Individual Consultancy to Support Revision of Data Management Information System in Pre-School Subsector for Improved Policy Analysis

Tashkent

To ensure quality of work it is considered that two consultants will be involved in the assignment: International and National Consultants. Present TOR is developed for International Consultancy and for broader distribution of the bid announcement, it is developed both for Individual and Institutional applicants.

If you are a committed, creative professional and are passionate about making a lasting difference for children, the world's leading children's rights organization would like to hear from you.

For 70 years, UNICEF has been working on the ground in 190 countries and territories to promote children's survival, protection and development. The world's largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments.

Background:
Over the past decade in the Central and Easter Europe and Commonwealth of Independent States (CEE/CIS) region, governments have been strengthening or rebuilding national and decentralized systems for early childhood education. However, coverage in many cases remains low with significant equity gaps. ’Disaggregated data is often limited but, at a broad level, young children living in rural areas make up a significant proportion of those unable to access early childhood education. Other factors including poverty, disability, ethnicity, migration, language and gender interact to prevent some young children from accessing and participating in early childhood education. Unequal opportunities for school readiness and Early Childhood Education (ECE) mean that some children start primary school already behind. These disparities persist and even widen during the school years with higher risks of low performance, repeating grades and dropping out of education. In spite of the increased attention given to Early Childhood Development and Education (ECDE) around the world, data scarcity remains a challenge’ .

UNICEF CEE/CIS multi-country evaluation of Early Childhood Development recommends UNICEF to support the development of a stronger framework for data collection in Early Learning and School Readiness through:
• Developing an extended technical document on the desirable data for the sector and country offices working with national (and increasingly sub-national) agencies, to improve data on Early Learning and School Readiness, addressing gaps.
• UNICEF Regional Office and Country Offices taking opportunities to support the development of integrated information systems for children from preschool onwards, that take the individual child as the unit of data, not aggregated data at school/centre level .

Overall ‘access to official data is generally limited in Uzbekistan, across all sectors. In its 2013 Concluding Observations the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child called upon the country to “further improve its data collection system to provide regular and independently verifiable data that is cross-comparable, and to analyse the data collected as a basis for assessing progress achieved in the realization of child rights and for designing policies and programmes”. It states that data should be “disaggregated by age, sex, geographic location, ethnicity and socio-economic background to facilitate analysis of the situation of all children, particularly with regard to children with disabilities, children of ethnic minorities, quality of teaching and learning outcomes, school attendance, quality of maternal and child health services, and the impact of social protection.’

In Uzbekistan data collection system is established by The Law “On National Statistics” (12 December 2002; #441-II), which determines the main organizational principles and the legal basis of the national statistical system. The primary role of the State Committee for Statistics (SCS) is to provide government bodies and citizens’ self-governance institutions, international organizations and the public with statistical information. At the same time data collection, analysis and reporting is also performed by other government agencies, including ministries. At the sub-national level, regional and district departments of the SCS and other authorized national agencies collect data and reports them to the upper levels.

Despite the existence of the subordinated system of data collection by SCS and MOPE, there are a number of issues related to the coherent system for data analysis and decision-making. For instance, in pre-school subsector of the education system, certain quantitative input indicators are available at the sub-national level (number of pre-school facilities, number of children registered and staff employed, language of instruction etc.) and may be obtained on request. However, the lack of a common framework for monitoring makes it difficult to explore opportunities for longitudinal research or changes in policy directions. Thus, there are a number of issues related to data collection system, such as: i) no unified framework for systematic approach in collecting data to have a holistic picture of access, equity and quality in early childhood education; ii) data is not disaggregated; iii) it is not used for taking actions and feed backing for improvement and support provision; iv) collected data is not analysed and utilized for decision making.

Improvement of data collection and management systems will support in evidence generation and can be used to inform policies, institutional arrangements and management, as they relate to improved access, equity and quality of ECE. It can help in monitoring of results and trends at regional, national and sub-national levels to address the bottlenecks and barriers related to determinants in the enabling environment, supply- and demand-side factors.

Purpose of the Assignment:

UNICEF supports this activity to ensure institutional capacity of government, namely MOPE and SCS and their regional and district branches is developed for improved data collection and analysis which in turn will help devise evidence-based policies and programmes in the area of ECDE and analyse outcomes of their implementation. Additionally, the activity will enable above-mentioned government stakeholders to effectively and efficiently monitor the provision of ECDE services and their quality.

To ensure quality of work International and National Consultants will be involved in the assignment. Present TOR is developed for International Consultant.

Objectives:

The objective of this consultancy is to technically support MOPE and SCS with the review of the existing system of data management in the area of ECDE, identify gaps and develop recommendations, tools and mechanisms for its improvement in line with the Uzbekistan Quality Education Framework.

Specifically, the consultant is expected to:
a) Review and identify gaps in the current system of data management in the area of ECDE including indicators, data sources, data collection tools and procedures, reporting procedures, data analysis tools and procedures, coordination, sharing, feedback and decision-making and work processes;
b) In consultation with relevant stakeholders, develop recommendations for improvement of the system of data management;
c) Technically support stakeholders to develop tools and mechanism based on the gap analysis and recommendations;
d) Technically lead the process of piloting the revised and/or newly-developed tools and mechanisms and fine tune them;
e) Train key government staff on the use of the revised system of ECDE data management.

Timeline, Deliverables and Activities:
80 working days are allocated for accomplishment of all tasks and deliverables within the period of June 2017 to May 2018

The consultant will be expected to perform the following tasks and deliver specific outputs as follows :

1. Inception Report: Develop the inception Report with the overview of the existing system of data collection on ECDE in Uzbekistan, to further refine and unfold key elements of the TOR, namely objectives, expected results, timeframe and methodology, and detailed work plan for the assignment (visit to Uzbekistan).
2. Review report of existing data collection system and indicators (visit to Uzbekistan):
Review the quality and completeness of the data collected through existing mechanisms as well as the capacity of the mechanisms. This will be done based on the concepts and tools developed in the UNICEF-UIS Monitoring Education Participation: Framework for Monitoring Children and Adolescents who are Out of School or at Risk of Dropping Out, as well as results and findings of the Regional ECE data study: Review of Existing and Needed Data and Indicators to Monitor and evaluate Access, Equity and Quality in ECE in CEE/CIS.
a. Assess existing data collection system in comparison to CEE/CIS, EU and globally recognized ones (based on findings of Regional ECE data study), including:
• What kind of early childhood education data is collected, how and by whom are collected, managed, analyzed, reported and fed back for evidence based decision making and monitoring;
• Mapping of existing indicators, their quality and relevant disaggregation that capture access, equity and quality in early childhood education (2-6 years);
• Review of existing country education information system and suggest how early childhood education data can be introduced and linked to it.
b. Recommendations with work plan for further improvement:
• Identify existing gaps in data, including quality and disaggregation, and capacity of data gathering/management mechanisms and make recommendations to address those;
• Make specific recommendations to key stakeholders – SCS and MOPE data collection and management mechanisms in order to improve data availability, quality and comparability in early childhood education;
• Facilitate round-table meeting to share the findings of the review report, draft work plan and agree on implementation steps with main stakeholders (MOPE, SCS and other relevant ones).

3. Draft tools and mechanisms for data collection to be tested (visit to Uzbekistan):
a. Draft TOR for the working group, consisting of representatives of MOPE, SCS and other relative stakeholders as appropriate, with clear roles and responsibilities identified;
b. Facilitate the work of working group and agree on key elements of the tools and mechanisms for data collection;
c. Development of draft tools and mechanisms for data management system.

4. Finalised tools and mechanisms:
a. Technically lead the process of pre-testing/piloting of the draft tools and mechanism;
b. Revise based on the pre-testing results

5. Train key government staff on the use of the revised system of ECD data management (visit to Uzbekistan):
a. Develop training program and materials for the workshop;
b. Facilitate training workshop for key staff on the revised system

Management:
As mentioned above, the assignment to be conducted by International and National Consultants. The consultant will report to and work under direct supervision of UNICEF Uzbekistan Chief of Education.
UNICEF Uzbekistan ECD Officer is the main focal point and liaison between consultant, UNICEF M&E Section and its partners, chief among them the Ministry of Public Education, the State Committee on Statistics and regional and district branches of each.

Resource requirements:
The estimated budget for this assignment is USD 50,000.0, including consultancy fee and travel cost. This amount is calculated based on consultancy rate for P3/P4 level for approximate 80 working days. According to UNICEF policy, the final daily fee will be set up based on the “best value for money” principle.
The consultancy fee will be paid by bank transfer and upon successful completion of each deliverable and certification by supervisor. All expenses will be charged against Education Thematic Funds.

Qualifications of Successful Candidate:

Expert undertaking this study should have the following qualifications:
• Advanced university degree in child development, statistics and/or social sciences (verified by Diploma or Certificate);
• Not less than 8 years of extensive working experience in early childhood development and Education, with specific focus on work with Management Information Systems including, EMIS, preferably in CEE/CIS region (verified by records of work experience at least 3 instances of previous assignment reports/submissions with at least one being in the area of Management information System in Education);
• Experience in development of M&E instruments and mechanisms;
• Record of research experience and/or written publications (verified by examination of evidence from previous assignment deliverables);
• Excellent written English language skills. Knowledge of Russian would be an asset (demonstrable with samples of publications );
• Ability to organize and plan complex work following the established timeframes (verified by interview);
• Good facilitation skills, proven record of conducting trainings/workshops (verified by CV).

Procedures and Working Conditions         

The consultancy will be home-based with travel to Uzbekistan (see Annex 1 for further discussion of work plan and number of trips to Uzbekistan). All travel(s) will be arranged in accordance with UNICEF Travel Rules and Regulations.

During in-country visits, individual consultant will be provided with office space, translation and logistic support. Laptops or computers will not be provided.

The consultant will be responsible for any taxes that might arise because of this assignment and remuneration received by UNICEF, and UNICEF undertakes no liability for taxes, duty or other contribution payable by the consultant on payments made under this contract.

Reservations

UNICEF reserves the right to withhold all or a portion of payment if performance is unsatisfactory, if deliverable(s) incomplete, not finalized or for failure to meet deadlines. UNICEF and MOPE will reserve copy right of all developed materials and own primary data collected during this assignment. The materials cannot be published or disseminated without prior written permission of UNICEF. UNICEF will be free to adapt and modify them in the future. The contractor must respect the confidentiality of the information handled during the assignment. Documents and information provided must be used only for the tasks related to these terms of reference.

 

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:
    • Statistics
  • Closing Date: 2017-07-05

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