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Europe and Central Asia Region

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Programme and Policy

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Early Childhood Development Contractor

Apply now Job no: 547661
Contract type: Consultancy
Level: Consultancy
Location: Serbia
Categories: Early Childhood Development

UNICEF is committed to diversity and inclusion within its workforce, and encourages all qualified candidates, irrespective of nationality, religious and ethnic backgrounds, gender identity and sexual orientation, as well as persons living with disabilities, to apply to become a part of the organization. UNICEF’s office is accessible to a certain extent, and employees are entitled to reasonable accommodations that are needed for ensuring equitable working conditions.

The early childhood period is considered to be the most important developmental phase in an individual’s lifespan. The first three years of life are critical for physical, sensory, cognitive and emotional development of a child and children who do not have required responsive inputs during these sensitive periods are less likely to develop to their full potential. This time of extensive brain development is at the same time the opportunity for many children who express any developmental difficulties (caused by biological or environmental factors) as timely early interventions could improve/recover some of the developmental delays that are caused by risk factors encountered from conception to birth and early years of the child.

Although there have been significant achievements in the past, there is still room for advancement particularly related to the most vulnerable population groups – Roma and families of children with developmental difficulties and disabilities. This entails improvement of the current professional practices, strengthening national and local co-ordination, improving quality and coverage of programmes for parents of young vulnerable children, facilitating social mobilisation and advocating for sustainable system solutions that would ensure scaling up of the initiatives. To support this process, UNICEF is looking for an individual contractor to support the implementation of the UNICEF ECD Program focusing on strengthening the network of ECD/ECI services for the most vulnerable children and their families and mobilizing community response to ECD.

Work Assignment Overview:

This assignment is expected to contribute to the strengthening of the inter-sectorial capacities and linkages in providing early childhood stimulation and intervention services and other programs for parents of the most vulnerable children (primarily Roma and children with developmental difficulties and disabilities), including information and education opportunities and promotion of innovative solutions and technologies relevant for the adaptation of working modalities as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic, at all levels (national, regional and international) and with all partnerships.

Duration of the assignment: February – December 2022 (part-time, up to 150 workdays)


  1. Support programming, implementation and monitoring of UNICEF early childhood development (ECD) programme agreed upon with sectorial ministries (health, education and social welfare) that aims at strengthening support to parents of young children for stimulation and learning and increases quality and access of inter-sectorial ECD/ECI services and community programmes that benefit particularly families of children with developmental risks, developmental difficulties and disabilities including Roma families, providing needed adaptations in accordance to the COVID-19 pandemic situation.
  2. Support knowledge generation, knowledge exchange and evidence-based policy advocacy to improve quality and access of the ECD and ECI services and ECD outcomes for the most vulnerable children and their families and facilitate scaling-up of the evidence based ECD/ECI packages across Serbia.
  3. Support the development of ECD/ECI communication and education materials, in close collaboration with ECD Officer and Communication section.
  4. Contribute to donor reporting.

Knowledge/Expertise/Skills required:

  • University degree in Psychology, Sociology, Pedagogy/Special Education or similar; or medical sciences; Advanced degree will be an asset
  • At least 5 years of experience in projects/programme management and implementation of multiple activities with different counterparts
  • Knowledge and experience with ECD system development in Serbia
  • Expertise and experience in the fields related to the assignments such as health care, education and social welfare of children, community mobilisation for social inclusion
  • Good knowledge of social systems (health, education, social welfare) and functioning of local authorities
  • Experience of cooperating with government at different levels, NGOs and CSOs and partnership building
  • Excellent analytical, communication and planning skills
  • Ability to work in English and Serbian, spoken and written
  • Excellent computer literacy
  • Experience in working with vulnerable groups such as Roma community and children with disabilities is an asset
  • Experience in technically supporting campaigns and communication initiatives is an asset
  • Knowledge of the UN/UNICEF mandate and UN rules/procedures is an asset
  • Competencies required: high level of technical competence, gender awareness, cultural sensitivity, and judgment, high level of negotiation and communication skills and characteristics of a team worker

How to apply:

The application must include a financial proposal in RSD as a separate document, providing the following information:

  1. Daily rate (all costs included, e.g. health insurance, pension, usage of mobile phone),
  2. Daily travel allowance for an overnight stay in Serbia (including accommodation),
  3. Transportation costs per km (for travel within Serbia).


Important notes:

Incomplete applications will not be taken into consideration.

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

For every child, you must demonstrate UNICEF's core values of Care, Respect, Integrity, Trust and Accountability.

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.

Advertised: Central Europe Standard Time
Deadline: Central Europe Standard Time

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