Evaluation of Accelerated Education Programme (AEP) for overage out of school refugee and host community children in Garissa and Turkana Counties in Kenya - Norwegian Refugee Council

Position Title: Evaluation of Accelerated Education Programme (AEP) for overage out of school refugee and host community children in Garissa and Turkana Counties

Background on the context

As of June 2022, Kenya hosts more than 555,000 refugees and asylum seekers (+6% in comparison with June 2021) with almost 80% of them coming from Somalia and South Sudan and 76% being women and children. 84% of this population are in Kakuma and Dadaab areas1This population is projected to increase proportionately by April 2023 because of the prolonged drought in East Africa. For instance, the population of refugees in Kakuma has been increasing at an average of 2,000 new arrivals per month since January 2022. Additionally, there are approximately 60,000 unregistered refugees and asylum seekers in Dadaab who face serious protection concerns on top of straining the limited resources as they must share with the registered lot. The conditions at the reception centers are not appropriate either and protection concerns for the new arrivals have been raised since some of the new arrivals have been staying in these crowded centers for more than 6 months. Despite the new arrivals and increasing needs, humanitarian funding keeps reducing and access to basic services becomes more and more concerning.

Sustainable Development Goal number four is to ‘ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.’ Giving every child an education is simple in theory, but in practice, the challenges are many especially for refugee children and youth in both Kakuma and Dadaab. Provision of education for host communities is not any better.

The Baseline Survey Report on Out-Of-School Children (UNICEF 2021) indicates a high number of out-of-school children in Garissa and Turkana counties. An estimated 166,010 children (90,100 boys and 75,910 girls) are out-of-school in Garissa County with Dadaab Sub County having the highest number (36,760). In Turkana County an estimated 144,520 children are out of school with Turkana West Sub County having the highest number (33,420). The report outlines the main reasons for out of school children as poor learning environment, low academic performance, dilapidated infrastructure, lack of school feeding programmes, poor teaching-learning approaches, corporal punishment, poverty, parental negligence, family conflict, drug abuse, cultural practices, peer pressure, nomadic lifestyle, uncooperative parents, and insecurity. For girls specifically the main reasons for not attending school include teenage pregnancies, early marriages, peer pressure, performing household chores and cultural practices. For boys, the specific reasons for them not attending school include running motorbike transport businesses, peer pressure, parental negligence, nomadic lifestyle, child labor and insecurity.

Another Out of School Assessment Report by Lutheran World Federation (December 2021) indicates that an estimated 45,490 are out of school in the camps while 51,779 are out of school in the host communities. The report further outlines that these children are out of school because of overcrowded classrooms, poor parental support, closure of schools during covid-19 outbreak in 2020 and low-quality education service provision by agencies in the camps. Additionally, the report notes that dwindling funding to the agencies supporting access to education has had the impact of limiting educational facilities available, hence limiting the number of out of school children that can be accommodated in these facilities. Furthermore, the report points out economic and cultural factors at the household level such as poverty and early marriage as significant drivers of children being out of school. The report also highlights that in Dadaab refugee camp and host communities an estimated 8.1% of out oof school children are aged 3-6 years, 24.2% are aged 7-10 years, 29% are aged 11-14- years while 38.7% are aged 15-17 years. This shows that the highest number of out of school children in Dadaab camp and host communities are aged between 15 to 17 years and if they have never been to school at all, it means that they will be over age for grade one when they start on their education.

The June 2022 UNHCR Refugee Camp Enrolment Data indicates a total Gross Enrolment Rate of 96.9% and a total Net Enrolment Rate of 58% in Kakuma refugee camp. The number of out of school children in Kakuma is estimated at 43,168. In Dadaab refugee camp the data indicates a total Gross Enrolment Rate of 48% and a total Net Enrolment Rate of 31%. The number of out of school children in Dadaab is estimated at 70,642. The high Gross enrollment rate and the low net enrollment indicates high presence of overage learners in both Kakuma and Dadaab refugee camps.

Girls in both Kakuma and Dadaab especially teenage mothers and those with teenage pregnancies experience unique education challenges that call for a flexible age-appropriate education programming to respond to their unique challenges.
Kenya is facing the longest drought emergency in 40 years due to four back-to-back below average rainy seasons and this is expected to continue well into 2023. This has left 4.2 million people in need of humanitarian assistance according to the recent Kenya Drought Flash Appeal. The September 2022 Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) report projected a worsening food security situation between October and December 2022. The IPC reports that from 1st October to 15th November, the Arid and Semi-Arid Lands (ASAL) are expected to receive total rainfall less than 60 percent of average, with some worst-affected areas experiencing the poorest start of season on record. There is a broad consensus across meteorological agencies that the probability of continued below-average rains through the remainder of the season is high, resulting in an unprecedented fifth consecutive poor season into 2023. Household food access remains below average, and many households are increasingly engaging in more severe coping strategies such as selling more animals than usual for income to fill food consumption gaps. To compound this, the capacities of humanitarian agencies to respond is severely limited since the drought response plans are only 50 percent funded.

School going children have been severely affected by the prolonged drought. The areas affected most by drought in Kenya are the Arid and Semiarid lands. The Long Rains Assessment (LRA) 2022 projection for ASAL region, covering the Oct to Dec 2022 period, indicated an increase in the number of people facing high levels of acute food insecurity to 4.35 million. Hence, it is estimated that 36% of that population (1.57 million) are children of school age 4-17 years and will be at high risk of dropping out of school. This adds to the 1.9 million pre-primary, primary and secondary school children aged 4 to 17 in Kenya ASAL counties who were out of school in 2021 as indicated by the Out-Of-School Children Initiative Study. The LRA further indicates that in term 3 (2021) and term 1 (2022) 60,697 children dropped out of school due to food insecurity while 1.6 million children are at risk of dropping out.

NRC’s activities and presence

The Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) is an independent humanitarian organization helping people forced to flee. NRC works in more than 30 countries in crises to help save lives and rebuild futures by providing education, camp management, food security & livelihoods assistance, Legal aid, shelter and water, sanitation, and hygiene services. NRC protects displaced people and supports them as they build a new future. NRC has been operational in Kenya since 2007 in Dadaab and in 2012 in Kakuma camps. NRC works with UNHCR, partners, government, and donors etc to deliver save and inclusive humanitarian programmes.

NRC’s intervention specific to the evaluation

The Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) through the Accelerated Education Programme (AEP) aims to support displacement affected overage out of school children and youth access safe, inclusive, and quality education that enables them to lead productive and independent lives.

Since 2012, NRC Kenya has been implementing an Accelerated Education Programme (AEP) in Turkana and Garissa Counties for Over-age Out of School refugee and host community Children (OOSC) aged 10 to 18 years who have never been to school, dropped out of school before completion of primary school or have had sporadic learning. The programme strives to secure equal access to education for girls and boys, giving special attention to removing obstacles to girls and enrolment for children with disabilities. Attention is given to young mothers, child-headed households, learners with special educational needs, children who have trouble engaging with the learning system due to symptoms of trauma as well as children who do not have birth registration documents. AEP offers equivalent, certified competencies for basic education, enabling a return to the formal education (primary or secondary education) at age-appropriate grade levels or transition to other education pathways. To date more than 53,000 learners have been enrolled in Alternative education programme and over 1,000 teachers trained by NRC in Kakuma and Dadaab. AEP delivers a condensed curriculum which is delivered in a shorter timeframe.

Psychosocial support (PSS) is implemented as part of the NRC Accelerated Education Programme through NRC classroom based psychosocial support intervention for children in crisis-affected communities known as Better Learning Programme (BLP).

Purpose of the evaluation and intended use

The purpose of this evaluation is to document the main changes brought about by the AEP programme and how different stakeholders have contributed to those changes. The results from this evaluation will be used to inform and influence NRC about ongoing and future AEP programmes. The programme will assess:

• Formative aspects which include assessing the design and Theory of Change of the Programme including stakeholder participation to support effective, safe, and quality programming.
• Programme integration to assess how the programme relates with other NRC Core Competencies to provide a holistic package of interventions.
• To answer to NRC 2023 organisation learning question on the extent NRC is enabling the participation of the people and communities we work with in support of effective, safe, and quality programming?
• To understand the impact of ongoing drought to AEP implementation (enrolment, attendance, drop out, learning results etc).
• The impact of AEP on refugee and host community children and youth.
This final evaluation will reflect on 4 years of implementation from 2020 - 2023, assessing against the OECD DAC criteria of relevance, effectiveness, coherence, efficiency, impact, and sustainability.


The evaluation is expected to be completed within a maximum period of 45 days The evaluation is expected to be completed within a maximum period of 45 days (April to October 2023) from the date of signing of the contract with the successful bidder. The geographic location for the evaluation will cover Dadaab and Kakuma refugee camp and surrounding host community areas, Garissa and Turkana Counties, Kenya. The external evaluation will cover the AEP projects implemented by NRC from 2020 to 2023 and funded by various donors.

Lines of inquiry

The evaluation will focus on the following lines of enquiry:


  • To what extent is AE programme intervention suited to the needs and priorities of the programme beneficiaries/participants?
  • How relevant was the programme design in ensuring that the programme contributed to enhanced transition into formal education, retention for over age out of school refugees and host communities’ children?
  • To what extend is AEP appropriate to different age categories and to new arrivals?
  • To what extent is the Theory of Change relevant
  • Are the activities and outputs of the programme consistent with the overall goal and the attainment of the objectives
  • To what extent does the programme respond to the needs and priorities of the target population?
  • How do programme participants, learners, parents etc perceive the relevance of the education programme?
  • To what extent are we delivering appropriate programming for persons with disability, child headed households and teenage mothers?
  • To what extent was the project able to adapt and provide appropriate response to context changes and emerging local needs, and the priorities of beneficiaries?
  • To what extent are we enabling the participation of the people and communities we work with in support of effective, safe, inclusive, and quality AE programming?
  • To what extent is the programme providing opportunities for Inclusive Continuous Teacher Professional Development.


  • Could NRC have used a different approach and achieved better results (qualitative and quantitative)?
  • Were the interventions timely in responding to the needs of the target population?
  • Were the objectives achieved on time?
  • Was the AEP activity implementation (modality) considered to have been cost-efficient, while not compromising quality?
  • Has the project ensured value for money in terms of quality, cost, timeliness and by ensuring optimal use of resources to achieve project results?


  • To what extent are the AE programme objectives achieved?
  • Were the AEP objectives achieved/ To what extent are the AEP objectives likely to be achieved?
  • What has been the effect of BLP to learning outcomes in relation to wellbeing , positive discipline approaches ETC
  • Has the project achieved expected results/outcomes at the date of the evaluation?
  • What were the major factors influencing the achievement or non-achievement of the objectives of the project?
  • Sustainability: Are the AE responses being carried out in the context taking longer term- perspectives into account?
  • To what extent are the benefits of the programme likely to continue after donor funding is withdrawn?
  • What specific institutional capacity needs did the project address/is addressing to foster greater local engagement and accountability?
  • How successful were/are the capacity building efforts being made by the program to improve collaboration activities with partners and build the capacity of government stakeholders and community to take over and sustain project approaches? ·
  • To what degree are the key local actors (private sector, community entities/associations, county government etc.) taking ownership to sustain the program activities? Why or why not?
  • What community development relationships have formed that may initiate other projects in the community?
  • What are the major factors influencing achievement/non-achievement of sustainability of the programme?
  • Coherence (internal and external): Coordination/Synergies among partners/stakeholders (external) and interlinkages between the AEP programme and other NRC programmes (internal)
  • To what extent are AEP activities conducted without duplication among the actors, maximising the comparative advantage of each avoiding gaps and acknowledging the responses of all involved?
  • What were the strengths and weaknesses of coordination and synergy?
  • Is there any substantial evidence on how project learning was generated and applied to improve the delivery of activities?
  • How did the different actors learn from these experiences?
  • To what extent was the programme interlinked with other NRC programmes?
  • To what extent was the AEP undermining/supporting other NRC programmes?


  • What are the positive/negative changes of the AEP intended/unintended?
  • What difference has the AEP made to the target beneficiaries?
  • How many people have been reached so far in comparison to the target?
  • How do target beneficiaries perceive/describe the change?


The methodology will be a mixed-methods approach including both qualitative and quantitative components. The data collection methodologies should use a participatory approach engaging all relevant stakeholders, including community leaders, government counterparts and NRC staff. The consultant is expected to review the methodology while taking into account the government of Kenya laws, NRC policies including HR and data protection.

• Desk review of background documents (project document, project monitoring data, progress, final report, field visit reports etc.).
• Key informant interviews (e.g., with NRC, staff members, UNHCR, NGOs, key community members and representatives from the county government) to gather evidence on the effectiveness, efficiency, relevance and timeliness of the project activities implementation and delivery.
• Focus group discussions with target groups to assess implementation experiences and effectiveness, document success, challenges and lessons learned, and develop recommendations for improvement.
• Survey Application of structured survey questionnaires with a representative, random sample of target population to quantitatively assess outcomes.
• Project staff interviews on project overall implementation.

The findings will be used to;

  • Give meaningful feedback about the NRC AE programme, to provide honest feedback - positive and negative for improvement.
  • A management response will be developed before learning event after the evaluation report is finalised. This will be followed up and tracked by the M&E Manager.
  • A dissemination plan will be developed to ensure that important findings, conclusions, recommendations, and learning is shared with internal and external stakeholders and incorporated in further in ongoing programme implementation as well as in design of future AE programmes designs and NRC strategy.

Deliverables and reporting deadlines

The consultant is expected to lead, accomplish, and submit the following deliverables within the agreed timeframe and budget

  • An inception report, which will serve as an agreement between parties on how the evaluation will be conducted.

Items to address:

  • Understanding of the issues and questions raised in the ToR
  • Data sources; how to assess the questions in the ToR
  • Research methodology, including suggested sample and size
  • Schedule of activities and traveling (timeline) while taking into account the government of Kenya and UNCHR camp entry protocols
  • Proposal for a learning event/validation of evaluation findings.
  • Detailed budget.
  • Appropriate validated draft data collection tools (e.g., methodological guidelines, group interview questions). The tools and methodology will be verified by NRC.
  • Statistical packages to be use and data protection.
  • A max 35-page draft and final evaluation report (in MS Office and PDF for final), excluding annexes and in English.
  • Both reports should be in the format indicated below, to be submitted to NRC Kenya Country office. It is preferable to illustrate the results by appropriate graphs, visuals, tables and/or a dashboard with an accompanied explanatory text. The report should consist of:

a) Executive Summary in bullets (max. 2 pages)
b) Introduction
c) Methodology, including sampling and limitations
d) Analysis and findings of the evaluation. The analysis should be done according to the evaluation lines of enquiry.

e) Address concerns, lessons learned and comments from NRC and partners.

f) Stories of change and quotes from respondents

g) Conclusions for each of the evaluation objectives

h) Recommendations for adjustment in AE programming and for future projects/programmes design. Include an implementation strategy for the recommendations

i) Annexes:

  • Relevant maps and photographs of the evaluation areas where necessary
  • Bibliography of consulted secondary sources
  • Finalized data collection tools and analysed tables and graphs
  • List of interviewees with accompanying informed consent forms
  • PowerPoint presentation of preliminary findings Learning event for project stakeholders, partners. The structure and activities of the learning and evaluation meeting(event) will be agreed with NRC .


  • 50 Days . Final report expected by 31st October 2023

Key Deliverables

  • Deliverable 1: final inception report including budget, methodology and qualitative research tools, approved by NRC steering committee. 30% Payment upon approval
  • Deliverable 2: Learning event- Final report presentation
  • Deliverable 3: Final Evaluation Report. 70% payment upon confirmation and approval of final report

Requirement of Evaluation consultant team/ firm

The lead consultant/Researcher must be a Senior Expert in assessments or Evaluations of Large and complex programs and holds a minimum of a master’s degree in education, Social Science, Development studies, Economics, Rural Development or related subject and practical knowledge in Conducting Evaluation in Kenya. Qualifications must include:

  • A minimum 10+ years in, designing and implementing evaluations in humanitarian projects with experience in refugee education programmes.
  • Proven track records in leading evaluation and study teams and producing quality reports.
  • Extensive quantitative research and data analysis experience using statistical software’s (SPSS, Stata, and others).
  • Expertise in facilitating qualitative data collection and analyzing qualitative data using rigorous techniques.
  • Proven ability to work with community and government stakeholders.
  • Proven consultancy and/or work experience with NGOs as well as experience with other international and bilateral organizations on humanitarian program.
  • Good knowledge of refugee response education interventions.
  • Excellent writing and presentation skills.
  • Excellent English writing skills required among someone on the evaluation team.
  • English language required. Somali, Swahili languages preferred but not mandatory.

How to apply

Bid proposals must include the following:

  • Proposal including outline of evaluation framework and methods, including comments on the TOR, proposed time frame and work plan.
  • Proposed evaluation budget, including professional fees, travel costs and administration costs (if any).
  • CV's for the lead consultant and other key staff.
  • A technical and financial proposal explaining their comprehension of the ToR and how they would approach this assignment, summarising the methodologies and approaches they plan to use, including a timeline.
  • Two samples of similar previous assignments.
  • Their availability.
  • Company profile or CV including three references.

Complete proposals should be submitted in pdf through nairobi.logistics@nrc.no before or on 12th May 2023 at 1000Hrs . The title of this consultancy should also be captured on the email subject for ease of reference.

NRC reserves the right to accept or reject the whole or part of your proposal based on the information provided without giving the reason whatsoever. Incomplete proposals which do not comply with our conditions will not be considered.

NB: Due to high number of applications expected, only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.