Education Consultant, Dakar, July 2021 – NGO Jobs


Terms of Reference
Education Consultant
UNHCR Regional Bureau West & Central Africa (RBWCA)

UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, is offering a consultancy within the Protection Service of UNHCR Regional Bureau for West & Central Africa, located in Dakar.

UNHCR is a global organisation dedicated to saving lives, protecting rights and building a better future for refugees, forcibly displaced communities and stateless people. Every year, millions of men, women and children are forced to flee their homes to escape conflict and persecution. We are in over 125 countries, using our expertise to protect and care for millions.

  • Title: Education Consultant for the ECW-funded Regional Multi Year Resilience Program for the Central Sahel
  • Duty Station: Dakar, Senegal (with missions in Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger)
  • Duration: 15 weeks
  • Contract Type: Consultant
  • Closing date: 15 August 2021
  • Start date: 15 September 2021

Organisational context

Widespread and indiscriminate violence by armed groups have intensified in Central Sahel since the beginning of 2020 whilst social and political tensions are rising, forcing more people to flee across the region. In Burkina Faso, the number of internally displaced persons had reached over 1,000,000 in August 2020 while internal displacement doubled in Niger in 2020. In Mali, internal displacement continues to increase while the deterioration of the security in neighboring countries pushed over 6,000 Malian refugees to return to their country of origin in 2020. As of 30 September 2020, almost 2,000,000 people, including 300,000 refugees, have been displaced across the region, exacerbating pressure on the already limited natural resources and social services in the new hosting areas.

As a consequence of the regional crisis, more than 7 million children in Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger need humanitarian assistance, while over 8 million children aged between 6 and 14 are out of school, which represents almost 55 per cent of children in this age group. In addition, over 4,000 schools have remained closed for 776,000 students because of insecurity alone during 2019-2020 school year. This is almost twice as much as in 2018-2019, while 12 million children missed at least four months of school across Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger due to Covid-19 restrictions. Refugee, IDP and returnee children are particularly affected and in need of education: the low enrolment rates, frequent dropouts, gaps in the availability of educational opportunities, especially for girls and adolescents, are exposing them to increased protection risks (forced labour, child marriage and pregnancy, forced recruitment, etc.).

In this context, the purpose of the Regional component of the ECW facilitated Multi-Year Resilience Programme for the Central Sahel is to support and complement the three country-level MYRPs (Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger) by : 1) improving the quality and availability of data; 2) encouraging the exchange of good practices and lessons learned; and 3) increasing visibility of needs at regional and global level to support the mobilization of resources.

The position

Within the regional component of the ECW facilitated Multi-Year Resilience Programme for the Central Sahel, the consultant will conduct a study focused on cross-border issues and obstacles hampering the access to and continuity of education for forcibly displaced (refugees, IDPs, returnees) and host community children in the three countries. This study will serve as a basis to develop contextualized guidelines to tackle school dropouts during the displacement cycle, ensure a return to school as soon as possible and provide out of school children affected by displacement with suitable education opportunities, with a particular focus on girls’ education and access to secondary school. The study results and specific recommendations will be disseminated among relevant regional and national education stakeholders (webinars or workshops depending on the evolution of the health context).

The consultant will work under the supervision of the Education Officer of the Regional Bureau for West & Central Africa.

Duties and responsibilities

To achieve the above objectives, the consultant will carry out the following activities:

  • Prepare a consultancy work plan and a detailed methodology with suitable tools to conduct the study, in consultation with UNHCR. The consultant shall ensure the methodology is informed by feedback from all relevant stakeholders ensuring participation and buy-in.
  • Conduct a mapping of the key education stakeholders, including line Ministries and education partners (both humanitarian and development actors), as well as target population groups to be interviewed.
  • Conduct a desk review of national education policies in terms of refugee, displaced and out of school children.
  • Undertake a mission in each of the targeted countries in order to:
    • present and gather inputs on the methodology;
    • conduct interviews with relevant populations/stakeholders and gather relevant data;
    • analyse findings, draw conclusions and formulate key recommendations;
    • organise a meeting/workshop to present the preliminary findings;
    • produce a report with analysis and recommendations to governments, donors and the humanitarian/development community, based on the identified gaps;
    • share the report with members of the regional consortium to gather feedback.
  • During the field missions, the consultant will have the task of:
    • building evidence on challenges linked to education access and continuity faced by children in displacement across the three Sahel countries;
    • identifying main barriers for children to access formal education in all phases of displacement;
    • identifying lessons learned, good practices as well as gaps in existing alternative education pathways;
    • generate learning to inform guidance and providing specific recommendations (adapted to the different stakeholders: governments, schools, humanitarian and development actors, etc.) for improving access, continuity, and return to school.
  • Develop one final regional report.
  • Organize one virtual regional workshop/webinar to present the findings of the report to government counterparts, education donors and other key stakeholders for endorsement.

Expected deliverables:

  • An inception report including a detailed work plan and a clear methodology, as well as a mapping of key education stakeholders in the three target countries (ministries of education, decentralized education authorities, humanitarian and development partners, etc.);
  • 3 country reports (including country mapping and targeted recommendations);
  • 1 regional report, incorporating the results of the 3 national reports and additional regional analysis and recommendations;
  • 3 restitution workshops/meetings for sharing results at country level;
  • 1 regional workshop to present the final report (face-to-face or virtual to be determined).

Essential minimum qualifications and professional experience required

Field of expertise:

  • Master’s degree in relevant subject area and 5 years’ relevant experience;
  • Expertise in education in emergencies in displacement/refugee contexts (essential);
  • Proven ability to present written material in a clear, concise and engaging manner to a wide range of different audiences;
  • Good knowledge of local education systems, initiatives and institutions related to education at country level (essential);
  • Excellent analytical skills and experience in quantitative and qualitative research and data analysis;
  • Familiarity with the Sahel context and/or the West Africa region;
  • Proven experience working with NGOs/UN agency is beneficial;
  • Strong written writing skills, as well as oral and communication skills;
  • Excellent organizational skills, with the ability to independently track and follow-up on various tasks;
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, with the ability to successfully manage consultation and feedback processes and interact with a variety of people.

Language requirements:

  • French & English: Essential

Required documents for the application:

  • Resume and cover letter;
  • Expression of interest;
  • Previous work examples (work products from recent completed consultancies) and references from previous consultancy experiences;
  • Short overview of the proposed methodology and approach to achieve outputs set out in the ToR, including proposed timeline and expected delivery for each output.


The successful candidate will be based with the team in Dakar, with missions


The duration of the consultancy is expected to be of 15 weeks, with a start in September 2021. The consultant is expected to travel to Dakar for an initial briefing and to work with UNHCR RBWCA Education Unit and other members of the Education Cannot Wait regional consortium on finalizing the methodology and the stakeholders mapping (2 weeks). The consultant will then travel to Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger for 3 weeks in each country (9-10 weeks in total). The consultant will then finalise the report and present the findings (3 weeks).

The consultant must have his/her own equipment necessary for the research (computer, phone, etc.).


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