Request for Proposals: Exploring the Impact of COVID-19 on SRHR (Research Consultancy)
Deadline: May 31, 2021
Consultancy Overview: Women Deliver is seeking a consultant to carry out research, including developing the research methodology, investigating the impact of COVID-19 on sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR), including a special focus on youth and on the country contexts of India, Kenya, and Nigeria.
The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated gender inequalities for girls and women. At the heart of this, the pandemic has hampered access to essential SRH services, and led to an increase in unintended pregnancies, maternal deaths, and unsafe abortion, particularly in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Now more than ever, we must prioritize SRHR in health systems strengthening to prevent maternal deaths, promote bodily autonomy, and ensure people have access to lifesaving services.
In order to build health systems back better, analyzing the existing evidence and data on the impact of COVID-19 is crucial. The findings will inform evidence-based advocacy messages and tools that will be disseminated widely to (1) help strengthen the health systems girls and women depend on, and (2) make the case to decision-makers as to why SRH services and information are essential to COVID-19 response and recovery efforts.
Rationale: Women Deliver recognizes that advocacy is more successful when it draws upon evidence, particularly when influencing decision-makers at the government, bilateral, multilateral, or private sector level. While there have been numerous articles that employed predictive modelling techniques to estimate the impact of COVID-19 on SRHR, it is now possible to collect the current data on these impacts as the world enters its second year of the pandemic. However, the evidence that has been collected is not often packaged in a cogent way – as a result, a comprehensive picture of how policy, health systems, community services, and norms impact SRHR during the pandemic is unclear, and how to build on these learnings for future policy and programming is even less evident. Understanding these impacts, and learning from them, are pre-requisites to improving crisis preparedness, response, and recovery efforts now and in the future.
After conducting an environmental assessment on existing data and evidence and related gaps, the consultant, in collaboration with Women Deliver, will determine the most appropriate scope of the study and will begin collection and curation of the evidence. While the methodology and focus of the research may change based on the findings of the environmental assessment, some prospective ideas include:
- Capturing the most recent and relevant data on the impact of COVID-19 on SRHR, with a focus on Women Deliver partner and youth perspectives.
- Creating a mapping of COVID-19-related policies that have impacted SRHR or taken it into account.
- Capturing insights via interviews with relevant organizations in examining gaps and opportunities that emerged in health services and systems due to COVID-19.
This will be followed by analysis and content creation. Women Deliver will publish a report that brings together findings from varied sources, highlights the impact of COVID-19 on access to SRHR services during the past year, shines a light on key learnings, and makes policy and system change recommendations for a way forward.
The consultant is expected to:
- Carry out the environmental assessment to hone in on scope and focus.
- Refine the research questions, in line with the agreed focus and framework.
- Develop a research methodology and data collection tools in collaboration with Women Deliver addressing each of the above listed research questions.
- Coordinate the collection of data.
- Analyze the data and seek feedback and input from partners on draft reports.
- Develop research finding report(s) and propose policy and advocacy recommendations for taking this work forward.
In addition, the consultant may be engaged, through Women Deliver, in focus groups and interviews with young people on the impacts of COVID-19 on SRHR information, services, and products in their communities and implications for health services and health systems, through interviews and focus group discussions.
The methodology should be applicable and the same across the countries to ensure a consistent, uniform and coherent approach to the data collection and to allow for a general overview of findings. The methodology should be developed with input and feedback from the project partners.
The methodology for data collection should take into consideration COVID-19 limitations and must be sensitive to the human and financial capacity of partners.
CONSULTANCY TIMELINE AND KEY MILESTONES
This consultancy will be managed by outputs starting as soon as possible. Dates of output deliverables will be finalized, in discussion with Women Deliver
- Draft environmental assessment submitted by 15 July 2021
- Draft concept for methodology and process, including research input into policy and communications messaging s presented by 20 July 2021
- Finalization of methodology and tools by 25 July 2021
- Coordination/Implementation research (August 2021)
- Analysis and development of research report by 15 September 2021
- A presentation of main findings and recommendations in a digestible format for non-technical audiences that will be involved in advocacy planning discussions and decisions by 1 October 2021.
The Consultant is responsible for editing and quality control of the report in English.
CONSULTANT BACKGROUND REQUIREMENTS
- Academic degree / proven experience developing and conducting qualitative and quantitative research.
- Proven technical knowledge of SRHR, health systems strengthening, and gender equality.
- Demonstrated ability to work on projects that involve data consolidation and analysis through various research methods.
- Able to work independently, as well as within a team.
- Proven project management skills with demonstrated organizational skills and the ability to meet deadlines under pressure.
- Strong written communication skills.
- Experience working with young people is desirable.
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with your technical and financial proposal by 31 May 2021.
The TECHNICAL PROPOSAL should contain: the consultant details and experience; brief outline of your proposed methodology and approach for this work, and timeline for availability.
The proposed outline will be subject to negotiation and further refinement.
The FINANCIAL PROPOSAL should contain the total fees for carrying out this work with all the above listed outputs.