Secondary Education Consultant

  • Remote
  • TBD USD / Year

UN High Commissioner for Refugees

Terms of Reference

Developing the Case for Support in Secondary Education for Refugees

General Background of Project or Assignment:

The global movement to achieve universal primary education has placed increased demands on secondary education systems to accommodate more students, from a wider range of backgrounds, and to do so more inclusively and effectively (UNICEF, 2020b; UNHCR, 2022). In crisis contexts, at current funding levels these demands are difficult to meet.

UNHCR is most interested in learning about routes to secondary education success defined as “national governments provide an enabling environment that allows refugees to access and learn (legitimate/certificate) in secondary schools” (access existing education services and/or access equal to that of nationals). The learning priorities will be focused on how best to achieve this success in a sustained and cost-effective manner.

Currently UNHCR global education programming includes multi-year funded activities for primary and tertiary education. Secondary education programming remains the missing piece in the education continuum for refugees, illustrated by the absence of a cohesive global strategy/agenda, limited funding at the national and global level, and limited financing at the national level even for host country nationals.

In 2023/24, UNHCR is committed to identifying an evidence-based strategic direction for secondary education through a Secondary Impact Program. This program will provide a gap analysis, surface promising practices, theory of change including outcomes, outputs and inputs, and a measurement framework. It will also highlight key partnerships to advance outcomes and collective global action for these important years of schooling.

As part of this, in 2023 UNHCR has allocated a budget of 350K to fund additional secondary education activities at the country level. With these resources, a 12-month pilot project(s) will be designed with the aim of carrying out a small-scale test of the approaches, activities, and costs that could be used on a larger scale.

Alongside these pilots, the section will commission research to learn about how UNHCR country operations can improve holistic outcomes for secondary education for refugees. To support these efforts, the UNHCR education section requires the assistance of a consultant to research a set of pilot programs, generate evidence on potentially scalable approaches, and identify the necessary conditions for success.

Overall Purpose and Scope of Assignment:

The case for support for secondary education for refugees is strong and urgent. As indicated by the 2022 UNHCR education report, the transition to secondary education remains a challenge, with only 37% of refugees participating in secondary education, compared to 68% in primary education. This persistent institutional imbalance between primary and secondary education is a significant concern for UNHCR. Furthermore, the lack of a cohesive global strategy and limited funding at the national and global level for secondary education programming for refugees has resulted in a significant gap in the education continuum for refugees.

To address this gap, the education section proposes undertaking secondary education pilot initiatives targeting three operations with diverse contexts. These pilot programs will aim to provide learning about routes to secondary education success, and the focus will be on achieving this success in a sustained and cost-effective manner. Investing in secondary education for refugees is essential for their long-term development and integration. The proposed pilot initiatives will provide much-needed data and insights to inform future programming and policies aimed at addressing the institutional imbalance between primary and secondary education and improving access to education for refugees.

Detailed consultancy methodology will be agreed upon with the consultant but is envisaged to encompass and expand on the below scope of work.

The consultant’s scope of work includes the below tasks:
• Support the design of the pilot initiatives, targeting the most pressing barriers to secondary education for refugees.
• Conduct a comprehensive review of existing evidence on effective interventions for secondary education in refugee contexts.
• Develop a theory of change and measurement framework for secondary education success, focusing on enabling environments, access, and learning outcomes.
• Monitor the implementation of the pilot programs and evaluate their effectiveness. This will include collecting data on key outcomes, outputs, and indicators, and analyzing the findings to assess the impact of the pilot programs on access to quality secondary education for refugees.
• Analyze and report on the findings from the pilot programs to inform future programming and advocate for increased support for secondary education in refugee settings.

Key review on deliverables and associated timeframes will be provided upon the start of the consultancy.

Qualification and experience required (degree required, years of work experience, field of expertise, language required):

• Advanced degree in education, international development, social science, or a related field

• Ten or more years of experience in strategic planning, policy analysis and development, management, and education development
• Experience, particularly education in emergency and/or protracted contexts of forced displacement. A combination of humanitarian and development background-related education will be an asset.
• Evidence of having undertaken similar assignments
• Demonstrated experience in working with government partners and other stakeholders in public sector development programs
• Experience in the application of mixed methods research; with strong experience conducting both quantitative and qualitative studies
• Excellent analytical and writing skills
• Proven record of project coordination experience involving multiple stakeholders

Key Competencies
• Excellent written and oral communications skills in the English language. Fluency in French will be an added advantage
• Advanced interpersonal skills
• Strong organizational and communication skills
• Creativity, positive attitude, and ability to adapt in the face of changing circumstances and/or tight deadlines.

Type of contract: Individual Consultancy
Working arrangement: Part-time, starting on 01/11/2023 for a period of 9 months
Location: working home-based with field missions to selected countries across Africa, Asia and Middle East.

Other information

This position doesn’t require a functional clearance

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