Education Specialist(STTA-USAID/Colombia)

  • Posted on 9 March 2020
  • Colombia | United States
  • Closing on 8 April 2020

Job Description

USAID/Colombia is seeking a short-term consultant to form part of a team in conducting a rapid education and risk analysis (RERA). A RERA is a “good enough” situation analysis of educational institutions, learners, and their communities as a dynamic system of relationships involving assets and multiple contextual risks. A RERA integrates key methodologi­cal elements of a rapid education needs assessment and contextual risk analyses, such as conflict analysis, disaster risk assessment, and resilience analysis, to inform USAID strategy and programming. Importantly, a RERA investigates how risks impact the school community, how education influences risks, and how contextual risks influence each other.

Introduction:

Colombia is a middle-income country and one of the oldest democracies in Latin America. However, the country is highly vulnerable to a range of natural hazard impacts, and endured nearly half a century of intense armed conflict. Longstanding violence and instability are rooted in territorial control by illegal armed groups and terrorist organizations, resulting in a large internally displaced population. The 2016 peace process has demobilized the largest and longest standing guerrilla group, but rival armed actors have now sought control of isolated communities and territories, particularly in areas along the coasts and the border with Venezuela. Issues such as inequality, poverty and corruption remain as key challenges over the next few years.

It was in the midst of these ongoing stresses that Venezuelan migrants began to arrive in Colombia. With an estimated 45,000 Venezuelans crossing the Colombian border daily in search of food, health care, and economic opportunities, the pressure on Colombia to respond to the Venezuelan exodus is growing every day. Of those migrating, about 40,000 return to Venezuela; up to 2,000 remain in Colombia; and an estimated 3,000 continue their journey to Ecuador, Peru, and other South American countries.

Today, an estimated 1.6 million Venezuelan migrants and returnee Colombians have come to Colombia. By 2021, that number is estimated to increase to 3.8 million people. Colombian officials estimate that the humanitarian crisis could cost over USD 1 billion in 2019 alone.

Since 2016, more than 20,000 Venezuelan children have been enrolled in Colombian public schools located near the border. The GOC suspects there are many more that are not being tracked, and that many other Venezuelan families are not enrolling their children out of fear of being identified as irregular migrants. In addition, as the immigration crisis progresses more children are entering into Colombia and families are settling into locations further removed from the border further straining the education system.

Access to quality education is a challenge in Colombia, even before the influx of Venezuela migration. Retention rates are low, as two out of every ten children living in rural Colombia never attend school, and half of those who gain access to education do not advance beyond a primary level of education (five years of education). By the time they reach the age of 17, almost 75% have left the education system. This means that children and youth aged 12, 13, and 14 face an uncertain future, with little education and scarce or non-existent job opportunities, making them extremely vulnerable to recruitment by armed groups or illicit economies.

These challenges are compounded for immigrant children as, although policy dictates they are allowed to attend school, assessments do not correctly match them to their academic level and they are currently not eligible to earn certificates, degrees or diplomas.

Purpose:

The Education Specialist will be a core member of the RERA Team and carry out a RERA in accordance with the USAID RERA Toolkit [https://eccnetwork.net/wp-content/uploads/RERAToolKit_508.pdf]. The Education Specialist shall work under the supervision of the RERA Team Leader.

Tasks:

Education Specialist is responsible for the following tasks:

  • Provide written recommendations for customizing the RERA methodology to Colombia’s context, particularly relating to education
  • Provide written background analysis on the education sector, and how it interacts with Venezuelan migrants and refugees, as well as other factors of contextual risks.
  • Contribute to draft a conceptual framework for the RERA, focusing on conflict, disaster risk and the education sector
  • Provide written recommendations relating to education in Colombia to support adaptation of the RERA methodology, desk review literature list, identification of informants and partners, data collection and analysis, and synthesis and report writing
  • Provide advice on strategies to engage key informants and stakeholders
  • Participate in RERA training
  • Conduct desk review of existing literature
  • Facilitate/participate in informant interviews and focus groups and report on data
  • Participate in preparation and delivery of USAID and partner briefings
  • Analyze RERA data (including learning and utilizing the database)
  • Provide inputs into final report, summary report and briefings and lessons learned report, as required
  • Participate in team meetings and external briefings

Location: The consultancy will have three phases: (a) remote desk planning and research, and (b) field implementation of primary data collection in Colombia, and (c) remote data analysis and final report drafting. Field-based research will involve travel within Bogota and to other cities in Colombia to be determined by USAID.

Timing (dates are subject to USAID approval and might change): The consultancy will run from March – June 2020. Remote planning and desk review will be carried out in March. Field implementation of the RERA will take place at the end of March and early April for approximately two weeks. Remote analysis and final report writing will take place from April to June.

Reporting: The Education Specialist reports to the DevTech Program Director through the RERA Team Leader. She/He will collaborate closely with all other team mem­bers.

Deliverables:

  • Participation in regular RERA Team calls
  • Participation in inception and post-fieldwork consultations with stakeholders
  • Written recommendations for adaptation of the RERA methodology
  • Background documentation on education and its two-way relationship with Venezuelan migrants/refugees, and contextual risks
  • List of names and contact information for key informants
  • Written inputs to the desk review
  • Contributions for conceptual framework for RERA
  • Report of findings of designated interviews and focus groups
  • Coded interview notes/Inputs for database
  • Participation in in-person meetings with USAID and partners
  • Written inputs to the draft and Final RERA report
  • Daily updates during data collection fieldwork to Team Leader/Core Team

Expertise Requirement

The Education Specialist should possess the following attributes and experience:

  • Expertise in education sector in Colombia generally.
  • Experience in leading and/or participating in education sector assessments or other primary data collection and analysis exercises.
  • Active networks of contacts in the education sector in Colombia.
  • Experience working with USAID either as a contractor or staff member.

Level of Effort: 30 days

Period of Performance: March – June 2020 (Dates might change subject to USAID approval)

About the Organization

DevTech Systems, Inc. (DevTech) is an international consulting firm and small business dedicated to development, with over 30 years of experience providing advisory services and technical assistance to government, private sector, and civil society stakeholders in more than 100 countries. We are a data driven organization that specializes in informing policy making by delivering focused data-driven evidence-based analysis products and services. DevTech core practice areas include: Economic and Data analysis, Monitoring and Evaluation, Education and Youth Development, Gender and Inclusive Development, and Public Financial Management.

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