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Consultancy: Research and M&E Specialist Consultant - Education Section, PD - NYHQ, Requisition# 519078

New York City (United States of America)

The consultant will provide technical support in M&E and research to LUL supported CO’s (Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Liberia, Madagascar and Nepal and manage the evidence generation programme for the Let Us Learn Partnership, coordinating evidence generation activities between HQ, RO, LUL country offices and the Office of Research, Innocenti. The consultant will lead in the development of programme documents related to evidence generation and the improvement of M&E practices in Let Us Learn supported Country Office programmes.

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.

Background & Rationale

UNICEF’s Education Programme aims to increase the provision of quality education opportunities and improve learning outcomes for the most marginalized children and youth.

A child in school does not mean a child learning: while access to schooling around the world has increased, in many contexts access has not translated into gains in learning outcomes, especially for the most marginalized children.  The education community has coined a term for this: the learning crisis.  Adding to the crisis is a lack of evidence around what works to improve learning for the most marginalized children and a great demand from the global education community to build evidence and identify effective solutions.

The Let Us Learn (LUL) programme aims to address the learning crisis by supporting programmes aimed at increasing both access to education and learning for the most marginalized in five countries, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Liberia, Madagascar, and Nepal.   The country projects supported vary based on the needs and challenges facing the context but each project focuses on three equity pillars (1) reaching out of school children, (2) expanding girls’ education and (3) improving quality outcomes for learners.

These equity pillars are directly aligned with the goals for education outlined in the new UNICEF Strategic Plan 2018-2021 that include three results areas: (1) providing gender-equitable access to education from early childhood to adolescence, in particular to the most marginalized, (2) improving learning outcomes, including through support to early learning, learning assessment, mother tongue education, teachers development and community participation and (3) developing the skills that lead to learning, personal empowerment, active citizenship and employment.

As the LUL programs in each country are closely aligned with the overall goals of UNICEF developing strong learning from these initiatives is essential.  Without investing in monitoring and assessment of learning outcomes, it is very hard to know if a child in any program, is learning. 

Since 2014 the Let Us Learn partnership has supported education programs in five UNICEF Country Offices dedicated to educating the most marginalized.  In 2018 for phase 3 of the Let us Learn partnership has decided to invest in an evidence generation plan for LUL supported programmes.  The goals of this evidence generation plan are twofold:

  • Improve how LUL programs are able to track progress and improve their design during implementation, instead of waiting for a final evaluation when it is too late for adjustments to be made.  This will make sure that resources invested in LUL are put to best use throughout programme implementation.
  • Provide evidence on how the LUL programs work, and how these programs could influence the education programs and plans of UNICEF / Governments and the global education community.

Purpose

The consultant will provide technical support in M&E and research to LUL supported CO’s (Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Liberia, Madagascar and Nepal and manage the evidence generation programme for the Let Us Learn Partnership, coordinating evidence generation activities between HQ, RO, LUL country offices and the Office of Research, Innocenti.  The consultant will lead in the development of programme documents related to evidence generation and the improvement of M&E practices in Let Us Learn supported Country Office programmes.

Expected results: (measurable results)

The following results are expected by the end of the consultancy

    1. Identify M&E capacity needs in LUL supported country offices, mapping out the existing M&E systems for LUL supported programming, current M&E strengthening initiatives and where support would be beneficial.
    2. Review and refine theories of change for LUL supported programs that track the causal pathway toward each country program objectives through activities, inputs, outputs, outcomes, documenting key steps in implementation, assumptions, and risks for each specific education programme  component.
    3. Develop an indicator reference document that provides details on how existing systems track activities, inputs, outputs and outcomes.  [Description of data sources, calculation of indicators, limitations, frequency of data collection and analysis, responsible parties for data collection, data cleaning, data analysis, etc.]
    4. Increase capacity for conducting monitoring and evaluation activities through provision of technical expertise to improve data collection practices and tools based on the implementation steps outlined in each program components’ theory of change and M&E needs assessment and indicator reference document.
      1. Improve the use of already existing data through support to data management, cleaning, analysis and visualization. Support could range from the use of specific program monitoring data (attendance, classroom observations etc.) or larger systems including EMIS depending on the scope and needs of the LUL supported programming at country level.
      2. Improving data collection tools, and procedures, including the development of M&E tools and procedures where the need is identified including but not limited to learning assessments of program beneficiaries.
    5. Capacity development for program staff, government, and implementing partners through tailored training and workshops to support the sustainability of M&E for program learning, and support to ongoing M&E strengthening activities at the country level.

Duty Station

NYHQ Office

TIMEFRAME: 195 days

Start date:  4 March 2019                     End date:  December 15, 2019

Deliverables

Duration

(Estimated # of days)

Deadline

Work plan / monthly status report on progress on TOR’s expected results

20

March 30, 2019

Monthly status report on progress on TOR’s expected results

21

April 30, 2019

Monthly status report on progress on TOR’s expected results

22

May 31, 2019

Monthly status report on progress on TOR’s expected results

19

June 30, 2019

Monthly status report on progress on TOR’s expected results

22

July 31, 2019

Monthly status report on progress on TOR’s expected results

22

August 31, 2019

Monthly status report on progress on TOR’s expected results

20

September 30, 2019

Monthly status report on progress on TOR’s expected results

23

October 31, 2019

Monthly status report on progress on TOR’s expected results

20

November 30, 2019

Monthly status report on progress on TOR’s expected results

6

December 15, 2019

TOTAL

195

 

Key competences, technical background, and experience required

  • Master’s Degree in economics, education, social sciences, statistics or another quantitative field. 
  • Three years of professional experience with at least 2 years of experience in applying research, evidence and data-driven decision making to medium and large-scale programs with an appreciation for practical and logistical constraints.
  • Experience in research and M&E design and implementation in development contexts desirable.
  • Strong familiarity with various research and evaluation design concerns, including experimental and quasi-experimental methods
  • Strong familiarity with a range of data processing, statistical, and geospatial software packages such as Stata [preferred], Excel, R,  Open Data Kit, ArcGIS, QGIS, etc., with the ability to discover, learn and apply new technologies that increase the efficiency of data analysis and learnings.
  • Strong interpersonal and communications skills to work effectively with a team that is geographically dispersed
  • Self-directed/self-motivating personality, with proven ability to manage demands from multiple stakeholders while adhering to program deadlines and priorities
  • Quick to learn, motivated to self-teach and capable of independently translating new knowledge into practice
  • Willingness to travel as needed to meet the demands of the programme
  • Fluency and strong writing skills in English are required. Fluency and strong writing skills in another official UN language highly desirable.

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.
Remarks
With the exception of the US Citizens, G4 Visa and Green Card holders, should the selected candidate and his/her household members reside in the United States under a different visa, the consultant and his/her household members are required to change their visa status to G4, and the consultant’s household members (spouse) will require an Employment Authorization Card (EAD) to be able to work, even if he/she was authorized to work under the visa held prior to switching to G4.   
At the time the contract is awarded, the selected candidate must have in place current health insurance coverage

We do our best to provide you the most accurate info, but closing dates may be wrong on our site. Please check on the recruiting organization's page for the exact info. Candidates are responsible for complying with deadlines and are encouraged to submit applications well ahead.
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: New York City (United States of America)
  • Grade: Consultant - Contractors Agreement - Consultancy
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Education, Learning and Training
    • Scientist and Researcher
    • Monitoring and Evaluation
    • Logistics
    • Supply Chain
  • Closing Date: 2019-01-24

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