Individual Contractor to provide support on COVID response: Knowledge management, monitoring and events
Job TypeFull Time
Job FieldConsultancy


Title of Assignment

Individual Contractor to provide support on COVID response: Knowledge management, monitoring and events


Education section, ESARO


Remote, no travel required


Full time (equivalent of 112 days) over 5 months

Background and Justification

As all countries in Eastern and Southern Africa have started to fully or partially reopen their schools after months long closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic, ESARO Education section is fully engaged in the process by providing technical assistance and expertise to Country Offices’ work with governments, especially on: ensuring a safe and inclusive reopening and monitoring COVID-19 in schools, monitoring re-enrolment of all children and advocating for a full reopening.

In order to tailor this support to the situation and needs of countries in the region, Education section collected country documents, cases studies throughout the long processes of school reopening, undertook studies/rapid assessment as well as conducted a series of bilateral calls with countries to collect qualitative and quantitative data on the situation of school reopening in their context. This allowed to gather a significant amount of information and documents focusing on national measures and UNICEF support to ensure a safe reopening, track re-enrolment and drop-out, ensure equity and inclusion in the process, adjust to lost learning and finance education in a post-COVID-19 context. To be relevant, shareable and impactful for countries and partners, the collected information needs to be processed, analysed and visualised into a streamlined regional report outlining the country responses to COVID-19, highlighting the challenges and needs for school reopening and showcasing promising practices. The purpose of such analysis is to document the education response to the Covid-19 crisis and particularly the reopening of schools in ESAR and share experiences from countries, which meets a high demand from COs. By visualizing data on the region, displaying evidence on the education response to the crisis, sharing countries good practices and lessons learned, this report will aim at informing and strengthening the development of strategies at country level, supporting advocacy and resource mobilization for a safe and inclusive reopening.

The ESARO education section, in close collaboration with Health and other sectors is also expanding partnerships around Covid 19, children and schools to foster evidence sharing, collaboration and joint, action-oriented planning on safe reopening among Ministries of Education, Ministries of Health and other national partners throughout the region. In close collaboration with WHO Africa, CDC Africa and GPE, UNICEF ESARO will organize, co-lead and document a regional, virtual event bringing together key stakeholders of the 21 countries to share the latest evidence and guidance on C-19 transmission and mitigation measures in schools, and to develop joint action plans, based on good practices at national, sub-national, school and community level to keep learners and teachers safe. The intersectoral dialogue and resulting country roadmaps will provide UNICEF country offices with country roadmaps for follow up action with Ministry counterparts.

The ESARO education section is involved in the advocacy on girls return to school. Evidence shows that girls have been and continue to be particularly vulnerable to prolonged school closures. School closures have been found to worsen the situation of girls, particularly because of the limited time available for learning at home, but also because the COVID-related quarantines have exposed many girls to gender-based violence, including sexual exploitation and early and unwanted pregnancies, while denying them access to some essential social services. UNICEF ESARO is joining forces with UN Women and the Council of Traditional leaders of Africa (COTLA) to co-organze a webinar aiming to discuss how to work together, traditional leaders, educational authorities, development partners to facilite girls return to school, create a more egalitarian and inclusive education system and give more chance to girls to get education and break the cycle of poverty.

In addition, the education section is producing a digital interactive product to advance programme and partnership developments around ‘learning to earning’ across the region. There is a timely and strategic opportunity, especially within the Covid-19 context for ESARO to innovatively position its work. With many relevant initiatives underway and increasingly new partners engaged in across the organization and region the various programmatic pieces are not yet well-connected within sectors or well-known by all stakeholders. The proposed idea is to have multi-faceted and user-friendly interactive on-line product for use by country and regional teams that would serve to improve knowledge management, learnings, technical assistance, programme development and partnership.

Thus, to respond to the above identified priorities, an individual contractor with the below knowledge, experience and skills is required to i) review collected data and produce and edit a regional report on school reopening in ESAR in the context of COVID-19, and to ii) support the organization, preparation, documentation and follow up to a large, virtual, multi-partner and multi-country event on knowledge sharing, exchange and planning on COVID-19, children and schools and to iii) co-organize a webinar with UN Women and COTLA on facilitating girls return to school and inclusive education more broadly iv) support the development of a digital interactive programme and partnership tool on adolescent ‘learning to earning’ for the region.

Knowledge of the Covid 19 context as it relates to education and relevant responses to the situation in ESA countries,
Proven skills in knowledge management and the drafting of quality reports, concept notes, presentations and other documents
Demonstrated experience in organizing, preparing and documenting large regional events with multiple partners, stakeholders and audiences
Knowledge of UNICEF regional partnerships and relevant priorities in the Covid context
strong communication and interpersonal skills
Scope of Work

Goal and Objective: Under the supervision of the Regional Education Adviser, the individual contractor will support the organization, documentation and follow up to two multi-partner regional events – one regional planning event on Covid 19, children and schools and one webinar on girls’ education. The individual contractor will also produce a regional analysis of the school reopening processes in Eastern and Southern African countries and an innovative ESAR interactive programme and partnership tool on adolescent ‘learning to earning’ This means processing, visualizing and putting into a narrative the collected data as well as all the pieces of work produced by ESARO in order to write and edit a regional report on school reopening in ESAR that can be shared with COs, other ROs and relevant education partners.
Provide details/reference to AWP areas covered: This contract is to provide quality technical assistance to the Education section to strengthen its support to country offices in promoting sharing of experiences, lessons learnt and good practices, and further enhances the development of partnerships for risk-informed programming and financing. In the ESARO 2020-2021 workplan, it comes under ‘Output 2: Enhanced capacity of COs to design, implement, monitor and evaluate risk informed education programmes that ensure that girls, boys, including those with disabilities, complete early learning, primary and secondary education with grade level learning outcomes’, Education in Emergencies/technical assistance (‘New Covid-19 activities), activity 24 ‘Development of tools/research’.
Activities and Tasks:

I. Regional Analysis

Review the raw data and documents shared by countries or generated by ESARO
Draft a regional analysis on school reopening in ESAR drawing from the data collected during the bilateral calls with COs and any other documents shared by countries or produced by ESARO. It will:Outline the situation of schools, children and teachers in the context of school reopening in ESAR in times of COVID-19 pandemic (including visualisation of the quantitative data)
Summarize and analyse the strategies adopted by governments for school reopening based on the qualitative data (measures to implement a safe reopening, policies to ensure equity and inclusion, to ensure continuity of learning, to support teachers) highlighting good practices and the support of UNICEF COs in the implementation of inclusive safe school reopening
Pull out lessons learned from the school reopening processes to take on for building back better
Revise the draft regional report by incorporating the inputs and comments from the ESARO Education Section
Finalise and edit to a high-quality report adhering to UNICEF style guidelines with a one-pager summary
II. Regional Virtual Events (regional planning event on Covid-19, children and school ; continental webinar on girls return to school)

Draft, manage and track invitations ensuring fluid communication with co-convenors, 21 COs and invitees across 21 countries
Finalise the event agenda, develop interactive PPTs/polls and user-friendly templates for working groups and incorporate co-convenor’s feedback in final versions (for the Covid-19 event), ensuring synergies between co-convener’s presentations
Support the contracting of an external facilitator for the event
Support event facilitation and the management of break out groups
Document event and draft a high-quality workshop report
Initiate event follow-up with COs and organize follow up calls with co-conveners and COs based on workshop report and country action plans (for the Covid-19 event)
III. The development of the innovative ESAR interactive programme and partnership tool (product) on adolescent ‘learning to earning’ opportunities

Draft/finalise, manage and provide content to the contracted and external designers to develop the tool. A framework and draft concept will be provided with content details for the designers to adapt/create the tool.
Manage the communications/liaise directly with the design team and COs to plan and finalise content, proofs and design concept, as needed; coordinate and participate in design and planning meetings accordingly.
Lead the development and finalisation of the tool/product.
Provide suggestions for the roll-out/usage of the tool, with the support of the design team (e.g. CO webinar, RO briefing session)
IV. Support the Regional Education Adviser

Support the Regional Education Adviser in all tasks required. This may include drafting briefing notes, concept notes, presentations, communications and supporting meetings.
Work relationships: The individual contractor will be supervised by the Regional Education Adviser in close collaboration with the Education Specialist for Equity and Access, the Education Specialist for Education in Emergencies, the Education Specialist on Adolescent Skills & Employability and may be expected to work with other members of the ESARO Education section.


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UNICEF is 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.