Detail Page

Backstopping and Learning for the QualiTY Project

iLab 2024 Application Form 


Click Here to see the details regarding iLab Program (Nepali)

Backstopping and Learning for the QualiTY Project (B&L for QualiTY) is the project designed to backstop and create learning for the Quality Technical and Vocational Education and Training for the Youth (QualiTY) project.  Working alongside the QualiTY project and in areas of its main interventions, the B&L aims to create learning on different key aspects of TVET in Nepal. It aims to develop an exemplary model for the international community in areas of the State and TVET System Building in the federal context.  

Project Management and Implementation:
This research and training project is managed by a Consortium CeSoed, Consortium of the Chair of Education System (CES),  ETH, Zurich, and the Kathmandu University School of Education (KUSOED).  From KUSOED, Prof Mahesh Nath Parajuli is the Team Leader, and Dr. Prakash C. Bhattarai, Dr. Suresh Gautam, and PhD scholar Prakash Kumar Paudel are other members.  From the ETH Prof Ursula Renold is the leader, and Dr. Patrick McDonald, Dr. Katty Caves, and Ditjyola Naco are the members.


  1. Periodically assess project intervention strategies (of the QualiTY project) and working modalities/ approaches, extract learning, and provide advice to the project implementer on how to adapt the implementation to achieve results.
  2. Produce policy briefs destined to both policy-makers in Nepal and outside of Nepal in the field of federal state building and federal TVET systems.

The team will also provide recommendations to the SDC on how to design the subsequent project phase as well as steer the current phase

1.    Produce a robust evidence-base to inform learning


  • Provide a robust analysis of the monitoring data produced by the implementing partner on an annual basis.
  • Use existing insights and analysis of the monitoring data to develop an action and thematic research agenda to test key assumptions and links of the theory of change in collaboration with the SDC.
  • Implement thematic research activities based on the research agenda; identify key learnings from research activities; identify progress, challenges and dynamics between different components of the project as well as areas for improvement.
  • Produce study reports that enable the SDC in project steering to inform programming, support adaptation and scale-up successful project approaches
Possible topics to be covered by annual surveys
  • Accreditation procedures
  • Instructor licensing
  • Private sector engagement in TVET (professional associations, sector skills committee and training companies)
  • Establishment of provincial TVET offices
  • TVET school planning
  • Coherent implementation of standards set by national authorities
  • Establishment and implementation of national curriculum framework
  • Synergies with other TVET elements and projects, i.e. NVQS and ENSSURE
2. Provide support to the SDC and QualiTY’s implementing partner to adapt project implementation based on learning: Activities
  • Organise and facilitate one annual learning workshop where the project implementing partner and the SDC come together to reflect on implementation experience, progress and results; use this platform to compare and share approaches taken in other countries with the aim to integrate international good practices throughout the implementation of the project. 
  • Organise/facilitate one annual strategic workshop with the implementing partner and the SDC to adapt the Theory of Change (ToC), intervention strategy, working modalities, project approaches and entry points for project interventions based on evidence and learning.
  • In the fourth year of implementation, the selected bidder will conduct an internal reflection workshop with the SDC to make recommendations for the design of the subsequent phase.
  • Provide advice to the SDC and the implementing partner on additional monitoring data needed to ensure robust monitoring of the adaptations made.

3. Support evidence-based policy making in TVET at national and international level:Activities

  • Produce policy briefs to convey key messages on TVET sector reforms in federal settings for national and international audiences including policy makers.
  • Advise the SDC on how to address complex policy making and implementation challenges; support the delivery of information to the government of Nepal to support timely policy changes. 

Education System Lab

Education System Lab or Implementation Lab (iLab) is a unique program of the B&L project.  Under this program, the TVET stakeholders are invited to participate in the program through a competitive selection process.  Each cycle of iLab begins with an open call for applications from TVET stakeholders that includes TVET leaders, managers, and teachers from the TVET institutions; political representatives; staff at the federal, provincial, and local governments; and representatives of the private sector. 

The participants apply in teams with five to eight people per team (for the first year QualiTY related TVET stakeholders are invited).  While applying, they have to include a Reform Case of their own selection on which they are required to work through the iLab sessions.  The Reform Case is actually one particular case of an issue related to participants’ work area (e.g., improving instructors’ competency, employability of TVET graduates, the role of the private sector in TVET quality enhancement, the governance question).  In the Reform Case the teams of participants present (developed in a given template), they are expected to explain the context, the problem, and the ways they expect to reform the case.  At the beginning of an iLab cycle, a seminar will be conducted with all potential applicants where they are introduced to the iLab processes, preparation of the Reform Case, the application process, selection of the teams of the participants, eligibility for application, and team formation.  Any questions the potential applicants might have will also be addressed.

There will be a jury to select the teams of participants from among the applicants.  The jury basically comprises of ceSoed members.  The basis for the selection of the teams for participation includes the reform case, the composition of the team, and representation from diverse fields, levels, and institutions.  

Academia and experts from the ETH, Zurich, Kathmandu University School of Education, and other invited experts and practitioners share with the selected participants the different theoretical, conceptual, and practical aspects related to different features of TVET.  Resource persons also support the participants in developing the Reform Case they want to introduce.  At the end of iLab, each team of participants will have a Reform plan of their own which they implement once in their work area. 

The sessions are conducted both online and in face-to-face modes.  ETH-based Moodle application is used for conducting the sessions.  Relevant resource materials (text, PowerPoint slides, and videos) are uploaded in Moodle. All participants are expected to go through these documents carefully.

All members of one best-performing team go to ETH, Switzerland for about a week.

The first iLab process begins in March 2023 and will continue till January 2024.  This year, there will be about 16 sessions during this period. 


Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC)


Phase I (Nov 2022 - Nov 2026)

Phase II (Nov 2026 - Nov 2030)