Consultancy: Establishing countries’ capacity baseline for preventing and responding to violence against children
In the past years, Africa and the world have seen overwhelming commitment and action towards elimination of violence against children contained in global and regional agenda. The adoption of Sustainable Development Goals, African Union (AU) Agenda 2063: The Africa we want, and the Africa’s Agenda for Children 2040 all make explicit statements on elimination of all forms of violence against children. With renewed energy and resources, ambitious efforts are underway to strengthen leadership and cooperation, policies and regulatory frameworks, institutions, systems, human resources, innovations/solutions, delivery of services, and empowerment of children, families and communities for the realization of these targets. These efforts and investments are essential to close existing capacity gaps and deliver on the various global and continental targets.
Despite this commendable progress, the complex and evolving economic, social, environmental and political context continue to present serious challenges on countries’ priorities. For violence prevention and response agenda which is at the margin of other sectors, this translates to further capacity shortfalls to comprehensively address girls’ and boys’ vulnerabilities, risks and exposure to different forms of violence especially the most marginalised children.
It is against this background that the African Partnership to End Violence against Children (APEVAC) aims to examine how ending violence against children has been prioritised at the national level. Specifically, the assessment will focus on assessing capacity for planning, designing and implementing comprehensive, multi-sectoral and stakeholder action and coordination for preventing and responding to violence against children. In addition, assessing investments, initiatives and efforts made since the adoption of the global and continental agendas to improve the capacity of the government to address VAC. In the face of the current COVID-19 crises, the assessment will pay special attention to the potential strain the pandemic places on the already under-resourced social development sector capacities to protect children from violence in the context of the pandemic. It will also highlight a roadmap for accelerating progress in the realization of global and continental targets on VAC.
This capacity assessment report will feed into the current capacity building initiatives planned by APEVAC and inform the next phase of APEVAC’s efforts to develop government capacity in preventing and responding to violence against children.
2. Objectives of the Assessment
The main objective of the assessment is to examine the capacity of governments to design, plan and implement a comprehensive, multi-sectoral stakeholder action and evaluate the effectiveness of coordination with relevant stakeholders for preventing and responding to violence against children. Specifically, the study aims to:
· Assess the political, legal and social environment at a national level in terms of its capacity to protect children from violence,
· Examine the level of government capacity for preventing and responding to violence against children,
· Propose a roadmap to improve national level legislative and policy and implementation capacity for preventing and responding to violence against children.
3. Scope of the Assessment
The assessment will examine 10 selected countries in Africa in terms of their progress in establishing capacity for preventing and responding to violence against children. The first part of the assessment will study three categories of capacity within which the prevention and response to violence against children takes place:
Enabling environment: a stable and safe environment where there is capacity for addressing social inequality and discrimination; laws explicitly define and prohibit, social norms and attitudes that prevent all forms of violence against all children as well as acknowledge vulnerabilities and risks to children; and support measures to address the risks.
Government capacity: governments capacity in terms of overall leadership; relevant sectors’ institutional arrangements, policies, procedures, knowledge, range of services, coordination with relevant stakeholders, mechanisms for data collection to understand the magnitude of the problem as well as provide services, and accountability system for preventing and responding to violence.
The second part of the assessment will examine the impact of COVID 19 on countries’ capacity to respond to violence against children and propose a roadmap for APEVAC’s national policy and implementation capacity support for preventing and responding to violence against children.
This assessment by taking into consideration travel and social distancing restrictions related to COVID 19 pandemic will apply a three pronged methodology:
· Desk review: relevant documents within those sectors will be reviewed. These will include, among others, national laws, policies, and standards, project documents, annual reports, capacity assessment reports, strategic plans, manuals and procedures, etc.
· Key informant interviews/consultations: virtual consultations will be held with relevant government sectors, civil society community and private sector using appropriately tailored questions.
· Self-assessment questionnaires: sector-specific online questionnaires will be circuited for senior experts and staff to allow for detail documentation of strengths and gaps in national policy development and implementation capacity for preventing and responding to violence against children. Gaps in competences and technical skills are often underreported or unreported in facilitated-capacity assessment exercises, in which case self-assessment offers a safe space for staff to freely discuss an organization’s issues and priorities, including weaknesses, challenges, and needs for performance improvement without fear.
5. Language and style
The assessment report will adopt an advocacy oriented style of writing. The report will also be evidence-based, factual and forwarding-looking, with clear recommendations for countries. The page limit of the report is 60 including table of contents and references.
6. Required expertise and qualification
Candidates must meet the following requirements:
· Postgraduate or other advanced university degree in the area of child/human rights, law, political science, development studies or any other related discipline;
· At least 10 years of traceable experience of working and/or conducting research, policy development and review in the field of child rights at regional and continental levels;
· Demonstrable analytical skills and practical exposure in applying child rights analyses, mainstreaming, programming, capacity assessment at continental and regional levels;
· Demonstrable experience of working with the EAC and its mechanisms;
· Having good knowledge of violence prevention and response global, continental, regional and national efforts;
· Past experiences in similar assignments of carrying out sector capacity assessment particularly in government child protection policy and implementation capacity in Africa region;
· Proficiency in English is a requirement.
How to apply:
7. How to apply
Interested and suitable candidates are requested to send their technical and financial proposals, of not more than five pages, and a CV, of not more than three pages, to: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com on or before 14 June 2020. The successful candidate will be asked to develop an inception report that will outline in detail the scope of the work and tools to be administered.
Only short listed candidates will be contacted.