Educational Technology Consultant – Microsoft Education (International)

Organization: UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East
Closing date: 30 May 2021

CONSULTANCY - TERMS OF REFERENCE

UNRWA is a United Nations agency established by the General Assembly in 1949 and is mandated to provide assistance and protection to a population of some 5.7 million registered Palestine refugees. Its mission is to help Palestine refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, West Bank and the Gaza Strip to achieve their full potential in human development, pending a just solution to their plight. UNRWA’s services encompass education, health care, relief and social services, camp infrastructure and improvement, microfinance and emergency assistance. UNRWA is funded almost entirely by voluntary contributions.

Educational Technology Consultant – Microsoft Education (International)

BACKGROUND

Palestine refugee children, like all children around the world, have been severely affected by the global COVID-19 Pandemic. Following the closure of UNRWA schools and educational institutions, all five Fields of operation in Gaza, West Bank, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria had to switch to alternative learning modalities to ensure quality, inclusive and equitable education in times of COVID-19. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the UNRWA Education Programme has expanded its use of education technology (EdTech) to support remote learning, building on its renowned Education in Emergencies (EiE) programme, which was developed in response to the Syria and Gaza conflicts.

However, a number of key Agency studies and intensive internal review and reflection following the initial COVID-19 Education response have highlighted the need to address gaps in student access to digital learning resources, as well opportunities for digitalisation to promote education quality in both times of emergency as well as times of relative stability.

However, a number of key Agency studies and intensive internal review and reflection following the initial COVID-19 Education response have highlighted the need to address gaps in student access to digital learning resources, as well opportunities for digitalisation to promote education quality in both times of emergency as well as times of relative stability.

UNRWA was recently recognized by Microsoft as an educational institute, and an agreement was signed between both parties to provide 20,000 UNRWA Education staff with Microsoft 365 software, including emails, and to provide more than 500,000 students with free Microsoft for Education licenses. To strengthen the use of EdTech as a key modality for remote learning, UNRWA is developing a Learning Management Systems (LMS) based on Microsoft for Education, which may be used in a variety of ways, including:

· To support synchronous and asynchronous online learning and communication

· To facilitate safety and security through a student and teacher login system

· To allow teachers to track individual student engagement and progress

· To conduct online student self-assessments and assignments.

· To strengthen the psychosocial support provided to children in remote or hybrid learning models, through interactive professional learning communities and the sharing of resources towards better addressing the needs of individual children.

· To support and realise the establishment of the LMS, UNRWA has secured a generous contribution from the Open Society Foundation, and is looking to for an EdTech Consultant to support and coordinate the successful implementation of the system.

DESCRIPTION OF DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES

This position can be done remotely. The consultant will work under the direct supervision of the Senior Education Specialist and, in her absence, the Deputy Director of Education, in close and frequent coordination with the Information Management and Technology Department (IMTD).

The EdTech Consultant, in close coordination with the Digitalisation for Education Taskforce, the EdTech Taskforce, and IMTD, and in accordance with Agency policies and procedures, will have the following deliverables over a period of three months in line with the project implementation timeline:

DELIVERABLE

TIMELINE

FEE (USD)

Developing and implementing a plan and technical guidance to integrate UNRWA Education needs with Microsoft for Education, keeping in mind feasibility with regards to available access and technology.

  • In close coordination with IMTD to ensure that the Education needs and IMTD implementation are aligned.

  • The plan should outline all policies, configurations and permissions needed for online collaboration between stakeholders.

1 month

5,000

Developing and overseeing a plan for capacity building and training of Education staff different level (class teachers to EdTech focal points) to expand technical know-how and build a strong foundation for the proposed support model.

Reviewing end user documentation, communication plan and training material for students and parents.

1 month

5,000

Advising on next steps and longer-term processes, keeping in mind the sustainability and maintenance of the LMS, and identifying gaps and additional needs as necessary.

1 month

4,500

MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS AND EXPERIENCE

· An advanced university degree (Master’s or equivalent) from an accredited educational institution in Education, IT, or related disciplines.

· Minimum of five years of relevant professional experience in EdTech, particularly in the context of EiE.

· Thorough understanding and experience in the implementation of Microsoft for Education, Education Management Information Systems, and Learning Management Systems.

· Excellent written and spoken language ability in English.

DESIRABLE QUALIFICATIONS

· Previous experience with UNRWA, or another UN agency.

· Knowledge of the Middle East and the Palestine Refugee context.

· Knowledge of Arabic.

COMPETENCIES

UN Core Values of Professionalism, Integrity and Respect for Diversity and Core Competencies of Communication, Working with People and Drive for Results apply by default.

· Excellent project management skills.

· Excellent communication and coordination skills.

· Ability to develop clear goals and identify priority activities and assignments.

· Proven ability to operate in a challenging and dynamic environment.

· Cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality and age sensitivity and adaptability.

· Ability to identify priority activities and assignments.

· Ability to establish and maintain effective working relations with colleagues and others in a team environment.

· Proven critical thinking, creativity, drafting, and analytical skills.

CONDITIONS OF SERVICE

· The duration of the consultancy is approximately three months, with the possibility of extension based on performance and availability of funds.

· Payment will be released on successful completion of key deliverables.

· Renumeration would be similar to the UN P2/P3 salary grading scale.

APPLICATION PROCESS

Applicants should submit a cover letter and CV or UN Personal History Form demonstrating clearly the knowledge and experience required to meet the consultancy requirements, and two recent references pertaining to previous work experiences via consultancy@unrwa.org indicating the title of this consultancy “**EdTech Consultant – Microsoft Education**” in the subject line of the message. The deadline for the submission of applications is 30 May 2021.

UNRWA is an equal opportunity employer and welcomes applications from both women and men. UNRWA encourages applications from qualified women. Only those applicants shortlisted for interview will be contacted. UNRWA is a non-smoking environment.

How to apply:

APPLICATION PROCESS

Applicants should submit a cover letter and CV or UN Personal History Form demonstrating clearly the knowledge and experience required to meet the consultancy requirements, and two recent references pertaining to previous work experiences via consultancy@unrwa.org indicating the title of this consultancy “**EdTech Consultant – Microsoft Education**” in the subject line of the message. The deadline for the submission of applications is 30 May 2021.



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