Local Consultancy: Expert on Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (MHPSS), ECARO outpost in Rome, Italy, 10 months (Remote)

This opening expired 11 months ago.

UNICEF - United Nations Children's Fund

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IT Home-based; Rome (Italy)

Application deadline 11 months ago: Tuesday 8 Feb 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, results

Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (MHPSS) is an institutional priority for the UN and for UNICEF and is critical to the achievement of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. The UNICEF Strategic Plan 2022-2025 identifies MHPSS as a priority area, building upon existing programming through child protection, education and health, shaped by actions and standards set out in the Child Protection Minimum Standards (CPMS), Core Commitments for Children in Humanitarian Action (CCCs) and the IASC Guidelines on Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in Emergencies.

According to recent UNICEF State of the World’s Children 2021, a 13 per cent of adolescent worldwide is estimated to live with a diagnosed mental disorder. Covid-19 emergency is exacerbating the risk of worsening of mental health wellbeing status. The risk for mental health conditions and psychosocial problems among children and adolescents is exacerbated also when they are exposed to poverty, violence, disease or humanitarian crises. This is of meaning when it comes to migration population – including unaccompanied children – who faced in their journeys dramatic events that could undermine their mental health status if not well supported.

UNICEF in Italy is working with national counterparts to improve the mental health of vulnerable groups. The organisation operates in the border areas – both in southern and northern Italy – as well as in key locations of transit. Key elements of the Programme are composed by capacity building for frontline workers and practitioners, evidence generation and advocacy – also in cooperation with the Italian National Committee for UNICEF.

In March 2021 the European Commission issued two milestone documents regarding the protection, inclusion and participation of children in Europe, with a focus on the most vulnerable groups. The EU strategy on children’s rights provides the framework for EU action to better promote and protect children’s rights[1], while the Child Guarantee[2] is the dedicated programme to combat the child poverty and social exclusion of the most vulnerable children, to ensure they have access to free healthcare, free education, free childcare, decent housing and adequate nutrition. UNICEF is cooperating with the European Commission and the National Authorities to pilot the Phase 3 of the Child Guarantee, including the implementation, monitoring and evaluation of alternative care models for children transiting to adulthood. Children with mental health issues form one of the most vulnerable groups identified, and it is expected that relevant efforts of the authorities will be reflected in the upcoming Child Guarantee National Action Plan.

How can you make a difference?

The consultant will support the child protection team in mainstreaming MHPSS across the programme, providing technical support to any relevant program component -including capacity building and training to practitioners - evidence generation exercise and advocacy effort.

The consultant will:

  • design a MHPSS medium term strategy for the National Response, in line with the global and regional ones, based on the programme context, lessons learnt, opportunities and added value of UNICEF operations and in consultations with IPs, children and adolescents and relevant stakeholders;
  • finalize the design of the multi-disciplinary online training on supporting adolescents transiting to adulthood, in cooperation with National Orders of Social Workers, Psychologists and Educators, test the training and oversight the roll-out;
  • support the design of new upcoming training courses to ensure MHPSS is reflected as relevant (e.g. Trainings for guardians and foster families, training for cultural mediators working with GBV survivors);
  • provide implementing partners (IPs) with technical support on MHPSS, in particular related to: a) digital MHPSS support for young migrants and refugees through U-Report on the move b) MHPSS – including first psychological aid – in emergency settings such as border and transit areas for migrants and refugees c) foster care for unaccompanied children d) psycho-social support to GBV survivors;
  • Support the building and maintenance of the MHPSS community of practices resulting from the ongoing mapping exercise, promoting sharing of experiences, technical discussions and evidence generation;
  • Support the development of MHPSS awareness raising material for adolescents, to be disseminated through digital and offline channels;
  • Participate in the technical mental health working group under the leadership of the Ministry of Health;
  • Support UNICEF initiatives around the Global Mental Health Summit in Rome in October 2022;
  • Support UNICEF in the monitoring of implementation of current and future key and strategic national action plans and ensure alignment with programme priorities when it comes to MHPSS;
  • Provide technical support in elaborating UNICEF positioning or policy papers to include MHPSS as relevant.

Contractual arrangements:

  • Duration: The consultant will be expected to work for 10 months full-time, between February 2022 and December 2022.
  • Duty Station and travel: The consultant will be home-based in Italy but will be expected to travel twice per quarter to the Italian regions participating in the mapping exercise (Latium, Lombardia, Piedmont, Emilia Romagna, Apulia, Sicily), depending on COVID-19 travel restrictions. The Consultant will be responsible for organizing their travel. All travel expenses (tickets, accommodation, public transport, meals) will be reimbursed. The maximum amount for travel overall will be EUR 1,500.
  • Payment: The consultant will be paid monthly upon timely and satisfactory submission of deliverables as per the table above.
  • Travel:

  • All UNICEF rules and regulations related to travel of Consultants/ Individual Contractors apply.

  • All travels shall be undertaken only upon the prior written approval by UNICEF.
  • The consultant is responsible for his/her for travel arrangements. The most economic and direct route is authorized.
  • Travel costs will be reimbursed after the completion of mission upon submission of the invoice together with the supporting documentation.
  • 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.

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

  • An advanced university degree (Master’s or higher) in Social Sciences, Political Science, Law or related area.
  • At least 8 years of professional experience on MHPSS is required.
  • At least 5 years of proven work with migrants or vulnerable children along with extensive experience in the field of protection.
  • Proven knowledge of MHPSS Italian system and national migrant and refugees context.
  • Ability to work through networking and partnership.
  • Demonstrated ability to work in a multi-cultural environment and establish harmonious and effective working relationships.
  • Fluency in Italian and English is required.

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.

To apply:

Applicants are invited to:

  • Complete their UNICEF profile FULLY;
  • Attach CV and Cover Letter;
  • Indicate a monthly fee, bearing in mind that the maximum monthly allowed for this consultancy is EUR 3,800, travels not included. Applications without fees will not be accepted.


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.

[1] https://ec.europa.eu/info/law/better-regulation/have-your-say/initiatives/12454-Delivering-for-children-an-EU-strategy-on-the-rights-of-the-child

[2] https://ec.europa.eu/social/main.jsp?catId=1428&langId=en

Added 11 months ago - Updated 11 months ago - Source: unicef.org