Terms of Reference
Development and delivery of a Standard Package of resource materials for the Orientation of First Year Students in Higher and Tertiary Education Institutions in Zambia
UNESCO seeks the services of a consultant to develop a standard package of resource materials for the orientation of first year students across higher and tertiary education institutions participating in the O3 PLUS Project in Zambia.
UNESCO is working closely with the Ministry of Education, Higher and Tertiary Education Institutions (HTEIs), and key partners on the Our Rights, Our Lives, Our Future Plus (O3 Plus) project to ensure that young people in higher and tertiary education institutions in the East and Southern African region realize positive health, education and gender equality outcomes through sustained reductions in new HIV infections, unintended pregnancy and gender-based violence. The project seeks to empower students reach their full educational potential and contribute more effectively to the development of their countries and region as graduates, professionals and young leaders.
UNESCO supports innovation in access to comprehensive sexuality education (CSE) and sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services for HTEI students while advocating for policy and practice changes to make campuses safe and inclusive learning environments for students and staff. In doing so, the project will institutionalize health and well-being programmes for students while engaging leadership for long-term commitment and sustainability.
The work is being delivered through four complementary pillars or work streams:
- Institutional strengthening for sustainability
- Student health and well-being
- Safe and inclusive campus environments
- Evidence-building and knowledge-sharing platform.
Strengthening orientation week / induction programmes for first year students to include SRHR services and information upon admission for conveying information to all students is one of the activities under institutional strengthening for sustainability. First year students embarking on educational programs enter HTEIs with various backgrounds, understanding, and expectations. Institutions must properly ease first year students into this transition in their life. One way to help a first-year student’s transition into HTEIs is with a first-year orientation programme. These programmes provide unique space for students to adjust well to their institution. Orientation provides time prior to the academic year beginning to allow first-year students to meet their peers, better understand the transition into college, become familiar with campus environments, feel comfortable with interacting with faculty, staff and administration, and learn more about oneself and others in a large or small group setting. A UNESCO (2018) study found that first-year female students were a particularly vulnerable subpopulation which requires targeted SRH education and support during orientation . First year female students are often targeted by older men for sexual relationships and often experience sexual harassment from other students as well as from academic staff. This calls for efforts to strengthen content to include sexual and gender-based violence, relationships and broader sexual and reproductive health issues as part of the orientation package for first year students. By so doing, orientation programmes will highly benefit first year students and enhance their positive HTEIs life experience.
3. The assignment
UNESCO seeks the services of a consultant to develop a standard orientation resource package and programme for first year students in higher and tertiary education institutions:
i. Undertake a desk review, assessment of all relevant documents currently used for orientation week across 11 O3 PLUS participating institutions in Zambia to fully understand the ground situation and existing orientation materials and to propose innovative methods to deliver the orientation week to reach all students.
ii. Review standard orientation packages developed in other countries of the region
iii. Consult students to collect their views and suggestions on how to improve the orientation package.
iv. Develop a standard orientation programme and package of resource materials with an instructional guide for reaching all first-year students during orientation week.
v. Facilitate a stakeholder workshop for the validation and dissemination of the orientation package and programme.
The consultant will have the following deliverables.
i. A desk review on the prevailing orientation programmes and resources in the 11 participating institutions, identifying good and promising practices.
ii. A questionnaire to be administered to students to collect their views on the orientation package and suggestions on how it could be improved (including topics to be covered, modalities to deliver the orientation week, strategies to reach all students)
ii. An assessment report summarizing key findings from the desk review and questionnaire. The report should outline key thematic issues to be included in the resource package and suggest innovative modalities to deliver the orientation week with the objective to reach all first-year students.
iv. A package of resource materials with an instructional guide for reaching all first-year students with critical CSE and SRH information during orientation. The materials should be adapted to be disseminated through a mobile application, university website, social media, WhatsApp bots. The package can build on other orientation package developed in the region.
v. A workshop organised for the validation and dissemination of the orientation package and programme (including preparation of the agenda and all related materials needed for the workshop). The workshop should involve the key representatives from the participating institutions responsible for the orientation week, O3 Plus Cluster Coordinators and students.
vi. A workshop report capturing the key discussion points, lessons learned, opportunities and next steps
5. Timeline and duration
It is estimated that the consultancy shall not exceed 23 days and shall start by 15 July 2023.
i. Undertake a desk review and assessment of all relevant documents currently used for orientation week across the 11 O3 Plus participating institutions and across other countries in the region to fully understand the ground situation and existing orientation materials – 6 Days
ii. Develop a questionnaire to collect students’ views on the orientation package as well as suggestions on how it could be improved – 2 Days
iii. An assessment report summarizing key findings from the desk review and questionnaire and suggesting innovative modalities to deliver the orientation week with the objective to reach all first-year students – 2 Days
iv. Develop a standard orientation programme and package of resource materials with an instructional guide for reaching all first-year students during the orientation week. The materials should be adapted to be disseminated through a mobile application, university website, social media, WhatsApp bots. The package can build on other orientation package developed in the region – 5 Days
v. Facilitate a stakeholder workshop for the validation and dissemination of the orientation package and programme – 2 Days
vi. A workshop report capturing the key discussion points, lessons learned, opportunities and next steps – 2 Days
*Total = 19 Days
Profile of candidate
The candidate is expected to have the following qualifications and skills
- A minimum of a master’s degree in a related field (education, development or public health), a doctorate degree is an added advantage
- At least 5 years’ experience in the field of education, youth development and mentorship, sexual and reproductive health and rights
- Sound understanding of higher and tertiary education context supported by two references/examples
- Proven experience of developing high quality, age appropriate, activity-based student materials, supported by two references/examples
- Proven experience producing high quality reports for a wide range of stakeholders which include HTEIs, supported by two references/examples
- Experience in organizing and conducting trainings and workshops
- Excellent writing and communication skills
- Previous experience to develop materials adapted for HTEIs students in relation to orientation activities
The Consultant must have no prior involvement in the design, planning or implementation of the O3 PLUS project to avoid any potential conflict of interest. Only nationals of Zambia or individuals with permission to work in Zambia may apply for this position.
The contract will be managed by the UNESCO Zambia National office through the UNESCO Regional Office for Southern Africa (ROSA). The consultant will be expected to provide an updated status in a written format on a weekly basis. Formal reporting is expected upon delivery of each deliverable. Additional reporting activities may be requested by UNESCO Zambia and ROSA on a need basis.
7. Budget and Payment
The consultant will be selected following a competitive bidding process. Candidates must submit a cost estimation (in USD) as an expression of interest, clearly itemizing costs. Payment will be done upon submission of each deliverable.
8. Copyright, Patents and Other Proprietary Rights
All rights, including but not limited to title to property, copyright, trademark and patent; in any work produced by the consultant by virtue of his/her contract, shall be vested in UNESCO which alone shall hold all rights of use.
9. Evaluation of Proposals
All interested consultants are required to submit, as sperate documents, a technical and financial proposal separately via email.
The technical proposal shall be no more than 10 pages concisely presented and structured to include the following information:
- Presentation of your profile/ up to date Curriculum Vitae
- Description of the steps that will be followed to undertake the work
- Proposal of detailed workplan, including milestones for key deliverables.
- Proposal of timeline
- Information which the bidder considers confidential, if any, should be clearly marked as such.
The Technical proposal will be evaluated on the basis of responsiveness to the requirements including:
- The consultant’s experience and expertise that will be of benefit to the proposed assignment
- Approach to task that demonstrates extent to which the bidder understands the requirements
- Feasible and technically sound methodology, appropriate for fulfilling the overall objectives of the assignment
- Realistic work plan with specific treatment of key deliverables
- Qualifications and experience of the consultant
- Quality of previous work sample
The financial proposal should be no more than 2 pages and should detail: an appropriate Price Schedule which includes, as a minimum, the consultancy rate (in USD) and indication of which items may be negotiated, if applicable, or which items can be modified as per the budget. Full and final costing should include all taxes.
In addition, two sample reports are to be submitted, and these will be assessed on quality, effectiveness of the presentation of findings and conclusions, amongst other key issues.
During the consultancy period the consultant will be evaluated on:
- capacity to deliver products of an optimal technical quality within the agreed timelines;
- proper and smooth project management (including communication with all stakeholders);
- their service orientation and responsiveness to UNESCO’s needs and expectations.
10. Submission of proposal
Interested consultant may submit their CV, technical proposal, work sample and financial proposal via email to [email protected] no later than 18th September 2023.