The East African Community (EAC) is one of the few regional economic communities in Africa which has worked actively to promote and protect the rights children among its six Partner States. Over the years, the EAC has taken a number of steps to put in place normative frameworks, set up the necessary infrastructure for providing technical guidance to Partner States, monitoring progress and making resource available for these purposes.
In August 2016, the EAC adopted a Child Policy to guide Partner States espousing a move towards a more integrated, multi-sectoral and systematic approach to children’s rights to life, protection, survival and development. The Policy sets out ten priority areas with specific strategies on how to make the policy happen in effect. It is aimed at helping Partner States strengthen synergies across relevant policy areas, includingeducation,healthandsocial developmentas well as harmonize cross-country collaboration and coordination on issues of transnational in nature. It also provides for the EAC Secretariat to review progress implementation every five-year and facilitate opportunities for Partner States to learn from each other’s experience in improving efficiency and effectiveness in translating policy into practice.
It is against this background that the African Child Policy Forum (ACPF) and the EAC Secretariat, under the leadership of EAC Department of Gender and Community Development, and with the financial support of Save the Children International seeks to commission an independent expert to undertake an in-depth review of progress and results achieved at the Partner States’ and regional level.
2. PURPOSE OF THE STUDY
The purpose of this study is to carry out an analytical assessment of Partner States’ progress in harmonizing and implementing the EAC’s Child Policy at national level and capture improved outcomes for children around the Policy’s ten priority areas. By systematically tracking progress in realizing children’s rights since the adoption of the EAC Child Policy, the study will help in assessing the status of realization of children rights in Eastern Africa and promoting accountability at Partner States level. The study report will enable Partner States and the EAC to evaluate compliance to and enforcement of the Child Policy. It will also help Partner States to draw baseline data on the far-reaching impact of COVID-19 crisis on the overall wellbeing of children.
Specific objectives include:
i. Examine efforts within the Partner States to align national law and policy frameworks (laws, policies, strategies and plan of action) for the promotion and protection of children’s rights and wellbeing with the EAC Child Policy and corresponding policies and frameworks since 2016;
ii. Assess efforts to implement and enforce legal, policy and regulatory frameworks through allocation of budgets, establishment and/or strengthening of institutional structures/mechanisms and deployment of specialized workforce, programmes and services, since 2016;
- Examine systems and institutional arrangements that are in place to support collaboration, coordination and learning on the EAC Child Policy’s implementation;
- Explore the extent to which the implementation of the Child Policy has featured during EAC Council meetings and other regional policy mechanisms since 2016;
- Explore the successes and gaps of the regional policy framework in institutionalisation of international commitments on children’s rights.
- Look into the extent of disruptions and effect on children by the COVID-19 crisis and Partner States’ response capacity; and
vii. Identify areas for action for each Partner State and the EAC Secretariat, in the light of the analysis, to accelerate implementation of the Child Policy and its accompanying policy documents.
3. METHODOLOGY AND SCOPE OF THE ASSESSMENT
The study will be conducted using a mix of complementary methods, involving desk-based reviews and primary data collection through consultations with experts to capture both process and outcome-related information on the implementation of the EAC Child Policy across sectors and actors.
The scope and depth of the data collection and analysis will be guided by and follow the structure of the EAC Monitoring Evaluation and Reporting Framework for Child Rights in East African Community. Instead of a mere compilation of country evidence, the report is expected to be analytical whereby the country-specific information gathered through both the desk-based review and the consultations will be analysed and synthesised with proper contextualization.
Both the desk-based review and primary data collection as well as the in-depth analysis will cover the following issues surrounding the various dimensions of children’s rights with specific focus on the Child Policy priority areas:
- Context and trends (social, economic, political, demographic; on the Partner States, regional, continental and global levels) that affected and continue to affect effective promotion of children’s rights at Partner States and regional levels;
- Policies, laws, strategies and plans of action;
· National and Regional Level Information Management Systems to inform planning, quality improvement and monitor progress.
- Institutional arrangements/structures and capacity of regional level mechanisms for cross border implementation, collaboration and accountability. **
- Programmes for delivery of promotive, survival, preventative, protective and responsive services to realise policy commitments;
- Existence of financial, technical and infrastructure accountability systems across sectors;
- Existence of multi-sectoral action and coordination mechanisms;
- Countries’ preparedness and response to emergencies by the EAC and Partner States, especially to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on rights and wellbeing of children in the region;
- Efforts of non-state actors, including CSOs, the UN, and private and business sectors in the implementation of the Policy. **
3.1 Desk Reviews
The desk-based review will be extensive, covering national and sectoral policy and legal frameworks, programmatic measures as well as periodic administrative data and reports, published and unpublished research, journal articles, reports, relevant evaluation reports of other stakeholders, including the UN, AU, EAC and NGOs involving review of statistical and survey evidence on the child rights situation in the six Partner States.
3.2 Primary data collection
This part of the study will involve the circulation of a structured online questionnaire to gather data from the relevant government sector ministries within the Partner States. The questions will be structured along the lines of the EAC Monitoring Evaluation and Reporting Framework for Child Rights in East African Community.
As part of the primary data collection, key informant interviews will also be conducted with relevant government sector officials and experts to gather expert views and commentaries on the Policy priority areas.
3.3 Case studies
The case studies identify and document initiatives/models and/or good practices to illustrate demonstrable results around the Policy’s ten priority areas at Partner States or EAC Secretariat levels. **
3.4 Sources of information/Data
The following sectors and actors will be serve as key source of information and data:
Ministry responsible for children
Ministry for EAC Affairs
Ministry of Health
Ministry of Education
Ministry of Social Development and Welfare
Ministry of Planning
Ministry of Finance
Ministry of Justice
National Statistics Agency
Police (Child Protection Units (CPU) at police stations)
Relevant National Coalitions/Networks on sexual violence and/or exploitation of children
Civil Society Community and Private Sector
4. RESEARCH PROJECT CO-ORDINATION AND GUIDANCE
The research project will be mainly co-coordinated by the EAC Secretariat and ACPF. A Research Reference Group drawn from the Partner States will also be established to offer guidance on the quality of the various stages of the research process, technically review the research reports and products, and advise on the overall credibility, robustness and tone of the research evidence and products.
5. LANGUAGE AND STYLE
The assessment report will adopt an advocacy oriented style of writing. It will be evidence-based, factual and forwarding-looking, with clear recommendations for both Partner States and EAC Secretariat. The page limit of the report is 80 including table of contents and references.
6. REQUIRED EXPERTISE AND QUALIFICATION
Candidates must meet the following requirements:
· Postgraduate or other advanced university degree in the area of child/human rights, law, political science, development studies or any other related discipline;
· At least 10 years of traceable experience of working and/or conducting research, policy development and review in the field of child rights at regional and continental levels;
· Demonstrable analytical skills and practical exposure in applying child rights analyses, mainstreaming, programming, monitoring and evaluation at regional and continental, levels;
· Demonstrable experience of working with the EAC and its mechanisms;
· Good knowledge of child rights broadly and child protection mainstreaming as a concept, tool and strategy and its linkages to rights protection and fulfilment;
· Past experiences in similar assignments of carrying out child rights analysis particularly in East Africa region;
· Proficiency in English is a requirement while knowledge of other EAC working languages is highly desirable.
How to apply
Interested and suitable candidates are requested to send their technical and financial proposals, of not more than five pages, and a CV, of not more than three pages, to: firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com or before 10 May 2020. Only short listed candidates will be contacted.