Terms of Reference


Elaboration of a toolkit for programing gender sensitive programmes in Adult Learning and Education in MENA countries


Regions: North Africa and Middle East                 


1.       General background

DVV International is the Institute for International Cooperation of the Deutscher Volkshochschul-Verband e.V. (DVV), the German Adult Education Association. DVV represents the interests of approximately 920 adult education centres (Volkshochschulen) and their state associations, the largest service provider of continuing education in Germany. As the leading professional organisation in the field of adult education and development cooperation, DVV International has committed itself to supporting lifelong learning for 50 years now. DVV International provides worldwide support for the establishment and development of sustainable structures for a lifelong youth and adult learning and education (YALE). Funded in a large part by the BMZ for the creation/strengthening of social structures (Sozialstrukturförderung - SSF), the Institute cooperates with more than 200 partners in more than 30 countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America and Europe. DVV International promotes, together with national, regional and global associations of adult learning and education (ALE), lobbying and advocacy activities for the human right to education and lifelong learning. In doing so, DVV International contributes to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the Global Agenda for Education (Education 2030) and the UNESCO International Conferences on Adult Education (CONFINTEA).

In North Africa, the regional office based in Tunis coordinates the projects of Morocco and Tunisia. The projects in both countries aim at accompanying the development, the assessment and the ongoing improvement of national policies and strategies for literacy and adult education. The project partner with various categories of stakeholders, at the macro, meso and micro levels, including public institutions in charge of the implementation of policies/strategies, civil society organisations (NGOs and networks), local collectivities, and the private sector.

In Middle East, DVV International’s work focuses on the development of innovative educational programmes, the qualification of adult education specialists, the establishment of adult education centres and the improvement of the political and legal framework for adult education. Relevant projects are being implemented in Jordan and Palestine. Another important area of work is networking and lobbying for lifelong learning. DVV International supports four cooperation of Adult learning and Education (ALE) networks with hundreds of member organisations from all over the Arab world.

2.       Context of the assignment

In North Africa, the project pays high attention to “gender-based chances”. First of all, from the HR angle, at DVV International offices and partners itself and the community of experts and partners when it comes to recruitment and working principles, drafting of terms of reference, etc. Secondly, from the programmatic angle, at the political level (macro), the partners’ institutional and organisational capacity development (meso level) and the learners service provision angle. However, the importance given to equality of chances is done in a random way, giving place to certain inconsistencies in the implementation. The country offices and some of their partners have expressed the will to have a structured and systematic practice and policy for gender-sensitive programing.  

In the Middle East, the Gender theme is addressed by DVV International projects indirectly and on the micro level in the Middle East. The training activities implemented in cooperation with local partners are based on emancipatory and participatory approaches. The external evaluation report stresses on the need for empowerment of many female participants, which was stated in the personal interviews. Having in mind the sensibility of the gender themes especially in targeted rural areas the gender themes are not addressed directly during the training, but rather using low-threshold approach. Majority of course participants are female.

3.       Objective of the assignment

The purpose of the assignment can be summarized as follows:

  1. Take stock of some of the best practices in the arena of Gender applied to ALE in MENA in the specific fields of addressing gender roles, promoting women in decision-making, promoting participation in learning actions (considering work life balance) and guaranteeing learning safe environment, etc.;
  2. Provide practical, effective and innovative solutions and tools for ALE stakeholders (policymakers, implementing agencies- public, practitioners, civil society, and private) so that the designing and implementing programs in ALE are gender sensitive and inclusive for all members of the society. The solutions could take many forms- games, simulations, checklists, video spots, etc.
  3. Identify areas of capacity development on gender to the ALE actors;
  4. Design a video presenting the toolkit including interviews of 3-4 persons from DVV International and partners in the countries in question;
  5. Useful checklists and examples for users are expected to be provided;
  6. Enable the revision of the DVV International gender strategy by providing recommendations also in the light of the tools/ checklist that will be provided. This revision will ultimately aim to strengthen gender equality from an organisational perspective (DVV International and all stakeholders of ALE) as well as from a services provision perspective (participants mobilisation and retention through the creation of safe and enabling environments for women and men, post learning perspectives suitable with their work life, etc.)

4.       Content of the action and guiding thread

A brief gender diagnostic in how Gender is being approached in the ALE sphere in the 2 regions including:

  • The policy context of gender in ALE in MENA
  • The challenges of implementing gender sensitive intervention in ALE in MENA

Essentially, we would like to determine how interventions in ALE could respond to the needs of women and men at all project implementation levels in view of the specific ALE issue to be addressed. Consequently, our action will have as a guiding thread:

  1. b) The identification of the drivers of change and the gender dynamics;
  2. c) The identification and the design of the specific gender elements to be included in ALE interventions;
  3. d) The definition of output, outcomes and impact indicators;
  4. e) The design of monitoring tools;
  5. f) The estimate of the costs for specific gender interventions in ALE (if applicable);

5.       Deliverables

The following deliverables are expected:

  • Inception report: The consultant will present a report providing detailed information about methods and guiding questions. This report will be presented to DVV International, discussed and, if need be, amended.
  • Debriefing: The consultant will present the preliminary outputs of the assignment to the DVV International regional offices, responding to questions and providing any necessary clarifications, documenting the discussion, which will then form part of the final report.
  • Draft toolkit: DVV International will receive a first draft of the final assignment. On this basis, comments will be made on the first draft before it is returned to the consultant. A second draft will then be submitted for further comments and feedback.
  • Final toolkit: The final report will take into account all comments on the draft assignment, provide detailed information on the entire assignment process, and detail all content.
  • Restitution meetings: The toolkit and its content will be presented in a workshop (location to be determined), and a series of online workshops to train on the toolkit.

The toolkit should be produced in English and submitted to DVV International electronically.

The consultant is required to write an executive summary / introductory section in French.

6.       Tasks of the consultant

The consultant is expected to fulfil the following tasks:

  • Methodological design and planning of the assignment in communication with DVV International;
  • Desk Study of relevant project documentation;
  • Design of data collection instruments for the field phase;
  • Preparation of an inception report;
  • Field visits with participation and involvement of all relevant stakeholders. This will be adapted based on the Covid-19 evolution);
  • Compilation of the preliminary draft, integration of comments, and finalization of the assignment.

7.       Target group of the consultancy

  1. The partners of DVV International North Africa and Middle East;
  2. The people benefiting from the micro-level actions of DVV International in both regions.
  3. The personal of DVV International North Africa and Middle East regional and country offices.

8.       Expected Input / Financial Proposal:

The indicative number of working days is 20-25. Applicants are expected to submit their proposal for the number of working days, phases of the work, and the distribution of working days per phase. Templates are provided in annexe.

Financial proposals for the evaluation should be as detailed as possible and include all honoraria and eventual interpretation/translation costs, as well as all envisaged travel costs and any other costs (including taxes).

9.       Methodological approach

The consultant will be recruited by the North Africa regional office, and we foresee that there will be travel and communication between the 2 regions. The consultant will act as the lead of a team of at least 3 persons, including national focal points, who know well the terrain of gender in ALE in their respective country/region.

The consultant is expected to start with collecting data and information, as well as screening the policies and projects documents (databases and statistics) from a selection of ALE stakeholders. This will mainly be done through the local focal points.

Consultations with key Government and civil society will be held based on a list and an interview questionnaire designed by the consultant, together with the local focal points.

The consultant is expected to work closely with DVV international academia and research partners who study the societal and psychological aspects of ALE with a special focus on females.

10.   Indicative Timetable

The indicative timetable for the evaluation is as follows:

Deadline of submission of proposals: 15.07.2020

Selection of candidate: 07.08.2020

Final draft of toolkit: 10.11.20

Final restitution workshop: 01.12.20

11.   Responsible persons at DVV International and logistics

DVV International North Africa will be the contracting authority for this assignment. The main contact persons will be the DVV International Regional Director for North Africa, together with the DVV International Regional Director for Middle East and the gender focal point in Germany.

They will provide all relevant documents and support to the consultant, and assist in arranging interviews and field visits etc., with stakeholders and partners.

12.   Qualifications and profile of the consultant

The consultant should have the following qualifications and experience:

  • Have a proven track record of gender toolkit design in youth and adult leaning and education contexts. Such experience in the ALE context is a significant advantage;
  • Have good knowledge of the sector of youth and adult learning and education, non-formal education and lifelong learning;
  • Have experience of stakeholder participation and transparent knowledge management;
  • Be familiar with the regional contexts of NorthAfrica and Middle east, in the specific field of Gender equality,
  • Have excellent analytical and writing skills;
  • Fluency in English, French and Arabic are assets.

13.   Application

The ToR and the respective annexes can be found under:


All interested candidates should submit the following documents:

  1. CV(s) of person(s) to be involved in the assignment in English (Please use the template provided);
  2. Technical proposal covering the following aspects (maximum of 5 pages);
    • Narrative overview displaying an understanding of the task
    • Detailed methodology
    • Workplan, including detailed proposed steps of implementation
    • Consideration of any specific requirements envisaged for the assignment
    • Internal Quality Management
  3. A detailed financial proposal with all expected costs (Please use the template provided).

All applications must be sent by 15.07.2020 to the following e-mail addresses:

N.B.: Late submissions will not be accepted.


14.   Evaluation criteria of proposals

The proposals will be assessed according to the following criteria:

  • Qualifications of the consultant (counts one third) (based on criteria mentioned above);
  • Technical proposal (counts one third) (based on criteria mentioned above);
  • Financial proposal (counts one third) (best cost-service relation).


15.   Request for clarification

If you should have queries concerning this application process, please send your questions to the contact persons in Section 13 above. The deadline for submitting queries is July 10th 2020. Answers to all questions will be sent to all interested parties the following day.