Policy Expert and Statistics Expert
UNICEF
Location: Maldives
Last Date: June 30, 2008


Study on Child Poverty and Disparities: Maldives Country Study (Call for Proposals)

NOTE: re-advertisement as of 01/05/08. If you applied for the first round, do not reapply, your application will be considered for the second round.

International Call for Proposals for

One Policy Expert on child poverty and one Statistics Expert
(ideally with Maldives experience)

proposing to apply and work as a team to be based in Maldives

Institutional applications are also welcome
for conducting the

UNICEF STUDY ON CHILD POVERTY AND DISPARITIES: MALDIVES COUNTRY STUDY

Deadline for proposals: 30 June 2008

Purpose

As part of the Global UNICEF Child Poverty and Disparities Initiative, UNICEF Maldives will be conducting a Maldives Child Poverty and Disparities Study. For this purpose, the UNICEF Regional Office for South Asia (ROSA) and Maldives Country Office (MCO) are looking for an experienced 1) statistics expert and 2) policy expert proposing to apply and work as a team. Institutional applications are also welcome.

The purpose of the Maldives Child Poverty and Disparities Study is to strengthen the profile of child rights at the national policy level. In particular, the study aims to influence economic and social policies that affect resource allocations, and to make children a priority in national programmes addressing: 1) the poverty of families raising children, and 2) the health, education and protection needs of children living in poor, vulnerable households, unsafe circumstances, and/or disadvantaged communities. Ultimately, the study should generate evidence, insights and networks that can be used to leverage the National Development Plan, and to inspire and feed into poverty reduction or sector-wide strategies, common country assessments and other development instruments. In this way the study should help to bring a child's face to progress toward the MDGs in places where progress is needed the most. The country child poverty and disparities report will be strategically launched and directed at key decision makers, with findings also presented at policy conferences etc.

Background

UNICEF Maldives Country Office is one of the almost 50 UNICEF Country Offices participating in the Global Study on Child Poverty and Disparities. The Global Study is the outcome of UNICEF's global commitment to place children at the heart of the poverty reduction agenda, and to identify programme and policy responses best suited to achieving children's rights and ending child poverty, and thus contributing to achieving the MDGs.

With the deadline for reaching the MDGs by 2015 fast approaching, UNICEF has taken on an enhanced organizational commitment to leveraging evidence, analysis, policy and partnerships to promote gender equality and deliver results for all children. The Global Study proposes a comprehensive approach that focuses on poverty through an increasingly specific analytical lens.

First, the Global Study looks at gaps and opportunities in national poverty reduction strategies, including the demographic and economic context, employment, public and private social expenditures, fiscal space and foreign aid. Second, the Study focuses on the poverty and economic disadvantage faced by families with children. Finally, the Study looks in detail at how public policies could more effectively reduce child deprivations by providing better services and protection for all children and for all families caring for children, including measures that promote gender equality.

Scope and focus

The Maldives Child Poverty and Disparities Study will look at contextual data and information that impacts children's poverty and disparities, while also considering more specific indicators on family support and child protection. It adopts a child poverty concept that builds on existing definitions and measures of poverty, and considers:
- both income and non-income factors of the caretakers or the household, and how these determine whether or not a child enjoys her/his right to survive, grow and develop;
- how resource scarcity and deprivations directly impact children, as well as how they are more broadly experienced differently according to gender, age and social status at the family, household or country level;
- childhood as a space that is separate from adulthood (life cycle approach);
- that children who are deprived of a safe and caring environment are also more likely to experience other deprivations.

Methodology and sources of information

The proposed methodology for the Maldives Child Poverty and Disparities Study is expected to generate evidence-based policy analysis with a view to identifying linkages between economic and social policy and child outcomes.

The statistics expert will work with the Statistical Template of child outcome tables - produced by UNICEF Headquarters in collaboration with International Partner Institutes - and relevant contextual information from Maldives using data from the 2001 multiple indicator cluster survey (MICS), 2004 Vulnerability and Poverty Assessment and other relevant national surveys. The statistics expert should be able to proposes additional tables or indicators where required to reflect the Maldives national context. The statistics expert is expected to assist with:
- making data sets available in a timely fashion for submission to the UNICEF Regional and Global Child Poverty and Disparities Teams and International Partner Institutes for use for the Global and Regional Databases and Studies
- selecting country-specifications (e.g. number and name of relevant sub-national regions - atolls etc. - and relevant indicators etc.)
- identifying and carrying out all required correlations and regression analyses

The policy expert (on children poverty) will work with the Policy Template - produced by UNICEF Headquarters in collaboration with International Partner Institutes - designed to assess existing national efforts aimed at reducing child poverty and disparities. This should draw on Maldives national legislation and policy documents, including poverty reduction strategies, budget documents, reports to UN treaty bodies especially the CRC committee, etc. The expert would add additional tables as needed in order to accurately capture the situation of girls and boys in Maldives.

The policy analysis could draw on qualitative studies, opinion polls, and other participatory elements including consultations with children, parents and other stakeholders on what constitutes child poverty and disparities in Maldives and what is needed to end it.

Roles of UNICEF and international partner institute
The study is led by jointly by the UNICEF Regional Office for South Asia and the UNICEF Maldives Country Office, who would oversee the work and also maintain close communication with UNICEF Headquarters as well as with International Partner Institutions which are expected to have a supportive role. UNICEF Headquarters has made preliminary arrangements with three UK-based academic partner institutions who have contributed to the Guide for the Global Study. These institutions would provide advice while the experts carry out the data collection, entering and analyzing the data, and writing up the analysis.

Duties of the statistics / policy experts or institute(s)


- Read and discuss the Study Guide and these TOR to have comprehensive understanding of what the study entails and of the roles and responsibilities of the experts (statistics and policy experts)
- Together with UNICEF ROSA, UNICEF Maldives and Government counterparts, agree on a plan for carrying out the Study and producing the Country Report that is appropriate to the Maldivian context and in line with the suggested outlines presented in the global Study Guide (this is necessary in order to facilitate cross-country comparison of analyses inter alia).

Additionally agree on a more detailed work schedule for the Study and assign clear responsibility for reporting to UNICEF and steering committees if they are established, and delivering interim and final products. (statistics and policy experts)

- Together with UNICEF Maldives, establish a multi-sectoral steering committee within Government agencies and other UN to explain the purpose of the study, establish stakeholder ownership of the report findings, and facilitate cross-sectoral coordination and guidance and policy discourse. (statistics and policy experts)
- Assess what modifications of the provided tables are necessary, what additional data sources could be used to complete the analysis, what data is available in the country, and what partners should be involved in the analysis and follow-up. (statistics and policy experts)
- Based on existing participatory data available, make a decision about whether or not to include a qualitative survey of children/youth, care givers and service provider to integrate their participation and capture their opinions and ideas in the Study (following Article 13 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child.) (statistics and policy experts)
- Make decisions about the open-ended elements of the Statistical Template, such as what sub-regional delineations, what ethnic/religious/language groupings, what age brackets, and what poverty measure will be used. Inform the International Partner Institute and UNICEF Headquarters about these decisions so that arrangements for delivering the statistical tabulations could be made accordingly. (statistics expert)
- Agree on what analyses and related statistical tables should be added by the Country Team, and what data will be used to measure supply and uptake of services. Make decisions on the need for multivariate regression analysis on causality factors. (statistics expert)
- Fill in the Policy Template, drawing on national policy documents, including poverty reduction strategies, budget documents, reports to UN treaty bodies especially the Committee on the Rights of the Child, and sector approaches, as well as input from knowledgeable stakeholders. (policy expert)
- Together with UNICEF Maldives and UNICEF Regional Office, consult on policy ideas and recommendations with key government bodies, CSOs, youth groups and others in Maldives. (policy expert)
- Collaboratively carry out the Country Analysis. As suggested in the Study Guide, this should include a critical assessment of how poverty impacts children, of what disparities in outcomes exist among different groups of children in the country and why. Confront data on child outcomes with information on laws and government policies (e.g. poverty reduction policy, resources and programmes) at national and sub-national levels, in particular as they reflect upon the Millennium Development Goals and international commitments. (statistics and policy experts)
- Identify and explore gaps and linkages, opportunities and risks to develop a comprehensive strategy that builds on existing agenda, also involving new partnerships. (statistics and policy experts)
- Report findings from the statistical and policy analyses in a single Country Report, including related policy recommendations on how policies and programmes could protect the rights and improve the well being of all children, girls and boys. (statistics and policy experts)
- Make preparations for the strategic launch, use, and follow-up of the Country Report. (statistics and policy experts)
- Ensure the participation of the Ministry of Planning and National Development and other Government and UN agencies throughout the process, as well as the transfer of skills to MPND (statistics and policy experts)

Skills required

Statistics Expert


- Advanced university degree in economics, statistics or other related disciplines
- At least 8 years of experience of work in the relevant areas
- Experience with data analysis tools such as SPSS or STATA
- In-depth knowledge of substantive social, economic and poverty issues and experience with producing rigorous statistical analysis in other countries in South Asia (on Maldives - an asset)
- Relevant publications on child rights and development, child development indicators, child wellbeing indices - an asset.
- Motivation to commit significant time to the process of producing a high-quality product
- Commitment to the UN and UNICEF principles
- Willingness and availability to work in the Maldives for the duration of the study

Policy Expert


- Advanced university degree in economics, sociology, development studies or other related social science disciplines
- At least 8 years of experience of work in the relevant areas
- In-depth knowledge of substantive social, economic and poverty issues and experience with producing rigorous policy analysis in other countries in South Asia (on Maldives - an asset)
- Relevant publications on child rights and development, child development indicators, child wellbeing indices - an asset.
- Motivation to commit significant time to the process of producing a high-quality product
- Commitment to the UN and UNICEF principles
- Willingness and availability to work in the Maldives for the duration of the study

Milestones

- Finalize work plan, schedule and research design in cooperation with the UNICEF and MPND Focal Points for the Study (by July 10).
- Together with UNICEF and Government partners, establish steering committee for feedback and reporting on milestones and preliminary findings
- MPND representative to participate in the orientation meeting on child poverty and disparities and consultants to prepare a presentation on the research design for the study and some discussion of poverty and inequality trends in Maldives based on readily available research and data (UNICEF MICS 1 - 1996, MICS 2 - 2001, UNDP vulnerability and poverty assessments 1 - 1997/99 and 2 - 2004, HIES 2002/03, etc.; note that a DHS is planned for 2008) or data that would be feasible to collect and present by that time (14 July)
- Collect data and information and enter data and information into the Statistical and Policy Templates (31 July)
- Conduct statistical and policy analysis: Draft Country Analysis outline and report tables or graphs. The analysis should be prepared jointly by the statistics and policy experts (10 August)
- Consultation Mission to Maldives by UNICEF Regional Office (August 2008).
- Draft the Report: Draft the findings, core tables, annexes etc. to be included in the Country Report that follows a standard outline (as per the Study Guide). The total length is estimated at around 50 pages (31,000 words), plus tables and graphs. (by 15 August)
- Finalize and submit the Report based on inputs by UNICEF focal points and international partner institute (by 25 August)

Deliverables

Interim products:


- Plan and schedules for the Country Analysis adapted to local needs and context. (statistics and policy experts)
- The Statistical Template duly filled in (in part through collaboration with the international partner institute). (statistics expert)
- The Policy Template duly filled in. (policy expert)
- (Optional) qualitative survey plan and implementation. (policy expert)
- Draft Country Analysis outline and draft report tables or graphs, which are prepared jointly by the statistics and policy experts and in consultation with the UNICEF focal points (statistics and policy experts)
- First draft of the Country Analysis (with tables and text) ready to be presented for peer review and discussion. (statistics and policy expert)
Final Product
- Final draft of the Country Report.


The proposal should include the following, at least:

- Position (s) for which you are applying
- Proposed modifications to the Study Guide methodology and templates (note that the core templates are a minimum requirement)
- A preliminary assessment of data available in Maldives (for statistics expert)
- (Optional) qualitative field work plan and implementation (for policy expert)
- A work plan with an assessment of the institutions' / expert's capacity to duly fill in the Statistical and the Policy Template and carry out the Country Analysis.
- A budget plan per unit cost.
- Curriculum vitae of the individuals/institution that will carry out the study
- List of relevant publications on child rights and well-being produced by the experts or institute


Bidding Process

In order to participate in the bidding process, please collect from Regional Office for South Asia the Study Guide on Child Poverty and Disparities (electronically from asgurung@unicef.org) and based on the methodology proposed in the Study Guide, develop and submit a Proposal (max. 10 pages) by 30 June 2008 latest to Human Resources Section ROSA (rpradhan@unicef.org and cc to Mr. Anoop Gurung asgurung@unicef.org , Ms. Kesang Bajracharya (kbajracharya@unicef.org) and Ms. Geeta Nambiar (gnambiar@unicef.org). Only short-listed candidates will be contacted.





1 Comment:

  1. Darshit said...
    I truly agree with consciousness awakening part of the post.!
    People rating poverty as poor from their hearts is the first step towards any revolution to be taking place..

    The Millennium Development goals of the UN..works this principle..!
    They want people to think..question themselves and then come forward to their bit in the cause..!
    It has being doing enormous efforts on these lines….
    This year UN will be shifting its focus on India, with Stand Up and Take action event and getting many hands together to fulfill the 8 goals…
    Be updated….with the latest happeningss..
    http://www.orkut.co.in/Community.aspx?cmm=47234928

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