Child Protection Systems Consultant

  • Anywhere
Organization: UN High Commissioner for Refugees
Closing date: 27 Jul 2022

Terms of Reference

Consultancy to strengthen inclusion of refugee children in national child protection systems

Title: Child Protection Systems Consultant

Duty Station: Home-based

Duration: 4.25 months

Contract Type: Consultancy

Closing date: 27 July 2022

Start date: ASAP

UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, is offering a home-based consultancy within the Child Protection Unit (FPS / DIP in our Geneva Headquarters.

The Global Compact on Refugees (GCR) identifies “the appropriate economic, social and cultural inclusion of refugees” as a local solution pending a durable solution becoming available; and commits states and relevant stakeholders to “contribute resources and expertise, including technical guidance on legal and institutional frameworks that foster the peaceful and productive inclusion of refugees and the well-being of local communities”.[1] This overall ambition of inclusion is consistent with the Sustainable Development Goal commitment to ‘leave no one behind’, to which UNHCR has committed to contribute.

The strategic approach for UNHCR’s Child Protection Unit in 2022 is to focus on four priority themes, the first of which is strengthening the protection of children through enhanced accountability, partnership, and capacity of UNHCR and partners to protect displaced and stateless children.

Work in this area will focus on supporting UNHCR operations and partners’ efforts to strengthen protection systems for children. This includes strengthening inclusion in national child protection systems. The work will build on the strong existing work undertaken jointly by UNICEF and UNHCR in East Africa and at the global level from 2020-2021 to promote inclusion of refugee children in national child protection systems. This work generated two key publications at the regional level: a mapping of child protection systems in refugee-affected contexts: Bridging the Humanitarian-Development Divide for Refugee Children in Eastern Africa and the Great Lakes Region; and a synthesis of learning from efforts to strengthen inclusion: Inclusion of Refugee Children in National Child Protection Systems: Guidance for Practitioners in East Africa. At the global level, a mapping tool was drafted, tested, and finalised in 2021 which enables the assessment of the capacity, appropriateness and accessibility of national child protection and refugee protection systems for refugee and asylum-seeking children. The current consultancy will build upon this previous work to advance inclusion of refugee children in national child protection systems.

The consultancy will be within UNHCR’s Child Protection Unit, which (CPU) sits within the Field Protection Service at headquarters and provides technical support and guidance to field operations across humanitarian and refugee operations through developing policy, guidelines, and tools, facilitating learning and development events, coordinate and work with colleagues and partners to enhance the prevention, mitigation, and response strategies to protect children of concerns as well as strengthening youth engagement.

UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, is a global organization dedicated to saving lives, protecting rights and building a better future for refugees, forcibly displaced communities and stateless people. An unprecedented 68.5 million people around the world have been forced from home. Among them are nearly 25.4 million refugees, over half of whom are under the age of 18. Responding to the protection needs of children is a core component of UNHCR’s protection mandate.

Organisational context

The Child Protection Unit and Youth Unit lead UNHCR’s institutional work on child protection in the Division of International Protection at UNHCR Headquarters. This work includes providing principled and practical guidance on key areas of work such as the Best Interests Procedure, Child Friendly Procedure, and support to youth programming.

The position

We are seeking a dynamic and proactive team player, with a strong interest in child protection and refugee protection issues, to complete a 4.25-month consultancy within UNHCR’s Child Protection Unit.

The consultant will report to the Senior Child Protection Officer and will work closely with the focal points for various child protection thematic and geographical areas and UNICEF.

Duties and responsibilities

The consultancy will include the following elements:

  1. Inception phase

The consultant will review the previous documentation from the consultancy, conduct one planning meeting with UNHCR and UNICEF and will then produce workplan for the consultancy with specific timings.

  1. Field support and learning

The consultant will continue to provide technical support to UNHCR and UNICEF regional Bureaux and field operations on inclusion of refugee children in national child protection systems. The consultant This support will take three forms:

  • Organisation of learning events to field colleagues. This will include 2 learning events such as webinars, clinics, or online training to exchange good practices between field colleagues on inclusion and discuss key issues. The precise form of these learning events will be determined during the inception phase above.
  • Remote and/or in country field support. This will include follow-up to countries who piloted the tools in 2021 to document experiences and provide ongoing follow-up, remote technical support to UNHCR and/or UNICEF Regional or Country Offices/Bureaux on request and at least one country mission (to be determined separately should this be required). At least 5 countries or regions will be provided with technical support.
  • Global webinar for partners. The consultant will organise one global webinar for partners on inclusion of refugee children in national systems. This will be coordinated with the L and D Working Group of the Alliance for Child Protection in Humanitarian Action.
  1. Accompanying tools

A number of tools will be produced to accompany the inclusion tool as follows:

  • Support to production of video learning on inclusion. UNHCR will produce a video on inclusion, and the consultant will be responsible for developing the content and coordinating, if relevant, the selection of field colleagues in the video, developing the script and advice to video producer on editing the final product
  • The consultant will also be responsible for reviewing and finalising a draft tool on assessing the appropriateness of national best interests’ procedures. This tool will build on Chapter 2 of the 2021 BIP guidelines and provide UNHCR and UNICEF colleagues in the field ability to assess the quality of best interests’ procedures in national systems and determine how to support and when to compliment existing procedures. UNHCR draft tool for this will be the foundation of this element of the work
  • Core programmatic interventions. The consultant will produce 2–5-page document summarising core programmatic interventions for UNHCR and UNICEF on strengthening the national child protection system to be more inclusive of refugee children. This document will build upon both the work undertaken in 2021, as well as the UNHCR-UNICEF compendium.
  1. Measurement of inclusion
  • The consultant will be responsible for finalising the indicator guidance for UNHCR indicator on inclusion of refugee children in national systems. This indicator was drafted in the 2021 consultancy but needs to be further simplified and finalised. The finalisation of this indicator will be done in consultation with UNHCR DSPR colleagues responsible for the UNHCR Compass Indicators.
  • This work will be done for UNHCR but will be coordinated with UNICEF to ensure that the link between this indicator and UNICEF measurement of child protection systems maturity is appropriately documented/explained.

Essential minimum qualifications and professional experience required

The ideal candidate will have:

  • University Degree in International Law, Human Rights, International Development, International Relations, Political or Social Science
  • 10 or more years of experience in humanitarian programming including field experience
  • Field experience in child protection in refugee settings essential with either UNHCR and UNICEF, experience working with both UNHCR and UNICEF is an asset
  • Demonstrated expertise in child protection and refugee protection
  • Knowledge of child protection systems and/or child friendly refugee procedures
  • Demonstrated ability to write clearly and succinctly for both technical and non-technical audiences
  • Excellent written and spoken English. Knowledge of French or Spanish or Arabic is an asset.
  • Experience in writing practical, reader-friendly guidance.


The successful candidate will be home-based with possible short mission to the field.

How to apply

Interested applicants should submit their letter of motivation, Personal History Form (PHF), CV and samples of previous work to indicating VN 12/FPS/DIP/2022 – Child Protection Systems Consultant Personal History Forms are available at PHF Form / Supplementary Sheet.


The UNHCR workforce consists of many diverse nationalities, cultures, languages and opinions. UNHCR seeks to sustain and strengthen this diversity to ensure equal opportunities as well as an inclusive working environment for its entire workforce. Applications are encouraged from all qualified candidates without distinction on grounds of race, colour, sex, national origin, age, religion, disability, sexual orientation and gender identity.

Geneva 20 July 2022



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