International Individual Consultant to Development and Pilot of an Effective Multi-Level School Management Approach in São Tomé e Príncipe-6 months


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, a Champion

UNICEF Sao Tome and Principe is recruiting an International Consultant to carry out the Development and Pilot of an Effective Multi-Level School Management Approach in São Tomé e Príncipe.

How can you make a difference?

Scope of Work:

Strengthening school leadership is pivotal in enhancing teaching quality and learning outcomes. One of the targets of the Education 2030 Agenda aims to increase the supply of qualified teachers, acknowledging the critical role of leadership in schools. Research confirms that, after classroom teaching, school leadership is the most significant in-school determinant of student outcomes.

Through a managerial lens, school leaders can also help achieve target 4.a – provide safe, non-violent, inclusive, and equitable learning environments. In addition, by establishing a clear vision and promoting a positive and participative culture, they can propel their schools to achieve targets 4.1 (equitable and quality education for all) and 4.5 (eliminate gender disparities and allow equal access to education for all vulnerable populations).

The primary goal of this consultancy is to enhance the proficiency and equity of education plans by supporting school leaders and education managers.

The focus is on building robust education systems that facilitate progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and improve education quality.

Given the current weak performance of schools in terms of micro and process indicators, the initiative aims at enhancing the capabilities and skills of school managers and teachers. Furthermore, it actively involve parents, students, and the community in the planning and monitoring processes. The purpose is to refine the utilization of data to identify, plan, and eliminate barriers hindering learning environment and educational outcomes. This effort will also promote critical discussions involving institutional educational structures, such as education partners, parents, student associations and the broader community, to bolster subnational planning and management capabilities.

Objectives, Purpose & Expected Results


Enhance the proficiency and equity of education plans by supporting school leaders and education managers

  1. To conduct a comprehensive landscape analysis of the current state of school management at school, district, and central levels in São Tomé e Príncipe
  2. To propose an evidence-based approach for effective management at these three levels, taking into consideration international/regional best practices and local context.
  3. To pilot the proposed approach in three schools (one in Príncipe and the other two in Sao Tome) for validation.
  4. To design and implement a well-tailored approach for wider adoption based on pilot findings, providing a step-by-step guidance for scaling up.


The selected institution will:

Objective1: Enhance the proficiency and equity of education plans by supporting school leaders and education managers


To gain a comprehensive understanding of the context, needs, and opportunities, it’s imperative the consultant should delve into the following areas:

The Nature of Schools:

    • Analyze and synthesize literature that discusses the individual uniqueness, values, and inherent challenges of each school.
    • Investigate the influence of school culture in shaping educational environments and outcomes.

Leadership and Management:

    • Evaluate literature to distinguish between leadership and management in educational contexts.
    • Assess various leadership styles to identify those most effective in different school contexts.

Motivation and Staff Development:

    • Review theories of motivation and their application in educational settings.
    • Identify strategies that promote continuous professional development and staff engagement.

Change Management:

    • Examine literature on adapting educational institutions to evolving educational landscapes.
    • Identify effective strategies for navigating and implementing institutional changes.

Resource Management:

    • Evaluate best practices in financial and human resource management within educational settings.
    • Review effective strategies in budgeting, fiscal transparency, staff hiring, retention, and conflict resolution.

The School and the Community:

    • Investigate approaches to enhancing parental involvement and community outreach in schools.
    • Assess how schools can maintain a central and valued role within their communities.

The School and the Students:

    • Review literature on creating supportive environments that prioritize student well-being, engagement, and success.

The School and the Parents:

    • Analyze communication strategies that foster enhanced collaboration between schools and parents in the educational journey.

Ethical Considerations:

    • Examine literature on the ethical challenges faced by educational managers.
    • Assess decision-making tools and strategies that promote ethical conduct and prioritize the welfare of students and the integrity of institutions.
  • Visit schools to observe management practices, with a particular emphasis on interactions between school staff and students, and the engagement strategies employed with parents.
  • Conduct interviews with school managers, teachers, parents, students, district officials, and central education body representatives to gather varied perspectives on the existing school management system.
  • Engage with local community leaders and members, with a particular emphasis on adolescents out-of-school to understand the broader community’s perspective on school management and their expectations.
  • Reflect on the effectiveness of current school management practices, based on gathered evidence, with a special focus on school engagement with parents, prioritization of student well-being, and integration within the local community.
  • Identify best practices and pinpoint areas that require improvement, specifically concentrating on the school’s relationship with students, parents, and the broader community (including out-school).
  • Propose a comprehensive approach for effective school management tailored for each level: school, district, and central. This approach will also develop tools and methodologies:
  • for evidence-based planning at the school level.
  • to delineate strategies for enhancing school-student, school-parent, and school-community relationships.
  • to continuously gather feedback from schools, students, parents, and the community as the new approach was being rolled out, ensuring its adaptability and relevance throughout the implementation process.
  • Pilot the proposed approach in two selected schools. During this phase, gather feedback not only from educational staff but also from parents, students, and community stakeholders. Assess its effectiveness and adaptability.
  • Based on feedback and results from the pilot, design a well-tailored and effective school management approach that is inclusive of the needs and expectations of students, parents, and the broader community.
  • Implement this approach at a small scale, providing step-by-step guidance for potential scaling up in the future, ensuring the approach remains adaptive to the changing dynamics between schools, students, parents, and the community.
  • Develop short and friendly school management guidelines to ensure that school teams have the minimum guidance to apply the tools with minimum standards of quality.
  • Organize and lead a consultative meeting involving all relevant stakeholders to present, discuss, and validate the proposed school management approach. This meeting will serve as a platform for collective deliberation, allowing stakeholders to contribute their insights, feedback, and approval, ensuring that the finalized approach is well-rounded, feasible, and enjoys broad support.


Objective 2: Enhance the proficiency and equity of education plans by supporting school leaders and education managers

  • A comprehensive analysis of São Tomé e Príncipe’s school management landscape delivered across all critical levels, enriched with detailed data and insights that had shaped strategic advancements.
  • Included a synthesis of global best practices and models, tailored to São Tomé e Príncipe’s educational dynamics, offering actionable insights for enhancing areas such as school culture and leadership styles.
  • Provided a thorough assessment of the state of school management, ensuring future steps were well-aligned with the specific needs and contexts of the local educational landscape.
  • Direct observations from school visits compiled, effectively detailing prevailing management practices and their overall effectiveness.
  • Comprehensive transcripts or summaries from stakeholder interviews assembled, summarizing a multitude of perspectives and experiences pertinent to school management
  • Proposed a well-rounded strategy for efficient school management will be, specifically tailored to accommodate the needs at various administrative levels: school, district, and central.
  • Innovative tools and methodologies crafted to facilitate evidence-based planning at the school level, enhancing the precision and effectiveness of educational strategies and actions.
  • Developed tools to cultivate enhanced relationships between schools, students, parents, and the community. This holistic engagement aims to foster a supportive and collaborative educational environment.
  • Mechanisms implemented to continuously collect and integrate feedback from various educational stakeholders during the rollout of the new approach. This will ensure that the management strategies remain adaptable, relevant, and finely tuned to the evolving educational landscape.
  • Developed a refined and inclusive school management approach, incorporating feedback and lessons learned from the pilot phase, for initial small-scale implementation.
  • Detailed, step-by-step guidance provided to facilitate future scalability, ensuring that the approach remains flexible and adaptable to the evolving dynamics and relationships between schools, students, parents, and the community.
  • Succinct and user-friendly school management pocket guidance and visual tools have been developed, enabling school teams to apply the tools effectively and uphold a consistent standard of quality throughout their implementation.
  • A consultative meeting was successfully organized, involving relevant Ministries and other stakeholders, aimed at discussing and validating the proposed school management approach. Essential feedback and valuable inputs were actively sought and integrated, ensuring the final approach is comprehensive, pragmatic, and enjoys widespread endorsement from all pertinent entities, thereby facilitating its effective implementation and execution.

Work Assignments Overview- Deliverables/Outputs- installment of payment.

  • Desk review: review existing literature and evidence around the following concepts (The Nature of Schools, Leadership and Management, Motivation and Staff Development, Change Management, Resource Management, The School and the Community, The School and the Students, The School and the Parents and Ethical Considerations), and Conduct field research for analyses of current practices – DELIVERABLE 1: Comprehensive analysis and literature review completed, and field research documented – 1st installment of payment -20% of total contract value – 1 month
  • Conduct field research for analyses of current practices and develop and pilot a proposed approach – DELIVERABLE 2: School management approach (tools and methodologies) designed and implemented as a pilot in two schools – 2nd installment of payment -25% of total contract value -2 months.
  • Develop and pilot a proposed approach revised and adjusted based on the pilot results – DELIVERABLE 3: School management approach- 3rd installment of payment – -20% of total contract value -1 month.
  • Develop school management pocket guidance as well as other visual tools than can be used as a continuous refresher for the implementation of the tools. DELIVERABLE 4: School management pocket guide and visual tools developed-4th installment of payment -20% of total contract value- 1 month.
  • Prepare and facilitate a consultative meeting with stakeholders for validation of the approach – DELIVERABLE5: Presentation of key pocket guide and visual tools submitted in PowerPoint and approved. Presentation to be submitted in Portuguese & English, and validation meeting with stakeholders organized and inputs compiled and integrated into the approach as agreed. 5th installment of payment -15% of total contract value -1 month

Location and Duration

  1. The assignment will start in February 2024 for a period of 5 months till February 2024.
  2. The work will be partially conducted remotely with mandatory periods on-site in São Tomé and Príncipe.

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

Successful consultants will offer the following:

  • Advanced university degree in Education, Social Sciences, Public administration, or relevant disciplines.
  • At least 6 years’ experience in strategic planning, and analysis, program design in public management and systems strengthening.
  • Demonstrable previous working experience in designing capacity building and management tools.
  • Proven ability to work consultatively under tight timelines.
  • Proven ability to build consensus among a broad range of high-level and technical stakeholders including UN, development partners, civil society, and government both from within and outside the sector.
  • Portuguese and another language required (English/ French/ Spanish)

Submission Requirements

The following should be submitted to UNICEF country office:

5.1. Technical proposal should include:

  1. Detailed overview of the proposed methodology and description of activities to complete the deliverables listed.
  2. Timeframe for completing the different outputs.
  3. Sample of completed similar work .

5.2. Financial proposal: One financial proposal

Evaluation process and methods

First, the Technical Proposals will be evaluated. The Technical Proposal shall be allocated a total possible score of  70 points (pt) using the criteria in the table below. Technical Proposals receiving 49 pt or higher, will be considered technically responsive and the Financial Proposal will be opened. Proposals which are considered not technically compliant and non-responsive, will not be given further consideration.

For every Child, you demonstrate…

UNICEF’s values of Care, Respect, Integrity, Trust, Accountability, and Sustainability (CRITAS).

Core Competencies

  • Builds and maintains partnerships
  • Demonstrates self-awareness and ethical awareness
  • Innovates and embraces change
  • Drive to achieve results for impact
  • Manages ambiguity and complexity
  • Thinks and acts strategically
  • Works collaboratively with other

To view our competency framework, please visit  here.

UNICEF is here to serve the world’s most disadvantaged children and our global workforce must reflect the diversity of those children. The UNICEF family is committed to include everyone, irrespective of their race/ethnicity, age, disability, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, nationality, socio-economic background, or any other personal characteristic.

UNICEF offers reasonable accommodation for consultants/individual contractors with disabilities. This may include, for example, accessible software, travel assistance for missions or personal attendants. We encourage you to disclose your disability during your application in case you need reasonable accommodation during the selection process and afterwards in your assignment.

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.


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.

The selected candidate is solely responsible to ensure that the visa (applicable) and health insurance required to perform the duties of the contract are valid for the entire period of the contract. Selected candidates are subject to confirmation of fully-vaccinated status against SARS-CoV-2 (Covid-19) with a World Health Organization (WHO)-endorsed vaccine, which must be met prior to taking up the assignment. It does not apply to consultants who will work remotely and are not expected to work on or visit UNICEF premises, programme delivery locations or directly interact with communities UNICEF works with, nor to travel to perform functions for UNICEF for the duration of their consultancy contracts.

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