UN High Commissioner for Refugees
UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, is offering a home-based Individual Consultancy with the Education Section, within the Division of Resilience and Solutions, and in collaboration with the Digital Service, within the Division of External Relations.
UNHCR is a global organization dedicated to saving lives, protecting rights and building a better future for refugees, forcibly displaced communities and stateless people. Every year, millions of men, women and children are forced to flee their homes to escape conflict and persecution. We are in over 125 countries, using our expertise to protect and care for millions. Off the heels of the SG’s Roadmap for Digital Transformation for the UN; UNHCR undertook the development of a unified digital transformation strategy for UNHCR, that moves the agency towards a framework that puts the needs of POCs at the forefront, involving them in solution design and building self-reliance. UNHCR’s Digital Strategy is led by Senior Leadership, and focuses on the achievement of two primary strategic objectives: Primary Objective One – Strengthen digital protection, inclusion and accountability, helping to build self-reliance of Persons of Concern. Primary Objective Two – Transform the way we work, creating efficiencies, sharing knowledge and increasing collaboration to strengthen our shared purpose. Connected Education is one component of the Digital Inclusion Chapter; building from our experience to-date; especially with a series of flag-ship programmes. This consultancy aims to support the regional benchmarking for Connected Education as part of the digital strategy.
UNHCR has committed to harnessing Connected Education to ensure refugees and host communities can meaningfully engage and benefit from today’s digital learning landscape, preparing them to fully participate in the world’s social and economic future. Owing to barriers of access and inclusion, refugee-hosting schools and communities are often not equipped with the digital skills, knowledge and resources needed to foster learners who can succeed in an increasingly digital world. COVID-19 has exacerbated pre-existing inequities and risks offsetting prior educational gains, particularly for the most marginalized learners, including refugee and displaced students.
UNHCR advocates for the inclusion and prioritization of refugee-hosting schools into national digital learning initiatives, working within national development strategies to enhance education through technology. Government policies can be both enablers and obstacles for creating a positive environment for Connected Education. While many governments are putting in place digital transformation policies to ensure digital tools are used to enhance education quality, some States’ protective measures (for example limiting connectivity access in refugee hosting areas) can inadvertently hinder refugees from meaningfully accessing Connected Education. Aligned to UNHCR’s new Digital Transformation Strategy, this mapping exercise will start to determine benchmarks and help to create roadmaps for how greater digital inclusion and integration into national initiatives and digital priorities is possible.
UNHCR is working to ensure refugee-hosting schools and communities are meaningfully included within all global and national connectivity and digital learning programmes planned between now and 2030. This position will work with UNHCR’s Digital Transformation team, including the Education Section, along with relevant Regional Bureaus, Country Offices, and Headquarters to create a picture of the Connected Education landscape and digital inclusion of refugees and displaced learners.
Duties and responsibilities
The consultant will be responsible for mapping the connected education landscape in relevant countries, undertaking an analysis of refugee digital inclusion for education, and 3 producing a final benchmarking report with key findings, a refined inclusion matrix and provide overall recommendations for next steps.
Methodology: The research will include a desk review of relevant materials from government departments, academic, local and international organizations. This will include interviews/surveys with UNHCR staff in relevant Regional Bureaus and Country Officers to gather evidence to inform the mapping and analysis. The method applied will aim to understand the policy landscape for digital learning and its impact on enabling or hindering refugee inclusion in digital learning initiatives. The results will be used to inform UNHCR digital inclusion advocacy and programming for refugee connected education within the in scope countries and regions.
Geographic Scope: The mapping will cover 5-10 countries across 2-3 regions, and will seek input from the UNHCR Regional Bureaus, Country Offices and partners. UNHCR staff in HQ and Regional Bureaus and local UNHCR staff in Country Offices may be interviewed/surveyed as relevant.
Timeframe: The consultancy will start in August 2022 with the aim of completing the final draft and delivering the presentation by late December 2022.
The following deliverables are expected:
• Produce workplan and agreed methodology
• Undertake desk research to map information available on existing policies enabling or hindering refugee inclusion in digital learning initiatives
• Conduct interviews with Regional Bureaus and Country Officers
• Refine a digital inclusion matrix that will help map the current status of country sites
• Conduct validation workshops of key findings with Country Offices, Regional Bureaus, and HQ Connected Education team
• Produce a final report with key findings for each country and regional trends, including mapping their digital inclusion status and identifying recommendations and a proposed roadmap to strengthen links with national initiatives.
Essential minimum qualifications and professional experience required
- Possess a university degree in education, political science, socioeconomics or other related field;
- At least 5 years of professional experience in a related area;
- Expertise in conducting research and analysis, and developing written products related to refugee and connected education;
- Expert knowledge of working with refugees, refugee education, and connected education;
- Familiarity with UNHCR’s education programmes and objectives;
- Be fluent in English, with advanced writing and editing skills. Additional languages are desirable, but not essential.
Duration and dates of the assignment:
From: 15 August 2022 To: 31 December 2022
Total amount of days to be worked: 60 working days between 15 August and 31 December!
Mission travel applicable: No
Payment schedule: Monthly based on days worked & successful delivery of roles and responsibilities.
The successful candidate will be working home-based.
Monitoring and Progress Controls (report requirements, periodicity, format, deadlines):
The final product (e.g. survey completed, data collected, workshop conducted, research documents produced specify):
• 15+ interviews conducted along with desk research to developing written products related to refugee and connected education inclusion;
• Refined digital inclusion matrix will all target countries mapped for the current status of digital inclusion;
• 3+ validation workshops conducted, with presentations outlining key findings with Country Offices, Regional Bureaus, and HQ Connected Education team;
• Final report (10-15 pages in English) with key findings for each country and regional trends, including mapping their digital inclusion status and identifying recommendations and a proposed roadmap to strengthen links with national initiatives.
Number of pages: 10-15 pages
Number of copies: 1 digital copy
How to apply
Interested applicants should visit UNHCR’s website (www.unhcr.org/consultancies) and submit their Letter of Motivation and Personal History Form (PHF) to [email protected] indicating Vacancy No. DRS/2022/009; First name/Last name, and Connected Education Mapping Consultancy in the subject of the email.
Applications without Personal History Form will not be considered – PHFs and Supplementary Sheet are available on UNHCR website.
The UNHCR workforce consists of many diverse nationalities, cultures, languages and opinions. UNHCR seeks to sustain and strengthen this diversity to ensure equal opportunities as well as an inclusive working environment for its entire workforce. Applications are encouraged from all qualified candidates without distinction on grounds of race, colour, sex, national origin, age, religion, disability, sexual orientation and gender identity.