United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF)

Individual Consultant (Monitoring & Evaluation, Education Outcomes Fund)

United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF)

Job Description

The Education Outcomes Fund is an initiative of the Education Commission (chaired by Gordon Brown, former UK Prime Minster and UN Special Envoy for Global Education) and the Global Steering Group for Impact Investment (chaired by Sir Ronald Cohen), to improve the education of 10 million children and young people. EOF will support governments over the next decade to improve outcomes in education and youth employment by paying for results delivered by innovative NGOs and social entrepreneurs. EOF will use several innovative finance instruments including development impact bonds (DIBs) to achieve this mission.

We believe this is the early stages of a much larger movement. As the development sector continues to shift away from traditional, activity-based funding towards results-based approaches, there is growing interest in outcomes funds and impact bonds, that go beyond outputs (the focus of most results-based aid to date) to reward outcomes. Shifting risk to the private sector, crowding in private capital and harnessing the capacity and capability of non-state actors has huge potential to achieve better outcomes and better value for money.

For every child, education...

The Sierra Leone Education Innovation Challenge is one of the world’s largest-scale education outcomes funds. We hope you will join us on this exciting journey to make it a reality.

 Delivering quality education is a top government priority and a global priority (SDG4), and to that end, the Government of Sierra Leone intends to use an outcomes fund approach to determine which interventions and financing approaches work best to improve learning outcomes in government schools.

The outcomes fund - Sierra Leone Education Innovation Challenge (SLEIC) - is being established as a partnership between the Government, donors, education providers, and philanthropies/social investors. The main objectives of the program are to:
  1. Improve learning outcomes (literacy and numeracy) and achievement of minimum thresholds in a representative sample of public schools (rural areas focused), aligned with the Ministry agenda, during and outside Covid-19. The program has a specific focus on improving girls' learning, reflected in the pricing of girls' outcomes at a 20% premium to those of boys. Interventions with a strong gender-inclusive focus will be prioritised. It will facilitate the implementation of distance-learning interventions (if required) and set ambitious learning targets to offset the setbacks in learning from school closures.
  2. Build sustainable capacity in schools to deliver equitable learning outcomes during and outside COVID-19, working across Primary 1 and Primary 6 and targeting interventions that will ensure improved learning for a large number of children beyond the life of the program.
  3. Inform which interventions and financing approaches are most effective to improve learning outcomes in education during and outside COVID-19, why, and at what cost, building on the work already underway as part of the EIC.
  4. Develop a feasible set of solutions for scale: transition promising innovations to scale and provide government, funders, and providers with a model for replicating and scaling cost-effective interventions.
  5. Build provider capacity so that a stronger, more outcomes focused pool of non-state providers available to support education delivery.
  6. Increase outcomes-orientation in policy making and outcomes-based financing incorporated in future GoSL programming and international education financing.
  7. Improve Coordination of Ministry of Basic and Senior Secondary Education,  education government agencies (procurement, assessment, inspection), and donors towards the achievement of equitable education outcomes.
SLEIC providers will be paid primarily based on results, rather than inputs, with maximum flexibility to respond to the needs of children Providers will focus their interventions on girls’ unique challenges and will be paid 20% extra for girls’ learning. The innovations will respond to the COVID-19 pandemic with distance learning and a focus on protecting girls. They consider the role of teachers and are fit for education delivery both during and outside emergency circumstances.

How can you make a difference?

We are looking for a high-performing M&E Consultant to work closely with the Ministry and the evaluation firm and advance the development of the test and the evaluation Design for SLEIC. Subject to satisfactory performance and availability of funding, the candidate will become an integral part of the program unit embedded into MBSSE.

The M&E Consultant will initially report to EOF Director and the work produced will be functionally supervised by the program team.

DESCRIPTION OF ASSIGNMENT (TASKS, SMART DELIVERABLES, DEADLINES):

Oversee assessment design and piloting:

  • Work closely with MBSSE and a selected evaluation firm to steward the development and piloting of a suitable literacy and numeracy assessment covering P1-P6, and a separate (short) module covering psycho-social skills and civic engagement, ensuring close coordination with other cross-primary assessment efforts in Sierra Leone
  • Support the evaluator to work closely with government in setting minimum competency thresholds.
  • Mapping of stakeholders that need to be included in the development of a cross-primary assessment
  • Brief strategy for engaging stakeholders
  • Summary of key items which need to be included in the final assessment
  • Participation in workshops, presentations, meetings with key stakeholders in assessment reform

April 2021

Oversee evaluation design

  • Work closely with the evaluator to:
  • Review EOF’s evaluation design details, provide feedback, and incorporate changes agreed with EOF;
  • Review and finalise sample size calculations for the delivery of component
  • Estimate overall budget required for the delivery of all three evaluation components.
  • Develop the following evaluation protocols:
  • Protocols for verifying enrolment;
  • Protocols for tracking children across grades;
  • Protocols for dealing with student attrition across grades;
  • Assessment protocols (in particular for ensuring the anonymity of the tracked sample);
  • Sampling protocols.
  • Work closely with the evaluator to finalise randomisation strategy and allocate schools to providers
  • Develop protocols for pairwise stratified evaluation for the RCT using available census data;
  • Allocate schools to providers selected by the SLEIC team as part of the procurement process.
  • Comments and feedback on the final evaluation design
  • Final sample size calculations
  • Budget estimates for final evaluation
  • Final evaluation protocols
  • Final randomization strategy and school allocation
  • Participation in workshops, presentations, meetings with key technical experts
June 2021 Support program implementation:

  • Liaise with Government and partners and co-outcome funders as part of the governance structure and ensure the secretariat function of relevant meetings.
  • Meeting minutes, participation in workshops, presentations, meetings with key government stakeholders

Ongoing

To qualify as an advocate for every child you will have…

    • A minimum of a Master’s degree in economics, political science, finance, education or a related field.
    • A Bachelor’s degree may be considered with two (2) additional years of experience.
    • 5-8 years of professional experience
    • Experience in assessment, monitoring and evaluation and engaging with governments on assessment reform is required
    • Experience in education is required; working in Sierra Leone is required
    • Experience in innovative financing, in particular with Results-Based Financing instruments or incentive structures is preferred
    • Fluency in English is required, other recognized languages, in particular Krio, is strongly preferred;
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.

The UNICEF competencies required for this post are...

  • Build and maintain partnerships: Able to build a network of external stakeholders and alliances with government counterparts, civil society, the media and the private sector, in order to promote and advance the work of the organization. Possess excellent communication skills and are able to engage existing and potential partners including Government, donors, investors and providers and build trust-based relationships in support of EOF’s vision.
  • Process management: Able to manage complex processes including multiple projects and workstreams in constantly changing environments. Manage workplans and ensure their timely execution through an adequate distribution of tasks.
  • Quality control: Able to ensure the quality of the documents produced by yourself or more junior members of the team, as well as external consultants, demonstrating excellent attention to details.
  • Drive to achieve results for impact:  Commit to action and assume responsibility and ownership for your own performance and the associated outcomes.
  • Work collaboratively with others: Establish and maintain mutually supportive working relationships, demonstrating sensitivity to people of diverse backgrounds, respecting differences and ensuring that all can contribute and succeed. Enjoy team work and remain mindful of the need to collaborate with people outside your immediate area of responsibility.
  • Manage ambiguity and complexity. Demonstrate resilience and composure, get things done despite challenges and maintain performance levels in pressured, adverse and uncertain environments.
  • Demonstrate self-awareness and ethical awareness: Self-aware of your own strengths, limitations, working style and deeply held convictions and biases. Display ethical awareness through behaviours that are consistent and compliant with the standards of conduct for international Civil Servants, UNICEF’s values and relevant UNICEF policies and procedures.
  • Intellectual curiosity and a passion for education, Global Development and innovative finance.
  • Proficiency in all Microsoft Office Tools.
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.

UNICEF is committed to promote the protection and safeguarding of all children.

This position is not considered an elevated risk role. However, UNICEF reserves the right to conduct further vetting/ assessment within the scope of child safeguarding as appropriate.

Remarks:

PROPOSED PAYMENT SCHEDULE Monthly payments:  Lump sum payment will be made monthly, inclusive of all professional fees, daily allowances, living allowances, and other administrative costs.

International travel to deliver project objectives is expected once the Covid-19 travel restrictions have been lifted.

Should “mission travel” be required, UNICEF will manage and pay for travel via Travel Authorization.  However, this will be subject to the following prerequisites:  Medical Clearance, Security Clearance through the Travel Request Information Process (TRIP) system, the Basic and Advanced Security in the Field Trainings, Travel Visa, and liability waiver. Trip prerequisites will be met at the expense of the consultant.

Travel cost shall be calculated based on economy class travel, regardless of the length of travel.  Costs for accommodation, meals and incidentals shall not exceed applicable daily subsistence allowance (DSA) rates, as promulgated by the International Civil Service Commission (ICSC at http://icsc.un.org).  The consultant must travel on UNICEF approved airlines.

Applicants are invited to include a cover letter of interest, CV, and proposed fees (monthly in British Sterling), to undertake the above TOR.  Applications submitted without a proposed fee, will not be accepted.

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

EOF is hosted by UNICEF. The Fund is administered under UNICEF’s financial, human resources and administrative rules and regulations, while operations are run by the Fund’s own independent governance structure that provides strategic guidance and oversight to its investments. EOF’s day-to-day activities are carried out by a Secretariat under the direction of the Education Outcomes Fund, Director.

If selected for this consultancy, the resulting appointment will be limited to EOF, a UNICEF Hosted Fund.

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.

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