National consultant to support UNICEF interventions related to ECD & ECI for children with developmental difficulties (short-term, for Bulgarian nationals only)

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Application deadline 8 months ago: Tuesday 25 Jan 2022 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, childhood.

In the period 2021-2022, special attention will be devoted to promoting a system approach to early childhood intervention for children with developmental difficulties, which includes a seamless process for: 1) identification of developmental difficulties using standardised tools through relevant health, social and educational services; 2) assessment of child’s strengths and weaknesses; 3) delivery of family-centred, evidence-based early childhood intervention services, including support for transition to inclusive education, and 4) and communication for addressing negative stereotypes and social norms against children with disabilities. UNICEF work will focus on modelling of the system approach in selected municipalities under the EU Child Guarantee Project (3 municipalities) and the UNICEF partnership with H&M Foundation (2 municipalities), as well as capacity building of practitioners and policy work for ensuring adequate legal provisions.

During the same period, UNICEF will also strengthen advocacy and evidence generation to promote home visiting services for parents of young children as an effective strategy to improve the development of the most disadvantaged children, as well as expanding and sustainable development of a package of 3 community-based parenting support programs for parents of typically developing children and children with developmental difficulties. A dedicated parenting application developed by the UNICEF RO for ECA will be also adapted for Bulgaria and applied to deliver evidence-based information and support to parents of young children.

At policy level, UNICEF will provide technical support and advocacy to support the development of a regulatory framework, quality standards and funding mechanisms to ensure expansion and sustainable provision of ECD and ECI services to children, with a specific focus on children aged 0-2 years. Efforts to promote the development of a national ECD strategy will continue in cooperation with the ECD alliance, the World Bank, WHO, academia and professional associations.

How can you make a difference?

  • Coordinate at local level UNICEF interventions related to piloting of a system approach to ECI, as well as other intervention aiming to strengthen the national capacities for Early Childhood Intervention.
  • Coordinate and organise meetings/trainings in 3 selected municipalities as agreed with UNICEF for ensuring a system approach to early childhood intervention and improving ECI practice in coordination with local authorities, services providers, and other relevant stakeholders and partners.
  • Provide technical support, training, and supervision of the application of screening tools by relevant stakeholders – ECI teams and members of the home visiting services.
  • Draft documentation necessary for the work of the ECI teams in consultation and under the guidance of the ECD Officer.
  • Draft guidelines/other documentation related to use of screening and assessment tools by different relevant stakeholders – home visitors, ECI practitioners, etc.
  • Support the collection of data to facilitate monitoring of UNICEF interventions at local level.
  • Coordinate the implementation of the UNICEF program for support of parents of children with disabilities in the country – liaise with partners, support expansion of the program if necessary, collect feedback and statistical data on the program implementation, organise meetings, provide supervision to the teams, draft analysis and other information related to the program implementation.
  • Coordinate and provide technical support for the adaptation and promotion of the Parenting Mobile App and development of parenting materials with a particular focus on care for and the needs of children with disabilities and developmental difficulties.
  • Contribute to public awareness and communication campaigns of UNICEF CO related to early childhood intervention for children with disabilities and developmental difficulties and parenting: support for drafting different documents, coordination of awareness raising activities/events with different partners, identification of relevant human stories, etc.
  • Participate in meetings, workshops and seminars as agreed with UNICEF.
  • Other support related to ECD and inclusive early education and care as agreed with UNICEF office.

In addition to the above mentioned tasks during the period from April to September 2022 the consultant will be covering for maternity leave of the ECD Programme Officer and will support the country office in the overall management of the ECD program component including:

  • Prepare required programme documentations/materials/data related ECD/ECI to facilitate program design, implementation, and reporting; as well as provide support for ensuring necessary data for advocacy, planning and monitoring purposes;
  • Provide technical assistance to ensure integration and implementation of the ECD/ECI programme goals as part of the other sectoral interventions of the Country program in collaboration with relevant UNICEF officers;
  • Support the overall management and follow-up on the implementation of all ongoing program components related to ECD/ECI (home visiting, early childhood development, community-based and digital parenting support interventions, C4D, capacity building) to ensure their progress in accordance with the established goals, plans and strategies;
  • Work closely and collaboratively with colleagues and partners to discuss ECD/ECI operational and implementation issues, provide solutions, recommendations, technical support and/or alert UNICEF management, as well as appropriate officials and stakeholders for higher-level intervention and/or decisions;
  • Ensure the provision of timely and quality reports from partners to ensure availability of adequate documentation on the progress achieved and lessons learnt;
  • Conduct regular programme field visits and surveys and/or exchange information with partners/stakeholders to assess progress and provide technical support for the ongoing program components;
  • Report on and communicate to the UNICEF Deputy Representative critical issues, bottlenecks and potential problems for timely action to achieve results;
  • Provide technical and operational support to government counterparts, NGO partners, UN system partners and other country office partners/donors on the application and understanding of UNICEF policies, strategies, processes and best practices on ECD/ECI related issues to support programme implementation, operations and delivery of results;
  • Provide input for drafting communication and information materials for CO programme advocacy to promote awareness, establish partnership/alliances and support resource mobilization for ECD/ECI programmes;
  • Participate in appropriate inter-agency meetings/events on programming to represent and support broader vision on ECD/ECI programme;
  • Coordinate at local level UNICEF interventions related to piloting of a system approach to ECI, as well as other intervention aiming to strengthen the national capacities for Early Childhood Intervention;
  • Coordinate and organise meetings/trainings in 3 selected municipalities as agreed with UNICEF for ensuring a system approach to early childhood intervention and improving ECI practice in coordination with local authorities, services providers, and other relevant stakeholders and partners;
  • Coordinate the implementation of the UNICEF program for support of parents of children with disabilities in the country – liaise with partners, support expansion of the program if necessary, collect feedback and statistical data on the program implementation, organise meetings, provide supervision to the teams, draft analysis and other information related to the program implementation;
  • Coordinate and provide technical support for the adaptation and promotion of the Parenting Mobile App and development of parenting materials with a particular focus on care for and the needs of children with disabilities and developmental difficulties.

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

  • Master’s degree or higher in one or more of the following areas: pre-school pedagogy (early education), pedagogy, special pedagogy, child psychology or other relevant field;
  • Excellent understanding of the contemporary conceptual framework on ECD and early childhood intervention for children with developmental difficulties and disabilities;
  • Very good understanding of the national policy framework and institutional arrangements relating to early childhood intervention;
  • Experience in project management;
  • Familiarity with UNICEF policies and strategic documents related to ECD and ECI is considered an advantage;
  • Ability to work independently;
  • Ability to manage partnerships across diversity of stakeholders;
  • Respect for cultural diversity and human rights;
  • Fluency of English language is a must.

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.

Remarks:

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.

Added 8 months ago - Updated 7 months ago - Source: unicef.org