Research and Knowledge Management Officer
Mission and objectives
UNICEF is mandated by the United Nations General Assembly to advocate for the protection of children's rights, to help meet their basic needs and to expand their opportunities to reach their full potential. UNICEF is guided by the Convention on the Rights of the Child and strives to establish children's rights as enduring ethical principles and international standards of behaviour towards children. UNICEF insists that the survival, protection and development of children are universal development imperatives that are integral to human progress. UNICEF mobilizes political will and material resources to help countries, particularly developing countries, ensure a "first call for children" and to build their capacity to form appropriate policies and deliver services for children and their families. UNICEF is committed to ensuring special protection for the most disadvantaged children – victims of war, disasters, extreme poverty, all forms of violence and exploitation, and those with disabilities. UNICEF responds in emergencies to protect the rights of children. In coordination with United Nations partners and humanitarian agencies, UNICEF makes its unique facilities for rapid response available to its partners to relieve the suffering of children and those who provide their care. UNICEF is non-partisan and its cooperation is free of discrimination. In everything it does, the most disadvantaged children and the countries in greatest need have priority. UNICEF aims, through its country programmes, to promote the equal rights of women and girls and to support their full participation in the political, social and economic development of their communities. UNICEF works with all its partners towards the attainment of the sustainable human development goals adopted by the world community and the realization of the vision of peace and social progress enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations.
The UN volunteer Research and Knowledge Management Officers will be working under the direct supervision of the Education Specialist (UNICEF Angola), and the overall guidance of the Chief of Education (UNICEF Angola), and in collaboration with the Education Specialist – Research (UNICEF Innocenti). The UN volunteer Research and Knowledge Management Officers will support the implementation of the Teachers for All research and provide the Ministry of Education (MED) with assistance in its efforts to improve the allocation of teachers and student learning outcomes at the pre-primary and primary level in Angola. Angola has made considerable economic progress since 2002, accompanied by a slow but consistent improvement in education indicators. The Gross Enrolment Rate (GER) grew from an estimated 67 percent in 2002 to 113.48 in 2015. Even with the large expansion, the projected demand for basic education (from kindergarten to lower secondary) will be unmet due to inadequate safe and inclusive classroom spaces. The supply of classroom seats (both in terms physical infrastructure and number of teachers) has diminished in recent years, with official statistics reporting a 20 percent drop in enrolments in primary school between 2016 (5.9 million) and 2018 (4.6 million). As a result, there is a large and rapidly growing population of out-of-school children (OOSC). According to the 2014 census, 1.8 million children between ages 5–17 were out of school. Quality remains an equally urgent challenge. While the expected years of schooling for 9.2 years for boys and 7 years for girls, and the learning adjusted years of school is only 3.6 years for girls and 4.8 years for boys (accounting for the amount that students learn during the time that they are in school). This learning crisis is further underscored by results from the recent Early Grade Reading Assessment (EGRA) which revealed that only 1 in 3 ten-year-olds can read a full sentence. The recruitment and deployment of teachers remains a key challenge. The national average primary PTR has risen from 42.5:1 in 2011 to 50:1 in 2015 , reflecting the fact that the number of teachers in the system has actually fallen between 2014 and 2018. Teachers that had left through natural attrition had not been replaced, resulting in the closing of many schools. Furthermore, there are fewer female than male teachers in the system, depriving girls of a key ‘protective factor’ in schools. Building on country context and priorities, the Teachers for All research aims to generate timely evidence on the allocation of qualified teachers and to strengthen in-country capacity to use data. The objective is to ensure that decisions on teachers’ deployment are driven by principles of equity, effectiveness, and efficiency. The UN Volunteer Research and Knowledge Management Officers will provide critical support for the implementation of the qualitative component of the Teachers for All research and will be involved in all preparation, fieldwork, and post-fieldwork activities.
Under the overall guidance of the Chief of Education (UNICEF Angola) and the direct supervision of the Education Specialist (UNICEF Angola), the national UN Volunteer Research and Knowledge Management Officers will undertake the following activities: Attend a technical training provided by UNICEF Innocenti researchers. The training will introduce the UN Volunteer Research and Knowledge Management Officers into the specifics of primary data collection tailored to the Teachers for All project. It will include pilot testing of instruments, in-depth discussions of ethical considerations and protocols, and capacity building on qualitative coding and analysis. Complete preparatory work prior to the fieldwork. This includes supporting the development of a sampling frame, developing novel data collection instruments (interview and focus group discussion (FGD) guides), as well as reviewing, providing feedback, and English to Portuguese translations of data collection instruments that will be provided by UNICEF experts. Develop a fieldwork plan. This should be risk-informed (including risks and security issues) and delivered at least one week in advance of the planned fieldwork. The plan should describe in detail how the UN Volunteer Research and Knowledge Management Officers will manage the fieldwork based on the selected sample, respondent groups and associated research instruments. The plan should have a separate section that discusses potential risks and considerations of the data collection in the context of Angola (cultural and normative aspects of working and approaching the respondents, administrative hurdles, language barriers, etc.). It should also take into account the clearance processes required by central, local, and learning centers authorities, where applicable. Ethical considerations in relation to working with children, adolescents as well as adults should be discussed, identifying potential risks and vulnerabilities, and ways to mitigate them. Undertake qualitative data collection, based on the agreed sample and instruments, ensuring timely completion and recording of all interviews and FGDs, and completion of documentation related to these data. Provide quality assurance and deliver transcribed and recorded FGDs and interviews. Final data to be provided in English. Code the FGDs and interview transcripts. For each question in transcribed files, note main ideas and identify ideas that occur multiple times, including those that occur across multiple questions and across FGDs and interviews. Perform critical thinking about these recurring ideas to identify themes. Identify connections between themes and include text extracts to support them. Deliver one summary report of maximum 20 pages on main findings. Support the drafting of the final deliverable (1 qualitative case study). Support communication and promotion activities of Teaching for All (T4A) research results. Support other coordination and logistical activities related to research and knowledge management that UNICEF is undertaking with the Ministry of Education. All final written outputs should be provided in English.