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The Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria seeks to appoint a consultant(s) to conduct a child-focussed study meant to draw from children’s own understanding of their role in the implementation of the frameworks.

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Background to the assignment

Child participation is one of the general principles of children’s rights. It is a principle that has gained gradual support and acceptance among child rights advocates and practitioners, who, recognizing its pivotal role in fostering the optimum development and exercise of rights by children. This growing acceptance notwithstanding, child participation is also one of the least developed areas of rights in practice. There is still significant resistance to children’s participation in mainstream society, which results in either exclusion of their voices, or tokenistic participation that does not meet the threshold of meaningful participation. Although the State has the primary responsibility to ensure children’s rights, a child’s right to participate, in particular, takes place in a range of settings and involves a wide range of actors. Generally, the implementation of children’s right to participate entails both the duty to take action to empower children and the responsibility to meaningfully support children through the process.

Child participation in governance processes remains significantly low, especially in Africa. This is the case despite the principle having been articulated in global and regional human rights instruments, and the ratification of these instruments by most African countries. This state of affairs is concerning because some of the fundamental policy and normative instruments in the African region have a significant impact on the protection of children’s rights, making it crucial that children participate in their formulation and implementation. One such area in which child participation is still wanting is in the context of development governance.

Purpose of the assignment

The Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria (the Centre), is implementing a continental project on the implementation of child participation in the implementation of the global and regional development agenda in Africa, as set out in frameworks such as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the African Union (AU) Agenda 2063, and the AU Agenda 2040 for Children. The overall goal of the project is to build awareness of the importance of child participation in national, regional and global development processes in Africa.

The project entails evidence-based advocacy for child participation in development governance, and capacity building to enhance the implementation of child participation in the implementation of the frameworks. The evidence building aspect of the project consists of a desk-based doctrinal analysis of child participation in the region. Based on some of the core findings thereof, the doctrinal study is supplemented by a child-focused empirical study to generate contextually relevant tools for an inclusive implementation and monitoring of child participation in development governance. 

The Centre, therefore, seeks to appoint a consultant(s) to conduct a child-focussed study meant to draw from children’s own understanding of their role in the implementation of the frameworks.

Objectives of the assignment

The overall objective of the assignment is to establish the extent to which children are involved in the implementation of the development agenda in Africa. Specifically, the study will:

  • Identify the extent of awareness of the frameworks amongst children and other key stakeholders
  • Taking into account geographic representation, map the forums and initiatives for child participation across the continent, and the extent to which these forums and platforms facilitate engagement on development matters
  • Analyse the gaps and opportunities in the implementation of child participation in the development agenda 

Deliverables and timeframes

The consultant is expected to provide:

  • An inception report within one week of signing the contract, detailing their proposed methodology and approach to the assignment, as well as a detailed work plan and tools for the field study
  • A first draft of the study report within six weeks of signing of the contract
  • A final report incorporating feedback from the Centre

The successful applicant should expect to start on the assignment immediately and to complete the task within 8 weeks of signing the contract.

Eligibility

To qualify for this assignment, the Centre seeks a candidate(s) with the following qualifications and competencies:

Required

  • Post-graduate degree in law or social sciences.
  • Knowledge of children’s rights.
  • Demonstrable capacity to facilitate child participation in different regions in Africa.
  • Knowledge of the African human rights system.
  • Familiarity with the regional and global development agenda.
  • Understanding of child participation strategies.
  • Excellent writing skills in English.
  • Demonstrable experience of undertaking similar assignments. 

Desirable

  • Prior work on child participation in Africa.
  • Knowledge of other AU working languages.

Application information

Interested applicants may send an expression of interest consisting of (i) a letter of motivation, indicating also how they meet the required qualifications and competencies for the assignment, (ii) Curriculum vitae with verifiable references, and (iii) a financial proposal to Dr Elvis Fokala at elvis.fokala@up.ac.za copying Dr Nkatha Murungi at nkatha.murungi@up.ac.za

Deadline
Applications close on 23 July 2021.