Participatory Action Research (PAR) is a collaborative research, education and action project used to gather information to use for change on social or environmental issues. It involves people who are concerned about or affected by an issue taking a leading role in producing and using knowledge about it. While most PAR inquiries have sought to study an unsatisfactory situation in order to change and improve it, PAR can also examine a phenomenon that works well in order to reproduce or expand it and also ensure the engagement of programme beneficiaries in the development of the programme.
Since 2016, UNICEF and partners have been supporting a Participatory Action Research Project with young people (10-24 years old) in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and Iraq.
The first phase (2016-2017) of this project resulted in: i) the capacity development of 120 young researchers and four NGO partners in participatory action research; ii) presentation of findings at national and regional levels from data collected by 985 peers in three countries; iii) the implementation of youth-led, community-based action plans, based on findings; iv) and the capacity development of Syrian young researchers in peer training on participatory action research.
In the second phase (2017-2018), Participatory Action Research was expanded in Syria to new governorates, 3 new NGO partners and new cohorts of young researchers (~500), trained by peers from the first cohort. In Jordan and Lebanon, young researchers had been integrated into UN and partner youth networks and programmes. In 2018, capacities for NGO partners in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Jordan were strengthened and capacity development trainings conducted on the new tools. The revised tools had incorporated lessons learned and inputs from young researchers and trainers. The outcome from the previous Participatory Action Research and the impact on the young people has motivated Government and NGO partners to contribute resources and expand the coverage beyond the original targets indicating interest of partners to scale the PAR further.
In the currently ongoing third phase (2018-2019), PAR young researchers across Jordan, Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon are planning to take action based on the results of their research at the local and national level. Following all 4 countries' completion of the PAR cycle (with the implementation and monitoring of actions) in the third quarter of 2019, the PAR will expand horizontally, by reaching a greater number of young people - especially the most vulnerable and least heard groups - within each of the existing 4 countries, and vertically, by gathering more detailed data on existing topics, developing new topics through improved participatory processes with young researchers and participants, and addressing gaps in the data of past research cycles.
This Terms of reference is for recruiting a coordinator to support in the scale up of the Participatory Action Research Programme at the regional and country levels.
The objective of this consultancy is to coordinate and technically support the scaling up of the Adolescent and Youth led Participatory Action Research.
DESCRIPTION OF ASSIGNMENT:
As indicated above, the main objective of this consultancy is to coordinate and technically support the scaling up of the Adolescent and Youth led Participatory Action Research by strengthening and creating in-country and regional capacity (of institutions and young people) and partners to implement PAR (linked advocacy and action) among the most vulnerable adolescents and youth in MENA. The specific actions are delineated during the process of capacity development and in country and regional consultations with country teams, implementing partners and adolescents and youth engaged in PAR.
Specific areas of support include:
• Technical support for rolling out the ongoing PAR programmess in Syria, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria: support implementing partners and young researchers in data collection; data analysis; synthesis of findings, draft report and dissemination of findings; and implementation of action plans.
• Support Lebanon, Jordan, Syria and Iraq (and other countries based on CO request) to expand the scope of the adolescent and youth led participatory action research interventions and integrate the research into adolescent and youth advocacy and action plans of various sectors, including health, education, WASH and other
• In partnership with the key PAR stakeholders conduct a mapping, criteria and a prioritization process to identify potential technical partners to support PAR scale up.
• Support the identified PAR centres of excellence in building capacity of partners and young researchers to implement participatory action research within their context including: Identify capacity building opportunities of relevance to the most vulnerable young people and coordinate implementation with UNICEF country offices and partners; Coordinate and implement training and/or mentorship opportunities with partners.
• Finalize PAR training materials and presentations both in English and Arabic
• Establish online/offline processes to ensure easy access to the identified centres of excellence for country teams and implementing partners in MENA, and training materials
• Maintain and coordinate networks of young researchers and link them with opportunities for participation, social and civic engagement initiatives at country and regional levels.