Development of Children’s story book on inclusion

Job
from Handicap International - Humanity & Inclusion
Closing date: 20 Oct 2019

1. Background

1.1 About Humanity & Inclusion

Handicap International which runs program under its operating name Humanity & Inclusion (hereafter referred to as HI) is an independent and impartial international aid organization working in situations of poverty and exclusion, conflict and disaster. Working alongside people with disabilities and other vulnerable groups, our action and testimony are focused on responding to their essential needs, improving their living conditions and promoting respect for their dignity and their fundamental rights. HI is currently implementing projects in almost 50 countries worldwide.

1.2 Project overview

Growing Together! (GT) is a 4 year regional project implemented in refugee camps and internal displacement settings in Bangladesh, Thailand and Pakistan. The project is implemented by HI country teams and HI implementing partners in each location and in addition a regional coordination unit based in Thailand.

The project goal is to ensure that vulnerable children (0-12 years) have equal opportunities to develop and teach their potential through inclusive play, arts, games, sports, culture and early years education in displacement settings (Thailand, Bangladesh and Pakistan).

For this purpose, the project will engage different beneficiaries:

  • Parents of children under five years old to participate in parenting clubs in order to raise their awareness on the importance of play for children and strengthen their knowledge and self-confidence on early child development, child protection and child participation.

  • Children of primary school age to participate in clubs, where they will learn and socialize through inclusive play, games, arts, and sports, and where they will champion children’s rights (child protection, child participation) and needs of vulnerable children in their communities.

  • Local child-development service providers to be more responsive to the needs of boys and girls with disabilities and other vulnerable children, and to implement measures and tools to encourage their inclusion in their services, especially through play.

1.3 Context in which the consultancy takes place

Bangladesh is one of the poorest countries in South Asia with one of the highest densities of population in the world – 160 million. Since 1991-92, close to one million refugees from Myanmar's northern Rakhine State of the Muslim ethnic minority, commonly referred to as the Rohingya, have sought protection in south-east Bangladesh (Cox’s Bazar district). The last influx, with more than 700,000 arrivals from August 2017, has created more pressure on resources and increasing humanitarian needs. Refugees remain in a chronic emergency situation due to long-term challenges to find a durable solution to their status in Myanmar and Bangladesh and therefore require continuous humanitarian assistance. The host Bangladeshi communities are also affected by the presence of a large refugee population living in the region. In addition, this coastal region is continuously dealing with the impacts of natural disasters, mostly cyclones and flooding, during which meagre assets of the local population are damaged or destroyed.

HI has been working in Bangladesh since 1997, with a focus on creating sustainable changes in terms of ensuring rights and inclusion of people with disabilities in society. In Cox Bazar’s district, HI has a strong knowledge and experience in chronic emergency response. Thanks to three projects implemented before the crisis, HI is providing services in rehabilitation, protection and PSS, with an inclusive mainstreaming approach to refugees and host population.

Pakistan has important strategic endowments and development potential. However, Pakistan faces significant economic, governance and security challenges to achieve durable development outcomes. The persistence of conflict in the border areas and security challenges throughout the country affects all aspects of life in Pakistan and impedes development. There is a new Government in place since mid-2018, however the overall security situation still needs improvement. There are restrictions to media reporting in country. Another important development in 2018 was the government decision to merge the Federally Administered Tribal Area (FATA) with KP, raising hopes that such merger would aid the multi-sectorial development of this conflict affected border region. The relationship with neighboring countries, in particular with Afghanistan and India, is complex due to unresolved border issues such as dispute over Kashmir territory or militant groups crossing to/from Pakistan. Afghan/Pakistan border is also subject to thousands of migrant & refugee movements. There still remains over 1 million registered Afghan refugees in Pakistan.

Pakistan remains one of the lowest performers in the south Asia region on human development indicators, especially in education and stunting. Infant and under five mortality rates present a similar dynamic. Gender disparities persist in education, health and all economic sectors. Pakistan has one of the lowest female labor force participation rates in the region.

Thailand is part of the regional Myanmar-Thailand program which was created in 2016 with the merge of 2 existing missions. Setting up cross border initiatives and integrate the coming return of refugees from Thailand to Myanmar is at the heart of the regional strategy. In Thailand, HI started working in 1984 and first focused its actions on the delivery of mobility and assistive devices. Thailand has a long-standing history in receiving refugees from neighbouring countries even though it is not a signatory to the 1951 Refugee Convention or its 1967 Protocol and does not have a formal national asylum framework. Myanmar refugees have been hosted on the Thai-Myanmar border for over three decades; currently, about 90,000 refugees live in nine temporary shelters. Camp management is controlled by the Thai authorities, in collaboration with locally appointed refugee committees. 13 NGOs that are gathered under the Committee for the Coordination of Services to Displaced Persons in Thailand (CCSDPT) are providing services within the camps. In light of the political movements in Myanmar since early 2012 through the signing of the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement and the general elections in late 2015, a platform for further dialogue on voluntary repatriation between key stakeholders led to the start of the facilitation of voluntary return. Although this process is still very slow, CCSDPT members are coordinating closely to timely react on all known scenarios.

1.4 Justification for calling upon a consultant

The GT project is looking for innovative ways to promote learning and play with children in refugee and displacement contexts. The development of a children’s story book to address the issue of inclusion and acceptance of children with different abilities is one of the means to promote the project’s approach and a tool for the project’s activities. A consultant is required to lead the development of the book.

2. OBJECTIVE AND EXPECTED OUTCOMES

2.1 Objective of the consultancy

The main objective of this consultancy is to develop and design a children’s story book aimed at primary school age children (6-12 years) that is child-friendly and captures the imagination of children living in refugee and displacement contexts, in order to raise awareness of the Growing Together Project beneficiaries, service providers and external stakeholders on promoting disability inclusion with children.

The story book produced will propose culturally appropriate awareness-raising materials based on key messages related to messages of feeling included despite our differences, the uniqueness of all children no matter our similarities and differences. The readers will understand and learn about everybody being welcome to come join in and play, as defined by the Growing Together technical team for the three implementing countries: Thailand, Bangladesh, Pakistan. The story book will have features to ensure that children, parents, communities and children with different disabilities can also equally access and enjoy the opportunity to read our book.

2.2 Expected outcomes

The consultant is expected to provide the following outputs:

Essential:

· Develop and coordinate the writing, proof reading, illustration and printing of a children’s story book in 5 local languages (translation provided by HI) as per the direction of the Regional Technical Coordinator.

Preferred:

· Ideally the consultant would coordinate the printing and delivery of the books within each of the 3 countries of the project, contact details of suitable supplies can be shared as necessary.

· Coordinate provision of translation of the storybook by consultant

3. METHODOLOGY

The timeline of key activities should be proposed by the consultant(s) in the applications.

The main focal point of the consultancy is the GT Regional Technical Coordinator.

The consultancy will consist of:

  1. Desk phase and concept development:

· Read existing project documents related to inclusion

· Have initial Skype meeting with the GT Regional Technical Coordinator to review and plan technical messaging, story line development. The consultant will be briefed on the intention to use a participatory approach, where children themselves are involved in the development of some concepts/characters/elements within the book to ensure it is meaningful and connects with the target audience, elements that will make the book accessible for persons with disabilities;

· On this basis, the writer will develop a brief concept plan for the book and a workplan for the duration of the contract towards achievement of the objectives

2. Book development (story, illustrations, graphic design/formatting):

· Regional technical team will provide regular support and input towards developing the story content, using a participatory approach consulting with children with and without disabilities on aspects of disability inclusion, feeling included/excluded, the value of diversity, what it means to be a ‘good friend’ as per the Growing Together key messages

· Regional technical team will provide regular and timely feedback related to images/illustrations and formatting of the book in order to promote accessibility of the book for children and parent readers with low-literacy and disabilities

· The consultant will lead the development of the illustrations, formatting and adapting of the content and illustration into 5 different languages (Karen, Burmese, Urdu, Bangla, English).

3. PRINTING

Coordination and liaison of the printing of the story books in 5 languages

4. DELIVERABLES

· Produce a concept note in English outlining the design of the book, story line/characters, sample illustrations and highlighting features that will make the book accessible to children with disabilities

· Produce soft copy of story book about inclusion for children in the project context – including sketches/images and story text in 5 languages (English, Burmese, Karen, Urdu & Bangla) (proofread, formatted, with images/illustration/graphics and donor branding).

· Copies of the book in colour (minimum 5000 copies), and preferable with inclusive features eg: relevant sensory/tactile features within the design

NB: The deliverables remains the intellectual property of HI exclusively.

How to apply:

5. TIMELINE

The consultant is expected to start on the 30th October 2019. The deadline for the submission of the final designed book by March 1st, 2020 at the latest including HI validation and the books should be printed by mid-April 2020.

6. PROFILE OF THE CONSULTANT

The consultancy can be carried out by an expert or a team of experts/ support staff.

If a team of experts is selected, the consultancy will be put under the responsibility of one team leader. This person will ensure all communication with GT Regional Coordination and will be the sole responsible for managing the organization of the consultancy.

· Strong writing skills of children’s story books

· Graphic design / illustration skills that are targeted at children

· Experience in developing children’s reading/learning materials ideally for NGOs or other non-for profits or government agencies

· Willing to work with technical support to developing accessible and inclusive reading and learning materials

· Fluency (spoken and written) in English is essential

· Creativity and innovative approaches to sharing important awareness messages in a creative and child-friendly way

7. APPLICATION & FORMALITIES

Proposals from interested consultants should include:

  1. Curriculum vitae and portfolio (compulsory) detailing the experience reference of previous assignments done and sample of work accomplished (compulsory);

  2. Technical proposal (compulsory) describing the approach and activities proposed to accomplish the objectives of the assignment. It should include a proposed timeline, outlining the activities and time proposed to accomplish the objectives of the assignment;

  3. Financial proposal (compulsory). All costs related to the consultancy without exceptions should be figured in Euros[p1] [f2] in the financial plan of the consultant, including consultancy fees and differentiating translations; printing; design or any other relevant costs/activities.;

  4. 3 references of which 2 should be from a previous similar experience;

Evaluation of the applications will be made through a selection committee in 2 phases:

· Administrative selection: checking for completeness of application (all compulsory items listed above).

· Technical selection: criteria to select the best application will be based on the quality of the candidate application and previous experiences, demonstrated expertise of the applicant.

Incomplete applications will not be taken into consideration for technical selection.

The deadline for submission of proposals is the 20th of October 2019 at midnight Thailand time.

Proposals should be submitted to the following email:gt.recruitment@thailand.hi.org, including the subject “GT Project Story book consultancy”.

Only candidates who passed the administrative selection will be taken into consideration for the technical assessment and they will be afterwards notified of the final decision. Selected applicants may be invited for a (phone/skype) interview. HI reserves the right to contact the applicants for further information before the final selection of the selection committee.

“Humanity & Inclusion is committed to protect the rights of the children and opposes to all forms of child exploitation and child abuse. HI contractors must commit to protect children against exploitation and abuse”.