William & Lily Foundation Needs Assessment to Support Early Childhood Education Development in Southwest Sumba

WLF is an Indonesian-based philanthropic foundation established in 2009 as an outgrow of the philanthropic legacy of William and Lily Soeryadjaya. As an active grant-making foundation, WLF works closely with implementation partners in three focus areas: education, healthcare and economic empowerment. WLF is committed to impactful and responsible interventions in its efforts to empower underprivileged communities across Indonesia. Although the scope of WLF philanthropic endeavors is countrywide, its current geographical focus centres on eastern Indonesia. The William & Lily Foundation is currently looking for Short Term Consultant(s) to conduct Needs Assessment on Early Childhood Education in Sumba Barat Daya

Terms of Reference
Needs Assessment to Support Early Childhood Education Development in Southwest Sumba

Children’s exposure and entry to education at an early age is critical to ensure that they perform optimally in every aspects of their lives.  As 90 percent of a child's brain development occurs in the first five years of their life, early childhood education (ECE) is critical to children in creating a lifelong passion for learning, helping them develop social skills, encouraging the development of fine motor and sensory skills, fostering language development and vocabulary, priming children to be innovative and creative, and equipping them to cope with problem solving.

Research suggests that the benefits of ECE towards the children will persist over the lifetime, through improved economic participation, health outcomes and family wellbeing. A World Bank study shows that intervention focusing in early childhood development can potentially give the country the best investment by improving individual, societal, and community outcomes. ECD (Early Childhood Development) intervention provides the most basic foundation for Iaying the most basic foundation for a person growing up (OECD/Asian Development Bank, 2015; Denboba et.al, 2014; Denboba et al, 2015). A recent brain research study shows the significance impact of holistic ECD intervention toward the development of children’s physical and intellectual well-being (Shonkoff, 2012). This result is that students become a more productive member of society in the latter stages of life, thus creating a stronger nation.

Thus working with pre-school children and their parents in a range of areas including social, cognitive, and physiological development are widely recognized as among the most cost-effective investments available to build human capital, reduce inequality, and promote future growth and prosperity.

Despite the importance of early childhood education towards a children’s development process, enrolment in pre-school programs in Indonesia is still relatively lower than in its neighboring countries, like Malaysia and Thailand.  According to the Ministry of Education and Culture, as many as as many as 23,737 villages or 34.84 percent do not have early childhood education services for children aged 3 to 6 years. The already established early childhood education and development services are far below the minimal acceptable standards. With regards to teacher qualification for example, the Ministry of Education qualification standards for ECE teachers is that they must at least possess an undergraduate degree, but in Indonesia, according to the Directorate General for ECE of the Ministry, of the 600 thousand existing ECE teachers, only 21 percent currently have attained an undergraduate degree.  The remaining, according to the family planning agency, are typically junior high school and high school graduates or at the highest, a D2 graduate (equivalent to an Associate’s Degree).

Based on this reality, WLF is committed to improving access to quality education, particularly early childhood education. We believe that early childhood education is particularly crucial in enabling the youth in marginalized communities to grow into independent and self-sufficient individuals. Embedded in all our interventions is an emphasis on nurturing leadership capacities as well as developing positive social cognitive capacities, which we see as the foundation to building a productive society.  As an initial step to our commitment to focus on the development of ECE, WLF will be employing the services of consultants to conduct an assessment on the conditions of ECE in Southwest Sumba (Sumba Barat Daya / SBD), and what actions have been taken by the state and non-state actors to improve the conditions of ECE in SBD.

The objective of this study is to have a better understanding on the overall conditions ECE in SBD.  Under this study we will be conducting an assessment regarding the local government’s policy towards supporting ECE how the ECE is currently being managed, the curriculum that the ECE is utilizing, the teaching method that it is employing, the engagement between teachers and students, and the teaching capacity of students.

At the completion of the service, the consultant(s) must deliver the following output:
  • List and analysis of policies and development planning strategies from the SBD Government to support the operations and development of ECE, particularly what is the government’s vision pertaining to the overall early childhood development in SBD, and the commitment of the village government towards developing early childhood education.
  • Mapping out the number of ECE available in SBD, the number of teachers that are employed, the teacher’s employment status, and the number of students for each ECE.  
  • The management strategies that school leadership have in the operations of the ECE.  This includes how class is managed, how funds are being allocated for the needs of the students, how teachers are recruited and etc. Particularly assessing the ECE schools’ commitment and strategy in promoting better nutrition of their students
  • The teaching methodologies and curriculum that schools use to teach their students, and what impact does such methodologies and curriculum have in providing sensorial, motoric, and positive cognitive development. This also includes the understanding the psychological impact the ECE has towards the students cognitive development.  
  • The involvement of parents in supporting their child’s educational objective, particularly assessing the parents’ understanding on the importance of ECE to their child’s development.  
  • Recommendations on what interventions must be applied for the development of ECE in SBD, particularly on the issues of school management, teacher capacity, teaching methodology and curriculum, and promoting an active teacher-student-parent engagement.
Suggested Methodologies:
In performing the services, the consultant(s) may apply, but limited to, the following methodologies:
  • Desk-review of current policy documents from the local and national government, teacher manual, school curriculum and other documents related to ECE.
  • In-depth interview with key stakeholders from the local government (Bappeda, Dinas Pendidikan, Kepala and etc), teachers, principals or ECE owners, parents and students.
  • Conducting Focus Group discussions with teachers, parents, students and other relevant stakeholders. 
  • Conducting mini survey to communities to understand their support and understanding towards early childhood development.
Selection Criteria: 
  • The consultant(s) must have at least 6 years of experience conducting social research particularly in the educational sector.
  • The consultant(s) must have a background in research, psychology, public policy, and/or education. 
  • The consultant(s) must have experience in engaging with a variety of stakeholders, particularly children, parents, and government officials. 
  • The consultant(s) must understand and adhere to the principles of child protection policy.
  • The consultant(s) must have prior experience in working in a multicultural setting and must be sensitive to different cultural practices and values.
Project Duration:
The research will take place in late October or early November, and the consultant(s) will be requested to submit their final findings within 3 months.

Document Submission requirements*:
Interested consultant(s) must submit the following documents to [email protected] by October 22, 2018 at 12 pm WIB:
  • A comprehensive proposal containing the context of the ECE condition in nationally and locally, and detailed research methodology that the consultant(s) will apply.
  • Curriculum Vitae of the consultant(s) which responds to the selection criteria above. 
  • Work plan of the need assessment, which must also contain the submission and presentation of preliminary and final results of the assessment.
  • Comprehensive budget that will fund both the consultant(s) allocated time, and activities to support the assessment.
*The submitted documents can be written in English or Indonesian.