Terms of Reference for Independent Appraisal of the Education Sector Strategic Plan (ESSP) 2022-2026, Puntland State of Somalia

  • Contract
  • Garowe Somalia
  • TBD USD / Year
  • Salary: TBD


  1. Background and Context

The Puntland State of Somalia has made significant strides in political, social, and economic development since its leaders declared the territory an autonomous region in 1998. The region has managed to maintain relative peace and security in recent years, which has enabled it to establish political and administrative institutions, basic social services, an active civil society, and a growing private sector. Progress has been made in the education sector especially in expanding public education opportunities with significant donor support.

Despite notable improvements in recent years, educational provision, participation, and completion in Puntland are among the lowest in the world. In terms of access, the Gross Enrolment Rates for primary and secondary are extremely low at 32.1% (boys, 35.26%; girls, 28.8%) and 12.2% (boys,16.1%; girls, 9.1%) respectively, an indicator that many children, especially marginalized children from pastoralist communities and girls, are unable to enroll in school. Gender inequalities persist, with the Gender Parity Index standing at 0.82 for primary school and 0.56 for secondary education. The youth employment rate is 67%, meaning many youths are still unemployed due to limited job opportunities and reduced access to skills training aligned to labor market needs. The major challenges experienced in the education sector in Puntland are related to the weak institutional capacity of the Ministry of Education and Higher Education (MoEHE); lack of sufficient funding to the sector; limited-service provision; inequalities resulting from gender and social norms and historic marginalization processes; and poor quality of education.

The previous Puntland Education Sector Analysis 2012 -2016 expired on 31 December 2020 whilst the Education Sector Strategic Plan 2017-2021 expired on 31 December 2021. The Global Partnership for Education (GPE) through the Education Sector Plan Development Grant (ESPDG) supported the Puntland Government to take steps toward building a stronger, more equitable education system through the development of a new Education Sector Strategic Plan, informed by a comprehensive Education Sector Analysis and annual progress reviews. Through the ESPDG, the MoEHE has developed a new Education Sector Analysis (ESA) 2021 and a new five-year Education Sector Strategic Plan (ESSP 2022-2026). The ESSP 2022-2026 is scheduled to be validated on or before 31st August 2022.

  1. Objective of the consultancy

As part of its development process, the Education Sector Strategic Plan 2022-2026 must be independently appraised prior to its finalization and endorsement. The purpose of the consultancy is to work with and provide technical assistance to the Ministry of Education and Higher Education (MoEHE), by carrying out an independent appraisal and critical analysis of the draft Education Sector Strategic Plan 2022-2026. This assignment will be informed by international guidelines for the appraisal of Education Sector Plans and their development; and by the findings of the 2021 Education Sector Analysis. The appraisal process should also take into consideration the specific contextual circumstances and needs of Somalia and the State of Puntland in particular.

The independent appraisal of an Education Sector Strategic Plan is a GPE requirement, ensuring its robustness and credibility. As such, an individual consultant is required to carry out the independent appraisal of the Education Sector Strategic Plan 2022-2026 based on the characteristics defined in the GPE/IIEP Guidelines for Education Sector Plan Appraisal, which are designed to assess both the process of developing the Education Sector Plan and its contents in respect to the five criteria: 1) leadership and participation; 2) soundness and relevance, 3) equity, efficiency, and learning; 4) coherence; and 5) feasibility, implementability, and monitorability. The key stakeholders of the assignment are the Ministry of Education and Higher Education (MoEHE), the GPE Secretariat, and national and international educational development partners. The findings of the appraisal exercise will be used by the MoEHE to revise the Education Sector Strategic Plan as applicable.

The specific objectives under this assignment include:

  1. Assess the quality of the Education Sector Strategic Plan preparation process and content, considering the following areas:
  • Leadership and participation: Assess the role of the Government and the extent to which international development partners and other stakeholders participated in the Education Sector Strategic Plan preparation.
  • Soundness and relevance: Assess the extent to which the key challenges identified in the ESA have been sufficiently considered in the Education Sector Strategic Plan and identify gaps if any.
  • Equity, efficiency, inclusivity, and learning: Assess if the Education Sector Strategic Plan is designed to address issues affecting equity, efficiency, inclusivity, and learning through solid change strategies, adequately tracking those in its results framework.
  • Coherence: Assess the extent to which strategies, programs, interventions, budget, and monitoring/evaluation indicators are mutually coherent.
  • Feasibility, implementability, and monitorability: Assess whether financing, implementation mechanisms, and monitoring arrangements are sufficiently solid to reasonably ensure expected results are achieved.
  1. Provide actionable recommendations regarding suggested improvements of the Education Sector Strategic Plan for:
  • the immediate term (areas that can be addressed prior to its finalization and endorsement); and
  • the medium term (areas that can be addressed during plan implementation or subsequent reviews).
  1. Methodology and technical approach

The independent appraisal of the education sector strategic plan should cover (in a coherent manner) the general questions and sub-questions outlined under the five key criteria of the GPE/IIEP Guidelines for Education Sector Plan Appraisal presented below. These guidelines are meant to be adapted to the national context and needs by the hired consultant in consultation with CARE. The stakeholders should discuss the methodology to be used for the appraisal and develop a common vision of the whole process. The appraisal process should be participatory and grounded in the policy and technical dialogue for Education Sector Strategic Plan development. It should involve consultations and interviews with key stakeholders who participated in Education Sector Strategic Plan preparation, in addition to a desk review of the Education Sector Strategic Plan, Education Sector Analysis, and any other relevant documents. A validation workshop of the appraisal report’s findings, conclusions, and recommendations should be organized to feed into the Education Sector Strategic Plan finalization. The individual consultant is expected to perform this assignment remotely (home-based).

An overview of the appraisal criteria is as follows:

  1. Leadership and participation: Has the plan preparation process been country-led, participatory, and transparent?
  • Leadership and Ownership: To what extent is Government leadership and partners’ ownership reflected in the Education Sector Plan?
  • Participatory Process: What is the level of involvement among the local stakeholders and development partners?
  • Capacity Development: To what extent was plan preparation used as an opportunity to develop national capacities in education policy and planning?
  1. Soundness and Relevance: Does the plan constitute a solid corpus of strategies and actions addressing the key challenges of the education sector?
  • Evidence-based education sector analysis: What empirical evidence was available and was it used effectively?
  • Relevance of policies and programs: Do the proposed priorities and programs form a relevant response to the challenges in the Puntland context?
  • Soundness of the financial framework: Is the financial framework adequate and credible?
  • Soundness of the action plan: Does the action plan provide a sound operational framework?
  1. Equity, Efficiency, Inclusivity and Learning in Basic Education: Are the key dimensions of equity, efficiency, inclusivity, and learning soundly addressed in the Plan to increase sector performance over time?
  • Robustness and relevance of the strategies: Are the designed strategies and programs relevant to address these four key dimensions?
  • Change strategies: Are the strategies designed to introduce transformational changes?
  • Results framework: Can the results framework be used to monitor improvements in the four key areas?
  1. Coherence: Does the plan constitute a consistent and coherent corpus of strategies and actions?
  • Coherence among the strategies, programs, and interventions: Is there consistency between the various components of the Education Sector Plan?
  • Comprehensive costing aligned with the budget: How consistent are the scenario and the costing with other parts of the Education Sector Plan?
  • Coherence of monitoring and evaluation indicators: Are the M&E indicators consistent with the policy priorities and the planned programs and activities?
  1. Feasibility, Implementability, and Monitorability: Do the financing, implementation, and monitoring arrangements offer a good perspective for achievement?
  • Financial feasibility: Is the financial plan adequate and realistic?
  • System capacity: Does the plan identify and address capacity constraints that would affect plan implementation?
  • Governance and Accountability: Are there strategies in place to improve and establish good governance practices and management accountability across the system?
  • Risks to implementation and mitigation of risks: Does the Education Sector Plan design take into consideration possible risks and constraints in implementation?
  • Robustness of the monitoring and evaluation framework: Does the M&E system provide robust indicators based on valid and reliable data to monitor the progress toward the achievement of outputs and outcomes described in the results framework? Are the reporting, feedback, and consultation mechanisms transparent and adequate to maintain broad ownership during implementation?
  1. Expected Deliverables and Timeline


Key Task



1. Initial meetings with CARE/ MoEHE

Undertake a desk review of key documents

  • Presentation of preliminary findings from the desk review to MoEHE and partners
  • PPT developed and shared with CARE one day prior its presentation to MoEHE and partners

5 days

2. Based on the GPE/IIEP Guidelines for Education Sector Plan Appraisal, prepare the appraisal methodology outline, the criteria matrix, and tools

  • Appraisal matrix with appraisal criteria and questions based on the critical elements of ESP as defined in the GPE/IIEP Guidelines for Education Sector Plan Appraisal

3 days.

3. Organize online meetings and consultations with key partners

  • PPT developed on the main findings and shared with CARE one day prior its presentation to MoEHE and partners validation workshop.

3 days

4. Preparation of the draft appraisal report

  • Draft appraisal report presented to CARE for comments
  • Draft appraisal report, incorporating CARE’s comments, shared with MoEHE and partners

5 days

5. Preparation of the final appraisal report based on received comments from MoEHE and partners

  • Final appraisal report that includes an executive summary (5-10 pages long) presented to CARE

4 days

Total No. of Days: 20

  1. Consultant minimum qualifications
  • Advanced university degree and/or academic background in Education, Sociology, Economics, Public Policy, Social Policy, or a related field. Having completed training in the GPE-IIEP Guidelines on Education Sector Plan Appraisal will be an advantage.
  • At least 8 years of documented experience in education planning, management, monitoring and/or evaluation with solid knowledge of Somalia’s education system (preferably of Puntland’s).
  • Experience of carrying out past independent appraisals or evaluations/assessments of education sector programs.
  • Very good communication and presentation skills with government and international organizations.
  • Fluency in written and spoken English, including report writing skills.

The Consultant(s) selected who have not undertaken the GPE/IIEP training on the Fundamentals of Independent Appraisal of Education Sector Plans will need to complete the training successfully prior to undertaking the appraisal. Link: http://www.iiep.unesco.org/en/gpeiiep-training-fundamentals-independent-appraisal-education-sector-plans-13281. The training takes approximately 15 hours to complete.

How to apply

The deadline for the submission of applications is July 28th, 2022. Applications should include a cover letter, technical proposal, financial proposal, updated CV for the key concerned individuals or profile of applying firm, referees with contact addresses, a copy of the ESSP appraisal report, and other analytical documents relevant to the TOR. All interested consultants/firms are requested to submit the application by email to: [email protected] indicating the subject line “TOR for Independent Appraisal of the ESSP 2022-2026″

Noting that Closing date is 28-Jul-22