UNICEF Consultancy - Public Finance for ECD Consultant Jobs in Kenya

UNICEF Consultancy - Public Finance for ECD Consultant Jobs in Kenya

  • UNICEF works in some of the world’s toughest places, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. To save their lives. To defend their rights. To help them fulfill their potential.

  • Across 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, every day, to build a better world for everyone.

  • And we never give up.

  • For every child, Full potential

    Background and Justification

  • UNICEF is increasingly working with governments to make public resources work better for children in the Eastern and Southern Africa region (ESAR). Under the programme stream known as public finance for children (PF4C), UNICEF’s engagement can be broadly organized into four areas:

  • measuring and monitoring social spending,

  • maximizing the impact of spending

  • increasing investment in social sectors, and

  • strengthening public financial management capacities of government ministries and departments. Much of the work centers around measuring and monitoring government investment, mainly through the use of budget briefs and thematic analysis to measure the size and composition of government spending on social sectors.

  • While budget analysis now routinely cover education, health, social protection and WASH sectors, very little work has been done on early childhood development (ECD). The early years of life are critical for the emotional, cognitive and physical development of a child. This is the period when the brain develops most rapidly, and the foundation is laid for future development, wellbeing, productivity and innovation. Investing in early years is, therefore, smart economics and a key strategy for human capital development

  • At the begining of 2021, UNICEF ESARO launched a seminal regional study that analyzes how much governments and development partners in Eastern and Southern Africa (ESA) are spending on ECD services. The study drew inspiration from the seminal work of James Heckman, which demonstrates that investments in the early years of life, especially in the first 1,000 days, achieve significantly higher returns than investments made later on.

  • The study found that young children (0-6 years) are benefitting from significantly less spending than older children. In 2019, governments and development partners in ESA spent an estimated US$542 (in 2017 constant prices) per person between the ages of 18 and 22, US$411 on those aged 7-17, US$207 on children aged 0-2 and only US$88 for children between 3-6 years on health and education, on average.

  • These trends indicate that most governments will not reap the social and economic benefits of investing in the early years, which will cause them to fall short on a wide range of both short and long-term development goals.

  • The Mozambique Country Office (MCO) seeks to apply the same methodology to the national context. Instead of developing the analysis from data collected in global expenditure databases, the country office seeks to collect actual expenditure data from government budget books and tailor-make the analysis and recommendations to suit the national context.

    Scope of Work and Objectives

  • Under the guidance and oversight of the Chief
    of Social Policy in Mozambique and the Public Finance Specialist in ESARO, the overall objective of this assignment is to undertake a national study to estimate public spending by the government and development partners on ECD services in relation to the age groups which follow for the past 5 years. The main research question to be investigated is whether the government and development partners in Mozambique are maximising their investments in the early years as recommended by James Heckman?

    The consultant is expected to:

  • Review the latest literature on ECD financing in Mozambique including sectoral budget analysis reports, expenditure reviews, sector and program reports.

  • Facilitate consensus building amongst sector experts from government ministries and departments, civil society and donors on the programs / interventions to be included in the definition of ECD and to be tracked for the age groups which follow from education, health, and social welfare sectors. The selected interventions/ programs should be aligned to the naturing care framework.

  • Collect relevant government budget data on ECD programs/ interventions for fiscal years 2016-2020 and contributions from development partners for the same period.

  • Estimate total per capita spending and per each sector (education, health, and social welfare) on the following age groups: 0-2, 3-6, 7-17, and 18- 22 years.

  • Undertake composition analysis of public spending on ECD programs.

  • Estimate funding gap based on cost estimates in national and sectoral plans or international benchmarks.

  • Conduct a few interviews with key informants to validate the figures and to capture recommendations going forward.

  • Produce a short policy report entitled “Quantifying Heckman: Is the Governments of Mozambique Maximizing Returns on Investments in Early Childhood Development?”

    Desired competencies, technical background and experience

  • Advanced university degree in economics, public financial management, development studies or related area.

  • Minimum of 8 years of working on public finance issues and at least 5 years on social sector budget analysis.

  • Knowledge of ECD policies and services in Mozambique.

  • Must be reliable and able to work with little supervision.

  • Strong data analysis skills, including advanced Excel.

  • Excellent drafting and writing skills.

  • Excellent spoken and written Portuguese, with knowledge of English as an added advantage.

    Core Values

  • Care

  • Respect

  • Integrity

  • Transparency

  • Accountability


  • Builds and maintains partnerships.

  • Demonstrates self-awareness and ethical awareness.

  • Drive to achieve results for impact.

  • Innovates and embraces change.

  • Manages ambiguity and complexity.

  • Thinks and acts strategically.

  • Works collaboratively with others.

    How to Apply

  • For more information and job application details, see; UNICEF Consultancy - Public Finance for ECD Consultant Jobs in Kenya

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