Individual Consultant for Adolescent Mental Health at UNICEF

By | July 28, 2020


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, Health

How can you make a difference?

Background and Purpose

Adolescence (10–19 years) is a unique and formative time. Multiple physical, emotional and social changes, including exposure to poverty, abuse or violence, can make adolescents vulnerable to mental health problems. Promoting psychological well-being and protecting adolescents from adverse experiences and risk factors that may impact their potential to thrive are critical for their well-being during adolescence and for their physical and mental health in adulthood. While adolescence is often seen as the healthiest time of life, it also represents a period of vulnerability for mental health. Depression, anxiety, eating disorders, self-harm and suicide are primary causes of disability, disease and mortality among adolescents. It is estimated that one in six people are aged 10–19 years. Mental health conditions account for 16% of the global burden of disease and injury in people aged 10–19 years. Half of all mental health conditions start by 14 years of age, but most cases are undetected and untreated. Globally, depression is one of the leading causes of illness and disability among adolescents. Suicide is the third leading cause of death in 15-19-year-olds.
The consequences of not addressing adolescent mental health conditions extend to adulthood, impairing both physical and mental health and limiting opportunities to lead fulfilling lives as adults. The social and financial costs of mental health conditions and associated disabilities are significant. The World Economic Forum estimates mental health conditions will cost the global economy $16 trillion in the next 20 years if not addressed.

Adolescent mental health remains stigmatized, underfunded and underserved in most countries, rich and poor. Less than 1% of governmental health budgets in LIC’s go towards mental health and there are large disparities in access to care and support worldwide, and particularly in LMIC’s.

The purpose of this consultancy will be to conduct a landscape assessment of needs, entry points in the health system and priority interventions for an adolescent mental health programme in Rwanda.

This will comprise desk reviews, focus group discussions and key informant interviews to document the situation of adolescent mental health in Rwanda, identify potential entry points in the health system, and to inform the government and its partners on priority interventions for Adolescent Mental Health programme. The landscape assessment of Adolescent Mental Health will identify effective and promising practices based on global experiences; identify gaps to be addressed and key research questions; and offer recommendations that can be implemented based on Rwandan context.


A Few Key Areas Of Work Include

UNICEF’s Strategic Plan 2018-2021 outlines a commitment to promote and protect the physical, mental, and social wellbeing of children and adolescents. Adolescent specific results are mainstreamed under all 5-goal areas of the Strategic Plan, including a learning agenda on key emerging issues facing adolescents. Adolescent suicide and mental health are part of this learning agenda and UNICEF is working with partners to build the evidence base for developing appropriate and scalable models for response with programmatic emphasis on prevention and promotion of mental wellbeing.

Country level technical support in designing, testing and evaluating i) promotive and preventive measures (such as safe spaces for adolescents in schools, youth centres, peer counselling, parenting programmes, and the provision of mental health and psychosocial support interventions; and ii) screening and referral measures (through strengthened health systems and community and school- based mental health services).
Joint development (with WHO) of evidence-based guidelines and intervention packages on the promotion of mental health, prevention of mental health conditions and reduction of risk behaviours among young adolescents, 10-14 years old and 14-19 years old.


The overall objective of this consultancy is to understand the situation of adolescent mental health in Rwanda, to identify the existing gaps and needed interventions and as result to inform the country adolescent mental health programming.

Scope of Work

Desk review of available documents and publications in Rwanda and outside that are relevant to adolescent mental health programme in Rwanda.
Key informant interviews and focus group discussions with key stakeholders (includes partners, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Youth, Ministry of Gender and Family Promotion, hospitals, community groups, etc) within the country.
Review the existing interventions related to adolescent mental health and identify gaps.
In depth analysis of Inter-agency collaboration, investments in quality, and other critical factors related to the existing health system with potential to influence the implementation of Adolescent Mental Health programming;
In-depth assessment of key interventions related to adolescent mental health in a few purposively sampled sites in Rwanda
Collate information on funding sources, government commitment, government response, priorities and budget
Based on the various inputs mentioned above, identify:
needs for an adolescent mental health programme in Rwanda and the existing gaps;
entry points in the current health system that will enable an effective implementation of an adolescent mental health programme;
priority interventions and a costed implementation plan for the same.


The consultant is expected to deliver the following key results:
Inception report outlining the methodological approach and timelines
Draft Landscape Assessment report that includes as a minimum situation analysis, entry points in the health system, and costed priority interventions for an adolescent mental health programme in Rwanda.
Final report along with an executive summary and a PowerPoint presentation of key findings

The payment will be made in 3 phases based on the submission of above mentioned deliverables.

Evaluation Criteria

The Technical proposal is weighted at 70% and 30% for the Financial proposal.

Please note that the final remuneration will be negotiated by HR.

General Conditions: Procedures & Logistics

The consultant will work closely with the UNICEF Health section under overall supervision of the Chief of Child health, UNICEF Rwanda. The evaluation of the consultant shall be completed based on the timely submission of the deliverables, and accuracy and quality of the product delivered.


UNICEF reserves the right to withhold all or a portion of payment if performance is unsatisfactory, if work/outputs is incomplete, not delivered or for failure to meet deadlines
All materials developed by the consultant will remain the copyright of UNICEF and that UNICEF will be free to adapt and modify them in future.

To qualify as an advocate for every child you will have…
Post-graduate training in Public Health, Sociology, Medical Anthropology, Psychology, Social Work or other related degree
8 – 10 years’ experience with a strong preference for professionals with experience in designing, implementing, documenting and/or evaluating, analysing, report writing and Adolescent Health or Mental Health programming
Prior work experience with a multi-lateral or international health and development agency, and experience supporting national Adolescent Health or Mental Health programmes in any of UNICEF’s key geographic regions
Language: English language is required, with Spanish and French preferred
Strong ability to multi-task and a drive for on-time delivery required

UNICEF is committed to gender equality in its mandate and its staff. Well qualified candidates, particularly females are strongly encouraged to apply.
Interested candidates should send their complete Personal History (P11) form, which can be downloaded form ( or a CV/resume, as well as a cover letter explaining what makes them suitable for this consultancy.

Qualified and experienced candidates are requested to submit a letter of interest including a Technical Proposal outlining a road map for review and implementation timeline. In their letter of interest, candidates should highlight their previous work experience relevant to the assignment, the attributes that make them suitable, their proposed approach to the assignment.

Only Selected candidates will be requested to submit a Financial Proposal outlining the total costs for this consultancy with payment linked to the main deliverables outlined above.

For every Child, you demonstrate…

UNICEF’s values of Care, Respect, Integrity, Trust, and Accountability (CRITA) and core competencies in Communication, Working with People and Drive for Results.

UNICEF is committed to diversity and inclusion within its workforce, and encourages all candidates, irrespective of gender, nationality, religious and ethnic backgrounds, including persons living with disabilities, to apply to become a part of the organization.

UNICEF has a zero-tolerance policy on conduct that is incompatible with the aims and objectives of the United Nations and UNICEF, including sexual exploitation and abuse, sexual harassment, abuse of authority and discrimination. UNICEF also adheres to strict child safeguarding principles. All selected candidates will be expected to adhere to these standards and principles and will therefore undergo rigorous reference and background checks. Background checks will include the verification of academic credential(s) and employment history. Selected candidates may be required to provide additional information to conduct a background check.


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

Individuals engaged under a consultancy or individual contract will not be considered “staff members” under the Staff Regulations and Rules of the United Nations and UNICEF’s policies and procedures, and will not be entitled to benefits provided therein (such as leave entitlements and medical insurance coverage). Their conditions of service will be governed by their contract and the General Conditions of Contracts for the Services of Consultants and Individual Contractors. Consultants and individual contractors are responsible for determining their tax liabilities and for the payment of any taxes and/or duties, in accordance with local or other applicable laws.

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