Consultant for the preparation of a Technical Background Paper and Policy Brief on Teacher Training



Application date
29 September 2021 - 8 October 2021

Contract type: Consultancy
Duty Station: Bangkok, Thailand
Duration of Contract: 1-6 Months
Closing date: 8 October 2021

Apply Now



The objective of this consultancy is to prepare a technical background paper and policy brief on teacher training and professional development, in the context of post-COVID-19 recovery in the Asia-Pacific region. The focus of the paper should be to identify and discuss expectations and requirements to prepare teachers of the region for the new normal. Drawing on existing studies, the paper should (i) provide a short overview of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on teachers, both in formal and non-formal education settings; (ii) identify gaps, challenges and opportunities related to teacher training, professional development and support; (iii) present good practices and (iv) propose concrete and practical recommendations for effective teacher training and professional development reform and increased recognition and support for teachers. The paper is intended to guide the thematic panel discussions at the 2nd Asia-Pacific Regional Education Ministerial Conference (APREMC-II) in 2022 and provide Ministers with relevant information and recommendations for their consideration towards strengthening teacher training and support.

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused unprecedented disruption of education delivery and impacted the education systems, teachers, learners and school communities worldwide. With the spread of the coronavirus, 93% of countries around the world, and 90% of countries in the Asia-Pacific region, closed their schools fully or partially, affecting more than 1.5 billion students and 63 million teachers. To mitigate the effects of the pandemic, countries have initiated different responses to adapt their education sector to ensure the continuity of learning for all learners at all levels.


Remote learning through a variety of platforms, including online learning, educational television and radio broadcasting, digital communication channels and other offline programmes, has become a means for most teachers to ensure that learning continues safely during school closures. The majority of countries are also putting in place efforts to facilitate effective blended learning when educational institutions are reopened. The sudden transition to remote learning and the adoption of new educational delivery methods had major implications on the evolving roles and responsibilities of teachers. To cope with the new realities and ensure that leaning takes place wherever and whenever, teachers not only had to become knowledgeable in using digital technologies, but to adapt their teaching practices to distance educational delivery, become more flexible and creative, work longer hours to prepare lessons and materials in line with the new methodologies and environments, reach out to the most vulnerable and marginalized learners to prevent them from dropping out, and support parents and communities to engage more in their children’s learning.

Such requirements, alongside the usual workloads and expectations of teachers, demand the provision of adequate professional support and training, including appropriate services to improve teachers’ physical, psychosocial and socio-emotional well-being. Positive responses have been seen to ease teachers’ transition from face-to-face classroom teaching to remote and hybrid teaching, including support being given to methods of instruction, content development, specialised training, professional and psychosocial services, and ICT tools. Yet, 1 in 10 countries around the world reported that no support was given to teachers.

To better prepare teachers for post-pandemic teaching and learning, it is vital to understand their needs, concerns and expectations, which vary across countries and communities, and provide pertinent teachers’ professional development opportunities and training. Moreover, teachers’ competencies need to be enhanced to enable them to adopt flexible pedagogical approaches and formative assessment, deliver teaching in digital and hybrid environments, and provide remediation for learning loss, in both formal and non-formal learning environments.

Long Description

Good school governance is another crucial factor in supporting teachers and boosting their motivation and performance. Central and local governments play a key role in implementing their COVID-19 preparedness and response initiatives. Forward-looking policies and plans for the post-COVID-19 recovery and reform must leave no one behind, including the teachers who are the frontliners in education, before, during and after the pandemic.

UNESCO Asia and Pacific Regional Bureau for Education (UNESCO Bangkok), in partnership with UNICEF Regional Office for South Asia (ROSA), UNICEF East Asia and Pacific Regional Office (EAPRO), and the Thai Ministry of Education, will organize the 2nd Asia-Pacific Regional Education Ministers’ Conference (APREMC-II) in 2022. The focus of the conference is on “Building back better – recovery and education reform to reimagine and strengthen education systems to become more responsive, relevant and resilient to future shocks”. Specifically, the conference aims to:

  1. review and take stock of the first seven years of progress towards SDG 4 - Education 2030 in Asia and the Pacific;
  2. identify challenges in progressing towards SDG 4 in the region, including the impact of COVID-19 and the COVID-19 response and priority areas of action;
  3. discuss and agree on a regional strategy and roadmap to accelerate progress during the next few years, with a focus on sustainable post-COVID-19 education recovery and educational reform, and
  4. prepare Member States for the global mid-term review (MTR) in 2023.

During the meeting of the Learning and Education 2030+ (LE2030+) Networking Group in July 2021, teacher training and professional development was identified as one of the key topics for thematic panel discussions for APREMC-II. To inform the discussions leading towards enhancing Member States’ capacities to ensure teachers’ preparedness in the post-COVID-19 education recovery and reconstruction, UNESCO Bangkok Office is looking for an individual consultant to prepare a technical background paper and policy brief on teacher training and professional development.


Under the overall authority of the Director of UNESCO Asia and Pacific Regional Bureau for Education, Bangkok, and the direct supervision and overall guidance of the Chief of Section for Inclusive Quality Education (IQE), and Programme Officer of Inclusive Basic Education (IBE), the individual consultant is expected to perform the following tasks:

(i) Prepare an annotated outline of the thematic background paper on teacher training and professional development to be agreed by a focus group consisting of UNESCO Bangkok Office and relevant partner organizations of the Learning and Education 2030+ (LE2030+) Networking Group;

(ii) Compile and collate the relevant information and documents to be used for the preparation of the thematic background paper;

(iii) Conduct a literature review related to the relevant topic areas to be reflected and referred to in the paper;

(iv) Based on the agreed outline, prepare a draft technical background paper (between 30 - 40 pages, exclusive of a list of relevant references, further readings and annexes).

    • Provide a short situation overview and analysis of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on teachers in different contexts, including in non-formal learning environments, of the Asia-Pacific region, drawing on existing studies. This should include, but not limit to, teachers’ preparedness to fulfil their extended expected roles and responsibilities in the new normal, availability of teaching and learning materials and devices, provision of relevant training and psycho-social support, school governance and leadership;
    • Provide a brief overview and analysis of policies and practices in teacher training and professional development before the COVID-19 pandemic, drawing on existing studies. Specifically, this should include, but not limit to, identification of main challenges, gaps and opportunities;
    • Identify and analyse promising policies and practices to strengthen teachers’ preparedness and performance, at the national and local levels, including in non-formal learning environments, to the post-COVID-19 education recovery and reform;
    • Identify competencies required by teachers for effective teaching in digital and hybrid environments, in both formal and non-formal environments;
    • Highlight competencies to identify learning levels of student and support the recuperation of learning loss, flexible pedagogical approaches and formative assessment; and
    • Provide concrete and forward-looking recommendations for effective teacher training transform and increased recognition and support for teachers, including teachers working in non-formal environments;

(v) Revise the draft paper based on the feedback and inputs received from the aforementioned focus group;

(vi) Based on the revised draft paper, prepare a draft policy brief on the same topic (no more than 4 pages);

(vii) Finalize the paper and the policy brief by incorporating the feedback and inputs received from UNESCO Bangkok Office; and

(viii) Based on the finalized paper, prepare a PowerPoint presentation (no more than 20 slides) synthesizing the key highlights of the paper.   

In line with UNESCO’s overall gender mainstreaming strategy, the individual consultant is expected to integrate a gender perspective in all activities and apply gender analysis and mainstreaming concepts whenever feasible.

Expected Deliverables/Outputs:


Deliverable Tentative Submission Date
Annotated outline 29 October 2021
Draft background paper (no more than 30 pages without ANNEX) 6 December 2021
  • Revised background paper
  • Draft policy brief (no more than 4 pages)
31 January 2022
  • Final background paper
  • Final policy brief
  • PowerPoint presentation synthesizing the key highlights of the background paper 
28 February 2022


The selected consultant will be required to work tentatively for a period of 19 weeks during October and February 2022.