1. Introduction and background
Finn Church Aid (FCA) is the largest Finnish development cooperation and humanitarian aid organization. FCA operates in 12 countries globally. FCA’s work is based on human rights, which means that its operations are guided by equality, non-discrimination and responsibility. FCA’s work aims to improve the position of the most vulnerable people in a sustainable manner, through effective collaboration with both local communities and government. FCA specializes in supporting local communities in three priority areas: Right to Quality Education (R2QE), Right to Livelihood (R2L), and Right to Peace (R2P).
Regarding the Right to Quality Education, FCA has contributed to improving access and better quality of learning through four strategic areas of focus. Those include (1). Education in Emergencies (EiE); (2). Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) and Linking Learning to Earning (LL2E); Education Sector Development; and Teacher Education.
FCA has been operating in Cambodia since 2011. According to FCA’s country strategy for Cambodia, FCA´s contribution to the country’s development is to work on improving the quality of education and narrowing the skills gap for youth to access the job market. Since 2013, FCA has collaborated with the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport (MoEYS) to create Cambodia’s Career Counselling and Guidance (CGC) system. In 2019, FCA together with Swedish Public Employment Service linked CGC in education system with labour market services and expanded the work to two new provinces with the support of the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida). Although FCA focused on improving quality education and Linking Learning to Earning (LL2E), ongoing TVET project had not been implemented. In 2020, TVET has been included in a project, titled “Inclusive actions for improving women’s social status through skills, employment and economic development (INSWEED) 2020-2023”.
In Cambodia the number of young people entering the labor market annually is expected to rise from 300 000 to 400 000 in the near future. 87% of the workforce has at most primary education and only 1% of Cambodia’s working age population of 10.7 million has attended TVET. It is critical for Cambodia’s development and for becoming a middle-income country by 2030 to encourage increased access to technical training for new labour market entrants, but also to upgrade the skills and competencies of the existing, unskilled workforce. Technical Education is a relatively newly established function in MoEYS and a policy on Technical Education was approved in 2014 and TVET policy in 2018. This requires contribution from relevant actors to make the skill gaps closer.
Furthermore, Linking Learning to Earning (LL2E) remains a challenge in Cambodia. The mismatch between the skills offered by the education system and the skills required by the employers is observed. The provision of low quality and irrelevant education to students resulted in the skill gaps in most sectors of employment. This has prevented young population from being actively engaged in the labour market. Moreover, the information about the TVET options in Cambodia is limited. Also, it is still a prevailing belief, attitude and even practice amongst some CCs – and many schools and education authorities – that the so called struggling learners should be and are guided to TVET. This approach unfortunately ignores the skills, talents and interests of the students, which in turn leads to meaningless career choices and dropping out of vocational education without Plan B (optional future plans). Also, this counselling and guidance “method” underestimates the value and importance of TVET, and brands it as the last possible option for further education. Therefore, it would be interesting to scope of TVET and potential reasons behind it. This has had an impact on the choices young people make for their future careers. Therefore, it is necessary to identify those skill gaps for further fulfilling so that the market demand and supply could be well balancing.
Justification of the assignment
This assignment has two interwoven justifications. One is linked to the programmatic level, another one to project level. FCA has decided to commission a Thematic Assessment on Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) in Cambodia (Programmatic level). Moreover, as part of the commitment to promote rights to quality education, FCA has implemented the “Inclusive actions for improving women’s social status through skills, employment and economic development (INSWEED) project 2020-2023” (Project level). In the future, FCA would like put stronger focus on TVET and its connection to LL2E. Since it is expected that girls and youth in the target arears have increased access to relevant and quality TVET services as the results of the project’ interventions, it is crucial for FCA to have more information about the TVET services and the possibilities to promote LL2E. Having a better understanding of this at the operational areas would guide FCA to provide more relevant support to the communities and relevant stakeholders. Furthermore, this would be beneficial for FCA to strategize its work in TVET in Cambodia. Thus, two Thematic Assessments on TVET are needed – one is at program level and another one is at the project level.
2. Objectives of the assignment (s)
TVET assessment at program level:
The purpose of the assessment is to provide detailed analysis and recommendations that will help FCA and their partners to improve the identification, formulation, implementation and evaluation of TVET and Linking Learning to Earning programs.
The specific objectives of this assessment are:
- To describe national and state trends in technical and vocational education and training sector, also addressing their connection to the economy, livelihood and labour contexts and the private sector from the perspective of post-TVET employment prospects.
- To provide an overview of the national framework for technical and vocational education and training, and, where relevant, of the national livelihood framework, including the political system, accreditation, decision-making processes and actors/roles at different levels, and national development priorities. Also, recognition of gaps within the TVET related policies and between the policies and practice should be included. Particular attention should be given to the progress in implementing the National Technical Vocational Education and Training policy for 2017-2025, as well as an analysis of how the government’s priorities align with the SGDs. The understanding of the classification of formal, non-formal and informational TVET should be provided.
- To provide an overview of the general TVET and livelihood context, including area and population information, resources and assets, social and gender profiles, migration, threats, and marginalization context. It should focus strongly on the vulnerabilities and gaps in education provision, in both access and quality, as well as possible support needs for the sector development. Quantitative and qualitative analysis of gender, inclusion, access, and retention is the core element to consider. The overview of the livelihood context should focus on areas with relevance to post-TVET employability, including entrepreneurship and micro and small enterprise development particularly for rural, marginalized and vulnerable youth and women. Furthermore, the forms and volume of co-operation between TVET providers and private sector should be included, as well as a job market overview identifying sectors where jobs are or will be available in the future.
- To provide a stakeholder mapping of which actors are relevant for FCA to collaborate with, including – in addition to the above mentioned authorities - national or international organizations, networks and institutions in the TVET and livelihood sector; private sector actors; providers of TVET and TVET Teacher Education; Career Guidance Counselling (CGC) providers; donors; and prioritized target groups for future programming.
- To map out the available business training programmes in the vocational training centers, including possible incubator programmes within or outside the educational institutes.
- To conduct a mapping of the authorities, with a capacity assessment of the national and local level governments and the scope for FCA to contribute towards policymaking and implementation. Detailed analysis on needs and gaps in TVET Teachers Professional Development/Teachers’ Training, TVET teacher policy/plan and career guidance and counsellor trainings should be provided. Consider the possibility of FCA contributing to pre-service or in-service TVET Teachers and CGC Professional Development.
- To understand the challenges that the young entrepreneurs face after their graduation.
- To give recommendations to FCA on LL2E program focus, partnerships and networks, capacity building, research, advocacy, resource mobilization and donors.
TVET assessment at project level (INSWEED project):
The purpose of the assessment is to provide detailed analysis and recommendations that will help FCA and their partners to improve the implementation of the project.
The specific objectives of this assessment are:
- To map out relevant actors in TVET sector in the target area of Siem Reap for future collaboration.
- To have a better understanding of policy implementation at the field level.
- To identify the policy implementation gaps, challenges and opportunities of TVET sector at the field level.
- To provide recommendations to the project to contribute to the betterment of the TVET sector development in the target area
- To describe the TVET ecosystem in the target area
- To conduct local labour market studies including a need assessment report on local labour market trends and potential employment training opportunities in target communities. This includes drawing on a database of all the prospective jobs and contracts that rural and urban poor can aim for.
- To develop an overall plan for matching supply with demand for ensuring that the training and capacity building inputs provided to individuals effectively match the expected jobs and skills in demand, and
- A sequence of tasks involving induction workshops, curriculum preparation based on skills development, a training and workshop schedule, modules selected or developed, training materials development, preparation of a Skills Development Plan for each participant, and delivery of training, all of which must be documented in reports to FCA.
3. Use of the assessment results
The results of the assessment at the program level will be used primarily by Program Staff and Management of FCA Cambodia Country Office, and FCA Service and Accountability Center (Helsinki office). The results will also be shared with partners.
The assessment report will serve as a background document for FCA Cambodia Country Strategy revision process. It will give FCA and its partners:
- Clear recommendations for future strategic and programmatic direction in FCA’s TVET and Linking Learning to Earning work in Cambodia, considering FCA’s Global Programme 2018-23 and beyond.
- Identification of niche areas where FCA could give added value at the TVET sector level including the TVET teacher´s education, taking into account what already been done by other actors, and introduction of new areas of intervention when applicable.
- Identification of key funding agencies and their funding profiles that match the identified FCA strengths and niche.
- Reliable findings and programmatic recommendations that serve as useful and relevant information for proposal development purposes towards identified priority donors.
- Recommendations for potential partnerships and networks including but not limited to government ministries and agencies, institutions, I/NGOs, CBOs and companies for future education programmes, relevant for FCA’s long term strategic planning.
In addition, the results of the assessment at the project level will be used primarily by Project Staff and Management of FCA Cambodia Country Office and FCA Service and Accountability Center (Helsinki office). The results will also be shared with partners and donor, Women’s Bank and Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland. It will give FCA and its partners:
- Strategic development of the project implementation.
- Identification of potential partners in the target area.
- Evidence based documentation at the field level to be shared with stakeholders.
4. Geographic scope of the assessment
This assessment has two scopes as following:
- General, programmatic level: Nationwide, however, concentrating to FCA’s target areas,
- Project level: Siem Reap, Battambang and Banteay Meanchey provinces.
5. Working modalities and methodology
While it is up to the consultant(s) to develop and discuss with FCA the precise methodology to be used for the assessment, the assessment should be carried out through a combination of:
- Comprehensive understanding of the education, TVET and LL2E components of FCA’s Global Strategy and FCA Cambodia Country Strategy and Country Programme.
- Desk study, which may include but not be limited to a review of:
- Relevant national laws and commitments, development plans and policies, government initiatives and programmes, and other such documents of relevance
- FCA’s and its education partners’ strategies, plans, and reports, both at country and project levels.
- Relevant reports and other publications published by UN, international and national development actors
- Developing the methodology and tools to be used during the field study.
- Field study in particular the three target provinces including interviews and meetings with relevant stakeholders, beneficiaries, FCA partners and consultations with FCA Country Office and Head Office staff. A participatory approach should be applied.
- Analysis and a comprehensive report presenting the key findings, conclusions and recommendations for FCA Cambodia.
6. Expected results and deliverables
Two assessment reports both for the program and project levels are expected to provide practical outputs, answering questions provided by FCA and finalized jointly between the consultant and FCA. The assignment will be made in phases with the following deliverables.
- Two inception report including a work plan with proposed research methodology and tools, 10 days after signing of the contract.
- Two draft assessment reports should be submitted by 14 June 21, and will thereafter be reviewed and commented by FCA team. Feedback on the draft will be given latest 7 days after receiving the draft.
- Two final assessment reports of the two assignments will be made available latest by 30 June 2021 followed by a workshop discussing the findings, conclusions and recommendations in detail.
- A PowerPoint presentation presenting methodology, findings and recommendations of the final assessment report.
It is allowed that the service provider uses some of the contents of one report also in another report when necessary and adding value to the report.
The assessment will be carried out in May-June 2021. The selected consultant(s) are expected to travel to targeted provinces for the field work.
8. Report content and structure
The report written in English will address the issues highlighted in this Terms of Reference, and will not exceed 30 pages in length, excluding annexes. The report should contain (but may not be limited to) the following:
- Executive Summary presenting the main findings, key conclusions drawn from analysis of the findings, and recommendations for FCA’s future TVET and Linking Learning to Earning work in Cambodia (2-4 pages).
- Brief description of the methodology used.
- Brief description of the assessment context and process including its constraints and challenges.
- Detailed findings of the assessment.
- Analysis and conclusions of the findings.
- Recommendations for FCA.
The annexes of the report should contain (but may not be limited to):
- Overview of institutional frameworks (international commitments and obligations, regional commitments and national frameworks)
- Overview of key stakeholders in the TVET sector
- ToR for the Assessment
- List of reference documents
- List of people interviewed, by affiliation, and contact details
- Questionnaire or checklist for interviews
Payments to the consultant shall be made according to the following table:
10. Consultant’s required qualifications and experience
A team of consultants may be considered. The consultant(s) hired for the assignment should meet the following minimum requirements:
- At least 10 years of experience in the education sector, especially in TVET.
- A Master’s degree in education, social studies, or other relevant fields
- Expertise in TVET sector, and tracer study is strongly desired
- Deep understanding of current topics in development policy and human rights-based approach and cross-cutting issues
- Proven experience with research methods (including quantitative, qualitative and participatory), information analysis and report writing
- Knowledge of the context of Cambodia/Southeast Asia
- Fluency in spoken and written English; Khmer would be an asset but not necessary.