Consultant on Migration – Child Protection

  • Position type: Consultancy
  • Location: Italy
  • Division/Equivalent: Field Results Group
  • School/Unit: Florence, Italy
  • Department/Office: Office of Research
  • Categories: Private Fundraising and Partnerships

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

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For every child, Research

Please review the Terms of Reference and selection requirement below.

1. Background

UNICEF’s Office of Research – Innocenti is looking for an off-site consultant to support the Child Rights and Protection team on research related to the return and reintegration of migrant children in Afghanistan.

The Office of Research – Innocenti is UNICEF’s dedicated research arm. Its primary objective is to strengthen the evidence base on issues relating to children’s rights, and to help facilitate full implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child across the world. The Office aims to set out a comprehensive framework for research and knowledge within the organization to influence public debates and share best evidence and insights to the benefit of children.
The safe and sustainable return and reintegration of child and youth migrants is a critical child protection priority in both the Afghanistan and wider regional/global context, but lacks a well-developed evidence base. Since 2016, there has been a significant number of Afghani migrant children and youth being returned to Afghanistan from neighbouring and other countries. Despite stated protections under international law, child returnees to Afghanistan arrive in conditions which are not safe, and without sufficient protection of rights or access to essential services.

UNICEF Office of Research (OoR) – Innocenti will be undertaking a mixed-methods study, with the aim of supporting the Afghanistan Country Office’s programme and advocacy agenda on child migration and protection through synthesising existing information and generating new evidence on child return and reintegration in Afghanistan. The research will focus on the experiences of children between 14-19 years old, their families, communities as well as service providers in relation to their migration journey, and their access to systems and services, as well as safe community and family reintegration.

An experienced researcher with expertise on migration (specifically related to return, reintegration and durable solutions), child protection and extensive knowledge of Afghanistan context is required to support with this research.

2. Objective (s)
Through its ‘Protecting Afghan Children on the Move through Evidence-Based Advocacy and Programming’ programme, ACO in partnership with UNICEF Office of Research – Innocenti will generate evidence to inform existing ACO migration programming which aims to strengthen child protection and social welfare systems in order that they effectively enhance protection and well-being of children and youth who have migrated and returned to Afghanistan.

The main objective of the consultancy is to develop an accurate literature and document review to build on the evidence available, and identify gaps to fill with relevant context-specific research questions and outcomes.

The literature review reports will:

– Improve and update understanding of child migration patterns in Afghanistan (by route, family and community characteristics, amongst others) with a particular focus on return and reintegration, situated in the global context and debates on “Durable Solutions”.
– Form the basis for the development of an initial analytical framework for this study divided into three broad domains of enquiry, focusing on analysis of legal and policy measures in place in Afghanistan, mapping of relevant services and institutional providers related to the management of migration, including child migration.
– Synthesize literature on the key challenges facing child migrants (moving with or without family) by age, gender, and other equity considerations, family and community characteristics.
– Review of methodology used in primary and secondary studies, and identify gaps in questions and approaches used.
– Develop a gender-sensitive framework for addressing gaps in the literature to inform the overall research approach.
The consultant will also be expected to contribute more generally to this research project by providing contextual inputs for the research protocol and methodology.

This research project is led by the OoR Migration team in close collaboration with the Afghanistan country Office, and funded by the UNICEF Dutch Natcom.

3. Specific activities to be completed to achieve the objectives

The consultant will be required to work 30 days within a period of 4 months starting in early January, 2021.

The consultant will be responsible for:

a) Carrying out a review of available literature and documents to provide a brief contextual overview and analysis of the current child mixed migratory situation and trends in Afghanistan. This will include gathering and undertaking analysis of secondary data on:
– the legal and policy framework related to migration and child protection in Afghanistan;
– migration trends and main issues in Afghanistan and in the region; including a focus on the gendered impacts and perspective of migration/return and reintegration;
– existing indicators framework adopted by other agencies, particularly on safe and sustainable return and reintegration of children;
b) Map, through documents review and key informant interviews (UNICEF and other partners), existing services, their capacity, and responses in place to support migrant children and identify gaps in the existing prevention and responses initiatives;
c) Provide contextual inputs to the development of the research protocol and tools – including overall analytical framework, research questions and ethical protocols;
d) Develop a first draft of the literature review report and a brief to submit for Innocenti revision;
e) Integrate supervisor/reviewers’ comments and submit final versions;
f) Develop a power point and a blog to facilitate presentation and dissemination of the work;
g) Support ongoing activities related to the research project as requested.

4. Requirements (academic and other)

• Advanced social science degree in Sociology, Social Anthropology, Social Work, Psychology, Law, Political science, Statistics, Demography or related degree;
• Specific thematic and technical expertise on child and youth return and reintegration issues, ideally with a defined Afghanistan focus;
• Established experience in undertaking gender analysis related to migration, including related to policies, laws, and services
• General knowledge and expertise around child protection issues, research on children’s rights, children and migration issues in the region and in humanitarian situations;
• Excellent communication skills with a high level of written and spoken English;
• Experience in data analysis, understanding, analysing and communicating keys issues in complex displacement/migration context;
• Evidence of high-quality report writing, good visual presentation skills;
• Understanding importance of timely delivery, validation and feedback processes as well as precision when selecting and referencing background sources;
• Professional, respectful and fully committed to maintaining ethical behaviours;
• Clean criminal record and does not subscribe to harmful gender attitudes;
• Alignment with UNICEF core values – care, respect, integrity, trust and accountability (CRITA) values.

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.

View our competency framework at

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.


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.


Location: Rome, Italy

Deadline: 10/1/2021 (DD/MM/YY) (Europe Standard Time)

Application link

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