Early Childhood Development and Education (ECDE) Programme – Call for Applications

Temporary Consultancy for ECDE Programme

Terms of Reference

  1. Background

In 2010, following a regional situation analysis comprising a regional study plus supporting country studies, the OSISA Education Programme, in collaboration with OSF’s Early Childhood programme (ECP), developed a three year (2011 – 2013) Early Childhood Development and Education (ECDE) strategy for the region.

The ‘Getting It Right’ strategy has the following objectives:

  1. To promote the implementation of effective ECDE policies and high quality programmes through support to improve collaboration between different ministries and departments within the state, different tiers of government and the state and civil society;
  2. To increase the awareness of the general public of the importance of ECDE, by building the capacity of civil society actors to engage with policy, law and practice related to ECDE at the local and national levels;
  3. To increase the overall capacity of the ECDE sector (including professional and community based groups) to develop, implement and evaluate quality early childhood services;
  4. To improve the research capacity within the ECDE sector in order to produce and disseminate strategic information to inform policy and practice related to ECDE; and,
  5. To improve the levels of collaboration and coordination between state and non-state actors, through fostering regional networks and linkages for civil society and state actors, researchers and community actors, etc.

Following approval of the strategy total annual budgets of $2.6 (2011); $2M (2012); $2M (2013) were committed by OSISA and ECP, equally split between the two entities. The strategy has subsequently been implemented through an active operational programme of grant making, advocacy, research and capacity building in seven target countries: Angola, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe. The last review of the strategy took place in September 2012.

When the strategy was first conceived, three members of staff were proposed, (Programme Manager, Assistant Programme Manager, Programme Assistant), to be based with OSISA, working collaboratively with one ECP staff member in London. Eventually, given a limited pool of qualified and experienced applicants, only the post of Assistant Program Manager was filled, 10 months into the strategy period. Since then, the Assistant Programme Manager (APM), supported by the Education Programme Manager, ECP staff and consultants, has made enormous efforts to implement a solid programme of activities to realise the aims of the original strategy. As the final months of the 3 year strategy draw close, it is evident that there is a need for additional staff capacity to deliver planned activities and to assist with the need to capture learning generated over the two and a half years of the current strategy, in order to inform the 2014 – 2017 strategy.

These terms of reference therefore propose that a temporary consultant is hired to carry out a selected range of the tasks that need to be completed from now until the end of 2013. The tasks will in the main be distinctive from those to be carried out by the APM, who will focus on engagement with grantees and delivery of key activities including workshops and other events.

  1. 2.     Objectives for the Assignment

The consultant is expected to undertake the following tasks:

  1. Support the planning, production of papers, administration, budget management, delivery and recording of an OSISA hosted regional early childhood development conference, to be held in November 2013. The conference, with an anticipated audience of 150 regional and international participants, will be on the theme of The Challenge for Governments: Early Childhood Development on the post MDG agenda. An active technical conference planning group has recently been constituted, led by an existing ECDE consultant. The role of the new consultant will be to operationalize the aims and objectives of the conference in collaboration with OSISA/ECP staff, consultants and in co-operation with an external events planning organisation;
  2. Contribute to development of a TOR, identification of consultants and management of an initial scoping exercise on financing of early childhood services in the region, which will inform the financing strand of the 2014 – 2017 ECDE strategy;
  3. In collaboration with the Monitoring and Evaluation Manager, ECDE APM, and ECP staff, to review grant reports, document best practice and collate examples of learning  from ECDE grantees both for the OSISA web-site and also to document the outcomes/impacts of the strategy;
  4. To support the APM to produce written documentation to support processing of grants and other information required to further the objectives of the strategy;
  5. Other tasks as required to progress OSISA’s ECDE portfolio, including the development of new initiatives and projects over the course of the consultancy.
  1. 3.     Scope of Work

The assignment will be until the end of December 2013, with a minimum time commitment of three days a week. The successful candidate will be expected to operate from the OSISA office in Johannesburg for the duration of the assignment where he/she will be expected to work closely with OSISA Education Programme and ECDE staff. The consultant will also be expected to liaise closely with ECP staff.

  1. 4.     Fees

Fees will be negotiated with the selected candidate.

  1. Accountability and Reporting Arrangements

The Consultant reports to the Education Programme Manager, Ms Wongani Grace Nkhoma who will report to the OSISA directorate and ECP.

  1. Desired Candidate

The successful candidate must have a Master’s degree or its equivalent in early childhood development, education, psychology, sociology, public health, international development or a relevant field. He or she must also have extensive knowledge of ECDE and familiarity with ECDE programming and practice in the region as well as experience in writing for a wide range of audiences and project management. Experience of writing and managing grant proposals is an added advantage.

Interested candidates must send their CV and short note indicating their interest and availability for the duration of the assignment to gracen@osisa.org not later than 12th July, 2013.