Consultancy: Development of a technical paper and a comprehensive Benchmarking tool for child protection systems strengthening approach, Child Protection Section, PD – NYHQ, Requisition #527964 314 views


UN Children’s Fund

Closing date:
03 Dec 2019

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.


Child protection (CP) – defined as “preventing and responding to violence, exploitation and abuse against children” – is central to UNICEF’s mandate. Since the adoption of the Child Protection Strategy in 2008, the child protection systems-strengthening (CPSS) approach has been a strategic priority for UNICEF’s overall work on CP. This is also explicitly reflected in the UNICEF Strategic Plan 2018–2021 (SP), which identifies the need to “intensify the strengthening of national systems to assist the most disadvantaged girls and boys”[1].

The 2018 evaluation[2] of UNICEF’s strategies and programme performance to strengthen child protection systems concluded that UNICEF has had considerable success in advancing the child protection systems agenda, particularly at the national level. Further, the evaluation noted that conceptual clarity on child protection systems strengthening (CPSS) in UNICEF is still incomplete, and that there is a lack of shared understanding around CPSS among UNICEF staff at various levels, and with partners. The evaluation found that UNICEF’s systems-strengthening work has focused on specific technical components such as social service workforce strengthening, information management systems and so on, at times, at the expense of a broader, more strategic operationalization of the systems-strengthening approach. The evaluation identified unresolved tensions between producing rapid, quantifiable and measurable outcomes for children and providing long term support for strengthening sustainable systems. In this context, the evaluation also noted that desired balance between issue-based work and systems approaches to child protection has not been articulated by UNICEF. The evaluation also found that UNICEF’s programmatic approach to child protection systems strengthening has so far not distinguished between different levels of functioning and maturity of national child protection systems.

The evaluation also laid out areas of improvement necessary around data collection and analysis of child protection systems strengthening and monitoring of the processes and results achieved by child protection systems. It found that the indicators used UNICEF-wide to identify progress toward more robust, sustainable and effective child protection systems remain weak, particularly in terms of the capacity to capture the effects of UNICEF’s contribution. While it noted improvements made as of 2018, including the ability to capture systems-related expenditure (via improved expenditure coding) as well as systems-related qualitative data on UNICEF work (via improved Strategic Monitoring Questions), it concluded that there was little evidence on the use of monitoring data for decision-making on CPSS over the period examined. The evaluation attributed this to the inadequacy of the RBM framework for systems-strengthening, with intermediate results across the programme-impact pathway receiving little attention and cited that ‘qualitative and quantitative milestones or benchmarks for measuring progress along the different phases of CPSS (rather than just at the final stage of “functioning CPS”) are still lacking’.

In its Management Response to the evaluation, UNICEF noted that since the adoption of UNICEF’s Child Protection Strategy in 2008, significant progress has been made to clarify and better articulate the elements of a CPSS, as well as the priority actions essential to strengthen CPSS. The roll-out of the child protection systems approach was evident through the development of tools and guidance at the regional level and operationalization of the approach using a systems lens at national level. With the extensive work that has already been undertaken both in terms of developing conceptual clarity and programme implementation related to CPSS (as recognized through this evaluation) and the lessons learned, UNICEF agreed to produce guidance in the form of a technical paper to clarify the desired relationship between issue-based and systems approaches, refine the draft programme-impact pathway for CPSS, and define the phases of the CPSS process (system-building, system consolidation and system reform, or a similar typology to be determined) to show how an issue-based approach can be used to mobilize greater support for CPSS. Further, UNICEF has agreed to address the challenges related to CPSS data and measurement by investing in coherent corporate-level metrics for CPSS.

Responding to the findings and recommendations of the CPSS evaluation, the purpose of the consultancy is to support UNICEF to develop a paper describing the the CPSS approach and to enable systematic tracking of CPSS progress and performance globally. This includes a.) the articulation of how systems-related intermediate outcomes contribute to the protection outcomes for children in various contexts, and b.) the assessment of the ‘state of CPSS’ in a country as well as UNICEF’s contribution in specific areas of CPSS, which will in turn enable the organization to demonstrate progress and results and mobilize resources for CPSS.

Specifically, the objectives of the consultancy are to:

  • Elaborate the “programme-impact pathways” for CPSS, clarify the relationship between CPSS and issue-based work, and define the phases of CPSS in line with the recommendations of this evaluation, taking into consideration the varying contexts and country typologies within which CPSS work takes place. This will include (i) defining the phases of systems strengthening (systems building, consolidation and reform), (ii) defining CPSS work in the context of collaboration with allied sectors, and (iii) UNICEF’s role in and strategies to promote community and child participation.
  • Establish coherent metrics on CPSS, using milestones or benchmarks, which would make it possible to measure intermediate systems performance by phases of the CPSS process (i.e. system-building, system consolidation and system reform). The metrics should be part and parcel of the effort to clarify the programme-impact pathway for CPSS. The metrics should also take into account the need to capture progress in humanitarian settings and furthermore, take into account UNICEF’s continued effort to enhance coherence and connectedness between at-scale capacity for humanitarian action and longer-term programming. Alignment between other corporate measurement frameworks and integration of the CPSS metrics into corporate monitoring and reporting mechanisms should be ensured.
  • Terms of Reference / Deliverables

    Close consultation with the Child Protection Regional Advisers and select country offices, as well as other sectoral areas will be critical in achieving the results below.

    Expected Result 1. Technical paper on UNICEF’s approach to CPSS in various contexts is available.

    The technical paper (up to 5,000 words) will describe UNICEF’s CPSS approach, including the programme-impact pathways and define the phases of systems-strengthening (systems building, consolidation and reform), contextualized across various country typologies (low-income, lower-middle-income and middle-income countries). The technical paper will clarify the relationship between CPSS and issue-based work as well as the need to address specific vulnerabilities and define CPSS work in the context of collaboration with allied sectors and the promotion of community and child participation.

    Note: UNICEF CPHQ will share an initial outline of the technical paper at the start of the assignment, which will be finalized by the consultant in consultation with UNICEF CPHQ.

    Expected Result 2. CPSS benchmarking tool, including user-guide, is available for CO use.

    The tool will enable measurement of progress in CPSS by phases of the CPSS process (i.e. system-building, system consolidation and system reform) and will also help capture progress in humanitarian settings.


    35 days, from 15 January 2020 – 31 March 2020.


  • Master’s Degree or equivalent in Social Sciences or related technical field is a minimum requirement.
  • At least 10 years of progressively responsible professional experience in child protection programme implementation and management.
  • Documented evidence of successful implementation of child protection areas of work, particularly around strategy development and measurement frameworks, including benchmarking.
  • Strong conceptualization, analytical and writing skills and ability to work effectively in a team.
  • Hands-on experience in collecting and analyzing quantitative and qualitative data.
  • Demonstrated ability to draft strategy documents, preferably in the area of child protection.
  • Strong understanding of child protection measurement issues and challenges.
  • Knowledge of child protection indicators and data is a strong asset.
  • Knowledge of the UN’s human rights, gender equality and equity agendas and application in child protection programming is strongly preferred.
  • Commitment and willingness to work in a challenging environment and ability to produce quality work under limited guidance and supervision.
  • Good communication and people skills; ability to communicate with various stakeholders and to express ideas and concepts concisely and clearly in written and oral form.
  • Quality assurance process for the stated deliverables.
  • Language proficiency: Fluency in English is mandatory.
  • Requirements:

  • Completed profile in UNICEF’s e-Recruitment system and provide Personal History Form (P11) Upload copy of academic credentials
  • Technical proposal: Based on the Terms of Reference and the evaluation report, please submit a note (not more than 600 words), briefly outlining a proposed outline of the technical paper and the benchmarks to measure progress of CPSS.
  • Financial proposal that will include:
  • your daily/monthly rate (in US$) to undertake the terms of reference (can be downloaded here:

  • 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 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, therefore, undergo rigorous reference and background checks, and will be expected to adhere to these standards and principles.

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