What is a UNICEF Think Piece?

UNICEF is commissioning a series of Think Pieces that aim to promote fresh and cutting-edge thinking on how to improve the quality of education in Eastern and Southern Africa. These will be short, engaging and provocative pieces that stimulate debate and challenge the status quo on a variety of topics, including:

1.     Improving classroom practice

2.     Teacher Performance

3.     School Improvement

4.     Accountability and system reform

5.     Inclusion and disability

6.     Parents and caretakers

7.     Reforming curriculum

8.     Learning assessment systems

9.     Education in Emergencies

10.  Life skills

11.  Pre-primary education

12.  Gender and equity

UNICEF seeks proposals from individuals and/or groups interested in publishing a piece for this series.

Who are the Think Pieces for?

  1. Our primary audience includes UNICEF education specialists within the 21 Eastern and Southern Africa Region country offices
  2. Our secondary audience includes national and international education professionals, which consists of education ministry actors, other UNICEF offices/colleagues, development partners, I/NGOs, academics, consultants, etc.

What are the aims of the Think Pieces?

  1. To stimulate new debate and reflections in advancing quality education and learning
  2. To support UNICEF ESA colleagues’ work in-country (education sector analysis, planning, policy development, writing proposals)
  3. To ensure that all UNICEF ESA work is underpinned by an aim to reform education systems to focus on learning

What will a good Think Piece look like?

  1. Robust thinking: demonstrated through a conceptual framework, Theory of Change or clear elucidation of the debates or issues
  2. A clear stance: demonstrated through what an author thinks is/isn’t working and why
  3. Fresh ideas: demonstrated through suggestions as to what needs to change, what should be different or what direction should be taken
  4. Links to learning: all critiques, suggestions and ideas should be underpinned by an aim to improve learning

Although the concise nature of the Think Pieces will limit the degree to which authors can demonstrate some of these characteristics, these points provide an outline for what the pieces should include.

What will be the outcomes?

  1. UNICEF will publish the Think Pieces over the course of 2018 with full accreditation to the author(s) and their organisations.
  2. Authors will be asked to write a 4 to 6-page Think Piece with an accompanying abstract.
  3. Authors will be asked to develop a reading/reference list associated with their Think Piece.
  4. Authors will also be asked to develop a 1-hour Webinar to present their Think Piece and stimulate discussion amongst colleagues from the 21 UNICEF ESA country offices.
  5. Authors will receive a $4000 remuneration package for the delivery of the Think Piece, reading list and webinar.
  6. The Think Pieces will be disseminated via the UNICEF website and other media channels under the Creative Commons Attribution–NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) license.

Who is eligible to write a Think Piece?

  1. Individuals as well as pairs or groups are eligible to submit a proposal
  2. Authors should have salient experience working in education systems in sub-Sharan Africa and/or other developing country contexts
  3. Although not a prerequisite, authors should be recognised within the development community as leading in their field

Authors can be of any nationality and can be academic professionals, practitioners, consultants, or staff of donors, NGOs or other organisations involved in development. UNICEF particularly welcomes applicants from Africa and the Global South.

How to submit a proposal:

Please download the Call for Proposal Information Pack for instructions on how submit a proposal at: https://www.unicef.org/esaro/5481_learning-think-pieces.html

Deadline for submission is Sunday 26th November 2017 (5pm GMT). Please submit your proposal and CV to: thinkpiece@camb-ed.com. Any questions or concerns can also be sent to the same email address.