International Individual Consultancy to Review Policy on Inclusive Education in Uzbekistan

Tashkent

In order to strengthen enabling environment for provision of inclusive education services with the focus on the most disadvantaged children – children with disabilities, and to address the bottleneck of weak legislation and policy in the area of inclusive education, UNICEF has agreed to support revision and improvement of existing policies and legislative frameworks to increase access of children with disabilities to mainstream education. As initial step, UNICEF Uzbekistan Country Office in collaboration with MOPE intends to facilitate a comprehensive policy review in inclusive education, which is the main purpose of the consultancy. Knowledge generated from consultancy, with support from highly qualified technical experts, will be utilized by relevant Ministries to draft policies.

Background:

Some children with disabilities do not have learning difficulties that prevent them to participate in schooling and some with learning difficulties can easily be included in mainstream schools with minor modifications, and adaptations in the educational process. According to the Ministry of Health of Uzbekistan, 30,257 children with disabilities attended mainstream schools, however 7,399 school-aged children registered with disabilities were out of formal education system in 2015. The Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities recognizes that some groups are more at risk of exclusion from education than others, such as persons with intellectual disabilities or multiple disabilities, persons who are deafblind and persons with autism. 17,960 children studied in schools and boarding schools for special education far from their families and mahallas, and 9,937 children were enrolled in home schooling. At the same time, inclusion of children with disabilities in mainstream Early Childhood Education has received less attention than inclusion at school level. Meanwhile there are no data publicly available on the number of children with disabilities in mainstream kindergartens. State Committee on Statistics figures report that in 2015, there were 21,400 children attending specialized pre-schools, a fall from 23,500 in 2014 following four years of increasing. The number of children with disabilities in specialized secondary education (specialized vocational colleges for persons with disabilities) has also fallen from 5,524 in 2009 to 3,202 in 2015. There are no data publicly available on the number of children with disabilities in mainstream kindergartens and colleges. 

Uzbekistan is taking steps to establish a system of inclusive education and with support of different development agencies has been working on introduction of more inclusive and equitable services for children with disabilities. The Education Sector Plan for 2013-2017, which covers all sectors of education, envisages inclusion of children with disabilities in regular educational institutions. In 2015 MOPE issued a new order to regulate the transfer of children between schools: this order includes children with disabilities and their transfer to mainstream schools. In addition, under the national programme of reconstruction of general schools it is required to build access ramps to the school buildings regardless of whether a school is a part of the inclusive education process or not. 

Signing of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) in 2009 demonstrates Uzbekistan’s readiness to continue following the international standards on the rights of persons with disabilities (hereafter PWD). Further support to the ratification and implementation of CRPD is included into development priorities for Uzbekistan and United Nations Agencies in the United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF) for 2016-2020. UN Agencies have joined efforts in assisting the Government of Uzbekistan in the process of ratification and implementation of CRPD, through proposed Joint Programme on PWD, with special focus on children with disabilities, which includes comprehensive Situation Analysis of Children and Persons with Disabilities.

 

UNICEF has been advocating for introducing sustainable measures to address deinstitutionalization of children with disabilities by providing alternative models that guarantee a holistic approach to the needs of the child, in line with an inclusive model that can go beyond the “medical model” inherited by many countries from the Soviet system. To address gaps and challenges in the existing system of education in provision and guarantee of equitable and quality inclusive education for all children, UNICEF recognizes the importance of supporting the Government of Uzbekistan in creating enabling environment for promotion of inclusive education, which will enhance and ensure CRC and CRPD implementation in the Country.

 
Purpose:  
 
In order to strengthen enabling environment for provision of inclusive education services with the focus on the most disadvantaged children – children with disabilities, and to address the bottleneck of weak legislation and policy in the area of inclusive education, UNICEF has agreed to support revision and improvement of existing policies and legislative frameworks to increase access of children with disabilities to mainstream education. As initial step, UNICEF Uzbekistan Country Office in collaboration with MOPE intends to facilitate a comprehensive policy review in inclusive education, which is the main purpose of the consultancy. Knowledge generated from consultancy, with support from highly qualified technical experts, will be utilized by relevant Ministries to draft policies.

To ensure quality of work, two consultants will be involved in Policy Review: International and National Consultants. The present TOR is developed for the International Consultant.

Objectives:

The objective of the policy review is to analyse existing legislative and normative documents, programmes and conceptual frameworks with the focus on principles of inclusive education and General Comments No.4 (2016) to the CRPD Article 24 on Right to Inclusive Education, and determine strengths and weaknesses, identify gaps, provide recommendations for further revision of the policy and inform strategy development for introduction of inclusive education into the mainstream education system.

 

Methodology:

The policy review will be carried out in three phases: design and inception; collection of normative legislative documents and information; analysis of collected information and report writing. Combination of methods will be used, such as desk review of relevant documents and key informant interviews. 

 

Timeline & Deliverables:

It is expected that consultancy will start on June 2017 and end by October 2017.

 

Specific outputs and deliverables for the assignment are: 

  • Inception report is provided, which includes: a) outline for the report and refinements/additions to the methodology if necessary; b) region/country specific background information of the situation with regards to inclusive education and situation with children with disabilities; c) specific tasks/deliverables for National Consultant to provide support in collecting and compiling necessary information for mapping of the existing policy documents (including criteria for selection of pertinent documents and evidence, guidelines for conducting interviews and focus group discussion, list of key informants for interviews); d) Policy/Programme mapping framework
  • Preliminary report on the Review of the policy on Inclusive Education is submitted which should include, but not limited to, the elements presented in the Annex II of this TOR, with the main focus on General Comments No.4 (2016) to the CRPD Article 24 on Right to inclusive education.
  • Report on the Review of the legislative and normative documents pertaining to Inclusive Education is finalized and submitted including, but not limited to, analytical mapping of existing program/policy documents, key findings and analysis of identified gaps and concrete and relevant recommendations, with the main focus on General Comments No.4 (2016) to the CRPD Article 24on Right to inclusive education;
  • Action plan for IE policy revision developed in consultation and agreement with relevant government stakeholders.

 

Activities/Tasks

  • Development of Inception Report, following: a) Meetings with government counterparts, UN agencies and Disabled People’s Organizations during the inception visit to Uzbekistan to clarify expectations, scope and methodology of the review as well as issues of practical realization of the legislation and existing challenges from perspective of different stakeholders. b)Carry out site visits at the regional and local level educational administrations and institutions (at least two regions).
  • Desk review of existing legislative and normative frameworks, current programmes, national statistics, conceptual frameworks, studies and evaluations related to education and inclusive education starting pre-school system and full secondary education term (school and secondary specialized education)
  • Review of the legislation and normative documents regulating curriculum development and teaching methodology; physical accessibility of learning environment and provision of assistive devices; teacher training;
  • Analysis of institutional framework for law-making and execution of policies, including financing and the system of data collection.
  • Finalize analytical mapping of existing policy and programme documents;
  • Development of a Preliminary Report following the structure provided in Annex II;
  • Validation of findings (this can be in the form of face-to-face meeting with government partners, civil society organizations and international agencies —which shall require a second travel to Uzbekistan);
  • Drafting of final report with key findings and analysis of existing policy and program documents in the area of IE including identified gaps and clear and relevant recommendation for future revision;
  • Drafting agenda and producing materials for the consultative workshop to develop action plan for IE policy revision, following Annex III;
  • Facilitating a consultative workshop to present findings of the policy review exercise and develop action plan for revision of inclusive education policy (third visit to Uzbekistan).

  

Management:

The International Consultant will work under the direct supervision of the Chief of Education Section and guidance by ECD Officer and Team Leader on Situation Analysis of CWD/PWD, National Consultant, as well as with identified national partners and government officials.

 

Resource requirements:

The complexity of tasks corresponds to the UNICEF P4/P5 level. According to UNICEF policy, the final fees will be set up based on the “best value for money” principle. 55 working days are allocated for accomplishment of all tasks and deliverables within the period of June – October, 2017.

The candidates are requested to submit their financial offer consisting of fee for the services to be provided. Travel costs (including airfare, terminal expenses, and daily subsistence allowance) will be calculated and paid according to UNICEF rules and regulations, as applicable.

 

All direct payments will be made by bank transfer to the indicated bank account by Consultant.

 

Required qualifications and areas of expertise

  • Advanced university degree (Maters or PhD) in social sciences, public policy, education policy and/or international development policy (verified by the Diploma or Certificate);
  • Minimum 5 years of experience in research, analysis or development of policy, especially pertaining to  inclusive education. In case, a candidate’s educational background does not match the above categories, 5 years of additional relevant work experience can replace “relevant” educational background (verified by records of work experience and at least 3 instances of previous assignment reports/submissions with at least one being in the area of IE);
  • Good analytical and report writing skills (verified by examination of evidence from previous assignment deliverables);
  • Excellent networking and interpersonal skills (verified through an interview);
  • Excellent written and spoken communication skills in English; knowledge of Russian would be an advantage (verified by examination of previous written work and interview);

 

 Competencies of Successful Candidate

To view our competency framework, please click here

Please indicate your ability, availability and daily/monthly rate (in US$) to undertake the terms of reference above (including travel and daily subsistence allowance, if applicable).  Applications submitted without a daily/monthly rate will not be considered.

UNICEF is committed to diversity and inclusion within its workforce, and encourages qualified female and male candidates from all national, religious and ethnic backgrounds, including persons living with disabilities, to apply to become a part of our organisation.

Before applying, please make sure that you have read the requirements for the position and that you qualify.
Applications from non-qualifying applicants will most likely be discarded by the recruiting manager.
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  • Organization: UNICEF - United Nations Children’s Fund
  • Location: Tashkent
  • Grade: International Consultant
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Education and Training
  • Closing Date: 2017-06-08

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