Consultancy to develop cross-sectoral MHPSS Technical Guidance for Save the Children

Save the Children Denmark , Bahrain
 Save the Children Denmark  logo
Job Summary

Job Description

1. Background and significance of the technical guidance

In 2018-19, Save the Children’s mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) specialist group developed the MHPSS cross sectoral strategic framework in humanitarian settings 2019 - 2021.

The strategic framework has been developed to lift the scale and quality of MHPSS programming to best promote MHPSS and respond to critical gaps in the way Save the Children responds to the mental health and psychosocial needs of children and their caregivers in the contexts in which we work. The strategic framework was informed by consultations with field and regional offices and colleagues across the different sectors (Health, Child Protection, Nutrition, Education, as well as MEAL colleagues). It aims to consolidate the MHPSS expertise across the movement to ensure that we provide children and their caregivers with comprehensive and coordinated MHPSS services. The strategy suggests a variety of MHPSS interventions and approaches to be incorporated within the three SC breakthroughs: Survive, Learn and Be Protected. The vision is to strengthen mental health, psychosocial wellbeing and resilience of children, adolescents, and their caregivers and teachers, through access to quality, evidence-based, and sustainable MHPSS interventions based on the IASC Guidelines on MHPSS in Emergency Settings and the consideration of children’s mental health and psychosocial wellbeing in social initiatives. By 2030 the SC breakthroughs will promote mental health and wellbeing of children and their caregivers, aligned with Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) 3.4 and 3.5.

This piece of work aims to operationalize the MHPSS strategic framework by providing guidance on key steps to achieve mainstreaming and integration of MHPSS within Save the Children and our local partner’s programmes.

As part of this work, a mapping and gapping exercise has been conducted in 2020 to identify, as far as possible, the MHPSS programmes, projects, interventions, and activities across all the sectors in all of SC domestic and international programmes in humanitarian, development and on-the-move (migratory) contexts. However due to challenges in identifying some programmes where an MHPSS component has been integrated, not all integrated programming has been captured in this exercise.

In order to encourage effective and evidence-based MHPSS programming in Save the Children, there is a need to develop technical guidance which can be used by staff (at global, regional and national levels) across all sectors. The technical guidance will also highlight core resourcing, competency and capacity building needs to ensure effective MHPSS programming.

2. Objectives of the development of technical guidance

Taking existing SC MHPSS programming into account, the development of the technical guidance aims to provide clear guidance showing HOW to integrate MHPSS into different sectors, ensuring that the MHPSS strategic framework can be operationalised across SC. In particular, the Technical Guidance will provide:

Planning and programme design

  • Guidance for COs on conducting a review of their programming to identify where applying an MHPSS lens is integral to achieving results for children across sectors, and to develop MHPSS action plans covering amongst others, capacity building on key MHPSS programmatic frameworks, MEAL, supervision, coordination and advocacy.

  • Guidance to COs on overall MHPSS programmatic frameworks, and how to formulate MHPSS results for children, caregivers, communities, whether integrated or standalone (with reference to IASC MHPSS Guidelines, UNICEF Operational Guidelines, and others as appropriate).

  • A checklist which outlines key integration points and helps to guide country programmes to ensure various MHPSS entry-points are identified and actioned

  • Recommendations for adapting MHPSS interventions to regional and country contexts, and to specific programmatic frameworks including Protecting Children in Conflict, Children on the Move, and child survivors of SGBV.

  • Guidance on carrying out an assessment to guide MHPSS programming for children, adolescents and caregivers

  • Case studies outlining responses (multi-sectoral and where MHPSS has been integrated across the different sectors, as well as in thematic areas, such as child survivors of SGBV) that have integrated MHPSS in humanitarian, early recovery, development and peacebuilding contexts, that provides insight into the HOW and promotes learning between country offices, as well as for use in advocacy work

Programme implementation

  • A “menu” of tools[1] which can be used to implement MHPSS programmes, including in integrated programming (concrete examples and guidance/minimum standards for MHPSS across sectors)

  • A MEAL framework for MHPSS, with links to key interagency tools and those developed by the Indicator Task Team.

  • Guidance on MHPSS advocacy, providing a steer for national, regional and global level advocacy, with links to key resources.

Resourcing and capacity strengthening

  • An outline of WHAT resources are required to integrate MHPSS multi-sectorally (i.e. staffing and competency requirements, as well division of roles between MHPSS TAs/Specialists and other technical counterparts, supervision, MEAL, etc)

  • An outline of core training and supervision needs of staff to integrate MHPSS within various sectors (with links to training packages where available and gaps identified where further resources need to be developed)

  • Illustrative costings for use in programme design and advocacy work.

  • Brief guidance for proposal writers (members, regions, COs) on applying an MHPSS lens to a programme, and cross-sectoral integration.


  • Guidance on recommended internal MHPSS coordination between sectors, as well as SC engagement in external coordination on MHPSS in the interagency sphere

  • Common language and terminology to ensure common understanding across the sectors.

3. Scope of Services:

Save the Children is engaging the Provider to develop a technical guidance document, with links to relevant SC and interagency tools, to provide guidance for SC personnel to operationalise the MHPSS cross-sectoral strategy. This will be done in consultation with a dedicated and diverse Technical Guidance Task Team (TGTT) of SC MHPSS experts appointed by the MHPSS Technical Working Group (TWG). All interventions and tools should be aligned with the IASC MHPSS Guidelines for Emergency Settings and in-line with the MHPSS pyramid of intervention, as well as with other key interagency standards including the Minimum Standards for Child Protection in Humanitarian (CPMS) and the Minimum Standards for Gender Based Violence.

4. Methodology

a. *Analysis of Mapping and Gapping Report**

The consultant is expected to review the final mapping and gapping report to gain an understanding of existing SC MHPSS programming, as well as key gaps in programming across the different sectors. The consultant will also consult with 2 to 3 country offices where information on MHPSS programming is missing from the mapping and gapping. This analysis of the Mapping and Gapping exercise is intended to ensure that the technical guidance reflects the needs at country level, covering both existing programming, but also key gaps where further focus is required to step up programming in that area.

b. Identification of Existing External and Internal Tools and Guidance

Following consultation with the MHPSS Technical Guidance Task Team, the consultant will do a deep-dive into existing evidence-based practice to identify existing tools/guidance that might meet the needs for SC MHPSS programming (including internal guidance and tools such as the MHPSS programming guidelines, the Knowledge Builder and SC Common Approaches). The consultant should draw heavily on international guidelines (such as the IASC MHPSS Guidelines, the UNICEF Operational Guidelines: Community-based MHPSS, the CPMS and the GBV Minimum Standards) to ensure all suggested guidance documents and tools are aligned with best practice. The consultant will also engage with key stakeholders from other organisations that are seen to be leading MHPSS in their respective sectors (e.g. ACF for WASH and nutrition, WHO and IMC for health, UNHCR for protection, UNICEF for education and child protection, etc). Where key tools and guidance do not exist, the gaps will be documented by the consultant, along with recommendations for priority gaps which should be filled by the development of new resources.

c. Development of Technical Guidance

Facilitate a series of consultations with different key groups across the organisation, specifically:

  • Five regional consultation workshops (co-facilitated with SC regional MHPSS or CP focal point) with regional and country representation, including partners.

  • Workshop with Technical Guidance TT and Country Reference Group.

  • Workshops with a couple of countries which have identified MHPSS as a strategic priority.

  • Periodic feedback from Technical Guidance TT and Country Reference Group.

Based on the above process, the consultant will develop the technical guidance. These should be user-friendly concise guidance which meet the objectives outlined in Section 2. It is anticipated that these guidelines will be able to build and expand on the MHPSS Programming Guidelines developed by Save the Children in 2018,

d. Coordination

At all stages of the project, the consultant is expected to liaise closely with the MHPSS Technical Guidance Task Team (TGTT), which includes select global and regional representatives to provide input into the development of the technical guidance. A Country Reference Group will be consulted at key points of the process to ensure that the guidance meets country office needs. The TGTT will report directly to the SC MHPSS TWG to get input at key points (identification of tools for inclusion; draft outline for the technical guidance; review of final draft) and to give final TWG sign off before going for CP, H&N and Education TLG endorsement.

At various stages, the consultant is expected to liaise with key stakeholders from other NGO/INGO and UN agencies to ensure that externally available tools and guidance are adequately represented and efforts are not duplicative. Consultation with relevant Cluster leads is also anticipated (e.g. Education, CP AoR, SGBV AoR and Health), as well as with the IASC MHPSS Reference Group co-leads and related Child and Family Thematic Group co-leads.

5. Audience

The intended audience for the technical guidance will be Save the Children’s MHPSS staff and technical staff working on relevant programmes across the themes (protection, education, health & nutrition, including cross cutting issues such as SGBV) at the global, regional and country level, the latter including local partners. It is therefore important that the final product is user-friendly and concise.

6. Expected Deliverables of the Consultancy Services

The consultancy will produce:

· A workplan with delivery timelines, which will be agreed with the TGTT

· A tool database with links to key recommended interagency and SC tools

· An update of Annex 5 Summary of Survey Responses MHPSS Mapping & Gapping, from consultation with 2-3 country offices

· A detailed draft outline/framework for the Technical Guidance, also listing (with links) the interagency and SC tools to be included under each section. (Feedback on this to come from the MHPSS TWG)

· A draft of the full Technical Guidance. (Feedback on this to come from the MHPSS TWG)

· A second draft of the full Technical Guidance. (to go for sign off from the MHPSS TWG and relevant TLGs)

· A final version of the Technical Guidance, incorporating feedback from the MHPSS TWG and relevant TLGs.

· A brief report outlining the process taken (inclusive of the consultations undertaken – internal and external, decision-making processes as to why some tools were selected and others considered not appropriate) and key gaps in tools and resources, with recommendations for new tool development

7. Process and Timeline of the Consultancy

The consultancy will be home based with regular contact (at least weekly) with the TGTT lead. The consultant will be provided with access to Save the Children IT network, after completing the necessary IT and data protection training and signing relevant agreements.

The consultancy will last a maximum of four months, including time for feedback from Save the Children, and will follow the timeline below.

Start date: January

End date: End April

Total number of days: 55

For a breakdown of the tasks and deliverables, and the full ToR, please send an SMS with your email address to Sarah Hildrew on +45 52 76 69 33.

8. Governance of the Exercise

The exercise will be conducted by the consultant and administratively and technically managed by the MHPSS TWG co-leads.

The Provider will work closely with the Technical Guidance Task Team, led by one of the MHPSS TWG co-leads who will coordinate the feedback of the wider MHPSS TWG to help inform the technical guidance development process.

The MHPSS TWG will review the draft and final product produced by the consultant and payment will be made upon successful completion of the consultancy deliverables according to a mutually agreed delivery and payment schedule approved and signed off by the MHPSS TWG co-leads.

9. Required qualifications and competencies and procedure for applying:

This terms of reference requires the consultant to have very specific areas of knowledge and experience, along with key competencies. These are outlined below:

Required qualifications and competencies

· Advanced degree in psychology, social work (other relevant degree) or the equivalent combination of education and experience in a related area.

· A minimum of 8 years of professional experience in programme design, implementation and capacity-building on child-focused MHPSS interventions.

· Proven expertise in designing and writing high quality, user-friendly MHPSS technical guidance, tools and resources.

· Experience in working cross-sectorally, particularly in the areas of Child Protection, Education, Health and Nutrition in humanitarian and development settings.

· *Fluency in written and spoken English, with e**xcellent communication skills with different audiences.*

· Proven ability to work independently and deliver results.

Applications either from individual consultants or teams of consultants, who cover different technical areas, are welcome.

10. Child Safeguarding and Code of Conduct

The consultant will read the Save the Children Child Safeguarding Policy, and agree to abide by and sign the Save the Children Code of Conduct.

[1] Inter-agency and Save the Children tools covering the multi-layered framework, including referral mechanisms and coordination.