Consultancy - Technical Assistance for the Development of Tools and Resources on Positive Parenting, Violence Prevention, Detection and Referral in the Latin America and the Caribbean - LACRO, Panama
UNICEF Canada
Panama
hace 2 días

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Background

In the first years of life, children establish the cognitive, emotional, and social foundation upon which they can build their futures.

  • Early childhood is the most significant developmental period of life. A child who is stimulated, continuously engaged in interactive activities, hugged, comforted, and spoken to is more likely to fully develop cognitive, language, physical, emotional, and social skills;
  • 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.

    Specific Tasks

    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 :

  • Supporting evidence generation, producing analysis and regional situation on : (1) violence against young children in LAC since the Covid-19 pandemic started;
  • 2) situation of LAC countries who have (or have not) signed and passed laws prohibiting corporal punishment and how this has influenced children's exposure to violence in their homes;
  • 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

  • Developing resources for UNICEF across the region to implement synchronized programming that contributes to the elimination of violence against young children taking into account always the best interest of the child
  • Developing a guidance note on strategies to address family violence prevention through parenting strategies in the Caribbean.
  • 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

  • Supporting capacity building and training opportunities for UNICEF Country Offices, ECD-Child Protection and Gender task force and national / regional mechanisms governing ECD actions
  • Developing Advocacy and communication materials to support programmatic goals, including prevention of violence in early childhood, and importance of mental health awareness of young children and caregivers
  • Expected Results measurable

    The consultant will be working on :

  • Develop a desk review 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

  • 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
  • Develop guidelines to address family violence prevention in Early Childhood Development programmes with a specific focus on the Caribbean region
  • 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

  • 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
  • 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 strategic reflection on VAC in ECD for ECD and Child protection staff in the region, including Caribbean institutions coordinating ECD strategies
  • Expected deadline

    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)

    15 days

    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)

    15 days

    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)

    15 days

    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)

    15 days

    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

    5 days

    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

    7 days

    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)

    20 days

    Develop advocacy messages about prevention of violence in early childhood, and importance of mental health awareness of young children and caregivers

    5 days

    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)

    12 days

    To qualify as an advocate for every child you will have

    Education

    Advanced University degree in early childhood development, education, social sciences, gender-based violence / violence against children, international development or a related field

    Work Experience

  • Eight years of professional work experience at the national and international levels in policy planning in a related field
  • Current expert knowledge of child protection, particularly on protection risks affecting young children
  • Current expert knowledge of gender, particularly on gender- based violence and the Care Crisis.
  • Professional technical knowledge / expertise in Early Childhood Development
  • Knowledge and experience of strategies of implementing ECD or Child Protection Programmes
  • Languages

    Fluency in Spanish and English is required. Knowledge of French or Portuguese will be considered an asset.

    Technical knowledge (if applicable)

  • Knowledge of VAW and VAC trends in the LAC region; Familiarity with ethical protocols around addressing VAW and VAC.
  • Capacity to communicate effectively and work collaboratively with RO and CO colleagues and external partners.
  • Other skills and attributes (optional)

  • High level of Integrity and commitment to UNICEF's mission and professional values.
  • Analytical and conceptual ability, negotiating, communication and advocacy skills.
  • Strong organizational, planning, and analytical skills
  • Excellent written and verbal communication in English and Spanish.
  • Good judgment, initiative, high sense of responsibility, tact and discretion.
  • Demonstrated cultural sensitivity and ability to establish harmonious working relations in a multicultural environment.
  • Supervision

    The contractor will work under the direct supervision of the Regional ECD Manager and in close collaboration with the Child Protection and Gender teams

    Workplace

    This is a home-based consultancy.

    Duration

    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.

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