Basic Literacy and Numeracy for Early Grades Project
In Southwest Sumba
Improving the access and availability of basic education (defined as K-12) has been a priority in Indonesia’s national agenda for some time now. Though it has, by and large, achieved significant progress in doing so, it continues to face challenges in ensuring and standardizing the quality of the delivery of education services throughout the country. Many areas, especially rural and remote areas, struggle to deliver these services even at the most basic level given that they are oftentimes faced with limited resources as well as capacity. A recent publication from the Program of International Student Assessment (PISA) released in 2018 stated that Indonesia has shown a decline in the reading competence score compared to previous publication released in 2015 (371 and 379, respectively). Reading competence score for 2018 is significantly below the OECD average score, 487. This score is even more alarming when you consider the disparity in development across Indonesia – without a doubt there are many parts of the country where this score is significantly lower. In East Nusa Tenggara Province, where William & Lily Foundation focuses its work, 65.2% of students are categorized as having a low competence in reading, significantly higher than the national average (46.8%).
Established as its own district in 2007, Southwest Sumba is one of the poorest districts in eastern Indonesia with a population of 344,720 (2019 estimate), the highest among four districts on the island. A recent study conducted in Sumba released in 2019 by DFAT-funded INOVASI program highlighted key issues in basic education services provided in this area, including a shortage and unequal teacher distribution, teacher’s qualification and competencies, and ineffective learning processes. Another study conducted in Sumba by Education Sector Analytical and Capacity Development Partnership (ACDP) in 2016 found that students in early grades (defined as Grades 1-3) still have difficulty in reading (approximately 30% for Grade 2 students in sampled schools). The rate of grade repetition was also at an alarming level for elementary schools across the island at between 12% - 21%. These two issues – reading competence and grade repetition – emphasizes the need and importance of supporting the quality of early grade education services in the area. On the other hand, the ACDP study also revealed some positive trends and patterns that could potentially ease and enable the process of improving early grade education services. One example is that students tended to show higher comprehension when teaching was delivered in their mother tongue. The study also revealed that first grade students are more likely to repeat the grade for the following year (16%) compared to second and third grade students (9% and 7%, respectively).
These different studies have also shown the importance of various stakeholders’ roles in ensuring high quality of early grade literacy and numeracy education in the area. Each stakeholder group – parents, teachers, school principals and management, school supervisors and relevant district offices – all contribute to the quality of education delivered. Ideally, each of these stakeholder groups would play an active role in supporting the delivery of education services. In more rural and remote areas such as Southwest Sumba, however, there are typically a number of limiting factors that prevent these stakeholders from fulfilling their roles and responsibilities optimally. Recent learnings from William & Lily Foundation’s ongoing project in Southwest Sumba shows that parents tend to have a very small, if any, role in their children’s education and School Committees (Komite Sekolah) – which are meant to be a vehicle for parents to participate in school life – are oftentimes inactive. Within the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, it has become even more important for parents to take a more involved role in their children’s education. Careful consideration is needed, however, in determining how parents from lower economic and educational backgrounds can best do so. Teacher Working Groups (Kelompok Kerja Guru, abbreviated as KKG) is another auxiliary group meant to support and bolster the delivery of education services. The KKG serves to function as a platform for teachers to gather and share experiences and learnings from each other. A properly functioning KKG can provide teachers the in-service training needed to improve their teaching competence. A survey conducted by INOVASI within the East Nusa Tenggara province, however, cited teachers’ lack of motivation in attending KKG meetings as they typically did not view the KKG as providing adequate support. This may indicate a need for greater supervision and support from the District Education Office as this responsibility falls within their scope.
The William & Lily Foundation (WLF) is a Jakarta-based philanthropic organization established in 2009. Our mission is to empower vulnerable and marginalized communities by bridging learning with access to opportunities. As an active grant-making foundation, we work closely with local implementation partners on four focus areas: Education, Health, Economic Empowerment, and Enabling Environment.
William & Lily Foundation plans to develop a project to address those issues in Southwest Sumba, focusing on improving teachers’ capacity in teaching literacy and numeracy for early grade students (Grade 1-3). WLF is looking for bidders to propose an innovative and adaptive design and approach with particular consideration to current pandemic challenges as well as the Southwest Sumba context and culture. Proposal design should not be limited to address issues during program lifetime, but also narrating opportunities for scalability and sustainability beyond project’s lifetime.
The direct beneficiaries will be the teachers in the selected schools in Southwest Sumba, while also looking at opportunities to engage other related stakeholders as indirect beneficiaries (i.e., students, school principals, KKG, parents and/or parents’ committee, Education Office, etc.). The main approaches of this project would be capacity building for teachers, advocacy to related stakeholders, and facilitating sustainable engagement among the relevant stakeholders.
WLF therefore seeks a non-individual consultant (professional organization/team of individuals under a legal entity) to design and implement this project.
Duration and Scope
This is foreseen as a two (2) year project with an optional one-year extension, with the first year focusing on laying the foundation of selected schools and finding a way for suitable methods and approaches to build teachers’ competence and platform for participatory learning and sharing. Building from the first year, the second year will be focused on extracting the best practices and developing the strategy for scaling up.
WLF does not provide infrastructure supports, and instead focuses on leveraging existing assets and maximizing synergies. Hence, WLF believes in program interventions based on capacity building, advocacy and establishing linkages. The Foundation also believes that building ownership among local actors is one of key success of program intervention in order to ensure scalability and sustainability. The prospective bidder is encouraged to develop their theory of change with the following thinking:
· Capacities Building through delivery of capacity building activities for teachers and building awareness of the significance of basic literacy and numeracy skills for related stakeholders as well as looking for other innovative practices suitable for Southwest Sumba context (i.e., mother tongue, parents’ involvement in basic literacy and numeracy activities, etc.)
· Establishing Linkages through an initial mapping of key stakeholders in early grade literacy and numeracy field and follow up with building commitments and engagements with the existing stakeholder groups (KKG, School Committees, etc.) to build the basis for a multi-stakeholder’s dialogues and find ways to address basic literacy and numeracy challenges
· Advocacy through engagement and collaboration with the relevant stakeholders at district and provincial level to address and advance the agenda for strengthening basic literacy and numeracy priority
Indicators of Successful Project
This project will directly contribute to the achievement of WLF’s following long-term outcome (LTO): “Services of early childhood centers and vocational education institutions are significantly improved”. The project will also indirectly contribute to WLF’s LTO as part of the advocacy and plan for potential scalability/replication, which is “Establishing sustaining partnership between local government and civil society”.
The project is deemed successful that on project completion the following outcomes have at least occurred:
· Demonstrated improved knowledge and skills from teachers to better teach the students
· Demonstrated improved practice and behavior from teachers to increase their competence
· Demonstrated commitment and practice from related stakeholders (including, but not limited to, Education Office, District Government, District Planning Office, school principals, school staff, teacher working groups, parents, related private sectors and non-governmental organisation, etc.) to allow platform where the stakeholder are able to share and learn participatorily
· Demonstrated commitment and clear action plan for scalability and sustainability
· Demonstrated commitment and/or changes in regulatory framework to support enabling environment for early grade education services
Interested bidders may include proposed theory of change, results framework, and other relevant indicators in their technical proposal. The selected bidder will work under WLF advisement on the selection of schools for this project, which may involve site visits, in-depth interviews, and proper due diligence. WLF is currently working at seven out of 11 sub-districts in Southwest Sumba.
WLF is looking for a potential bidder with extensive knowledge on early grade education area. Prospective bidders should also possess the following qualifications:
· A minimum of 7 years’ experience in designing, managing and implementing capacity building and advocacy project on basic literacy and numeracy area –knowledge and experience in eastern Indonesia, particularly in Southwest Sumba is an advantage;
· Proven experience on delivering capacity building for teachers and related stakeholders;
· Extensive knowledge on basic/early grade education framework and current development of Indonesian education system;
· Proven experience on project management, coordination and liaison capabilities;
· Proven experience on mentoring and coaching experience;
· Proven experience on developing strategies for advocacy and establishing linkages of multi- stakeholders; and
· Proven experience in monitoring and evaluation for development projects, particularly in advocacy and capacity building for basic literacy and numeracy education
· Period of Performance: WLF expects the project to be commenced on or around the end of the first quarter of 2021, with the duration of 24 months period with an optional 12-month extension
· Type of Award: Contract-based, actual cost
· Funding: WLF adheres to the value for money principles. Interested bidders need to carefully think about delivering the project implementation in an efficient and effective manner –in which the personnel cost should not exceed 20% of the total funding requested
· Cost-sharing: Any proposed cost-sharing should be clearly noted in the narrative and budget proposal
The release of this Request for Proposal does not guarantee WLF to award the contract. Implementation of project will depend on the Foundation’s funding availability.
How to Apply
· Expression of Interest (EoI) – Applicants are required to submit Expression of Interest electronically which states:
o (a) why applicant is interested;
o (b) brief information on relevant experience and key personnel’s qualification;
o (c) brief information on how the applicant will address the issues stated in the background and project description sections; and
o (d) point of contact (email address and phone numbers).
Expression of Interest must be no longer than 2 pages, either in Indonesian or English, and must submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line: Name of Organization EOI Basic Literacy and Numeracy Project before Tuesday, 24 November 2020 at 5 pm Jakarta time.
· Bidder’s Conference – After reviewing the submitted Letter of Interest, the shortlisted applicants will be invited to attend Bidder’s conference that will take place on/about Friday, 4 December 2020. Invitation will be distributed through email addresses registered on the Expression of Interest.
· Proposal Submission – Proposals (technical and financial) in Indonesian or English must be submitted before Friday, 8 January 2020 at 5 pm Jakarta time. The proposal should cover the following information:
o General description of demonstrated capabilities to meet the terms of this Solicitation, your contact details (address and phone numbers), a short description of unique capabilities (skills, methodologies, or technical approach) typically employed for carrying out work as described in the “Project Description” section, and a brief description of past performance with contact details of previous clients;
o A comprehensive technical proposal focusing on delivering the above-mentioned key activities and deliverables in Southwest Sumba, including clear description of theory of change and the results framework design, selection method or criteria for schools and advocacy and engagement strategy with local government and non-government stakeholders;
o Most recent Curriculum Vitae of the organization and/or individual team members (key personnel involved) and details of staff composition with clear demonstration of previous experience in early grade project implementation;
o Proposed work plan including timeline for key activities, milestones, and deliverables for the duration of the project; and
o A comprehensive financial proposal in Indonesian rupiah (IDR), including daily rate for team members or external consultants, budget allocation for activities, travel and accommodation, monitoring and evaluation activities, dissemination activities, incidentals and other expenses, as well as proposed terms of payments/schedule.