Development of Regional Thematic Brief on Innovative Financing and Partnerships for ICT in Education
United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)
Bangkok (Thailand)
Grade: Unspecified
Job Expired 12 Mar 2021
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Added 1 month ago
Job Description

Parent Sector : Field Office

Duty Station: Bangkok

Job Family: Education

Type of contract : Non Staff

Duration of contract : From 1 to 6 months

Recruitment open to : External candidates

Application Deadline (Midnight Paris Time) : 12-MAR-2021

UNESCO Core Values: Commitment to the Organization, Integrity, Respect for Diversity, Professionalism

1. Background:

ICT in education can lay the foundation for transforming education systems to address inclusive, quality, and equitable education. Despite the benefits and advantages of investing in ICT in education and the global commitment to expand ICT for achieving Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG4), there are several limiting factors in the Pacific Islands. These include lack of adequate connectivity and its high prices, lack of secondary infrastructure such as electricity, landlines and fibre-optic networks, inadequate ICT technical manpower, and low digital literacy among teachers. ICT in education is still underfunded in many countries while public spending is often not sufficient and external funding is at times not large enough and not sustainable. In recent past, there have been numerous cases where projects are initiated with large capital investments and subsequently abandoned due to financially unsustainability from lack of proper financial planning for running costs.

Since 2018, UNESCO has been working in the Pacific Islands region to address the gaps and challenges in ICT in education, with support from the Korean Funds-in-Trust. This project seeks to support Member States to develop ICT in education policies and innovative financial planning, leading to achieving SDG4. Given the unique characteristics of the region, governments need to overcome limitations of small-sized fiscal capacity, properly strategize and align their ICT in education planning with strategic investments, and explore alternative, innovative financing mechanisms and partnerships to obtain adequate resources to ensure their sustainability.

In this context, UNESCO will organize the Pacific Regional Workshop on ICT in Education (“Regional Workshop” hereinafter) with the theme of “Innovative Financing and Partnerships for ICT in Education” on 20 April 2021. The workshop will examine and share lessons learned from developing national ICT in education policies, strategies, and financing that address the urgent education contexts of the Pacific Islands Region. It will emphasize the practical aspects of implementing innovating financing, resource mobilization, and partnerships to ensure financial viability and sustainability of ICT in education projects. Member States will share their financial planning experiences and foster public private partnerships internationally by building a better understanding of different countries’ and partner organizations’ strategic directions, motivations, procedures, needs and opportunities.

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2. Work Assignment

The primary outcome of the Regional Workshop is increased knowledge and partnerships for innovative financing and resource mobilization of ICT in education. Pacific Islands education policy makers, stakeholders, and institutions will be engaged to partner for the development and implementation ICT master plans and policies. The expert input and subsequent discussions will lead to improved understanding of the array of activities and best practices for financing ICT for improving/tackling various educational challenges.

The key expected output for the Regional Workshop is a thematic brief on innovative financing, partnerships and resource mobilization for ICT in education.

The objectives are as follows:

  1. Identify major challenges that are impeding the adequate and sustainable financing of ICT in education in the Members States;
  2. Provide good examples of existing and emerging innovative financing mechanisms and partnerships operating in the region;
  3. Provide policy recommendations to help governments strengthen finance planning for ICT in education master plans and policies.

3. Roles and Responsibilities
Under the overall authority of the Director of the UNESCO Asia and Pacific Regional Bureau for Education, Bangkok, and the direct supervision of the Chief of Section for Inclusive Quality Education (IQE), the Contractor shall specifically perform the following tasks:

1.1. Conduct a comprehensive desk review and develop the evidence/research for thematic issues:

a. Identify key thematic issues for ICT in education in the Asia and Pacific region;
b. identify innovative financing mechanisms and partnership cases in Asia and the Pacific based on the following definition (ANNEX I);

1.2. Conduct focus group research to identify innovative financing and resource mobilization issues/solutions:

a. Develop questions and facilitation guideline for focus group discussions;
b. Assist in conducting focus groups;

1.3. Based on desk review and focus groups, compile and categorize innovative financing mechanism and partnership cases in the region;

1.4. Provide feedback and inputs on the agenda for the Regional Workshop and support in the identification of speakers, where required;

1.5. Support thematic discussions at the Regional Workshop:

a. Based on research, develop a presentation on thematic issues and present during thematic session;
b. Support the moderation/facilitation of sessions during Regional Workshop as per the needs, and inline with UNESCO Bangkok requirements;

1.6. Based on compiled research and workshop outputs, develop a 16-page thematic brief on innovative financing mechanisms and partnerships;

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1.7. Submit to UNESCO Bangkok for approval the following documents in English:

a. An Inception Report of the Thematic Brief on innovative financing for ICT in education (draft annotated outline, research plan, research methodology, focus group discussion guidelines and questions, desk review guidelines, etc.) by 22 March 2021;
b. Draft thematic brief with compiled desk research and synthesis of focus group findings by 2 April 2021;
c. Regional Workshop presentation/facilitation guide by 2 April 2021;
d. Completed draft of thematic brief by 19 April 2021;
e. Final thematic brief by 7 May 2021;

In line with UNESCO’s overall gender mainstreaming strategy, the Individual Specialist is expected to integrate a gender perspective in all activities and apply gender analysis and mainstreaming concepts whenever feasible.

Suggested chapters of the thematic brief:

  • Executive summary
  • Background of project
  • Overview of thematic issues in ICT in Education
  • Synthesis of findings
    • Desk research
    • Focus groups case studies
    • Workshop discussions
  • Recommendations for policy makers and other education stakeholders.
  • Conclusion
  • Annexes

A lump sum consultancy fee will be provided to the contractor for the entire assignment. No additional expenses will be reimbursed. The lump sum consultancy fee will be paid in two instalments according to the following schedule:

Payment no. Upon submission to and approval by UNESCO of the following work Article II Reference Latest date for submission Amount for Payment
1 Annotated outline; Desk review; Focus group facilitation guide; Draft thematic brief; Regional Workshop presentation; 1.7 a), 1.7 b), 1.7 c) 2 April 2021 25%
2 Final thematic brief 1.7 d), 1.7 e) 7 May 2021 75%

For detailed information, please consult the UNESCO Competency Framework.

1. Proven professional experience of 4-7 years in research in the field of education, with special emphasis on ICT in education, technology financing, or other relevant areas
2. Knowledge and practical experiences in education in the Pacific Islands region
3. Understand of the values and cultures in the Pacific Islands would be considered an asset
4. Experience in working in the relevant fields in Asia-Pacific would be considered an asset.
5. Experience in working with UN/international organizations/government
6. Excellent report writing skills in English.

Interested individuals are invited to submit to a proposal covering the specific requirements as stated below:
1. An up-to-date CV stating details of educational qualifications, work experience, including prior experience of similar work
2. A proposal abstract discussing the methodology with estimated budget, timetable and work plan.

The expression of interest must be received by email at ict.bgk@unesco.org no later than 5:00 pm Wednesday, 10 March 2021 (Bangkok time). Only complete applications submitted by the deadline will be considered.

Please note that all candidates must complete an on-line application and provide complete and accurate information. To apply, please visit the UNESCO careers website. No modifications can be made to the application submitted.

The evaluation of candidates is based on the criteria in the vacancy notice, and may include tests and/or assessments, as well as a competency-based interview.

UNESCO uses communication technologies such as video or teleconference, e-mail correspondence, etc. for the assessment and evaluation of candidates.

Please note that only selected candidates will be further contacted and candidates in the final selection step will be subject to reference checks based on the information provided.

UNESCO applies a zero tolerance policy against all forms of harassment.

UNESCO is committed to achieve and sustain gender parity among its staff members in all categories and at all grades. Furthermore, UNESCO is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, nationality and culture. Individuals from minority groups, indigenous groups and persons with disabilities, as well as nationals from non-and under-represented Member States (last update here) are equally encouraged to apply. All applications will be treated with the highest level of confidentiality. Worldwide mobility is required for staff members appointed to international posts.

UNESCO does not charge a fee at any stage of the recruitment process.

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