International Consultant to develop the concept and mechanisms for incorporation of digital and blended learning into VET institutions


Location : Home Based
Application Deadline :05-Oct-21 (Midnight New York, USA)
Additional Category :Sustainable Development and Poverty Reduction
Type of Contract :Individual Contract
Post Level :International Consultant
Languages Required :
English  
Expected Duration of Assignment :Up to 24 working days during the period of October - November 2021

UNDP is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, nationality and culture. Individuals from minority groups, indigenous groups and persons with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply. All applications will be treated with the strictest confidence.

UNDP does not tolerate sexual exploitation and abuse, any kind of harassment, including sexual harassment, and discrimination. All selected candidates will, therefore, undergo rigorous reference and background checks.


Background

UNDP project “Creating Better LLL Opportunities through Local Partnerships” addresses the employability related challenge of the most vulnerable cohort of Georgia’s population, Youth and physically or socially disadvantaged people. The project complies to the overall objective of the programme by addressing the human capital development, with focus on creation of accessibility to new education services and quality development of Vocational Education and Training provision.

The project is concentrated around two sectors of Care Economy: Tourism and Wellness/health around with specific objectives, which are building three main pillars, addressing leading components – Accessibility, Quality and Relevance of skills to labour market needs, taking into consideration the new realities, including safety requirements caused by COVID-19. The project aims at increasing three different types of accessibility - Geographical - by developing new VET provision spot in non-covered municipalities. Social - creation of new opportunities for early school leaver vulnerable groups to finalize the basic education level through catch-up courses and access VET system; Physical - by developing digital/blended learning opportunities for all with focus on people with special needs and those who cannot regularly attend the learning process. The project also aims at strengthening of service quality, which will be achieved by two types of interventions: Institutional strengthening - Capacity building of the managing teams in stakeholder institutions, also support to VET providers in introducing Entrepreneurial School Model and establishment of the Sectorial School Networks, including peer-learning; Multiplier strengthening – training and coaching of teachers, trainers, professional associations, youth workers to improve the service quality and transfer knowledge, including on safety requirements against COVID-19 in education and employment. Labour market relevance is aimed to be achieved by increased employability of youth and vulnerable groups, to enhance and match their skills with dynamic labour market. All the activities of the project are based on 4 cross-cutting principles: Gender Equality, Inclusion, Environmental Protection and Partnership. 

To achieve the programme purpose and finally the programme goal, it will aim to improve the quality of service provision in VET and employment promotion in Georgia.

The outcomes and outputs of the project are:

  1. Outcome 1. Strengthened institutions contribute to delivery of high quality live-long-learning provision in selected regions is achieved through 2 outputs:
  • Output 1.1. Accessibility on skills of youth, women and men, including vulnerable groups, in selected regions is strengthened through new types of formal and non-formal education-related service provision.
  • Output 1.2. Quality of skills development is improved through institutional and human capacity strengthening of the service providers.

       2. Outcome 2. Youth and selected vulnerable groups have access to the flexible services of formal and non-formal learning in targeted       regions is achieved through 1 output:

  • Output 2.1. Employability of youth is enhanced through developed key competences including digital and entrepreneurial competence.

The provision of digital learning by VET providers is restricted due to the limited financial resources and low capacities of existing human resources. The absence of digital forms of education decreases participation of youth in skills development. For most occupations today, face-to-face vocational training delivery involves lectures, workshops, apprenticeships or other forms of work-based learning. However, digital technologies allow occupational skills to be developed remotely or applied as an addition to classroom training. In some cases, these technologies are safer, cheaper and effective than traditional ones. Recently, digitalisation has become one of the leading directions which change job requirements making digital skills a fundamental part of the workplace in nowadays. Vocational education and training system needs to equip students not only with vocational skills, but also with strong digital and soft skills. The need has increased for all sectors and occupations. For instance, in health sector occupations, online education modules will use desktop simulations and students have opportunities understand a wide range of theoretical concepts in biology, chemistry, physiology and anatomy. In vocational educational programmes the use of the blended learning model is accepted as the mainstream approach as fusion of online and face-to-face contact between teachers and students.

Given the current needs in vocational education and training system, the CBLLL project will develop and introduce digital and blended learning resource in Care Economy to further support accessibility to education for youth, women and vulnerable groups in Georgia.

Under this action, the International Consultant will develop the concept and mechanisms for incorporating digital and blended learning into VET institutions taking into consideration the best European experience in digital education; respective learning resources (content, platform, assessment instruments) will be prepared for two sectors of Care Economy: Tourism and Health/wellness.

The International Consultant will work closely with the CBLLL Project team to provide expertise and advice in the process of creating access to new educational services in vocational education and training (VET), ensuring sustainable and inclusive development of the VET system and the labour market in Georgia.


Duties and Responsibilities

The consultancy involves the following tasks and activities:

  • Introducing digital learning and blended learning for two sectors of Care Economy: Tourism and Health/wellness in VET institutions including suggestions for replication in other sectors

Under this activity, the International Consultant shall produce a concept paper and mechanisms that will include the vision, concept and supporting mechanisms for the effective implementation of the digital learning and blended learning in the VET system.

The concept paper and supporting mechanisms will be drafted together with stakeholders, to be further applied within the Georgian VET system.  In future, this paper will serve as a bases to develop educational standards in Tourism and Wellness/health sectors along with guidelines for the programmes and assessment tools, as well as setting up the web platform for learning materials in the respective occupations and with the perspective to replicate the model in other sectors of economy.

The international expert is expected to assume the following duties and responsibilities: 

  1. Discuss, plan and coordinate the development of all deliverables under the given assignment with the UNDP’s CBLLL team, the Ministry of Education and Science of Georgia, the Skills Agency and relevant representatives from other public agencies such as vocational colleges, employment services, employers and others.
  2. Get familiarised with the existing situation in the vocational education system to learn the local context and circumstances for providing digital and blended learning opportunities and apply them in the assignment as deem necessary.
  3. Develop a draft concept paper and mechanisms on best international practice on incorporation of digital and blended learning into VET institutions for further references describing opportunities and challenges taking 3 selected country cases.
  4. Conduct virtual meetings and interviews with stakeholders – public and private organizations’ (the list of stakeholders will be developed in cooperation with the MoES and Skills Agency representatives) for collecting data and information, getting initial feedback and validating findings.
  5. Drafting inputs for the Concept summarizing information collected through various sources such as an individual interviews with relevant stakeholders.
  6. Develop a draft new concept for introduction of digital and blended learning into VET institutions based on best international and local practice and collected findings. The concept document inter-alia must analyse the roles of players, available resources and recommendations with clearly defined guiding principles to be ultimately agreed with and endorsed by the Ministry of Education in line with best international practices. The paper will include suggestions for replication of the concept and mechanisms in other sectors of economy.
  7. Develop a presentation on the draft new concept and present it to the CBLLL project team and stakeholders, lead a discussion and collect feedback.
  8. Reflect the collected feedback into the draft and develop the final draft concept for introduction and implementation of digital and blended learning into VET institutions.
  9. Develop a final report, reflecting the steps undertaken as part of the consultancy, assignment, listing the challenges, lessons and learned

All documents shall be developed in English.

Payment Schedule for the initial contract:

75 % - upon submission and clearance of the deliverable 1,2,3 (November 2021)

Deliverable 1 - A document of best international practice on incorporation of digital and blended learning into VET institutions. Submission Date: 7 days after the commencement of the assignment

Deliverable 2 – A Draft Concept Paper for introduction of digital and blended learning into VET institutions including suggestions for replication of the concept and mechanisms in other sectors of economy. Submission Date: 16 days after the commencement of the assignment

Deliverable 3 - Presentation on the new concept and present it to the CBLLL project team and stakeholders, conduct a discussion and collect feedback. Submission Date: 18 days after the commencement of the assignment.

25% - upon submission and clearance of the deliverable 4 (November 2021)

Deliverable 4 - Submit a final report, reflecting the steps undertaken as part of the consultancy, assignment, listing the challenges, and lessons learned. Submission Date: 24 days after the commencement of the assignment.

Management Arrangements:

The International Consultant will work closely with the CBLLL Project team to provide expertise and advice in the process of creating access to new educational services in vocational education and training (VET), ensuring sustainable and inclusive development of the VET system and the labour market in Georgia.


Competencies

Core Competencies

  • Demonstrated commitment to UNDP’s mission, vision and values;
  • Sensitivity and adaptability to cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality and age;
  • Highest standards of integrity, discretion and loyalty.

Functional Competencies

  • Excellent intercultural, moderation, facilitation and negotiation skills;
  • Builds strong relationships with stakeholders, focuses on impact and result and responds positively to feedback;
  • Consistently approaches work with energy and a positive, constructive attitude;
  • Demonstrates openness to change and ability to manage complexities;
  • Demonstrates strong oral communication skills;
  • Remains calm, in control and good humoured even under pressure;
  • Proven networking, team-building, organizational and communication skills;
  • Ability to advocate and provide policy advice;
  • Actively works towards continuing personal learning and development, acts on learning plan and applies newly acquired skills.

Development and operational effectiveness

  • Ability to lead strategic planning, results-based management and reporting;
  • Ability to lead formulation, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of development programmes and projects.


Required Skills and Experience

Education

  • At least Master or equivalent diploma in international development, education, economics, public policy, policy analysis, social sciences or other relevant field is required  (minimum requirement) –  5 points . 

Experience

  • Minimum 5 years of professional experience in the Vocational Education and Training systems analysis, research, development, advice or others  (minimum requirement)  - 5 years 10 points, More than 5 years 15 points;

  • Experience of leading at least 3 consultancies similar assignments for large international donor funded projects, government organizations or international organization(s) in the areas of digitalization and blended learning and/or vocational education and training  (minimum requirement)  - 3 years 10 points, More than 3 years 15 points;

  • Demonstrated track record of publications related to VET System development, including research services (minimum qualification; publications to be listed in the application form and/or resume) - 5 points,

Language requirements:

  • Proficiency in both spoken and written English. 

Evaluation: 

Individual consultants will be evaluated based on the cumulative analysis. Individual consultants will be evaluated against combination of technical and financial criteria. Technical evaluation stage encompasses desk review and interview of applications. Experts not meeting any of minimum technical qualification requirements will be automatically excluded from the list of candidates for further technical evaluation. Maximum obtainable score is 100, out of which the total score for technical criteria equals to 70 points (70%) and for financial criteria 30 (30%). Technical criteria composed of desk review (40 points) and interview (30 points). Offerors who pass 70% of maximum obtainable scores of the desk review (i.e. 40 x 70% = 28 points because of a desk review of applications will be invited for the interview. Those offerors who pass 70% of maximum obtainable scores for interviews of (i.e. 30x 70% = 21 points) will be considered as short-listed offerors and requested to provide financial proposals.

Financial Proposal:

The financial proposal shall specify a total lump sum. Payments are based upon delivery of the services specified in the TOR. 



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