Evaluation Expert, Curriculum Reform
Background and context
United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) strives to promote education in Afghanistan as a fundamental human right while aiming to provide access to quality, relevant and inclusive education for all. Since 2016, UNESCO Kabul has provided technical and financial support to the Ministry of Education to facilitate the development and implementation of a curriculum reform program as part of the government’s efforts to improve the quality and relevance of education in Afghanistan (National Education Strategic Plan, 2017-2021).
The development and implementation of the curriculum reform program has involved multiple actions and multi-stakeholder coordination, including the development of a curriculum framework, life skills competencies framework, subject syllabi and a framework for quality assuring each subject syllabi, guidelines for the development of textbooks, teacher training and capacity development, improving learning environments and resources, and engaging with parents and the wider community.
UNESCO provided initial funding support for the curriculum reform program through its Capacity for Education Development (CapED) program from 2016 onwards. This was supplemented by an Agreement with UNICEF, signed on 30 May 2017, which provided financing to UNESCO to coordinate and technically support the ongoing development of the curriculum reform process. The Agreement provided for UNESCO to provide support to the Ministry of Education to complete the scope and sequence of the subject area syllabi and the life skills competencies framework. On 22 November 2017, an amended Agreement was signed which extended the Agreement for the period 29 May 2017 to 31 December 2018.
UNESCO now requires an Evaluation Expert, with subject matter expertise in curriculum reform, to undertake a final evaluation of the curriculum reform program and to identify recommendations for subsequent phases of the curriculum reform program.
The overall purpose for the final narrative evaluation is to assess how successful the curriculum reform program has been in meeting its objectives and to identify recommendations to inform its next phase of implementation.
The final narrative evaluation will consider the following elements:
· Identification of the relevance, effectiveness, efficiency, impact and sustainability of the curriculum reform program;
· Organizational and technical capacity in program design, planning, development, implementation, monitoring, data management, progress reporting, making management decisions, and providing feedback for project management;
· Assessment of the expectations and satisfaction of key stakeholders involved in the curriculum reform program – particularly the Ministry of Education as line ministry and UNICEF as program donor. This will include identifying issues related to the satisfaction of these stakeholders in terms of programme design and implementation. The challenges encountered by UNESCO in delivery should also be clearly identified;
· Recommendations for the next phase of the curriculum reform program in Afghanistan.
Under the overall authority of the Director of UNESCO Kabul Office and the Chief of Education Unit Kabul Office, and the direct supervision of the CapED Project Coordinator, the consultant will conduct the final narrative evaluation and provide a detailed report mentioning major achievements, constraints and lessons learned, and recommendations for future programming as applicable for the curriculum reform program team as well as UNESCO.
The consultant will perform the following duties:
Lead the entire evaluation process, including the collection and analysis of data;
Conduct 10-day mission to Kabul, Afghanistan to undertake interviews with key stakeholders;
Conduct knowledge sharing debrief session with key stakeholders at the conclusion of the in-country mission;
Prepare a draft report on narrative evaluation and incorporate (or respond to) comments and feedback from the stakeholders into a final report; and
Submit a final report of the narrative evaluation of curriculum reform program.
The evaluation approach and method should likely yield the most reliable and valid answers to the evaluation questions within the limits of resources. The methodology will include:
· Desk study: The consultant should examine all relevant project documents. The desk review should explore other curriculum reform initiatives globally and within the region, including UNESCO, as a basis for future advice and relevant lessons learned and best practices.
· Development and finalization of methodology: The consultant team will design and finalize the tools for collection and interpretation of data. This will be done in close consultation and discussion with the curriculum reform program team.
· In-country mission interviewing key stakeholders: The consultant should pay particular attention to interviewing the key stakeholders related to the curriculum reform program. This should include representatives from:
o UNESCO Kabul Office: curriculum reform program team members, CapED Project Coordinator, Head of Education Unit, and the Director and Representative of UNESCO Kabul Office;
o Ministry of Education: Deputy Minister of Education for General Education, Deputy Minister for Curriculum, and Senior Advisors; and
o Development partners: for instance UN agencies and international community, and particularly UNICEF (as program donor).
The consultant should also consider interviewing representatives from interested civil society organizations, women’s groups, and so on.
· Review and finalization of report: The draft of the final evaluation report will be shared with all stakeholders for feedback/ comments and inputs incorporated as applicable in the final report.
The evaluation will be conducted in accordance with the principles outlined in the Ethical Guidelines for Evaluation (UNEG 2008) and the consultant must take measures to ensure compliance with the evaluator code of conduct (e.g. measures to safeguard the rights and confidentiality of their sources, provisions to collect and report data, particularly permissions needed to interview or obtain information about children and young people, provisions to store and maintain security of collected information; and protocols to ensure anonymity and confidentiality).
Time and deliverables:
The final evaluation should be completed within two months during February and March 2018 with a final report submitted by 30 March 2019.
Expected deliverables are as follows:
Specific tasks to be carried out (including any objectives and targets)
Expected outputs and achievements (including specific reference to any deliverables and/or reports)
Development of work plan and approach to be employed for final evaluation, including methodology, theoretical framework, and timeframes--An inception report with detailed work plan for conducting the final evaluation.--(3 April 2019)
Draft evaluation of curriculum reform program including identification of achievements, lessons learned, challenges and constraints, and recommendations for the next phase of the curriculum reform program in Afghanistan--A draft report of the narrative evaluation of the curriculum reform program--(25 April 2019)
Final evaluation of curriculum reform program including incorporation of (or response to) comments and feedback from key stakeholders UNESCO Kabul Office, UNICEF and the Ministry of Education--A final narrative report evaluating the curriculum reform program incorporating (or responding to) stakeholders’ comments and identifying recommendations for the next phase of the curriculum reform program--(30 April 2019)
A successful candidate will be required to demonstrate the following competencies:
Planning and organizing
Knowledge sharing and continuous improvement
For detailed information please consult the UNESCO Competency Framework
· An advanced university degree in education (PhD, EdD, MEd, MA);
· Curriculum development qualification is an asset.
· At least 10 years of relevant work experience in education program management, and ideally in curriculum reform;
· Deep technical expertise in curriculum reform in a formal education sector;
· Experience in organizational management, structures and systems, operations, capacity development, reporting, and monitoring is desired but not essential.
· Strong background and familiarity with education program management and curriculum reform;
· Proven monitoring and evaluation experience;
· Strong sensitivity and adaptability (cultural, gender, religion, race and nationality);
· Ability to interact with a wide range of high-level stakeholders;
· Excellent strategic and analytical skills;
· High-level drafting and delivery in English.
· Fluency in both written and oral English is a requirement.
· Knowledge of another official UN language, or Dari or Pashto, would be an asset.
Conditions of work:
The consultant will be provided with secure office space by UNESCO while in Kabul including equipment, office stationaries, printing, photocopying, and communication equipment.
Accommodation will be arranged by the UNESCO Office in Kabul and will be in premises cleared by the United Nations Department of Safety and Security (UNDSS) in Afghanistan.
Interested candidates are requested to send (in English):
Up-to-date curriculum vitae
Cover letter outlining qualifications and experience for the position
A technical proposal, of no more than two (2) pages, indicating the approach s/he would adopt to carry out the evaluation (including methodology, theoretical framework, timeframes and costings).
Applications must be sent before midnight 20 March 2019 (Afghanistan time) by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.