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Job title:                                        Research Study

                                                            “Correlation between Child Marriage and School Dropout”

Contract type:                             Individual contract

Working modality:                     60% office-40% remotely

Post level:                                    International consultant

Duty Station:                               Erbil with expected travel to 10 governorates, Iraq

Closing Date:                               24 May 2022


The Position:

The consultant will work under the overall supervision of Gender Programme Coordinator and with technical support and guidance of child marriage focal person.

Evaluation of the work will be done both by UNFPA staff who will supervise and based on the evaluation/feedback. The consultant will be responsible to provide monthly progress updates. 

Under the overall guidance of the UNFPA Gender GBV Programme, the consultant will conduct a research study to investigate the impact of early marriage practices on child drop out in Iraq.


Specific Deliverables:


The consultant will:

  1. Carry out desk review of the available literature/studies and data on the child marriage and school dropout to map evidence; including studies conducted by UNICEF, UNFPA and others); undertake analysis of available data sources to estimate the impacts.
  2. Develop a conceptual framework and analysis of data sources, recommend sites (among the focused governorates) for inclusion in the study as well as a proposed methodological approach including ethical considerations.
  3. The proposed methodology should be robust with qualitative and quantitative elements which include panel data, targeted surveys, focus group discussions and in-depth interviews in addition to any other proposed methods. Key informant interviews with key actors should also be included to gather qualitative data by developing structured, unstructured and semi-structured self-administered research questionnaires.
  4. Conduct fieldwork in selected sites in line with the final agreed methodology. Visit to the focused Iraqi 10 governorates and target wide range of respondents through surveys for quantitative data, and around two hundred (200 respondents will be reached through in-depth interviews, informant interviews and focus group discussions to collect qualitative data.
  5. The consultant will collect the recent evidence on the impact of early marriage on rates of school child dropout in Iraq and provide analysis on how child marriage affects attendance of adolescent girls.
  6. Investigate the relationship between early marriage and school dropout; explore that how early marriages contribute to girls dropping out of school in Iraq as well as discover other attributing factors such as poverty, family pressure, limited access to education etc.
  7. The researcher will contribute in expanding the knowledge base and narrowing the evidence gap and assesses the effect of child marriage on school dropout by providing reliable data and evidence on correlation for advocacy at governorate level to inform policy development.
  8. To present detailed report with descriptive analysis of the interrelationships between child marriage, and educational attainment in Iraq.
  9. Present preliminary findings with UNFPA management, Gender program team and selected stakeholders. Prepare draft and final presentation and report on the study findings and recommendations, including recommendations for programme interventions and future research.

How you can make a difference:

UNFPA is the lead UN agency for delivering a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe and every young person's potential is fulfilled.  UNFPA’s new strategic plan (2018-2021), focuses on three transformative results: to end preventable maternal deaths; end unmet need for family planning; and end gender-based violence and harmful practices.

In a world where fundamental human rights are at risk, we need principled and ethical staff, who embody these international norms and standards, and who will defend them courageously and with full conviction.

UNFPA is seeking candidates that transform, inspire and deliver high impact and sustained results; we need staff who are transparent, exceptional in how they manage the resources entrusted to them and who commit to deliver excellence in programme results.


Job Purpose:

  1. The study will establish the effects of early marriage practices on child dropout, provide ground for other research to be conducted on determinants of child marriage and its link to school dropout, and to identify the strategies set against early marriage.
  2. The study will be evolutive in nature and the findings and recommendation will be applied during project period (2022-2026) and to reinforce efforts to design appropriate interventions that will ultimately prevent child marriages among young children and their impacts on education sector on child dropout.
  3. Prompt the responsible authorities to come up with appropriate strategies on how to manage these challenges faced by pupils especially girls on high rates of dropouts. Be used to guide to develop future strategies to be adopted by the government and other stakeholders, particularly in joining the campaign to end child marriage in Iraq.
  4. Be expected to form the basis for individual and institutional interventions and most importantly set the benchmark for a legal and social framework for the protection of children’s rights.
  5. Geographical coverage of the study will be whole Iraq and data will be collected from the project focused area - ten (10) governorates.


Milestones/deliverables and estimated timeline

Key milestones/deliverables will include the following:

  1. Literature review and developing conceptual framework for the study.
  2. Propose methodology and recommended locations/governorates for inclusion the study.
  3. Develop information/data gathering tools (questionnaires)
  4. Share final methodology and study design with UNFPA team
  5. Final report to a publishable standard in line with UNFPA guidance
  6. Webinar and PowerPoint presentation to the UNFPA management


The estimated duration of the work is 6 months with the following timeline.


Estimated timeline

Literature review and to develop conceptual framework for the study including analysis of available data sources and share with UNFPA Gender programme team

1 – 31 July 2022 (4 weeks)


Develop data gathering tools (questionnaires for survey, in-depth interviews, focus group discussions etc) and share research tools with UNFPA programme team/management

1 – 15 August 2022 (2 weeks)


Proposed research methodology and recommended governorates for field work

16 – 31 August 2022 (2 weeks)


Fieldwork conducted in line with agreed methodology (interviews, focus group discussions, informant interviews)

1 September – 30 October 2022

(8 weeks)

Presentation and discussion of preliminary findings (presentation and draft report) with UNFPA management

1 – 15 November 2022 (2 weeks)


Draft report

16 – 30 November 2022 (2 weeks)

From discussion of preliminary findings with stakeholders and UNFPA team

Final report

1 – 15 December 2022 (2 weeks)

from draft report depending on feedback to draft report

Presentation and webinar

16 – 30 December 2022 (within 2 weeks of submission of the final report


Qualifications and Experience:


  1. Master’s degree in social studies or relevant field
  2. Expected that the consultant will have demonstrated experience in research on child marriage, gender equality and child protection in development and humanitarian settings.
  3. Demonstrate knowledge of literature on child marriage and experience in conducting research in the related field.
  4. Demonstrated analytical, research and communication and writing skills in English, knowledge of language in the region (Arabic & Kurdish) is considered an asset.
  5. Demonstrated knowledge and understanding of child marriage, dynamics of social change, drivers of harmful practices, and gender inequalities.
  6. Demonstrated experience in conducting research in complex development and humanitarian settings, including experience in quantitative and qualitative surveys and research design, data collection, and analysis.
  7. Knowledge and previous experience working and developing such application, experience working on GBV programs preferably in a multi-cultural setting.
  8. Thorough understanding of the issues and complexities of the subject.
  9. Fluency in English; knowledge of other official UN languages, is desirable.

Shortlisted candidates will be requested to hold an oral presentation of a full proposal with a detailed research plan and approach and proposed methodology to conduct this work.

UNFPA Gender Programme team will provide overall management and technical guidance to this work in close consultation with UNFPA management and will facilitate input from relevant stakeholders and CO.


Payment modality:

UNFPA will pay to the consultant on monthly basis as per agreement on submitting satisfactory work.


How to Apply:

Kindly forward your completed CV or P11 to the email address  indicating the Post Title in the e-mail's subject, before the deadline of 24 May 2022.