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Purpose of Activity/Assignment:
South Sudan has emerged following decades of war and conflict. Soon after independence it fell back into a bloody and fractious civil war that has scarred the nation and left a weak and fragile protective environment. As in all wars, violence is the fundamental mechanism by which power is exercised. In South Sudan violence, or the threat of violence, remains ever present in the home, in the community, at schools, on the street, and in the instruments of government. The social norms and protective strategies that people have relied upon for survival through half a century of armed conflict remain dominant. Within this context, there is a youth bulge with 57% of the population under the age of 18, most of whom have lived through multiple traumatic events and been engaged in conflict themselves.
The perpetuation of grave child rights violations, including the abduction, murder and rape of women and children by young men is a major concern. The proliferation of armed gangs is fueling instability and ethnic conflict that threatens to derail developments towards peace and stability. Adolescent boys and girls grow up in a society that is devoid of economic opportunities, where violent and abusive gender behaviors are normalized (over 50% of women are married before 18) and conflicts are resolved through violence.
UNICEF has been piloting and researching interventions aimed at improving wellbeing and resilience amongst conflict affected youth. One intervention, piloted successfully in South Africa and Somalia, introduces a five-pillar coaching methodology that delivers structured mental health interventions. Founded on the underlying reality that mental health support to trauma affected youth is complex and relies upon caring/loving and professional support between the survivor of violence and the practitioner/social worker/facilitator, the five-pillar methodology has isolated vital components which are strengthened through training, mentoring and coaching sessions. Evidence has shown that well-being is maximized when the following elements are vibrant in an intervention:
1. Meaningful social connections – peer to peer and peer to coach;
2. Physical and emotional safe spaces – adult relationships must be safe and nurturing, physical spaces must be non-threatening and peaceful;
3. Interventions must be fun, consistently provided, and they must be diverse enough to engage and maintain interest – joy and laughter is absolutely essential for healthy growth and development of young people;
4. Social and emotional skills are not natural – and in conflict affected children socially malevolent coping mechanisms are frequently present, which must be replaced with healthy life affirming emotional regulation and relationship skills;
5. Refer and connect to other services – the intervention is not enough, there must be an ecosystem of interventions available to support vocational, educational, social growth and development.
Main Duties and Responsibilities:
This consultancy contributes to three objectives:
i) To support UNICEF and its civil society partners to build a model reintegration programme that can be brought to scale in South Sudan;
ii) To train, coach and mentor national staff in implementation of the reintegration model;
iii) To introduce new thinking and scalable initiatives that can be delivered in a cost-effective manner to extremely vulnerable and hard to reach adolescents and young people.
Scope of Work:
Main tasks and deliverables related to the consultancy:
1. Develop a concept note detailing an innovative mental health and psychosocial support approach reflective of a modern approach on mental health and brain development for children and youth deprived of their childhood.
2. Lead the development of innovative activities in a safe space that enhance meaningful relational practice amongst similar age peers and with their mentors or coaches.
3. Identify approaches that effectively support children with mental health issues, such as depression, anxiety and complex trauma, resulting from continued exposure to the conflict, to develop a recovery path that is scientifically robust and can be monitored and documented over time.
4. Develop an innovative five-pillar methodology , which enhances well-being and self-efficacy by establishing emotional and physical safe spaces, providing diverse sports and recreational activities and building therapeutic relationships between peers and trusted adults.
5. Lead planning and implementation of physical sports activities (football, basketball, volleyball, and yoga) that channel the energy and adrenaline of young people and promote growth, learning and personal development, confidence/self-esteem, communication, empathy, coping with emotions, leadership, trust, negotiation, and team building, and provide a sustainable alternative, particularly (but not exclusively) for male youth, who have experienced sustained and immense surges of adrenaline through combat-related activities, as well as continuous exposure to conflict.
6. Establish connections with external agencies, including youth-driven organizations, who use boxing, skating, football, hip-hop, dance, art and music as therapeutic entry points for overcoming trauma.
7. Plan and lead trainings on the five-pillar methodology targeting UNICEF, implementing partners, inspirators and social workers.
8. Develop arts-based activities, including theatre/drama, poetry, music and dance, and painting/drawing centred around eight key themes (identity and belonging, trust and understanding, empathy and acceptance, and forgiveness and reconciliation) to build social cohesion. Activities will leverage rich South Sudanese cultural traditions, such as poetry, storytelling, theatre, music and dance, and art to create a conducive environment for different social groups to build trust.
9. Document in collaboration with UNICEF the process of developing an innovative multi-disciplinary reintegration programme in South Sudan to be published as a peer reviewed journal article.
Minimum Qualifications required:
Master’s degree or higher in the social sciences (i.e., sociology, psychology, political science, social policy or economics), International Law, public health, public policy, public administration, international development, or in an area relevant to UNICEF’s sectoral work
• At least 5 years of progressively responsible professional experience and demonstrated track record of having undertaken and led substantive programming and research on Mental Health and Psychosocial Support, Youth and development, Gender-Based Violence, Youth development and other key areas that are the focus of UNICEF.
• Good analytical and writing skills, and the ability to present the results in a simple language, making use of visual aids (maps, graphs, and other visual tools).
• Proven experience in organizing and managing sports events for deprived children.
• Ability to facilitate training sessions with local authorities and maintain confidentiality.
• Demonstrated ability to work in a multi-cultural environment and establish harmonious and effective working relationships both within and outside the organization.
• Experience in project management is desirable.
Fluency in English. Fluency in another UN language is an asset.
All applications must be submitted with detailed financial and technical proposal
Payment will be done upon delivery of key task and submission of all necessary reports as stipulated in the detailed in the vacancy announcement.
To view our competency framework, please visit here.
UNICEF is here to serve the world’s most disadvantaged children and our global workforce must reflect the diversity of those children. The UNICEF family is committed to include everyone, irrespective of their race/ethnicity, age, disability, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, nationality, socio-economic background, or any other personal characteristic.
UNICEF offers reasonable accommodation for consultants/individual contractors with disabilities. This may include, for example, accessible software, travel assistance for missions or personal attendants. We encourage you to disclose your disability during your application in case you need reasonable accommodation during the selection process and afterwards in your assignment.
UNICEF has a zero-tolerance policy on conduct that is incompatible with the aims and objectives of the United Nations and UNICEF, including sexual exploitation and abuse, sexual harassment, abuse of authority and discrimination. UNICEF also adheres to strict child safeguarding principles. All selected candidates will be expected to adhere to these standards and principles and will therefore undergo rigorous reference and background checks. Background checks will include the verification of academic credential(s) and employment history. Selected candidates may be required to provide additional information to conduct a background check.
Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted and advance to the next stage of the selection process.
Individuals engaged under a consultancy or individual contract will not be considered “staff members” under the Staff Regulations and Rules of the United Nations and UNICEF’s policies and procedures, and will not be entitled to benefits provided therein (such as leave entitlements and medical insurance coverage). Their conditions of service will be governed by their contract and the General Conditions of Contracts for the Services of Consultants and Individual Contractors. Consultants and individual contractors are responsible for determining their tax liabilities and for the payment of any taxes and/or duties, in accordance with local or other applicable laws.
The selected candidate is solely responsible to ensure that the visa (applicable) and health insurance required to perform the duties of the contract are valid for the entire period of the contract. Selected candidates are subject to confirmation of fully-vaccinated status against SARS-CoV-2 (Covid-19) with a World Health Organization (WHO)-endorsed vaccine, which must be met prior to taking up the assignment. It does not apply to consultants who will work remotely and are not expected to work on or visit UNICEF premises, programme delivery locations or directly interact with communities UNICEF works with, nor to travel to perform functions for UNICEF for the duration of their consultancy contracts.
Advertised: 02 Feb 2023 E. Africa Standard Time
Deadline: 16 Feb 2023 E. Africa Standard Time
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