Open Call for Staff Development and Training Program

The Roma Education Fund’s (“REF”) mission and ultimate goal is to close the gap in educational outcomes between Roma and non-Roma. In order to achieve this goal, the organization supports policies and programs which ensure quality education for Roma through scholarships, grant making and advocacy activities. The objectives of REF include:

-      Expanding Romani children’s access to quality early childhood education and care;

-      Improving primary education outcomes for Romani children aged six to fourteen;

-      Boosting academic performance and graduation rates from secondary education for Romani pupils;

-      Supporting access to tertiary education, improving graduation levels and identity of Romani university students;

-      Expanding employment opportunities for young Romani adults.

The Roma Education Fund operates its activities in close links with civil society and institutional partners in 16 countries of Central, Eastern and South Eastern Europe. In order to accomplish its mission, REF implements different programs. One of the key programs of REF is providing grants for NGOs (the “Grant Program”) in 13 countries (including Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Kosovo, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia) to implement various educational projects. In 2016, REF awarded 42 new grants with a total budget of EUR 3.2 million that fund projects in the above countries. Including the grants awarded currently has a portfolio of 55 currently running educational projects.

REF’s headquarters in Budapest, Hungary includes 22 of staff. Most of staff, especially those in the programmatic units, are subject matter experts with extensive experience in their respective fields of expertise. They are eager to further develop their skills. A recent draft report on Institutional Development of the Roma Education Fund Headquarters in Budapest recommends the development of new staff training. Given the multitude of projects, wide geographical coverage, multiple and often competing priorities to address and ensure timely and effective implementation of projects, REF wishes to engage a company with appropriate professional background and capacities to deliver and effective and customized staff training and development program. The program may be carried in several modules as outlined below. A specific needs assessment should be conducted to better identify the focus areas of the program.

Objectives and scope of the staff training and development program

The objective of the staff development and training program is to develop and further improve:

Time management and communication skills:

-      Time management skills;

-      Communication skills;

-      Influence skills, and

-      Critical thinking and problem solving.

Leadership and management skills:

-      Strategic thinking for operational management;

-      Leadership skills;

-      Coaching and development abilities, and

-      Project management skills.

Scope: By the end of the staff development and training program participants should be able to:

Time management and communication skills:

-      Identify their own time management style and habits of others; identify useful time management habits and strategies; prioritization techniques and writing goals that induce action (time management skills);

-      Understand their own communication style, uses and limitations; adapt styles to suit the respondent; use active listening skills to ensure all information is retained (communication skills);

-      Understand the need to positively influence and use differing influencing techniques; have a more detailed understanding of how to be assertive and when to use this skill; get results and win-win solution focused influencing; develop strong working relationship across functional boundaries and diverse cultures (Influence skills),

-      Critically identify, evaluate and construct evidence; value fair-mindedness, respect evidence and reasoning and look at different points of view and change positions when reason leads them to do so (critical thinking and problem solving).

Leadership and management skills:

-      Leverage strategic thinking at the operational level; bridge the gap between organizational and operational goals; foster innovative thinking to overcome challenges (strategic thinking for operational management);

-      Identify their own leadership style through the prism of established leadership models; build their own leadership skills and cultivate emotional intelligence; appreciate diverse organizational structures (leadership skills);

-      Apply different techniques to foster success in team members; create an inclusive environment fostering individual growth and dialogue; structure a framework for growth and development of individual team members (coaching and development abilities), and

-      Identify their strengths and weaknesses in project management; determine a plan of action for improvement (project management skills).

The staff development and training program shall include program customized to the professional needs of REF staff. The training will be delivered to staff from REF Headquarters, who include a mixture of programmatic and administrative staff. Country Directors from REF Networks may also take part in the training.

The working language of REF is English; therefore, the trainings shall be conducted in English.

The estimated number of participants is up to around 20, but number of participants may be different for the different modules.

REF is considering to allocate approximately one working week for the training, so the training should take the form of a maximum seven-day training program.

Preparation and content of the staff development and training program

In the preparation of the staff training and development program, the selected company will:

-      Consult with REF staff and management to customize the training program to the needs of the organization;

-      Identify specific deficiencies or areas of improvement and adjust training and development program to address these areas of improvement;

-      Adjust methodology and training materials to the needs of REF staff;

-      Prepare the overall goal and objectives of the module;

-      Develop a detailed agenda with the timeline and methodologies applied for specific modules;

-      Theoretical content relevant to the module;

-      Practical exercises and case study materials for distribution to training participants (including electronic materials), and

-      Bring to the participants’ attention any other materials that may be of relevance (such as web links, you tube videos and books).

Delivery of the staff training and development program

Staff training and development program will be delivered in modules as suggested above. The length of individual modules should be not less than a day and not more than two days. In addition to provision of materials outlined below, the company will prepare and conduct pre and post- training assessment of the staff training and development program. The results of the assessment will be shared with REF.

Timing

The staff training and development training will take place in the fall of 2017 and in the first half of 2018. A more detailed timeframe and schedule will be elaborated in cooperation with REF.

Application

Proposal for the tasks included in this Terms of Reference for staff development and training program shall include the following:

1) Course development and customization, which shall include:

-      Brief outline of the staff development and training program:

  • Proposed approach, methodology and the outline of the theoretical materials and exercises used.

-      Proposed timeline and duration of individual modules for training delivery.

2) Financial proposal

-      Cost of staff development and training program (including VAT);

-      Any additional costs to be considered in relation to the performance of the tasks.

3) Annexes

-      Curricula vitae of the proposed team;

-      Relevant reference projects from previous successful mandates.

 The completed application as well as any questions related to this Terms of Reference shall be sent electronically to Ms. Azra Junuzovic, Deputy Director of Roma Education Fund, no later than 31 August 2017.

Criteria for selection:

-      Technical Proposal (50%);

-      Financial Proposal (50%).

Click here for the Terms of Reference.