Scopying study for technical vocational eduction training (TVET) opportunities in Liberia

Terms of reference

Background

This 12 day consultancy will offer remote and in-country research support to the above named research grant.

The Liberia National Policy for Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) (2015-2020) aims ‘to increase the employment prospects and income-earning capacities of the active population, especially the youth, girls and women, disabled people and other vulnerable groups. In summary, the policy seeks to create a new vision for TVET that appeals to all categories of learners without distinction or discrimination and addresses the acquisition of basic, intermediate and higher level skills. TVET for All is a key message of the policy.’

The TVET policy is clear in affirming the rights of disabled youth and adults as a vehicle for promoting access to quality skills training, stimulating economic growth, creating sustainable employment, and reducing poverty. It is aligned to the rationale of the country´s mid and long term development agenda. The Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) policy seeks to produce the skilled human capital for poverty reduction.

However, findings of the ESRC/DFID funded research project ‘Understanding the Political and Institutional Conditions for Effective Poverty Reduction for Persons with Disabilities in Liberia’ conducted by Leonard Cheshire Disability and Inclusive Development Centre, in partnership with the University of Liberia (UoL) and the National Union of Organizations of the Disabled (NUOD) highlights the oinks between lack of educational opportunities and low educational attainment and reduction of future life chances for disabled children and youth.

The research findings show a disconnection between school and adult education, leading to limited employment opportunities for disabled youth and adults. However, continuing or returning to education for disabled adults was less of a concern among those interviewed: no one spoke about improving their education or technical vocational education and training (TVET), despite policies to strengthen the TVET system.

This may also reflect a lack of expectation about the possibility for further education or training. What disabled people clearly stated they want and need are opportunities to access loans and/or microcredit schemes. Yet they are routinely excluded from such schemes, and none are specifically designed for them.

The aim of this scoping study is to explore further where TVET and other opportunities need to be strengthened to ensure inclusion of disabled youth and adults, in particular, accessibility, reasonable accommodation and employability of the TVET policy implementation, in compliance with Section (5) of the Act that created the National Commission on Disabilities.

Purpose of the consultancy

To collaborate with the UK-based research team to provide comprehensive scoping of opportunities to use research findings to provide technical support and guidance to Ministry of Youth and Sport (MYS), and improve inclusion of disabled youth and adults in TVET in Liberia with a long term aim of improving their overall economic and social inclusion.

Objectives:

  1. to identify specific areas of potential collaboration for programmatic input; additional research and policy/advocacy on the TVET policy implementation
  2. to identify avenues for further collaboration with the Ministry of Youth and Sports (MYS)to ensure the TVET programmes/projects are inclusive of disabled youth and adults
  3. to identify and showcase good practices of employability and training for disabled youth and adults in TVET implementation as a poverty reduction strategy and a national development framework for Liberia
  4. to scope potential employment and advocacy opportunities for inclusive sports and recreational activities within the MYS TVET activities

Key tasks:

Under the direct supervision of the assistant director of Leonard Cheshire Disability and Inclusive Development Centre (IDC)/ UCL and the functional support and guidance of LCD/IDC/UCL, work with the Leonard Cheshire Disability research team and the University of Liberia research team to undertake the following research components:

  1. desk-based review of current literature on disabled youth in Liberia, as well as on their inclusivity in relevant national policy frameworks, in particular the TVET policy, and scoping analysis of the TVET Results Framework Matrix short term interventions to date (2015-2017)
  2. identify key issues and assess challenges of the TVET implementation’s compliance with Section (5) of the Act of the National Commission on Disabilities through key informant interviews (exact number to be agreed with PI)
  3. focus group discussions with disabled youth and adults to ascertain their views on inclusiveness of current TVET opportunities, including accessibility and reasonable accommodation in training and work environment (max of four; location to be agreed with PI and MYS representatives)
  4. identify opportunities for better data on disabled youth, information management systems and monitoring and evaluation of programs, projects and initiatives in the MYS TVET policy, including for community-based monitoring
  5. conduct interviews with potential ‘role models’ for disabled people, e.g. through sports and /or recreational activities

Outputs:

  1. report summarising findings and key recommendations at national level (policy), programme level as well as identifying opportunities for further research

Research team

The research team will have capacity to achieve the above within a short time frame, and should include at least one disabled person.

Expected profile of the consultant(s):

  • educated to at least a masters level in a relevant subject (economics, development studies etc.)
  • experience undertaking policy-focused research (essential)
  • knowledge of the Liberian TVET system
  • experience undertaking disability-focused research and/or disability policy review (desirable)
  • experience in incorporating a human rights perspective in policy research and/or policy analysis (desirable)
  • experience of designing, organising and leading qualitative research projects
  • able to take a leading role in work with an interdisciplinary and multicultural team
  • knowledge of local context and human rights issues

Timeframe:

The scoping study will be conducted in 12 (twelve) days, within the period from 18 August — 30 August 2017.

The consultancy fee will include daily rates for the consultant(s) daily rates, plus additional field research costs (specifically internal travel, venue hire, research materials and resources).

Application:

Interested candidates are invited to submit a CV and application letter tender with outline of work and proposed fee by 18 August 2017 to:

Dr Maria Kett, assistant director, Leonard Cheshire Disability and Inclusive Development Centre, University College London

Email: m.kett@ucl.ac.uk

Further details available on request.

Full terms of reference.