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Wanted: Consultant for development of a Distance Learning Programme


The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) is looking for a consultant to join a small in-house team to design and develop a distance learning programme to train staff in all aspects of its refugee operations. These Learning Programmes comprise some 25 self study units (readings and workplace activity) and are structured through Pre-workshop, workshop and post-workshop phases. The TOR are listed here.We would like to begin the project without delay. While content knowledge (working in a humanitarian international realm) would be an asset, the consultant should bring to the team knowledge of distance learning approaches and be prepared to develop an write the course units themselves.

At least one month will be spent in Geneva working with the team.

Interested companies or consultants please send details of experience (including CVs of individuals please), a statement of how they may be able to contribute to this specific project, availablity and fees charged.

Michael Alford
Chief, Staff Development Section
Fax 00-41-22-739 7369

The UNHCR Division of Operational Support (DOS), under the coordination of the Operations Management System Section (OMSS) and the Staff Development Section (SDS) is designing and developing two Operations Learning Programmes, one for programme officers and one for non-programme staff. The objectives of the learning programmes are as follows:

Overall Goals:

To strengthen UNHCR’s staff competencies (knowledge, skills and attitudes) in order to plan, coordinate, implement and manage operations effectively.

To build a team approach to enable the full implementation of organisational goals, priorities and standards for the protection of, and search for durable solutions for, refugees.

Specific Objectives:

To professionalise programme functions;
To build knowledge and skills of programme officers to ensure effective operations management;
To ensure that operations standards and UNHCR policy priorities are applied and maintained;
To enhance co-operation with protection and all other staff involved in the operations management;
To create a common vision and understanding of operations management;

The Learning Programme is expected to follow some distance learning principles and is expected to include both self-study and a workshop phase.

Consultant’s responsibilities

In close co-ordination and co-operation with the Operations Learning Programme (OLP) project team designated by OMSS/DOS and SDS, and under the overall supervision of the Chief of OMSS, the consultant will:

Assist and advise the members of the project team in managing the development of the Operations Learning Programme (OLP), by providing concrete proposals and suggestions with regard to the following areas:

the identification and selection of an appropriate methodology for the elaboration of each Learning Unit of the OLP;
the development of a realistic, time-scaled and task-based workplan for the completion of the learning material for the OLP.

The project team has already developed:

the overall learning objectives for the OLP;
the target audience(s) for the OLP
the scope, structure and content of the OLP;

which could be further reviewed and adapted.

Time frame:

30 working days (with possible extension if required), starting as soon as possible.

Skills / Competencies Profile:

Conversant in instructional design for distance and flexible learning programmes;
Conversant in methodology for distance learning programmes;
Exposure to humanitarian areas of work (prior experience with UNHCR an advantage);
Understanding of, and prior experience in, project management;
Experience in applying gender perspectives to learning;
Excellent writing skills;
Experience in working co-operatively with small project teams.

Michael Alford (UNHCR)


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