Consultant - Gender Assessment and Strategy

Date of Publication: 
6 September 2019
Application Deadline: 
20 September 2019
Brief Description: 

CONSULTANT - Gender Assesment and Strategy

Transforming Girls Education Program (TGEP)

1.0 Background Information

At CODE, we believe that good books brought to life by excellent teachers help learners understand and thrive in the world around them.  CODE programs work with teachers, librarians, writers, and publishers to support and sustain the development of literate environments in low-income countries.

CODE is looking for a Consultant with a passion for education and literacy to conduct a gender assessment and strategy for the Transforming Girls Education Project (TGEP) in Sierra Leone. TGEP is a two-year, Global Affairs Canada and CODE co-funded project aiming to dismantle barriers to education for girls while improving the quality of education for both girls and boys in Sierra Leone. This project will be implemented by CODE, McGill University and TALLE—all CODE local partners.  TGEP aims to improve learning outcomes for girls attending upper primary classes (grades 4 to 6) thus girls typically between 9 and 16 years of age. These are the years when barriers to girls’ access to education increase: negative community attitudes about the value of girls’ education, increasing domestic responsibilities, onset of puberty, early pregnancy, early marriage and the threat of sexual harassment, exploitation and gender-based violence (GBV). These are compounded by poor parent/guardian-teacher/school relationships and inadequate hygiene/WASH facilities in schools. There are also many barriers to learning within the classroom:  teaching practices that privilege gender or are non-inclusive; teachers’ dispositions for gender bias, differential expectations of girls and boys; and poor-quality learning materials containing gender stereotypes.  These and other factors discourage girls from learning. Only sixteen per cent of primary school teachers in Sierra Leone are women, so there are few women in schools to mentor girls through adolescence and to act as positive role models. As statistics bear out, females disproportionately finish their schooling with non-commensurate achievement of learning outcomes, with many not acquiring basic literacy or numeracy skills.    

Given the complexity of factors and sites that contribute to such outcomes, the TGEP works for two tracks towards intervention.  At the teacher training level, the TGEP works with teacher training institutes (TTI) educators for their heightened awareness of how gender biases shape pedagogy, classroom relationships and opportunity for learning.  In the wake of awareness, TTI educators work together, with the support of CODE, to design training modules to support teachers’ inclusive classroom practices and gender responsive pedagogy (GRP).

Relatedly, the TGEP learns with and from Community leaders, School Management Committees, local school administrations and children to add cultural and circumstantial specificity to research.  These outcomes further inform the development of training guides and literacy learning supports.


2.0 Purpose and Objective of the Consultancy

The main objective of this consultancy is to conduct a gender assessment of existing conditions and barriers to education faced by girls in the target districts of Sierra Leone. Given the role of teachers in the education system, the consultant will examine the teachings and teaching practices at pre-service and in-service levels with a gender lens and make recommendations regarding how CODE and its partner can mitigate systemic barriers to girls’ education.

The consultant will assess the capacity of TGEP, implemented by CODE and TALLE to monitor and respond to gender issues/girls’ education barriers in programming implementation and practice. The consultant will provide analysis and recommendations in a final report, which will also inform development and delivery of gender inclusive training with a focus on teacher education.

Specifically, the main activities of the consultancy are to:

  1. Conduct a situational analysis using a gender lens in the target districts to identify existing external and internal barriers that disadvantage girls in the education system in terms of access, retention, progression, completion and achievement;
  2. Review teaching at pre- and in-service levels (e.g. pedagogical approach, teaching and learning materials, etc.) to identify the gender issues and gaps that perpetuate girls’ disadvantage in the national education system;
  3. Provide recommendations as to how the TGEP Program Implementation Plan can address barriers to girls’ education.
  4. Based on the TGEP Results framework, identify relevant institutions and local experts as well as existing policies, targets in national education plans, and programs in Sierra Leone that CODE and its partner may collaborate with or leverage to support its efforts to promote gender equality and dismantle barriers to girls education;


3.0 Responsibilities of the Consultant

The Consultant will be required to lead on all the tasks below, in consultation and collaboration with the Project team:

  • Prepare and submit a final proposal for approval by the Project Team which includes a work plan based on the Terms of Reference which demonstrates how indicators from the Performance Measurement Framework will be collected
  • Conduct fieldwork in Sierra Leone to collect information with relevant stakeholders;
  • Identify and review key gender-related national policies and plans (ex. From the Ministry of Education, universities and other sectors in particular work on teacher education and curriculum), programs, local experts relevant to girls’ education.
  • Produce draft reports; and provide presentation on initial findings to the project team/CODE;
  • Finalize report for submission to CODE based on comments.


4.0 Deliverables

  1. The draft methodology for conducting the gender assessment and developing a strategy, with proposed timetable and work plan.
  2. The GENDER ASSESSMENT AND STRATEGY REPORT in English to CODE outlining findings and recommendations to support greater gender awareness in the implementation of the gender transformative program outcomes. This will include;

A)  A Gender Assessment which includes, but is not limited to the following:

  • Summary of findings describing the situation of girls in relation to educational opportunities; the barriers for girls to access school; and discrimination and barriers of girls in school
  • Summary of weaknesses in teaching and learning that pose current barriers to girls’ education including teaching and learning strategies, classroom materials, leadership and management issues; training gaps of teachers, etc.
  • An audit of the current institutional capacities and commitments of the local partner to promote an inclusive, gender transformative approach to education, teaching and learning by determining  if there are institutional weaknesses (regarding both capacity and commitment to promoting gender equality) which could affect the extent to which activities are carried out in a gender-sensitive manner;
  • Review the targeted activities meant to empower girls, provide them greater access to and benefit from the project and advance their status in society; including activities aimed at females only.
  • Review the project’s strategy to strengthen the capacity of local leaders, education officials and community members to be more sensitive and responsive to girls’ education.


B) A Gender Strategy that includes, but is not limited to the following

  • A high-level summary of the conclusions from the critical analysis of the gender concerns affecting girls in the education system in Sierra Leone
  • Key recommendations for TGEP regarding how to address potentially gender inequitable practices (if identified any) as well as best practices to mainstream and promote gender equality within TGEP implementation, while taking into account teacher education institutions and challenges uncovered.
  • A gender operational strategy that outlines specific measures for enhancing the extent to which the project will benefit (women) and girls compared to (men) and boys.


  • Draft report is to be submitted to CODE for comments in advance of the final versions.
  • Annexes should include copies of tools used during data collection such as questionnaire/survey, focus group discussion questions, interview questions, photos, notes compiled from interviews and any other relevant pieces of documentation;
  • A PowerPoint and oral presentation of the final report to the project/CODE team.


5.0 Duration


The assignment is expected to take a total of 20 consultancy days as stated in the table below.




Indicative Time


Briefing, desk review and submission of work plan/methodology

3 days



Field work for the gender analysis (Interviews, consultations and meetings)

10 days


Analysis of data and write-up of reports

5 days


Presentation of draft report and recommendations for comments

0.5 day


Finalization and submission of reports

1.5 days



20 days


6.0 Required Skills and Experience

  • Commitment to CODE’s mission, vision and values and have a passion for CODE’s mandate;
  • A Master’s degree in Development Studies, Education, Statistics, Social Sciences, etc.
  • A minimum of eight years of progressive experience in conducting gender equality analysis/assessments and/or other relevant development needs assessment or situational analyses;
  • Proven experience in gender equality projects/program design, implementation and monitoring with Global Affairs Canada (GAC), USAID, DFID, UN Agencies, or other international organizations is desirable;
  • Knowledge of current trends on gender transformative pedagogy and gender transformative change
  • Experience in and knowledge of current trends in teacher education an asset
  • Knowledge on the education system in Africa, knowledge on inclusive education mechanisms is an advantage, experience in Sierra Leone is an advantage.
  • Exceptional communications and presentation skills in English
  • Strong teamwork and effective cross-cultural interpersonal skills
  • Experience working in developing countries in particular sub-Saharan Africa
  • Willingness and ability to travel
  • Demonstrated high level of professionalism and an ability to work independently and under pressure with tight deadlines

Interested candidates are invited to submit their application package to CODE through  by Friday, September 20, 2019.

Complete applications will be assessed upon receipt and must have the following:

  • A cover letter explaining how your background is relevant to the consultancy;
  • A detailed Curriculum Vitae outlining relevant experience
  • Technical proposal including a draft of the approach and methodology;
  • A budget proposal based on the ToRs including daily rate as well as one mission to Sierra Leone for 10 working days;
  • Contact information from two professional references related to similar pieces of work; and
  • Written samples of similar work conducted previously.

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