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TERMS OF REFERENCE FOR INTERNATIONAL CONSULTANT : To initiate review and enhancement of national education curriculum to incorporate aspects of disaster preparedness and risk reduction (pre-primary, primary and secondary education)

1.          Programme information:            Education     
Project   (No. & Name):        DIPECHO Disaster Risk Reduction in Education
Activity Reference:      Result 2

2. Background and Context:

Education Curriculum in Azerbaijan

The Government of Azerbaijan (GOA) is committed to reform in the education sector on the basis of the Education Reform Program of 1999 and the 10 Years Education Reform Strategy (2003-2013) prepared by the Ministry of Education (MOE). The main purpose of this reform program and strategy is to address many key sectoral issues, to improve the quality of education and to realign the sector with the needs of the emerging market economy and social conditions.

The first phase of the WB/MOE Education Sector Reform Project (2003-2008) succeeded in assisting the Government of Azerbaijan to plan education reforms and increase the capacity to manage them. Over the past four years, significant progress has been made in several key areas: (i) design of the curriculum reform and introduction of a new textbook policy entailing the free distribution of textbooks in core subjects; (ii) establishment of a national system of student assessment involving national testing and participation in international assessment; (iii) establishment of the EMIS and the Policy Analysis and Planning Units at the Ministry of Education; (iv) the approval of a plan for the reorganization and staffing of the Ministry of Education; and (v) adoption of a national strategy for the professional development of teachers.   

The first phase of the Education Sector Development Project (ESDP) was implemented over a four-year period of time (2003-2007). As for the curriculum change process this phase mainly focused on implementing the key components of a new curriculum system, i.e.: (a) creating sustainable institutional structures and mechanisms that will ensure the design and implementation of the new curriculum; (b) developing a new concept of the national curriculum as well as a reliable National Curriculum Framework and the subject curricula for Primary education.  The first review of the primary curriculum will take place in 2012. Currently the pre-school education and secondary education curriculums are in draft stage.

Disaster Risk Reduction in Azerbaijan

The structure of the landscape, climate and infrastructure makes Azerbaijan Republic vulnerable to number of natural disasters like earthquakes, seasonal floods and landslides and man-made disasters like technological disasters and transport accidents. Every year floods and landslides particularly cause significant damage to agriculture in rural areas and to infrastructure in urban areas as well as serious human casualties. Occurrences of landslides during heavy rains cause significant damage to human settlements, industry, farms and roads. 
The consequences of the recent earthquakes and floods showed that neither people nor the local administrative authorities, including schools, were prepared for such disasters.  The Government of Azerbaijan has thus recognised the importance of prevention as well as preparedness to emergencies and welcomes the technical assistance of international organizations. There is an obvious need to strengthen the legislation regarding emergencies of natural and man-caused character, including issues of seismic security, upgrading currently existing standards and to review the national emergency contingency plan.
Disaster risk reduction is a systematic approach to identifying, assessing and reducing those risks. It targets the national, sub-national, and, in particular, the community level, and requires governments, civil society, the private sector, and other actors to partner with the most vulnerable people to:

 prevent disasters (the flood that does not happen due to improved river basin management; the buildings that do not collapse in an earthquake);

 prepare –including early warning – for the worst (the school children who practice an evacuation drill, the stocks pre-positioned ahead of the hurricane season).

 mitigate the impact of hazards (the cholera awareness campaign and child protection network established ahead of the flood season);

UNICEF has worked in Azerbaijan since 1993 actively supporting the Government in realizing the rights of all children to survival, development, protection and participation and the creation of an enabling environment to ensure strengthened accountabilities for children.  At the national level, emphasis is given to state policies to provide a better framework for the protection of children’s rights. At sub-national (provincial) level, major focus is on capacity building of provincial and district governments in managing results for children. At the community level, families adopt improved child-rearing practices. With mandate for children, UNICEF is well positioned and has comparative advantages to work at all levels in Azerbaijan.  Globally UNICEF is committed to Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA) and has been a member of United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction system since 2006.
Under the priority number 3 of the Hyogo Framework for Action to improve ‘Knowledge, innovation, education for culture of safety and resilience’.  UNICEF Azerbaijan is implementing a project funded by the Disaster Preparedness umbrella of the European Commission’s Humanitarian Aid Organisation (DIPECHO) to Support Disaster Risk Reduction amongst Vulnerable Communities and Institutions through education.  The project is being implemented with the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Emergency Situations.  Expected Results of the Project are:

R 1 – Governments’ disaster preparedness and educational policy addresses needs and concerns of children, thereby contributing to the building of a culture of safety and resilience at all levels by reviewing the national education curriculum and disaster preparedness policy documents to enhance the DRR in education elements and strengthen teacher training methodologies.

UNICEF Azerbaijan in collaboration with the Ministries of Education and Emergency is seeking to review the education curriculum to enhance aspects of disaster risk reduction.  Alternatives for curricula integration include designing specialized courses on the topic of risk reduction or integrating risk reduction modules into existing subjects. Depending upon circumstances it may be quicker to design stand-alone risk reduction courses, however these may be more costly and difficult to sustain in the longer term. If a topic has a reserved space in one of the mainstream subjects (i.e. geography, biology, history) it will be easier to stick to it and develop its contents over time. Another compromise is to integrate risk reduction into activities during the school day that are not part of the curriculum. However, these tend to be elective and will reach a smaller sub-set of pupils. Extra-curricular activities are also more difficult to implement in situations where schools work in several shifts. A combination of curricular and extra-curricular activities (such as those described in the next section) may be the most effective option presents a “golden” opportunity to integrate disaster risk reduction into a number of core subjects while slowly developing awareness, knowledge and skills from an early age onwards. However, DRR education is not a new activity in Azerbaijan to and several relevant initiatives have been undertaken or are underway. There is opportunity to distill the experience from different recent and ongoing projects both within Azerbaijan and in the wider region and identify best practices to enhance the curriculum.

There is a need and opportunity to look at the - more fundamental - development of curricula and associated teaching and learning standards from a risk reduction perspective.  The gradual implementation of the curriculum suggests that it would also be most practical to target pre-school and earlier grades as they will be the first to benefit from the new curriculum. That said already well advanced modules/courses for older pupils should not be allowed to slip or discontinue. 

3.  Purpose of the assignment

The Review of the National Curriculum in Azerbaijan to enhance DRR components will be undertaken based on a General Methodology and Plan provided by the consultant. It will focus on the following aspects: (a) analyzing the quality of current curriculum documents (draft pre-school, primary and draft secondary National Curriculum Concept; subject curriculum standards; additional policy and regulatory documents); (b) analyzing the preparations for the implementation process and ; (c) putting forth a set of recommendations to ensure implementation.

o Specifically, the consultancy is designed to support the Ministry of Education to develop specific proposals for the integration of risk reduction  into core subjects of completed primary curriculum:
o Identify the basic methodological approach to use (inter-active and participatory; child-to-child learning.
o Suggest risk reduction modules/standards for pre-primary and secondary education students based upon international experience
The Final Action Plan with concrete steps on integration of DRR into education policy and further to school curriculum should include clear roles and responsibilities of the various Government entities, financial implications and the suggested timeframe of DRR integration in education. Recommendations and Action Plan will be submitted to the Ministry of Education for endorsement.

4. Duty station: Baku, Azerbaijan

5. Supervisor:  Aisling Falconer, Education Officer

6.         Major Tasks to be accomplished:
• Consultant will prepare a proposed methodology and assignment work plan and submit it for review and approval by the UNICEF CO;
• UNICEF will provide all the DRR and Education related documents and materials available as well as the composition of the National DIPECHO working group to the Consultant;
• Desk review outside of country of curriculum and education sector policy documents, as well as other national documents related to DRR in education;
• Upon arrival in the country Consultant will meet all DRR and Education stakeholders including the  curriculum revision working group;
• Consultant will prepare draft recommendations for integration of DRR in primary school curriculum grades (1-4)(5-9) and suggest incorporation methods for draft pre-primary and secondary;
• Consultant will ensure coherence of the developed recommendations with the national educational documents as well as educational documents related to Disaster Risk Reduction and Disaster Management
• Consultant will facilitate national workshop devoted to the recommendations to school curriculum;
• Consultant will finalise the recommendations based on the feedbacks and inputs received from the national stakeholders and from international DRR stakeholders during the workshop;
• Following finalisation of the recommendations develop an Action Plan with concrete steps on integration of DRR into education policy and further to school curriculum. Action Plan should include clear roles and responsibilities of the various Government entities, financial implications and the suggested timeframe of DRR integration in school curriculum;
• Finalised version will be presented to the high level DRR and Education officials by UNICEF.

7.    Qualification or specialized knowledge/experience required for the assignment :
In view of the purpose, scope, focus of the expert support will be conducted by a working group comprised of education and emergency preparedness specialists with the following qualifications:
• Advance university degree in disaster management, education, development studies, social science, and related field;
• A minimum of 10 years of professional experience at national and international level in disaster risk reduction in general and DRR in education in particular;
• Experience with development of national strategic DRR related documents, particularly in school curriculum
• Knowledge of global developments and trends, technology and institutional environments in disaster management, especially related to education;
• Knowledge of disaster management systems in Central Asia and/or CIS as an asset;
• Working language for this assignment is English;
• Knowledge of Russian  an asset;
• Experience in the developing countries particularly in CEE/CIS countries and working experience with international organizations;
• Very good analytical and writing skill and computer literacy.
8. Estimated costs to UNICEF:
To be determined based on results of the negotiations
9. Conditions:
Consultant will be paid a lump sum in accordance with UN salary scale for P4 level, which will be paid in two installments:
• Installment 1 (30%) - upon delivery of desk review and delivery of draft proposed methodology and assignment work plan
• Installment 2 (30%) – Upon delivery of draft recommendations for integration of DRR in primary school curriculum grades (1-4)(5-9) and suggest incorporation methods for draft pre-primary and secondary
• Installment 3 (40%) - at the end of the assignment, upon timely submission of all deliverables -

10. Procedures and logistics:

UNICEF will provide the background information, organize meetings and filed visits and provides comments on the drafts.

Interested individual should send:
a) Proposal, CV;
b) reference of previous relevant work (if applicable);
in a sealed envelope/email to:

Human Resources
UNICEF Azerbaijan
Dalga Plaza
24 Neftchilar Avenue, III floor
Baku, Azerbaijan, AZ1095
Phone: (99412) 492 30 13; 492 17 82/ Fax: (99412) 492 24 68
All applications will be treated with strict confidentiality. UNICEF is an equal opportunity employer.

UNICEF is mandated by the United Nations General Assembly to advocate for the protection of children's rights, to help meet their basic needs and to expand their opportunities to reach their full potential.

Deadline: January 5th 2011, 15:00hrs GMT+4

For further information please contact: Aisling Falconer,



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