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Terms of Reference for consultancy on the assessment of sporting, play and recreation opportunities for children with disabilities in 30 special schools

1. Programme information:                     Education & Early Childhood
Programme (No. & Name) :   
Project   (No. & Name)    :  
Activity Reference    :

2. Background and Context: 
According to different sources there are 49,000 children with disabilities in Azerbaijan. The main concern for this group of population is access to education which is still under the consideration of the national authorities despite of existence of state programme on Inclusive Education. Number of children with disabilities is involved in so called “home education” and “specialized education” the main goal of which is to support individual development of the child is relatively high (according to the study conducted by UNICEF 48,5% of interviewed parents of children with disabilities, children receive education at home, 15,8% of children involved to inclusive classes in mainstream schools, in boarding schools 3,5%, in boarding schools 7,7 and general schools 24,1%). But in reality such practice is limiting development process and keeping child excluded from the community, pears and society in general.
In addition children with disabilities have limited access to health care system and cash or other types of assistance are not sufficient to ensure proper support for this vulnerable group. In addition to the abovementioned problems government is paying little attention to creation of proper infrastructure for people with disabilities to ensure their physical access to public services. The main problem in this area is the attitude of the government and society in general towards the problems of people with disabilities which are widely recognized more as charity rather that social and human rights issues. 
There is a growing  recognition in the country that sport can play an important part among children and young people in tackling a range of social problems, including social exclusion,  and promote better life skills and awareness on how to protect and prevent themselves from HIV/AIDS and other diseases and risky behaviors.
In Azerbaijan the approach towards children with disabilities has been heavily influenced by the Soviet science of “defectology”. Developed in the USSR during the 1920s, defectology concerns both the theory and treatment of disability and is seen as an independent discipline, with its own methods and techniques. Defectology is usually associated with the education of children with disabilities in special schools, separated from other children. These schools clearly do not encourage any social integration, particularly when they take the form of large-scale residential institutions of the type that exist in some parts of the region. However, the education of children with disabilities and others who experience difficulties in school (often referred to as “having special needs”) remains a subject of fierce debate in industrialized countries.
During the post-independence period Azerbaijan has ratified/acceded/signed many the key international human rights instruments including the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), which Azerbaijan ratified in July 1992 without any reservations. Azerbaijan also ratified the Optional Protocols to the CRC in 2002. As a result of consideration of the recent periodic report of the Government of Azerbaijan on implementation of the CRC, the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child is adopted the concluding observations on 27 January 2006 where the recommendation of the Committee on problems of children with disabilities are ensure implementation of the Standard Rules for Equalizing the Possibilities for Persons with Disabilities, adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 20 December 1993.
Azerbaijan is one of the first countries in the CIS region that is ratified UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities and its optional protocol.
In March 2006 the President of the Azerbaijani Republic endorsed the State Program on De-Institutionalization and Alternative Care for 2006-2015 aimed at reintegration of children residing currently in various state institutions (de-institutionalization) with biological or foster families and at creation of alternative care services to support the de-institutionalization process which should cover children with disabilities and social reintegration of them into society and local communities. 
“Development of Children and Young People through Sport” project is directly benefiting approximately 50,000 children including girls, children with disabilities, institutionalized and displaced children, as well as children living in communities with high vulnerability to HIV/AIDS. Using a combination of youth clubs, schools and special schools for children with disabilities, the project activities are aimed at increasing the participation of disadvantaged girls and boys, particularly those at risk of HIV/AIDS and associated risks, age 6 - 24 in sport, recreation and physical activity in their communities. The sports activities provide an entry point for development of essential life skills and for learning about healthy life styles and will also facilitate integration between excluded children and their communities.   Disadvantaged young people are those from economically poor families, often rural but also including the urban poor, and including internally displaced children, children from public care institutions and children with disabilities.

The project is implemented in Lankaran, Masally, Hajigabul, Guba, Shirvan districts, along with selected vulnerable communities in Baku, Ganja and Sumgayit cities.  The area of concentration of internally displaced people, Fizuli and Bilasuvar is also be targeted. Additionally the targeted beneficiaries include 10, 000 children with disabilities and 5,000 institutionalized children; 25,000 children and young people are to be involved in and living around of child friendly schooling projects supported by UNICEF and World Bank in Lankaran, Guba, Shirvan, and Fizuli districts, 15,000 internally displaced children and young people in Fizuli and Bilasuvar and 45,000 young people involved in 70 youth clubs run by federations of youth organizations in partnership with Ministry of Youth and Sport.  
The main partners are the national government, particularly Ministries of Education, and Labour and Social Protection to target children with disabilities, and institutionalised children, and those involved in child friendly schooling projects; the Ministry of Youth and Sport, Right to Play, International NGO and Federations of Youth Organizations such NAYORA, and other Youth NGOs to work with young people involved in youth clubs.
To address one of the project’s objectives on conduction of assessment of sporting opportunities for children with disabilities in 30 special schools of the country has been planned in the Annual Work Plan for year of 2009. The results of the assessment will be used for development of the action plan for planning of integrated sport activities for children with disabilities.

3.  Purpose of the assignment:
Use of the consultancy by UNICEF
Consultant will be hired to conduct the study on sporting, play and recreation opportunities for children and young people with disabilities in special schools, learning difficulties and disadvantages 14 regions of Azerbaijan (7 UNICEF pilot regions and 7 randomly selected). It will look in detail at the sport education of the students concerned, where they are educated (special schools, special classes or regular classes) and what their level of education is.  The study is not limited only to the understanding of the situation but also will provide recommendations for development of specific strategies for future interventions.

Objectives:
The study will be launched by UNICEF Azerbaijan to:
 Assess the state of sport education provision for children with disabilities in 30 special schools from CRC perspective in terms of policies, resources and practices, and emphasize the main implications of the lessons learnt with respect to policy reform.
 To identify and document model practices in the area of inclusive sports education, and to highlight the mechanisms and strategies that have proved effective, the areas of concern and the constraints in successfully mainstreaming children with disabilities.
 To provide recommendations to strengthen the capacity of the government and other partners in Azerbaijan to bring about policy reforms, ensure adequate resource allocation, and promote programming that supports inclusive sports education.

4. Duty station:  Baku, Azerbaijan
5. Supervisor:  The consultant will work under supervision of Development Officer. 
6. Major tasks to be accomplished:
The following activities should be undertaken by consultant:
• Submit a detailed proposal to UNICEF, with a completed desk review and an analysis of the information needed to assess the current situation in 14 selected regions of Azerbaijan. The proposal should also include tested research design specifying the research methodology, sampling, instruments, data collection, analysis and reporting of the findings, introduction/community discussions explaining the purpose of the study, feedback and dialogue with counterparts etc.
• Submit to UNICEF weekly work schedule prior to the beginning of the assignment.
• Conduct the study in close consultation with UNICEF and government partners, including: case studies:  inclusive practices in mainstream schools etc; focus group discussions and interviews with concerned stakeholders(children with and without disabilities, their parents, community, school managers, teachers, district education offices ,PSM commission,  NGO’s, INGO’s,  Ministry of Education officials, UNICEF); observations; interviews.
• Report with executive summary in English and Azerbaijani (following UNICEF format) and preparation for information sharing and action planning

7. Outcomes and deliverables:
The final paper including report on situation assessment and recommendations for future interventions is to be submitted to UNICEF, before this consultant has to share draft papers and encapsulate all comments.
All documents should be in line with UNICEF writing standards
8.        Time-Frame:  The consultancy will continue for 60 days in 2009

9.        Qualifications or specialized knowledge/experience required:
• An advanced degree in education, research or a related field
• Extensive (more than 5 years) experience in research
• Extensive previous experience in Education and working with children with disabilities;
• Fluency in English and Azerbaijani

9. 10.      Estimated cost :
Consultancy fee is to be proposed by a potential individual and agreed with UNICEF in line with UN rules and regulations. There is going to be a 20% advance,  30% upon submission of draft report and the rest 50% is to be paid after satisfactory evaluation of the final report.

11. Procedures and logistics:
• UNICEF will provide the existing materials for consultant 
• UNICEF is responsible for design and printing the final toolkits
• UNICEF will provide the requested venue and catering for orientation session
• UNICEF will retain all copyrights for the end product of the assignment
12.     Prepared by:
          (Programme/Project Officer)
          Kenan Mammadli, PO Development
          (Name and Title)                           Signature and Date:
13.      Cleared by:
           Deputy Representative
           Siraj Mahmudov, OIC DR
     (Name and Title)                                Signature and Date:
14.      Read and signed by:
           Consultant
     (Name and Title)                                Signature and Date:
 
15.     Application:    Interested organizations or individual should send:
a) a cover letter;
b) the organizational profile or individual resume;
c) in case of an organization the resume of each of the proposed team members;
d) reference of previous relevant work (if applicable);
in a sealed envelop/email to:
                                                                      Kenan Mammadli, Development Officer
                                                                          __________________________
                                                                    United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF)
                                                                               24 S.Dadashev St., AZ1073
                                                                                        Baku, Azerbaijan
                              All applications will be treated with strict confidentiality. UNICEF is an equal opportunity employer.
                                                                               Deadline: 15 February 2009
                         For further information please contact: Kenan Mammadli, Development Officer: 99412 4923013 ext 106

 

 
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