USAID has been supporting pre-primary education efforts in multiple MENA countries. Also, several donors including the World bank are engaged in promoting ECE in MENA region. Several national governments in MENA have begun to prioritize the expansion of ECE including pre-primary education access and to improve quality of pre-primary education. However, rigorous research on pre-primary education is still limited in most developing countries, including in the MENA region. It is important to build on existing literature to be able to better understand the foundation for building strong pre-primary education programs in the MENA region.
Therefore, USAID is commissioning a study to review the existing literature on pre-primary education in the MENA region, as well as produce country-based profiles on the policies, practices, opportunities, and challenges for supporting pre-primary education in MENA countries. As an initial step, an evaluability study is being conducted to determine the landscape for information on ECE in the MENA region. This will include key stakeholders, data sets, information about where ECE is housed within different countries MOEs, availability of reports and publications on private providers of ECE. This initial evaluability study will also provide a feasibility review of remotely studying key areas of interest regarding ECE, and suggest recommendations for designing a regional study that can build knowledge of ECE in the region that will support USAID policy and programming.
The objectives of the study are:
- To determine the feasibility of conducting a comprehensive desk review of early childhood education in the MENA region by provide a summary and analysis of the of available data, reports and key stakeholders in pre-primary education in MENA region to inform the design and implementation of pre-primary policies and programing.
- To help gain a deeper understanding of trends and research in the field in order to determine what questions can be answered based on USAID’s priorities for pre-primary education in the MENA region, and through what methods these questions can best be answered under current conditions..
SI is seeking a MENA region expert on Early Childhood Education to conduct a preliminary assessment of the available literature as part of a feasibility phase of the larger USAID study. The consultant will provide inputs that will inform the ongoing development of the study and help determine what focus areas the remote study would best be able to address. The successful candidate will have a strong pedagogical and research background in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, especially relating to early childhood and pre-primary education. This is a short-term (approximately 10 days of LOE), fully remote consultancy with the possibility of extension depending on the outcome of the feasibility assessment.
- Conduct and document an initial scan of the available literature and data on pre-primary education in MENA countries relevant to the study.
- Identify stakeholders of interest for key informant interviews (KIIs) during the follow-on phase of the study.
- Communicate with SI HQ staff on a regular basis to respond to requests for information and updates on the feasibility assessment’s progress.
- Provide reports, spreadsheets, and other requested documents outlining available resources and present recommendations for further study of ECE in the MENA region under current conditions.
- A minimum of a master’s degree in Education, Pedagogy, or a similar field with at least twelve years of relevant experience required.
- Strong background in early childhood education, research, and evaluation of pre-primary educational programs in the MENA region.
- Excellent analytical research skills with the ability to synthesize large amounts of information in concise, well-written reports.
- Exceptional organizational skills with the ability to conduct desk reviews and assessments in a timely fashion.
- Ability to liaise and communicate effectively with relevant stakeholders, including government officials, educational institutions, sectoral experts, and SI HQ staff.
- Work experience on previous USAID projects preferred.
- Oral and written fluency in English and Arabic required. Additional proficiency in French is an asset.
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