Consultant to lead on conducting research and mapping on child protection systems and Emergency Response Plan in Yala Province, Thailand
Project: Integrated Emergency Preparedness and Child Protection Framework to Protect Children and Their Communities from Violence During Emergencies in ASEAN
An estimated 195 million children live in the ASEAN region. South-East Asia is one of the most disaster-prone regions in the world with 1,586 disasters affecting more than 27 million people in 2018. In conflict-affected and fragile contexts, the mechanisms protecting children are often overwhelmed, weakened, or inaccessible. In times of disaster, children are at increased risk of all forms of violence and abuse, including sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV). In the face of an ongoing global pandemic and the quarantine measures being adopted, global trend shows that violence has been found to increase and the threat is especially serious for those affected by an ongoing or protracted conflict (International Crisis Group; UN Security Council S/2020/1064). While in the Deep South a ceasefire was initially declared by select actors as a result of COVID-19, pandemics often lead to breakdown of social infrastructure, with has the potential to further compound or exacerbate conflict dynamics over time.
Children, families, and vulnerable groups need health protection, and social protection to respond to the pandemic’s wide-ranging impacts that are multiple, often severe, and most likely, long lasting. They also need a range of specialised services to prevent and cope with increasing stress and conflict at home, also with abuse and violence e.g. child labour and child marriage that may escalate.
The Save the Children’s Children at the Centre: A Participatory Action Research (PAR) commissioned in 2018 revealed that the impact of the conflict in the Deep South on children is profound. Children suffered from prevalent mental health concerns and there was exaggerated gender-based vulnerabilities. Children were diverting to negative coping mechanisms e.g., drugs, violent behaviour, and self-harm. Addressing the needs of children who are at risk of abuse is doubly hard in areas where conflict continues especially where there are still gaps in the capacity of the national, regional and local mechanisms to protect children and unequal access to services for vulnerable populations, including in the Deep South context of the Malay-Muslim communities. Various communities in the Deep South also face compounding challenges, including climate change impact i.e. severe floods and landslides. It is important that the provinces’ immediate response and longer-term disaster risk reduction plans address these risks as well protection factors for children to help build resilience, both to the existing conflict, pandemic crisis, and possible natural disasters that may occur.
Significant progress has been made across Southeast Asia in disaster management due to the ASEAN Agreement on Disaster Management and Emergency Response, and in ASEAN Safe School Initiative. In Yala, one of the three southernmost provinces of Thailand, the Provincial Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Unit and other local authorities have also put in place their Emergency Preparedness and Response (EP&R) Plan and the COVID-19 Response Plan to handle provincial disaster management situations. However, Save the Children (SC) has identified that there is still a lack of contextualized Deep South analysis on the child protection issues tied to emergencies (rapid, slow onset natural disasters as well as the impact of protracted conflict), and therefore the plans do not sufficiently reflect key issues and measures to respond and to prevent and protect children from harm in times of emergencies, and to address impact of protracted conflict (and flare in critical incidents). To be more specific, the policy and measures do not explicitly address risks and relevant mitigation associated with physical violence and other harmful practices, sexual and gender-based violence, psychosocial distress and mental health, unaccompanied and separated children, and children associated with armed forces and armed groups. This has led to the need to understand the situation of the children to better identify effective and sustainable solutions to provide both short and long-term protection to children living in the wake of disaster and conflict.
Under the support of the European Commission's Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO), Save the Children in Thailand has committed to conduct an in-depth analysis of the child protection situation in the Deep South arising from natural and conflict disasters including a mapping of the key stakeholders, reviewing the existing EPP to map out policies, resources, structures and gaps on child protection in emergencies through the phases of disaster, identifying pre-actions already put in place to prevent escalation of crisis, and the existing community-led child protection practices and mechanisms to assess: 1) key child protection concerns to be prioritised and addressed; 2) analyse levels of inclusiveness and accessibility to children with disabilities (CwDs) and other marginalised groups; 3) analyse existing referral pathways; and, 4) the question of trust and impartiality working with government funded or community-based service providers.
SC in Thailand is seeking to recruit independent consultant(s) to lead and undertake the study on the child protection situation in the deep south. The research will focus on Yala province in 3 sub-districts: Purong, Bangoisinae, and Thasap. Ensuring that research is led externally is critical given that this will provide objectivity and provide a neutral platform to use the findings to inform revisions to the EPP framework to include child protection actions, and as well targeted support to community-led protections systems, and state actors.
Objectives of the Research
The overall objective of this study:
To better understand the existing child protection structure in emergency setting in the deep-southern-most province of Thailand, Yala, focusing on child protection structures and mechanisms in conflict-affected and disaster-prone settings. This will also map out child protection system, policies, structures, and gaps in various dimensions on child protection prevention and response.
The specific objectives of this study are proposed as follows:
1. To identify the different existing child protection in emergency and EP&R systems and mechanism at the Provincial and district/sub-district level for the deep southern province of Thailand, Yala
2. To identify the existing community-led child protection and EP&R mechanisms and practices
3. To identify the key child protection concerns, which will include, but not limited to a review of on Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV) and accessibility to Children with Disabilities (CwD)
4. To map out the policies, structures, key stakeholders, and gaps on Child Protection in Emergencies (CPiE), especially regarding preparedness to respond to emergencies (slow and rapid onset, as well as impact of protracted conflict and conflict surge)
5. To clarify the existing referral pathways, accessibility, local trust and impartiality working with government funded or community-based service providers
Schedule and deliverables
Deliverables 1: Inception report and work plan
Timeframe: 7 days after confirmation of contract
Remarks: Desk review process: Save the Children will review and provide feedback on the first draft within 5 working days
Deliverables 2: Submission of finalized inception report and planning with HIP ECHO project team.
Timeframe: 7 days after confirmation of the contract
Remarks: Save the Children will review the updates (and discuss if needed) for its approval
Deliverables 3: Upon approval of SC on inception report and research design, submit for Ethics Review
Timeframe: 7 days after the submission of the inception report
Deliverables 4: Review literature, conduct data collection, consultation with key stakeholders, interview SCI key staff
Timeframe: January 11th, 2020 – January 31st, 2021
Deliverables 5: Presentations and interpretation of preliminary findings to Save the Children and partners
Timeframe: Second week of February 2021
Remarks: Presentation file shared with Save the Children at least 3 days prior to the presentation
Deliverables 6: First draft of report with recommendations in English
Timeframe: February 28th, 2021
Remarks: Save the Children will provide feedback on the first draft within 5 working days
Deliverables 7: Final draft of reports
Timeframe: March 12th, 2021
Remarks: Quality review of translation to be carried out by the research team. First report draft to be submitted in English language.
All materials, including all raw data, databases and analysis outputs, collected in the undertaking of the consultancy process should be submitted along with the final report.
Dates and times for deliverables will be changed upon consultation with the candidates.
The consultant(s) is asked to propose the budget in Thai Baht and USD. The financial competitiveness of the fee, alongside technical rigour, experience and child-sensitive research approaches will be considered in the selection process. Costs involved in the assessment, such as materials, travel, translation and applicable taxes, should be included in the proposed budget.
Submissions for the consultancy
The submission must address the terms of reference and include:
Close date for submissions: 31 January 2021
Submissions should be addressed to: THA_Procurement_BKK@savethechildren.org
Further enquiry: Yonradee.Wangcharoenpaisan@savethechildren.org
Contact : Yonradee.Wangcharoenpaisan@savethechildren.org