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Consultancy: Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in Education Consultant (40 working days) Sint Maarten
Location of Assignment: Home based, with travel to Sint Maarten (Dutch side) depending on COVID-19 developments
Languages required: English
Total working days: 40 working days
Travel: Mission to Sint Maarten if COVID-19 measures allow for travel
Duration of contract: End 2020 – end 2021
Introduction to the assignment
On September 6, 2017, a Category 5 Hurricane made landfall on Sint Maarten, causing significant destruction throughout the country. UNICEF The Netherlands has been active on Sint Maarten since September 2017 implementing a programme comprising disaster preparedness, psychosocial support, child protection, public campaigns and research. To support rapid and sustainable recovery, the Government of The Netherlands has established a Single Donor Trust Fund (SDTF) managed by the World Bank for up to EUR 470 million. On April 5, 2020, The World Bank approved a Project Preparation Grant (PPG) of US$512,000 for the preparation of the US$4,488,000 Child Resilience and Protection Project. UNICEF The Netherlands is the grantee and implementing agency of the Project: https://unicef.nl/trustfundsintmaarten and https://www.sintmaartenrecovery.org.
The Student Support Services Division (SSSD) of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Youth and Sport on Sint Maarten provides support to pupils and teachers in the education system. Student Support Services professionals provide direct services for children and youth within our elementary and secondary schools especially those who are experiencing problems that create barriers to learning.
The Government of Sint Maarten has requested technical assistance in building schools’ capacity to detect distress symptoms in pupils. This includes the design of a school-based screening tool, its piloting, adjustments and implementation by teachers and care teams in all public and subsidized primary and secondary schools (24 schools). By design, the tool will ensure that identified distress symptoms in children are addressed at or escalated to the appropriate level of specialized services (schools will address cases with minor symptoms and refer cases of moderate to major symptoms to MECYS SSSD for follow-up and redirection to appropriate specialized services). The project will also support the development of a reporting protocol that will allow care teams to provide standardized reports to MECYS SSSD, which in return will also allow MECYS to review cases handled directly at the school levels and provide them with feedback. An evaluation of the tool will be conducted after one year of implementation, to adjust it and improve its effectiveness. Training on the use of the tool will be provided to selected facilitators (training of trainers), including MECYS SSSD staff, care teams and teachers. Technical support could also be provided to MECYS staff in charge of planning at the central level to analyze trends and use data for policymaking.
Secondly, the Government of Sint Maarten has requested technical assistance to develop a Teachers’ psychosocial development program. These activities will support MECYS to build a comprehensive psychosocial approach that will include support to teachers to (i) deal with their own crisis-related needs; and (ii) improve their ability to provide psychosocial support to their students. MECYS has reported that some teachers and school staff are still suffering from high level of stress caused by Hurricane Irma. The COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent measures such as a lockdown have also impacted the psychological wellbeing of staff and students. In addition to immediate support required because of Irma, MECYS intends to facilitate the provision of appropriate psychosocial support to teachers and school staff before they return to school, so that they can provide adequate support to their students. In this context, the Project will support the strengthening and implementation of a psychosocial program for primary and secondary school staff, teachers and care teams, which could include, inter alia: anxiety and stress management, promotion of self-care, self-identification of early signs of burnout, positive pedagogy and violence prevention. This program of psychosocial interventions will contribute to teachers’ well-being and their capacity to provide a structured and positive environment for students. A similar program will be developed for daycare center staff and refresher sessions will be organized on an annual basis.
Thirdly, the Government of Sint Maarten has requested assistance in the identification of psychosocial support needs and review of successful support programs for parents in the region and beyond, and identification of good practices that could be adapted for Sint Maarten. Newly emerged needs of families and children as a results of the COVID-19 pandemic and measures (lockdown, learning from home) shall be assessed.
Output & Key Activities
No product Deliverables
P1 Inception report and workplan for the assignment
Package 1 – Screening tool for education sector
P2 Diagnostic of the needs and data analysis protocol
P3 Screening tool for the detection and reporting of distress symptoms in pupils and roll out of the pilot
P4 Report on the results of the pilot of the screening tool in schools and ensuing adjustments to the tool
P5 Reporting protocol developed between schools and SSSD
P6 Method and template for rapid screening tool for data analysis, collation and reporting
P7 Training delivered to key facilitators in the government (Training of Trainers) on the screening tool
Package 2 – Psychosocial support programme for school staff
P8 Method selected and manual and materials developed for a psychosocial program for primary and secondary school staff, teachers and care teams and for daycare centre staff, after school programme staff
P9 Training delivered to key facilitators in the government (Training of Trainers)
Package 3 – Identify psychosocial needs of parents and advise on intervention strategies
P10 Identification of current psychosocial needs of parents (report)
P11 List of recommended programme interventions and intervention strategies targeting parents based on the identification and good practices in the region/globally
Package 4 – Follow-up and refreshers (last quarter 2021)
P12 Evaluation report of the screening tool after 1 year of implementation
P13 Refresher training delivered to trained facilitators on the screening tool
P14 Refresher training delivered to trained facilitators on the programme for school staff
• Advanced university degree in psychology, social sciences or related field.
• At least eight years of relevant professional work experience in the assessment, development and implementation of policies, strategies and activities for MHPSS in post-emergency contexts.
• Experience in capacity building, developing and strengthening collaborative partnerships.
• Experience in data collection and analysis.
• Proven track record to plan and execute work independently as a consultant
• Excellent command of English.
• Knowledge and experience with post-hurricane needs and psycho-social programming is strongly desirable.
• Knowledge of Sint Maarten culture and context or knowledge of Eastern Caribbean culture and context is strongly desirable.
• (Online) communication and presentation skills.
A reference check and a certificate of conduct is part of the procedure. The successful candidate will be offered a consultancy contract with UNICEF The Netherlands. Due to current COVID-19 travel restrictions, the consultant will perform the assignment home-based making use of video-calls as needed. If travel restrictions are lifted, a mission to Sint Maarten could be part of the assignment.
The consultant may present invoices as per the following scheme:
Phase of the assignment Deliverables % of payment
Phase 1. Inception phase and needs identification P1, P2, P10 30%
Phase 2. Developing outputs, implementation P3 – P9, P11
Phase 3. Evaluation and sustainability P12 + P13 + P 14 20%
Invoices will be paid within 30 days by UNICEF The Netherlands in The Hague.
For information about UNICEF The Netherlands visit our website Unicef.nl
For more information, please contact Marieke Roelfsema, Project Manager Sint Maarten, email@example.com.
How to apply
Please send your CV and motivation letter with reference MHPSS – WB and daily fee to Melissa Hempelmann at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Apply before October 30th COB, 2020