An international competitive selection for the Development of the Two Professional Degree (Masters Level) Programs on Food Security

Development of Two Professional Degree (Masters Level) Programs on Food Security (Food Security and Agro-food Management and Land and Water Resource Management for Food Security) and Four Short-term Courses on Food Security

 Description of the Assignment

To improve food security and catalyze agricultural development in the Eurasian Region, the Government of the Russian Federation has established the Eurasian Center for Food Security (ECFS) under the Lomonosov Moscow State University (MSU). The ECFS is expected to become an internationally recognized agricultural research center that will contribute towards solving food security issues in Eurasia and globally. The World Bank has been requested to provide technical assistance to the Russian Federation’s efforts to enhance the Center’s capacity and to carry out mutually agreed work in support of initial operations of the ECFS through a Reimbursable Advisory Services (RAS) arrangement.

One of the key knowledge management components within the RAS is the development of a comprehensive learning program on Food Security in the Eurasian region, including establishment of the first-in-the-region Master’s level Programs in Land and Water Resource Management for Food Security and in Food Security and Agro-food Management and selected short-term courses on the related subjects. The Programs will be implemented by the Moscow State University and will be taught using an e- learning format. The Master’s Programs are targeted to students from the Eurasian region with the aim to equip the participating students with appropriate knowledge and tools for careers in the public, private and non-profit sectors related to agribusiness and natural resources management and food security. The short-term courses’ target audience includes food security professionals and policy makers, among others, in the Eurasian region.

For this reason, the World Bank plans to recruit a qualified vendor to develop content and instructional materials for on-line instruction of the two international level graduate degree (Master’s) programs and to adapt content and material for on-line instruction from the Master’s Programs for the four short-term courses.

Goal and objectives of the assignment

The goal of the assignment is to (i) design and develop two e-learning formatted international level graduate degree (Master’s) programs on Food Security in Eurasia; and (ii) as a separate package, (a) design and develop four short-term e-learning courses on food security and (iii) deliver each of the 4 short-term courses in Russian at least once. The development of the two degree programs and the four short term courses includes the overall curriculum design, the design and development of the academic content as well as the development of instructional materials for teaching staff, students and the technical IT team. Delivery of the four short-term courses includes advertising, registration and instruction.

Tasks of the assignment will include:

1. Assessment of international best practices in the systematic design and development of e-learning Master’s programs, especially on similar food security and related topics. This will include the course goal, description, learning objectives, and syllabus, which will contain the entire course agenda, activities, assignments, readings, and other relevant elements that conform to best practices in instructional design.

2. Development of the content and instructional materials for the two Master’s degree programs, namely the Food Security and Agrofood Management program and the Land and Water Resources Management for Food Security program. All courses should be developed to be facilitated through Moodle.

3. Development of content and instructional materials for the four short-term courses, namely the Fundamentals of Food Security; Conducting Food Security Assessments; Fundamentals of Land Resources Management for Food Security; and Economic and Environmental Assessment of Lands. All courses (and therefore e-learning course sites) should be developed to be facilitated through Moodle. It is envisioned that the instructional time for the short courses will be between 12 – 20 hours and each course will be offered over a period of 2 to 4 calendar weeks in 4 units.

4. One-time delivery of the four short courses in Russian. The vendor can subcontract the instruction and delivery (in Russian) of the four short-term courses. Instructors must be experienced both in e-learning facilitation and the content being taught. It is expected that each of the short courses will be delivered to between 15-25 participants from the Eurasian region. The courses will be delivered as ECFS/MSU courses through ECFS’s e-learning learning platform. The successful participants will receive the certificate of MSU.

Expected duration of the services will be from 10 to 12 months.

Key requirements for the programs will include, but not be limited to:

1) The Master’s programs should correspond with the Russian state requirements for Master’s level programs, adhere to the Lomonosov Moscow State University (MSU) standards, and meet the MSU requirements for teaching the Distance Learning programs

2) All materials, the content of the programs and courses as well as the instructional material, should be prepared both in Russian and English.

3) The consultant is expected to adhere to quality course design standards (Based on Quality Matters Rubric for Higher Education, 2011 – 2013 edition).

4) The Master’s programs need to build comprehensive understanding, knowledge and skills in the fields of (a) food security and agribusiness management, and (b) food security, agriculture and land and water resources management.

5) The programs are to be based on the best international practices in the implementation of similar programs and should be developed to reflect the latest knowledge and experience in these fields.

6) The programs should largely focus on the specifics of the Eurasian region covering practical experience, socio-economical features and using statistical data (where appropriate) from the Russian Federation, Central Asia and the Caucuses as well as provide specific solutions to the challenges in the region.

7) The instructional methodologies need to be pedagogically solid and approved and follow the approach of innovative and interactive learning.

8) Curriculums under both master’s programs should include thesis preparation and practical training (research and teaching) as per MSU requirements.

9) The short-term courses are to be developed in order to enhance overall understanding as well as specific knowledge of the food security issues among interested academia, policy makers, and practitioners and to make training in food security more accessible to a broader audience. In addition to these above mentioned four courses, a course on Legal and Policy Aspects of Water Resources Management is currently under preparation. The contractor is to ensure that the content of the five short courses comprises a coherent program without duplication and overlap.

Consultant qualification and selection criteria

The World Bank invites eligible universities, research institutions, or consortia to indicate their interest in providing the services for this assignment. Interested institutions or/and consultants may submit expressions of interest for the aforementioned service; however, they must provide information on their experience indicating that they are qualified to provide the services and shall meet the below requirements. Previous experience in the delivery of undergraduate and graduate programs for an international partner would be considered as an advantage.

The eligibility requirement for university/research center/consortia to participate in the partnership for this assignment includes:

 Existence of accredited (graduate) programs in similar disciplines

 Track record of development of distance learning programs for delivery by Moodle

 Qualifications of the Key Personnel involved in the Vendor’s proposal

 Proven experience in capacity development and curriculum reviewing

 Assigned team must include at least one Russian-speaking expert per program who has the following competencies: (a) sound knowledge of the Russian educational system; (b) technical background in the subject area; (c) excellent reading, writing, and speaking skills in Russian. Broader participation of Russian (-speaking) experts on the vendor team is highly desirable

 The selection of the Vendor will be performed in accordance with the procedures set out in the World Bank guidelines: Selection and Employment of Consultants by World Bank Borrowers, January 2011 (revised July 2014) and be based on the quality of the proposal presented for the selection committee that will rate the proposals according to information about the available staff competencies, existing record of international outreach of the participating university/research center, existing experience of research and teaching within the areas of agrofood management and land and water resources management in the context of food security. The cost of the proposal will also be taken into account and will account for 20 (twenty) percent of the final evaluation.

Interested foreign institutions and consultants may obtain further information and submit their proposals at the web-link provided below.

Expressions of interest must be submitted electronically by 1 March 2015. A short-list of qualified institutions or/and consultants will be prepared from the evaluation of qualifications of interested organizations, which will be invited to submit proposals based on the Request for Proposal (RFP) document to be provided by the World Bank.

Reference number: WB399-01/15





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