United Arab Emirates: Consultancy to conduct a mapping of social services in Sharjah International Expert

Organization: UN Children’s Fund
Country: United Arab Emirates
Closing date: 24 Oct 2017

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.

Purpose of the Assignment

In August 2016, a MoU was signed between UNICEF Gulf Area Office and Sharjah Baby Friendly Office to carry out an Assessment Study for the Emirate of Sharjah- mainly in the areas of health, education, participation, and social services to evaluate current practices and policies in these areas according to the Child Friendly City framework. The assessment study highlighted the major achievements Sharjah has accomplished and its commitment to invest in children.

In February 2017,UNICEF announced Sharjah a candidate city for its ‘Child Friendly Cities’ Initiative, culminating the emirate’s efforts over the past three decades in protecting and elevating the status of children and youth. Sharjah’s candidacy for the Initiative – the first of its kind in the region – follows the emirate’s ground-breaking achievement of becoming the world’s first Baby Friendly City in December 2015.

It has also identified a number of insufficiencies that would need to be addressed towards a Child Friendly Sharjah. Hence, an action plan was developed to include proposed measures to achieve goals based on the gaps identified. The outcome of the action plan is for Sharjah City to be accredited as a Child Friendly City if it successfully achieves the objectives listed in the work plan. There are 3 main results:

  1. Increase understanding and awareness of CFC initiative and child rights principles;
  2. Address equity and introduce measures to overcome barriers that lead to the exclusion of certain groups of children;
  3. ensure that all children in Sharjah are actively participating in the community and that their views are taken into account in matters affecting their lives

    A Child Friendly City must have a strategy to identify and address direct and indirect discrimination and barriers to inclusiveness. It needs to be welcoming for all children, who should have equal access to services and equally enjoy their rights. In Sharjah, there’s need for more work toward inclusiveness of some groups of vulnerable children. In addition, further work is needed to identify other groups of vulnerable children.

    Social service department in Sharjah covers wide range of services: financial support for families, improve living and housing circumstances, help families increase their capacities/ skills to generating income, involved with family courts and child protection services including: help-line/ hot-line for children. The groups of children and families that have access to these services and facilities need to be explored (national/non-national children, children with disabilities etc.).

    Therefore, UNICEF Gulf Area Office is looking for an International expert to conduct a mapping of Social Services in Sharjah.

    Social services refer to a broad range of support for children and families. The diversity of social services varies across several dimensions: the target age of children served; method of service delivery (e.g. home based; centre based); focus of the programme (financial, improve living and housing circumstances) – these dimensions are not always discrete. The overall purpose of this assignment is to develop set of recommendations to strengthen existing social services and programmes in Sharjah toward more inclusiveness and better targeting.

    The initial activity is to conduct a desk review of international methodologies related to mapping of social services, design all aspects of the mapping study including development of instruments needed, collect / analyse existing documents / databases of all on-going major social services, assessment report carries out by UNICEF GAO. The review of existing data from Sharjah Census should analyse the disparities among children as well as excluded and vulnerable children. This will allow for the identification of criteria and factors defining excluded and vulnerable children (based on income, disability, deprivation of certain rights such as health/education/participation, etc.).

    As the next step, an in-depth review of selected social services will be conducted. Criteria and guidance documents will be provided to the consultant to inform the in-depth review-which will include semi-structured interviews and focus group discussions with selected key informants (i.e. decision makers; service providers; community members). Focus Group discussions with children and their families will be conducted by an Arab-speaking expert in the field along with researchers from the University of Sharjah.

Assignment Tasks

  1. To conduct a comprehensive desk review of global methodologies relevant to social services mapping, to help inform the design of the study;
  2. To design all aspects of the mapping assessment study (to include a detailed methodology outline, and instruments to be used);
  3. To review and analyse in-depth of selected social services with a particular focus on:
  4. Documenting and describing social services currently available
  5. Assessing their scalability, quality, effectiveness and sustainability
  6. Identifying critical programmatic gaps, constraints and lessons learnt
  7. Identify groups of children that are victims or at risk of exclusion from facilities and services;
  8. To identify criteria on how to identify groups of children that are victims or at risk of exclusion from facilities and services;
  9. To provide a guidance discussion document on how to conduct focus group discussions and interviews (to include the main areas that need to be tackled and answered). This document will then be shared with another Arab-speaking expert- who will be conducting along with researchers from the University of Sharjah, all relevant fieldwork visits;
  10. To analyse all qualitative reports arising from the interviews and FGDs;
  11. To provide clear policy recommendations and priority action plans for way forward to address the barriers, exclusion and disparities, and scale up of social services and facilities available towards universal provision of quality social services to most deprived children.

Scope of social services mapping

The review of selected social services should map / analyse the following:

Description of social services

  1. Programme objectives (log-frame, “theory of change”)
  2. Target groups / age – i.e. children (by their age groups); parents (mother, father, or both), other (i.e. children from the poorest families). Attention given to vulnerable or excluded groups (e.g. single mothers, children with disabilities) are important to be considered.
  3. Geographical focus (urban / rural) and location
  4. Programme type: centre-based, home-based and other arrangements
  5. Services provided and level of holistic services provided
  6. Reach with the estimated number of beneficiaries
  7. Monitoring and evaluation systems utilised and extent to which monitoring and evaluation has improved the quality of social services **

Scalability of the social services

  1. Adequacy of costing and financing (i.e. efficiency expressed as unit costs per beneficiary, or similar)
  2. Source of funds for social services
  3. Leadership, coordination and management of the social services.
  4. Assessment of staff or volunteers at the centre/non-centre service:
  5. Skills development, mentoring, supervision and support
  6. Dedication and commitment
  7. Use of local staff/volunteers
  8. Utilization of social services provided, including:
  9. Financial accessibility of the services provided (direct and indirect costs associated with use of social services)
  10. Social-cultural practices and beliefs that influence the usage of social services.
  11. Enablers and barriers (strengths and weaknesses) to scalability **

Qualityof social services

  1. Intensity and duration of services provided
  2. Staff skills
  3. Physical environment of the intervention, including extent to which the social service is operating according to minimum standards
  4. Enablers and barriers (strengths and weaknesses) to quality of social services **


  1. Effect size of the programme or in the absence of this indicator, available proxy indicators of programme’s effectiveness
  2. Outcomes for children and families including:
  3. Child protection
  4. Improved labour market status of parents and particularly mothers
  5. Extent of implementation of income-generating projects
  6. Identification of the factors (predictors) that facilitate effective social service delivery
  7. Feasibility of the programme
  8. Enablers and barriers (strengths and weaknesses) to effectiveness **


  1. Resource mobilisation
  2. Capacity building of management committees
  3. Networks and strategic links with government services
  4. Enablers and barriers (strengths and weaknesses) to sustainability

Expected Deliverables

  1. Inception report(including desk review, design of the study, work plan, presentation of methodological approach, instruments to be used, annotated outline of final report);
  2. Presentation set(PPT presentation, three-page summary of main findings, lessons learned and recommendations to address the barriers);
  3. Final report **


  1. Advanced university degree in Social Science;

Qualifications of Successful Candidate

  1. Knowledge of technical aspects of social services / social protection;
  2. Knowledge of the Gulf context is required;
  3. Experience in working with UN agencies desired;
  4. Good communication and advocacy skills.
  5. Fluency and excellent writing skills in English; knowledge of Arabic is a strong


  1. Advanced university degree in Social Science;

Years of relevant experience

  1. Demonstrate expertise (at least 10 years) in research, data collection, data analysis and reporting, on area of Social Science;

To view our competency framework, please click here.

Please indicate your ability, availability and daily/monthly rate (in US$) to undertake the terms of reference above (including travel and daily subsistence allowance, if applicable). Applications submitted without a daily/monthly rate will not be considered.

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 organisation. **

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 http://www.unicef.org/about/employ/?job=507738