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UNICEF works in some of the world’s toughest places, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. To save their lives. To defend their rights. To help them fulfill their potential.

Across 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, every day, to build a better world for everyone.

And we never give up.

BACKGROUND

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) agenda, has renewed momentum for early childhood development (ECD) and early learning globally.  More specifically, SDG 4.2 seeks to ensure that by 2030 all girls and boys have access to quality early childhood development, care and pre-primary education so that they are ready for primary education and calls for at least one year of pre-primary education prior to school entry. The inclusion of early childhood education in the SDGs therefore marks a pivotal moment to improve both global and national efforts to increase funding, political will and commitment needed to invest in young children and expand equitable access and bring high quality pre-primary programmes to scale.

Since 2000, the Government of Ghana, has been committed in advocating and ensuring that early childhood development (ECD) emerges as a national priority. This was demonstrated with the development of the Early Childhood Care, and Development Policy (ECCD) and later the development of Early Learning Development Standards (ELDS) in 2004.  In 2007, Ghana included two years of Kindergarten (KG) as part of its commitment to Free and Compulsory Basic Education, placing it ahead of the curve compared to other countries in sub-Saharan Africa.  The Ministry of Education (MOE)- Ghana Education Service (GES) has actively worked towards universal access to pre-primary education; and boasts of gross enrolment over 100 per cent and achievement of gender parity in KG (EMIS 2017/18).

A formative assessment of the UNICEF support to Kindergarten education under the Government of Ghana and UNICEF Country Programme Cooperation Agreement (2012-2017) was completed in 2016.  In September 2017, the findings were disseminated in a stakeholder policy dialogue workshop.  The findings revealed partial and ad hoc implementation of KG interventions amongst ECE/ECD stakeholders including UNICEF due to limited coordinated action and lack of adequate resourcing.  The emerging consensus highlighted the relevance of an ECE Policy Framework (ECE Policy; Costed Implementation Plan and Monitoring & Evaluation Framework) for the sector.  In subsequent engagement, the stakeholders further agreed that the review and development must be aligned with and informed by the ongoing Education Sector Plan (2018 – 2030) and the Education Medium-Term Strategy and Development Plan 2018-2021. 

The Government of Ghana in the new Education Sector Plan (ESP 2018-2030) has identified improving children early grade learning outcome as a priority and acknowledges the role of KG in achieving it. Specific issues identified relate to right-age enrolment, increasing access for out-of-school children, and provision of infrastructure for KG. However, for most parts the spotlight on KG is inadequate and the distinctive needs of the sub-system remain embedded within the larger basic education system. The accompanying mid-term plan also captures only the broader perspectives of KG sub-sector; and hence the need to develop a focused ECE Policy Framework and the accompanying costed KG implementation plan, and M&E framework.

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) agenda, has renewed momentum for early childhood development (ECD) and early learning globally.  More specifically, SDG 4.2 seeks to ensure that by 2030 all girls and boys have access to quality early childhood development, care and pre-primary education so that they are ready for primary education and calls for at least one year of pre-primary education prior to school entry. The inclusion of early childhood education in the SDGs therefore marks a pivotal moment to improve both global and national efforts to increase funding, political will and commitment needed to invest in young children and expand equitable access and bring high quality pre-primary programmes to scale.

Since 2000, the Government of Ghana, has been committed in advocating and ensuring that early childhood development (ECD) emerges as a national priority. This was demonstrated with the development of the Early Childhood Care, and Development Policy (ECCD) and later the development of Early Learning Development Standards (ELDS) in 2004.  In 2007, Ghana included two years of Kindergarten (KG) as part of its commitment to Free and Compulsory Basic Education, placing it ahead of the curve compared to other countries in sub-Saharan Africa.  The Ministry of Education (MOE)- Ghana Education Service (GES) has actively worked towards universal access to pre-primary education; and boasts of gross enrolment over 100 per cent and achievement of gender parity in KG (EMIS 2017/18).

A formative assessment of the UNICEF support to Kindergarten education under the Government of Ghana and UNICEF Country Programme Cooperation Agreement (2012-2017) was completed in 2016.  In September 2017, the findings were disseminated in a stakeholder policy dialogue workshop.  The findings revealed partial and ad hoc implementation of KG interventions amongst ECE/ECD stakeholders including UNICEF due to limited coordinated action and lack of adequate resourcing.  The emerging consensus highlighted the relevance of an ECE Policy Framework (ECE Policy; Costed Implementation Plan and Monitoring & Evaluation Framework) for the sector.  In subsequent engagement, the stakeholders further agreed that the review and development must be aligned with and informed by the ongoing Education Sector Plan (2018 – 2030) and the Education Medium-Term Strategy and Development Plan 2018-2021.

The Government of Ghana in the new Education Sector Plan (ESP 2018-2030) has identified improving children’s early grade learning outcome as a priority and acknowledges the role of KG in achieving it. Specific issues identified relate to right-age enrolment, increasing access for out-of-school children, and provision of infrastructure for KG. However, for most parts the spotlight on KG is inadequate and the distinctive needs of the sub-system remain embedded within the larger basic education system. The accompanying mid-term plan also captures only the broader perspectives of KG sub-sector; and hence the need to develop a focused ECE Policy Framework and the accompanying costed KG implementation plan, and M&E framework.

How can you make a difference?

MoE-GES and UNICEF have agreed on the need for a national consultant to support the ECE policy process in term of consolidating the work done so far and facilitating and progressing and delivering on the ECE policy framework. The purpose of the consultancy is three-fold:

  1. Provide technical assistance in the development of the ECE Policy Framework, aligned with and informed by the Education Sector Plan (2018 – 2030) and the Education Medium-Term Strategy and Development Plan 2018-2021
  2. Facilitate consultations and document workshop proceedings related to the ECE policy framework development process in Ghana.
  3. Coordinate with the GPE-UNICEF team leading on the BELDS and inform the development of the global toolkit to support the integration of ECCE in national education sector planning and policy implementation cycles (including budgeting process);

Tasks To be Completed:  

Overall, the consultancy is expected to take stock of the processes completed so far in the development of the ECE framework; and provide technical assistance and coordinate the next steps to facilitate the completion of the said framework within the 11.5 months.

Key tasks are as follows:

  1. Development of roadmap for draft ECE Policy Outline
  • Analyse the state of the ECE review and revise roadmap and facilitate and accelerate the process for the development of ECE Policy Framework in discussion with MoE/GES/UNICEF;
  • Synthesize the key inputs from Stakeholders/ action area groups, identify policy gaps and make recommendations for ECE policy development;
  • Draft technical notes/inputs into the ECE Policy Framework templates through the engagement of key stakeholders led by MoE/GES with technical support from UNICEF;
  • Finalise ECE Policy Framework in collaboration with UNICEF, MoE/GES and stakeholders;
  1. Facilitation of Policy Development Process (workshops)
  • Provide technical support to and facilitate thematic workshops for the 5-action area working groups in the development of policy objectives
  • Liaise with Education Specialist, UNICEF Accra/Education Section and External Resource Experts in UNICEF offices at New York and Dakar-Regional Offices and the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) Team and support Technical Teams during workshops including the Better Early Learning and Development at Scale (BELDS), provide guidance to other key stakeholders to accomplishing tasks;
  • Sub-national consultations as needed, including desk review of evidence generated by partners such as Innovations for Poverty Action; identify capacity gaps and technical assistance needs across the system and levels of government and through Government engagement facilitate capacity building processes;
  • Rapporteuring and documentation of ECE development process;  
  1. Coordinate with the GPE-UNICEF team leading on the Building Early Learning and Development Systems at Scale (BELDS)
  • Provide technical support through workshops to reflect on process and share/document results from capacity building efforts; to enable other countries to learn from results;
  • Based on the Ghana experience, provide technical inputs into the finalization of toolkit. 

Deliverables:

Roadmap established, setting out approach/ methodology, and work plan;

Workshop reports available

Synthesis document with key information and facts for inclusion into the implementation plan available;

Technical notes drafted and outline available for the ECE Policy with appropriate templates/ instruments available for use;

Draft ECE policy Document;

Draft ECE implementation plan and M&E;

Validation meeting completed and report available;

Revised ECE Policy Document;

Revised ECE implementation plan and M&E plan;

Report of the ECE policy development process;

Final version of ECE Policy Document;

Final version of ECE implementation plan and M&E plan.

Power-point slide-pack available highlighting provisions of the Policy and the implementation plan element of the Policy;

To qualify as an advocate for every child you will have…

Academic qualifications:

  • An advanced degree in the field of education, preferably ECE/D, Public Policy, international development and other related and relevant social sciences;

Work experience:

  • At least 8 -10 years of experience spanning evidence-building, programme design, institutional development, policy dialogue, Policy reforms of the educational system and organizational development;
  • Familiarity with education systems in Ghana and Sub-Saharan Africa;
  • Familiarity with Ghana and previous work experience with UN is an advantage;
  • Familiarity with other international NGOs that work in the subject area?

Technical knowledge:

  • Pre-primary/ECE/D and Programme design in pre-school and primary education;
  • Financial analysis approaches with a focus on early learning approaches/methods is an advantage;

Personal skills and capacities:

  • Strong interpersonal skills, including demonstrated ability to interact effectively in cross-cultural environments and with representatives from different stakeholder groups including civil society, government, UN, international NGOs (if you wish) donor agencies, and young children;
  • Strong written and oral communication in English;
  • Conceptual skills and strategic thinking
  • Capacity to work independently and in collaboration with and coordination across a variety of partners;
  • Demonstrated ability to adjust plans and approaches in response to changes in context; &
  • Demonstrated ability to meet deadlines and deliver quality outputs;

For every Child, you demonstrate…

UNICEF’s core values of Commitment, Diversity and Integrity and core competencies in Communication, Working with People and Drive for Results.

The competencies required for this post are….

View our competency framework at

http://www.unicef.org/about/employ/files/UNICEF_Competencies.pdf

UNICEF is committed to diversity and inclusion within its workforce, and encourages all candidates, irrespective of gender, nationality, religious and ethnic backgrounds, including persons living with disabilities, to apply to become a part of the organization.

UNICEF has a zero-tolerance policy on conduct that is incompatible with the aims and objectives of the United Nations and UNICEF, including sexual exploitation and abuse, sexual harassment, abuse of authority and discrimination. UNICEF also adheres to strict child safeguarding principles. All selected candidates will, therefore, undergo rigorous reference and background checks, and will be expected to adhere to these standards and principles.

Application Procedure:

Interested candidates should apply on-line to the link provided and indicate their daily professional fees in Ghana Cedis.

In addition to the CV/Resume, candidates should attach a two-page note on how he/she intends to effectively accomplish this assignment within time frame, and a one-page financial proposal that indicates professional fees. 

Two examples of previous work done should be attached (if applicable, e.g. strategic documents, photos, edited work, videos etc.)

Remarks:

Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted and advance to the next stage of the selection process.

Opening Date Thu Jun 20 2019 01:00:00 GMT-0700 (Pacific Daylight Time) Greenwich Standard Time
Closing Date Mon Jul 01 2019 16:55:00 GMT-0700 (Pacific Daylight Time) 

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