Support the Creation of Special Education Policy and Tools

Activity/project background

Partner: Guyana Council of Organizations for Persons with Disabilities (Local NGO)

The Guyana Council of Organizations for Persons with Disabilities (GCOPD) prioritizes education, training, learning, and sensitization for both the disabled and non-disabled communities across Guyana.

GCOPD works closely with special needs schools across Guyana, providing assistance as required. This includes collaboration with the Special Needs Unit of the Ministry of Education. In 2023, GCOPD signed a five Program Cooperation Agreement with UNICEF Guyana which will expand GCOPD’s work in special education across the country.

GCOPD is requesting a Virtual Service Pilot Participant (VSPP) to support the creation of inclusive special education needs policy, as well as supportive educational materials, to support teachers and social workers by ensuring the content has provisions for persons with disabilities.

The Guyana Council of Organization for Persons with Disabilities has not previously worked with a Peace Corps Volunteer or a VSPP. They understand that the role of a VSPP is very different than a two-year Volunteer.

Virtual service engagement and tasks

The VSPP will engage in the following tasks, in collaboration with their Host Country Partners:

• Support capacity development programs related to inclusive education, disability education, and training
• Co-create knowledge products, messages, tools and materials for teachers, social workers, and NGOs
• Provide guidance to finalize and implement the national Special Education Needs (SEN) policy and programs

This engagement is expected to be approximately 16 weeks. VSPPs are expected to engage on the tasks listed above for an estimated 5-15 hours per week.

Meetings between VSPPs and Host Country Counterparts will take place during normal office hours, Guyana time. Specific times will be determined during orientation.

The Host Country Counterpart will have access to Zoom, email, and WhatsApp for regular communication and collaboration.

Per the Child Protection Code of Conduct, when engaging online with minors (0-18), two adults must be present.

Optional additional activities

The Peace Corps mission is to promote world peace and friendship by fulfilling three goals:

  1. To help the people of interested countries in meeting their need for trained men and women.
  2. To help promote a better understanding of Americans on the part of the peoples served.
  3. To help promote a better understanding of other peoples on the part of Americans.

Goal 1 will be achieved through the VSPP's engagement and completion of the above tasks. The counterpart and VSPP may also choose to identify an activity that aligns with Goal 2. Additionally, the VSPP may identify a Goal 3 activity to implement during their engagement. See recommendations and tools for Goal 3 activities.

Essential qualifications

Education: Bachelor’s degree in special education

Experience: At least 3 years’ experience in inclusive education, special education

Intercultural skills and motivation: Flexible, strong cross-cultural agility, high tolerance for ambiguity, able to work independently, resourceful, creative, and genuinely motivated and capable to serve virtually

Desired qualifications

Education: Master’s degree in special education

Technical Skills:
• Familiarity with virtual engagement and communication
• Skilled in project management

Experience:
• Thorough knowledge of global policies and standards on inclusive education
• Experience in policy analysis and development work in disability inclusion

Terms and conditions of engagement

VSPPs will be engaging with the host country partner, in coordination with Peace Corps post staff, remotely from the US. They should have access to a computer, internet, and telephone in order to enable direct engagement with the Peace Corps overseas office and the Host Country Counterpart assigned by the host country partner.

Orientation with the host country partner will be provided, within the designated virtual service hours, during the first week of virtual service via an online presentation and discussion. The host country partner will provide an overview of its organization, the local context, and how they envision collaborating with the VSPP.

The VSPP will have regular check-ins with their counterpart and bi-weekly check-ins with Peace Corps staff. Spending unstructured time with counterparts can be critical to relationship-building and is encouraged through activities such as coffee chats and informal calls within the weekly 5-15 hours.

Engagement-specific safety and security

The VSPP will receive an orientation on Peace Corps’ Child Protection Policy and how it relates to online engagement along with IT security best practices. The VSPP will be expected to follow safety and security guidelines for online engagement to ensure their safety and that of the Host Country Partner and their counterpart, and any beneficiaries of the engagement.

Supervision requirements

The VSPP will report to a designated Peace Corps staff member. The VSPP will be expected to abide by the Virtual Service Pilot Participant and Donation Agreement and Participant Principles of Engagement. The VSPP will also be expected to check in with the designated host country counterpart as assigned by the host county partner.


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