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West and Central Africa (WCA) has over 65% of its population under 24 . Gender inequalities, sexual and gender-based violence in schools, child marriage, early and unwanted pregnancies are among the most important obstacles to access education, especially for girls . While 28 million girls are out of school, the region faces growing gender disparities. Net primary school attendance rates are 68% for girls and 72% for boys, but only 24% of girls and 35% of boys complete upper secondary education. The challenges are not limited to access to school but also affect children's learning level, which remains very low (PASEC 2014 report ), with direct consequences on their full potential development, their access to qualified employment or their general contribution to society.
There is a close link between life skills and access to quality education. Life skills improve the quality and relevance of education through the development of skills for better learning, positive empowerment, active citizenship, increased employability, good health and healthy and respectful social relations. An important component of life skills education is comprehensive sexuality education (CSE). CSE equips children and young people with knowledge, attitudes and life skills that enable them to foster equal and violence-free gender relations, and to develop knowledge, attitudes and skills for a healthier, fulfilling and inclusive social and sexual life. CSE also contributes to a safe and inclusive environment for teaching and learning.
However, there is often a strong reluctance to teach life skills and CSE in communities because of myths, prejudices and false beliefs about CSE (formal and non-formal), and a lack of dialogue with parents and children to "demystify" preconceived ideas and combat these prejudices. Within this framework, UNICEF's Regional Office for West and Central Africa, UNAIDS and UNESCO's West Africa Office wish to support community activities aimed at promoting an enabling environment for the teaching of life skills, and in particular CSE, to girls and boys enrolled in three West African countries, Burkina Faso, Niger and Mali. This subject is even more sensitive and important in contexts where gender inequality, gender-based violence, early and unwanted pregnancy and child marriage are prevalent; target areas will be selected on the basis of these criteria.
Life skills and CSE and the development of intergenerational dialogue with parents and children on the importance and usefulness of these skills, will be done through a combined adaptation of the Stepping Stones methodology. Two manuals exist: Stepping Stones PLUS (“Parcours PLUS” in French), an earlier version of which was introduced in Burkina Faso in the early 2000s by UNESCO and again in the 2010s in Burkina Faso with funding from the Global Fund. It is a gender dialogue manual that addresses issues such as gender equality, violence in all its forms, and sexual and reproductive health and rights in a reassuring framework to enable participants to exchange and dialogue, to externalize their difficulties and change their behaviour if they wish to do so, and to acquire key skills to overcome these challenges. The second manual published in 2017, Stepping Stones with Children, aims to promote life skills for children affected by HIV and contains many topics related to CSE, social and sexual life, early marriage, and school environment among others. Stepping Stones' methodology has shown many results elsewhere in the world and uses a positive development approach for adolescents that gives them a voice and power to act and interact.
UNICEF and UNESCO currently have two highly complementary multi-country programmes in this area. In support of the governments in the region, UNICEF is implementing the Norwegian-funded project "Improving access to a quality education for children of the Sahel", focusing on quality education and life skills. UNESCO is implementing the "Our Rights, Our Lives, Our Future" (O3) programme, currently funded by Sweden in the West and Central Africa region. This programme works to build political commitment among Ministers of Education and Health to improve adolescents' and young people's access to CSE and sexual and reproductive health services.
Niger, Burkina Faso and Mali have been identified for the roll out of the manual as part of these multi-country programmes and having collaborations at the national level on life skills, CSE and gender equality.
How can you make a difference?
In close collaboration with the UNICEF WCAR Education, HIV and Gender Specialists, UNICEF Country Offices of Burkina Faso, Niger and Mali, as well as with key partners from the technical committee at regional and global level, the consultant will elaborate a manual for intergenerational dialogue to promote an enabling environment for life skills, comprehensive sexuality education (CSE) and gender equality as taught by formal and non-formal structures in the target countries; Burkina Faso Niger and Mali.
The consultant will adapt existing material, mainly "Stepping Stones PLUS" and "Stepping Stones with Children" manuals on communication and behaviour change, to turn them into a community based intervention in Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger for intergenerational dialogue around life skills. A literature review will be undertaken before the adaptation process to review additional manuals which are eventually to be included as well. The consultant will ensure national adaptation and validation of the manual in collaboration with the technical committee and in-country partners.
The main objectives for the manual will be to achieve the following:
- Raise the number of girls and boys with increased knowledge in life skills, comprehensive sexuality education and school related gender based violence (SRGBV) in target areas of Burkina Faso, Niger and Mali;
- Increase acceptance of life skills education and comprehensive sexual education by mothers and fathers, guardians and grandparents through intergenerational dialogues in target areas in Burkina Faso, Niger and Mali;
- Increase intergenerational dialogue, particularly within the family unit, on gender equality.
Scope of work
In line with UNICEF’s Strategic Plan and the increased focused on developing young peoples’ skills to build their futures, the intergenerational manual will be a tool to promote an enabling environment for life skills, CSE and gender equality, thereby allowing for young people to access and acquire these skills in formal and non-formal settings. The long term perspective is to contribute to increasing the number of girls and boys enrolled in school, as well as girls who remain enrolled particularly in secondary education in target areas in Burkina Faso, Niger and Mali; Reducing the number of school related gender-based violence (SRGBV) in schools; and reducing early pregnancies and child marriage in target areas in Burkina Faso, Niger and Mali.
A consultant will be hired for a period of 80 working days between October 2018 and March 2019 (tentative dates) to ensure adaptation of the Stepping Stones manuals. The consultant will undertake field visits (estimated 2 missions per country) to the target countries. Firstly, to ensure national adaptation and validation of the manual including collecting positive arguments from religious perspectives, and secondly following the development of the manual, to undertake training of Trainers of Trainers.
This work will be in collaboration with a technical committee consisting of UNICEF West and Central Africa Regional Office, UNAIDS and the UNESCO West Africa Office and the UNICEF National Offices in collaboration with the Ministries of Education, Health and Women's Promotion/Social Affairs of Burkina Faso, Niger and Mali, associating Salamander Trust. Other United Nations system partners and civil society partners may be involved in the technical committee.
Deliverables and Schedules
The consultant is expected to:
1. Produce an inception report including a literature review, an outline of the methodology and analytical framework, a timeframe with dates for deliverables and the travel arrangements to the field by 30th October 2018;
2. Produce a draft manual, based on the adaptation of the existing manuals and guidances, by 15th November 2018,
3. Roll out national consultation workshops by 20th December 2018,
4. Produce a final manual in French and English incorporating feedback from national and regional consultations and the roll out processes. Supervise the graphic design of the manual (illustrations etc.). The manual should contain an executive summary in French and English of the manual (not exceeding four pages). Graphic edition and translation costs are to be included in financial proposal by 31st January 2019,
5. Develop guidelines for Trainer of Trainers based on the manual, which includes use of online materiel in French and English and develop national roll out strategies by 15th February 2019,
6. Train a team of trainers of trainers to roll out the manual in the countries and set up monitoring processes to maintain quality control and data collection by 01st March 2019,
The consultancy will be for period of 80 working days
Consultant will be required to provide deliverables as per agreed schedule and report to the Education Specialist. Periodic meetings with UNICEF WCARO and the technical committee will be held to ensure validation of the deliverables. Submission of outputs will be electronic and per the defined timeline.
Conditions of work
The consultancy will be home-based, and the consultant will be using his/her own office materials and resources. Field missions to the target countries are to be conducted. UNICEF WCARO will provide the administrative and logistical support necessary for the consultant to undertake the activities.
Flight costs will be covered at economy class rate as per UNICEF policies, and per diems during field missions in accordance with UNICEF DSA rates. The consultant is not allowed to use the materials gathered for this assignment in any other work assignment without the explicit written permission of UNICEF. The selected candidate will be governed by and subject to UNICEF's General Terms and Conditions for individual contracts. UNICEF recourse in case of unsatisfactory performance: Payment will only be made for work satisfactorily completed and accepted by UNICEF.
The consultant will be paid in following five tranches:
- 1st payment: 20% upon delivery of the literature review, analytical framework with time line and methodology (5 days)
- 2nd payment: 20% delivery of the first zero draft of the manual (20 days)
- 3rd payment: 20 % upon roll out of national workshops (10 days)
- 4th payment: 20% upon delivery of the finalized and validated version of the manual (15 days)
- 5th payment: 20 % upon delivery of ToT guidelines and roll out of trainings and the rest of the deliverables (15+15 days)
No advance payment is allowed.
Applicants are requested to submit a P11 with a financial proposal in USD with their application. Please make sure to include the graphic design and translation.
To qualify as an advocate for every child you will have…
- An advanced University Degree in education, health, sociology, communication, gender, international development or other social science field is required;
- Strong experience (min. 8 years) in education or health programmes;
- Proven experience in working with community based approaches;
- Knowledge and understanding of life skills, comprehensive sexuality education, HIV and gender equality, adolescents health is highly desirable;
- Proven record of working with a broad range of stakeholders (CSO, government, international development agencies, youth) through consultative processes;
- Familiarity with West and Central Africa context;
- Proven ability to deliver efficiently and on time and drive to achieve results;
- Proven ability to work independently with guidance and supervision as required;
- Excellent writing skills and fluency in French as well as English mandatory.
For every Child, you demonstrate dedication
UNICEF’s core values of Commitment, Diversity and Integrity and core competencies in Communication, Working with People and Drive for Results.
The technical competencies required for this post are….
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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.
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.