Education Consultant - Cognitive Testing, Education Support Initiative (ESI)

Washington, D.C., United States
Apply by 7 June 2018
Mid-level , Short-term contract assignment
Posted on 8 May 2018

Job Description

Since 2001, Dexis has provided innovative management solutions for a secure and prosperous world. In the last three years alone, Dexis has worked in 90 countries supporting critical missions of agencies in the global development and security assistance space. With triple digit growth in recent years, Dexis was ranked in the top 10 consulting firms by funding at the US Agency for International Development in FY16 and FY17. Dexis was also among the highest rated employers on Glassdoor, where many of its 250-plus employees cited a people-centered leadership and culture as the main drivers to its success.

The purpose of the Education Support Initiative is to recruit, hire and maintain technical, professional, operational, and support staff that supply services to the United States Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Education Office and education sector. It includes full-time positions as well as short- and medium-term consultants.

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID)’s Office of Education is revising the definitions and measurement approaches of three key standard indicators related to WFD programs (as noted below) in order to standardize and strengthen the quality of reporting of USAID WFD programs.

1) Number of individuals with improved skills following participation in USG-funded workforce development programs.

2) Number of individuals with new employment following completion of USG- assisted workforce development programs.

3) Number of individuals with increased earnings following USG- assisted workforce development programs.

In order to facilitate proper reporting on the three new indicators, USAID’s Office of Education is currently developing guidance notes to explain the definition of the indicators and provide detailed guidance on how to collect and report data using the new definitions. Key performance outcomes to be measured include: new employment, earnings, and employment skills (both soft and technical). The guidance notes will include surveys with several modules on the socio-demographic profile, employment status, earnings of individuals participating in USAID-funded WFD programs and employment skills. The guidance notes and surveys will be primarily implemented by USAID implementing partners (IPs), under the stewardship of USAID missions, as part of IPs’ performance monitoring reporting activities.

USAID is seeking the services of a consultant to review the guidance notes and identify appropriate existing survey instruments to measure targeted employment outcomes outlined in the guidance notes, and, when necessary, develop, test and adapt survey instrument(s) to measure those outcomes.

Note that implementing partners under the stewardship of their USAID missions will be responsible for collecting and reporting on the data on the WFD programs per the guidance note. Thus, the guidance note should be relevant to, accessible by and implementable by USAID missions and IPs engaged in workforce development programs globally

Responsibilities

In consultation with the E3/Education WFD and Evidence teams, the consultant is expected to conduct the following tasks:

(1) Development of draft survey

  • (I) For the ‘new employment’ indicator, the consultant will review a draft module based on the LSMS Module E “Time Use and Labor”.
  • (II) For the ‘improved earnings’ indicator, the consultant will review a draft module based on the LSMS Module E “Time Use and Labor” as well as developing a module for earnings from self-employment/entrepreneurship activities, possibly drawing upon the LSMS Module N “Household Enterprises” and Module E Sub-questions E22-E26.
  • Anticipated issues to address include: monetization of in-kind payments/income; capturing earnings from more than two jobs (currently LSMS captures earnings from primary and secondary jobs, but many of our beneficiaries have multiple jobs.); measuring individual earnings from family farm activities (need to focus survey on only non-farm individual income and direct farm income activities to BFS indicator/guidance); seasonality of employment, selecting/prioritizing key additional data to help contextualize employment and earnings outcomes (e.g. education, employment benefits, business survival, unpaid household labor).
  • (III) For the ‘skills’ indicator, the consultant will propose criteria for determining appropriateness of measurement tools for use in USAID programs; identify existing measurement tools that meet established criteria (above); adapt items within existing measurement tools or if needed; and develop new measurement tool items or tool(s) to measure the targeted employment-relevant outcomes per the forthcoming guidance note.
  • (IV) Develop protocols for survey administration

(2) Piloting of survey

  • (I) The consultant will lead the cognitive testing of the employment and earnings survey modules and the skills survey module (as necessary) in at least two countries with USAID WFD program.
  • As part of this work, the consultant will collaborate with the E3/Education WFD and Evidence teams to: identify at least two relevant and current USAID WFD programs to test the data collection instruments. The consultant will also collaborate with Missions and IPs of these two WFD programs to identify and train data collectors and oversee the data collection activity in the field. Finally, the consultant will analyze data from the cognitive testing and revise the data collection instruments as necessary.

Deliverables*

  • Draft data collection instrument(s)
  • Cognitive testing plan and protocols for survey administration
  • Cognitive testing report
  • Final data collection instrument(s)

*Due dates for each deliverable is pending on when consultant starts and will be determined closer to execution of independent contract agreement.

Level of Effort:

The total Level of Effort expected for this activity is estimated at 58 days

Qualifications

Required Experience and Qualifications:

  • Education: Masters/PhD degree and 7 years of experience, or Masters degree and 8 years of experience

Preferred experience and qualifications:

  • Advanced training in psychometric research and statistics, preferably in item response, theory factor analysis, data clustering, and path analysis.
  • 5 years of relevant job experience, preferably with the complete range of psychometric and/or statistics issues.
  • Extensive experience developing test/measures/surveys, which addressed reliability & validity, and preferably in the field of youth workforce development, conducting cognitive testing, and piloting data collection instruments in the field.
  • Subject matter knowledge in youth employment/workforce development, preferably of USAID projects.
  • Experience organizing and leading research projects.
  • Excellent interpersonal and communications skills in both written and spoken English.
  • Excellent computer programming skills, especially STATA.

Dexis is an equal opportunity employer offering employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, age, national origin, citizenship, physical or mental handicap, or status as a disabled or Vietnam Era veteran of the US Armed Forces.

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