India: Full-time Consultant to provide technical support for adolescent empowerment and ending child marriage (Indian Nationals Only)

Organization: UN Children’s Fund
Country: India
Closing date: 19 Jul 2018

DUTY STATION: New Delhi (home-based) with frequent travel to States.

DURATION OF CONSULTANCY: 11.5 months from start date of the consultancy. (the intitial contract will be issued from around August 2018 upto 31 December 2018. The continuation of the contract for the remaining period will be subject to satisfactory performance of the consultant and continuing need)

CLOSING DATE: 19 July, 2018


India has the largest population of adolescents in the world with 120 million girls and 133 million boys aged 10-19 years, which is about 21% of world’s adolescent population of 1.2 billion. Adolescents constitute about one-fifth of India’s population and young people aged 10–24 years about one-third of the population. This large cohort of adolescents represent a great demographic dividend. Investment in their effective transition will be needed if they are to fulfil the potential of being a game changer for India’s socio-economic growth and development and achievement of the SDGs. In order to realise this potential to the fullest, young people must be healthy, educated and equipped with knowledge, information, skills and confidence that would enable them to contribute to their communities and the country’s socio-economic growth. There are multiple challenges given the diversity and complexity of adolescent issues in India.

Adolescent girls and boys experience multiple layers of vulnerabilities based on sex, age, caste, socio-economic status and geography. Adolescent girls will face bigger challenges in this transition, as they face multiple deprivations in India. Girls are discriminated against in India at all stages of the life cycle, starting with sex-selective abortions, higher female infant mortality, higher anaemia, lower secondary school completion and an overall lower investment of household resources for daughters than sons. The onset of puberty reduces girls’ freedom, mobility and increases their unpaid care work in the household. Girls and boys are also socialized to aspire for different adulthoods. Boys expect to become self-sufficient and economically productive while girls are expected to become wives and mothers, sometimes even below the age of 18. As families move out of poverty, this leads to one of the lowest female labour force participation rates in the world that is falling in recent years. Where girls and boys express aspirations for jobs, they name gender-traditional familiar roles. Boys aspire to be constables and doctors, girls aspire to be nurses and teachers. Caste, religion and geography multiply these gender deprivations and in some cases, boys are more likely to drop out of secondary school and be recruited into violent local movements. Harmful norms of masculinity can lead to boys developing destructive and harmful behaviours for themselves and for others, including gender-based violence, recruitment into groups and movements and a stifling pressure to be sole providers for a large number of dependants. The three most pressing gender-based deprivations for Indian girls and boys are: (i) Ability to postpone age at marriage (ii) Violence and the fear of violence, especially in preventing girls’ ability to access services and (iii) Knowledge, skills and networks to imagine, aspire and prepare for an adulthood that is different from their parents’.

The percentage of children, of school going age, enrolled in school drops significantly between primary and secondary schools. Out of 100 students, 37 will not be reaching class 9. This trend starting in lower secondary school will increase. By the time children turn 18, close to half would be out of any form of education. Gender disparities persist at all levels of education and increase after the primary level. Opportunities for non-formal education and vocational training are also limited. More than 12 million youth girls and boys between 15 and 29 years of age are expected to enter India’s labour force every year for the next two decades. The government has pledged to skill 500 million people by 2022 as a part of the Skills India Mission. This should be put in a context where 90% of the workforce is in the informal sector and millions of youth are expected to migrate to urban centres.

India’s Female Labour Force Participation (FLFP) is one of the lowest in the world, ranking 121 out 131 countries with a decline from 42.6 percent in 1993-94 to 27% in 2015. According to a World Bank study, between 2004 and 2012, 19.6 million girls and women dropped from labour force, mainly in rural areas. The best available evidence points at acceptability and value of female employment as well as change in the aspiration of young women as critical determinant in the current decline in women’s participation in the workforce. Many critical decisions that impact a woman’s life are made in her adolescence without her.

The large majority of children and young people grow up in environments that routinely expose them to violence. Their safety and well-being are not only compromised in their homes and families, but also in communities, in schools, in places of work and the paths that take them to school and work, in child care institutions and over the Internet. It is often however an invisible problem, occurring behind closed doors or shrouded in silence born of social acceptance, tolerance, stigma or taboo and girls are far more vulnerable. Thousands of children and young people are also exploited, trafficked and millions facing a disrupted childhood as a result of migration, urbanisation and conflict. Child marriage, a deeply rooted social norm, is a glaring evidence of widespread gender inequality and discrimination. Every year, at least 1.5 million girls get married in India. India is home to the largest number of child brides in the world and alone accounts for one third of the global total. Child marriage has sharply decreased in the past ten years, from 47 to 27 per cent[1]. This may be the result of multiple factors such as increased literacy of mothers, girls’ better access to education, strong legislation and migration from rural areas to urban centres. Progress has been unequal across states and at least 8 million girls are at risk of getting married in the next five years, half of these girls are at risk of becoming pregnant within a year after they get married.

Addressing the issue in a comprehensive manner therefore means involving different stakeholders – both state and non-state actors – operating across sectors and at various administrative and geographic levels. Behaviours are underpinned by various social norms, and requires an approach for change in social behaviour and promotion of positive social norms.

Governments have a key role to play in creating an environment of open public dialogue on difficult and sensitive issues. Communications initiatives are needed to challenge the social acceptance of the above issues. These must be accompanied by coordinated public education efforts for parents and caregivers on positive parenting; and for girls and boys on skills leading to adolescent empowerment.

This has prompted UNICEF India to adopt a holistic and coordinated approach to adolescent empowerment and ending child marriage by strengthening all components of the relevant systems, including laws, policies and standards, human and financial resources, coordination mechanisms and research and data collection. At the same time, UNICEF is also promoting positive social and behavioural change.

There is an urgent need to break the vicious cycle of inter-generational poverty. Some critical game changers include postponing marriage, improving the health and nutritional status of adolescent girls, generating better education and skill development opportunities for adolescent girls and boys to address multiple deprivations of girls.

While India has made major progress in reducing child mortality and increasing children’s access to primary education, millions of children are lost in transition: from childhood to adulthood, from school to work and for, some of them, an accelerated transition from childhood to parenthood. The most critical transition tends to occur between ages 15-17 and the drop-outs at this stage are always due to economic and gender-based expectations from the family and community. Thus, it is critical to address the needs of young people within a continuum of investments.

Engaging with and for young people is not only about government action, but about collective action by communities and society as a whole. It is a window opportunity for addressing gender inequity, intergenerational poverty and transition from childhood to adulthood.

Preventing child marriage is an effective entry point to address broader issues such as adolescents’ aspirations and opportunities in life, breaking the intergeneration cycle of poverty and ensuring the roles of young people as agents of change. Boys and men have to be included in this effort: promoting positive masculinities, and generating better opportunities for boys is the way to take men along a much needed change in social and cultural norms.

UNICEF India is working in 17 states in India, contributing to the implementation of adolescent empowerment and ending child marriage in close collaboration with the Government of India, State governments and civil society.

In the past five years, UNICEF India has intensified efforts to address the needs of adolescent girls and boys in their transition from childhood to adulthood in the areas of health, nutrition, education, protection of rights and utilization of social protection schemes. Adolescent engagement and participation at all levels of governance has shone a spotlight on, safe migration, child labour and child marriage, in turn creating now ideal conditions for a large movement of young people as positive agents of change. UNICEF has leveraged government schemes and civil society partnerships by building capacity to deliver quality programming at the state/district levels, resulting in impact at scale.

In the next five years, UNICEF can make a unique contribution to scale-up interventions for adolescent empowerment and ending child marriage in India. UNICEF works with key influencers, constituencies and community structures so that they have the capacities and skills to engage adolescent girls, boys, parents and community influencers to improve the well-being of adolescent girls.

In 2018, UNICEF would like to launch major initiative: create a flexible platform of cooperation among critical stakeholders committed for adolescent empowerment and ending child marriage and formulating a positive narrative.

First, the proposed consultancy will help develop a cohesive narrative on the empowerment of girls and boys that, while recognizing the deprivations that many adolescents face, also notes achievements and progress in a manner that is evidence-based, forward-looking and optimistic. This will include pulling together a diverse set of stakeholders who agree to a shared set of goals, strategies and to the extent possible, a shared, gender-responsive vocabulary of empowerment. Key to this collective narrative building will be the voices of adolescent girls and boys who are and be seen as key actors in their empowerment. This will give greater greater visibility and voice to the issues facing adolescent boys and girls who need platforms and space to express their views, doubts and apprehensions and clarify the same through access to information and knowledge on a large scale and with the means to communicate with each other and the wider world. UNICEF sees this as an innovative area of work that holds great promise in the current Indian environment with its vibrant media sector, the growing role of the private sector and emerging public-private partnerships, the extensive and growing coverage of mobile technology and a booming ICT sector.

Second, by leveraging coalitions, influencers and networks/partnerships, UNCEF is looking to broaden partnerships and mobilise and engage new influencers, including parents, communities, parliamentarians, PRIs, women’s collectives, youth groups, front line worker such as teachers, health and nutrition workers and private sector corporations and leaders. The goal of broadening existing partnerships and actors in this space is so that the field of adolescent empowerment benefits from the diverse skills, capabilities and networks of influence and also to hold to account all actors to fulfil their obligations to support adolescent girls and boys. Overall, we want to build momentum for positive change for every adolescent girl and boy. Collective influence has the power to bring about social transformation.


The main objective of this consultancy is to provide specialised, multi-disciplinary technical advice to the child protection, C4D and CAP programme in the development of coalitions, communication initiatives, advocacy and policy dialogue for adolescent empowerment and ending child marriage.


Child Protection/Adolescent Specialist with technical inputs and supervision from C4D, CAP, Gender and Education.


11.5 months from start date of the consultancy


New Delhi with travel to State Offices/Field as required and agreed with the supervisor


The consultant will provide high level technical support in the following areas:

  • Adapt the positive narrative framework for empowerment of adolescent girls and boys and for ending child marriage (may be more than one framework)
  • Adapt UNICEF India’s existing Theories of Change on Adolescent Empowerment, Ending Child Marriage, Achieving Equal Value of Girls and Boys.

  • Develop an evidence-based, positive and consistent narrative on the empowerment of adolescent girls and boys and ending child marriage.

  • Key messages and vocabulary to ensure that everyone speaks the same language and is deliberately working towards the same goals of various stakeholders and influencers at macro level (parliamentarians, faith based organisations, media, celebrities) to micro (PRIs, FLWs, community structures, parents) for community mobilisation and engagement
  • Data and evidence which is user friendly, adaptable and easy to understand by adolescent girls and boys
  • Contribute to the development of coalitions, constituency building, engagement with influencers and technical advice for adolescent empowerment and ending child marriage.
  • Co-facilitate, along with relevant CP, CAP, C4D and gender specialists, the establishment of coalitions, networks, communities of practices for adolescent empowerment and ending child marriage.
  • Harness and map the influence of different stakeholders (such asparliamentarians, Faith-based organizations, media, and celebrities) and mobilise and engage them to voice and amplify issues related to adolescent empowerment and ending child marriage and to provide a supportive environment.
  • Identify opportunities, spaces and platforms -including digital- for engaging the public opinion on adolescent empowerment and ending child marriage – and to amplify the issue.
  • Contribute to the establishment and coordination of a CSO and private sector coalition for adolescent empowerment and ending child marriage – together with technical support to MWCD for Beti Bachao Beti Padhao and Girls Count implementation through capacity building of district nodal officers, advocacy and community engagement and monitoring key programme indicators. The Consultant will delineate the Coalition structure; tasks, responsibilities of Steering Committee and other members; and key intervention areas. The private sector would be linked with CSOs to provide support either directly or indirectly to amplify the change at district level.
  • Contribute to develop communication strategies and tools
  • Formulate strategies for scaling-up and sustaining advocacy initiatives at the national and state level
  • Technical support to repurpose/develop packages, tools and methodologies around adolescent empowerment of girls and boys and ending child marriage.
  • Technical support to develop different strategies to engage with different influencers (media, private sector, teachers, parents, community members, religious and faith based organizations and champions).
  • Technical support to use multi-media initiatives to inform and engage primary stakeholders (girls, boys, adolescent girls and boys, mothers, fathers, community influencers), to increase knowledge, influence changes in attitude and social norms.
  • Technical support to plan and implement multi-media and social media campaigns. This will also amplify the public discourse on adolescent empowerment and ending child marriage.
  • Technical support to institutionalize capacity development of district/ block/ village officials, Panchayat members and front line workers so that they are able to mobilize their communities to prevent child marriage and ensure the protection of the rights of adolescent girls and boys.
  • Provide any other need based support to the CP, C4D, Gender, CAP, Education and SPPME sections in relation to adolescent empowerment and ending child marriage.
  • Framework to ensure monitoring and evaluation of the strategy at the district, state and national level
  • Capacity building
  • Contribute to the development of a capacity building materials and tools for key stakeholders, including community workers and frontline workers.

  • Payment is linked to receipt and satisfactory acceptance of deliverables.
  • Travel expenses will be reimbursed at actuals based on submission of original invoices/reports.
  • Per Diem will be reimbursed at UNICEF consultant rates.
  • Essential Educational Qualifications & Professional Experience for Consultant

  • Education: A Master degree in communications, social sciences, gender, development, or law.
  • At least 10 years of experience in research, advocacy, communication initiatives and/or designing and implementing programmes in the field of adolescent empowerment, women’s and girls’ empowerment, women’s rights or child protection
  • Experience in working with Government (national and sub-national) or UN agencies or International development organizations.
  • Experience in developing national or state level advocacy and communication strategies
  • Ability to engage with a wide range of people, including government partners, academic centres, formal and in-formal Networks & Collectives, NGOs/CSOs and technical experts
  • Experience of working directly with adolescent girls and boys is a must. Working on gender responsive issues with adolescent girls and boys is desirable.
  • Demonstrated experience in behaviour change communication approaches, advocacy, research and monitoring, participatory learning methodologies will be preferred
  • Excellent writing skills – experience in writing short advocacy messages, briefs and reports for different stakeholders and different platforms
  • Demonstrated ability to analyse evidence and develop evidence-based advocacy messages
  • Experience in working in cross-sectoral teams.
  • Language: Fluency in English and knowledge of Hindi will be an asset. Demonstrates high level of writing and editing skills, and reporting
  • Please submit your application through the online portal by 24:00 Hours Indian Standard Time on 19 July, 2018.

    HOW TO APPLY:Your online application should contain Three separate attachments:

  • A Cover letter explaining the motivation for applying and also explaining how the qualifications and skill-set of the candidate are suitable for this position (to be uploaded online under cover letter)
  • Curriculum Vitae (CV) (to be uploaded online under CV/Resume)
  • A financial proposal indicating deliverable-based professional fee as per template attached below. Please do not forget to specify your name in the file while saving. (to be uploaded under financial proposal template). Please click on the link below to access the template.
  • Financial Proposal Template – Consultant Adolescent empowerment and child marriage (002).docx

    Please Note: Without the financial proposal template your application will be considered incomplete and will not be evaluated.

    The selection will be on the basis of technical evaluation & financial offer in the ratio of 80:20. The criteria for technical evaluation will be as follows:

  • Relevant Educational Qualification (Min 10/Max 15)

  • Relevant work experience including experience of working with Government or UN Agencies or International development organizations (Min 21/ Max 30)
  • The candidates who meet the minimum cut-off under both 1 and 2 and meet the overall cut-off of 31 marks (for criteria 1 and 2) will be shortlisted for the interview

    3. Interview (Min 25/Max 35)

    Total technical score – 80. Minimum overall qualifying score is 56. Only those candidates who meet the minimum qualifying marks of 60 as well as score the minimum score in each of the above sub-criteria will be considered technically responsive and their financials will be opened.

  • Any attempt to unduly influence UNICEF’s selection process will lead to automatic disqualification of the applicant.
  • Joint applications of two or more individuals are not accepted.
  • Please note, UNICEF does not charge any fee during any stage of the process.
  • For any clarifications, please contact:


    Supply & Procurement Section

    73, Lodi Estate, New Delhi 110003

    Telephone # +91-11-24606516


    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

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