Terms of Reference (TOR) for Evaluation of the Coordination Mechanisms of the Norwegian Teacher Initiative: Strengthening Multi-Partner Cooperation to Support Teacher Policy and Improve Learning
- Background and context
Worldwide, various initiatives are undertaken by governments, bilateral and multilateral organizations, development partners, humanitarian agencies and non-governmental organizations in order to achieve SDG4. These initiatives, in one way or another, support countries to enhance teacher policies and practices as part of global efforts to improve education quality. However, despite their shared goals and objectives, partner initiatives on teachers are, more often than not, developed and implemented in somewhat different ways through different or parallel structures and processes, sometimes even in the same country. As a result, while such initiatives are all well-intentioned, many of them stand alone and therefore do not fully reach their potential impact. In order to generate a more sustainable and extensive impact, cooperation between organizations, as indicated in SDG4, is vital.
The Norwegian Teacher Initiative (NTI), Strengthening Multi-Partner Cooperation to Support Teacher Policy and Improve Learning project is a three year project that aims to strengthen the ongoing works by many international organizations by improving the coordination and cooperation among key international agencies and partners supporting countries to realize Sustainable Development Goal 4.c within the Education 2030 framework. The Initiative is supported by the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD). UNESCO, as the lead agency for the Education 2030 Agenda, and the International Task Force on Teachers for Education 2030 coordinates the initiative. The multi-partner initiative brings together key education players with considerable experience in implementing teacher related activities namely: Education International, the Global Partnership for Education, the International Labour Organization, and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the United Nations Children’s Fund and the World Bank. The diversity of partners involved under one umbrella will support Member States in their commitment to achieve Sustainable Development Goal 4 and its target 4.c, “By 2030, substantially increase the supply of qualified teachers, including through international cooperation for teacher training in developing countries, especially least developed countries and Small Island developing States.”
In Uganda, UNESCO implements the project in close collaboration with the Ministry of Education and the partner organizations with presence in the country namely: UNICEF, UNHCR, ILO, Education International, GPE and World Bank.
2. Project Goal and Intermediate Outcomes
Based on this background, this initiative aims to facilitate the realization of the SDG4c target and its central role in quality learning in target countries. Working towards this goal, the initiative pursues two intermediate outcomes:
- Improved coordination among partner organizations; and
- Strengthened national teacher policies that impact teaching and learning, and contribute to the teacher target SDG 4.c.
This initiative leads to synergized partner actions on teacher issues to improve the quality of teaching and learning. It does not prescribe how partners conduct their work on teachers; rather it guides partners. Indeed, viewing the activities and outcomes of this initiative as a prescription would be to work against its dynamic, innovative, change-oriented and participatory spirit; it would contradict the commitment to developing approaches to teacher development that are country – and context – specific.
At country level, the initiative will foster coordinated support for governments and local stakeholders on policies and strategies for teachers. The aim is to improve teaching and learning, advocating and facilitating interactions between different partners’ initiatives and staff working on teacher issues to ensure coordinated actions in support of SDG4 overall and target 4c.
Partners will enable their organizations to work in a more coordinated manner on inclusive and country level policy dialogue mechanisms and processes to advance effective teacher policies and actions on recruitment and deployment, training and development, and remuneration. Such efforts will be embedded within initiatives focusing on education sector analysis and integrated planning support for implementation of more effective teacher policies. Consistent sharing of knowledge and best practices among the partner organizations, countries and other stakeholders at global, regional and country level will underpin the entire initiative.
3. Project Management
With the aim to harmonise support at country level, the partners will focus on strengthening policies for teacher development to ensure they are directly linked to improving quality of learning. Harmonised partner approaches will be linked to existing coordination mechanisms such as the Local Education Group (LEG), the TTF focal points, national networks, etc. Partner organizations may be assigned a coordination role (‘lead agency’) for specific countries or thematic areas, liaising with other partners providing technical assistance on teacher policies and practices.
The design of the initiative is built around the conviction that an improved planning process anchored in an inclusive policy dialogue and knowledge sharing is a powerful mechanism for strengthening teacher strategies and improving learning. The concept of synergized coordinated action on teachers to improve quality to support achievement of equitable quality education, draws on the key principles of:
- a) Country ownership: partner countries exercise real control over their teacher policies and strategies;
- b) Alignment: partners base their assistance on national development strategies, institutions, and procedures;
- c) Harmonization: partner actions are harmonized, transparent and conducive to collective effectiveness;
- d) Performance-centred management: efficient use of resources to obtain better results; and
- e) Mutual responsibility: all partner countries are responsible for the results.
The initiative relies on the coordination role of UNESCO in the implementation of SDG4 and Education 2030 Framework for Action and its consolidated management structure of the TTF, in order to avoid creating new parallel governance mechanisms. In Uganda, the project is implemented in close collaboration and coordination of the Ministry of Education and other relevant government departments and agencies. To enhance its management and coordination, two committees; technical committee and steering committee were established by the Ministry of Education. With different but complementary roles, the committees meet periodically to provide guidance to the implementation of the project and discharge of some of the technical aspects of project. The third coordination mechanism is the International Partners meeting. By description, the International partners meet regularly to coordinate the activities of the initiative and their own activities that directly or indirectly contribute to the aims of the Norwegian Teacher Initiative.
4. Purpose of the Assignment
There are three coordination mechanisms of the NTI project in Uganda namely; 1) the steering committee, 2) the technical committee, and 3) the NTI partners’ cooperation framework (partner meetings). Given this background, the contracting authority wishes to undertake an evaluation of the relevancy, effectiveness and efficiency of the coordination mechanisms established in Uganda for the NTI. The findings of the evaluation will contribute to developing future coordination mechanisms for a similar cooperation.
The specific objectives of the assignment is to:
- assess the relevancy of the technical and steering committees of the NTI and their respective roles
- assess the efficiency and effectiveness of the technical and steering committees in discharging their roles and responsibilities.
- assess the efficiency and effectiveness of the participation of the international partners in the NTI country activities
The key deliverables of this consultancy shall include the following:
- An inception report clearly articulating the understanding of the assignment, the terms of reference and the deliverables therein. It should also detail the methodology to be used for the evaluation, samples of tools to be used for data collection and how data will be analysed.
- A draft analysis report that clearly articulates the findings on relevancy, efficiency and effectiveness of the coordination mechanisms of the NTI.
- A final report detailing the extent of achievement of the objectives described above under section (D)
6. Scope of the Assignment
The scope of the assignment will be to conduct the evaluation amongst the following: 1) NTI International Partners (UNHCR, UNICEF, ILO, UNESCO), 2) the national partners (MoES, UNATCOM, UNATU), 3) members of the steering committee, 4) members of the technical committee,
7. Duration of the Assignment
The consultant/consulting firm shall perform the task within 21 working days ommencing from the date of signature of an engagement contract.
8. Reporting and management of the consultancy
Under the authority of the Director UNESCO Regional office for Eastern Africa and the direct supervision of the Chief of Education, the consultant will work closely with the Senior Project Coordinator at the UNESCO International Institute for Capacity Building in Africa (IICBA)
9. Schedule of payment.
Payments to the consultant/consulting firm shall be in three installments. The disbursement of the installments shall be by bank transfers from UNESCO’s bank account to the consultant’s /company bank account. The disbursement will be broken down as follows:
- A disbursement of first installment of 30% of the total cost of the assignment will be effected upon receipt and acceptance of an inception report and signing of the engagement contract.
- A disbursement of second and last installment of 70% of the total cost of the assignment will be effected upon receipt of the draft report and final report of the evaluation.
10. Key Qualifications:
The consultant/team of consultants must have the following qualifications, experiences and skills
- Post graduate degree in Education, Teacher Education, Social Sciences, Business Management, Development Studies or related field. A doctorate degree will be an added advantage.
- At least 8 years relevant professional experience in a relevant field
- Strong background and experience in quantitative/qualitative data collection and analysis.
- Technical expertise in assessing issues of leadership, management and governance in educational institutions.
- Knowledge of Uganda’s economy, the education system and the recurrent teacher issues in Uganda.
- Previous work experience as a consultant with international organizations or donors is an asset.
- Experience in working with government ministries is an asset.
- Excellent communication, both written and verbal, in English, is a requirement.
11. Application Process
Interested persons should submit an application file comprising the following documents to the following emails– firstname.lastname@example.org by April 30, 2020.
(1) Letter of expression of Interest
(2) Up to date Curriculum Vitae
(3) Detailed technical and financial proposal that should include the following: