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Terms of Reference for the Research Study of The Break Free Project
The Break Free (BF) Project being implemented by Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights Africa Trust (SAT), Plan International Zambia (PIZ) and Forum for African Women Educationalists Zambia (FAWEZA) is funded by Ministry of Foreign Affairs under the Netherlands government. The Project seeks to ensure improved Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) and wellbeing of adolescents and greater gender equality and empowerment of women and girls allowing adolescents to exercise their rights to live free from Teenage pregnancies (TP) and Child Marriages (CM) supported by Civil Society. The project is being implemented in three provinces, namely, Eastern (6 Districts), Southern (3 Districts) and Lusaka Province.
The 2018 Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) indicates that 31% of Zambian women aged 20-24 were married by the age of 18 and close to 10% by the age of 15. At the same time, the Adolescent Birth Rate is 141/1000 for girls aged 15 to 19. The major drivers of CM and TP are restrictive traditional beliefs and practices. Openly talking about sex issues is a taboo and can negatively affect the participation of adolescents, especially females whose levels of self-confidence are generally lower than that of males. Cultural concepts of masculinity may encourage men to assume that wives, partners, and daughters are the possessions of men, and most husbands expect or demand conjugal rights. Traditionally, females are groomed not to speak out, especially on matters of sexuality, as a sign of being respectful and well-cultured. The project identifies that adolescents and youth face challenges in accessing SRHR information and services for a number of reasons not limited to the following:
SRH services can be available but not accessible. As governmental health staff tend to have a moralistic approach towards SRHR, adolescents are often bound to suffer from a certain level of stigmatization.
Youth-friendly services may be non-existent in health facilities.
The distance to the health facility forms a barrier.
There are limited community structures that offer information to adolescents other than getting the information from the internet on phones and or in school Programmes.
SRH services face challenges in rural areas, such as lack of stock. Distributors do not regularly reach all those who need services. There is no single institution with end-to-end responsibility for all procurement and supply chain functions.
In Zambia, secondary education has been declared free, however, the realization of the pronouncements is yet to be seen. The high poverty levels, especially in rural areas, the number of learners who cannot afford basic school requisites such as books, uniforms and boarding fees contributes to the low completion rate and high dropout rates recorded in the Zambian Education system. In addition, it has been over seven year since CSE was introduced in schools and many teachers have not been trained to deliver CSE in schools. Delivery of CSE is further affected by cultural norms, inadequate investment in teaching and learning materials, and a general lack of community and parental support due to perceptions that CSE promotes promiscuity.
The COVID-19 virus is having a huge negative impact on families’ livelihoods and education outcomes countrywide. The closure of schools resulted in lost teaching and learning time and an increased risk of girls to GBV. Youth have faced low access to services due to restrictions in movements and gatherings. This is likely to have resulted in high TP and school dropout among girls, especially in rural areas. Due to COVID-19, health facilities and other traditional spaces for accessing HIV/SRHR information, education and other related services are no longer safe spaces to visit by young people. Therefore, the break free project is being implemented with three main outcomes as follows;
Adolescent girls at risk of CM/TP access quality and safe education.
Duty bearers and decision-makers in Zambia harmonize, strengthen, influence, resource and implement laws, policies and guidelines that respond to adolescents’ needs.
Adolescents access quality SRHR information, education and services.
2. Research Questions
The main research question of the study is; what are some of the innovative ways to work with adolescent girls and young mothers to space out or delay pregnancy and second pregnancy that are an appropriate response to ensuring that adolescents exercise their right to live free from CM and TP
3. Ethics and Child Protection
Child protection is a term used to describe the responsibilities and activities undertaken to prevent or to stop children being abused or ill-treated. It is duty and responsibility of all consortium partners to reduce the risks of abuse to the children who we have contact with and keep them safe from harm. Therefore, the consortium is committed to ensuring that the rights of those participating in data collection or analysis are respected and protected, in accordance with Framework for Ethical MER and our Global Policy on Safeguarding Children and Young People
All applicants should include details in their proposal on how they will ensure ethics and child protection in the data collection process. Specifically, the consultant(s) shall explain how appropriate, safe, non-discriminatory participation of all stakeholders will be ensured and how special attention will be paid to the needs of children and other vulnerable groups. The consultant(s) shall also explain how confidentiality and anonymity of participants will be guaranteed.
Consultant is expected to seek consent of the respondents before undertaking an interview, conducting of focus group discussion and taking photographs and ask if their photographs, verbatim or case stories could be used in report and for public dissemination. Such consent must be documented and submitted to Plan Zambia along with the final report including ethical approval.
The consultant should outline how they will comply and adherence to SI 21 & 22 of March, 2020, as well as guidelines provided by Ministry of Health /World Health Organisation in light of COVID 19 pandemic to ensure protection of all participating in the survey.
4. Key Deliverables
The following deliverables are expected from the consultant:
a) Inception Report The consultant shall submit an inception report after signing of the agreement detailing on the survey methods, tools and work plan. The ethical approval should be taken by the consultant from authentic institution if required.
b) Presentation of the key findings to the consortium partners.
c) Draft report
d) Final report. The consultant shall submit a final report in both hard copies and electronic copies along with all survey data (in Excel or SPSS compatible formats), transcripts of the FGDs, KIIs, photographs and ethical approval etc. The draft report is expected from the consultant before final report. The report will be written in simple, coherent, and clear English language. Reference will be cited after each important facts and figures. The final report should be edited by professional incorporating all comments and corrections if any.
Deliverable / Format / Length / Detail
Inception report shall include
an updated timeline;
detailed methodology, including draft sampling methodology and size;
draft data collection tools;
consent forms for any primary data collection;
(draft) 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 interviewed).
Draft Research Report
max. 30 pages
Final Baseline Report (including Executive Summary)
max. 30 pages
Final Data Collection Tools Cleaned Data (including transcripts) Completed Consent Forms
Other Communication Products for Dissemination
(including data files (e.g. Excel, SPSS), transcripts of qualitative data, syntax/ code books etc.)
The consultant should have expertise in carrying out the research study. The consultant should have good experience on participatory research methods and tools. S/he should have competency in managing and organizing and interpreting quantitative and qualitative data and information. The consultant(s) should have the following academic qualification and experiences:
Team leader should have minimum Master’s Degree in social sciences or any other developmental field with minimum 10 years experiences in undertaking similar type of studies.
Team members should have relevant experiences in their respective areas with 5 year experiences including field level data collection and qualitative research in similar type of studies.
Consultant(s) should have comprehensive understanding of the tools development and draw the information from the baseline data and analytical report writing skills.
Ability to be mobile and available for the duration of the survey independently.
Good written and verbal communication skills.
Experience with mobile phone technology as well as using voice recorder.
Language capabilities: Good in English writing and relevant local language.
Able to communicate effectively and work in the project areas for the duration of the data collection.
Interested applicants should send queries and submit their proposals to:
Plan International Zambia, Email: Plan[email protected]
The consultant shall prepare both the “Technical” and “Financial” Proposal. In the cover letter of proposal, the offeror must have to mention “How did they know about this Request for Proposal”.
Deadline for submission of proposals must be received by Plan Zambia no later than 19th April, 2022.
Detailed response to the TOR
Ethics and child safeguarding approaches, including any identified risks and associated mitigation strategies
Example of previous work
Detailed budget, including daily fee rates, expenses, etc.
Police Certificates of Good Conduct – especially where there is primary data collection
Please send your applications to Plan International [email protected] or [email protected] by by 5:00pm . local time and any bids received after this time and date will not be accepted. referencing “Research for Break Free Project”
For more information on the TOR’s, please follow link: Break Free Research, Full Terms of Reference