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Consultant, Education Cluster Information Management Specialist Consultancy

Location: Home based, with international travel
Last Date: August 26, 2011
Email:  (Reference:

Consultant, Education Cluster Information Management Specialist Consultancy
UN Children's Fund
Closing date: 26 Aug 2011

The Education Cluster was established as part of the IASC cluster approach, to ensure greater predictability, timeliness and effectiveness of humanitarian response through improved strategic coordination, prioritization and partnership in the education sector. It is co-led by UNICEF and Save the Children, with over 30 organizations represented at global level in the Education Cluster Working Group (ECWG), a partnership mechanism to enhance the capacity and continuity of the cluster¡¦s work. Country level Education Clusters have been established in more than 40 countries to coordinate education in emergency responses.

The Education Cluster¡¦s Strategic Plan 2011-2013 has as its objective to strengthen country level education capacities to prepare for, respond to and recover from humanitarian crises, through work in 4 outcome areas: technical capacity, operational support, knowledge and information sharing, and recognition of and provision for education in humanitarian action.

This consultancy will contribute directly to the third outcome area, enhancing information management and knowledge sharing to facilitate effective Education Cluster action, at country level and global level. The work in this area is managed by the Education Cluster Knowledge Manager Advisor, in collaboration with the ECWG Knowledge Management (KM) Team.

Knowledge management here is understood broadly: encompassing the data-gathering and analysis of needs assessment activities; the wider KM systems that concern dissemination and storage of processed data; and also the documentation, communication, and application of lessons learned.
Shared information and knowledge are the foundations of decision-making for Education Clusters. Standardized, comprehensive and timely information, consistent with the Inter-Agency Network for Education in Emergencies¡¦ (INEE) Minimum Standards is needed by Education Clusters to guide emergency responses, as is the documentation of lessons learned and good practices. Access to statistical information and to the tacit knowledge held by individuals in aid institutions, community groups, and national government ministries is fundamental to the planning and implementation of an effective educational response.

The KM team has developed a Short Guide to Rapid Needs Assessments as well as a Joint Education Needs Assessment Toolkit in order to provide adaptable guidance on needs assessments to cluster members. Several IM tools and good practice examples are also available. However, a consistent cluster-wide information management (IM) system for coordination and programming has yet to be developed; this is part of the Strategic Plan.

Within the Strategic Plan, targeted support will be provided to specific countries on a rolling ¡§watch list¡¨. ¡§Watch list¡¨ countries are defined as countries with increased preparedness/response required, or where there is an acute crisis or escalation of crisis requiring a concerted humanitarian effort, or large scale or particularly complex operations. Those countries will receive additional operational and technical support and remote back-stopping for particular functions. Support to needs assessment and information management is envisioned, including a focus on refining and testing tools. 2. OBJECTIVE

In order to realize the goals of the 2011-2013 Education Cluster Strategic Plan related to information and knowledge management, the KM Team of the Education Cluster Working Group (ECWG) propose building Education Cluster capacity for information and knowledge sharing.

The KM Team seeks to engage an Information Management Specialist to improve mechanisms for gathering, managing and disseminating information for an effective and coordinated education cluster response in emergency situations. As the Education Cluster is concerned with both Information Management and Knowledge Management, the goal is to provide support for improving practices in both areas in three ¡§watch list¡¨ countries, build country-level capacity, and momentum for other country clusters to follow suit. 3. MAIN RESPONSIBILITIES AND TASKS

I. Support to country level clusters on information management tools adaptation and assistance in the application of joint education needs assessment tools in three ¡§watch list¡¨ countries.

The goal is to technically support these processes, as well as collect information, compile tools, etc. to provide a basis for documentation of lessons learned in each country (see II). The ToRs for each country visit will include NA and IM work as outlined below but will be tailored to country needs plus yield documentation deliverables useful for the global cluster.

Typically, this would include adapting the Joint Education Needs Assessment (JENA) Toolkit and Information Management Tools to establish consistent indicators for the needs assessment and put in a place a workable Information Management system, working with country clusters. A ToR would include: „X Consultation with Education Cluster Coordinators & Information Managers (2 days) „X Present global Draft Information Management Toolkit & Joint Education Needs Assessment Toolkit at Education Cluster Meeting (2 days) „X Conduct focus group discussions with Education Cluster partners on use and application of Information Management Toolkit and Needs Assessment Toolkit (6 days)

(30 days, including travel)

II. Documentation

„« Document the successes and challenges of supporting needs assessment. „X Compile a list of existing tools in 3 locations and analyze strengths & weaknesses (1 days) „X Document feedback in 3 locations to the presentation/discussion of Global JENA tools (1 days) „X Review, code and input focus group discussion outcomes from the 3 locations. (2 days) „X Input data into a database for analysis and eventual decision making for next steps in Needs Assessment, good practice (6 days)

„« Document the successes and challenges of adapting information management tools „X Compile a list of existing tools in 3 locations and analyze strengths & weaknesses (1 days) „X Document feedback in 3 locations to the presentation/discussion of Global IM tools (1 days) „X Review, code and input focus group discussion outcomes from the 3 locations. (2 days) „X Input data into a database for analysis and eventual decision making for next steps in Information Management tools usage (6 days)

(20 days, homebased)

III. Information Sharing

„X Sustain Education Cluster website updates over this period, related to needs assessment and information management and other necessary information related to the Education Cluster Unit needs (10 days) „X Develop an interactive space to establish a community of practice, receive feedback, and share widely across Education Cluster members. (6 days) „X Initiate space and content on the Education Cluster website presenting the process and findings from NA and IM support, tools analysis and good practice. (4 days) „X Provide input into listserve messages and social media used by the Education Cluster (2 days) „X Develop and disseminate Lessons Learned on the NA/IM experiences in ¡§watchlist countries¡¨ with the Country Clusters, ECWG members, and other stakeholders, elicit feedback to compile summary global lessons. ( 4 days) „X Consolidate the overall work into a final Lessons Learned document that incorporates Guidance for NA and IM, in collaboration with KM advisor and KM team (4 days)

(30 days, homebased)

Estimated total = 80 days

„X The IM Specialist will be responsible for the following outputs: „X Trip reports that consolidate explicit steps taken in completed needs assessment and information tools awareness, adaptation. In these 3 reports, feedback processes will be described for each of the three countries selected for the consultancy. These trip reports must also include the list of existing NA and IM tools in each location as well as recommendations for use/adaptation. „X Power point presentations developed on both Needs Assessment and Information Management Tools used during in-country presentations „X Database (overall) developed that compiles information in excel, both qualitative (focus group discussions) and quantitative feedback on the NA and IM practice and tools used in country and responses to new developments presented from global level. „X Web-based site developed and maintained that shares practice and tools used in these contexts, capturing the successes and challenges of performing the needs assessments, establishing the IM systems, and exploring harnessing of technologies to aid these processes. „X Global Guidance & Lessons Learned Document developed (format to be determined) drawing on the three experiences and guiding the Needs Assessment and Information Management processes through recommendations for actions to take over the next year.

The consultant will be hired by UNICEF, and report administratively to the Education Cluster Coordinator. Technical supervision will be provided by the Education Cluster Knowledge Management Adviser.

DURATION: 80 days over a period of 4 months (starting September 2011). The consultant will work from home and undertake 3 field visits.


„X An advanced university degree (master's degree or equivalent) with a minimum of 5 years of progressively professional experience in IM/NA, humanitarian assistance or related field (experience in education in emergencies preferable). „X IM/NA experience, preferably applied in education/humanitarian contexts „X Experience with Clusters, preferably Education Cluster a strong asset „X Very strong needs assessment, data collection and analysis experience. „X Excellent facilitation skills.
„X Ability to develop databases and use in analysis of qualitative and quantitative information „X Website design and development skills „X Education-specific perceptive based on studies and applied skills-set „X Strong presentation and communications skills „X Proficiency in English. Knowledge of French an asset

HOW TO APPLY Qualified candidates are requested to email with subject line ¡§Education Cluster Information Management Specialist Consultancy¡¨, a cover letter, CV and P11 form (which can be downloaded from our website at to by 26 August 2011. Please indicate your availability, and daily/monthly rate to undertake the terms of reference above. Applications submitted without a daily rate will not be considered.


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