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Call document: Regional learning partners for the Global Partnership for Education’s Knowledge and Innovation Exchange

Call for expressions of interest

This call seeks organizations or groups of organizations interested in applying to become a regional learning partner. Regional learning partners will design and operate one of four regional Knowledge and Innovation Exchange (KIX) hubs. This is a critical knowledge brokering function in the Global Partnership for Education’s (GPE) new KIX program.

Deadline for submission: 21 August 2019 (23:30 EDT)

Background

The GPE and IDRC recently launched the KIX program, which is designed to improve policies and practice that will strengthen national education systems within GPE member countries. In doing so, KIX will accelerate progress towards the Sustainable Development Goal for education (SDG 4).  

KIX is an exciting new way to connect expertise, innovation, and knowledge to strengthen national policy dialogue and planning in countries supported by GPE. KIX will facilitate knowledge sharing among country stakeholders to enhance their education systems using relevant evidence and actionable research. Funding for testing, evaluating, and scaling promising solutions will be available through competitive calls for research and innovation.  

KIX consists of:

  1. a knowledge sharing and exchange function, where partners come together to share information, innovation, and best practices; and
  2. a funding mechanism that provides grants at global and regional levels to invest in knowledge generation and innovation and to scale up proven approaches.  

KIX funds will reinforce and enhance the effectiveness of GPE grants that support education sector planning and implementation.

Regional KIX hubs are the core of KIX design. Each KIX hub will be a regional forum that facilitates cross-country knowledge exchange, learning, and collaboration among key national education stakeholders. The regional hubs will identify policy priorities and mobilize evidence into national policy debates and sector planning processes.

GOAL

With this call for expressions of interest, we seek organizations that are interested in becoming a regional learning partner (RLP). RLPs will design and operate one of four regional KIX hubs located in Africa (two hubs), Latin America and the Caribbean, and a combined hub for countries from South, Southeast and Central Asia, the Middle East and North Africa, Europe, and the Pacific Islands.

Eligible countries in each of the designated regions are listed in the table below.  

Table 1: GPE member countries by region 

 

KIX Hub 1 

ANGLOPHONE AFRICA 

KIX Hub 2 

FRANCOPHONE AFRICA

KIX Hub 3 

ASIA/EUROPE/MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA/PACIFIC ISLANDS 

KIX Hub 4 

LATIN AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN 

Eritrea  

Ethiopia 

Gambia 

Ghana 

Kenya 

Lesotho 

Liberia 

Malawi 

Mozambique 

Nigeria 

Rwanda 

Sao Tome and Principe 

Sierra Leone 

Somalia (Somaliland and Puntland)  

South Sudan 

Tanzania (mainland and Zanzibar) 

Uganda 

Zambia 

Zimbabwe 

Benin 

Burkina Faso 

Burundi 

Cabo Verde 

Cameroon 

Central African Republic 

Chad 

Comoros 

Côte d'Ivoire 

Democratic Republic of Congo 

Djibouti 

Guinea 

Guinea-Bissau 

Madagascar 

Mali 

Mauritania 

Niger 

Republic of Congo 

Senegal 

Togo  

Afghanistan 

Albania 

Bangladesh 

Bhutan 

Cambodia 

Georgia 

Kyrgyz Republic 

Lao PDR 

Moldova 

Mongolia 

Myanmar 

Nepal 

Pakistan 

Papua New Guinea 

Sudan 

Tajikistan 

Timor Leste 

Uzbekistan 

Vietnam 

Yemen 

Dominica 

Grenada 

Guyana 

Honduras 

Haiti 

Nicaragua 

St. Lucia 

St. Vincent and the Grenadines 

Specific objectives  

Regional learning partners

RLPs will coordinate and implement units for the regional KIX hubs. More specifically, RLPs will:

  1. Set up and manage regional KIX hubs 
    1. Engage with countries to enlist KIX hub membership and foster engagement over time through targeted communications and appropriate activities. 
    2. Define a monitoring and evaluation strategy to inform the hub’s adaptive management and feed into KIX’s results tracking and learning.  
    3. Continuously improve the management of the regional KIX hub so that it is responsive to the needs and requirements of its members and achieves its stated objectives. 
    4. Provide input for the implementation of other granting mechanisms within KIX.  
  2. Produce knowledge syntheses and set agendas 
    1. Take stock of regional and global evidence and innovations related to the identified policy challenges. This involves scoping and compiling relevant research, evaluations, and innovations, in addition to producing targeted analysis and synthesis of the evidence to support learning for regional KIX hub participants. 
    2. With the support of IDRC and the GPE Secretariat, periodically develop regional calls to action by polling and engaging representatives of member-country education systems. Each call to action defines a priority related to policy challenges that will be addressed through research and scalable innovation.
    3. Assess and broker relationships between regional KIX hubs and existing regional and global networks based on their thematic alignment with regional KIX hub activities. Assist regional KIX hub members to expand knowledge mobilization into their national contexts, including capacity strengthening processes to support institutional learning among GPE country partners. 
  3. Support knowledge sharing and mobilization 
    1. Produce outputs and support processes for knowledge mobilization based on regional knowledge sharing events and targeted analysis/synthesis work (including policy briefs, summaries targeting national education actors, toolkits, and workshops). 
    2. Convene one annual face-to-face meeting and more frequent virtual regional learning exchange events to facilitate knowledge transfer across the network (including learning that is emerging from KIX-funded projects at the regional level).  
    3. Facilitate a collaborative process to support country representatives to identify and agree upon shared regional educational policy challenges and priorities.  
    4. Systematize learning and good practices to foster knowledge sharing and capacity strengthening in the regional context. Facilitate direct knowledge sharing between countries through exchange visits, targeted gatherings, and ad hoc webinars.  
    5. Coordinate work and provide feedback to digital learning platform developers.

Regional KIX hubs

KIX hubs will contribute to stronger education policy dialogue in each GPE partner country by:   

  • Fostering demand-driven regional knowledge exchange and building capacity among key stakeholders to identify, use, share, and mobilize relevant evidence within priority policy challenges.  
  • Producing and disseminating relevant regional and global solution-oriented knowledge and evidence syntheses for national and regional KIX hub stakeholders through pertinent channels.  
  • Advancing effective regional mobilization and knowledge and evidence uptake resulting from scalable innovation processes in education. 

To accomplish these objectives, regional KIX hubs will establish and manage learning cycles that:

  1. support the identification and prioritization of regional education policy challenges; 
  2. scope regional knowledge, innovations, and actors that address the prioritized challenges; 
  3. support the participatory development of a regionally specific knowledge and innovation agenda (a “call to action”) that informs knowledge sharing and generation activities, including short-term (e.g., peer-exchange, rapid knowledge creation) and long-term (e.g., regional and global grants) research and innovation activities; and 
  4. facilitate ongoing connections between KIX grants and the regional KIX hub to support knowledge mobilization beyond the countries immediately involved in each grant.  

Eligibility and evaluation criteria   

Pre-screening eligibility criteria: 

  • Be located in a KIX hub region of focus (two regional KIX hubs will be located in Africa; one in Latin America and the Caribbean; and one hub will represent countries from South, Southeast and Central Asia, the Middle East and North Africa, Europe, and the Pacific Islands).

Please refer to the list of eligible countries in Table 1.

  • Be legally founded and registered in the country of operation. **This requirement has been amended. Applicants are required only to be registered in the country of operation. Amended July 19, 2019.

Evaluation criteria:

Regional learning partners will be evaluated on the following:   

Expertise in knowledge mobilization and learning facilitation – 30%

The organization must demonstrate a track record of facilitating knowledge exchanges and capacity building among policy actors. This includes developing a variety of tools and methodologies (toolkits, rapid knowledge syntheses, policy briefs, digital content, participatory methodologies) to adapt interactions to the needs and capacities of national stakeholders. 

Expertise in the field of education policies – 25%

The organization:

  • has experience producing, synthetizing, and mobilizing evidence that is relevant to the field of education;
  • the technical ability to assess policy contexts to identify research and analysis opportunities and to adapt programs to respond appropriately;
  • is considered to be credible by policymakers; and
  • is willing to expand contacts with government officials, media, and other policy actors to identify key issues, share research results, and stimulate policy debates. 

Organizational performance – 20%

Evidence that the organization has the basic systems, resources, and management capacities to succeed in organizing multi-stakeholder learning exchanges, including the ability to organize large events, training activities, workshops, and manage small sub-grants.  

Organizational motivation – 25%

Evidence that the organization’s programmatic strategy and institutional mandate align with and are relevant to a regional KIX hub. This includes the ability to work collaboratively and to contribute to KIX learning and exchange objectives with other relevant regional actors.  

IDRC staff will work closely with the RLP to assess capacity needs early on and to support capacity development as necessary. This includes articulation with other grantees to build capacity and refine products and processes.  

IDRC will consider RLP configurations that involve more than one regional actor with complementary strengths. This consortia modality would identify a lead institution and others that share specific functions in a coordinated, co-responsible, and collaborative manner.  

Budget and duration 

Over a period of 50 months, RLPs for regional KIX hubs 1, 2, and 3 will receive a maximum of approximately CA$3,360,000 (US$2,500,000).

Given the smaller scale of the network, the RLP for regional KIX hub 4 (Latin America and the Caribbean) will receive a maximum of approximately CA$1,235,000 (US$920,000).

Applying to the call for expressions of interest

IDRC welcomes expressions of interest from individual organizations or groups of organizations that are interested in submitting a full proposal for the role of a regional learning partner.  

Based on the criteria above, interested organizations should submit an expression of interest with supporting documents by 23:30 EDT on August 21, 2019. All applications should be sent to kixcalls@idrc.ca with the subject title “Submission: Regional learning partner – KIX”.

Applications must not exceed 4,000 words (eight pages) and will be accepted in English or French.

All enquiries should be addressed to kixcalls@idrc.ca. Please note that we are unable to provide feedback on submissions.

EOI content

The applicant organization (or, in the case of consortia, the lead organization) should submit an expression of interest of no more than 4,000 words (eight pages) that outlines:

  • How the organization would build a regional learning hub that (1) secures country participation and (2) that responds to local needs by prioritizing research and innovation that informs regional research calls. 
  • The organization’s interest in becoming a regional learning partner and how this role aligns with their organizational mandate. 
  • How the organization engages in education systems and policy related to education. 
  • The countries within the region that already have existing contact with the organization.  
  • The roles each partner would play, which organization would lead, and how partners will coordinate (applicable only if the proposal is from a consortium). 
  • The major challenges in establishing and managing a KIX hub in the relevant region. 
  • In broad terms, the team composition deemed necessary to build and operate the regional KIX hub. Experience working collaboratively with other institutions in the same field should also be highlighted.  

Please include:

  • Contact information (including name and full address of the organization or organizations)
  • Institutional profile questionnaire 
  • Consortia, staff and Board compositions and credentials.

IDRC will consider applications from a consortium of institutions within a region or sub-region that would expand the scale, efficacy, networking capacity, and knowledge base of a single institution. A consortium may be comprised of up to three institutional partners, but one partner must be designated as the lead institution.

The lead institution will sign the grant agreement with IDRC and, as such, be responsible for receiving and administering the funds and ensuring that all grant conditions are met. The lead institution should submit the application to IDRC on behalf of the consortium. The application should include a signed official letter of endorsement from the proposed lead institution.  

Call timeline

  • Expression of interest release date: June 20, 2019  
  • Expression of interest submission date: August 21, 2019 
  • Invitation to submit full proposals to selected candidates: September 13, 2019 
  • Submission for full proposals: November 11, 2019 
  • Selection of regional learning partners: November 25, 2019 

An IDRC-led assessment panel will evaluate expressions of interest and full proposals.  

Questions and clarifications 
Contact IDRC at KIXcalls@idrc.ca or consult our frequently asked questions often, as they will be updated regularly. A FAQ webinar is planned for July 8, 2019 (click here to register). Please email your questions in advance by July 4. A second webinar may be held in August, depending on demand.     

ANNEX A 
KIX executive summary 

ANNEX B 
GPE presentation