Kenya: Improving Social and Economic Opportunities for Youth in Northern Kenya Project

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Organization: Aga Khan Foundation
Country: Kenya
Closing date: 27 Jul 2018

Action Research on how improved TVET curriculum and collaboration between Technical and Vocational Education and Training Institutions (TVETs) and Private Sector Actors in Northern Kenya influence employment of TVET graduates.

Introduction
For nearly 50 years, the Aga Khan Foundation (AKF) has been partnering with communities, governments, and local leaders to harness the best from people from all backgrounds to improve the quality of life. The Foundation’s work is rooted in core values of self-reliance, pluralism, and respect for human dignity. AKF is a member of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN), one of the world’s leading poverty solutions networks. The AKDN’s integrated approach makes long-term investments, builds permanent institutions and cultivates an active civil society, impacting tens of millions of people annually in 30 countries. Alongside its sister AKDN agencies, the Foundation implements innovative, community-driven solutions that are based in decades of experience, learning and evaluation.

About the project
The overall objective of the Improving Social and Economic Opportunities for Youth in Northern Kenya project is to improve social and economic opportunities for vulnerable young women and men aged 15-35 in Lamu, Garissa and Mandera counties. Specifically, AKF will facilitate greater employment and income generation opportunities for youth by working with a broad range of stakeholders including TVET institutions, potential employers in the private sector, CSOs, religious leaders, school management committees, County Government as well as youth groups.

The project has three specific objectives.

  • Specific Objective 1: to strengthen the institutional capacity of three networks of CSOs to deliver effective, inclusive socio-economic programming for youth across the three counties.
  • Specific Objective 2: to enhance the quality of school and TVET curriculum to deliver value-based education and market-led skills for vulnerable youth.
  • Specific Objective 3: to improve dialogue, engagement and understanding between county government, youth and various stakeholders (religious leaders, schools, CSOs) on matters affecting youth. **
    Over three years (2016-2019), the project targets marginalised counties of Lamu, Garissa and Mandera. The key underlying principles of the project include working through existing local structures, building the capacity of local institutions, and establishing contextually-relevant models which can be sustained and replicated. The key beneficiaries of the action will be male and female youth aged 15-35, which will include in school and out-of-school youth, youth entrepreneurs and TVET graduates. Local CSOs, staff from local authorities, and TVETs will also benefit from the project through strengthened capacity, dialogue and collaboration between stakeholders. Overall, the project aims to reach at least 13,000 youth directly and 25,000 community members indirectly through campaigns, outreach and policy reform.

Purpose of the Action Research
Through this project, the Aga Khan Foundation (AKF) is seeking to identify a Learning Partner to collaboratively conduct action research to broaden the understanding of how civil society, government and private sector actors can best engage in youth programming. AKF expect the action research study will be participatory so that the findings and conclusions will be locally owned and relevant for policy dialogue and actionable results.

Objectives of the Action Research
The general objective of this action research is to understand how the improved TVET curriculum and collaboration between TVET Institutions and Private Sector Actors in Northern Kenya influence employment of TVET graduates. It is expected that a model of effective collaboration between the TVET Institutions and Private Sector Actors will emerge from this Action Research.

Specifically, the action research will attempt to:

  • assess whether the improved TVET curriculum address the training needs of the TVET students and Private Sector Actors
  • establish how the improved TVET curriculum has affected student enrolment in the target TVETs
  • determine whether and how the TVETs institutions and Private Sector Actors are benefiting from their collaboration
  • establish the enablers and barriers for closer collaboration between TVETs institutions and Private Sector Actors
  • establish whether and where the target TVET graduates are securing gainful employment (formal or self-employment)
  • Make recommendations for effective models of collaboration between TVET Institutions and Private Sector Actors for increased employment of TVET graduates The findings of this action research disseminated through various policy forums to influence decision-making around youth programming both within the target counties and nationwide. The objective will be to generate findings that have practical application to policies enacted by the government, private sector and civil society.

Key deliverables

The following deliverables are expected from the identified learning partner:

  • Inception report detailing the approach and methodology that will be adopted in the Action Research. It will be expected that the learning partner will demonstrate a clear understanding of Action Research Approaches
  • Detailed work plan with activities and timelines
  • Detailed budget with itemized costs
  • Conduct training of research assistants
  • Participate and coordinate field data collection and data analysis
  • Submit a draft report to AKF for review and incorporate inputs
  • Present the findings in a validation workshop and incorporate inputs
  • Submit a final action research report with clear recommendations

Anticipated timeline**
The Action Research field data collection is anticipated to take 10 days beginning by 6th August with a final report expected on 14th September 2018.

Required Learning Partner

  • Previous experience designing and conducting qualitative research studies
  • Demonstrated experience in conducting action research study, qualitative data analysis, generate high-quality reports and syntheses of relevant and actionable recommendations
  • Demonstrated experience in development work with marginalized communities
  • Proven ability to work in a multi-stakeholder setting and sensitivity to religious and cultural diversities
  • Previous experience in the East Africa region
  • Experience of working in Northern Kenya will be an added advantage

Expression of Interest (EOI)

Interested consultants should share a technical proposal that includes the following;

  • A detailed approach and method that will be adopted in the study that reflects an understanding of the objectives of this study
  • Indicative timelines for delivery of the main activities
  • An indicative budget for the assignment
  • Curriculum Vitae of the Lead Consultant and other researchers who may be part of the action research study team as Annex I
  • A list of previous relevant studies conducted in the last 3 years as Annex II
  • At least 3 references client organizations and key contact persons (include name; email address and mobile number) for the relevant study as Annex III

How to apply:

The Expression of Interest (EOI) should be submitted via e-mail with the subject line EU YEP Action Research by COB Monday 27th July 2018 to HR Manager: recruitment.akfcr@akfea.org

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