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Consultancy: Research Partner to Execute an Outcome Evaluation on an Adolescent Girls’ Empowerment Program Vacancy in Ethiopia 2021

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia ETCAREERS.COM
Country: Ethiopia
Organization: BRAC USA
Closing date: 17 Jan 2022

Title: Request for Research Partner in Ethiopia

Location: Ethiopia - Contract Allows Remote

Location: Ethiopia

Dates of Assignment: 1/28/2022 - 7/30/2022

Scope: BRAC USA is recruiting a research partner to execute an outcome evaluation on an adolescent girls’ empowerment program in Ethiopia.

Background

BRAC USA is partnering with A360, a program of Population Services International, Inc. (“PSI”), on an economic strengthening component of the Roadmap to Integrating SmartStart in Ethiopia (RISE) project for married adolescent girls and young women (AGYW) in two regions of Ethiopia, likely in Amhara and Oromia. AGYW in the Smart Start program are introduced to contraception during a session on financial planning through government health workers, called Health Extension Workers (HEWs). The pilot will layer on an economic strengthening (ES) component on Smart Start and is likely to include the following elements: a community introduction, a couples future mapping session, lead up to savings and refining couples plans, and savings associations.

To that end, BRAC USA seeks an experienced research partner to evaluate the pilot implementation of the ES components. The objective of this evaluation study is to assess the effectiveness of A360’s economic strengthening activities in improving economic outcomes for AGYW. The evaluation will cover 5-8 locations/clusters (likely the catchment area around a health post in a kebele). The overarching population targeted for the evaluation and data collection are married adolescent girls aged 15-19 years. A360 is currently exploring additional selection criteria for girls to participate in these economic strengthening activities (e.g., out of school or not having a current entrepreneurship activity).

These ES program activities, scheduled to take place over nine months starting in early 2022, will reach 400 beneficiaries. Furthermore, based on the implementation design, we anticipate that the research will take a quasi-experimental approach, and BRAC USA aims to work with our research partner on the final design of the evaluation. Baseline data should be collected no later than April 1, 2022, and midline data will be collected approximately three months after the baseline. **

The evaluation will capture outcomes on several key indicators. These indicators may include the following, which have already been identified by PSI and BRAC USA as among the key indicators of success:

Proportion (%) of participants who:

● have gained specific skills

● have opened a savings account or joined a savings group

● have started a business or a new income generating activity

● have knowledge of what resources they can access to support their businesses

● indicate that they have the support of their husbands to participate in income generating activities both inside and outside the home.

● report confidence in speaking to their key influencers about their economic goals

● have increased their participation in collective social or economic activities (such as clubs, networks, etc.)

● report increased trust toward other networks and group members

● say they have increased confidence in their ability to achieve their economic goals

● say they have used the specific skills gained through their participation to take steps toward achieving their economic goals

This preliminary list of indicators will be refined and finalized in collaboration with PSI and the local research partner. Other details on the size and design of the study are also to be finalized in collaboration with this partner.

The core responsibilities of the research partner are:**

● Appoint a staff member as the lead PI on the study.

● With support from BRAC USA and working closely with PSI and the local implementing partners, develop the study design, indicators, research protocols, survey tools, and materials for submission to an accredited institutional review board (IRB) in Ethiopia.

● Deliver IRB approval documents to BRAC USA.

● Train enumerators and oversee data collection.

● Promptly deliver data collected to BRAC USA and after the completion of the project make anonymized data publicly available via an open-source data sharing platform.

● Collaborate on analysis and report writing with BRAC USA.

How to apply:

Use this link to apply: https://bracusa.hire.trakstar.com/jobs/fk0so4m?source=ReliefWeb

Application Instructions

Please submit a technical proposal with budget narrative, detailed CV of the proposed PI and core team members for this evaluation, and a proposed budget by 12/31/2021. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. We have included for your use an outline of the technical proposal as well as budget template.

Eligibility

The research partner must have an experienced and qualified PI for the proposed evaluation, the ability to obtain all appropriate IRB approvals and permits, as well as the ability to recruit, train and supervise enumerators for field data collection. We are especially interested in working with a partner with a permanent, physical presence in Ethiopia.

Short-listed candidates will be given more details regarding the planned implementation, but a detailed overview of A360’s approach can be found here. In addition, candidates must be available for a virtual interview in late December to early January.

Institutions that cannot meet these eligibility requirements are discouraged from submitting an application.

Technical Proposal Guidelines

Please address the following questions in a narrative not exceeding five pages, single-spaced.

  1. Project management

  2. Name and brief description of the organization that will manage the contract.

  3. Associated researchers starting with the lead PI (Name, Designation, Institutional Affiliation)

  4. Proposed IRB of Record

  5. Evidence of Effectiveness

  6. Please articulate why you are the appropriate research partner for this evaluation. In doing so, you may discuss:

  7. The expertise and value-add of the research team, including Impact evaluations that you have completed, especially those related to AGYW’s empowerment.

  8. Your experience conducting research in the regions where the implementation is taking place.

  9. Your experience working with local implementing partners.

  10. What are your early thoughts or ideas on refining the research plan? How will you work with BRAC to co-develop the evaluation?

  11. What actions will you take to ensure data quality?

  12. Please briefly state your experience working with the proposed IRB of record including the approximate duration of proposal review.

  13. Mitigating Risks

  14. Are you fully available to complete the project according to the proposed timeline? What challenges, if any, do you anticipate affecting the project timeline and deliverables?

  15. What other risks, if any, are anticipated during the course of the research, and what steps will be taken to mitigate them?

  16. How will you ensure the ethical collection of data from young participants?

  17. Applicants should describe in some detail how they intend to address COVID-19 related constraints related to data collection and management.

  18. Budget Narrative (no more than 1-page)

  19. Total budget requested

  20. Please include a description justifying the major cost drivers of the evaluation. Details clearly laid out in the budget template do not need to be restated here, but you may use this space to elaborate on any expenses that are unclear in the template. We estimate that bids will be between $75,000 and $90,000. For bids above this range, please provide additional justification in this section. Competitive bids will demonstrate high value for money.

Contract Deliverables:

Acceptance of Contract: Fully executed contract is delivered to both parties. Due by 1/28/2022

Research Plan: Draft of full research plan (including all survey instruments) for review and feedback before applying for IRB approval. The partner will receive feedback within one week, and then should promptly proceed with submitting materials for approval. Due by 2/15/2022.

IRB Approval: For any research involving human participants, and/or data relating to identifiable human subjects, researchers are required to complete a research ethics review and provide proof of the approval and/or exemption from the Institutional Review Board (IRB) that conducted the review. In cases where countries also have a national research ethics body, such approval must also be obtained and submitted to BRAC USA. Due by 3/20/2022.

Baseline Data: Baseline data shared with BRAC USA. Due by 04/01/2022.

Midline Data: Midline data shared with BRAC USA. Due by 07/15/2022.

Written Report: High-level research report (10-20 pages in length) on key project findings and recommendations for the implementer. Due by 7/30/2022

Evaluation Criteria

Applications will be evaluated based on five criteria. Strong applications will meet all criteria defined below.

  1. Partner expertise: The research partner (including the PI and core researchers) has the expertise needed to successfully complete the project.
  2. Partner experience: The research partner has demonstrated experience conducting similar research in the context where the implementation is taking place.
  3. Partner capacity: The research partner has demonstrated that they have the capacity to complete the project deliverables in the timeframe specified.
  4. Partner operations: The research partner has a permanent, physical presence in Ethiopia.
  5. Value for money: The research partner has prepared a competitive budget that represents good value for money.

Apply to Consultancy: Research Partner to Execute an Outcome Evaluation on an Adolescent Girls’ Empowerment Program

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