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Terms Of Reference Study Team Leader/ Consultant Study On Girls Education In Sierra Leone: A Situation Of Access, Retention And Completion
Oct 27, 2009, 17:22
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Education constitutes a core component of the Government of Sierra Leones development agenda. The basis for this is provided for in the countrys second generation of PRSP alluding to abundant empirical and theoretical justification to support the assertion that human resource accumulation as one of the main engines of economic growth and poverty reduction. Among the key determining factors of human resource accumulation identified is the level of educational attainment/ status of the population. The governments effort to improve on the social indicators and well being of its citizens is determined by lessons learnt in the implementation of programmes in the first PRSP. In July 2007, the Education Sector Plan was launched, which outlined its Governments mission of providing basic education of quality for all in a phased manner, starting with the realisation of the right of all children to quality primary education. The Plan identified clear priorities to ensure Sierra Leone works towards meeting the EFA goals and the two education related MDGs. The first among the priorities speaks to providing universal primary education and completion whiles improving the quality of education among others.

The efficacy of paying specific attention to girl child education in Sierra Leone need not be over emphasised. There have been conscious and ongoing efforts at providing concrete responses to the problems that continue to challenge girls education both from Government and other education sector partners. Given these interventions, there is no doubt that the challenges relating to girls specific interventions need to be properly understood with good insight in terms of context relating to geography, socio economic and cultural inhibitors that procreate the multiplicity of issues that affect access, retention and completion of girls in primary schools. In addressing this, Government has over the years increasingly focused on addressing the problem of weak governance in terms of weak institutional management and the lack of economic performance in respect to its delivery of services to the public. This has ultimately been a critical area of interest and focus for civil society: assessing the processes involved; the quality of service delivered; participation of beneficiaries and overall user satisfaction. At another level, CSOs such as EFA-SL has been desirous to open and provide an understanding of the grey areas around girls education at the basis education levels in Sierra Leone to inform and shed light on the interventions and implications for quality responses at the policy, interventionists and beneficiary levels. This study therefore provides an opportunity to contribute to complimenting and supporting the efforts of all players including Government.

The intervention concept

The Africa Network Campaign on Education For All (ANCEFA) in collaboration with IBIS, an International Danish NGO has embarked on supporting a comprehensive education campaign programme with the aim of addressing the dearth in data specific to enrolment and retention of girls in Conflict Affected fragile states (Sierra Leone and Liberia) and the value of synergy and collaborative partnerships with regards to capacity building of the media, Parliament and coalition members for effective engagement for informed policy towards the access, retention and completion of girls in primary schools. This initiative also hinges on cross fertilization of lessons from both countries for best practice


The purpose is to serve as a lead consultant in conducting a scientific research on the Situational of Girls Education in Sierra Leone.

The objectives of this study are

To analyse the status of EFA and the MDGs focusing on girls education in Sierra Leone.
To investigate Girls Education in Sierra Leone in terms of access, retention and completion
Conduct a trend analysis of the national education budget and policies for gender responsiveness


The main components of the study will be 1) Situational analysis; 2) Policy and programme analysis; 3) Budget analysis; and 4) Analysis of budget implementation.

A study team leader/ consultant is therefore required to lead and support the EFA-SL coalition in the conduct of this study by way of generating the study instruments/ tools; supervise data collection process; review relevant literature; lead and facilitate the analysis of gender responsive education policies and budgets; and provide a comprehensive study report at the end of the exercise.

1. Situational Analysis

This component will assess the situation of girls concerning basic educational opportunities. Basic education here refers to the primary and junior secondary education levels. The analysis takes into account the following
Access to education, which touches on sufficiency of family income, human development opportunities and economic and physical vulnerability. Specifically, the analysis will seek to move beyond just ensuring girls are enrolled into primary and junior secondary school, and assess issues around accessibility to basic education for girls
Retention/ attrition: This refers to the proportion of students starting school who continue/ discontinue through withdrawal, dropping out, etc. The determinants of childrens retention in primary and junior secondary education are assessed to provide a basis for analysis of policies and programmes that seek to address this. This would include an assessment of MEYS policies/ objectives if any for the reduction of the school dropout rate and improving retention.
Completion: This refers to the proportion of students successfully completing the last year of (or graduating from) primary and junior secondary schools in a given year. An assessment will be made of the factors that affect completion in relation to the measures that are being taken to address this.

2. Policy and programme analysis

The proportion of students completing primary school and entering secondary school can be positively shaped by a combination of policy interventions aiming to: increase primary enrolment rates, reduce dropout rates and provide sufficient numbers of places in secondary schools for those pupils making the transition. The policy and programme analysis component will include the:

Identification and analysis of education policies and programmes that seek to promote girls education with regards to access, attrition and completion
Analysis of discrimination in access to services. This includes programme eligibility and access procedures, and analysis of governments justification for discrimination in eligibility for a programme versus actual need.

3. Budget Analysis

This involves the analysis of the adequacy of budget allocations to selected programmes, analysis in relation to other programmes and the total education budget. The analysis will investigate specific expenditure on girls education as well as general/ mainstream expenditures in the education sector in relation to the following:

The level of priority given to the programmes
Different financing options available for programmes
Impact on different groups of children such as vulnerable children, the disabled, and rural versus urban children. It is acknowledged that while some policies may generally succeed in improving overall access to education, problems in respect of enrolment, retention and completion often remain for the poor, disabled or children living in rural areas.

4. Analysis of budget implementation

This component looks at whether the funds allocated to the programmes found their way to the programme destination, proportion of allocations spent by the programmes, and the results.

Scope of Work

The study will be look at a national picture that will deeply reflect district specific issues/ findings. The period will range between three to five years.


a) Inception report on the study process
b) Field work data collection
c) Draft report
d) Validation of research findings
e) Final report

Required expertise and experience

Expertise in the fields of public policy, Gender and Development or related fields
Experience in the analysis of public policies. Sound knowledge about the Education policy development and implementation will be an advantage.
Knowledge of Sierra Leones national education policy and budget processes
Knowledge and experience in gender analysis and disaggregation
Excellent oral and written communication skills in English.

Non discrimination

Both male and female applicants are encouraged to apply

Application procedure

All interested applicants are encouraged to send in an Expression of Interest (EOI) attached with a CV in a sealed envelope addressed to:

The Chairman,
Education For All Coalition Sierra Leone (EFA-SL)
16 Robert Street, Freetown
On or before the 2nd of November 2009
No late application will be accepted and or considered

Print at the top right corner of the envelop "Lead Consultant Girls education in Sierra Leone; a situation of access, retention and completion.

© Copyright by Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown, Sierra Leone.

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