CASE
STUDIES

The case studies below illustrate a range of skills, sectors and experience. To view an individual case study, please select a link below, or scroll down to view them all:

RESEARCH INTO TEACHER MOTIVATION
Case Study Coordinating research into teacher motivation and morale in Mozambique for the Mozambican Ministry of Education and Culture, DFID and VSO

In Mozambique, as elsewhere, well motivated, well trained and well supported teachers are essential in order to educate children and help end absolute poverty. However teachers’ difficult living, working and employment conditions have often meant it is has been almost impossible for them to do their job effectively.

In 2007 I coordinated a participative research project for the Mozambican Ministry of Education and Culture, DFID and VSO. This identified the factors that impact on education workers’ motivation and morale, and formulated policy recommendations aimed at improving the working lives and professional support of teachers. Working in Portuguese and English, I recruited and trained a small bilingual research team and coordinated the process of planning the research, creating the data gathering and analysis tools, executing the project and writing the research report, which was published in English and Portuguese.

Our bi-national team travelled throughout Mozambique, including the most inaccessible and marginalized areas, to consult and gather information regarding education workers’ motivation and morale. The study used data from documentary analysis, focus groups and semi-structured interviews with a wide range of education stakeholders. During this process the Mozambican team members provided invaluable contextual knowledge and skills and were trained in qualitative research methods. Thus the project drew on the complementary skills and knowledge of the entire research team, gaining insights, information and a quality of analysis which would have been impossible with either an all-national or an all-external team.

The research is reported in a comprehensive report, including recommendations which have extensively informed policy formulation since.

To download the full report in English, select the icon Download

To download the full report in Portuguese, select the icon Download

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TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE IN HUMAN
RESOURCES DEVELOPMENT
Case Study Coordinating technical assistance in Human Resource management and development to Ministry of Education in Mozambique

In Mozambique, one of the greatest challenges to the ongoing development of a good quality education system concerns the management and development of the crucial human resources – teachers, head teachers, administrators and others - on which it depends. 

In 2008, I coordinated a year-long project, funded by the UK’s DFID, to provide technical assistance to the Ministry of Education and Culture, working alongside managers and staff in the Human Resources Directorate. A small bilingual team, able to work comfortably with both Ministry staff and international partners, supported the Ministry in responding to the challenges of the recent decentralisation of education services.

Using a participative, team-based approach to technical assistance, the project team worked closely, flexibly and constructively with Ministry staff, to both develop individual and institutional capacity and realise a number of strategic objectives:

  • conduct a wide-ranging analysis of national and internal Human Resource systems and procedures and institutional needs
  • write and obtain consensus for Terms of Reference for the development of the first national strategy for Education Human Resource Management and Development in Mozambique
  • devise, coordinate and pilot a novel capacity building programme for provincial trainers of Human Resource staff.

The project contributed to significant individual and organisational capacity development. The national Education Human Resource Management and Development strategy has since been developed and adopted by the Ministry and is gradually improving education system HR practices throughout the country.

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HUMAN RESOURCES RESEARCH
Case Study Developing a Handbook of good human resource practices in the teaching profession for the International Labour Organisation.

The Human Resource management and development of education workers are crucial to both the well-being of the workers themselves and the quality of the education they are able to deliver. For many years the United Nations’ International Labour Organisation (ILO) has provided guidelines and recommendations on the status of teachers. The ILO has developed a Handbook of good human resource practices in the teaching profession. This aims to support policy makers and deliverers of education worldwide, to ensure that teachers benefit from effective, equitable and supportive HR policy and practice.  

I was asked by the ILO to research and write two modules of the Handbook: one on Teacher Employment and Recruitment and one on Salaries and Incentives. The Handbook aims to provide guidance on good HR practice for extremely diverse educational contexts. In researching these modules I drew on recent research on how different aspects of HR policy and practice impact on teachers’ well-being and performance in different countries; and on international norms and good practice guidelines.

The Handbook is written in an accessible style and designed for users from a wide variety of backgrounds and levels of education. It explicitly addresses certain challenges facing many education systems today, such as the difficulty of deploying and retaining teachers in remote and rural areas. It shares examples of solutions adopted and best practice from a wide range of countries and education systems.

To download the Handbook in English, select the icon. Download
To download the Handbook in French, select the icon. Download
To download the Handbook in Spanish, select the icon. Download

View the ILO Resources page where these handbooks are hosted

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RESEARCH METHODS COACHING
Case Study Research methods coaching of Katie Lockwood, for conducting her MA HRM dissertation project

Providing individualised tuition for students at certain points in their studies is increasingly a strategic choice for universities. I have coached individual students in a number of universities in research methods and other skills.

Many postgraduate students carry out a research project as part of their postgraduate degree. Whilst studying for her Masters degree in Human Resource Management at Leeds University Business School, Katie Lockwood conducted research into the impact of social networking media on recruitment. This required her to conduct semi-structured interviews with the Human Resources directors of a number of organisations. 

Although Katie had studied research methods as part of the Masters programme, she had never prepared or carried out interviews herself. She felt both somewhat anxious about the technique to use and rather intimidated by the challenge of interviewing an unknown but high-powered professional.

In order to address both of these issues, I worked with Katie on how to plan and conduct semi-structured interviews. The results were extremely impressive! In less than two hours, Katie had overcome her anxiety and mastered the principles of conducting a semi-structured interview, a skill which she used during her dissertation research and will be able to use effectively and with confidence in the future. 

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VOLUNTEER COACHING
Case Study Pre-departure preparation for OPT IN volunteers working in Madagascar

OPT IN (the Overseas Partnering and Training Initiative) of the Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust is a small charity which links Leeds healthcare providers with a limited number of healthcare providers in the developing world. OPT IN promotes sustainable development through learning and skills transfer, and delivers training projects to health care professionals in countries such as Bangladesh, Uganda and Madagascar.

I advised OPT IN on the resources and information necessary to produce an induction pack for new volunteers.

I provided advice to OPT IN on setting up and managing their partnership with the Ministry of Health and the University teaching hospital of Antananarivo in Madagascar, with particular focus on establishing a partnership and training programme, based on the needs expressed by the Malagasy partners. The main language of the link is French: I was able to interpret and explain some of the subtler dimensions of the communication to the UK partners. 

I also advised OPT IN on their communication with the WHO (World Health Organisation) in Madagascar and on the importance of systematically including the Malagasy partners in this communication.

In 2011, OPT IN began delivering teaching for a specialist diploma in Rehabilitation Medicine for Malagasy doctors. I advised OPT IN on some of the specific requirements of delivering training in a developing country, within an education system based on the French model. We identified likely barriers to assimilating knowledge, and strategies to overcome these, in order to make the training effective.  I advised on the preparation of teaching and learning materials and translated some of the materials prepared by OPTIN members from English into appropriate, accessible French.

The teaching is currently providing Malagasy doctors with much needed skills in Rehabilitation Medicine, which are still rare within the health system in Madagascar.

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MULTILINGUAL ORAL SKILLS TRAINING
Case Study Coaching in chairing meetings in French for Professor Anne Chamberlain

Professor Anne Chamberlain is Emeritus professor of rehabilitation medicine at the University of Leeds and a leading expert in rehabilitation medicine; she has been a member of the European Academy of Rehabilitation Medicine for many years. In 2002, Anne was invited to become president of the Academy for a period of 4 years. One of the tasks this involved was chairing meetings in French, the working language of the Academy. Anne is a competent French speaker but had never previously chaired meetings in that language. She has expert knowledge of the technical domains under discussion, and would have been able to perform the task of chairing such a meeting in English very easily.

I worked with Anne to identify the different tasks she would have to perform whilst chairing a meeting. We worked on and practiced performing those tasks clearly and effectively, using idiomatic, appropriate French. We identified different ways of performing a given task, so she would not have to constantly repeat the same expression. We drew up a list of useful expressions for her to keep discretely in front of her during meetings: Anne referred to this on numerous occasions and found it invaluable.

Anne found that following this preparation she was able to chair long meetings - often based on a demanding and sensitive agenda - effectively and comfortably throughout the four years of her presidency.

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MONITORING AND EVALUATION
Case Study Developing an M&E framework for OPT IN’s Madagascar link and conducting a midterm evaluation

OPT IN (the Overseas Partnering and Training Initiative) of the Leeds (UK) Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, has been delivering teaching for a specialist diploma in Rehabilitation Medicine for doctors in Madagascar since 2011. As part of its link with Madagascar, OPT IN also trains Malagasy eye doctors and technicians and provides support to nursing professionals. As a small charity which links Leeds healthcare providers with a limited number of healthcare providers in the developing world, OPT IN promotes sustainable development through learning and skills transfer, and delivering training to health care professionals.

OPT IN wanted to be able to monitor the effectiveness of its interventions in Madagascar, in order to ensure these were achieving the desired objectives and to demonstrate this to their supporters. In September-October 2011, I assisted OPT IN in developing a Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) Framework for their Madagascar link. This set up a simple system for each programme of the link to be monitored against its objectives and work plans, and for training activities to be monitored on an ongoing basis, allowing learning and improvements as necessary. I developed the monitoring tools in consultation with the OPT IN team and the beneficiaries and tested these during a two week mission to Madagascar. The different stakeholders have found the framework to be invaluable in planning, monitoring and improving the link’s different programmes and activities.

As part of this process, I also carried out a midterm evaluation of the Rehabilitation training programme, accompanying a training mission to Antananarivo for two weeks in October 2011. After thoroughly reviewing the project documentation and agreeing the terms of reference with both the UK and the Malagasy teams, I worked with them to agree indicators against which the different objectives should be assessed and to agree on and collect a wide range of quantitative and qualitative information to allow this. I ensured that the methods used were participative and that the voices and experiences of all stakeholders were taken into consideration, ensuring those of the Malagasy informants were given sufficient prominence. As part of this process, I conducted informal, in depth interviews and focus group discussions with a wide variety of stakeholders, generally in French (but using English with the UK partners). The final evaluation report I produced detailed the different successes and challenges of the programme, highlighting opportunities for learning where difficulties had been encountered. The Malagasy and UK partners found the report extremely helpful in defining the future direction of the programme and agreeing which aspects to pursue and develop and which to modify.

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CURRICULUM DEVELOPMENT
Case Study Support to primary curriculum development in Lesotho

In Lesotho, the Ministry of Education and Training (MoET),with support from the World Bank, is introducing a new integrated primary curriculum and associated assessment policy, designed to meet the changing needs of education in Lesotho. Lesotho has recently introduced ten years of free, compulsory basic education for all children. In the face of threats such as youth unemployment, climate change, food insecurity, HIV&AIDS and growing numbers of households headed by children, the education system of Lesotho must provide learners with the skills, attitudes and knowledge to overcome these threats, rather than falling victim to them.

Between November 2011 and April 2012, I assisted and guided the curriculum designers from the National Curriculum Development Centre (NCDC) in Lesotho to complete the new curriculum for primary grades 1 – 3 and design the associated teacher training programme. Working closely with the team from the NCDC, I coordinated the process of completing, structuring and editing the curriculum, liaising with and incorporating inputs from a wide range of stakeholders and interest groups. I also organised and delivered extensive training and capacity building in areas such as integrated curriculum, child cognitive development, assessment methods, inclusive education and special educational needs. I worked with the NCDC team to identify the needs for teacher training and to plan and design training materials. We also designed a monitoring and evaluation plan and M&E tools.

We worked hard to make the integrated curriculum practical and creative, grounding it in young learners’ daily experiences, so that it draws on practical knowledge in order to construct more abstract concepts. This child-centred approach involves the development of “thinking skills”, as opposed to subject-based skills and rote learning and makes learning more practical, meaningful and relevant, reflecting the “real world” and the ways children learn at home and in the community. Familiar experiences, objects and ideas lay the foundations for more theoretical and abstract learning, whilst building a strong sense of identity. For example, from familiar concepts of the family, clan and school community, the concept of mathematic sets is developed; learning to recognise and reproduce traditional litema (decorative geometric designs which adorn traditional adobe houses in Lesotho) is an introduction to basic geometry. Learners learn the value of traditional art and crafts as a source of income generation, and to identify and process nutritious plants as a contribution to household meals. The curriculum also gives a strong emphasis to the acquisition of solid numeracy and literacy in both mother tongue and English.

In 2012, grades 1 – 3 of the new curriculum were piloted in 70 primary schools throughout Lesotho, prior to being introduced nationwide. I believe this innovative curriculum may well constitute a model for other countries with similar traditions and challenges.

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POLICY DIALOGUE FACILITATION
Case Study General rapporteur at Task Force for Teachers for EFA international policy dialogue forum in Namibia

The International Task Force for Teachers for Education for All (EFA) is a voluntary global alliance of EFA partners which has worked since 2009 to coordinate global efforts to address three aspects of the “teacher gap” which are currently preventing countries from achieving EFA goals: i) the policy gap, ii) the capacity gap and iii) the financing gap. The Task Force consists of more than seventy members, ranging from national governments in different parts of the world to international NGOs, UN agencies and Civil Society Organisations. The Task Force held its fifth international policy dialogue forum in Windhoek, Namibia on 28-29 November 2012, with the objectives of i) taking stock of existing efforts to reduce the teacher gap and ii) setting an agenda for the three years leading to the 2015 EFA milestone. Within these objectives, well over 200 delegates from 46 countries took part in thematic group sessions addressing the issues of i) teacher education and professional development; ii) teachers’ status and working conditions; iii) inclusion in teacher policies and practices; iv) teachers and teaching for sustainable development; and v) monitoring and evaluation of teacher policies and practices.

As an international specialist in teacher work and employment issues, I was asked to act as general rapporteur to the policy dialogue forum and to moderate the thematic group working on Inclusion in teacher policies and practices. In preparing the thematic group work, I worked closely with the other organisers to ensure the panel was balanced and contained members representative of the Task Force globally. I liaised with the Inclusion panel members before the conference to coordinate their interventions and ensure the quality and the smooth and successful running of the sessions. During the group sessions, I moderated the session on Inclusion, kept time and chaired the questions and discussion sessions; the session led to the generation of recommendations for national government, regional actors and the Task Force and the production of a group report which I presented, along with the other group reports, in a plenary session.

As general rapporteur, I took extensive, detailed notes throughout the policy dialogue and co-facilitated the final plenary session to elicit from delegates the future policy directions they felt the Task Force should take over the three years leading up to 2015. I subsequently wrote the general report of the policy dialogue forum, in consultation with the subgroup moderators and the head of the Task Force secretariat. I later checked the report’s translation into French. Finally, I reviewed and analysed the evaluation forms completed by delegates at the end of the forum and wrote the policy dialogue forum evaluation report.

To download the general report of the 5th international policy dialogue forum, select the icon. Download

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The views expressed are my own and do not necessarily reflect those of the organisations and individuals mentioned in these case studies.

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FEATURED SERVICES

Leaf Capacity building
Individual and institutional knowledge and skills development 
leaf2 Research
Design and execution of research projects, training in research methods
leaf3 Training
Design and delivery of training, creation of training materials
leaf3 Pre-departure Preparation
Advice and training for international development professionals and volunteers
Leaf Project Documentation
Support in writing clear, effective funding proposals, presentational literature, logical frameworks, etc.
leaf2 Oral Communication
Coaching in conducting interviews, meetings, oral presentations, etc.
leaf3 Monitoring and Evaluation
M&E of education projects with a focus on organisational learning
   
   
   
   
   
   
   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Focus group with female teachers
Focus group with teachers in Mozambique
Meeting with teachers in Mozambique
Meeting with teachers in Mozambique
Baseline information gathering in Mozambique
Baseline information gathering in Mozambique
Focus group with rural teachers
Strategy meeting, Ministry of Health, Madagascar
Focus group with rural teachers
Advice to an English speaker on French language work
Focus group with rural teachers

Evaluación de programa de formación sanitaria.

Focus group with rural teachers

Curriculum development session in Lesotho

Curriculum grade 3 syllabus
Integrated curriculum, grade 3, Lesotho
Policy Forum session facilitation
Policy Forum session facilitation
Planning a policy forum session
Planning a policy forum session
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Consultancy Case Studies

Research into Teacher Motivation | Technical Assistance in Human Resources Development | Human Resources Research | Research Methods Coaching | Volunteer Coaching | Multilingual Oral Skills Training | Monitoring and evaluation | Curriculum development | Policy dialogue facilitation
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