ICT4E in India and South Asia_ Terms of Reference (Closed)

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TERMS OF REFERENCE Survey of ICT and Education in India and South Asia Background: In particular, there is a requirement for clearer guidance on how to help countries in using ICTs to meet internationally agreed goals. These include: the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) of achieving universal primary education and eliminating the gender disparity in education by 2015; and the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) goals of connecting all schools and adapting curricula to the challenge
  TERMS OF REFERENCE Survey of ICT and Education in India and South Asia   Background: In particular, there is a requirement for clearer guidance on how to help countries in usingICTs to meet internationally agreed goals. These include:    the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) of achieving universal primaryeducation and eliminating the gender disparity in education by 2015; and    the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) goals of connecting allschools and adapting curricula to the challenges of the Information Society by2015.With the objective of bridging this gap in the shortage of policy guidance on the use of ICTs for education, info Dev is commissioning a series of regional surveys of ICT andEducation. The regional study for Africa was completed in 2007 (see:http://www.infodev.org/en/Project.7.html   ) and for the Caribbean in 2008 (see:http://www.infodev.org/en/Article.336.html). This survey, of ICT and Education in Indiaand South Asia, will be the third in the series which should eventually cover alldeveloping regions.In South Asia, as in the other regions surveyed, there is no up-to-date and comprehensivedocumentation of what is actually happening in this area. Although there are a growingnumber of initiatives, for instance in the use of low-cost computer devices in education,there is a lack of evaluation of their impact. This has negative repercussions:     Lack of information impacts planning. Anecdotal evidence suggests that manycountries and donor agencies are struggling to keep track of ICT/education projects development projects over which they have no control and about whichthey often have little knowledge so that the lessons learned from these projects --let alone their existence -- can inform strategy and planning related to ICT use ineducation going forward. Many private sector firms and civil societyorganizations with an interest in supporting education programmes andtechnology initiatives in South Asia (especially where such projects mayintersect) have expressed similar frustrations.     No consolidated information resource. Much relevant data collection has alreadyoccurred, but the results are scattered across a number of publications anddatabases (many of which are not widely known), held within individualorganizations, not easily accessible to the education community, out-of-date, or,where public, not widely disseminated. Examples of useful resources in this areainclude the GeSCI/CSDMS (2009) study Towards a national policy on ICT in school education in India , World Bank (2007) publication The knowledge  economy and education and training in South Asia , the UNESCO Institute of Statistics Global Education Digest  , the work of UNESCO’s Bangkok officeincluding the Metasurvey on the use of Technologies in Education in Asia and the Pacific .(2004) and  Asia-Pacific: Seeking innovative practices in ICTs and  Education  (2008)  , Sally Berman’s (2008) article on  ICT-based distanceeducation in South Asia , or the Asia Policy Forum Report (2007) on ICT integration in education .     Need for coordination. Conversations with colleagues at a number of organizations -- donors, governments, civil society, universities, and the privatesector -- interested in ICT and education issues in South Asia suggest that manyare contemplating similar or related types of data collection efforts in this area. As part of its support for activities outlined in this Terms of Reference, info Dev isseeking to identify and collaborate with interested groups to help coordinate someof the data collection activities (where feasible) and share the resulting data aswidely as possible. While different organizations have different objectives incollecting such data to serve various constituencies, it may make sense tocoordinate efforts in certain areas, and info Dev is willing to help lead suchcoordination efforts. At a minimum, this should help prevent duplication of efforts, as well as 'survey fatigue' on the part of potential information sources 'on-the-ground'. The results of the survey will be publicly available, via the info Devwebsite.This project seeks to gather together in a single resource the most relevant and usefulinformation on ICT in education activities in India and South Asia. It is envisioned thatdata collected as part of this survey process can help to form a set of baseline data,against which future survey work and research could be compared. This data can becombined with data from other regions already surveyed or to be surveyed to help form aglobal database of information related to ICTs in education in developing regions. Scope of work:In general, this study will explore answers to the following basic questions: -   How are ICTs currently being used in the education sector in India and SouthAsia, and what are the strategies and policies related to this use, notably best practices in policy and school case studies? -   What are the common challenges and constraints faced by South Asian countriesin this area? -   What is actually happening on the ground, and to what extent are donorsinvolved? More specifically: The survey should result in an overall report as well as a series of country studies for each of the eight countries in the South Asia region. In the special case of India, it is   proposed that, in addition to the overall case, a series of detailed studies of individualstates will be developed (say, at least five) to give a representative flavour of localdevelopments. A similar approach may be followed in Pakistan. In addition, the reportand case studies should be complemented by a series of  thematic essays on topics of  particular relevance to the region, such as gender, higher education, national research andeducation networks (NRENs) etc.Data will be collected related to a variety of themes and could, for example, be dividedinto the following general categories:(a) General state of ICT use in education(b) National and regional policies & strategies(c) How Ministries of Education (MOEs) treat ICT issues from an internalorganizational and staffing perspective (including organograms of ICTresponsibilities at the MOE), as well as their inter-relations with other governmental entities (e.g., Ministry of Employment, Ministry of Science andTechnology, Ministry with responsibility for the ICT sector, etc.), asrelevant/appropriate;(d) Current levels of ICT access and use in the sector and the level of connectedness of schools, colleges, universities etc.(e) Notable initiatives and programs, including best practice case studies;(f) Important thematic topics, such as the development of NRENs or the treatmentof gender in education;(g) Constraints on the use of ICT in education, including on achieving a gender  balance;(h) Donor activities;(i) Use of ICTs in non-formal education and for skills development;(j) Other notable and relevant information (e.g. gender, literacy);(k) A resource base of additional information resources;(l) A contacts database of experts and practitioners within the region that canassist in ongoing work.Particular note will be made of how ICTs are used in education at various levels of aneducation system, namely: -   Primary education -   Secondary education -   Tertiary or Higher education -   Vocational educationWhere information about ICT use to facilitate lifelong learning, distance learning andnon-formal education is available, this should be included as well. Important additional information:  -   It is expected that this survey will encompass and be relevant to both the ICTs ineducation and distance education communities (the lines between which arerapidly blurring). -   ICTs are to be broadly defined, covering the computing, telecommunications and broadcasting sectors (see the definition of the Sector in the OECD (Rev. 2007)“Guide to the Information Economy”, available at:http://www.oecd.org/dataoecd/49/17/38217340.pdf . ) -   In 2003-2004 UNESCO-Bangkok completed work on a landmark  Metasurvey onthe use of Technologies in Education in Asia and the Pacific (available at:http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0014/001422/142239e.pdf    ) including countrycase studies. info Dev proposes to use this survey and the related survey collectionmethodology, as a baseline and a rough methodology for its data collectionactivities. -   The data collected will be synthesized and published online, free of charge, toserve as a general 'international public good'. It is expected that these data couldserve as an important resource for a variety of follow-on studies and work.The primary audience for this study are policy-makers in the countries of the region andtheir partners in donor agencies. However, the study’s exploration of issues related to theuse (and misuse) of ICTs in Education should be of great interest to a broader audience;in developing countries that are pursuing the Education For All agenda and similar goals,as well as those pursuing large scale investments in ICTs in their educational systems.This study is one in a series of publications for policy-makers commissioned by info Devfocusing on issues related to the appropriate use of ICTs in education to help countriesmeet the Millennium Development Goals. More information about other publications inthis series is available at http://www.infodev.org/education. Fixed Budget selection The Consultant, to be chosen through a fixed budget selection, is expected to include ateam of experts in the area of ICT use in education. Key staff will include personnel withdemonstrated expertise and at least five years’ experience working with ICTs indeveloping countries, including demonstrated knowledge of, and experience with,working with ministries of education, NGOs and the private sector, and in supervisingmulti-country survey work related to ICT use and/or education in developing countries.Specific experience and expertise with ICT use in education in South Asia is preferred, but not required. At a minimum, the project team should include: ã   Senior ICT for Education Specialist ã   Education Specialist ã   South Asia regional Specialist
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