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Posted 06 October 2021 in Careers   |   Share

Consultancy on impactful techniques and approaches to non-face-to-face, digital and hybrid forms of learning and training as well as on motivating young people regarding self-directed learning for local non-profits in East and Southeast Asia

EMpower - The Emerging Markets Foundation (Hong Kong)

Apply by: October 21, 2021

Call for Proposal: Consultancy Services “Non-face-to-face, digital and hybrid forms of learning and training”

1. Purpose of the Consultancy

EMpower Hong Kong seeks the support of a consultant to conceptualise and run a series of virtual capacity enhancement offerings on “Addressing the challenges with non-face-to-face, digital and hybrid forms of learning and training as well as with motivating young people regarding self-directed learning”.

The capacity strengthening offerings are with and for our grantee partners in East and Southeast Asia implementing programmes for marginalized young people 10-24 years old in Hong Kong, Indonesia, Philippines and Vietnam.

Its overall objective is for our partners in the region to have increased knowledge, skill and confidence in using a blended approach to learning, grounded in their specific needs, their local context and across their different programme areas (Economic Well-being, Safe and Healthy Lives, Inclusive Learning; for definitions, please check https://empowerweb.org/areas-of-focus).

2. About Us

EMpower – The Emerging Markets Foundation (EMpower), a global philanthropic organisation and grant-making foundation, is dedicated to improving the lives of marginalised young people aged 10-24 in 15 emerging market countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America, Russia and Turkey. Through grants and non-financial capacity strengthening support, EMpower partners with local organisations in emerging market countries, and other change-makers, to enable marginalised young people to transform their lives and communities. Our vision is to build a world where all young people at the margins, especially girls and young women, have the skills, opportunities and power to live their full potential.

EMpower has offices in Delhi, Hong Kong, London, New York and Singapore, as well as program staff in Cape Town, Istanbul and Mexico City. The EMpower Hong Kong office with which the consultant will collaborate is managing grants and capacity strengthening work for 20 grantee partners in East and Southeast Asia (China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Philippines and Vietnam). To learn more, check out our website at www.empowerweb.org.

3. EMpower’s Commitment to Young People Safeguarding

EMpower is committed to safeguarding young people, to prevent abuse, violence or exploitation and promote the safety, protection, wellbeing and development of all children and young people involved in the programmes we support. We believe that all children and young people, no matter their life circumstances, deserve the opportunity to lead healthy, productive lives to fulfil their human rights.

4. Background of the Consultancy

Whilst everyone one of us feel the impact of the global COVID-19 pandemic as it ravages the world, it has in no way been an equaliser. EMpower’s grantee partners and the communities they serve are some of those who have been impacted the most. Apart from having to deal with lockdowns and expanding the scope of their programmes to offer emergency relief, they have had to make significant shifts in organisational and programme priorities.

One of their biggest challenges was to adapt in-person programming to non-face-to-face learning and training. Many have experimented with smaller community outreaches, with offering their programmes in open areas, or with delivering handouts and/or online learning.

Online learning has also continued to be curtailed by infrastructure issues that cannot be immediately addressed, some of which will be prioritised in EMpower’s grant-making strategy. This includes limitation in devices, limitation in suitable devices for learning (as the majority of those who have access to a device, only have access to a smartphone), poor data connection, and lack of affordable data connection.

Furthermore, learning from home has not been conducive to many young people as many come from overcrowded and noisy home environments, and are not likely to talk about sensitive topics like their challenges and fears or discuss concerns with regards to Sexual and Reproductive Health or Mental Health.

But learning online and/or from home has yielded some unexpected rewards too, with some parents being more involved in the education of kids. With everyone being at home, it opened avenues to reach out to new audiences through online platforms and to promote more collaboration within the social sector with sharing of learning spaces and resources. It also resulted in some forced review of curriculum delivery, as lack of interactivity and creativity became more apparent in the non-face-to-face setting. Whilst EMpower’s grantee partners acknowledge it was a steep learning curve, they feel more confident that they can now adapt to more changes.

Earlier in the year, EMpower conducted a global survey with grantee partners and young people served by them. This was followed up by an East and South East Asia Regional sensemaking survey which prioritised the top four pressing needs. Challenges with non-face-to-face learning came on top. The topic was followed by a series of focus group discussions and we have a good sense of what our grantee partners in the region require.

5. Scope of the Consultancy

Equip participants with the knowledge, skills and confidence to:

  • Adapt better to a learner-led, interactive, participatory and facilitative process of learning: Whilst many of our grantee partners are experienced educators of young people, the way they offer their learning has room for improvement, independent of the impact of COVID-19 and even in a face-to-face in-person learning environment. In the COVID-19 context, they all now have (basic) ICT literacy skills and experience in offering some form of non-face-to-face training.
  • Innovate within a blended learning environment: There is widespread acknowledgement that elements of non-face-to-face learning will remain part of the pedagogical approach in a post-COVID-19 world as well. Given the challenges in ICT infrastructure, what could be an optimal balance between multiple media?
  • Utilise available media for blended learning including but not limited to quick, interactive handout design sites, learning platforms, apps, podcasts and social media: This should balance out the dependency on data connectivity.
  • Support self-directed learning of young people: Many young people are forced to work after school, and cannot participate in fulltime face-to-face learning programmes. Young people will certainly attend school but regularly switch to non-face-to-face learning due to the volatile COVID-19 situation. Marginalized young people our partners work with can often not count on their parents for support. How can blended learning address this?
  • Support the motivation of young people in a non-face-to-face setting1: Whilst this formed only a small part of the programme before, the level of hopelessness that the young people feel in the long-drawn pandemic is unprecedented and the trainers do not have the competence to deal with it. Many learners refuse to turn on their cameras during online learning, due to lack of motivation, self-confidence and bonding. Many young people trained in specific roles (software developer, photo editor, chef) have no jobs and are very disillusioned.
  • Set learning markers/indicators for students, so they know they are learning on their own.
  • Capitalise on the benefits of non-face-to-face learning.
  • Create a safe and engaging space for learners.

Capacity enhancement offerings

Underlying principle for the offerings: We acknowledge the need to strengthen practice of our grantee partners by encouraging peer-to-peer learning through valuing and supporting existing good practice. This shall be taken into account during “Planning and Content Development” as well as “Implementation”.

Planning and Content Development:

  • Develop a series of capacity enhancement/strengthening offerings for the partners: The offerings should showcase a focus on:
  • A learner-led, interactive, participatory and facilitative process of learning that shows not only the diversity of non-face-to-face approaches that can be used, including addressing those with limited data connection, but also ways of making learning more participatory in general (also in a face-to-face learning environment). This could include but not limited to webinars, sharing content as pre-reads, utilisation of learning platforms for commentary / reflection / activities, periodic news-letters, podcasts, handouts, and phone / app-based participation.
  • Self-directed learning: The offerings should also role model approaches to motivating the self-directed learning of participants.
  • Technics to motivate young people in this new learning environment.
  • Develop pedagogy, content and presentation materials tailored to the needs of our grantee partners.
  • Create post-training surveys to evaluate outcomes.
  • Curate a list of resources and/or link grantee partners to trainings that allow them to further learn.

Implementation:

  • Lead and facilitate the series of offerings together with the EMpower Hong Kong Programme Team.
  • Facilitate dialogues between partners during the sessions for exchanging best practises.
  • Answer post-training questions raised from partners within an agreed timeframe.
  • Optional: Set short assignments for partners between sessions to experience, reflect and share.

Learning and Evaluation:

  • Come up with recommendations for EMpower Hong Kong to continue capacity strengthening in this area.

6. Estimated timeframe of the consultancy

The timeframe for this consultancy is estimated to be approximately 15 days over the period of 22nd November 2021 to 20th May 2022.

7. Qualification Requirements

Experience:

  • Recognised qualification in the field of education, training or facilitation.
  • Demonstrated experience in non-face-to-face learning with high proficiency in multiple platforms, apps and non-digital approaches.
  • Demonstrated experience of learning design and using multiple facilitation and participatory techniques for children and young people.
  • Professional experience in the philanthropic and/or non-profit sectors, preferably in East and Southeast Asia.
  • Demonstrated experience in the design, development, delivery and facilitation of capacity strengthening offerings that catalyse changes at the individual and organisational level.

Skills:

  • Strong English speaking and writing abilities.
  • Strong analytical and strategic thinking skills.
  • Strong interpersonal communication skills with culturally diverse audiences (our grantee partners implement programmes in Hong Kong, Indonesia, Philippines, Vietnam).
  • Strong and genuine facilitation/coaching skills asking appropriate questions to guide and empower organisations to find their own answers to dilemmas and encourages participation, ownership and creativity.
  • Strong relationship managing skills with a small team of three (EMpower Hong Kong Programme team) on this project, remotely or in person.
  • Active listener who continuously seeks to understand people and organisations’ needs.

Qualities and Values:

  • Strong commitment to keeping children and young people safe.
  • Strong commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion in alignment with EMpower values.
  • Strong commitment to the partners: the consultant should take a partner-centered approach.
  • Humility underpinned by the belief that partners know best about their local contexts.

We encourage applicants from diverse backgrounds, recognising that diversity enriches all staff and our work globally. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion or faith, or physical ability.

8. Submission Instructions

Interested applicants shall submit their application by October 21, 2021, to Kundhavi Balachandran (kbalachandran@empowerweb.org) and April Yip (ayip@empowerweb.org) comprised of the following documents:

  • A narrative offer: Your resume and a cover letter expressing your interest and fit for the consultancy in highlighting your approach to the capacity enhancement offerings to address non-face-to-face, digital and hybrid forms of learning and training and motivating young people regarding self-directed learning work and the principles you apply in your work as a consultant.
  • A financial offer: Your expected daily rate (in HKD or USD). Please specify the costed hours you observe in a working day.
  • References: e.g., in form of materials of trainings conceived and run, publications or articles relevant to the context of this consultancy.

Questions can be also directed to Ms. Balachandran (kbalachandran@empowerweb.org).

We will only be able to acknowledge and respond to candidates identified as most suitable who will be invited to a virtual interview.

9. DEI Statement

EMpower is a public foundation that makes grants globally to benefit at-risk youth, with a strong focus on adolescent girls. We are committed to attracting, developing, motivating, and retaining exceptional talent and to a work environment that recognizes contribution, fosters respect and teamwork, and facilitates strong performance. We encourage applicants from diverse backgrounds, recognizing that diversity enriches all staff and our work globally. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion or faith, or physical ability.

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