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National Individual Consultant to collect data on adaptation of Caring Families for Young Children programme for specific subgroups

Podgorica | Tuzi

  • Organization: UNICEF - United Nations Children’s Fund
  • Location: Podgorica | Tuzi
  • Grade: Consultancy - Consultant - Contractors Agreement
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Statistics
    • Environment
    • Information Technology and Computer Science
    • Children's rights (health and protection)
    • Climate Change
    • Project and Programme Management
  • Closing Date: Closed

UNICEF Montenegro is looking for a National Individual Consultant to collect data on adaptation of Caring Families for Young Children programme for specific subgroups.

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, the best start to life.

In response to the high prevalence rates of violence against children, there has been a surge of global interest in evidence-based violence prevention and the promotion of nurturing relationships between parents/caregivers and their children. A growing body of scientific literature has shown that social-learning-theory-based parenting programmes can effectively diminish rates of violence against children and improve a range of related outcomes, such as positive parenting skills, developmentally responsive care and affection, and parental mental health.

One such programme is Parenting for Lifelong Health for Young Children (PLH for Young Children), a group-based parenting programme that aims to establish and sustain nurturing relationships between parents and caregivers and their children ages 2-9 years, and thereby prevent and reduce the risk of violence against children and maltreatment at home and in the community. Grounded in social learning theory and behavioural change techniques, it aims to strengthen parenting skills and behaviours that help parents and caregivers provide adequate support and care to their children. By building positive relations and promoting alternatives to violent discipline, the programme also contributes to the prevention and treatment of disruptive child behaviours, and the reduction of parental stress and depression. PLH for Young Children is part of a suite of open access, non-commercialised parenting programmes to prevent violence in low-resource settings. These programmes have been developed and rigorously tested through a collaboration between WHO, Stellenbosch University and the University of Cape Town in South Africa, the universities of Oxford, Bangor and Reading in the United Kingdom, and UNICEF.

Since late 2017, the Government of Montenegro (the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare) and UNICEF with the support of the EU have made considerable progress in implementing PLH for Young Children in Montenegro, under the local brand Caring Families. A total of 116 facilitators, ten supervisors and two national trainers have been trained. Facilitators deliver the programme within the context of their existing work as psychologists, pedagogues, nurses, preschool teachers and social workers at primary healthcare centres, kindergartens, primary schools, NGOs and other relevant institutions. Twelve cycles of programme delivery were undertaken between 2018 and late 2023 and the thirteenth cycle is ongoing, with around 1800 parents recruited across sixteen municipalities thus far.

As part of the UNICEF and Government of Montenegro plans to scale up the programme, and building on previous experience and available evidence a draft guide has been developed to support implementing partners with recruiting into the programme and retaining socially excluded families. However, further learning and evidence from programme implementation is required to sharpen the tips and recommendations in the aforementioned guide, based on the ongoing programme delivery to three Roma parent groups and one mixed Roma and non-Roma group in three municipalities.

How can you make a difference? 

The purpose of the assignment is to enable all families and children in Montenegro, including socially excluded groups such as Roma to benefit from the Caring Families programme on an equal basis with all parents.

The objective of the assignment is to conduct interviews with 10 Roma parents who took part in the Caring Families programme during spring 2024 cycle and write a report based on the interviews.

The findings in the report will enable fine-tuning of the above guide on working with socially excluded families and will thus support further scaling up of the programme in an inclusive manner.

Methodology
A draft methodology (including ethics) has been developed. In brief, in total ten Roma parents should be interviewed. The sampling method should take into account gender (at least two fathers should be interviewed), location (5 parents from Podgorica, 3 from Niksic and 2 from Tuzi), language (at least two should be Albanian speaking), level of attendance of the programme (some with low attendance, medium attendance and high attendance out of in total 12 programme sessions). Interviews should take about 30-45 minutes. A draft interview protocol (i.e. questionnaire) has been developed which contains questions on:
- Demographics,
- Experience during the programme and how it has affected the caregiver’s family,
- Attendance including barriers/difficulties and enablers for attendance,
- Views on programme structure and content,
- Impact (i.e. any changes for the caregiver, caregiver’s child, and caregiver’s family at home).
The Consultant, once selected for the assignment, will review the methodology (including ethics) and finalize it before UNICEF submits the methodology to the Ethical Review Board.

Once the Ethical Review Board clears the methodology, the consultant will conduct interviews. Caring Families programme facilitators will contact the parents and help schedule interviews.

The analysis should look into parental experience during the programme noting any differences between the participants, attendance including barriers/difficulties and enablers for attendance noting any differences between the participants, views on programme structure and content noting any differences between the participants, impact of the programme on caregivers and their families, noting any differences between the participants. To support analysis, the draft guidance on working with socially excluded families (2024) will also be provided to the consultant to support analysis. Furthermore, a report on previous programme delivery to Roma parents will be shared with the consultant but which did not include interviews with parents, rather it included interviews with facilitators and pre and post-programme questionnaire with parents (2021, not published). Consultant can also access UNICEF’s report on scaling up the parenting programme(https://www.unicef.org/montenegro/media/18631/file/UNICEF%20-%20Scaling%20up%20Parenting%20-%20ENG_Web.pdf.pdf)

The report should follow the interview protocol structure should be no more than 20 pages long including abstract, but excluding annexes. The report should be written in Montenegrin.

The Consultant will ensure that all phases of the evaluation are in line with the UNICEF Procedure for Ethical Standards in Research, Evaluation, and Data Collection and Analysis. UNICEF Montenegro will submit the finalized research methodology to an Ethical Review Committee for clearance. The following aspects of ethics in research need to be taken into account:

The consultant must have proof that they have undertaken a course in ethics in research with children and adults. Specific considerations for research related to children and/or sensitive issues (such as violence against women and girls) will be included. Additional sources of guidelines and standards are to be taken in consideration (e.g. UNICEF's guidance on children in research https://www.unicef.org/media/54796/file, WHO's guidance on violence research https://www.who.int/gender/documents/OMS_Ethics&Safety10Aug07.pdf).

Informed consent must be requested from all participants of the evaluation. Participants must be informed before giving consent that in case a specific breach of human right is raised during the interviews (for example: violence against children or adults), that this will need to be shared with relevant authorities, in accordance with UNICEF's standards and existing legislation in Montenegro. After this notification, participants can decide if they will participate in the interviews. All other information given during the interviews will be kept confidential.

Venues for interviews should be in line with the rules of privacy protection and respectful, comfortable setting, where participants cannot be overheard. Particular care will be taken to ensure that questions are asked sensitively, appropriate to the age, gender, ethnicity and social background of the participants. Clear language will be used which avoids victimisation, blame and judgement. Where it is clear that the interview is having a negative effect on a participant, the interview will be stopped. Culture of all participants will be respected. Physical safety and well-being of researcher and participants must be ensured at all times.

All data will be securely stored during the research. One month after the research all data will be erased from computers/laptops and hard copies destroyed. The consultant is required to clearly identify and address any ethical issues and approaches. The consultant will work under direct supervision of UNICEF’s ECD Officer.


Further details on the assignment are outlined in the section Activities and Tasks below.  

Work Assignment Overview
Tasks/Milestone:

Deliverables/Outputs:

Timeline:
To finalize the research methodology including ethics and address any comments from the Ethical Review Board (approximately 2 days, home based) Final research methodology

By 10 June 2024

To conduct interviews with 10 Roma parents (approximately 3 days, in Podgorica, Niksic and Tuzi) 10 interviews completed

By 17 June 2024

 

To prepare draft report based on the interviews (approximately 4 days, home based) Draft report on 10 interviews with parents

By 23 June 2024

To address any comments by UNICEF and submit the final report based on the interviews (approximately 1 day, home based).

Final report on 10 interviews with parents  

By 28 June 2024

 

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

Education:

A bachelor university degree in Social Sciences or a related technical field.

Experience:
• At least 5 years of experience in conducting social research;
• At least 1 year of experience working with Roma parents and families;
• Previous work experience with UN/UNICEF or other international organization will be considered as an advantage;
• Basic familiarity with the programme Caring Families.

Language:
• Excellent command of the local language (both spoken and written), knowledge of English is an asset.
• Knowledge of Albanian is an asset but not mandatory.
Other:
• Attention to detail;
• Demonstrates tact and high sense of responsibility and discretion;
• Demonstrates integrity and high ethical standards;
• Displays cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality and age sensitivity and adaptability.

For every Child, you demonstrate… 

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

To view our competency framework, please visit  here

Payments:

The payment will be made in one instalment upon successful completion of the deliverables and submission of invoice.

UNICEF reserves the right to withhold all or a portion of payment if performance is unsatisfactory, if work/outputs is incomplete, not delivered or for failure to meet deadlines.

Upon conducting the recruitment process and prior to the signing of the contract, the consultant will be required to complete the following online courses. All certificates should be presented as part of the contract.
1. Ethics and Integrity at UNICEF
2. Prevention of Sexual Harassment and Abuse of Authority (PSEAA)
3. Prevention of Sexual Exploitation Abuse (PSEA)
4. A course in ethics in research with children and adults

Before commencement of any travel on behalf of UNICEF, the Consultants and Individual Contractors must complete course on General Information Security Awareness Course.

The above courses can be found on Agora through the following link: AGORA: Log in to the site (unicef.org)
Course completion certificates should be shared and retained with the human resources unit of the hiring office.

Selection methodology:

 

A) Technical criteria – Technical evaluation process / Maximum points: 70 

Desk review of CVs, motivation letter and a sample research report -70 % of total evaluation

• Education: 10
• Previous experience: 20
• Motivation and cover letter: 30
• Other 10

Only candidates who obtained at least 70% of points from the technical part (who will score at least 49 points) will be qualified for considering for financial proposal evaluation.

B) Financial criteria – evaluation of financial proposal - Maximum points: 30

The applicants are requested to submit their lump sum financial proposal consisting of a daily professional fee, proposed travel costs for Podgorica, Niksic and Tuzi. The financial scores will be calculated using the formula [lowest offer / financial offer of the candidate x 30].

 
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 is here to serve the world’s most disadvantaged children and our global workforce must reflect the diversity of those children. The UNICEF family is committed to include everyone, irrespective of their race/ethnicity, age, disability, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, nationality, socio-economic background, or any other personal characteristic.

UNICEF offers reasonable accommodation for consultants/individual contractors 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. 

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. 

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. 

This vacancy is now closed.
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