Terms of Reference
Research Assistant: Adult Education System Building Approach
Providing input for a set of guidelines on the Adult Education System Building Approach: Methods and tools to facilitate organisational development and service delivery optimisation for improved adult education systems
1. Introduction and Background
DVV International (DVV I) is the Institute for International Cooperation of the Deutscher Volkshochschul-Verband e.V. (DVV), the German Adult Education Association. DVV represents the interests of the approximately 900 adult education centres (Volkshochschulen) and their state associations, the largest further education providers in Germany. DVV International provides worldwide support for the establishment and development of sustainable structures for Youth and Adult Education. As the leading professional organization in the field of adult learning and education (ALE) and development cooperation, DVV International has committed itself to supporting lifelong learning for more than 50 years. Its vision is to fight poverty through education, lifelong learning and support to development.
As a globally acting professional organization for ALE, DVV International together with government and civil society partners is aiming to build sustainable adult education systems to achieve optimised service delivery in youth and adult education. This needs a holistic approach considering the adult education system as a whole with all its elements to ensure the design and implementation contributes towards reaching the target group with quality service delivery. In this context DVV International has developed the Adult Education System Building Approach (SBA) through an action-learning process in Ethiopia and Uganda.
2. The Adult Education System Building Approach (SBA)
The Adult Education System Building Approach was developed over the course of 6 years in the East/Horn of Africa region, specifically through action learning in Ethiopia and Uganda. Using tools and processes from adult education, systems theory, service delivery optimisation, governance, public administration, organisational development and several participatory approaches such as PRA and Reflect, the approach grew organically by testing the tools and processes over time with government partners. As the region started to experiment and pilot test Community Learning Centres (CLCs) as places where these services can be delivered, alongside with new integrated adult education approaches such as IFAE in Ethiopia (Integrated Functional Adult Education) and ICOLEW in Uganda (Integrated Community Learning for Wealth Creation), these practical experiences fed into the development of the Adult Education System Building approach.
The aim of the Adult Education SBA is to ensure that different forms of adult education services are delivered to youths and adults through relevant and accessible modalities with the necessary programme quality. It acknowledges that to strengthen service delivery it is necessary to analyse the dimensions and actual process of service delivery, hence the whole Adult Education system. It identifies the core characteristics of the system and explores re-structuring, business process engineering and other mechanisms to address challenges from a holistic perspective, attempting to address causes rather than symptoms of the problem. CLCs (Community learning centres) can be places where such services can be delivered and can be a modality for an improved Adult Education service delivery mechanism among others.
In order to be able to assess countries’ adult education systems, the conceptual framework of the SBA categorises the system into elements which are further divided into building blocks. The elements and building blocks are interconnected and interdependent with feedback loops as the scope of adult education systems has an integrated nature which considers services such as functional adult literacy combined with non-formal skills training, etc., meaning ‘horizontal integration’. These integrated services are understood to be delivered across the spheres of governance (macro-meso-micro) - ‘vertical integration’ meaning links and feedback loops between each sphere. The adult education SBA takes this into account and considers all spheres of governance across macro, meso and micro levels as well as the scope of adult education in the country.
In summary, the SBA assists DVV International, governments, civil society and other relevant actors across 5 phases to:
Build Consensus with all actors and stakeholders of the adult education system in a particular country and define the scope of the system (Phase 1);
Assess the status of programmes/projects (Phase 2 – part one) in the context of the country’s adult education system, determining which elements and building blocks of the system are in place and how well they are functioning.
 Further assess the underlying causes and blockages (Phase 2 – part two) in the system through diagnostic studies.
 Searching for the best entry points to address system challenges through alternative analysis and designing a new system (phase 3).
 Implement and test the newly designed system in selected areas over time (phase 4).
 Reviewing this system, making necessary adjustments and up-scaling for improved adult education service delivery. (phase 5)
3. Rationale for the consultancy
The positive experiences in the implementation of the SBA in Uganda and Ethiopia have led to the decision by DVV International to apply this instrument in further African partner countries and beyond. Currently the following documentation about the approach is available (and can be made available to the consultant):
 A manual/guideline explaining the i) conceptual framework and background to the approach with its elements, building blocks and phases as well as ii) the assessment of a system through a peer review methodology (both quantative and qualitative assessment)
 National and regional reports on the results of the system assessment in Ethiopia, conducted through a peer review methodology.
 Regional reports of the ‘demand assessment’ from the learners’ perspective (from 2 regions in Ethiopia).
 Reports from previous East Africa regional workshops conducted since 2014 that explored different tools and context in the development of the approach.
 Reports for the Malawi Adult Education System Building workshop (2018) and consultancy report on adult education systems.
 Report on the Adult Education System Building workshop conducted for 10 African countries in Ethiopia in 2019.
Furthermore Phases 1 and 2 of the approach have been completed and developed through action-learning in Ethiopia and Uganda, while phase 3 is in the beginning stages in Ethiopia. Phases 4 and 5 still needs to be developed and tested, although the contents are to some extent already framed. The conceptual framework and its contents and phases are already fully developed with reference to selected discourse and theory from the fields of adult education, public administration and systems theory.
DVV International would now like to develop a set of guidelines/booklets giving a comprehensive overview of the SBA with all its tools and phases. Considering that the approach relies heavily on action-learning and testing of tools and processes in the field, a decision has been made to develop the following booklets/guidelines:
Booklet Title
Suggested Contents for final documentation of the approach and this proposal specifically
Booklet One:Introduction to Adult Education System Building and how to use the toolkit (20-25 pages)
An introduction to the approach, scientific reference frame, rationale and development of the approach, conceptual framework, phases, elements and building blocks as well as theoretical underpinning. An overview of the other books and how to use the toolkit. (Comprehensive/final booklet)
Booklet Two: Phase One – Consensus Building (20-25 pages)
Describing the contents and process of consensus building with both government and NGO partners. Including tools and limited case study experiences /examples from e.g. Ethiopia, Uganda, Tunisia and Morocco. (Comprehensive/final booklet)
Booklet Three: Phase Two- Assessment and Diagnosis (40 pages including tools & limited case studies/examples) Describing the contents and process of assessment and diagnosis of the system with both government and NGO partners. Including tools related to qualitative and quantitative assessment and scoring with case study experiences from Ethiopia and Uganda. Detailed description of peer review guideline for ‘supply side’ assessment and demand assessment. (Comprehensive/final booklet)
Booklet Four: Phase 3 -Alternatives Analysis and Design Describing how to use the results of the assessment from phase 2 (booklet 3) to design and compare alternative interventions for improving the system and how to find catalyst entry points for improvement. Recommendations and suggested tools. Limitations will be acknowledged due to the fact that action learning process is not completed yet for this phase.
Booklet Five: Phase 4 and 5 Implement and Test - Review, Adjust and Up-scale
Describing how to implement and test an improved pilot system and learn from this experience by applying action-learning tools. How to evaluate the implementation of the pilot system, make adjustments and prepare for up-scaling. Phased 4 and 5 will at this stage be combined into one booklet.
This ToR calls for assistance specifically with reference to Booklets Two to Five. In each of these booklets some methods, processes and tools already exist, but may need further elaboration, while in other cases different applicable tools or methods need to be explored and adapted to the context of the SBA. The consultant is required to assist DVV International with literature review in the fields of OD (Organisational Development), Public Administration, Systems Theory, Development and Project Management and contribute practical experience or design of new tools and methods on the following topics/booklets:
 Phase One of the approach (Booklet 2): Consensus building among stakeholders and partners within the adult education sector. This may include tools related to visioning exercises, stakeholders’ analysis and partnership management.
 Reviewing the semi-structured interview questions of phase 2/Booklet 3 (Assessment and Diagnosis) and provide input on practical questions to increase the validity of findings, triangulation, etc. within the context of OD and Public Administration;
 Provide suggestions for methods and tools to conduct alternatives analysis, finding entry points and designing new pilot systems (Phase 3/Booklet 4)
 Provide suggestions for methods and tools that can be used during the implementation and testing phase as well as important considerations for reviewing/evaluating the pilot phase, adjustment and up-scaling of the system (Phases 4 and 5/Booklet 5)
Since the Adult Education System Building Approach is developed through action-learning and prides itself on testing and validating processes, methods and tools, the consultant should not only provide suggestions of tools from the literature, but should also contribute from his/her own experience in using and adapting different tools. The consultant can also contribute newly designed tools based on the context of the booklets.
The finalised set of booklets/practical toolkit can be used to guide DVV International’s work in the Africa region and potentially beyond. The manual/toolkit will assist DVV International staff and partners to understand the Adult Education System Building approach and provide guidance in its implementation. The toolkit will enable countries in the region to systematize Adult Education System Building across funding phases. It will provide comparable baseline data on the status of systems in all African countries and guide on the next strategic steps to be taken towards establishing sustainable adult education systems.
4. Methodological approach, tasks and deliverables of the consultancy
The Terms of Reference is addressed to a consultant in the field of Organisational Development, Public Administration and/or Governance.
In detail, the consultancy includes the following tasks:
 Review of materials currently available on the adult education system building approach (mentioned booklets and other reports).
 Discuss and agree with the author and DVV International on the areas in the booklets that need specific methods/tools and make suggestions. A final framework for delivering the contents will be agreed upon at this stage.
 Review literature (OD, public administration, governance and systems theory as well as several participatory approaches) and provide suggestions (also from experience) for different methods, tools and processes that can be used in each booklet.
 Based on agreement with the author and DVV International, write-up each method/tool/process in an agreed upon format for insertion into the booklets.
 Compile all the references in the correct format (both in text and at the end) of the booklets.
The currently available documentation already listed will be made available to the consultant to scope the literature review combined with further discussions and clarifications from the SBA author/concept developer. It should also be noted that the consultancy will be conducted in an interactive and consequential manner in close collaboration with the author/concept developer.
The consultant will be required to fulfil the following tasks:
 Provide a proposal on how the ToR will be implemented before the assignment.
 Submit a detailed budget /financial proposal for the assignment including the daily consultancy fee;
 Based on the approval of the proposal and proposed budget for the assignment, start the consultancy as per the tasks outlined in this ToR.
 Compile an inception report with a framework for developing input/contents.
 A briefing session with DVV International can be conducted after approval of the inception report and at any stage needed during the consultancy.
 As per an agreed upon framework, compile the input required.
 Conduct a debriefing session with DVV International to discuss comments on final input.
 Finalise the documents based on comments and feedback from DVV International;
The following deliverables are expected:
Proposal and budget for the consultancy.
Inception report and framework for developing input for each booklet.
Finalised input for all booklets (Estimated 5-10 pages per booklet) with references.
Debriefing: the consultant will present the results of the assignment and will document the discussion, which will form part of the final report.
Final short report on the consultancy with potential recommendations for further development of the approach.
All documentation should be produced in English and submitted to DVV International electronically.
5. Timeframe for the consultancy
The time period for the assignment is September to November 2020. The indicative number of working days foreseen is 20 Working Days:
Two (2) days total of briefing and debriefing with DVV International (before, during and at the end of the consultancy);
Three (3) days for studying Adult Education System Building documents and compiling a framework for input on methods and tools for each booklet.
Seven (7) days for literature review and designing methods/tools
Six (6) days to write input for each booklet.
Two (2) days of report finalization after feedback received from DVV International.
The proposal and financial proposal/budget for the assignment should reach DVV International no later than 14 August 2020 and the assignment should be completed by 16 November 2020 latest. Note that the days are spread between the months of 1 September and 16 November 2020 and the consultant should be available for said number of days in this time.
6. Responsible persons at DVV International and logistics
DVV International will be contracting authority for this assessment. The contact persons are:
 The Senior Desk Officer for Southern Africa and East/Horn of Africa region of DVV International in Bonn, Frauke Heinze: heinze@dvv-international.de
 The Regional Director for East/Horn of Africa, Sonja Belete: dvveastafrica@gmail.com
The consultant will work closely with Sonja Belete, the author and concept/methodology developer during the consultancy to ensure that the input and current practice are well combined. The DVV International regional office in Ethiopia and HQ will provide all relevant documents and support the consultant where necessary.
7. Qualifications of the Consultant(s)
The consultant(s) should have the following qualifications and experience:
 Demonstrate sound knowledge and experience of organisational development, governance, systems and approaches/methods, public administration and participatory approaches and tools – especially in African context.
 Have the necessary qualifications in OD or related fields mentioned above.
 Working with civil society and government actors and facilitating a variety of OD and systems processes.
 Knowledge of and experience Adult Education will be an added advantage.
 Be familiar with DVV Internationals’ work profile in the region;
 Well experienced in project and development management;
 Analytical and writing skills;
 Fluency in English
8. Quality Standards
A suitable design and methodology for the research and structuring the write-up of input for booklets as per the ToR. Excellent writing skills.
9. Application
Candidates must submit the following documents:
a) CV of person to be involved in the assignment (To be sent with cover letter to indicate interest in the assignment). Template for CV can be found here (https://www.dvv-international.de/dvv-international/stellenangebote/
b) Proposal covering the following aspects (maximum of 6 pages):
a. Understanding of the task and ToRs
b. Detailed approach how to conduct assignment
c. Work plan with steps of implementation and timeline
c) Financial proposal (please use attached template, found at https://www.dvv-international.de/dvv-international/stellenangebote/
Relevant Proposal and budget should be sent in pdf until midnight (German time) 14th August to the following e-mail addresses:
Frauke Heinze (Senior Desk Officer for Southern and East Africa Region at DVV International Headquarters in Bonn) e-mail address: Heinze@dvv-international.de, and the Regional Director for East/Horn of Africa, Sonja Belete: dvveastafrica@gmail.com
Note: Consultants should not be employed by any other organisation such as NGOs or government offices at the time of the consultancy. They should be fully available for the consultancy period as per the indicated schedule. Failure to comply with this requirement may lead to immediate cancellation of the contract.
10. Evaluation Criteria for Proposals
The proposals will be assessed according to the following criteria:
 Qualification and Experience of consultant(s) - counts one third based on criteria mentioned above;
 Technical proposal - counts one third based on criteria mentioned above;
 Financial proposal - counts one third (best price-service relation).
This ToR does not constitute a contract.
11. Request for Clarification
Any queries concerning this tender should be sent to the above mentioned contact persons. The latest date for submitting questions is 5th August, 2020. The answers to the questions will be published on our website (https://www.dvv-international.de/dvv-international/stellenangebote/) for all interested parties the following day.