Individual Consultancy: Provision of high-quality technical assistance to UNICEF Mozambique, Child Protection Section, for the contracting of a distance learning platform

Individual Consultancy: Provision of high-quality technical assistance to UNICEF Mozambique, Child Protection Section, for the contracting of a distance learning platform
Individual Consultancy: Provision of high-quality technical assistance to UNICEF Mozambique, Child Protection Section, for the contracting of a distance learning platform

7 Janeiro, 2021

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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, Education

Purpose of the Assignment: Provision of high-quality technical assistance to UNICEF Mozambique, Child Protection Section, for the contracting of a distance learning platform (as outlined in these ToRs) integration of already developed Case Management and Psychosocial Support guidelines and tools into a blended training course (on-line and classroom based) for social workers.

  1. Purpose and Objective:

The COVID-19 outbreak was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO, 2020) on 11 March 2020. The rapid spread of the newly discovered coronavirus (2019-nCoV) has driven many countries to respond to a public health emergency of unprecedented proportions in modern history. The nature of COVID-19 has led to the global adoption of key policy measures to control infection rates, including quarantine and isolation, physical distancing, movement restrictions and the closure of schools, services and non-essential businesses.

In Mozambique, the pandemic has caused significant changes to children and families’ lives, as emergency measures declared by the government, such as school closure and restrictions of movement have forced them to be confined and unable to follow their usual routine, leaving families, parents and their children to experience stress, increased tensions and, in some cases, increased risk of intrahousehold conflicts. The COVID-19 pandemic is new to all and related marginalization, stigma and discrimination can make children and adolescents more vulnerable to various types of violence including psychological abuse.

Many social service organizations have had to quickly determine how to continue to provide services in ways that reduce the risk of spreading the virus, often without adequate time for staff training. Staff need help to adapt their services, use new technology, and understand risk mitigation for continued in-person services.

Social workers are important frontline professionals in the pandemic response. They are facing serious challenges, such as safeguarding and providing care for increasingly vulnerable people whilst staying as safe as possible themselves, increased demand with reduced staffing, increased demand for all mental health services, as the reduction in social contact and anxieties brought on by the pandemic have a negative effect on service users’ well-being.

In addition, government social workers’ capacity assessments have indicated that social workers are not sufficiently knowledgeable about the recently approved standard operation procedures for case management and have limited competences to provide psychosocial support to beneficiaries. The Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Action had initially scheduled conventional classroom trainings to address the capacity gap but COVID-19 restrictions have made this difficult.

MGCAS has experience of providing classroom-based training to its staff to provide psychosocial support to children, women and other vulnerable groups facing social risks. To respond to COVID-19, MGCAS is  planning to strengthening existing capacities through integration of psychosocial support content into Case Management Standard Operation Procedures training package to enable social workers to  identify individuals facing social risks, provide focused psychosocial support and refer those requiring professional interventions to appropriate mental health service providers. COVID and social distancing related protocols have constricted the classroom-based approach and MGCAS has requested UNICEF to support with a blended on-line and classroom-based training.

It is therefore, that UNICEF is seeking high quality technical assistance to assist i) in the selection and contracting of an open distance learning platform, ii) developing of a blended on-line and classroom-based course through integration/migration of already developed case management standard operation procedures and Psychosocial Support tools and guidelines (adjusted to COVID-19). The distance learning course will target social workers nationwide (all provinces) with the objective of strengthening their capacity to i) identify, assess and refer individuals and families facing vulnerabilities and protection risks to statutory and community service providers and ii) provide psychosocial support while complying with social distancing. The course will be interactive, will provide guided and supported learning across different regions in Mozambique, as well as enable anonymous review of real-life cases, linking theory and practice. The training will include induction on scripts and practical guidelines, essential for the success of the intervention. In addition, mentorship and technical assistance will be provided during the first phase of the intervention, ensuring that all identified challenges and technical weakness are identified and properly addressed in a timely manner. In fact, each group of trainees at provincial level will receive technical assistance from National Association for Social Workers (AASMO – Associação dos Assistentes Sociais de Moçambique) – who will also be trained to perform the mentorship role. This AASMO will document experiences during the roll out phase to ensure they are a source of learning and implementation improvements.

  1. Methodology and Technical Approach:

UNICEF Mozambique Child Protection section aims to adapt the conventional classroom Case Management and Psychosocial Support training into a remote/distance training (possibly combining e-learning and guided remote/independent learning).

The Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Action has developed “Guidelines to deal with child protection cases”” and a toolkit to assist in managing these cases, which contains essential instructions to assist social workers to perform the main tasks related to case management – from assessing the needs of children and families, defining a joint action plan to organizing and coordinating the referral of beneficiaries to services providers for accessing the necessary support/services and overcome the protection risks or actual violations and ensure the fulfilment of their rights. The case management guidelines and tools have been approved but a training curriculum (through distance learning) remains to be developed, covering 60 hours and focusing on the following topics:

  • Registration and case assistance or “atenção de casos” (regular and covid-19 context)
  • Action plan
  • Referral and monitoring of the cases
  • Case conference and review of cases
  • Self-care of social workers

Additionally, the national NGO, REPSSI, has already adapted content (modules and tools) to train social workers on Psychosocial Support. This training will last for 40 hours and will cover the following topics:

  • Care and psychosocial: concept and framework
  • COVID-19 Psychosocial impact on children Psychosocial support skills to cope with stress
  • MHPSS
  • Remote psychosocial support
  • Counseling (solution focused approach)
  • Psychosocial support in relation to GBV and disability (inclusion)
  • Referral process in the context of COVID-19

Other requirements

  • The platform will include a guideline on how to navigate it.
  • Special section to mentors

The consultant will assist in:

  1. Contracting the on-line platform

The implementation of an e-learning course requires the contracting and use of an e-learning platform. While this is not a specific deliverable, the consultant will offer his/her insights on the best options prior to contracting. The e-learning platform requirements are as follow:

  • Be an open source platform, preferably but not exclusively Moodle;
  • Be the latest version of the platform;
  • Aid on Sub-Domain Configuration under www.mgcas.gov.mz (eg. moodle.mgcas.gov.mz) via CIUEM (Centro de Informatica da UEM)
  • Select Suitable Hosting Solution can be Cloud based for a speedy deployment, or installed locally if MGCAS IT department has the capacity
  • Learning Path Function should be activated for the delivery of training contents,
  • Customize user interface to reflect MGCAS identity (logos, color scheme, etc);
  • Implement tracking services to allow the monitoring of the progress of each user;
  • Enable all services expected to be used on the platform (chat, forum, agenda, media centre, evaluation tests, quizzes and others);
  • Configure “Self -Registration” via email with confirmation of Platform Manager (to be discussed);
  • Enable feature to allow insertion of Subtitles for Videos
  • Creation of User´s Guide (PDF, Video), with step by step instructions on how to use the platform for (student, teacher and Manager) on Mobile Phone and Browser;
  1. Creating the blended online and classroom-based course
  • Develop the course on the platform
  • Production of relevant videos and upload them in the platform (add subtitles);
  • Upload/migrate already existing materials (Audio, Video, Documents and etc);
  • Link the platform with Zoom (Pro Edition) platform and possibly Google Meet for Real Time Virtual Classes;
  1. Support (during the project duration and beyond (Year, Month) – To be discussed and agreed
  • Online technical support for users via E-mail/WhatsApp/Zoom within 24hrs (working days);
  • System Maintenance (Software upgrades, Monthly backups etc;
  1. Activities and Tasks:
  • Review the specifications regarding the online platform and provide feedback prior to contracting.
  • In coordination with MGCAS, UNICEF and REPSSI, migrate/upload already developed content to the platform
  • Test the platform (with regards to user related functionalities) and course flow
  • Based on the findings from the previous step, review and fix any system bugs and issues with the learning flow
  • Provide technical support and standby backup during training of social workers, ensuring that identified system hiccups are timely addressed
  • Provide final adjustments and certifications to the course
  1. Deliverables and Payments:  

Payments will be processed upon acceptance of the corresponding deliverable and against an invoice that will refer to the contract number and name task performed . Payments will be approved by the respective section chief, after endorsement by the supervisor.

To achieve the above objectives the consultant will produce a set of concrete deliverables against which payments will be made:

Deliverable 1: Training content migrated to the platform and design features adjusted as required

Deliverable timeframe: 15 days

The distance learning course will be designed using existing case management and psychosocial modules, tools and guidelines. It will consider the following:  

  • Integration of user-friendly guidelines explaining the modules and expectations
  • Activities to confirm learning has occurred
  • Assessment for each module
  • Space for debate among participants
  • Features allowing follow up to specific cases (while adhering to confidentiality and safety protocols)
  • Accessibility with regards to training materials (even with no internet)
  • Course accreditation

Payment: 30%

Deliverable 2: E-learning course (blended on-line and classroom based) operational

Deliverable timeframe: 30 days

Final and fully operational online course, with all modules, tools and guidelines integrated, features for sharing materials, for consultations, group work, debates and download of training materials (even in the absence of internet connectivity). Apart from all already mentioned, the fully operational distance learning platform should also offer:

  • Case management and monitoring system for cases explored during training
  • Information sharing mechanism including for seeking clarification from tutors
  • Performance assessment and certification

Payment: 30%

Deliverable 3: On-line course certification (report)

Deliverable timeframe: 40 days

The distance learning platform will be subject to an assessment during the first 10 days of operationalization to confirm that it works perfectly and that trainees can learn effectively. An adjustment may be requested to fulfill the final training requirements.

Payment: 40%

How can you make a difference?

To qualify as an advocate for every child you will have…

  • Academic qualifications:University degree in computing sciences, programming or related technical field.    Work experience:
    • At least 10 years of professional experience in developing classroom-based training courses, workshops, seminars, and in developing materials of a technical nature. Experience in developing on-line courses, in using e-learning or blended learning methodologies.
    • Experience in designing and applying adult learning methodologies,
    • Previous work with the UN including UNICEF is desirable although not mandatory; 
    • Adherence to UN’s values and ethical standards, understanding of UNICEF’s mission and objective, sensitivity and adaptability to diverse cultural, gender, religious, national and age-wise contexts; and
    Specific knowledge, competencies, and skills required:
    • Proven experience in deployment and management of LMS (Learning Management Systems)
    • Data Base Management in MySQL
    Language skills:
    • Excellent knowledge of Portuguese and English is required

For every Child, you demonstrate…

UNICEF’s values of Care, Respect, Integrity, Trust, and Accountability (CRITA) and core competencies in Communication, Working with People and Drive for Results.

UNICEF is committed to diversity and inclusion within its workforce, and encourages all candidates, irrespective of gender, nationality, religious and ethnic backgrounds, including persons living with disabilities, to apply to become a part of the organization.

UNICEF has a zero-tolerance policy on conduct that is incompatible with the aims and objectives of the United Nations and UNICEF, including sexual exploitation and abuse, sexual harassment, abuse of authority and discrimination. UNICEF also adheres to strict child safeguarding principles. All selected candidates will be expected to adhere to these standards and principles and will therefore undergo rigorous reference and background checks. Background checks will include the verification of academic credential(s) and employment history. Selected candidates may be required to provide additional information to conduct a background check.

Download File Annex 3 – Terms of Reference_distance learning training for social workers.docx

Remarks:

  • The technical proposal should articulate very clearly the interest and capacities of proposing candidates to provide the type and scope of services expected under the service area for which the proposal is submitted. The proposal should be concise, and the information provided should be enough for the evaluation team to assess the capacity of the candidates with regards to the specific assignment. The proposal should also contain information about the experience and capacity of candidates with regards to being able to work in a variety of contexts. No financial information should be contained in the technical proposal.
  • The financial proposal should cover the following aspects:
  • Daily rate (USD/day)
  • Ownership

All the contents and the blended distance learning course using on-line and classroom-based approaches will property of MGCAS and UNICEF. The course management functions will be granted to MGCAS.

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

Individuals engaged under a consultancy or individual contract will not be considered “staff members” under the Staff Regulations and Rules of the United Nations and UNICEF’s policies and procedures, and will not be entitled to benefits provided therein (such as leave entitlements and medical insurance coverage). Their conditions of service will be governed by their contract and the General Conditions of Contracts for the Services of Consultants and Individual Contractors. Consultants and individual contractors are responsible for determining their tax liabilities and for the payment of any taxes and/or duties, in accordance with local or other applicable laws.

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Advertised: 29 Dec 2020 South Africa Standard Time
Deadline: 17 Jan 2021 South Africa Standard Time

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