TERMS OF REFERENCE

TERMS OF REFERENCE

Support to the Education Sector in Turkmenistan

 

1. BACKGROUND INFORMATION

1.1  Partner country

Turkmenistan

1.2.  Contracting Authority

The Contracting Authority for this project is the European Commission – Directorate-General for International Cooperation and Development – EuropeAid, Unit “Geographical Coordination Central Asia, Middle East/Gulf, Regional Programmes Asia”, for and on behalf of the Government of Turkmenistan.

1.3    Country background

After the end of the Soviet Union in 1991, Turkmenistan has become an independent state starting a cautious change toward a market economy. The country is largely covered by desert with localized intensive agriculture and considerable gas and oil resources. The major crops are cotton and wheat. Although agriculture accounts for roughly 8% of GDP, it employs 47% of the country’s workforce.

Gas and cotton export revenues are the main sources of Turkmen economy. After declining significantly from 17.1% to 11.6% between 2003 and 2007 the GDP rate of the country has currently stabilized at a growth rate of 11%.

The country’s population is approximately of 5.1 million people out of which 48.7% live in urban areas. However, internal flows from rural areas to cities are increasingly interesting all regions yearly (over 1% of the population per year).

Since 2008 economic reforms are foreseen in the constitution. A strategy for diversification of the economy by privatization of certain non-core sectors and enterprises is envisaged. However, the privatization remains limited to small and medium sized enterprises in the trade, agriculture, textile and service sector. Sectors with highest priority, like oil and gas, construction, and tourism, are under state control. There are 70,000 registered and 18,000 single private enterprises.

The official unemployment rate has been stable for the last few years at around 8%, with a higher rate of unemployment registered for young people at around 12%. The majority of unemployed people have secondary or higher education (49% and 43%, respectively); this is an indicator of a mismatch of skills produced by the education system. Currently 2-3% of the people find employment through the employment service. The official statistics are less diversified with regard to specific target groups. Unemployment, especially in urban regions, seems to be higher and the statistics do not reflect the relative level of unemployment in these regions. There are neither passive nor active labour market measures in place yet to support unemployed people.

There has been a shift from state sector to private sector employment. Between 2000 and 2011 the employment in the state sector decreased from 35% to 25%, whereas the number of employees in private companies increased from 37% to 45%.

1.4    Current situation in the sector

Turkmenistan faces problems of labour market adjustments in a faster growing economy with an increasing mismatch between labour force supply and demand. Qualified human resources, which correspond to the demands of modern enterprises, are requested. The high percentage of young people entering the labour market pose a challenge to the education system, because an adequate level of education and training quality is a necessity.

Additionally, starting from the school year of 2013-2014, children are enrolled in schools at the age of 6 (1 year before compared to the previous system). Compulsory education will continue until grade 12 (18 years old) with some orientation to vocational education foreseen during the last 2 to 3 years of school. Moreover the IVET will be prolonged from 2 until 3/4 years depending of the respective profession. Such changes will require the adoption of reforms and will surely affect the entire education system because of a stronger need for teachers’ quality, new curricula, and pedagogic methodologies.

There are currently two strategies, which demonstrate the will to reform of the Turkmen Government by a number of changes in the educational system and a cautious approach to international developments.

The National Program of Social and Economic Development of Turkmenistan for the period 2011-2030 formulates in its objectives the establishment of an education system comparable to developed countries and to increase the education quality as a precondition for Turkmenistan’s growth and competitiveness.

In addition the State Program on the Development of Education for the Period 2012-2016 lays out guidelines for quality provision of secondary, professional, and higher education in accordance with international standards. International cooperation is fundamental the national development and, according to the program, the professional educational system will inter alia be reviewed and improved in accordance with related programs of the European Union.

The Act “On Education”, which came into force in 2009, was amended again in autumn 2013. It will bring about a gradual transfer to master and bachelor degrees in the higher education system according to the European Bologna Process rules. Modification and adjustments were made in educational levels of general secondary and vocational education with regard to school boards, licensing of specialists in the VET sector, and educational and training programs.

The Ministry of Education has responsibility for all issues related to education, including initial and secondary vocational education. However, line ministries, for instance the Ministry of Agriculture or the Ministry of Textile, are supervising VET schools in the associated sectors.

General primary and secondary education in Turkmenistan, provided by state educational institutions, is compulsory and free. There are altogether 1741 secondary schools. At the moment the two-level compulsory education lasts for 10 years from grade 1 to 10 and starts at the age of 7.

According to the new legislation there is a planned change in the student enrolment from the age of 6 which will then last 12 obligatory years for all students. Subsequently grades 1 to 4 will correspond to elementary education. Grades 5 to 10 will correspond to lower secondary education, and grade 11 to 12 will correspond to upper secondary education with specialisation in humanitarian, natural science or exact science. It is also planned to include some VET elements. Vocational education begins at the end of the compulsory general education and opens the way to the labour market and will finish with level 2. The current VET system corresponds to level 3 and sub-category 3C of UNESCO’s International Standard Classification of Education.

It is estimated that around 110.000 graduates leave education annually: 5% continue to university and 5% to VET. The remaining youngsters proceed with short- term training measures (CVET) or join the labour market directly.

Primary (CVET) and secondary vocational education (IVET) are provided by both state and non-state institutions. There is an increasing number of students in initial vocational education provided by VET schools and partly by enterprises.

Currently Turkmenistan has 11 schools for IVET in Ashgabat and 16 schools in the regions with 8300 students[6]. And there are 129 schools for CVET with 51,100 students, which are operating under the corresponding line ministries[7]. Both the quantity and quality of services provided by the education sectors in the regions lag seriously behind those that are available in the capital. Initial vocational education is subsidized by the government, but also fee-based.

The current occupational standards, which define the qualifications, competencies, content, quality and labour conditions requirements in a specific professional activity, are still based on former soviet standards. Educational and training programs are already newly developed to a certain extent in EU financed projects.

1.5    Related programmes and other donor activities

During the last years the European Union has supported the modernization process of secondary and professional education in Turkmenistan by two projects.

Within the project “Support to the modernisation of the Education System” (2009-2011) curricula have been revised and teachers and school principals trained in the secondary education system.

The recently concluded project on “Further improvement of quality and relevance of Professional Education” (2011-2013) has represented significant steps ahead in the reform process. Under this project input for a VET Action Plan was provided. Job profiles in the agriculture, tourism, and construction sectors have been identified, connected curricula developed, and linked teacher training in pilot VET schools provided.

The ETF (European Training Foundation) has for many years been active in implementing the Torino Process objectives in the Central Asian Region. In Turkmenistan ETF is focusing on the objective of promoting dialogue and sharing experiences in the field of vocational education and training between partner countries and EU member states.

The GIZ (German International Cooperation) mainly operates on behalf of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development. It provided advanced training to specialists for the agrarian sector in Central Asia and, specifically in Turkmenistan, a Public-Private Partnership project. Currently the GIZ is implementing a regional program supporting basic education in Central Asian Countries. The first phase of which contained innovative student oriented teaching methodology; and the use of multipliers is already finished. In the next phase the National Teacher Training Institute will be involved to create teacher networks and methodology dissemination.

To avoid overlapping in priority areas, coordination meetings between EU financed projects and other donors operating in the field of education will be carried out.

2. OBJECTIVE, PURPOSE & EXPECTED RESULTS

2.1    Overall objective

The overall objective of the project of which this contract will be a part is as follows:

To further support the Government of Turkmenistan in the creation of a modern education system in line with international educational standards.

2.2    Purpose

The purpose of this contract is to contribute to the on-going education reform process by facilitating the introduction of educational standards and adapting professional education programmes to labour market needs.

2.3   Results to be achieved by the contractor

Component 1 – Strategic planning – institutional capacity building

Results:

– The planning, implementation and monitoring capacity of the overall reform of education and professional education is strengthened through better collaboration of relevant stakeholders.

– The existing education strategy is reviewed and adopted and follows international standards. A closer dialogue with the labour environment is established with the creation of sector councils.

Component 2 – Program development – delivery of general and vocational education

Results:

Sub-component 1 – General Secondary Education

– The content of general secondary education is revised taking into consideration the European Reference Framework for key competencies and staff, teachers and managers are ready to implement the new content.

Sub-component 2 – Vocational Education

– The qualifications offered in selected sectors of vocational education and for identified job profiles are reviewed on the basis of modern criteria with the support of trained staff, teachers and managers. New curricula are developed in line with the identified qualifications.

Sub-component 3 – School Management

– Maintenance of stable experience exchange between schools is provided through the establishment of a national school community platform. School management capacities are established by enhanced best international management practices.

– The current situation in cooperation between VET schools, local administration and enterprises is analysed and proposals for innovative approaches in an extended cooperation, emphasizing labour market demands, made and implemented.

3. ASSUMPTIONS & RISKS

3.1 Assumptions underlying the project

– The active involvement of national, regional and local stakeholders, either through working groups or task forces for developing the various activities, is essential to achieve the project outcomes.

– Data availability as regards participation in education and VET by level, number of teachers, graduates, enrolment by gender, and enrolment by sector is crucial to define the needs of the sector. Data should be made available by region and by urban/rural areas.

– International and local experts should have the necessary background, expertise and experience to work effectively in the project.

3.2    Risks

  1. The strategy is overambitious and not achievable within the timeframe and resources available.

Mitigation measure

The inception phase will be aimed to verify that all elements ensuring the feasibility of the project are in place and to adjust/adapt the strategy to the new context if necessary.

2. Lack of complete and continuous commitment and active participation by the beneficiaries.

Mitigation measure

The inception phase will be aimed to promote the project through a multi-level participatory approach in order to ensure intensive involvement in setting its goals and highlighting its expected results. It will be a priority to involve all key stakeholders and to ensure as much as possible stability of interlocutors.

3. Slow decision making-process and appointment of representatives to working groups, tasks forces and steering committees.

Mitigation measure

Rules and procedures for the different aspects of implementation will be agreed upon during the inception phase in order to save time for the decision-making process. The list of expected working groups, task forces, and steering committees will have to be defined during the inception phase, specifying also their composition in order to save time for the appointments.

4. No data are made available.

Mitigation measure

Existing data will be utilised and where possible supplement these through the ones gathered through project activities (observation, interviews and, when necessary, through surveys) and make qualified estimates to compensate for low access to data.

5. Lack of suitable conditions for effective work of international and local experts since the very beginning of the project.

Mitigation measure

Office space for the experts and local counterpart staff should be available before the start of the project.

6. Limited number of representatives in MoE and other educational institutions are available for cooperation

Staff in charge and contact persons should be clarified before the project start, or at least in the inception phase; roles have to be made clear.

4. SCOPE OF THE WORK

4.1    General

The political context of this project is pre-defined in the national key documents of Turkmenistan: the Law on Education, the NPSED and the SEDP.

The project aims to support the GoT in increasing its secondary education system by supporting their reform strategies through specific instruments. The assistance will build upon lessons learned in the two previous EU projects, which were focused on improving the quality in general education and vocational education bringing the education system closer in line with EU standards.

The two EU projects responded to the need to plan and review professional education standards, strengthened policy-making capacity, introduced new educational and vocational subjects and methodologies and upgraded the skills of teachers and school managers.

The Action Plan for VET is formulated to help support the new educational policies in Turkmenistan. The draft VET Action plan has been elaborated and discussed with the MoE. This draft contains a number of activities and institutions in charge of implementing.

The follow up action will concentrate on both general secondary and vocational secondary education assistance and will proceed in strengthening the institutional capacities, management and teacher training and educational standard development.

It is intended to support the Ministry of Education together with the Ministry of Labour and Civil Protection as main beneficiaries of the project to underline the connection between education and the labour market.

The MoE is in charge of the entire education system development including secondary education. Together with the subordinated National Institute of Education, they are responsible for the VET system coordination, harmonization and development of courses and the development of national guidelines and standards, to align supply and demand, and to re-establish quality assurance mechanisms.

The Ministry of Labour and Citizen Protection (established in 2011) is responsible for employment policies, including collection of data of registered unemployed from the regional offices. Currently the most important tasks for this ministry are: to coordinate the analysis of labour market dynamics; to identify present and future skills needs; to create the links between such needs and the initial and continuing training provided by public and private institutions.

The government has acknowledged that there is a shortage of skilled officials for running the state bodies and elaborating and implementing new policies. The development of the country’s human capital and the modernization of its administration, in order to be able to address the challenges of a modern economy, have been flagged up as an urgent priority area. Therefore, the strengthening of the institutions by training staff in different fields will be an essential project task.

Special attention will be focused on policy dialogues by improvement of cooperation tools.

It will work in a multi-level approach to reach all relevant stakeholders on political and on operational level as well.

Inception Phase / Closure

At the project outset, a detailed planning document will be carried out in close cooperation with the beneficiary and main stakeholders. It has to contain a clarification of strategic project objectives, and a definition of the project phases. These phases are linked with the working plan and methodology for implementation and planning of the expert’s missions. After agreement with the counterparts, the specific sectors of intervention in general and vocational education will be defined (both in terms of number and type of sector). Working groups and task forces should be defined. Together with the inception report, a detailed logical framework with indicators achievable during the project implementation phase shall be submitted.

In order to generate publicity, heighten visibility, encourage ownership of project, results by stakeholders and the public, a kick off and closure, involving the stakeholders, will be organized. It is suggested that the closure follows a similar pattern as for the kick-off meeting. During the closure event, which could have the format of a symposium, member state partners should report on results achieved and on recommendations for future assistance if appropriate.

Project Visibility

Project visibility in all project stages is an important feature. Throughout the project, visibility of communication with stakeholders including the public should be emphasized. The Project will start and finish with a kick off and closing events, involving the media. The contractor is expected to produce and publish brochures on project activities and press releases, which should be available on the MoE and/or project website. The content of the press releases will be coordinated with the responsible EU project manager. The contractor will ensure the EU visibility including acknowledgement of EU support in all public presentations (see “Visibility Guidelines for External Actions”

(http://ec.europa.eu/europeaid/work/visibility/index_en.htm).      

Institutional Capacity Building

It will be of utmost importance to clearly communicate the current and future improvements to the concerned actors, aiming to improve the image of the Turkmen educational system. Therefore, in all related activities the cooperation aspect, as pre-condition for a successful partnership on political and operational level, will play an important role.

In order to utilise all possibilities, which can enhance the partner’s development from the very project beginning, the following subjects will be defined as CB activities: conferences, seminars, workshops, internships and study visits. A capacity building strategy will be created. The aim of this strategy is the idea of a road map for capacity building activities in all two project components and related sub-components. The document should be adjusted accordingly or extended after each project year and will include a training pre-condition and a training needs analysis.

Horizontal Issues

Cross-cutting issues of good governance and gender balance will be covered by the project.

Good Governance: The project will have a direct impact on good governance.  Component 1 directly aims at enhancing good governance at central and regional administration level. In this way it will improve capacity and strengthen the accountability of the public sector by involvement of civil society in the planning of actions.

Gender: Gender will be mainstreamed in project activities both by ensuring gender balance regarding project beneficiaries and by focusing on gender issues in sub-sectors of education and labour market placements.

Target Groups

Other institutions (apart of the MoE and MoLCP) which play a decisive role in educational matters will also be involved.

They are as follows:

  • The National Institute for Education, which is the MoE policy implementing body and in charge of research, curriculum development and teacher training for secondary education, including vocational education.
  • The Ministry of Finance which is responsible for financing mechanisms, including budget allocation to education in terms of planning, monitoring and reviewing. This Ministry is also responsible for the coordination of EU assistance.
  • The Union of Industrial Workers and Entrepreneurs is the largest business association and promotes cooperation between VET and business. The organization owns a business school running training courses in different topics and promoting technical international exchange of experiences.
  • The Ministry of Economy and Development is the key strategic stakeholder for essential links between the economy and the labour market. The Ministry is responsible for the adoption of strategic economic development plans and for reviewing their progress.
  • Sector Ministries (i.e. Constructions, Agriculture, Trade and Foreign Economic Relations, State Committee on Tourism) are the key partners in planning and implementing modernization activities and manage the sector related vocational schools.
  • The Academy of Science coordinates the education sector reform and acts as a guarantor of quality in education.
  • The National Institute for Strategic Planning and Prognoses is in charge of country strategy development. Moreover it is integrating the line ministries’ policies, including education, into the comprehensive country development strategy.
  • The National Institute of Statistics is responsible for recording national data according to international standards.
  • The National Public Association “Union of Economists of Turkmenistan” is acting as a Non-Governmental Organisation.

4.2   Specific Work

It is proposed to divide the project into two main components with three sub-components, and to allocate them activities with a preliminary status. These activities, which are outlined below, can be adapted and completed according to the respective situation in the section during project time.

COMPONENT 1: Strategic Planning – Institutional Capacity Building

Specific objective: To strengthen the planning, coordination, implementation and monitoring capacities of national stakeholders. An overall Life Long Learning strategy with the involvement of all relevant counterparts by involvement of general and vocational education will be developed and adopted. The VET Action Plan proposal has to be further developed, discussed and made operational. To link the education sector with the labour market, the collaboration between the MoE, MoLCP and respective line ministries will be intensified to support the setting up of Sectoral Councils.

The following preliminary activities are estimated:

  1.  Review of existing education strategy with regard to the design of a Life Long Learning Strategy.
  2. Establishment of roles, competencies, specific budget and responsibilities for general and vocational education;
  3. Review the VET strategy within the overall education strategy, including CVET and IVET, defining objectives, roles and responsibilities;
  4. Definition of planning for sectors councils with working groups to oversee the progress of VET reform;
  5. Establishment of sector councils comprising the line ministries, companies and pilot schools.
  6. Review organizational structures of the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Labour and Civil Protection, National Institute of Education and interlinks with respective regional and local authorities.
  7. Support the development of an Education Management Information System (EMIS).
  8. Support the establishment of an Internet Education Portal for regular information to teachers and school managers on the development of the overall education reform.
  9. Adapt and operationalise the Action Plan on VET[10] by elaboration of detailed implementation steps with precise timelines, responsible actors and respective budgets.

COMPONENT 2: Program Development – Delivery of General and Vocational Education

Specific Objective: To continue the process of modernization of education through revision and the development of new contents to ensure coherence with the socio-economic needs of Turkmenistan and reflecting international practices. The content of general education will follow the approach of the European Reference Framework for Lifelong Learning.

Sub-component 1 – General Secondary Education

With regard to general education, the project aims to modernise the system in line with additional key competences as specified by the European Reference Framework, which sets out eight key competences for the education of all individuals in terms of personal fulfilment and development, active citizenship, social inclusion and employment.  The new key competences addressed by this project will cover: IT, mathematics, learning to learn and entrepreneurship, and will be introduced in general secondary schools selected all over the country. The assistance will focus on the 11th and 12th grade of general secondary education.

The following preliminary activities in general secondary education involving a number of pilot schools are estimated:

Component 2. 1

  1. Development of an educational program/curriculum framework.
  2. Development of educational programs/curricula including key competences: IT, mathematics, learning to learn and entrepreneurship.
  3. Creation and assistance of a train the trainers group for at least 50 teachers in different levels of education.
  4. Assistance in development of a comprehensive career guidance policy framework, where broader strategies related to youth, education and employment are expressed.
  5. Definition and testing of a model for school self-evaluation on the basis of European “Best Practice”.
  6. Organization of seminars, study visits and peer-learning actions with schools in EU countries to introduce a quality assurance system.
  7. Identification of mechanisms for monitoring and assessment by adoption and application of indicators in line with international trends.

Sub-component 2 – Vocational Education

As for vocational education, the project will continue to give assistance in   agriculture, construction and tourism sectors. In the recent pilot sectors the process of identifying new job profiles will be supported.

Other priority sectors such as textiles and transport will be involved and a sufficient number of additional pilot schools nominated. Changes in terms of restructuring additional job profiles in the new sectors will be carried out.

In vocational educational programs the involvement of entrepreneurs in curricula development, practical training, examination and certification will be supported. Special attention will be -placed on assisting in pilot program implementation. The distribution of the pilot programs via NIE and MoE to all VET schools in Turkmenistan will be supported.

The following preliminary activities in vocational secondary education involving 15 pilot schools are estimated:

Component 2.2

  1. Assessment of qualifications needs in terms of knowledge, skills and competence in the chosen sectors
  2. Development of an overall framework for the curricula content for vocational competences including learner assessment
  3. Identification of an indicative number of 4-5 new job profiles in agriculture, tourism and the construction sector
  4. Development of occupational standards and vocational education programs for implementation in the previous 11 pilot schools
  5. Identification of an indicative number of 6-8 job profiles for the new sectors e.g. of transport, textile, development of occupational standards, vocational/education programs, to be implemented in new pilot schools
  6. Development of a certification methodology in at least 6 sectors
  7. Defining and testing a model for school self-evaluation on the basis of European “Best Practice”
  8. Defining models for career guidance at all levels of the VET system introducing also VET students tracer study
  9. Producing manuals for VET career guidance management and training an indicative number of 5 specialists in VET career guidance from each of the pilot schools.
  10. Identification and introduction of VET based quality indicators using EU “Best Practice”.
  11. Organizing training, coaching, study visits and peer-learning with VET schools in EU countries

Sub-component 3 – School Management – Partnership Improvement

The project will support the process of exchange of information and experience between regional general and vocational schools and between the VET schools under involvement of European experience with the aim of establishing school networks. The extended cooperation between VET schools and business enterprises should lead to coordinated actions for new training standard development and involvement in examination and certification processes. School managers, teachers and regional counterparts should participate in tailor-made capacity building measures.

The following preliminary activities are estimated:

  1. Establishment of networks/platforms of general schools and vocational schools for exchange of experience
  2. Provision of training in cooperation subjects and inviting schools, regional/local administration representatives and enterprises
  3. Introduction of modern management techniques for general and VET school managers and training an indicative number of 1-2 managers from each pilot school
  4. Definition of a model for the VET school and enterprise cooperation and development of a related handbook
  5. Definition of models for school development and production of connected handbooks
  6. Training in project management subjects and promoting capacities for project implementation at VET and general school level; involving specialists, teachers and managers from all pilot schools.

The contractor will ensure the capitalization on and sharing of knowledge related to the implementation of the project. It concerns observation of technical and pedagogical values, which are of interest to other professionals and which do not infringe the obligations of article 14 of the General Conditions of the contract.

In order to share such information, the contractor will use the www.capacity4dev.eu web platform.

4.3    Project Management

4.3.1    Responsible Body

The European Commission – Directorate-General for International Cooperation and Development, Unit “Geographical Coordination Central Asia, Middle East/Gulf, Regional Programmes Asia” (Project Manager) will be responsible for managing this contract.

The Contractor will report to the Project Manager of the European Commission;

4.3.2    Management Structure

The contractor will facilitate the establishment of a Project Steering Committee to guide project progress.

The Steering Committee is called upon to assess the credibility of the work plan in relation to the targeted components. Assessment by the Steering Committee results in a binding opinion, which provides guidance and recommendations.

Opinions issued by the Steering Committee can take the following forms:

– Recommend that the project partners undertake further amendments or clarifications, either by (i) written procedure, or (ii) full debate;

– Recommend rejection of the proposal as it stands and recommend a full re-working.

Steering Committee meetings will take place at 6 monthly intervals, where the consultant should report on the state of affairs and on problems arising, discussing any recommendations with links to reports and their formal approvals thereafter.

Representatives from the MoE, MoLCP, line ministries, NIE, contractor and EU representatives will be part of the PSC. Observers from other institutions, who may be involved in cross cutting issues e.g. representatives from other administrations (Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Economy and Development, Academy of Science, National Institute of Strategic Planning and Prognosis, Union of Industrial Workers and Entrepreneurs, National Employment Service Etc.) or short-term experts for in-depth technical input, could be invited if necessary. The secretarial support for the PSC will be provided by the contractor, which will prepare the agenda of meetings and documents to be discussed. Translation and interpretation will be provided.

The contractor will agree the exact composition and procedures of the Steering Committee with the Beneficiary and the Contracting Authority.

 5. LOGISTICS AND TIMING

5.1    Location

The operational project base will be Ashgabat, the capital of Turkmenistan.

However, the achievement of component 2, with its sub-components, will require the organisation of a number of activities in the 5 Velayats/Regions. This has to be clarified in the inception phase in cooperation with the project partner, the Ministry of Education, and the Ministry of Labour.

5.2    Start date & period of implementation

The indicative commencement date of the project is July 2016, and the period of execution of the contract will be about 48 months from this date. The actual commencement date and period of execution are stipulated in Articles 4 and 5 of the Special Conditions.

6. REQUIREMENTS

6.1 Staff

Note that civil servants and other staff of the public administration, of the partner country or of international/regional organisations based in the country, shall only be approved to work as experts if well justified. The justification should be submitted with the tender and shall include information on the added value the expert will bring as well as proof that the expert is seconded or on personal leave.

6.1.1 Key Experts

The key experts are required to spend a minimum of 75% of their time in the beneficiary country. Key experts will be subject to approval by the Contracting Authority before the start of the implementation.

All experts who have a crucial role in implementing the contract are referred to as key experts. The composition of the team should reflect a gender balanced approach. These terms of reference contain the required key experts’ profiles. The tenderer shall submit CVs and Statements of Exclusivity and Availability for the following key experts. The profiles of the key experts for this contract are as follows:

Key expert 1: Team Leader / Education strategy expert (Minimum 880 man-days)

Qualifications and Skills

  • The key expert must hold a university degree in the field of education, public administration, economics or equivalent
  • The key expert must possess excellent communication, analytical and writing skills.
  • The key expert must be fluent in English, both oral and written.
  • The key expert must have a very good knowledge of Russian both oral and written

General Professional Experience

  • The key expert must have at least 10 years of professional experience in the field of education and/or vocational education
  • The key expert must have minimum 5 years of international experience as consultant/technical adviser in transition countries (notably in CIS region) providing policy advice to central government bodies
  • Experience with European Commission financial, reporting and contractual rules, and in-depth knowledge of European Commission Logical Frameworks is an advantage.

Specific Professional Experience

  • The key expert must have Demonstrated experience in project management and the ability to initiate and lead projects with multiple partners and clients;
  • The key expert must have at least 10 years of experience with international projects (funded by the EU or other international donors);
  • The key expert must have working experience with government institutions, especially with respect to policy planning, monitoring and formulation in the fields of reform of general and vocational education in CIS and Eastern European countries.

Key expert 2- Education expert / general secondary education (minimum 880 man-days)

Qualifications and Skills

  • The key expert must hold a university degree in the field of education, public administration, economics or equivalent
  • The key expert must possess excellent communication, analytical and writing skills.
  • The key expert must be fluent in English, both oral and written.
  • The key expert must have a very good knowledge of Russian both oral and written 

General Professional Experience

  • The key expert must have at least 10 years of experience in national or regional education policy of an EU member state
  • The key expert must have at least 6 years of experience in international projects (funded either by the EU or other international donors or/and EU Member States) on general secondary education
  • At least 3 years of experience in international projects on education in CIS countries.

Specific Professional Experience

  • At least 6 years of experience in projects, which supported the development of educational standards, curricula development, –
  • At least 3 years of experience in designing training programmes for teachers and school directors
  • Work experience in development of manuals / guidelines would be an asset

Key expert 3- Educational expert / vocational education (minimum 880 man-days)

Qualifications and Skills

  • The key expert must hold a university degree in the field of education, public administration, economics or equivalent
  • The key expert must possess excellent communication, analytical and writing skills.
  • The key expert must be fluent in English, both oral and written.
  • The key expert must have a very good knowledge of Russian both oral and written

General Professional Experience

  • The key expert must have at least 10 years of experience in national or regional vocational education policy of an EU member state
  • The key expert must have at least 6 years of experience in international projects (funded either by the EU or other international donors or/and EU Member States) on vocational education

At least 3 years of experience in international projects on vocational education in CIS countries.

Specific Professional Experience

  • At least 6 years of experience in projects which supported the development of vocational educational programs / professional standards, curricula development in transition countries
  • At least 3 years of experience in designing training programmes for teachers and school directors
  • Work experience in development of manuals / guidelines would be an asset

Key expert 4: Labour market expert (minimum 880 man-days)

Qualifications and Skills

  • The key expert must hold a university degree in the field of education, public administration, economics or equivalent
  • The key expert must possess excellent communication, analytical and writing skills.
  • The key expert must be fluent in English, both oral and written.
  • The key expert must have a very good knowledge of Russian both oral and written

General Professional Experience

  • Minimum of 10 years’ of experience in national or regional labour market policy management of an EU member state
  • Minimum of 6 years of experience in international projects on labour market, development
  • At least 3 years of experience in international projects on labour market reform in transition countries.

Specific Professional Experience

  • At least 6 years of experience in international projects, which supported the development and implementation of labour market strategies in transition countries
  • At least 3 years of experience in developing training methodologies and modules
  • Work experience in CIS countries would be an asset

6.1.2     Non-key experts

CVs for experts other than the key experts are not examined prior to the signature of the contract. They should not be included in tenders.

The Contractor must select and hire other experts as required according to the profiles identified in the Organization & Methodology and this Terms of Reference. All experts must be independent and free from conflicts of interest in the responsibilities they take on.

The Contractor shall select and hire other experts as required according to the needs.

The selection procedures used by the Contractor to select these other experts must be transparent and must be based on pre-defined criteria, including professional qualifications, language skills and work experience. The findings of the selection panel must be recorded. The selected experts must be subject to approval by the Contracting Authority.

The project content and duration requires the recruitment of a substantial number of non-key experts. The non-key experts for this contract shall consist of a number of national and international short-term, mid-term, senior and junior experts in the following fields as follows (up to 880 man-days for senior experts and up to 660 man-days for junior experts):

  • Sector Councils
  • Reference Frameworks in general education /VET
  • Educational programs in general education
  • Educational programs in vocational education
  • Professional standards
  • Certification/Accreditation
  • VET School management
  • Labour market programs
  • Databank development
  • Monitoring/evaluation
  • Budget support
  • Capacity building work
  • Networking
  • Public relations
  • IT development
  • Sector related experts in agriculture, tourism etc.

The contractor must, therefore, foresee a sufficient number of fee days for this kind of expertise in its offer. Moreover, the selection of experts shall be subject to prior written approval by the Contracting Authority and consultation of the beneficiaries.

6.1.3     Support staff & backstopping

Backstopping and support staff costs must be included in the fee rates.

6.2    Office Accommodation

Office accommodation of a reasonable standard and of approximately 10 square metres for each expert working on the contract is to be provided.

The beneficiary either the Ministry of Education or the Ministry of Labour will provide office accommodation in his premises free of charge. The office room shall have necessary communication facilities like a national and international phone line and internet access.

6.3    Facilities to be provided by the Contractor

The Contractor shall ensure that experts are adequately supported and equipped. In particular it must ensure that there is sufficient administrative, secretarial and interpreting provision to enable experts to concentrate on their primary responsibilities. It must also transfer funds as necessary to support their work under the contract and to ensure that its employees are paid regularly and in a timely fashion.

The contractor must ensure that the project experts receive equipment, which is necessary for the task to be carried out effectively. This includes office facilities to be set up, such as computer equipment, furniture, stationary, telephone equipment, mobile telephones, printers, faxes, photocopiers Etc. Sufficient provision must be made for these costs within the Consultant’s fee rates.

6.4    Equipment

No equipment is to be purchased on behalf of the Contracting Authority / beneficiary country as part of this service contract or transferred to the Contracting Authority / beneficiary country at the end of this contract. Any equipment related to this contract, which is to be acquired by the beneficiary country must be purchased by means of a separate supply tender procedure.

6.5    Incidental Expenditure

The provision for incidental expenditure covers ancillary and exceptional eligible expenditure incurred under this contract. It cannot be used for costs that should be covered by the Contractor as part of its fee rates as defined above. Its use is governed by the provisions in the General Conditions and the notes in Annex V to the Contract. It covers:

  • Travel costs and subsistence allowances for missions outside the normal place of posting, undertaken as part of this contract
  • Costs for training, seminars, conferences, internships (rent of venues, training equipment, translation and interpretation inclusive equipment, printing of materials and handbooks, stationery)
  • Cost for the organisation of steering committee
  • Costs related to visibility (material and distribution)
  • Cost related to interpreters/translators

The Provision for incidental expenditure for this contract is EUR 1.040.000. This amount must be included unchanged in the Budget breakdown.

Daily subsistence costs may be reimbursed for missions foreseen in these terms of reference or approved by the Contracting Authority, and carried out by the contractor’s authorised experts, outside the expert’s normal place of posting.

The per diem is a flat-rate maximum sum covering daily subsistence costs. These include accommodation, meals, tips and local travel, including travel to and from the airport. Taxi fares are therefore covered by the per diem. Per diem are payable on the basis of the number of hours spent on the mission by the contractor’s authorised experts for missions carried out outside the expert’s normal place of posting. The per diem is payable if the duration of the mission is 12 hours or more.  The per diem may be paid in half or in full, with 12 hours = 50% of the per diem rate and 24 hours = 100% of the per diem rate.  Any subsistence allowances to be paid for missions undertaken as part of this contract must not exceed the per diem rates published on the website –

http://ec.europa.eu/europeaid/funding/about-calls-tender/procedures-and-practical-guide-prag/diems_en – at the start of each such mission.

The Contracting Authority reserves the right to reject payment of per diem for time spent travelling if the most direct route and the most economical fare criteria have not been applied.

6.6 Lump Sum

No lump sums are foreseen in this contract.

6.7 Expenditure Verification

The provision for expenditure verification covers the fees of the auditor charged with verifying the expenditure of this contract in order to proceed with the payment of any pre-financing instalments and/or interim payments.

The provision for expenditure verification for this contract is EUR 30 000. This amount must be included unchanged in the Budget breakdown.

This provision cannot be decreased but can be increased during execution of the contract.

7. REPORTS

7.1    Reporting requirements

The Inception Report will be provided 4 months after the project start.

Interim reports must be prepared every six months during the period of implementation of the tasks. They must be provided along with the corresponding invoice, the financial report and an expenditure verification report defined in Article 28 of the General Conditions. There must be a final report, a final invoice and the financial report accompanied by an expenditure verification report at the end of the period of implementation of the tasks. The draft final report must be submitted at least one month before the end of the period of implementation of the tasks. Note that these interim and final reports are additional to any required in Section 4.2 of these Terms of Reference.

Each report must consist of a narrative section and a financial section. The financial section must contain details of the time inputs of the experts, incidental expenditure and expenditure verification.

To summarize, in addition to any documents, reports and outputs specified under the duties and responsibilities of each key expert above, the contractor should provide the following reports:

Name of reportContentTime of submission
Inception ReportAnalysis of existing situation and work plan for the project + logical framework with relevant indicatorsNo later than 4 months after the start of implementation
6-month Progress ReportShort description of progress (technical and financial) including problems encountered; planned work for the next 6 months accompanied by an invoice and the expenditure verification report.No later than 1 month after the end of each 6-month implementation period.
Draft Final ReportShort description of achievements including problems encountered and recommendations.No later than 1 month before the end of the implementation period.
Final ReportShort description of achievements including problems encountered and recommendations; a final invoice and the financial report accompanied by the expenditure verification report.Within 1 month of receiving comments on the draft final report from the Project Manager identified in the contract.

7.2    Submission & approval of Reports

The Contractor will submit the above mentioned reports in English in electronic version and one hard copy each to the Project Manager identified in the contract. The Project Manager is responsible for approving the reports.

The Contractor will disseminate electronic copies of the above mentioned reports in Turkmen and Russian to the main beneficiaries and other stakeholders if requested to do so. The beneficiaries should comment and approve the report as well. In absence of their comments within the set deadline the reports are deemed to be approved.

8. MONITORING AND EVALUATION

8.1    Definition of Indicators

Preliminary/non-exhaustive indicators of this project will be as follows:

  • Number of educational programs/ curricula developed
  • Number of students enrolled in the new system (following new curricula)
  • Number of job profiles identified for the 3 new sectors
  • Budget Ratio between general and vocational education
  • Number of professional standards developed
  • Number of training programs developed
  • Number of teachers trained
  • Number of pilot schools involved in the project
  • Number of pilot VET schools involved in the project
  • Number of interviews made for CB demand analysis
  • Number of CB measures provided
  • Number of manuals of career guidance developed
  • Number of handbooks for school management developed
  • Number of sector councils established
  • Number of working groups installed
  • Number of teachers who have undergone training to work with new contents and methodology
  • Number of TVET school managers who have undergone management trainings
  • Number of enterprises involved in innovative cooperation projects
  • Number of members involved in school platforms
  • Number of platform meetings organized
  • Number of visibility events implemented
  • Number of Steering committee meetings organized
  • Number of study tours provided
  • Number of internships provided

8.2    Special requirements

The project will be monitored and assessed according to standard EU procedures.

Mid-term and final evaluations and audit arrangements are an integral part of the contractual arrangements with the selected contractor.

Independent consultants, recruited directly by the Commission in accordance with EC rules and procedures on specifically established Terms of Reference, might carry out external evaluations and audits.