Request for Information:
Supporting Learning Outcomes in South Sudan The U.S Agency for International Development Mission in South Sudan requests information concerning possible development activities, ideas and approaches in support of improving learning outcomes appropriate to the South
Sudan’s environment to be implemented over the next five years with estimated funding $20 million.
It should be noted that funds are currently not available for any proposed interventions proposed under this Request for Information (RFI).
The intent of this RFI is to gain information on how best to position USAID/South Sudan to appropriately respond to the needs highlighted in the background information attached to this RFI.
This announcement is a Request for Information, not a Request for Applications or a Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) and it is not a commitment by USAID/South Sudan to issue a solicitation – cooperative agreement or grant or otherwise compensate an organization or individual for any information submitted to the U. S. Government.
The issuance of this RFI does not obligate USAID/South Sudan to pay for any costs incurred in the preparation and submission of the requested information.
Please do not submit applications or statements of qualifications in response to this request.
USAID/South Sudan will not provide answers to any questions submitted in response to this request.
USAID/South Sudan may use feedback and comments from this RFI to develop future program(s) and/or solicitations.
It should be noted that responding to this RFI will not give an advantage to an organization should there be a subsequent solicitation.
Proprietary information must not be sent in response to this RFI.
Alan Garceau Supervisory Contracting/Agreement Officer Background Information Over 2. 2 million South Sudanese children, the equivalent of nearly ⅓ of the country’s primary school-aged population, are out of school, making South Sudan one of the countries with the largest proportion of out-of-school children (OOSC) in the world  .
Root causes of the lack of access include:
the lack of functional schools;  the frequent and unpredictable closure of functional schools (permanent or temporary) due to violence, and the related movement of students and teachers;  threats to students’ safety when they access school.
 Problem Statement To date, USAID has implemented education interventions that increase access, promote safety and well-being, and build a sense of normalcy for children and youth, but beneficiaries are still lacking the literacy, numeracy, and soft skills that are foundational to future learning and success.
USAID now wants to leverage those investments and focus specifically on improving instructional models that support on-going learning and build resiliency.
Using lessons learned from recent interventions and assessments/studies, and taking advantage of a relative sense of peace in the country, USAID proposes activities that promote a demonstrable increase in learning outcomes.
Conducting such an activity in South Sudan could be enormously challenging due to lack of similar contextual models; therefore, the Mission seeks a partner who can co-create and implement an activity that empowers beneficiaries, 10-15 years of age, with measurably increased literacy, numeracy and soft skills (through a support package) that enable their continuous learning in age-appropriate levels in upper-primary, lower secondary, or technical/vocational training.
This 5-year activity should result in “significantly measurable” learning outcomes that enable beneficiaries to continue their educational pursuits.
That may mean transition into the appropriate grade level of upper-primary/lower-secondary school, or pursuit of technical/vocational skills training.
It is especially critical that co-creation and implementation of this activity exhibit the following Results or outcomes:
1. A foundational literacy and numeracy skills support package (i.e.
including social-emotional learning or accelerated education program approaches) that prepares learners for continuing education.
2. Improved scores measured using Early Grade Reading (EGRA) and Early Grade Math Assessments (EGMA) over a three-year intervention period and/or by the end of primary school grade 8. 3. Increased soft skills and socio-emotional aptitudes appropriate to support attainment of sustainable livelihoods.
Information Sought USAID/South Sudan is seeking short concise and relevant responses to the below questions, in order to help the Mission identify the appropriate types of development interventions and activities.
1. What development strategies and approaches (activities) might USAID/South Sudan employ to improve learning outcomes among children/youth aged 10 -15 years? 2. What non-formal education approaches/methodologies (activities) should USAID/South Sudan utilize to ensure success of this activity that will be complementary to the formal education route? 3. What existing development methodologies/models (activities) should USAID/South Sudan use to create avenues for success in improving literacy and numeracy? END OF RFI  UNESCO’s out-of-school study  According to the Education Cluster’s 2017 assessment 41% of primary schools were not open at all.
The states with the largest percentages of non-functional schools also had seen the most violence.
 Conflict and insecurity caused 26% of permanent school closures in late 2017, and the movement of students and teachers caused another 29% of permanent school closures.
The wave of violence and displacement following the July 2016 fighting in Juba and other areas aggravated an already difficult education situation, with increased dropouts and lower enrollments continuing.
 According to the 2016 Rapid Education and Risk Analysis schools were damaged or occupied by combatants and internally displaced populations, teachers and students were killed, school-going children were targeted for sexual violence and recruitment into armies and parents continue to fear sending their children to school, especially girls.