Development of the communication strategy for the dissemination of the standards, continuous professional development and social dialogue frameworks for teachers in Zambia
Timeline: August – October, 2021
Education is UNESCO’s top priority because it is a basic human right and the foundation on which to build peace and drive suitable development. UNESCO is the United Nations’ specialized agency for education and the Education Sector provides global and regional leadership in Education, strengthens national education systems and responds to contemporary global challenges through education with specific focus on gender equality in Africa. UNESCO is mandated with the responsibility of leading and coordinating the Education 2030 agenda, which is part of the global movement to eradicate poverty through the 17 Sustainable Development Goals.
Globally, UNESCO’s Capacity Development for Education (CapED) Programme is central on delivering on this mandate through capacity development for education. Created in 2003 to translate UNESCO’s global advocacy on Education for All into concrete action at the country level, the CapED programme has become a successful coordination platform that shapes the way in which UNESCO’s Education Sector works. With a focus on Least Developed Countries and fragile countries in emergency situation or recovering from conflict or national disasters, CapED mobilizes UNESCO’s worldwide network of specialized institutes and offices and works with partners to provide Member States with a cohesive package of support as they develop and implement national plans to deliver on SDG4 commitments. In Zambia, the CapED’s objective is to contribute towards improved quality of in-service teachers and this is being achieved through the following four pillars:
- Development and operationalization of the standards of practice for the teaching profession to contribute towards improved the quality
- Development and operationalization of national frameworks for Continuous Professional development (CPD) for teachers to improve pedagogical competencies of teachers for improved learning outcomes
- Development and operationalisation of the national framework for social dialogue by providing teachers a platform to engage and influence decisions affecting them, thus promoting consensus building and democratic involvement in the teaching profession in Zambia
- Strengthen professional capacities and pedagogical competencies of in-service teachers and teacher educators in Gender Responsive Pedagogy (GRP) through capacity building and development of relevant training materials and monitoring tools
In terms of implementation progress this far, the standards of practice for the teaching profession in Zambia have been developed with the piloting process initiated in 2020. In December 2019, the Standards of Practice for the Teaching Profession (SPTP) in Zambia together with the implementation guidelines were officially launched. The standards have been developed as a tool to guide teachers, teacher educators and educational leaders by outlining the minimum set of knowledge, skills, values, attitude, conduct and obligations expected. Teacher standards are to be used by teachers, teacher educators, and educational leaders to help them become much more professional in their teaching profession. Once fully operationalized, standards will form the basis for performance appraisal, teacher licensing, appointments and promotions, inspections and issuance of practicing certificates. Government institutions such as the Teaching Service Commission (TSC), Teaching Council of Zambia (TCZ), Ministry of General Education (MoGE) directorates and teacher trade unions will also use the standards in a variety of ways to contribute towards the delivery of quality education.
The review and consolidation of the validated National CPD Framework for teachers in Zambia is ongoing and expected to be completed in the third quarter of 2021. The development of the costed implementation plan will then follow and expected to be completed by December, 2021. On the other hand, the national framework on social dialogue for teachers has been completed and approved–with the development of the costed implementation plan currently underway and progressing as planned.
The dissemination of the standards of practice, social dialogue and CPD frameworks and orientation of teachers, teacher educators and education leaders is a huge undertaking, which requires time and adequate financial resources and innovative dissemination strategies and tools to ensure that intended objectives are realized. This is particularly considering the fact that Zambia currently has about 160,000 registered teachers who need to be sensitized or trained about how these framework can be best utilized. Amid limited resources, UNESCO has demonstrated commitment in supporting the MoGE and partners towards the development of these frameworks. The challenge lying ahead is ensuring sustainability in the institutionalization of these framework in order to foster improved quality of teachers in the country. Sustained austerity measures embarked upon by government continue to pose a challenge in terms of MoGE’s capacity to mobilize resource for effective operationalization of these framework. It is also worth noting that government undertook decisive measures aimed at redressing the challenges affecting education in resource management across all levels. Moreover, the shrinking donor funding coupled with the scaling back of government expenditure pose a heavy toll on delivery of quality education at all levels. These austerity measures come at a time when the Ministry of Finance has been reducing the share of the education sector budget from 20.2% of the national budget in 2015 to 12.4% in 2020, representing a 39% reduction in the last four years. Clearly, this fiscal situation possesses a huge challenge in so far as planned the operationalization of the developed framework is concerned.
Given the above, the plan to develop a communication strategy is necessary. The idea of the communication and dissemination strategy is also meant to ensure stakeholders inclusiveness. More importantly, teachers, teacher educators and education leaders need to have adequate information, messages and tools to effectively communicate the content of the developed frameworks, thereby maintaining consistency and accuracy in the delivery of the content and by so doing preventing any ambiguity. In this regard, to further strengthen the capacity of the implementing partners (i.e MoGE, TCZ, TSC, Teacher Unions etc.) to fulfil their mandate, in particular that of awareness raising, there is need to develop a Communication Strategy including Information, Education and Communication (IEC) materials that will focus on raising awareness around teacher quality issues through targeted messages shared through selected appropriate communication channels. In undertaking this assignment, the consultant will further be guided by the available situation analysis reports, workshops reports and the accompanying costed implemented plans.
3.0 Objectives of the consultancy
The approved standards of practice, the national framework for social dialogue for teachers and the validated CPD frameworks are all aimed at empowering all in service teachers, teacher educators and education leaders. To maximize compliance and improve the quality of teachers in Zambia, it is critical that all the categories of the teaching profession are adequately made aware of what these frameworks are all about and how they need to utilized at the classroom level into order to help improve the quality of teacher and learning in Zambia.
The main objective of this consultancy is support MoGE and partners in the development of the advocacy and communication strategy and related IEC/communication materials and tools for disseminating the standards of practice, continuous professional development and social dialogue frameworks for teachers in Zambia. To ensure ownership, the consultant will work closely with the government committee/entities responsible for the development of this strategy. In particular, this consultancy addresses the following specific objectives:
- Develop an advocacy and communication strategy with clear strategies on how to increase awareness and knowledge about the developed national frameworks to sustainably improved the quality of teachers in Zambia
- Design communication tools and IEC materials targeting different audiences as identified in the strategy. As much as possible, the strategy till outline/articulate existing low cost/cost effective communication strategies with wider outreach such as community radio stations which will be utilised by MoGE in partnership with other stakeholders such as TCZ and teacher unions to raise awareness about the frameworks developed
In view of these two specifics objectives, the individual consultant will support UNESCO in validating both the revised advocacy and communication strategy and IEC materials and tools with the involvement of key stakeholders.
4.0 Assignment tasks
Under the overall supervision of the Head of Education Unit for UNESCO ROSA, the individual consultant/communication expert will work closely with the UNESCO’s CapED National Programme Officer based on Lusaka, Zambia. To successfully undertake this assignment, the individual consultant/communication expert will also be expected to consult widely with MoGE (i.e Directorate of Teacher Education and Specialized Services, Teaching Council of Zambia, Teaching Service Commission, Teacher Unions etc.) and other key stakeholders working closely with UNESCO on issues of teacher education in general and teacher quality in particular. The following are the specific tasks of the assignment to be undertaken:
- Conduct a desk review/assessment of available frameworks (i.e. standards of practice, CPD, social dialogue for teachers. This will include the review of the CapED programme document.
- Conduct a desk assessment of other relevant teacher education policy documents to inform development of the communication strategy.
- Develop a communications strategy for UNESCO’s partners (i.e MoGE, TCZ, Teacher Unions etc.) to enhance the awareness, understanding, and knowledge of the national frameworks by teachers, teacher educators and education leaders and other key stakeholders in the government, private sector, civil society, etc. at the national, provincial, district, zonal and schools level.
- Specify appropriate communication channels, dissemination methods and media such as video, print, web/online media, traditional media, and social media, among others, to effectively communicate key messages to specific stakeholders.
- Design standard communication tools and IEC materials targeting different audiences as identified in the strategy.
- Develop guide as part of the strategy for communications on teacher quality issues based on the identified strategic objectives, measures and objectives of the available national frameworks and costed implementation plans to ensure consistent formats for publications and communication products/messages.
- Conceptualize, design and develop Information, Education and Communication (IEC) materials on teacher quality issues (as reflected in the developed national framework) with appropriate and relevant messages tailored for key stakeholders using various formats as appropriate such as text, graphics, imageries, infographics, video, printed materials, etc.
- Provide the cost of the advocacy and communication strategy including the annual activities related to advocacy and communication.
- Review and update the Teaching Council of Zambia‘s website to ensure it has some agreed IEC materials uploaded on their existing websites or web portals.
5.0 Expected Deliverables
The following are the expected deliverables of this assignment/individual consultancy:
- Inception report detailing the methodology and process of development of the strategy. The inception report is expected to include a detailed outline of the advocacy and communication strategy
- Full draft of the advocacy and communication strategy based on the agreed outline
- Validated strategy: The strategy will be validated through a workshop with stakeholders and following which comments generated will be incorporated. A final version of the communication strategy, incorporating comments on the first draft
- Draft Communication or materials to be validated by UNESCO and other key stakeholders
- Design and production of IEC materials around the frameworks for various audiences (such as teachers, teacher educators, education leaders etc.) in form of imageries, infographics video, printed materials, etc
6.0 Duration of the contract, deliverables and payment modalities
UNESCO and partners expect the strategy and the related IEC materials to be of high quality. In terms of the timing and taking into account the nature of the tasks and expected quality of the deliverables, this consultancy will be undertaken within 25 full working days. In this regard and further to ensure flexibility in the process, the contract will be valid from August to end of October, 2021. In line with the outlined tasks and deliverables, UNESCO will make the payments based on the following plan:
- 1st deliverable: 20% payment upon signing of the contract and submission of the inception report detailing the approach or methodology about how the assignment will be undertaken
- 2nd deliverable: 50% payment upon submission of the first full draft of the advocacy and communication strategy based on the agreed outline and draft communication and/or IEC materials for various audiences (refer to point iii, iv, v above)
- 3rd deliverable: 30% payment upon submission of the detailed final/validated strategy and validated communication and/or IEC materials for various audiences
7.0 Required Experience
This in an individual consultancy and qualified and well experienced communication experts who meet the following selection criteria are encouraged to apply. The individual consultant should:
- Minimum of Masters degree in communication, development communication or related social science from a reputable university
- Demonstrate prior experience in developing a communication strategy, ideally in the development context with at least 7 years of progressively advanced experience in strategic communications, public advocacy, which must include developing communications and advocacy strategies at the global, regional or national level.
- A good understanding of in teacher education, education policy, sector analysis and planning program design in Zambia, and using quantitative and qualitative analytical skills will be an added advantage,
- Demonstrated programming experience and knowledge of issues and concepts relating to teacher education in general, preferably within a Zambian socio-political context
- Have relevant experience in working with government in Zambia and/or international organizations on consultancy assignments, especially in strategic communications planning
- Have experience in producing good communication and advocacy materials for use by clients
- Have excellent proven written and spoken English and strong oral and written communication skills. Some knowledge of local language is going to be an advantage.
8.0 Deadline for proposal submission
Interested consultants should submit a detailed technical and financial proposal on the basis of following points:
- A letter of interest stating why you are completive a good fit for the assignment
- A summarized technical and financial proposal which should include a description of the proposed methodology to be used, a schedule of planned activities
- Detailed budget including professional fee per day (in USD). For communication/IEC materials to be developed subsequent to the development of the strategy, an indication of unit costs should be provided (printing cost for these material will be paid by UNESCO directly to the to the vender)
- CV of the professional to undertake the assignment including a summary of similar assignments undertaken previously
- At least 3 references of previous mandates
- Sample of materials that have been produced as well as samples of Community Strategies developed.
Send technical and financial proposals to firstname.lastname@example.org copying in email@example.com no later than 5PM on 26th August, 2021