INVEST Baseline Consultancy

Ghana

Opportunity: Baseline Study Consultancy
Opportunity location: Remote; Ghana (Accra, Kumasi, Sekondi-Takoradi) preferred. Due to COVID-19 health concerns the lead consultant may be based at home for the duration of the assignment. However, he/she will need to put forward a methodology that will allow for the safe collection of field-based data in aforementioned regions in Ghana.
Reports to: Monitoring, Evaluation, Research and Learning Advisor
Duration: (50 days) 4 months
Budget: CAD $40, 000
Start Date: 26 October 2020 (negotiable)
Application Deadline: 19 October 2020

  1. Introduction

World University Service of Canada (WUSC) is a leading Canadian non-profit organization in international development, committed to building a more equitable and sustainable world. We work with a unique and powerful network of post-secondary institutions, private-sector partners and volunteers to provide education, employment and empowerment opportunities that improve the lives of millions of disadvantaged youth around the world. 

In April 2020, WUSC was awarded an $8.5 million grant by Global Affairs Canada (GAC) to deliver the Innovation in Non-traditional Vocational Education and Skills Training (INVEST) project  for women in Ghana. The INVEST project  is a 5-year collaborative initiative (2020-2025) that will build sustainable pathways to enhanced economic empowerment, well-being and inclusive growth for 5,000 urban poor young women in Accra, Kumasi, and Sekondi-Takoradi, Ghana. These are the three largest urban centres in Ghana representing a total population of approximately 6.5 million people, or one-quarter of the population of Ghana (Ghana Statistical Service, 2010). By working in these geographies INVEST will reach a greater proportion of the Ghanaian population and will address the specific barriers and needs faced by urban women. INVEST aligns with Ghana’s Vision 2020 for economic growth and poverty reduction, Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 5 (gender equality and empowerment, SDG 8 (decent work for all), Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy (FIAP) action area on growth that works for everyone and Whistler Principles to accelerate innovation for development impact. 

WUSC is now seeking a qualified consultant or a small team of consultants to conduct a baseline study for the INVEST project.  

  1. Background of Project

The INVEST project will test and scale innovative, sustainable models to enhance economic empowerment, well-being and inclusive economic growth for women in Ghana. It will do so by improving the enabling environment, reducing gender-specific barriers to women’s economic participation, and enhancing access to decent work for marginalized women in high growth, non-traditional sectors. Using an inclusive market systems (IMS) approach, the project will INVEST in women, institutions and the labour market system of high-growth sectors to achieve transformative change that is sustainable and scalable. A wide array of stakeholders on both the supply and demand sides of the labour market will be engaged throughout the project cycle. This integrated, holistic approach will contribute to reducing the multiple dimensions of poverty experienced by urban poor young women. Key aspects include: supporting women’s full participation in economic decision-making and leadership, promoting women’s equal access to finance, improving technical and vocational education and training (TVET) for women, motivating industry to hire, retain and promote women, and improving the ability of women to participate and exercise their rights in the workforce. 

  1. Purpose and Objectives of the study

The baseline study is a contractual obligation included in the project’s Contribution Agreement (CA) with GAC. It provides an early opportunity for project implementing partners to collaborate and begin putting in place a results-based monitoring, evaluation, research and learning (MERL) plan for their project. As the CA for INVEST has now been signed, WUSC is ready to design and then undertake a baseline study for this project. 

The consultant(s) will be expected to lead a team of enumerators through the process of setting baselines against relevant indicators in the project’s Performance Measurement Framework (PMF). As stipulated in the CA, normally a project’s baseline data, provided by a baseline study, should be validated and signed off by project partners as part of the Project Implementation Planning (PIP) process. The consultant will be expected to lead the process of validating this data with WUSC partners. Given the complexities of the COVID pandemic,  it is expected that the baseline study will be conducted beyond the limited timeframe of the PIP process (slated to be completed on October 31st 2020). 

  1. Scope of Study 

The study should be conducted in Ghana in the cities of  Accra, Kumasi and Sekondi-Takoradi. Consultants will be expected to collect data from project staff, partners, intermediaries and (potential) beneficiaries identified in collaboration with the project team. The study will build upon the findings of recently completed labour market and gender assessments to tell a more complete story of the starting point conditions, context and relevance of the project. 

The project PMF is currently undergoing an internal review and a finalized version will be supplied to the consultant at the time of contracting. However, the consultant should anticipate being asked to set baselines for a number of pre-identified draft indicators within the PMF.  Currently  these include: 

  • Level of unemployment among working age women in Ghana (disaggregated by age and region)
  • % of working age women (out of total) who have control or joint-control over household income (disaggregated by age)
  • % of working age women (out of total) participating in household (financial and family) decision-making (disaggregated by age)
  • % of engaged community members who are actively supporting women (financially, in-kind or through advocacy) to enroll in non-traditional TVET (disaggregated by sex and age)
  • % of women who graduate from training with adequate technical and soft skills to participate in the workforce (disaggregated by age)
  • % of female graduates of skills training programs in employment/self-employment within 12 months of graduating (disaggregated by age)
  • % of women on staff and/or in leadership positions in industry partner organizations (disaggregated by region)
  • % of industry partners who integrate gender-responsive policies into their organizational practices (disaggregated by region)
  • Level of industry support for women participating in high-growth and non-traditional sectors
  • Public perceptions of women participating in high-growth and non-traditional sectors (disaggregated by sex, age, sector and type community member)
  • % of targeted women who enroll in non-traditional TVET programs (disaggregated by age)
  • % of targeted women who are aware of funding opportunities available for TVET (disaggregated by age)
  • % of targeted women accessing funding for market relevant TVET in non-traditional sectors (disaggregated by age)
  • % of trained TVET instructors with capacity to deliver quality, market relevant and gender sensitive TVET (disaggregated by sex and age)
  • Level of satisfaction of female trainees with the quality, relevance, gender-sensitivity of TVET curricula and teaching methodology
  • # of viable skills training and workplace solutions for women launched and disseminated as part of innovation challenge scheme
  • % of industry partners willing to introduce policies that promote the hiring, retention and promotion of women
  •  % of targeted women in industry who feel confident in their ability to advocate for own rights in the workplace (disaggregated by age)
  • % of targeted female TVET graduates who feel confident in their technical capacity to participate in the workforce (disaggregated by age)
  •  Level of satisfaction of employers who host apprenticeships with the technical capacity and soft skills of female TVET graduates
  1. Study approach and methodology

As per WUSC’s Monitoring and Evaluation policy, the study should consciously apply research methods that are gender and youth-sensitive, and highlight participatory approaches. The geographic scope of the study should be aligned with the targeted areas, relevant partners, communities and individuals targeted by the project as laid out in the project description. Purposive and typical-case sampling can be used to assure that the scope of the study is consistent with the budget and timeline available. The data collection approaches and specific tools suggested to establish indicator baselines should be designed to assure the appropriateness and reliability of the data collected.

Outcomes, indicators, and data collection methods for each indicator, are included in the project’s draft PMF (available upon contracting). The Consultant will be expected to review this PMF with key project stakeholders, and create data collection tools and processes that are appropriate for these indicators. The draft indicators, and may be adjusted between now and October 31, which is the deadline for the submission of the PIP. 

The Consultant, informed by discussions with field-based project teams is encouraged to suggest alternative methodologies that may be more appropriate than those presently in the PMF. However the consultant needs to ensure that the proposed methodology includes both qualitative and quantitative methods. All data collection methodologies proposed need to be in line with safety standards laid out by the local health authorities with respect to curbing the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Consultants will be expected to adhere to WUSC’s COVID-19 code of conduct as well.

Data collected, analyzed and stored as part of the baseline study should be digitized. WUSC will provide the consultant access to appropriate software tools for data management. It is expected that the consultant will have knowledge  and practical experience in the use of digital data collection and analysis tools.

  1. Key Activities and Deliverables 

The selected Consultant(s) will have overall responsibility for the design and implementation of the study, and for ensuring quality and timeliness of all deliverables. The Consultant will be responsible for designing the study, sampling, data collection tools development and piloting, enumerators’ recruitment and training, data collection, data entry, data analysis, report writing, results dissemination, and client liaison.  

The key activities and deliverables expected from the Consultant(s) for this assignment are as follows:

  • Review all relevant documents, studies and other data sources regarding [sector] relevant to the country, including performance indicators and definitions identified in the project Performance Measurement Framework.  
  • Participate in an Inception meeting: to clarify expectations of the mandate and provide contextual information necessary to produce the inception report and plan
  • Inception Report: a detailed inception report and work plan is to be produced including the following elements:
    • Baseline study design and sampling strategy and proposed sample size for quantitative components
    • Sampling strategy for qualitative component, including individual respondent selection and criteria for qualitative methodologies
    • Detailed work plan that includes all tasks by the Consultant and team members and incorporating the overall study timelines. 
    • Level of effort of each team member
    • Detailed study budget including professional fees, expected reimbursable, etc.
    • A copy of quantitative and qualitative tools for data collection 
  • Review/Finalization of data collection tools: development of quantitative and qualitative tools for data collection. These tools will be reviewed during the inception phase and must be included in the inception report/work plan. 
  • Digitization of data collection tools: inputting of data collection tools into survey software 
  • Develop Enumerator Guidelines and Protocols for Data Collection
  • Coordinate/Conduct Enumerator Training following a detailed agenda and outlining study protocols (this agenda should be included in the inception report)
  • Coordinate pre-testing of data collection tools
  • Coordinate/conduct/supervise data collection, as per agreed methodology
  • Ensure Data Entry Quality by reviewing initial data entry conducted at the community level and provide feedback to baseline study leads, where applicable
  • Analyze qualitative and quantitative data. It is also expected that the Consultant will do a critical analysis of the data through statistical treatment and triangulation with other sources and literature review. Where appropriate data should be presented in the form of graphs/charts.
  • Draft Report including preliminary findings and recommendations for WUSC staff and partners
  • Presentation of preliminary findings and recommendations to WUSC staff and partners
  • Final Study Reports including Executive Summary and Full Consolidated Report. Final Report is to be submitted in both Word and PDF versions with all annexes and raw data files included. A suggested Table of Contents (ToC) will be provided by WUSC. 
  • Copies of original and cleaned data sets including any field notes are to be submitted to WUSC with the draft report.
  1. Time Frame and Level of Effort

The period of the contract is expected to be from October/16/2020 to February/19/2021 with an expected contribution of approximately 50 working days over 4 months. The consultant is expected to carry out all the preparation required to roll out the study as per the tentative sequence suggested. The consultant is encouraged to modify the table as needed – modifications to major tasks should be done in consultation with the project team. The consultant is also free to outline an appropriate level of effort for each member of his/her team and for enumerators alike. The time frame provided should fall within the study period outlined at the beginning of this section. 

Task/OutputLevel of EffortExpected Time Frame
Document Review and Literature Review 
Inception Meeting
Develop draft Inception Report and Work Plan 
Integrate comments from WUSC and submit Final Inception Report WUSC will provide any comments within five days of receipt
Preparation for Country Enumerator/Data Collector Training and preparation with country office
Enumerator Training and Pilot
Data Collection
Data cleaning, entry and analysis
Draft Study Report (following report structure outlined provided)WUSC will provide comments within 5 working days of receipt of the draft report.
Presentation of preliminary findings and recommendation
Incorporate feedback and comments of organization and submit Final Report (along with original and copies of all data sets)
Total50 days 
  1. Qualifications of Lead Consultant

The Lead consultant will have the following qualifications: 

  • Minimum of 10 years of experience in administering evaluation studies, collecting data and producing quality evaluation study reports, preferably for international non- international non-profit organizations or multilateral agencies; Experience administering studies in Ghana is a plus.
  • Demonstrated experience in designing evaluation studies including proven experience in sound sampling, mixed methods approaches (quantitative and qualitative), tool development, enumerator training, etc.
  • Excellent knowledge in the use of digital data collection and analysis tools.
  • Excellent facilitation skills and ability to recruit and manage facilitators for qualitative component;
  • Demonstrated experience in quantitative and qualitative data analysis
  • Knowledge and experience of the TVET sector and economic opportunities for women in Africa (experience in West Africa and Ghana specifically preferred)
  • Knowledge and experience in gender equality issues that impact the sector are highly desired.
  • Fluency in English is mandatory and knowledge of Twi, Fante, Ga are an asset
  • Ability to produce high quality work under tight timeframes
  1. Application Packages and Procedures

Qualified and interested parties are asked to submit the following: 

  1. Letter of interest 
  2. Detailed technical proposal clearly demonstrating a thorough understanding of this ToR and including the following: 
    1. Description of the Capacity and qualifications of the consulting firm, including previous relevant experience. 
    2. Description of the proposed approach and methodology, including data collection, sampling strategy, data analysis, integration of gender considerations and ethical standards, quality assurance.  
    3. A proposed timeframe detailing activities and a schedule/work plan (including a Gantt chart)
    4. Team composition, qualifications and level of effort of each proposed team member 
  1. A financial proposal with a detailed breakdown of costs for the study 
  1. Itemized consultancy fees/costs
  2. Itemized field data collection expenses
  3. Itemized administrative expenses
  4. Validity period of quotations
  5. Expected payment plan and method
  1. Curriculum Vitae(s) of all proposed staff outlining relevant experience
  2. Names and contact information of three references who can be contacted regarding relevant experience
  3. A copy of two previous reports of similar work undertaken 
  4. A Consulting Firm profile (if applicable). 

Only those candidates selected for an interview will be contacted. WUSC is an equal opportunity employer. We welcome and encourage applications from people with disabilities.

Accommodations are available on request for candidates taking part in all aspects of the selection process. If you wish to apply for this exciting role, please submit your resume with a covering letter and proposal here

WUSC does not charge a fee at any stage of the recruitment process. Closing date for submission of the application package is the end of business day on October 19, 2020.

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