TERMS OF REFERENCE - DOC 2 by benbenzhou


									Plan International West Africa   T +(221) 33869 74 30
Amitié II – Villa 4023           F +(221) 33825 55 00
B.P. 21121                       www.plan-international.org
Dakar, Senegal                   e-mail: waro.ro@plan-international.org
West Africa

                         TERMS OF REFERENCE
  For a consultancy to investigate the dynamic of
              factors influencing school retention and
                         performance of girls in Africa

      Research title: Girls’ retention and performance in
primary and secondary education: makers and breakers
               Plan West Africa Regional Office

   1.      Context of the research to be conducted

Plan is an international non-governmental organization which is dedicated to
the rights of children and to working with the most marginalized groups. The
organization’s approaches promote children’s participation, protection and
economic empowerment in order to reduce child poverty and to advance
children’s human rights.
Across the world, girls face double discrimination due to their gender and
age, leaving them at the bottom of the social ladder. Research has shown that
girls are more likely to suffer from malnutrition, to be deprived of their right
to education or to be subjected to different types of violence and harmful
traditional practices (e.g. sexual abuse, female genital mutilation/ cutting,
forced marriage and trafficking).
In order to reverse this trend, Plan started since 2007 to launch an annual
publication entitled “Because I Am A Girl’” that aims at providing tangible
proof of the inequalities that exist between boys and girls. The various reports
focused on different themes:
        o 2007: The state of world’s girls,
        o 2008: Girls in the shadow of war,
        o 2009: Girls in the global economy,
        o 2010: Digital and Urban frontiers: girls in a changing landscape and
        o 2011: Engaging boys and young men for gender equality.

In the 2012 report, Plan aims at highlighting key facts, challenges and
progress in the area of girls’ education in developing countries.
In order to provide Africa specific data for the writing of the global report,
Plan West Africa Regional Office (WARO) in collaboration with Plan East and
Southern Regional Office (RESA) plans to conduct a research investigating the
dynamic of factors influencing school retention and performance of girls in
several African countries. The study also aims at producing ground breaking
advocacy material for the first Because I Am A Girl – Africa-Report (to be
launched in 2012) and for the post Millennium Development Agenda.

In order to obtain high quality outputs, Plan would like to confide the
implementation of the study to a consultancy structure or (an) independent
consultant(s) with expertise and Africa specific experience in the research
domains. The current ToR outline the working assignment and framework for
the consultants/ consultancy structure.

   2.      Goal of the research

To overall aim of the research project is to assess the dynamic of supporting
factors and barriers that determine girls’ retention in primary school and their
transition to secondary school.
The research will focus on particular themes that have been identified as
research gaps in the African context.

        2.1.     Specific objective(s) of the research/ evaluation
The specific objectives are as follows:
         1. To identify factors making girls particularly vulnerable or resilient1 to
             school drop out at different stages of their education, in particular
             during the transition from primary to secondary education
         2. To assess the impact of policy changes trying to tackle causes of
             school drop out for boys and girls (high school costs etc.)
         3. To explore the profile of school going girls vulnerable to unwanted
             pregnancy and the response mechanisms of schools to pregnant girls
             and student mothers in different countries
         4. To assess the prevalence of engagement in transactional sex of school
             going girls and boys and the impact of the phenomenon on school
             retention and success.

           2.2.         Research Questions
We formulated a preliminary set of questions for each of the identified
research themes. These question sets give some general directions on what
type of information the current study will explore. The list will be revised
jointly with the consultants and the participating countries during the
preparation phase.

Questions for the theme “impact of policy changes”:
       o Which countries have adapted school-related policies to tackle causes
           for school drop out of boys and girls? What type of policies? Are they
           gender aware and do they aim at making schools more “girl friendly”?
       o To what extent have the measures defined in the policies been applied
           in the different countries? To what extent have infractions been
           reported and sanctioned?
       o Are the measures defined in these policies known by community
           leaders, parents, teachers and school directors as well as girls and

    The identification of factors out will include an exploration of program responses and interventions as

well as of community practices and government policies.
      boys? Do they perceive them as having made a change, either positive
      or negative?
   o Have the policy changes made any visible impact on primary school
      retention and completion rates? If not, what are the reasons?

Questions for the theme “early pregnancy”:
   o How common are unwanted and early pregnancies in school going/
      non school going girls in different residential areas and countries?
   o What is the profile of school going girls vulnerable to early pregnancy?
      What is the profile of their sexual partners? Does early pregnancy
      systematically lead to school drop out?
   o To what extent are early and unwanted pregnancy in school girls
      related to school costs and the engagement of girls in transactional sex
      due to lack of resources? How often is it a result of sexual violence/
      coerced sex? Are their causal links with early marriage?
   o What response mechanisms exist at national and at school level to
      respond to pregnant girls and to girl mothers and boy fathers who
      wish to continue schooling in the different countries?
   o How do girl and boy peers, parents and community leaders react to
      and deal with early and unwanted pregnancies in different areas and
      different countries? How do households accommodate care for the
      infants and young children of teenage girls and boys?

Questions for the theme “transactional sex”:
   o How common is transactional sex in girls and boys attending primary
      and secondary school in different areas of different countries? And in
      non-school going girls and boys? What forms of transactional
      relationships exist and what are the positive and negative aspects
      perceived by the girls, boys, parents and community leaders? How does
      the school environment influence the implication of boys and girls in
      transactional sex?

   o What is the profile of girls and boys engaged in transactional sex in
         different areas of different countries? In what type of situations do girls
         and boys resort to transactional sex?
   o To what extent is the financial or material gain used as an investment
         for education? How significant are these contributions to the school
   o How does the phenomenon impact on girls’ retention and completion
         rates? Are there links between school costs, girls engaging in
         transactional   sex,   school   retention   and   performance,   unwanted
         pregnancy or sexual transmitted infections including HIV and drop out?
   o Does knowledge on safer sex practices prevent girls and boys from
         engaging in transactional relationships? Does knowledge on safer sex
         practices increase the use of condoms in transactional relationships?
   o How is the choice of engaging in transactional sex perceived by
         different actors at community level? How do the girls perceive
         themselves (as active agents making reasoned decision about the
         relationships they engage in or as being forced due to lack of other
         options?) and how are they perceived by boys, parents, teachers and
         community leaders? How is the transactional sex negotiated and how
         do the power relationships between the girls and her clients look like?

A general underlying issue that will be investigated through answering the
different questions sets is: Which girls drop out, where, when are girls most at
risk of drop out in the primary phase and the transition to secondary school
and what are effective program strategies to increase the retention rate of

   3.       Methodology and scope

         3.1.      Methodological approach and key activities of the consultants
Plan WARO is currently conducting a desk review compiling background data
on girl’s education in Sub-Saharan Africa and exploring the research questions

listed in the previous paragraph. The report will be made available to the
selected consultancy structure/ consultant after contract signature.
The methodological framework proposed by the consultancy structure/
consultants needs to include the following steps:
   a) Development of gender sensitive and participatory tools for the data
   b) Facilitation of a regional preparation and method workshop with
      representatives from all the research countries: prior to the data
      collections, a regional workshop uniting representatives from all
      participating countries will be organized in Dakar, Senegal. The
      workshop is to be facilitated by the selected consultancy structure with
      support of Plan’s regional monitoring, evaluation and research team.
      The objectives of the workshop will be to agree upon and to fine-tune
      the methodological approach and the research questions and to
      prepare the data collections at country level. The consultants will
      present the developed tools and adapt them according to the
      participants’ feedback. The workshop should be implemented with a
      participatory approach enabling to integrate the point of views of all
      countries and the two regional offices.
   c) The conduct of field studies in seven countries: The study should collect
      both qualitative and quantitative data. It is suggested to make use of
      structured questionnaires to generate quantitative data regarding
      certain perceptions, attitudes and practices of girls, boys, parents and
      other important stakeholders. To deepen the content of the questions
      explored in the quantitative toolkit and to analyze the dynamic of
      different factors, the consultants should also conceive a complementary
      and participatory qualitative toolkit (including playful and child-friendly
      tools to facilitate the expression of girls and boys and adapted tools for
      both literate and illiterate adult participants). The tools should actively
      engage girls and boys, women and men in the research process and
      invite them to explore questions further and to make use of the results
      for themselves.

   d) Data entry, analysis and report writing;
   e) A Regional result presentation and validation workshop: another
        regional workshop will be held to give an opportunity to the consultant
        team to present the results and to the participants to validate the
        findings. The workshop will also include a practical discussion on how
        to move forward with the next steps.

The proposed methodological framework should include the following
           a. Capacity building of local resources: the data should be collected
               and analyzed by local researchers who will benefit from capacity
               building activities throughout the data collection.
           b. Gender mainstreaming: Gender mainstreaming should be applied
               to all areas and stages of the research project including the
               human resources (e.g. presence of women and men researchers
               in the country teams, strengthening of women researchers’
               capacity),   design   of   tools,   data   collection,   analysis   and
           c. Child and youth participation: The child and youth participation
               in the current evaluation process should include (1) the presence
               of youth researchers in the evaluation team and (2) a
               participatory and child/youth appropriate evaluation design.

        3.2.      Scope of the research
The field studies will be carried out in seven countries in Sub-Saharan Africa:
Senegal, Mali, Ghana, Guinea Bissau, Togo, Liberia and Uganda. The country
studies should include data collections in both rural and urban areas.

   4.      Outputs to be submitted to Plan

   The outputs to be submitted to Plan are:
   -    the raw data (filled out questionnaires, drawings, photos etc.)

   -    the qualitative and quantitative data base: the qualitative data base
        should be entered and submitted in one of the following software:
        Nvivo, MAXQDA or Ethnograph. The submission of a well structured
        coding format in MS word is also acceptable. The quantitative data
        base should be submitted in either SPSS, CSPro or Epi-info format.

   -    Seven     in-depth   studies   (country specific reports)   about factors
        influencing school retention and performance of girls outlining the
        results of the field studies. The reports shall be submitted in MS word
        format and be written in the official language of the country (either
        French or English)

   -    A summary report on factors influencing school retention and
        performance of girls in Africa and on remarkable results of the field
        study (in English)

   5.      Qualifications,    technical   expertise   and   level   of   experience


The study implementation requires 2-3 senior consultants who need to
comply with the following profile:

   -    Master degree and/or proven expertise in child rights programming
        with a specific focus on protection, education and gender;

   -    Excellent experience in working with youth/children and adults at
        community level and a commitment to child and youth participation in

   -    Solid experience in participatory workshop facilitation;

   -    At least 8 years of research experience in Sub-Saharan Africa and a
        solid understanding on child rights and child development issues in

   -    Published research work in the areas of education, gender or
        participatory child protection;
     -    Fluency in English and French;

     -    A track record of published research work;

     -    Excellent scientific writing skills in both French and English.

     6.      Submission of Proposals:

Responding consultants shall prepare and submit by 3rd October 2011 a
financial and technical proposal including

         a description of the proposed research methods
         a proposed work calendar
         a detailed budget
         a CV of consultants/researchers carrying out the research
         two references of previous clients

to       Abdoulaziz.Faye@plan-international.org in Plan West Africa’s Regional

7. Disclosure of Information/child protection:
It is understood and agreed that the Consultant shall, during and after the
effective period of the contract, treat as confidential and not divulge, unless
authorized in writing by the Plan, any information obtained in the course of
the performance of the Contract.
The selected consultant will commit to respect Plan’s child protection policy.

8. Period of Consultancy and Timelines:

      Deadline of proposal submission: October 3rd 2011
      Deadline for selection of consultant: October 14th 2011
      Contract start: 26th October 2011
      Regional method and preparation workshop: 1/2 – 4th November 2011
 Field studies: November 2011 – January 2012
 Submission of 1st draft of outputs: 15th January 2012
 Feedback for 1st draft of outputs: 24th January 2012
 Result presentation and validation workshop: first week of February
 Delivery of final report: 15th February 2012


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