Italy: UNICEF Office of Research – Innocenti (Research Consultants – Education Unit – 3 positions)

Organization: UN Children’s Fund
Country: Italy
Closing date: 24 Jan 2018

UNICEF Office of Research Innocenti

Terms of ReferenceResearch ConsultantsEducation Unit


The Office of Research-Innocenti (OoR) is the dedicated research office of UNICEF. It undertakes and commissions research on emerging or current issues of relevance for children in order to inform the strategic directions, policies and programmes of UNICEF and its partners. The Office explores emerging issues, identifies research gaps, brings together existing researchers and support or undertake new research and data collection to address critical questions and to inform global debates.


Working within the Education unit, and in collaboration with other research teams as necessary, consultants will be responsible for providing research support to education research in one of three project groups: 1) Time to Teach: A study on the determinants of teacher absenteeism in Sub-Saharan Africa; 2) Education and child migration, and 3) Cross-cutting themes, specifically the project: Building an evidence base in advocacy, practice and policy for sport for development.

They will be involved in reviewing and synthesizing existing research and evidence; analyzing qualitative and/or quantitative data; identifying critical gaps and questions; contributing to conceptual and methodological approaches; developing primary research outputs; providing support in the convening of meetings and in publication launches; and developing new proposals in the above-mentioned areas of research. Where necessary, consultants will travel to present findings and/or provide technical assistance in research design, analysis and field work.

Candidates should have experience of empirical research in at least two of the following areas: comparative education research, educational governance, migration dynamics, teaching and teacher motivation, educational in humanitarian settings, education in development contexts, survey methodology, and behavioral economics and education. The candidate should have excellent analytic and writing skills (with training in either quantitative or qualitative research methodology), be responsive and able to work within a dynamic team.

3.Specific activities to be completed to achieve the objectives:

The Education Unit at OoR-Innocenti seeks three consultants.

The consultant for the Time to Teach project will: a.Identify and collect secondary data on education and macroeconomic statistics; national teacher management laws; policy/strategy/planning/guidance documents developed around teacher motivation and absenteeism; relevant monitoring and evaluation frameworks; assessments of teacher absenteeism programs; and results from previous studies and reports about teacher motivation and absenteeism in participating countries (20%)•Undertake pertinent literature and data reviews, using national and international databases, and other relevant library collections.•Synthesize and map retrieved evidence.b.Support the training of trainers for the qualitative research teams undertaking fieldwork in participating countries (20%)•Contribute to the development of country/region-specific training manuals.•Support the delivery of trainers’ training in advance of data collection.•Contribute to monitoring and supervising the data collection/handling/cleaning processes.c.Contribute to the analysis, interpretation and reporting of fieldwork data (40%)•Employ qualitative data analysis methods to organize, systematize, and interpret interview and focus-group data.•Conduct comparative qualitative analyses.•Contribute substantively to the preparation of country/regional reports and background documentation (e.g. annotated bibliographies, databases). d.Disseminate findings (10%) •Assist in the organization of meetings and conferences, including by drafting background documentation, creating communications materials, archiving and recording information, and other tasks to support the team as needed.e.Undertake related tasks to support the work of the Education unit, as required (10%).

The Consultant for the Education and Child Migration will:a.Review and synthesize studies in several areas of research, namely children on the move (refugee, asylum seeking, and migrant children), transnational families, migrant integration, special education needs, and education development (20%)•Review, summarize and archive the academic literature, UNICEF and UN reports, and other relevant library collections. •Produce interactive maps summarizing findings in specific areas of study.b.Assist in data collection, monitoring, and analysis (30%)•Support data collection efforts through fieldwork activities, data entry, and data management. Involvement in both quantitative (panel and cross-sectional surveys) and qualitative (interviews, focus groups, etc.) is expected.•Monitor, collect and archive available quantitative and qualitative data from web and institutional repositories. •Analyze quantitative and qualitative data and produce analytical outputs for subsequent use. c.Contribute to the drafting of proposals, reports, working papers, policy briefs, and other studies, as required (30%)•Conceptualize complex ideas and collate findings from a wide range of studies as background information for proposals, briefs, policy and research papers. •Summarize the available information for donors, and other policy and research stakeholders.d.Undertake related tasks to support work with the Education unit, as required (20%)•Represent the team in consortium meetings.•Support the organization of meetings, research, and policy events. •Create communication and interactive materials for dissemination.

The consultant for the Cross-cutting (Sport for Development) project will: a.Review, synthesize and map existing empirical evidence on sport for development programs and policies to understand how they can most effectively transform children’s lives and promote positive outcomes in four specific areas: child protection, social inclusion, education and participation (20%)•Undertake pertinent literature and data reviews, using a wide range of national and international sources. •Assess the quality of the evidence available on sport for development based on selected criteria to synthesize and map the evidence.b.Contribute to the analysis, interpretation and reporting of qualitative and quantitative data (50%)•Support the collection, cleaning, validation and translation of the data collected through questionnaires to programming partners.•If possible, undertake a meta-analysis of available data on sport for development programs and policies. •Summarize the key findings and contribute substantively to the preparation of the final report, including the drafting of chapters and background documentation (e.g. briefs, annotated bibliographies, databases).c.Disseminate findings (10%) •Assist in the organization of meetings and conferences, including by drafting background documentation, creating communications materials, archiving and recording information, and other tasks to support the team as neededd.Undertake related tasks to support the work on other Cross-cutting projects and of the Education unit, as required (20%).

4.Specific outputs/products/results with specific delivery dates (due to the on-going nature of the work involved, these will be part of the workplan agreed with the supervisor and included in the monthly payment schedule)

Specific outputs for the consultant on the Time to Teach study, includes: – Contribution to drafting country/regional reports – Support in organizing national/international conferences- Contribution to engagement with stakeholders and partners (including UNICEF regional and country offices, national government officials, and donors) through presentations, organization of meetings, and launch events; and- Contribution to cross office activities, administrative tasks, and other occasional research support as required in the Education unit.

Specific outputs for the consultant on the Education and Child Migration, includes: – Finalizing the archive with quantitative and qualitative data sources- Drafting one background paper with the literature review in the areas of study mentioned in the call- Drafting one (co-authored) research paper on education and migrant children- Completion of two policy briefs on key findings based on available data- Drafting a report of 20.000 words on best practices and policies of integrating migrant children through education- Attending project meetings, policy and research events

Specific outputs for the consultant on the Cross-cutting (Sport for Development) project, includes: – Drafting of two chapters in two of the outcome areas for the final report; – Completion of brief on key findings based on analysis of data collected;- Contribution to engagement with the stakeholders and partners through drafting of background documents and organization of meetings and launch event; and- Contribution to cross office activities and administrative tasks as required in the project group and Education unit.

5.Qualifications and/or specialized knowledge/experience required and desirable for undertaking the assignment:

Candidates for the three consultancies should have:

•Education: Advanced University degree in Education, Social Sciences, Public Policy, International Relations, Political Science, or other relevant disciplines with strong research focus. PhD would be an asset.•Experience of empirical research in relevant fields.•Excellent analytic skills, advanced training in qualitative or quantitative methods. •Strong writing and communications skills including proven ability to organise and summarize complex material for different audiences and in different research outputs (e.g. briefs, chapters, articles).•Fluency in English and knowledge of another language, including French, Arabic or Spanish an advantage.•Ability to multi-task and work simultaneously on several projects.•Demonstrated capacity to work and engage with a range of actors, including government officials, researchers and education policy stakeholders. •Responsive and able to work within a dynamic team in a multi-cultural environment.•Commitment to UNICEF principles and mandate.

Qualifications for the Time to Teach consultant: Candidates should combine:•Experience in managing and undertaking qualitative data collections in development and / or fragile settings;•Strong understanding of various qualitative methodologies, surveys, and analysis;•Fluency in French, and;•Availability to travel to participating countriesDesirable qualifications /definite advantages include: •Experience of undertaking school based data collections and associated practical ethical considerations, and•Experience of training enumerators for qualitative collections.

Desirable qualifications for the Education and Child Migration consultant: •Knowledge in the areas of migration, transnational families, migrant integration, educational development, and related fields.•Experience with quantitative data collection and analysis. •Demonstrated experience with collecting and/or analysing panel data will be considered a plus.•Proficiency in using STATA and/or SPSS. •Familiarity with qualitative data collection and analysis. •Familiarity with qualitative analytical tools such as Nvivo, Atlas, etc., will be considered a plus.

Desirable qualifications for the Sport for Development consultant include: •Demonstrated experience of using a statistical package (e.g. Stata, SPSS, etc.) and carrying out a quantitative or statistical analysis would be a definite advantage.•Current knowledge of the role of sports in education and factors affecting child wellbeing.

Core Values and Competencies

Core Values: Commitment, Diversity and Inclusion, IntegrityCore Competencies: Communication, Working with People, Drive for Results

6.Duration of the consultancy:

Consultancy period is expected to be 11.5 months with possibility for renewal, depending on demand, project specifications and funding availability. Start date as soon as possible.

The contract is full time, on-site and to be paid on a monthly basis, approximately 20 working days a month aligned to OoR- Innocenti working hours.

7.Supervision and work arrangements:

Consultants will work under the technical guidance and supervision of education team staff at the OoR-Innocenti and report to the Senior Education specialist at the OoR-Innocenti.

Based at the Office of Research premises in Florence Italy.

Applicants to each post should clearly identify their interest in post 1, 2 or 3 in filename of their cover letter (e.g. applicantname_post1.pdf) and should also indicate their daily fee in USD.

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