Terms of Reference – A consultancy service for Social Exclusion and Gender Analysis - SEGA for (ENGAGE) Project

VSO Nepal

VSO is the world's leading international development organisation that works through volunteers to fight poverty. Working in 24 countries around the world, our unique role in international development is to place committed volunteers with carefully selected organisations where their skills can have the greatest impact. Our extraordinary volunteers live and work in some of the world's poorest communities. Sharing their unique skills and experience to generate new ideas and new ways of doing things, helping the communities they work in lift themselves out of poverty. We're not about delivering quick fixes, but instead we focus on long-lasting, sustainable change, that will impact generations to come. Join us and help us work towards our vision of a world without poverty.

Detailed Job description / requirements:

Terms of Reference – A consultancy service for Social Exclusion and Gender Analysis - SEGA for (ENGAGE) Project

1 Background (VSO)

VSO is the world’s leading international development organisation that works through volunteers to fight poverty. Working in 21 countries around the world, our unique role in international development is to place committed volunteers with carefully selected organisations where their skills can have the greatest impact. Our extraordinary volunteers live and work in some of the world’s poorest communities. Sharing their unique skills and experience to generate new ideas and new ways of doing things, helping the communities they work in, lift themselves out of poverty. We’re not about delivering quick fixes, but instead we focus on long-lasting, sustainable change, that will impact generations to come.

About Project

Empowering a New Generation of Adolescent Girls with Education (ENGAGE) project is GEC-LNGB window, is implemented by consortium led by VSO, consortium partner Humanity & Inclusion and three implementing partners (DYC-Parsa, PRERANA-Sarlahi and DEC-Banke). Its main objectives are to empower the out of school (OOS) children with disabilities and marginalized girls, to increase the parental support, improve attendance of OOS children with disabilities and marginalized girls. It also helps to improve the teaching quality and inclusive education practice in learning facilities. It works in 3 districts (Parsa, Sarlahi and Banke) of Nepal focusing on out of school children with disabilities and marginalized girls aged between 10-19 years.

The project has implemented interventions to support nearly 2,635 girls by equipping them with new skills for learning and employability, experiencing new-found confidence and self-esteem, and to be able to influence and control their own sexual and reproductive health.

Social Exclusion, Gender, and gender-based violence

VSO views social exclusion as a complex and multidimensional process by which different people and/or groups are systematically denied rights, resources, services, opportunities and dignity, and the ability to participate fully in social, economic, cultural, educational, and political life. VSO believes that unequal power relations between men and women underpin the system of exclusion which is sometimes reinforced by discriminatory policies and laws, and harmful social norms and practices that are internalized by both those with power and those excluded. Education systems, religious doctrines, economic systems, and media coverage can all help perpetuate the exclusion process.

Exclusion can happen to everyone in varying degrees, but those most at risks or affected by exclusion and living in vulnerable conditions are facing difficulty in access to quality education. Likewise, people who are disadvantaged or discriminated based on their age, sex, ethnicity, are further facing exclusion from educational opportunities. These often include, but are not limited to, gender, sexual orientation, age, health status, disability, religion, ethnicity, and socio-economic and educational status. People rarely only have one social identity, and the intersection of their multiple social identities (i.e., race and age) can lead to their discrimination and ultimately exclusion at different spheres and time of their lives. For instance, women with disabilities are twice as likely to experience violence compared to women without disabilities1.

Patriarchal values and practices are seen to be deeply entrenched and reinforced through unequal power relations at the household level in the plains of VSO’s working districts Sarlahi and Parsa in Madhesh Province, and Banke district of Lumbini Province. The 2014 UNDP report, “Nepali Masculinities and Gender Based Violence” revealed that 93% of people living within the Terai region have seen women being beaten or scolded by men, and 27% of them said this happens frequently. Likewise, the report shows division of labor in childcare and household chores performing by men is very low 78% and 51% respectively. The impact directly hit women and girls and being the major reason of dropout for adolescent girls in Terai region. A specific risk factor for young women living in the Terai region is related to the widespread adherence to dowry practices that increases their exposure to the risk of experiencing various forms of GBV. Although Terai tends to have less incidence of child, early and forced marriage (CEFM) than the far west, it is nonetheless commonplace for many girls, and CEFM now is the third most common reason for school drop-out across the country2. Such arrangements expose unmarried girls to an extremely high risk of violence, reinforcing the cycle of gender inequality.

Exclusion and gender-based violence is a direct violation of human rights and have a direct impact on people’s lives. VSO believes that social exclusion is a key driver of poverty, where the poorest are often those that experience these multiple and intersecting forms of exclusion. Development and humanitarian initiatives can struggle to identify and reach the most excluded. The most excluded are less likely to participate in the design, implementation and monitoring of these initiatives making them less effective. As a result, socially excluded populations are often trapped in a vicious cycle of inequality and poverty, with limited opportunities and capacities to break out of it.

2  Purpose of the assignment

SEGA Analysis will provide a comprehensive understanding of exclusion and gender status and the form in which they manifest themselves and the root causes of such forms of exclusion and gender dynamics among VSO primary actors in ENGAGE project districts. The SEGA study had been already carried out in the 1st year of the project as a base line and this will be the end line study. Thus, need to evaluate the baseline of SEGA study as first part of literature review.

1The Lancet, 2012

2 In 2017-18, 17% of the 6-24-year Nepali population left school because of early marriage, while 24.6% did so because of poor academic progress and 22% because their help was needed at home. See Draft Flash I Report 2074, Nepal Department of Education, 2017. 

Specific purposes of the SEGA research

  1. To analyze current community perceptions, stereotypes, social norms, social institutions, practices, and experiences, and how they affect power, exclusion, and gender relations.
  2. To explore situation of GBV & SRGBV in project districts including child, early and forced marriage (CEFM), burden of household chores to girls and its impacts on the girls who are in schools and livelihood.
  3. To explore how ENGAGE helped in reducing unequal power relationship, harmful social norms transformation and multidimensional effect of exclusion i.e., social, educational, economic, cultural, and political dimensions of development. The study will document process adopted what worked well and what needs to be further strengthened in this endeavor of promoting positive norms.
  4. To examine ENGAGE project contribution in empowerment of women and girls, changing power dynamics and social status to promote girls’ education and access to information on youth sexual and reproductive health (AYSRH).
  5. To analyze ENGAGE contribution towards empowerment among girls who are in schools and those who have started small entrepreneurship.

3.  Scope and Methodology

This research is largely expected to be qualitative in nature with extensive literature review. It is expected that the firm/consultant (s) selected through a normal procurement process will lead the overall process of the assignment, with VSO M&E team ensuring that all elements of the ToR are followed, and the data collection process supported to the end. The selected firm/consultant (s) will lead the process of study design including drafting data collection tools and supporting the field data collection process. Data analysis and the final evaluation report will be conducted/produced by the external consultant. The consultant must follow quality methods and relevant study tools to carry out this study. Focus group discussions with community members, girls with disabilities and marginalized girls will be the core study tool. Additionally, key informants’ interview and other relevant tools will also add more value in the study process.

Key Research Questions

  1. What concepts and stereotypes rooted in the mindset of parents, community members, and women, men perpetuate gender stereotypes, gender discrimination and gender base-violence?
  2. How has ENGAGE contributed tackling key drivers and barriers of exclusion, discrimination and inequality existed in the project areas with regards to marginalized girls and people with disabilities?
  3. How ENGAGE has contributed in changing power dynamics and social to promote girls’ education?
  4. How ENGAGE contributed in increasing community awareness on girls education and other harmful norms like CEFM, GBV, disability?
  5. How the project supported in improving availability, access and knowledge of adolescent and youth sexual and reproductive health (AYSRH) and Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM)?
  6. What are the impact of project initiatives to reduce exclusion and to empower the girls – incorporate the changed notions within community and lives of adolescent girls?

This study tentatively needs to conduct 35 FGDs with Primary Actors (PAS) and mothers in three working districts of ENGAGE (Banke, Sarlahi and their parents both fathers and Parsa). Additionally, 25

KII/interview with Teachers/Palika’s Members/ Police personnel of the respective districts. Besides FGDs and KIIs, consultant must use some participatory tools and techniques like social ranking, storytelling, cause, and effect to understand social exclusion and gender related issues, challenges, aspirations and change among the project targeted marginalized and children with disabilities.

Role of Consultant/Firm

As part of the SEGA research, the firm/consultant will:

a.  Review relevant project documents, previous SEGA report, research reports and relevant literature work with the VSO M&E manager, Child Protection, GBV and AYSRH Coordinator and with whole ENGAGE team to finalize research tools specific to identify social exclusion.

b.  Lead in the data collection processes including but not limited to training data collectors and validating data collection tools.

c.  Conduct an in-depth qualitative study with stakeholder groups identified and agreed by VSO.

d.  Conduct a full data analysis including integration of qualitative data generated from the literature review.

e.  Compile a research report with lessons learned and recommendations.

f.  Share all field notes, tools with VSO for review and further analysis (if required).

g.  Share study tools, initiate interactions, collect feedbacks and finalize the tools

h.  Select enumerators, orient them, and mobilize them to collect the field information

I.  Prepare and share report among the VSO inclusive education team, collect feedback, incorporate them, and finalize the report

j.  Incorporate technical and professional inputs provided by the VSO technical team (global and national).

k.  Firm or consultant should bear all the expenses of field visit and research activities.

L. Follow the VSO child protection and safeguarding policy while initiating field activities.

Role of VSO:

a.  Participate in the review of the draft data collection tools.

b.  Provide internal documents, reports to facilitate the execution of the assignment.

c.  Avail list of suggested resources and references for additional information.

d.  Be available for regular check-in to answer questions and facilitate progress towards the deliverables.

e.  Avail contacts to facilitate the tasks e.g., mobilization of different participant groups.

f.  Facilitate data collection process particularly on child protection and safeguarding.

g.  Support firm by mobilizing implementing partners (if any) to facilitate the process.

h.  Monitor the study activity, provide technical and professional inputs during the process of study.

i.  Ensure the firm has followed quality process to accomplish the study.

4.  Timeframe and work plan

Provide a detailed work plan incorporating all relevant tasks for the SEGA evaluation study.

5.  Outputs/Deliverables

The following minimum outputs are expected from the Firm / Consultants:

    a.  An inception plan detailing the work plan research tools & comments to the TOR, list of documentation and reports to reference in the report,     outline of final research report within one week of start.

    b.  Draft reports to be delivered including a clear work plan and required tools and techniques to be used in the research work.

    c.  Orientation to the Research team on field work, data collection child protection policy, do no harm and other relevant themes.

    d.  Draft report and incorporation of feedback from VSO.

    e.  Final high-quality report and power point presentation.

    f.  Submission of final field report, tools, including any relevant documents, photographs generated through the data collection processes in the annex part (for photographs high quality through Drive/other methods).

6.  Qualifications and experience of the consultant

The firm/Consultants should have sound professional knowledge and competencies regarding gender and social inclusion. Relevant academic qualification and work experiences, expertise in the field of education, social inclusion, gender, disability, and inclusion would be preferable. The following are specific eligible criteria set for the consulting firms/individuals.

i.  PhD in education, social science, gender and development or Minimum a master’s degree in social sciences. Preference will be given to specialization on gender related studies.

ii.  Experience with implementing various research design methodologies, especially in gender, social inclusion, and education related studies.

iii.  Previous demonstrated experience as a team leader, researcher, or consultant of similar studies.

iv. Good knowledge and Experience on qualitative research design, study i.e., facilitation of focus group discussion, participatory research methodologies, other qualitative study tools, and producing qualitative research report.

v. Strong quantitative data collection and analysis skills and experience.

7.  Team composition

For this study, the firm/consultants should propose and include a research team. The team should justify the essential qualification, expertise and experiences required for this study. At least one team leader and the required field researchers should be planned and presented along with technical proposal.

Please note, at a minimum, your proposed approach should comply with international good practices with regards to research ethics and protocols particularly to safeguarding of children, vulnerable groups (including people with disabilities).

8.  Ethical Protocol

As this evaluation must consider the safety of participants and especially children at all stages of the evaluation, please demonstrate your approach to protection and safeguarding of children through the different evaluation stages, including training of research staff, data collection and data analysis and

9.  Supervision

Project team (ENGAGE) particularly M&E person will closely monitor and involve with the consultant/s to develop effective research tool

10.  Mode of Payment

The consultant should submit the total budget in the proposal with detail breakdown including applicable government taxes. Payment will be made in 2 tranches:

1st Instalment: Thirty percent (30%) of the contract amount will be paid in advance after signing of the agreement,

Final Instalment: Seventy percent (70%) of the remaining amount will be paid after final deliverables.

11. Intellectual Property

All information related to this research will remain the property of VSO Nepal. Except for purposes of this assignment, the information will not be disclosed to the public nor used in whatever without written permission from VSO Nepal.

12.  Reporting

The Consultant will report as follows as first person of contact.

  • Monitoring and Evaluation Manager
  • Child Protection, AYSRH and GBV Coordinator

13.  Submission of Proposal

The bidder shall send both the “Technical” and “Financial” Proposal along with below documents to: 

    I.  Technical and financial proposal demonstrating the understanding of the terms of references of

    II.  Curriculum vitae of proposed team members (no more than 4 pages each) detailing only relevant experiences.

    III.  A one-page cover letter detailing at a high-level how you meet the requirements for this assignment.

    IV.  The proposed methodologies, sampling, clear costing of planned activities including all applicable taxes and fees.

    V.  Company registration certificate.

    VI. VAT/PAN registration certificate.

    VII. Latest Tax clearance certificate of FY 2077/78

Proposals must be submitted to an email: Procurement.nepal@vsoint.org  by 6th July 2022.


Job Overview

Category Development / NGO
Openings 1
Position Type Full Time
Experience Please check vacancy details.
Education Please check vacancy details
Posted Date 27 Jun, 2022
Apply Before 06 Jul, 2022
City Lalitpur