Improving Quality of Basic Education (IQBE)

Terms of Reference

National Project Director (International Position)


Position Tittle

National Project Director (International)

Implementing Organization

FSM Department of Education


Palikir, Pohnpei


45 months (January 2020 – June 2023)

Adviser Type

Long-term technical assistance (LTTA)

Tentative start-up date

January 2020


Project Backgrounds

Basic education outcomes are very low in the Pacific. Primary students are averaging only 30% of the benchmark in reading and 48% in mathematics, as measured by the Pacific Islands Literacy and Numeracy Assessment (PILNA) conducted across 14 countries in the Pacific. Results are particularly poor in the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), and are directly linked to several factors, most importantly low teacher quality. In FSM, 17.5% of teachers are underqualified without the minimally required 2-year associate’s degree. Low outcomes in student learning at the primary education level become magnified and more expensive to resolve at higher levels of education. Quality of education is deemed the most important issue for both countries, whereas access is not as critical an issue. It is therefore imperative to strengthen the foundations of learning so that more students can persist and succeed in their education careers.

The proposed project, Improving the Quality of Basic Education in the North Pacific (IQBE), will address factors to improve the conditions for learning in FSM. It will build on the successes and lessons learned under the Quality Primary Education in the North Pacific technical assistance[1] and will allow for a more comprehensive and sustained approach required for effective reforms within the sector.

Expected Outcome

The impact of the project will improve quality of education in the FSM. The project has focused into improved learning outcomes in literacy and numeracy skills. Project outputs are: (i) Primary school teachers better prepared; (ii) Capacity to use assessment to improve learning strengthened; (iii) Access and usage of teaching and learning resources and materials for literacy and numeracy expanded; and (iv) Educational leadership and management of schools, including parent/community engagement strengthened. The Project will allow for a more comprehensive and sustained approach required for effective reforms within the sector.

Intended Outputs

There are four specific outputs expected during the project period and they are:

Output 1: Teachers in primary education are better prepared.


New Professional Learning Framework developed.


Teachers trained on QPF focused on literacy and numeracy across the curriculum.


Improved alignment between Pre-service Teacher Education and In-service Teacher Education.


New System of Lead Teachers and Induction established.


Career pathways for teachers developed.

Output 2: Capacity to use student assessment to improve learning strengthened


New National Student Assessment Framework established.


Teachers trained on alternative assessments for learning.

Output 3: Access to and usage of teaching and learning resources and materials for literacy and numeracy expanded.


Access to teaching and learning resources increased.


Number and quality of resources increased.


Community/school partnerships in resource development increased.


Teacher/community workshops on newly developed resources and materials increased.

Output 4: Educational leadership and management of schools, including parent and community engagement strengthened


Principal performance standards strengthened.


School leaders trained on educational leadership and management.


Parents as Partners Program established.


Number of school-based sustainable development projects increased.



Project Implementation Mechanism

There is a Project Steering Committee (PSC) that consist of the Directors from State Department of Education, and representatives from FSM Department of Finance, COM-FSM, and the Asian Development Bank. The PSC is chaired by the Secretary of Education. The chair of the PSC may appoint representatives of other relevant agencies as new PSC members as required. The PSC meets quarterly and be responsible for (i) approving the annual project budget and activity plan, (ii) reviewing and advising on implementation progress, and (iii) ensuring policy and other significant issues affecting implementation are dealt with promptly. The PSC will provide overall guidance and coordination for project implementation.

At the national level, there is a Project Implementation Unit (PIU) at the NDOE which will be led by the Project Director and supported by Procurement Specialist and Finance Specialist. The Project Director will report to the Secretary of Education on matters relating to ensuring efficient and effective implementation of the project to meet deadlines, targets, objectives, outputs, and outcomes as stated in an annual work plan and the Design and Monitoring Framework (DMF).

The PIU will work with relevant institutions and project initiatives that complement and supplement IQBE implementation, including COM-FSM National and State Campuses, consulting firms/indivduals, and schools. COM-FSM will be a project institution engaged by NDOE to implement project activities that will be described fully in a MOU/Contract between the NDOE and the institution itself.

All four states have designated IQBE PIUs consisting of (i) State project directors; (ii) technical coordinators; (iii) finance specialist; (iv) procurement specialist; and (v) administrative staff. The PIU will conduct the following task:

  • Carry out day to day implementation activities in specified areas/functions to support and facilitate project implementation by project institutions, teams or committees; Manage State-level specific project implementation activities, including finance and accounting, procurement, report preparation, project performance monitoring system, simplified environmental screening and management checklist, and       preparation and submission of disbursement claims;
  • Prepare supporting State-level documents for replenishment of Imprest account, financial statements, and arrangement of the annual audit report in close consultation with State-level DOFA officials and submit to TDPM;
  • Monitor and report State-level Project progress and performance including midterm and project completion report; and
  • Ensure collection of sex-disaggregated data and training of project staff.
  • Perform other duties and tasks as may be assigned by the Secretary of Education National Project Director, State Project Director, or TDPM.

International Project Director

The International Project Director will be located within NDOE and will report to the Secretary of Education at NDOE and the Project Steering Committee comprised of representatives from all four State departments of education and the College of Micronesia and the National Department of Finance and Administration. S/he will perform the following task:

  • As an immediate priority, ensure that the project gets back on track with regards to severely delayed progress, make recommendations as appropriate to ensure that the project remains on track and is responsive to State Departments of Education.
  • Ensure overall  effective, strong and regular communication, coordination and supervision and implementation of all project activities procured under IQBE.  This will rely on effective management, oversight, and regular communication with project institutions (COM-FSM), consulting firm/individuals, State Departments of Education and of course the PIU staff.
  • Monitoring progress of project activities against the targets set in an annual work plan and report progress including issues, if any to the Secretary of Education on a quarterly basis.
  • Supervising, monitoring, and assessing the performance, outputs, and outcomes of project institutions and consulting firms/individuals against their Terms of Reference and making as necessary adjustments to ensure that overall results are achieved as relates to the project deisgn and monitoring framework.
  • Supervise and provide strategic technical advice, to support and guide the PIU staff as required.
  • Monitoring the performance of the other International Project Maangement Specialist, (short-term), the Procurement Specialist,  theFinance Specialist and the Technical Coordinators at the national and state level  regularly and providing feedback, guidance, and recommendations to improve their performance and the PIU operations.
  • Performing functions and duties as may be assigned that relate strictly to the IQBE scope.
  • Communicating orally and in writing, and making presentations as necessary for communications related to the IQBE project with stakeholders, government, and development partners.
  • As and when time allows, may mentor NDOE senior staff related to IQBE technical areas.  Primary responsibility is to ensure project progresses on track and with results responsive to state departments of education.


The consultant should preferably hold a minimum of a master’s degree or higher in education.  At least 10 years of working experience in education and complex project management. Previous donor-funded, such as ADB (Asian Development Bank) or other MDB (Multilateral Development Bank), or donor-funded project experience is highly preferable. Pacific regional experience is highly preferable. 

Skills, experience, knowledge

  • Excellent communication, coordination, and strong project management skills with preferable experience in complex project management.
  • Proven ability to working with multiple stakeholders such as the national and state government, development partners, consulting firms/indivduals and tertiary institutions.
  • Excellent writing and verbal communications, and experience in writing quarterly/annual reports, implementation plans, and monitor overall budgets.
  • Proven ability to plan, implement, monitor and supervise project activities.
  • Previous work experience in the Pacific highly desirable.
  • Familiarity with ADB or other MDB procurement, recruitment, and disbursement and financial management guidelines and norms highly preferable.
  • Knowledge and experience of planning and budgeting – setting annual targets, deliverables, and budgeting.
  • Strong monitoring and supervision experience with regards to tracking project implementation and results monitoring, per the DMF needs.
  • Team work and capacity building expertise.


1)      Annual work plan including detailed budgeting and targets

2)      Monitoring, supervision and capacity development plan

3)      EA’s Draft Project Completion Report

Reporting requirements

1)      Bi-weekly, monthly, quarterly and annual progress reports including physical and financial progress.

2)      Periodic updates on project status as required.

Counterpart and Work Space

This assignment requires consultant to be physically present at the NDOE office and work closely with the national and state PIU teams and travel to the states as needed. The consultant will report directly to the Secretary of Education and the Project Steering Committee. NDOE will provide working space for the consultant. It is the consultant’s responsibility to bring required equipment such as laptop for his/her use.

Location and Term of the Assignment

The consultant will be based in Pohnpei for the duration of the assignment. The remaining duration of the assignment is four (3.5) years.  The start date is expected to be around January 2020 to July 2023. It is a fulltime assignment.

The International Project Director position offers a competitive international salary, housing allowance and travel.

Deadline of Submitting Expression of Interest (EOI) is 23 December 2019 thru this link:

For inquiries, please contact Marlynn Halbert at


Education Specialist (Bridging Gap)


MISSION STATEMENT: The College of Micronesia-FSM is a learner-centered institution of higher education that is committed to the success of the Federated States of Micronesia by providing academic, career and technical educational programs characterized by continuous improvement and best practices.


Position Campus Closing Date
English Instructor Kosrae February 15,2018
Mathematics Instructor Kosrae February 15,2018
Public Health Instructor Kosrae February 15,2018
Research Assistant National February 14,2018
ACE Mentors [1 English & 1 Mathematics] Yap February 7,2018
Administrative Specialist III National 2-Feb-18
Natural Science Instructor National 21-Jan-18
Natural Science Instructor Kosrae 21-Jan-18
Instructor- Mathematics Pohnpei 20-Jan-18
English Instructor Chuuk 17-Jan-18
Public Health Instructor National 13-Jan-18
Instructor-Social Science National 13-Jan-18
Instructional Coordinator FMI/Yap Until filled

Applications are available at the College of Micronesia–FSM Human Resources Office, state campus sites or at the college’s website at

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