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UNICEF seeks to recruit an Individual consultancy to support the development of country roadmaps on C4D and violence against children, including child marriage

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UNICEF seeks to recruit an Individual consultancy to support the development of country roadmaps on C4D and violence against children, including child marriage


Job no: 515664
Work type: Consultancy
Location: Switzerland
Categories: Consultancy
Advertised: W. Europe Daylight Time
Applications close: W. Europe Daylight Time

Apply HERE


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.


Individual consultancy to support the development of country roadmaps on C4D and violence against children, including child marriage

Location of the consultancy: Home based

Duration: 40 days distributed over 4 months

Timeline: September – December 2018



Available data ( show that more than 50 per cent of boys and girls aged 2-14 in the countries of Europe and Central Asia (ECA) (and in some countries of the region, more than 70 per cent) are exposed to at least one form of severe physical or psychological punishment by family members. Children in institutional care, which includes a high proportion of children with special needs, are more likely to be subjected to violence than children in a family environment. Regional research has demonstrated that there is co-occurrence of intimate partner violence and violence against children in the home, as well as inter-generational transmission of violence.

All forms of physical, sexual and emotional abuse against girls and boys may have serious negative short-term and long-term physical, mental and reproductive health consequences. These include physical injury, sexually transmitted infections, anxiety, depression, suicidal ideation, unplanned pregnancy and in some cases death.[1] Evidence suggests that toxic stress associated with exposure to violence in childhood can impair brain development and damage other parts of the nervous system, with lifelong consequences.[2] Violence may also have serious social and economic consequences for individuals and society, including reduced school performance and long- term economic costs.[3]

Child marriage – the formal or informal union of anyone under the age of 18 – affects girls (and some boys) in every region. Until recently, child marriage remained a relatively underexplored issue in the Europe and Central Asia region, and one that had not received much attention from national governments. One reason is that the prevalence of child marriage appears to be much lower here than in other regions, as the chart below indicates (although it is important to note that few countries in this region have up to date, reliable data on child marriages). Another reason is that in many national contexts in the region, child marriage has been seen as a “private”, “family” matter in which the state and the wider society should not interfere. This has particularly been the case when child marriage is practised within minority groups. Official statistics (such as census data or other household survey data) usually only record marriages that are registered with the state, making it harder for state duty-bearers to identify child marriage as an important policy priority; most child marriages in Europe and Central Asia are not registered, as is the case in other regions.

The consequence and impacts of child marriage in Europe and Central Asia mirror the impacts of the practice recorded elsewhere.  Married girls are under pressure to become pregnant as soon as possible (or may have married because they were already pregnant), implying that they have little control over sexual contact, and over decisions on the use or not of contraception. Once pregnant, they are at greater risk of complications in pregnancy and birth than older women, because their bodies are not mature enough. These risks may be exacerbated by poor access to reproductive, sexual, and maternal health services; this is particularly the case for Roma married girls.

As elsewhere, data from DHS and MICS for countries from this region indicates that married girls are more likely to experience coercive control (e.g., needing permission to visit family and friends) from husbands than older married women, and are more likely to believe that domestic violence against wives is justified. Qualitative studies from the region also show that married girls are vulnerable to physical and sexual gender-based violence from husbands and in-laws.


Drivers and risk factors

Parents and caregivers use violent parenting practices influenced by various factors. Some are influenced by community/social beliefs and expectations, including on what means to be a parent, how a parent should engage and communicate with their children, how a child should behave and what are the socially acceptable and desirable ways to respond when the child fails to do so. Gender roles and expectations and gender-based violence also play an important role on how children are being raised, disciplined and what they learn about social interaction, thus often perpetuating the cycle of domestic and gender-based violence. The boys and girls learn from their families about their social roles and how they should relate to and interact with others.

These beliefs and practices are often reinforced by social sanctions and/or reinforcements (real or perceived), making parents and caregivers to comply to a specific way of communicating with and disciplining children. Evidence in ECA region reveals that some parents, although not supportive of violent discipline, use it because of a perceived pressure or expectation from the other community members to do so. For other parents, the lack of knowledge about non-violent parenting approaches leads them to apply abusive parenting practices. Research in the region (in Moldova, Kosovo (UNSCR 1244)) identifies groups of parents who are either against or would like to avoid violent child discipline, but lack the knowledge of alternative approaches. There are very few parenting programmes across the region, and service providers at community level often lack the knowledge and/or resources to promote non-violent parenting, or to engage with and support parents in adopting new positive practices. Positive parenting projects or support groups are usually run by civil society groups or organisations, with little or no support from government authorities.

The key factors influencing violence against children fall under the various levels of the socio-ecological model (individual, family, community, social, policy levels), meaning that successful interventions to prevent and address VAC should consider these various levels and adopt a diversity of approaches ranging from behaviour change communication to improve parents’ and caregivers’ knowledge of and attitudes towards non-violent parenting, to social mobilization and engagement and advocacy to develop and enforce appropriate policies, keeping in mind the broader social, economic, normative and institutional environ­ments in which children and adolescents live.[4]

In terms of child marriage, a growing body of qualitative research is helping to fill the data gaps in the Europe and Central Asia region, and in particular, is providing vital information about the factors driving the practice. Restrictive gender norms and poverty are the two main drivers of child marriage in this region within the communities where it is practised. Often, the two intersect to push a family to decide to marry a daughter, or an adolescent to decide to marry.

A lack of value placed on girls’ education, stemming from beliefs that a woman’s role should be confined to marriage and motherhood, means girls are taken out of school, or do not see the value in continuing. School may also not be an option because money is tight at home.

For families living in poverty, marrying a daughter may mean “one less mouth to feed”, easing pressure on resources and overcrowded living spaces. Likewise, girls may choose to marry – or agree to an arranged marriage – in order to escape poverty at home. In all these scenarios, restrictive gender roles and lack of viable alternatives mean that marriage becomes “the only option”.

In Kyrgyzstan and Turkey, there is evidence to suggest that conflict is a factor driving child marriage, as parents seek to “protect” their daughters from the threat of sexual violence. Here and across the region, importance placed on “honour” (i.e., virginity before marriage) is a driver. In addition, girl’s perceived vulnerability, for example among refugees living in Turkey, may be exacerbated due to migration and as a result of conflict.

In the Balkan countries – Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, fYR Macedonia, Montenegro, and Serbia – prevalence of child marriage in the populations overall is very low. But among the Roma minorities in these countries, prevalence of child marriage is significantly higher, and this is closely linked to the discrimination and social exclusion that Roma face.

Engaging with communities and parents on social norm change is an approach to address child marriage, as is ensuring an empowerment approach that reaches adolescent girls specifically.


UNICEF’s efforts to address VAC, including child marriage in ECA Region

Addressing violence against children, in all its forms, is one of the priorities of the UNICEF ECA Regional Office. The 2018-2021 ROMP, under the result area PROTECTING, foresees increasing the number of (a) cases of violence against children been identified and addressed, and (b) municipalities implementing local protocols to protect children from violence, abuse and neglect. The RO will also support COs to implement multi-sectoral collaboration to increase the capacity of the public system to prevent and respond to violence against children, develop and implement comprehensive violence prevention interventions, at the same time empowering parents to adopt positive and non-violent parenting practices. Through Communication for Social Change, harmful social and cultural norms, attitudes and beliefs influencing VAC and child marriage will be addressed, including through increasing uptake of key parenting practices.
Preventing and addressing VAC is also a key priority of most of COs in the region, some having dedicated outputs and indicators in their Country Programme Document, focusing COs activity on preventing violence, addressing harmful beliefs and norms and supporting reporting, developing parenting programmes and building the capacities of professionals to identify, register and address the cases if violence against children.
To help UNICEF country offices strengthen their C4D response to violence against children, including child marriage, a 5-day workshop was conducted in May 2018 in Georgia, with participation of C4D, communication and programmes specialists from 13 UNICEF country offices. The purpose of the workshop was two-fold. First, to enhance the capacity of UNICEF Staff and national partners to plan, implement and evaluate evidence-based C4D strategies to address VAC. Second, based on the knowledge and skills gained during the workshop in the area of C4D and M&E around VAC initiatives, participants are expected to develop or modify/adjust their Country-Specific C4D Roadmaps integrated to the VAC strategy/Action Plan. Through the five-day workshop, country teams worked through specific sections of the roadmap template. Following the workshop, participating country offices were asked to complete the roadmaps and facilitate discussions within the country teams on priority actions and approaches to support country-specific C4D research, M&E, and/or VAC strategies or action plans for the next three years. The filled-in and completed roadmap will be shared with UNICEF ECARO C4D, CP and gender teams, by end of July or end of August, as agreed with the COs during the workshop.

Purpose and objectives

In this context, ECARO is looking for a consultant, who under the general guidance of the Regional C4D Advisor and the Regional C4D Specialist will be responsible for reviewing the draft roadmaps submitted by country offices, and providing technical guidance to country offices to refine and finalize the roadmaps. The consultant will review the draft roadmaps to ensure they:

  • Build on evidence and are informed by existing national data, identifying specific drivers of violence and child marriage within local contexts, but also opportunities to integrate C4D into UNICEF and government-led programmes;
  • Include a sound theory of change that reflects the linkage and flow between the identified problem, proposed implementation strategies and expected results;
  • Include a set of well-defined individual and social change outcomes and outputs. The outputs should cover the “know”, “feel” and “do” aspects of change leading to and supporting the expected outcomes;
  •  Identify locally suited platforms, approaches and activities that address multiple levels of the socio-ecological model and draw upon a range of social and behaviour change theories as well as C4D approaches and global best practices;
  • Consider existing partnerships, coordination mechanisms, available resources, funding strategies and provide a proposed timeline for key steps or milestones;
  • Have a monitoring framework that identifies key performance indicators and ways to measure change and assess impact;
  • Follow the principles of participation, engagement, inclusion, integration and sustainability.


Scope of work

It is anticipated that 12 – 14 country offices will submit completed drafts of roadmaps – 7 countries for VAC and another 5 for child marriage. The consultant is expected to review and refine the roadmaps and to guide the finalization of the roadmap. The consultant will not be expected to develop the roadmap or to finalize drafts but to provide guidance support in the finalization of the roadmaps. The consultant will:

  1. Review the initial drafts of the roadmaps developed by the UNICEF country offices following the criteria outlined under the objectives section above;
  2.  Consult with UNICEF country offices and communicate via Skype/email, to collect additional information and inputs;
  3. Provide concrete feedback and inputs on the roadmap drafts to guide the finalization of the various sections of the roadmap to ensure they are evidence based, comprehensive, include a sound theory of change and well defined social and behaviour change outcomes and outputs, as well as a monitoring and evaluation framework to measure change and assess impact. The roadmaps should also consider multi-level approaches, available platforms, partnerships, resources and sustainability;
  4. Review and refine the revised drafts of the roadmap and provide final inputs. This will need to be done in close collaboration and consultation with the Country teams to ensure the roadmap is realistic to the national context and in line with the CPD and country office priorities;
  5. Support the submission of the revised roadmaps to the Regional C4D team after finalization by the CO team.


Key deliverables, timeframe and tasks

The consultancy is expected to be completed in 40 days distributed over 4 months. It is anticipated that the consultant will spend roughly three days per country roadmap, with the total number of roadmaps not exceeding 14. The consultant is expected to implement the tasks below and achieve proposed deliverables in close consultation and coordination with ECARO. The Consultant is not expected to develop the road map, but review and refine and support the finalization.


Performance indicators for evaluation of results:

The performance of work will be evaluated based on the following indicators:

  • Completion of tasks specified in ToR.
  • Compliance with the established deadlines for submission of deliverables.
  • Quality of deliverables.
  • Demonstration of high standards of work.


UNICEF’s responsibilities include provision of completed drafts of roadmaps and timely provision of all required information, guidance and feedback on all deliverables. Country offices will be responsible for the finalization of the roadmaps based on feedback, guidance and inputs provided by the consultant. Selected consultant is expected to produce the outputs as per defined tasks and deliverables, and revise them based on feedback to be provided by UNICEF and country offices.


Reporting requirements

Content of the documents to be produced should correspond to the requirements defined by deliverables and to be submitted electronically in English.


Qualifications/specialized knowledge / experience required to complete the task.

  • At least 7 years of experience in developing, implementing and evaluating C4D interventions and strategies, including in the area of violence against children and child marriage.
  • A post-graduate degree in social sciences.
  • Excellent command of English. Excellent analytical and writing skills.
  • Demonstrated ability to produce high quality results in a timely manner.
  • Proven familiarity and experience working with the UN (ideally with UNICEF) is preferred.



Interested candidates should submit:

  1. A CV and Personal history form (downloadable from Alternatively, if a candidate profile in the UNICEF e-Recruitment System is fully completed, it can be accepted in lieu of P11.
  2. A cover letter
  3. A financial offer, with a daily rate in USD.

Evaluation criteria

The candidates will be evaluated against the following criteria:

The candidates who receive a minimum of 50 points will be considered further.


Payment schedule

UNICEF will issue a consultant contract in USD. The payment will be made in USD by bank transfer after the submission of the final report, along with evidence of provided guidance/inputs to country offices. The payment will be done based on the actual number of roadmaps reviewed or days allocated, in case some roadmaps require more time. The total number of days for this assignment will not exceed 40 days.
The consultant will send invoice and payment will be made upon satisfactory completion of deliverables. If the deliverables are not submitted per the timeframe stated in this TOR, the payments may be withheld.
UNICEF reserves the right to withhold all or a portion of payment if performance is unsatisfactory, if work/outputs is incomplete, not delivered or for failure to meet deadlines. All materials developed will remain the copyright of UNICEF and UNICEF will be free to adapt and modify them in the future.

The contractor will be supervised by and will report to the Regional C4D Advisor and the Regional C4D Specialist.

Administrative issues
The Contractor is expected to work remotely for the duration of the assignment. UNICEF shall not provide office space to the contractor.


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.

Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted and advance to the next stage of the selection process.


  1. United Nations Children’s Fund, Hidden in Plain Sight: A Statistical Analysis of Violence against Children. UNICEF, New York, 2014.
  2. Felitti, V. J., et al., ‘Relationship of Childhood Abuse and Household Dysfunction to Many of the Leading Causes of Death in Adults. The Adverse Childhood Experiences (Ace) Study’, American Journal of Preventive Medicine, vol. 14, no. 4, 1998, pp. 245-58.
  3. United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, School Violence and Bullying: Global Status Report. Education 2030. UNESCO, Paris, 2017. images/0024/002469/246970e.pdf
  4. United Nations Children’s Fund, UNICEF Child Protection Strategy. United Nations Economic and Social Council, New York, 2008.




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