Terms of Reference for Baseline Evaluation

Heifer Project Nepal

Details / requirements:

Terms of Reference for Baseline Evaluation


Heifer Project Nepal (HPN) is a non-profit, humanitarian organization dedicated to ending hunger and poverty and caring for the earth by providing livestock, education, and other resources to help poor families become self-reliant.

HPN has been implementing the USAID-funded project “Integrated Approach to Enhance Milk Quality, Dairy Animal Productivity, and Milk Consumption by Vulnerable Household Members in Rural Nepal” project. One of the major objectives is to promote the consumption of Animal Source Food (ASF), especially milk, among young children, women of child-bearing age (WCBA), and adolescent girls. To achieve the objective, the project aims to enhance nutrition practices among mothers, fathers, and adolescent girls through multisectoral nutrition education and participatory learning activities. A parallel control group will receive no input. The baseline evaluation will be conducted to assess the status of ASF consumption (especially milk), dietary diversity, women’s empowerment, and nutritional status of children 6 months to under 5 years of age, adolescent girls, and non-pregnant WCBA in vulnerable communities in rural Nepal. 

Project Brief:

Besides being an important source of income and livelihood for small holder farmers, livestock, dairy and other animal source foods (ASF) are a rich source of protein and other micronutrients and therefore important for good nutrition at the household level. However, the daily intake of ASF including dairy is far less than recommended daily intake in Nepal. Furthermore, inadequate knowledge about the importance of ASF consumption, economic status/income, household food distribution practices, and socio-cultural taboos are some of the barriers for the poor consumption of ASF among children, adolescent girls, WCBA. Interventions to address these issues might increase the consumption of ASF (especially milk). Therefore, this project aims to evaluate the barriers to ASF consumption in rural Nepali households and assess the effectiveness of a comprehensive nutrition education program in promoting ASF consumption among rural Nepali households.

Increasing consumption of milk and other ASF by vulnerable household members, even in dairy-producing households, is limited by multiple cultural, structural, and economic barriers. The project aims to define the prevalent barriers to household consumption of milk and other ASF in rural Nepal and to provide a bundle of solutions to overcome those existing barriers. At baseline, the study will collect information from mothers, fathers, and adolescent girls in rural households regarding the (1) barriers to ASF consumption including their knowledge, attitudes, and practices (KAP), as well as the status of ASF consumption (2) nutritional status will be assessed via collection of anthropometric data of children, adolescent girls, and non-pregnant women of child-bearing age (WCBA), (3) dietary intake information and (4) measures of women’s empowerment. Next, a comprehensive nutrition education program will be provided to 350 households; another 350 households will serve as a control group. The nutrition education to intervention households (directed towards mothers, fathers, and adolescent girls) will be provided through didactic training and a series of participatory learning activities (PLA). Assessment will be repeated at endline. Overall, the project is designed to identify the barriers for ASF consumption (especially milk), effectiveness of nutrition education to change the behavior of ASF consumption, and relation between ASF consumption and growth trajectory (nutritional status) of children, adolescent girls (and any changes in BMI of WCBA).  

Objectives of the baseline evaluation 

A professional research organization is solicited to carry out the baseline household survey. The specific objectives of the baseline evaluation are listed below: 

  • To collect information regarding diet Knowledge, Attitude and Practice (KAP) from mothers and fathers of 6-to-60-month children and from adolescent girls.
  • To assess dietary intake of mothers, 6–60-month children, and adolescent girls using standard questionnaires (frequency, variety) and novel methods to assess food quantities consumed.
  • To determine the status of women empowerment.
  • To assess the anthropometry of child, adolescent girl, and non-pregnant WCBA (weight, height, head circumference, mid- upper arm circumference [MUAC]).

Data collection methodology

All work must be carried out in a manner consistent with the Nepal Health Reach Council guidelines and international standards for research on human subjects. The way this will be assured should be specifically addressed in the response to this request for application (RFA). Respect for participants and procedures to ensure confidentiality are of paramount importance.  

As this is a longitudinal study, the plan for identifying individuals and households while maintaining confidentiality should be presented in the response to this RFA.

A tablet-based semi-structured questionnaire will be employed to collect data from the selected households of the project area. Households with children aged 6-48 months at baseline will be pre-identified. These children are designated “target children”. As this is a longitudinal study, adequate methods must be in place to ensure that follow up data can be matched to baseline data for each participant. The methodology to accomplish this should be described in detail in the response to this RFA.

Household survey: Sufficient training will be provided to the enumerator team prior to mobilization to the field. This will be jointly supervised by Heifer and the research organization. Training will include meticulous review and pre-test of the survey questionnaire (which will be provided by Heifer) to assure complete understanding. Adequate training in anthropometric measurement techniques (weight, height, head circumference, MUAC) applicable to mothers, target children, and adolescent girls will be required to assure inter-rater/intra-rater reliability. During the household survey, the enumerator will interview (1) the mother of the target child, (2) any adolescent girls residing (10-17 years) in the household [at least 75 in intervention and 75 in control group], and (3) the father of the target child/adolescent girls [at least 75 in intervention and 75 in control group].  

Sampling and sample size: Appropriate sampling techniques are necessary to identify sample households of the project area. Only households with at least one target child will be invited to participate in the study. Heifer will provide a list of candidate households to enroll; households on this provided list will fulfill some basic criteria for participation. Details of the sampling strategy to obtain an adequate number of households in both the control and intervention groups (total 700 households) should be provided as a part of the response to this RFA. The research organization will be responsible for explaining the study process, inviting the household to participate, and obtaining informed consent consistent with the Nepal Health Research Council guidelines and international standards for research. Appropriate documentation of this process must be scrupulously completed. 

Data cleaning and analysis: The consulting firm shall propose a data cleaning plan, data analysis plan, and procedures to protect confidentiality of data at all stages before the baseline survey roll-out. This should include but is not limited to data presentation using descriptive statistics, reports to share the findings, and so on. 

Management of enumerators, orientation, and training: The consulting firm will be responsible for recruiting enumerators and managing electronic devices (Tablet) required for the survey. Moreover, the organization is also responsible to train enumerators on data collection tools and anthropometric techniques. The enumerator training and orientation will be conducted in coordination with Heifer Project Nepal. Pre-testing of the data collection tools should be carried out prior to field mobilization of the enumerators. The plan for supervision of enumerators in the field and ongoing quality assurance in all aspects of data collection should be specified in the response to the RFA.

Transport costs, accommodations, meals, incidental expenses, and any needed insurance for enumerators will be the research organization's responsibility. 

Equipment: The research organization is expected to provide weighing scales, height boards, and MUAC tapes appropriate for children 6-60 months, adolescent girls, and WCBA.

The research organization will be responsible for any other office/field supplies required during the assignment.

Scope of the assignment

The research organization should perform the following activities.

  • Have lucid understanding of the objective of the project and the nature of the data to be collected during the surveys.
  • Develop survey tools (checklists, survey forms, etc.) for data collection. (Note: The organization should arrange standard anthropometric tools: height board, weighing scale, MUAC Tape, etc.)
  • Recruit enumerators and provide adequate training on data collection methods specially required by this project, including anthropometric measurement and informed consent, confidentiality, and all human subjects’ considerations in accordance with Nepal Health Research Council (NHRC) and international standards. 
  • Pre-test of the questionnaire and anthropometric methods in quasi-field conditions in order to make any necessary amendments (in consultation with the Heifer team).
  • Collect data from households of the project area as selected by HPN using tablets.
  • Ensure the quality of the data generation from the tablet.
  • Provide adequate supervision in the field to enumerators to ensure quality of data collection.
  • Clean, manage and perform preliminary analysis of the collected data using standard statistical software.
  • Deliver a clean version of database (MS excel and statistical software).
  • Share findings as report.


The following are the expected deliverables of the assignment.

  • Preliminary report including the detailed methodology of data collection after accomplishment of preparatory work for the baseline evaluation.
  • The final version of the survey tools including questionnaire (digitized in Survey CTO), check lists in both English and Nepali language.
  • Raw database of the survey in MS excels.
  • Cleaned and final database of the survey in MS excel and Stata (or any other statistical software).
  • Consent documents.
  • Report of how confidentiality was maintained throughout the survey work.
  • Final survey report.


The baseline survey will be conducted from May 2024 to June 2024. The timeframe including activities with their respective expected duration should be mentioned in the proposal. 

Required competencies.

The required background and experience of the consulting firm is as follows:

  • Legally registered and recognized by Government of Nepal to perform the mentioned tasks.
  • Minimum 5 years of experience in conducting and managing tablet-based household surveys of similar scale with accomplishment of at least one nutrition related survey.
  • Have prior experience of conducting longitudinal surveys. 
  • Have a pool/team of experienced enumerators and supervisors.
  • Have sound experience of planning and managing survey logistics.
  • Experienced in data management and statistics.

Proposal evaluation criteria

The selection committee will evaluate the submitted proposals based on pre-determined criteria. The evaluation of proposal shall adopt two-stage procedure. The technical evaluation shall be carried out, followed by the financial evaluation. The evaluation areas and expectations are presented in the table below.

Evaluation areasExpectationsWeight
Experience of the firm
Briefly mention the experience of accomplishing similar assignments with the scope and budget.
Proposed methodology/work plan and understanding of ToR
Mention the understanding of the organization regarding the assignment with the proposed methodology.
Qualification of the proposed team members
CVs of the proposed team members including academic qualification and experience.
Financial proposal
A detailed budget breakdown including number of staff, remuneration, travel, accommodation, orientation, and any other costs related to the assignment.

Proposal submission guideline

Interested research organizations who meet the above requirement shall submit an application with below mentioned documents to Procurement-NP@heifer.org by COB 20 April 2024 with email subject line “Proposal for Baseline Evaluation – Reach”. 

  • A technical proposal including data collection methodology, work plan and proposed team.
  • A financial proposal with detailed budget breakdown including taxes.
  • CVs of the proposed team 
  • Organization profile with relevant experience (should provide references of previous accomplishments)
  • Copy of company/firm registration
  • Copy of VAT/PAN cert
  • Copy of Tax clearance certificate (FY 079/80)

HPN reserves the right to accept or reject any proposal and to annul the selection process and reject all proposals at any time prior to contract award, without thereby incurring any liability to affected individuals.

Heifer Project Nepal

Lalitpur Metropolitan City, Ward No:15, Hattiban, Lalitpur district

Email: procurement-np@heifer.org


Category Expression of Interests, Tender Notice, Bid, Development / INGO
Openings 1
Position Type Contract
Experience Please check details
Education Please check details
Posted Date 12 Apr, 2024
Apply Before 20 Apr, 2024
City Lalitpur