Background & Rationale
The Joint SDG Fund is an inter-agency, pooled mechanism for integrated policy and strategic financing, that support countries to accelerate progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and to deliver on the commitment of the 2030 Agenda to leave no one behind. In 2019, the Joint SDG Fund called for country proposals with focus on integrated policy solutions that would unleash rapid progress across SDGs, and leverage financing for social protection, paying attention to the most vulnerable populations.
Brazil understood this call as a great opportunity to support the acceleration of national investments in Early childhood development (ECD) within social protection schemes, considering the large scientific evidence that confirms ECD as a unique opportunity for children to reach their full potential, breaking the cycle of poverty and contributing to the achievement of equity, to boosting shared prosperity and sustainable and inclusive growth.
Early childhood development is critical to a child’s cognitive, social, emotional and physical development. The period from pregnancy to age three is considered the most critical time and a window of opportunities for children development. During this time, children have 80% of the brain formed, and they are the most susceptible to environmental influences that have a role in shaping health and social outcomes. It is of extreme importance that nurturing care - a set of conditions providing for children’s health, nutrition, responsive caregiving, security and early learning - is in place, for a correct stimulation of the child’s brain, and the creation of a foundation for the cognitive process, and the promotion of physical, mental and social wellbeing with lifetime benefits that carry into the next generation.
Key studies show how the effects of ECD investments on cognitive development of children are associated with lower school dropout, lower violence, and higher productivity at adult ages, with high financial and social returns for the society. These evidences have ECD as an essential part of the SDGs, and strategic for the transformation of the world by 2030, linked to specific targets across seven different SDGs: poverty, health, nutrition, education, gender, violence and inequality.
Brazil has already implemented an innovative and proactive state policy that promotes ECD - the “Criança Feliz” Programme (PCF), launched in 2016. The programme’s main purpose is to provide periodic home visits by specialized professionals to strengthen families’ capacities to provide nurturing care and increase the linkages between children and caregivers. The PCF has achieved considerable progress so far, reaching 600,000 young children living in 2,622 municipalities. Still, it has an ambitious target of reaching two million beneficiaries in three years.
The Brazilian Joint SDG Fund proposal aims to support the government to achieve their target, adding another 1 million children and 1,000 eligible municipalities to the programme in two-years, through two specific results: i) increased participation and retention of eligible municipalities in the PCF, expanding the number of beneficiaries; and ii) improved capacities and enhanced quality of integrated multi-sectoral ECD programme interventions to address the needs of children and their families.
Brazil’s proposal is one of the 24 selected proposals among 131 eligible countries, to be implemented during 2020 and 2021, improving the quality of services provided to families as means for accelerating results toward the SDG targets. The project includes five UN agencies (UNDP, UNESCO, UNFPA, UNICEF, and UN Women), from which UNICEF is the lead agency responsible for technical coordination.
The consultant will coordinate and manage the Joint SDG Programme under the supervision of the Lead Agency (UNICEF), and the Joint Programme Steering Committee during the 1 year of project implementation. Reporting directly to the Lead Agency, the consultant will provide strategic coordination and quality assurance to the programme activities and will support the articulation of the programme’s joint outputs among the UN agencies, the Ministry of Citizenship and partners, tracking progress and risks, and facilitating monitoring and reporting information. The contract may be extended to another year, subject to satisfactory performance during the first year of the project.
Expected results: (measurable results)
SMART: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time Bound
Result 1. Project activities between UN agencies delivered in time, with expected reach and adequate monitoring and reporting
- Support the establishment and implementation of a coherent Workplan for 2020 and 2021 with contributions from UN agencies focal points.
- Articulate and coordinate the program's activities proposed by the participating agencies in a proactive way, assuring quality results delivered in time.
- Coordinate and ensure effective communication between participating UN agencies, government bodies and partners.
- Monitor activities and results, keeping track of the programme indicators and measures to achieve targets.
- Ensure the flow of information through periodic and/or process reports to UN agencies focal points, presenting critical points, and recommendations on the Programme implementation.
- Proactively work for reducing risks and minimizing implementation difficulties based on specific and targeted interventions, when necessary.
- Promote periodic meetings between the UN agencies focal points to discuss programme implementation and monitoring.
- Support the elaboration of high-level reports whenever required or mandatory by the SDG Joint Fund.
Result 2. Successful promotion of the SDG Fund Programme in key events and among key partners for effective delivery of the programme activities
- Attend meetings to share the interests of the SDG Joint Programme with government bodies and partners.
- Proactively consult for external partners, events and agendas that may support the promotion of the JP and accelerate and strengthen the proposed JP activities.
- Organize and participate of high-level meetings whenever required by the JPSC, the Ministry of Citizenship or the Lead Agency.
- Support the organization of events for the promotion of the Joint SDG Programme, including events with donor countries, mayor candidates, mayors and ECD related events.
The services included in the contract will be delivered continuously, with the same intensity throughout the months. The results will be evaluated by the following deliverables (the timelines provided below against specific deliverable are tentative and may vary):
- Defined workplan signed by the JPSC (March)
- Official event for launching the SDG Fund Programme with the JPSC, governmental bodies and donor countries’ embassies (March)
- Effective JP participation at the CNM mayor’s event (March)
- Bimonthly reports delivered to the participant agencies and Resident Coordinator Office (Bimonthly)
- At least 5 Terms of Reference elaborated according to requirements for the programme implementation (December)
- Register of at least 5 meetings with the Ministry of Citizenship for alignment of the project (December)
- Effective JP participation in at least 5 events for advocacy and mobilization for PCF enrolment and ECD (December)
- Advocacy material on ECD, SDGs and PCF delivered to mayor candidates before the elections (September)
- Training of communication professionals successfully conducted and resulting on effective communication products to be delivered in their municipalities (October)
- Communication campaign adequately conducted and monitored to reach a large number of people (December)
- Methodologies related to home visits prepared and replicated in trainings with PCF professionals (November).
- Punctuality in meeting deadlines (i.e. inputs for reports);
- Quality of produced contents according to the UN standards (accuracy of documents, guidelines, etc.);
- Products prepared in a consultative manner with relevant staff;
- Satisfactory quality level monitoring reports prepared periodically;
- Proactive behaviour for excellent project delivery.
Background, Experience and Competencies required
- Advanced degree or 6 additional years of relevant experience on Management, Social Sciences, International Relations, Health, Education, or a related field;
- A minimum of 8 years of professional work experience in programme management, policy analysis and planning, data monitoring, programme development and implementation, and related fields;
- Knowledge on Human Rights, women’s and children rights issues and on the Brazilian social protection system;
- Specialized training or technical knowledge/expertise on Early Child Development would be an asset;
- The consultant must be a National, or International with fluency in Portuguese and good knowledge of the Brazilian public policies;
- Experience working with the UN would be an asset;
- Previous professional contract with the Ministry of Citizenship would be an asset.
Other skills and Attributes:
- Flexibility and adaptability to shifting conditions and work demands.
- Capacity to communicate effectively and work collaboratively with colleagues and external partners.
- High level of Integrity and commitment to the UN values.
- Analytical and conceptual ability, negotiating, communication and advocacy skills.
- Strong organizational, planning, and analytical skills.
- Excellent written and verbal communication in Portuguese and in English.
- Good judgment, initiative, high sense of responsibility, tact and discretion.
- Availability for travelling when requested or needed.
General Conditions: Procedures and Logistics
- Consultant will work using own equipment and stationary. UNICEF will provide office space for consultative meetings when needed.
- Expenses related to travels will be covered by UNICEF and paid to the Consultant as per UNICEF travel rules and regulations.
- No consultant may travel without a signed travel authorization prior to the commencement of the journey to the duty station.
- No contract may commence unless the contract is signed by both UNICEF and the consultant or Contractor
- The consultant must reside in Brasília/DF during the contract period.
A financial proposal that includes the fee for the assignment based on the deliverables and number of days must be submitted.
Payment of professional fees will be based on submission of agreed deliverables. UNICEF reserves the right to withhold payment in case the deliverables submitted are not up to the required standard or in case of delays in submitting the deliverables on the part of the consultant.
Final rate shall follow the “best value for money” principle, i.e., achieving the desired outcome at the lowest possible fee. Consultants will be asked to stipulate all-inclusive fees, including lump sum travel and subsistence costs, as applicable.
In case of government officials, the contract cannot be issued without prior written clearance by the Government, or unless on leave without pay.
UNICEF is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, nationality and culture. Individuals from minority groups, indigenous groups and persons with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply. All applications will be treated with the strictest confidence.