Consultancy Opportunity: Toolkit on debt mechanisms and education financing

Consultancy opportunity: Toolkit on debt mechanisms and education financing

Available for download here, deadline Friday, 22 October 2021

Description

The consultancy aims to design, write and validate with seven GCE’s national coalitions a toolkit on debt alleviation mechanisms and education financing. The toolkit will serve the purpose of providing to GCE members a set of detailed guidelines on how to develop policy and advocacy work to increase national education budgets through debt alleviation mechanisms.

The toolkit is one of the outcomes of phase 3 of the GCE’s Research initiative on debt alleviation mechanisms and education financing. The research initiative is described in what follows below.

Location:

Fees:

Reporting to:

Deadline for applications:

Anywhere globally

Negotiable depending on experience and the allocated budget

Policy and Research Advisor

Friday, 22 October 2021

About GCE

The Global Campaign for Education (GCE), founded in 1999, is a global civil society movement working for the full realization of the human right to education, in particular for children, women, and those from excluded communities.

GCE members bring together civil society organisations, NGOs, teacher unions, child rights activists, parents’ associations, young people, and community organisations, who work together in a coalition in more than100 countries. GCE promotes education as a basic human right and mobilises the public to put pressure on governments and the international community to fulfill their promises to provide free, compulsory, high-quality public education for all.

GCE provides core support to its members’ work on education advocacy and campaigning all around the world, and represents civil society organisations in education at the highest level.

GCE’s Research initiative on debt relief mechanisms and education financing

In line with its strategic plan 2019-2022, the Global Campaign for Education and its partners, GCE designed and implemented a campaign on education financing with a special focus on the potential impact of debt mechanisms on increasing funding for education[1].

Against this background and to better understand the multiple connections between debt relief mechanisms and education financing, GCE has designed a Research initiative on debt relief mechanisms and education financing. The initiative, which is technically and financially supported by Open Society Foundation, and it’s implemented in partnership with ActionAid, comprises three main phases, as follows:

Phase 1: The production of a background paper exploring the connections between debt alleviation mechanisms and education financing. Based on the analysis of academic and policy research and ongoing debates on international financing for development, the paper suggests that the empirical evidence about the correlation between debt alleviation and education financing is still limited and thus requires further conceptual and empirical elaboration[2].

This phase, which informed the two subsequent phases of this research initiative, was undertaken by the GCE Research and Policy Group between late August and early October 2020.

Phase 2: This phase aims to explore and explain the connections between debt alleviation mechanisms and education budgets in seven specific countries and identify policy options to make these connections positive and stronger: El Salvador, Zambia, Gambia, Nepal, Mongolia, Jordan, and Georgia. These seven studies were developed following the same conceptual framework and structure and were conducted by local specialists on financing and education policy. The final reports are expected to be delivered by 15 September 2021.

Phase 3: This last phase of the project has a twofold aim: (i) to conduct a policy-oriented piece of research on debt mechanisms and education financing comparing the cases of El Salvador, Zambia, Gambia, Nepal, Mongolia, Jordan, and Georgia; and (ii) to design, write and validate with seven GCE’s national coalitions a toolkit on debt alleviation mechanisms and education financing.

The selected consultant will be responsible for designing, writing, and validating the toolkit.

Expected content of the toolkit

The toolkit will provide to GCE members a set of detailed guidelines on how to develop policy and advocacy work to increase national education budgets through debt alleviation mechanisms.

As a set of detailed guidelines for policy and advocacy around the links between debt alleviation mechanisms and education financing, it is expected that the toolkit contains at least the following aspects:

(a) A clear definition of the audience of the toolkit

(b) Aim and scope of the toolkit

(c) Conceptualisation of key terms.

A clear definition of key terms should be included. Amongst other concepts, it is expected that the toolkit provides a comprehensive definition of concepts such as: internal and external debt, public and private debt, debt crises, debt swaps, debt rescheduling, debt alleviation, debt canceling. Overall, the toolkit should conceptualise the critical concepts that civil society organisations may need to understand to productively engage with policy and advocacy work around the debt mechanism and education financing nexus.

(d) Content of the toolkit.

The toolkit is expected to provide guidelines around the following two guiding questions: (i) whether and how national education budgets can be increased through debt alleviation mechanisms? (ii) What actions/steps can civil society organisations undertake to influence policy around debt mechanisms and education financing?

In addressing these two guiding questions, the toolkit should include detailed guidelines on at least the following elements:

  • Steps to identify if one’s country is experiencing debt crises
  • Steps for coalition’s planning policy and advocacy work around debt mechanisms and education financing
  • Identification of the debt alleviation mechanisms available for one’s country depending on the magnitude of the crisis and level of development
  • Identification of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ practices, including specific examples of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ management of debt mechanisms for education financing
  • Strategies to influence policy and advocacy on debt mechanisms and education financing
  • Examples of what does work and what does not work for increasing national education budgets through debt alleviation mechanisms.

(e) List of references and additional resources

Language and format of the toolkit

The toolkit must be written in English and the use of plain language accessible to both specialist and non-specialist audiences is mandatory.

Short introductions for each section and a short conclusion before a new section are required to facilitate readers/users of the toolkit to navigate it.

The use of bullet points is welcome when required and the use of text boxes to highlight essential content.

Duties and responsibilities

In line with phase 3 of the research initiative described above, the consultant will be responsible for designing and writing a toolkit on debt alleviation mechanisms and education financing.

Consultancy products and outline
ProductDeadline
A proposal of the expected content of the toolkit for the GCE’s Policy and Advocacy Committee’s approval.Two weeks after the signature of the contract
Toolkit – first draft for the GCE’s Policy and Advocacy Committee’s feedback.Two months after the signature of the contract
Toolkit – second draft for the GCE’s Policy and Advocacy Committee’s feedback and validation with GCE’s national coalitions.Three months after the signature of the contract
Validation meetings: the consultant will co-organise and take part in up to 4 validations meetings with the following national coalitions:

El Salvador, Zambia, Gambia, Nepal, Mongolia, Jordan, and Georgia.

Three months and two weeks after the signature of the contract
Toolkit – final versionFour months after the signature of the contract

The consultant will have access to the research outcomes produced in phases one and two of the project; respectively, the background paper with key concepts; and case studies on debt mechanisms and education financing for El Salvador, Zambia, Gambia, Nepal, Mongolia, Jordan, and Georgia.

Other responsibilities

Join two meetings of the Policy and Research Committee of the research project to present preliminary drafts of the toolkit and receive feedback. Each session is expected to last up to two hours.

Engage in conversations with local consultants, if needed, to clarify doubts about the case studies.

Liaise with the general coordinator of the research project Luis Eduardo Pérez Murcia, Policy and Research Advisor – to follow up the process.

Qualifications and Key Competencies

GCE expects candidates to meet all of the essential criteria and the desirable attributes

Essential
  • Advanced Degree in the field of Economics, Public Sector Financing, International Development or other relevant qualifications
  • Demonstrated advanced knowledge in financing for development
  • An understanding of conceptual discussions on education and education financing
  • Demonstrable capacity to translate complex analytical categories in plain yet technical language to inform policy, advocacy, and campaigns work
  • Demonstrable capacity for designing and writing toolkits
  • Ability to express clearly and concisely ideas and concepts in written and oral form
  • Fluency in written and spoken English and strong writing and communication skills
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and willingness to engage in consultations and validation of consultancy products with colleagues from different academic and cultural backgrounds
Desirable
  • Evidence of specialised knowledge in education financing and debt alleviation mechanisms
  • At least two toolkits previously designed and written
The application process for the consultancy

Candidates should submit the following documents by the 22nd of October 2021 to Luis Eduardo Pérez Murcia, to the following email: [email protected]:

1. A copy of the CV or CVs of the consultant or consultants who will be assigned to conduct the work

2. Brief technical proposal (max 4-6 sides of A4) detailing:

  • how the consultant/s meet the selection criteria
  • their understanding of the Terms of Reference
  • their approach to the consultancy and steps they will undertake to deliver the work
  • manual outline

3. Financial proposal

4. Availability

5. A sample of relevant reports/ publications/ toolkit previously produced

6. Contact details of 2 independent referees

Proposals will be reviewed on a rolling basis and the advert may be withdrawn at any time from sites without notification. For more information on the Global Campaign for Education, visit our website using the following link. If you have not heard from us within 2 weeks of the closing date, please consider your application as unsuccessful. Short-listed candidates will be invited for an interview in mid-October 2021.

Examples and source materials to refer to

ActionAid, Global Campaign for Education, Education International (2016) Financing Matters

ActionAid (2015) Tax Power Campaign Reflection-Action Toolkit

Global Campaign for Education (2020). Debt relief and Education Financing: Background Paper.

Global Campaign for Education (2021). Debt alleviation mechanisms and education financing. Case studies for El Salvador, Zambia, Gambia, Nepal, Mongolia, Jordan, and Georgia.

Dissemination of the toolkit

GCE will publish the final version of the toolkit on its website and will share the final version with all its members. The final version of the toolkit should include the following acknowledgement and disclaimer.

Acknowledgments

This toolkit is part of a research project on debt relief mechanisms and education financing designed and coordinated by the Global Campaign for Education in seven countries: El Salvador, Gambia, Georgia, Lebanon, Mongolia, Nepal, and Zambia. The toolkit was written by [author of the toolkit] in close coordination with [coordinator of the research project]. The initiative was technically and financially supported by Open Society Foundation and ActionAid.

Disclaimer

The opinions expressed in this publication are those of the authors. They do not claim to reflect the opinions or views of the Global Campaign for Education, Open Society Foundation, ActionAid or their members.

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[1] The term ‘debt mechanisms’ denotes a wide range of alternatives aiming to reduce debt servicing for countries facing debt crises. It includes but is not limited to debt alleviation, debt cancelation, and, amongst others, debt swaps.

[2] Global Campaign for Education. Debt relief and Education Financing: Background Paper. October 2020.