Independent Consultant to conduct an External Evaluation of MMI’s Health Literacy Program

 MARY MACKILLOP INTERNATIONAL

The International Aid and Development agency of the Sisters of St Joseph

 Independent Consultant to conduct an External Evaluation of

MMI’s Health Literacy Program

Background

Mary MacKillop International (MMI) is the international aid and development agency of the Sisters of St Joseph. Initially mandated to improve the quality of literacy education in the Tetum language, MMI’s focus has since expanded to promoting life-long learning through teacher training, parent workshops and health education.

MMI has been running its Health Literacy program since July 2015. The core objective of MMI’s Health Literacy program is to provide children with quality health education in the classroom.  It achieves this objective through 3 core outputs: The provision of training workshops for school teachers on how to implement basic preventative health lessons in line with the national curriculum; the development and distribution of accompanying health education resources; and the provision of ongoing mentorship of teachers through monitoring by MMI facilitators.

Since July 2015, over 300 primary school teachers from Viqueque and Maliana district have attended MMI’s 5-day health literacy workshop, which equips them with the skills, knowledge and resources to implement health lessons as prescribed in the national curriculum using age appropriate engaging methods such as music, role-playing and games.  MMI’s internal data collection over the past year has shown that 95.8% teachers increased their knowledge on the health education program and basic preventative health after attending the training. During follow-up evaluation, 54% of teachers demonstrated high quality delivery of the program (very good or excellent) in the classroom and 100% teachers were using the health resources that were provided.

MMI would like to evaluate whether increased knowledge among teachers and effective delivery of the program in the classroom contributes to the acquirement of knowledge among students and improved preventative health and hygiene practices in the school environment by both teachers and students.

Purpose and scope of consultancy

The consultant’s scope of work will be the provision of an external evaluation to measure the impact of MMI’s Health Literacy program on the participating teachers and their students. The consultant will address the questions listed below in order to determine whether the health literacy program has resulted in an increase in general health knowledge and improved preventative health and hygiene practices in the school environment.

It is expected that the evaluation will not be able to assess all the teachers and students who received the training over the past 2 years, therefore a sample of approximately 3 schools should be selected to inform a general assessment. MMI acknowledges there will be limitations in the evaluation due to the small sample size and issues of attribution when assessing these questions.

Impact on Teachers

The consultant will answer

  1. How are teachers continuing to utilise MMI resources in the classroom and implement the activities they learnt at the health literacy training with their students? If they are not using these resources/implementing these activities, what are the factors inhibiting this?
  2. How are teachers implementing the preventative health and hygiene practices they learnt in the training to encourage healthy behaviours among students? If they are not implementing these practices, what is the reason for this?

Each 5-day training is attended by approximately 30 teachers, representing anywhere from five to ten schools in the area (between two and six teachers per school). MMI Facilitators monitor the teachers in the classroom within 3 months after attending the training, at which time they assess whether the teachers are effectively delivering the program to their students and utilising the health resources that were distributed. Therefore, while MMI is able to assess the teachers’ application in the short-term, we have thus far been unable to determine whether this is continuing after 3 months. This evaluation will allow MMI to assess whether these teachers have continued using MMI resources (including posters, music CD’s, puppets, books) and continued to deliver age-appropriate health education activities learnt during the training in the longer-term.

During the training, teachers learn a variety of simple steps they can take to help prevent diseases and conditions like skin infections, mosquito-borne diseases, malnutrition and diarrhoea. They are also provided with a hygiene starter-kit including a bucket and soap to encourage healthy practices at school. This evaluation will also allow MMI to determine whether this has translated into more effective preventative health behaviours and practices among teachers, and the school itself, in order to support their students.

Impact on Students

The consultant will answer

  1. Do the primary school students (whose teachers participated in the program) have knowledge of the preventative health topics covered in the MMI health literacy training?
  2. Are students practicing good health and hygiene behaviours at school?  If not, why?

Since July 2015, over 6,000 primary school students have benefited from receiving health education in the classroom. Teachers who have attended the training have acquired skills and knowledge to educate their students on a range preventative diseases and conditions such as dengue fever, malaria, diarrhoea, malnutrition, skin infection and respiratory conditions, using age appropriate and interactive methods such as role playing, singing, games and group activities. This evaluation will help MMI determine whether the delivery of these interactive activities in the classroom has led to an effective acquisition of knowledge among children on preventative health, and if this knowledge has subsequently translated into improved health and hygiene behaviours among children at school.

Key outputs

It is expected that the consultant will conduct a child-friendly and participatory evaluation utilising age-appropriate/creative methods in order to answer the above 4 questions.  Our preference is that the evaluator utilises some form of multimedia product (eg photo-talk, video etc) as part of the evaluation.

The consultant will submit a final report addressing the key findings based on the questions above and including recommendations for future improvements to the program. This report should be no more than 25 pages in length (excluding annexes and/or appendices) and include a 2-page executive summary.

The consultant will have access to manuals and resources for the program, distribution lists, MMI’s development effectiveness and learning framework data for the health program since July 2015, and Timor-Leste and Australian based staff.

Management and Timeframe

The consultant will be managed by the Timor-Leste Program Coordinator based in Sydney, Australia and work closely with the Health Program Coordinator and M&E Officer based in Timor-Leste.

The consultancy will be undertaken in Timor-Leste with a field trip to visit approximately 3 schools in either Maliana or Viqueque. MMI will manage all transport, accommodation and logistical travel arrangements including costs for this/these field visits.

The consultancy is expected to take place across a period of approximately 15 days between May – June 2017. The dates of the consultancy will be set after consultation between the selected candidate and MMI, however final report and invoice must be submitted by June 26, 2017.

An indicative timeframe is as follows:

Activity Days
Background reading/Tools preparation 1
Orientation to the program and desk review 1
Field visit to 3 schools in Maliana or Viqueque 8
Staff interviews and presentation of preliminary findings to Dili-based staff 2
Final report writing 3
TOTAL 15

Consultant Selection Criteria

The Consultant/s shall be expected to have the following skills and experience:

  • A Masters Degree or equivalent experience in education, public health or international development
  • Background in public health or education in the international development sector
  • Previous experience in conducting participatory and child-friendly evaluations, utilising multimedia or other forms of creative evaluation methods
  • Knowledge of and experience working in Timor-Leste
  • High quality communication skills, including the ability to speak and write clearly and effectively, listen to and facilitate participation from others, including in cross-cultural contexts
  • Understanding of MMIs vision, mission and values, and commitment to uphold the MMI Child Protection Code of Conduct.
  • Tetum language skills will be an advantage

Expressions of Interest

Expressions of interest should be submitted by 5pm Timor-Leste time on Friday 31st March, 2017. All expressions of interest should include 3 items:

  1. Up to date CV with details of two relevant referees
  2. Statement of capability addressing the selection criteria (up to 2 pages)
  3. Cover letter outlining:
  • Quotation including daily rate (all field visit costs are covered by MMI)
  • Confirmation of availability to complete the evaluation within the specified time frame

All applications as well as any requests for further information should be directed to Emma Dawson: emma.dawson@mmi.org.au or +61 2 8912 2777.

Emma Dawson

International Programs Coordinator

Mary MacKillop International

The International Aid and Development agency of the Sisters of St Joseph

Lvl 4, 12 Mount St North Sydney NSW 2060 | P O Box 1646 North Sydney NSW

Ph +61 2 8912 2767 (direct)  +61 2 8912 2777 (office)   |   emma.dawson@mmi.org.au   |   www.mmi.org.au

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