Consultancy for Typology of Teachers of Persons of Concern (PoC) to UNHCR research project At UN High Commissioner for Refugees

Title: Typology of Teachers of Persons of Concern (PoC) to UNHCR Consultancy

Duty Station: home-based

Duration: starting as soon as possible until 31 December 2022

Contract Type: Individual Consultancy

Closing date: 16 December 2021

Start date: as soon as possible

Organisational context

Teacher quality is the most important factor influencing student achievement, especially in emergency and protracted displacement contexts where the teacher may be the only educational resource available within a low-resource environment (Mendenhall, Gomez, & Varni, 2018, p. 3). Such contexts are typically characterized by severe teacher shortages (Mulkeen et al., 2017), which tend to become more pronounced during large influxes of displaced persons (Mendenhall et al., 2018).

Accordingly, UNHCR spends a significant proportion of its education budget on the recruitment, training, and compensation of teachers of persons of concern (POCs).

Teachers of persons of concern (POCs) are educators who teach one or more student who is a POC to UNHCR: asylum seekers, refugees, internally displaced persons, and stateless persons. These teachers may or may not be persons of concern to UNHCR themselves.

In contexts of forced displacement, there are often many actors involved in teacher management and insufficient coordination and harmonization between these actors. UNHCR promotes the collection, analysis, and use of data about teachers to inform emergency response and long-term teacher management planning in displacement contexts; however, little data exists on teachers of persons of concern (POCs)1 to inform the engagement of UNHCR and its partners relative to teachers.

There is growing recognition that there are different types of teachers of POCs and that different types of teachers face different needs and challenges relative to professional development, career pathways, professional relationships, and personal well-being. No typology of teachers of POCs has been developed based on robust data and a comprehensive mapping of factors that influence teachers of POCs in emergency and protracted contexts of forced displacement. Such a typology is needed to foster a shared understanding and to guide collective action to support teachers of POCs. Where support to teachers of POCs is insufficient, inappropriate, and/or inconsistent, teacher motivation, well-being, sense of self-efficacy, and resilience tend to decrease. This can decrease the quality of teaching and the sustainability of the teaching workforce and, by extension, the learning and well-being of students, including POCs.

Occupational Safety and Health Considerations

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Specific Occupational Safety and Health Considerations to this assignment (if applicable):

Covid-19 restrictions

Duties and responsibilities

The purpose of this research project is to identify and describe a typology of teachers of POCs and to use the typology to improve teaching quality and to promote workforce sustainability in contexts of forced displacement.

UNHCR is looking to recruit an individual consultant to address the following research questions:

  1. What factors are relevant to the identification of a typology of teachers of POCs to UNHCR in contexts of forced displacement, including both emergency and protracted displacement contexts.
  2. What are the types of teachers of POCs to UNHCR in emergency and protracted contexts of forced displacement? What qualifications and training have they had; how are they remunerated, supported, inspected and promoted;
  3. In what ways does the typology of teachers of POCs influence teacher management, teacher professional development, career paths (including attrition), professional relationships, and wellbeing?
  4. What are the remuneration pathways for teachers including links to rights to work and considerations for including refugee teachers into national education workforce management systems?
  5. Using the typology of teachers of POCs, what support should be provided during protracted and emergency situations to:

a) Improve the quality of teaching for POCs at primary and secondary school levels?

b) Promote the sustainability of the teaching workforce in contexts of forced displacement?

There are three phases to the research project:

1. Preparing to create a typology of teachers of POCs (1.5 months)

• Literature review and key informant interviews with relevant UNHCR staff and offices

• Drafting of inception report and summary of the current state of play for teachers of PoCs

• Tool(s) for mapping and analyzing teacher management, career pathways (including attrition), professional relationships, and wellbeing (to be used in phase 2)

2. Creating the typology of teachers of POCs (3.5 months)

• Data collection and analysis across 14 EAC programme implementing countries and operations

• Development of both country-specific typologies of teachers and a global typology of teachers of PoCs

• A draft user guide for UNHCR and partners on using the global typology of teachers to help with adaptation as needed will be produced

3. Using the typology of teachers of POCs to support change (3 months)

• Undertaking participatory case studies in three selected countries

• Development of country-specific change aspiration maps and change pathway maps for improving the quality of teaching and promoting the sustainability of the teaching workforce for each of the selected countries

• Study report and presentation materials of the study as needed

Essential minimum qualifications and professional experience required

The individual consultant is expected to demonstrate expertise in:

• Research, including participatory approaches to research, research with vulnerable and marginalized populations, and research with governmental organizations, non-governmental organizations, and civil society.

• Education, particularly education in emergency and/or protracted contexts of forced displacement, teacher education and management, and the education of displaced persons and other marginalized groups.

Further required skills and qualifications are outlined below:

Education **

Academic background in education or other related fields; preference for a doctorate degree in Education.


-Five to ten years of research experience working on topics specific to education or at the intersection of education and other relevant fields (for ex., child protection);

-Demonstrable experience in the production of publishable peer-reviewed work on education and/or other relevant fields– with a track record of publications. Publications on the subject of teachers are highly desirable. Familiarity with the refugee education literature is desirable;

  • Experience in the application of mixed methods research; with strong experience conducting both quantitative and qualitative research. This includes:

o Demonstrable experience in survey development and administration

o Demonstrable experience conducting case studies, interviews/FGDs or ethnographic work

o Good understanding of the limitations of quantitative and qualitative research

o Previous experience in quantitative or qualitative data collection with children

o A clear analytical approach for interpreting qualitative data and experience in the application of quantitative research methods to analyse data

-Excellent analytical and writing skills;

-Proven record of project coordination experience involving multiple stakeholders;

-Previous experience working with international organizations;

-Proven experience with data collection in multiple countries. Knowledge or previous experience in at least one EAC country is desirable;

-Strong knowledge on how to conduct research that adheres to ethical principles and standards.

Key Competencies


Fluency in English language, fluency in French language preferred, knowledge of other relevant languages is considered an advantage;

-Advanced interpersonal skills;

-Strong organizational and communication skills;

-Creativity, positive attitude, and ability to adapt in the face of changing circumstances and/or tight deadlines.


The successful candidate will be working home-based with mission travels to three different locations (to be confirmed).


The consultancy is planned to be home-based.

How to apply

Interested applicants should submit their letter of motivation and Personal History Form (PHF) to indicating DRS/2021/027; First Name/Last Name, Consultancy for Typology of Teachers of Persons of Concern to UNHCR research project in the subject of the email.

Personal History Forms are available at PHF Form Supplementary Sheet.

Applications without PHF Form will not be considered.

The UNHCR workforce consists of many diverse nationalities, cultures, languages and opinions. UNHCR seeks to sustain and strengthen this diversity to ensure equal opportunities as well as an inclusive working environment for its entire workforce. Applications are encouraged from all qualified candidates without distinction on grounds of race, colour, sex, national origin, age, religion, disability, sexual orientation and gender identity.