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The purpose of this consultancy is a) provide overall research project coordination and b) support the capacity development of a national partner during the implementation of the second wave of the study (2019).
The Longitudinal Assessment of School Dropout (LASD) is the first nationally representative and continuing assessment of the primary school dropout problem in Mozambique. It aims to explore the patterns and drivers of primary school dropout with a special focus on girls. Mozambique is a country with one of the highest rate of primary school dropout. According to government statistics, less than half of all students (47%) complete primary school. The most recent household data (IOF 2014/2015) shows that two in three (67%) of children age 12-17 report non-completion of primary school. While the rates are high for both sexes, girls (children and adolescents) are disproportionately excluded. Drivers of exclusion are complex and include school-based harassment and abuse (gender-based violence or GBV), early pregnancy, early marriage, initiation rites and the lack of gender sensitive sanitation facilities in schools. The poor quality of primary education services is also likely to be one of the factors affecting students.
LASD will collect comprehensive evidence on school non-attendance and dropout particularly among girls by following a nationally representative sample of over 5000 primary school children and their families over time. The pilot phase of the study was conducted in 2017 in Zambezia Province. The first wave of the study was implemented in 2018 in partnership with the Pedagogical University of Mozambique (UP). Representativeness of the sample provides opportunity to compare characteristics of children remaining in the system and the ones left behind while understanding school, community and household level factors affecting these outcomes particularly for girls. Longitudinal design enables the assessment of change between school years in light of changes in the school, community and school environment. Thus, the second wave of the study will provide the first opportunity to analyze intra-year dropout.
The evidence will directly inform and support UNICEF efforts to advocate for education system strengthening and prioritization of gender equity and inclusion in the development of the Education Sector Analysis and 10 -year Education Sector Plan (ESP) (2020- 2029).
The second round of national data collection will be based on the longitudinal research design approach utilizing a range of methods to provide evidence and insight into the changing nature of primary school dropout in Mozambique. Longitudinal approach allows UNICEF to collect information regularly on the changing context of the community, school environment and the household. At in the first round of quantitative data collection conducted in 2018, the study sampled 60 schools nation-wide, in which a random sample of children (approximately 5,400) was drawn. The second round following the same ‘index’ students will be conducted in August -September 2019.
The unit of analysis is a child in selected grades at the beginning of the year (based on the registration lists). The index child’s attendance will be regularly assessed during data collection period which is in the third school quarter. The research will monitor children in the school as well as children temporally or permanently dropping out of school, understanding causes and implications. In particular, the study will investigate the dynamics, causes and patterns of drop-out and absenteeism of primary school students throughout a full school year, investigating whether and when they return to school, and what keeps some children with similar backgrounds in school (positive deviants).
The study will collect information on a range of topics within four main domains: the child, his/her family, the school and the community/environment. Instruments are structured in the following way:
The qualitative component of the study (to be collected in 2019) provision in-depth interviews with the local government officials and community leaders at the district level to explore their perceptions on school dropout and its involvement in fostering school retention. Additionally, focus group discussion will be carried out with school and community members to have a deeper insight into the patterns and reasons for children to drop out of school.
Data collection for the quantitative component is conducted by the implementing partner, Universade Pedagogica (UP) with recruited and specially trained university students and professors and under the overall oversight and coordination of the research coordinator. UP will also be involved in the analysis of data and final report writing.
A special consideration will be given to the ethical implication of the research process based on the principles of ethics in evidence generation including rigorous response plan during data collection. The Research Protocol and accompanying instruments will be subject to an ethical review by the national Ethical Review Committee (Comité Nacional de Biotética e Saúde).
The Research Coordinator will be responsible for planning, organization and coordination of quantitative and qualitative components of the second LASD 2019 under the oversight of the Principle Investigator (Research and Evaluation Specialist) and in close collaboration with a Statistician, a Database Manager and implementation partners, the consortium of Mozambique universities (formerly Universidade Pedagógica), who will carry out the data collection in the field.
Specific functions and activities of the Research Coordinator will include:
Payments will be processed upon acceptance of the corresponding deliverable and against an invoice that will reference the contract and deliverable numbers. Payments will be approved by the respective section chief.
Deliverable/product(s): Revised Research Protocol is submitted to the national IRB, including revised data collection instruments (both quantitative and qualitative), data collection strategy and a response plan protocol.
Deliverable/product(s): Updated training manuals, including presentations, manuals, protocols, supervision and reporting tools
Deliverable/product(s): Training and piloting report, including training methodology, revised instruments;
Deliverable/product(s): Data collection report and briefing with UNICEF and national partners (including inputs from field coordinators), challenges encountered, and mitigation actions taken;
Deliverable/product(s): Validation workshop and first draft study report
Deliverable/product(s): Final draft of study report, communication materials and policy brief are produced and shared with partners and stakeholders
Deliverable/product(s): Budget and the workplan for LASD 2020 developed and agreed with partners and the Ministry.
To qualify as an advocate for every child you will have…
Language skills. Fluency in English and Portuguese is required.
UNICEF’s core values of Commitment, Diversity and Integrity and core competencies in Communication, Working with People and Drive for Results.
UNICEF is committed to diversity and inclusion within its workforce, and encourages all candidates, irrespective of gender, nationality, religious and ethnic backgrounds, including persons living with disabilities, to apply to become a part of the organization.
UNICEF has a zero-tolerance policy on conduct that is incompatible with the aims and objectives of the United Nations and UNICEF, including sexual exploitation and abuse, sexual harassment, abuse of authority and discrimination. UNICEF also adheres to strict child safeguarding principles. All selected candidates will, therefore, undergo rigorous reference and background checks, and will be expected to adhere to these standards and principles.
Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted and advance to the next stage of the selection process.