Vacancy No: CON/23/2016
Save the Children International/ Ethiopia
Overview: Save the Children International is implementing a four-year USAID funded project, Reading for Ethiopia’s Achievement Developed Community Outreach (USAID/READ-CO) project, designed to support the Ministry of Education (MOE) and the Regional State Education Bureaus (RSEBs) as they launch, sustain, and improve a comprehensive community and school-based early grade reading program.
Scope of Work
Since the project start-up in 2015, there are various reading interventions under going in the communities and schools to build the capacity of the community and MOE system at all levels to improve children’s reading and writing skills. As part of this effort, the READ project plans to fund strategic research study to further refine the program and ensure that appropriate strategies are in place for the eventual national roll-out of the community outreach model by the MOE. The research activities will be planned and conducted in consultation and collaboration with USAID, MOE, RSEBs, implementing partners, and the NORC impact assessment team, as appropriate, to enhance stakeholder engagement and learning from READ CO activities.
READ CO will also involve READ M&E in these activities, as appropriate, to enhance the usefulness of its planned performance evaluation of the READ CO intervention. The strategic research study covers the five READ CO target regions – Amhara, Oromia, SNNPR, Tigray and Somali; and seven Mother Tongue Languages – Amharic, Afaan Oromoo, Sidaamu Afu, Hadiyyisa, Wolayittato, Tigrinya and Af-Somaali.
Objectives of the Research on Community Volunteerism:
I) Study the motivation and benefits to community volunteers behind their participation supporting activities as reading camp, book bank and reading and writing clubs volunteers.
II) Assess the capacities of local government and communities to support volunteers in cash, in kind and providing job as well as training opportunities.
To accomplish these objectives, it is necessary to assess and review existing experiences by interviewing different stakeholders such as READ CO staff, MOE, RSEBs, ZEDs and WEOs about Community Volunteerism in relation to supporting reading activities.
Research methods and tools
The STTA, lead local consultant should employ suitable quantitative and qualitative techniques and approaches of data gathering, analysing and validation in order to produce a standard research report. He/she shall use a variety of methods to collect data for the study, including but not limited to focus group discussions (FGDs) and interviews with local stakeholders. The consultant will submit the research tools and instruments to READ CO and will get approval before data collection. READ CO will collect and analyse all documents pertinent to the study under investigation by the consultant. The strategic research will assess and utilize NORC’s Impact Assessment materials to include volunteerism related factors used for baseline data collection and compare with data collected on key intermediate outcomes, such as changes in the frequency of students’ use of supplementary reading materials.
Quantitative techniques: The lead consultant/ researcher should conduct a desk review to understand the current status or achievement of the READ CO via implementation of its reading activities. Quantitative data collection tools for Community Volunteer shall be developed to assess status of READ CO’s community volunteers and the approach. READ CO has proposed sample sizes to do this research; but the consultant can validate and propose a representative sample, sampling procedures suitable for the research design and should share the sampling methodology to the READ CO team for approval.
Qualitative techniques: The qualitative research methods the consultant should employ include: key informant interviews (KII), Focus Group Discussions (FGD) and observational study. KII shall take into account MOE, RSEB, ZED, WEO and School Cluster Supervisors. Regarding FGD, the consultant shall conduct discussions with PTA/PTSAs including school directors. Other appropriate and complementary tools for data collection may be proposed by the consultant.
READ CO has intervened in 75 Woredas out of 94 addressing 871 target schools out of total 2,487 project target schools in seven mother tongue languages. The consultant has to cover seven languages in 871 target schools in a minimum of nine Woredas.
For qualitative methods, using purposive sampling the consultant should reach three schools per Woreda to conduct FGDs with PTSA members including school directors (i.e. a total of 27 PTSAs’ FGDs with 5-7 participants each for a total of 135 to 189 participants); interviewing MOE – SIP Directorate, Planning and Resource Mobilization Directorate Directors /2/, representatives RSEBs /1/, ZEDs /3/ and WEOs/1/ who are overseeing volunteerism to support reading activities for children learn to read (a total of 15 interviews). 2 cluster supervisors per Woreda (i.e. 18 School Cluster Supervisors). Only one school and supervisor should be selected from each cluster. There are also stakeholders to be interviewed such as Women Association, Kebele Task Forces, Youth Association, Community Leaders, Elders and Community Development Groups.
For quantitative methods, community volunteers who are giving service on reading activities are the target quantitative survey groups to assess information on the major objectives. In nine Woredas and three school per Woreda, there are a total of 81 volunteers will be interviewed through semi-structured questionnaires.
The review of basic project documents is vital. In addition, as part of assessment, the researcher will review at a minimum existing experiences from different stakeholders including the MOE to better and sustainably support reading activities.
Responsibilities of USAID/READ CO - SCI
· Share reports and other relevant documents with the consultant;
· Explain and answer questions related to the TOR and the project ;
· Support the consultant in understanding the purpose of READ CO regarding the community volunteerism Approach;
· Review/ revise and approve tools and deliverables;
· Facilitate the field work;
· Support electronic data collection efforts (installing questionnaires into tablets and provide troubleshooting support); and
· Process the payments to the consultant based on the signed contract;
· Arrange validation forums and events with key stakeholders.
Roles and responsibilities of the consultant/ researcher:
· Develop the research questions, sampling methodology, and data collection instruments and tools, with input from the READ CO technical team;
· Review and analyse key project documents: program description, implementation plan and results framework;
· Work closely with SCI READ CO team, READ M&E, MOE/USAID, implementing partners ADA, TDA, ANFEAE, OWDA, SC SNNP Hub, and Woreda government sector offices in planning and implementation of the field work;
· Develop a schedule for the research that includes at a minimum desk review, development of instruments, data collection and field work, analysis, and the five main reports due to USAID/READ CO – SCI described below;
· Ensure the data quality and integrity of the data collected;
· Submit all the raw and processed data with agreed disaggregation levels
· Provide recommendations based on the research to project implementation and improvement;
· Conduct validation forum/workshop at the community level so that overlooked points can be incorporated and a draft report finalized;
· Facilitate consultative meeting (dissemination event) with SCI and other stakeholders;
· Produce and submit progress reports: field report, first draft, second and final reports; and
· Conduct training for data collectors deployed by READ CO to conduct field level data collection.
Reporting and dissemination plan
The program management unit and MOE/USAID requests reports at different stages of the research to guarantee the quality of the overall process and final findings. The major reports are:
· Report 1: Report produced before the actual field work that contains final field data collection tools and proposed research methods
· Report 2: Report regarding piloting the data collection and analysis tools and reflection on feedback on the tools from the pilot, if any.
· Report 3: Report with the output of the field work: challenges encountered, changes made to data collection tools, points/feedback that need immediate action and response from READ CO MEAL and Implementation Units.
· Report 4: Raw data and cleaned data
· Report 5: Draft and final report in standard format. The final report should be in English, should not exceed 30 pages and should stick to the following outline:
Cover page: Title page with date, logos and RFA #, name of the organization.
Executive summary: a brief of maximum of two pages description of the objectives, main findings (key action and learning points), methodology, recommendations and conclusions of the strategic research.
Objectives of the strategic research
Overview of the READ CO project
Detailed analysis of findings in depth discussion with disaggregation
Key action and learning points
Promising and good practices
Conclusions and Recommendations
Annexes: TOR, case study, result tables, CV of researcher (s), data collection tools, action plan, list of sites visited, list of key informants, FGD, and other credentials.
The major findings and recommendations of the action research will be communicated to both communities and other stakeholders. The approaches to be employed could include meeting/workshop, brochures and report.
The timeline for the strategic research activity will be 65 days: major activities such as data collection; data entry, data processing/analysing; conducting validation forum/workshop; first draft and final report with suggested number of days are depicted in the following table.
Number of days
Development of study plan with data collection checklist/tools to be used & logistical requirements included if required
Inception report on the proposed activities a maximum of 10 pages (Report 1)
Incorporating feedback into plan and data collection tools
Finalized plan and tools (Report 2)
Researcher orient the co-researcher on study plan and final tools\checklists
Data collection from communities/ PTSA members and entry
Report with the output of the field work: challenges encountered, changes made to data collection tools, points/feedback that need immediate action and response from READ CO MEAL and Implementation Units. (Report 3)
Through FGDs with PTA/PTSAs
Data collection from sector government offices and other stakeholders
Raw and Cleaned data (Report 4)
Data analysis and draft report writing
First draft report (Report 5)
Incorporating feedbacks from regional validation and produce second draft
Second draft report (Report 5)
Submit a final report after comments from reviewers and validation workshop
Final report (Report 5)
· Inception report on the proposed activities (maximum of 10 pages) that includes at a minimum objectives, research questions, research design, sample size with the assumptions behind its calculation, data collection methods, data analysis methods, and consent forms for participants;
· Finalized plan and data collection tools;
· Raw and clean data collected and stored in appropriate format (Microsoft Word and Excel, NVIVO and SPSS);
· A processed/analysed data using appropriate methods;
· Proceeding of validation workshop conducted at each region to validate the findings before finalizing the report.
· National level validation workshop report
· First draft report;
· A comprehensive report of not more than 30 pages with clear findings, actions and recommendations that support the implementation of READ CO;
· Case study;
· High resolution and self-explanatory photos.
 READ M&E is one project among READ Programs like READ CO designed to support monitoring and evaluation activities and measure reading skills as a result of READ CO interventions
 NORC is an independent evaluator contracted by USAID to do impact assessment in Amhara and Oromia regions. The company has produced and submitted READ CO’s baseline report.
 There are three community volunteers per school; i.e. for Reading and Writing Club, Reading Camp and Book Bank
The lead consultant/ researcher should adhere to the following ethical procedures:
· All terms/conditions stipulated in the contract agreement.
· Submitting the inception report, finalized data collection tools, and consent form(s) for participants in the study together with the appropriate submission form for approval to Save the Children US’ Ethics Review Committee at least one week before data collection starts.
· Conducting the research in a respectful manner: this includes not making any commitments to communities and any other persons, on behalf of SCI/Ethiopia - READ CO, USAID and partners.
· Adhering to the time-frame and conditions outlined in the scope of work and agreement.
· Confidentiality of the collected and analysed data.
· Follow the standard data collection and analysis ethics utilized in SCI.
Qualifications and Timeline
We are looking to hire one local consultant/researcher for this research who has the following qualifications and experience:
· Postgraduate degree in International Development, Education, Sociology or related fields
· Relevant academic and professional experience in quantitative and qualitative research methods and analysis
· Ability to be based in Addis Ababa with frequent field visits
· A minimum of 5 years’ practical experience in conducting quantitative and qualitative research of education projects with evidences
· Experience in investigating community volunteerism and its application to support reading activities
· Familiarity with the project’s intervention areas.
· Demonstrable experience in electronic data collection for quantitative surveys.
· Demonstrated fluency in the regional languages of the project intervention areas is a big plus
· Excellent English oral and writing communication skills
· Experience using and access to quantitative and qualitative data analysis software as NVIVO, Atlas.ti, CAT, QDA Miner, Stata, SPSS or R.