Design, Monitoring and Evaluation for Peacebuilding

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Senior Subject Matter Expert/Assessment Team Leader - Madrassa

Search For Common Ground
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Senior Subject Matter Expert/Assessment Team Leader - Madrassa

Education and Community Resilience, Uganda

Search for Common Ground
Search for Common Ground (Search) is an international non-profit organization operating in 35 countries whose mission is to transform the way the world deals with conflict away from adversarial approaches toward cooperative solutions. Our headquarters are in Washington D.C., United States and in Brussels, Belgium.

About the Project
Search has been working in Uganda since 2012 with the National Centre for State Courts (NCSC) on a five-year USAID Program, Supporting Access to Justice, Fostering Equity and Peace (SAFE). The Program aims to strengthen the capacity of the Government of Uganda with respect to peacebuilding and conflict mitigation. It is working to enhance the capacity of local actors and strengthen mechanisms for resolving and mitigating conflicts, transforming emerging conflicts into peaceful outcomes.

The SAFE Program is interested in an assessment of madrassa education in Uganda.

Uganda has a large minority Muslim population, including both an indigenous Muslim community (mostly Sunni with small Shia and Ahmadi populations) and a substantial immigrant/refugee Muslim population (predominantly Somali but including groups from other countries). Islamic education is very important to the Muslim community, but there are many concerns about the nature and quality of madrassa education in Uganda.

USAID is interested in an assessment of madrassa education in Uganda, as a possible entry point to development activities which may improve the educational outcomes, employability and integration of Muslim youth, while keeping madrassa education grounded in the requirements of the Muslim faith. USAID has already been invited to financially support work by the National Curriculum Development Centre to develop and disseminate better quality materials for advanced level Islamic religious education, with the support of the Muslim Supreme Council. However, a clearer picture of how madrassa education is operating in Uganda now is needed to determine and prioritize needs.

The objective of this assessment is to develop an accurate picture of the current state of madrassa education in Uganda, and whether USAID, in partnership with key institutions and stakeholders in the Muslim community, can help modernize and improve the quality of education in madrassas.

Scope of Assessment

We propose that the objective of this assessment be approached through the following questions:

System Mapping/Fact Finding: Develop a clearer picture of the scope and nature of madrassa education in Uganda:
How many institutions provide primary and secondary Islamic education in Uganda, whether in conjunction with other curricula or alone, and how do they do so?
What are the motivations of parents/students to enroll in madrassas?
What is the legal framework governing Islamic educational institutions, including curricula? Is the national/sub-national framework followed in practice?
What is the religious regulatory framework that sets standards for instruction and advancement? Are these frameworks followed in practice and enforced? To what extent is local education influenced by regional or international bodies?
Are there children and youth who receive exclusively Islamic education and are not exposed to standard secular curriculum topics? If so, how many and in what conditions?
What are the qualifications of teachers in Islamic primary and secondary education institutions?
To what extent are parents formally or informally involved in the operations of Islamic educational institutions or directly with teachers?
Are madrassa-educated youth currently experiencing stigmatization or marginalization in Uganda? Are minority Muslim groups (e.g., specific sects or ethnically identified groups such as Somalis) any different in this regard from indigenous Muslim communities?
What is the quality of education in Islamic educational institutions? Does madrassa education leave students at a disadvantage in terms of employment skills vis-à-vis students who receive regular education through government prescribed curricula?
How are madrassas funded (government, NGOs, private donations, allocations from zakat)? How extensive is foreign funding (if any) and where is it from?
To what extent are international/transnational norms regarding rights and access to education observed? To what extent is this monitored?

Development support to strengthening madrassa education:

What resources currently exist to support curriculum development and teaching skills related to literacy in Islamic education institutions and how widely are they used?
Are there gaps in early reading and broader literacy achievements between Islamic education institutions and others that could be addressed with donor aid? How open are Islamic educational institutions to adopting modern pedagogical methods consistent with the core requirements of Islamic education?
What institutions or partners are equipped to receive assistance that would favorably impact education in the Muslim community? To what extent do local beneficiaries demonstrate willingness to receive assistance?
In view of local assets and windows of opportunity, what are illustrative activities that would favorably impact education in the Muslim community?

Summary of Position
The Assessment Team Leader will be responsible for overseeing and coordinating all activities related to this assessment and for ensuring the production and completion of quality deliverables in a professional manner, in conformance with this Scope of Work. LOE: 60 days. Timeline: beginning of June through the end of August 2017.

Required Qualifications
Doctoral or Master’s degree in related fields, field of Education, Social Science, Religious Studies, International Affairs, or other disciplines related to education, community development is required.
At least 10 years of relevant prior experience conducting rigorous comprehensive assessments that have resulted in actionable recommendations and identification of successful strategies.
Team leader should have experience leading multidisciplinary teams in a short-term assessment, in an international context like Uganda, preferably in the Great Lakes region.
Familiarity with donor objectives, approaches, operations, and policies, social inclusion and conflict mitigation.
Must have experience delivering short-form and long-form reporting and ability to communicate findings to diverse audiences (verbally and in written).

Start Date
Salary & Benefits
How To Apply

To apply, interested candidates are requested to submit the following two documents: Curriculum vitae; and a technical proposal detailing how you would approach this research and a short cover letter. Please submit one PDF document with all relevant CVs together and the other PDF document with the cover letter and technical proposal combined.

Note: Only two documents can be submitted, so the technical must be combined with the short cover letter.

Applications must be submitted to before May 19th. For questions or clarifications, please contact"

Only those applicants selected for an interview will be contacted. Search asks that you do not follow up with calls or emails concerning the status of your application. Candidates who fail to submit and/or complete the full application and do not meet the appropriate application deadline will not be considered. Please see our web site for full details of our work.

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