National/international consultancy, Ethical Review of major researches/studies commissioned or funded by UNICEF Montenegro Ethics in Evidence Generation Review Committee UNICEF Montenegro

UN Jobs in Montenegro Job title: National/international consultancy, Ethical Review of major researches/studies commissioned or funded by UNICEF Montenegro Ethics in Evidence Generation Review Committee UNICEF Montenegro

Contract duration: 10 months from September 2018 to June 2019

1. Background and Context

To underpin its programmes, policy and advocacy work, UNICEF Montenegro invests substantially in conducting as well as commissioning; research, evaluation and data collection and analysis in order to create a strong evidence base to support the realization of the rights of every child, especially the most disadvantaged. Over the past couple of years, UNICEF commissioned and disseminated high-impact knowledge products, such as: A Study on Investing in Early Childhood Education in Montenegro, Study on the Obstacles to Education in Montenegro – Focus on Roma and Egyptian Children, Child Poverty in Montenegro, Final Evaluation of the “Child Care System Reform”, Evaluation Report for the Justice for Children Initiative, and Evaluation of the project “Using textbooks in DAISY format – Primary school teacher training in using audio textbooks”.

In light of UNICEF’s strategic agenda to harness innovation and deepen and widen the evidence base to drive and sustain global progress towards the realization of children’s rights, ensuring ethical conduct in evidence generation is imperative. This is necessary both in its own right and as a significant contributor to ensuring quality and accountability in the evidence generation process, especially when it involves children.

A focus on the most marginalized, and frequently, the most vulnerable population groups necessitates measures to ensure that participants are respected and that they are protected throughout the process. Further, efforts must be taken not only to mitigate against risks to participants, but also to staff, and, to the organization as a whole.

This Terms of Reference is consistent with The Procedure for Ethical Standards in UNICEF Research, Evaluation, Data Collection and Analysis and is complemented by, and builds on, the pre-existing Strategic Guidance Note on Institutionalizing Ethical Practice for UNICEF Research[1] and the Evaluations Technical Note No. 1, Children Participating in Research, Monitoring And Evaluation (M&E) — Ethics and Your Responsibilities as a Manager, UNICEF Evaluation Office, 2002.

  • Purpose and Objective

The purpose of the consultancy is to hire one national Consultant/Expert who will act as a member of an Ethical Review Committee that was set up in 2016, who will review and approve research methodologies and final research reports, before their publication. To this end, UNICEF Montenegro will be contracting one expert to populate the committee of three persons.

Consistent with the Procedure for Ethical Standards in UNICEF Research, Evaluation, Data Collection and Analysis, the following evidence generation activities will require review by the Ethics in Evidence Generation Review Committee.

i. All UNICEF research, evaluation and data collection and analysis involving human subjects or the analysis of sensitive secondary data.

ii. All Research, evaluation or data collection processes (identified in para i.) that are carried out, or commissioned – both in partnership and independently. Where a UNICEF partner has its own mechanisms for ethical review, they may substitute for this Committee but only in the instances where partner ethical review processes meet the minimum standards laid out in this procedure.

iii. All proposals involving research, evaluations or data collection and analysis covered by this procedure and meeting one or more of the following criteria must go through a relevant external ethical review board or panel;

a) Evidence generation that involves vulnerable groups whose personal agency is limited due to age, situation or capabilities and for whom an additional duty of care is required. This includes research, evaluation and data collection and analysis that undertakes primary data collection and

  • Involves children as participants, researchers and data collectors;
  • Specifically targets persons with an illness, disability or mental health issue as participants;
  • Targets and involves a group that may be perceived as vulnerable (examples include; women, minority groups, persons with HIV/AIDS, the economically and educationally marginalized, persons in institutions) as participants;
  • Involves persons within humanitarian contexts as participants (e.g. children, young people and adults in refugee/migrant camps; in conflict and post conflict transition settings and in disaster settings).

b) Evidence generation involving primary data collection that has the potential to result in direct harm to the participant during the course of the programme (through physical or psychological tests, measures or lines of questioning). This includes evidence generation activities that

  • Specifically explore issues related to violence, abuse or trauma;
  • Provide health based assessment, diagnoses and treatments as part of the research.

c) Evidence generation that has the potential to compromise the privacy of subjects and the confidentiality of data including

  • Data analysis of restricted access or non-anonymized data of individuals;
  • The measurement and collection of health-related data, including assessments, diagnoses and the collection of biological samples;
  • Issues noted in D below.

d) Evidence generation that has the potential to compromise the safety and wellbeing of individuals in their context. This includes primary and secondary data collection that involves questions on socially or politically sensitive issues such as

  • Violence;
  • Abuse;
  • Prostitution;
  • Political views;
  • HIV/AIDS;
  • Reproductive, sexual and mental health;
  • Other information that may be perceived as private or sensitive within the social context;
  • Opinions for which fear may exist of public disclosure resulting in limitations to future freedoms and access to services.

3. Methodology and Technical Approach

The Ethics Review Committee is multidisciplinary and multi-sectoral in composition; comprising 3 members.

The Committee is chaired by the most senior member in terms of relevant professional experience in conducting or reviewing researches/studies involving primary data collection and preferably experience undertaking programmes involving children. The Committee Chair liaises with UNICEF Montenegro’s Child Rights Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist, to share deliverables/recommendations or resolve any outstanding issues.

The Committee’s work will be supported by UNICEF Montenegro member of the staff, acting as a secretary with no voting rights. The secretary will oversee the review of initial documentation to be submitted to the Committee, ensuring administrative coherence and providing advice as relates to the functioning of the Committee.

Any conflict of interest whereby the personal or financial interests of the contractor are in conflict with the terms of the contract which require impartiality and confidentiality will necessarily exclude the consultant from the review committee of from a review of a particular programme for which a conflict of interest exists.

The Committee has its own rules of business or procedures. Functions of the Ethical Review Committee include the following:

Reviewing Relevant Research, Data Collection and Analysis Inception Reports, focusing on a detailed research methodology: to contribute to respect and protection of dignity, rights, safety and well-being of all children, groups and persons related to the concerned project/programme/activity. This would include participants in the research/evaluation, community at large, researchers, research community and institution/s. Tentatively, the new member of the Ethical Review Committee will be expected to:

  • Provide feedback on the inception report and/or proposed research methodology within 5 working days following the submission;
  • Provide feedback on the draft research report no later than 5 working days following the submission;
  • Provide feedback on the final research report no later than 5 working days following the submission;

Guidelines: Provision of Guidelines with respect to:

  • When a full or expedited review is required and the arrangements and timelines for both.
  • Where significant ethical issues arise or where significant changes to the methodology or project occurs during the implementation of the project, the Committee should be notified and a decision made as to whether the changes or issues require ethical review.

Analysis and Documentation: Ensuring learning at UNICEF Montenegro and targeted capacity building of national partners through training and sessions related to ethics and other relevant issues of social research.

4. Deliverables and Timeframe

Under the supervision of UNICEF Montenegro’s Child Rights Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist, It is expected that the Committee will be asked to provide an ethical review for at least four research activities taking place in 2019. For most of the activities, the Committee will be asked to review and provide clear and constructive feedback on:

  • Proposed research methodology, which may or may not be presented as part of the inception report;
  • Draft research report;
  • Final research report, serving as endorsement for its publication and/or further use.

Members will also be asked to determine whether, in light of the ethical issues presented, the proposed programme:

  • Can proceed;
  • Can proceed with minor changes;
  • Requires major changes and cannot commence until the Committee has seen the revised research methodology, inception report or draft report.
  • Cannot proceed as currently proposed.

Duration: September 5, 2018 – June 30, 2019 with up to 10 consultancy days in total.

5. Management and Organisation

Management: The consultant selected to populate the Ethical Review Committee will be supervised by the UNICEF Child Rights Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist.

Organization: One individual national consultancy is required for this assignment.Once national consultant is selected, UNICEF Montenegro will provide him/her with the necessary support, in terms of relevant UNICEF procedures, introductory training and access to a user-friendly, comprehensive and mandatory online course on ethical standards in research and data collection and other areas.

Schedule: This assignment will commence on September 5 2018.

6. Qualifications and Background

The Consultant is expected to have following qualifications to complete the task:

Education:

  • Advanced University degree in Social Sciences, research or a related field;

Experience:

  • At least five (5) years of professional work experience related to social sciences research;
  • Previous work undertaking research involving children is desirable:
  • Previous work experience in the Western Balkans will be considered as an advantage;
  • Previous work experience with UNICEF/UN will be considered as an advantage;
  • Previous work experience in the Western Balkans will be considered as an advantage;
  • Previous work experience with UNICEF/UN will be considered as an advantage;
  • Excellent knowledge of international standards in the area of ethical standards in researches involving primary data collection;

Language:

  • Fluency in English and Montenegrin language (spoken and written);

Other:

  • Outstanding skills in statistical and policy analysis;
  • Have a sound understanding of ethical standards in research design, data collection, analysis and presentation;
  • Familiarity with UNICEF’s mandate and goals is desirable;
  • Excellent communication, writing and facilitation skills;
  • Cultural sensitivity;
  • Excellent organizational skills.

7. Application procedure:

  • To apply for a vacant position, please submit P-11 form along with your motivation letter through “apply” button;
  • The candidates are requested to submit a financial offer as a separate document consisting of a daily fee for the services to be provided, travel and subsistence costs, as/ if applicable.
  • The consultant’s fee may be reduced if the assignments/deliverables are not fulfilled to the required standard. In a case of serious dissatisfaction with the consultant’s performance the contract may be terminated in line with UNICEF procedure in such matters and as spelled out in the contract.
  • 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.

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

8. Remark:

Learning: Upon contracting it will be necessary for consultant to complete the following online courses no later than one month after signature ofcontract. Course completion certificates should be shared and retained with thehiring office.

  • ​Basic Security in the Field (BSITF II) (if travel within the country is required)
  • Advanced Security in the Field (if travel outside the country is required)
  • Ethics and Integrity at UNICEF
  • Prevention of Sexual Harassment and Abuse of Authority
  • Sexual Exploitation Abuse (PSEA)
  • UN Human Rights and Responsibilities

The courses can found on the following link: UNICEF Mandatory Training/Learning Classes​ .

9. Budget and Remuneration

The envisaged model will be determined based on a daily rate (in accordance with consultants’ daily fees) and the timeframes for completion of the assignment.

• Payment schedule

The payments will be made upon successful completion of the deliverables and submission of invoices.

[1] Recommended and shared by DED Programs on 30/10/2013. This guidance document outlines considerations relating to ethical research involving children.

HOW TO APPLY:

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=514930

 

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