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READ Project - P133079

Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education | Published June 16, 2015  -  Deadline July 15, 2015
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Development Of Communication Strategy For Ministry Of Baisc & Secondary Education (mobse) REPUBLIC OF THE GAMBIA Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education Willy Thorpe Place Building, Banjul The Gambia REQUEST FOR EXPRESSIONS OF INTEREST (CONSULTANT SERVICES) Country:The Republic of The Gambia ProjectTitles:  Results for EducationAchievement and Development (READ) Sector:  Ministry of Basic and SecondaryEducation (MoBSE) Consultancy Services: Development ofCommunication Strategy for Ministry of Basic & Secondary Education (MoBSE). ProjectID:  P133978 Expressions ofinterest The Government of TheGambia has receivedfinancing amounting to USD18.8 million from the World Bank towards the cost of the READ projects and intends to apply part of theproceeds for consultant services. Development ofCommunication Strategy for Ministry of Basic & Secondary Education (MoBSE). . The Ministry ofBasic and Secondary Education now invites eligible firmsto indicate their interest in providing the services. Interested consultants must provide information indicating that they arequalified to perform the services (description of similar assignments, experience in similar contracts, availability of appropriateskills among staff, etc.). Consultants may associate to enhance theirqualifications. A consultant will beselected in accordance with the procedures set out in the World Bank's Guidelines: Selection and Employment of Consultants by World BankBorrowers (currentedition). Interested eligible consultants may obtain further information fromthe Projects Coordination Unit, Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education,Willy Thorpe Place Building, Banjul, The Gambia. DEVELOPMENT OFCOMMUNICATION STRATEGY FOR THE MINISTRY OFBASICAND SECONDARY EDUCATION  TERMS OFREFERENCE Background: The Gambia is located in West Africaand is bordered on three sides by Senegal. It has an estimated population of about 1.8 million (the last population census wascarried out in 2003) of which more than 60 percent are below the age of 24. The overall poverty headcount indexis estimated at 48.4 percent (upper poverty line: US$1.25 a day),[1]and 36.7 percent (lower poverty line: US$1.00)although the poverty headcount index declinedbetween 2003 and 2010, income inequality has not and is likely to increase.  In 2010,the poorest quintile of the population consumed only 5.6 percent of overall expenditures, while the wealthiest quintile wasconsuming 46.5 percent.  Unemployment primarily affects those who are young, urban,female, and better educated ? reflecting the weakness and lack of sophistication of the country's formaleconomy[2]. In the education sector, externalfinancing comprised more than 35percent of total education budget in 2009 thus showing a strong reliance on foreign aid. Thedevelopment partners (DPs) also played a key role in mitigating the impact of last year's drought on vulnerable families andproviding support to farmers. In addition to an economic rebound and boosting growth, development will necessarily have to includesound investments in education, health, and social protection. The new ESSP II 2014 ? 2022 provides a common platform with a strategic direction towards theimplementation of the revised education policy for basic and secondary education and the new policy for tertiaryand highereducation from 2013 and beyond. The Government has alsocompleted a mediumterm plan (2014-2017) anchored within the ESSP II to spell out the distinct priorities to be implemented in theshort and medium terms. The new strategy proposes a programmaticshift from programs based mainly on cycles of education (basic education, secondary education, tertiary education, technicalvocational education and training (TVET), quality assurance and sector management) to a more results-oriented programming withemphasis on implementable interventions within priority areas. The new programs are as follows: Access & Equity, Quality andRelevance, Research & Development, Science, Technology & Innovation and Sector Management. Each of these programs haspolicy priority areas that are linked to corresponding indicators, outputs and results. The traditional gender disparitieshave been eliminated in the early grades, and since 2006 girls have outnumbered boys in intake to grade 1 (50.8:49.2).  Howeverboys perform slightly better and are more likely to progress through the system. Atthe upper basic level, the GER stands at 68.9 percent for boys and 67.3 percent for girls, and the completion rate stands at 66.3percent for boys and 63.2 percent for girls. In a recent early grade reading assessment (EGRA), the consolidated score for girlswas 48.5 percent, compared with 51.9 percent for boys. In lower basic education, the GER is110 percent in region 1, but only 58 percent in region 5.  Disparities are alsoobserved across socio-economic status with wealthier students outperforming their poorer peers in the EGRA, with consolidatedscores of 59.1 and 48.5 respectively. In addition,the wealthiest students consume eight times more public education resources thanthe poorest. Enrollment in senior secondaryeducation has increased substantially since 2004, bringing the GER from 22 percent to 39 percent in 2013.  However accessremains constrained by the availability of places. Enrollment of boysis higher than that of girls(41.3 percent compared with 36.8 percent). Family income is strongly related to access to senior secondary education, as only 3percent of the poorest quintile enroll, compared to 50 percent of the wealthiest quintile. The share households contribute isparticularly high at the upper basic, senior secondary and TVET levels. At the lower basic level, 46 percent of education costs arecovered by households despitea school fee abolition policy in lower basic education. Even in public schools, private expendituresare high with informal levies including charges for registration fees and instructional materials. These informal costs ofeducation form a barrier in terms of access to schooling, particularly for the poorest families. The MOBSE through its dynamicleadership capacity has gained support for its education reforms. This is reflected in openness toexternal scrutiny, and ininvolving Teacher Unions, external partnersand other stakeholders. The education development partnersare meeting with Government on a semi-annual basis to review progress towards the achievement of objectives as laid out in thenational education strategy. This provides for a strong exchange and discussion of sectoral challenges, results achieved, andrecommendations for improvement, The Government is also carrying outregular visits to discuss withparents, communities, and education stakeholders through the CCMs that are being held every twomonths in a different region of the country. A system of  school report cards has beenintroduced to provide an opportunity to provide feedback from grassroots levels ?the report card is a simple way to assessthesatisfaction levels of beneficiaries in terms of education service delivery and is suitable for an illiterate population as itinvolvespictograms and corresponding case checking. The Government also organizes traditional round tables during which sensitivediscussions are taking place and for which buy-in at all levels is being though-one such circle was held to sensitize teachers totake part in the in-serviceteacher training program after having been evaluated. The two Ministries of Education(MOBSE and MOHERST), collaboration and coordination have been strengthened over the past year through the regular inter-ministerialsenior management meetings and CCMs to discuss sector wide issues. Until now and despite all the achievements, communication has been ad hoc, anda cohesive communication strategy is required for more effective communication with all constituents. The strategy isexpected toaddress both internal and external elements (TV, radio, newsletters, documentary, and website) as well as attempt to build andimprove upon strategic partnerships with external players who can support MOBSE's work. The communication strategy will alsoencompass dissemination strategies involving community/opinion leaders to influence behavior changes. Objective: The Government of The Gambia throughthe Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education (MOBSE) seeks to develop a strong communication strategy to positively impact visibility and public outreach, behaviors and attitudes, and enhance stakeholder engagement aboutMOBSE's work.This includes the sharing of best practices across regions, as well as communication campaigns for new/updatedinitiatives as well various programs. It will also provide opportunities for a bottom-up approach, ensuring opportunities forconstituents to voice their opinions through feedback mechanisms. Scope ofWork: The Government of The Gambia through theMinistry of Basic and SecondaryEducation (MOBSE) is seeking the services of a Communication Consultant who will provide initial thinking, advice, and inputs todevelop a comprehensive communication program for MOBSE. The Consultant will primarily spearhead the development of a StrategicCommunication Program (SCP) including its architecture and aroadmap that will be the basis for the elaboration and implementationofa systematic communication intervention during the implementation of the project. The Consultant, as part of the design of the SCP,willalso advise on building capacity (if and as necessary) in the countryso that the communication program is implementedprofessionally with greater effectiveness. Responsibilities: The Consultant is expected to implement the assignment in TWO PHASES.The Consultant is expected to undertake, but not limited to, the following key activities in each phase: Phase ONE: 15days 1.      Communication Needs Assessment (CNA): The Communication Consultant will undertake a diagnostic of the overall communication and information environment relevantto MoBSE. Following are some of the major elements of this exercise: -                Map different stakeholders and identify their level of influence - positive and negative, interests, andhow to effectively communicate them; -                Analyze the media and communication channels thatwill be critical to sharing information, build consensus and support the project objectives; -                Assess the existing communication dynamics ? such as how the stakeholders receive and processinformation,traditional forms of information dissemination practices, new media and technology, social interaction, etc. -                Evaluate the communication capacity of the relevant institutions ? both Government and non-government ?that are involved in the implementation and/or managing theimplementation of the MoBSE communicationprogram; -                Identify strategic approach for engaging stakeholders including institutions through various communicationchannels in order to build a climate conducive to promoting the key project issues; -                Review of existing communication activities (if there is any) on theseissues; -                Identify the linkages between the other information dissemination activities and the READ StrategicCommunication Program; -                Identify the linkages and areas of collaboration with other relevant ongoing or upcoming developmentprojects/programs. 2.      Data Collection/Research: Theproject plans to conduct qualitative and quantitative research in orderto gauge the level of knowledge and understanding of the keystakeholders, their attitudes, and perceptions with respect to the key projectissues. The Communication Consultant is expected tolead and work with qualified personnel in the preparation and implementation of this research activity. Once the research iscompleted, the Consultant will analyze the results of the research and use the findings to incorporatethem into the development ofthe project's Strategic Communication Program. Phase TWO: 30days 3.      Develop a Strategic Communication Program: The project's Strategic Communication Program will primarily be based on the findings of the CNA and theResearch findings. The Communication Program will consist of, but notlimited to, the following major elements: (i) A Communication Strategy that will set avision, identify challenges, and elaborate a plan of action to achieve the communication objectivescontributing to the successfulimplementation of the MOBSE's communication strategy.  It is important to discuss withMOBSE throughout the development of the strategy so that it will be successfully implementable. Also, it will consider to establisha communication unit in MOBSE; (ii) A Communication Action Plan that will havespecific communication objectives, internal and external audiences, messages, communication channels, type of media, frequency,evaluation, etc; (iii) A Monitoring and Evaluation System that willinclude opinion research, tracking system, media monitoring, focus groups, and evaluation of major communication activities to beidentified and listed on the Communication Action Plan. (iv) A Capacity-Building and Knowledge ManagementPlan will include the types of skills training, institutional arrangements, knowledge creationand sharing activities that wouldbe required to strengthen the capacity of key stakeholders including Government and non-government institutions to design andmanage the implementation of a Strategic Communication program. (v) An Implementation planwill describe how the communication strategyis going to be implemented.  It will include a tentative budget for each activity afterdiscussing with the government howmuch is available. Deliverables and Timeline forPHASE ONE Deliverables Timeline Remarks 1.      A brief Inception Report outlining the concept and proposed timeline of specificactivitiesfor: (a) Project  Communication Program; (b) Communication Needs Assessment (CNA) exercise. 3 days This report will be very brief (2-3 pages). 2.      A Draft Communication Based Assessment --CNA Report 12 days The report should be focused on the specific points and issues that would provide major inputs in thedesign of the project's communication program and NOT focus on the theoretical and conceptual discussions oncommunication. Deliverables and Timeline forPHASE TWO Deliverables Timeline Remarks 3.      A Draft Communication Program document that consists of: (i) Vision and Objectives; (ii) CommunicationStrategy; (iii) Communication Action Plan; (iv) Monitoring & Evaluation Mechanism; (v) Capacity buildingplan. 3 weeks 4.      Technical working sessions to discuss strategy and actionplan 1 or 2 days MOBSE, academia, LEG, WB, otherstakeholders 5.      A Final Communication Program document 1.5 weeks The final communication program document will include the comments and suggestions from thereviewers. Period of Performance and theConditions of Work: A total maximum: 45days This consultancy will involve a contractof maximum 15 days for implementing Phase-1 of the assignment. The contract may be extended for implementing Phase-2 based on the performancein Phase-1 and readiness for the implementation of the second phase. The Phase-2 is expected to involve another 30 days of services of the Consultant. ReportingRequirements: The Consultant will work under the leadership ofDPS Programs, Ministry ofBasic & Secondary Education MOBSE.The Consultants will coordinate closely with the key Government departments and organizations as advised. SelectionCriteria: The successful candidate will be a senior communication professional with aminimum of 10-12 years of experience in the field of communication and development projects/programs. S/he will have the ability tointeract effectively across socio-political, economic, and cultural affiliations. In addition, the candidate is expected to have the followingqualifications: Proven experience in designing andmanaging public communication programs;Solid understanding of and abilityto apply communication tools and techniques, including the ability to analyze and use researchdata;Strong management skills in planningand financial managementof communication work;Educational background incommunication, journalism, social sciences, public affairs, political science, and internationalrelations;Knowledge and understanding ofsocio-political, economic, andcultural background of the country and the region; ·         Excellent writing and presentation skills in English language; ·         Demonstrated interpersonal and diplomatic skills, as well as the ability to communicate effectively with all stakeholdersand to present ideas clearly and effectively; proven ability to work in a collaborative and multi-stakeholder teamenvironment; ·         Regional and international experience in similar work would be an added advantage. Expressions of interest must bedelivered to the address below by the 15th July,2015. The ProjectManager Projects Coordination Unit(PCU) Ministry of Basic and SecondaryEducation Willy Thorpe Place Banjul, TheGambia Tel; (220)4228522/4225841 Email; pm.pcu@educagambia.com
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