Consultant for Research on Decentralisation of Education in Vietnam

I. Back ground
Oxfam GB is a development, humanitarian and campaigning organisation that works with others to overcome poverty and suffering around the world. Oxfam GB is a member of Oxfam International.
In Viet Nam, Oxfam GB maintains its positive engagement with government at different levels and with civil society organisations to promote equity, human development and economic well-being.
Oxfam GB’s model of change in Viet Nam is to innovate, demonstrate at the project areas then advocate for change, ultimately leading to widespread replication, in order to improve the lives of poor women and men.
Oxfam’s education programme aims to improve the access to and quality of basic education for poor children from disadvantaged areas, especially ethnic minorities and girls. In the past decade, this programme has built a good model of Child Centered Methodology (CCM) of which thousands of teachers and students, especially school girls from Tra Vinh, Lao Cai and Daknong provinces have benefited. Also, Oxfam has been advocating the Ministry of Education and Training (MOET) for national expansion of this model.
In the next five year, Oxfam’s education strategy will focus on improving the effective governance and accountability of education system which are in line with Vietnam’s current decentralisation
process. Decentralisation of education has been recognised as a significant tool to meet the goals of Vietnam’s Education For All (EFA) Action Plan. It is expected that the efficiency of educational
sector would be increased through transferring responsibilities and power to local levels for educational management, budgeting and planning. In another words, decentralisation can make major changes to the pattern of responsibility - authority - accountability at all levels of educational management.
The decentralisation process in Vietnam has been taking place differently by localities. It depends much on local authorities’ capacity for planning, budgeting and information based decision making. The great efforts of local authorities play a crucial role for the success of decentralisation process in each province since the goals and plans of EFA should be rolled out in the provincial and district education plans which are worked out by People’s Committee and Department of Education and Training (DOET). The variations among provinces reflect the level ofdecentralisation in which different levels are transferred with different responsibilities. With an emphasis on the support to improve the effective governance and accountability, it is important to have a comprehensive analysis of decentralisation process in selected provinces (Lao Cai, Ninh Thuan and Dak Nong), and based upon the research findings to inform the design of Oxfam’s education work in the next five years.

II. Research purposes
The purposes of the research are:
- To provide an overview of how education has been decentralised in selected provinces in Vietnam;
- To have an insight on how education decentralisation affects the quality of education services provision in selected provinces especially provision to women and school girls of ethnic minorities and disadvantaged groups ;
- To identify issues and reliable data/information to support our analyse for developing proposals on improving governance capacity and accountability of local authorities in education sector

III. Expected results from the research
The research is expected to provide answers for the following questions:
- What are the impacts of decentralisation on the quality of education service provision in these provinces, especially on the implementation of the women’s right of EM and disadvantaged groups?
- Whether decentralisation process increases public participation and transparency?
- To what extent, the local people have participated in discussion about local education issues, education planning, budgeting and in monitoring the quality of education services?
- Whether newly decentralised units have capacity to carry out their new functions?
- How decisions on local budget allocation for education are made at different local levels?
- How the local education budget has been spending at lower levels especially at school level in relation with local institutional capacities in response to the needs of the people, particularly the poor and marginalised groups?
- What are key factors that results in different impacts of decentralisation process in different provinces?
- Whether MOET provides technical and information support necessary for effective governance and accountability?
- How the socialisation in education in relation with decentralisation affects pattern of accountability (both vertical and horizontal)?

V. Requirements of consultancy service
Oxfam is currently seeking a team of consultants with following experiences and qualifications:
- At least a master’s degree related to any of the social sciences;
- At least 5 year experience in quantitative and qualitative participatory research work;
- Good knowledge of, comprehensive understandings on and research experiences in education policies and practice (especially decentralisation in education sector);
- Good knowledge, understandings on and insights of gender equality and diversity issues in Vietnam; and must make it explicitly during the research design and conducting;
- Solid experience in working with stakeholders: government (national and local), civil society, multilateral institutions ect;
- Ability to work with a team;
- Strong analytical and writing skills in English and Vietnamese;

V. Key responsibilities of research team
- Providing Oxfam in advance with research plan including detailed methodology and tools, report outline, questionnaires ect;
- Desk review and analyse the existing information;
- Field work in selected research sites and have meetings with representatives of
- Ministry of Education and Training (MOET) and Ministry of Home Affairs (MOHA);
- Data analysis and produce draft report in Vietnamese and English;
- Consult with stakeholders (local and national partners) on research findings;
- Finalize research report in both English and Vietnamese with recommendations for action at the next steps;
- Ensuring gender sensitive principles are incorporated in research materials and activities during the mission;

VI. Research sites, tentative schedule and consultancy fee
The research will be conducted in three provinces (Lao Cai, Ninh Thuan, Dak Nong). The field work is expected to take place from the 2nd week to 4th week of November, 2010.
The consultancy fees will be paid based on the working experiences of consultants. The accommodation, travel costs and per diem will be covered by Oxfam based on Oxfam’s cost norms and procedures.

Interested candidates are kindly requested to submit a letter of interest and research proposal which should include:
- A technical and financial proposal;
- CVs of consultants;
- At least three references;
- A sample of past relevant work;
The deadline to receive the research proposal: No latter than Friday, 20 October 2010
Contact person:
Ms Pham Thi Hong Net
Programme Advocacy Officer
Education Programme
Oxfam Great Britain
22 Le Dai Hanh, Hanoi
Tel: 84-4 9454362 (Ext.127),
Fax: 84-4 9454365
Email: [email protected]

Job Details
Organisation Name: 
Oxfam GB
Ha Noi
Application Deadline: 
Wed, 2010-10-20