Education Management Information System (EMIS) Consultant at UNICEF Lesotho


Locations: Africa: Lesotho
Work Type : Consultancy

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Background and Justification

Addressing problems of access, equity, quality and relevance of education requires an evidence-based management system to monitor progress toward national goals and global commitments. It is also required for local and national education managers, policy and decision makers to effectively assess challenges and determine courses of action as well as gaps in education services as well as realistic assessments of resources required. An effective Education Management Information System (EMIS) is specially designed to monitor the performance of education systems and to manage the distribution and allocation of educational resources. EMIS should be designed to collect and analyze a wide range of data on the educational system in order to improve planning, resource allocation and mobilization, monitoring, evaluation, policy formulation, and decision making in general. A school-based standardized information system is fundamental to improve the management of education at all levels and ideally the system should allow to track individual children across the grades. In the education management process, the information system should inform the different actors and partners on the state of the sector, its internal and external efficiency, its pedagogical and institutional operation, its performance, shortcomings and needs.

The EMIS has to be positioned and technologically integrated to the relevant data sources allowing to know, for example, who is spending what, on whether children are actually learning what they need to know and with feasibility of data disaggregation at the school or even the student level. These characteristics make an EMIS relevant for the policy planning and the management of education systems.

With a population of 2.2 million, Lesotho is one of the smaller countries of Southern Africa. The Ministry of Education and Training (MoET) is tasked with managing a national education system with more than 350,000 students in over 1,800 institutions. The Ministry of Lesotho aims to improve its education sector through the implementation of policy frameworks such as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Africa 2063, SADC Protocol on Education and Lesotho National Strategic Development Plan and the recent Education Sector Plan 2016-2026.

The Education Sector Plan 2016-2026 provides the current policies, programs and strategies for national education reform. This plan highlights the ability to expand learners enrollment and retention at all education levels, with the hope of promoting a literate society with access to continuous learning opportunities. The MoET is embarking on new initiatives to improve its EMIS capabilities as one of these strategies in achieving the objectives of the 2016-2026 plan.

The Lesotho EMIS system collects aggregate data on institutions, students and staff from schools in paper-based form and then entered centrally in a database developed for this purpose through yearly censuses. Despite efforts to collect this information, data sharing between institutions and other government agencies is inadequate. The current database is only accessible on MOET central ministry network. The database does not currently allow for the tracking of data by individual learner or teacher at school, regional and national level. There are some database architecture design issues resulting in corruption of previous year’s records when entering information for a new year.

There are also several parallel initiatives which require data collection at the institutional level. Data is collected and directly reported back to the entities requiring the information and is not always shared with the schools.

It is within this context that the MOET in collaboration with UNICEF, decided to test the OpenEMIS  toolkit to drive the process toward better education outcomes through the availability of better data in Lesotho: more timely, accurate and sub-national data for decision-making.

The first phase of this work has been completed with the development and testing of the OpenEMIS toolkit as a mean to provide electronic data capture and access at the headquarter level and directly to schools and institutions for more timely and accurate data to inform the Ministry in regards to their priority areas, including but not limited to, enrolments, infrastructure maintenance, absenteeism, examinations, repetition and dropout rates as well as assessments, as outlined in the Education Sector Plan.

The next phase of the work involves the development of an EMIS roadmap and implementation plan to identify all steps required for the progressive and successful roll-out of OpenEMIS. There is a need to assess the system and plan for its financial stability. Therefore, UNICEF is seeking a consultant to assist the MOET in this work. This plan will not only focus on aspects of ICT such as refining the database architecture, hosting and connectivity issues, but also other aspects of implementation including the reorganisation of business processes and identification of roles and responsibilities across MOET entities. The plan should ensure that data being collected responds to the needs of actors at diverse levels (i.e. policy makers, local administrators, principals, teachers, community etc.) and that there are structures and systems in place for the adequate analysis and use of the data.

The implementation of OpenEMIS also offers an opportunity to document the process and identify lessons learned and best practices that can be shared with other interested parties looking to adopt this management information system.

Scope of Work

Goal and ObjectivesThe overall objective of the consultancy will be to support the Lesotho MoET to develop an EMIS roadmap and implementation plan. The consultant will work in collaboration with the MoET and other key stakeholders on the following key objectives:

  • Development of EMIS data reporting and usage strategy and the revision of school census form to ensure quality and that they are in line with needs of data users
  • Undertake further testing of OpenEMIS system including full testing of OpenEMIS SMS features, OpenEMIS logistics (for tracking education supplies), OpenEMIS monitoring (a tool for monitoring and reporting on education sector plan implementation
  • Extensive user experience testing with the MOET
  • Development of costed 5 year OpenEMIS implementation plan (2020-2025)
  • Development of OpenEMIS investment case with a clear M&E framework that can quantify improvements in education outputs for children (including addressing inequities), strengthen the national system, financial sustainability with initial and recurrent costs and value for money
  • Documenting the implementation of OpenEMIS as a case study that can be used as a basis for replication in other contexts

Work relationships: The consultant will be supervised by the UNICEF Chief of Basic Education and Adolescent Development but will be working closely with staff in the MoET, particularly the Director of Planning and the Chief Statistician and their teams.


RefKey TasksDeliverablesTimeline
1Produce an inception report outlining a work plan and timeline for implementation of activities, informed by TOR and discussion with the UNICE Country office and MOETInception report with work plan and timelineApril 2019
Revision of school census form to ensure quality and alignment with needs of data users and SDGs. This should include testing of the forms with usersRevised school census formsApril – May 2019
Development of OpenEMIS investment case with a clear M&E framework that can quantify improvements in education outputs for children (including addressing inequities), strengthen the national system, financial sustainability with initial and recurrent costs and value for moneyOpenEMIS investment caseApril – June 2019
Development of EMIS data reporting, usage strategy for management and administrative purposes at national and district levels. This includes defining business processes and identification of responsibilities across MOET entitiesEMIS data reporting and usage strategy April – December 2019
Develop a testing plan and undertake testing of the OpenEMIS system with special attention to OpenEMIS SMS, OpenEMIS logistics and OpenEMIS monitoringOpenEMIS Pilot ReportApril – September 2019
Develop EMIS operation Manual and train the EMIS StaffEMIS operation manual and training assessment report November -December 2019
In consultation with MOET staff and other key MOET officials, develop a detailed, costed EMIS 5 year implementation plan (2020-2025)Implementation planJune – December 2019
Document Implementation of OpenEMIS In Lesotho as a case studyThe case study should include the necessary information for other interested parties to access the viability of using OpenEMIS in their own context.OpenEMIS Case StudyOctober 2019 – January 2020

Payment schedule

An initial payment of 10 per cent of the value of the contract will be made following the approval of an inception report outlining a work plan and timeline for implementation of activities, informed by TOR and discussion with the Country office. Subsequently, monthly payments will be issued based on the approval of the monthly implementation report by the Ministry and UNICEF. The monthly implementation report will summarize progress on the implementation of planned activities during the month. It should also highlight challenges, recommendations and suggest the work plan for the next month. The final payment will be linked to a full implementation report of the of consultancy. This report will document key progress and achievements, challenges and recommendation for the way forward

Desired profile

  • Advanced degree in education, statistics, planning, planning development, social sciences, mathematics, computer science or related fields,
  • At least 8 years of professional technical knowledge and experience of programme development and implementation including monitoring and evaluation
  • Extensive experience and demonstrated ability in designing and establishing EMIS,
  • Excellent understanding of the current status and trends in terms of international education indicators, standards and targets in the context of SDGs, EFA, etc.,
  • Thorough understanding and experience of EMIS related database programs and other software with broad understanding of information systems and technology, experience of OpenEMIS system is an asset,
  • High analytical skills using diverse and complex quantitative and qualitative data from a wide range of sources,
  • Knowledge of agile development processes and experience with human centered design methodologies and conducting user experience testing is an asset,
  • Demonstrates, applies and shares technical knowledge to government partners,
  • Communicates effectively, both orally and in writing, to varied audiences,
  • Able to work effectively in a multi-cultural environment and experience of working in a developing country

Administrative issues

  • The consultant will be engaged full-time and is expected to be based in Maseru. All travel required for this contract should be quoted for in the financial proposal based on economy class air fares.
  • The consultant will provide own lap top and cell phone.
  • The consultant will be provided with working space in the UNICEF Lesotho country office but a significant proportion of the consultant time will be spent at the MoET which is walking distance from the UNICEF office. Consultant can perform the work from home, however the will be days that he/she will be required to be in the office.
  • During the contract period, the consultant is expected to travel within the country. The Lesotho Country Office will cover costs of national travel to project sites, but this will not include daily subsistence allowance which should be included in the financial proposal.

As per UNICEF DFAM policy, payment is made against approved deliverables. No advance payment is allowed unless in exceptional circumstances against bank guarantee, subject to a maximum of 30 per cent of the total contract value in cases where advance purchases, for example for supplies or travel, may be necessary.

The candidate selected will be governed by and subject to UNICEF General Terms and Conditions for individual contracts.

How to Apply

Qualified candidates are requested to complete an application including profile to the respective advertisement on .Please indicate your ability, availability and financial proposal/quote to complete the terms of reference above. Rates must include all expenses related to the assignment (including administration and logistics).

Rates must include all expenses related to the assignment (e.g. consultancy fee, travel/flights, field trips, living allowance).

Applications submitted without a fee/ rate will not be considered.

If you have not been contacted within 2 months of the closing date please accept that your application was unsuccessful. Regret emails will be sent only to shortlisted/contacted candidates

OpenEMIS is an initiative launched by UNESCO and was conceived to be a royalty-free software that can be customized to meet the specific needs of implementing countries, without conditions or restrictions for use, with the purpose of encouraging country-level capacity development and helping countries upgrade their local skills for managing the tool. The initiative is coordinated by UNESCO in partnership with a nonprofit organization (NPO), Community Systems Foundation (CSF) for the implementation and technical support since 2012.


Mobility is a condition of international professional employment with UNICEF and an underlying premise of the international civil service.

Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted and advance to the next stage of the selection process.
Opening Date Mon Mar 04 2019 09:00:00 GMT+0200 (South Africa Standard Time) South Africa Standard Time
Closing Date Sun Mar 17 2019 23:55:00 GMT+0200 (South Africa Standard Time) 

Apply here!