Consultancy: Consultant, Evidence review of cash plus approaches targeting adolescents – HIV-Health Section, PG, NYHQ/Remote – Req # 546465

Organization: UNICEF - United Nations Children’s Fund

The consultant will review the evidence on interventions targeted to adolescents in sub-Saharan Africa using a “bundled” approach that combines health and economic strengthening components, in order to address the multidimensional vulnerabilities related to the safe transition to adulthood.

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Consultancy Title: Evidence review of cash plus approaches targeting adolescents

Section/Division/Duty Station: HIV-Health/Programme Group/New York Headquarters (remote based)

Duration: working days to be spread over six months



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. UNICEF has over 12,000 staff in more than 145 countries.


Leveraging the expansion of social protection programmes worldwide during COVID-19, the recently adopted Global AIDS Strategy 2021-2026 contains for the first time a separate results area on social protection. However, over the years, HIV-sensitive social protection approaches have only been implemented in selected countries, often as demonstration models, without systematic application as a core strategy to achieving HIV targets. Although most studies have not evaluated the direct impacts of social protection programmes on HIV outcomes such as incident infection, many have found positive impacts on the drivers of infection or poor treatment outcomes through pathways such as increased school attendance, food security, and resilience to economic shocks among the poorest. Recent studies of intersectoral “cash plus” approaches – that combine cash transfer programmes with complementary interventions or linkages to services in the recognition that sometimes cash is “not enough” to address multiple vulnerabilities – have demonstrated the potential of positive, synergistic impacts across a range of HIV, health, livelihood and well-being related indicators, in particular in adolescents.

High rates of new infections and poor adherence to treatment and retention in care are particular concerns among adolescents and young people, especially in sub-Saharan Africa where 89% of all adolescents living with HIV (X% girls) globally were located in 2020 (UNAIDS 2021 HIV Estimates). The transition from adolescence to adulthood brings significant social, health and economic risks, which include risk of school dropout, a lack of economic opportunities or decent work conditions, early marriage and pregnancy, sexually transmitted infections such as HIV, and gender-based violence, abuse and exploitation. However, this is also one of the best points in the life cycle to intervene to break the cycle of poverty and vulnerability and empower adolescents and young people to reach their full potential.

In order to do this, evidence suggests that asset building frameworks, which develop adolescents’ and young people’s financial, social and health assets or capabilities, are critical. Building on this premise, the HIV section, in collaboration with Social Policy and the Office of Research – Innocenti, seeks a consultant to perform an evidence review of cash plus or ‘bundled’ approaches targeting adolescents, which combine health and economic strengthening components. The review should summarize the evidence, and based thereon, provide concrete recommendations for stakeholders at country level on how to integrate intersectoral approaches targeting adolescents into existing social protection programmes.

Terms of Reference / Deliverables

The consultant will review the evidence on interventions targeted to adolescents in sub-Saharan Africa using a “bundled” approach that combines health and economic strengthening components, in order to address the multidimensional vulnerabilities related to the safe transition to adulthood. Specific outcomes to be studied will be discussed with the consultant and agreed upon by UNICEF’s HIV team (in consultation with focal points from Social Policy, Health, Gender and Adolescent Development and Participation), but could include outcomes such as HIV testing, treatment uptake, adherence and retention, sexual debut, transactional sex, number of partners, condom use, violence, and school attendance. While UNICEF’s focus and entry points are national or sub-national government-led social protection / cash transfer programmes, the review will include non-governmental programmes. Based on the findings of the evidence review, the consultant will make recommendations on how governments could make existing social protection programmes more adolescent- and gender-sensitive with impacts on a wide range of outcomes across HIV, health, well-being and beyond. The findings and recommendations of the evidence review will be documented in a report and a shorter research/policy brief.

The consultant will thus be responsible for the following tasks:

  1. In consultation with UNICEF’s intersectoral team, develop detailed research proposal that outlines methodology, research instrument, outcomes to be studied and a draft outline of the final report and brief
  2. Submit first draft of report for review and feedback
  3. Incorporate feedback and submit second draft of report for last round of comments and feedback. Based on the report findings, recommendations, and target audience, develop first draft of brief for feedback.
  4. Incorporate feedback and finalize report and brief


1) Education

  • PhD within one of the following disciplines: Public/Global Health, Gender Studies, Demography, Public Policy, Political Science, Economics or related field within the social sciences.

2) Work experience:

  • Min. 10 years of relevant research experience
  • Prior experience with UNICEF is a significant advantage

3) Competencies

  • Track record of publications within social policy and health as well as policy- and practitioner-oriented knowledge products
  • Demonstrated expertise within multi-sectoral social protection approaches, including HIV-sensitive social protection


  • Completed profile in UNICEF’s e-Recruitment system and provide Personal History Form (P11) Upload copy of academic credentials
  • Research proposal
  • Financial proposal that will include:
  • Your daily rate and total assignment fee (in US$) to undertake the terms of reference.

    • travel costs and daily subsistence allowance, if internationally recruited or travel is required as per TOR.
    • Any other estimated costs: visa, health insurance, and living costs as applicable.
    • Indicate your availability.
  • Any emergent / unforeseen duty travel and related expenses will be covered by UNICEF.
  • At the time the contract is awarded, the selected candidate must have in place current health insurance coverage.
  • Payment of professional fees will be based on submission of agreed satisfactory deliverables. UNICEF reserves the right to withhold payment in case the deliverables submitted are not up to the required standard or in case of delays in submitting the deliverables on the part of the consultant.

U.S. Visa information:

With the exception of the US Citizens, G4 Visa and Green Card holders, should the selected candidate and his/her household members reside in the United States under a different visa, the consultant and his/her household members are required to change their visa status to G4, and the consultant’s household members (spouse) will require an Employment Authorization Card (EAD) to be able to work, even if he/she was authorized to work under the visa held prior to switching to G4.  

Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted and advance to the next stage of the selection process

For every Child, you demonstrate…

UNICEF’s core values of Commitment, Diversity and Integrity and core competencies in Communication, Working with People and Drive for Results. View our competency framework at: Here

UNICEF is committed to diversity and inclusion within its workforce, and encourages all candidates, irrespective of gender, race, sexual orientation, nationality, culture, appearance, socio-economic status, ability, age, religious, and ethnic backgrounds, to apply to become a part of the organization.

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, therefore, undergo rigorous reference and background checks, and will be expected to adhere to these standards and principles.

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