Consultancy Services for conducting a Baseline for the Women Empowerment and Micro Small Enterprises Support project

  • Consultancy
  • Zambia

Website We Effect

Terms of Reference for  Consultancy  Services for  conducting a Baseline Study for the  Women Empowerment and Micro Small Enterprises Support project

1. Introduction

We Effect is a Swedish development organisation with a Regional office in Southern Africa and country offices in Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia and Zimbabwe. We Effect is a development organisation founded in 1958 by the cooperative movement in Sweden. The organisation works in more than 20 countries in Asia, Eastern Europe, Latin America, Africa.  It supports development powered by people who themselves live in poverty and works with local organisations. We Effect’s vision is a sustainable and just world free of poverty. To succeed, it has to start by changing the situation for the most vulnerable – women and youth, who constitute 70% of those living in poverty.

We Effect in Southern Africa believes that the most effective and sustainable approach to addressing the root causes of poverty is by taking a holistic and multi-levelled gender transformative approach. This means together with our different partner organizations, we will work at different levels to contribute to the overall programme: at personal, social, material, organizational and structural levels. We Effect has global and regional strategies, whose focus is being Stronger Together and prescribes gender equality as the core of all We Effect work.

We work in the thematic fields of sustainable rural development and adequate housing. We apply a human rights-based approach in our programmes, assisting people living in poverty to secure their rights and entitlement to adequate living conditions and broad empowerment. We Effect targets women in partner organisations to secure them the same rights and entitlements as men, especially to own and control land and access to financial resources. Partner organisations include farmer organisations, housing cooperatives, and savings and credit association. The core strategy is to strengthen cooperatives of women and men living in poverty through membership-based democracy, long-term economic thinking, social responsibility, and transparency.

We Effect is inviting consultancy companies or individual consultants to undertake a baseline survey for the Women Empowerment and Micro Small Enterprises Support project in eight greater Lusaka areas namely Matendere East, Chainda, John Howard, Chawama, Nkoloma, Garden, Mandevu and Ngwerere.

The baseline survey will assess the situation and establish benchmark indicators that will inform the Monitoring, Evaluation, Learning and Accountability (MEAL) plan and form the basis for measuring the project outcomes. The consultant(s) will work closely with (We Effect and partner project staff).

2. The Project

We Effect Zambia and its partner (ChildFund) with support from the European Union through the European Commission’s Lusaka Transmission Distribution Rehabilitation Project (LTDRP)- Low Voltage Distribution Network are implementing the Women Empowerment and Micro Small Enterprises Support project since May 2023.  The project will end in May 2026

The overall objective of the project is to contribute to the increased access to complimentary services including business management/entrepreneurial skills and credit facilities among women benefiting from the subsidized Lusaka Transmission Distribution Rehabilitation Project (LTDRP) electricity connections in the target areas of Lusaka.

The project specific objectives are:

1. To build or strengthen resilient and profitable women and youth owned business that ensure continuous delivery of quality empowerment services to vulnerable women, and youth in the target areas.

2.  To promote gender coordinated transformative, sustainable and rights-based empowerment services that foster women and youth’s entrepreneurship in the target areas.

The project’s specific objective is expected to be achieved through (enter number of) intermediate objectives/outcomes:

1. Increased competencies and skills for women and youths in small micro enterprises (SMEs), thereby taking advantage of the benefits of electricity.

2. Increased number of women and youths engaged in SMEs.

3. Increased access to financial services and market opportunities for women and youths to enhance their enterprises and profitable business ventures.

3. The Assignment

The purpose of this baseline is to collect data for the project indicators to assess the current status which serves as the benchmark or reference point for measuring progress and impact of the project by comparing the situation at the start and at the end of the project. The baseline is also expected to flag out areas for policy influence around We Effect thematic areas.

The hired consultancy company or individual consultants shall carry out consultancy services, which include having oversight of the baseline survey process including:

  • Develop a plan for conducting the whole baseline including the components that form part of the baseline;
  • Manage and coordinate the research assistants and enumerators;
  • Ensure all research assistants and enumerators are trained in tools and able to ethically and robustly collect the data;
  • Ensure all data is entered into SPSS or Nvivo systems
  • Ensure the efficacy of all raw data (that will need to be made available to We Effect)

The baseline survey is expected to achieve the following:

  • Establish the status of the project outcomes and output indicators as outlined in the project logical framework;
  • In collaboration with We Effect develop one quantitative and qualitative baseline tool, which should include the ESIA, Gender and social norms mapping, conflict analysis and market and value chain analysis.
  • Set benchmarks for the project indicators;
  • Ascertain the efficacy of the proposed Theory of Change
  • Ascertain the relevance and sustainability of the set objectives; and
  • Make recommendations to We Effect based on the findings and provide information that will assist in guiding project implementation and a proposed plan of action.

3.1 Methodology, Data Collection and Analysis

The baseline study will use a mixed approach (qualitative and quantitative data). To meet the objectives of the baseline, the study will be undertaken through various methods including observations, KABP survey, Focus Group Discussion (FGD), and Key Informant Interview (KII). Further, data collection should be done in a participatory and inclusive manner where all groups i.e. girls, boys, men, women and other marginalized groups fully participate.

The baseline should be designed to meet the objectives and the theory of change (ToC) approach which will entail careful analysis of the intended outcomes, outputs, strategies and activities, and the contextual factors and their potential to achieve the desired outcomes.

Data is expected to be collected through secondary and primary sources. This will include documentary review, group and individual interviews with key stakeholders, such as representative of agencies, government boards, line ministries both at national and district level, civil society organizations, implementing project partners, community leaders, Community Based Organizations, beneficiaries (Boys, girls, men, & women), National Offices, Management and project staff.

Sampling

The consultant is expected to develop and suggest a sampling strategy including a description of:

Sample size (or expectations of the consultant (s) in calculating it)
Necessary respondent disaggregation
Sampling approach

Participant selection and recruitment

Stakeholder participation at various levels in the baseline will be critical. The consultant will ensure that stakeholders are meaningfully involved in the baseline process. These will include; Youth (boys and girls), men and women including those with disabilities and the marginalised. Additionally, it should involve families, local authorities, district and national level government, civil society organizations, community-based organizations, service delivery institutions and project staff.

a.  Individual and household survey (400 HHs)

b. Key informant interviews (24)

c.  Focus group discussions (8 FGDs)

Sampling weights and the treatment of non-response

The consultant will calculate sampling weights for each participant who has responded to the survey interview questions. The sample weights for each selected participant will be applied to corresponding individual survey data records to inflate the beneficiary data values up to the level of the population of program participants. The sample weights will be calculated and used in the construction of estimates of each indicator.

  • Production of estimates and disaggregates of indicators
  • Production of confidence intervals  of indicator estimates
  • Submission of report with findings
  • Submission of documented data sets where the identity of individual respondents have been anonymized or otherwise had their confidentiality protected.

3.3 Other key issues to be established

Specify contextual issues that have an influence on project implementation

Eg

  • Barriers
  • Identifying service providers and attitudes, knowledge gaps and skills gaps
  • Existing community level complaints mechanisms and service routes for the target beneficiaries
  • Key stakeholder mapping
  • Identification of and Influence of cultural practices and social norms on the Ios

3.3 Sampling

The consultant (s) is expected to develop and suggest a sampling strategy, including a description of:

Sample size (or expectations of the consultant (s) in calculating it);
Recruitment of participants to the research
How we will ensure follow-up of the same participants.

3.4 Participant Selection and Recruitment

The consultant will collaborate with We Effect and partner organisations to ascertain which participants will be involved. The consultant will advise based on the sampling strategy and the parameters of the programme.

3.5 Users of the Baseline

The baseline will help users to better understand the status quo before the intervention and will serve as a reference point to measure the progress and impact of the project. The findings will also inform project implementers on areas that need further strengthening, enabling greater impact of activities, including policy influence work.

  • We Effect staff – these include project staff, programme staff, management and administrative staff
  • Partner staff across the country office(s) in (Child Fund and Civic Forum on Housing and Habitat in Zambia project staff, program and management staff))
  • Key stakeholders (Civic leaders, WDCs, Church leaders, women and youth groups, business persons)
  • The project donor (We Effect, EU)

Selection criteria 

Stakeholder participation at various levels in the baseline will be critical. The consultant will ensure that stakeholders are meaningfully involved in the baseline process. These will include; Youth (boys and girls), men and women including those with disabilities and the marginalised. Additionally, it should involve families, local authorities, district and national level government, civil society organizations, community-based organizations, service delivery institutions and project staff.

Deliverables

1. Inception Report – The inception report shall include; timeline, detailed methodology, including draft sampling methodology and size. Draft data collection tools; ethical considerations, consent forms for any primary data collection, methods for data analysis, brief justification of the methods and techniques used (including relevant underlying values and assumptions/ theories) with a justification of the selections made (e.g. of persons to be interviewed). The inception report should be submitted and presented to the Women Empowerment and Micro Small Enterprises Support Project Consortium partners to facilitate feedback.

2. Draft Baseline Report – including an Indicator Tracking Table with baseline data to be submitted and presented to We Effect and partners highlighting main preliminary findings, conclusions and recommendations at a validation meeting.

3. Final Baseline Report maximum 40 pages including the executive summary and annexures (data collection tools and consent forms).

4. Cleaned data set (e.g. Excel, SPSS), transcripts of qualitative data, syntax/ code books etc.

Duration and Timelines

The expected duration of the assignment is for 30 days from day of signing the contract.

3.6 Fieldwork Operations

Listing operation(s)

Enumerators will be given a list of interviewees for their selected area. At the homestead, the enumerator will be required to take GPS coordinates, for the record and to facilitate any revisit.

Training of data collectors

The training will be done by the consultant and co- facilitated by We Effect and the partners Child Fund and Civic Forum for Housing and Habitat will take part in the training.  All logistics pertaining to the training will be incurred by the consultant.

Mode of data collection

The enumerators will collect data as per the sample in the 8 communities. The consultant will provide the supervision, tools and necessary logistical support to the enumerators during data collection.

4. Expected Output

The expected outputs are:

1.  Inception Report –finalise the technical proposal including the proposed work plan, detailed methodology, including sample size and data collection tools. The inception report should be submitted and presented to the Women Empowerment and Micor Small Enterprise Support project team and partner organisations to facilitate feedback;

2. Draft Baseline Report – including an Indicator Tracking Table with baseline data to be submitted and presented to We Effect and project implementing partners highlighting main preliminary findings, conclusions and recommendations at a validation meeting.

3. Final Baseline Report – maximum 40 paged concise report, excluding the executive summary and annexures (Indicator Tracking Table, data collection tools and consent forms). The consultant will also submit three (3) hard copies of well bound final report and an electronic copy to We Effect.

4. Separate Document outputs for the Environmental Social Impact Assessment (ESIA); a Gender and Social Norms Mapping; a Conflict Analysis; and a Market and Value Chain Analysis. Internally these are expected to be consolidated into one body of work by the project team.

5. Cleaned data sets (e.g. Excel, Solstice, SPSS, Nvivo or the utilised analysis packages) – transcripts of qualitative data, syntax/ code books etc.

Completed Consent Forms (for primary source data in the form of interviews and pictures).

5. Remuneration

The timeframe for the baseline survey is 30 working days from the day of signing the contract.

The payment of professional fees will be based on the delivery of the expected outputs, as follows:

  •  30% upon signing of the contract
  •  40% upon submission and presentation of the draft Baseline Report;
  •  30% upon submission of the final Baseline Report.

Reimbursable costs such as transport, accommodation and workshops/trainings shall be reimbursed by We Effect upon approval of the expected outputs.

6. Submissions

Tenders shall consist of the following compulsory minimum requirements:

  • Company profile (clearly stating full contact details, physical address and telephone lines);
  • Certificate of incorporation or registration;
  • VAT registration;
  • Tax clearance certificates; and
  • Declaration of any business or personal relationships connected to We Effect.
  • Financial offer indicating daily rates and  other professional fees

Offers shall also consist of:

  • Technical proposal including   proposed workplan,
  • Detailed methodology, including sample size and data collection tools,brief justification of the methods and techniques used (including relevant underlying values and assumptions/ theories) with a justification of the selections made (e.g. of persons to be interviewed).
  •  Tentative Timelines (subject to review once ToRs and tools are finalised)
  • A financial proposal including a proposed detailed budget in  local currency indicating clear distinctions between professional fees and reimbursable costs. The proposal should also include fee rate per consultant and time input.
  • References and samples of three similar assignments completed for an NGO/INGO or similar within the past three years;
  • CV/s of the proposed consulting team; and Signed letter/s stating the availability of the proposed consultant/s for the assignment period; and Membership or affiliation to a relevant professional body.

Consultant Profile 

The baseline survey should preferably be conducted by a consulting team with a good understanding of the local and international contexts in Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia and Zimbabwe; including  the cotton industry and should have vast experience in the cotton value chain and market analysis, operations of the ginning companies and smallholder cotton farmers, and cotton certification schemes.

The qualifications and expertise required of the proposed consultant (s) include:

  • At least a master’s degree level preferably in agriculture, development studies or any other social sciences including gender studies;
  • At least seven years’ experience in leading and conducting complex regional programme evaluations in development or other international organisations;
  • Expertise and knowledge of the thematic areas relevant to the (insert name of ) Project.
  • Knowledgeable about advancing gender equality, human rights, environmental and social issues in cotton production and processing.
  • Excellent analytical, writing and communication skills;
  • Experience with Open Data Kit Collection is required.
  • Excellent written and spoken English. The team should have at least one member able to speak/ understand Nyanja or Bemba.

The selection of the successful consulting firm /consultant(s) will be based on satisfaction of qualification requirements, outcome of interviews of company representatives and/or candidates including the strength of both the technical and financial proposals.

Documents indicating “Women Empowerment and Micro Small Enterprise Support” should be sent before the 24th May 2024 to [email protected] or physically submitted to:

The Country Manager.

We Effect Zambia,

Plot No. 93 Kudu Road Kabulonga,

Lusaka

Only shortlisted consultant(s) will be contacted.

IMPORTANT NOTE:

Offers with requests for payment or fees should be treated with extreme caution, viewed as potentially fraudulent and reported immediately.

To apply for this job email your details to procurement.zambia@weeffect.org


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