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Consultancy: Managing for Results (M4R) – MENA Quality Assurance Support Team (QAST)

  • Tunis, Tunis, Tunisie
  • Consultance
  • Catégorie de l'Offre:
  • Date de l'offre:24 Jan 2017
  • Annonce expire dans: Illimité
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Description du Poste

Consultancy Title: Managing for Results (M4R) – MENA Quality Assurance Support Team (QAST)

If you are a committed, creative professional and are passionate about making a lasting difference for children, the world’s leading children’s rights organization would like to hear from you.

For 70 years, UNICEF has been working on the ground in 190 countries and territories to promote children’s survival, protection and development. The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments.


Duration: The team will be established for the duration for 11 months (February 2017 – December 2017)

Location: Consultant(s) will be located in Country office(s) as required, and may need to complete the assignment through home based work; they may also be required to travel to Regional office (Amman) occasionally as needed.

On-site working days: As required for individual assignments in consultation with the requesting country offices.

Off-site working days: Same as above

Field Missions/Travel: Same as above

Estimated Start Date: February 15, 2017

Estimated end Date: December 31, 2017

Reporting to: Regional Chief of Programme and Planning/Deputy Regional Director


In the UNICEF Managing for Results (M4R) framework, the need for quality assurance and risk management is mentioned in the context of ensuring that results are being achieved as planned and of the highest quality standards, resources utilized for their intended purpose and perspectives from programme stakeholders are being fed-back for timely decision-taking and corrective action, as necessary. The 2015-17 M4R workplan in MENA aims to strengthen the region’s overall ability to plan, implement, monitor/assure consistency, and report on results for children through regional approaches.

As part of the MENA M4R work plan and as agreed by the Regional Management Team in its meeting of November 2014, the Regional Office has successfully established a regional “Quality Assurance Support Team” (QAST) in late 2015 that has provided support to countries across the region on areas identified by the countries as needing urgent support including: CPD development, technical and programmatic reviews, support during the COAR review process and support to new and incoming Representatives during 2016.

The establishment of the 2017 QAST will follow the same process as last year, the focus of the support to the countries will remain much more technical compared to 2016, based on the experience and the needs and requests that were received from countries during the first phase.

The QAST will be a group of pre-vetted, highly specialised consultants established by the MENA Regional Office, to support the RO to execute its functions of oversight, technical assistance, and quality assurance. Direct accountability for CO oversight, TA and QA remains with the RO in all cases. Each member of the QAST team will work in close collaboration with the relevant RO Staff and Chief of Operations to ensure consistent support, oversight, response and follow up from the RO to the CO. In this way, the QAST Consultants are accountable to their relevant Regional Advisor/Chiefs for the quality of the technical assistance and support to CO, while being supervised overall by the DRD/Chief of Programme Planning.

There is complementarity between this activity and other activities in the M4R work plan as they are all designed to boost the capacity of COs in the region around results management[1]. For example, MENARO is actively involved in capacity building of the region’s staff on results based programming, monitoring and reporting, providing continuous technical and hands-on support to country offices, providing support to HACT implementation, joint visits (across programmes, senior management, thematic visits etc.) and other quality assurance and oversight functions to ensure effective delivery of results.


The key objective of this consultancy service is to support the region in ensuring COs and Regional office are on track to deliver results for children, and offices are functioning on the basis of clearly defined accountabilities, within an environment of trust and respect towards staff. The consultancy service will:

Provide hands-on support on issues identified in the country offices as requiring urgent and specialized attention in the areas of office governance, programme planning and management
Provide practical support to MENA countries on ensuring the management/mitigation of risks that may hinder the realization of results.

The purpose of this mechanism is to provide timely, proactive and/or dedicated support to a given CO to address specific issues identified in the areas of office governance and programmes. The establishment of this team will enable country offices to mitigate risks associated with governance, systems, practices and processes that may undermine the achievement of results at the country level. The deployment of QAST members to a Country Office may be triggered by red flags raised in the Regional Office’s quarterly monitoring of key Country Office management indicators (or identified through audits) or by a specific request of a CO (in that case the Chief of Planning/DRD will prioritize). The duration of presence of team members in the COs will directly depend on the nature of the work and as agreed between the country and regional offices. The intention would be to be present in the country office to not only identify the issues requiring support, and/or the causes of these issues, but also to provide the hands-on, on-site assistance to the CO to develop and implement necessary measures/solutions to these issues.

The team will be working on an agreed workplan updated every 3 months and developed and prioritized in consultation with COs.

The Composition of the QAST will depend on the issue to be addressed. The teams can be composed of individuals or combination of experts in management and programmes. This team of specialists/experts will be selected and hired on a long-term service agreement and will be deployed to the offices as and where the need arises.

Where required, expertise from HQ, MENARO/other ROs and consultants will be tapped as required.


QAST will primarily have a diagnostic and response role, it will be assisting the COs in identifying appropriate short and/or medium to long term actions to address the issues under various priority areas, for example:

Programme & Planning: Support on key programme issues especially with regard to implementation of programme; technical support to programme sections; issues related to programming in the countries’ context; UNDAF, CPD/CPAP, CPMP support, Interagency Humanitarian Appeals and support in DaO environment;

Partnerships: Advocacy efforts with partners (high level) to address programme delay issues; Analyse the programming context and assist CO and partners in revising/reshaping programmes to meet new/emerging needs;

Governance: Analysing the CO’s systems, processes, practices and/or structures against global or regionally-set criteria and/or standards and identify gaps in implementation;

Management: Review and enhance CO monitoring systems and approaches to boost capacity in managing and tracking results; Assisting/advising CMT to improve performance on key management indicators; other areas of risk management where support is required

Capacity building: Capacity building through training/coaching/orientation and mentoring in critical areas related to the triggers in order to give technical boost to the CO


Triggers for QAST deployment:
Upon a major change in the country’s operating context such as onset of an emergency, or a crisis affecting children
Upon turnover of the Senior Management Team of the CO
Risks to funding level of the CP (severely underfunded/unable to achieve results for children) by helping in identifying donors, technical backstopping for writing strong funding proposals backed by good evidence, reviewing the CO fundraising strategy and approach, etc.
Issues identified in the management and governance indicators being monitored by the regional office on a quarterly basis, and lack of evidence for action being taken to address the red flags related to KPI such as:
Consistent low utilisation rates
Consistent delays in donor reporting
Outstanding DCTs
Extended delays related to critical vacancies
Upon RO and /or Country office observation of serious red flags in programme implementation as a result of:
Major contextual changes (crisis/conflict/ or Government shifts of priorities for example affecting programme implementation)
Significant delays in CPAP or Work plan signature
Recurring concerns regarding quality of programme implementation (based on sectoral analysis)
Insufficient or highly delayed utilisation of thematic or other dedicated funds in the sector
Problems with partners and donors
Funding issues (funding gaps, etc.)
Any other issue that may signify a potential reputational risk to UNICEF
Upon serious observations from HQ (PD/ PPD/ DFAM/ DHR) on specific issues of programme and operations management, human resource management, issues of reputational risk to UNICEF.
Upon critical findings in Global and/or Office Staff Survey results
Upon serious observations of critical nature resulting from Audits
Pre-audit mission/peer review to prepare/orient CO for audit process
Modalities/process for deployment of QAST:

The request for deployment will be initiated either by the Country Representative and/or by the Regional Director/Deputy Regional Director

A Terms of Reference (ToR) is developed either individually by the requesting office or jointly by country office and Regional office with inputs on the technical component by the relevant section;
The budget/cost for the mission will be covered by the M4R budget in the regional office;
The QAST will be accountable to the RO (RD/DRD) and the requesting CO (Country Representative) in delivery of outputs and achieving expected results (these accountabilities and lines of reporting will be further specified in the mission ToR);
The QAST may conduct their work using different modalities such as: diagnostic mission, technical support; mission, follow-up mission, remote/online work, desk review, phone interviews, etc. The specifics/methodology will be further described in the QAST term of reference;
The QAST will have an assigned lead/focal point who will ensure flow of information, timely communication, reporting, etc.
The QAST will submit a report summarizing findings from the assessment, actions taken, recommendations and suggested follow-up;
When it comes to engaging with external stakeholders and partners of UNICEF, QAST will always coordinate contacts, communication or meeting through UNICEF CO and/or RO as relevant.
The Regional office management team (ROMT) and Country office Management teams (CMT) will discuss the findings and recommendations of the report and agree on the timeline for the agreed-upon follow-up actions.

The accountability for this function will be shared among Regional Office and Country Office (as specified below) in order to make sure that the objectives of the QAST Terms of Reference are met. Clear responsibilities of CO and RO will be further outlined when the team is deployed for specific assignments
The ultimate accountability lies with the Regional Director and the Country Representative
For the Regional Office to a) identify and deploy the QAST with the right set of skills and ‘toolkits’ in a timely manner; b) ensure that the QAST’s support is of quality and meets standards; c) work with the Country Office to identify issues and solutions; c) ensure follow-up on pertinent actions identified from the RO side; d) ensure HQ and/or other partners are kept abreast.
For the Country Office: a) to facilitate timely access to relevant staff, partners, systems and files; b) to work with/support QAST in their efforts to address issues; c) inform RO of any issues pertinent to the QAST in a timely manner; d) ensure follow-up on pertinent actions identified from the CO side.

Upon completion of the mission, QAST holds a debriefing session with the CO management team. The consultant(s) will also do a debriefing with the RO, including relevant teams including relevant Regional advisors and/or regional management team as required/relevant to present findings and recommendations and receive feedback
A mission report that includes findings, recommendations and a timeline for follow-up is shared within one week upon completion of the mission and is shared with at the CO level: Country Office representative, relevant focal points and at the RO level: the Regional Director, Deputy Regional Director and relevant RO focal points
Follow-up and tracking of implementation of agreed-upon recommendations by the relevant RO technical Advisor and the CO (relevant focal points) as per agreed upon timeline.
The relevant RO technical Advisor and CO focal point are responsible for ensuring closure of the recommendations.

Quality and timeliness of the technical assistance provided.


End of mission at a minimum or as needed

All contracts will be reviewed quarterly for satisfactory performance.

Mission travel (schedule/itinerary required): _____

Travel to country offices and regional office will be required for specific tasks to be determined.

For individual contractors and consultants, all travel arrangements to commence the assignment, including insurance and visas, will be managed and paid by the individual. Therefore, expected travel costs must be included as a budget item in the financial proposal. Should “mission travel” be required, UNICEF will manage and pay for travel via Travel Authorization. However, this will be subject to the following prerequisites: Medical Clearance, Security Clearance through the Travel Request Information Process (TRIP) system, the Basic and Advanced Security in the Field Trainings, Travel Visa, and liability waiver. Trip prerequisites will be met at the expense of the consultant.

Travel cost shall be calculated based on economy class travel, regardless of the length of travel. Costs for accommodation, meals and incidentals shall not exceed applicable daily subsistence allowance (DSA) rates, as promulgated by the International Civil Service Commission (ICSC at http://icsc.un.org). The consultant must travel on UNICEF approved airlines.


The desired background and experience of the consultants for the team will include:

Prior UNICEF experience required, at CO and RO and/or HQ levels (including in emergency contexts)
7-10 years of experience (at least 8 years with UNICEF) in Programme Management, Planning, at UN levels P4/P5
Proven track record of working on areas including programme design and planning, monitoring systems, capacity building, risk management, resource mobilization, partnerships management, donor coordination, high quality report writing etc.
University Degree in relevant field (social sciences, social development, international development, management, etc.)
Excellent command of English and excellent analytical skills, strategic thinking, problem solving and writing skills; working knowledge of French and/or Arabic will be highly desirable
Strong interpersonal skills, ability to engage on a short notice and work with diverse teams intensively over short duration missions and working from distance

Proposed payment schedule: daily rate or upon deliverables/milestones.


Since the assignment requires an in-depth technical knowledge and experience of UNICEF work and processes, the incumbent will be hired through dissemination of the TORs to former UNICEF staff available for consultancies (TORs will be shared within UNICEF offices and with the consultants’ database available at HQ and MENARO). This will be followed by a competitive process to identify the most suitable person(s) for the assignment.


Qualified candidates are requested to submit:

Cover letter/application.
Financial quote as lump sum for professional fees, and lump sum for travel/administrative/subsistence, if applicable.
Examples of previous, relevant work as applicable
Proposed methodology/approach to managing the project.
At least 2 Referees
P 11 form (which can be downloaded from our website at http://www.unicef.org/about/employ/index_53129.html ).
Please indicate your ability, availability and daily/monthly rate (in US$) to undertake the terms of reference above (including travel and daily subsistence allowance, if applicable). Applications submitted without a daily/monthly rate will not be considered.

Late submissions, incomplete packets, or submissions with an incorrect email subject heading will not be considered.

Successful applicants may be invited for further technical assessment and offers will be evaluated by the following criteria:

UNICEF is committed to diversity and inclusion within its workforce, and encourages qualified female and male candidates from all national, religious and ethnic backgrounds, including persons living with disabilities, to apply to become a part of our organisation.

Comment postuler

UNICEF is committed to diversity and inclusion within its workforce, and encourages qualified female and male candidates from all national, religious and ethnic backgrounds, including persons living with disabilities, to apply to become a part of our organization. To apply, click on the following link http://www.unicef.org/about/employ/?job=502583 In your application, please specify that you found this opportunity on imaginafrica.net
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