Room to Read focuses our support on girls in countries (or regions within countries) where gender gaps in education persist. Through our Girls’ Education Program, we support girls to stay in school longer, progress towards completion of secondary school, and acquire the skills and agency they need to make informed choices about their lives and realize their potential. Our approach allows these girls to be prepared for their next steps in life - be it tertiary or vocational education, employment or domestic life - and become agents of change. Our program prepares them to realize their own potential and take purposeful action towards personal and community goals.
Towards this end, the Girls’ Education Program (GEP) has four key components: Life Skills, Mentoring, Family and Community Engagement, and Material Support whereby we support girls for approximately seven years—from lower secondary school until secondary school graduation (typically grades 6-12). Room to Read has implemented the GEP model in nine countries: Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Laos, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Vietnam and Zambia. W e have reached more than 100,000 girls since the program began.
Financial Education Life Skills Clubs:
In 2018, Room to Read joined a unique partnership led and funded by the global financial institution, Credit Suisse, to begin implementing financial education life skills club programs for adolescent girls in Sri Lanka and Tanzania. This program aims to help girls develop critical life skill competencies, including increased financial literacy skills and knowledge.
Financial Education Life Skills Clubs are voluntary after-school clubs that allow girls to build and practice financial literacy skills. Designed to supplement Room to Read’s robust life skills curriculum, these clubs expand upon existing financial concepts and basic money management skills so that girls are better equipped to make informed decisions about their personal finances. Club curriculum topics include saving and spending, planning and budgeting, and financial enterprise development—all of which contribute to girls’ economic empowerment. The financial education project initially runs three years and is structured as below:
- Year 1: Core financial curriculum sessions
- Year 2: Hands-on financial activities and projects
- Year 3: Peer education and community outreach
Statement of Purpose:
Room to Read seeks a qualified consultant to provide strategic guidance and technical support for scaling the reach and impact of the Financial Education Life Skills program over the next five years. Scale is envisioned following a two-pronged approach. In the short term, the consultant is tasked with strengthening our financial education program design and curriculum to prepare for expanding the club model to additional Room to Read countries. This includes review and revision of accompanying training materials and resources to support stated program expansion. In the longer term, the consultant is tasked with identifying and supporting the potential integration of greater financial content into the broader existing Girls’ Education Program (as opposed to a stand-alone club model) to be implemented across all Room to Read countries. This includes review and revision of accompanying training materials and resources to support stated global program integration.
As Room to Read completes the last year of the initial project cycle in Sri Lanka and Tanzania, the organization seeks to understand and cement the most effective programmatic aspects of the Financial Education Life Skills club model before expanding and replicating in other countries. The consultant will help refine the program model and content to address gaps or challenges, and to elevate best practices from the field and the research evidence base. This work includes analysis of existing program design and technical content, review of curriculum scope and sequence, facilitator manuals, and materials. The consultant will also strengthen accompanying training materials and other capacity building resources as needed to support the contextualization and implementation of the Financial Education Life Skills program in additional Room to Read countries of operation in 2022.
In parallel, Room to Read seeks to explore the feasibility of integrating aspects of the Financial Education Life Skills program model and content into its primary, global Girls’ Education programming (GEP). The consultant will review Room to Read’s existing life skills framework and curriculum, and provide recommendations for strengthening a financial literacy lens into its GEP activities and content. Specifically, the consultant will identify a range of integration options as well as the accompanying training materials and capacity building resources needed to support the contextualization and implementation of an integrated Financial Education Life Skills curriculum/program in all Room to Read countries of operation over the next five years.
Scope of Work
April – July (Approximately 4 months)
- Review current Financial Education Life Skills club design and curriculum—includes two sets of curricula classified for younger adolescent girls in grades 6-9 (focused on Savings) and older adolescent girls in grades 10-12 (focused on Enterprise).
- Review additional program materials including past evaluation reports and measurement results to identify program challenges, best practices, and areas for improvement.
- Conduct remote interviews with a diverse range of stakeholders to gather qualitative information and feedback to supplement above review. Interviewees will include key Financial Education Life Skills program staff at both the global and country level, members of Room to Read’s Research, Monitoring, & Evaluation team, and with Aflatoun International—the partner organizer who led the development of the club curriculum.
- Review existing Financial Education Life Skills program training materials and resources to identify areas of revision and improvement.
- Develop summary report outlining findings from above work activities, including highlighting recommendations for strengthening Financial Education Life Skills Clubs model and content in preparation for expanding implementation to new countries.
- Recommendations will thoughtfully consider the related implications for monitoring and evaluation activities.
- Execute revisions and improvements to Financial Education Life Skills program materials and training resources accordingly and in discussion with Room to Read.
- Dependent on timeline and resources : Support initial contextualization of revised Financial Education Life Skills program materials for expansion in at least one additional Room to Read country (to be identified later in the year).
- NOTE: International travel/in-country field visits are not recommended at this time due to the current COVID-19 health concerns but may be considered as a potential project activity should circumstances change.
Deliverables – Set 1:
- Summary report detailing findings from program material review and informational interviews. Report identifies gaps, challenges, best practices, and areas for improvement, as well as final recommendations for key revisions to curriculum and training materials.
- Revised Financial Education Life Skills program design and materials including overall curriculum map and scripted session plans.
- Revised and/or additional Financial Education Life Skills training materials including facilitator’s manual, training agenda, PPTs, and other appropriate resources.
- Dependent on timeline and resources: Initial Financial Education Life Skills program contextualization discussions and collaboration with Room to Read staff in new expansion countries.
August – November (Approximately 4 months)
- Review Room to Read’s existing life skills framework, curriculum map, and financial education sessions to frame recommendations for the integration of Financial Education Life Skills program components and content. Includes review of related life skills training materials as needed.
- Develop summary report outlining several different options for integrating Financial Education Life Skills Club content into existing Girls’ Education Program—i.e. minimal revisions, moderate revisions, substantial revision/new content creation, etc. Recommendations include identification of time and resources required for each integration option, including the training materials and capacity building needed to support recommended changes.
- Conduct remote interviews to gather qualitative information and feedback from a range of diverse stakeholders to finalize above summary report, including with key Room to Read management staff, Research, Monitoring, & Evaluation staff, and GEP staff at both the global and country level. Final recommendations will thoughtfully consider the related implications for monitoring and evaluation activities.
- Dependent on timeline and resources: Execute revisions to Room to Read’s existing life skills curriculum map, session plans, and training materials in discussion with Room to Read based on selected option for integration (particularly if minimal revisions are identified). Dependent on timeline and resources: Provide contextualization and/or training support to 1-2 countries that may pilot integrated life skills curriculum in 2022.
- NOTE: Activities #4 and #5 tentatively planned for early 2022 scope of work but reflected here for visibility. Also, international travel/in-country field visits are not recommended at this time due to the current COVID-19 health concerns but may be considered as a potential project activity should circumstances change.
Deliverables – Set 2:
- Summary report detailing integration options for incorporating Financial Education Life Skills program content into Room to Read’s existing Girls’ Education Program. Recommendations include identification of time, resources, and appropriate training/capacity building and professional development materials needed to support each proposed integration option.
- Dependent on timeline and resources: Revised life skills curriculum and training materials based on selected Financial Education Life Skills integration option.
- Dependent on timeline and resources: Contextualization/training support provided to key GEP staff at both the global and country level on integrated curriculum.
Reporting and supervision: Linda Tran (Associate Director, Girls’ Education & Gender Equality Program)
Terms of the Contract:
The consultancy will be approximately 8 months in total from April – November 2021, with potential opportunity to continue with the next phase of work in 2022 under a new contract.
- Set 1 Deliverables ‘a’ is expected by June 15, 2021.
- Set 1 Deliverables ‘b’ and ‘c’ are expected by July 31, 2021.
- Set 2 Deliverables ‘a’ is expected by November 1, 2021.
Applicants with the following experience are welcome to apply:
- Masters’ or Advanced Degree in Education, Economics, Sociology, Gender Issues, International Development or other relevant topic.
- At least 5 years of professional experience in curriculum and/or program development related to adolescent youth, life skills, financial education and literacy, economic empowerment, financial inclusion, entrepreneurship, employment and vocational training, support to vulnerable populations, and/or gender equality.
- At least 3 years of documented experience in developing, facilitating and/or delivering participatory training sessions in the above identified areas or other related topics. Documented experience in conducting TOT.
- Excellent oral and written skills in presenting complex technical information in an easily comprehensible way.
- Adaptability and flexibility in working within a complex and dynamic environment.
- Demonstrated cultural sensitivity and ability to work with diverse teams.
- Ability to deliver high quality products in a timely manner.
- Experience with teacher pedagogy and/or adult learning principles preferred.
Room to Read will submit comments/suggestions/proposed changes to the initial deliverables within 1 week of receiving any draft materials.
Please submit a proposal outlining your plan and capabilities to meet stated scope of project work and timeline, along with estimated budget, any resume(s) of key consultants to be working on the project, and any other additional information deemed pertinent to the consultancy. Please also include 2-3 brief samples of similar or relevant work. Submit all materials through your Workday application. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions. Due to high applicant volume, we regret that we are not able to send personalized responses to all applicants. Proposals are accepted until April 2nd, 2021.
Global Office - Remote - United States
To be successful at Room to Read, you will also:
- Have passion for our mission and a strong desire to impact a dynamic nonprofit organization
- Be a proactive and innovative thinker who achieves results and creates positive change
- Have a very high level of personal and professional integrity and trustworthiness
- Embrace diversity and a commitment to collaboration
- Thrive in a fast-paced and fun environment