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Individual Consultant to provide technical assistance to support the analysis of Out-of-school Children in Guyana (Open to Nationals/Internationals)

Georgetown

  • Organization: UNICEF - United Nations Children’s Fund
  • Location: Georgetown
  • Grade: Consultancy - Consultant - Contractors Agreement
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Education, Learning and Training
    • Children's rights (health and protection)
  • Closing Date: Closed

In 2020, 259.5 million children, adolescents and youth were out of school globally. Guyana has not been spared, as significant disparities exist between and among schools in the urban, rural, riverine and hinterland locations. The COVID pandemic has exacerbated the social circumstances in these regions that cause children, and adolescents to be out of school and has reversed the gains made in learning and widened the gap in learning outcomes. Further, the significant concerns for the Ministry of Education are the unacceptable drop-out rate, unqualified teachers, especially in the hinterland and riverine areas, and overall low performance at the primary and secondary levels. Migrant children, children with disabilities and those required to work to support their family incomes are doubly challenged as the education system is not currently providing the flexibility to facilitate attendance and full participation. In 2016, Guyana joined the OOSCI and the first study on out of school children was conducted that year. The country sees the need to continue to collect and track students who are at risk of dropping out, have dropped out, or are hard to reach at national and/or sub-regional levels. Participation in the Global Initiative on Out-of-school Children will provide a knowledge base that can support existing interventions and new context-appropriate policies and strategies for accelerating enrolment and sustaining attendance for the most excluded and marginalized children. So far, more than 80 national and regional OOSCI studies have been developed.

UNICEF works in some of the world’s toughest places, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. To save their lives. To defend their rights. To help them fulfill their potential. 

Across 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, every day, to build a better world for everyone. 

And we never give up. 

For every child, Education

 

How can you make a difference? 

Background/Context

Children who do not attend school are among the most vulnerable and hard to reach in the world. They may come from the poorest households, have to work to help support their families and live in remote areas with poor access to government services. They may face discrimination as ethnic minorities or live with disabilities and may often be girls but also boys in other contexts.

In 2010, UNICEF and UNESCO Institute for Statistic (UIS) launched the global initiative on Out-of-school Children (OOSCI) to develop profiles of these excluded children, link quantitative data with socio-cultural barriers and identify policies to address patterns of exclusion.

The OOSCI focuses on children out of school as well as those at risk of dropping out, over a wide age range. To help distinguish distinct groups of children for analysis and policy support, it uses a dimensions of exclusion framework, where each group of children is represented by a particular dimension. In line with the SDG 4 commitment to achieve universal primary and secondary education, the OOSCI dimensions of exclusion model has been expanded in 2023. It is now called the Seven Dimensions of Exclusion (7DE) and includes two dimensions relating to youth of upper secondary age. This model presents the key groups of children, adolescents and youth for OOSCI analysis and interventions:

• DE1 Children aged one year younger than official primary school entrance age who are not enrolled in early childhood education (including pre-primary) or primary school.
• DE2 Primary school aged children who are not enrolled in school, regardless of the level.
• DE3 Lower secondary aged adolescents who are not enrolled in school, regardless of the level.
• DE6 Upper secondary aged youth who are not enrolled in school, regardless of the level.
• DE4 Primary school students who are at risk of dropping out before completing the level or of not continuing to lower secondary.
• DE5 Low secondary students who are at risk of dropping out before completing the level or of not continuing to upper secondary.
• DE7 Upper secondary students who are at risk of dropping out before completing the level.

These dimensions represent the intersection of two different population groups (children who are out of school, and those who are in school but at risk of dropping out) with four levels of education (pre-primary, primary, lower secondary and upper secondary). The term ‘exclusion’ has a slightly different meaning depending on the population concerned: children who are out of school are excluded from education, while children who are at risk of dropping out may be excluded within education because they are not attaining expected learning outcomes and minimum proficiency levels, or they may face discriminatory practices or attitudes within the school (push factors). Of course, children at risk of dropout may also face external pressures to leave school early (pull factors).

A more recent dynamic into the exclusion of children from educational opportunities is the COVID-19 Pandemic, which began in late 2019 and spread globally in 2020, has had unprecedented impacts on education systems worldwide. Governments around the globe swiftly closed schools to curb the spread of this virus; education faced disruptions on a scale never seen before. As per UNESCO data, at the height of the pandemic, over 1.5 billion students, or roughly 90% of the world’s student population, were affected by school closures across 190 countries.

While distance and online learning initiatives attempted to bridge the gap, disparities in access to technology, the digital divide, socioeconomic inequalities, and varied household environments meant many students faced challenges in continuing their education. Preliminary data and reports suggest that many students may have dropped out or may not return to school post-pandemic, exacerbating the global challenge of out-of-school children, especially in vulnerable and marginalised communities.

Evidence from OOSCI studies helps to raise awareness amongst decision makers and practitioners. It also provides a basis for recommending changes in government policy or strategies to reduce/eliminate barriers, and to enable more children to access and complete a full course of education. The main assumption is that the recommendations of an OOSCI study accurately reflect and respond to the barriers identified through the study, and are also politically, financially, and technically feasible to implement.

Purpose, Objective and Scope of Study

In 2020, 259.5 million children, adolescents and youth were out of school globally. Guyana has not been spared, as significant disparities exist between and among schools in the urban, rural, riverine and hinterland locations. The COVID pandemic has exacerbated the social circumstances in these regions that cause children, and adolescents to be out of school and has reversed the gains made in learning and widened the gap in learning outcomes. Further, the significant concerns for the Ministry of Education are the unacceptable drop-out rate, unqualified teachers, especially in the hinterland and riverine areas, and overall low performance at the primary and secondary levels. Migrant children, children with disabilities and those required to work to support their family incomes are doubly challenged as the education system is not currently providing the flexibility to facilitate attendance and full participation. In 2016, Guyana joined the OOSCI and the first study on out of school children was conducted that year. The country sees the need to continue to collect and track students who are at risk of dropping out, have dropped out, or are hard to reach at national and/or sub-regional levels.

Participation in the Global Initiative on Out-of-school Children will provide a knowledge base that can support existing interventions and new context-appropriate policies and strategies for accelerating enrolment and sustaining attendance for the most excluded and marginalized children. So far, more than 80 national and regional OOSCI studies have been developed.

Objectives


The overall objective of this consultancy is to support Guyana’s study of out of school children within the Global Out-of-School Children Initiative (OOSCI). This requires strong technical expertise in data and policy analysis with regards to out-of-school children, as well as project implementation skills to ensure completion of the analysis.
The OOSCI uses evidence-based advocacy to help countries reduce the number of children that are out of school by pursuing the following outcomes:
• Developing comprehensive profiles of excluded children in all regions including migrant children;
• Linking these profiles to the barriers that lead to exclusion;
• Identifying, promoting, and helping countries to implement policies, strategies and budgets that address exclusion of out-of-school children (including children with special needs and other vulnerable children such as migrants).

Expected Results and Scope:

The OOSCI study will be led by the Ministry of Education Guyana, which will set up a Steering Committee and a Technical Team to coordinate the study. It will cover all 11 education districts.
Project implementation support: Through partnership between the Ministry of Education, Guyana and UNICEF, this consultancy will support the timely and effective implementation of the OOSCI study in Guyana based on the 2023 OOSCI Operational Manual, facilitation of communication and ongoing sharing of results among the involved partners (including a national steering committee and Technical Team), overall quality assurance and capacity building for the research team.

Technical Support: UNICEF is desirous of hiring a consultant to undertake the following:


• Serve as the Chief Research Officer to support MOE in the implementation of the study.
• Ensure the quality of the study by closely monitoring the process and involving critical partners in reviewing and finalizing the profiles of out of school children and children at risk of dropping out;
• Draft the study report which will include barriers to education and recommendations on how to address issues linked to exclusion.
• Support the MOE in preparing the final presentations and OOSCI study report to inform decision making.

The expected results are:
• Specific profiles of out-of-school children and children at risk of dropping out, according to the OOSCI Operational Manual (2023) and the seven dimensions of exclusion (7DE); these profiles should capture the complexity of the problem in terms of magnitude, inequalities and multiple disparities around the 7DE;
• Identified barriers to education that children in Guyana face and clarification of the dynamic and causal processes related to the 7DE;
• Analysis of existing policies and interventions and whether they are addressing the complex needs of out-of-school children and children at risk of dropping out.
• Recommendations on how to address the issues linked to exclusion from education (out-of-school children) and exclusion within education (children who face a high risk of dropping out), taking into account the national context.

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

-A Masters or advanced degree in education, social science, public policy, research or related field;
-Minimum five years of work experience in conducting data production, data review, analysis and reporting and on equity issues in children’s education, preferably in Guyana
-Knowledge of child’s rights approaches;
-Ability to work with governments and facilitate among various stakeholders.
-Expert knowledge and experience in SPSS, STATA or similar software.
-Expert knowledge and experience in Microsoft Excel;
-Excellent analytical capacity of both quantitative and qualitative data;
-Effective communication skills, both orally and in writing, in English;
Sensitivity to diverse opinions and difficulties arising from differing social and cultural perceptions;
Excellent writing skills
Proficiency in English (spoken and written).
Proven knowledge of local context

For every Child your demonstrate… 

  • UNICEF's values of Care, Respect, Integrity, Trust, Accountability, and Sustainability (CRITAS).   

To view our competency framework, please visit  here

 Please access the complete Terms of Reference here- Download File Individual Consultant for the Out of School Study in Guyana.pdf

UNICEF is here to serve the world’s most disadvantaged children and our global workforce must reflect the diversity of those children. The UNICEF family is committed to include everyone, irrespective of their race/ethnicity, age, disability, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, nationality, socio-economic background, or any other personal characteristic.

UNICEF offers reasonable accommodation for consultants/individual contractors with disabilities. This may include, for example, accessible software, travel assistance for missions or personal attendants. We encourage you to disclose your disability during your application in case you need reasonable accommodation during the selection process and afterwards in your assignment. 

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. 

 

Remarks:  

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. 

The selected candidate is solely responsible to ensure that the visa (applicable) and health insurance required to perform the duties of the contract are valid for the entire period of the contract. Selected candidates are subject to confirmation of fully-vaccinated status against SARS-CoV-2 (Covid-19) with a World Health Organization (WHO)-endorsed vaccine, which must be met prior to taking up the assignment. It does not apply to consultants who will work remotely and are not expected to work on or visit UNICEF premises, programme delivery locations or directly interact with communities UNICEF works with, nor to travel to perform functions for UNICEF for the duration of their consultancy contracts. 

This vacancy is now closed.
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