Terms of Reference: Support to the development of an implementation framework for Comprehensive Sexuality Education in South Africa

02 June 2017

                                       

 

1. Background

Sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) are usually understood as the rights of all people, regardless of their nationality, age, sex, gender, sexual orientation, health or HIV status, to make informed and free choices with regard to their own sexuality and reproductive well-being, on condition that these decisions do not infringe on the rights of others. This includes the right to access education and information, services and healthcare on SRHR.

SRHR is considered to be a basic human right for everyone and are fundamental to development conditions of any population. From a demographic perspective, a number of recent studies have commented on South Africa’s youthful population as well as the implications to the development of the country posed by the sheer large numbers of young people, with 28% of the population being between the ages of 10 - 24 (STATS SA: 2015). Hence, investing in the sexual and reproductive health of adolescents and youth is of a great imperative.

The lack of comprehensive material around SRHR for all target groups and which ideally is informative, age, language and content appropriate, accessible and accurate to the needs of adolescents both within and out of school are of great concern. Therefore various methodologies should be explored through which comprehensive sexuality education can reach adolescent and youth.

To respond to these challenges, a National Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (ASRHR) Framework Strategy was adopted by the South African government. Through its five key priority areas it commits stakeholders to a multi-stakeholder and multi-sectoral approach. The Department of Social Development ensures the overall coordination of the framework strategy and collaborates with the Department of Basic Education, the Department of Health and the National Youth Development Agency in the different priority groups.  

The ASRHR Framework Strategy’s priority is focused on developing innovative approaches to comprehensive SRHR information, education and counselling for adolescents. The second priority of the Framework Strategy is to strengthen the Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE) curriculum and implementation framework for the country, including learning from international best practices. More specifically, it aims to do the following:

·         To develop implementation framework for the country and resources that would contribute to strengthening CSE in the classroom, including learning from international best practices.

·         To increase awareness and provide non-conflicting, gender sensitive, culturally appropriate and positive SRHR messaging to adolescents, including adolescents with disabilities.

·         To educate adolescents on their SRHR responsibilities and rights (as covered in the national legislation, policies and guidelines.

·         To devise effective and appropriate communication mediums on ASRH&R to adolescents with disabilities, especially in rural areas.

·         To develop novel approaches that are age-appropriate, gender and culturally sensitive to complement existing SRHR advocacy material to adolescents.

2. Rationale for the Development of an Implementation Framework

South Africa has made good progresses in terms of the East and Southern Africa (ESA) Commitment objectives as the country reports that all secondary schools provide CSE. However, a baseline study conducted by UNFPA[1] highlighted the gaps in the implementation of a CSE curriculum as articulated in the Curriculum Assessment Policy Statements (CAPS). In this study, an individual was considered to have received CSE if it covered the following topics: puberty, sexual and reproductive systems, relationships, contraception/family planning options HIV prevention and STIs.

In South Africa, 83% of youth reported have received some form of sexuality education but only 31% received CSE. In South Africa, among youth who reported they had received any sexuality education, the most commonly reported topic that they received included STIs (88%), sexual and reproductive systems (63%), and relationships (61%). Generally, there were only slight variances in all of the topics covered by age group; however, when examining the differences by sex, there were large differences in the reported topics on puberty, sexual and reproductive systems, and relationships.

The Department of Basic Education (DBE) is leading the aforementioned priority 2 and works in collaboration with the National Population Unit (NPU) within the Department of Social Development (DSD). Comprehensive Sexuality Education is also at the centre of the National Policy on HIV, STIs and TB led by DBE, which is in the process of being promulgated, and in the National Strategic Plan on HIV, STIs and TB (2017-2022).

A joint team of DSD and DBE has embarked on a study tour to Sweden to learn from international best practices in terms of CSE with a focus on governance and coordination structures, curriculum strengthening and implementation and Monitoring & Evaluation.

This joint team will be responsible for guiding the service provider in the development of an implementation framework for CSE in South Africa that will: 

  1. define the country’s vision for CSE;
  2. detail interventions that need to be implemented to ensure that learners access quality and positive SRHR information;
  3. include a detailed costing of all recommended interventions as well as proposed funding sources; and
  4. allocate roles and responsibilities to the different sectors of government and civil society.

The implementation framework will contain the following elements:

·         Curriculum strengthening;

·         Teachers training and development in terms of CSE, including values clarification;

·         Review of regional CSE on-line course for the South African context and guidance towards accreditation for CTPD by SACE, SAQA, amongst others;  

·         Guidance on textbooks revision;

·         Guidance on the development of new Learner and Teacher Support Material, including audio and video material;

·         Guidance on advocacy and community involvement to increase acceptability of CSE in schools; and

·         Monitoring and support framework.

3. Scope of Work and Expected Deliverables

The purpose of this assignment will be to provide technical support to the joint team on the development of the implementation framework for CSE in South Africa under the leadership of the Department of Basic Education, Care and Support Services and Curriculum Policy, Implementation and Monitoring Branches. 

More specifically, the service provider is expected to implement the following activities:

  1. Review all necessary and relevant reports, strategy documents and policies around CSE and Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights in South Africa;
  2. Consult with the staff from DBE, DSD National Population Unit, DOH and civil society groups with and interest in CSE to gain more insights into objectives and priority areas, current status of CSE within the school curriculum as well the envisaged implementation framework on CSE;
  3. Develop an implementation framework for CSE focusing on a comprehensive right-based approach containing all the aforementioned elements;
  4. Undertake a comprehensive costing of the activities within the implementation framework;
  5. Develop a monitoring and evaluation tool to track the implementation and quality of CSE in schools;
  6. Convene a workshop before the finalisation of the implementation framework for CSE in South African in order to further engage all stakeholders to make amendments where necessary;
  7. Finalise the implementation framework for CSE in South Africa consolidating all inputs after the workshop for submission; and
  8. Review the Regional on-line sexuality education course for teachers and provide guidance towards contextualisation as well as accreditation of the course towards Continuing Teacher Professional Development by the South African Council of Educators and South African Qualification Authority.

4. Assignment Duration, Budget and Schedule of Payment

The selected service providers will be contracted from June 2017 to the 31 December 2017. The overall maximum amount that can allocated to this assignment is R550,000.00. UNFPA will however select the most competitive proposal based on cost-effectiveness and value-for-money.

The total amount for the mentoring and support provided to the clinics will be disbursed in three tranches based on the following schedule:

·         30% upon submission of the inception report and detailed work plan

·         40% upon submission of the mid-term report

·         30% upon submission of the final costed implementation, plan as well as report on the on-line course in December 2017

5. Service Provider Eligibility

The following criteria will be used for the selection of the service provider:

  1. Extensive experience in working in the education sector and around issues of gender, Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights;
  2. Extensive knowledge of Comprehensive Sexuality Education, the National Adolescent Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights Framework Strategy, ESA Commitment and international best practices in sector;
  3. Knowledge of or experience in pre-service and in-service teacher’s training, preferably related to CSE integrated  in all subjects including Life Skills Curriculum;
  4. Extensive experience in working with government departments and in developing policy documents and frameworks;
  5. Existing network in civil society and relevant government departments at the national level; and
  6. Excellent written and oral communication, analytical, facilitation and advocacy skills.

6. Proposal Requirements

The applicants need to submit a detailed proposal of the approach to the development of an implementation framework, including relevant previous experiences in the education and CSE sector, a proposed work plan and detailed budget to implement the interventions contained in this document, and a detailed curriculum vitae.  Any incomplete application will be dismissed automatically.

Interested applicants are requested to submit the following to zaf.admin@unfpa.org by midnight (South African time) on Wednesday, the 2 June 2017.

 



[1] Safeguard Young People, Project Baseline, UNFPA, 2016