Turkmenistan: International Individual Consultancy or a Rapid Analysis of Situation of Adolescents and Youth in Turkmenistan

By UN Children’s Fund Organization: UN Children’s Fund
Country: Turkmenistan
Closing date: 25 Oct 2018

UNICEF works in some of the world’s toughest places, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. To save their lives. To defend their rights. To help them fulfill their potential.

Across 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, every day, to build a better world for everyone.

And we never give up.

For every child,adolescentand youth engagement

Duration: 12 November 2018 – 1 April 2019 (50 working days)

Location: Ashgabat city, Ahal Velayat, Mary Velayat

  • Background
  • As UN Agencies embark on the next generation UN Partnership for Development Framework (UNPFD) and as UNICEF, UNDP and UNFPA start preparing for the new Country Programmes by 2020, the UN system in Turkmenistan have come together to explore the possibility of undertaking a Situational Analysis on Youth in the country. The 73rd UN General Assembly also calls for reinvigorated focus on Generation Unlimited. Moreover, adolescents and youth are at the heart of the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development. This note therefore analyses and argues for the need for understanding the situation of youth and recommending youth-centric policies and programmes in the country.

    One of the key provisions of the 2013 National Youth Policy Law of Turkmenistan is the Creation of legal, social, economic, and organizational condition’s and guarantees for development and realization of the potential of Turkmenistan’s youth in personality, society and state. Turkmenistan’s National Plan of Action on Youth Policy for the period of 2015-2020 derives from this law.

    To realize the new global UN strategy on Youth in the national context there is a need for assessing the progress made by Turkmenistan on the World Program of Action for Youth (https://www.un.org/development/desa/youth/world-programme-of-action-for-…), especially with focus on implementing the plan of actions on Youth 2015-2020 within the National Youth policy.

    Possible areas for further scoping and broader consideration are as following: education, employment, health, including mental health, reproductive health and rights, substance abuse, juvenile justice, civic engagement, girls and young women and the full and effective participation of youth in the life of society. This should be underpinned by the guiding principle of leaving no one behind, which recognizes dignity, equity and gender equality as fundamental in achieving the SDGs.

    The new UN global Youth Strategy and Generation Unlimited launched at the 73rd UNGA on `Young People’s Agenda’ in September 2018, brought together partners from every sector and across the UN family to design, scale-up and deliver on all aspects of young people’s development, including their education, health, participation, and many other important areas, in which young people need support to shape better future for themselves and their societies.

    Investments made now will not only help sustain gains made during early and middle childhood – but also propel adolescents forward so that they are better equipped to deal with the challenges of today and tomorrow. Investments will reduce violence, abuse, exploitation, child marriage and maternal and child mortality. It will improve employment prospects and ability to make informed life decisions.

    There is increasing awareness of the great potential and necessity of working with youth around the world. The SDGs pay clear attention to young people. The global space for youth engagement has grown and is becoming a flourishing space, and it is this space that UN hopes to ensure is inclusive, sensitive, safe and future ready to the needs and aspirations of the young people.

    Existing dynamic platforms can be built upon to further engage young people: social media channels, U-Report, Voices of Youth, Internet of Good Things, as well as youth and adolescent-led organizations and networks. These give young people constructive ways to access and contribute to improving the quality of education, health care, protection services and essential information.

    Investing in adolescents is key to sustainable and inclusive growth and development. A recent Lancet study shows that investing in adolescent capabilities yields high economic and social returns – a 10-fold benefit from health and education programmes in terms of economic growth and averted social cost.[1] Investments are particularly crucial for adolescent girls and marginalized adolescents, including minorities, refugees, adolescents with disabilities and those in conflict with the law.

    Together UN Agencies should work with the Government of Turkmenistan to ensure that:

  • Adolescents are engaged in platforms and mechanisms that elevate and amplify their voices, ideas and creativity.
  • Adolescents are systematically engaged in the decision-making bodies of Turkmenistan, their schools and communities, and influencing services, policy, legislation and financing at subnational, national, regional and global levels.
  • Adolescents are better equipped with knowledge and skills on healthy behaviour and healthy choices regarding their overall health including reproductive health
  • Adolescents have better access to health services and means for these services free of judgments and stigma
  • Through these investments, countries can realize a demographic dividend and even a “peace dividend”, as young people assume more responsibility for shaping more peaceful societies in the years ahead. In the same vein, failure to invest in adolescents comes at a high cost for individuals, communities and societies”[2].

    The United Nations’ new Youth Strategy is thus critical to this, bringing together agencies to focus their mandates, expertise and comparative advantages on 3 areas of work: peace and security, human rights, and sustainable development. The new UN Youth Strategy will take collaborative efforts to a new level. This includes the new `Generation Unlimited’ global partnership, dedicated to expanding opportunity for youth, ages 10-24. This initiative is centered on designing and scaling-up new ways to ensure that every young person is in school, learning, training or employment by 2030. Particularly the focus will be on those in the greatest danger of being left behind, including girls, the poorest, those with disabilities, youth on the move and those affected by conflict, including violent extremism and natural disasters.

    Working together with young people, policies, programmes and services are developed in a way that builds on the strengths and resilience of youths so that they can strengthen their connections with peers, families and communities as well as acquire the skills, competence and confidence they need to be better able to manage risks, cope with adversity and contribute to their own well-being, that of their communities and societies. As per the Article 12 of Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), young people have a right to participation and express their views on all matters affecting them. Many organisations thus have contributed to the thinking, understanding and practice of participation.

    Such investments are estimated to bring a “triple dividend of benefits”[3]: for adolescents/young people now, for their future adult life and for the next generation as they have their own children and families.

    [1] Sheehan et al, The Lancet, 19 April 2017

    [2]UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, General Comment No. 20 (2016), Implementation of the rights of the child during adolescence

    How can you make a difference?

    To provide high quality technical expertise for operationalization of rapid review of the situation of adolescents and youth in Turkmenistan (10-24 years old) and development of the mid-term and longer term policy recommendations and analytical content:

  • To align National Youth Policy with the newly launched UN Strategy on Youth and SDG Agenda and inform a policy dialogue with the Government to influence decisions on planning of the youth-centric policies and programmes in the country;
  • To inform upcoming Common Country Analysis (CCA) and UNPFD and individual country programmes of UNICEF, UNDP, UNFPA beyond 2020;
  • To generate youth focused structured analytical content for the upcoming Voluntary National Review of Turkmenistan on SDGs implementation and International Youth Forum planned in 2019 by the Government;
  • To generate structured analytical content pertaining to adolescents and youth for the 2020 National report to the UN Committee on the Child Rights
  • The anticipated situation analysis on adolescents and youth should include but not be exclusive of the following thematic areas:

  • Progress of the National Youth Policy’s Implementation
  • Youth policy formulation and implementation
  • Health services and Education (formal and non-formal)
  • Skills development/employability, taking into account the 2018 CEDAW Concluding Observation recommending that Turkmenistan to “undertake a study to assess the impact of education reforms on eliminating occupational segregation and achieving substantive equality of women and men in the labour market, with a view to identifying the specific and fundamental factors preventing women from taking full advantage of the free education system to acquire the necessary skills and from choosing non-traditional career paths and gain access to formal employment, including in higher paying, male-dominated sectors” (CEDAW Concluding Observations to Turkmenistan, 2018, #35a )
  • Employment opportunities for youth at risk, including young people in conflict with law
  • Reproductive health and rights
  • Mental health
  • Access to and preferred digital technology and communication platforms
  • Protection, positive parenting and prevention of violence and abuse
  • Young people with disabilities and inclusive society
  • Empowering girls
  • Demographic challenges.
  • Civic engagement
  • Prevention of violent extremism among youth
  • To qualify as an advocate for every child you will have…

  • Minimum seven years of experience in conducting sociological studies, desk reviews and research, including both qualitative and quantitative studies;
  • Experience in writing analytical papers, in particular in the field of youth and adolescents, knowledge of gender and equity analysis a definite asset;
  • Researchers with MA and PhD degrees in social sciences, political sciences, economics and statistics;
  • Proven track record in submitting structured and well-written reports (in English and/or Russian) – sample of such reports will be requested from candidates;
  • Good knowledge of the work and approaches in youth related programming used by UNICEF and UN;
  • Previous experience in youth and adolescent issues and rights will be an asset;
  • Fluency and strong writing skills in English and Russian language;
  • Strong analytical and conceptual thinking;
  • Ability to work independently and respond to feedback in a timely and professional manner;
  • Excellent organization skills, attention to detail, and ability to contribute to a team;
  • Good understanding and experience with Turkmenistan or Central Asian context is an asset.
  • Mandatory trainings: Please note that consultants and individual contractors, regardless of contract duration, must complete the applicable mandatory trainings. The link will be provided during the selection process for the successful candidates.

    Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted and advance to the next stage of the selection process.

    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=516964

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