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Latin America and Caribbean Region

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Programme and Policy

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Social Protection Consultant, Brasilia, Brazil

Apply now Job no: 550987
Contract type: Consultancy
Duty Station: Brasilia
Level: Consultancy
Location: Brazil
Categories: Social Policy

Brazil has over the last decades advanced on numerous fronts on the human rights agenda, including on the specific rights of children and adolescents. According to Article 227 of the 1988 Federal Constitution, in line with the Federal Constitution, Brazil developed a robust inter-federative social protection system that seeks to overcome social exclusion, inequality and poverty and contribute to the guarantee of rights. The system is intersectoral in its design and includes a wide range of programmes, including the renowned national cash transfer programme Auxílio Brasil (Former Bolsa Família), benefiting mainly vulnerable families with children. All these programmes are part of Brazil’s national Unified Social Assistance System (Sistema Único de Assistência Social – SUAS) and implemented within the scope of a decentralized management model through cooperation among the three levels of the Brazilian administration (Federal, State and Municipal) and with shared responsibilities. Following a participatory and decentralized model of operations, SUAS structures the organization, management, financing and coordination of social assistance services in Brazil, with the overall objective to guarantee social protection of individuals in situations of vulnerability or at social risk.

The many services that SUAS offers are organized and provided according to different levels of complexity through the operationalization of two essential public facilities at municipal level, namely the Social Assistance Reference Centre (CRAS) and the Specialized Social Assistance Reference Centre (CREAS). While CRAS is the main gateway to SUAS, responsible for the organization and delivery of social protection services for vulnerable families or communities at risk, CREAS offers specialized and continued services to families and individuals at risk or who have had their rights violated (this includes physical, psychological, sexual violence, human trafficking, and legal socio-educational open rehabilitation regime). Apart from the services organized by CRAS and CREAS, and building on the intersectoral build-up of SUAS, both entities also serve as important entry points to other essential services and sectors, including health, education and the judiciary, all of which are part of the Brazilian Child Protection System (Sistema de Garantia de Direitos da Criança e do Adolescente).

The important advances that Brazil has witnessed over the last decades, in promoting and protecting the rights of children, adolescents and their families, have gained interest worldwide, especially among countries in the global south that seek to follow suit on such advancements. In line with these developments, Brazil has been expanding its technical Trilateral/South-South Cooperation agenda, so as to share technical knowhow and successfully implemented policies and programmes experiences with other countries.

In the interest of tapping into the wealth of development experience, knowledge, skills and resources available in the country, UNICEF has joined efforts with the Government of Brazil, through a partnership with the Brazilian Cooperation Agency (ABC), to foster Trilateral South-South Cooperation (TSSC) partnerships with other developing countries. This strategy is based on the premise that a more equitable world for children, adolescents and women is achievable by overcoming capacity gaps through sharing of relevant experiences and policy-related innovations. Although this cooperation has been implemented over the years, in several thematic areas, social protection has been the most prominent, as illustrated in an external evaluation of the Brazil-UNICEF TSSC programme, conducted in 2019. Out of 16 country experiences included in the evaluation, nine were implemented within the realm of social protection.

As part of its conclusions and recommendations, the evaluation of the Brazil-UNICEF TSSC Programme highlighted the importance of evidence generation. Findings stressed that by increasing the pool of evidence on Brazilian policies and programmes, including through the documentation of subnational practices, the TSSC programme can benefit external dissemination across-countries while also promoting exchanges of good practices and lessons learned within Brazil (Lesson Learned Five). One of the evaluation report recommendations was that the TSSC programme should "Enhance the knowledge management component of the Programme" (Recommendation Five). In doing so, the TSSC Programme may have as one of its priorities the development of an evidence generation agenda, based on the mapping and the documentation of good practices, in order to better address its SSC initiatives, focusing on enhancing the Programme´s response capacity. The identification and documentation of the Brazilian good practices, especially at subnational level, may be considered as a reference not only for other countries, but also within Brazil considering the size of the Country, while also, promoting dialogues and exchanges of experience nationally. Thus contributing with advances in the design and implementation of public policies that address the needs of children, adolescents and of their families nationally and internationally.

As part of its mandate, UNICEF supports governments in strengthening their policies and actions, based on evidence and with technical cooperation, so that public institutions at different levels may be able to achieve their goals, especially those referring to advance children and adolescents rights. UNICEF has a long track record of generating knowledge and evidence, including in Brazil, where it works since 1950.  This entails a series of strategies that address child rights at national and sub-national levels. One of the main strategies at subnational level is the UNICEF Seal initiative, which is implemented in Brazilian municipalities across the Northeastern region of the country and throughout the Amazon, with cycles of four year periods, focusing on children’s rights  such as early childhood development, education, water and sanitation in schools, youth employment, mental health (especially among adolescents), prevention and response to violence and social protection. Likewise, UNICEF Brazil works in large urban centers through the recently launched initiative Agenda Cidade UNICEF, which focuses on addressing and responding to violence among children and adolescents through an intersectoral and multidimensional approach. Apart from these programme strategies, UNICEF Brazil works with the Brazilian Government and other partners to respond to emergencies and humanitarian crises, which includes the migrant flows in the north of Brazil as well as the Covid-19 pandemic.

Given UNICEF’s presence at both national and subnational levels in Brazil and its technical knowhow in the area of child rights, as well as its expertise and focus on  data and evidence generation, there is an underlying understanding that UNICEF is well positioned to take a lead in mapping out and documenting good practices at the three levels of Brazil’s Federal system, in different contexts, and that the sharing of such evidence and knowledge internationally  and within Brazil can contribute in important ways to advance with the child-rights agenda globally  and within the country.

To take action, as part of its TSSC strategy, UNICEF is together with ABC developing an evidence generation agenda, that seeks to generate knowledge of Brazil’s good practices, looking at public policies, legal frameworks and programmes at federal (national) level as well as those at the subnational levels. This work is led by the UNICEF Social Policy section in Brasilia and is implemented in close coordination and cooperation with the larger UNICEF team and partners at national and subnational levels.


To advance on the above-mentioned evidence generation agenda UNICEF Brazil is seeking to hire a national consultant to lead the process of mapping and documenting Brazilian good practices at federal and subnational levels.  

The consultancy will draw on the intersectoral nature of Brazil’s social protection system, with the perspective that this system – that can be shared through TSSC projects – is essential not only to guarantee social assistance for Brazilian and migrant and refugees children, adolescents and their families, but also to ensure that other essential human rights of these populations are secured, including the right to education, health and protection. Therefore, the successful candidate needs to be specialized in public policies and have proven expertise within the field of social protection.

The selected national consultant will be working closely with the UNICEF team as well as with four additional consultants, specialized in social protection and hired to identify and map out key experiences within the fields of social protection and child rights at the subnational level. Each of the four consultants will be accountable for one of the following four regions of the country: the Northeast, the Amazon region, the South-East, and Roraima. These regions were defined jointly between the Government and UNICEF as the Country Programme priorities in Brazil, which in turn draw on the understanding that public policies and programmes need to be tailored according to given contexts.

Under the overall guidance and supervision of the Chief of Social Policy, Monitoring & Evaluation and South-South Cooperation, the selected consultant will contribute to UNICEF’s work by:

  1. Perform a participatory process of defining the guiding criteria for what a good practice consists of. This work will entail the organization and coordination of a set of interviews and meetings with UNICEF Heads of Programme Areas, Heads of Territories and Subnational Officials, as well as with UNICEF implementing partners at federal, state and municipal levels, so as to build a common understanding with regards to what characterizes a good practice as well as how to map out and document such practices.

On this regard the selected consultant is expected to consider different perspectives, while developing guiding criteria and methods around which to organize the mapping process as a whole. This should include minimum criteria, such as: regional context/realities, being anchored in a Legal Framework; sustainability; and existing measurable results.

Furthermore, this work should be done in conjunction with an analytic desk review process, including different mappings and systematizations already carried out by UNICEF and other international organizations, so as to be aligned with existing standards.

  1. Map and document child-rights oriented Brazilian public policies, programmes and legal frameworks at the federal, state and municipal levels, that are considered good practices and that can be shared with other countries in the Global South, as part of the Brazil-UNICEF South-South Cooperation programme, as well as within Brazil. The work is to be guided by a broad perspective on social protection as an intersectoral area of critical relevance for the protection and fulfillment of child and adolescents’ rights. As such, expectations are that while the entry point lies within social protection, the mapping exercise will also be looking at correlated areas such as Education; Early Childhood Development; Child Protection; Health; and WASH (Water, Hygiene and Sanitation), all of which are of central concern within the larger UNICEF mandate.

It should be noted that the mapping exercise will be organized in close collaboration with the above-mentioned four social protection consultants as well as with the ongoing work of UNICEF Implementing Partners of the Seal programme, all of whom will be directly contributing to the map-out of good practices at subnational level and thus contributing to populate the overall exercise, as defined in these Terms of Reference.

The mapping and documentation exercise will thus consist in and build on collaborative continuous collection of identified good practices and shall be organized and presented in a database that classifies the identified experiences in a systematic fashion, including aspects such as geographic area, time frame (considering the pre-pandemic period and the context of COVID-19), and level of implementation among other classification criteria to be defined and agreed between the selected consultant and the UNICEF team and collaborating partners. Each good practice considered in the mapping exercise will include a brief description, highlighting the main elements that make the experience stand out as a good practice as per defined and agreed criteria.

  1. Develop at least 5 policy briefs, presenting the main features of relevant policies, programmes and legal frameworks, as identified and documented throughout the mapping exercise, with emphasis on implementation strategies, intersectorality, sustainability, possibilities of adaptation, results achieved, lessons learned and corelated Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). These policy briefs shall be action-oriented and contextualized within the scope of international normative frameworks, highlighting the added value of identified key Brazilian experiences, with clear recommendations for policy makers and implementers, so as to inform policy development and implementation in other countries and in Brazil, while contributing to current policy debates around the given subject matters in Brazil and internationally.

Expected results: 

The overall expected results are as follow:

  1. Clear criteria defined through a participatory process for what constitutes a good practice regarding child-rights oriented public policies and programmes.  
  2. Documentation of good practices at federal, state and municipal levels, with focus on child-oriented intersectoral initiatives, organized and presented in a systematic manner in line with established criteria and classifications.
  3. Set of policy briefs for policy makers and implementers in Brazil and in other countries, focusing on integrated protection and fulfilment of child rights.


Deliverable 1) Workplan, including proposed travel plan, as/if applicable, with detailed timeline.

The workplan needs to be developed in line with the expected results mentioned in this Term of Reference and in coordination and alignment with the Chief of Social Policy, Monitoring and Evaluation and South-South Cooperation.

Duration (in calendar days): 10 days from the contract signature date

Deliverable 2) Proposed methodology, including:

  1. Proposed structure and organization of mapping exercise.
  2. Proposed criteria/requirements for the selection of good practices to be documented.
  3. Preliminary list of documents to be consulted and reviewed.
  4. Preliminary list of key informants based on objective selection criteria.
  5. Draft interview scripts.
  6. Proposed format for final deliveries.

In line with a proposed methodology and drawing on an initial desk review and initial interviews with relevant stakeholders (such as the UNICEF Heads of Programmes, Heads of territory and subnational Officers, as well as partners at municipal, state and federal levels), it´s expected that delivery 2 presents a detailed methodological report with proposed criteria that will guide the mapping process. It is also expected that this deliverable contains a preliminary template and/or checklist by which the identified Brazilian experiences will be classified, organized and analysed.

Duration (in calendar days): 40 days from the contract signature date

Payment: 15% of the total amount of the contract

Deliverable 3) Map-out of identified good practices at federal level, including programmes, policies and legal frameworks, organized and presented in line with pre-established and agreed criteria and classifications. The map-out shall include a brief description of each initiative, followed by an analysis and indication of the key added value that each experience represents with regards to the protection and fulfilment of child-rights.

Duration (in calendar days): 90 days from the contract signature date

Payment: 20% of the total amount of the contract

Deliverable 4) Report containing:

  1. Initial systematization of good practices identified at subnational level, organized and presented in line with pre-established and agreed criteria and classifications, including brief narrative descriptions and technical analysis on key added value of each experience for the implementation of child-rights.
  2. Proposed focus and outline of policy brief series (as per item 3 under Purpose), including a clear rationale for each proposed thematic focus and/or issue.

Duration (in calendar days): 120 days from the contract signature date

Payment: 10% of the total amount of the contract

Deliverable 5) Policy brief number 1 on previously agreed theme/issue, considering key elements such as implementation strategies, intersectorality, sustainability, possibilities of adaptation, results achieved, lessons learned and corelated Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Duration (in calendar days): 150 days from the contract signature date

Payment: 10% of the total amount of the contract

Deliverable 6) Report containing:

  1. Second round of systematized good practices identified at subnational level, organized and presented in line with pre-established and agreed criteria and classifications, including brief narrative descriptions and technical analysis on key added value of each experience for the implementation of child-rights.
  2. Policy briefs number 2 and 3 on previously agreed theme/issue, considering key elements such as implementation strategies, intersectorality, sustainability, possibilities of adaptation, results achieved, lessons learned and corelated Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Duration (in calendar days): 200 days from the contract signature date

Payment: 20% of the total amount of the contract

Deliverable 7) Report containing:

  1. Final complete systematization of good practices at federal, state and municipal levels, organized and presented in line with pre-established and agreed criteria and classifications, including brief narrative descriptions and technical analysis on key added value of each experience for the implementation of child-rights.
  2. Policy briefs 4 and 5 on previously agreed theme/issue, considering key elements such as implementation strategies, intersectorality, sustainability, possibilities of adaptation, results achieved, lessons learned and corelated Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Duration (in calendar days): 240 days from the contract signature date

Payment: 25% of the total amount of the contract


  • Quality of deliverables, in terms of accuracy of technical content, relevance to the given assignment and responsiveness to provided technical feedback.
  • Respect for given deadlines (i.e. timely deliverables).

technical background, and experience required

  • Bachelor's Degree in Social Work, Public Policy, Social Sciences, Political Science, or another relevant technical field.
  • A minimum of five years of professional experience in the fields of child rights, social protection and public policy analysis.
  • Prior experience in conducting interviews and facilitating meetings/focus groups discussions and/or co-creation processes.
  • Proven writing and analytical skills.
  • Knowledge of cash transfers and the Unified Social Assistance System (SUAS) will be an asset.
  • Prior work experience in the field of international cooperation will be an asset.
  • Relevant experience in a UN system agency or organization is considered as an asset.
  • Fluency in Portuguese and English.

Key competences

Builds and maintains partnerships; Demonstrates self-awareness and ethical awareness; Drive to achieve results for impact; Innovates and embraces change; Manages ambiguity and complexity; Thinks and acts strategically; Works collaboratively with others.

Core Values

  1. Care
  2. Respect
  3. Integrity
  4. Trust
  5. Accountability

General Conditions: Procedures and Logistics 

  • The selected consultant will be working remotely (home-based) with reporting line to the Chief of Social Policy, Monitoring & Evaluation and South-South cooperation.
  • Expenses related to travels, when needed, will be covered by UNICEF and paid to the consultant or Individual contractor as per UNICEF travel rules and regulations.
  • No contract may commence unless the contract is signed by both UNICEF and the Consultant or individual Contractor
  • Consultants / ICs will not have supervisory responsibilities or authority on UNICEF budget.
  • The consultant will work remotely under a full-time basis and prior authorization and/or clearance from UNICEF to engage in external activities is required.

Financial Proposal 

  • Costs indicated are estimated. Final rate shall follow "best value for money" principle, i.e., achieving the desired outcome at the lowest possible fee.
  • A financial proposal including the fee for the assignment based on the deliverables and number of days must be submitted.
  • The payment 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.

Insurance and health coverage

  • The contractor is fully responsible for arranging, at his or her own expenses, such life, health and other forms of insurance covering the term of the contract as he or she considers appropriate.
  • The contractor is not eligible to participate in the life or health insurance schemes available to UNICEF and United Nations staff members.


Consultants and individual contractors may not receive training at the expense of UNICEF.  Notwithstanding, consultants and individual contracts must complete the applicable mandatory trainings. 

In case of government officials, the contract cannot be issued without prior written clearance by the Government​, or unless on leave without pay.

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.

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.

Advertised: E. South America Standard Time
Deadline: E. South America Standard Time

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