Call for an individual consultant to prepare desktop research on the state of use of ICT and AI tools in education for skills development in SCO countries


The key objective of the upcoming CONNECT 2.0 online conference within the joint UNESCO IITE– HEDU Education Group project “Connecting schools online for intercultural teaching and learning” is to bring together educators and education enthusiasts to explore ways in which various ICTs and AI can and should be used to promote and develop some of the key skills necessary for the 21st century, namely,

  • ecological mindset (green society);
  • respect for equality in its diverse manifestations (in terms of gender, inclusion, access, etc.);
  • skills for digital economy, including but not limited to financial well-being and prosperity;
  • leadership skills.

Part of the conference will be devoted to CONNECT 2.0 Forum (December 13, 2023) focusing exclusively on the skills development enhanced by ICTs and AI in countries of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, namely, China, India, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan. The forum is aimed primarily at school and TVET teachers in the abovementioned countries and will include a number of round table discussions proceeded by a report on the situation regarding the use of Information and Communication technologies and Artificial Intelligence among the countries of the Organization.

With this in mind, UNESCO IITE is looking for an individual consultant with expertise and experience in desktop research in the area of comparative education to produce a report on the situation regarding the use of Information and Communication technologies and Artificial Intelligence for educational purposes by schools and colleges in the countries of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and present its preliminary findings at the online Forum on December 13, 2023.

In particular, the Contractor shall:

  1. Formulate the specific set of criteria against which to compare the diverse educational systems of the nine countries in respect to skills development with the use of ICT and AI in schools and TVET;
  2. Analyze the nine national educational systems focusing on the access to, availability of, and other parameters regarding the use of ICT and AI in teaching and learning in the SCO countries in 2020 – 2023 (pandemic and post-pandemic years);
  1. Produce an analytical report describing and comparing the nine educational systems of the SCO countries (between and across countries), identifying the common and the different, the strengths and shortcomings, challenges and opportunities, degree of quality education, uninterrupted communication, and equitable involvement with respect to ICT and AI in educational contexts between and among school and vocational school systems across SCO countries; the report must also be designed and made prepared for publishing it online.

The analytical report should be of no less than 50 pages (font – Calibri; font size – 12; line spacing – 1.5) including

  • an overview of national regulations and requirements in respect to ICT and AI in teaching and learning in schools and vocational schools,
  • the state of the art on the use of ICT and AI in education in SCO countries supported by visual references (graphs/diagrams/charts/tables…),
  • at least 9 case studies with photo/video supplements,
  • analyses and conclusions of implementing innovative ICT- and AI-based approaches towards quality improvements in the national school as well as technical and vocational education and training

The draft analytical report shall be provided to UNESCO IITE for consideration and review. Based on the feedback provided, the consultant shall make modifications (if deemed necessary) in accordance with obtained comments and amendments. The finalized report (after feedback and revision of the draft) shall be submitted to IITE by December 29, 2023. The language of the document is English.

  1. Prepare and deliver a presentation (duration – at least 15 minutes) for the SCO CONNECT 2.0 Forum (December 13, 2023) and actively engage in the follow-up discussion. The report presentation will include the preliminary findings and insights of the abovementioned research. Prior to the presentation, the draft should be submitted to UNESCO IITE for review. The finalized presentation should also be submitted to IITE as part of the final set of the deliverables. The language of the presentation is English.

5. Prepare and submit to the UNESCO IITE an executive completion report on the full scope of conducted activities (1-page, in English) by December 29, 2023.



Submission criteria for deliverables:

The deliverables must be prepared in full compliance with the UNESCO Style Manual for the presentation of English-language texts:, and in a tone that is reader-friendly for its intended audience, i.e., educators and policy-makers.

The format of images: JPEG, PNG, SVG. Image resolution should be not less than 4000×3000 pixels.

The format of videos: MPEG-4/H.264. Video recording should be carried out with a maximum level of quality, in full HD 1080p (minimum) or UHD 4K (desired).

Candidate specification:

The prospective candidate should

  • hold an advanced university degree (Master or equivalent) in Education, Social Sciences, or Linguistics;
  • have a proven record of desktop research in the area of education, no less than 4 years of experience,
  • possess necessary and sufficient ICT competencies,
  • be fluent in English and proficient in communication. Knowledge of Russian and one (or more) national languages of the SCO countries would be a strong asset.

Interested qualified candidates are encouraged to submit their applications (in English) to before 10 November 2023.

The official application shall include:

  1. Candidate’s latest Curriculum Vitae.
  2. A statement indicating how the candidate’s qualifications and experience make him/her suitable for the assignment.
  3. An indication of the approach the candidate would adopt to carry out the assignment, including any inputs that may be required from UNESCO IITE.
  4. Proposed budget (in USD).