Afghanistan: International Consultant – for the documentation of achievements, evidence, knowledge, challenges and lessons learnt related to the implementation of the Government of Afghanistan’s Education Programme

Organization: UN Children’s Fund
Country: Afghanistan
Closing date: 24 Oct 2017

Background:

Established in 2002, the GPE is a multi-stakeholderpartnership and funding platformthat galvanises global and national support for education in developing countries, focusing on the poorest and most vulnerable children and youth. GPE brings together developing countries, donors, international organisations, civil society, teacher organisations, the private sector and philanthropy to improve learning and equity through stronger education systems. A key function of GPE is to support governments to develop good quality education sector plans and to encourage donors to align their support with these plans, hence reducing aid fragmentation and transaction costs.

In March 2011, Afghanistan was admitted to the GPE, a critical milestone in the development of the education sector in Afghanistan. This international endorsement of the plans of the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan (GoIRA) to achieve the goals of Education for All (EFA) was an important vote of confidence in Afghanistan’s National Education Strategic Plan (NESP)-II that served as the basis for the country’s entry into the GPE.

The overall objective of the programme funded by the US$55.7 million GPE grant is to increase and sustain equitable access to education in 40 districts of 13 provinces of Afghanistan that have low education indicators, extreme gender inequalities, difficult access (rural, remote, underserved) and insecure conditions. The main priorities of the programme are: (i) strengthening community and social mobilisation and governance systems at the local level; (ii) expanding and reinforcing multiple pathways to education; (iii) increasing the number of qualified female teachers in areas with a high gender disparity; and (iv) streamlining policy and administrative systems in the Ministry of Education (MoE).

UNICEF performs the role of Supervising Entity (SE)/Grant Agent (GA) for the GPE Programme within the bilateral agreement signed between UNICEF and the Government of Afghanistan. The MoE is responsible for the overall implementation and management of the GPE programme.

The GPE Programme closed on 30 June 2017 and the full grant closure period is in progress. During the grant closure period, the SE/GA will be supporting the MoE in completing the pending activities and closing financial liabilities and commitments. In addition, the programme completion report focusing on overall programme achievements, challenges and lessons will be developed and shared with donors and other stakeholders.

Purpose of Activity/Assignment:

UNICEF Afghanistan Country Office (ACO) is looking for a consultant to recapitulate the evidence and knowledge relating to the implementation of the GPE programme as well as to document the challenges and lessons learned. In particular, the objectives of this assignment are to:

  • Review and record the overall achievements of the programme over the past five years;
  • Assess the structural, systems and implementation challenges;
  • Identify the key lessons learned to inform the subsequent on-budget programmes;
  • Produce a comprehensive programme completion report.
  • The documentation and programme completion report alongside with assessing and capturing programme results and achievements, will highlight the strategic choices made by UNICEF in various areas including GPE advocacy, grant application, development of partnerships, and programme implementation. The assignment will also identify challenges and creative solutions to overcome in the GPE engagement which demonstrate evidence of effectiveness and good practices in GPE planning and implementation. Finally, the documentation will make recommendations for strengthening of subsequent on-budget programmes generally and GPE engagement specifically in the context of country level collaboration.

    As part of the documentation, the consultant will utilise existing sources of information and data, including GPE programme annual and semi-annual reports, field trip reports, assessment reports, surveys, situational analysis, education sector plans, risk assessment and mitigation plans, budget planning, expenditure and analytical reports, strategies framework, policies and legal instruments, GPE guidelines and rules, related programme meeting minutes, operational work plans, and other service contracts and other resources collected/developed documents. These documents will be made available by UNICEF, MoE, GPE Secretariat and other partner agencies. In addition, some primary data collection may be required to collect and collate the progress toward agreed upon programme indicators.

    Tasks

    Develop a methodology, work plan, template for the documentation and programme completion report.

    Deliverables/Outputs

    Short inception report with an overall structure of the report and detailed methodology, including tool(s) for collection and analysis of existing information and data along with a work plan

    Timeframe

    By 2nd week of the first month

    Tasks

    Conduct desk review of relevant documents (e.g. semi-annual and annual reports of MoE and SE, assessment reports, field trip reports and others)

    Deliverables/Outputs

    Relevant chapter of the Programme Completion Report

    Timeframe

    By 4th week of the first month

    Tasks:

    Carry out additional data collection as specified in the methodology, likely to include interviews with key informants and/or focus group discussion(s)

    Deliverables/Outputs

    Relevant chapter of the Programme Completion Report

    Timeframe

    By 3rd week of the second month

    Tasks:

    Present the overall programme results, challenges, lessons and other findings to MoE, Development Partners’ Group, Human Resource Development Board and other stakeholders

    Deliverables/Outputs

    Presentation (PPT)

    Timeframe

    By 4th week of the second month

    Tasks:

    Propose specific recommendations to address the challenges found and leverage good practices

    Deliverables/Outputs

    Relevant chapter of the Programme Completion Report

    Timeframe

    By 2nd week of the third month

    Tasks:

    Develop a final programme completion report

    Deliverables/Outputs

    Final GPE Programme Completion Report for Afghanistan

    Timeframe

    By 4th week of the third month

    Minimum Qualifications required:

    Advanced university degree in social sciences, education, economics, public policy or other related field

    (only international applicants

    Knowledge/Expertise/Skills required:

  • Minimum 5 years of relevant work experience in the field of education, including, education governance, management, financing;
  • Knowledge and experience in monitoring and evaluation and application of concepts and principles of child rights, gender and equity focus;
  • Knowledge and work experience on education issues in South East Asia preferable;
  • Experience working with the UN or other international development organisations preferable;
  • Knowledge of programming and on-budget programmes in the education sector;
  • Fluency in English is required. Fluency in a local language is an advantage;
  • Proven track record of knowledge and experience in documentation, research, review and analysis;
  • Strong quantitative and qualitative data collection and analysis skills;
  • Excellent analysis and synthesis skills in writing assessments, reviews and evaluation with constructive recommendations.

    Interested applicants should indicate all-inclusive fees, including lump sum travel, visa and subsistence costs, for the services to be provided. The fees will be paid in USD. UNICEF reserves the right to withhold all or a portion of payment if performance is unsatisfactory, if work/outputs is incomplete, not delivered or for failure to meet deadlines.

    How to apply:

    UNICEF is committed to diversity and inclusion within its workforce, and encourages qualified female and male candidates from all national, religious and ethnic backgrounds, including persons living with disabilities, to apply to become a part of our organization. To apply, click on the following link http://www.unicef.org/about/employ/?job=507735

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