National consultant to support development of the necessary regulatory framework, approaches and procedures for the inclusion of students with disabilities in the Albanian secondary VET system


Location : Tirana, ALBANIA
Application Deadline :28-Feb-21 (Midnight New York, USA)
Type of Contract :Individual Contract
Post Level :National Consultant
Languages Required :
English  
Expected Duration of Assignment :45 working days during the period between 22nd March and 31st July 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

The Skills Development for Employment (SD4E) programme, financed by the Swiss Government and implemented by UNDP Albania continues to support the Government of Albania in the national VET and Employment reform through a comprehensive approach of institutional capacity building on a macro/policy level, enabling key actors (MFE, NES/NAES and NAVETQ) to deliver coordinated and demand-driven services. Responding to national priorities and the objectives of the National Employment and Skills Strategy, this Swiss funded intervention has the ambition to make a systemic contribution where the Albanian VET system and Employment Service supply the labour market with a skilled workforce that contributes to sustainable and inclusive economic development of the country.

To achieve the programme purpose and finally the programme goal, the programme focuses in strategic fields that aim to improve the governance and quality of service provision in VET and employment promotion in Albania.

  1. Outcome 1: The institutional capacity of key actors in VET and Employment (Ministry, NAVETQ, NAES) is strengthened
  2. Outcome 2: The employment service portfolio is based on a balanced demand-and supply-side oriented approach
  3. Outcome 3: A standardized Quality Assurance (QA) framework is in place that improves the image of VET and fosters linkages between school and world of work.

Vocational Education and Training (VET) is an important path for improving work-related skills, organizational effectiveness, productivity growth, and national competitiveness. In Albania, upper secondary VET is the pathway to further education and employment, especially for students from disadvantaged backgrounds, including those with a disability. According to administrative data provided by the National Agency for Employment and Skills (NAES), on students enrolled in VET for the academic year 2020-2021, 15,4 % of students come from families which are beneficiaries of economic aid, while 36,2 % come from rural areas. 213 (1,2%) students with disabilities are registered with 35 public vocational schools.

As a signatory to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities[1] the Albanian Government is committed to improve legislation and implement policies that foster the creation of an inclusive society. A dedicated Law on the Inclusion and Access to Services by people with disabilities was adopted in 2014[2].

Policy design and implementation for the period 2014-2020 in the employment and skills development sector was guided by the European Union’s Strategic Framework for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth.[3] Through the instrument of budget support under IPA 2019, the EU is planning to support Albania for the period 2020-2024 to strengthen social care services, the provision of inclusive education and employment opportunities, in accordance with EU and national strategic priorities. The National Employment and Skills Strategy aims at promoting social inclusion and territorial cohesion through tailored employment and vocational education and training services.

The Law on Vocational Education and Training[4] emphasizes the principles of inclusiveness, access, permeability and diversity. With regards to upper secondary VET, core principles and practices for inclusive education of students with disabilities were embedded in the legislative framework on pre-university education adopted since 2012.[5]

Through the adoption of the new Law on Employment Promotion and the respective Decision of the Council of Ministers[6], the Social Employment Fund to support the integration of people with disabilities into the labour market was formally established.

Despite recent developments in the legal and institutional framework in Albania that emphasize the rights of people with disabilities to participate in the social life, including participation in mainstream vocational education and training institutions, several cultural and structural barriers make it difficult for these to access vocational schools and receive vocational training that is adopted to their learning needs.

Considering the complexity of the VET system and the diverse challenges and barriers that affect quality participation of students with disabilities in vocational education and training, the SD4E project is seeking to engage a national expert to analyse the current status quo and to elaborate recommendations for further actions, approaches and interventions that will foster inclusiveness within the VET system.

 

[1] https://www.un.org/disabilities/documents/2016/Map/DESA-Enable_4496R6_May16.jpg,

[2] Law No. 93/2014 “On Inclusion and Accessibility of persons with disability”, https://platforma-pak.al/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/1.-ligj_nr_93_dt_24_7_2014-converted.pdf

[3] https://ec.europa.eu/eu2020/pdf/COMPLET%20EN%20BARROSO%20%20%20007%20-%20Europe%202020%20-%20EN%20version.pdf

[4] Law No. 15/2017, dated 16.02.2017 “On Vocational Education and Training in the Republic of Albania”

[5] Law No. 69/2012 “On pre-university Education” and respective secondary legislation, http://arsimiparauniversitar.gov.al/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/ligji-per-sistemin-arsimor-parauniversitar.pdf

[6] Law No. 15/2019, dated 13.03.2019 “On Employment Promotion” and Decision of the Council of Ministers No. 177, dated 26.02.2020 “On the Social Employment Fund”


Duties and Responsibilities

Scope of the assignment

The objective of this assignment is to design approaches, interventions and actions that will support students with disabilities to participate and benefit from vocational education opportunities that are tailored to their learning needs and facilitate their integration into the labour market.

With the guidance of the Programme Specialist, under the supervision of the Programme Coordinator, the expert is expected to deliver the following:

 

DESCRIPTION OF THE ACTIVITIES

N° of WORKING DAYS

  • Prepare, discuss and validate the methodological approach and workplan detailing of the assignment

2

  • Conduct a desk review on the state of play of inclusion in the Albanian education system, with a closer focus on upper secondary VET, including the following aspects:
  • development of regulatory framework
  • interinstitutional cooperation with regards to participation of persons with disabilities in social, educational and employment services
  • identification of stakeholders, including civil society organizations and other interest groups on the rights of children with disabilities

13

  • Conduct field work to analyse the situation at the level of VET providers, with regards to preparedness, enrolment procedures, practices and tools, as well as provisioning of education and training to students with disabilities

5

Prepare a report to elaborate the state of play and recommendations for an inclusive approach in upper secondary VET with regards to:

  • Interventions needed at the level of regulatory framework (development of necessary legal acts and institutional responsibilities)
  • Interventions needed at the level of the VET providing institution (how to prepare the institution for the inclusion of students with special needs / disabilities)
  • Interventions needed in the training delivery modalities, which include: Learner-centred approaches
  • Use of individual plans for education, learning, training and transition
  • Dropout reduction strategy;
  • Matching labour market skills requirements and the learners’ skills.
  • Interventions needed to facilitate transition of students with special needs / disabilities in the labour market
  • Strategies needed to build and develop capacities of teachers and other personnel at the provider level to support students with disabilities in the learning process.

15

  • Design and prepare a workshop with relevant stakeholders to discuss and validate the proposed recommendations (students with disabilities and their parents, VET providers, responsible Ministries and central institutions, civil society organizations)

3

  • Organize consultation workshops with stakeholders and interest groups

2

  • Finalize the report, reflecting analysis, information and recommendations validated with relevant stakeholders

5

Total

45

 

Deliverable

 

Tasks

Timeline

1

Assignment plan detailing methodological approach and  timetable

 

March 31, 2021

2

Analysis report on procedures and practices in VET schools with regards to enrolment and provision of training for students with disabilities, including recommendations on the regulatory and institutional framework, preparation of VET schools for inclusive practices, learner-centred approaches and capacity building of personnel and facilitation of school to work transition for students with disabilities

June 15, 2021

3

Final report and recommendations, based on the inputs from the consultation workshops with stakeholders and interest groups

July 31, 2021


Competencies

Core Competencies:

  • Demonstrating/safeguarding ethics and integrity
  • Demonstrate corporate knowledge and sound judgement
  • Self-development, initiative-taking
  • Act as a team player and facilitate teamwork
  • Facilitating and encouraging open communication in the team, communicating effectively
  • Creating synergies through self-control
  • Managing conflict
  • Learning and sharing knowledge and encourage the learning of others
  • Informed and transparent decision-making

Functional Competencies:

  • Solid experience in the field of inclusive education and participation of PwD in different aspects of social life;
  • Strong communication skills (written, spoken, composing, presentation) and ability to share expertise for capacity building;
  • Political and cultural sensitivity and commitment to UNDP’s development objectives in the country.


Required Skills and Experience

Academic Qualification

  • Post-graduate degree in education, social sciences, law or any other related field.

Work Experience

  • Minimum 10 years’ experience in policy analysis and policy implementation in the field of inclusion in education, especially in advancing access of PwD in education and training;
  • Relevant knowledge and experience with regard to strategies and policies on inclusiveness, and promotion of rights of persons with disabilities, especially on the rights of children with disability to inclusive education.
  • Previous experience/familiarity with UNDP or other UN agencies is desirable.

Language

  • Full working knowledge of English and Albanian is essential.

Evaluation Procedure

UNDP applies a fair and transparent selection process that would consider both the technical qualification of Individual Consultants as well as their financial proposals. The contract will be awarded to the candidate whose offer:

  • Is deemed technically responsive / compliant / acceptable (only technically responsive applications / candidates will be considered for the financial evaluation)
  • And has obtained the highest combined technical and financial scores.

Technical Criteria - 70% of total evaluation – max points: 70

Criteria A: Post-graduate degree in educational sciences, law or any other related field - max 10 points

Criteria B:  Minimum 10 years’ experience in policy analysis and policy implementation in the field of inclusion in education, especially in advancing access of PwD in education and training; – max 10 points

Criteria C: Relevant knowledge and experience with regard to strategies and policies on inclusiveness and promotion of rights of persons with disabilities, especially on the rights of children with disability to inclusive education – max 20 points

Criteria D:  Previous experience/familiarity with UNDP or other UN agencies is desirable – max 10 points

Criteria E: Technical Proposal outlining a methodology and tools for carrying out the assignment - max 20 points

Financial Criteria - 30% of total evaluation – max 30 points

Application Procedure 

Interested applicants are advised to carefully study all sections of this ToRs and ensure that they meet the general requirements as well as specific qualifications described. Incomplete applications will not be considered. Please make sure you have provided all requested materials. 

The application should contain: 

  • Cover letter explaining why you are the most suitable candidate for the advertised position. Please paste the letter into the "Resume and Motivation" section of the electronic application. 
  • Letter to UNDP Confirming Interest and Availability-please fill in the attached form. Download Here 
  • Filled P11 form including past experience in similar projects and contact details of referees, please upload the P11 instead of your CV. Download Here 
  • Financial Proposal in ALL*- specifying a total lump sum in Albanian Lek for the tasks specified in this announcement. The attached template may be used - Download Here Please note that the financial proposal is all-inclusive and shall take into account various expenses incurred by the consultant during the contract period (e.g. fee and any other relevant expenses related to the performance of services). 
  • Copy of Diplomas and copy of Passport. 
  • Technical proposal – specifying the methodology which the consultant will employ to conduct this assignment.

*Kindly note that Letter to UNDP Confirming Interest and Availability and Financial Proposal are two separate documents and should be both part of your application. 

How to Submit the Application

To submit your application online, please follow the steps below: 

  • Download and complete the UN Personal History Form (P11) for Service Contracts (SCs) and Individual Contracts (ICs); 
  • Merge your UN Personal History Form (P11) for Service Contracts (SCs) and Individual Contracts (ICs), Financial Proposal Letter to UNDP Confirming Interest and Availability and cover letter into a single file. The system does not allow for more than one attachment to be uploaded; 
  • Click on the Job Title (job vacancy announcement); 
  • Click “Apply Now” button, fill in necessary information on the first page, and then click “Submit Application;” 
  • Upload your application/single file as indicated above with the merged documents (underlined above); 
  • You will receive an automatic response to your email confirming receipt of your application by the system. 

Due to large number of applications we receive, we are able to inform only the successful candidates about the outcome or status of the selection process. 

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.  



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