International Consultant to support to the Development of Alternative Care Services in Abkhazia, Georgia
Application deadline 1 year ago: Thursday 5 Aug 2021 at 08:00 UTCOpen application form
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Purpose of Activity/Assignment:
Since 2015, UNICEF has been working to strengthen and develop sustainable social services for children in Abkhazia. An informal Community-Based Child Protection Mechanism (CBCPM) has been developed in 41 target communities by building the capacity of the community-based social service providers including para-social workers who collected evidence on child well-being issues, provided support to vulnerable children and their families and empowered local communities to address the social service needs of children. Also, Child Development Centers (CDCs) were supported to address the needs of boys and girls with disabilities. At the same time, a professional district level social work programme was launched in all districts of Abkhazia and assistance has been provided to thousands of vulnerable children and families from the region.
The development of the UNICEF supported social work practice in Abkhazia revealed a number of concrete deficiencies and gaps in the field of child protection. Underdeveloped alternative care is one of the most acute issues constantly being raised by the local social workers, para-social workers and other stakeholders. According to the data provided by the social work programme, there are cases of children in most of the districts of Abkhazia who continue to live in families where violence, neglect, inadequate parental care and a threat to the health and life of the child takes place due to the limited mechanisms of response and options for child placement. Cases of children left without parental care due to the death or illness of a single parent or elderly guardian are also critical. Opportunities for child placement are limited to extended family or guardianship and there are no current alternative solutions if the child does not have relatives or other people willing to take her or him into care.
In view of this, a range of awareness raising activities were carried out by UNICEF with the aim to provide expertise to local child protection stakeholders on various child protection issues, including alternative care. Emphasis was placed on the importance of preventive and systematic approaches to child protection issues. As a result of these efforts, key stakeholders improved their understanding of the approaches to child protection and alternative care.
UNICEF is planning to continue awareness raising among stakeholders on child protection, including alternative care, and to support local partners in the development of a conceptual framework and pilot model for the strengthening of alternative care services in Abkhazia.
Scope of Work:
UNICEF seeks to engage a group of international consultants to undertake the development of a conceptual framework and pilot model for strengthening alternative care services in Abkhazia in close cooperation with UNICEF and relevant stakeholders in Abkhazia. The consultants are also expected to support UNICEF in awareness raising activities among stakeholders on child protection, including alternative care.
Interested experts should apply as a team of consultants for the whole scope of the consultancy.
Develop a conceptual framework and pilot model for strengthening alternative care services in Abkhazia
A group of consultants -in close cooperation with UNICEF, social workers and other relevant stakeholders â€“ will develop a conceptual framework and pilot model for strengthening alternative care services in Abkhazia. This should include:
- an overview of the situation in Abkhazia with regard to alternative care and its further development, including strengths and challenges;
- a contextualized definition of alternative care services to be newly introduced or strengthened in Abkhazia;
- recommendations on organizational modalities of the relevant services;
- basic roles and responsibilities of key involved professionals;
- an outline of the capacity building plan for relevant groups of child protection actors as relates to alternative care;
- action plan for piloting of the proposed model, including advocacy and communication components.
The concept should be developed by the consultants based on a desk review of relevant available resources and an assessment of needs to be carried out through consultation with a range of stakeholders in Abkhazia. International best practices should be considered and the document should take into account the local context, strengths and risks as well as historical and cultural background related to child placement. Introduction of various child-friendly alternative care services should be explored, including but not limited to strengthened forms of the already existing guardianship, foster care and other family-type settings. The conceptual framework should also include strong linkages with other sectors such as health, education and justice.
- A contextualized framework and pilot model for strengthening alternative care services in Abkhazia
25 August - 10 December 2021
Raise awareness of key stakeholders in Abkhazia on internationally recognized approaches to alternative care
The development of a conceptual framework for strengthening alternative care services in Abkhazia will be accompanied by awareness raising among stakeholders on internationally recognized child-friendly and gender sensitive approaches to alternative care, including the provision of examples from the experience of various countries in the region by the consultants.
The consultants will also support UNICEF in lobbying for the endorsement of the conceptual framework of alternative care by the decision-makers in Abkhazia.
In doing so, the consultants will build on the existing system of local historical values and emphasize family support, extended family responsibility and community solidarity as a strong basis for promoting family-type alternative care, which will enhance a sense of ownership over the newly proposed services among local partners and the general public.
- Support in awareness raising on alternative care, including consultations, meetings, provision of various thematic documents and materials based on the identified needs
25 August 2021 - 30 June 2022
Duration: From 25 August 2021 to 30 June 2022.
Location: Home based with travel.
Advanced university degree in social work, law, child protection or related technical field;
At least 10 yearsâ€™ experience working in the field of child care and social protection, including alternative care;
Understanding of UNICEF approaches and recommendations regarding child protection and alternative care; relevant experience of work with UN will be an asset;
Deep understanding of child protection systems and services; thorough knowledge of the background and current developments in child protection and child care in the former Soviet space;
Exceptional communication skills;
Working knowledge of English, Russian or other local language.
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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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.