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Consultancy – National & International: Human Resources Planning Expert

Consultancy – National & International: Human Resources Planning Expert


The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), Sierra Leone Country Office, invites applications from interested persons for the above mentioned consultancy.

Location:  Freetown, with occasional nationwide travel if required

Duration: Six months initially with extension based on performance and needs

Start Date: Immediately


The purpose of this consultancy is to support relevant government officials to establish an annual Human Resources planning process for organisational change in the context of decentralisation for Sierra Leone Ministry of Education.


Capacity development has been consistently identified in key documents such as the Education Act (2004), the Local Government Act (2004), the Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP) III: An Agenda for Prosperity (2013-2018), and the Education Sector Plan (2014-2018) as one of the most critical factors for the progress of the sector towards effective programme implementation and the achievement of defined targets. In both the PRSP III and the Education Sector Plan (ESP) in particular, capacity development has been included as a specific strategic priority and goal for the education sector.

In 2010/11 the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (MEST) of Sierra Leone developed the Education Sector Capacity Development Strategy that covers the short- and medium-term, outlining strategic actions to be undertaken over a period of five years.

UNICEF, as part of country programme and work plan agreed with the Ministry of Education Science and Technology seeks interested individual consultants to support the implementation of the Capacity Development Strategy to ensure that:

“MEST is able to plan and manage its own human resources and structures, and systems and roles are in place to address effectively the emerging operational challenges and anomalies of decentralization in the education sector (CDS-SO2and SO6)[1]. Technical Assistance for the establishment of an annual Human Resources planning process for the Ministry of Education for more efficient organizational management in the context of decentralization”

This is only one component of a larger programme that includes additional technical support to indirectly increase effectiveness of the learning that children experience in school through better management and leadership at all levels of the system.


Two of the strategic objectives identified in the Capacity Development Strategy are:

  1. MEST ability to plan and manage its own human resources.
  2. The effective establishment of structures, systems and roles to address the emerging operational challenges and anomalies of decentralisation in the education sector.

There are a number of critical issues which must be addressed to enhance efficient planning and management of human resources. The capacity of MEST and its leadership role in the efficient and effective planning and coordination of the education sector is a fundamental element in achieving sectoral goals and objectives. However, the capacity within MEST to manage staff performance and to ensure that current staff members have the capabilities and skills to match their roles is limited. The strengthening of support structures for staff development is therefore crucial to underpin MEST ability to operate effectively and deliver on its responsibilities.


The consultancy will stretch over an initial period of six months with possible extension based on performance. The selected consultant will work, under UNICEF supervision, with the Ministry of Education and in consultation with the Human Resources Management Office, the Ministry of Local Government, the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development (MOFED) and the Local Government Finance Department (LGFD), District Education Offices (DEOs) and Local Councils (LCs) representatives to,

  1. Review current education sector operational processes and develop a framework of annual operational cycles and procedures of key MEST activities (budget planning, data collection, procurement of textbooks and TLMs, examinations etc.).
  2. Review HRMO procedures and schedules.
  3. On the basis of HRMO and operational cycles in the sector, develop an HR plan aligned with short medium and long term schedules including:
    a) A competency framework covering all functions, grades and roles relevant to the management of the education sector at central and local level and in line with devolution of educational functions
  4. Based on the competencies identified, conduct an education leadership, management and administration training needs analysis (TNA) for central and local level functions.
  5. Based on the TNA, design and implement  a coordinated staff development programme at all levels based on HRMO guidelines, including
    a) an important component of on the job training, through coaching and on task skills development for performance in basic operational management areas such as timetabling, meetings, etc.
    b) the development of  strategic, operational, financial management as well as monitoring and evaluation competencies for the establishment of required central and local level operational procedures in the sector
    c) with  integrated gender mainstreaming competencies and skills
  6. Provide tools, advice and ensure the setting up of basic routine procedures that facilitate efficiency and effective management in the system (e.g., meetings, information flow, etc.) through guidance and coaching and on the job skills development.
  7. Produce an annual education calendar that provides key dates and requirements for districts and schools; for delivery to district stakeholders before the start of each academic year to act as a standardised template for operational planning at district levels ensuring the incorporation of key gender-related activities (such as Girls’ Education Week).


Specifically, the consultant will carry out the following activities in consultation with HRMO and MEST central and local level representation:

  1. Develop a workplan for the consultancy which (i) defines roles and sets routines that support Ministry of Education leadership and ownership of the implementation; (ii) explores and provides strategies for the consideration of linkages, interdependencies and prioritisation of consultancy specific activities in relation to any other events occurring as part of the Capacity Development Strategy implementation; (ii) lists indicators that support the measurement of change that is expected to take place as a result of the implementation of the strategy (during the inception period).
  2. Conduct a functional review to promote internal efficiency based on review the relevant Acts and consultations with relevant stakeholders for a detailed mapping of current organisational structures in the education sector and reporting lines from central to local level.
  3. Define norms for service levels expected, including roles and responsibilities.
  4. Develop a competency framework based on necessary structures, roles and responsibilities identified.
  5. Revise existing job descriptions based on the competency framework and the revised organizational structure plan establishing clear reporting lines for District Deputy Directors, inspectors and supervisors, and Local Council Education Officers, to reflect their changed roles under decentralized structures.
  6. Develop job descriptions for positions for which they are not available.
  7. Conduct a training needs analysis of current education sector staff based on revised jobs descriptions.
  8. Work with relevant training institutions (i.e. Institute for Public Administration and Management – IPAM) to design and deliver a customized training package to support strategic and programme planning based on HRMO guidelines for staff development
  9. Develop/Adapt basic training packages and deliver training or other appropriate skill sharing activities on basic organizational procedures (e.g. work planning, time management, meetings, information flow procedures, etc.).
  10. Revise HR policies to define performance appraisal standards and including performance review guidelines and incentive systems including the integration of gender mainstreaming indicators into the performance management of individual staff members where appropriate to provide a tracking and accountability mechanism for the progress of gender mainstreaming in MEST in accordance with the National Gender Mainstreaming Policy (2000).
  11. Undertake a gender audit of appointments and promotions, and integrate considerations of gender balance in staffing and in decision-making positions within MEST.
  12. Produce an annual education calendar template that provides key dates and requirements for districts and schools; for delivery to district stakeholders before the start of each academic year to act as a standardised template for operational planning at district levels ensuring the incorporation of key gender-related activities (such as Girls’ Education Week).


It is expected that the methodology for this consultancy will include amongst others:

  1. Sampling from all categories of MEST staff with particular attention to gender balance.
  2. Review of all existing documents and interviews with relevant external stakeholders including the Public Service Commission, HRMO, Ministry of Finance, District Education Office representatives, etc.
  3. Questionnaires for all categories of staff for organization diagnosis and current training needs status analysis, including gender specific training need analysis.
  4. Preparation of draft Organization Development report.
  5. Conduct consultation with relevant stakeholders to design a framework of operational planning and an annual education calendar template.
  6. Work with relevant training institutions (i.e. Institute for Public Administration and Management – IPAM) to design and deliver a customized training package for MEST Directors and District Deputy Director to support strategic and programme planning.


  1. Inception Report – outlining proposed workplan for the consultancy, risk analysis and indicators.
  2. Summary Report on review of MEST organizational structure, roles and responsibilities including a critical analysis of the system and with recommendations on how to increase internal efficiency and gender mainstreaming.
  3. Framework of key operational planning of key MEST activities based on an annual cycle.
  4. Competency Framework.
  5. Needs assessment report based on the competency framework, including an analysis of the capacity constraints in MEST and professional development support requirements.
  6. Professional development plan – including training plan and gender mainstreaming plan.
  7. Selected training delivery.
  8. Annual education calendar template.
  9. Training package on strategic and programme planning.
  10. Monthly Progress Reports – to be submitted to the Capacity Development Steering Committee.


Qualifications and experience required:

  1. Higher Degree in Human Resources Management with Professional Development expertise including coaching skills or other related fields.
  2. At least ten years’ relevant international experience, including evidence of successful experience in advising and coaching government officials.
  3. Knowledge and experience in organizational development and change management.
  4. Knowledge and experience in demand-led strategic planning.
  5. Strong knowledge and understanding of decentralization and educational reform and the relationship between decentralization and educational reform.
  6. Extensive technical knowledge of education systems and sectors including planning, policy, finance and programming.
  7. Institutional Gender Mainstreaming.
  8. Preferably, experience/knowledge of West Africa working context.


The consultant will report to UNICEF in relation to all contractual issues. Briefing meetings will be arranged as necessary and will be held either within the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology or at UNICEF.

Interested persons should send the following documents by email to srlrecruitment@unicef.org

(a)  An application letter of no more than 1 page.

(b)  A write-up of no more than 2 pages suggesting the analytical methods they will use.

(c)  Curriculum Vitae of no more than 4 pages.

(d)  A completed UN Form P.11 found on the UNICEF website.

A detailed Terms of Reference (TOR) on the assignment can be collected at UNICEF House (security post), Central Medical Stores Compound, New England, Freetown.

The Personal History Form (P11) in MS Word format can be downloaded from our website at http://www.unicef.org/about/employ/index_53129.html. Only shortlisted applicants will be contacted.

The deadline for receipt of applications is 31 January, 2014

UNICEF is a smoke-free environment.

UNICEF is committed to diversity and inclusion within its workforce, and encourages qualified female and male candidates from all national, religious and ethnic backgrounds, including persons living with disabilities, to apply to become a part of our organization.

[1] The CDS SO code determines which Strategic Objective of the Education Sector Capacity Development Strategy this result is in line with. In this case it is Strategic Objective 2 and 3 (CDS-SO2 and SO3).

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