JOB Post: Education Specialist, Fast Track Initiative, World Bank

Posted on 24 February 2009. Filed under: Announcements, Children, Education, HIV/AIDS, Jobs & Internships, Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), Opportunities, Poverty | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

ob # 090252
Job Title Education Spec.
Job Family Education
Location: Washington, DC
Appointment International Hire
Job Posted 17-Feb-2009
Closing Date 03-Mar-2009
Language Requirements
English [Essential]
Appointment Type Term (Duration: 2 yrs)
Background / General description
To apply go to

The Fast Track Initiative (FTI) is a global partnership launched in 2002 to accelerate progress toward the Millennium Development Goal of universal quality primary education by 2015. All low-income countries which demonstrate serious commitment to achieving universal primary completion can receive support from FTI. The FTI is a high visibility and politically sensitive aid platform which currently provides technical and financial support to over 50 countries, with the majority in Africa. The FTI provides direct financial support to countries with endorsed education sector plans through a multi-donor Catalytic Fund which currently has over $1,400 million in commitments through 2009, making it the second largest source of financing for basic education in low income countries. It will also provide support to conflict-affected and other fragile states through the recently created Education Transition Fund managed by UNICEF. The FTI Partnership is supported by a Secretariat housed in the World Bank in Washington, DC.

Duties and Accountabilities
The Education Specialist will provide support to countries developing education sector plans and programs to reach the most vulnerable populations who constitute the majority of out-of-school children. S/he will also work with FTI Secretariat Staff, FTI partners, country donors, civil society organizations and the World Bank to provide substantive input and technical support on a range of education and development topics such as improving quality/learning outcomes; fragile states; strengthening in-country processes; donor harmonization; improving gaps in policy, financing, data, and capacity development; and FTI’s response to HIV/AIDS, gender, and disability issues. S/he will report to the Head of the FTI Secretariat and support and collaborate with the FTI Secretariats’ Senior Education Specialists who lead FTI’s work on learning outcomes and country level processes. Specific responsibilities will include:
1. Out of School/Vulnerable Children Coordinate partnership planning and processes to address key constraints for vulnerable populations to achieving the education MDG.
• Assist in designing, implementing, monitoring, and evaluating a targeted outreach program to reach the populations most at risk of not benefiting from EFA/FTI programs.
• Develop a results framework for working with vulnerable populations. Develop and monitor indicators and activities linked to specific marginalized populations (gender, poverty, rural/urban, disability, and child labor).
• Provide background research on education and development policies as appropriate.
• Strengthen the policy dialogue within the FTI partnership by researching the donor partners’ statements on policy (user fees, language of instruction, disability, gender, etc.) and identifying common principles and shared understandings.
• Liaise with the Interagency Task Team on HIV/AIDS and education and strengthen mechanisms to ensure that this collaboration between education and HIV/AIDS is brought down to the country level.
• Represent the FTI Secretariat on the INEE Working Group on Education and Fragility

2. Country Focal Point Serve as focal point for a select number of FTI endorsed and potential countries.
• Act as first line of contact for all FTI communications with coordinating agency.
• Provide and seek information on ESP development and implementation, including FTI trust fund issues, application procedures, and key events such as joint annual reviews.
• Ensure tools such as the capacity development, inclusion/equity, HIV/AIDs, School Health are utilized when LDGs are developing their ESPs.
• Conduct the FTI Secretariat’s support and advice on ‘Light Touch’ review of ESPs prior to endorsement.
• Monitor and provide guidance to fragile states as they progress through the single entry process.

3. Learning Outcomes Support the FTI Secretariat and Partnership’s work to develop its work plan and activities on learning outcomes within the FTI partnership.
• Provide research and other support for the FTI task team on education quality.
• Provide support for the coordination of partnership planning and processes for measuring learning outcomes in FTI countries.
• Assist in communicating with country Local Education Groups/Coordinating agencies (CA) to gauge interest in their participating in international assessments of learning/quality.

Selection Criteria
• Education: An advanced degree in education or related fields.

• A minimum of 5 years of relevant experience working in the education sector.

• Strong knowledge of and commitment to the principles and procedures of the FTI.

• Knowledge of fragile states policies and financing mechanisms.

• Demonstrated knowledge of and experience in the use of education data, and social and institutional research analytical tools.

• Knowledge of education operations in the World Bank or other major donor or UN agencies.

• Experience with dialogue with government and other partners, including bilateral donors, multilateral organizations, and NGOs.

• Proven ability to work with peers, managers, and a diverse range of partners including donors, civil society groups, governments, and academic institutions.

• Ability to work well in a small team, operate under pressure, deliver high quality work within deadlines, and meet team objectives.

The World Bank Group is committed to achieving diversity in terms of gender, nationality, culture and educational background. Individuals with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply. All applications will be treated in the strictest confidence.

To apply go to

I received this announcement via the Global Partnership on Disability and Development (GPDD) mailing list. For other jobs at the World Bank, consult the World Bank Employment page. Most jobs at the World Bank are not disability related, but a few are.

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RESOURCE: Child Disability Statistics

Posted on 11 March 2008. Filed under: Children, Cross-Disability, Resources | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

Researchers, advocates, and other individuals who share an interest in children with disabilities around the world can locate relevant data at a new UNICEF web site on Child Disability.

In 2005, UNICEF impleneted a module in the Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS) to help countries identify children with congential and developmental disabilities. These results are being reported for the first time at the UNICEF Child Disability web site. Most results focus on children aged 2 to 9.

Countries have identified as few as 2 percent of their children as having disabilities (in Uzbekistan) or as many as 35 percent (in Djibouti). An overview of statistics is available at the web site.

DISABILITY ADVOCATES and community workers, take note! UNICEF says this: “Prevalence rates that fall significantly below 10 percent may indicate that severe and moderate disabilities are under-recognized or under-reported, which means that children with disabilities are missing in these statistics. They can also suggest high mortality both in utero and for children with disabilities who are under the age of five – deaths that are not captured in statistics.” (Quote taken from

Why should grassroots advocates care about these two sentences? Think about the next time you go to foundations or governments to look for money to support a project you care about. Funders usually want to see proof that there are enough people with disabilities to be worth a targeted project. If your country has already done a study claiming that disability is rare, they might be reluctant to commit funds to large-scale projects for disabled people. In this case, you could try pointing out to funders that experts, including UNICEF, think that surveys resulting in very low estimates may be under-reporting or missing children with disabilities. Use the above quote, and be sure to include the citation.

The web site also shares a listing of UNICEF publications on children with disabilities (under “Resources”); a list of relevant journal articles (under “References”); and a list of useful links.

Start exploring UNICEF’s Child Disability web site at:

You may also wish to explore other information, resources, and materials related to children with disabilities in developing countries by clicking on children under categories (right-hand navigation bar). Or click on the page entitled Research, Reports, Papers, Statistics (top navigation bar) if you’re looking for more data in general.

We Can Do learned about UNICEF’s Child Disability web site by exploring the World Bank’s Disability web site.

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REPORT: Violence Against Disabled Children

Posted on 8 March 2008. Filed under: Academic Papers and Research, Children, Cross-Disability, Human Rights, Reports, Resources, Violence | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

UNICEF has released a summary report entitled, “Violence Against Disabled Children” (PDF format 245 Kb), with the subtitle “UN Secretary Generals Report on Violence against Children, Thematic Group on Violence against Disabled Children, Findings and Recommendations.”

The first half of this report, released in July 2005, summarizes what is known about violence toward children with disabilities at home, in schools, in institutions, in the criminal justice system, within the broader community, and at work (in child labor situations). Children with disabilities are known to be at higher risk for abuse, partly because they may be perceived as “easy victims.” Also, abuse toward disabled children is less likely to be investigated or persecuted, which means abusers know it is easier to escape consequences even if the abuse is discovered.

Many children, with or without disabilities, may face adults who fail to listen or to believe them when they try to report abuse. But children with disabilities face additional barriers. As one example, some adults may mistakenly assume that a child with intellectual disabilities or psycho-social disabilities must surely be “confused,” or unable to tell right from wrong, or unable to make their own decisions about what is done to their bodies.

Disabled children may also be targeted for child murder, either because parents perceive them as bringing shame to the family or because adults may be convinced they will be “better off” dead than disabled. In countries where many men share the belief that sex with a virgin will “cleanse” them of HIV/AIDS, girls, boys, and adults with disabilities may be targeted for rape on the assumption that they do not have sex. Children with disabilities also may be forcibly sterilized, sometimes as early as the age of 8 or 9.

The report makes a series of 13 recommendations for families, communities, policy makers, governments, advocates, Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) or Civil Society Organizations, United Nations agencies, and other stakeholders with an interest in preventing violence toward disabled children. These recommendations include, as a few examples: increasing public awareness; reforming legislation so that the laws can better protect children with disabilities; advocating change to improve inclusion of disabled people throughout society; improving reporting mechanisms so that people who become aware of abuse have a way to report it; closing down institutions and integrating disabled children into the community; but also improving government oversight of institutions for as long as they continue to exist.

The 33-page report can be downloaded in PDF format (245 Kb) at:

People interested in the topic of violence against children may also wish to read an article on violence and disabled children in the 2003 issue of the joint Rehabilitation International and UNICEF newsletter, One in Ten:

Also of possible interest:

A recent report, Promoting the Rights of Children with Disabilities could give ideas to advocates and families for how they can use international human rights laws to protect the rights of children with disabilities.

Learn about a report on human rights abuses of disabled children and adults in Serbia, including the use of violence.

Read a paper on Violence Against Blind and Visually Impaired Girls in Malawi

Those interested in abuse and human rights violations in institutional settings may also wish to read the following first-hand accounts written by the same author, Amanda Baggs. These are well worth reading. Some talk about the more obvious kinds of violence that most people are used to thinking of as “abuse.” Some talk about forms of psychological manipulation that are so subtle that outside observers might miss them. But Amanda Baggs makes powerful arguments for why “outposts in our head,” or the uses of power nevertheless can be at least as important for anyone who cares about the well-being of children (and adults) with disabilities. Click on any title below to see Amanda Bagg’s post:

Why It’s So Hard to Write Directly About My Life
Outposts in Our Heads: The Intangible Horrors of Institutions that Must Not Be Forgotten
The Meaning of Power
Extreme Measures, and Then Some

We Can Do learned about the UNICEF report on violence against disabled children from the database. provides a library of information, resources, and toolkits related to people with disabilities and to health issues, particularly in developing countries.

Learn how to receive an email alert when new material is posted at We Can Do (

Also at We Can Do: catch up with the news; explore resources, toolkits, or funding and fellowship opportunities that might be helpful for your organization; find research, reports, papers, or statistics; or look up conferences, events, call for papers, or education/training opportunities.

This blog post is copyrighted to We Can Do ( Currently, only two web sites have on-going permission to syndicate (re-post) We Can Do blog posts: and Other sites are most likely plagiarizing this post without permission.

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REPORT: Promoting the Rights of Children with Disabilities

Posted on 5 March 2008. Filed under: Children, Cross-Disability, Human Rights, Reports | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Innocenti Research Center at UNICEF has released an Innocenti Digest on Promoting the Rights of Children with Disabilities (PDF format, 875 Kb). The 80-page publication examines the situation of 200 million children with disabilities around the world and identifies ways to promote their human rights.

The digest particularly focuses on two relevant international human rights treaties: the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). It is written from the social model perspective, which acknowledges that many of the barriers that prevent disabled people from participating in society are in the environment and not inherent to the impairment.

Promoting the Rights of Children with Disabilities (PDF format, 875 Kb) gives an overview of the difference between “inclusion” and “integration”; the social model of disability; the numbers of children with disabilities; disability and poverty.

A section on International Standards and Mechanisms explains the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC); UN Standard Rules on the Equalization of Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities; and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). The digest examines the specific implications of each of these instruments for protecting the rights of children with disabilities. It also briefly discusses the Millennium Development Goals.

The chapter on The Human Rights of Children with Disabilities Today describes the different ways that both direct and indirect discrimination and exclusion push children with disabilities away from health, rehabilitation, and educational services and into poverty and institutions. This chapter explains how the CRC and the CRPD can be used to improve access to the services children with disabilities need to stay out of poverty and stay with their own family in the community where they live. Special attention is given to violence, abuse, and exploitation, and to children with disabilities in conflict (war) and emergency situations.

The chapter on Foundations for Inclusion makes recommendations for how to promote the inclusion of children with disabilities within families, within communities, and at school.

The chapter, Ensuring a Supportive Environment, makes recommendations for relevant policy and legislation, budget allocation, monitoring, and international and regional partnerhsips. It emphasizes the need for working with people with disabilities, for raising public awareness, and changing attitudes toward people with disabilities.

The appendix lists international organizations involved with disability issues, either as their main focus or as one sub-specializalization. The full text of the CRPD is also provided.

The full report can be downloaded in PDF format (875 Kb) at:

This blog article is cross-posted at both We Can Do and RatifyNow with permission of author.

We Can Do learned about this publication through browsing the World Bank disability page.

Learn how to receive an email alert when new material is posted at We Can Do (

Also at We Can Do: catch up with the news; explore resources, toolkits, or funding and fellowship opportunities that might be helpful for your organization; find research, reports, papers, or statistics; or look up conferences, events, call for papers, or education/training opportunities.

This blog post is copyrighted to We Can Do ( Currently, only two web sites have on-going permission to syndicate (re-post) We Can Do blog posts: and Other sites are most likely plagiarizing this post without permission.

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NEWS: United Nations Launches Disability Newsletter

Posted on 2 February 2008. Filed under: Announcements, Cross-Disability, Human Rights, News | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

The United Nations Secretariat for the Convention on the Rights of Persons
with Disabilities (CRPD) has launched the Enable Newsletter. The newsletter is meant to keep readers informed about the work being done on disability issues within the United Nations system.

The first issue, for January 2008, leads with a feature story on the CRPD, the international disability rights treaty. It reports briefly on several recent events within the United Nations system including a meeting on “Making it work – Civil Society Participation in the Implementation of the Convention,” in Madrid, Spain, held in November 2007; events associated with the International Day of Persons with Disabilities held on December 3 and Human Rights Day on December 10; the first meeting of the Inter-Agency Support Group (IASG) on the CRPD; and others.

The January Enable Newsletter also reports on disability-related activities by various United Nations agencies around the world. These include a seminar that was held on freedom from torture; UNICEF’s efforts to develop a child-friendly version of the CRPD; the work that the World Health Organization (WHO) has been doing in developing reports and guidelines on disability and rehabilitation; and others.

Toward the end of the newsletter is a list of links to various helpful publications, such as a digest on the rights of children with disabilities; a report on the sexual and reproductive rights of people with disabilities; a report on people with disabilities in India; a report on measuring disability prevalence; and a report on making World Bank projects more disability-inclusive; and others. It also lists a few up-coming events being held within the United Nations system.

Learn more about the UN’s new Enable Newsletter at

Read the first issue (January 2008) at:

People may also receive future issues of the newsletter via email for free by subscribing

Learn how to receive an email alert when new material is posted at We Can Do (

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REPORT: Human-Rights Approach to Education for All

Posted on 30 January 2008. Filed under: Children, Cross-Disability, Education, Human Rights, Reports | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has released a report on a human rights based approach to making education accessible to all children, entitled A Human Rights-Based Approach to Education for All: A framework for the realization of children’s right to education and rights within education (PDF format, 812 Kb). The report discusses current thinking and practice on human rights based approaches in the education sector. It presents key issues and challenges in rights-based approaches and provides a framework for developing policies and programs at the school, local, national, or international levels. It is targeted particularly at governments, civil society organizations, United Nations and bilateral agencies, and other development partners.

This report touches briefly on issues affecting disabled children in education throughout. A search for the word “disabilities” finds multiple short references in the text. For example, there is a mention of such issues as the fact that the birth of some children–but particularly disabled children–may not be registered in some countries, making it more difficult to accurately estimate the need for schooling. And the report asserts that attention must be paid to the communication needs of children with sensory impairments (Braille for blind students; sign language for deaf students).

There are some disappointments here. For instance, the introduction has the usual discussion of the 77 million children who are currently out of school but misses an opportunity to point out that disabled children are disproportionately represented among them. But the integration of disability related concerns into a broader discussion of educational issues is itself an important step in the right direction. Especially positive is seeing disability issues integrated into a report like this one that emphasizes education as a human right for all children–including children with disabilities.

The report can be downloaded in PDF format (812 Kb) at:

We Can Do learned about this report via the Disabled People’s International on-line newsletter. DPI’s newsletter can be subscribed to, via email, for free.

Find more Research, reports, or papers, or find more blog posts like this one on children, education, or humanrights.

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Calling All Children and Youth: The CRPD for Young People

Posted on 22 October 2007. Filed under: Announcements, Children, Cross-Disability, Human Rights, News | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

UNICEF is calling all young people to share their ideas for the child-friendly text of the International Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). The Convention is an agreement between countries to make sure that children and adults with disabilities are treated fairly and in the same ways as same as other people. UNICEF wants young people to know about it.

UNICEF has launched an online discussion. This discussion gives young people the opportunity to comment on the child-friendly text. Your contribution will help to put the Convention into the hands of children and young people. This way they will know what governments have promised to do to make sure that every child with disability has what he/she needs to grow, play, participate and go to school, and to reach its full potential as others. The discussion is continuing from now until November 9, 2007.

At the UNICEF web site, you can download the “child-friendly” text of the convention in PDF or in Word. If you are a facilitator conducting a focus group, then you can also downloand a Facilitator’s Guide.

You can also answer questions that ask what you thought about the child-friendly text and how it can be made better so that children and young people will understand it. Your answers can be entered at the UNICEF web site or via email to

For more details, follow the link to

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Numbers Don’t Feed People–Or Do They?

Posted on 8 October 2007. Filed under: Funding, Opinion, Resources | Tags: , , , , , , , |

[Looking for disability-related statistics? Skip to the bottom for useful links.]

Some of the people reading this blog are working with disabled people in developing countries who are starving for food, for medical care, for shelter, for clothing, for an education, for vocational training, for jobs, and for equal opportunity to participate in community and family life. In short, you serve people starving for all basic necessities.

When you are busy educating people with cognitive impairments in Guatemala how to protect themselves from AIDS, or if you’re working to persuade a village in rural Bangladesh to make their new school building wheelchair accessible, then the idea of gathering statistics may seem remote from your daily concerns. Why do we need research to understand people’s problems? Just go to the streets of Uganda or to people’s homes in Yemen and see the problems yourself! Why waste funds on a good census of disabled people when the same money could be used to start helping them?

But most of us–including grassroots advocates in developing countries–know that statistics can provide crucial information. For people in a position to decide how and where money should be spent, statistics can help them understand how many people need help and where they are located so they can ensure that they use resources wisely. Most decision-makers do not have time, money, or staff, to go out into the field to see all the challenges that people face first hand–especially if they serve a large geographical area with a large population. Numbers can never give the full picture of where all the needs are located. But they can be a helpful, and critical, starting point.

For grassroots organizations that already know who the people are they want to help and what their biggest challenges are, having well-researched, reliable numbers can make it easier to secure funding for the programs you want to establish. Wisely chosen statistics, when they are available, can make your funding proposal stronger and more persuasive.

For example, if you simply say, “People with mobility impairments cannot go to health clinics because public transportation isn’t accessible. Please make all the city buses wheelchair accessible.” The city might wonder, “Why should we invest thousands or millions of dollars (or Euros or pesos) that we don’t have to serve what is probably only a tiny number of people?” But suppose you could say, “We have 100,000 people in this region with mobility impairments. We did a study in which we interviewed 500 people with mobility impairments. Half of them have never been to a clinic in their entire lives, and another one-third say they have only visited a clinic once or twice when a relative or neighbor was able to transport them. One of the most common reason they give for not going to health clinics is that they cannot use the public buses to get there. Yet, among the thousands of buses in the city, only 4 have wheelchair lifts.”

This kind of information could make the difference between enough funding or none at all. Statistics don’t feed people, or purchase Braille textbooks, or put wheelchair lifts in public buses. But they can help persuade people with resources to support projects that do.

It can be an enormous challenge for grassroots workers to gather appropriate data, or to find data that has been collected by others. Often, the exact numbers that you need or want may not yet exist at all. It may become necessary to use the “next best thing.” For example, if you cannot find a census on the number of disabled people in your country (the “prevalence” of disability), then you could try to find similar statistics on people with disabilities in a country that is very similar to yours in ethnicity and socio-economic status.

Resources are available on the web that may be able to help you track down some of the numbers you need. The newest of these focuses on statistics related to children with disabilities:
UNICEF has created this resource in acknowledgment that children with disabilities may often experience discrimination even from service providers and their own family members. In their documents and publications area, they have papers you can download in PDF format on topics such as violence toward children with disabilities; an initiative on “child-friendly” schools in Africa; and efforts in inclusive education in the East Asia and Pacific region. Their statistics tables provides statistics related to disabled children in selected countries.
For other statistics related to adults and children with disabilities around the world, particularly developing countries, the World Bank has some useful links and papers available. Researchers seeking to improve their data collection methods may find some of the publications listed at the top of this page of interest. People looking for statistics that have already been gathered will want to follow the links provided at this page to find databases and tables of statistics from a range of sources.

Still more links to potentially useful resources are listed at:

Not all statistics you want are provided in convenient on-line databases or tables. That means you may need to expand your search. For example, it can sometimes be helpful to look for research publications on the general topics you are interested in to see if some of those publications have numbers that will be useful to you. For example, if you want statistics related to education, then try searching for research studies related to educating disabled children.

A long list of research papers on disabled people in developing countries is provided at
Although most of these publications are in English, a few are translated into other languages.

Also try locating peer-reviewed journals related to your profession in your country to see if any of these have published recent research on disabled people.

Many international organizations of (and for) people with disabilities have relevant statistics if you search their web pages carefully. You may wish to follow some of the many links offered at the “blogroll” on this page–see the right-hand navigation bar, or scroll down to the very bottom of this page, and look for the name of an organization that seems relevant to your needs and concerns. As just one example, Action on Disability and Development has a few quick facts and numbers about disabled people on their “Disability Facts” page. Or you can find information related to HIV/AIDS among people with disabilities at the HIV/AIDS Disability Global Survey.

Don’t overlook the links page for the organizations you look at (if there is one): following links from other web sites may lead you to helpful new resources.

If you have been to We Can Do before then you may have noticed that this blog has a new appearance and structure. How do you like it? Do you find it easier to navigate and find the information you’re looking for? Or is it harder? Any suggestions for how this blog can be improved in general? Please share your feedback in the comments area at the post where I describe We Can Do’s new presentation. You do not need to register in order to leave comments at this blog.

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