Terms of Reference (TOR) for a Research Partnership in Far West & Karnali Provinces in Nepal

Population Media Nepal

Details / requirements:

Terms of Reference (TOR) for a 

Research Partnership in Far West & Karnali Provinces in Nepal

Background of the Assignment: Rebroadcasting and Impact Assessment of Mai Sari Sunakhari and associated activities

Population Media Center (PMC) is a pioneering entertainment organization dedicated to fostering social norm change, individual transformation, and demand generation on deeply ingrained issues that affect women and girls globally. Population Media Center-Nepal (PMC-Nepal) broadcast a radio serial drama throughout Nepal between April 2016 and April 2018. The drama, Mai Sari Sunakhari (“Orchid, Like Me”), was a 208-episode, Nepali-language program broadcast nationally. The drama addressed the following four thematic areas:  

  1. Child marriage and other related issues (such as girls’ education and female empowerment) 
  2. Family planning and reproductive health 
  3. Gender-based violence against women and girls (and gender equality)  
  4. Maternal and child health/nutrition (connected with women’s entrepreneurship)  

PMC rebroadcast Mai Sari Sunakhari in 10 districts in the Far West and Karnali provinces. The broadcast began in September 2023 and continued for 12 months with a target audience of Nepali-speaking adults aged 14-49. The original 208 episodes of the radio serial drama were broadcast four times per week, strategically augmented by additional community-focused events. The focus of the present research is to examine the effects of the radio serial drama and associated activities on Nepali-speaking people living in these ten districts. 

In addition to the radio serial show, there was a separate airing of the child marriage storyline of 5 minutes per episode, with 156 episodes. The child marriage-only storyline contents were also given to school students to listen to in a group or individual at their free time to enhance the drama's impact.

Additional activities included in the current project include: 

  • 78 episodes of JuniMaya Ko Katha (MHK) shadow play is published on Facebook and YouTube
  • 156 Episodes of Junimayako Katha (the child marriage storyline) are aired after Evening Sajha Khabar three times per week
  • 20 In-depth interviews with loyal listeners
  • Two orientation workshops (80 participants total)
  • Two reflective and storytelling workshops (70 participants total)
  • One-day campaign workshops held in three schools of each district (900 participants total)
  • Videos and other content about child marriage broadcast on Facebook, YouTube, and TikTok
  • 30 School groups/child clubs implement self-designed activities
  • A radio talk show to discuss collected child-marriage stories from the community

This Terms of Reference (TOR) document invites research firms with experience working in Nepal and/or with this population to partner with PMC to evaluate the impact of Mai Sari Sunakhari. The selected research firm will play a crucial role in shedding light on the influence of Mai Sari Sunakhari in a new context, contributing valuable insights for future initiatives aimed at social and reproductive health improvement.

Research Design

Our selected research partner will work together with PMC to conduct a qualitative evaluation for this project. Findings from a series of in-person focus group discussions (FGD) at endline with exposed participants only will compose a large portion of the results.

Focus group Design

FGDs are pivotal components of the research methodology, designed to delve deep into the perceptions and experiences of the target population regarding the program under evaluation. Each focus group should ideally consist of 8 to 10 participants, ensuring a conducive environment for meaningful interaction and diverse perspectives. It is imperative that the composition of each FGD reflects both gender and age diversity to capture a comprehensive range of viewpoints. While the specific locations for conducting the FGDs will be determined by the research partner, prioritizing accessibility and logistical feasibility, a minimum of 16 focus groups should be conducted with people who have participated in various elements of the program. These groups should include the following, additional details to be determined with partner, to ensure comprehensive coverage across various demographic segments:

  • Four FGDs comprising adult male participants.
  • Four FGDs comprising adult female participants.
  • Four FGDs comprising adolescent male participants. 
  • Four FGDs comprising adolescent female participants.

Note it is important for FGD facilitators to be the same sex as the participants. PMC will provide a filter question sheet to determine eligibility in the focus groups. 

In addition to the 16 focus groups, the study should also include 10 – 12 In-depth interviews with key informants, such as project staff, local authorities, and representatives from different school organizations.

The tasks for the local research firm will be to: 

  • acquire IRB approval, with the support of PMC;
  • provide clean qualitative datasets to PMC in English (Microsoft Word transcripts)
  • conduct data analysis and draft a report using a report template provided by PMC

The deliverables for this project include:




Page limit


Inception Report

Presents work plan, methods (sampling, timing, roles, and responsibilities of research firm

10 pages


Research Protocol for IRB Approval

Must be prepared in accordance with appropriate IRB regulations. PMC will lead this activity.

Varies based on IRB requirements


IRB approval letter

PMC will work with the selected firm to receive IRB approval. The approval must be obtained before data collection begins



Final raw and cleaned data sets

English transcripts of all focus groups and interviews


Draft report with qualitative analysis

This report should summarize the overall project, key findings, and thematic analyses of all FGDs and interviews conducted. PMC will provide an outline/template for how the report should be structured

The main body of the report may be no longer than 20 pages; appendices may include extra information as needed


Final endline report

This report should incorporate all comments and questions the PMC had from the original draft report

The main body of the report may be no longer than 20 pages; appendices may include extra information as needed

Interested research firms should include detailed responses to the following items in their proposal.

1. IRB Approval

Proposals should outline what IRB research firms will submit to, their experience with the IRB, the expected timeline, and associated costs. PMC will assist with the IRB approval.

2. Consent and Recruitment

Proposals should include a plan and costs for recruiting focus group participants, as well as gaining ethical consent. Please include costs for incentives for both interview and focus group participants.

3. Data Collection 

Proposals should describe their proposed process for recruitment for the study, including the use of a filter sheet to determine eligibility. Proposals should also describe the process of conducting focus group discussions in Far West and Karnali provinces. Where are the recommended locations of spaces where data collection will occur? How long will recruitment approximately take? How will the focus groups be recorded?

4. Data Entry and Cleaning

Proposals should describe the processes for cleaning datasets, including transcribing interviews and focus group recordings. This should include a description of how the Nepali transcriptions will be translated into English and how the final data will be delivered to PMC. Describe the procedures used to transcribe and translate the participants’ responses. Include a description of potential software used to process the qualitative data and the file format of the final, clean transcriptions.

5. Timeline

Proposals should provide a work plan that shows the number of days and weeks required to complete the research tasks described above and should include a 2-day training period on the project for staff who will lead focus groups and conduct interviews. The chart should include all tasks and activities mentioned above and related to this project.

7. Budget

Proposals should include a budget that includes a line item for each activity described above. This section should provide all of the costs associated with conducting the research, and including human resources, training of a sufficient number of staff, travel per diems, accommodations, operational costs for fieldwork, and miscellaneous costs, including communication (phones, etc.).

8. Team Members and Company Profile

Proposals should include a profile of potential team members. 

For the team, provide the following for each person:

  • Fluency in Nepali
  • Status as a full-time, part-time, or contracted employee
  • CV, including educational background and experience (abbreviated/short format OK) 
  • PAN/VAT registration certificate, tax renewal certificate, and company registration certificate for the organization/ research firm.
  • Experience with qualitative data collection

Proposals should also provide a brief history of their research firm and describe recent research projects. This should include:

  • Size of the research firm,
  • Expertise in conducting research in Nepal
  • Previous use of the proposed collection methods
  • Demonstrated experience with proposed analytic methods

Application Details:

  • Interested research firms should submit a written proposal, including any relevant supportive documents alongside required elements, through the email addresses mentioned below on or before July 23, 2024.
  • Should a firm be selected for this partnership, the selected firm is expected to notify the PMC Nepal office within 48 hours of its willingness to accept the offer and start the work as soon as possible. 
  • Interested and eligible research firms should submit proposals to  pmn@populationmedia.org and copy to GIU@populationmedia.org
  • Interested research firms may submit questions to the email addresses listed above at any time during the application window. PMC will respond as soon as feasible. Note that questions submitted immediately before the deadline may not receive a response, so bidders are encouraged to submit questions as early as possible.
  • PMC reserves the right to accept or reject any or all bids.
  • All timelines presented in this TOR represent PMC’s current best estimates and are subject to change.
  • Interested research firms should submit a written proposal, including any relevant supportive documents alongside required elements, through the email addresses mentioned below on or before July 23, 2024. If the proposal has already been submitted, please note that there is no need to resubmit the application.


Category Development and Project, Development / NGO
Openings 1
Position Type Contract
Experience Please check details
Education Please check details
Posted Date 01 Jul, 2024
Apply Before 23 Jul, 2024
City Lalitpur