Organization:UN Children’s Fund
Background and Justification
There is an emerging global consensus that governments should invest in Early Childhood Development (ECD) as a development priority. This consensus is based on the compelling scientific evidence that investment in ECD influences national development particularly in terms of the development of the human capital. Additionally, ECD has benefits that accrue at an individual and household level. Children who have had ECD experience are more likely to be healthy adults and have more success in school. With better attainment of education, these children are more likely to grow up as productive adults which will in turn benefit the household level and more likely to break the intergenerational poverty where this exists.
Over the last decade, the Government of Botswana has increased its commitment to Early Childhood Development (ECD). This has been reflected through several national policy initiatives such as the Revised National Policy on Education, the National Health Policy, the Accelerated Child Survival and Development Strategy, the Children’s Act and in successive National Development Plans (NDP) 9,10 and 11, the Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) Policy (2001) and ECD policy Framework which was signed in March 2018.
According to the 2011 Census, children in the age range 0-4 years who constitute the target group for ECD interventions account for 11.7% of the population in Botswana. ECD interventions target children in the age range of 0-5 years with children starting school at age five and a half years.
Government of Botswana has made significant progress in providing services for children. This has included comprehensive health care for pregnant women, infants and young children. Much has also been done to strengthen child protection systems especially for orphans and other vulnerable children.
Further a variety of poverty alleviation programmes including work- for- cash initiatives, positively promote poverty reduction in remote areas where young children and their families are benefiting from government equity-focused interventions.
In spite of the above-mentioned progress there are still gaps in available data on ECD. Hence UNICEF Botswana Country Office is seeking to engage a consultant that will collect data on available ECD knowledge and resources in the country. The baseline study will provide up-to-date data so as to use as a reference for comparing results of ECD program interventions.
This particular assignment is to conduct baseline assessment to provide baseline data and knowledge base for the Early Childhood Development Programme in the four districts that UNICEF has identified as priority and focus areas. The result of baseline assessment will be utilised for the design, implementation and future evaluation of the programme.
UNICEF is therefore looking to contract the services of an experienced consultant who can mobilise a team to conduct a baseline study. The consultant will have strong domestic experience working with ECD programmes, undertaking research with regards to the quality of ECD and/or collaborating with the Ministry of Basic Education, Ministry of Local Government and rural Development and Ministry of Health and Wellness.
Purpose of the Baseline Study
The main objectives of this baseline study are:
- To establish baseline information for interventions in 4 districts that will be used as a will use a reference to monitor and evaluate ECD services. The study will target gathering information at district and community level.
- To establish a knowledge base of the ECD situation in target districts for better programming and to identify information gaps.
- To develop monitoring and evaluation framework on ECD services and set relevant indicators for monitoring and evaluation of ECD programs at all levels.
Activities and Tasks:
To address the above-mentioned objectives the consultants will be required to undertake the following specific tasks
- At district/local level (4 districts)
- Collect district level population data categorizing by age level children (0 -3, 4 -5 and 6 -8 years) and Households, settlement population, and parents by level of education
- Gather district relevant Data, such as enrolment (ECD centres, pre-primary/reception class and primary, immunization coverage, neonatal and child mortality & morbidity, maternal mortality, breast feeding and exclusive BF, malnutrition (stunting/underweight) birth registration, participation of parents on ECD programs, literacy level, access to play ground and other available child and parents related data to help as baseline information
- Assess the IECD implementation structure, coordination, financial resources, planning and program reports that helps to enrich the baseline information
- Conduct Consultation meeting and brainstorming on implementation of ECD and parenting programs with ECD stakeholders and implementing NGOs
- Populate the available district level staffing who are engaging/participating on implementation and coordination of ECD and parenting programs
- Assess the Monitoring and evaluation -quality assurance system to keep the quality implementation of the ECD programs
- At community level – public and community based ECD program areas
- Assess any available community-based ECD and parenting activities and their implementations status; these include; early learning & stimulation, nutrition, immunization, reception class enrolment, access to playgrounds, child-health and parenting dialogue.
- Discuss/Assess NGOs implementation capacity at community level and linkage with government ministry and the overall structural arrangements for effective and efficient programs results.
- Conduct community/village consultation meeting with community members, village leaders, village development committee, and other local partners. And collect information on awareness of community/parents on the importance of ECD and quality implementation of ECD programs.
- Where ECD staff are available, assess capacity, role and teacher/child ratio at the community based centres and other ECD implementation platforms. Also, the community based implementation structure
- Map/list all the community and public ECD program implementation entry points and explain their effectiveness to get better result for early child development.
- Assess any available ECD promotional/IEC materials at community level
- Asses the availability of play and learning materials in the ECD centres per child in the play-ground, reception class and day-care centres comparing to the curriculum/standards
- Collect relevant Community/village population and ECD centres and parenting statistical data that will help as baseline information
- Discuss and define the different community and program words such as Community, settlements, villages, village extension, ECD and other terms needs common understanding.
- Asses and discuss the sustainability, community resources and ownership and develop strategies and document best practice to scale-up to other communities.
- Assess the community based capacity/training and professional development, school management system and quality assurance mechanisms
- Review any available Monitoring and evaluation mechanisms at community and centre based interventions.
- Develop draft reports
- Share draft reports by level; district and community levels
- Dissemination workshop to partners
- Present the draft report and the finding to all ECD stakeholders at district level
- Finalize the baseline study report
- Consolidate all inputs and disseminate the final document to all relevant partners to use as baseline reference document.
Approach and Methodology of the baseline study
It is expected that the methodology of the baseline study will employ both quantitative and qualitative methods. The consultant will be appreciated for using consultative approaches and participatory tools and techniques for data collection, which may include but not be limited to in-depth interviews, key informant interviews, focus group discussions with local partners, community groups, ECD stakeholders, and NGOs in the four districts and at community levels. The study should involve collection and analysis of data regarding access to and quality of ECD services in the targeted districts, including capacity of ECD teachers, quality of ECD facilities, resource mobilization and monitoring system for ECD centres, ECD school management, parents’ attitudes toward ECD, community participation to ECD services, and availability of local/national ECD policies and guidelines.
Work relationships and reporting:
The consultant will work under the direct supervision of the UNICEF Education Specialist in close collaboration with the Director of Community Developement /reference commitee. A Reference Committee comprising of representation from the Ministries of Basic Education, Health and Wellness and Local Government and Rural Development will be established to oversee the baselines sttudies.
The Reference Committee will provide guidance to the consultant in terms of Government’s Policy intentions, implementation arrangements and data collectoio process etc.
(Estimated # of days)
Schedule of payment
Final and approved Inception Report with detailed methodology and workplan to conduct baseline study
- Briefing meeting with UNICEF
- Conduct consultation meetings with reference group and key stakeholders
- Conduct desk review on community-based ECD interventions in Botswana
- Develop inception report based on desk review
Prepare for and conduct field work
- Recruit and train study staff
- Finalize logistics for carrying out field work
- Conduct field work and submit field work report
Draft and share report for review
- Draft baseline study report
- Present findings for review
- Submit draft report for review
Finalize baseline study report
- Conduct stakeholder workshop to present baseline assessment findings
- Incorporate all review comments
- Submit report for final review
Approved and final ECD baseline report
The consultancy will be for the duration of 65 days over the period 22 October to 18 January 2019 The consultancy will follow the schedule in line with the expected deliverable above and timelines will only be negotiated if the delay is due to conditions beyond the control of the consultants.
Payment will be upon satisfactory completion of deliverables as outlined in the table above
Desired competencies, technical background and experience
The Lead consultant should have the following academic background: post graduate degree in Early Childhood, Development, Education, Economics or in any related Social Science field.
In terms of experience and specialized knowledge the consultant should have the following:
- At least 5 years practical experience in conduction baseline studies, evaulauation/assessemnet programs, developing programme implementation plans, programme design or planning. Traceable experience in preparing quality government policy documents, implementation plans, strategy documents and reports will be an advantage.
- Ability to conduct research, synthesize large amount of data, and demonstrate analytical skills. Practical experience in conducting baseline assessments.
- Experience with development of Programme Monitoring and Evaluation Frameworks.
- Demontrable knowledge of Early Childhood Development will be an advantage.
- Ability to work with various stakeholder groups, facilitating stakeholder meetings and consensus building.
- Demonstrated ability to effectively cooperate with Government and other stakeholders.
- Exhibit strong oral and written communication skills in English.
Where necessary, MOBE/MLGRD/MOHW and District branch offices will support the consultant in setting up of appointments with key informants. Schedule of meetings for the Reference Committee will be set up in advance in line with the progress of the consultancy.
- UNICEF willnotprovide laptops or desk top computers. The Consultant will provide own laptop.
- The Consultant will budget for office supplies to be used during this consultancy.
- Office space will be provided at UNICEF (when needed)
- The consultant may not travel without a signed contract and authorisation to travel prior to the commencement of the journey to the duty station.
- The consultant should submit an all-inclusive financial proposal, i.e. consisting of the consultancy fee, field trips and administration fees.
- As per UNICEF DFAM policy, payment is made against approved deliverables. No advance payment is allowed unless in exceptional circumstances against bank guarantee, subject to a maximum of 30 per cent of the total contract value in cases where advance purchases, for example for supplies or travel, may be necessary.
- The candidate selected will be governed by and subject to UNICEF’s General Terms and Conditions for individual contracts.
View our competency framework at
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.
Mobility is a condition of international professional employment with UNICEF and an underlying premise of the international civil service.
Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted and advance to the next stage of the selection process.
UNICEF is committed to diversity and inclusion within its workforce, and encourages qualified female and male candidates from all national, religious and ethnic backgrounds, including persons living with disabilities, to apply to become a part of our organization. To apply, click on the following linkhttp://www.unicef.org/about/employ/?job=516525