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To conduct needs assessment and situational analysis on MHPSS ( Open to Bhutanese national only) – UNICEF jobs in


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To conduct needs assessment and situational analysis on MHPSS ( Open to Bhutanese national only) – UNICEF jobs in

  • Location: Thimpu, Bhutan
  • Vacancy No: N/A 
  • Salary: N/A
  • Organization: UNICEF
  • Gender: Both
  • Deadline: 2024-03-11

How can you make a difference?

Purpose of Activity:

The global landscape of mental health presents a formidable challenge. WHO estimates one in every eight individuals to be having mental health conditions. Adolescents, bear a significant burden, with one in seven estimated to experience mental health conditions, predominantly driven by anxiety and depression. This pervasive issue not only inflicts profound personal suffering but also imposes a staggering annual cost of $340 billion on societies worldwide. The World Mental Health Day sheds light on the gravity of this situation, urging comprehensive efforts to address the multifaceted challenges posed by mental health. In Bhutan, there is an increasing trend of mental health disorders in the country, during and post COVID-19 pandemic. Anxiety and depression accounting for around 55% of the total mental health related cases (Ministry of Health, 2022). There were 4,131 cases of anxiety disorders and 2,410 reported cases of depression in 2021 which is almost 100% increase compared to 2020. Mental disorders related to alcohol and substance abuse are also on the rise. In addition, the current suicide incidence also points toward more cases among younger and productive age group. There is a growing concern of child and adolescent mental health. Young people are grappling with the psychological impact of the pandemic and other changes in our communities and societies. Particularly alarming is the rise in suicide incidence among the younger population, highlighting the urgent need for comprehensive mental health support and awareness to address these distressing challenges through evidence-based interventions. Furthermore, the rise in mental disorders linked to alcohol and substance abuse, coupled with a concerning surge in suicide incidence among the younger demographic, underscores the pressing need for targeted interventions. Children and adolescents, grappling with the psychological aftermath of the pandemic, face an urgent requirement for evidence-based mental health support.

Mental health concerns span various stages in an individual’s life, from childhood to adolescence, adulthood, and into the elderly years. Consequently, adopting a life course approach that considers the unique challenges and interventions required at each stage of life is imperative in promoting comprehensive mental well-being and mitigating the diverse array of mental health issues that people may encounter throughout their lives. Public Health models recommends prioritizing prevention and promotion in mental health to reduce the increasing burden of mental disorders. Mental health promotion involves promoting the value for mental health and improving the coping capacities of individuals and broader community. WHO-UNICEF joint programming on Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (MHPSS) Strategic Action Plan identified the need for improving literacy and addressing associated stigma through development and implementation of a strategic multisectoral Social and Behaviour Change (SBC) intervention.

In Bhutan, individuals and families delay seeking early support. Majority seek specialists’ services when symptoms escalate. Furthermore, children and women victims of violence, more specifically victims of sexual violence do

not seek adequate psychological, counselling, or timely psychiatric services to address the trauma of the experience. Social norms, associated stigma and poor literacy on mental health are underlying factors inhibiting early preventive and support services. Currently, basic mental health services in Bhutan are integrated into general health care services. This enables people to access mental health services at all health facilities, close to where people live, and monitor their recovery. Similarly, more than 160 School Guidance Counsellors are placed in schools by the Ministry of Education and Skills Development to ensure access to counselling services in schools. And specialized psychiatric services are provided in the Psychiatry Department, JDWNRH. While there are several commendable ongoing initiatives from a wide range of stakeholders, these initiatives need coordination and harmonization to address mental health issues in a whole societal approach in contrast to silo clinical curative approach.

Toward this end, the PEMA Secretariat in collaboration with UNICEF Bhutan would like to design and implement a multisectoral SBC intervention focusing on meaningful community engagement to improve literacy, build coping skills; and improve preventive and support seeking practices. This requires evidence to understand the nuances of why, how and who influences individuals and communities in what they do or not do. However, except for some data on prevalence cases, there is limited qualitative evidence to understand the nuances, communication needs of individual and families. Hence, the technical support of a national individual contractor in conducting an assessment and situational analysis on MHPSS information needs of children, young people, pregnant women, lactating mothers, parents, care givers and service providers; the existing SBC interventions in implemented by different agencies and recommend strategic SBC and community engagement actions to promote mental health in a holistic societal approach, transcending siloed clinical curative approaches, and charting a course towards comprehensive mental well-being in Bhutan specifically in schools and at the community level. The initiative is a component of WHO UNICEF Joint Program on mental health and psychosocial wellbeing and development of Children and Adolescent.

Scope and Purpose of the Work

The purpose of the assignment is to support the PEMA Secretariat and UNICEF in gathering evidence on MHPSS situational analysis and information/communication needs among children, young people, pregnant women, lactating mothers, parents, care givers and service providers and recommend strategic SBC interventions for mental health promotion and engagement of communities, specifically in schools, institutions and at the community level to help improve MHPSS literacy, build coping skills, and improve preventive and support seeking practices.

The specific scope and objectives of the consultancy are:

To do an in-depth analysis and assessment on to generate evidence on the MHPSS information/communication needs among the target audience (children, adolescents, young people, parents, pregnant women and postnatal mothers, caregivers, service providers and community leaders) – What do people know? What would they want to know? How and from whom would people like to know? etc.
To do an in-depth analysis and assessment on existing MHPSS promotion and community engagement initiatives implemented by various organizations in both school, health facility and community settings with a focus to validate if the interventions are related to SBC; are these interventions implemented in a harmonized approach for efficiency and effectiveness.

And make practical recommendations to help design an SBC strategic plan specifically tailored for the needs and challenges of the target population; that can be implemented in a coordinated harmonized

Approaches and Methodology

The assignment will be carried out by a national consultant using the most current information/data available. Data and information gathering could be both primary and secondary methods. Primary through key informant interviews, focus group discussions, stakeholders’ consultation and secondary through literature review, desk review of the previous relevant studies and projects in the past five years.

The national consultant will be required to develop a work plan outlining their detailed individual and joint responsibilities in the Inception report.

Progress will be reported periodically to the focal official of the Pema Secretariat and UNICEF SBC specialist and Health and Nutrition officer who will monitor the progress, provide further directives and endorsement of the report. The consultant should propose sample for the study of the mentioned target population.

Budget Year:

Requesting Section/Issuing Office:

Reasons why consultancy cannot be done by staff:


SBC Section

This assignment requires research and analytical skills in a specialized area, as well as dedicated full-time commitment, which UNICEF Bhutan Country Office staff is not able to commit considering the different portfolios and roles they provide in each area they support as per the Annual Work Plan. The assignment requires dedicated and intense research work on specific technical area, working very closely with the key stakeholders daily. Moreover, an independent consultant will be able to provide an objective and cross-sectoral approach to the assignment.

Payment terms and conditions:

The consultant’s payment terms and conditions are specified below upon certification by UNICEF’s Monitoring and Evaluation Officer and SBC and Health & Nutrition sections that all deliverables have been submitted satisfactorily and based on incorporation of feedback and invoice. The final payment to the consultant will be made after successful completion of all deliverable and submission of consultancy performance appraisal.


Percentage payment

Inception report that includes understanding of the ToR, with proposed methodology including sampling, proposed sample, approaches, and timeline to achieve the objectives.

Draft report of desk review and stakeholder’s consultation on the analysis of existing MHPSS promotion and community engagement initiatives implemented by various organizations in both school and community settings including analysis if the interventions are related to SBC and implemented in a harmonized approach for efficiency and effectiveness.

Draft report on the findings of the assessment and analysis of MHPSS information and communication needs of the target audience (children, young people, pregnant women, lactating mothers, parents, care givers and service providers and community leaders) – What do people know? What would they want to know? How and from whom would people like to know? etc.

Final report on the assessment and analysis of MHPSS information and communication needs of the target audience; the existing MHPSS promotion and community engagement initiatives implemented by various organizations along with practical recommendations aligned to the needs and challenges of the target population and implementing agencies.


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

Master’s or post-graduate degree in social science and health, mental health research or any other related disciplines.

Minimum five (5) years’ work experience in the areas of community development and related field
Proven ability in conducting community situation analysis, needs assessments and community consultation and analysis work experience including but not limited to SBC and MHPSS.
Demonstrated experience in design of studies and assessments, and conducting social science research works.
Experience in conducting related social science research with strong analytical and conceptual thinking skills.
Excellent report writing and communication skills.
Ability to manage diverse viewpoints and work in demanding situations.
Ability to organize and plan complex work following the established timeframes.
Proven ability to work in teams, past work experience in similar capacity of working with multiple agencies will be an asset.
Past work experience with Government, UNICEF or sister UN agencies in undertaking similar assignments will be an added value.
Excellent Communication and Presentation skills
Drive for results, Works collaboratively with others
Manages ambiguity and complexity.
Builds and maintains partnerships
Excellent English reading, writing, speaking and presentation is required and a local language is an asset.


Submission of Proposals and Evaluation Criteria

Proposal should include the following:

Consultant’s qualification and experience with detailed CV.
Approach and methodology that will be followed in executing the assignment.
A lump sum fee in local currency indicating a breakdown of professional fee for the anticipated number of working days/months, including fee for travel if local travel is required.
Name(s) of collaborator(s) with CVs (if applicable) with their full curriculum vitae.
Consultancy License
Reference to similar work (final products or links to previous work can be shared along with the proposal)

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.

Advertised: 26 Feb 2024 Bangladesh Standard Time
Deadline: 11 Mar 2024 Bangladesh Standard Time


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