Vacancy Announcement Details

International Consultant to conduct Evaluation of UNICEF Syria Social and Behavior Change (SBC) , Damascus, Syria, 90 working days within 5 months (Remote)

16 Mar 2023


The purpose of the assignment is to conduct an evaluation of UNICEF Social and Behaviour Change programming  from 2018 to 2022 and its focus on key strategic priorities for UNICEF Syria which include Covid-19 awareness and vaccination, infant and young child feeding, routine vaccination of children, integrated SBC/WASH programming, and cholera response.

Given the multi-sectoral focus of these initiatives, the evaluation will help identify learning for both individual sectors and cross-cutting approaches to help strengthen programming results for children in Syria, and reflect on those SBC strategies that have helped to accelerate outcomes for children in Syria. The evaluation comes at an important time to inform the future strategic direction of the SBC team and should reflect on approaches taken to date, their successes and identify opportunities and forward direction. 

The objectives of the evaluation are to:

i. Review the design and achievements of UNICEF Syria SBC programming by assessing the relevance, effectiveness and efficiency of specific approaches & materials, in particular community engagement system & system strengthening ;

ii. Assess the main enablers and drivers for SBC in Syria as well as bottlenecks and barriers for behaviour and attitudinal changes at household and community levels and identify recommendations for programming approaches that are most effective in this context;

iii. Identify opportunities for/adjustments needed by programmes and corresponding SBC material to support the achievement of key results for children in alignment with UNICEF Syria Country Programme Document 2022-2024, Programme Strategy Note Communication for Development (C4D) 2022-2024 and UNICEF MENA SBC-CE Regional Strategy and Programme Guidance for 2022-25, including an assessment of the results framework (in particular challenges of measurability and attribution of results);

iv. Assess the common understanding of SBC across UNICEF Syria programming, including how UNICEF teams understand and utilise SBC approaches to achieve results and the added value of any integrated approaches to date, with a view to identifying areas of good practice and scope for improvements;

v. (as appropriate, provide real-time reflection on any emergency SBC activities and identify transferable learning and success factors from recent responses).


The evaluation will assess both i) the selection/prioritisation by UNICEF Syria Country Office of specific thematic areas to be the focus of significant SBC activities well as ii) the success and appropriateness of specific SBC modalities (system strengthening, community engagement). It is both a reflective exercise on what works in Syria and why, as well as a forward-look on what are the building blocks for effective SBC, the enabling factors and how they can deliver future results for children in Syria.

The time period that this evaluation will cover is from 2018 – 2022, for activities across the 13 governorates in Syria where UNICEF operates through 6 field offices.

The evaluation will use the existing data and evidence compiled from field monitoring visits, surveys, trainings, community engagement, risk communication, awareness-raising materials, social and media platforms, and reports and monitoring mechanisms. Qualitative data collection for the evaluation will also be possible through remote interviews with key informants and use of UNICEF Syria Third Party Monitors for in-country data collection (e.g. focus group discussions).

The following draft evaluation questions indicate the main areas of interest and to guide the focus of the evaluation, but it is expected that these will be discussed and refined with the evaluation consultant during the evaluation design phase:


1. How appropriate were the designs, approaches and targeting of the SBC strategies to address the needs and priorities of the targeted population(s) and address the desired social/behaviour change?

2. To what extent were the activities and expected results of the SBC strategy consistent with the overall purpose and the attainment of its objectives and those of individual UNICEF programmes/sectors and the country programme?

3. How have SBC strategies been adapted and changed over time to different contexts within Syria?

4. Going forward, what are the key approaches and enabling factors for UNICEF SBC to ensure relevance?


1. How efficiently were resources (funds, expertise, time) used to achieve the objectives of SBC strategies in a timely way? How did SBC activities in Syria compare with other countries in MENA (where comparators are possible)?

2. Were the resources allocated to the programme implementation team and implementing partners appropriate to implement the activities and achieve change either in terms of behavioural or social change as part of programme effectiveness?

3. For emergency public health responses, to what extent were the SBC activities timely in terms of design and implementation?

4. What examples of cost-effectiveness of specific SBC activities or strategies can be identified for replication and / or scale up, and what are the core aspects of SBC in emergencies to be utilized for future responses?

5. What were the different leadership roles and coordination models taken by UNICEF in SBC activities and what are UNICEF strengths and weaknesses in these roles?


1. To what extent did SBC activities achieve the set targets including community perception of risk; changes in practices; increase in utilization of services? How effectively do these targets function in terms of reflecting SBC achievements?

2. To what extent did the SBC strategy contribute to the achievements of country programme results?

3. To what extent is it possible to determine achievement of SBC programming objectives in terms of attribution of results to UNICEF Syria (given the mainstreaming of SBC); what adjustments can be made to M&E to better support future attribution?

4. What can be learned about the most effective SBC interventions for the achievement of results in terms of design, implementation, targeting; what are the most effective activities for driving change?

5. What were the major/critical factors that contributed to or hindered achievement of SBC results? 


1. To what extent were SBC activities designed with a focus on coherence across relevant sectors to maximize synergies and complementarities, and what form did this take (within UNICEF and externally)?

2. Where SBC activities were explicitly intended as integrated between sectors, how successful was the integration and what was the added value of the integration? 

3. How effective were relations with partners in the design and implementation of SBC activities?

4. To what extent was duplication of activities with other partner or external actors managed?


1. To what extent was the sustainability of activities and results considered in SBC programme design?

2. What factors need to be in place for sustainability of key SBC messages in Syria context?

Rights, Gender and Equity:

1. To what extent were SBC messages and engagement modalities relevant to needs, based on evidence, and addressed the challenges of the targeted groups including marginalized and vulnerable groups?


This evaluation will be conducted in accordance to the 2016 United Nations Evaluation Group Norms and Standards for Evaluation  and the UNICEF Evaluation Policy (2018) .

The methodology of the evaluation, and related deliverables, should consist of:

a) Document review of strategy and programme documentation, monitoring data and reports ;

b) Mapping and assessment of data availability, both internal and external sources to identify evidence gaps;

c) Stakeholder mapping and interviews with key internal and external stakeholders, including UNICEF Syria programme staff and senior management; UNICEF MENARO SBC staff; Government of Syria counterparts; implementing partners

d) Data triangulation & analysis

It is not anticipated that the evaluation will involve quantitative primary data collection with beneficiaries or communities due to availability of existing internal monitoring and reporting data. Primary data collection should instead focus on qualitative data collection to complement existing data and reflect on SBC design and strategy.

Risks and limitations

A key risk is that programme planning, monitoring and reporting data may be incomplete or not have generated enough information to undertake a meaningful assessment of programming design, implementation or results. Where this is the case, the consultant should document the gaps, identify any possible proxies, and recommend how to improve in future.

Another risk is related to engaging with communities in Syria, such as accessing individuals outside of UNICEF-supported facilities. Any engagement with communities for data collection or access to personal and identifiable information during the evaluation will be subject to UNICEF and UNEG ethical standards and would require ethical approval.

It is important that the evaluation is timely in terms of the needs of the SBC programme and the recruited consultant will need to ensure adherence to workplan.



On-site working days: 0

Off-site working days: 90 days

Field Missions/Travel: 0

Full details available on the UNICEF website. Application deadline 25 March