on results‐based approaches and methodology.
  • Demonstrated ability to be flexible and adapt to shifting conditions and work demands.
  • Ability to work efficiently under tight deadlines.
  • Must be detail oriented and creative and possess strong communication skills
  • Able to work effectively in a multicultural environment and establish harmonious working relations.
  • High level of integrity and commitment to UNICEF's mission and professional values.
  • Sets high levels of quality and productivity.

Administrative details


The contractor will work under the direct supervision of the LACRO Climate Change and Sustainable Advisor and in collaboration with the Education and Adolescent Development and Participation Specialists.


This assignment will be office-based.


This contract is expected to start on 1 July with an estimated duration of 9 months.

How to Apply

Application should be submitted online and should include: Resume, Cover Letter and Financial proposal. Qualified candidates are requested to submit daily, monthly and total fees in their financial proposal.


When conditions will allow and just in case there is any activity or event that requires the individual contractor to be present in the location.

If travel is involved, it will be covered by UNICEF as per policy.

  • Travel costs will be estimated and added to the contract once they are determined based on UNICEF Financial Rules and Regulations.
  • For agreed country visits, the contractor/consultant will be responsible in administering their own travel. UNICEF will reimburse travel related expenses based on actual costs or on the below criteria whichever is lower and upon presentation of receipts.
  • Any travel involved should be budgeted according to UN Travel Standards as a ceiling.
  • UN Secretariat Administrative Instruction on Official Travel, ST/AI/2013/3: Sect. 4, para. 4.2, numerals (d) and (e)
  • For information on Daily Subsistence Allowance (DSA), can be found on the International Civil Service Commission website (all countries and destinations can be found by navigating on the map).

For every Child, you demonstrate…

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


Mobility is a condition of international professional employment with UNICEF and an underlying premise of the international civil service.

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. The candidate may also be subject to inoculation (vaccination) requirements, including against SARS-CoV-2 (Covid).

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