Consultancy: Consultant, Evaluation of Early Learning Assessment methodological guidelines - Education Section, PG, NYHQ/Remote - Req # 547584
New York City (United States of America)
In close collaboration with UNICEF’s global Early Childhood Education (ECE) team, the incumbent is responsible for providing technical support in the area of early learning assessment to better inform global guidance related to ECE subsector analysis and strategic planning.
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Consultancy Title: Evaluation of Early Learning Assessment methodological guidelines
Section/Division/Duty Station: Education section/Program division/Home Based
Duration: 20 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 Education Section based in New York supports UNICEF’s commitment to advancing access, participation and relevant learning outcomes for marginalized children in its policy leadership and support to countries for excellence in programming. Guided by the vision in the UNICEF Strategic Plan (2018-2030), Goal 2 “Every child learns”, the Education Section leads global efforts for development of evidence-based policy guidance, standard setting and programme approaches to pre-primary education. Under its Education Strategy (2019-2030), UNICEF has identified early childhood education (ECE) as one of its priority areas and strategic shifts to address the global learning crisis at its roots. Furthermore, UNICEF is scaling up its investment in pre-primary education with a decisive commitment to allocate 10% of its education resources to catalyze ECE results. UNICEF is committed to elevating the priority and status of pre-primary education by ensuring that it is systematically integrated in Education Sector Planning processes.
As the new global SDGs call on the need for quality early childhood experiences and countries begin to place greater emphasis on improved early learning, information on what and how children are learning will be more useful than ever for governments. However, in many Lower Income and Lower Middle-Income Countries, governments generally collect limited information on early learning outcomes and quality. In an effort to ensure the inclusion and strengthening of Early Childhood Education in the context of Education Sector Planning processes, there is a need to ensure that existing assessment tools measuring school readiness and developmental outcomes are sufficiently robust to accurately inform subsector analysis and guide strategic planning for the subsector, especially in low resource settings.
The Early Learning Assessment (ELA) tool was developed by the UNICEF Regional Office for West and Central Africa as part of a regional prototype for supporting cost-effective policy development for Early Childhood Development that consists of 3 methodological guidelines on: (i) the analysis of parental practices towards children under 7, (ii) an early learning assessment of children entering primary education and (iii) the financial framework for early childhood development policies and strategies. The ELA tool has been effectively piloted and scaled-up regionally in over a dozen countries in West and Central Africa. While regional use of the ELA tool has produced positive regional results, there is a need for the tool’s psychometric properties to be scientifically evaluated to properly assess if UNICEF should consider expanding the use of ELA outside of West and Central Africa. As part of this evaluative process, UNICEF’s Education Section seeks to carry-out a comparative assessment to better situate the methodological guidelines for the early learning assessment of children entering primary education tool in comparison to other internationally recognized early learning assessment tools that have been developed for use in Low Income and Lower Middle-Income countries.
Terms of Reference / Deliverables
In close collaboration with UNICEF’s global Early Childhood Education (ECE) team, the incumbent is responsible for providing technical support in the area of early learning assessment to better inform global guidance related to ECE subsector analysis and strategic planning. Expected deliverables include:
1. Establish the psychometric properties of the methodological guidelines for the early learning assessment of children entering primary education using existing data, including, but not limited to, determining the reliability, construct validity, and content validity of the instrument.
2. Conduct a mapping of the early learning assessment tools that are currently being used in regional and country UNICEF offices
3. Conduct a comparative analysis of the methodological guidelines for the early learning assessment of children entering primary education against other existing early learning assessment tools (e.g. IDELA, MELQO, etc.)
- Master’s Degree in economics, education, social sciences, statistics or another relevant field. Knowledge and experience in early childhood education is a plus.
2) Work experience
- At least 8 years’ experience in the field of Measurement and evaluation in education, Learning outcome assessment, Large-scale assessments, Early learning assessment, Assessment in early childhood
- Excellent analytical skills, including analysis of both
- quantitative and qualitative data and problem solving
- Excellent analytical, written and oral communication skills
- Ability to communicate clearly and sensitively with internal and external stakeholders
- Ability to work in a multicultural environment
- Fluency in English and working proficiency in French required
- 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.