Defining "10 in 10" - Terms of Reference

Request for Proposals

Developing a framework to reasonably attribute Atlassian Foundation’s contribution to help educate 10 million disadvantaged youth within 10 years - preparing them for the workforce of the future

Atlassian Foundation International Limited

June, 2019

Introduction

The Atlassian Foundation has set a bold goal “to help educate 10 million disadvantaged youth within 10 years - preparing them for the workforce of the future”. The required resources to achieve this have been acquired thanks to Atlassian’s commitment to “Pledge 1%” of profit, equity, and employee time. Aligned to SDG target 4.4, Atlassian Foundation International set out leveraging these 1% assets, as well as partnerships with others, on a course to achieve this “10 in 10” goal commencing in May 2017.

The Atlassian Foundation International seeks proposals from organisations/individuals to develop a MEL framework and implementation plan for the 10-in-10 initiative. This involves developing the analytical and pragmatic framework to measure the impact of our grantmaking and ecosystem support strategy and track the impact of this strategy against the Foundation’s “10 in 10” goal.

A brief description of Atlassian Foundation’s approach is provided here along with the objectives, deliverables, and timeline for this work. Further background on the Foundation’s strategy and partnerships is included in Appendix A.

Background

Strategy overview

In order to deliver on this ”10 in 10” vision, the Atlassian Foundation seeks to create an ecosystem for scale through both bottom up solutions and top down pressure:

Innovation: We fund innovative, low cost solutions at three stages and aim to move promising initiatives along this continuum to scale

  • Discover: piloting experimentation around new, less proven approaches with transformative potential

  • Test: where an intervention has been implemented for a few years, demonstrating early indicators of impact and is ready for rigorous evaluation

  • Scale: scaling established models with externally-validated impact that are well-positioned to promote systemic change

Over the course of our partnerships, we will look to move promising initiatives along this continuum - for example, moving an early stage “Discovery” grant into the “Test” phase as it grows and, ultimately, creating a pipeline to “Scale.”

Ecosystem: We will invest in sector level knowledge and infrastructure to support and build the robust education ecosystem necessary to catalyze large scale systems change

  • Scale-up: Research around cross-geographic scale-up of education innovation that includes our direct investment portfolio will support and accelerate these initiatives as they scale and simultaneously demonstrate to the broader education ecosystem how these innovations — and others we aren’t funding — can be adapted and scaled in other countries and regions.

  • Infrastructure: In key moments of opportunity where our funding can have catalytic impact, we may also support high level initiatives that create infrastructure and provide support for the entire sector.

This approach enables us to seed innovations with an eye towards building the evidence base on what works, whilst simultaneously cultivating a robust ecosystem around scalable education innovations. In so doing, we believe we are fertilizing the ground in which these and other innovations may take root with an eye toward driving more and better use of global resources.

Please see Appendix A for further information on Atlassian Foundation International’s strategy and grantmaking to date

Objectives of the Framework

The purpose of this consultancy is to (a) develop a Theory of Change for Atlassian Foundation’s 10-in-10 initiative, (b) create a monitoring, evaluation, and learning framework to more clearly articulate/define the 10-in-10 goal and effectively track impact of grantmaking against it; (c) prepare an implementation plan for operationalizing the MEL framework.

We are seeking external expertise to develop a framework that will enable us to track how the multi-layered components (Innovation and Ecosystem) of our grantmaking strategy contribute to, and track against, our goal of meaningfully and measurably demonstrating that we have reached 10-million youth over 10-years.

It is necessary to develop an agreed upon definition for each component of “Help educate 10 million disadvantaged youth, preparing them for the workforce of the future, in 10 years” - specifically, defining what it means to “help educate” and “preparing”. While quantifying the number of lives reached against the 10-in-10 goal will be a critical element, we recognize that this metric – while necessary and useful – is not sufficient.

Accordingly, we want to ensure that our approach captures both direct impact on beneficiaries as well as impact on a systems-level. One approach could be to consider direct impact, indirect impact and catalytic impact. Frameworks could include contribution analysis or casual inference. These should be taken as high level suggestions only, as there is the expectation that this piece of work will identify the best way to assess and track our “impact”.

Given that almost all initiatives are co-funded, we need to include a means of assessing what proportion can be reasonably claimed as contributing to our goal.

The aim of this piece of work is to develop a framework by which we can assess if we are on track towards our goal of helping to educate 10 million disadvantaged youth. The framework for assessing this would also provide the evidence to support our claim.

Framework Team’s Responsibilities, Reporting, & Deliverables

  • Prepare a fully fleshed out work plan and hone the proposed scope of work and deliverables with a clear plan for collaborating and closely communicating with the Atlassian educate team throughout process

  • Define the Theory of Change for Atlassian Foundation’s 10-in-10 initiative, including a framework for scale (in narrative and visual form)

  • Assess current Atlassian Foundation monitoring and evaluation tools

  • Develop an MEL framework that will assess, attribute and track how each current and future Atlassian Foundation International funded partnership will contribute “to helping to educate 10 million disadvantaged youth” - whether at the Innovation or Ecosystem level

    • develop logic models and a set of key indicators to measure progress toward achieving 10-in-10 goal, including identifying key indicators for scale, field level impact, organization/grantee performance, beneficiary outcomes

    • Identify and prioritize learning questions

    • Identify potential methodological approaches and data sources

    • Construct a decision-making framework to be used for grant renewals, scaling promising projects, and new grantmaking

  • Develop implementation plan that provides detailed guidance on how to operationalize the MEL framework (including human capital needs) and on data collection instruments/systems, protocols, and measurement processes

  • Assessment of the effectiveness/potential of the current strategy to reach 10 million disadvantaged youth in 10 years, including recommendations on how “10 in 10” can be reached, beyond the current strategy

  • Workshop to present the draft findings to the Atlassian Foundation team, with an opportunity to gather feedback from them and rework the draft report before final presentation

  • 10 page “Framework & Recommendations” report and one page executive summary

  • A final presentation of the “Framework & Recommendations” to the Atlassian Foundation Board/Strategy Group or relevant (mostly/all Atlassian-internal) audience

Criteria for Evaluating Proposals

  1. Knowledge of the field of international education and workforce development

  2. Experience working in developing country settings

  3. Ability to succinctly and clearly communicate useful information

  4. Experience with systems change evaluation with a focus on scaling

  5. Experience assessing impact of organisations in the innovations/start up phase

  6. Expertise of team leads/principal investigators

  7. Technical expertise and proposed research and design methods

  8. Demonstrated capacity of organisation for complex evaluations

Principles and Values Essential in the Research Team

  1. Transparency - Open company, no bullshit

  2. Respect and understanding for those with whom we work - Don’t #&^ the customer

  3. Ability to work together productively - Play, as a team

Please refer to the Atlassian company values for a comprehensive list and description: https://www.atlassian.com/company/values

Remuneration

We have not set a specific budget for this work. We ask that you give us a true assessment of the costs. For instance, it could be helpful to provide a budget for “core work” and then show us where additional tasks could enhance the work, providing the additional costs for incorporating those components. We also understand that you will need to make some assumptions and you should feel free to provide a range for costs of some tasks using those ranges. For example, costs could vary depending on the number of interviews built in to different stages. And, costs will vary depending on assumptions about the scope of desk research. It is fine to provide lower level and higher level cost estimates for the work identifying the assumptions that influenced the calculations. Please also estimate costs for travel and expenses, and include these in the budgets.

Notional timeline

June 12, 2019 - TOR released

July 30, 2019 - Proposal submission deadline

August 2019 - Select consultant

September 2019 - Finalise contract and scope of work. Interim deliverable dates TBD

January 2019 - Workshop to discuss draft findings

February 2020 - Final framework developed and presented

Application process

Please submit a proposal that includes the following:

  1. A response to the TORs with specific focus on proposed approach, methodology, scope of work, and anticipated/potential challenges and mitigating measures – no more than ten pages (not including appendices as outlined below).

  2. Detailed budget and timeline for the consultancy

  3. Overview of project team and Curriculum Vitae for all team members

  4. No less than two referees

  5. Relevant example of work product from two similar projects, in particular related to theory of change development and development of M&E frameworks for funders

Please submit proposals to Melissa Beaumont Lee and Michelle Holmes, at the Atlassian Foundation International at mbeaumontlee@atlassian.com and mholmes@atlassian.com no later than July 30th. Questions may be directed via email.

Appendix A: Further Information on Atlassian Foundation Grantmaking

Innovation Strategy & Partnerships

In March 2017 we began a partnership with MIT Solve and DFAT and co-created the Youth, Skills & Workforce of the Future Challenge. We put out a call for new and innovative approaches that had the potential to scale rapidly. It was an open call for submissions - anyone could apply and the campaign to 'get the word out' was substantial. Through this process, from ~500 formal applications, we identified 7 "Discover" partnerships. We spent the first 7 months assessing their ability to deliver on what was promised (GSD) and culture fit. Today we partner with 4 of these organizations. These relatively small pilots were a high risk, high reward approach.

We are currently testing an online impact evaluation system, True Impact for our grantees discovered in partnership with MIT through the Youth, Skills & Workforce of the Future Challenge. It uses a “Theory of Change” model to track impact, rather than merely activities. The system produces an “Impact Receipt” which is then used to track the progress of the program, with a strong focus on outcomes.

From 2020 we plan to invest in 3 "Discover" partnerships identified in Phase 1 (in partnership with MIT Solve and DFAT) in order to take them to the “Test” and "Scale" phases of maturity. We will also bring a small number of new "Discover" partnerships into the portfolio over the next few years, but not past 2022, so they have time to mature and scale within our 10 year timeframe.

In 2018, we looked to diversify and identify organizations that were ready to scale now or in the very near future. We began a process of identifying organizations that primarily fell in the "Test" and "Scale" categories, through our networks. It became evident that co-funding of potential projects was a non-negotiable.

In November 2018 we began a 3-year partnership with Co-impact and Teaching at the Right Level. Co-Impact is a group of world leading philanthropists (including Bill & Melinda Gates, the Rockefeller Foundation, Richard Chandler, Jeff Skoll, Dr Romesh and Kathy Wadhwani) who want to address global challenges at scale. They are working together to bring their resources, relationships, voice, and expertise to initiatives focused on building prosperity for millions of people. Co-impact has partnered with Teaching at the Right Level to ensure all children across Sub-Saharan Africa who attend school master the fundamental literacy and numeracy that will allow them to learn and thrive in life, by helping their national education systems and teachers to adopt a simple student-centered instructional model.

Ecosystem Strategy & Partnerships

While investments in innovation are crucial, they will not, by themselves, bring about the scale of change we seek. We do have a key role to play in incubating innovations, but meaningful transformation of complex systems requires more than scaling up one organization. Catalyzing large-scale systemic change requires a strong sector in which a range of actors – philanthropic, government, NGOs, multilateral institutions, business – can effectively work together to enable step-change at scale.

Being geographically agnostic in grantmaking offers a unique value proposition for Atlassian Foundation International. Investment in education tends to be scattered, country specific efforts. Around the world, we can point to innovations that are making a huge difference in children's learning, however these are not translating into the systematic change we need to solve the global learning crisis. Despite growing evidence around which educational strategies work to improve learning in a particular location, much less is known about how to translate this into improved policies and practices at scale. This requires organized and sustained effort to share best practices across countries with an eye toward understanding how to expand, replicate, and adapt models showing results in one context to many millions more.

We believe that Atlassian Foundation International has a catalytic role to play as a convener, leveraging the power of teams. Rather than exclusively funding individual innovations in isolation, we are seeking to better understand and support the environment and connective tissues around those interventions. We will work with partners to analyze effective ideas and approaches to scaling, and convene key actors across borders to share best practices and new ideas to achieve learning at scale. A research agenda around cross-geography scale-up of education innovation that draws on our direct investment portfolio will enable us to support and accelerate these initiatives as they scale. It will simultaneously demonstrate to the broader education ecosystem how these innovations - and others we aren’t funding directly - can be adapted and scaled in other countries and regions. In so doing, we will aim to drive additional investment from other funders, inform policy makers, and influence priorities for the sector as a whole. In sum, we will support a robust ecosystem using learning, dissemination, and stakeholder engagement as catalysts for large scale systems change.

In key moments of opportunity where our funding can have catalytic impact, we also support market-level actors that create infrastructure and provide support for the entire sector. These types of investments will not represent a significant portion of our portfolio. They will be systematically deployed where our investment can be highly leveraged in service of fostering the right enabling environment for uptake of reform and evidence that has the potential to propel more and better use of a broader pool of global resources. An illustrative example of one such grant made by the Atlassian Foundation International has been to The Education Commission in support for the International Finance Facility for Education.

The Education Commission (launched by the UN) is working to set-up an International Finance Facility for Education (IFFEd). The goal is to mobilize an additional $10 billion annually for education globally by 2020 and, through the process, generate visibility for education reform and investment. The funding would be catalyzed by lowering the cost of debt through financing guarantees. The funding would be used to correct a market failure where currently more than 50 lower-middle income countries are unable to mobilize sufficient funding for education.

Our one-time funding, along side support from co-funders, is giving the Education Commission the runway they need for the final push to launch the IFFEd. If successfully launched, it will unlock billions in bilateral and donor country capital and the new entity that is established will be able to fund its own operations.