Consultancy, Assessment study and checklist tool: From plastic as waste to raw material for a sustainable circular economy , 60 days, Remote
Job no: 544377
Contract type: Consultancy
Location: United States
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, innovate
UNICEF has a 75-year history of innovating for children. We believe that new approaches, partnerships, and technologies that support the realization of children’s rights are key to improving children’s lives.
Worldwide, we innovate to tackle the most pressing problems faced by the most vulnerable children. We take a systematic approach, applying skills and energy across new tools and technologies, products, innovative financing, and new ways of working to boost our impact.
The Office of Innovation is a creative, unique, and agile team in UNICEF. We sit at a unique intersection, where an organisation that works on huge global issues meets the startup thinking, the technology, the tools, the know-how and the partners that turn ideas and energy into scalable solutions for children.
The Office of Innovation has been supporting the development of UNICEF’s global innovation portfolios to focus efforts on programme-led, problem driven innovations that have potential to scale and accelerate results for children. Within this remit, the Office of Innovation works on developing global evidence for innovations that have demonstrated potential to scale across multiple countries and multiple regions.
How can you make a difference?
Every year an estimated 300 million tonnes of plastic are produced. In total, half of all plastic produced is designed to be used only once — and then thrown away. Improper waste management, including plastic waste management, leads to malaria, diarrhea, and pneumonia cases in children – diseases that are among the leading causes of death for children in many other countries around the world:
- Air pollution caused by plastic incineration leads to respiratory infections.
- The plastic stored in homes is often not sanitized, making it easier for diseases to spread.
- The pollution of groundwater exacerbates existing hygiene and sanitation challenges.
- Plastic waste blocks drainage systems, creating a breeding ground for mosquitoes.
Since 2018 UNICEF has been working in Côte d’Ivoire with a social enterprise on an innovative approach to re-purposing plastic waste into construction building blocks to generate a positive environmental impact by cleaning up plastic waste and a strong social-economic impact by providing employment especially to women who are often excluded. UNICEF Côte d’Ivoire is currently modelling the scaling up of different components of the project nation-wide. In 2021, UNICEF has conducted an assessment ‘Scaling Circular Economies to Upscale Plastic Waste’ to reflect on the UNICEF’s experience in Cote d’Ivoire, assess internal demand by UNICEF Country Offices to deploy a similar solution and to suggest areas for UNICEF to engage further in this space, such as further investigating the socio-economic impact of empowering community members in a circular plastic economy.
The Consultant is expected to conduct an assessment study and to develop a feasibility checklist tool for UNICEF country offices on an innovative solution which transforms plastic waste into products and materials that benefit children, such as, but not limited to: I) school equipment and construction materials (e.g. bricks, chairs, desks); ii) products and supplies for community centers (e.g. latrines), for health care facilities (e.g. health storage units; water tanks) and community facilities.
The consultant is required to carry out the assessment study using, amongst others, the LEAN Impact methodology, to 1. Assess the size of the global opportunity transforming plastic waste into products and materials that benefit children and specific role that UNICEF could play in the scale-up of innovative solutions transforming plastic waste into products and materials that benefit children; 2. Identify scalable public-private business models for UNICEF to shape a sustainable circular economy for plastic waste; 3. Develop a suite of easy-to-use checklist tools that UNICEF Country Offices can employ to appraise the feasibility of innovative solutions transforming plastic waste into products and materials that benefit children in their local context. The assessment study should look at the social as well as financial aspect of deploying this innovative method.
The assessment study should build on the learnings of 1. the UNICEF plastic bricks initiative (transforming plastic waste into construction materials to build classrooms with materials made of non-PVC plastic waste; 2. UNICEF 2021 study ‘Scaling Circular Economies to Upscale Plastic Waste’, 3. other non-UNICEF initiatives transforming plastic waste into products and materials that benefit children in countries where there are significant quantities of unmanaged plastic waste which could be recycled.
The consultant will work in close partnership with the Climate Change Innovation Portfolio Manager, the portfolio team at the Office of Innovation. The Consultant is expected to engage with UNICEF Country Offices, Regional Offices, Supply Division, and the Division of Private Fundraising and Partnerships to gather all the necessary data to develop the study.
During the development of the assessment study, the Consultant, building on the learnings of the existing UNICEF initiative and the current business model in Cote d’Ivoire, will conduct a desk-based research of other types of private-public business models employed by initiatives transforming plastic waste into products and materials that benefit children being implemented outside UNICEF, liaising with key stakeholders within and outside UNICEF as needed.
Your main responsibilities will be:
- Build on UNICEF past learnings with the aim of understanding the key components of the existing public-private business and partnership model, social model and how they have delivered results within Côte d’Ivoire experience
- Conduct desk-based research of initiatives of other types of private-public business and partnership models employed by initiatives transforming plastic waste into products and materials that benefit children such as, but not limited to i) school equipment and construction materials (e.g., bricks, chairs, desks); ii) products and supplies for community centers (e.g., latrines), for health care facilities (e.g., health storage units; water tanks) and community facilities.
- Liaise with key stakeholders within and outside UNICEF as needed, especially when key information is not available in existing documentation
- From the research and analysis, identify as part of the assessment study the following:
- The size of the global opportunity transforming plastic waste into product and materials that benefit children and specific role that UNICEF can play in the scale-up of this type of solutions (including critical success factors of the plastic bricks model tested by UNICEF and in other business models; how do these critical success factor can/cannot be replicated in other countries)
- Scalable public-private business models for UNICEF to shape a sustainable circular economy for plastic waste
- Likely risks that would need to be managed if UNICEF is to successfully scale this type of initiatives, building on the risks identified in the Côte d’Ivoire experience (e.g., unintended sponsoring of child labor; disrupting the informal recycling plastic market; whether this model would only work in a place where non-PVC plastics have no market or are not properly managed or whether it could compete in an environment with advanced markets for non PVC plastics)
- Based on the information gathered and the draft assessment study, develop a feasibility checklist tool for UNICEF Country Offices. The checklist tool should help offices to assess the feasibility of using this type of innovative solution to meet context-specific programming challenges and should help Country Offices ask the right questions to potential partners to avoid unintended project consequences (e.g., unintended sponsoring of child labor, disrupting the informal recycling plastic market)
- The global study should employ amongst others, to the extent possible, elements of the LEAN impact methodology to better the impact and scalability of this methodology to another location
- Work in close partnership with the Climate Change Innovation Portfolio Manager, UNICEF Côte d’Ivoire Country Office, Benin Country Office, the Global Innovation Portfolios Lead and other members of the Office of Innovation as needed
To qualify as an advocate for every child you will have…
- An advanced university degree (Master’s or higher) in Social Entrepreneurship/Social Business or related studies or other relevant fields. Or a first University Degree in a relevant field combined with 2 additional years of professional experience may be accepted in lieu of an Advanced University Degree.
- Knowledge of methodologies of transforming plastic waste into raw materials for construction materials and/or products that benefit children
- In-depth understanding of Climate and Environmental Entrepreneurship
- Professional experience in applying LEAN impact methodology
- A minimum of 8 years of relevant professional experience,
- A minimum of 3 years in the field of transforming plastic waste into raw materials for construction materials and/or products that benefit children
- Familiarity with UNICEF Innovation
- Developing country work experience and/or familiarity with emergency is considered an asset.
- Fluency in English is required. Knowledge of another official UN language (Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian or Spanish) or a local language is an asset.
For every Child, you demonstrate…
UNICEF's values of Care, Respect, Integrity, Trust, and Accountability (CRITA) and core competencies in Communication, Working with People and Drive for Results.
The UNICEF competencies required for this post are...
- Innovates and embraces change: Is open to and proposes new approaches and ideas. Adapts and responds positively to change
- Thinks and acts strategically: Understands the big picture and is able to identify potential opportunities for action and challenges that exist. Forms sound evidence-based judgements in the delivery of UNICEF’s results.
- Works collaboratively with others: Establish and maintain mutually supportive working relationships, demonstrating sensitivity to people of diverse backgrounds, respecting differences, and ensuring that all can contribute and succeed.
To view our competency framework, please visit here.
Click here to learn more about UNICEF’s values and competencies.
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.
Payment details and further considerations
- Monthly payment, based on monthly tasks and progress reports, approved upon monthly review with supervisor.
- Consultant is responsible for his/her own health and travel insurance
- Consultant is eligible for standard DSA for all work-related travel
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.
Advertised: Eastern Daylight Time
Deadline: Eastern Daylight Time