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Consultant; Social and Behavior Change – Behavioral Science. Req# 570862

Apply now Job no: 570862
Contract type: Consultant
Duty Station: New York
Level: Consultancy
Location: United States
Categories: Social and Behavior Change

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, LOVE

Vacancy Announcement: Consultant

Consultancy Title: Social and Behavior Change – Behavioral Science Consultant Section/Division/Duty Station: Social Behavior Change Section – PG - NYHQ

Duration: 1 May 2024 – 30 June 2025

Home/ office Based: REMOTE

About UNICEF

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.

BACKGROUND

Purpose of Activity/Assignment:

The SBC Section in the Programme Group Leadership Team of the Programmes Group at UNICEF Headquarters is seeking an individual consultant to provide technical expertise to complete deliverables as related to:

1. Researching the application of systems approaches to design multi-sectoral interventions with behavioral science in the health sector;

2. Conducting a landscape analysis of multi-sectoral programming in UNICEF;

3. Supporting the design and implementation of a multi-country intervention, including the impact evaluation.

Background:

Multi-sectoral Interventions

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development states that if the “interlinkages and integrated nature of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)” are realised, then “the lives of all will be profoundly improved and our world will be transformed for the better.”

UNICEF operates across these diverse sectors, providing a wide array of services aimed at improving child welfare globally. However, a challenge that persists within such organizations is the tendency for these efforts to be executed in isolation, with limited inter-sectoral cooperation.  This compartmentalization can stymie the potential synergies that could be harnessed through more integrated and cooperative approaches.

Behavioral Science

Behavioral science, and Social and Behavior Change (SBC) in particular, holds a distinct advantage in its multi-sectoral approach, with a keen focus on understanding the intricacies of individual behaviors within broader systems.  This field is dedicated to dissecting how individual decisions and actions are influenced by various factors, aiming to apply this understanding to promote positive social change across diverse sectors such as health, education, and environmental sustainability.

Despite its broad potential, behavioral science has faced criticism for its reliance on narrowly focused interventions, often termed as "nudges," which aim to influence individual choices through subtle modifications in the environment or the presentation of choices.  Critics argue that while these interventions can lead to positive changes, the effects are typically small and may not be sufficient to tackle larger, more complex issues.

The criticism extends to the field's struggles with addressing systemic issues.  The complexity of social systems, characterized by a web of interdependent components and stakeholders, poses significant challenges to effecting substantial behavioral change.  Traditional behavioral science interventions, with their focus on individual behavior modification, often do not account for the systemic barriers that perpetuate problems at a larger scale.  However, there is a growing recognition within the field of the need to evolve beyond simple nudges and to develop interventions that target various components of the system.  This involves not only addressing individual behaviors but also tackling the structural, social, and environmental factors that underpin these behaviors.

Scope of Work:

The primary objective of this role is to develop a framework or guidance note that country offices can use to design behavioural science interventions that leverage a multi-sectoral approach:

  • How to apply systems thinking to map out the components of a target behaviour.
  • How to identify sectors that could provide interventions or services to address some of those components.
  • How to design new multi-sectoral interventions or leverage services that are already being delivered to be a part of the intervention.
  • To develop and test this approach, the project will focus on a health-related issue in Kenya and Burkina Faso:
  • Understanding the main drivers and barriers of the health issue to be determined.
  • Identifying opportunities to intervene on both the supply and demand side of the issue, leveraging the multi-sectoral approach.
  • Designing the interventions or identifying sectoral services that can be leveraged as interventions (e.g., cash transfers, nutrition interventions, WASH infrastructure services).
  • Designing, implementing, and evaluating the impact of the intervention, ideally as a randomized control trial or a quasi-experimental method (e.g., synthetic control).

Terms of Reference / Key Deliverables:

  • Inception Report developed with inputs incorporated from the team - By 10 May 2024
  • Spreadsheet of relevant academic papers, document with summaries of technical papers, PPT summary of key insights from desk review created. – By 30 May 2024.
  • Qualitative survey instruments for understanding the programme landscape of sectoral colleagues developed – By 30 May 2024
  • 8 interviews with colleagues from different sectors in both Burkina Faso and Kenya organised and conducted. – By 20 June 2024
  • A summary of findings and identified opportunities for intervention area(s) prepared. - By 1 July 2024.
  • Research instruments using qualitative/quantitative research to gain insights from communities on target behavior and related behaviors designed. – By 15 July 2024
  • Rapid desk research on target behavior and related interventions conducted. – By 20 July 2024
  • A data landscape analysis to identify administrative data to contribute to diagnostic as well as to inform intervention design undertook – By 1 August 2024
  • A summary of insights, behavioral diagnostics, and key hypotheses developed. - By 5 August 2024
  • Two co-creation workshops (one with Kenya CO and one with Burkina Faso CO) with stakeholders from relevant sectors to design interventions based on the behavioral diagnostics designed          -By 10 August 2024
  • Low fidelity prototypes of the main interventions developed – By 1 September 2024
  • Four community feedback workshops to test the prototypes (two in Kenya and two in Burkina Faso) designed and organized. – By 20 September 2024
  • Experimental design and pre-analysis plan for the evaluation of the programme developed.

Two implementation plans for the interventions, one for each country developed     

Market survey of local organisations for implementation conducted       – By 1 November 2024

  • Clean and analyse data.

A short brief of the results to date produced. – By 10 May 2025

  • Insights from all stakeholders on their experience and lessons learned collated

Based on insights transformation framework developed – By 30 June 2025

Qualifications

Education:

An advanced master’s degree in - Behavioral science, Economics, Psychology, Political Science, Development studies

Work experience:

  1. A minimum of 7 years' experience executing and evaluating field experiments of applied behavioral science projects, including randomised controlled trials is required. Specifically:
  • Researching, designing and implementing interventions that apply behavioral insights methodologies, tools and approaches.
  • Research design focused on experimental and quasi-experimental methodologies.
  • Executing and evaluating field experiments (behavioral insights interventions).
  1. Proven track record in conducting field experiments remotely through a local partner.
  2. Proven track record in conducting field experiments in an African context.

Competencies/Knowledge:

  • Data Management & Security Skills for Data cleaning and Data analysis.

Language Proficiency:

  • Oral and written proficiency in English is required.

Requirements:

Completed profile in UNICEF's e-Recruitment system and

  • Upload copy of academic credentials
  • Financial proposal that will include/ reflect:
    • the costs per each deliverable and the total lump-sum for the whole assignment (in US$) to undertake the terms of reference.
    • 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 consultant.

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 consultant and his/her household members are required to change their visa status to G4, and the consultant’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 offers reasonable accommodation for consultants/individual contractors with disabilities. This may include, for example, accessible software, travel assistance for missions or personal attendants. We encourage you to disclose your disability during your application in case you need reasonable accommodation during the selection process and afterwards in your assignment. 

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. 

Remarks:  

Individuals engaged under a consultancy 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. Consultants 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. 

The selected candidate is solely responsible to ensure that the visa (applicable) and health insurance required to perform the duties of the contract are valid for the entire period of the contract. Selected candidates are subject to confirmation of fully-vaccinated status against SARS-CoV-2 (Covid-19) with a World Health Organization (WHO)-endorsed vaccine, which must be met prior to taking up the assignment. It does not apply to consultants who will work remotely and are not expected to work on or visit UNICEF premises, programme delivery locations or directly interact with communities UNICEF works with, nor to travel to perform functions for UNICEF for the duration of their consultancy contracts. 

Advertised: Eastern Daylight Time
Deadline: Eastern Daylight Time

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