Individual Consultant: Follow-up Assessment of the Covid19 Impact on Children and Women

  • Entry-level, Short-term contract assignment
  • Posted on 30 June 2020

Job Description

Purpose of the Job
The Consultant will support and provide guidance to UNICEF Kyrgyzstan Country Office and National Statistical Committee (NSC) in preparation and conducting the MICS Follow-up Assessment of Covid19 impact on the situation in children and women.

The Covid19 crisis is having multiple profound and long-lasting effects on children’s wellbeing. Widespread job and income loss and economic insecurity among families are likely to increase rates of child labor, sexual exploitation, teenage pregnancy, and child marriage. Children in the country are out of school due to school closures, and it’s hard to estimate how many of them are covered by quality distance learning. Stresses on families are increasing the incidence of domestic violence. There is a high risk of vulnerability to exploitation and abuse due to increased death toll from Covid19.
To assess an impact on children and women, UNICEF jointly with the National Statistics Committee plan to conduct the MICS Follow-up Assessment of Covid19 impact on the situation in children and women.
In the course of the Kyrgyzstan MICS-2018 survey, National Statistics Committee NSC has obtained the detailed maps of MICS clusters, household information on assets, family compositions, household and individual sampling weights and other information compiled into the survey database. The plan is to utilise the positive experience of having the MICS-2018 in Kyrgyzstan and apply it in a new context to assess the impact of pandemic on children and women in the country.
Namely. The plan envisages the following steps and approaches.
Sampling. Sample selection probabilities and sample weights from the MICS-2018 are available in detailed form. By using probabilistic sample selection techniques, a subsample of households is selected and forms the mini-MICS sample.
Due to financial limitations, it’s suggested to select every second from the MICS-2018 clusters, and then interview every second household in these clusters. In other words, every fourth household from the MICS-2018 sample will be selected.
Questionnaires. The NYHQ MICS team have developed an additional Covid-19 module which will be attached to the standard MICS household questionnaire. The module will provide an opportunity to understand a) who are most affected by the emergency or pandemic, b) how these are affected, c) who are at most risk of being affected. It will also allow creating an additional variable Affected by Covid19 which can be then applied to households and individuals (similar to the Disability module, or Wealth index perhaps).
A reduced number of the most relevant Kyrgyzstan MICS-2018 modules will comprise a core of the mini-MICS questionnaires (household and individual). A limited set of additional questions will be also developed to cover possible gaps. Depending on the content of the Covid-19 module, these additional questions may cover Changes in employment status of adult family members or in family income due to the crisis or Increased psychological tension in family, if these are not included into the Covid-19 module. Additional thematic questions may include for instance a set of questions on access to distance learning for school age children.
Upon finalization the survey questionnaire will be translated into Kyrgyz and Uzbek languages. These will be pre-tested during the two-day questionnaire pre-test exercise and a pilot survey preceding the fieldwork.
Anthropometry and blood testing. No anthropometric measurements of children under five are planned as caused by Covid19 crisis changes in stunting or underweight seems to be marginal and, assumingly, can be hardly caught by the reduced sample.
Data administering. Mini-MICS survey will use Computer-Assisted Personal Interviewing (CAPI). Procedures and standard programs developed under the global MICS programme will be adapted to the mini-MICS questionnaire. All the information collected in the course of interviews will be processed by CAPI application and then encrypted for further transfer from interviewer to a team supervisor and then to the main server. The CAPI application will be tested during the training and pilot survey.
Survey logistics. Mini-MICS survey will use Computer-Assisted Personal Interviewing (CAPI). Procedures and standard programs developed under the global MICS programme will be adapted to the mini-MICS questionnaire. All the information collected in the course of interviews will be processed by CAPI application and then encrypted for further transfer from interviewer to a team supervisor and then to the main server. The CAPI application will be tested during the training and pilot survey.
Training. Training for the fieldwork staff will be conducted during last decade of August. It will include lectures on interviewing techniques and the contents of the questionnaires, and mock interviews between trainees to gain practice in administering the questionnaire. Participants first complete full training on paper questionnaires, followed by training on the CAPI application. A pilot survey is planned at the end of training.
Fieldwork. The data will be collected by 9 teams; each was comprised of 2 interviewers, one driver and a supervisor. Fieldwork will begin in September and concluded in approximately four weeks. Information will be collected using PC-tablet computers running the Windows 10 operating system, utilising a Bluetooth application for field operations, enabling transfer of assignments and completed questionnaires between supervisor and interviewer tablets.

Main Tasks Related to the Job

  1. Finalize in collaboration with national partners and UNICEF CO, the survey plan and timetable;
  2. Oversee each stage of the survey process and ensure that the MICS protocols and standards are followed by the NSC;
  3. Provide progress reports on the survey implementation activities to the UNICEF CO on a monthly basis;
  4. Ensure that all survey related documents and deliverables (questionnaires, manuals, expert reports, final report, datasets, etc.) are properly archived throughout the survey process;

4 Specific Deliverables and Activities
In consultation and collaboration with the UNICEF CO and the NSC, the consultant will be responsible for ensuring the following results have been achieved following the MICS guidelines and will contribute to the coordination of the activities leading to the results:

  1. in Survey Planning:
    • MICS questionnaires are timely drafted and pre-tested and a pre-test report is produced;
    • Manuals for supervisors and interviewers are customized for the survey-specific context;
    • Selection of sample households is timely carried out and endorsed
  2. Computer-assisted personal interviewing (CAPI)
    • Data entry CAPI template codes are customized by with the guidance provided by UNICEF data processing specialists from NYHQ;
    • CAPI template codes are reviewed/validated by the UNICEF RO and/or HQ before finalization.
  3. Fieldwork and Data Collection:
    • Presentations and training materials are ready for the all-staff training;
    • MICS all-staff training is conducted, followed by small-scale pilot survey;
    • Data collection is duly organized with the daily transmission of collected data to the NSC central office for further processing;
  4. Data Processing and Analysis:
    • A set of the data quality check tables is developed to assure proper quality of fieldwork data;
    • MICS tabulation plan and standard syntax files are ready to be used in generating SPSS dataset and tables.
    • Regular analysis of the quality of data collected by teams is conducted
    • Data Quality and Sampling Errors tables are generated;
    • Support to Final Report writing and compilation of Statistical Snapshots is provided.

Reporting Line
The Consultant will report directly to the Child Rights Monitoring Specialist in the UNICEF-Kyrgyzstan Country Office.

Confidentiality of Data and MICS Documents
The consultant must respect the complete confidentiality of the MICS data as well as any specific MICS documents that will be produced throughout the MICS process. The consultant can use the documents and the datasets only for the tasks related to these terms of reference.

Qualifications and Competencies

  • University degree in Social Sciences, Demography, Statistics, Epidemiology or any other related technical field is required.

Skills and Experience:

  • An experience in the coordination and/or management of quantitative household surveys (prior MICS or Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) coordination experience highly desirable);
  • Strong computer skills and strong expertise in statistical analyses (familiarity with data processing and data analysis software, particularly SPSS);
  • An experience with CAPI approach
  • Training experience and ability to organize and facilitate training and presentations;
  • Experience in data analysis and survey report writing;

Other competencies:

  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills.
  • Ability and willingness to travel extensively in-country and to attend regional workshops.
  • Demonstrated ability to work in a multicultural environment.

Duty Station and Official Travel Involved
Duty station for this consultancy is Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. During the contract period, the consultant is expected to travel to monitor the fieldwork process. It’s expected to be two five-day long travels; one is planned to visit teams in the northern part of Kyrgyzstan and another in the South. Estimated travel costs based on economy class flight Bishkek-Osh-Bishkek and $60 Daily Subsistence Allowance (DSA) rate shell be set out in the contract.

Estimated Duration of Contract and Fees:
This contract covers five months, with a possibility of prolongation. UNICEF CO will issue an individual contract upon agreed assignment and budget. Consultant isto indicate the rate for the services to be provided. The fees payable to a consultant shall follow the “best value for money” principle, i.e., achieving the desired outcome at the lowest possible fee.

Closing Date Fri Jul 10 2020 19:30:00 GMT+0800 (China Standard Time)

About the Organization

UNICEF is out to change the world for children vaccination by vaccination, blanket by blanket, biscuit by biscuit, book by book. In most of America, these things are considered completely ordinary. But in many parts of the developing world, they can save a child's life. UNICEF is unique among world organizations and unique among those working with young people. As a global movement, we use our authority to influence decision makers and diverse partners to turn the most innovative ideas into reality. In 155 countries and territories, UNICEF's field staff uses hard-won expertise to meet the challenges facing children and those who care for them. Our history has given us a profound understanding of development and the importance of child health, education, equality and protection in advancing humanity. All that we do helps children realize their full potential. In support of UNICEF's work, the U.S. Fund for UNICEF focuses on five major priorities: education, emergencies, HIV/AIDS, immunization and malnutrition.

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