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Pre-Study on the role of children and youth in building resilient societies in the Baltic Sea Region (ChYResilience Project)

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The role of children and youth in building resilient societies in the Baltic Sea Region

Building a resilient society is a process that requires the engagement and empowerment of various groups who should develop their capacities to prepare for and cope with different threats and hazards. Each group needs a specific approach to obtain a sufficient degree of preparedness to act effectively when it comes to protecting its safety and security or to rescue others from danger in a potential crisis. Construction of specific, individualised ways of preparation for a crisis becomes a vital issue when dealing with groups characterised by several vulnerabilities and dependencies within a society. In particular, this is the case with regards to children and youth. However, the challenge of protecting children and youth can be reduced through empowering children and youth and allowing them to play a role as active contributors in building societal resilience.

The empowerment of children and youth as contributors to societal resilience needs to be explored from two perspectives:

  1. Theoretical – to elaborate a model of linkages between the variety of factors exerting impact on children/youth capacities to build resilience, maintain their own safety and security, to prepare and respond properly to crisis, as well as;
  2. Practical – to develop targeted initiatives and good practices that facilitate better preparation of children/youth to contribute to prevention and to handle crises and to outline activities which foster children and youth’s engagement in increasing the resilience of the whole society.

The ChYResilience project focusses on identification of successful initiatives and good practices related to the involvement of children/youth in building resilience and constructing a set of guidelines for such activities that would allow those working in different social contexts to adapt identified good practices to the local conditions.

A key task of the project is to perform a pre-study to identify and explore critical factors that enable or hinder children to play an active role in building resilient societies and to identify initiatives and good practices that address or promote these factors and help prepare children/youth to play an active role in their safety and security, and to contribute to the stability and resilience of society.

The Council of the Baltic Sea (CBSS) Secretariat is looking for a consultant, who will carry out pre-study in close collaboration with the partners of the project, under the management of the Civil Security and the Children at Risk Unit in the CBSS Secretariat.

Role of the Consultant

The Consultant is contracted to perform an analytical task within the within the ChYResilience Project.

The pre-study is steered by the guidelines approved by the Civil Security unit and Children at Risk Unit of the Council of the Baltic Sea States Secretariat. These guidelines define key objectives of the pre- study and the Consultant needs to accommodate them to the whole analytical work and the way how the results are presented. The key objective of the pre-study is as follows:

To identify and explore critical factors that enable or hinder children to play an active role in building resilient societies and to identify initiatives and good practices that address or promote these factors and help prepare children/youth to play an active role in their safety and security, and to contribute to the stability and resilience of society.

The Consultant will:

  • Utilise the research framework, developed by the Civil Security Unit and the Children at Risk Unit which outlines the methodology and steps to perform the pre-study, including desk research and qualitative focus group consultations.
  • Moderate the participatory qualitative focus group consultations, in close collaboration with the national partners. The format shall furthermore ensure meaningful, ethical and safe participation of children and youth. The focus group discussion will be used to gather and analyse relevant information and data. The three focus group discussions will be organised in partner countries, Poland, Latvia, and Estonia, or online if physical meetings are not possible (in autumn 2021). The focus groups will be organised by project partners and will gather youth and youth representatives.
  • Present the reflections, input and recommendations from the participants in short focus group reports, produced in close collaboration with the relevant partners. The reports shall inform the pre-study.
  • Carry out an analysis of the outcomes from the focus groups, mapping causal factors (both enabling and inhibiting) of the role of children and youth play in building a resilient society in the BSR will be constructed. The following dimensions will be included in a SWOT Analysis table:

    • the added value of the activities undertaken that support children and youth in building a resilient society;

    • the coherence of undertaken initiatives;

    • the impact on policies and practices at the national, regional and local levels.

  • Complete a pre-study, drawing on the SWOT Analysis, desk research and the focus group reports. The pre-study shall be presented in a report, which:

    1. Explores the potential role of children and youth in building a resilient society in the BSR;
    2. Explores the causal factors (both enabling and inhibiting) – that determine the role(s) that children play, as identified above (1);
    3. Identifies the type of activities that enhance or address the factors identified above (2);
    4. Develops a set of guidelines or good practice for such activities (3) that would allow those working in different contexts to adapt identified good practices to the local conditions; and
    5. Provides recommendations for further initiatives that support and/or reinforce the good practices identified above (4).
  • Carry out all tasks in full compliance of the CBSS Children at Risk Safeguarding Policy and Procedure.

Deliverables

  • Deliverable 1: Format to ensure structured and participatory national consultations
  • Deliverable 2: Short reports from the three national focus group consultations
  • Deliverable 3: SWOT Analysis of enabling and hindering factors
  • Deliverable 4: A Pre-Study report as per the outline above

Experience

  • Minimum of 5 years’ experience of research, analysis, data collection or similar work in a relevant area.
  • Excellent analytical, communication and writing skills.
  • Excellent organisational skills and ability to plan and deliver on tasks in a timely manner.
  • Excellent collaborative skills, including an ability to lead focus groups and harness knowledge.
  • Excellent written and spoken English.
  • A developed understanding of children and youth rights.
  • Previous work in the area of civil security, disaster risk reduction, prevention, preparedness and response to emergencies, child protection, child/youth participation is an advantage.

Supervision

The Consultant will be supervised by the Civil Security Unit. The Consultant will be assisted by the Civil Security and the Children at Risk Unit at the CBSS Secretariat in terms of receiving information on all relevant documents, arranging consultation meetings with partners, practical and technical aspects of organising the focus group meetings.

Terms of Agreement

This assignment is scheduled to start on 17th May 2021 and be completed by 28th January 2022. It is anticipated that the consultant will spend approximately 45 days in fulfilling the tasks set out in these Terms of Reference.

Place of work

The Consultant will carry out most of the assignment at a place of the Consultant’s discretion. A place of work can be offered in the CBSS Secretariat upon previous agreement with the Secretariat. In addition, the consultant will perform services using online platforms and telephone.

Child Safeguarding

The CBSS Secretariat is fully committed to keeping children we come in contact with through our work protected and safeguarded from actions that place them at risk of violence, abuse, exploitation, injury and any other harm. The CBSS Secretariat is committed to recruiting Consultants that are suited to apply strict child safeguarding practices. Background checks may apply.

How to apply

To apply

Please send your CV and a cover letter, including your quote for the assignment to Katie Goldie-Ryder (Katie.Goldie-Ryder@cbss.org ) no later than 26th March 2021. Please also enclose examples of previous written work, including potential reports.