Aide et Action



Project “Promoting Quality and Inclusive Early Childhood Care, Education (ECCE) and Parenting in Cambodia and Vietnam” in the context of Covid-19

1. Background

Aide et Action (AEA) is an international solidarity organization for development, created in 1981, which mission is to ensure access to quality education for the most vulnerable and marginalised populations, especially children, so they can take charge of their own development and contribute to a more peaceful and sustainable world. AEA is present in 19 countries in Africa, Asia and Europe through 85 projects, reaching over 2.9 million vulnerable and marginalised children and adults in 2020.

Under its strategic plan 2020–2024, AEA focuses on three program priorities:

Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE): AEA strengthens its different strategies by prioritising innovative ECCE approaches to improve cognitive development and learning outcomes of children aged 0-8 years old.

Access and Quality of Education for Primary and Secondary Level: AEA ensures increased civic engagement in education and government accountability for equitable access to quality education thereby improving learning outcomes.

Lifelong Learning and Vocational Training: AEA addresses skill gaps and strengthens resilient livelihoods to improve economic opportunities and future prospects for marginalised groups.

2. Project summary

Part of its first program priority, AEA has been implementing a regional initiative in Southeast Asia, called “Promoting Quality and Inclusive Early Childhood Care, Education (ECCE) and Parenting in Cambodia and Vietnam”, since 2019. The project, which overall objective was to ensure that, by 2021, children aged three to eight years in the target areas of Vietnam and Cambodia maximise their socio-emotional development and successfully transition through the first years of primary school, was implemented through two phases, a one-year pilot phase in 2019, followed by a one-year-and-a-half phase, extended for six plus four months in a global pandemic context. The project was implemented in Lai Chau province in Vietnam, and Kep and Kandal provinces in Cambodia.

To achieve its overall objective, the project has engaged with a number of ECCE stakeholders, partners and local community members to increase collaboration, learning and experience sharing. Through this engagement the project’s overall achievement will be measured using the following indicator:

· By 2021, 7,200 children aged 3 to 8 years successfully transition through the first years of primary school.

Three specific objectives have been designed to contribute to the achievement of this overall objective:

1. Children’s immediate learning environment and experience, at home and in the classroom, provides a child-centred approach that maximises socio-emotional and cognitive learning.

o Indicator 1: At least 70% of targeted children have shown an improvement in their learning outcomes.

o Indicator 2: At least 80% of targeted children aged 5 meet accepted standards for school readiness (social, emotional, physical and cognitive skills).

2. The wider environment of the school management, Commune, District and Provincial authorities, as well as national policy makers and other relevant stakeholders, provides the support to facilitate and reinforce the improved learning environment.

o Indicator 1: At least 70% of local authorities report increased confidence in using leadership and management skills to support children’s learning environment.

o Indicator 2: At least 60% local authorities integrate early childhood care and education in annual commune and district plans.

3. Ownership and ongoing commitment to the long-term continuation of the learning environment will be developed and sustained by stakeholders at local level and through social cohesion.

o Indicator 1: % increase in regular contact between stakeholders to share and address ECCE concerns.

o Indicator 2: At least 60% of caregivers, teachers and government officials show increased commitment to ECCE through their attitudes and practices.

Activities related to achieving these specific objectives included conducting joint capacity-building events, exchange visits, a regional reflection workshop, and the development of a regional toolkit on school readiness to better align Aide et Action’s ECCE programming at the regional level. At the community level, capacity, skills and practices of caregivers, teachers and local authorities were built and strengthened to make them more accountable for children’s learning and school readiness. Both preschool and primary school teachers were trained and coached on child-centred teaching and learning methodologies to improve their teaching practices in support of children during their pre-primary to primary transition period. Caregivers were trained on positive and responsive parenting and engaged in supporting their children’s learning both at school and at home. Local authorities were trained and supported to engage in the implementation of local education services, community awareness raising, and the integration of early childhood education into their investment plan. In addition, the communication and collaboration between these key education actors have been enhanced to share best practices, challenges and experiences.

The first-year pilot evaluation’s learnings and recommendations were integrated into the second phase of the project. From 2020, the project was widely hit and impacted by the Covid-19 outbreak, leading to massive education disruption, with school closures and health restrictions that continue to this day. This drastically impacted the project implementation and achievements made to date to promote quality ECCE in vulnerable communities. Not only did Covid hindered education at schools but also negatively impacted families’ livelihoods, increasing vulnerabilities and stress amongst caregivers. AEA provided an emergency response to the target populations through the dissemination of health and education messages, the provision of basic WASH materials, and the provision of teacher training and learning materials to support education continuity during periods of school closures.

3. Terms of Reference

3.1. Main Objective

AEA understands that achievements of the objectives will have been impacted by Covid-19 and that impacts differ in each country due to the different restrictions imposed by respective authorities. Therefore, the final evaluation initially planned under the second phase of this project will be conducted in the form of a case-study.

The objectives of the case-study are as follows:

1. Assess the different impacts of Covid-19 on ECCE in the targeted areas;

2. Document how key barriers and/or constraints might have been overcome during Covid-19 outbreak, in particular during school closures, through both AEA’s response and community initiatives. What factors have had a stimulating effect and which have had an inhibiting effect? What has worked and what did not?

3. Assess and document how teachers and caregivers have developed new skills and approaches as a consequence of Covid. Document the best practices.

4. Produce some key recommendations on how can Government, communities and civil society better prepare and support ECCE in periods of similar education disruption.

The consultant/s will utilise project documents (proposal, LogFrame, reports) and other available resources (case studies from the Cambodian Consortium for Out of School Children or the baseline study from the Co-Saved consortium), as well as conduct discussions with key project stakeholders to determine the impacts of Covid on the targeted communities, the project’s achievements and learnings in selected communes, and answer the key evaluation questions listed below.

3.2. Key Evaluation Questions

· How has Covid-19 impacted teachers’ practices with regard to applying CCM?

· How has Covid-19 impacted caregivers’ engagement for their children’s early learning and development?

· How have children’s cognitive and socio-emotional development been impacted by the pandemic and related education disruption?

· How has Covid-19 impacted social cohesion on school readiness at the community level?

· What are the best practices in responding to the impact of Covid on the targeted populations?

· How have teachers and caregivers developed new skills and practices in response to Covid?

· What can be done to ensure sustainability of quality ECCE in a context of Covid and unpredictable education disruption?

3.3. Report Structure

As a suggestion, here is the desired outline of the case study report. This can be further discussed with the consultant(s):

1. Cover Page

2. Introduction

a. Statement of the problem: definition & analysis

b. Objectives of the research

c. Methods used for data collection

3. Body

a. Defining barriers and constraints to and impact on ECCE during Covid

b. Results, successes and challenges of the responses provided

i. What does existing evidence say about the results of the response provided by AEA?

ii. What are the key success factors and best practices that have contributed to the achievement of these results?

iii. What are ongoing and potential challenges, risks, or issues that ECCE and School Readiness actors still face in this context?

4. Lessons learned and Recommendations

a. What lessons do the practices, successes and challenges offer for governments, communities and civil society organisations to better prepare and support ECCE in similar context?

b. How can governments, communities and civil society ensure sustainability of ECCE in similar contexts?

5. Conclusion

3.4. Methodology

The case-study will focus on two communes targeted by the project, one in Vietnam and one in Cambodia.

The process of developing this case-study will be led by the consultant/s with advisory support from the ECCE Project Manager, Porticus Grant Manager and technical support from the country teams.

The case-study will be developed following 5 identified stages; (i) analysing the key project documents; (ii) visiting the target communes and interviewing project stakeholders to assess the impacts of and good practices in response to Covid and determine recommendations to cope with similar education disruption in the future; (iii) drafting the case-study; (iv) review and feedback; (v) finalisation.

AEA staff will be encouraged to be strongly engaged in the process and will work closely with the consultant(s). Embedded into the methodology of this case-study are consultations and interviews with target groups of the project to ensure a participatory process and ensure that their feedback is integrated.

3.5. Timeframe:

The case-study will be expected to be finalised on the 25th May 2022.

3.6. Role and responsibilities of the consultant

The consultant will be given the following responsibilities:

– Consult with AEA teams to further identify the needs and expectations for the case-study;

– Conduct analysis on key project documents and prepare questionnaires for project stakeholders;

– Conduct literature review and research on the impacts of Covid;

– Assisting with personal travel to the project sites in line with AEA procurement processes;

– Interview key project stakeholders;

– Draft the case-study and share with the project managers for feedback;

– Amend and finalize the case-study.

3.7. Profile of the consultant

– Preferably an advanced university degree (masters or PhD) in social development, education, international relations, development studies, or a related field;

– Some technical experience in early childhood development;

– Good understanding of the education system in South East Asia, particularly Vietnam and Cambodia;

– Strong experience in developing case-studies;

– Strong understanding and empathy of implementing projects at a local level;

– Ability to work efficiently and effectively with project members, including remote communication;

– Flexibility to adapt to any subsequent changes in the terms of reference;

– Excellent English speaking/writing skills required;

3.8. Lines of communication

The consultant will be in direct and regular contact with the Program Coordinator based in Paris and the project managers based in Cambodia and Vietnam respectively.

3.9. Deliverables

– Detailed work plan (expected 1st of June 2022);

– First draft of the case-study (expected 20th June 2022);

– Final version of the case-study (expected 30th June 2022).

3.10. Location

Ideally, the consultant will be based in the Southeast Asia region to facilitate the visits to the project sites.

3.11. Contact Person

Ms. Ines Provoost, Program Coordinator, email: [email protected]

How to apply

Please submit your application (CV and technical offer) to [email protected] by May 22, 2022.

More information please link here