Communication in Humanitarian Action

UN Children's Fund, Panama City, Panama

Skill Required:, Research and AnalysisStrategic Alliances
Preferred Experience: 
5 years
Closing Date for Applications: 
24th May, 2018

Job Description



Communication in Humanitarian Action

Level of experience: Junior [ ] 1-3yrs Medium [X] 4-10yrs Senior [ ] more than 10yrs

Location: LACRO, Panama

Language(s) required: Fluency in Spanish and English. French, Portuguese or any other languages of LAC is an asset.

Closing date for applying to this consultancy: May 23, 2018

Estimated start date of this consultancy: June 2018 Estimated end date: November 2018


As per UNICEF/EMOPS guidance, Communication for Development is critical for humanitarian action results from several different angles:

  • Promoting lifesaving behaviours at family and community level including: hygiene and safe water treatment; safe infant and young child feeding practices; protection of children from violence including gender based violence; parental practices to reduce stress among children;
  • Accountability to affected populations on the scope and nature of the humanitarian action (which also contributes to Prevention of Sexual Exploitation and Abuse by humanitarian actors);
  • Engagement of affected populations as rights holders in defining needs and priorities, and in implementing and reviewing/assessing humanitarian action.

Justification for the above is well-established in various Inter-Agency references including

  • SPHERE standards which also draws on experience of the Humanitarian Accountability Partnership[1]
  • IASC Generic TORs for Cluster Coordinators[2]

The purpose of this consultancy is to strengthen the capacity of the Latin American and Caribbean Regional Office (LACRO) C4D section through development of a technical guidance for country offices. The guidance will be based on review of recent experiences, facilitation of country level workshops with focus on the specifics of the regional context with mid-level income countries, as well as documentation of field approaches in selected countries.




  • Goal and Objective: Under the supervision of the Regional C4D Advisor, C4D Section, the consultant will and in close collaboration with the Programme teams, will work closely with the Emergency, Health, WASH, Nutrition, Child Protection Education and Gender sectors and the Advocacy and Communication section to review and enhance LACRO behaviour and social change communication, social mobilization and advocacy activities in humanitarian contexts, with a particular attention to feedback mechanisms with affected populations. Special focus will be placed on most vulnerable groups such as young children, girls and children with disabilities.
  • Areas of the AWP to be covered: As a part of the implementation of the LAC Regional Office Management Plan 20118-21, this consultancy will cover the following 2018-2019 AWP: Output 5.5 Communication for Development: UNICEF Country Offices and their counterpart in LAC have increased their capacities in applying effective communication for development strategies according to UNICEF established C4D benchmarks, particularly the activity lines on emergency preparedness and response.
  • Activities and Tasks: This consultancy will cover the following areas:
  • Analyze existing regional experiences and regional and global tools related to C4D in emergency preparedness, prevention, response and recovery; including relevant tools from different cross-cutting strategies and issues (gender, adolescent participation, early childhood development, children with disability etc.)
  • Build the capacity of COs and LACRO to undertake research, analyze and equitably address the trends and dynamics of the issues/problems related to socio-cultural and behavioral dynamics in humanitarian contexts in LAC with attention to reach the most vulnerable and considering the inclusion of persons with disabilities as well as the cultural diversity in LAC including gender differences as well as indigenous groups, and Afro-descendants;
  • Provide technical assistance for selected country office to map most effective feedback mechanisms and C4D counterparts to collect data on social and behavioral barriers for emergency preparedness and response,
  • Provide technical assistance for how to strengthen systems for the participation of children, adolescents and their families in supporting preparedness, including e.g. digital platforms such as U-report and other platforms and community networks (e.g. youth networks, school councils, sports clubs teams);
  • Develop tools for analysis of knowledge, attitudes and practices or other social and behavioral barriers related to the emergency response; support counterparts to use digital and other platforms to obtain social data and feedback to improve emergency response, particularly considering accountability to the most vulnerable and affected;
  • Support minimum 2 workshops at country level with humanitarian actors to strengthen C4D approaches to emergency preparedness, with a focus on development of mechanisms and use of data to improve emergency planning; In coordination with COs, facilitate and guide the communication and social mobilization interventions of national and sub-national partners;
  • Generation of technical guidance with recommendations for C4D and feedback mechanisms in future emergency preparedness and response;
  • Provide Feedback to COs and Ros preparedness plans onboarded in the Emergency Preparedness Platform.
  • Be deployed during humanitarian crises to help COs develop and implement C4D in emergency plans and activities
  • Work relationships: The consultant will report to the Regional C4D Advisor in LACRO and will closely work with LACRO Emergency team as well as the C4D specialists and officers based in HQ and at country level. He/she will also interact with global and regional partners such as OCHA, UNHCR, CDAC, INGOs/NGOs and national and sub-national governments.




(Estimated # of days or months)


Schedule of payment

1. Regional review and country office analysis of C4D preparedness, response and recovery activities, including the Emergency Preparedness Platform (EPP)

4 Weeks

Monthly basis payment

2. Preparation of tools for mapping of feedback mechanisms and data collection related to behavioural and social barriers; development of training package for utilization of social data and development of strategies for communication in humanitarian action, taking in account accessibility criteria;

4 Weeks

Monthly basis payment

3. Pre-test of tools and training package in selected countries with different emergency scenarios; technical to country offices to prepare, co-facilitate and document workshops (minimum 2)

4 weeks

Monthly basis payment

4. COs oriented to effectively monitor and evaluate country offices emergency activities via applied communication research and M&E, disseminating communication research findings, ensuring exchanges of experience and new methods to government officials, programme staff and other UNICEF partners and humanitarian community.

4 weeks

Monthly basis payment

5. Technical guidance prepared with analysis and clear recommendations.

4 weeks

Monthly basis payment


As presented in the table above, there will be a total of 5 deliverables and corresponding monthly payments.


  • Advanced university degree in behavioural and/or social sciences (anthropology, sociology, psychology, social development, etc.)/ communication for development
  • Understanding of - or training in - current developments in the field of communication for development theory and research, participatory processes, media; as also strategic communication planning, behaviour analysis, formative research and evaluation
  • At least 5 years of solid work experience in C4D, 2-4 years in developing country contexts.
  • Experience in inter-disciplinary approaches in strategic communication and application of C4D strategies, tools and resources to address behavior and social change dimensions especially in crises.
  • Proven experience in application of C4D strategies, tools and resources to address behavior and social change dimensions of emergencies.
  • Experience of working in LAC Region would be an asset

Fluency in Spanish and English. French, Portuguese or any other languages of LAC is an asset.


  • Communicates effectively to varied audiences, including during formal public speaking.
  • Able to work effectively in a multi-cultural environment.
  • Sets high standards for quality of work and consistently achieves project goals.
  • Has good leadership and supervisory skills; co-ordinates group activities, ensuring that roles within the team are clear.
  • Translates strategic direction into plans and objectives.
  • Analyzes and integrates diverse and complex quantitative and qualitative data from a wide range of sources.
  • Quickly builds rapport with individuals and groups; maintains an effective network of individuals across organizational departments.
  • Identifies urgent and potentially difficult decisions and acts on them promptly; initiates and generates team- and department-wide activities.
  • Demonstrates, applies and shares expert technical knowledge across the organization.


  • The consultant will be provided administrative support to perform the tasks as per the TORs.
  • A computer may be provided, subject to availability.
  • Office space will be provided in the UNICEF LACRO
  • UNICEF LACRO together will provide support to the consultant to arrange travels to Panama.
  • Regular meetings with the supervisor of the consultancy.


  • The consultant is expected to work in Panama for five (5) months during the consultancy period of five (5) months. Exact timing to be based in Panama will be discussed and agreed upon.
  • As per UNICEF policy, payment is made against approved deliverables. No advance payment is allowed unless in exceptional circumstances against bank guarantee, subject to a maximum of 30 per cent of the total contract value in cases where advance purchases, for example for supplies or travel, may be necessary.

The candidate selected will be governed by and subject to UNICEF's General Terms and Conditions for individual contracts.


The consultant is expected to produce several reports based on information and feedback to be gathered from partners and Country Offices It takes time. In order to manage the time, the C4D Section will send a clear message when soliciting information and feedback and closely follow up to receive timely response, so that the consultant can deliver all the deliverables in time.


Qualified candidates are requested to submit a cover letter, CV, and signed P11 form (which can be downloaded at

Interested consultants to indicate ability, availability and rate (daily/ monthly) to undertake the terms of reference.

Applications submitted without a fee/ rate will not be considered.

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


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