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Consultancy: Consultant, The state of accelerated education post-Covid-19, with a focus on the role of EdTech and Skills Development - Education Section, PG, NYHQ/Remote - Req # 545229

New York City (United States of America)

  • 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
    • Labour Market Policy
    • Malaria, Tuberculosis and other infectious diseases
    • Public Health and Health Service
    • Human Resources
    • Ebola
  • Closing Date: 2021-10-22

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The consultant will conduct a mapping, review, and analysis of data, research, evaluation, and program documentation/literature on the state of AE and other alternative education programmes post-covid and as a result of covid.

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, hope.


Consultancy Title: The state of accelerated education (and other alternative education pathways) post-Covid-19, with a focus on the role of EdTech and Skills Development.

Section/Division/Duty Station: Education Section/ PD/ NYHQ (Home Based).

Duration: Start date: 1 Nov 2021, End date: 31 Jan 2022 (40 working days).



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. UNICEF has over 12,000 staff in more than 145 countries.


The fundamental mission of UNICEF is to promote the rights of every child, everywhere, in everything the organization does — in programs, in advocacy and in operations. The equity strategy, emphasizing the most disadvantaged and excluded children and families, translates the commitment of children’s rights into action. For UNICEF, equity means that all children have an opportunity to survive, develop and reach their full potential, without discrimination, bias or favoritism. To the degree that any child has an unequal chance in life — in its social, political, economic, civic and cultural dimensions — her or his rights are violated. There is growing evidence that investing in the health, education and protection of a society’s most disadvantaged citizens — addressing inequity — not only will give all children the opportunity to fulfil their potential but also will lead to sustained growth and stability of countries. This is why the focus on equity is so vital. It accelerates progress towards realizing the human rights of all children, which is the universal mandate of UNICEF, as outlined by the Convention on the Rights of the Child, while also supporting the equitable development of nations.

In line with Every Child Learns, the 2020-2030 education strategy, UNICEF is investing more improved learning and skills development for boys and girls from early childhood to adolescence, in particular for the most marginalized and those affected by humanitarian situations. UNICEF is doing more to promote equity and inclusion through specific efforts to reach the most vulnerable​ and via support to children in humanitarian and fragile contexts to access quality education opportunities​.

Within this framework, UNICEF is committed to inter-agency cooperation and strengthening global goods that contribute to evidence-based programming. One important partnership is the Accelerated Education Working Group (AEWG). The AEWG is an inter-agency working group made up of education partners working in Accelerated Education (AE). The AEWG is led by UNHCR and has representation from War Child Holland, UNICEF, UNESCO, USAID, Save the Children, Plan, NRC, IRC, DG ECHO and Education Development Center. The AEWG works in five main areas:

  1. AEP’s included by more Governments in National Education Plans and Policies
  2. AE Evidence base strengthened
  3. Quality of AEPs improved
  4. AEPs better resourced by all key stakeholders for scale and quality
  5. COVID 19 Response strengthened by the AEWG resources

It has been widely recognized that the evidence base for AE is thin, hence the AEWG’s second area of focus. As part of the effort to strengthen the evidence base the AEWG developed a 5 year Learning Agenda which ends in 2022. The AEWG’s Learning Agenda has two broad objectives:

  1. Further assess the efficacy of AE programming using the Principles in terms of outcomes: access and equity, equity of learning outcomes that meet set standards, completion, and transition to multiple pathways: further formal or non-formal education (including vocational training), and supporting the creation of livelihood opportunities.
  2. Evaluate the contribution and cost-effectiveness of AEPs to national and global provision of equitable access to quality basic education, particularly for fragile, insecure, and underfinanced environments.

In 2020 the AEWG also published an Evidence Review on AE. This evidence review, commissioned by UNICEF, collated and analyzed the most recent evidence from a range of AEPs globally. In addition it synthesized the most recent available data on: (1) the policy context for AEP provision; (2) the degree to which AEP’s contribute to addressing the needs of marginalized and disadvantaged learners; and (3) their overall effectiveness and efficiency in integrating students into formal education, vocational education or livelihoods.

The AEWG are also undertaking a 44-month research project funded by Dubai Cares in collaboration with the University of Auckland. This project critically assesses current opportunities for, and approaches towards, integrating and sustaining non-formal education (NFE) programming, and particularly AEPs in Colombia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Uganda and Jordan.

It is expected that the findings from the Evidence review and the ongoing research will also contribute to this consultancy.

How can you make a difference?

Working with the Education Specialist (Skills and Digital Learning) and members of the AEWG, the consultant will conduct a mapping, review, and analysis of data, research, evaluation, and program documentation/literature (this includes a desk review as well as interviews) on the state of AE and other alternative education programmes post-covid and as a result of covid – including how  AEP’s and other alternative programmes such as catch up programmes were utilized in response to C19 – with a focus on the role of EdTech in these programmes, how these programmes contribute to holistic skills development for the transition to multiple pathways, and participation of young people. The review will include development and humanitarian contexts and will be global in scope.

Key research questions (which will be further clarified in the inception phase):

  1. State of AE/Alternative Education post-covid  

What is the landscape of accelerated and alternative education programmes post-covid and how has covid altered the landscape in terms of prevalence, reach, recognition (i.e. by Governments), and role? Who is benefitting (or not) from changes in the landscape, keeping in mind marginalized groups (i.e. girls, young people on the move/affected by displacement, young people with disabilities, minorities, etc)? How has recognition and expansion of AEPs and Alternative Education Programmes changed as a result of covid?

  1. EdTech and Distance Learning

To what extent are AEPs and other alternative education programmes utilizing EdTech (offline, online, hybrid)? To what extent are programmes using different forms of remote/distance learning (digital, TV, radio, phones)?

  1. Holistic Skills Development

To what extent are AEPs and other alternative education programmes supporting the development of different types of skills, including foundational, transferable (i.e. life skills), digital, and skills for employment? Are there differences in the different types of skills from the viewpoint of gender and other aspects of marginalization? How do these programmes support the transition to multiple pathways through skills development?

  1. Participation

To what extent are AEPs and other alternative education programmes designed/monitored/shaped by young people themselves?  How do AE programmes adhere to INEE MS :Community Participation Standard?  Has this changed due to Covid-19 programmatic adaptions?

The expectation to gather the evidence is that the consultant will work independently to look for relevant data, research publications and associated literature and to conduct interviews but that the AEWG will also provide access to products and relevant interviewees as available. AEWG member organizations will also facilitate linkages to partners in countries selected for research.


The consultant will be accountable for the following deliverables:

  1. Inception report
  2. Report on findings for external dissemination
  3. Presentation at the AEWG bi-annual meeting in November
  4. Participation in AEWG task teams calls where appropriate
  5. Powerpoint presentation to accompany final report

Compendium of succinct case studies on successful programmes (approx. 7 total).


(1) Education and  Work experience

Education and  Work experience

  • Masters degree (or equivalent) in education, international development, social sciences or other related fields; Post-graduate degree is an asset.
  • 5+ years of experience in education experience in research and programming in international development/ humanitarian contexts, including field experience conducting evaluation and operational research
  • Experience with Accelerated Education
  • Ability to communicate sensitively and effectively to different audiences and coordinate with multiple stakeholders
  • Ability to work within tight deadlines, rapidly accommodating feedback, and new data  

3) Competencies

· Demonstrates Self Awareness and Ethical Awareness (1)

· Works Collaboratively with others (1)

· Builds and Maintains Partnerships (1)

· Innovates and Embraces Change (1)

· Thinks and Acts Strategically (1)

· Drives to achieve impactful results (1)

· Manages ambiguity and complexity (1)



  • Completed profile in UNICEF's e-Recruitment system and provide Personal History Form (P11) Upload copy of academic credentials
  • Financial proposal that will include:
  • your daily/monthly rate (in US$) to undertake the terms of reference.
    • travel costs and daily subsistence allowance, if internationally recruited or travel is required as per TOR.
    • Any other estimated costs: visa, health insurance, and living costs as applicable.
    • Indicate your availability
  • Any emergent / unforeseen duty travel and related expenses will be covered by UNICEF.
  • At the time the contract is awarded, the selected candidate must have in place current health insurance coverage.
  • Payment of professional fees will be based on submission of agreed satisfactory deliverables. UNICEF reserves the right to withhold payment in case the deliverables submitted are not up to the required standard or in case of delays in submitting the deliverables on the part of the consultant.

U.S. Visa information:

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.  

Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted and advance to the next stage of the selection process

For every Child, you demonstrate…

UNICEF’s core values of Commitment, Diversity and Integrity and core competencies in Communication, Working with People and Drive for Results. View our competency framework at: Here

UNICEF is committed to diversity and inclusion within its workforce, and encourages all candidates, irrespective of gender, race, sexual orientation, nationality, culture, appearance, socio-economic status, ability, age, religious, and ethnic backgrounds, 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, therefore, undergo rigorous reference and background checks, and will be expected to adhere to these standards and principles.

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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