Guinea-Bissau: International Consultancy : To provide technical support to conducting the study on Time to Teach

By UN Children’s Fund Organization: UN Children’s Fund
Country: Guinea-Bissau
Closing date: 24 Oct 2018

UNICEF works in some of the world’s toughest places, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. To save their lives. To defend their rights. To help them fulfill their potential.

Across 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, every day, to build a better world for everyone.

And we never give up.

For every child, Education


Teachers attending classes and engaging in effective teaching, is a critical prerequisite to educating school-going children. Recent evidence shows that the rates of teachers’ time-on-task is less than half of contracted teaching time in some settings of sub-Saharan Africa. Yet, there remains only a limited evidence base on how policies and practices’ at various levels of the education system – influence teacher absenteeism.

UNICEF, along with the Ministry of Education of Guinea-Bissau, aims to undertake a study that seeks to deepen the understanding of the determinants of teacher attendance in primary schools in Guinea-Bissau, and their motivations to teach, related to both extrinsic and intrinsic incentives.

By using a multilevel conceptual framework of teacher absenteeism and qualitative research methods, the study aims to identify bottlenecks in various types of teacher absenteeism (i.e. absent from school, absent from classroom, absent from teaching, and absent from pedagogy and content knowledge) in primary schools in Guinea-Bissau.

This qualitative study on teacher absenteeism in Guinea-Bissau is an integral part of a multi-country research project in sub-Saharan Africa. The final output of the project will be practical recommendations for systemic policy reform tailored to each of the participating countries, including strategies to make positive impacts on teacher-pupil interaction and in-class learning as a means of boosting school quality and children’s achievements.

To meet the objectives of this project, UNICEF is seeking to contract a consultant to undertake a qualitative data collection in Guinea-Bissau.

However so far there has been little progress in terms of establishing a comprehensive social protection system or a social protection floor, which could be a cornerstone for the country to transit from fragility to sustained development.

It is in this context that a national forum was organized in October 2017 to provide a platform for developing a roadmap towards the formulation of a national social protection policy. A step in this roadmap is to strengthen national capacity on social protection.


The objective of the field work is to collect qualitative data that contribute to the evidence base on the determinants of teacher attendance and motivations to teach in primary schools. UNICEF and partners expect the data collection to directly feed into the analysis of teacher absenteeism in the country including a better understanding of its drivers, characteristics and consequences for children’s learning. A regional report based on the country-specific findings will also be prepared, drawing out promising practices for cross-country learning.

An inception meeting with key government counterparts, academic partners, and other key stakeholders in education policy-making will be held where the exact primary school sample design will be agreed upon, followed by a “training of trainers” programme. UNICEF will assume responsibility for:

  • Providing the research protocols and data collection instruments; and
  • Training of team leaders of the contracted national teams in advance of data collection and tailored to the needs of the study.
  • The purpose of the consultancy service will be to undertake and facilitate the qualitative data collection at various levels of the education system related to the issue of teacher absenteeism, specifically drawing data from 20 primary schools across Guinea-Bissau.

    The selected consultant is expected to: i) possess experience of qualitative data collection or detailed knowledge of related methods; ii) provide details in advance on how she/he will manage the field work in country based upon the sample, and mitigate potential risks and ethical issues of the data collection; iii) mobilize a team of 10-20 enumerators (if required) locally who will be trained by UNICEF for data collection; iv) coordinate with the team of locally identified enumerators and oversee the planning, quality assurance of the data collection process and v) write up an analytical report based on the data collected. Familiarity with the country and the Education system will be an added advantage

    Note: Please note that UNICEF is also trying to have a national partner in place with the requisite team to undertake the qualitative data collection. In case this does not materialize, the consultant is expected to mobilize the local team for the data collection.

    While developing the financial proposal please take into account that translators and translation services may also be required as the work will be in Portuguese. The final report should be in English and Portuguese.


    Objective: Undertake field work for the Time to Teach study at the national and sub-national level, and in 20 primary schools in Guinea-Bissau.

    The consultant will provide a package of support to the project which includes the following:

  • One written work plan for the field work as per the objectives of the study and the final sample selected. This should be risk-informed (including security issues, and with pre-identified replacement schools if necessary) and delivered one month in advance of the field work.
  • The plan should describe in detail how the consultant will manage the field work based on the selected sample, respondent groups and associated research instruments as described in Annex I. The plan should have a separate section that discusses potential risks and considerations of the data collection generally in the context of local culture and norms, and specifically related to data collection in schools (the school timetable, and limited disruption to the school day on the day(s) of collection). It should also consider the clearance processes required by central and local authorities. Ethical considerations in relation to working with children, adolescents as well as adults should be discussed, identifying potential risks and vulnerabilities.
  • Facilitate and undertake training of enumerators following the “training of trainers” provided by UNICEF researchers. The training should include a pilot testing and its evaluation, and in-depth discussions of ethical considerations and protocols.
  • Provide mentorship and supervision to enumerators to support the field work, and respond to the needs of the enumerators when issues arise.
  • Oversee, monitor and provide technical support on a daily basis to qualitative data collection, based on pre-agreed sample and instruments. Ensure timely completion and recording of all interviews, and completion of related documentation by enumerators. Data collection should be undertaken preferably in the middle of a school term and not too close to the start or the end of a school term.
  • Ensure completion of debriefing forms and observation sheets, and deliver one case study per school/community, including observations of the school and community context, respondents’ conditions and interactions, challenges experienced throughout the data collection process, and other observed information relevant to the data collection, school and community environment, and the phenomenon of teacher absenteeism. The case studies should be provided in English.
  • Delivery of transcribed and recorded interviews within 4 weeks after data collection. Final data is provided in both the official language of the country as well as in English.
  • Delivery of one summary report of 10-15 pages within 4 weeks after data collection on the quality assurance practice and any concerns related to the field work and data processing over the lifespan of the consultancy. This report should also document any changes to the field work plan and any ethical issues encountered. This report should be provided in English and Portuguese.



    Payment Schedule

    A written plan for the field work based on the pre-agreed sample of primary schools, which should also include a plan for the training of the enumerators (English)

    4 weeks in advance of field work


    A final report from the training of enumerators (English)

    1 week after training of enumerators


    20 case studies (max. 10 pages, based on observations per school/community) (English)

    Within 4 weeks after field work


    Delivery of interview recording and transcriptions, and survey data entry sheet (both original language and English)

    Within 4 weeks after field work


    One summary report (10-15 pages) (English and Portuguese)

    Within 4 weeks after field work


    The timeframe for each stage of the data collection should be presented in the technical proposal and the payment schedule in the financial proposal. Payments will be made only based on the quality completion of deliverables, as approved by the Ministry of Education and UNICEF.

    UNICEF reserves the right to withhold all or portions of the payment if performance is deemed unsatisfactory (assessed on the quality of data collected), if work/outputs is incomplete, not delivered or for failure to meet deadlines.

    The products and deliverables of this consultancy service are not the property of the contracted partner. No deliverables may be shared or published without written permission from the Ministry of Education and UNICEF. The Ministry of Education and UNICEF reserve the right to adapt and modify them.

    For all contractual issues, the contracted partner will report to UNICEF. For technical issues, the contracted partner will work directly with the technical team, led by relevant national government counterparts and UNICEF. All deliverables must be approved by the national government counterparts and UNICEF in order to be considered final.

    The consultant is expected to use their own equipment, including computers and other types of hardware and software necessary for the data collection work. UNICEF premises will be available for meetings and consultations and a work station will be provided with access to internet.

    The consultant shall not make use of any unpublished or confidential information made known in the course of performing the duties under the terms of this agreement, without written authorization from the Ministry of Education and UNICEF. The products of this consultancy are not the property of the consultant and cannot be shared without the permission of the Ministry of Education and UNICEF. The contracted partner shall respect the traditions and customs of local communities and refrain from interfering in the country’s political affairs. National law on intellectual property right will be applicable where necessary.

    The consultant shall abide by and be governed by UNICEF Procedure on Ethical Standards in Research, Evaluation and Data Collection and Analysis which can be accessed here:…


    Duration: The contract starts upon signature and is to conclude within 7 months (December- end June). Data collection must take place in the middle of a school term.

    Management and implementation arrangement:

    The selected institution will be working under the overall supervision of the Chief of Education and report to and liaison with the Education Specialist (M&E) of UNICEF on a regular basis regarding the execution of the field work and technical matters.


  • Payment will be based on successful completion and submission of the deliverables.
  • Payment schedule has been indicated in the key deliverables section

    Applying candidates must possess the following qualifications:

  • Minimum 10 years of experience in managing and undertaking qualitative data collection;
  • Strong understanding of various qualitative methodologies, including interviews, surveys, and focus groups;
  • Proven experience in working in partnership with government counterparts;
  • Experience in interview transcription and data entry;
  • Experience in undertaking school-based data collection and associated practical ethical considerations
  • Experience in research on and with children and familiarity with relevant practical and ethical considerations;
  • Proven experience in training enumerators for qualitative data collections;
  • Significant work experience in Guinea-Bissau and/or West and Central Africa;
  • Fluency in Portuguese and English.
  • Evaluation process

    Interested candidates are requested to submit a proposal that includes:

  • A technical proposal, detailing the methodology, tools for data collection, work plan and potential risks for primary school data collection.
  • Financial proposal should be comprehensive, including professional fees, human resource and travel and logistics costs (submit in separate file from the technical proposal). The consultant should also include in the financial proposal the costs for translation and translation services as foreseen for the deliverables. In case of per diem, the rules of UNICEF will apply.
  • UNICEF shall hold all property rights, such as copyright, patents, and registered trademarks, on matters directly related to, or derived from, the work carried out through this consultancy contract with UNICEF.


    The assignment will be carried out in consultation with UNICEF. The consultant will work from the office and internet connectivity will be provided. All the products developed will be the property of UNICEF. The consultant is expected to plan his/her travel respecting UNICEF rules. A DSA elsewhere covering accommodation and meals will be provide for every necessary permanence in the field (outside the duty station). The financial proposal including the costs of travel/transportation and translation.

    For every Child, you demonstrate…

    UNICEF’s core values of Commitment, Diversity and Integrity and core competencies in Communication, Working with People and Drive for Results.

    The technical competencies required for this post are….

    View our competency framework at

    UNICEF is committed to diversity and inclusion within its workforce, and encourages all candidates, irrespective of gender, nationality, religious and ethnic backgrounds, including persons living with disabilities, to apply to become a part of the organization.


    UNICEF has a zero-tolerance policy on sexual exploitation and abuse, and on any kind of harassment, including sexual harassment, and discrimination. All selected candidates will, therefore, undergo rigorous reference and background checks.

    Mobility is a condition of international professional employment with UNICEF and an underlying premise of the international civil service.

    Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted and advance to the next stage of the selection process.

    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

    Read more here:: RELIEFWEB CAREERS INT