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For every child, hope
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is now the second largest Gulf economy after Saudi Arabia. The State has ensured a better quality of life for its people, through diverse development policies and processes launched in all areas of life leading to rapid economic and social growth in all sectors. To translate economic assets into social benefits for the people, the political leadership has invested its resources in developing the country’s human capital resulting in a higher standard of living for society. Where required, positive legislation, policies and strategies were adopted.
The national development framework for the UAE comprises Vision 2021 and sectoral strategies and plans at the Federal and Emirate levels. Vision 2021 offers an ambitious guide for the UAE’s progress toward a productive and fulfilling future for citizens and residents in a competitive and resilient economy, ‘fuelled by a vigorous entrepreneurial spirit’. The overall aim is to sustain the transition from hydrocarbon-based wealth to greater economic diversification and sustainable development, with a focus on cohesive families, strong and active communities, enriched human capital, and a knowledge-based economy. For example, a key target of Vision 2021 is to increase the country’s HDI rank from 42nd to amongst the top 10 out of 188 countries and territories.
The UAE is a signatory to the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC, 1997) , the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW, 2004), the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD, 2010), and the Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and its protocol to stop trafficking in persons, especially women and children (Trafficking Protocol, 2009). In addition, the UAE has adopted the 2030 United Nation’s Agenda for Sustainable Development.
United Arab Emirates has strong and solid achievements in the field of child rights. In 2017, the UAE launched two national strategies, the National Strategy for Motherhood and Childhood, and the Strategic Plan for children with disabilities (CWD) after the Cabinet office of UAE adopted them on the 22nd March 2017. Both strategies were prepared by the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood (SCMC) and UNICEF Gulf Area Office (GAO). The development of the strategies had been informed by international standards including the Convention of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the Convention on the Rights of the Child. In addition, they are fully aligned with UAE’s VISION 2021 and with the UAE Child Rights Law “Wadeema Law”.
The current Motherhood and Childhood strategy and the strategy on Children with disabilities are nearing its end this year. It is proposed that an evaluation of the existing strategies be undertaken and the process used to develop the drafts of the new strategies for the next five years.
This will be undertaken through a very consultative process bringing together various stakeholders, in particular different ministries.
Highlights of the current strategies:
The National Childhood and Motherhood Strategy while ensuring an overall focus on child rights had specific focus on the following issues:
- Health, Survival and Safe Life;
- Education, Development and Capacity Building;
- Child Protection;
- Participation and Partnerships.
The strategy on Children with Disabilities, which followed a situational analysis of the issue, sought to address the following:
• The lack of unified definitions, classification system, quality standards and comprehensive data base for CWD.
• The lack of an overall umbrella body that represents the main stakeholders and is responsible for coordination, monitoring & review and aligning policies and plans with the CRPD and CRC principles.
• The lack of human resources and allocated financial resources necessary to provide quality services that covers all CWD living in all UAE communities.
• The lack of effective participation of CWD and their families and organizations in planning, implementation, monitoring & review, making choices and control of support and services.
The review is being undertaken in the last quarter of 2021, as the current strategy concludes and will spill over to first quarter of 2022, with the launch of the new strategy proposed for March 2022.
How can you make a difference?
The purpose of the consultancy is to support the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Chilldhood (SCMC) to undertake a review of the current strategies and develop the draft of the new strategy.
This formative and summative review is intended to examine the extent of high-level, national government efforts to implement the existing strategy. This exercise would also lay the foundation for the broad outlines for the new strategic plan.
It would be a very participatory exercise, with participation of children and adolescents ensured and with a strong focus on gender and human rights. Relying on secondary data, the research would review existing information sources, such as monitoring systems. Key considerations include adequate number of meetings, consultations, workshops with different groups of stakeholders, key points of interaction with a steering committee, process for verification of findings with key stakeholders, presentation of preliminary findings and recommendations.
It needs to be noted that this review is undertaken at a time when a national situational analysis is being undertaken in the country. This exercise would draw from the findings of the Sitan and would operationalize the findings of the sitan.
For the formative research component for the new strategies, the SDG Goals and targets would be the reference point, along with other national policies and commitments.
There will be a focus on Key Performance Indicators already identified in the strategies and how each of the entities are doing in terms of meeting those indicators, identify gaps and address them in the upcoming strategies.
Consistent with global guidelines, the review would consider the following key dimensions:
- To what extent was the strategy aligned with the overall priorities of the country? How did different emirates go about implementing the priorities identified.? Were the results delivered as planned? What are the key successes and gaps?
- To what extent were high level national government efforts and resources used to meet the goals of the national strategy?
- To what extent did governmental actors consider alternative methods of programme delivery and successfully identify the most effective delivery method in the country?
- To what extent were national capacities to meet the goals outlined in the current strategy? Were there a section on capacities required to deliver the results?
- Who and how many people did these initiatives reach (disaggregated by geographic location, gender, and other relevant demographic considerations)?
- To what extent are national and emirates level entities coordinated in their service delivery?
- Which of the initiatives show a good potential to develop impact and could be identified scale up nationally.
- To what extent are achievements under the strategy sustainable?
- What indications are there that the results will be sustained, e.g., through requisite capacities (systems, structures, staff, etc.)?
- To what extent are policy and regulatory frameworks in place that will support the continuation of benefits?
- To what extent have partners committed to providing continuing support?
- To what extent are government entities taking gender into consideration in the implementation of the strategy
- To what extent are cross-cutting issues (human rights, gender equality, youth, climate change) effectively integrated into programme designs and implementation of the strategic plan?
- One of the key determinants of review utilization is the extent to which clients and stakeholders are meaningfully involved in the review process. It is expected that this review will be participatory, involving both internal and external key stakeholders.
· How did the strategy take into account the plight and needs of the vulnerable and disadvantaged to promote social equity, for example, women, youth, disabled children?
The review of both the strategies would involve the following:
- Desk review of programmes and services by different government and non-governmental entities that contribute to achieving the goals in the current strategies. Online questionnaire will be shared with key ministries to complete and provide input on their contributions to both strategies.
- At least 8 Interviews with officials and stakeholders, in particular entities identified in the strategies, including MOE/Emirates School Establishment, MOHAP, MOCD, MOI and others.
- Focus group discussions with children/adolescents, in particular those groups that represent diverse groups of children, including children from SCMC’s children’s council. Approximately 6 FGDs will need to be conducted for the review and planning process. Opportunities will be explored to run a survey to hear the voices of children and adolescents through social media platforms.
- At least 4 Consultations with service providers. There will be a focus on service providers that have a significant role when it comes to children with disabilities, such as education and health care providers.
- Steering Committee: SCMC has recently constituted a steering committee that would oversee the UAE Situational Analysis of children. It is proposed that the same committee be involved in the review of these strategies. The process will be led by SCMC.
Specific focus on the strategy on children with disabilities
The methodology on the strategy on children with disabilities will have additional considerations especially in terms of obtaining the voices of children and families with disabilities. Additional expertise may be drawn in to support the process.
- Desk research of existing and ongoing initiatives through reviewing programme documents available with SCMC, different ministries and other entities at emirate level an analysis of the online questionnaire.
- Conduct interviews, focus group discussions and consultations with various stakeholders including children and adolescents on gaining more insight into past, ongoing and upcoming initiatives.
- Validate the initial findings through a participatory workshop that include representation from all relevant ministries.
- Produce final drafts reports of review of both the strategies
- Drafts of the new strategies for the period 2022 to 2026 (30th January 2022)
- Final strategies for the next phase 25th February 2022
To qualify as an advocate for every child you will have…
The lead research agency or a team of 2 researchers are expected to have candidates with following qualifications:
- Advanced degree in the social sciences (sociology, anthropology, development studies), Economics/Statistics or related fields relevant for the assignment;
- At least 10 years of relevant professional experience in research, evaluations, especially formative and summative research. One of the researchers will need to have at least 5 years of professional experience in policy and programme work focused on children with disabilities.
- Institutional knowledge of the UN and UNICEF is preferred;
- Excellent facilitation and coordination skills;
- Knowledge and Demonstrated experience with Human Rights Based Approach to Programming (HRBAP);
- Sound understanding of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
- Proven experience in writing analytical papers on children’s issues; including in child and adolescent participation.
- Familiarity with UAE’s current national development priorities and challenges;
- At least one researcher should be fluent in Arabic.
For every Child, you demonstrate…
UNICEF’s values of Care, Respect, Integrity, Trust, and Accountability (CRITA) and core competencies in Communication, Working with People and Drive for Results.
To view our competency framework, please visit here.
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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.
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.
Mobility is a condition of international professional employment with UNICEF and an underlying premise of the international civil service.
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.
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