E T Consultant
World Bank (World Bank)
Close on 14 Aug 2020
Location: United States
Grade: EC1
H Hardship
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Added 2 weeks ago
Job Description


Education is central to achieving the World Bank Group (WBG)’s twin goals: it is a reliable route out of poverty because it has a significant impact on incomes of individuals, and it can drive economic growth and help make it more inclusive. The main challenge in the education sector is to achieve “learning for all, learning for life”—that is, to ensure that all children and the working-age youth and adults acquire the skills and knowledge they need for a fast-changing labor market and longer working lives. The developing world has achieved great advances in education in the past two decades, most notably in enrolling and keeping children in school with more gender equality. Yet these successes in expanding access to education have highlighted the twin major remaining challenges: how to remove the educational barriers faced by the poorest people and those living in fragile states, and how to improve the quality of education so that schooling leads to real learning. As highlighted by the 2018 World Development Report, the latter fails so often that we are faced with a global learning crisis.

Because traditional input-driven programs often fail to promote learning, the WBG’s education strategy highlights the need for a more comprehensive systems approach to education reform, investments, and service delivery. This approach involves increasing capacity for service delivery, and accountability for learning results to ensure that inputs and resources deliver value for money. It also requires strengthening the knowledge base of what works to achieve education results, to highlight where systems are achieving results, where they are falling short, and what the most effective solutions can be. These require investing early; investing smartly; and investing for all.

Through high-quality analytical work, collection and curation of evidence, and practical know-how technical and policy advisory support in these three areas, the WBG, led by the Education Global Practice (GP), is helping its partner countries accelerate their educational progress and tackle the learning crisis.

New digital technologies must be part of the solution to the global learning crisis. Practical debates about the use of new technologies in education has now moved beyond “should digital technologies be used at all?” to “how can they be done right, and how can we know?”. New technologies can help make learning personalized, and self-paced. Management and information systems can help make more evidence-based decisions on policy and service delivery. Digital libraries and computer assisted instruction can enhance the effectiveness of teachers. Digital platforms and libraries can expand access to state-of-the-art knowledge and online learning. Assistive technologies can be game changers for people with disabilities. Each of these can help create more impactful, efficient systems, create a richer environment for learning, and foster inclusion.

Applications of these technologies in education are booming with a new breed of entrepreneurs that are creating vibrant Startups not just in Silicon Valley but also in countries like China, India, and in parts of Sub-Saharan Africa. The Education GP’s EdTech strategy aims to foster the Discovery, Diffusion, and Deployment of Disruptive Technology-Solutions in Education as follows:

Discover, document, generate and analyze evidence-based and promising technology solutions in education attuned to developing countries.
Diffuse this knowledge widely across policy makers in our client countries and help to develop related capacity to make sense of this new knowledge.
Deploy solutions, at the pilot level and at scale, tackling adoption barriers (including in procurement) and in ways informed by evidence, and which allow for iteration and quick course correction.

The ‘Deployment’ component of the strategy is particularly important. There is a need to support developing countries in the implementation of EdTech solutions, including by tackling market and procurement barriers for adoption of the required technology package (hardware, connectivity, software, energy sources), ensuring integration with the curriculum and classroom instruction (e.g., teachers and students digital skills), and using innovative tools to support quick learning and iteration in technology-enabling projects for countries to make these innovations work at scale as part of broader efforts to address the global learning crisis. This requires the establishment of workable private-public partnerships and procurement procedures to facilitate buying or leasing at scale in thin markets of very heterogenous goods and technology-enabled services, and very limited knowledge on the buyers’ side.

The Education Global Practice is led by a Global Director, who has overall responsibility for the practice. A group of regional Practice Managers leads and manages the GP staff and programs across 6 regions.

GEAK supports the WBG education teams across the globe to deliver better results by strengthening education systems, fostering knowledge generation and dissemination as well as innovation in several key areas, namely: Early Childhood Development; supporting schools towards learning (e.g., curriculum , instruction); learner assessments of foundational cognitive and socio-emotional skills as well as technical skills; teacher policies; school governance, management and service delivery; financing and implementation capacity; use of new technologies to achieve learning results at scale; skills assessments and workforce development, tertiary education, and adult learning.

GEAK is strengthening its EdTech capacity to broker expertise by strengthening partnerships with education technology innovators to understand the full range of products available, encourage the development of products suitable to the needs and economies of lower income countries. As part of this effort, it is taking steps to forge partnerships and to build on existing initiatives in countries and a broader international stakeholder community.

The unit requires an Extended-Term Consultant to work as an Education Technology Analyst to support these efforts, particularly increase the effective adoption of new EdTech solutions for education by tackling information asymmetries on what’s effective and what does it take to succeed at large scale. The Education Technology Analyst will work on a variety of analytical and operational tasks, reporting to the Practice Manager of the GEAK unit and work with the broader Education GP team to lead knowledge generation, sharing, and learning, as well as the continued development of innovative knowledge tools, products and operational solutions in the EdTech space, with some cross-regional support.

COVID-19 induced
On account of the COVID-19 pandemic, 190 countries are facing complete or partial school closings. As a result, more than 1.7 billion students are out of school. This has caused unforeseen challenges for countries around the world. The World Bank has been actively working with Ministries of Education and multi-lateral organizations in different regions to provide guiding principles, technical assistance, and other support to maximize countries’ effectiveness in the design and execution of remote learning strategies. Technology is one of the most critical tools to support remote learning when learners need to remain outside of classrooms.
In response to a surge in requests from Bank staff across regions and clients on how to support learning for students in situations where countries have closed schools due to COVID-19, the Global EdTech team of the GEAK Unit has put together an emergency plan of engagement on issues of remote learning. Demand from our client countries has surged further as more countries have started mandating school closures lasting several weeks and months. As more and more low-income countries are being impacted, we are seeing schools being used as makeshift health facilities. This means school disruptions might be even longer. The longer the disruption, the more important it is to have mechanisms to support students to be engaged in the learning process, and all resources must to be used to soften the impact on the most vulnerable populations, especially children.

Duties and Accountabilities:

The ETC will work with the GEAK Education Technology Global Solutions Group team and report to the GEAK manager. The Education Technology ETC is expected to:

• Provide technical support on EdTech deployment for Remote Learning in designated areas of the GEAK work program, particularly in areas of greatest demand from operational units. Support will focus initially on COVID related response and recovery in a number of focus countries. Specifically, the ET consultant will focus on support to remote learning and at least three thematic areas including digital skills and 21st century skills for teachers, assessment of remote learning, and initiatives related to open shared digital infrastructure to support countries where projects are under development or implementation;
• Contribute to the creation and deployment of knowledge for incubation of innovative operational solutions in EdTech as global public goods, with hands on technical support to regional unit teams in the preparation, approval, implementation, and evaluation of these global public goods in World Bank projects;
• Contribute to knowledge generation, sharing, and communication to World Bank operations with EdTech components by working with teams in the Education Global Practice to support the effective adoption (from procurement to deployment) of EdTech solutions through country programs and projects in education, informed by good practices and experiences globally. Particularly, the ETC will maintain the “What’s Brewing” document, maintain communication with a range of Bank task team leaders and will analyze the demand for EdTech support across the Bank’s portfolio;
• Support to partnership management and communications.The ET consultant will support the team to manage the various financial and knowledge partnerships including support to development and maintenance of communities of practice.
• Contribute to effective communication across the GP through the preparation of policy briefs, knowledge packs, the design and delivery of learning events, workshops and other forms of knowledge exchange.

Selection Criteria

• Master’s degree or higher or bachelor’s degree with at least 3 years of relevant experience in the EdTech space.
• Strong technical knowledge and experience in the application of digital technologies in education.
• Multi-sectoral background, with at least 3 years of experience both in the Education sector and in technical areas; teaching experience a plus.
• Experience in the implementation of education projects with EdTech components desired. Work experience in innovative operational solutions in EdTech highly desired.
• Knowledge and understanding of current issues, stakeholders, and broad ecosystem of the EdTech space.
• Experience working with multilateral institutions, preferably in the Education sector.Familiarity with the World Bank or similar donor agency procedures and processes would be advantageous.
• Demonstrated track record of synthesizing complex analytics and results into user-friendly written outputs.
• Excellent communication (oral and written) skills to convey complex technical ideas to a non-specialist audience.
• Proven analytical skills and the ability to inform high-level policy dialogue through strong communications (including writing) skills in English (Second language desirable).
• High levels of energy, initiative, innovative drive, resourcefulness and flexibility in quickly adjusting to changing work program requirements.Ability to juggle numerous competing demands and priorities, respond quickly to internal and external client requests, and set priorities for self and others.
• Proactive and results-focused work style with strong problem-solving capabilities.

Note: The selected candidate will be offered a one-year appointment, renewable for an additional one year, at the discretion of the World Bank Group, and subject to a lifetime maximum ET Appointment of two years. If an ET appointment ends before a full year, it is considered as a full year toward the lifetime maximum. Former and current ET staff who have completed all or any portion of their second-year ET appointment are not eligible for future ET appointments.

Poverty has no borders, neither does excellence. We succeed because of our differences and we continuously search for qualified individuals with diverse backgrounds from around the globe.

About World Bank

With 189 member countries, staff from more than 170 countries, and offices in over 130 locations, the World Bank Group is a unique global partnership: five institutions working for sustainable solutions that reduce poverty and build shared prosperity in developing countries.

World Bank's mission is to end extreme poverty by reducing the share of the global population that lives in extreme poverty to 3 percent by 2030, and to promote shared prosperity by increasing the incomes of the poorest 40 percent of people in every country.