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Jordan: NRC Jordan Education programme in camps evaluation - Jordan

NGO/UN Job Vacancy

Organization: Norwegian Refugee Council
Country: Jordan
Closing date: 29 Jun 2017

Background on the conflict/context

Since the outbreak of conflict in Syria in 2011 over 3 million people have sought safety abroad. As of May 2017, 659,246 Syrian refugees have registered with UNHCR in Jordan. Of the total number of registered refugees, the majority are children and youth; 57% are under the age of 18. Over 80% of registered Syrian refugees are living in the host community predominately in the Northern Governorates and large urban areas like Amman and Irbid. Many more Syrian refugees living in these areas are not registered or have the Ministry of Interior (MoI) card which enables access to free education and subsidised health services. Approximately 20% of Syrian refugees have settled in the refugee camps of Zaatari in Mafraq Governorate, and Azraq in Zarqa Governorate. In May 2017, 55.6% of the 79,822 registered refugees living in Zaatari Camp were aged 0-17. The figures are similar in Azraq: 57% of the 53,915 residents in the camp were aged 0-17.

Jordan has been shouldering the burden of the crisis by contributing substantial assistance to refugees yet, the situation for Syrians refugees has deteriorated significantly in the last few years. Resulting in 69% of Syrian refugee families living below the national poverty line. Families are increasingly relying upon negative coping strategies, such as limiting food consumption, restricting children’s access to education, engaging in illegal activities, in child labour or accepting early marriage. In camps, alternative income sources are extremely scarce with an exceedingly high unemployment rate of 80%.

Responses to the Syrian refugee crisis have been led by the UN and the Jordanian government, the most recent Jordan Response Plan for the Syria Crisis 2016-2018, integrates the needs of Syrian urban refugees with Jordanian citizens into each sector. Key elements include increasing *access for Syrian refugees to works permits and the labour market, and increasing access to formal education.

Education in Jordan

In the school year 2016-2017, 125,000 Syrian children were enrolled in the formal education system. Of these, 32,000 children (25%) attend schools in camps and with the remaining 75% attended schools in the host community. Another 1,620 children were enrolled in MOE-certified NFE programmes (dropout and basic literacy) and 66,038 children receive learning support services in Makani centres (UNICEF funded informal education). A total of 6,102 children attended pre-primary education.

2016 saw huge changes in the education sector in Jordan. Following the London Conference in February 2016, donors funded the Jordanian Ministry of Education’s (MoE) plan to enable access for all Syrian refugee children to certified formal and non-formal education. In August 2016 two nation-wide Learning-for-All campaigns were conducted to boost enrolment, identify out-of-school children and provide referral and registration support allowing all children – even those without documentation – the chance to register in formal education immediately. Since September 2016, the MoE has increased the total of double shift schools from 98 schools which hosted over 50,000 Syrian children in the school year 2015-2016, to 198. In addition, 47 catch up centres were established in these schools to provide certified non formal education to children who are currently out of school.

After four years of education service delivery for refugees in Zaatari Camp and more than two in Azraq, a wide range of education programming specifically addressing the needs of children have been implemented: formal and non-formal education conducted by the Ministry of Education, and informal education conducted by humanitarian actors. These informal programmes constitute a range of activities designed to meet the psychosocial, educational and skills-based needs of refugees between the ages of 3-18 and include life skills and recreational activities.

Whilst the education conditions in camp schools are somewhat improved, given that they serve only Syrian students in both the morning and afternoon shift, dropout rates are still high for the higher grades. UNICEF lists poverty, child labour, overcrowding and poor quality teaching as the factors leading to drop out in formal schools in camps, particularly for boys aged over 12. In camps in particular, there are concerns around violence and protection with many young boys engaged in child labour, and widespread early marriage affecting girls. Harassment en-route to school and perceived harsh treatment in class is another push factor leading to dropout.

NRC’s Education Intervention

From the start of NRC’s education intervention in Zaatari in 2013, the Jordan education programme focused on out of school children (OOSC) by providing access to expanded informal education in the form of an Accelerated Education Programme (ALP) to help out of school children transition into the formal school system. It also provided informal education for children who were unlikely to be able to transition back to formal school due to their age and the restrictions on registration in formal schools. In the camp context NRC informal education took place in dedicated learning centres where other services such as recreational activities, computer classes and psychosocial wellbeing activities are carried out as well as support for remedial education for children who would otherwise be pushed out. These activities were mainly carried out with UNICEF Jordan and other education actors.

In 2016 NRC had to significantly change its strategy for education in camps in line with the MoE commitment in the Jordan Response plan 2017-2019. NRC now supports OOSC to register in formal or non-formal education provided by the formal schools and works to support children vulnerable to drop out and needing remedial support to remain in school.

Since the beginning of the Education programme in camps, more than 11,964 Syrian school-aged refugee children have been supported by NRC in dedicated Learning Centres.


The main purpose of the evaluation is to support learning and provide guidance for future programme direction. In addition, the evaluation should be an opportunity for NRC to be accountable to beneficiaries, partners and donors.

Primary users of the evaluation are the NRC management team in Jordan as well as Education teams who will directly utilise the evaluation findings to adjust programme implementation, improve its quality and to guide the future direction of the programme.

Secondary users include the MERO regional office and NRC Education Staff in the region. Partners, donors, and other stakeholders. The findings and conclusions of the evaluation will be shared with these actors


The evaluation will cover the education programme in refugee camps in support of Syrian refugee children, which has been implemented in Zaatari since early 2013 and Azraq since early 2015.

Lines of inquiry

The evaluation will look to answer the following questions:


  • How relevant and appropriate is the current program design and implementation to the educational, life skills and social needs of Syrian refugee children in Zaatari and Azraq camps? To what extent has NRC adapted to changes in the operating context since 2013? What should be done to improve the relevance and appropriateness of the program? What programmatic areas should be scaled up or adapted in future?
  • To what degree is the project designed and implemented based on the opinions and the priorities of Syrian refugee children and parents? Is it perceived as relevant by them? If so, how?
  • To what extent are the different needs of the various sub-groups (overage children, out of school children, adolescents, children with disabilities, children with special education needs) taken into account? How can the programme better target sub-groups to become more inclusive? Does the curricula and pedagogy meet the needs of the students? How can they be made more appropriate?
  • Does the education programme meet the INEE minimum standards for education in emergency?

All NRC evaluations are required to respond to two additional 'Evidence Case Study' – one which addresses a strategically important question for NRC. NRC has a new strategic evaluation question for 2017: ‘How can we ensure that we do the right things (according to the needs and priorities of the targeted population)?’ (See Annex A attached for guidance on how to answer this question and to fulfil this requirement). The second case study will focus on an after action review of the Better Learning Programme and will look at the impact the BLP has on access to learning and learning outcomes. (See Annex B attached for guidance on how to answer this question.)

Efficiency and effectiveness

  • To what extent were the objectives of the program achieved/are likely to be achieved? Has the program ensured children in Zaatari and Azraq both out of school children and those in formal school, adequate access to quality education so that they meet learning outcomes and remain in education? What can be changed to improve the effectiveness of the program?
  • How cost-efficient, timely, and inclusive are the activities and processes used in the provision of quality education by NRC in both camps? How do beneficiaries and key stakeholders perceive the quality of education? Is the program implemented in the most efficient way (modality) compared to alternatives with in the camp setting?
  • To what extent has NRC adapted to the change in MoE response after the London conference in 2016, in which a large number of refugee children would be provided access to formal education? Was the education programme able to respond strategically, and on the ground to meet the change in education context?
  • How effective is NRC at measuring the impact on learning outcomes? Does it have the right tools and systems in place to provide evidence of both intentional and unintentional outcomes?


  • How well is the NRC program internally coordinated across Azraq and Zaatari? And how can it be improved? What is the potential for synergies with other NRC Core Competencies or programmes?
  • What has been the role of NRC in the advocacy and coordination of quality certified education for refugee children in camps? How can this be improved?
  • How well does the education programme coordinate with Formal schools the camps? What systems have been established to ensure efficient referrals between formal schools and NRC learning centres? How can these be improved?


  • How has the education programme (learning space, facilitators, curricula and staff) contributed to the protection, personal, social and emotional development of children in the programme?
  • What impact has NRC education programme had on access and retention of Syrian children in formal education since the beginning of the programme? How did the Accelerated education programme contribute to access and retention of children in formal education?
  • What impact has NRC Education programme had on community participation and refugee engagement of both parents and out of school adolescents? How has it improved their lives?
  • What role is technology playing to support the education for Syrian children. Is it appropriate and relevant and which areas should be scaled up or adapted in the future?

Learning and sustainability

  • What are the suggestions for more effective programming to meet the overarching objective of access and retention in quality formal education? (structurally, work modality and staffing)? Identify current gaps and suggest good practices for future responses and organizational learning.
  • What, if any, are the scale up options for the education programme in both the camps and host community in Jordan? How can NRC contribute to a sustainable educational strategy in the camps? What steps need to be put in place to ensure the learning centres can continue to provide quality education for the Syrian Refugee community?
  • By reviewing the theory of change and identifying existing as well as potential innovative elements of the programme, what could be strengthened to achieve greater impact in areas identified as important by children and their parents?


To answer evaluation questions, NRC would like the evaluator to submit a study design and methodology, which focuses on participatory, qualitative methods, to complement the significant amount of quantitative data about the programme already available. In particular, we are seeking an evaluator experienced in participatory evaluations and with demonstrable experience of qualitative evaluations, such as process tracing or most significant change, is desirable. We require an evaluator familiar with theories of change.

At a minimum, the methodology should include a desk review of key documents, including analysis of existing quantitative data, semi-structured interviews with key informants, and methods to seek the views and perceptions of the targeted communities and key stakeholders.


NRC follows up all evaluations with a management response, and its implementation is subsequently tracked. This will include the documentation of key learning, which will be shared with the relevant head office technical advisor for circulation to NRC country offices.

This evaluation, including the case studies will contribute to an annual learning review, which feeds into an annual strategic planning processes. Key findings will be reported to NRC’s senior management team in Oslo.


The views expressed in the report shall be the independent and candid professional opinion of the evaluator. The evaluation will be guided by the following ethical considerations:

  • Openness - of information given, to the highest possible degree to all involved parties
  • Public access - to the results when there are not special considerations against this
  • Broad participation - the interested parties should be involved where relevant and possible
  • Reliability and independence - the evaluation should be conducted so that findings and conclusions are correct and trustworthy


An evaluation Steering committee will be established by NRC, with the following members:

The Committee Chair, the Education and Youth Specialist, is responsible to facilitate access to information, documentation sources, travel, and field logistics. In case of any changes in the positions in country or at Head Office, the Steering Committee will be adjusted accordingly.

The Steering committee will oversee administration and overall coordination, including monitoring progress. The main functions of the Steering committee will be:

  • To establish the Terms of Reference of the evaluation;
  • Select external evaluator(s);
  • Review and comment on the inception report and approve the proposed evaluation strategy;
  • Review and comment on the draft evaluation report;
  • Establish a dissemination and utilization strategy.

    The main functions of the Reference Group will be:

  • To facilitate the gathering of data necessary for the evaluation;

  • To participate in the validation of evaluation findings, and to ensure that they are factually accurate;

  • To contribute to the management response;

  • To act on the relevant recommendations.


The evaluator / evaluation team will submit three reports and three presentations:

  • Inception report: Following the desk review and prior to beginning fieldwork, the evaluation team will produce an inception report subject to approval by the NRC Evaluation Steering Committee. This report will detail a draft work plan with a summary of the primary information needs, the methodology to be used, and a work plan/schedule for field visits and major deadlines. With respect to methodology, the evaluation team will provide a description of how data will be collected and a sampling framework, data sources, and drafts of suggested data collection tools such as questionnaires and interview guides.
    Once the report is finalised and accepted, the evaluation team must submit a request for any change in strategy or approach to the NRC Evaluation Steering Committee. Inception report is due in first draft by COB August 17th. Field work will start in September.
  • Draft report: A draft evaluation report will be submitted to the Evaluation Steering Committee, who will review the draft and provide feedback within two weeks of receipt of the draft report. The draft will be submitted by October 5th and feedback will be provided to researchers by COB October 12th.
  • Final report: The Final Evaluation Report will follow NRC’s standard template for evaluation reports. The final report should include a maximum two-page executive summary that summarizes the key lessons learned and should also include best practices case studies that can be shared with NRC’s technical and management staff. Submission is due October 19th to the Steering Committee and will be finalised and approved by steering committee by October 29th
  • Presentation of findings:

    • At the end of the field research, the evaluation team will present preliminary findings to validate and prioritise learning at the Jordan level. This will take place on September 28th.
    • One Skype call for HO and other interested NRC staff who may benefit from the learning with the lead Evaluator.

    All material collected in the undertaking of the evaluation process shall be lodged with the Chair of the NRC Evaluation Steering Committee prior to the termination of the contract.


Proposals should present a budget for the number of expected working days over the entire period.

The evaluation is scheduled to start August and fieldwork is projected in August and September depending on the availability of the evaluator / evaluation team; however, the draft evaluation report should be finalized by the 17th September with the final report due October 26th.

The evaluator/ evaluation team is expected to provide a suggested timeline and work plan for the evaluation based on these scheduling parameters and in keeping with the scope of the evaluation questions and criteria.

In event of serious problems or delays, the (lead) evaluator should inform the Steering Committee immediately. Any significant changes to review timetables shall be approved by the Steering Committee in advance.


NRC seeks expressions of interest from individuals or joint applications, ideally with the following skills/qualifications and expertise:

  • Sound and proven experience in conducting evaluations, particularly utilisation and learning focused evaluations
  • Extensive experience of theories of change and how they can be used to carry out evaluations
  • Expertise in participatory qualitative data collection techniques
  • Background in delivery of education programmes

    Additional, desirable knowledge, includes:

  • Understanding of refugee education programmes providing psychosocial well-being

  • Understanding of global and regional trends and initiatives on youth

    Necessary Skills:

  • Fluency in written and spoken English is required

  • Prior experience in Middle East

  • Proven experience of managing evaluations of humanitarian projects in camp settings

  • Experience of designing qualitative data collection methods and of managing participatory and learning focused evaluations

  • Excellent team working and communication skills, flexibility and good organisation skills


Application Deadline: 29 June 2017

Interview dates: First week July

Bids must include the following:

  • Proposal including, outline of evaluation framework and methods, including comments on the TOR, proposed timeframe and work plan (bids over 3 pages will be automatically excluded).
  • Proposed evaluation budget including an estimation of the expected working days over the entire period between September to December.
  • Cover letter clearly summarizing experience as it pertains to this assignment and three professional references.
  • CVs and evidence of past evaluations for each team member

  • At least one example of an evaluation report most similar to that described in this TOR. Disclaimer: The daily cost quoted needs to include all travel to and from home country (if living outside of Jordan), accommodation while in Jordan, equipment, phone calls and any costs associated with undertaking the Scope of Work (including insurance). Non-resident income tax rate is 10% and resident income tax is 5% and is to be deducted from the contract amount and paid by NRC to the tax department. An income tax clause has to be included in the contract with the percentage that will be deducted and paid to the tax department. NRC also provides the Consultant with the receipt (proof of payment) within 1 month. Tax at 10% will be deducted from any payment and so should be included in the budget. The successful candidate will receive his/her payment following clearance of the pre-agreed milestones.

How to apply: