How can you make a difference?
In the first years of life, children establish the cognitive, emotional, and social foundation upon which they can build their futures.
all of which are vital for success in school, in the community and subsequently in life.
UNICEF advocates for and promotes an integral approach to early childhood development (ECD) that includes, early learning and quality education programmes, maternal and child nutrition, protection, health care interventions and family support services.
Providing children and their caregivers adequate multisectoral interventions and special services is determinant for their present and future wellbeing.
As part of UNICEF’s commitment to gender equality, ensuring that gender equal norms and socialization patterns are promoted from early childhood with caregivers and children alike is equally prioritized.
In the context of the Covid-19 pandemic, families and young children are experiencing unprecedented challenges and risks.
It is necessary to maintain, reinforce and generate all the necessary supports so that parents and caregivers can protect their children and have the necessary conditions and tools to promote their full development, health and well-being.
UNICEF knows that one of the top priorities to adequately respond to this crisis is caring for caregivers. Women and girls tend to do most of the caring for sick family members, household chores, and childcare responsibilities.
Promoting co-responsibility in care tasks and unpaid domestic work will reduce stress, increase adolescent girls’ time to learning and strengthening social networks, and contribute to greater family and child well-being.
This crisis has brought to the fore the fundamental role of families and caregivers, as well as the opportunities to shift traditional gender norms and roles including those around masculinities.
The optimal development of children will depend on the interactions they have with their primary caregivers, including loving and sensitive care that responds to their needs and role models of gender-equitable relations and divisions of labour.
For this, it is necessary that countries prioritize policies oriented to support all forms of families (two-parent, single-parent, adolescent mother / age-disparate, same-sex parents, mixed race and multi-generational) and the prevention of VAC and VAW, because of their relation as many recent studies have demonstrated.
Many of the issues related to interpersonal, or family, violence are grounded in gendered stereotypes and social norms that see violence as an appropriate response to day-to-day issues throughout the life cycle.
Unfortunately, violence by caregivers is the most common form of violence experienced by children, and young children are generally most vulnerable to serious injury from physical violence, with fatal cases often found among infants.
When violence occurs among caregivers, and in particular intimate partner violence against women, violence against children can occur with a range of consequences for both adult survivors and young children’s mental and physical well-being.
Children also witness violence against women at home, siblings can witness incest and sexual violence predominantly against girls, but also boys.
With the intergenerational nature of family violence, children witnessing or experiencing such violence are more likely to perpetuate and / or experience such violence as adolescents and adults.
The rates of violence against women in the Region, including femicide, were already alarmingly high prior to Covid-19 and all indications show that these rates are increasing across countries.
Violence Against Children (VAC) has been established as a flagship priority for the UNICEF LAC, requiring inter-sectoral actions to contribute to its elimination.
Within the UNICEF Gender Action Plan, gender socialization and gender-responsive parenting have been highlighted as key focus areas for collaboration work with ECD both to contribute to better ECD outcomes, as well as to bring together multisectoral responses to VAC.
ECD and parenting practices have been highlighted within the Caribbean Regional Programme of the EU-UN Spotlight Initiative to end Violence Against Women and Girls.
UNICEF, as co-lead of the pillar on Prevention, has prioritized the strengthening of Care for Childhood Development, and other ECD, strategies.
The current assignment will include a deep dive into Caribbean countries in selected products as a foundational contribution to the Spotlight Initiative.
Therefore, UNICEF LACRO plans to hire an experienced consultant to support the ECD, Child Protection and Gender teams to develop tools and resources on the importance of positive parenting and family strengthening as a key strategy to reduce and prevent violence in early childhood.
Purpose of the Assignment
Under the overall guidance of the Regional ECD Manager and in collaboration with the Child Protection and Gender teams, the consultant will provide tools and resources that links child development and gender approach to raise awareness on the importance of positive parenting and family strengthening as a key strategy to reduce and prevent violence in early childhood.
Under the direct supervision of the Regional ECD Manager and in collaboration with the Child Protection and Gender teams, the consultant will be working on :
and (3) strategies that LAC countries are implementing to reduce and prevent violence in early childhood. As a contribution to the Caribbean Spotlight Programme, a synopsis of Caribbean specific data will be summarized for use with Regional Partners
Must include a component of co-responsibility in parenting and working with male parents. Note that this task will be coordinated with actors within the Caribbean Spotlight Programme
Expected Results measurable
The consultant will be working on :
A synopsis of Caribbean specific data will be summarized for use with Regional Partners
As a contribution to the Caribbean Spotlight Programme, a synopsis of Caribbean specific information will be summarized for use with Regional Partners
Develop a technical note based on available information regarding violence against young children in LAC since the Covid-19 pandemic started.
A synopsis of Caribbean specific data will be summarized for use with Regional Partners (a word document and PPT presentation is expected)
Develop a comparative analysis of LAC countries who have signed and passed laws prohibiting corporal punishment and how this has influenced children's exposure to violence in their homes (a word document and PPT presentation is expected)
Develop guidelines to address family violence prevention in Early Childhood Development programmes with a specific focus on the Caribbean region (a word document and PPT presentation is expected)
Develop an advocacy document on how to include prevention strategies on violence against young children in a cross-sectoral way through the different service platforms : nutrition, health, social protection, education, WASH.
As a contribution to the Caribbean Spotlight Programme, a synopsis of Caribbean specific information will be summarized for use with Regional Partners (a word document and PPT presentation is expected)
Provide technical support to the development of the online course on the toolkit to prevent violence in early childhood during Covid-19 times and other emergency situations
Provide technical support to at least 5 country offices that are (and would like to work on) strategies to prevent and reduce violence in early childhood
Systematize (5) good and promising practices that LAC countries are implementing to reduce and prevent violence in early childhood (a word document and PPT presentation is expected)
Develop advocacy messages about prevention of violence in early childhood, and importance of mental health awareness of young children and caregivers
Support the organization and animation of a training and a strategic reflection on VAC in ECD for ECD and Child protection staff in the region, including Caribbean institutions coordinating ECD strategies, and develop a VAC in ECD strategy for the ROMP 2022-2025.
a word document and PPT presentation is expected)
To qualify as an advocate for every child you will have
Advanced University degree in early childhood development, education, social sciences, gender-based violence / violence against children, international development or a related field
Fluency in Spanish and English is required. Knowledge of French or Portuguese will be considered an asset.
Technical knowledge (if applicable)
Other skills and attributes (optional)
The contractor will work under the direct supervision of the Regional ECD Manager and in close collaboration with the Child Protection and Gender teams
This is a home-based consultancy.
This contract is expected to start in August 2021 with an estimated duration of 8 months.
How to Apply
Application should be submitted online and should include : Resume, Cover Letter and Financial proposal. Qualified candidates are requested to submit daily and monthly fees in their financial proposal.
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.
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.