Expert on Curricula and Virtual Learning Approaches for Skills Training

SUMMARY
The International Youth Foundation (IYF) seeks senior consultants or firms with deep expertise in curriculum development, curriculum assessment, and EdTech to compile and analyze a library of existing skills curricula across multiple topic areas, including but not limited to: digital skills, technology skills, financial skills, critical soft skills, employability/career sign posting skills, and core+ transferable skills. The consultants may also lead the development of eLearning guidance resources and a EdTech software review to direct youth-serving non-profits in their eLearning efforts. IYF will select one or more consultants or firms to address the needs across all subject areas. Applicants may apply to provide this service for one or more areas and should specify this clearly in the application.

Proposals are due 11:59 PM Eastern Standard Time 13 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. IYF is currently implementing the Advancing Economic Mobility with Skills (AEMS) Project with support from Microsoft Philanthropies in partnership with Standard Chartered Bank.

The AEMS Project seeks to lower the barrier for youth-serving organizations to launch engaging, impactful, inclusive and targeted online skills training programs world-wide. IYF is directly supporting three organizations on their journey to deploy new skills offerings and is developing public resources that will support the full Standard Chartered Futuremakers network when any organization chooses to deliver skills training virtually.

To address barriers for youth-serving organizations, the AEMS project is:

  • Developing a demonstration online skills platform, using the Microsoft Community Training (MCT) software
  • Preparing a library of existing curricula that organizations can reference to assess what resources already exist and compare their relative strengths
  • Creating a set of resources to guide youth-serving organizations as they adapt and develop content to create and roll out online skills trainings for the communities they serve.

ACTIVITY DISCRIPTION
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 AEMS Collaborators and their interest areas should be prioritized; however, the consultant will be expected to draw on their own existing relationships and subject matter expertise.

IYF experts will guide the direction of the curriculum library and resource development process, developing templates, and reviewing rubrics and parameters within which the consultants will develop their deliverables. The consultants will also be expected to work collaboratively alongside IYF staff during brainstorming and design meetings. 

QUALIFICATIONS
The selected applicant will have deep practical and academic knowledge of the sector or sectors for which they propose to address. They must be aware of the leading English-language curriculum for the subject areas and have the technical expertise to assess the curriculum as described in the deliverable section. Experience delivering training with at least one of those curricula is preferred, but not required. Applicants proposing to develop the eLearning guidance resources and EdTech software review should, however, have experience running EdTech/virtual instruction programs. Experience advising other organizations on best practices is also welcome. 

Preference is also given to applicants who have specific expertise in delivery skills training to youth and/or learners with visual disabilities.

DELIVERABLES
The following deliverables are requested for each of the subject areas listed in the summary section of this document. As is also mentioned there, IYF seeks applications from consultants who can address the needs of one or more of these subject areas.

  • Identification of five existing curricula for each subject area with at least three of those having content files that can be easily uploaded into the Microsoft Community Trainer platform (i.e. MP4, 3GP, 3G2, 3GP2, AVI, MEPG, MPG, WMV, VOB, MKV, FLV, DV, TS, ASF, M4V, MOV, MP3, OGG, PDF, PPT, PPTX, DOCX, EPUB, HTML). Preference should be given to curricula that include resources for instructors as well as learners. Preference is also given for free and/or open-source curricula.
  • A completed curriculum library (in Excel/table format) analyzing the capabilities of each curriculum across a number of parameters including, but not limited to: language, target education level, countries where used, strengths, weaknesses, summary of content, licensing/cost requirements, links to existing case studies of its use (if any), and links to analysis of its impact (if any). The consultant should leverage a structured curricula assessment rubric/methodology to ensure consistency in the analysis.

The following deliverables are not specific to any one subject area.

  • Three to five page brief on best practices for developing engaging content for online skills
  • Two to three page brief on best practices for encouraging diversity and inclusion in online skills training
  • Two to three page brief on best practices in the design of skills training that is accessible to persons with disabilities
  • Three to five page brief on considerations when selecting the appropriate LMS for an NGO's needs
  • A completed matrix (in excel/table format) comparing Microsoft Community Trainer with at least six competing LMS or LXP solutions across a number of parameters including, but not limited to: relative strengths and weaknesses, total cost of ownership, ease of use, capabilities around learner communication and management, capabilities around live-video integration, learning assessment options, user management/hierarchy structure, mobile-responsive design, and 3rd-party support availability

Final briefs must be ready for public distribution – styled and formatted to professional standards. The consultant or firm is not expected to develop materials from scratch and may draw on resources developed by others so long as it’s appropriately attributed and in compliance with intellectual property expectation of third parties.

BUDGET
The total available for the full scope of work will be no more than 45,000 USD including all expenses, fees and indirect. The allocation of that budget is dependent on the subject areas and resources addressed by each selected party.

REQUESTED PROPOSAL ELEMENTS
The proposal should include the following components:

  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;
    • lists the subject areas and resources that the applicant proposes to address. 
  2. Timeline for activities and deliverables (not to exceed 8 weeks).
  3. Budget identifying the costs that link clearly to activities in the narrative (see attached template). 
  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 this initial phase provide high quality deliverables and operate professionally, IYF’s preference will be to modify the contract of a 1st phase consultant. Addition areas of work may include:
Uploading and configuring the demonstration MCT to house the curriculum identified
Development of tutorial videos on how to use the MCT platform
Curation and analysis of curricular addressing specific technical skills

SUBMISSION PROCESS
Interested individuals or firms should submit the above Requested Proposal Elements to Eric Couper, Digital Development Director with email subject line: IYF AEMS curriculum library consultancy. 

RFP AND SELECTION PROCESS
RFP distributed and posted on IYF’s website: 23 Sept 2021
Question submission deadline: 1 Oct 2021 (Submit questions to Eric Couper)
Answers to questions provided by IYF: 6 Oct 2021
Deadline for proposal submissions: 11:59 Eastern Standard Time 13 Oct 2021
Finalist candidate interviews: 18 & 19 Oct 2021 
Selection notification: 20 Oct 2021

Work to begin immediately after contract signing.

BASIS FOR AWARD
Consultant Fit: Breadth and depth of relevant experience, particularly related to direct experience delivering instruction on the stated topics and/or analyzing the suitability of curriculum. 
Prior Experience and Work Samples: Comprehensiveness, relevance, quality of samples
Client References: Strength of recommendation from both product and working relationship perspectives. IYF requires references at submission. Only finalists’ references will be contacted.
Budget and Timeline: Comprehensive, competitive cost structure. Ability to meet aggressive timeline with clearly defined work plan.
Other: Overall responsiveness of proposal and “fit” of consultant to IYF needs and values.

Thank you for your interest in International Youth Foundation and this opportunity. IYF is strengthened by the diversity of our colleagues and partners. We welcome applications from people of all cultures, backgrounds, and experiences.