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Individual Consultant_Revised "Positive Learning" publication on the needs of YPLHIV in education


Parent Sector : Education Sector (ED)

Duty Station: Multiple

Job Family: Translation / Interpretation / Writing

Type of contract : Non Staff

Duration of contract : From 1 to 6 months

Recruitment open to : External candidates

Application Deadline (Midnight Paris Time) : 8-MAR-2021


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



1. Background

In 2012, UNESCO collaborated with the Global Network of People Living with HIV (GNP+) and the Y+ network to produce the publication “Positive Learning: meeting the needs of young people living with HIV (YPLHIV) in the education sector.”[1] Part I of the publication provides an overview of the evidence base and identifies key issues and challenges for young people living with HIV in the context of education settings. Part II of the publication provides recommendations for the education sector on areas including confidentiality and disclosure, stigma and discrimination, treatment and care, sexual and reproductive health and rights, and protection, care and support.

Long Description

Today, the topic of the document is more relevant than ever, with an estimated 1.7 million children (0-14), 1.6 million adolescents (10-19), and 3.5 million young people (15-24) living with HIV worldwide.[1] These children, adolescents and young people living with HIV are growing up in a world with ever-expanding options for treatment, care and support that can help them live both healthier and happier lives. Recent studies have shown that with treatment, people who reach an undetectable viral load do not transmit HIV. This has been encapsulated in the “U=U”[2] movement, an important message in the combat to end HIV-related stigma and discrimination. Other notable recent developments include PrEP, which enables people at risk of HIV to prevent transmission, and self-testing, which will enable more young people to know their status without recourse to formal healthcare settings.


[1] UNAIDS 2019 data

[2] "Undetectable = Untransmittable"

Long Description

Despite these developments, evidence suggests that young people, especially adolescents, are being left behind when it comes to support for adhering to treatment and navigating the complex medical, social and psychological challenges of growing up with HIV. For example, the percentage of YPLHIV who know their status is much lower among adolescents than adults, and HIV-positive adolescents have lower viral suppression rates when compared to both adults and younger children, often due to lower adherence to anti-retroviral therapy. The shift from pediatric care to adult care can be a complex transition for young people where they risk being left behind, especially in lower resource settings. Stigma and discrimination also continues to be a major issue facing young people living with HIV, whether it be self-stigma (especially post-diagnosis), or stigma and discrimination from their peers, healthcare professionals or teachers. HIV-related stigma and discrimination also intersects with other forms of stigma and discrimination, whether it be related to sexual orientation or gender identity, socio-economic status and employment, disability, or issues related to mental health and substance use. Education programmes and curricula about sexual health and HIV often are exclusively focused on the idea of ‘not getting HIV’ and are therefore both stigmatizing and unhelpful in their content for those already living with HIV. They also sometimes vehicle messages about key populations that risk reinforcing rather than reducing stigma and discrimination.

To help address these issues, UNESCO will support the review, revision and country implementation of the “Positive Learning” publication. The revised publication, and associated teaching and learning tools, will build on the strengths of the 2012 edition while expanding it to address the emerging issues and realities of young people living with HIV today.

2. Objective and Responsibilities

The Section on Health and Education, within the Division for Peace and Sustainable Development, is seeking a consultant in HIV and Education to prepare an updated literature review and revised version of the publication “Positive Learning: meeting the needs of young people living with HIV (YPLHIV) in the education sector.”[1] The document will be produced and published by UNESCO, in partnership with Y+ Global and GNP+, and disseminated widely among Ministries of Education and other key stakeholders such as networks of PLHIV and civil society.

The consultant will undertake the following tasks in close collaboration with a youth representative from the Y+ Global network. Across all tasks, the consultant will work closely with a junior consultant recruited by Y+ Global and will support their capacity development, and promote their leadership and input to the consultative group.

A. Review of current literature and programmes on young people living with HIV and the education sector

Within the scope of this work, only literature and activities since 2011 should be referenced.

  • Identify and review the available documentation, data and information relating to young people living with HIV and their needs within the education setting – from a current policy and programming perspective.

  • Compile and review all existing guidance, frameworks for action and case studies on the topic of YPLHIV and the education sector

  • Compile recommendations and findings from consultations with YPLHIV groups and other stakeholders

  • Review and analyze the current programmes being implemented within the education sector to address the needs of YPLHIV

  • Identify existing support tools being used in practice by the education sector

The consultant is expected to include reports and data that may not be in the public domain, including minutes from meetings (“grey literature”) but which key stakeholders share as part of documentation relating to this field.

B. Updated synthesis report of findings

With reference to the November 2010 report commissioned by UNESCO, GNP+ and IPPF to inform the Positive Learning publication, the consultant will prepare an updated summary that synthesizes findings from the literature review into one report of maximum 30 pages highlighting:

  • Current policy and practice in education sector responses to YPLHIV, noting any significant changes or trends since 2010

  • Draw together recommendations and findings from consultations with YPLHIV groups and other stakeholders

  • Case study examples of good practice

  • Analysis of the gaps in responses for YPLHIV

  • Gaps in existing documentation, information or data

The report will be written in a practical and accessible style, intended for a broad international audience including governments, youth organizations and civil society organisations. The report is not intended for publication but will inform the revised publication. A full bibliography will be essential.

C. Preparatory work prior to and during the Global Consultative Group meeting on meeting the needs of young people living with HIV (YPLHIV) in the education sector

  • Under the leadership of the Y+  Global junior consultant, support agenda-setting for the Global Consultative Group meeting (dates tbc), in consultation with UNESCO and GNP+

  • Attend (most likely virtually) and document fully the outputs of the Global Consultative Group meeting. The consultant is expected to capture all of the key arguments and recommendations being made by participants who will represent different stakeholders namely: Ministry of Education, Ministry of Health, YPLHIV, teachers, civil society and development partners.

  • In consultation with UNESCO and GNP+, and in close collaboration with the Y+ Global junior consultant, develop a presentation on key findings from the updated literature review, and issues to address in the revised publication, and present it at the meeting.

  • Document all relevant case studies or examples of good practice that are presented during the meeting as possible content for the publication. The consultant is not expected to write a report of the meeting proceedings.

  • Attend a meeting with Y+, GNP+ and UNESCO staff post-consultation to agree on the structure and major elements of the revised publication based on the outcomes of the meeting.


D. Develop a revised version of the Positive Learning guidance document

  • Based on discussions during the Global Consultative Group meeting, develop a revised version of the Positive Learning publication. The publication should include updated background to the issues, along with an updated set of recommendations for action. 

  • The final structure of the publication will be agreed between UNESCO, Y+, GNP+ and the consultant after the consultation meeting based on the outputs and the needs expressed by participants. Two drafts of the document will be prepared before submission of the final product. The first draft will be shared with all members of the consultative group for comment and feedback. The second draft will be reviewed by UNESCO, GNP+, and other select stakeholders as necessary.

E. Support the engagement and capacity-development of the Y+ Global junior consultant

  • Prepare a capacity-development plan with and for the Y+ Global junior consultant, outlining key learning objectives, and ensure bi-weekly check-ins to track progress.

  • Engage the junior consultant in research for the literature review and preparation of the synthesis report.

  • Collaborate with the junior consultant on the development of agendas, background documents and presentations for the Global Consultative Group.

  • Submit a final report back on progress against the capacity-development plan

3. Timeframe, deliverables and payment schedule

The consultant’s services are required during the period 8 March 2021 to 31 August 2021, for an estimated 50-60 days of work. The deliverables will be submitted according to the timeframe described below:


Deliverable / Date due / Payment


Signature of contract (8 March 2021): 5%



Outline describing the approach to the task, including a capacity development plan for the junior consultant, list of resources to be used and key contacts (11 March 2021): 10%


3. First draft of updated synthesis report from literature review submitted for comment (31 March 2021): 15%


4. Final draft updated synthesis report submitted and preliminary draft outline of revised Positive Learning publication submitted (14 April 2021): 15%



5. Presentation to consultative group, and summary of key points and recommendations following the meeting (28 April 2021) : 15%



6. 1st draft of Revised Positive Learning publication submitted (26 May 2021): 15%


7. Final draft of Revised Positive Learning publication submitted, and report back on junior consultant capacity-development plan (31 August 2021): 25 %




4. Consultancy Management

The Consultant will be contracted and managed by UNESCO, Paris. Interaction with designated contacts in Y+/GNP+ and other stakeholders is expected during the Global Consultative Group meeting. Subsequent interaction will be channeled through UNESCO including feedback on drafts submitted.


Due to the current COVID situation, the consultant will most likely support meetings virtually. There may be the possibility of attending consultative meetings, depending on where the Consultant is located and where meetings will occur. If travel goes ahead, all travel, accommodation and associated costs will be borne by UNESCO for attendance at this meeting.

5. Qualifications

  1. Academic degree in an appropriate field including development, public health or the social sciences.

  2. A minimum of 8 years' proven relevant experience in working on HIV and sexual health, proven knowledge of the Education sector in different regions of the world and writing of technical documents for a variety of audiences. 

  3. Demonstrated interest and experience in training and mentoring young people.

6. Expression of Interest

Interested individuals should submit a written proposal which should comprise:

  • A letter describing relevant experience and proposed approach to the assignment

  • An up to date curriculum vitae

An estimated number of days and daily rate for completing the assignment, which should be quoted in US dollars or in euros.

The proposal should be sent to Ariana Stahmer (a.stahmer@unesco.org) by COB 5 March 2021.

COMPETENCIES (Core / Managerial)

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


For detailed information, please consult the UNESCO Competency Framework.


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.


UNESCO applies a zero tolerance policy against all forms of harassment.

UNESCO is committed to achieve and sustain gender parity among its staff members in all categories and at all grades. Furthermore, UNESCO is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, nationality and culture. Individuals from minority groups, indigenous groups and persons with disabilities, as well as nationals from non-and under-represented Member States (last update here) are equally encouraged to apply. All applications will be treated with the highest level of confidentiality. Worldwide mobility is required for staff members appointed to international posts.

UNESCO does not charge a fee at any stage of the recruitment process.