Gender Equality Study consultancy 279 views

Gender Equality Study consultancy

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    • #3415288
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    Handicap International – Humanity & Inclusion

    Closing date:
    15 Dec 2019

    Terms of Reference


    Gender Equality Study consultancy

    1. Overview

    Assignment: Gender equality study in education in the occupied Palestinian territories (oPt).

    Name of the project (hereinafter referred as the Project in this document): “Promoting the inclusion and access of girls and boys with Disabilities to gender and disability responsive inclusive education in the emergency context of oPt.”

    Duration of assignment: two months.

    Expected starting date: January 31st, 2020.

    Expected ending date: March 31st, 2020.

    Deadline to return application: December 15th, 2019.

    2. Background

    2.1 About Handicap international – Humanity & Inclusion

    Handicap International – Humanity & Inclusion runs projects under its new operating name, Humanity & Inclusion (HI). HI is an independent and impartial international aid organization working in situations of poverty and exclusion, conflict and disaster. Working alongside people with disabilities and other vulnerable groups, our action and testimony are focused on responding to their essential needs, improving their living conditions and promoting respect for their dignity and their fundamental rights. HI is currently implementing projects in more than 50 countries worldwide, including (name of the country where the consultancy takes place).

    HI has been working in the Middle East since 1996. HI promotes the inclusion of persons with disabilities into countries’ local and national planning processes and responds to the urgent inclusion needs of persons with disabilities in seven countries through several programs. In Palestine, since 1998, HI has been supporting local partners and stakeholders to respond effectively, within the framework of both inclusive local development and quality service provision, to the needs of persons with disabilities to access protection, education, health, and livelihood programs. HI has three Regional Strategic Pillars:

    1. Promoting the inclusion of the most vulnerable, with a particular focus on persons with disabilities, within the humanitarian response;

    2. Preventing impairment and disability by enhancing both the quality and the systemic management of existing services as well as by informing populations about risks related to Explosive Remnants of War; and

    3. Promoting cohesion, the resilience and participation of all through dialogue, empowerment, and disability mainstreaming in service delivery and social change.

    Since 1998 HI has implemented various actions with local partners in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. In a territory beset by chronic crises, political instability, and a declining economic and social situation since the second intifada in 2000, HI aims to respond to the needs of persons with disabilities and to make structural improvements to their lives.

    . A project ongoing since 2017 is supporting the access of persons with disabilities to basic and specialized services in crises and post-emergencies through the construction/rehabilitation of accessible infrastructures and the empowerment of humanitarian and development actors in the Gaza Strip.

    . Since 2017, under a livelihood project in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, employers have been supported to make their HR practices and working environment more accessible to persons with disabilities. Persons with disabilities received training on life and work-related skills to enhance their access to employment.

    . Since May 2018, HI has been implementing a project to respond to the urgent rehabilitation needs of persons injured during the Great March of Return and persons with disabilities through the provision of home-based and center-based services.

    2.2 HI intervention in the domain/topics addressed

    Between 2014 and 2018 HI implemented a project addressing existing discrimination in order to improve access to quality education for children in two special schools of the Gaza Strip. In parallel, in 2015-2016, with support from the EU, HI supported DPOs in the Arab region (including the West Bank) to conduct a research study on the difficulties and challenges faced by people with motor, visual and hearing disabilities in public schools.

    In the Gaza Strip, another education project was funded by the Government of Canada from April 2017 to September 2018, thereby expanding HI’s education intervention in the Middle Area of the Gaza Strip. The project supported the capacity-building of partners’ special schools to respond to the needs of children with disabilities in schools, the creation of adapted and accessible playgrounds, and a child friendly environment. Due to the chronic crisis in the Gaza Strip, HI supported the three education partners to develop school-based emergency response plans.

    More recently, HI has initiated an intervention funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) of Luxemburg to enhance inclusive education in three mainstream schools in collaboration with the Ministry of Education and Higher Education (MoEHE) for five years (2018-2022) in the West Bank. The project enshrines itself in the Palestinian MoEHE’s Education Development Strategic Plan (2014-2019), which was further strengthened by the Inclusive Education Policy developed in 2015. The project interventions follow a holistic approach to achieve inclusive education; development of an Inclusive Education practical manual for teachers and capacity building of the Resource Center at a national level; teacher training, accessibility improvement, etc. at a school level; and personalized support including rehabilitation for children with disabilities at a personal level.

    2.3 Presentation of the project within which the consultancy will take place**

    The consultancy work will be part of a 2-years inclusive education project to be implemented in West Bank and the Gaza Strip with the support of GAC (Global Affairs of Canada). The aim of the Project is to support Palestinians to respond to the needs of girls and boys with disabilities to access safe, equitable and quality inclusive education in the humanitarian and conflict context of the oPt.

    General information about the global inclusive education project

    The project aiming to develop and adapt a gender transformative approach in order to achieve its outcomes, The ultimate outcome of the Project is: “Improved learning outcomes for women and girls in the Gaza Strip and West Bank”.

    The intermediate outcomes are:

    . Increased equitable access to safe and protected inclusive education by girls and boys with disabilities through gender positive practices in the Gaza Strip and West Bank;

    . Improved provision of equitable and quality[1] education for girls and boys with disabilities in the Gaza Strip and West Bank;

    . Parents of girls and boys with disabilities, teachers, education staff and other key community members champion non-traditional gender and disability inclusive behavior that are outside the “ideal man box” and “ideal woman box”, thus supporting an enabling environment for girls and boys with disability education in Gaza Strip and West Bank.

    Duration: Twenty-four months

    Location: the five governorates of the Gaza Strip, and Area C, south Hebron and Bethlehem in the West Bank.


    . Children with and without disabilities;

    . Parents of children with and without disabilities;

    . Teachers of mainstream and special schools, staff of kindergartens , MoEHE staff;

    . Members of the Education Cluster and education stakeholders;

    . Community members, CBR (Community-based rehabilitation) workers, taxi drivers, Rehabilitation workers.

    Target schools: the pre-schools (kindergartens), special schools and public schools at the primary level in the Gaza Strip; and public primary schools in the West Bank.

    Implementing partners and project’s stakeholders:

    . the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) and its schools

    . MoEHE and its schools

    . Private special schools and kindergartens

    . Civil society organizations

    The Project is part of a global intervention that consists of three complementary actions. The two other actions are supported respectively by MoFA of Luxemburg in the West Bank only (mentioned under 1.2 above), and by the OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID) in both the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. These two actions include capacity building of teachers and staff from target schools, the development of accessible school infrastructures, the provision of assistive devices and technologies and the enrichment of adapted educational materials.

    2.4 Disability and people with disabilities’ situation in the country/area where the consultancy will take place

    The Palestinian Authority became the 144th State Party to ratify the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) on April 2nd, 2014. Persons with disabilities in Palestine remain one of the most vulnerable groups facing several social and physical barriers to access services, to participate in their communities and fully enjoy their rights. They have poor access to basic services such as health, education and employment. More than a third of children with disabilities (37.6%) had never enrolled in school and 33.8% had dropped-out. While over 50% of persons with disabilities are illiterate, they have the highest unemployment rate with 87.3% and 76.4 % of adults with disabilities do not use public transportation (Palestine Central Bureau of Statistics [PCBS]/ Ministry of Social Affairs, 2011)[2]. According to the UNCRPD, children with disabilities ought to be treated without discrimination and on an equal basis with their peers without disabilities to access an inclusive education system at all levels[3]. Palestine developed and adopted its National Policy on Inclusive Education in 2015, outlining its commitments to the UNCRPD and the Education For All development goal. However, implementation so far remains limited: an action plan covering 2017-2019 was only released in late 2017. According to the latest PCBS data regarding the 2017 census, 27.4% of children with disabilities have never accessed education. Similarly, the Out-of-School report published by UNICEF in 2018 indicates that among children aged 6-9 years old, 1 out of 3 children with disabilities and about 1 out of 2 children with multiple disabilities do not attend school, compared to 0.9% of their peers without a disability. Furthermore, the out-of-school rate is higher among girls with a disability than among boys. The same study shows that among children enrolled, girls are more likely to drop-out of school with the advancement of their school career. The rate is particularly high between the ages of 12-14 years (29.1%) and between the ages of 15-18 years (48.5%).

    2018 was the worst year for the education sector in the Gaza Strip due to internal divide and significant budget cuts to UNRWA and MoEHE. The average number of students in classrooms has considerably increased: classrooms are overcrowded and 70% of UNRWA and 63% of public schools are now operating in double or even triple shifts. The 2019 Palestine humanitarian needs overview (HNO) indicated that in the West Bank, 10,355 children were affected by violent incidents in the first quarter of 2018.

    When families face psychological distress and deterioration of living conditions, harmful practices increase. Indeed, boys are dropping-out of schools and involved in child labor, while there are still high levels of adolescent child marriage among girls. An United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) report showed an increase of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) against girls and women requiring humanitarian assistance, especially in the Gaza Strip and Area C. In the third quarter of 2018, less than 26% of women in the Gaza Strip were participating in the labor force (i.e. working or looking for a job) and 78% among them were unemployed (versus 46% of men)[4]. While most persons with injuries are males, most caregivers are females, often forced to find a financial activity to respond to the family’s needs.

    3. Problems to be solved under the consultancy

    Disability, education and gender are three factors rarely studied and documented together. While HI’s expertise in disability and education allowed the organization to collect relevant existing data (see 1.4 above for example) to build the Project, HI misses reliable and more comprehensive data to strengthen gender equality analysis in the oPt context, in order to design the appropriate contents of Project’s activities such as community awareness-raising and teacher training on gender and disability inclusive education.

    This consultancy work will respond to the lack of reliable data on gender, disability and education issues.

    4. Objective of the consultancy

    The objective of the consultancy work is to conduct a gender equality study gender barriers and their interaction with disability and age-related barriers on access to education with the participation of children and parents and in coordination with the Education Cluster at the oPt level, and to inform the design and fine-tuning of project activities, methodologies and tools.

    This study will investigate barriers to education coming from gender issues and in particular their interaction with disability and age issues and impact in terms of further exclusion and vulnerability of girls and boys with disabilities. The study will also provide information and evidence to other humanitarian actors to develop gender and disability-transformative education intervention responses.

    The consultancy contributes to the following logical framework’s outcomes;

    The intermediate outcome: “Parents of girls and boys with disabilities, teachers, education staff and other key community members champion non-traditional gender and disability inclusive behaviour that are outside the “ideal man box” and “ideal woman box”, thus supporting an enabling environment for girls and boys with disability education in Gaza Strip and West Bank”.

    The immediate outcome: “Increased ability of parents of girls and boys with disabilities, teachers, education staff and other key community members to recognize, respond to and critically reflect on their own gender and disability stereotypes”.

    5. Expected results of the consultancy

    Gender equality study is expected to inform HI and other education gender and disability transformative interventions at the oPt level of answers to the following main questions:

    * What are the conceptual frameworks followed by the Palestine’s education system to ensure the access of all learners, regardless of their gender, disability and age?

    * How do the current laws and policies impact differently on girls and boys in terms of their education?

    • What are the specific gender norms, roles or relations of the community in question that may increase the risk for vulnerability or exclusion from education? How do they affect boys and girl to go to schools? How do they affect mothers’ or fathers’ willingness or ability to recognize and take control over resources influencing their female and male children’s access to education? Do social and cultural norms in different communities affect access to education? How?

    • Do girls, boys, women or men in the affected group have specific types of financial or social vulnerability that may affect their ability to access and use education services? How?

    • Are there any individual, indirect costs related to accessing education services, such as transport or child care, that may affect boys, girls, women and men differently?

    • How does progress/success in education and learning opportunities differ based on gender?

    • How does community support for access to education and learning differ based on gender?

    • What actions and responses needs to be taken, and perceived as feasible to be taken, by mothers, fathers, community members, education stakeholders to respond to the gender needs in education?

    The questions may be reviewed at the beginning of the consultancy through discussion with HI.

    6. Methodology of the Gender Equality Study

    The consultant team proposes the study methodology in the application document (see section 8) but it should fit in the following framework.

    Study methods should be rigorous yet proportionate and appropriate to the context of the project intervention and will be discussed/agreed with HI. This said, the gender equality study will gather both primary and secondary data through a combination of field research and desk review.

    All aspects of data collection and analysis were informed by the GAC Gender Matrix and the five domains of gender analysis:

    • Laws, Policies, Regulations, and Institutional Practices,

    • Cultural Norms and Beliefs,

    • Gender Roles, Responsibility, and Time Use,

    • Access to and Control over Assets and Resources (in this case, Education), and

    • Patterns of Power and Decision-making.

    Primary data collection by the consultant team should be prioritized where possible and depending on security and mobility. The network of the consultant team is used while HI will also introduce the key stakeholders where relevant. Possible methodologies would include but not be limited to; focus group discussions, key informant interviews, surveys, community mapping, and field visits. As for the secondary data, HI will pay strong attention that international referencing standards are abided by, particularly with regards to plagiarism.

    Data should balance quantitative and qualitative data, the latter focusing on perceptions, beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors that highlight social norms and dynamics of households and communities. The consultant team is highly encouraged to triangulate data sources where possible, so that findings are as robust as possible, and synthesize the findings from different methodologies, identifying the sources. Identification of persons with disabilities should utilize the Washington Group Questions. The study’s approach shall be participative and multi-disciplinary. Finally, the study will be implemented in close collaboration with the Education Cluster’s members.

    7. Deliverables

    The consultancy team will provide the following deliverables in excellent English:

    a. Revised study methodology, based on the proposal (see 8. below) and discussions with HI, together with study tools;

    b. Revised work plan and schedule, based on the proposal (see 8. below) and discussions with HI;

    c. Preliminary report of the study;

    d. Findings sharing workshops (in Gaza and WB): presentation of the key findings, analysis and action plan (based on the preliminary report) to HI and other key Project’s stakeholders who will provide feedback;

    e. Updated bi-weekly action plan about the progress;

    f. Final report of the gender equality study and its annexes;

    g. A plan of actions for all related Project’s activities to be gender and disability transformative, based on the study results; and

    h. A list of technical resources required to implement the plan of actions, specifying what exist and what need to be mobilized.

    Proposed table for the gender equality study (ref. above):

    . Executive summary of the study’s findings

    . Introduction

    · Background

    · Context

    · Objective

    · Methodology

    · Limitations

    • Findings

    • Analysis

    • Action plan for the project, reflecting the study’s findings on the project design and monitoring and evaluation plan, to address the findings, with a focus on gender and gender & disability issues

    • Technical support plan:

    · Technical resources required to implement the plan of actions; what exist and what need to be mobilized;

    · Recommended capacity building plan, focused on gender, to the project’s team in line with the findings and the project design;

    · Recommended ongoing technical support plan, focused on gender, to the project team during the implementation of the action plan

    o Conclusion

    o Annexes (including references)

    8. Consultancy management

    The consultant will have to abide to all HI mandate and Code of Conduct, and is expected to preserve HI image. It is essential that the process of data collection, as and management is supported by careful ethical practice, including informed consent, anonymity and confidentiality, no-harm and protection. Informed consent needs to include awareness of the study data collection process and that the gender equality analysis report may be published and publicly disseminated.


    • HI will be responsible about the coordination with relevant authorities for the access of the consultant to West Bank and Gaza

    • The consultant will cover the costs of international traveling

    • The consultant will be responsible to cover his/her accommodation in working sites, other than what HI can provide in its Jerusalem and Gaza guest houses.

    • The consultant will be responsible about his/her own medical and repatriation insurance.

    • The movement between the two sites will be arranged and managed by HI.

    • The consultant will be responsible for his/her field transportation if not done though HI.

    • The consultant will be responsible for the communication costs

    • The consultant will be responsible for the translation and interpreting costs.

    Financial Installments

    1- 50% of the total amount at the Signature of contract and;

    2- 30% of remaining amount after the first draft of the gender equality analysis study;

    3- The remaining 20% after the validation of the final gender equality analysis study

    9. Expertise required

    The leader of the consultancy team leader shall prove having:

    • A minimum of a Master’s Degree in social sciences preferably Gender Studies and/or Education, or other relevant degrees;

    • At least 5 years proven experience on gender, preferable both in humanitarian and development contexts

    • At least 5 years’ practical experience in designing, conducting and supervising qualitative and quantitative research in gender and preferably in one of the following topics: disability, age or education. Proven knowledge of research methodologies, ethics and analysis;

    • Strong analytical and logical thinking skills;

    • Clear and logical writing skills;

    • Proven ability to communicate with various stakeholders and synthesize different opinions;

    • Strong presentation skills;

    • Fluency in English (both oral and writing); and

    • Ability to travel to the Gaza Strip and West Bank, and within the Middle East area.

    The following additional qualifications will be considered as highly desirable:

    • Experience in working in the oPt;

    • Fluency in Arabic (at least oral. Writing a plus); and/or

    • Previous experience and knowledge of HI mandate and interventions.

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