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Wednesday

Consultancy - Call of Interest for applications to build a roster of local consultants for Economic policy analysis

Organization: UN Children's Fund
Country: Italy
Closing date: 03 Dec 2017

If you are a committed, creative professional and are passionate about making a lasting difference for children, the world's leading children's rights organization would like to hear from you.

For 70 years, UNICEF has been working on the ground in 190 countries and territories to promote children's survival, protection and development. The world's largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments.

Terms of Reference to build a roster of local consultants for economic policy analysis

UNICEF Office of Research - Innocenti

1.Background

The UNICEF Office of Research - Innocenti (OoR) undertakes research- and study- related activities to ensure that high quality research contributes to evidence-informed policy making within UNICEF activity programming as well as to evidence informed policy design by its partners.

Research on child wellbeing in low-, middle- and high-income countries is at the heart of the agenda of the Social and Economic Policy (SEP) section with the Office of Research Innocenti. Research activities are carried out in three main streams:

•Impact evaluation of cash transfers and other social protection policy interventions on child wellbeing in low- and middle-income countries (Transfer Project);
•Multidimensional child poverty measurement in low-, middle- and high-income countries (Child Poverty);
•Analysis of child well-being and policies in middle- and high-income countries (Innocenti Report Card).

The purpose of this call is to solicit applications from individuals who are interested in working with the SEP unit in a consulting capacity.Following the close of this call, an initial screening and short list will be made, from which selected candidates will be interviewed by SEP senior staff. Approved applicants will be placed on a pre-approved roster which will remain valid for a period of 36 months. It is expected that at least one candidate from each stream will be hired in Q1 of 2018, with additional positions being hired throughout the year.

2.Duration of roster-based consultancies:

Consultancy arrangements may range from 6 weeks to 11.5 months, depending on demand, project specifications and funding availability, with options for extension and contract renewals, and will be subject to UNICEF General Conditions of Contracts for the Services of Consultants / Individual Contractors.

3.Supervision and work arrangements:

Consultants who are selected from the roster will work under the supervision of the Chief of the Social and Economic Policy Unit and other senior staff in the unit. Long term consultants will be locally recruited and will need to have / get a valid permit of stay in Italy and will work an average of 18-20 days per month at the OoR premises in a shared office. The Office of Research will not cover travel expenses to take on the assignment.The work may include incidental travel to participate in field work, workshops or conferences; such travel will be governed by UNICEF travel policies for consultants.

4.Specifications by research streams

Consultants will work under the supervision of the Chief of Social and Economic Policy and other senior staff in the SEP unit.

a)Transfer Project

We are seeking consultants who can support research carried out under the Transfer Project at a range of levels (MA, pre-doc, post-doc and senior researchers). Thematic areas under which the Transfer Project is currently working include 1) cash transfers in development settings; 2) cash plus and system linkages; and 3) social protection in fragile/humanitarian settings. Current impact evaluations carried out under the Transfer Project with UNICEF Innocenti involvement include Ghana, Malawi, Kenya, Zambia, Tanzania and Zimbabwe. New countries may join the Transfer Project portfolio over the period of the consultancy. More information on the Transfer Project initiative and outputs can be found here: https://transfer.cpc.unc.edu/

The consultant(s) will carry out analysis of already collected data to provide rigorous evidence on the impact of national cash transfers programmes in SSA on a range of household, adolescent, and child outcomes related to development and protection. In addition, the consultant(s) may support new and on-going data collection efforts as needed. While staff in SEP currently work primarily on empirical evaluations and analysis, we are seeking to recruit for two methodological streams: 1) quantitative researchers and 2) qualitative researchers, to complement current ongoing and future work. Individuals with mixed methods competencies can specify their availability for both work streams.

Specific activities may include:

•Questionnaire and protocol preparation, enumerator training, fieldwork observation, and report writing related to new and on-going data collection efforts;
•Data cleaning and analysis;
•In-depth country-level analysis and manuscript writing related to impacts of cash transfers on child, adolescent, and household well-being and examine pathways of impact;
•Cross-country comparative research on the impacts of cash transfers on child, adolescent and/or household well-being outcomes, including food security, schooling, mental health, transition to adulthood, child nutritional status, violence, child labor, and more;
•Dissemination of research findings including production of briefs, blogs and presentation at workshops, conferences and other events;
•Contribution to proposal and funding efforts for additional research streams under the Transfer Project, as well as current grant reporting;
•Capacity building of Transfer Project partners and UNICEF Country Office staff around research and evaluation methods related to Transfer Project evaluation case studies.

b)Child Poverty

The consultant will carry out multidimensional child poverty analysis in national and cross-national contexts as well as methodological work into child poverty measurement.

Specific activities include:
•Data cleaning and analysis in Stata; producing figures/tables and drafting reports, working papers and journal articles.
•Statistical and econometric analysis of micro-data from household budget or living standards measurement surveys; Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys; Demographic and Health Surveys, and other large-scale household surveys. Country-level and cross-country analysis of drivers and correlates of multidimensional child poverty, as well as analysis of the dynamics of multidimensional child poverty and overlapping deprivations across longitudinal data. 
•Theoretical and methodological improvements to multidimensional child poverty measurement; including extensions of child poverty measurement, such as, for example: expanding the dimensions and/or indicators included in multidimensional child poverty measures; adjusting standard multidimensional child poverty measures to special contexts such as humanitarian, fragile or conflict affected countries or special populations such as refugees, children left behind, and so forth).
•Contribute to the development and completion of an analytical framework integrating MDCP, public finance for children (PF4C) and fiscal incidence analysis (FIA) in as many countries as possible.
•Conduct analytical work comparing MDCP and monetary child poverty and improve our understanding of their linkages and differences.
•Participate in the analysis of global monetary child poverty in conjunction with the World Bank.
•Organize and conduct, when strategically desirable, training workshops to UNICEF and government teams on issues related to Multidimensional Child Poverty (MDCP);Contribution to proposal and funding efforts for additional research on child poverty;

c)Innocenti Report Card

In keeping with UNICEF's global mandate to advocate for the rights of all the world’s children, the longstanding Innocenti Report Card series focuses on the well-being of children in industrialized countries. Designed to appeal to a wide audience while maintaining academic rigour, Innocenti Report Cards include one or more league tables ranking the countries in the European Union (EU) and/or the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) according to their record on the subject studied. The consultant will support the production of Innocenti Report Card 15 on the topic of equality of educational opportunity for children in rich countries by carrying out background research and (co-)authoring working papers, research briefs and journal articles; liaising with Report Card stakeholders within and outside UNICEF; and contributing to the production, release and dissemination of the Report Card.

Specific activities include:

•Survey data cleaning and analysis in Stata; producing figures and tables for Report Card 15; maintaining Excel databases of indicators, figures, data sources, etc. 
•Contributing to at least one background paper that will feed directly into the contents of Report Card 15, including micro-data analysis, preparation of figures and tables, sourcing the literature for the literature review, and drafting the text. 
•Contributing to the organization of and participating in two advisory board meetings; taking part in conference calls and webinars with Report Card stakeholders.
•Checking proofs of the Report Card; drafting country notes; responding to queries from the Communication team (e.g. fact checking all Report Card related promotional materials) and other stakeholders (including the media and the public).
•Dissemination of research findings including production of briefs, blogs and presentation at workshops, conferences and other events;

5.Qualifications and/or specialized knowledge/experience required and desirable for being included in the roster

a)quantitative streams: Transfer Project, Child Poverty and Report Card

At least a Master degree in statistics, economics, public policy or related field
Demonstrated experience at analysing large-scale household survey data, preferably in regard to children’s outcomes; experience with longitudinal data an asset
Ability to carry out statistical analyses autonomously
Excellent analytical skills and advanced quantitative skills
Ability to organize own work and to carry out a research project with limited supervision according to deadlines 
Ability to speak and write fluently in English
Excellent knowledge of Stata and other statistical packages
Willingness to undertake project-related travel

Desirable:
Current knowledge of key issues in international development policy, notably as these are related to multidimensional child poverty, social policies and development assistance
Experience with field work and data collection
Recent (high quality) publications on relevant topics 
Knowledge of fiscal incidence analysis
Experience of analysing data from international school-based surveys of student achievement (e.g. PISA, TIMMS, PIRLS).
Ability to work in a multi-cultural environment and establish harmonious and effective working relationships both within and outside the organisation.
Fluency in other languages, including non-UN languages

b)qualitative stream: Transfer Project

At least a Master degree in public policy, sociology, anthropology, public health or related field
Demonstrated experience at analysing diverse forms of qualitative data (participatory research, key informant interviews, focus groups), preferably in regard to children’s outcomes
Ability to carry out analyses autonomously, including hypothesis building and thematic analysis
Ability to organize own work and to carry out a research project with limited supervision according to deadlines 
Ability to speak and write fluently in English
Knowledge and competency in at least one qualitative analysis software (Nvivo, Atlas TI or others)
Willingness to undertake project-related travel

Desirable:
Current knowledge of key issues in international development policy, notably as these are related to social policies
Experience with field work and qualitative data collection (including development of interview guides and enumerator training) in developing settings such as sub-Saharan Africa or the Middle East 
Recent (high quality) qualitative or mixed-methods publications on relevant topics 
Ability to work in a multi-cultural environment and establish harmonious and effective working relationships both within and outside the organisation.
Fluency in other languages, including non-UN languages

6.Instructions for applicants

To apply, please submit your CV and an application cover letter indicating:

•availability (including start date and duration)
•preferred location of work (including your willingness to relocate to Florence)
•preferred work stream (Transfer Project: Quantitative or qualitative; Child Poverty or Report Card), note applicants can apply simultaneously to more than one work stream, 
•all-inclusive daily rate in $USD in the financial proposal tab
•contact details (including emails and telephone numbers) of two professional referees.

Any application missing these elements will not be considered.

To view our competency framework, please click here.

UNICEF is committed to diversity and inclusion within its workforce, and encourages qualified female and male candidates from all national, religious and ethnic backgrounds, including persons living with disabilities, to apply to become a part of our organisation.

How to apply:


UNICEF is committed to diversity and inclusion within its workforce, and encourages qualified female and male candidates from all national, religious and ethnic backgrounds, including persons living with disabilities, to apply to become a part of our organization. To apply, click on the following link http://www.unicef.org/about/employ/?job=508593
 
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