Consultancy for Gender Analysis on USAID program in Northern and Central Mali

Organization: Save the Children - US
Closing date: 11 Jun 2021

USAID/Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance

Scope of Work for a Gender and Social Dynamics Analysis Formative Research and Strategy on the Save the Children Mali Albarka program.

General Background

Save the Children and its partners, TASSAGHT, ADICOM, G-Force, CMC, VIAMO and Sangare Partners launched the USAID/BHA Albarka[1] Resilience Food Security Activity on October 1, 2020. The 5-year program seeks to “improve food security and resilience of communities in conflict-affected areas through strengthening local systems and community participation[2]” in North and Central Mali. The program plans to leverage local structures (government and community) to reach over 210,000 participants (members of vulnerable and very vulnerable households) in the three regions of Tombouctou (cercles of Tombouctou and Gourma Rharous), Mopti (cercles of Koro and Douentza) and Gao (cercles of Gao and Ansongo), with packages of multi-sectoral interventions.

In Year 1, Albarka will conduct an intersectional Gender and Social Dynamics Analysis (Gender Analysis)[3] to inform key gaps identified in the program’s Theory of Change (ToC), the design of a cross-sectoral Gender and Social Inclusion Strategy (Gender Strategy) and program interventions. The Gender Analysis will be complemented by other formative research and Year 1 activities, namely the Youth Needs Assessment and Social Behavior Change studies.

Save the Children is looking for an international consultant/firm to lead the Gender Analysis and development of the cross-sectoral Gender Strategy[4], who meet the qualifications described in this SoW.

Problem Statement / Theory of Change Information Gap Summary

SC intends to conduct an intersectional Gender Analysis to inform a cross-sectoral Gender Strategy that will support the Albarka’s goal, which is Improved food security and resilience of communities in conflict –affected areas through strengthening local systems and community participation.

Northern and Central Mali are diverse and complex regions, with deep systemic issues exacerbated by an armed conflict since 2012[5]. Gender inequalities (and how gender intersect with other characteristics) impact people’s mobility, access and control over resources and their ability to make decision for themselves, their household, and participate in the development of their community[6]. Recognizing the impact of gender inequalities on food security and resilience[7], it is paramount for Albarka to gain a deep understanding of how gender intersects with other socially significant characteristics (such as age, ethnicity, religions, socio-economic, health, disability status, household headship, family structure etc) in Mopti, Gao and Tombouctou. This will allow the program to refine its ToC and design socially inclusive, gender sensitive and transformative, and ultimately achieve its goal.

An initial literature review (to be finalized as part of this study), showed that important information gaps related to all program purposes in Albarka’s ToC, remain and justify primary research.

Key Research Objectives

The Gender Analysis will inform Albarka’s cross-sectoral Gender Strategy and complement other formative research such as the SBC study and Youth Needs Assessment. Specific research objectives include:

  1. Understand the different barriers and norms influenced by the intersectionality of gender and other socially significant characteristics (such as age, life stages, ethnicity, religions, socio-economic, health, disability status, household headship, family structure) in Mopti, Tombouctou and Gao related to the following domains:

1) Access and control of assets and resources at the HH and community level

2) Gender roles and responsibilities and time use

3) Cultural norms and beliefs

4) Patterns of power and decision making at the HH and community level

5) Safety, dignity and wellbeing

  1. Identify safe and culturally appropriate opportunities for various types of participants to engage into Albarka’s interventions, and risk mitigation measures.

  2. Identify appropriate strategies for social inclusion, gender integration and transformation.

Research Methods

The consultants are expected to propose a research methodology as part of their application but illustrative information is provided in this section.

The Gender Analysis will use a mixed-method approach, based on primary and secondary information:

Desk Review: The study team will complete a thorough desk review of the most recent demographic and health surveys, USAID gender analyses, internal and third-party gender assessments, and other reports and peer-reviewed research available on the programs implementation area. This information will be used to further refine Albarka’s Gender Analysis research questions, determine a specific focus for this research and complement the overall analysis.

Qualitative Data: The study team lead the collection of qualitative data through Focus Group Discussions (FDGs), Key Informant Interviews (KIIs) , and Interative Triad Interviews as appropriate, using participatory tools and discussion questions. FDGs will be homogenous to provide safe spaces for participants and in-depth interviews will be conducted with relevant stakeholders, including community and religious leaders. The study team may propose additional data collection methods, such as interactive triad interviews.

Research Questions

The following illustrative questions will guide the qualitative mythology. The Youth Needs Assessment will explore specific youth themes.

Access and control of assets and resources:

  1. What are the different barriers and gendered norms related to access and control of HH and community assets and resources (including natural resources) for women and men?

  2. In what ways do the intersection of gender and ethnicity and other socially significant characteristics create additional barriers or opportunities for participants to engage in and benefit from program activities?

  3. What are the specific risks associated with resources transfers?

Gender roles and responsibilities and time use:

  1. How do women and men spend their time?

  2. What are the barriers and opportunities to participation into program activities (especially livelihoods activities) as they relate to gender, life stages and other socially significant characteristics?

Cultural norms and beliefs:

  1. Who sets and influences cultural norms and beliefs for men, women and other socially significant characteristics?

  2. What are some culturally acceptable and effective venues to discuss/communicate and encourage change cultural norms and beliefs?

Patterns of power and decision-making:

  1. How are decisions made at the HH and community level around food choices, HH expenditures, livelihood strategies, and management of community resources?

  2. What the barriers around leadership and strategies different people use to ensure their voices are heard?

Safety, dignity and wellbeing:

  1. What are people’s priorities (livelihoods, health ect.) and what motivates them?

  2. What are risks and safe spaces people identify in their communities as it relates to livelihoods strategies (including migration), access to resources and services?

  3. Who are mentors people identify in their communities and HHs?

  4. What are perceived risks related to Albarka’s programming?

Ethical Considerations

The study will not collect sensitive and personal information. In additon the research methods will be qualitative. Therefore, Albarka anticipates the study represents a low risk from an ethical perspective. However, before starting data collection, Albarka will seek the approval from Mali’s Government Ethic Committee as well as Save the Children US internal Ethics Review Committee. This current Scope of Work and all the tools (data collection tools and survey manual) will be submitted for their approval.

Team Composition / Team Lead Competencies

SC is looking for an international consultant to serve as the overall Team Lead for the Gender Analysis as part of phase 1, and to develop the Gender Strategy in phase 2. The Team Lead will be responsible for the overall delivery of the Gender Analysis and Strategy and all associated deliverable. This role will work closely with a Local Consultant (to be recruited by SC) who will be responsible for all the fieldwork associated with the research and for inputting into the Gender Strategy in phase 2. These roles will receive support from Albarka’s Gender Lead who will provide technical oversight, Albarka’s MEAL Lead as well as SCUS Senior MEAL Specialist and other roles. Albarka’s frontline staff and contracted enumerators will be trained in research methodologies and act as researchers.

The Team Lead and Local Consultant should have these minimum qualifications:

Team Lead:

· Master’s degree in social sciences, gender studies, international development or relevant field

· 7-10 years of experience conducting qualitative research on gender in West Africa

· Familiarity with Mali, including Mopti, Gao and Tombouctou

· Experience leading research teams and conducting enumerators trainings for qualitative research

· Experience developing cross-sectoral gender strategies for USAID funded programs

· Excellent speaking and writing skills in English and French

Local Consultant:

· Master’s degree in social sciences, gender studies, international development or relevant field

· 7-10 years of experience conducting qualitative research on gender in Mali

· Familiarity with Albarka’s implementation areas: Mopti, Gao and Tombouctou

· Experience leading research teams and conducting enumerators trainings for qualitative research

· Experience developing cross-sectoral gender strategies

· Excellent speaking and writing skills in French

· Ability to communicate in at least one local language spoken in Mopti, Gao and Tombouctou such as Sonrai, Arabic, Fulfulde, Bozo, Bambara, Tamashek

Deliverables

The Team Lead will be responsible for the following deliverables:

Phase 1:

Refined/finalized Research questions

Methodology and Limitations of the research

Gender Analysis Report **

o Including results from the literature review

o Summary of key findings and recommendations

o Table on implication for the ToC

Annexes **

o Data collection tools (questionnaires, FGD questions, etc.)

o Additional data tables, graphs

Other deliverables as appropriate for the activity / research.

Phase 2:

· Cross-sectoral Gender Strategy

o Including project wide approaches

o Purpose specific approaches (as appropriate)

o Standalone activities for social inclusion, gender integration and transformation

o Consortium staff capacity building plan

Period of Performance / Timeline

Phase 1 of the Gender Analysis is expected to be launched in early May 2021 once approval from USAID for the SoW is secured. Phase 2 will commence once the results of the other formative research is available toward the end of the summer 2021. The table below provides estimated timelines for key steps under Phase 1.

Roles and Responsibilities

The Team Lead will be responsible for the overall implementation of the study and production of the various deliverables. No travel to Mali will be expected. This role will work hand in hand with the Local Consultant to:

· Develop a timeline of activities;

· Prepare all data collection tools;

· Adjust data collection tools after they are pretested with community members;

· Prepare a remote data quality monitoring plan and protocol;

· Provide technical oversight to the Local Consultant;

· Co-lead the frontline staff and enumerators training and validation workshop; and,

· Produce all deliverables of Phase 1 and 2.

The Local Consultant will be responsible for planning and overseeing all the field level work including data collection. He/she will be expected to travel to the program’s implementation areas and to work hand in hand with the Team Lead to:

· Develop a detailed workplan for all field work;

· Assist in drafting and pre-testing all data collection tools, developing a remote data quality monitoring plan;

· Co-lead the frontline staff and enumerators training and validation workshop with remote assistance from Team lead;

· Directly supervises data collection reporting to the Team Lead

· Assist in drafting all deliverables

Under Phase 2, the Team Lead will be expected to participate in a number of internal and BHA led workshops to review the results of Albarka’s formative research and other Year 1 activities and their implication on the program’s ToC and program design.

The Albarka team and Country Office will be responsible for hiring additional enumerators as needed and planning and covering the cost of all logistics associated with this study. The Albarka team will also be in charge of mobilizing and sensitizing program partners and stakeholder to facilitate the safe roll out of the study.

Estimated Budget and Level of Effort

The Team Lead and Local Consultant is expected to propose a reasonable budget and level of effort in line with the responsibilities and timeline laid out above for Phase 1. Consultants will be expected to provide their plans for Phase 2 towards the end of Phase 1 and after discussion with the Albarka team and SCUS.

[1] Albarka means “realized hope” and “human well-being” in many of the languages of Mali.

[2] The program is designed to reach this goal through three Purposes. Purpose 1: Stabilize vulnerable households by reducing the impact of shocks and connecting HH to basic services; Purpose 2: Empower youth as key drivers of the economic and social development of their communities; Purpose 3: Support community-driven approaches to manage natural resources and community assets sustainably and productively.

[3] The term gender and social dynamics encompasses issues of power dynamics based on age, social status, group belonging (like ethnicity) etc, and should therefore be understood as more complex than the differences between men and women.

[4] SC envisions the work being rolled out in two phases. Under phase 1, the consultants will conduct the Gender Analysis (May – September 2021). Under phase 2, the consultants will use the results of the Y1 formative research and activities and work closely with the Albarka team to develop a cross-sectoral Gender Strategy (Timeline to be determined).

[5] Save the Children conducted Stakeholder Consultations in Gao, Mopti and Tombouctou in June 2020, which suggested that women have become further marginalized in terms of mobility, economic participation, and HH decision-making because of the armed conflict.

[6] USAID Gender Assessment, July 2012.

[7] Hélène Botreau, Marc J. Cohe, 2019, GENDER INEQUALITIES AND FOOD INSECURITY Ten years after the food price crisis, why are women farmers still food-insecure? Oxfam International.

How to apply:

Instructions for Applications

The international consultants who wish to apply to this consultancy should submit the following pieces:

· An updated CV highlighting relevant experience

· A short description to their approach for this consultancy (no more than 3 pages)

· A budget showing consultant's daily rates and all cost proposed

· A product presenting the analysis for a similar consultancy led by the applicant (report, powerpoint presentation etc)

Only complete applications will be reviewed. All applications must be submitted to:

Aurelie Attard, Associate Director – Food Security & Livelihoods: aattard@savechildren.org and

Oumar Toe, Deputy Chief of Party – Technical: otoe@savechildren.org.

***Please note that this scope of work is subject to change pending approval from USAID/BHA. The final version will be provided to consultants prior to signing consultancy agreements.



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