The International Rescue Committee (IRC) responds to the world’s worst humanitarian crises and helps people to survive and rebuild their lives. Founded in 1933 at the request of Albert Einstein, the IRC offers lifesaving care and life-changing assistance to refugees forced to flee from war or disaster. IRC currently delivers high-impact and cost-effective solutions to the most vulnerable people in nearly 40 countries, implementing across five core areas: economic wellbeing, education, health, governance, and protection.
Overview – Context & Iraq Country Program
Iraq is set within a fragile, post-conflict environment, characterized by multiple competing crises, including long-standing governance, challenges, a contracting economy, poor public service provision, proliferation of armed groups, decades of cyclical violence and displacement, and a range of internal and external pressures. Since the end of the large-scale military operations against ISIL, chasms in the political, security and social landscapes have become increasingly exposed. If not addressed, these could pose further risks to the stability and welfare of the country. Against this backdrop, the COVID-19 pandemic has further reduced livelihoods opportunities and access to basic services, pushing more people into poverty, yielding less revenue for basic services and deepening vulnerabilities across the country.
An Estimated 1.3 million IDP & returnee children aged 3 to 17 face obstacles to accessing education (an increase of 8% from 2020), including 648,000 girls and 131,000 children with disabilities, and close to 3.2 million school-aged Iraqi children out of school**.** The disruption of structured education systems is likely to have a greater impact on conflict-affected children for whom school offers a protective environment against negative coping mechanisms such as child labor and early marriages.
The Government of Iraq has given priority to the decentralization of service delivery, including education which requires building the capacity of education departments at the governorate level in order for them to oversee the implementation of education policies and plans, the recruitment and management of human resources, the supervision of schools, and the management of educational infrastructure.
Country Program – Education:
IRC is currently active on Early Child Development (ECD) and has established an initial relationship with the Ministry of Education (MoE) at the central level, however it has stopped implementing other Education activities since the end of 2020. IRC knowledge in Education and ECD could be an added value to the Government of Iraq (GoI) and the MoE. IRC seeks to leverage its existing relationships promoting a holistic work in Education that is focused more on system strengthening and work with partners rather than direct services implementation.
In line with the contextual needs and the protracted nature of the crisis in Iraq, IRC seeks to provide impactful, longer-term education support through a system-strengthening approach with the MoE and local implementing partners in Iraq; promoting a stronger, localized and more sustainable education system that caters to the well-being and learning needs of all children.
The purpose of this consultancy is to support IRC in setting an Education Strategy for the Iraq country program; one that is informed by the contextual needs and gaps (in children’s learning and the education system), as well as IRC’s strengths and added value in light of the operational space and funding priorities. This will support the IRC to effectively position for upcoming opportunities that advance IRC’s education and Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) outcomes, capitalizing on the organization’s humanitarian expertise and concretely identifying our added value in the development field.
Related IRC Education Outcomes (oef.irc.org):
· Young children (0-5) have developmentally appropriate cognitive, language, motor and social-emotional skills.
· School-aged children (6-14) have improved literacy, numeracy, and social-emotional skills.
· Youth (15 to 24) have market relevant livelihood, literacy, numeracy skills, and social-emotional skills.
Terms of Reference:**
Initial consultation with IRC staff to refine and reaffirm scope of work
Desk review (to include, but not limited to a comprehensive overview of):
o Education needs and gaps for children (access and quality)
o Education system needs and gaps
o Existing national strategies and frameworks for education, including education pathways
o Curricula used, acceptance and accreditation (brief)
o Available education coordination mechanisms (brief)
o Current active education programs as well as those in the pipeline
o IRC’s education programming globally and in the region
Note: The desk review should be written in concise and straight to the point manner as opposed to extensive material to go through, keeping in mind that the end goal of this is to provide valuable information to inform the education strategy.
Operational Space in Iraq – Stakeholder Analysis and Consultations (desk review as well as consultation elements) with:
o Ministry of Education (MoE) and other relevant ministries
o International NGO’s (Including NRC, Save the Children, etc.), with a lens to their advantages/strengths and education programs
o Local education NGO’s
o UN (including UNICEF, UNESCO) & World Bank
o Education Donors
Information on donor education strategies and priorities, funding cycles and trends, and current/future funding (active & in pipeline. Specific focus on development donors.)
o IRC – consultations with staff and the technical unit to learn about IRC programs and strengths
Note: The purpose of the stakeholder analysis is to understand the operational space and how IRC can contribute to the education programs and systems strengthening in light of it. Consultations with stakeholders (such as MoE and others), could inform education needs and gaps and other elements in the desk review. Therefore, these steps are not necessarily sequential but may be looked at as simultaneous.
IRC Education Strategy (this will be based on IRC education outcomes/strengths and builds on the desk research and stakeholder analysis), which will support the IRC in shaping its education programs, design and needed resources.
o This will include technical recommendations and an overview of the analysis that led to it
1) Final approved scope of work after technical meeting with IRC team
a. Revised Terms of Reference
b. Workplan for deliverables
2) Desk Review and Summary
a. Outline and methodology of the Desk Review
b. Desk Review report
c. PPT of the desk review that includes the key findings.
3) Stakeholder engagement analysis report
a. Outline and methodology of stakeholder engagement
b. List of specific government bodies, institutions, and individuals
c. Interview guides adapted to each type of stakeholder (UN bodies, Ministries, donors, partners)
d. Stakeholder engagement analysis report
e. PPT of the stakeholder engagement report that includes the key findings.
4) Iraq Education Strategy
a. Proposed education strategy – includes options that leverage IRC program models with analysis as to why and how this design will meet IRC objectives, and fit in the opportunities and gaps for education programming in Iraq
b. Presentation to the country team and technical unit
The duration of the consultancy is an estimated 2 months, expecting to start on March 10th, 2022, and to submit and hand over the tasks respectively and final deliverables by May 1st, 2022
Payment Schedule: **Payment will be based on the deliverables:
Payment 1: 10% (initial consultation with IRC team to finalize scope of work)
Payment 2: 20% (approval of Desk Review)
Payment 3: 20% (approval of Stakeholder Engagement Analysis Report)
Payment 4: 50% (submission of education strategy and approval of all deliverables)
Job Qualifications: Education: Bachelor’s degree in education, education psychology, social work, human development or relevant field or equivalent is required. Master’s degree is preferred.
Work Experience: A minimum of 10 years in implementing and/or managing large education and research programs is required. Education work experience in Iraq/the MENA region is required. Education work experience in humanitarian/development settings.
Demonstrated Skills and Competencies:
· Expertise in the Iraq/MENA education landscape, stakeholders, and programming nationally/regionally.
· Proven ability to conduct desk research, stakeholder interviews, and analysis.
· Demonstrated expertise in technical tools in Arabic/English.
· Expertise in program/system assessment, strategy development with the ability to turn concepts and strategy into measurable action.
· Knowledge of the Iraq/MENA donor landscape for education and Social Emotional Learning (SEL).
Language Skills: Fluency in Arabic and English required.
How to apply:
Interested and suitably qualified consultancy firms and individuals can apply through the below email:
Please send your proposal to IRCIraq.TenderBox@rescue.org.
If you have any questions, please email IQ-Tenders@rescue.org.
Offers to supply will not be accepted after March 25th, 2022