Terms of Reference for Consultancy

Consultation with children and young people for the Uncrc day of general discussion on children’s rights and alternative care

1. Background information and objective of the consultancy

In September 2021 the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child will hold a Day of General Discussion (DGD) on Children’s Rights and Alternative Care. This is a public event where stakeholders, including children and young people, are invited to contribute to the discussion and its conclusions and recommendations for future action to prevent and respond to family and child separation.

Further information, including the concept note, can be found on the DGD web pages of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child here and Child Rights Connect here.

A group of civil society organizations (CSOs) is supporting the participation of children and young people in the planning of the DGD, in the day itself and in the follow-up to the DGD conclusions and recommendations. Children and young people will also be able to make submissions and participate directly into the DGD process.

As part of this effort, the group is facilitating a worldwide consultation with children and young people to collect and voice their experience of the child protection system and/or alternative care for submission to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, with the aim to be as inclusive and diverse as possible. The consultations will take place online, and in person when appropriate given any concerns for child protection and where there is negligible risk of COVID-19 infection.

The CSOs group is seeking a consultancy (i.e. a highly qualified individual or organization or consortium) to deliver the consultation in partnership with children and young people and the CSOs group, and in coordination with a research ethics co-investigator. This includes driving key milestones such as the development of the methodology and tools, the implementation, the data analysis and the final report of the consultations.

2. Conditions and deliverables

The consultancy involves coordination with the CSOs group and a research ethics co-investigator, and meaningful engagement of a child advisory team (CAT) and a youth advisory team (YAT), to develop the methodology, child and youth consultation tools, data processes to offset opportunities for bias, and data analysis; and to compile the results of the consultation into a final report collecting evidence and views from a wide range of children and young people, including the hardest-to-reach and children with disabilities.

The CAT and the YAT will contribute to build the deliverables according to their own choice of activities, and the consultant(s) shall make all reasonable efforts to include them as meaningfully and cooperatively as possible. Some important factors for working with these two groups are that: they are all care experienced; they may have irregular access to the internet; some of them are beginning their adult life, with college, jobs and new world experiences; they are not being remunerated for their involvement; Covid-19 has also placed another level of burden on their lives that may lead to stress and reduced engagement.

The consultant(s) will work remotely and receive online support from the CSOs group, including to facilitate coordination with the CAT and the YAT, the running of the consultation, and the review of tools and final report.

The consultant(s) will also rely on a number of documents developed by the CSOs group, including: a child safeguarding policy (which the consultant must sign and adhere to), a set of criteria for meaningful child and youth participation and ethical considerations for researching children as human research subjects. Ethical approval and support with ethical standards of research will be provided by a UK based university.

Engagement of the consultant(s) in the DGD event itself might also be necessary.

List of deliverables:

  • Methodology and tools for the consultation
  • Data sets and the analysis grid
  • Report presenting the methodology, the key findings and recommendations, presenting the voices of children and young people
3. Timeline

The duration of the consultancy is approx. 40 days, depending on the technical proposal submitted by the successful applicant.
The final report with the results of the consultations should be submitted by 14th of June 2021 at the latest. A first draft for feedback of the CSOs group and the CAT and YAT is expected by end of April, and if necessary a second feedback round can be organised in May.

4. Profile of the consultant(s)

The selected applicant must have the following qualification and experience:

  • Degree or advanced education certificate or demonstrable equivalent experience in child rights, child and youth participation, child protection or other relevant discipline related to the assignment
  • Sound knowledge of human rights, ethical and safeguarding principles in international standards and methodologies related to child and youth participation and research
  • Good understanding of child rights work in national/international context and participatory approaches
  • Previous experience researching children from vulnerable backgrounds and hard-to-reach communities, including from the Global South, preferably in relation to policy and child rights
  • Proven experience in researching and drafting consultation tools
  • Knowledge and/or experience of producing child- and youth- friendly materials or easy-read materials
  • Ability to address accessibility issues and inclusion of children with disabilities
  • Ability to work with civil society partners, children and young people from different backgrounds in a multicultural and respectful manner
  • Excellent research, writing and communication skills
  • Fluency in English (ability to work in French and/or Spanish desirable)
  • Applications from individuals or research institutions from the Global South are strongly encouraged
5. Application

Applicants are expected to submit:

  • A duly signed personal Curriculum Vitae
  • Max. three pages technical proposal outlining motivation, a tentative methodology and timeline to fulfil the assignment and estimated cost of the consultancy (in euro, including VAT if applicable)
  • If possible, one or two examples of previous experience researching in children and young people or organising large consultations or producing child- and youth- friendly materials or easy-read materials
  • Preferably they should be able to provide confirmation from their organisation of an up-to-date criminal record check (stating that they have no criminal convictions) or equivalent background check and that they have been hired in line with safe recruitment procedures. If this is not possible, we will carry out an individual risk assessment and asses what mitigation measures need to be put in place, such as not having direct contact or only having supervised contact with the children and young people.

Please send your email application and direct your questions to: claudia.arisi@sos-kd.org and lopa.bhattacharjee@familyforeverychild.org (use both addresses). Deadline: 4th of December 2020

A panel of representatives from the CSOs group will assess the applications against the following criteria:

  • Understanding of the context, purpose, objectives, outputs and activities of the project
  • Relevant experiences, skills and qualities of the Consultant and/or team
  • Experience and knowledge of engaging children and young people in research
  • Relevance, robustness and quality of proposed methodology
  • Budget – clarity, feasibility and value for money
  • Planning and timeline – ability to deploy quickly and meet tight deadlines

Interviews with applicants will be held online shortly after the deadline for applications.