United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (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.
We are recruiting to fill the position below:
Job Title: National Consultant for Development of Reintegration of At-Risk Children (ARC), Abuja, Nigeria
Job no: 536808
Contract type: Consultancy
For Every Child, a Champion
- There are approximately 13.2 million out of school children in Nigeria with 69% from Northern Nigeria. The majority of these are from the Almajiri system. While there is no clear data on the number of children in street situations, SUBEB indicate that there are 10.5 million Almajiri children, many of them in street situations.
- This system is practiced in Northern Nigeria and refers to young boys (Almajiri) and girls (Almajira) who have migrated from their homes in search of Islamic knowledge. The term has expanded to refer to young people who beg on the streets and not in secular education. They are primarily from poor family background who study Islamic learning with Malammai(“Mallams”), teachers of the Quran and depend on alms/ begging to survive.
- The system today is characterized by social exclusion, chronic poverty and abuse, churning out young people with little to no formal education or employable skills posing social and economic challenges to the Government and to Almajiri themselves. The Covid-19 pandemic has further highlighted the issue with deportation of Almajiri children from across different states highlighting multiple vulnerabilities.
- There have been a number of efforts to address this issue before, but they have failed as a result of lack of the support of Mallams and communities given deep cultural, social and religious underpinnings. Previous initiatives have also underscored the importance of having in place political leadership which is trusted and committed. The high levels of trust placed in President Buhari and his Government in the North, and amongst the Almajiri provide an opportunity for the current administration to address the numerous challenges facing the Almajiri system.
- Under the leadership of the Special Advisor to the President on Social Investments, the government has devised an initiative to address the Almajiri system and beyond that, the plight of children in street situation in Nigeria with a strategy to put in place systems, mechanisms and structures at the state level to address this phenomenon. Addressing this would reduce poverty, insecurity, address poor health and education outcomes, protection issues and other development challenges. The project proposes an intervention to empower the children with psychosocial support, basic medical examination including screening for hearing and vision, critical information and social skills, incentivization strategy for Mallams and teachers as well as a communications strategy to prevent a resurgence of Almajiri. It will also explore the opportunities of integrating them into the mainstream education systems in the various states and or integrating comprehensive basic education curriculum into the Almajiri schools to be set up by the state governments.
How Can You Make a Difference?
- Working in partnership with UNICEF and UNDP, the Consultant will develop the current concept into a fully-fledged and costed offer/ project with objectives as well as milestones and themes/outputs along the lines of those already set out by the Government which would be required as a basis for the success of this initiative.
- The Project seeks to complement and expand on the wide range of actors working in this space and to engage these actors not simply as implementers but as active participants in the design and development of the engagements. For this reason, the design phase will factor in broad-based consultations to ensure engagements are informed by lessons learned and the context. This will also help ensure a continuous process of cross-fertilisation and adaptation between our project and those of our partners.
- The project document developed by the Consultant(s) will contain the objectives of the intervention, activities to be carried out, institutions to be engaged with, expected outputs and the costs applicable to the project. The project document will contain a holistic response and the strategies to be adopted in dealing with the challenge of children in street situations, particularly in relation to the Almajiri system northern Nigeria. Government interventions at both federal and state levels would be based on this document.
- On completion of the Project, the Consultant(s) in partnership with the Office of the Special Advisor to the President on Social Investments, UNDP and UNICEF will also support development of informational materials, briefing notes and other materials to support the launch of the Project.
- The National Consultant will work with the International Consultant and in close collaboration with the Special Adviser to the President on Social Protection, UNDP and UNICEF in development of the Project including development of methodological note, in-country consultations, development of the Project, incorporation of comments and validation of the Project as well the launch of the Project by the Government of Nigeria.
Scope of Work:
- Work with the International Consultant for the finalisation of methodological note signed off by Special Advisor to the President on Social Investments Office, UNICEF and UNDP setting out the process for development and finalisation of the ARC Project document. This should include timelines, process to be followed, expected resources required from the Government and UNDP/UNICEF, risks/mitigation strategies and be presented in a brief note plus spreadsheet.
- Compile and collate all existing materials on the Almajiri system in Nigeria, including but not limited to research papers as well as documents relating to the identification of challenges and interventions to address the problems. Also, documents relating to previous interventions by government, development partners and civil society will be collated for analysis. This will inform the desk research to be carried out under the assignment with the International Consultant.
- Conduct consultations in collaboration with the International Consultant with relevant interlocutors including Government, Religious leaders, Practitioners, children themselves and other relevant interlocutors which may include, but is not limited to key Informant Interviews (KIIs), Focus Group Discussions (FGDs) and other information gathering methods to inform development of the Project. This is to ensure that ownership of the project is factored from the stage of conception.
- Consult with the Office of the Senior Special Advisor to the President on Social Investments, UNDP and the Education and Child Protection Sections of UNICEF to ensure that relevant issues of concern are integrated into the concept note to be finalised for the implementation of the ARC Project.
- Work with the International Consultant to finalise the Concept note detailing main outputs and objectives of the project to be presented and signed off by the Government, UNICEF and UNDP and which will inform development of the Project Document
- Work with the International Consultant to develop a costed project document utilising format agreed with UNDP and UNICEF. Following a validation process the Consultant(s) will incorporate changes and complete a finalised document.
Work Assignment Overview
Tasks / Milestone – Deliverables / Outputs – Timeline – Payment Schedule:
- Develop a methodological note for the consultancy assignment, including a workplan and proposed consultations – Methodological note and workplan submitted – 10 Days from commencement of consultancy – 10%
- Collate all available and existing materials on the Almajiri system in Nigeria to inform the desk review with International Consultant – Submission of report on the desk review of documentation/literature carried out with international Consultant – 15 days – 20%
- Consultations and interviews with relevant stakeholders at national and state levels including Federal Ministry of Education, UBEC, National Commission for mass literacy, adult and Non formal Education, at the state level; Ministry of Education, SUBEBs, Health, Agriculture, Sports, Technology, industry, Trade and Investment ,Traditional and Religious Leaders, State Agency for mass education and other agencies supporting programmes for Almajiri children and or quranic education. – Summary of meeting notes from consultations held – 25 days – 30%
- Support the International Consultant to develop draft of a fully costed project document on the issue of Almajiris, complete with activities, strategy and budget – Costed workplan with activities and timelines developed and submitted – 15 days – 30%
- Preparation and submission of consultancy report – Final report of the consultancy submitted – 5 days – 10%
To qualify as an advocate for every child you will have:
- An advanced university degree (Master’s or higher) in social/behavioural sciences (Child education and development, Human Rights, law, Gender/women studies, Community development, Sociology, Anthropology).
- A first University Degree in a relevant field combined with 2 additional years of professional experience may be accepted in lieu of an Advanced University Degree.
- A minimum of five years of relevant professional experience in planning and management of social development and education programmes at State and community levels.
- Knowledge of issues related to formal and non-formal education and child welfare is required.
- Proven skills in partnership building, networking, advocacy, negotiation and organising community dialogues, campaigns and special events around social norm changes and education at community levels would be an advantage.
- Good understanding and experience in the field of social norms, education, gender and community dynamics.
- Leadership and participation in previous assignment and incapacity similar or higher than this assignment
- Expertise in social research, community mobilization and engagements, and sociocultural relations in the selected areas.
- Proven ability to work independently.
- Fluency in English is required. Knowledge of another official UN language (Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian or Spanish) or a local language is an asset.
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.
- The consultant will travel to the Northern states as required
Application Closing Date
25th December, 2020.
How to Apply
Interested and qualified candidates should:
Click here to apply online
- Attach latest CV and Motivation Letter. Your motivation letter should indicate your availability.
- Indicate the consultancy fee. The financial offer should clearly indicate a) the amount for consultancy fees requested to carry out the aforementioned deliverables, b) the amount for the travel expenses required, c) any other expenses deemed necessary, d) the total amount of the financial offer. Please note that applications without a proposed fee will not be accepted.
- 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.
- Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted and advance to the next stage of the selection process.
- 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.