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UNESCO Fit for Life: Scoping Study Researcher

UNESCO Fit for Life: Scoping Study Researcher

UNESCO is looking for a team of researchers to conduct a scoping study into their new sport-based flagship, Fit for Life. Deadline: 31 May 2022.

  • Duty station: Paris
  • Duration of assignement: 7 months
  • Job family: Social and Human Sciences
  • Type of contract: Non-staff
  • Recruitment open to: External candidates
  • Application deadline (Midnight Paris Time) : 31-05-2022

UNESCO is seeking the services of a Contractor to undertake a scoping study within the framework of the Social and Human Science Sector’s new sport-based flagship, Fit for Life. The scoping study will entail a mapping and assessment of existing measurement frameworks; datasets; global reports; indexes; data mining, collection and linking; key stakeholders, and; good practices in data collection and analysis related to: sport, physical education (PE) and physical activity (PA).

Purpose and objectives of the scoping study

Fit for Life is a data-driven project which is divided into three interconnected phases:

  • Phase I: Scoping study and key partner consultations
  • Phase II: Global baseline study
  • Phase III: Data operationalisation and scaling successful initiatives

As part of Phase I, the contractor will undertake the scoping study which will entail a mapping and assessment of existing measurement frameworks; datasets; indexes; global reports; data mining, collection and linking; key stakeholders, and; good practices in data collection and analysis related to: sport, PE and PA.

This global study will build on existing data and measurement frameworks and indicators, and pinpoint critical data gaps including but not limited to: themes addressed, demographic and geographical coverage, data quality (including inconsistencies) and representativeness, and methodological approach. It will also identify and propose strategies to address data gaps, including with reference to key stakeholder groups, and scale up integrated approaches to data collection and analysis which evidence the social returns on sport-related investment with specific reference to education, health and wellbeing, and equality outcomes.

The findings of the scoping study will provide the blueprint for a global baseline data collection and analysis to be undertaken as part of Phase II, and will feed into the development of an integrated data ecosystem combining insights from sport, PE and PA to enhance the impact and effectiveness of interventions at policy and practice levels in Phase III. To maximise the impact and relevance of Phase II’s global baseline study, the scoping study should include recommendations on scope; thematic foci; target respondent groups; data mining, collection and linking; methodology; key stakeholders and timeline. Findings will also be used to inform the development of “best buys” in sport in Phase II and scaled in Phase III, including the augmentation and standardisation of existing models which monetise the social return on investment in sport, and the launch of an integrated data ecosystem combining insights from sport, PE and PA sectors.

Methodology of the scoping study

The scoping study is expected to rely on a variety of data collection and analysis methods, both quantitative and qualitative. it should be designed accounting for the diversity of contexts across UNESCO member countries and with the aim to help provide indicators, support analysis and generate information at the global, regional, country and topic level. The implementing team will work in coordination with the UNESCO’s team, who will share relevant documents, reports and materials and steer the development of the overarching methodology for this study.

The proposed methods include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Data acquisition, mining and analysis, both relying on traditional statistics and on internet-based and AI-based approaches
  • Desk review, collation, and analysis of existing data and datasets, including meta-analysis
  • Literature review
  • In-depth bilateral and multi-lateral consultation (virtual) with key informants across diverse stakeholder groups and regions
  • Identification and analysis of existing stakeholders and communities of practice using sport for development
  • Coherence with ongoing or existing global and/or regional baseline studies

It is expected that the contractor will develop the methodology for the scoping study in consultation with UNESCO.

Timetable and expected deliverables

It is expected that the scoping study will commence June 2022 and be completed within a 7-month timeframe.

Working under the guidance of the UNESCO Social and Human Sciences Sector, and the supervision of the Sport Section, the Contractor will produce the following deliverables:   

  1. Inception report
  2. Landscaping report
  3. Draft final report
  4. Final report
  5. Dissemination-related material 


The contractor should bring a team of individuals equipped to deliver the work.

  • A minimum 5 years of regional or international experience in research projects of this type
  • Proven experience in designing and implementing international scoping studies, supported by a minimum 3 references
  • Demonstrable evidence of similar work undertaken previously, supported by one work sample which is no more than 5 years old
  • Experience in policy relevant analysis and/or advice
  • A multidisciplinary team, preferably spread across multiple regions, institutions, universities, or enterprises with the ability to conduct varied tasks
  • Ability to review literature and source data in English (required); French (desirable); other working languages of the United Nations (desirable); and fluency in English for the purposes of the deliverables

Team leader

  • At least 10 years of relevant experience in conducting similar research at the international, regional and/or national level
  • PhD / Master’s Degree in any of the following fields: Sport, PE, Development Studies, Social Sciences, Public Health, Evaluation or other related studies
  • Proven experience in conducting studies related to sport and/or physical education, supported by at least two (2) references
  • Proven experience in data collection, analysis, and reporting
  • Excellent English (oral and written)

To apply

After applying online, all interested Contractors are required to submit a Technical and Financial proposal via email to no later than 31 May 2022.

The technical proposal should be no more than 20 pages, and will be assessed on the following:

  • Expertise and experience of the Firm/Entity; expertise, experience and qualifications of the Team leader and other team members
  • Approach to assignment that demonstrates extent to which the Contractor understands the scope and mandate of the work
  • Detailed methodology including sampling and preliminary mapping of stakeholders to be consulted
  • Approach to stakeholder consultation including key discussion areas
  • Approach for data mining and analysis
  • Data quality assurance plan
  • Realistic work plan with specific identification of and plans for key deliverables and priorities
  • Risk management, identification, and mitigation plan
  • Statement on relevant ethical considerations in the collation, analysis and presentation of research and findings

financial proposal must also be submitted, of no more than 4 pages, detailing:

  • A price schedule including, as a minimum, the consultancy rate per day, and realistic number of workdays per main deliverable and per team member. All prices shall be quoted in USD

The team leader should also submit the following:

  • Curriculum vitae
  • A statement indicating how your qualifications and experience make you suitable for this assignment
  • Examples of past experience in this area of work

Find out more about the contract and apply on the UNESCO website.

Application deadline

Tue, 05/31/2022

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