Child Protection Expert (Birth Registration)
Job Number: 502159
Location: United Republic of Tanzania
Work Type : Consultancy
If you are a committed, creative professional and are passionate about making a lasting difference for children, the world's leading children's rights organization would like to hear from you.
For 70 years, UNICEF has been working on the ground in 190 countries and territories to promote children's survival, protection and development. The world's largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments.
Background and Introduction
Tanzania has one of the lowest rates of birth registration and certification on the African continent. The Tanzania Population and Housing Census (2012) (TPHC) pegs the number of children 0-4 with a birth certificate on Tanzania mainland at less than 13%. Another 11% have only a birth notification thus leaving more than three-fourths of under-fives outside the purview of the Civil Registration and Vital Statistics (CRVS) system. To put this low figure in perspective, Tanzania accounts for 16.4% of unregistered under-five children in the Eastern and Southern Africa, 8.3% in the Sub-Saharan Africa, and 4.1% across the world. When seen from the perspective of newborns, of the 5,542 births taking place every day, only 637 get registered. When it comes to death registration, the situation is worse.
In recent years, the Government of Tanzania has initiated a series of measures to improve the births registration situation in the mainland, and is moving towards setting up a decentralized and comprehensive CRVS system. The aim is to come up with a system which not only addresses the core issues of accessibility, affordability and low demand of birth and death registrations but also to help the country in drawing fruits of such a system to meet its governance and development agenda. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which includes aspirations for social and economic development, is, like the MDGs, dependent on efficient civil registration systems for its achievement and monitoring.
Given the low rates of registration and certification, Global Affairs - Canada committed through UNICEF in 2012 to improving under-five birth registration in Tanzania. The project envisaged setting up a sustainable model of birth registration – the Under-Five Birth Registration Initiative (U5BRI) – by addressing the core issues of distance and cost in select regions. After its piloting in December 2012 in selected wards in Temeke, the largest district of Dar es Salaam, the U5BRI was scaled up in Mbeya and Songwe regions in June 2013 and then, Mwanza in June 2015. Following the successful roll-out of the system in these two regions, the Canadian Government provided additional financial support for 10 million Canadian dollars to roll out a decentralized birth registration system imbibing the lessons learned in 10 other regions. A joint launch for Iringa and Njombe regions took place on September 22 in Iringa officiated by the Honorable Minister of Constitutional and Legal Affairs Dr Harrison Mwakyembe committing the government to register all children under the age of five years in these two regions. The project has been a spectacular success by registering 99.7% children in Njombe and 96.3% in Iringa in less than three months of the launch.
Since things were not moving as expected in Mbeya and Songwe regions, UNICEF in consultation with RITA implemented a one-week revisit exercise aimed at taking stock of the situation and revitalizing the system - starting November 29, 2016. Things have begun moving up as close to 40,000 children were registered within the first two weeks of the re-visit exercise. UNICEF and RITA plan to undertake a similar exercise in Mwanza in 2017. Overall, more than 690,000 children have been registered under the initiative so far.
Scaling up the decentralized birth registration system to additional regions - by replicating the success that we have had in Iringa and Njombe - requires planning, close co-ordination with RITA, strong liaising with the LGAs, effective monitoring and supervision of fieldwork, monitoring of expenditure by RITA and the LGAs, and reporting of progress.
Going forward is the implementation of the decentralized birth registration system in Geita and Shinyanga regions in February/March 2017. These two regions taken together have close to 700,000 under-five children – almost three times of under-five children in Iringa and Njombe - with more than 90% of them without having their births registered.
Besides, UNICEF is also supporting RITA in undertaking the legal review of the Births and Deaths Registration Act, 1920, which has been amended nine times since its promulgation without addressing the core issues of distance and cost. The review is being done through the Law Reform Commission and aims at aligning the Act with the national CRVS strategy, which aims at setting up a decentralized registration system. UNICEF also plans to help RITA in preparing a CRVS investment case so that all inflowing funds can be optimally utilized.
The Government has agreed to waive the fee for registration and certification of children aged 5-18 years on the lines of under-fives starting the financial year 2017-18. RITA has asked UNICEF to help in developing a strategy note on how to implement the waiver by registering all children in the age-group 5-18 years through school route. As decided in a meeting between the RITA Board Chairman and the Representative UNICEF on September 22, 2016, UNICEF will support RITA in piloting the strategy for registering the births of children aged 5-18 years in one district each in Iringa and Njombe regions by testing the implementation modalities in the first half of 2017.
These efforts in conjunction with simplified birth registration system would go a long way in setting up an efficient and up to date CRVS, which addresses the core issues of affordability and accessibility. These critical developments require UNICEF to be fully onboard and provide hands-on support to the government counterpart whenever called to do so. To support actions and also to meet deliverables on parallel fronts, it would be in the interest of work to have extra support in the form of two 'NOA' level SSAs for eleven months starting January 2017.
During 2017, there is a plan to launch and roll-out the decentralized birth registration system in at least four regions. So far, we have covered a maximum of two regions a year. Accomplishing this would require engaging with about 25 Councils on a sustained basis. Going by the experience of Iringa and Njombe, there would be a need to monitor the functioning of the system at least for six more months after the launch to ensure smooth integration of the system into the routine work of the LGAs. The SSAs are required to facilitate RITA and the LGAs in planning for the launch and roll-out, conducting the baseline surveys, TOTs, preparing for the launch and roll-out, campaign to clear the backlog, setting up of the system for registering the newborns, monitoring and supervision, conduct of evaluation meetings, and integrating the birth registration system into the routine work of the Councils for sustainability in these four regions. The SSAs would also help in doing the capacity building of the RITA and the LGAs staff on critical areas as part of the exit strategy. Engaging with RITA on other important tasks such as legal review, finalization and implementation of the national CRVS strategy, liaising with other government ministries/departments, DPs and other agencies are critical in setting up of an efficient and up to date CRVS system in the country and would, therefore, form an essential part of their responsibilities.
# The payment for the tasks A to C for two additional regions has been kept a bit lower as compared to the ones for Geita and Shinyanga. This has been done on the assumption that after completing these tasks for the first two regions, the SSAs will be familiar with the processes and the work on some of these activities might go concurrently.
The SSAs will work in close collaboration with the Child Protection Specialist/Birth registration, the RITA team, VSO, and all LGAs in selected regions. Undertaking field visits and providing full feedback will form a major part of the consultants' work. The SSAs will report to the Child Protection Specialist (Birth Registration) under the overall supervision of the Chief, Child Protection.
Reporting will be done in the following way:
Monthly reports- focusing on progress on implementation
Quarterly progress reports
End of contract report
Expected background and Experience
Advanced university degree, preferably in Statistics, Demography, Law, Social Science, and other relevant fields
Minimum four years of professional work experience at national and international levels in the area of Programme Management including Monitoring and Evaluation
Basic knowledge of birth registration and civil registration and vital statistics in Tanzania
Proven track record in providing technical assistance to the Government
Excellent writing skills with proven ability to produce effective reports
Fluency in English and the local working language
Candidate will work from UNICEF office in Dar es Salaam with frequent travel to the field where the program is being implemented.
The office will provide related services including access to computer (where available), printing and photocopy services and fax/ scanner.
Payment will be done as per the payment schedule on completion of respective deliverables as mentioned in the section on Specific Tasks/Expected Deliverables/Payment Schedule
Click here to Apply → Child Protection Expert (Birth Registration)
Closing Date 21 Jan 2017 E. Africa Standard Time