Education Specialist- Consultant

Senior-level , Short-term contract assignment
Posted on 9 July 2018

Job Description

TERMS OF REFERENCE/ RESEARCH BRIEF

Study Title

Education Study

Personnel and experience

Education Specialist(s)/ Consultant(s)

Work period

1st August 2018 to 31st December 2018

Reporting to

Derek Glass, ADRA Myanmar

Derek.glass@adramyanmar.org

Consultancy days

Approximately 105 consultancy days

SUMMARY OF CONSULTANCY

ADRA Myanmar is collaborating with the Rural Indigenous Sustainable Education (RISE) network to conduct a study on education provision in ethnic states and regions of Myanmar including an analysis of out-of-school children, learning outcomes and teacher performance. Supported by the European Union and ADRA-UK, this study will provide a baseline on learning outcomes and teacher performance for longer term programming and will inform strategies to reach out-of-school children with education services.

BACKGROUND

Current support and resourcing to education provided by Indigenous Providers in remote conflict affected areas remains limited. ADRA programming through EU/ ECHO Children of Peace CASE project and the NORAD funded SEAQE project reaches out to address some needs, and other actors such as World Education, Save the Children, UNICEF, and MEC, are also addressing gaps in relation to quality provision. Whilst a detailed study of the Out of School population has been completed for Myanmar, the extent to which it provides a true reflection of the situation in ethnic and conflict affected areas of Myanmar is unlikely due to difficulties accessing these parts of the country. While Indigenous Providers of Education support many of these regions, the exact picture of the significant gaps still requires examination. It is hoped that further quantification and qualification of the needs will help towards resource mobilisation for education in these areas in the future. In recent years, Myanmar has made significant progress in increasing access to basic education, but the drop-out rates and the number of out-of-school children and youth remain significant. The primary Net Enrolment Rate (NER) increased from 88 percent in 2009-10 to 93 percent in 2014-15 whilst it went from 53 to 55 percent at the secondary level (to 58 and 27 percent in middle and high school respectively)[1]. However, 6 out of 10 children starting grade one dropout before the end of middle school; amongst families belonging to the bottom 40 percent of the consumption distribution, this figure is seven out of 10. Dropout rates are high for both boys and girls, and the differences in dropouts across richer and poorer households dwarf gender gaps. Furthermore, only about a third of students who sit their matriculation exam pass.

As a result, it is estimated that about 2.7 million of children between 5-16 years old were out of schools in 2015-16, having dropped-out or never attended school. Children may be excluded from education because of conflict, language or ethnicity, religion, gender and/or disability. They live in remote underdeveloped regions of the country with low population density, limited services which are usually affected by active conflict, displacement, weak education systems, teacher absenteeism, lack of middle/ high schools and geographical barriers. The most significant dropout for rural girls takes place at the age of 10 or 11 when they normally would transition to middle school. Furthermore, only 0.84% of rural girls aged 16-19 are participating in any form of vocational training (2016). In the comprehensive education sector review (CESR), quality of education and opportunity costs were identified as major causes of dropout, including: lack of interest 63.7%; agricultural or other work 54.9%; school costs 54.3% (average education costs 29,206 MMK); bad weather 23.5%; illness 4.9%; early marriage/ pregnancy 4.3% (fertility rate Kayin State for girls aged 15-19 is 39/1000); no teacher 4.1%; and no clothing/shoes 3.5%. Household responsibilities dictated by gender norms and roles assigned to adolescent girls limit their ability to seek education outside their communities, particularly for the hardest to reach girls. Cost, disability, poor health, and lack of interest are key barriers to access to education, especially for poor and rural households[2]. Despite increases in the budget for schools, costs such as transport, tutoring, pocket money, as well as the opportunity cost of jobs (especially in post-primary levels) remain relevant. Disability is also reported as important and, according to UNICEF[3], two third of the 232,000 estimated number of children with disabilities are not in school.

OBJECTIVES

The objective of this study is to provide a baseline for key education indicators and interventions and to inform decisions on education program planning and resourcing for ethnic areas that will improve access to education for children living in remote ethnic areas of Myanmar. In order to maximize the efficiency of the data collection in hard to reach, conflict affected areas, the study will be multi-faceted, and will combine an early grade literacy and numeracy baseline assessment, a teacher competency assessment and an OOSC study.

The data collected from the field study will be used to:

  • Produce a high-quality education baseline study report that forms the basis for program monitoring and reporting over the next 6 years including impact measures for student learning outcomes and teacher competency
  • Produce individual reports for sub-components.
  • Produce an out-of-school-children study report which will profile children who are out of school or at risk of drop out and include analysis of education pathways and program strategy implications.

METHODOLOGY

This case study will utilize a mixed methods approach, which takes advantage of using multiple ways to explore the research problem. These qualitative and quantitative methodologies will incorporate a variety of data collection methods including secondary analysis, key informant surveys, household surveys, and individual assessments. Research tasks will include the following:

  • Literature review which would include but not limited to data and analysis coming out of the CESR process, the census, political analysis documents (e.g. Asia Foundation)
  • Review of the UNICEF national level OOSC study which is an analysis of secondary data (IHLS, Census etc).
  • Analysis of existing data on out-of-school-children of RISE member organizations.
  • Community/school level survey to identify key drivers of non-attendance of school or drop out. A sampling method will need to be proposed by the consultant, but we expect that the study would cover between 120 and 360 schools and communities (out of 2,600)
  • Early grade literacy and numeracy assessment to provide a baseline for learning outcomes
  • Teacher assessment to provide a baseline for teacher professional development
  • Develop mobile data collection tools (setting up surveys, managing translation and testing).
  • Provide technical analysis of existing and potential approaches to address gaps, including possible alternative pathways for education (non-formal education/ accelerated learning, functional literacy and numeracy, vocational education)
  • Validation and prioritization with RISE of long term strategies and solutions.

For sampling purposes, the study is linked with the CASE+ project which supports Indigenous Providers of Education in the delivery of education services across 9 states and regions of Myanmar, reaching 343,000 students and about 2,600 schools.

For enumeration, ADRA’s partner, the Rural Indigenous Sustainable Education (RISE) Network has 60 mobile teacher trainers that could function as enumerators, and another partner of ADRA has another 60 MTTs if we include the Karen areas in the study. ADRA will have 120 tablet devices for data collection available for this study.

PROPOSED OUTPUTS

Key Tasks

  1. Inception report detailing literature review, methodolgy and tools Estimated Time Frame: August 10, 2018
  2. Training of enumerators Estimated Time Frame: September 15th 2018
  3. Field data collection Estimated Time Frame: October 31, 2018
  4. Report Writing Estimated Time Frame: November 30th, 2018
  5. Validation Workshop Estimated Time Frame: December 10th, 2018

Note: whilst these deadlines are important some variation is expected based on the selected consultant/s proposal.


RESPONSIBILITIES

Responsibilities of the Consultant: To achieve the goal of the consultancy, completing the tasks described above, the consultant will be responsible for, but not limited to, the following processes:

  • Designing the research. This is done in consultation with ADRA and RISE.
  • Develop the methodology for the study, the documentation to be reviewed, data collection tools and methods and the approach in each target area, identifying possible constraints and challenges.
  • Lead the research process, developing and testing the data collection tools, training enumerators conducting workshops in the context of the RISE network.
  • Lead the process of developing the key outputs described above
  • Ensure the quality of all deliverables as per these terms of reference, as well as their timely submission.

Responsibilities of ADRA: To support the external consultant develop a good understanding of the

partnerships and approaches:

  • Participate in discussions regarding methodology.
  • Take a proactive role in providing project documents, reports, evaluations and documents for the study, and identifying information relevant to the research process.
  • Collect any additional data required by the external consultant.
  • Provide write ups or drafts of any sections of the reports requested by the consultant that require the perspectives of ADRA Myanmar and contextual knowledge of the country and the program.
  • Participate in the review and finalization process of the reports.
  • Lead in supporting in-country workshops / consultations.
  • Establish and coordinate with a reference group for additional technical inputs and guidance.

Responsibilities of the RISE: To support the external consultant in the collection of data for the studies:

  • Participate in discussions regarding methodology.
  • Utilize extensive networks and relationships with local communities and local authorities to collect the data from schools and communities.
  • Participate in the review and finalization process of the study document.
  • Provide enumerators who are able to access the target areas, providing costs for enumerator stipends and transportation from current project funding.

QUALIFICATIONS AND EXPERIENCE

Competencies

  • Good knowledge and understanding of the education sector assessments (OoSC, early grade literacy and numeracy, teacher assessment) in the development and conflict contexts
  • Good knowledge and understanding of best practices for education assessments adopted by diverse NGOs, INGOs and other government agencies.

Functional

  • Robust analytical and writing skills
  • Ability to produce deliverables on time and within cost and quality standards
  • Fluency in English (written & oral)
  • Proficiency in computer applications (Windows, MS office, etc.)

Communication

  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills
  • Demonstrated capacity of team-orientation work

Education

  • Masters level and/or PhD in relevant fields of expertise.

Expertise

  • At least 7 years of proven experience of research and analysis in relevant field.
  • At least 5 years of proven experience of working with NGOs, INGOs or other government agencies
  • Experience in post-conflict areas desirable
  • Knowledge and sensitivity to political and social contexts of Myanmar (essential)

APPLICATION AND DEADLINE

Interested Firms/individuals should send the requested documents to the program director, Derek Glass, at derek.glass@adramyanmar.org on or before July, 15st 2018, 23:59 GMT.

  • A cover letter detailing the firms/individual suitability for the assignment and current contact information.
  • A short (1-2 page) proposal detailing the approach and estimated costs. (excluding enumerator fees, transportation costs for eunumerators)

Due to urgent need of the consultancy, proposals will be short listed on a regular basis and we may offer the consultancy before the closing date.

Only short-listed consultants will be contacted

[1] Ministry of Planning and Finance and World Bank (Forthcoming).

[2] Ibid

[3] UNICEF (2016). Situation Analysis of Children with Disabilities in Myanmar 2016. UNICEF: Yangon, p. 29-31.

About the Organization

The Adventist Development and Relief Agency is a global humanitarian organization of the Seventh‐day Adventist Church that demonstrates God’s love and compassion. ADRA works with people in poverty and distress to create just and positive change through empowering partnerships and responsible action.

ADRA International is a religiously qualified Equal Opportunity Employer under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. As such we have the right to prefer a member of the Seventh-day Adventist (SDA) church in the hiring process. In the event that a qualified SDA candidate is not found, we will give the opportunity to candidates who must understand, respect and honor the mission, purpose, and identity of ADRA International.

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