Call for Individual Consultancy: conduct desk research of community-based learning (CBL) and case studies of CBL in open education, and develop an analytical report on CBL at open and conventional universities

The UNESCO Institute for Information Technologies in Education (UNESCO IITE) is seeking an individual consultant to conduct desk research of community-based learning (CBL) and case studies of CBL in open education, and facilitate the development of partner network of higher education institutions and organisations involved into CBL.

The study is conducted within the project “Promoting ICT Capacity Building and Open Education in the Era of Artificial Intelligence and Digital Technologies” jointly implemented by UNESCO IITE and Shanghai Open University. The phase II of the project aims to deepen research in community-based learning enabled by advanced digital technologies, enhance teacher training to align with the latest developments in artificial intelligence, and support the development of digital literacy, application scenarios and educational service guidelines for the elderly population. One of the project activities suggests the development of an analytical report on community-based learning at open and conventional (traditional) universities.

Scope of work

To develop the analytical report on community-based learning (CBL) at universities, the individual consultant shall perform the following tasks:

1. Conduct desk research of community-based learning at open and traditional universities as a form of experiential learning that helps students to learn from and with the local and/or global community by connecting the curriculum to community contexts, concepts and issues that are more familiar, accessible and relevant to them.

2. Collect at least 10 cases of best practices in community-based learning with the focus on the use of digital technologies to deliver/improve CBL experience. The collected cases should represent various regions, backgrounds and forms of CBL focusing on different digital tools including the use of advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence. The description of each case should include the following parameters: overall design and context, objectives, modes of interaction with communities, learning outcomes, features and challenges, technological tools and sustainability of the CBL model, etc.

3. Develop the summary report on desk research of community-based learning at universities including the description and analysis of case studies of CBL.

4. Draft the analytical report on community-based learning at open and conventional universities based on the results of the desk research and collected best practices in CBL. The analytical report should include the following sections: 1) introduction; 2) theoretical fundamentals of CBL; 3) an overview of the CBL practice at higher education institutions; 4) conclusion and recommendations for further development of CBL; 5) annex with information about contact persons in universities engaged in desk research/case studies. The report shall be produced in English and contain no less than 40 pages.

5. Participate in the webinar on CBL organized by UNESCO IITE and present main findings of the desk research and the analytical report.

6. Finalize the analytical report on CBL according to the UNESCO IITE comments and insights gained from the webinar.

The following deliverables are to be prepared in English and submitted to UNESCO IITE: detailed work plan, the summary report, the draft analytical report on community-based learning, presentation at the webinar, the final version of the analytical report.

Candidate profile
  • Advanced University degree (Master’s or equivalent degree) in the field of education, social sciences, pedagogics, or a related field. PhD is advantageous.
  • Proven experience in conducting research and developing reports in the field of ICT in education and digital pedagogy.
  • Excellent knowledge (written and spoken) of English.

The consultancy will take place from June 2024 to April 2025. Location: remote.

Application process

Interested individuals are invited to submit their applications, including a cover letter outlining their qualifications and relevant experience, a detailed CV, a list of publications (optional), as well as a financial proposal at

The deadline for submission is 23 May 2024. Please indicate ‘Consultancy: desk research of community-based learning’ in the subject line.

Only successful candidates will be contacted.