Around 75 % of the population in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region is under the age of 35. Young people in this region remain one of the most vulnerable and affected groups in the areas of HIV, sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) and gender inequality.

SADC Member States have made strong commitments to put young people at the centre of their development efforts and strengthen investments in young people’s SRHR within several global, continental and regional frameworks, working towards ending AIDS by 2030 in line with the Sustainable Development Goals.  

It is against this background that UNAIDS, in partnership with the SADC Parliamentary Forum, UNFPA, UNESCO, African Youth and Adolescents Network (AfriYAN) and Restless Development convened a Youth Indaba in October 2019 in South Africa.

“AIDS is still the main cause of death among young women in the SADC region. We need the boldness and courage of young people to walk the last mile. Young people need to know that they are fighting for leaving no one behind,” said Catherine Sozi, Director for the UNAIDS Regional Support Team for Eastern and Southern Africa, during the indaba.

The aim of the indaba was to strengthen capacity and collaboration between young parliamentarians and youth activists to ensure that SRHR, HIV and gender equality are prioritized within national development agendas.

“It is inappropriate and unacceptable to design any strategy, policy or law without the involvement of young people. We cannot do anything that pertains to our future resources without youth involvement,” said the Vice President of SADC Parliamentary Forum (PF), Isaac Mmemo Magagula.

The programme of the Youth Indaba included several interactive sessions on innovative approaches to youth-led accountability, opportunities to share best practices and build networks and partnerships.

The last day of the meeting consisted of an intergenerational dialogue between the young participants and senior Parliamentarians and development partners, focused on placing young people at the centre of development, including supporting meaningful youth engagement and youth-led accountability.

According to SADC, people under the age of 35 are rarely found in formal political leadership positions. Therefore youth-led accountability ensures that young people are engaged and participate in decision-making that affects their lives and exercise accountability over those decisions.

“We commit to work collaboratively as youth researchers, advocates and young MPs for the achievement of set targets and commitments concerning HIV, SRHR, and gender equality for all young people in the SADC region, including being accountable to the constituencies we represent and the young people and communities we serve,” said Rahma Suleiman from AfriYAN in Tanzania, reading from a Joint Youth Commitment on youth-led accountability which was later on presented at the ICPD+25 Summit in Nairobi.  

Participants developed the outcome document referred to as the “Tshwane Declaration on strengthening youth-led accountability in SADC parliaments for delivering on commitments on SRHR, HIV and gender equality”, which was later adopted by the SADC PF’s Plenary Assembly in Namibia in December 2019. The adoption is groundbreaking in that it promotes youth-led accountability with SADC.

By adopting the resolution, the assembly resolved to undertake several actions required to improve young people’s right to health and empowerment using their legislative, oversight and representation mandate. This includes the amendment of laws and policies that limit young people’s freedom of expression, choice and access to integrated HIV and SRHR services, comprehensive sexuality education social protection and harm reduction services for young key populations. – (original story via UNAIDS

 This consultancy falls under the overall authority of the Assistant Director General for Education, guidance from the Director of the UNESCO Regional Office for Southern Africa, and the direct supervision of the Senior Project Officer (HIV and Health Education). The Regional Communication Consultant will be responsible for the effective planning, implementation and monitoring of the HIV and Health Communications portfolio, specifically, the “Our Rights, Our Lives, Our Future” (O3) Programme, supported by Sweden among other donors. S/he will be responsible for developing and implementing an advocacy and communications strategy and closely monitoring the impact of communication efforts to enhance the organisation’s credibility and brand.  Read More here.

A meeting for parliamentarians to deliberate on how to end teenage pregnancy in Kenya was convened on 27th February 2020 at Intercontinental Hotel, Nairobi by National Council of Population and Development with support from UNESCO, UNFPA and SRHRA.

The meeting attended by seven members of parliament and several parliamentary clerks, government representatives, UNESCO, UNFPA, civil society and the media aimed securing political leadership in response to teenage pregnancy, which is still a major issue in the country. During the meeting, presentations were made on the status of teenage pregnancy in the country. Highlights were also given on UNESCO’s technical support towards ending teenage pregnancy in the country and the region. In his remarks on behalf of the UN agencies, the UNFPA Deputy Representative Dr. Eziz Hellenov affirmed the agencies commitments towards gender equality through ending teenage pregnancy.

The parliamentarians through the plenary session called for practical interventions that addresses the root causes of teenage pregnancy. ‘’ we need to explore how rape cases are contributing to teenage pregnancy, we should not turn our eyes blind as young girls continue to be violated by people meant to protect them’ asserted Senator Ledama of Narok County. Members of parliament also called upon parents to take up responsibilities of nurturing children. Prof Kamar, Senator Uasin Gishu County noted that there is need to provide psycho-social support for teen mothers for them to cope with their situation. She noted that this has informed the 2019 draft care and protective bill  in parliament and the draft reproductive health bill. The members of parliament also called for concerted efforts by Ministries of Health and Education since there are no shortages of policies in Kenya, what lacks is the implementation

UNESCO Regional Office for Southern Africa seeks the services of a consultant to support an ongoing campaign against early and unintended pregnancy in the East and Southern Africa (ESA) region through coordinating the conceptualization and dissemination of a Regional Radio/TV program that looks to start conversations and dialogue to change norms around Early and Unintended Pregnancy. The campaign to address early and unintended pregnancy (EUP) in Eastern and Southern Africa was commissioned by UNESCO, UNFPA, Save the Children Sweden (SCS) and SAfAIDS. The joint effort was borne out of a recognition that EUP is affecting an increasing number of adolescents throughout the ESA region, and a cohesive plan   is needed to effect change. The following are the main target audiences for the campaign in no particular order. Whether or not an audience is primary, secondary or tertiary target will depend on the messages.

  1. Policy makers
  2. Teachers, educators and school principals
  3. Parents and guardians
  4. Community leaders, religious and traditional leaders
  5. Men and boys; women and girls
  6. Health service providers

Countries in the ESA region will be divided into 2 categories and implementation strategies will differ for focus countries and supporting countries. Focus countries will be targeted with full implementation of the campaign while lighter touch campaigns will run in the supporting countries.

Focus Countries; Botswana, DRC, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Supporting countries; Angola, Burundi, Ethiopia, Rwanda, South Sudan, Mauritius, Madagascar, Seychelles.

Radio/TV Program key objectives

  • Bring attention to the alarming rates of EUP in the region
  • Spark conversation on issues of EUP among targeted listener groups
  • Create awareness and bring attention to the need for scaling up comprehensive sexuality education and youth-friendly SRHR services for adolescents and young people.
  • Using Edu-tainment as an efficient tool to engage young people on issues of EUP
  • Create opportunities to secure more partnerships for the campaign and for further addressing the issue

One of the key goals for the EUP program is to be inclusive and bring together different audiences for conversations. While the primary beneficiaries are adolescent girls and young women, the drama should equally speak to and engage men and boys as agents of change. The program will create dialogue and opportunities to engage audiences on the issues of EUP through a medium that not just educates but entertains. The program will look to start conversations in order to create a dialogue about the core issues and facilitate knowledge, attitude and behaviour change across groups.

There are three main areas of focus which frame the “Let’s Talk!” campaign, which will be tackled in the radio drama and are intended to distinguish the core social and structural barriers that keep adolescents from effectively preventing early and unintended pregnancy. These are Health, Education and Rights. The program will address issues related to EUP such as: reproductive health, SRHR, contraceptive use; family planning; early onset of sexual activity; violence against women; and improvement of women’s reproductive health.

Scope of the Radio/TV Program

The characters in the radio/TV program will be under the conflicting influences of positive and extremely negative narratives of EUP. These positive and negative characters are not only positive and negative role models for the audience, but they also help to define the extremes of thought and behaviour on issue of EUP for the audience. The characters in the drama will be those that people can identify with which will therefore be more effective at bringing about behaviour change. The radio drama program will be disseminated in the following countries:

Botswana, DRC, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Angola, Burundi, Ethiopia, Rwanda, South Sudan, Mauritius, Madagascar, Seychelles.

The assignment/ Activities

The consultant will provide support to build ongoing momentum by supporting the conceptualization, production and dissemination of the EUP campaign radio/tv program. Specifically, the consultants will be tasked to;

  • Organize and facilitate 2 Advisory Committee meetings
  • Co-ordinate the conceptualization of a EUP regional tv drama series/ web series
  • Produce a Concept Note and agenda for the EUP Advisory Committee meeting and mobilize Journalists to participate.
  • Co-ordinate the production of a guideline document that will be utilized by production firm as a guide on content and format for radio/tv program
  • Produce reports on the Advisory committee meetings 
  • Liaise with selected production company on selection of script writers and development of script writing workshop  
  • Co-ordinate with production company and organize the pretesting of the pilot episode during the second advisory committee meeting
  • Draft dissemination plan for countries, with guidelines on how to adapt and produce radio drama at national level

Timeline and duration of consultancy

The consultancy will run from 6 March 2020 – 30 September 2020

Expected Deliverables

Deliverable Deadline
Produce Brief proposal to conduct the assignment 6 March 2020
Production of Concept note and Agenda for the EUP Advisory Committee meeting and Consolidated participation list 10 March 2020
Create report on the 1st advisory Committee meeting 25 March 2020
Create Regional TV/ Radio/ Web series dissemination plan 30 March 2020
Draft guideline document that will be utilized by production firm as a guide on content and format for radio/tv program and Report on the first advisory committee meeting 10 April 2020
Create project roadmap post script -writers workshop 24 April 2020
Draft report on the 2nd Advisory committee meeting 18 May 2020
Draft Dissemination plan for countries with guidelines on how to adapt and produce radio/tv program at national level 8 June 2020
Hold consultation calls with NPO’s from focus countries where the script will be adapted to discuss progress of production 1 July 2020
Report on rolling out of the radio/tv program at regional and national level 15 September 2020
  1.  Consultant selection

The consultant will be selected following a competitive bidding process. Interested consultants should provide a short proposal, either individually or in a team, indicating the approach, daily rates, number of days and timelines.

  1. Copyright, Patents and Other Proprietary Rights

All rights, including but not limited to title, to property, copyright, trademark and patent; in any work produced by the consultant by virtue of his/her contract, shall be vested in UNESCO which alone shall hold all rights of use.

  1. Qualifications
  2. High-level skills in multimedia campaign development.
  3. Track record in developing Radio drama programs
  4. Track-record in developing policy advocacy tools such as policy briefs, factsheets, guidelines, etc.
  5. Advanced academic degree in an appropriate field (preferably education, communication for development, public health education).
  6. Extensive professional knowledge and at least 10 years of experience in the field of health promotion, education, marketing and advertising. Familiarity with the UN system an asset.
  7. Demonstrated experience in strategy and policy analysis and design.
  8. Excellent writing and communication skills.
  9. Demonstrated ability as a trainer, particularly developing training material and plans of action on relevant topics.

Interested Consultants who meet the set criteria based on the Terms of Reference can submit their application and brief proposal to; copying Ruvarashe Matambo by Friday 6 March 2020