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Consultancy for Indonesia In-Country Assessment

Room to Read
Location: Jakarta, Indonesia
Last Date: April 30, 2011

Position Description : Consultancy for Indonesia In-Country Assessment 

Organization Profile:

Room to Read seeks to transform the lives of millions of children in developing countries by focusing on literacy and gender equality in education. Working in collaboration with local communities, partner organizations and governments, we develop literacy skills and a habit of reading among primary school children, and support girls to complete secondary school with the relevant life skills to succeed in school and beyond.  

We are non-governmental, non-religious and work with many local NGOs and community based organizations to implement our programs. We currently work in Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Laos, Nepal, South AfricaSri Lanka, Vietnam, and Zambia – countries with a desperate lack of resources to educate their children. Since our inception, Room to Read’s worldwide team has impacted over 5 million children by constructing more than 1,400 schools, establishing over 11,000 libraries, publishing 550 new children’s book titles in 22 local languages, and putting over 10,000 girls onto long-term, holistic scholarships.  

Room to Read has an annual budget of approximately US$38 million and our global staff numbers over 420. Our global headquarters is located in San Francisco, and we have smaller fundraising offices in Delhi, New York, Hong Kong, London, Mumbai, Sydney, and Tokyo. We have an Asia Regional Office located in New Delhi, a Southern Africa Regional Office in Pretoria, and program offices in Colombo, Dhaka, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Kathmandu, Lusaka, New Delhi, Pretoria, Phnom Penh, Vientiane, and we are setting up operations and hiring staff for a new office in Tanzania.  

Background Information:

Room to Read has recently been approached by a major supporter and donor about launching a Room to Read program in Indonesia.  Room to Read’s current expansion strategy is focused on expanding into additional countries in East and Southern Africa and then into Latin America.  However, in 2007, Room to Read conducted extensive research on prospective countries for expansion which included Indonesia.  We considered the following factors, among others, in making the decision: 

Ø  Level of poverty

Ø  Educational needs

Ø  Regional synergy between multiple countries including culture, language, and economic growth

Ø  Human Development Index published annually by UNDP (United Nations Development Programme) which includes GDP per capita, literacy and enrolment rates, and life expectancy at birth

Ø  Enabling political environment (stability, security and corruption) 

While Indonesia was not identified as a high priority country, it was found to be a medium priority opportunity for Room to Read.  Given the recent donor interest in supporting a Room to Read Indonesia program, we would like to conduct an abbreviated in-country assessment of the opportunity to work in Indonesia.

Room to Read has developed a holistic, multi-pronged approach to help children in the developing world gain the lifelong gift of education through five core programs:

·         Literacy/Reading Instruction Program Beginning in 2008, Room to Read began piloting a program to facilitate the teaching of literacy skills. The pilots started in three countries and have since launched in seven of nine countries in which we work. With thorough monitoring and evaluation of the pilot results, we continue to refine our instruction techniques to assist teachers and librarians in guiding their students to develop competency in reading skills.

·         Reading Room — We establish libraries and stock them with local-language children’s books, original Room to Read titles, donated English-language books, games and furniture to create a child-friendly learning environment.

  • School Room — We partner with local communities to build schools so children can learn in a safe, child-friendly environment.
  • Local Language Publishing — We source new content from local writers and illustrators and publish high-quality children's books in the local language to distribute throughout our networks.
  • Girls' Education — We provide long-term, holistic support enabling girls to pursue and complete their secondary education.

Through our Challenge Grant model, communities co-invest with Room to Read, facilitating the long-term sustainability of our projects after our local teams have moved on to assist other villages.

Consultancy Objectives and deliverables:

The Consultant will work in close cooperation with and report to Lisa Ellis, Director of New Country Operations, and will receive any required support from the Global Office Programs Team. The consultancy will be carried out in Jakarta, Indonesia beginning as soon as possible for a 5-week period. The consultant’s main objective is to assess the opportunity for Room to Read to launch all of its education programs in Indonesia. Specifically, Room to Read wants to understand the primary school educational needs (curriculum, literacy, school infrastructure, and local language children’s books), access to education for secondary school girls, the NGO landscape, cost of working in Indonesia, and the ease or difficulty of working with the government. 


The consultancy should be carried out from April 2011 to May 31, 2011, but will depend on the start date.


Time frame


Background information of Room to Read programs and approach to assessments; review budget line items for each program.

April 2011



Meet with other education NGOs in Indonesia and education government officials to understand the education landscape and opportunity for Room to Read.

April - May 2011


·   Send meeting notes to Lisa Ellis

Meet with publishers and other vendors to develop a budget for the first 3 years of operation in Indonesia.

April - May 2011

·   Submit draft budget


Prepare a final report with recommendations.

May 31, 2011

·   Final Report



1.     Conduct an in-country assessment over a 3-week period of time.

2.     Write a report of findings and make recommendations on whether or not Room to Read should work in Indonesia, and if so in what geographic areas.  

3.     Draft a preliminary budget for first 3 years of operation.    




  • Must be based out of Djakarta, Indonesia – no relocation available;
  • A degree in a related field of study;
  • Background in working with education programs in Indonesia either with the Ministry of Education or with an education NGO;
  • Experience developing a business plan or conducting an operational assessment;
  • Ability to work independently;
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills in English, including the ability to write reports and present information.



Compensation is $6,250 upon completion of the assessment.  

Application Procedure:

Please send a cover letter and resume by email, with “Consultant – Indonesia Assessment - DNJ” in the subject line, (no letters, calls, faxes, or drop-ins) to  Due to high applicant volume, we regret that we are not able to send personalized responses to all applicants.  Applications are accepted until the position is filled. 

Room to Read is proud to be an equal opportunity employer committed to identifying and developing
the skills and leadership of people from diverse backgrounds.


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