Switzerland: Individual Consultant – Remote Field Support Officer / Help Desk / Convener for Community of practices

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Apr 062018

Organization: UN Children’s Fund
Country: Switzerland
Closing date: 12 Apr 2018

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.

1. Background:

The global Child Protection Area of Responsibility (AoR) is the global level forum for coordination of child protection activities in humanitarian settings as part of the broader Global Protection Cluster (GPC). The group brings together NGOs, UN agencies, academics and other partners under the shared objective of ensuring more predictable, accountable and effective child protection responses in emergencies. The mandate of the CP AoR is to ensure quality and coverage of child protection services through inter agency coordination, headed by UNICEF, the cluster lead agency.

The Child Protection AoR, along with Nutrition, Wash and Education clusters, provides a help desk function to augment deployable field support. Remote support is provided to members of coordination groups on technical issues, linking practitioners to resources and peer to peer support. CP AoR Annual Surveys in 2016 and 2017 of field level coordination groups indicate consistently high levels of appreciation for the outreach and support.

Since the inception of the role, there have been significant refinements and advancements in the role. Recently instigated tracking of requests is being compiled in a quarterly update to identify global gaps in technical guidance and direct resources to locations most in need in order to boost efficiency. The help desk is then able to rapidly initiate a process of developing interim guidance to fill the gap. This was done, for example in 2017, in response to an identified gap in guidance for mobile programming, relevant to settings of mass displacement due to conflict. Responding in such a way is critical to UNICEF meeting cluster lead responsibilities and demonstrating leadership.

Advancements have also included the establishment of language specific sub help desks to reach colleagues at regional levels who make up the majority of coordination groups, working in languages other than English. This is critical to reach local actors who are providing the majority of services. Arabic, Spanish and French help desks are being established, housed in local organizations and linked to UNICEF regional offices, for example in Colombia and Lebanon. This represents a global-led initiative to extend the reach and support of child protection services.

The Global Help Desk will continue responding to global requests directly, which account for 25% of requests received. In addition day-to-day coaching and technical support will be provided to the regional help desks on all requests received, with due to significantly increase in terms of both number of countries as well as those who can access this service. Currently, national-level Country Coordinators in HC and some early warning contexts access the help desk; however, the language-specific help desks will widen the target audience to CP Coordination Group members at the national and sub-national level (average 40- 60 WG members per country) and include additional early warning countries where there will be greater focus on preparedness. The Global Help Desk will also facilitate and follow up on global referrals from language-specific help desks to global networks.

2. Expected results:

The purpose of this consultancy is to consolidate the position of the established Help Desk within the global level CP AoR team to provide field based child protection coordinators and coordination groups with technical assistance, mentoring, training and knowledge management services. Greater results and impact are expected as the help desk moves to a new level of global coverage and technical support, including rapid response to technical gaps identified through analysis, increased global reach to local actors, and an upgrade of communications mechanisms such as the UNICEF managed global website. The following expected results include details on tasks to be undertaken, although the evolving nature of this work and the high level of experience and expertise of the consultant may mean that, on the consultant’s or the CP AoR’s recommendation, tasks are modified or added, on mutual agreement.


1. Engage the field-based coordinators and IMOs in peer to peer support, discussions and sharing of best practices through the Child Protection AoR Community of Practice (CoP)

  • Define the purpose, audience and goals of CP AoR Community of Practice and regularly assess if it is accomplishing its stated purpose
  • Facilitate the community of practice for field-based child protection coordinators and Information Managers through existing communication channels (google group, skype group and others); if other communication channels are required, liaise with the CP AoR Coordinators for approval – this will be maintained for some time after the language-specific help desks are first launched in mid 2018.
  • Provide tailored support for individual requests received through the Global Help Desk, including responses that require in-depth technical support, creating connections for peers/colleagues across countries to peer learning, assistance in locating and applying global guidance and country level examples, and other forms of support. Ensure coordination with the CP AoR RRT Regional Focal Point on requests.
  • Keep track of various learning opportunities and share F2F and online opportunities through the community of practice and with local help desks and support local help desks in becoming more integrated in learning opportunities for their language and/or within their region
  • For long term support identified through the Community of Practice, divert the requested support to the regional focal points and /or the Alliance WG/TF as applicable 
  • Maintain a log of the requests; conduct analysis of the inquiries’ nature and trends as well as gaps in available guidance, and, on a regular basis, present the key findings to the CP AoR Coordinators
  • Maintain the list of potential child protection coordinators, working closely with the RRT and CP AoR coordinators and add the new CP coordinators in the google group membership if there is an interest.
  • In order to ensure field coordination group needs and wishes are taken into account, promote field to global feedback on global guidance and act as liaison between global working group and field coordination groups to promote streamlined communication. Participate in and/or ensure familiarity with working groups/task forces, to stay up-to-date with and/or feed into global / regional initiatives, work plans, new resource development and roll-out, etc… in order to increase field – global connections and awareness.
  • 2. Train, coach, mentor, and supervise four local help desks in day-to-day as well as longer-term functions, such as strategic planning and evaluation:

  • In conjunction with the local help desks and regional offices, develop an information sheet and advertising scheme to launch the local help desks
  • Conduct help desk orientations for the 2 new help desks to start up later in 2018 (Spanish and Arabic have been trained in March & April 2018)
  • Develop improved request log tracking sheet for use by local help desks
  • Provide technical support, coaching, and oversight to language-specific help desks (4) on individual requests received through their help desk by reviewing draft responses, with particularly close monitoring and support in the first 3 – 6 months as help desks develop / become more familiar with the role, resources, networks, etc.
  • Provide outline of necessary report content and support each local help desk in organizing and completing their monthly analysis and report, providing feedback on successes and areas for improvement. On a regular basis, review analysis with each local help desk and relevant RRT regional focal point to determine learning and development needs for coordination groups per country/region.
  • Support local help desks in maintaining their language-specific and/or regional contact lists, with local coordination actors and CPiE experts.
  • Provide oversight and technical support to the Arabic, English (covering Southeast Asia, the Pacific, and East and Southern Africa), French, and Spanish Help Desks in organizing and maintaining their language-specific, decentralized communities of practice forums
  • Collaborate with the help desks to design newsletters and other news updates for use at the local level
  • Facilitate monthly calls with all four help desks to review successes and challenges across the help desks
  • Organize quarterly calls with the four help desks, help desk organization supervisors, and CP AoR team members to review and assess progress to date, identifying any recommendations or modifications per help desk
  • Assist with the design of a mid-project evaluation
  • 3. The Help Desk consultant will need to coordinate with a Web Design Consultant on revamping the existing Child Protection AoR website to promote greater user-friendliness, accessibility, and visibility of the CP AoR’s and UNICEF’s initiatives, products, and support to coordination groups. The new website is critical to ensure UNICEF delivers support services globally, including to local actors.

  • In collaboration with CP AoR Team, create and/or edit new written and visual content for the new websit
  • Update outdated but relevant content from the current websit
  • Develop and provide oversight on the website layout and feature
  • Re-organize and re-tag/classify essential resources and ensure linkages with existing resource centres
  • Collaborate with the Education Cluster to promote coherence across UNICEF-supported Clusters
  • Maintain the website upon completion of the new website by posting new resources, RRT mission highlights and achievements, country statistics and publications, learning opportunities, job opportunities, and other relevant content – after receiving approval from CP AoR Coordinator
  • Create, write, and disseminate the CP AoR Newsletter
  • 4. Support and/or manage the organization of high-quality training

  • Support the organization aspect of a training for coordinators, with content to be provided by the full AoR team, including the help desk
  • Support the organization of the CP AoR Retreat, including agenda-setting and facilitation support
  • In coordination with RRT Coordinators and IMOs, update, maintain and promote the starter pack for child protection coordinators
  • Provide recommendations on ways to address learning needs identified through help desk analysis of global and language-specific help desks, coordinating with CP AoR and other global thematic experts
  • 5. Support to the 2018 Annual Survey work

  • Lead the refinement and editing of the 2018 survey questions, working with the CP AoR team to get their inputs
  • Upload the final survey to the survey Monkey in English and French
  • Clean the data of the Annual Survey (requesting the Coordinators for correction) and compile the results of the 2018 Annual Survey
  • Present the survey results and analysis
  • Draft the final report of the survey
  • 6. Development of interim technical guidance when thematic global gap areas have been identified, while awaiting more formal guidance developed by the Alliance.  This will be similar to the Mobile Programming Key Considerations developed in 2017 and involves collaboration with field-based coordination groups and language-specific help desks.  This is critical to UNICEF fulfilling its role as cluster lead agency on child protection.

  • Based on identified gaps within the help desk analysis at both global and local levels, collaborate with relevant coordination groups and global bodies to develop interim resource compendiums and/or key considerations based on promising practices to date
  • Ensure translation in core languages and disseminate, tracking feedback receive
  • 3. Required qualifications and competencies:

    This term of reference requires the consultant to have very specific areas of knowledge and experience, along with key competencies. Both are outlined in the first list below:


  • At least 8 years of experience in child protection in emergencies programming or child protection in emergencies coordination or related fields.
  • Experience of designing and delivering training.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills
  • Fluency in English
  • Excellent understanding of the humanitarian architecture at global and field level and the transformative agenda
  • Proven ability to work independently and deliver results.
  • Excellent communication skills.
  • Proven coaching and mentoring skills
  • Familiarity with the work, working methods, and members of the CP AoR
  • Desirable

  • Established relationships with field based coordinators of child protection in several key emergency affected settings
  • Experience of coordination of child protection responses
  • Experience in designing and implementing knowledge management initiatives for the humanitarian sector
  • Experience in strategic planning, preferably in the area of capacity building
  • Experience of working in an NGO in a child protection or child protection coordination capacity
  • Experience of facilitation of child protection and child protection coordination training to interagency groups
  • Timeframe:

    Start date: 01 May 2018 (desirable) End date: 31 January 2019


    The consultant will be paid at an agreed monthly rate for 9 months (average of 21 days/month).

    Instructions for applicants:

    Please include a full CV and Financial Proposal to undertake the terms ofreference above. The financial proposal should be presented as a monthly rate (in US$). Applications submitted without a monthly rate will not be considered. Also, please mention the earliest date you can start. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

    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.

    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

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