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Background and Justification
UNICEF is working with the Ministry of Basic Education in addressing access to and quality of education. In 2020, UNICEF supported the ministry in its response to Covid-19 in schools. This was in line with the Ministry’s response plan to COVID-19. Despite not having a history of emergencies, Botswana is credited for being amongst the leading countries globally to reopen schools in safe environments during this pandemic.
Following the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak in Botswana in March 2020, the Government closed all Educational Institutions, with effect from 23rd March 2020. In June 2020, the Government implemented a phased reopening of schools amidst the pandemic by observing COVID-19 protocols for safe schools environments and thus instituted a two-shift learning system in all primary schools. The return to school formula encompassed strict adherence to reopening schools' protocols outlined by the Ministry of Health and Wellness (MOHW). However, all learning institutions for pre- scholars and children with disabilities remained closed until October/November 2020.
Botswana's decision to close schools is similar to that taken in many countries in the East and Southern Africa (ESA) Region. As of 31st January, 12 countries have fully reopened, 9 countries have partially reopened, and 6 have not yet opened. The proportion of functional schools across the region remain low as compared to the situation before COVID-19. Further, most children in the region seem to still be out of school, as less than 30% of primary-school-age learners have reported back to school. Disaggregated data on students, teachers, and school compliance to country health guidelines and WASH standards are unavailable and represent a challenge in most countries in the region. Education authorities’ monitoring capacity is not adequate to collect and analyze data in real-time. Therefore, as part of a longer-term effort to support countries in the region in education Data Collection, Analysis, accessibility and use, UNICEF-ESARO is providing technical assistance to Botswana to conduct a rapid assessment on safe and inclusive school opening and re-enrolment as part of the regional exercise.
Against this background, UNICEF Botswana is looking to engage a consultant to conduct the rapid assessment on safe and inclusive school reopening and enrolment in five selected educational regions in Botswana.
Scope of Work
Goal and Objective:
Under the Education Specialist and the Monitoring and Evaluation Officer's supervision, the consultant will conduct a rapid ex-post assessment of safe and inclusive school reopening in June 2020 and January 2021, in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic in Botswana.
The assessment will look at:
- the extent to which schools were successfully reopened in June 2020 and January 2021.
- What were the constraints faced in reopening schools, including implementing and completing the school calendar year and syllabus considering the three-month schools’ closure?
- To what extent is the syllabus being effectively implemented in schools now, following the reopening of schools from June 2020?
- What inadequacies has the COVID-19 pandemic been able to expose in the current education system?
- How can the problems be addressed both in the short term and in the long term; in the spirit of building back better post COVID-19 pandemic?
To address the objectives mentioned above, the consultants will be required to undertake the following specific tasks:
- prepare and finalize an inception report detailing how the rapid assessment will be carried out, including a detailed work plan
- Conduct data collection activities including, but not limited to, literature review, secondary data collection and key informant interviews.
- Undertake data cleaning and analysis, maintaining a database to be shared with the reference committee.
- Draft report of findings and validate findings with the reference committee before finalization.
- Incorporate feedback into the draft report for review by the reference committee
- Finalize report for dissemination
The consultant will work under the UNICEF Education Specialist's direct supervision and the UNICEF Monitoring and Evaluation Officer, in close collaboration with the Director of Basic Education. A Reference Committee (RC) comprising representation from the Ministry of Basic Education and relevant UN organisations will be set up. The Reference Committee will guide the consultant during the assignment.
Outputs/Deliverables: Final and approved Inception Report with detailed methodology and work plan to conduct a rapid assessment
- Conduct desk review on Covid 19 response in Botswana, with reference to the Education sector
- Develop an inception report based on the desk review and consultations with key stakeholders where relevant.
- Finalize logistics for carrying out fieldwork (3 days)
- Fieldwork report and Preliminary Findings
Total = 43 days
Finalize rapid assessment report
- Present rapid assessment report findings to stakeholders
- Incorporate all review comments
- Submit a report for final review
- Approved and final rapid assessment report
Where necessary, MOBE will support the consultant in setting up appointments with key informants. The Schedule of meetings for the Reference Committee will be set up in advance in line with the consultancy's progress.
- UNICEF will not provide laptops or desktop computers. The Consultant will provide their own laptop.
- The Consultant will budget for office supplies to be used during this consultancy.
- The consultant MUST not travel without a signed contract and authorisation to travel before the commencement of the duty station's journey.
- As per UNICEF DFAM policy, payment is made against approved deliverables. No advance payment is allowed unless in exceptional circumstances against bank guarantee, subject to a maximum of 30 per cent of the total contract value in cases where advance purchases, for example for supplies or travel, may be necessary”.
- The candidate selected will be governed by and subject to UNICEF’s General Terms and Conditions for individual contracts.
- Consultants are not entitled to payment of overtime. All remuneration must be within the contract agreement.
- No contract may commence unless the contract is signed by both UNICEF and the consultant or Contractor.
- In view of the COVID-19 pandemic, signed contracts must be sent by email. The office must receive a signed contract copy or written agreement before travel is initiated. Consultants will not have supervisory responsibilities or authority on the UNICEF budget.
- The consultant will be required to complete online courses related to Ethics, Prevention of Sexual Exploitation and Abuse and Security-related training before taking up the assignment and/or travel.
- The consultant will be required to sign the Health Statement for consultants/individual contractors prior to taking up the assignment and document that they have appropriate health insurance covering COVID-19 and Medical Evacuation.
- The Form 'Designation, change or revocation of beneficiary' must be completed by the consultant upon arrival at the HR Section.
Advanced Degree (Masters) or higher degree in Education, Economics, statistics or any related social science field.
- At least 5 years of practical experience in conducting research, including rapid assessments and program evaluations.
- Additional experience in developing programme implementation plans, programme Design or planning, is an asset. Traceable experience in preparing quality government policy documents, implementation plans, strategy documents, and reports will be advantageous.
- Demonstrated research and analytical skills and the ability to synthesize a large amount of data and demonstrated analytical skills.
- Experience with the development of Programme Monitoring and Evaluation Frameworks.
- Ability to work with various stakeholder groups, facilitating stakeholder meetings and consensus-building.
- Demonstrated ability to effectively cooperate with the Government and other stakeholders.
- Exhibit strong oral and written communication skills in English.
Qualified candidates are requested to complete an application, including a profile and a technical proposal to the respective advertisement online. Please indicate your ability, availability and financial proposal/quote to complete the terms of reference above.
Rates must include all expenses related to the assignment (e.g. consultancy fee, field trips across the five selected regions, living allowance).
For every Child, you demonstrate…
UNICEF's values of Care, Respect, Integrity, Trust, and Accountability (CRITA) and core competencies in Communication, Working with People and Drive for Results.
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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 conduct that is incompatible with the aims and objectives of the United Nations and UNICEF, including sexual exploitation and abuse, sexual harassment, abuse of authority and discrimination. UNICEF also adheres to strict child safeguarding principles. All selected candidates will be expected to adhere to these standards and principles and will therefore undergo rigorous reference and background checks. Background checks will include the verification of academic credential(s) and employment history. Selected candidates may be required to provide additional information to conduct a background check.
Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted and advance to the next stage of the selection process.
Individuals engaged under a consultancy or individual contract will not be considered “staff members” under the Staff Regulations and Rules of the United Nations and UNICEF’s policies and procedures, and will not be entitled to benefits provided therein (such as leave entitlements and medical insurance coverage). Their conditions of service will be governed by their contract and the General Conditions of Contracts for the Services of Consultants and Individual Contractors. Consultants and individual contractors are responsible for determining their tax liabilities and for the payment of any taxes and/or duties, in accordance with local or other applicable laws.