National Consultancy – Development of Inclusive Education Policy (Open to Malawian Nationals Only)

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Job no:   543425
Contract type:   Consultancy
Level:  Consultancy
Location:   Malawi
Categories:   Education

UNICEF works in some of the world’s toughest places, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. To save their lives. To defend their rights. To help them fulfill their potential.

Across 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, every day, to build a better world for everyone.

And we never give up.

For every child, inclusive education !


Special Needs Education in Malawi began in the early 1950s under the guidance of faith-based organizations. The first specialist school to be established was for learners with visual impairment at Chilanga in Kasungu in 1950. In 1968 a Specialist Teacher Training College at Montfort College campus was established. The Malawi Government officially began to provide funding for Special Needs Education programs in 1967. The provision of Special Needs Education services for learners was done primarily through special schools and resource classroom centers within the mainstream schools.  To date, Malawi only has 160 resource centers supporting 6,359 primary schools and 60 resource centers for 1,452 secondary schools. Despite this investment, the number of learners with special education needs cannot be accommodated in the few service centers established to assist learners who require special needs education support.

Malawi is a signatory to several universal agreements that advocate for the provision of adequate educational opportunities for learners with special educational needs. From these agreements, Malawi developed more comprehensive strategies to better respond to the educational needs of learners with special educational needs. In 2009, Malawi developed the national special needs education policy guidelines, that provide a framework for Special Needs Education in Malawi. The implementation guidelines provided a mechanism for the effective and standardized implementation of Special Needs Education. This improved access to the provision of education services. The number of learners with disabilities enrolled in primary schools increased by 40% from 69,943 in 2007 to 173,715 [1]  in 2019. In the secondary subsector, there were 9,196 learners with special needs, representing 2.3% of learners.

While access seems to be improving there are still significant gaps.  The learning environment has not been conducive, 2019 EMIS report, indicates 80% of infrastructure in schools was not accessible by learners with physical impairment. The 2018 Malawi Population and Housing census indicated that 40% of all people with disabilities in Malawi have never attended school and that only 18.1% of children with disabilities are currently in school [2] .  The differential access to education is reflected in the comparison of levels of education for persons with disabilities and without disabilities. The 2018 MPHC, showed that persons with disabilities have low access across the education subsector with secondary and universities as worse.

While the guidelines on Special Needs Education guided practice and resulted in improved access of education service to learners with disabilities, it was obvious, that in order to achieve successful inclusive education, Malawi will need to change the discourse and practice of provision of special needs education services. Malawi’s special needs education was associated with and limited to learners with special education needs and disabilities.  In 2017, the Ministry of Education adopted the concept of inclusive education and developed a National Strategy for Inclusive Education (NSIE- 2017-2021), which is currently being implemented. The NSIE broadened the scope of inclusive education beyond learners with disabilities and envisioned an education system that enhances access to education, participation, and achievement of diverse learners at all levels of education in Malawi. However, the delivery of inclusive education is still sub-optimal because of several reasons but mostly the absence of a substantive and authoritative policy.

As part of the strategy to address the challenges of implementing Inclusive education, the Ministry of Education would like to develop a national Inclusive Education Policy. To this effect, the Ministry of Education requested UNICEF for technical support to develop the national Inclusive Education Policy.


The National Education Sector Investment Plan ( NESIP- 2020 to 2030) details the Ministry of Education priorities and strategies to improve education delivery at levels. Specifically, under the inclusive education, gender, and other cross-cutting issues, the NESIP has the strategic objectives: 3) Improve governance and management of inclusive education, gender, and other cross-cutting issues.

To achieve this objective especially objective 3 the key priority action is for the Ministry of Education to Develop and Implement Inclusive Education Policy.  This action requires technical support through a consultancy to lead and facilitate the development of the policy.

The government of Malawi has over the years emphasized the ‘all inclusive’ approach to education using various guidelines and practices scatter in various policy documents, guidelines, and frameworks. However, this has left a lot of areas uncoordinated and/or poorly addressed to secure the provision of meaningful inclusive education. This has resulted in the exclusion of many children from without (out of school) and from within the education system. The inclusive education policy will provide and an opportunity to redefine and recast the delivery management and education services to respond to the diverse needs of all learners in Malawi; ensuring quality education to all through appropriate curricula, organizational arrangements, teaching strategies, resource use, and in partnerships with their communities in our education system to achieving the quality learning outcomes and improving.

[1]  2019 Education Management Information system report.

[2]  2018 Malawi Population and Housing Census

How can you make a difference?

The candidate will be expected to carry out the following activities:

  1. Conduct a comprehensive analysis of the status of inclusive education and special needs in the education sector. Specifically, the consultant will undertake the following:
  2. To facilitate the consultation of the education stakeholders as follows:  Malawi government  – Ministry of Education, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Gender (disability department) and ministry of Local government;   Non-state actors:  Development Partners, NGOs, FBO;  OPDs;  Academia:  from Primary to tertiary education;  Education Managers:  District and division; Traditional leaders and the private sector.
  3. To facilitate engagement with the international fora for benchmarking in the prioritization of the IE policy.
  4. To lead and draft the national IE policy in liaison with the multi-disciplinary care team for the policy development.
  5. To lead and facilitate the validation of the draft IE policy.

To qualify as an advocate for every child you will have…

  • Postgraduate degree in Education with a special focus on inclusive education, Public Policy Analysis, and Management.
  • At least five  years of experience in special needs education, and policy development and formulation
  • Experience in inclusive education, curriculum differentiation, and assessment guideline
  • Experience in participatory consultative techniques
  • Computer skills, including internet navigation, and various office application
  • Excellent communication and writing skills in English and interpersonal skills
  • Fluency in local languages is an asset
  • Ability to work independently and accurately
  • Ability to work effectively in teams and in a multicultural environment
  • High sense of integrity and results-oriented
  • English, Chichewa, both written and verbal is added advantage.

For every Child, you demonstrate…

UNICEF’s values of Care, Respect, Integrity, Trust, and Accountability (CRITA) and core competencies in Communication, Working with People and Drive for Results.

To view our competency framework, please visit  here .

Click  here  to learn more about UNICEF’s values and competencies.

For more information refer to the attached Terms of Reference (ToR):

  TOR for IE development.pdf

Use the attached template to submit your financial proposal

  Financial proposal template.xlsx

UNICEF is committed to diversity and inclusion within its workforce, and encourages all candidates, irrespective of gender, nationality, religious and ethnic backgrounds, including persons living with disabilities, to apply to become a part of the organization.

UNICEF has a zero-tolerance policy on conduct that is incompatible with the aims and objectives of the United Nations and UNICEF, including sexual exploitation and abuse, sexual harassment, abuse of authority and discrimination. UNICEF also adheres to strict child safeguarding principles. All selected candidates will be expected to adhere to these standards and principles and will therefore undergo rigorous reference and background checks. Background checks will include the verification of academic credential(s) and employment history. Selected candidates may be required to provide additional information to conduct a background check.



Mobility is a condition of international professional employment with UNICEF and an underlying premise of the international civil service.

Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted and advance to the next stage of the selection process.

Individuals engaged under a consultancy or individual contract will not be considered “staff members” under the Staff Regulations and Rules of the United Nations and UNICEF’s policies and procedures, and will not be entitled to benefits provided therein (such as leave entitlements and medical insurance coverage). Their conditions of service will be governed by their contract and the General Conditions of Contracts for the Services of Consultants and Individual Contractors. Consultants and individual contractors are responsible for determining their tax liabilities and for the payment of any taxes and/or duties, in accordance with local or other applicable laws.

Advertised:   28 Jul 2021  South Africa Standard Time
Deadline:   12 Aug 2021  South Africa Standard Time

To apply for this job please visit .

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