National Individual Contractor T4D Learning passport (Open to Kyrgyzstan nationals only)
National Consultant will be responsible for supporting technical development of the Parenting App and Learning Passport platform.
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.
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UNICEF's work on early childhood development recognizes that every young child needs nurturing care, good health, optimal nutrition and a stimulating and safe environment that offers plenty of support for early learning. To ensure the best start in life for their children, families need some support. But some vulnerable families, who face additional challenges such as poverty, disability or social exclusion, need more help than others. Typically, support is provided through various services in health, education and child protection sectors and through the interaction of children and parents with ECD service providers but such support is not always sufficient and is particularly impacted by the recent outbreak of COVID-19.
In order to support parents to receive timely and quality guidance even when direct contact with service providers is not possible and to overcome barriers in access to digital solutions, UNICEF initiated the development of a mobile parenting app, the Parent buddy. The cornerstone of the system is a mobile application which was developed with an aim to support responsive, positive parenting. Its aim is to provide information about early childhood development and parental care in a parent-friendly format and to encourage parents to apply guidance and provide nurturing care at home and to apply it in everyday practices. Parent Buddy also supports dissemination of targeted messages and information on how to prevent and protect children from COVID-19. The mobile application can also be used by service providers as a resource in their work with parents and as a tool for building trustworthy relationships and a partnership for the benefit of young children.
Parent Buddy contains wide assortment of articles and videos grouped under thematic categories of Play and Learning, Nutrition and breastfeeding, Responsive parenting, Safety and protection, Health and wellbeing, Parental wellbeing.
The mobile application is using the information on child's date of birth, gender, season of the year and other information entered by a parent to recommend suitable content and tailored guidance.
An important feature of this mobile application is to adequately support the most vulnerable parents, in terms of the navigation modalities, off-line operability and selection of the core content.
The app is developed based on a prototype developed by UNICEF Serbia. In order to deploy the app in Kyrgyzstan, the content needs to be translated and adapted to be aligned with the contextual and cultural specificities and program priorities of Kyrgyzstan in collaboration with the Ministry of Education and Science, the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Labor and Social Development.
Another digital solution is the Learning Passport, which is supported by UNICEF and delivered through a partnership with Microsoft, Cambridge University, and supported by the Boston Consulting Group. The Learning Passport has been established to 1) provide local, contextualized education content with a supplementary library of global resources, mapped together via research by Cambridge; and 2) provide a platform to provide this content to children and youth online or offline, via a platform being developed by Microsoft and with an individualized record of learning for each user, that is portable across physical and digital borders. The Learning Passport, as an extraordinary emergency response, will create country-level sites available on request in order to make access to curriculum and learning materials available for students with connectivity at home. While the platform has primarily been used to date for older students (primary to adolescence), the platform will be adapted in Europe and Central Asia region to support preschool age children, their caregivers, and their teachers to ensure age appropriate and quality early learning.
The envisioned digital platforms aim to enhance continued engagement with families and parents on learning at home by providing practical resources and materials that can be applied in home settings. Its second aim is to strengthen professional development opportunities and facilitate collaboration between preschool educators and other staff on sharing ideas, best practices and activities that can be implemented in kindergartens. Ultimately, the digital preschool platforms should support building and strengthening of a national community of practice between parents, teachers and children, with shared principles around early learning and development.
UNICEF seeks to contract a national consultant who will support the process of technical development and use of the Parenting App and Learning Passport platforms in Kyrgyzstan in close collaboration with the Ministry of Education and Science.
In consultation and collaboration with the UNICEF ECD Officer, guidance of the Learning Passport Lead Consultant, and in close cooperation with Head of the Ministry of Education IT Department the National Consultant will be required to undertake the following tasks:
- Technical assistance for deployment of the Parenting App and Learning Passport:
- Provide ongoing support and technical assistance for deploying Parenting App and Learning Passport.
- Support testing of Learning Passport in terms of functionality and suitability and provide feedback and oversee bug fixing process.
- Provide support to the Lead Consultant in developing programme design.
- Provide technical support and advise to Country Office and the Ministry of Education in procuring digital content services (e.g. curation, digitization, localization, production) and quality assuring deliverables from a digital perspective.
- Provide support to Lead Consultant on complementary ICT for learning and EdTech tools that could be integrated to support Parenting App and Learning Passport related technology efforts.
- Provide support the digitization of early childhood education, formal learning, and other non-formal learning modules and their deployment through the Parenting App and Learning Passport platforms.
- Map features of the Parenting App and Learning Passport requiring adaptation and alternative digital solutions that can be integrated.
- Analyze data populated through Learning Passport platforms and monitor uptake and performance of digital solution
2. Support coordination with national stakeholders:
Work with the Learning Passport program team to design and develop Parenting App and Learning Passport compliant e-learning content. Develop instructor guides, student guides, and Microsoft PowerPoint presentations.
- Document information on the outcome of the Parenting App and Learning Platforms.
- Provide inputs and support the drafting of reports.
- Support the process of ensuring Parenting App and Learning Passport can support low connectivity areas across country, exploring engagement with Mobile Network Operators and Regulatory authorities, and solutions for offline content accessibility.
- Capacity building for stakeholders on Parenting App and Learning Passport.
3. Other duties upon request and upon mutual agreement related to the consultancy objective.
Reporting and supervision
The consultant will report to and supervised by ECD Officer in consultation with Learning Passport Lead Consultant with the UNICEF Communication Unit, CP Unit, H&N Unit and Gender Officer.
- University degree in Information Systems Management, ICT Management, International Development, Education, Digital Education, Instructional Design, Digital publishing, Engineering, Computer and other relevant sciences.
- Advanced degree is considered as an asset.
- At least three (3) years of professional work experience in Technology for Development (T4D) and/or information system development, including mobile and web-based applications, with manifested capacity to manage programmes involving many stakeholders.
- Specific experience on ICT for learning or digital learning is an advantage.
- Working experience with instructional design, digital publishing or e-learning platform configuration, digital learning design or relevant area.
- Good technical understanding and familiarity with information management systems.
- Proven experience on capacity building;
- Knowledge of Teams, SharePoint, GitHub, Trello, Jira and Aha is considered as an asset.
- Previous work experience with UN/UNICEF or other international organization would be considered as an advantage.
- Excellent English and Russian communication skills, both oral and written in English, Russian
- Fluency or advanced knowledge of Kyrgyz languages highly desired.
- Consultant should be at ease in presentations and meetings with different high-level stakeholders and officials.
- Excellent communication abilities, in both written and oral forms.
- Must have strong skills in business analysis and technical project management.
- Basic understanding of set-up and administration of ICT services, networks and mobile services.
- Analytical and conceptual thinking.
- Demonstrated ability and experience in coordination, and ability to work under pressure is required.
- Demonstrated ability to work in a multicultural environment and to establish harmonious and effective relationships both within and outside the organisation, more specifically with Ministry of Education and other education institutions.
Duty station and official travel involved
Duty station is Bishkek. No travel is foreseen within this assignment.
Full version of the Terms of Reference can be found attached here VA - TOR - T4D.pdf
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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.
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.