EdTech and Mexico Education Sector Expert

SUMMARY

IYF seeks a senior consultant or firm with deep expertise in Mexican education sector, e-learning/distance learning, and educational software for a 6 week consultancy to (a) summarize and prioritize the challenges facing instructors with virtual instruction and (b) identify existing efforts to address these challenges being made by actors within the education system or third parties. IYF will consider applicants who can complete 3 or more of the deliverables requested. Applicants need not be able to complete all deliverables; however, additional consideration will be provided to a consultant who can.

Proposals are due 11:59 PM Eastern Standard Time 8 October 2021.

BACKGROUND

Since 1990, IYF has worked in partnership with businesses, governments, and civil society organizations, using its technical expertise, proven curricula, and training methodologies to support young people to 1) become active participants in the economy, and 2) become agents of social change. Traditionally IYF has focused on in-person delivery of services. However, IYF has produced and distributed youth-facing online learning courses for nearly a decade and is currently supporting education partners to deliver virtual trainings. IYF also recognizes that virtual instruction often perpetuates existing societal inequality and seeks to design training experiences to proactively address the varied access to technology, resources, and information.

IYF has adapted to this reality by creating new curricula versions as well as guidelines and materials to support instructors in their online delivery. These resources focus on the pedagogical side of adaptation for virtual learning, but they do little to address the challenges of virtually managing a classroom and students’ progress. As such, the organization is now making investments to improve the logistical/operational side of the training experience for both the instructor and learner. This may lead to the introduction of more EdTech or LMS software into our offerings. Possible software include, but are not limited to, Cornerstone OnDemand, Blackboard, Google Classroom, Microsoft Community Trainer, Moodle, Canvas, and TurnItIn, Quizlet, Kahoot!, and Miro.

To ensure these investments align with the real pain points of instructors in Mexico and do not replicate existing efforts underway by actors in the education sector, IYF seeks a consultant to inform our software choices and engage with our education sector partners.

ACTIVITY DESCRIPTION

The selected consultant will conduct desk research, informational interviews, and polls/questionnaires in order to develop the best quality deliverables possible. IYF will facilitate introductions to our existing partners and a focus should be given to experiences from those groups, namely Conalep, COBACH, and IYF’s existing instructor network.

QUALIFICATIONS

The selected applicant will have deep knowledge of the on-the-ground experience and challenge faced by instructors in the Mexican TVET systems during the COVID pandemic. It is preferred that the consultant or consultant firm have direct experience delivering training or other instruction virtually. The selected applicant will also have the relationships and facilitation skills necessary to streamline coordination between IYF staff and relevant government and non-government stakeholders working on this issue in Mexico. Given the timeline and needs for this consultancy, the selected applicant will likely already hold much of the knowledge and relationships needed to complete the deliverables.

The applicant will also ideally have expertise in and have used multiple EdTech software, holding an understanding of their strengths and weaknesses not only from desk review, but also from experience. Preference is given to those with exposure to software solutions that are designed for learners and instructors operating in resource-constrained communities as well as tools optimized for mobile devices and low/no bandwidth environments.

DELIVERABLES AND TIMELINE

Professional communications (meetings and email) with IYF staff must be in English as well as deliverables 1–3. Deliverable 5, however, may be submitted in Spanish. Deliverables 2 and 3 are expected to be completed within the first three weeks of the consultancy.

  1. List of at least three comparable education organizations/systems/institutions in Mexico who have already successfully deployed technology solutions to address classroom management needs as well as a description of the software solutions they are using. Introductions to representatives at those organizations for further exploration will be appreciated, but not required.
  2. Ranked list and description of top 10 pain points faced by instructors across the MX education sector as well as the same list focused specifically on the instructors with whom IYF most regularly engages. The documentation should specifically call out how this experience varies for instructors and learners with the lowest levels of hardware and bandwidth.
  3. Ranked list and description of top 10 features instructors would prefer in an eLearning platform to improve their engagement with and management of learners and learner outcomes. This should also be presented for the overall education sector and IYF-specific partners. The documentation should specifically call out how this experience varies for instructors and learners with the lowest levels of hardware and bandwidth.
  4. Introductions to and coordinated meetings with key stakeholders in the education sector who are either working on solutions to address the challenges of virtual instruction or who are eager for solutions to address their challenges.
  5. Five-page summary document of existing efforts to address virtual instruction challenges in Mexico, including details on any software already selected or being considered
  6. Raw datasets of any data collected to develop the project deliverables

REQUESTED PROPOSAL ELEMENTS

The proposal should include the following components. The application may be submitted in English or Spanish:

  1. Two-to-four page narrative that:
    • demonstrates an understanding of the requested work and the context;
    • describes proposed approach to complete the deliverables;
    • summarizes relevant experience and existing relationships.
    • notes any deliverables that the consultant would be unable to complete
  2. Timeline for activities and deliverables (not to exceed 6 weeks).
  3. Budget identifying the costs that link clearly to activities in the narrative (see attached template). Costs should include all expenses, fees and indirect fees.
  4. Past performance—two examples of similar or relevant work.
  5. CVs of all key team members.
  6. Client References—provide two references of organizations that have utilized your research services.

POSSIBLE EXPANDED SCOPE

IYF anticipates hiring a consultant for the next phase of this work. Should the consultant hired for the initial phase provide high quality deliverables and operate professionally, IYF’s preference will be to modify and expand the contract of the 1st phase consultant. Additional areas of work may include:

  1. In-depth review and advisory on technology solutions to address the identified needs
  2. Further facilitation of relationships between IYF and education sector partners
  3. Design, set-up, and configuration of EdTech software to prepare its use by IYF instructors
  4. Demonstration of EdTech solutions to partners to gather feedback on each solution’s fit and viability
  5. List and brief review of 3 top eLearning/Edtech software for addressing each of four most significant pain points identifies. The review should include an identification of the benefits and cost of ownership for each solution.
  6. Three-to-five-page recommendation brief of activities IYF should undertake to (a) reduce the challenges of virtual instruction for instructors in its partner organizations and (b) align with any existing efforts being led by key education sector stakeholders.

SUBMISSION PROCESS

Interested individuals or firms should submit the above Requested Proposal Elements to Eric Couper, Digital Development Director with email subject line: IYF MX e-learning analysis.

RFP AND SELECTION TIMELINE

  • RFP distributed and posted on IYF’s website: 22 Sept 2021
  • Question submission deadline: 29 Sept 2021 (Submit questions to Eric Couper)
  • Responses to submitted questions provided back: 1 Oct 2021
  • Deadline for proposal submissions: 11:59 Eastern Standard Time 8 Oct 2021
  • Finalist candidate interviews: 12 & 13 Oct 2021
  • Selection notification: 15 Oct 2021

Work to begin immediately after contract signing.

BASIS FOR AWARD

  1. Consultant Fit: Breadth and depth of relevant experience, particularly related to direct experience delivering instruction virtually and coordinating efforts across the Mexico education system.
  2. Existing Relationship: Alignment to the identified activity goals, rigor of evaluation approach, and feasibly of the undertaking
  3. Prior Experience and Work Samples: Comprehensiveness, relevance, quality of samples
  4. Client References: Strength of recommendation from both product and working relationship perspectives. IYF requires references at submission. Only finalists’ references will be contacted.
  5. Budget and Timeline: Comprehensive, competitive cost structure. Ability to meet aggressive timeline with clearly defined work plan.
  6. Other: Overall responsiveness of proposal and “fit” of consultant to IYF needs and values.

Thank you for your interest in IYF and this opportunity.