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Consultancy : Strengthening Science, Technology, and Innovation (STI) Systems

OVERVIEW

Parent Sector : Natural Sciences Sector (SC)

Duty Station: Harare

Job Family: Natural Sciences

Type of contract : Non Staff

Duration of contract : From 1 to 6 months

Recruitment open to : External candidates

Application Deadline (Midnight Paris Time) : 28-SEPT-2021

 

UNESCO Core Values: Commitment to the Organization, Integrity, Respect for Diversity, Professionalism

 

OVERVIEW OF THE FUNCTIONS OF THE POST

 

1.    Background 


The global paradigm is rapidly changing towards a knowledge-based economy that has brought about changes in political systems and generated new partnerships across sectors and among actors. These changes increase the demand for science, technology and innovation (STI) systems to respond adequately to pressures of interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary nature, and in relation to science diplomacy.


UNESCO and SIDA are implementing an initiative which aims at strengthening STI systems and governance in selected African countries with the objective of achieving the following impact: African societies create, curate and use scientific knowledge to make inclusive and evidenced-informed decisions, improving the quality of life and resilience of their citizens, and contributing to the achievement of SDGs 9.5, 16.6, 16.7, 17.6 and 17.18, the African Union 2063 Development Agenda (Aspirations, 1, 2 and 7) and STISA2024.


The initiative will support actions in the six pilot countries to benchmark STI systems against the UNESCO 2017 Recommendation on Science and Scientific Researchers (2017 RS|SR), to strengthen capacities to design policy responses in national priority areas and to monitor progress, and to establish a community of practice to underpin sustainable STI strengthening. 


The initiative benefits from lessons learned, established networks and results achieved in UNESCO’s portfolio of programmes that support STI systems in the natural, social and human sciences, as well as the technical approaches that they share. It benefits from initiatives such as the Global Observatory of STI Policy Instruments (GO-SPIN) in terms of its interactive online database; the STEM and Gender Advancement (SAGA) for inclusive and gender-equal STI systems; the UNESCO programme on the Management of Social Transformations (MOST); the UNESCO Bioethics and Ethics of Science Programme; and the coproduction of knowledge within national climate and biodiversity policies (Knowing our Changing Climate in Africa).


The UNESCO-SIDA project seeks to strengthen the current STI ecosystem in Zimbabwe through;
a.    Preliminary assessment and benchmarking of the national STI systems against the standards defined by the 2017 RS|SR and the AU Agenda 2063.
b.    Awareness raising of and commitment to the 2017 RS|SR and its 10 key areas among African governments and science institutions by targeted advocacy in support of its relevance to SDG challenges.
c.    Capacity strengthening of government officials, policy makers and researchers in-country to design inclusive STI policies that better implement the 2017 RS|SR and support the SDGs.
d.    Empowering the country to report in an inclusive and participatory manner on the implementation of the 2017 RS|SR.
e.    Policy advice and technical support provision to government officials and policy makers to facilitate development of Action Plans to strengthen their national and regional STI policies, governance of STI, and institutions in research and innovation.

Long Description

2.    Scope of Assignment


The consultancy scope of work shall be guided by the key components and it will be implemented in line with the work plan below. The Lead consultant will be responsible for:
•    Leading the implementation of the activities on the advocacy strategy in Zimbabwe, development of policy briefs and updating the country’s GOSPIN Profile. 
•    Working with the consultation group to identify the two (2) or three (3) key priorities from the 10 Key Recommendations to focus more on, as per country objectives and development agenda.
•    Organising meetings with the relevant stakeholders to implement the activities as outlined in the work plan below.
•    Quality assurance and project level evaluation and monitoring for the implementation of the project in Zimbabwe to ensure strict quality standards for the outputs of each and that the project timelines are adhered to.
•    Drafting reports for workshops and trainings conducted as part of the project implementation
•    Manage the implementation of the project activities in line with the objectives of the project as well as government priorities and agenda. 

Long Description

Work plan for Outputs 2 and 3
        
Output 2    Africa-wide advocacy     Awareness of and commitment to the 2017 RS|SR and its 10 key areas among African governments and science institutions raised by targeted advocacy in support of its relevance to SDG challenges


Activity 2.1     Africa-wide awareness Campaign    Conducting, through appropriate channels, Africa-wide advocacy for the provisions of RS|SR 2017 and the links between well-functioning STI systems, and the SDGs
Activity 2.2    Specific Advocacy Initiatives    Conducting specific advocacy initiatives for key stakeholders, on the importance of academic freedom, open science, and the importance of protection of scientists and scientific knowledge as integral components of well-functioning STI systems that promote the SDGs
Activity 2.3    Policy Briefs on rights based STI Systems    Prepare and publish a UNESCO policy brief on rights-based STI systems, with specific emphasis on climate resilience, indigenous knowledge, and on academic and scientific freedom, and gender equality
Activity 2.4    Survey    Conduct an end-of-project survey, combined with advocacy for the 2.3 deliverable
Activity 2.5    Quality Assurance and Monitoring    Quality assurance and monitoring will focus on methodologies and metrics to ensure that the advocacy under 2.1 and 2.4 is conducted in a coherent manner.
        
Output 3    National component 2    Capacity of government officials, policy makers and researchers strengthened in-country to design inclusive STI policies that better implement the 2017 RS|SR and support the SDGs


Activity 3.1    Policy-Oriented training materials    To identify, produce and promote policy-oriented training materials 
Activity 3.2    Policy briefs and workshops    Enhance, through technical assistance, government officials’ and policy makers’ technical expertise and capacity to use guidelines, blueprints and other instruments (in particular for rights-based STI systems that are with specific emphasis on academic freedom, gender equality and climate resilience.
Activity 3.3    GO-SPIN Update    Update structure and content of UNESCO global platform on STI Policy Instruments and its global database on research and innovation policies, legal frameworks and policy instruments (GO-SPIN) 
Activity 3.4    Quality Assurance and Monitoring    Quality assurance and monitoring will ensure that appropriate criteria and methods are used for qualitative assessments relevant to the Output 3 PIs

Long Description

The Lead Consultant/ Consortium will work with UNESCO, the Government of Zimbabwe, the Consultation Group and any other Consultants (and/or consortiums) to be hired specifically for:


•    Project level communication and development of advocacy material and policy brief, as well as ensuring that the communication plan for the project is adhered to.
•    Capacity building for the government officials, policy makers and researchers in-country to design inclusive STI policies that better implement the 2017 RS|SR and support the SDGs
•    Project monitoring and evaluation


3.    Deliverables


a.    A report providing a ranking of the priority focus areas for Zimbabwe, with respect to the 10 Key Recommendations. This report will direct the implementation of specific advocacy initiatives, and activities as well as the development key and priority policy briefs
b.    Draft policy briefs on STI rights-based STI systems, with specific emphasis on climate resilience, indigenous knowledge, and on academic and scientific freedom, and gender equality.
c.    Reports of the meetings and workshops organised
d.    Monitoring and Evaluation reports
e.    Regular updates on the implementation of the project activities 
f.    Updating the Zimbabwe GO-SPIN Profile on the UNESCO Platform

COMPETENCIES (Core / Managerial)

Accountability (C)
Communication (C)
Innovation (C)
Knowledge sharing and continuous improvement (C)
Planning and organizing (C)
Results focus (C)
Teamwork (C)
Professionalism (C)

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For detailed information, please consult the UNESCO Competency Framework.

REQUIRED QUALIFICATIONS

•    PhD degree in Policy Development and Management or Natural Sciences 
•    At least 7 years relevant experience promoting STI in higher education sector
•    Experience in Policy development, implementation at national, regional and global level 

DESIRABLE QUALIFICATIONS

•    Demonstrable knowledge of the National STI ecosystem; SDGs, SADC Protocol on Science, Technology and Innovation; AU Agenda 2063 and STISA 2024

APPLICATION PROCESS

•    Interested parties may submit a cover letter, CV and the budget to UNESCO Careers portal and send a copy to vacancies.harare@unesco.org  

SELECTION AND RECRUITMENT PROCESS

Please note that all candidates must complete an on-line application and provide complete and accurate information. To apply, please visit the UNESCO careers website. No modifications can be made to the application submitted.

The evaluation of candidates is based on the criteria in the vacancy notice, and may include tests and/or assessments, as well as a competency-based interview. 

UNESCO uses communication technologies such as video or teleconference, e-mail correspondence, etc. for the assessment and evaluation of candidates.

Please note that only selected candidates will be further contacted and candidates in the final selection step will be subject to reference checks based on the information provided.

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