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Consultant(GCI & R&D project: challenges of girls' school dropout in Sierra Leone)


Parent Sector : Education Sector (ED)

Duty Station: Freetown

Classification of duty station: [[filter12]]

Standard Duration of Assignement : [[filter13]]

Job Family: Education

Type of contract : Non Staff

Duration of contract : From 7 to 11 months

Recruitment open to : External candidates

Application Deadline (Midnight Paris Time) : 31 March 2023


UNESCO Core Values: Commitment to the Organization, Integrity, Respect for Diversity, Professionalism


The consultancy will run for a period of 10 months, with a part-time engagement (approximately 31 days), between March 2023 and December 2023, starting as soon as possible. It will be based in Sierra Leone from (Freetown) where the work with the project team will be carried out in two modalities: remote and on-site (missions).



With more than 50 years of experience contributing to strengthening the capacity of member states, IIEP-UNESCO is the only specialized organization with the mandate to support education policy, planning and management in the UN system. IIEP's Africa office (IIEP Dakar) contributes to this mission by producing rigorous analysis and data-driven evidence, developing cutting-edge analytical tools, and delivering technical assistance to identify, facilitate and promote the adoption of effective solutions to Africa's most pressing education challenges. Through its Research and Development program (R&D), IIEP-UNESCO Dakar is actively involved in the curation, generation, refinement, and expansion of bodies of knowledge for the strengthening of education decision and policy making in Africa.  At the backbone of its strategy and commitment to reducing inequalities in education, IIEP Dakar ensures the technical oversight of the Gender at the Centre Initiative – GCI. Launched in 2019 at the G7 Summit, the GCI aims to strengthen the gender mainstreaming capacities of education system stakeholders and support the development of resources to achieve gender equality in and through education. The initiative is currently being developed in eight pilot countries in sub-Saharan Africa (Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, and Chad) and seeks to expand to other countries in the region.  GCI and Dakar-R&D are recruiting one national consultant to support the development of an evidence-generating and policy-strengthening project on girls’ school dropout in Sierra Leone.

Long Description

Less than two-thirds of girls complete primary education in low-income countries, and only one in three complete lower secondary school (Wodon, 2018). The costs of school dropout are severe and have permanent consequences for girls and their families: it increases the likelihood of early childbearing; decreases women's decision-making capacity and physical and psychological well-being; lowers their prospects for future education and quality employment opportunities; and increases under-five mortality and malnutrition, among many other negative implications. While global dropout rates for boys and girls are only a few percentage points apart (8 for boys and 9 percent for girls), in sub-Saharan Africa the difference is twice as large: 19 percent for boys and 23 for girls. Across sub-Saharan Africa, 9 million girls will never attend school, compared to 6 million boys (UIS, 2016). The project “Addressing the challenges of girls' school dropout in Sierra Leone through evidence-based policymaking” seeks to gain a better understanding of girls’ school dropout in Sierra Leona during the last years and to contribute to the design and implementation of prevention mechanisms. This project has four specific objectives:


  1. To support the generation and analysis of information and data for the measurement and monitoring of girls’ school dropout, and the understanding of it as a process that can be detected and combated at early stages if monitoring systems are in place.
  2. To contribute to the generation of evidence on the evolution of girl’s school dropout in Sierra Leone before, during and after the Covid-19 pandemic.
  3. To analyse the existence, relevance, and coherence of education policy tools available in the country which could contribute to the prevention of girls’ school dropout.
  4. To develop recommendations for strengthening the country's response mechanisms to the girl’s dropout phenomenon.

Time Frame & Recruitment

Under the guidelines of IIEP’s GCI and Dakar-R&D Programme Managers, the overall supervision of IIEP Dakar’s Head and Deputy Head of Office, and the direct supervision of the project leader, the consultant will be responsible for the following activities:


1. Contribute to the preparation of the data collection strategy and mission including the data collection instruments and other inputs

  1. Deliverable: Mission agenda, list of stakeholders and data collection instruments
  2. Deadline: 5 April 2023
  3. Estimated days: 2


2. Contribute to the documentation and analysis of relevant policies and programs

  1. Deliverable: Policy library, synthesis documents and analysis paper
  2. Deadline: 15 May 2023
  3. Estimated days: 3


3. Contribute to conducting, transcribing, coding, and analysing interviews with key stakeholders

  1. Deliverable: Coded testimony database (excel), and interview analytical report
  2. Deadline: 31 May 2023
  3. Estimated days: 15

4. Support the quantitative analysis of recent administrative and survey data

  1. Deliverable: Analysis report
  2. Deadline: 15 June 2023
  3. Estimated days: 3


5. Report connecting the policy analysis (act. 2), the quantitative analysis (act. 3), and the interview analysis (act. 4)

  1. Deliverable: Report (1st draft)
  2. Deadline: 15 September 2023
  3. Estimated days: 4


6. Integrate comments into the report and finalize the report (act. 5)

  1. Deliverable: Report (final draft)
  2. Deadline: 15 November 2023
  3. Estimated days: 2


7. Contribute to the validation and dissemination of the project reports

  1. Deliverable: Dissemination of report (details TBC)
  2. Deadline: 15 December 2023
  3. Estimated days: 2​​​​​​​

COMPETENCIES (Core / Managerial)

Accountability (C)
Communication (C)
Innovation (C)
Knowledge sharing and continuous improvement (C)
Planning and organizing (C)
Results focus (C)
Teamwork (C)
Professionalism (C)


For detailed information, please consult the UNESCO Competency Framework.




  • University degree (Bachelor or equivalent) in education, economics, social sciences, or related fields.


Years of Experience

  • Minimum 5 years of proven work experience in Education Sector. 
  • Professional experience in education, and good knowledge of education issues in Sierra Leone.
  • Prior knowledge and work on gender issues is an asset.
  • Professional experience at the international level is an asset.
  • Experience working with government officials or other high-level authorities. Previous professional experience with the Ministry of Education of Sierra Leone is an asset.


Skills and Competencies

  • Demonstrated analytical skills and professional experience conducting quantitative and/or qualitative analysis/research. Experience working with mixed methods is desirable
  • Proven skills in producing high quality written documents and report
  • Excellent proficiency (written and oral) in English
  • Residence in Sierra Leone
  • Ability to work independently and collaborate with colleagues to achieve organizational and team goals



  • Excellent knowledge of English.


A technical and financial offer (2 pages maximum), briefly outlining:

  •  The consultant's appreciation of the project, its scope, its feasibility in the Sierra Leone context, and the challenges for its implementation.
  • The consultant's understanding of the assignments, highlighting his/her relevant experience.
  • The consultant’s proposed remuneration, daily rate (professional fees only – no other costs will be eligible).


Payment is conditional on the completion of the tasks and the satisfactory submission of the deliverables within the deadlines defined above, unless otherwise agreed with the project leader. The applications that do not include this information will not be considered for the following phases of the counting process. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. The consultant may be selected before the date indicated above. Only short-listed candidates will be contacted for interviews. 


Please note that all candidates must complete an on-line application and provide complete and accurate information. To apply, please visit the UNESCO careers website. No modifications can be made to the application submitted.

The evaluation of candidates is based on the criteria in the vacancy notice, and may include tests and/or assessments, as well as a competency-based interview. 

UNESCO uses communication technologies such as video or teleconference, e-mail correspondence, etc. for the assessment and evaluation of candidates.

Please note that only selected candidates will be further contacted and candidates in the final selection step will be subject to reference checks based on the information provided.


UNESCO recalls that paramount consideration in the appointment of staff members shall be the necessity of securing the highest standards of efficiency, technical competence and integrity. UNESCO applies a zero-tolerance policy against all forms of harassment. UNESCO is committed to achieving and sustaining equitable and diverse geographical distribution, as well as gender parity among its staff members in all categories and at all grades. Furthermore, UNESCO is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, nationality and culture. Candidates from non- and under-represented Member States (last update here) are particularly welcome and strongly encouraged to apply. Individuals from minority groups and indigenous groups and persons with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply. All applications will be treated with the highest level of confidentiality. Worldwide mobility is required for staff members appointed to international posts.

UNESCO does not charge a fee at any stage of the recruitment process.