Ministry of Education and Human Resource Development


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TERMS OF REFERENCE

SHORT TITLE OF ASSIGNEMENT

Solomon Islands Early Childhood Development Consultant based at MEHRD

Closing Date: 26/05/2024

 

Solomon Islands has significantly improved Early Childhood Development (ECD). With UNICEF support, Solomon Islands developed and endorsed its national and multi-sectoral ECD Policy and costed action plan and finalised the M&E framework at national and provincial levels to support implementing a three-year cost ECD action plan (2023-2026). The government has established ECD coordination mechanisms, such as the ECD national committee and Technical Working Group (TWG). The Ministry of Education and Human Resources Development (MEHRD), along with other social sector ministries and the Ministry of Finance and Planning, is leading the effort.

UNICEF has supported the development of the national ECD policy and national and Guadalcanal costed action plan (2023-2026) with support from MFAT and UNICEF Australia. This support has led to productive consultations, cooperation and buy-in from different government sector ministries and partners. However, limited fiscal space and resources to execute the identified ECD priorities remain a significant challenge. 

This consultancy will be based at MEHRD to support implementing, monitoring, and planning the costed Early Childhood Development (ECD) action plan (2023-2026) in collaboration with relevant sector ministries and the Ministry of Finance. The Permanent Secretary of MEHRD will provide leadership and guidance in this effort, while the UNICEF education and ECD team will provide technical support and guidance for the successful implementation and coordination of the ECD interventions in the country. Simultaneously, support the Guadalcanal province in taking the necessary steps to institutionalise ECD activities into its regular provincial activities and monitor and document key planned activities in their operational plan 2024. 

The ECD technical support will facilitate technical discussions, monitor and coordinate planned activities, document progress and challenges, and ensure that ECD interventions align with the current education sector plan (NEAP 2022-2026) and newly approved Education Act (Act), which requires necessary reforms and changes to improve services.

 

OBJECTIVE / SCOPE OF WORK

The objective of this consultancy and scope of work is to assist the Solomon government in enhancing its institutional capacity to implement a multi-sectoral Early Childhood Development (ECD) policy and national action plan, which was developed and endorsed in 2023. The consultant will provide technical support to the Solomon Islands Ministry of Education and Human Resource Development (MEHRD) in implementing the national and multi-sectoral ECD policy. The consultant will work closely with different divisions and teams within the Ministry of Education, such as the School Service, Learning and Teaching, and Strategic Support units.

The main responsibility will be to support Early Childhood Development (ECD) priorities and activities and ensure that they are fully aligned and featured in the Ministry’s annual operational work plan and budget. The consultant will work closely with relevant sector ministries and existing coordination mechanisms such as the national ECD committee and Technical Working Group (TWG), as well as provincial education authorities and education providers, and local and international partners to assess the progress of the Early Childhood Development activities in the country. Additionally, the consultant will document any challenges faced during the implementation process and identify best practices to enhance the program’s effectiveness.

The consultant will support both policy and action plan.

 

ACTIVITIES

The activities below will be completed in close collaboration and coordination with the Solomon Islands government and UNICEF.

Activities

  1. Comprehensive Review of ECD National Policy and Action Plan Implementation
  2. Socialisation and Awareness-Raising Efforts
  3. Integrate ECD Policy Awareness
  4. Assist ECD National Committee and TWG
  5. Support Establishing the ECD Secretariat
  6. Support Media Outreach  for ECD work
  7. Development of Joint Resolution for ECD Funding
  8. Development of a Standard Monitoring Tool for relevant sector ministries
  9. Capacity building on ECD Monitoring and Evaluation for Ministry staff and relevant partners
  10. Support ECD planning processes at national and provincial levels

DELIVERABLES

  1. Conduct a thorough review of the implementation of the action plan, focusing on prioritizing activities and ensuring they are properly costed. Draft a detailed ECD report featuring key implementation progress and bottlenecks and propose practical actions.
  2. IEC ECD materials developed and trained on relevant staff at MEHRD and partners. Engage in activities to raise awareness of the ECD Policy at national and provincial levels. Facilitate workshops, community meetings, and dissemination of informational materials.
  3. Integrated ECD awareness policy is produced and endorsed by the national ECD committee. This will help to ensure broad understanding and buy-in across government departments.
  4. Support the ECD National Committee and Technical Working Group (TWG) in conducting consultation meetings and dialogues at the provincial level to gather stakeholder input and feedback
  5. Strengthen multi-sectoral coordination mechanisms by establishing an ECD Secretariat to coordinate and monitor ECD activities, including recruiting ECD Officers to comprise the secretariat, with representation from relevant ministries
  6. Organize talkback shows, radio dramas, and other media campaigns with clear messaging on ECD policy implementation. Develop a monthly newsletter to disseminate information and updates on ECD initiatives
  7. Collaborate with the ECD National Committee to develop a joint resolution requesting funding for ECD priorities for submission to the Cabinet.
  8. The ECD Secretariat should take the lead in this process to ensure coordination and alignment
  9. Develop a standardised monitoring tool for reporting ECD progress by each sector to the national committee. Establish evidence-based information on the medium-term impact of ECD interventions through case studies for sharing with the Council of Ministers and Cabinet to advocate for further investment in ECD
  10. Enhance the capacity of ECD sector ministries to use the ECD Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) Framework. This will improve tracking

 

QUALIFICATIONS, SPECIALIZED EXPERIENCE AND ADDITIONAL COMPETENCIES

☐ Bachelors   ☐ Masters  ☐  PhD   ☐ Other 

Post-graduate Qualification: A post-graduate qualification in education, health, development, or a related field is essential. This qualification should provide a strong foundation in the principles and practices of early childhood development and social sector policy.

Relevant Experience: A minimum of 8 years of relevant experience in policy and service delivery in the early years is required. Candidates should demonstrate a track record of working on similar projects, and knowledge of the Pacific region, particularly the Solomon Islands, is considered advantageous.

Stakeholder Engagement Skills: Proven experience engaging various stakeholders on social sector issues is essential. Candidates should demonstrate the ability to work effectively with government agencies, non-governmental organisations, communities, and other partners to achieve project objectives.

Communication Skills: Strong written and oral communication skills are necessary for this role. Candidates should be able to articulate complex ideas and concepts clearly and concisely. Knowledge of the local language would be an asset, facilitating effective communication with local stakeholders.

Previous work experience with the Ministry of Education: Previous experience working with MEHRD will be an added advantage. Familiarity with UNICEF’s policies, procedures, and programming approaches would enable the candidate to integrate seamlessly into the organization and contribute effectively to project implementation.

 

CONDITIONS OF WORK AND CLARIFICATION ON SUPERVISION

The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Education & Human Resource Development will supervise the consultancy daily, in collaboration with technical support from the UNICEF Solomon Islands Education Specialist based in Honiara. Additionally, the UNICEF Education Specialist, ECD Specialist in Suva, will provide technical supervision, with support from the Chief of Education, Chief of Field Office, and other program colleagues. The consultancy will be office-based in MEHRD in Honiara to facilitate regular dialogues with government counterparts and UNICEF.

The Ministry will provide the necessary workstation and internet for the consultant. However, the consultant’s financial proposal is expected to include all related travel expenses, including in-country travel required to complete the deliverables outlined in the consultancy agreement.

Guidance for applicants 

  • Please submit a separate financial offer along with your proposal.
  • The financial proposal should be a lump sum amount for all the deliverables but should show a breakdown for the following:
  • Monthly/daily fees- based on the deliverables in the Terms of Reference
  • Travel (economy air ticket where applicable to take up assignment if in-country support is required, as well as any in-country travel)
  • Living allowance for international consultants
  • Miscellaneous- to cover visa, health insurance (including medical evacuation for international consultants), communications, and other cost

For more information do contact Jackson Toata at JToata@mehrd.gov.sb or phone 28803

Applications can be hand delivered to the Ministry of Education and Human Resource Development at Tongs building Point Cruz or emailed to JToata@mehrd.gov.sb or Mehrd-Recruit@mehrd.gov.sb

Application to be addressed to:
Permanent Secretary
Ministry of Education and Human Resource Development
P O Box G28
Honiara

 

May 8, 2024

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