International consultancy to support the Early Childhood Intervention Programme in Kosovo; Prishtina, Kosovo, ECD, 80 days, off premisses

UNICEF - United Nations Children’s Fund

Early Childhood Intervention (ECI) is a comprehensive approach recognizing the importance of early support for children at risk or with developmental delays and disabilities, alongside their families. At the country level, ECI involves integrated and multisectoral collaboration and coordination to ensure wide coverage and high-quality services.

The Situation Analysis (SitAn) on ECI services in Kosovo, conducted in 2023 by UNICEF and the Office for Good Governance (OGG), unveiled critical gaps, including the absence of organizational frameworks and a legal basis for ECI planning, coordination, implementation, supervision, quality management, monitoring, and evaluation. The SitAn concluded that the lack of widespread developmental monitoring and screening, coupled with the absence of ECI services, leaves many children in Kosovo with developmental difficulties and disabilities unrecognized and without adequate support. In response, UNICEF’s central focus in Kosovo for 2024 is to support the development of capacities to deliver comprehensive child development monitoring and early childhood intervention services for children from birth to five years of age.

For every child, support 

In line with this, the UNICEF Office in Kosovo seeks an international consultant to support Kosovo’s efforts to devise a context-appropriate ECI model, including through the development of quality standards, implementation guidelines, and training modules on family-centered, routine-based ECI and pilot-test them in selected sites. Furthermore, UNICEF aimsto develop and pilot a comprehensive model for Inclusive Early Childhood Education and Care (IECEC) environments tailored for children with disabilities in Kosovo. This initiative leverages UNICEF’s robust partnerships with various municipalities to augment both the physical infrastructure and educational resources available to children. The model will facilitate the seamless inclusion of children with disabilities in early childhood settings, fostering smooth transitions from home-based ECI programmes to educational environments for these young learners in Kosovo. This consultancy will ensure sustainability through local experts’ involvement. 

How can you make a difference? 

Under the Supervision of the UNICEF Early Childhood Development (ECD) Specialist, the consultant is expected to undertake the following responsibilities:

1. Conduct a comprehensive review of literature, existing documents, and reports, alongside consultations with stakeholders and local experts to inform the development of the Kosovo ECI model.

2. The Kosovo ECI model will be articulated by the consultant through a context-specific definition of ECI, philosophical framework, eligibility criteria, quality standards, professional structure, guidelines, and training modules, emphasizing family-centered and routine-based approaches.

3. Alongside the ECI model, the consultant will lead the design of a contextualized model to strengthen, or establish where needed, the step-by-step transition process, starting from early identification to enrollment in ECI and then ECEC services – or vice versa; referral to services for further assessment and support; and the transition between services. The model will be complemented by guidelines to practically support service providers (i.e., ECEC Educators) with guidance on inclusive practices and the transition across services.

4. Design and deliver training modules, including TOTs in ECI and IECEC for local experts.

5. Develop a methodological guide for delivering contemporary, transdisciplinary, routine-based, family-centered ECI services. This includes home-based and preschool settings, encompassing tools such as Ecomaps, Routine-based Interview (RBI), functional assessments, Individualized Family Support Plans (IFSPs), and strategies for achieving child goals in both family and preschool contexts among other components.

6. Provide technical support to practitioners working with children with disabilities in ECEC settings to implement effective individualized and inclusive practices within selected piloting municipalities.

7. Establish a monitoring framework to track progress, outcomes, and family satisfaction with the services.

8. Initiate the preparatory phase for piloting ECI and IECEC services in designated municipalities, with training provided to ECI professionals and ECEC educators by the local experts.

9. Provide ongoing technical support to local experts overseeing the pilot implementation in the selected municipalities.

10. Ensure the sustainability of professional capacities in Kosovo by offering continuous support to the local expert team through refresher training, coaching, and mentoring (remote and in-country). 

Uploading image to server...

To qualify as an advocate for every child you will have… 

  • Minimum of eight years of work experience in the field of early childhood intervention for children with developmental difficulties, ECI systems and evidence-based, family-centered ECI practice, preferably in Middle-income countries, including development/supporting of ECD/ECI/IECEC national programmes and strategic documents.
  • Demonstrated excellent writing skills, and strong communication, in particular for the development of technical documents is essential.
  • Fluency in both oral and written English.
  • Knowledge of local languages is considered an advantage.
  • Publication record related to early childhood development and/or disability interventions in the early years of life would be considered an asset.
  • Ability to work in a multi-disciplinary team and establish harmonious and effective working relationships.
  • Familiarity with the Western Balkans Region and previous involvement with UNICEF will be considered as assets.

For every Child, you demonstrate… 

UNICEF’s values of Care, Respect, Integrity, Trust, Accountability, and Sustainability (CRITAS). 

To view our competency framework, please visit  here

UNICEF is here to serve the world’s most disadvantaged children and our global workforce must reflect the diversity of those children. The UNICEF family is committed to include everyone, irrespective of their race/ethnicity, age, disability, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, nationality, socio-economic background, or any other personal characteristic.

UNICEF offers reasonable accommodation for consultants/individual contractors with disabilities. This may include, for example, accessible software, travel assistance for missions or personal attendants. We encourage you to disclose your disability during your application in case you need reasonable accommodation during the selection process and afterwards in your assignment. 

UNICEF has a zero-tolerance policy on conduct that is incompatible with the aims and objectives of the United Nations and UNICEF, including sexual exploitation and abuse, sexual harassment, abuse of authority and discrimination. UNICEF also adheres to strict child safeguarding principles. All selected candidates will be expected to adhere to these standards and principles and will therefore undergo rigorous reference and background checks. Background checks will include the verification of academic credential(s) and employment history. Selected candidates may be required to provide additional information to conduct a background check. 


Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted and advance to the next stage of the selection process. 

Individuals engaged under a consultancy or individual contract will not be considered “staff members” under the Staff Regulations and Rules of the United Nations and UNICEF’s policies and procedures, and will not be entitled to benefits provided therein (such as leave entitlements and medical insurance coverage). Their conditions of service will be governed by their contract and the General Conditions of Contracts for the Services of Consultants and Individual Contractors. Consultants and individual contractors are responsible for determining their tax liabilities and for the payment of any taxes and/or duties, in accordance with local or other applicable laws. 

The selected candidate is solely responsible to ensure that the visa (applicable) and health insurance required to perform the duties of the contract are valid for the entire period of the contract. Selected candidates are subject to confirmation of fully-vaccinated status against SARS-CoV-2 (Covid-19) with a World Health Organization (WHO)-endorsed vaccine, which must be met prior to taking up the assignment. It does not apply to consultants who will work remotely and are not expected to work on or visit UNICEF premises, programme delivery locations or directly interact with communities UNICEF works with, nor to travel to perform functions for UNICEF for the duration of their consultancy contracts. 

To help us track our recruitment effort, please indicate in your cover/motivation letter where ( you saw this job posting.

Job Location