Early Childhood Development Consultant

UN Children's Fund, Lebanon

Skill Required:, Policy/ Advocacy and Campaign
Preferred Experience: 
7 to 10 Year
Closing Date for Applications: 
21st September, 2019

Job Description

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.

For every child, an Advocate

Globally, ECD refers to the physical, psychological and cognitive development of a child from the prenatal period to 8 years old. Targeting this age group is particularly important because children who do not receive adequate nurturing care tend to have lowered cognitive and psychosocial outcomes which lead to the long-term consequences such as dropping out of school. While underlying causes perpetuate vicious cycle of poverty and inequity, there is a compelling evidence that benefits derived from ECD investments far outweigh costs.

In the context of Lebanon, it is estimated that there are around 20 per cent of young children aged 0 to 5 but the results by the outcomes for young children according to key global indicators in areas of health, WASH, nutrition, child protection and education are not optimal. The timely immunization of children under 2 years remains challenging, and the rates of illness among children aged 0-5 years vary by geography and nationality. In terms of child protection, the age-group most exposed to physically violent discipline is the 3-4 years group. When it comes to education, 11 NGOs offer services to only around 3200 children aged 3-5 years Furthermore, most of the interventions remain ad-hoc basis due to the absence of national ECD strategy and UNICEF LCO is supporting the government of Lebanon to develop the strategy and implementation plan with the coordination mechanism.

In parallel to this, UNICEF LCO plans to develop the ECD strategy for the country office where implementation plan is clearly mapped. Given the nature of ECD as cross-cutting area, Communication for Development (C4D) section serves as the coordination role within LCO working closely with programme sections such as Health& Nutrition, Education, Child Protection and Youth.
While the strategy aims to cover children from 0 to 5, the implementation will put particular focus on addressing the existing gaps. Our assumption is that there are limited interventions and data between children 0 to 3 years old. Another gap is limited capacity building programmes for adolescent parents, not only caregivers.

Names, roles and responsibilities of other partners involved;
UNICEF LCO ECD focal points in each section, Other UN agencies (WHO, UNESCO, UNFPA, World Bank. Etc), Government of Lebanon (Ministry of Social Affairs, Ministry of Public Health, Ministry of Education and Higher Education), Civil Society Organisations (NGO, INGO, faith-based organisations), private sector

How can you make a difference?

The ECD consultant will be responsible for:

Develop ECD strategy and implementation plan for UNICEF LCO

  • Conduct a desk review and simple mapping/analysis on ECD interventions in Lebanon.
  • Review identified gaps, opportunities and priorities on ECD.
  • In close consultation with UNICEF, WHO, related line ministries and HCC implementation partners develop LCO ECD strategy.
  • Development of the strategy should be through a consultative process, including key stakeholder such as related line ministries, HCC, UN agencies and partner meetings and dialogues. The strategy should be grounded on a life-cycle approach, Nurturing Care Framework (NCF) and social and behavioral change communication theory and in line with the National Strategy for Early Childhood Development in Lebanon 2016-2020.
  • Develop tools that help to inform the new Country Programme Document such as situation analysis, assessment of readiness of services and identification of gaps with PRIME and programmes.
  • Develop implementation plan that covers children from 0 to 5 based on the strategy including a budget plan and Monitoring & Evaluation Framework.
  • Prepare and present the final strategy to UNICEF and WHO, and MoSA (HCC) as well as other relevant line ministries.
  • Revise and / or develop advocacy materials on ECD for the sub-national level.

To qualify as an advocate for every child you will have:

  • An advanced degree in public health, communication, development or social studies with proven experience in the field of early childhood development (health, education, child protection), social norms change and strong experience of strategy development.
  • *A first-level university degree in a relevant field combined with ten years of professional experience may be accepted in lieu of an advanced university degree.
  • Minimum 8 years of experience in developing ECD programming including development of ECD strategies especially in middle income countries.
  • Ability to produce high standard deliverables in English and Arabic (added advantage).
  • Previous experience in working in close collaboration, networking with government counterparts and stakeholders for ECD.
  • Good analytical and communication skills.
  • Experience having worked in a middle-income country and Arabic speaking will be an added advantage.
  • Partnership with local consultant who understands context will be added advantage.


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