Baseline Evaluation Consultant – Aga Khan Foundation

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1. Introduction

The Aga Khan Foundation (AKF) is an agency of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN), a group of private not-for profit, non-denominational international development agencies, institutions and programs that work primarily in the poorest parts of Africa and Asia to improve the quality of life of communities in remote and resource poor areas. In East Africa, AKF works with partners to improve the quality of life by promoting and developing innovative solutions to challenges of development in Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda. Reflecting the complex and multi-faceted nature of development, AKF programs in the region encompasses Education, Health and Nutrition, Early Childhood Development, Agriculture and Food Security, Climate Resilience, Economic Inclusion and Civil Society. AKF is implementing a one-year pilot program and is seeking a qualified consultant(s) to lead design, field data collection, report writing and dissemination for the Baseline study.

2. Programme Background.

The In Their Hands (ITH) Uganda is a one-year pilot programme that aims to empower Ugandan adolescent girls to choose when they get pregnant, so that they might reach their full potential. The ITH programme is funded by Children Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF) and Aga Khan Foundation (AKF) and implemented by the Aga Khan Foundation (AKF) and Triggerise. The ITH is an expansion programme and adapted from ITH Kenya, which is centred around a mobile application platform that provides SRH messaging; connects adolescent girls with clinical and pharmacy service providers in their areas; and encourages service uptake through a rewards-based system through which girls gain points (Tiko Miles) that can be exchanged for goods (soap, cream etc.) at participating retailers.

The ITH pilot programme objective is to ensure that 20,000 adolescent girls 15-19 years access SRH services through the ITH platform in Arua (7000) and Kampala (13000) reached between April 2021 & March 2022. This will be achieved through, (1) Improving agency, knowledge, and desire of adolescent girls to use SRH services, (2) Increasing and sustaining access to quality, relevant SRH products and services among adolescent girls and (3) Increasing community and government support of adolescent girls’ SRH uptake.

3. Scope of the evaluation

The baseline study will cover the districts of programme implementation (Kampala and Arua). The data collection will be conducted across three divisions of programme implementation in Kampala which are: Kawempe, Central and Nakawa division, and Arua city in Arua district. The study population will be the adolescent girls (15-19) years residing within the programme areas of implementation. The baseline evaluation will provide a set of measurements against outcome and impact indicators as well as creating a benchmark for the programme.

4. Objectives of the baseline study

The overall purpose of the baseline study is to obtain data, provide baseline values for all target indicators against ITH expected outcomes thus enabling AKF and its implementing partners to monitor and assess progress and effectiveness of the programme interventions during pilot programme implementation. The following are the specific objectives of the baseline study:

  • To support a better understanding of the implementation contexts for the ITH programme at the onset of the programme.
  • To establish a benchmark for all indicators in the Performance Measurement Framework suggesting revisions in their formulation if the need emerges.
  • To help validate the assumptions in the project’s Theory of Change (ToC) and define targets of the indicators in the project’s Performance Measurement Framework (PMF) and
  • To provide recommendations for the development, updating and implementation of the results-based Monitoring, Evaluation, Research, and Learning (MERL) plan for the project.

5. Methodology

The evaluator will be responsible for preparatory meetings, review of documents including the project proposal, developing the project study design and methodology; development of data collection tools and pilot testing; field data collection; enumerators recruitment and training; quality assurance; data analysis; reporting and dissemination.

The Consultant is expected to adopt a mixed method approach in conducting the evaluation to allow a comprehensive examination of all aspects of the programme. The consultant will also be expected to review primary and secondary data to inform the assessment of the evaluation objectives. Comparisons are to be made against the capacity assessment, existing literature, and practice of similar interventions.

Ethical Standards and Safeguarding:

The design and implementation of the study must be in line with the research ethical standards including protection of participants from potential research-related harm, confidentiality, informed consent, beneficence, respect for persons and safeguarding principles to protect respondents from sexual exploitation and abuse, sexual harassment, and bullying.

6. Deliverables

The main deliverables and activities for this project are as follows:

Inception report: A detailed inception report per the requirements agreed with AKF.

Baseline study report: Completed baseline study report (the report should be disaggregated at district level for understanding district relevant situations) including quantitative and qualitative baseline study findings, completed dummy tables, data visualizations, and analysis of findings. The reporting structure should follow the requirements established with AKF and will include the following data as annexes:

Baseline study datasets: Raw data and complete, cleaned datasets in English. The Consultant will also be expected to provide a fully ‘cleaned-up’ dataset in an agreed file format (e.g., XLS, SPSS) accompanied by the code used to carry out analysis and a variable codebook.

Transcribed and translated transcripts: Complete, edited transcriptions and translations of all survey responses, focus group discussions and interviews conducted in English.

7. Key competencies

  • Team lead should possess at least a master’s degree in public health, demography/ population studies, Statistics and with essential training in Monitoring and Evaluation. Any training in public policy is an added advantage.
  • Other team members should ideally possess multidisciplinary qualifications across social science, social work, clinical/ human medicine, and related qualifications.
  • Strong experience carrying out surveys and associated qualitative data collection, particularly focusing on adolescent SRH or related thematic areas.
  • The lead should have experience of conducting similar evaluations for adolescents for at least 5 years. Experience conducting a study in COVID-19 environment will be an added advantage.
  • Demonstrated experience in designing and implementing baseline and end line studies including proven experience in sound sampling, mixed methods approach (quantitative and qualitative), tool development, enumerator training, etc.
  • Demonstrated experience in employing Open Data Kit (ODK) or other computer assisted personal interviewing software.
  • Demonstrated experience in data management, including designing and managing SRHR projects and capable of handling large datasets for study purposes.
  • Country knowledge and experience in conducting research and impact evaluation studies Uganda.
  • Demonstrated experience of safeguarding and respecting vulnerable populations.

8. Reporting channel and submission

The baseline evaluation will be led by AKF Uganda and supervised by Project Manager ITH with support from the ITH M&E Officer. The evaluation team will work closely with all designated ITH Uganda stakeholders for all the programme related information and administrative procedures

How to Apply

Consultants meeting the above criteria are invited to submit a cover letter, technical and financial proposal (max 9 pages) together with CVs for the lead and associate teams. These should be submitted in a single zipped folder by email to: [email protected] with the subject line: “ITH Uganda Baseline Consultancy”. Proposals should be received not later than 17th September 2021. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

AKF believes in Equal Opportunity and is Committed to Safeguarding and Promoting the Welfare of Children and Vulnerable Adults and Expects all Staff and Consultants to Share this Commitment.

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The Aga Khan Foundation is an agency of the Aga Khan Development Network (www.akdn.org)

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