Research Study On Barriers to Women's Participation in Democratic Processes and Community Decision-Making Identified in Target Communities in Peshawar, Nowshera, Mardan, and Charsadda

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa
02-11-2021
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan
Commensurate with Experience 
Short Term
Job stage: Immediate Opportunity Wage: Commensurate with Experience
Position Type:
Closing On: 03/12/2021
Posted: 02/11/2021
Country: Pakistan

CONTEXT

Founded in 1985, Cowater International Inc. has built a global reputation for excellence in the world of management consulting in international development.  Headquartered in Ottawa, Canada and with experience in more than 65 countries, Cowater has established itself as Canada's leading management consulting firm in international development.

Cowater International Inc. is implementing a project Women Empowerment and Political Participation in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (WEPP-KP) which aims to increase the political participation and enjoyment of rights by women, particularly young and marginalised women and those at-risk.

WEPP-KP will conduct a research study in all four focus districts (Peshawar, Nowshera, Mardan and Charsadda) to investigate the barriers women experience in participating in democratic processes and identify opportunities to improve women's political participation. The study will also highlight the social, cultural, and economic barriers posed by COVID-19 for women and their impact on women's abilities to participate in democratic processes and community decision-making.

PURPOSE

The purpose of this assignment is to support Cowater/WEPP-KP to deliver the research as outlined in the research plan attached.

SCOPE OF SERVICES

Cowater/WEPP-KP is seeking a Consultant to implement the delivery of the research outlined in the Research Plan found in Annex 1. Cowater/WEPP-KP intends to take a collaborative partnership approach to the delivery of this research. Cowater/WEPP-KP will lead the research from a management and quality assurance perspective and the Consultant will be required to:

  • Contribute to the design of data collection tools;
  • Carry out data collection;
  • Lead on analysis; and
  • Prepare a research report.

The following table provides a breakdown of the key tasks and the anticipated roles and responsibilities of Cowater/WEPP-KP and the Consultant:

KEY TASK

RESPONSIBILITY

Research Design

  • Literature review

Cowater/WEPP-KP

  • Refinement of areas of inquiry

Consultant

  • Design of analytical approach

Consultant

  • Collaborative design of research approach including geographic sampling, number of target respondents, and other elements to be discussed  

Consultant

  • Recruitment and preparation of field-based research team

Consultant

  • Development of data collection tools

Consultant

Field Consultations

  • Identification of initial respondents

Consultant

  • Semi-structured interviews with key informants

Consultant

  • Focus group discussions with different groups at the community level

Consultant

  • Ongoing identification of prospective informants

Consultant

  • Interview report writing

Consultant

  • Review of relevant investigative journalism and other documentation around the women's political and public participation

Consultant

Systematic Analysis

  • Review of data and comparative analysis of responses and perceptions

Consultant

  • Development of findings, lessons learned, and recommendations

Consultant

Joint Analysis Session

  • Share preliminary findings with key stakeholders in workshop

Consultant

  • Discuss analysis and report approach

Consultant

Report Production

  • Preparation of final draft report including findings and recommendations from stakeholder feedback

Consultant

  • Finalization of research report

Cowater/WEPP-KP

  • Design work and preparation for report dissemination

Cowater/WEPP-KP

  • Develop and deliver public presentation on research

Cowater/WEPP-KP

The Consultant is expected to deliver all of the tasks listed above in close collaboration with the Cowater/WEPP-KP team. This assignment is foreseen to span a period of 3 months. It is the responsibility of the applicant to determine the resourcing approach necessary to effectively deliver the scope of services and to distribute time between resources in a value for money manner.

DELIVERABLES

The contract will be administered on an inputs basis and all deliverables will be produced in collaboration with the Cowater/WEPP-KP team. Key deliverables will be agreed following contract signing; however, indicative deliverables that the Consultant will be primarily responsible for include:

  • Inception Report
    • Finalisation of the research approach
    • Data collection tools
    • Analytical framework
    • Sampling methodology and final sample
  • Recruitment and training of the data research team
  • Interview reports
  • Collation of initial findings
  • Final research report with annexes of schedules, tools, team bios, and other to be discussed

PLACE OF ASSIGNMENT: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Travel to districts will be required.

INDICATIVE BUDGET: The upper limit of the budget for this assignment is: PKR 2.5 million.

Applicants will be assessed on the competitiveness of their pricing in the evaluation process and are encouraged to propose a total budget less than the upper limit quoted.

CONSULTANT QUALIFICATION CRITERIA

Organisational / Technical

  • Demonstrated capacity to deliver research services to donor-funded development projects, including designing research plans and data collection tools and implementing the application of such plans and tools.
  • Past experience delivering projects with a similar scope of services in Pakistan. Experience delivering services in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa specifically is a distinct advantage.
  • Demonstrated understanding of the scope of services.
  • A technical approach to the scope of services which is relevant and presents a robust methodology based on best practice.
  • A concise approach to engaging with diverse stakeholders.
  • A resourcing approach appropriate to the level of effort required to deliver the scope of services, which highlights key leadership positions and describes how recruitment for remaining roles will be undertaken, if successful.
  • Nominated personnel for key leadership roles, who are adequately qualified and experienced to undertake their nominated role.

Financial

  • Fee rates which represent value for money and are commensurate with the roles and experience of the nominated staff.
  • Expenses included are appropriate and adequate.
  • Total proposed cost is in line with the budget upper limit and represents value for money.

CONFIDENTIALITY

The applicant requires the explicit approval of Cowater International to share with a third party any information, data, materials or results, obtained through this contract. In submitting an application for this procurement, the applicant agrees to these terms, which shall be applied to, and survive, any resultant contract.

APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS

The application requirements are outlined below. Incomplete applications will not be evaluated.

Organisation

  • Up to 1 page capacity statement demonstrating your technical skills and experience delivering similar services in Pakistan, specifying any experience in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
  • Up to 1 page project sheet detailing a previous project delivered by the applicant which had similar service requirements.

Technical

  • Up to 2 pages describing in detail your proposed approach to delivering the scope of services in an effective and value for money manner. This should include details on how you propose to structure the research team and engage stakeholders.
  • 1 page CVs for each of your nominated personnel.
  • ½ -1 page describing the positions to be filled if successful and the approach to recruitment of remaining positions.

Financial

  1. Daily fee rate per nominated personnel.
  2. Number of days allocated to each nominated personnel.
  3. Expenses associated with the delivery of services [Note: this should only include expenses such as travel, accommodation, meal costs etc. Other costs associated with the delivery of activities related to the research, such as workshop costs will be covered directly by the project].
  4. Total proposed cost to deliver the scope of services.

All applications are to be submitted no later than 5pm EST, March 12, 2021. For your application to be considered, please upload your documents as followed: Candidate Last Name, First Name, date, Title of the Position.

EVALUATION OF APPLICATIONS

The evaluation of technical proposals will be conducted in line with the following approach.

a.1.1.1Technical Evaluation

The evaluation of the Technical criteria will be as follows:

Sl No

Criteria

Points

1

Specific experience of the Consultant (as a firm) relevant to the Assignment.

15 points

2

Adequacy and quality of the proposed methodology in responding to the Terms of Reference (TORs).

40 points

3

Appropriateness of resourcing strategy to achieving the outcomes of the assignment.

15 points

4

Key Experts' qualifications and competence for the Assignment.

30 points

 

Total points

100 points

NB: The minimum technical score (St) required to pass is: 70 points.

a.1.1.2Financial Evaluation

The evaluation of the financial quote will be as follows:

The lowest evaluated Financial Quotation (Fm) is given the maximum financial score (Sf) of 100.

The formula for determining the financial scores (Sf) of all other Quotations is calculated as following:

Sf = 100 x Fm/F

in which "Sf" is the financial score, "Fm" is the lowest price, and "F" the price of the Quotation under consideration.

The weights given to the Technical (T) and Financial (P) are:

T = 80%

P = 20%

Quotations are ranked according to their combined technical (St) and financial (Sf) scores using the weights (T = the weight given to the Technical Criteria; P = the weight given to the Financial Quotations; T + P = 1) as follows: 

S = St x T% + Sf x P%.

Cowater reserves the right to cancel this procurement process without justification at any time and will not be held liable for any costs associated with responding to this call for applications.


ANNEX 1: RESEARCH PLAN

PROBLEM STATEMENT

Women remain underrepresented in elected positions at all levels of government in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, regardless of equal rights guaranteed under the constitution and legislated quotas for women's participation. This underrepresentation of women is also reflected in community decision-making bodies such as Parent Teacher Committees and village councils. 

The project will conduct a research study in all four focus districts (Peshawar, Nowshera, Mardan and Charsadda) to investigate the barriers women experience in participating in democratic processes and identify opportunities to improve women's political participation. The study will also highlight the social, cultural, and economic barriers posed by COVID-19 for women and their impact on women's abilities to participate in democratic processes and community decision-making.

RESEARCH OBJECTIVES

  1. To investigate the various barriers to women's full participation in democratic processes and community decision-making and how these barriers interact / intersect with one another.
  2. To identify opportunities for reducing barriers / increasing women's ability to participate in democratic processes and community decision-making, including those opportunities presented by the COVID-19 pandemic.

RESEARCH QUESTIONS

To meet the research objectives, the study will investigate the following key questions:

Research Objective

Research Questions

To investigate the various barriers to women's full participation in democratic processes and public life and how these barriers interact / intersect with one another.

  1. What are the underlying causes and transactional barriers (availability and access) to women's full participation in democratic processes and community decision-making?
  2. How do barriers and underlying causes interact / intersect to compound women's exclusion from democratic processes?

To identify opportunities for reducing barriers / increasing women's ability to participate in democratic processes and public life, including those opportunities presented by the COVID-19 pandemic.

  1. What opportunities to address the identified barriers exist?
  2. Did the COVID-19 pandemic offer any opportunities to improve women's ability to participate in democratic processes / community decision-making? What are they?

RESEARCH AUDIENCE

The research is designed to serve the following stakeholders:

  1. Community members (women and men)
  2. District Committees on the Status of Women (DCSW) members (women and men)
  3. District Social Welfare Officers (DSW) (women and men)
  4. Former Women Councillors
  5. KPCSW officials and board members
  6. Planning and Development Department – Social Protection and Gender Mainstreaming Unit (P&DD-SP&GM) officials (women and men)
  7. School teachers (women and men)
  8. Religious leaders (women and men)

RESEARCH OUTCOMES

The research is intended to facilitate evidence-based discussion with women and men community members, KPCSW, P&DD-SP&GM and DCSW, DSW regarding barriers that women face in terms of participation in democratic processes and community decision-making in order to:

  1. Facilitate counterparts and beneficiaries to self-identify solutions to barriers;
  2. Improve community-government relations;
  3. Improve awareness among local communities (women and men) and government departments regarding the importance of women's participation in political processes and decision-making;
  4. Contribute to transformative change through enhanced coordination and cooperation among stakeholders to address underlying causes of gender inequality, particularly in democratic processes and community decision-making.

METHODOLOGY

Approach

Applying a mixed methods approach, the research will be participatory in nature, ensuring that the voices of all key stakeholders are captured including women activists, religious leaders (men and women), local leaders, former women councilors, DCSWs, DSWs, P&DD-SP&GM, schoolteachers, and women and men from diverse backgrounds.

The overall approach to this research is summarized in the following table:

COMPONENT

DETAIL

Research Design

 

  • Literature review
  • Refinement of areas of inquiry
  • Design of analytical approach
  • Recruitment and preparation of research team
  • Collaborative design of research approach
  • Development of data collection tools with the WEPP-KP team

Field Consultations

 

  • Identification of initial respondents
  • Semi-structured interviews with key informants
  • Focus group discussions with different groups at the community level
  • Ongoing identification of prospective informants
  • Interview report writing
  • Review of relevant news stories and other documentation around the women's political and public participation

Systematic Analysis

 

  • Review of data and comparative analysis of responses and perceptions
  • Development of findings, lessons learned, and recommendations

Joint Analysis Session

  • Share preliminary findings with key stakeholders in workshop
  • Discuss analysis and report approach

Report Production

 

  • Preparation of final draft report including findings and recommendations for feedback
  • Finalization of research report
  • Design work and preparation for report dissemination
  • Develop and deliver public presentation on research

DATA COLLECTION

Using a mixed methods approach, a number of different data collection techniques will be applied, including:

  • A literature review
  • Focus group discussions (FGD) with community members (women and men) in both rural and urban settings
  • Key informant interviews (KII) with P&DD-SP&GM, DCSWs, DSWs, former women councilors, religious leaders, and local leaders

FGDs and KIIs will use semi-structured formats to allow respondents to lead the discussion whilst ensure that what is discussed is relevant to the research objectives.

RESPONDENT SAMPLING

Research for this activity will be concentrated in both urban and rural areas of Peshawar, Nowshera, Mardan and Charsadda. Research will target the following categories of individuals (both women and men):

  • Community members from both urban and rural areas of four districts
  • DCSW members
  • DSW Officials
  • P&DD-SP&GM officials
  • Local Leaders and religious leaders
  • Former women councilors
  • School teachers

We expect this list of respondents to be refined and finalised in collaboration with the WEPP-KP team. The number of expected FGDs and KIIs from each category is given in the table below. Each FGD will have a maximum of 8 respondents in order to gather a range of perspectives while ensuring that every respondent is able to participate. This suggestion is also for maintaining physical distancing due to COVID-19.

APPROACH TO ANALYSIS

The researchers will conduct a comparative analysis of responses and perceptions captured during the FGDs and KIIs, looking for patterns and trends in responses, in addition to relationships between barriers identified by respondents.

An analytical framework will be developed which compares key perspectives across the different stakeholders. Qualitative Comparative Analysis will be applied in order to identify the different configurations of barriers and underlying causes which lead to the exclusion of women from democratic processes and community decision-making. The researchers will conduct a comparative analysis of responses and perceptions captured during the FGDs and KIIs, looking for patterns and trends in responses, in addition to relationships between barriers identified by respondents.

A phased approach to analysis will be undertaken. Following initial analysis of the data collected, preliminary findings will be presented to key stakeholders in a workshop format to analyse findings further, give contextual depth to the analysis and to identify key recommendations or potential solutions to overcoming identified barriers. Stakeholder feedback will then be incorporated into the analysis. The final research findings will then be presented to key stakeholders and participants to ensure downward accountability and ownership of the results.

RISKS & LIMITATIONS

DESCRIPTION

RISK

COVID-19 inhibits the conducting of FGDs and KIIs

HIGH

Summary

Due to the timing of this research, we anticipate more restrictions on mobility and meetings due to COVID-19. Conducting FGDs in the form of groups and scheduling face to face interviews with officials will not always be possible under these circumstances.

Mitigation

  • Prior permission will be taken in case of KIIs and if possible, will be conducted online.
  • Face marks will be compulsory with hand sanitizers in place during the FGDs.
  • Number of participants in each FGDs can be restricted to the maximum 8 with physical distancing in place.
  • Both FGDs and KIIs will be kept as short as possible.
  • Possible use of survey

 

DESCRIPTION

RISK

The size and scope of the research means that findings are indicative and may illustrate trends, but they are not statistically significant and the situation from district to district can vary.

MEDIUM

Summary

Due to budget and timeline limitations, the research is expected to take place over a short period of time, and the sample size is expected to be accordingly small. With the wide range of stakeholders involved, the sample size within each category will be limited.   

Mitigation

  • Research team to be comprised of individuals with pre-existing relationships in the target areas
  • FGDs conducted in safe locations to make respondents feel comfortable
  • Sufficient time built into work plan to build respondent list and gain trust
  • Triangulation of findings with literature review and across and within groups

 

DESCRIPTION

RISK

Establishment of DCSWs might not be complete when fieldwork is due to take place

MEDIUM

Summary

Due to administrative reasons, the establishment of DCSWs are delayed and might still be in process of operationalising at the start of fieldwork causing delay to the finalisation of this study.

Mitigation

  • At the time of starting of fieldwork, if it is still in process, the officials from KPCSW and some more officials from Social Welfare Department will be included as substitutes for DCSW.
  • Former DCSW members will also be considered as possible key informants.

 


ABOUT US

With more than 35 years' experience, Cowater International is Canada's global leader in management consulting services specializing in international development and has managed the implementation of over 800 projects in more than 80 countries around the globe. We work with governments, partner organizations, communities and civil society to design and implement sustainable solutions that generate lasting social, financial and environmental impacts. Our adaptive approach to management has led to our award-winning work and recognition as one of Canada's Best Managed Companies in 2017, 2018 and 2019. Headquartered in Ottawa, Canada, Cowater International also has corporate offices in Montreal, Quebec, Paris, London, United Kingdom and Nairobi, Kenya in addition to project offices in a wide variety of other locations across Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia.

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