OPPORTUNITIES AND RISKS RELATED TO CHILDREN’S INTERNET USE IN ZAMBIA

Country: Zambia
Organization: Save the Children
Closing date: 13 Jun 2021

1. Background

Save the Children International (SCI) is the world’s leading independent organisations for children. SCI has been working in Zambia since 1989, implementing both development and humanitarian programmes with the government, civil society partners, caregivers, communities and children to advance the rights and wellbeing of children to ensure all children learn, survive and are protected. Save the Children supports programmes in the thematic areas of education, health and nutrition, child rights governance, child poverty and child protection. Our child protection work in Zambia strives to ensure that families, communities and government services protect girls and boys from all forms of violence in all settings. In doing so, our breakthrough is ensuring that violence against children is no longer tolerated including working to end the violence and exploitation that children face in online spaces.

Lifeline Childine Zambia has been working in Zambia since 2003 providing lifesaving counselling, guidance and referrals on various social and health problems services to hundreds of thousands of individuals through its toll free children call line 116 and adults call line 933. It provides free counselling for children and adults over the phone and via SMS with support from government of Zambia through ZICTA.

SCI Zambia Country Office and Lifeline Childline Zambia are collaborating in a project called “Keeping Zambian Girls and Boys Safe Online” that aims to increase knowledge and awareness of children, caregivers and service providers on online risks, their mitigation and where to get support if needed. The project is funded by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland and implemented from April 2020 to December 2021. In order to understand better children’s internet use and other online activities, this study is being commissioned by the two organisations.

Digital technology is increasingly changing childhood as more and more children go online. While digital technology can provide a range of opportunities for children to participate, share, learn, communicate and fulfil their potential, it also poses significant risks to children’s safety, privacy and wellbeing in many parts of the world including Zambia. According to Lifeline Childline Zambia statistics, Zambian girls and boys are reporting increasing numbers of incidences of being exposed to online child pornography and being victims of online sexual exploitation, online sexual grooming and cyber bulling.

In January, 2021, the helpline received 62 calls (36 girls, 26 boys) to online abuse. It has similarly be receiving a number of enquiring related to online abuse. For instance, in 2018, the Helpline received 2,464 calls from girls and 2,110 calls from boys related to online abuse and violence and in total 9,173 calls on cyber-bulling (3,195 from girls, 2,397 from boys and 3,581 sex not known).

Already vulnerable children like adolescent girls from poor households, children separated from parents and children out of school may be at greater risk and harm as information and communications technology (ICT) is intensifying traditional childhood risks. Violence against children is already very common and tolerated in Zambia, where approximately half of females and males aged 18-24 years have experienced one or more forms of sexual, physical and emotional violence in their childhood. [1]The coronavirus pandemic has also increased children’s risks to be harmed online as school closures and strict containment measures have made more families relying on technology and digital solutions to keep children learning, entertained and connected to the outside world.[2]

Zambia Information Communication Authority (ZICTA) in collaboration with the Ministry of Transport and Communications and the Central Statistical Office has conducted national Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Surveys in 2013, 2015 and 2018. According to the 2018 Survey, access to internet services among households in Zambia has increased from 12.7 % in 2015 to 17.7 % in 2018. The access is still very much urban focused as 31.2 % of urban households have access to internet compared to 6.6 % in rural areas. 72 % of the active internet users were aged below 35 years and Facebook and WhatsApp were the most popular social media platforms among internet users. The majority of the households with access to internet services access internet by mobile phones. Proportion of individuals having smartphones has increased over 100 % from 2015 to 2018. However, many internet users are not aware of existing risks associated with online activities with only 54.9 % of male and 45.1 % of female being aware of any risks.

Zambia has signed a number of international and regional treaties and conventions that are in support of children’s rights. Zambia is also a member of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU). In support of mitigation of the online risks and vulnerabilities affecting children, the Ministry of Transport and Communication recently launched the National Child Online Protection (COP) Strategy (2020-2024) which is a framework for the attainment of child online protection in Zambia. The formulation of the COP Strategy was a collaborative process with various stakeholders including ZICTA, Government Ministries, civil society, ICT industry and cooperating partners. Despite of these positive steps, institutional, legal and policy framework to support implementation of the COP Strategy is inadequate and therefore the Government of Zambia has plans to review, harmonise and enact laws that will promote a safer online environment for children.

While national periodic ICT Surveys carried out by ZICTA and the Central Statistical Office provide important information and good insights on access and usage of ICT including key risks and capability of individuals to mitigate risks, the data provided in the Surveys is already 3 years old and mostly quantitative. Therefore, while this study will build on the Surveys, more understanding of children’s internet use and online practices is needed and existing quantitative data needs to be complemented with qualitative assessments and updated information. We need to know what girls and boys of different ages and from different backgrounds think themselves – how do they access internet, what do they do online, what they think the good and bad things about internet are and what risks they encounter online and how do they respond to them.

2. Objectives and Scope of the Study

The main purpose of this study is to provide a glimpse on the internet use by children aged 9-17 in an internationally comparable form. The study will provide a better understanding of children’s online access (e.g. how, where and when children use internet), skills & practices, opportunities, risks, mitigation strategies and response to risks in the targeted study areas in Zambia.

2.1. Specific Objectives of the Study

· To understand the extent of use of internet among children;

· To understand the opportunities available for access and use of internet;

· To identify the type of activities mostly undertaken by children online;

· To identify risks and harms while using the internet;

· To assess extent of awareness of mitigation tools/strategies among children and parents/caregivers;

· To provide estimates on children’s internet use, which will guide actions to implement COP Strategy and other initiatives in support of children’s safe and responsible internet use;

· To provide clear recommendations how to better protect children from online risks, how to effectively mitigate and response to risks and how use of internet could contribute positively to children’s lives.

2.2. Key Study Questions

In support of the study’s overall purpose and objectives, and in line with the Global Kids Online research framework and research tools[3], the study will answer to the following key questions:

· Access: How do children access and use internet in their everyday lives, and what are potential barriers to access?

· Skills and practices: What online activities children find easy and what things are most difficult and why? What do children do online and how digitally skilled are they? How do they know which sites to go to?

· Opportunities: What activities do children do online, and why, what do they like and dislike and why?

· Risks: What things worry or upset children when they are online? What type of problems or challenges do they encounter online (what sorts of things have they seen online that they find violent/offensive etc.)?

· Wellbeing and resilience: How do children cope and respond to risks? How do they seek help and help others when they encounter online risks? What do they report and to whom and how? What kind of support do they get?

· Parents/caregivers: What role do parents play in protecting their children online? What do they discuss with their children and what kind of advice and support do they provide and what kind of limitations do they set?

· Teachers: What role do teachers play in protecting children online? What do they discuss with their pupils and what kind of advice and support do they provide and what kind of limitations do they set?

Please note that additional study questions may be identified by the team during the review of the inception report including tools.

2.3. Geographical scope

The study will be conducted in 3 out of 10 Zambian provinces - namely in Lusaka Province, in Copperbelt Province and in Southern Province. In each targeted province, the study will focus on 3 main districts, namely Lusaka, Livingstone and Ndola. The study should be carried out in a rural location in at least one of the districts.

3. Methodology

The study will be expected to draw from the Global Kids Online research framework, methodology and tools. The consultant will undertake an extensive desk review of the relevant literature on the subject. The methodology should take into account COVID-19 prevention guidelines. All collected data, irrespective of the data collection method should be disaggregated by age, sex, location, disability, socio-economic status and other demographics if necessary.

The consultant will develop tools, sampling methodology and size, undertake field study data collection and analysis, write the report and present draft findings in a validation workshop. This will involve engaging with key relevant actors, including children themselves, in the entire study process. The study will further involve working with local researchers to support skills transfer in undertaking research to promote local ownership.

4. Reporting

While the study is commissioned by Save the Children and Lifeline Childline Zambia, an Advisory Committee with members from all key stakeholders including ZICTA, University of Zambia (UNZA), UNICEF, Ministry of General Education (MOGE), Ministry of Community Development and Social Services (MCDSS), Ministry of Youth, Sports and Child Development, Zambia Police and representatives from civil society and internet service providers, will provide overall guidance to the research process. The consultants are expected to work closely with local stakeholders throughout the whole study process.

The Advisory Committee will provide inputs on all deliverables mentioned in section 5.

5. Deliverables

The following are the key deliverables:

5.1. Inception report

The inception report will be delivered to SCI and Lifeline Childline Zambia after the initial meeting and desk review have taken place. The report should include the purpose and objectives of the study, clarification, interpretation and elaboration of the key questions, a detailed plan of how the study will be carried out describing research methodology, sampling strategy, qualitative and quantitative survey, proposed guiding questions for semi-structured interviews, focus group discussion or other approaches, and proposing the draft data collection tools incorporating the Washington Group short set of questions, together with a matrix aligning the suggested methods and tools with the study questions they are supposed to answer. The methodology to address data quality issues should be explained in the report. The inception report should provide a clear matrix of roles and responsibilities indicating the persons involved in the study and their roles, the key internal and external stakeholders to be involved, a detailed work plan with expected outputs/deliverables and timeline and a detailed financial breakdown including the number of days and persons involved. A detailed plan on field testing of tools, enumerator training, including persons to be trained, contents and duration of training and translation provided should be included. It should also summarize the preliminary findings from the desk review and explain the process for obtaining the participants’ consent and any necessary government permissions. Requirements for reporting and dissemination of findings as well as planned dissemination and any restrictions to confidentiality should be included. A detailed work plan should be annexed to the report. The main text of the inception report should not exceed 10 pages. The inception report as well as all the suggested tools should be delivered in English.

5.2. Data collection tools and related materials

The final tools that will be used with target groups will be shared by the consultant in English and local language prior to the data collection process after the tools have been tested and possible modifications to them based on the tests have been made.

5.3. Reports

a) Draft study report: A full report with main text of maximum 50 pages excluding cover page, table of contents, abbreviations, executive summary and annexes. The draft report should be delivered in a soft copy in English. References should be fully cited after all important facts and figures. The analytical reports of the findings should be presented in a qualitative format supported by quantitative charts and tables. Global Kids Online reporting guidance will be used.

b) Presentation of the draft report to the Advisory Committee and to stakeholders in a validation workshop.

c) Final study report: The study report will be considered final only after incorporating feedback from stakeholders, SCI and partners. It should also include a brief summary of key findings (5 pages).

d) Power point presentation with the main findings of the study.

e) A research brief with key findings and infographics (max 8 pages).

5.4. Raw data

Raw data will be delivered to SCI at the end of the study:

· All original study instruments with their recorded field data

· Copies of all Excel files / databases used for data analysis

· Transcripts of focus groups discussions/qualitative data collected

6. Permissions

The consultant takes responsibility of getting permission or clearance from the local government/any research ethical committee in cases such requirements are mandatory to conduct the study. SCI will support the paper work if an introduction letter is needed.

7. Ethics and Child safeguarding

The study team is obliged to conduct the study in an ethical manner making sure children are safe at all times. The researchers are mandated to get ethical clearance from the Research Ethics Committee. The researcher should seek the views of various stakeholders, including children. Efforts should be made to make the research process child-centered and sensitive to gender and inclusion. The study team must respect the rights and dignity of participants as well as comply with relevant ethical standards and SC’s Child Safeguarding Policy and Code of Conduct. The research must ensure a voluntary, safe and non-discriminatory participation and a process of free and un-coerced consent. Informed consent of each person (including children) participating in data collection should be documented. SC will provide additional support in orientation of the consultant and the research team in SC’s Child Safeguarding Policy and Code of Conduct and monitor adherence throughout the study. SC will also support in ensuring that child safety and protection risks are assessed and mitigation measured put in place including referrals for services when needed.

8. Mandatory Requirements

· That they are not on any Save the Children prohibited parties list or blacklisted by the government.

· Copy of the National Registration Card or copy of the passport

· Copy of Tax Clearance Certificate (TPIN)

· Certificate of incorporation for companies

9. Qualifications and Experience

It is recommended that the team comprises at least one team leader to coordinate the overall study and 2 consultants. If the team leader is based outside Zambia and it is not possible for him/her to travel to Zambia due to COVID-19 situation, she/he can be accepted to lead the process and guide the other team members remotely online. In addition, the team needs to engage and partner with local researchers /research institution with relevant local language skills.

The successful team must demonstrate capacity to conduct the study, be gender balanced and possess the following qualifications and experience:

· The lead researcher will have

o A Master’s Degree in a relevant social science, development studies, planning or statistics. PhD will be an added advantage.

o At least one consultant has to be a child protection specialist with sound understanding of child protection issues.

o At least 10 years’ experience in research, monitoring and evaluation.

o Proven experience in conducting qualitative and quantitative research and analysis.

o Previous knowledge and experience in using Global Kids Online tools is a strong asset.

o Knowledge of the Zambian context and/or Southern Africa context is an asset.

o Demonstrate capacity in producing high quality reports and presentations.

· The other members of the research team must have relevant qualifications and experience:

o At least 5 years’ experience in research, monitoring and evaluation.

o Proven experience in conducting qualitative and quantitative research and analysis.

o Previous research experience involving children (at least one of the consultants).

o Experience working on children’s use of digital technology (at least one of the consultants).

o Must have expertise in gender mainstreaming (at least one of the consultants).

o Previous knowledge and experience in using Global Kids Online tools is an asset.

o Knowledge of the Zambian context is a strong asset.

o Some of the team members need to have local language skills i.e. Bemba, Nyanja and Tonga and the composition of the team need to be gender balanced.

o Previous experience in working with Save the Children or other child rights focused organizations is an asset.

o Excellent interpersonal skills.

10. Timeline

The lead consultant will have a maximum of 20 consultancy days and the team members will have a maximum of 10 consultancy days each to carry out this assignment. Field work is estimated to take one week in each of the targeted districts.

The consultancy start and end dates will be negotiated upon award of the contract. The consultant will be required to produce a detailed work plan, which must be approved in writing by Save the Children.

Tentative timeline is (detailed dates to be agreed with the consultant upon signing an agreement):

• Deadline for submission of an inception report is 13 June, 2021

• Ethical clearance end of June, 2021

• Finalization of tools and training of local data collectors end of June, 2021

• The field data collection to start July, 2021

• A draft report to be submitted August, 2021

• A final report to be submitted August, 2021

11. Submission of proposal

Candidates interested in the position will be expected to provide the following documentation:

  • Cover letter
  • CVs of all team members (maximum 5 pages each; with references)
  • Technical proposal (maximum 6 pages) including scope of work and proposed methodology and outline how the data will be analysed
  • Financial Proposal. The financial proposal should provide cost estimates for services rendered including daily consultancy fees. The consultant has to cover all field related costs (accommodation, per diem, air tickets, etc.).
  • A copy of a similar piece of work done in the last 5 years.

[1] Violence against Children in Zambia: Findings from a national survey, 2014, Ministry of Youth, Sport and Child Development, Lusaka, 2018,**

[2] Technical Note: COVID-19 and its implications for protecting children online, UNICEF and partners, 2020

[3] For more details: http://globalkidsonline.net/

How to apply:

6.3 SUBMISSION OF BIDS**

Responses will only be accepted in the requested format. Any incomplete responses or responses not in the format of the provided templates may be treated as void. Only electronic submission will be accepted.

Electronic Submission

Ø An email containing a copy of the bid:

a. Email should be sent to zambia.procurement@savethechildren.org

b. Email should be addressed to The Procurement Committee. Please note – this email box is a sealed tender box so DO NOT SEND QUESTIONS related to this tender to this email address.

© The subject of the email should be “Invitation to tender FWA/ZMB/09/2021- Consultancy Services STUDY ON OPPORTUNITIES AND RISKS

RELATED TO CHILDREN’S INTERNET USE IN ZAMBIA

a. Bidder Response – ‘Bidder Name’, ‘Date’’

b. All documents should be clearly labelled so it is clear to understand what each file relates to.

c. Email size should not exceed 15mb – if this limit is breached bidder should split the submission into two emails.

d. Do not copy other SCI email addresses into the email when you submit it as this may invalidate your bid.

6.4 CLOSING DATE FOR BID SUBMISSION**

Your bid must be received as per email address provided no later than 13th June 2021 by midnight GMT. Failure to submit your bid prior to the Closing Date may result in your quote being void.



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