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Individual Contractor – Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in education - Education/EiE Education Section/PD (Home Based)- REQ#533405

Apply now Job no: 533405
Work type: Consultancy
Level: Consultancy
Location: United States
Categories: Education, Consultancy

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,

Consultancy Title: Individual Contractor – Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in education  

Section/Division/Duty Station: Education/EiE Education Section/PD (Home Based)

Duration: October 1, 2020 – September 15, 2021  (Number of working Days: 200)


If you are a committed, creative professional and are passionate about making a lasting difference for children, the world's leading children's rights organization would like to hear from you. For 70 years, UNICEF has been working on the ground in 190 countries and territories to promote children's survival, protection and development. The world's largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments. UNICEF has over 12,000 staff in more than 145 countries.


The fundamental mission of UNICEF is to promote the rights of every child, everywhere, in everything the organization does — in programs, in advocacy and in operations. The equity strategy, emphasizing the most disadvantaged and excluded children and families, translates the commitment of children’s rights into action. For UNICEF, equity means that all children have an opportunity to survive, develop and reach their full potential, without discrimination, bias or favoritism. To the degree that any child has an unequal chance in life — in its social, political, economic, civic and cultural dimensions — her or his rights are violated. There is growing evidence that investing in the health, education and protection of a society’s most disadvantaged citizens — addressing inequity — not only will give all children the opportunity to fulfil their potential but also will lead to sustained growth and stability of countries. This is why the focus on equity is so vital. It accelerates progress towards realizing the human rights of all children, which is the universal mandate of UNICEF, as outlined by the Convention on the Rights of the Child, while also supporting the equitable development of nations.

In line with Every Child Learns, the 2020-2030 education strategy, UNICEF is investing more improved learning and skills development for boys and girls from early childhood to adolescence, in particular for the most marginalized and those affected by humanitarian situations. UNICEF is doing more to promote equity and inclusion through specific efforts to reach the most vulnerable and via support to children in humanitarian and fragile contexts to access quality education opportunities. 

Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (MHPSS) is an institutional priority for the UN, and for UNICEF. The UNICEF Strategic Plan 2018-2021 identifies MHPSS as a priority area for children, caregivers and parents and young people, building upon existing programming through child protection, education and health with a focus on addressing inequities related to gender, and disabilities. Further, the recent Mid-Term Review of the Strategic Plan has highlighted the importance of MHPSS across the organization.

UNICEF is establishing a global MHPSS project “UNICEF Global Mental Health & Psychosocial Support Acceleration Project”-to support 6 countries in three regions over a 1.5-year timeframe, where UNICEF is already engaged and has ongoing commitments, to accelerate MHPSS priorities. Through this project UNICEF aims to ensure UNICEF HQ and three Regional Offices are supported in establishing dedicated technical capacity in MHPSS to support COs and partners in policy level dialogue, field level coordination and advocacy, carrying out MHPSS assessments, setting up training and capacity building activities, and designing, monitoring and evaluating MHPSS activities and programs.

The primary objective of this dedicated work is to support the operationalization and implementation of MHPSS integration within Education Sector Priorities set forth in the 2020 UNICEF Strategic Plan Mid Term Review and the UNICEF 2019-2030 Education strategy; through  the provision of technical support and monitoring to RO’s according to specific technical area needs in integration of MHPSS in Education policy, advocacy, programming and to jointly develop with other HQ sections, ROs and COs a Regional framework for MHPSS sustainable programming.

Terms of Reference / Deliverables

Under the direct supervision of the Education Specialist within the Systems Strengthening Team and the Education Specialist within the Education in Emergencies, and with technical support from MHPSS specialist in CP (Focal Point for MHPSS in Programme Division), the MHPSS in Education individual contractor will work closely with relevant members of the Education Team, members of the HQ MHPSS Technical Coordination Group (TCG), which includes Child Protection (Chair of the TCG & Secretariat for UNICEF on MHPSS), Health, and Adolescent Participation and Development, ECD, and others to support ROs and partners in Education sector related  policy level dialogue, field level coordination and advocacy, carrying out MHPSS assessments, setting up training and capacity building activities, and designing, monitoring and evaluating MHPSS activities and programmes as part of education in both humanitarian and development settings.

Implement Tasks that are MHPSS priorities established as part of the MTR commitments for advancing MHPSS under Goal Area 2. These include:

Supporting content development of the Education Component of the UNICEF-led (CPHA), Minimum Services Package for MHPSS, with the core outputs of: 

1-  In collaboration with INEE, develop a guidance note for integrating MHPSS within Education in Emergencies programming responses.

2-   Developing a Theory of Change (TOC) and Monitoring and Evaluation framework that will inform a process for revisions to UNICEF SMQs under Goal Area 2, to reflect MHPSS.

3- Developing advocacy and other communications assets and documents on MHPSS programming and outcomes as part of Education.

Specifically, the individual contractor will:

  • Provide technical support and guidance to the UNICEF-led components of the UNICEF/WHO Minimum Services Package (MSP) on MHPSS in humanitarian settings, through:
    •  Participate in at least one round of revision of specific MSP EiE chapter & cross-cutting sections.
    • Circulate relevant MSP components to key education staff at UNICEF, including external stakeholders (e.g., INEE) for feedback and recommended revision.
    • Review recommendations and findings from the demonstration phase and participate in the final round of revision of specific MSP EiE chapter and cross-cutting sections (following end of demonstration phase).
    • Provide input into a launching & dissemination strategy. Participate, as appropriate, in dissemination events and communications.
  • Contribute to UNICEF’s MHPSS Intranet Page providing organized and centralized access to technical resources and UNICEF guidance notes specific to MHPSS as part of Education.

 Implement Tasks related to the MHPSS 7% set-aside project, these include

Phase 1 of the project: Inception and framework development

  • Inception: Finalize a schedule of deliverables and workplan to support MHPSS priorities within the Global Education Strategy 2019-2030.
  • Framework development: Provide technical support to ROs in the development of contextualized cross-sectoral and inter-divisional MHPSS Regional Frameworks based on the HQ MHPSS Framework, with focus on the Education component of the MHPSS protocol development, technical trainings and workshops, mapping and data collection.

 Phase 2 of the project: Field level implementation – scaling up and scaling deep- of existing programming and promising innovations.

  • Provide technical support and guidance on the implementation of the Education component within integrated MHPSS programming in 3 ROs and across UNICEF HQ, in facilitating consultations, youth dialogue and country engagement.
  • Provide direct technical support to the 3 regions (who in turn will support selected countries in their respective regions), with support from MHPSS CP specialist in NYHQ, and in coordination with the MHPSS TCG, for the implementation of existing and developing new/innovative cross-sectoral and inter-divisional promising and innovative MHPSS programming.
  • Support the ROs in expanding and securing funding and partnerships for sustainability and scale up of MHPSS programming within the Education sector.
  • Support ROs in involving and engaging with communities, including youth (with a particular focus on vulnerable groups), in the program cycle- from design to M&E.

Phase 3 of the project: Scaling up, sustain and replicate across regions.

  • Generate knowledge and build evidence with a lens on the integration and acceleration of MHPSS in Education at UNICEF.
  • Develop/guide ROs’ capacity in supporting COs and the overall strengthening existing and developing innovative and promising MHPSS as part of Education programming (including those at risk and with disabilities). 

Across phases 1-3:

  • In collaboration with the MHPSS CP specialist and coordinator at HQ, produce bi-annual brief progress reports for use in accountability updates to the Office of the Executive Director on use of institutional funds for MHPSS as part of the 7% set aside project.

Other Deliverables related to MHPSS in Education

  • Conduct rapid assessment of ongoing MHPSS initiatives implemented in COs across priority regions.
  • Lead the development of evidence/case studies on delivering MHPSS through remote learning/channels for the spectrum of age groups targeted by UNICEF including marginalized children, girls and those with disabilities.
  • Develop a practical guide on integrating MHPSS in education policies and plans for use at country level
  • Provide technical input and support to the production of UNICEF-led and other global public goods or evidence-based documents, briefings, etc., relevant to MHPSS as part of education (e.g. Peer-to-Peer PFA, Youth Engagement protocol, Learning Passport, PROSPECTS Partnership, etc.)
  • Represent UNICEF Education in the Inter-agency Network for Education in Emergencies (INEE) PSS/SEL Working Group and engage within deliverables and relevant tasks.


  • Academic Qualifications – Masters Degree in relevant advanced academic background in social sciences; psychology; international development; humanitarian action or similar relevant discipline.
  • At least 5-8 years MHPSS programming  in Education for children, including  in humanitarian contexts
  • Minimum of 6 years’ experience in project coordination and management.
  • Good knowledge and understanding of humanitarian principles, child safeguarding measures and established international standards on mental health and psychosocial support for children in humanitarian settings
  • Strong organizational and facilitation skills whether face to face or remotely with diverse stakeholders
  • Demonstrated experience with programme cycle management, preferably including remote coordination.
  • Comfortable to work independently while coordinating closely with different teams.
  • Full command of spoken and written English is essential.


  • Completed profile in UNICEF's e-Recruitment system and provide Personal History Form (P11) Upload copy of academic credentials
  • Financial proposal that will include:
  • your daily/monthly rate (in US$) to undertake the terms of reference (can be downloaded here: https://www.unicef.org/about/employ/index_consultancy_assignments.html 
    • travel costs and daily subsistence allowance, if internationally recruited or travel is required as per TOR.
    • Any other estimated costs: visa, health insurance, and living costs as applicable.
    • Indicate your availability
  • Any emergent / unforeseen duty travel and related expenses will be covered by UNICEF.
  • At the time the contract is awarded, the selected candidate must have in place current health insurance coverage.
  • Payment of professional fees will be based on submission of agreed satisfactory 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 individual contractor.

U.S. Visa information:

With the exception of the US Citizens, G4 Visa and Green Card holders, should the selected candidate and his/her household members reside in the United States under a different visa, the individual contractor and his/her household members are required to change their visa status to G4, and the individual contractor’s household members (spouse) will require an Employment Authorization Card (EAD) to be able to work, even if he/she was authorized to work under the visa held prior to switching to G4.  

Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted and advance to the next stage of the selection process

For every Child, you demonstrate…

UNICEF’s core values of Commitment, Diversity and Integrity and core competencies in Communication, Working with People and Drive for Results. View our competency framework at: 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, therefore, undergo rigorous reference and background checks, and will be expected to adhere to these standards and principles.

UNICEF is committed to diversity and inclusion within its workforce, and encourages all candidates, irrespective of gender, race, sexual orientation, nationality, culture, appearance, socio-economic status, ability, age, religious, and ethnic backgrounds, to apply to become a part of the organization

Advertised: Eastern Daylight Time
Applications close: Eastern Daylight Time

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