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LearnIn Technology Consultant: Full-time home-based consultancy for UNICEF Regional office for Europe and Central Asia

Geneva (Switzerland)

  • Organization: UNICEF - United Nations Children’s Fund
  • Location: Geneva (Switzerland)
  • Grade: Consultant - Contractors Agreement - Consultancy
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Education, Learning and Training
    • Information Technology and Computer Science
    • Children's rights (health and protection)
  • Closing Date: 2021-01-18

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ECARO is looking for a LernIn Technology Consultant to work together with the Education section towards successful deployment of the LearnIn from technological perspectives. The consultant will provide technical assistance to 1) the development of a LearnIn regional model and 2) the implementation of a LearnIn rollout plan tailored to countries’ needs.

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

Full-time home-based consultancy (8-11 months)  "LearnIn Technology Consultant"

Background & Rationale

Learning is an essential human activity, and every child has the right to learn. Yet in Europe and Central Asia, more than 10.6 million children and adolescents are out of school, and an additional 17.7 million who are in school remain out-of-learning. Many learners—and disproportionately more poor and vulnerable children—develop learning gaps in both content and skills, including transferable skills, that are needed for further learning. These learning deficits are cumulative across children’s life course, driving inequality in access, educational outcomes, and well-being.

These existing challenges were exacerbated by nationwide school closures during the COVID-19 pandemic, which affected 49.8 million learners in the region. Countries provided primarily online and television-based distance learning, but a lack of clear policies, flexibility, and adequate resources at all levels left education systems ill-prepared to respond quickly, effectively, and equitably to ensure learning continuity. ICT literacy rates are low throughout ECA, presenting challenges for learners to engage with distance learning, parents to support their learning at home, and teachers to adapt to and effectively use new and diversified teaching and learning modalities.

LearnIn, conceptualized in 2019, is a UNICEF ECARO initiative that supports ECAR Country Offices (COs) to harness digital technology, innovation and partnerships for improving inclusive and quality education for all children, with an explicit focus on the most vulnerable. It reflects the belief that education access and quality can be improved by making available an education model that supports the integration of digital learning with the instructional core, building on and improving what teachers know and are accustomed to, to improve outcomes for children. The core implementation principles include: leveraging digital technologies and solutions to accelerate education improvement; contextualization and localization, human-centered design; accessibility and inclusion; flexibility; learners as the target audience; evidence-based; and sustainability and scalability.

Main implementation activities of LearnIn include:

  • Digital learning platforms: Work with countries’ existing platforms or, in the absence of national or school-based learner management systems, customize Learning Passport as the main platform for connecting learners with digital learning content.
  • Digital learning content: Partner with content providers to customize regionally and globally available content to meet local needs and curriculum alignment.
  • Teacher upskilling and support: Develop contextualizable and localizable frameworks on teacher competencies for digital learning and support the organization of teacher professional development.
  • Internet access: Leverage partnerships to provide internet connection at schools and for marginalized children at affordable cost and provide off-line solutions in schools and communities where internet access cannot be secured. 
  • Devices: Deliver devices to the most marginalized children in partnership with the private sector and governments.
  • Youth engagement: Engage youths on issues related to digital technology and innovations.

Purpose

Under the overall guidance and direction of the Regional Education Adviser, in close collaboration with ECARO Education Section, the Consultant will work for the successful deployment of the LearnIn from technological perspectives. The consultant will provide technical assistance to 1) the development of a LearnIn regional model and 2) the implementation of a LearnIn rollout plan tailored to countries’ needs.

Scope of work

General

  • Work in consultation with T4D at HQ, regional and country levels, and relevant partners including the private sector, in the development and implementation of education technology strategies and implementation. In particular, focus on the use of education technology and innovations to accelerate progress towards improved learning outcomes and to address the key context-specific challenges in the region such as out-of-school youth and quality and effectiveness of teacher professional development.
  • Critically evaluate the potential and cost-effectiveness of education technologies and innovations to address specific challenges and potential for scale-up.

Platform

  • Support the development of a LearnIn regional prototype of digital learning platform
    • Assess technological needs of different users in respect to digital learning platforms (e.g., MOE, district education offices, schools, teachers, children and parents), which include the level of digital skills and experience with e-learning platforms.
    • Map existing digital learning platforms being used in target countries, assess their features, and conduct comparative analysis of access to and usability of these platforms with a focus on marginalized groups.
    • Define the objectives, scope and technical specifications of digital learning platform to be provided by LearnIn as a regional prototype and identify features of Learning Passport that require adaptation and alternative digital solutions that can be integrated.
  • Support the development and deployment of country-tailored digital learning platform
    • Support COs to adapt the platform according to country’s needs and situation (e.g., regulation, school infrastructure/connection, children’s needs including a need of off-line solution, language, etc.).
    • Provide COs with guidance and/or training to facilitate effective use of functionalities of the digital learning platform and develop a country deployment plan, which is aligned with countries’ ongoing digital learning strategies and COVID-19 response plans.
    • Support COs to test the platform with users and improve its functionality, suitability and alignment with technical specifications, among others.
    • Support COs to design and provide capacity development to national stakeholders (e.g., MOE, district education offices and school personnel) for using, maintaining and updating the platform.
    • Monitor the progress of digital learning platform deployment together with each CO.

Connectivity

  • Support the development of LearnIn regional strategy to address a connectivity gap
    • Assess internet connectivity at school and home in the target countries with a focus on marginalized children and analyze barriers to access to internet.
    • Map and assess existing and potential solutions to address the connectivity gap, including off-line solutions, and their cost implications.
    • Develop a LearnIn regional strategy with a menu for addressing the connectivity gap including off-line solutions, and explore partnerships to deliver the solutions (e.g., zero-rating offered by Mobile Network Operators (MNOs)).
  • Support the coordination and implementation of solutions for connectivity at country level
    • Support COs and target countries to choose and implement solutions to provide affordable and sustainable connection at schools and for marginalized children (e.g., participation in the Giga initiative; partnerships with MNOs for zero-rating connection; using schools as a WIFI hub, etc.).

Device

  • Determine device requirements for LearnIn
    • Consult existing household and/or school data to assess availability and use of devices for learning in target countries.
    • Assess types, specifications, cost (including management cost) and a quantity of devices for children, teachers and/or schools to be provided for the implementation of LearnIn at country level.
    • Scan affordable devices that meet the required specifications in the market.
    • Explore partnerships for the procurement and distribution of devices.
  • Support the procurement and delivery of devices at country level
    • Develop and implement a device delivery plan based on the UNICEF’s supply model, in close coordination with HQ’s Supply Division, COs, counterpart governments, and other partners and donors.
    • Support COs to procure and distribute devices in transparent and accountable manners.

Expected results: (measurable results)

The consultant will deliver the following outputs and products within the timeline indicated.

 

Activity

Deliverables

Timeline*

1.1 Platform: Development of a LearnIn regional prototype of digital learning platform

  • Needs assessment and mapping of digital learning platform.
  • Draft and final technical recommendations for a LearnIn regional prototype of digital learning platform (in close collaboration with T4D section).
  • Within 2-3 months from start date

1.2 Platform: Supporting development and deployment of country-tailored digital learning platform

  • Brief monthly status report on adaptation and deployment of LearnIn platform and capacity development activities.
  • Monthly

2.1. Connectivity: Development of a LearnIn regional strategy to address a connectivity gap

  • Needs assessment and mapping of solutions addressing a connectivity gap.
  • Draft and final LearnIn regional strategy addressing a connectivity gap.
  • Within 2-3 months from start date

2.2 Connectivity: Supporting coordination and implementation of solutions for a connectivity gap at country level

  • Brief monthly status report on coordination and implementation of solutions for a connectivity gap.
  • Monthly

3.1 Device: Determination of device requirements

  • Assessment of availability and use of devices for learning.
  • Technical recommendations for device requirements for LearnIn.
  • Within 2-3 months from start date

3.2 Device: Supporting procurement and delivery of devices

  • Brief monthly status report on coordination and implementation of the procurement and delivery of devices.
  • Monthly

4. Other activities needed to support the purpose of this contract

  • Activity noted within monthly status report.
  • Monthly

*The timeline, exact time needed and deadlines for each of the deliverables will be further discussed and amended as needed once the consultant is on board and based on the length of consultancy.

Duty Station

The consultant will work remotely, home based, preferably based in or around Geneva, or within Europe or Central Asia region time zone.

Reporting lines:

Regional Education Advisor and

Regional Technology for Development (T4D) Business Analyst

 

 

Timeframe                                                                                                                                         

The assignment is full time between 8-11 months starting ideally from February 2021. Preferably the candidate will be available for 11 months. However a shorter assignment of 8 months may be considered.

Payment Schedule
Payment will be made at the end of each month after receiving a monthly report and an invoice

Qualifications

  • A university degree (BA or MA) in information systems management, ICT management, digital education, instructional design, digital publishing, computer science or another related field.
  • A minimum of 5 years of experience in identifying, designing and implementing solutions for large-scale projects with technical components.
  • Basic understanding of set-up and administration of ICT services, networks and mobile services.
  • Working experience or good knowledge of instructional design, e-learning platform configuration or digital publishing.
  • Experience in Open Source digital tools, mobile and emerging technology applied to education is desirable.
  • Experience in requirements engineering related to applications for children, educators, and parents is desirable.
  • Experience in supporting and coordinating project activities across a large organization and with other international partner organizations is desirable.

Other skills and attributes

  • Understanding of international development issues.
  • A good understanding of UNICEF programmatic areas including education.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills a must. Presentation skills are an advantage.
  • Understanding constraints of working with various partners, but also the strengths of representing an international organization.
  • Strong skills in business analysis and technical project management.

Language Requirements

  • Fluency in English is required. Knowledge of another official UN language is considered as an asset.

Competencies

  • Self-starter, with ability to multi-task and work to deadlines.
  • Analytical and conceptual thinking.
  • Attention to details.
  • Able to work in a multicultural setting.
  • Highest standards of integrity, discretion and loyalty.

View our competency framework at

http://www.unicef.org/about/employ/files/UNICEF_Competencies.pdf

Application

Interested candidates are requested to submit by 18 January 2021 (23:59pm in Geneva Time)

1) Duly completed online profile and an updated P-11 form or CV,

2) a financial proposal indicating the monthly fees in USD and

3) a cover letter indicating the earliest date of starting the assignment.

UNICEF is committed to diversity and inclusion within its workforce, and encourages all candidates, irrespective of gender, nationality, religious and ethnic backgrounds, including persons living with disabilities, to apply to become a part of the organization.

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:

Mobility is a condition of international professional employment with UNICEF and an underlying premise of the international civil service.

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.

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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