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Title

 

Scope of Work For The Consultant To Conduct Formative Research On Adolescent Girls and Young Women Related Nutrition Practices (10-29 Years Old)

Client

 USAID Hinga Weze Activity/Plan International

Location

10 HINGA WEZE DISTRICTS (all sectors)

Timeline

120 days (February-July 2019)

Team

Hinga Weze C3, MEL and hired consultants

1.    Consultancy summary

USAID/Hinga Weze requires the services of Adolescent International and National research experts or firm with adolescent nutrition expertise (hereafter called the Consultant) to support the assessment and recommend interventions for adolescent girls’ nutrition in the 10 target districts of Feed the Future/Hinga Weze. This work will include a) assessing the existing practices for adolescent girls and young women and identifying gaps; b) conducting stakeholder consultations to understand the implementing activities and areas for improvement; c) conduct FGDs with program beneficiaries to understand the knowledge and practices for adolescents and young women and d) in light of these processes, recommending interventions and opportunities for the Hinga Weze Activity to contribute to adolescent girl and young women nutrition in the targeted districts.

Plan International USA will recruit the International and National Consultants, and they will work in collaboration with the Hinga Weze team. The consultancy is expected to take place from March 25th, 2019 and will last 120 days. Plan International USA invites interested Individual Consultant(s) or Consultancy firm(s) to submit their expressions of interest by March 18, 2019 to Plan International USA or Plan International Rwanda.

2.    Background and Rationale 

The objective of the five-year USAID Feed the Future Rwanda Hinga Weze activity is to sustainably increase smallholder farmers’ income, improve nutritional status of Rwandan women and children, and increase the resilience of agriculture and food systems to the changing climate. Plan International is responsible for the implementation of Component 3: Nutrition Outcomes of agriculture interventions improved, as well as the cross-cutting components of gender and Social Behavior Change (SBC).

Adolescence and young age are the transition period between childhood and adulthood, a window of opportunity for the improvement of nutritional status and correcting poor nutritional practices. This is about the same period puberty sets in, typically between the ages of 10 and 13 years in adolescent girls and 15-29 years for young women.  

Adolescence and young age are characterized by the growth spurt, a period in which growth is very fast. During this time, physical changes affect the body’s nutritional needs, while changes in one’s lifestyle may affect eating habits and food choices. Adolescent nutrition is therefore important for supporting the physical growth of the body and for preventing future health problems. All parents should therefore pay particular attention to the nutritional needs of their teenagers. Any nutritional deficiency experienced during this critical period of life can have an effect on the future health of the individual and their offspring.

For example, failure to consume an adequate diet at this time can result in delayed sexual maturation and delayed or retarded physical growth. The rapid physical changes of adolescence have a direct influence on a person’s nutritional needs. The growth spurt that occurs in adolescence, second only to that in the first year of life, creates increased demands for energy and nutrients. Nutritional status and physical growth are dependent on one another such that optimal nutrition is a requisite for achieving full growth potential. Nutrition of the adolescent girl is particularly important, but under-nutrition (too little food or food lacking required nutrients) in adolescents frequently goes unnoticed by their families or the young people themselves.

Adolescence is a time to prepare for the nutritional demands of pregnancy and lactation that girls may experience in later life. Under-nutrition negatively affects adolescent girls by: (1) Affecting their ability to learn and work at maximum productivity; (2) Increasing the risk of poor obstetric outcomes for teen mothers; (3) Arresting the healthy development of future children; (4) Affecting sexual maturation and growth; and (5) Preventing the attainment of normal bone strength and the development of healthy teeth if a youth does not get enough calcium.

It is also a well-established fact that children born to short, thin women are more likely themselves to be stunted and underweight (low weight for age). Across all of the adolescent period, a good diet is key to building strong and healthy adults; in addition, good pre-pregnancy nutrition can have a significant impact on stunting – waiting for pregnancy has been found to be too late. What is more worrying therefore is that the negative effects of adolescent malnutrition persist throughout a woman’s reproductive life. This is why Hinga Weze would like to hire a short-term consultant to conduct formative research to identify gaps in adolescent girls’ nutrition behaviors, family/social facilitating factors and recommend interventions targeting this group.

3.    Project goal

The goal of the project it to sustainably increase smallholder farmers’ income, improve nutritional status of Rwandan women and children, and increase the resilience of agriculture and food systems to the changing climate.

Specifically, the goals of Hinga Weze include:

  • Specific objective 1: To increase productivity and link farmers to markets;
  • Specific objective 2: To strengthen business and management practices of agribusinesses;
  • Specific objective 3: To promote the consumption of locally-available, nutrient-rich diets; and support equitable household decision-making.

4.    Objectives of the study and assessment questions

The main objective is to identify the current feeding and nutrition practices in relation to gender norms among adolescent girls and young women, identifying the key target behaviors, the barriers to the appropriate adolescent girls (10-14 years old), young women (15-29 years old) and recommend the interventions for this targeted group among Hinga Weze beneficiaries.

The specific objectives are:

  1. Understand current knowledge, attitudes and practices related to adolescent girls’ nutrition in school/out school feeding what norms and practices drive them.
  2. Understand barriers to the adoption of appropriate adolescent girls’ nutrition and school feeding and make use of evidence of how to address these barriers successfully.

Provide recommendations that address the realities behind the behaviour that Hinga Weze is trying to change, as well as build on SBC successes in another programming that will re-enforce the objectives and interventions of the Activity.

5.    Target groups (Intended users of the report)

The intended users of the adolescent girls’ nutrition formative research are Hinga Weze project staff. Other recipients of the report may include the Government of Rwanda, implementing partners, USAID and other donors, as well as other development organizations working in food and nutrition security, as Hinga Weze will be the pioneer of adolescent nutrition for young girls in Rwanda.

6.    Approach and Methods

The formative research on adolescent girls will build on the recent SBC gap analysis conducted in 23 sectors of Hinga Weze across all 10 Districts and available secondary data available worldwide. The consultant will also collect the primary data among care groups beneficiaries. The data obtained from the formative research will serve to develop a component concerning the adolescent girls in the SBC Strategy and will recommend the specific interventions for this vulnerable category age, based on an understanding and description of issues that drive behaviour.

The study design will use a triangulation approach by using mixed methods and tools for data collection (mostly qualitative data) such as the Focus Group Discussion and Interview Guides. Data will be collected from a variety of primary and secondary sources, including a desk review of existing literature. The methods will combine the Knowledge Attitude Practices and barrier analysis to capture in a participatory way key drivers, incentives and disincentives to positive attitudes and practices towards adolescent nutrition and feeding practices.

6.1   Preparation of the study

Prior to the research, the STTA will:

  • Submit the inception report
  • Request IRB from the National Ethics Committee
  • Conduct a literature review of existing information on current practices and knowledge gaps related to adolescent girl’s nutrition and requirements, including the dynamics that underpin current practices and behaviour.
  • Elaborate and translate the data collection tools
  • Train the data collection team (Interview and FGDs facilitators and Note takers)  

6.2   Research techniques and tools

Primary data will be collected through focus group discussions and Semi-Structured Interviews.

i.    Focus Group Discussions 

Focus groups discussion techniques will be used to collect qualitative data for the primary audience (adolescent girls) and influencing audience (parents of adolescent girls, teachers and CHW). One FGD will be composed by a group of eight people with similar characteristics. The group discussions will be facilitated by one data collector assisted by a note taker to record the conversation and take note of the discussions.

  • 1st Focus Group Discussions: Adolescent girls in school
  • 2nd Focus Group Discussions: Adolescent girls out of school
  • 3rd Focus Group Discussions: Mothers of Adolescent Girls
  • 4th Focus Group Discussions: Fathers of Adolescent Girls
  • 5th Focus Group Discussions: CHWs
  • 6th Focus Group Discussions: Teachers and Headmasters in Schools  

ii.    Interviews: 

Additional to the Focus Group Discussion, the consultant assisted by the Senior Gender Specialist and the local consultants will facilitate and take note of the key informant interviews at National and District level.

The Key informant interviews to be conducted include

  • Interview with the District Social Affairs
  • Interview with the District Health Director
  • Interview with the Gender Officer
  • Interview with the Health Center Manager/Nutrition Officer
  • Interview with the NECDP
  • Interview with Ministry of Health
  • Interview with Ministry of Education
  • Interview with Rwanda Biomedical Center/Rwanda Health Communication Center
  • Interview with other CHAIN Partners such as CRS/Gikuriro, GC/Twiyubake,
  • Interview with UNICEF
  • Interview with Ministry of Gender

The tool development and testing process will include:

  • Elaboration of the data collection tools in English
  • Translation of all data collection tools in Kinyarwanda
  • Recruit the data collection team and data entry clerks
  • Organize and conduct a one-day training of the data collection team, and data entry clerks on the data collection tools, data collection process, and data entry (transcribing and coding)
  • Pilot the data collection tools
  • Adjust the data collection tools.

6.3   Summary of the data collection tools with the corresponding sources

Techniques

Description/ type of data

Data sources

1.1  Desk reviews

To obtain secondary data from published and unpublished reports on nutrition (agriculture, nutrition, food security, access to market and food safety/family hygiene)

Hinga Weze, MINEDUC,  MINISANTE, RBC/RHCC, NISR, USAID, CRS/Gikuriro, GC/Twiyubake, UNICEF, Worldlife, ADRA

1.2  Focus group discussions (FGDs)

To gather a wide range of views from  groups of Adolescent girls in school, Adolescent girls out of Schools, Mothers of Adolescent Girls, Fathers of Adolescent Girls, CHWs, Teachers and Headmasters in Schools  to explore their beliefs, attitudes, and practices about their feeding practices, consumption of diverse nutritious food during different reproduction stages

Adolescent girls in school, Adolescent girls out of Schools, Mothers of Adolescent Girls, Fathers of Adolescent Girls, CHWs, Teachers and Headmasters in Schools    

1.3  Key Informant Interviews (KII)

To obtain information from key informants who may have extensive information and knowledge on nutrition and agricultural practices in general and on the target district in particular

District Officials, Health Centers, Social Clusters Ministries, NECDP, RBC and CHAIN Partners, UNICEF

 6.4   Sample  

The sample will be drawn from all 10 Districts of HW, all six Focus Group discussions mentioned above (Adolescent girls in school, Adolescent girls out of Schools. Mothers of Adolescent Girls, Fathers of Adolescent Girls, CHWs, Teachers and Headmasters in Schools) will be conducted in each district, which will make 60 Focus Group Discussion having at least 480 participants in total.

For the FGDs, Prior to the selection of participants, one sector where Hinga Weze intervenes will be selected randomly in each of 10 Districts. The population in each selected sector will then be grouped into the above mentioned six categories of FGDs, then individuals in the same categories will be selected randomly in each sector in those categories, where each person in the same category will have equal chance of being selected.

HW district staff together with the district officials and the headmasters will assist in identifying the number and having a list of the population for each category. Identification of girls in school and out school will be achieved through school records and district records. For the Interview, the data will be collected from the Key Informants mentioned above. The table below provides the details on the total sample size.

Key respondents

FGDs

KII

# People

Total

1.    District Level

 

 

 

 

Interview with the District Social affairs

 

1

1

1

Interview with the District Health Director

 

1

1

1

Interview with the Gender Officer

 

1

1

1

Interview with the Health Centre Manager/Nutrition Officer

 

1

1

1

FGD with Mothers of adolescent girls

10

 

80

80

FGD with Fathers of adolescent girls

10

 

80

80

FGD with Teachers 

 10

 

80

80

FGD with CHWs

10

 

80

80

FGD with Adolescent girls  in school

   10

 

80

80

FGD with Adolescent girl out of school

10

 

80

80

2.    National Level

 

 

 

 

Interview with the NECDP

 

1

1

1

Interview with Ministry of Health

 

1

1

1

Interview with Ministry of Education

 

1

1

1

Interview with RBC/RHCC

 

1

1

1

Interview with other CHAIN Partners such as CRS/Gikuriro, GC/Twiyubake,

 

1

1

1

Interview with UNICEF

 

1

1

1

Interview with Ministry of Gender

 

1

1

1

Interview with the NECDP

 

1

1

1

Total

 

 

 

492

 6.5.Data collection

Secondary data will be collected through the review of key published and unpublished documents on adolescent nutrition and health by the STTA. The literature review will involve the food and nutrition sector in Rwanda such as the Demographic and Health survey, the National Food and Nutrition Strategic Plan 2013-2018, the National Community Health Policy, the Community Maternal, Infant and Young Child Nutrition Counselling Package, Maternal, Infant and Young Child Nutrition, National Counselling Cards for Health Workers, the Comprehensive Food Security and Vulnerability Analysis, as well as other scientific published documents on adolescent nutrition and health.

Primary data will be collected by the recruited 20 FGDs facilitators and note takers for a period of 10 days, as well as the international consultant assisted by the local consultant and the Senior Gender Advisor during the Key Informant Interviews at National level. District staff will be responsible for mobilizing and notifying the key respondents to participate in the FGDs and Interviews at the district level. The FGDs will be held in the selected HW sectors at the Project Office. The FGDs will be composed and simplified so that the total duration of the discussion will not exceed 60 minutes.  For Key Informant Interviews, prior to the Interview a letter requesting the appointment will be composed and will be officially sent by the HW COP to the concerned institutions and individuals.

6.6.  Data Quality Assurance

Prior to data collection, the FGDs and KII facilitators and note takers who will be involved in the data collection will be briefly introduced to the objective of the study and thoroughly trained on the data collection tools, and data collection process. After training, the tools will be pretested to ensure appropriateness and tool comprehension. Before KIIs and FGDs, respondents will sign consent forms to explicitly agree to participation in the study.  The respondents will be guaranteed confidentiality and identifying information will not be included in the report.

6.7.  Data analysis, reporting and dissemination plan  

Data derived from FGDs and KII will be compiled with secondary data. The data entry will be conducted during and after the data collection. Raw data obtained via audio recordings will be transcribed, then translated in English, and imported to qualitative data analysis software (Nvivo or Dedoose) for analysis and interpretation of findings by the consultant. The study findings will be shared with other project team members for input and approval. After approval by the project and USAID, study findings will be disseminated to a wide public through Nutrition and Agriculture technical working groups and districts meeting with key stakeholders.

  1. Deliverables
  • The inception report will include a detailed work plan demonstrating the timeline and persons responsible, including level of effort for the research, the stakeholder consultation process, and report writing, inclusive of recommendations and page lengths.
  • Findings and recommendations validated by Hinga Weze staff, the district government/NECDP/Donor. The recommendations will be responsive to the needs of the districts as identified by their political leadership, GoR line ministries, and other stakeholders including other USAID IP’s and recommendations across all of relevant HW activities will be made and the consultant should indicate how the formulated recommendations will be implemented.
  • The final report should include an executive summary that pulls the main findings and recommendations together in a few pages (ideally two pages), the presentation of the research findings, inputs from the workshop participants, and nutrition practices to promote and how to promote them to achieve Hinga Weze results among adolescent girls (no more than 20 pages; other information should be in the annex).
  • The consultant will submit all of the raw data (audio and written transcription) together with the final report.

8. Work plan & Timeline

This is a consultancy of 120 days including inception report, data collection, and analysis and reporting as shown below:

Activities

Feb 19

Mar 19

Apr 19

May 19

Jun 19

Jul 19

Preliminary activities

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finalization of concept notes

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisement and recruitment of the STTA

 

 

 

 

 

 

Development and submission of inception report

 

 

 

 

 

 

Elaboration of data collection tools

 

 

 

 

 

 

Request of IRB to NEC

 

 

 

 

 

 

Adjustment of data collection tools

 

 

 

 

 

 

Training of data collection team

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pre testing of data collection tools

 

 

 

 

 

 

Adjustment of data collection tools

 

 

 

 

 

 

Data collection

 

 

 

 

 

 

Secondary data collection (desk review)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Data collection at the district level (FDGs, KII)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Data collection at the institutional level (KII in Kigali)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Data analysis and Report dissertation

 

 

 

 

 

 

Data compilation,  cleaning and transcription

 

 

 

 

 

 

Data analysis

 

 

 

 

 

 

Report dissertation

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finding dissemination

 

 

 

 

 

 

Report sharing with the team and feedback

 

 

 

 

 

 

Validation workshop

 

 

 

 

 

 

Adjustment of the report and finalization

 

 

 

 

 

 

Report sharing with the stakeholders

 

 

 

 

 

 

 9.    Expertise Required

The Consultant must have:

  • Experience of at least 15 years and expertise in adolescent nutrition issues and nutrition analysis; substantial experience in designing, implementing and analyzing development programs required; and the consultant should have strong gender knowledge and experience.
  • Experience in working with adolescent projects or programs; demonstrated capacity in research methods, including data analysis, qualitative and quantitative methods and focus group discussions;
  • The consultant should submit at least one report of a similar piece of work and confirm that this work was carried out and written up by her/himself.
  • Fluency in English and Kinyarwanda and knowledge of Rwandan context are required.

Interested bidders are requested to submit their applications no later than Tuesday, March 18, 2019. Applications should include:

  • Technical Proposal should explain how the applicant intends to carry out these Terms of Reference in a detailed document, including timeline. Pages in excess of a 4-page limit will not be read or evaluated. The technical proposal should be written in English and include the following:
  1. Technical Approach (1 page): The Bidder shall demonstrate the understanding, ability and overall approach for performing the requirements described in the Terms of Reference;
  2. Personnel Qualifications and Availability (1 page):
  • The Bidder shall identify, in summary, format, the names, education, experience and professional qualifications of the individual/or firm’s individuals proposed for carrying out this Terms of Reference;
  1. Past Performance and Timeframe for Completion (1 page): The Bidder shall submit a list of related contracts and subcontracts that resemble these Terms of Reference. Bidder shall provide the contact details for reference purposes. Additionally, the Bidder shall explain the amount of time required for each element in the Terms of Reference.
  • Financial Proposal should explain the costs of the assignment (1 page): The Bidder must propose realistic and reasonable costs for the work, in accordance with the Bidder’s technical approach.

CHECKLIST OF ADMINISTRATIVE DOCUMENTS

  • RDB Certificate
  • VAT Certificate & Tax clearance report
  • RSSB Certificate

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