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Call for Proposals: Study on the Use of Social Media for Adult Learning and Education in Africa

6 March 2024 | David Harrington | MOJA Adult Education Africa

Terms of Reference

1. Introduction

DVV International is the Institute for International Cooperation of the Deutscher Volkshochschul-Verband e.V., the German Adult Education Association. DVVI represents the interests of the approximately 900 adult education centres (Volkshochschulen) and their state associations, the largest further education providers in Germany. DVV International provides worldwide support for the establishment and development of sustainable structures for Youth and Adult Education. As the leading professional organisation in the field of adult education and development cooperation, DVV International has committed itself to supporting lifelong learning for more than 50 years.

DVV International’s vision is to fight poverty through education, lifelong learning, and by supporting development initiatives. As a global professional organisation for adult learning and education (ALE), DVV International supports building sustainable systems for further education, along with citizens, educational non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and governments. To achieve this, one of DVV International’s key interventions is to facilitate building national ALE systems that are responsive to adult learning needs and interests.

DVV International operates in the east, west, north, and southern regions of Africa and would like to expand its advocacy work and strategic partnership within these regions and beyond to other regions of the continent. Through its regional offices in Bamako, Lilongwe, Tunis, and Dar es Salaam, it manages programmes in eleven African countries including Mali, Togo, Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Uganda, Tunisia, Morocco, and Algeria.

DVV International, in consultation with regional partners in Africa, conceptualised the African Continental Project (ACP) which includes the establishment of the MOJA – Adult Education Africa digital platform ( An important focus of this initiative is to broaden and deepen stakeholder participation and improve communication among ALE stakeholders for the building adult education systems on the continent. One of the popular means utilised at all levels of the ALE system is social media.

Background to the African Continental Project (ACP)

In March 2021 DVV International, in collaboration with its regional partners and networks, launched the MOJA - Adult Education Africa digital platform ( The launch of MOJA followed a period of research and engagement between DVVI staff and stakeholders in the Eastern, Western, Northern and Southern regions of Africa. Information about MOJA has since been circulated to over 34 countries on the continent so far. MOJA also makes use of further social media platforms such as a Facebook and YouTube to reach more people.

The conceptualisation and development of MOJA emanated from a variety of needs and interests. Firstly, there is a gradual renewal and expansion of ALE policies on the continent which suggests the existence of a rich body of knowledge and practices with different histories, cultures, traditions and systems of adult education. It was felt that the establishment of a digital platform would therefore play a meaningful role in building and sharing knowledge about adult education traditions and systems. Secondly, ALE is not very well-resourced. Sustainable resourcing remains a key challenge. DVV International actively promotes national and regional exchange amongst ALE actors and the establishment of a digital platform has a role to play as a resource that enables regular sharing and exchange between adult educators within and across regions. Thirdly, it is evident that digital technologies have the potential to facilitate the exchange and expansion of information and knowledge sharing amongst adult educators. MOJA was developed as a unique platform that serves as a shared resource for stakeholders and practitioners in adult education on the continent. It is envisaged that this platform will expand gradually and become progressively available to adult educators in every country on the continent.

Today, MOJA provides ALE stakeholders with a growing body of materials which include: a magazine section containing news and articles; a resource section with a variety of toolkits and materials on adult education; and an events section where ALE stakeholders share events relevant to adult education on the continent. In addition to these, MOJA publishes the MOJA Journal of Adult Education where stakeholders, scholars and practitioners can publish their work. The functionality of the platform allows members of MOJA to upload their own materials. New functions are being added regularly. MOJA’s social media presence includes Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube.

Background to the Assignment: Use of social media for Adult Learning and Education

MOJA and its attached social media platforms were established as a convergence and conversation space for stakeholders and practitioners in Africa. As an expansions of this, the African Continental Project (ACP) was developed, which adopts a blended approach to ALE linking digital initiatives to adult education activities on the ground. The key purpose of this Project is to serve as a catalyst that, amongst others, consolidates, broadens and deepens stakeholder participation in adult education. The initiative acknowledges the importance and value of stakeholder involvement in the adult education sector, and various means are employed to mobilise their participation as a development imperative.

It is clear that ALE stakeholders are incorporating the use of different social media platforms into their work more and more. This may help to cut costs and also to improve communications. WhatsApp, Facebook, TikTok and many others are now a part of almost every organisation’s toolkit. This is taking place at all levels of the system – macro, meso and micro. However, there has been little work done on how ALE practitioners and organisations are using social media, which platforms they use, how and to what ends. In this digital era, big tech companies sell the myth that we can do everything remotely and digitally. Experience has shown that a blended approach that combines face-to-face activities with the time and cost saving and efficiency of different technologies and media is a much more effective approach.

Focus: The use of social media in Adult Learning and Education

The main focus of this assignment is on exploring cases from around Africa on how social media is being used innovatively to reach and further the aims of adult education projects. it should analyse and comment on common practices and experiences of social media use and case studies from different ALE stakeholders at different levels of the system and in various geographical and cultural contexts. The study should explore examples from at least four regions of Africa (northern, southern, eastern, and western), and ideally also from the Central Africa region.

Secondly, the assignment, based on the findings examples and case studies, should make recommendations for the efficient use of social media in ALE contexts, and develop a training module that can be used to build the capacities of ALE stakeholders on the use of social media for adult learning and education.

Target Groups

Target groups of the assignment are ALE stakeholders from organisations at all levels of the system (i.e., micro, meso and macro), and especially those who work with large groups of stakeholders who can benefit from and be reached more efficiently through the use of various social media.

Scope & Objectives

  • To document examples and case studies of the use of social media for ALE in countries in five regions of Africa with analysis of the challenges, successes, and advantages of different approaches.
  • To make recommendations based on the assignment’s findings for the efficient use of social media in an ALE context.
  • To develop a training module, with the support of the ACP staff, to build ALE stakeholder capacity in the use of social media for adult learning and education.

Methodological approach

The consultant(s) is expected to present an appropriate and detailed research methodology, including an indicative timeline outlining each phase of the assignment, the research approach, and instruments to be used, and any other relevant information. The final methodology to be used will be agreed between the ACP and the consultant(s) during discussion of the inception report.

The ACP will make available any key documents considered essential for the assignment, as well as contact information of known key stakeholders that can assist in the work. Contact with ACP staff and any other key staff members in DVV International’s African Regional and Country Offices can also be facilitated.

Final Deliverables

The following deliverables are expected:

  • Inception report: The consultant(s) will present a proposal giving detailed information about their interpretation of the ToRs; and a proposed programme of work to ensure that the assignment is properly understood. This proposal will be presented to the ACP, discussed, and adjusted as needed. Once approved, the proposal will serve as the plan for the assignment.
  • A draft report: A comprehensive draft report that provides detailed examples, case studies and recommendations from countries in five regions on the continent.
  • A training module: In collaboration with the ACP team, a module for building stakeholder capacity in the use of social media for ALE.
  • A final report: A final document based on feedback provided from the ACP team.

All documents should be produced in English and submitted to MOJA electronically.

Technical and Financial Proposal

The proposed time for the assignment is 29 April 2024 – 12 July 2024. The indicative number of working days foreseen is up to 30 days, including the following suggested phases, which may be adjusted as needed:

  • - Preparation of inception report
  • - Preparation and presentation of the report and training module
  • - Presentation of the final report.

The financial proposal (in Excel format) should provide a detailed breakdown of all costs (in Euro) expected to be incurred during the assignment and make provision for any applicable taxes that need to be considered.

Right of Use

DVV International has the exclusive and unlimited right to use the report and module prepared by the contractor. The transfer of this Right of Use is complete with the payment made to the Contractor.

The Contractor has Right of Use permission strictly limited for personal non-commercial purposes. Transfer of the Right of Use to third parties is excluded.

Responsible Persons at DVV International and Logistics

DVV International will be the contracting authority for this assignment. The main contact persons will be:

The Project Manager of the African Continental Project – David Harrington. Senior Desk Officer for the African Continental Project – Thekla Kelbert.

The ACP and DVV International will assist with any relevant documents and support to the consultant(s) (e.g., possible support in the arrangement of interviews, etc.). The final report will be accepted by the Project Manager of the African Continental Project.

Requirements for Experience and Qualifications of the Consultant(s)

The consultant(s) should have the following qualifications and experience:

  • a post-graduate or equivalent qualification/degree in Adult Education or adjacent discipline.

at least 5-years’ experience in adult education and/or development, especially in the African context (please provide proof and examples of this experience).

demonstrate sound knowledge and expertise in the use of social media in a development context.

have experience in the development of training programmes, especially in an education and/or development context.

  • extensive working experience in African regions, with a sound understanding of the social context.
  • have experience in conducting similar assignments.
  • ability to communicate in both French and English.
  • excellent writing, editing and communication skills in English.

The ACP seeks to identify experts that fulfil the above criteria and have demonstrated an ability to work in adult education in Africa.

Quality Control

As part of the technical proposal and methodology for the assessment, the consultant(s) should present a detailed description of the methods to be used to ensure internal quality control of the assignment.


All candidates interested to participate in the tender for this assignment must submit the following documents:

  • CV(s) of person(s) to be involved in the assignment.
  • Technical proposal covering the following aspects (maximum of 10 pages):
    1. Understanding of the task and ToRs
    2. Detailed research design
    3. Detailed work plan with steps of implementation and timeline
    4. Internal Quality Management measures to be applied.

c) Detailed financial proposal in Euros (in Excel).

Interested candidates should send their proposals in pdf format. Closing midnight (South Africa time) on April 22, 2024, to the following e-mail address:

Late submissions or submissions sent via any other channels will not be accepted.

Note: Interested applicants should not be employed by any other organisation such as NGOs or government offices. They should be fully available for the consultancy period as per the indicated schedule. Failure to comply with this requirement may lead to immediate cancellation of the contract.

Evaluation Criteria for Proposals

The proposals will be assessed according to the following criteria:

  • Background in and knowledge of adult education and development or related fields.
  • Knowledge of social media use, especially in adult education or related fields.
  • Knowledge of the African social context.
  • Experience of working in adult education in Africa.
  • Experience of candidate in similar work assignments.
  • Appropriateness and quality of the proposed methodology.
  • Technical proposal (appropriateness to the ToRs, etc.).
  • Financial proposal (economy, cost-effectiveness, appropriateness, etc.).

Requests for Clarification

Any queries concerning this tender should be sent to the abovementioned contact persons. The latest date for submitting questions is 15 April 2024. The answers to the questions will be published here on this page ( on 17 April 2024 for all interested parties.