Terms of Reference For Review of Education Policies and Provisions

VSO Nepal

VSO is the world's leading international development organisation that works through volunteers to fight poverty. Working in 24 countries around the world, our unique role in international development is to place committed volunteers with carefully selected organisations where their skills can have the greatest impact. Our extraordinary volunteers live and work in some of the world's poorest communities. Sharing their unique skills and experience to generate new ideas and new ways of doing things, helping the communities they work in lift themselves out of poverty. We're not about delivering quick fixes, but instead we focus on long-lasting, sustainable change, that will impact generations to come. Join us and help us work towards our vision of a world without poverty.

Detailed Job description / requirements:

Terms of Reference


Review of Education Policies and Provisions 

1.   Background

VSO has been in Nepal since 1964 and currently implementing its programs in 25 districts of five Provinces. Evolving its focus from service delivery in remote districts to its current approach of developing organizational, managerial, and civil society capacities to address poverty. One of the key strengths of VSO is making systemic changes at all levels of education systems working with policy makers to local communities, and also with Civil Society Organizations VSO work at community level where the needs are the greatest, shares skills and experience strategically with people and organizations with the potential to effectively contribute to development in Nepal.

Currently VSO Nepal’s program focuses on Education, Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights, Youth, Livelihoods, Gender & Inclusion, Governance, Climate Change and Resilience. Using our unique Volunteering for Development approach we have brought thousands of people together over the years to generate insights, ideas and, above all, action on poverty and exclusion. Working in 24 countries around the world, our unique role in international development is to place committed volunteers with carefully selected organizations where their skills can have the greatest impact. 

VSO approach to improving education operates at four levels. At Individual level, where we provide individual support to primary actors through mentoring and coaching support through mobilizing volunteering for development approach ( use of international, national and community volunteers) At school level, where we build the capacity of teachers, head teachers and school Management Committees and Parent Teachers Associations to perform their work effectively, practices inclusive and innovate technologies, and to be accountable, ensure that the school have an enabling and safe learning environment. At community level, where we empower parents, communities including religious leaders through awareness raising activities to support increasing access, quality and improving management efficiency of the schools. Finally, at system level where we collaborate with education policymakers and managers to strengthen the planning and delivery of the overall system, including policy support, support on database management, support in the use of Washington Group Questions to identify children having functional limitations. We also work on Education in Emergencies (EiE) to support children continue the learning and make sure school are safe to learn.

VSO Nepal is closely working with Government of Nepal and implementing several projects in Education sector. Major ongoing projects are ENGAGE, SAHAYATRA, SIKAI, etc. VSO Nepal is collaborating with Federal, Provincial, and local government to improve access to quality education for all children including marginalized and children with disability. 

Following VSO IE pathways and change interventions areas, VSO in collaboration with Ministry of Education, Science and Technology has planned to carry out a review of education sector policies and provisions to analysis the strengths and weaknesses of an education polices , drawing on the current policies along with associated policy gaps,  with the overall goal of providing recommendations to plan/implement those plans and policies ensuring effective policy design and implementation to accomplish the intended goals of SDGs through updating the existing policies and designing appropriate programme interventions. 

2.   Objectives

  1. To capture the existing policy development processes, policy documents, laws, regulations, education plans, periodic plans, annual budget, programs etc.in line with equity, inclusion, quality and right to education of both general and technical stream in comparison to international perspectives and practices. 
  2. To examine the policy gaps and identify the potential policy areas where new policy update/formulation is essential to achieve SDGs and ensure rights to education for all including better access to technical and vocational competencies. 

3.   Scope of the assignment 

The scope of this assignment is as below:

a.   Analyse different education provisions developed and implemented in the past and current policies (general and vocational stream) in the context of achieving SDGs and commitments.

b.   Identify policy gaps in addressing the SDGs where government must provide high priority in short term and long team plans, policies, and their implementations

4.    Deliverables/Output

The following deliverables are expected from the consultant in due process of the assignment: 

a.   Desk review

b.   Consultation and discussion with key stakeholders (policy makers, MoEST and CEHRD officials, Provincial level education officials, education focal person, thematic experts) 

c.    Develop and finalize structure of report 

d.   Development of initial draft for sharing

e.   Sharing and discussion in initial draft for inputs and feedback from the key stakeholders

f.   Incorporate feedback and inputs and finalization of report

g.   Submission of final report including two to four pager infographic summaries

5.   Timeframe/Estimated working days

This piece of work requires the minimum days of engagement of consultant – 60days (including the discussions and presentation)commencing date on signed contract. The final submission of - “Review of Education Policies and Provisions” needs to be completed by the end of December 2021. 

6.   Qualifications and experience of the consultant

The education policy review process should be led by a professional with the work background in policy research and it would be good if the person has enough knowledge and experience on education, policy research. 

a.   Minimum a PhD degree in Education or Social Sciences

b.   At least 10 years experiences on policy research/ educational research

c.   Extensive knowledge on government priorities, plan, and policies and specially on education sector plan, free and compulsory education act, equity strategy, inclusive education etc. 

d.   Familiar with education sector program and provisions and experienced in such interventions.

e.   Capable enough to collect information following distance and alternative modes of data collection tools, technique including online system

f.   Excellent and coherent report writing skills in both English and Nepali.

g.   Capacity to present the findings in a clear way in a very simple manner. 

7.   Mode of Payment

Payment should be done through bank transfer made in two instalments. 30% of the contract amount will be paid in advance after signing of the agreement/contract, remaining 70% amount will be paid after delivery of the content and submission of the education policies and provisions review report. 

8.   Intellectual Property

All information mentioned in the report will remain the property of VSO Nepal. Except for purposes of this assignment, the information will not be disclosed to the public nor used in whatever without written permission from VSO Nepal.

9.   Reporting

The Consultant will report to Project Manager- Inclusive Education as first person of contact after being award for the assignment:

Mr. Sushil Khanal -Project Manager- Inclusive Education 

Email: Sushil.Khanal@vsoint.org

10.   Research Ethics and Confidentiality

Proposed approach should comply with international good practice with regards to research ethics and protocols particularly with regards to safeguarding children, vulnerable groups (including people with disabilities) and those in fragile and conflict affected states. Consideration should be given to:

  • Administrative, technical, and physical safeguards to protect the confidentiality of those participating in research.
  • Physical safeguards for those conducting research.
  • Data protection and secure maintenance procedures for personal information that needs to be informed by GDPR 2018.
  • Parental consent concerning data collection from children or collation of data about children.
  • Age- and ability-appropriate assent processes based on reasonable assumptions about comprehension for the ages of children and the disabilities they intend to involve in the research; and
  • Age-appropriate participation of children, including in the development of data collection tools.

11.   Application Procedure

 Interested and eligible firms or individuals are required to submit the following: 

  • Technical proposal which includes objectives and method with detailed timeline.
  • Financial proposal indicating consultancy fee and a breakdown of expenses. 
  • Copy of company registration certificate
  • Copy of PAN/VAT registration certificate
  • Tax Clearance Certificate 2076/77.

Interested and eligible Firms or individuals are requested to submit their letter of interest along with required documents as mentioned above on point no.  6 and 10 to email ID: procurement.nepal@vsoint.org by 15th September 2021.

Annex 1: VSO’s Evidence Principles

1.   Evidence

  • Helps learn from failure
  • Identifies the limits of the research
  • Clearly demonstrates what and how we have contributed to change
  • Illustrates how different approaches to volunteering adds value to change
  • Illustrates how continuous analysis (assumptions, contributions, context) is built into our programs

2.   Voice and Inclusion

  • The perspectives of the most excluded and marginalized groups are included in the evidence
  • We understand the power dynamics – assess power, interest, and influence – levels of interest and importance in each context
  • Data collectors are well prepared and suited to capture the voices of all the people affected by the intervention
  • Primary actors and stakeholders play an active role in the assessment process
  • The findings are disaggregated according to sex, disability, and other relevant social differences
  • Data collected is interpreted thought on-going dialogue with primary actors/ stakeholders 

3.   Contribution

  • Data is available to show that change has happened
  • The explanation of how the intervention contributes to change is explored
  • Alternative factors (e.g., the contribution of other actors) are explored to explain the observed result alongside an intervention’s contribution
  • Unintended and unexpected changes (positive or negative) are identified and explained

4. Methodologies

  • We ensure that our approaches and designs are ethical and reasonable
  • We build in continuous and on-going analysis into the methodology
  • We ensure the methods are appropriate and relevant for the purpose 
  • We test and peer review our methodological approaches 
  • We document and ensure an ethical approach to evidence collection, analysis, and use
  • Data is analyzed in a systematic way that leads to convincing conclusions
  • The perspectives of different stakeholders are compared and analyzed in establishing if and how change has occurred
  • Conflicting findings and divergent perspectives are presented and explained in the analysis and conclusions

5.   Transparency 

  • We commit to report both negatives and positives, intended and unintended outcomes
  • We always ask consent, respect confidentiality and decisions
  • We commit to always being clear to participants on how and where data will be used
  • We clearly state the levels of independence of research
  • We commit wherever possible to compare our data with other data sources
  • Findings and conclusions of the assessment are shared with, and validated by, a range of key stakeholders (e.g., beneficiaries, partners, peers)

Job Overview

Category Development and Project
Openings 1
Position Type Contract
Experience Please check vacancy details.
Education Please check vacancy details
Posted Date 03 Sep, 2021
Apply Before 15 Sep, 2021
City Lalitpur