Terms of Reference – Baseline Study Coordinator


Project: WUSC’s Volunteer Cooperation Program – IGNI+E
Dates: September 28 – December 15, 2020
Level of effort: Approx. 60 working days
Location: Any, remote work. The consultant will lead the coordination of the Baseline Study, including design, planning, analysis and reporting, and will remotely manage a team of baseline enumerators in six countries of implementation (Ghana, Malawi, Uganda, Kenya, Sri Lanka and Vietnam)
Budget: $500/day
Reports to: Specialist, Planning, Performance and Learning


World University Service of Canada (WUSC) is a Canadian non-profit organization with a mission to enhance education, economic opportunities, and empowerment for youth. We work with a diverse network of students, volunteers, institutions, governments, and businesses.

Together, we foster youth-centered solutions to overcome inequality and exclusion. WUSC’s Volunteer Cooperation Program called IGNI+E (Innovative Global Networks for Inclusion + Equality, pronounced IGNITE), is a 7-year initiative (2020-2027) funded by Global Affairs Canada, that will strengthen the performance of 70+ partner organizations to advance
gender equality and economic empowerment for 1.2 million poor and marginalised youth, in particular young women (70% women). The IGNI+E Project will harness the knowledge, capacity and expertise of skilled Canadians through 1200 volunteer assignments to assist partners to
improve their performance, advocate for gender equality, and implement more sustainable, innovative and inclusive initiatives and services for poor and marginalised youth, particularly young women.

WUSC is seeking qualified consultant(s) to conduct the Baseline Study for the Volunteer Cooperation Project.

Background of the Project

Young people experience different challenges and have different opportunities depending on their sex, age, ability, refugee status, ethnicity, religion, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, and other identity factors. People’s attitudes toward these factors, and the way they intersect, often result in further exclusion, inequality and vulnerability. Globally, young women are particularly marginalized, and in addition to age-based discrimination, they also confront systematic gender-based discrimination and violence. Young people are more likely to be unemployed than adults, with the global youth unemployment rate 3X higher than the adult rate of 4.3% (ILO, 2018).

Across most labour market indicators, wide disparities exist between young women and men, underpinning and giving rise to wider gaps during the transition to adulthood. For example, the labour force participation rate for young men stands at 53.9% compared to 37.3% for young women (ILO 2016). There is a growing body of evidence that specialized employment and entrepreneurship programs do work, especially when they target marginalized youth, and when they combine training with other forms of support. Given this background, IGNI+E aims to respond to these challenges by supporting 70+ partners across six countries to improve their performance in delivering inclusive and innovative programming that advances gender equality.

Through the improved performance of service delivery organisations, employers, government bodies, training institutions, advocacy groups, and a higher-performing and more inclusive ecosystem of stakeholders (Intermediate Outcome 1100), IGNI+E will contribute to the improvement of the socio-economic well-being of poor and marginalised youth, particularly young women, and in some countries forcibly displaced youth, by generating inclusive and sustainable employment and entrepreneurship opportunities (Ultimate Outcome). 1.1 million Canadians will be mobilised along a continuum of awareness to action on key global issues, with 50,000 Canadians undertaking an action to sustain IGNI+E’s development impact (Intermediate Outcome 1200).

The performance of partners to deliver more gender responsive and inclusive initiatives and services will be improved through the achievement of the following immediate outcomes:

  1. Increased awareness among partner staff of policies and practices that perpetuate gender-based inequalities and constrain the equitable access of vulnerable youth, particularly women to employment related initiatives and services (Outcome 1110). This awareness will support partners to analyze and understand the needs and aspirations of poor and marginalized youth, particularly young women, and advocate for their economic empowerment and rights;
  2. Improved capacity of partners to develop, test and scale innovative gender-responsive initiatives and services for the equitable economic empowerment of vulnerable youth, in collaboration with development actors and young women (Outcome 1120). This outcome will ensure that partners have the knowledge, skills and business models needed to pilot and scale innovative programs and/or products and services. It draws upon contextual knowledge and awareness gained through Outcome 1110 and puts these into practice; and
  3. Increased capacity of partners to develop, improve and implement inclusive, gender-responsive and environmentally sustainable policies and practices, that reflect the priorities and interests of vulnerable youth, including young women (Outcome 1130). This Outcome ensures that partners have policies and structures in place to ensure the sustainability of changes introduced in Outcomes 1110 and 1120.

The engagement of Canadians in Canada’s global development efforts will be increased through the achievement of the following two Immediate Outcomes:

  1. Improved understanding among diverse groups of Canadians, particularly youth about key global issues within the FIAP action areas and the SDGs (Outcome 1210)
  2. Strengthened capacity of Canadians to contribute to Canada’s global development efforts that aim to empower vulnerable youth, particularly young women in developing countries (Outcome 1220)

IGNI+E has begun program implementation in six countries (Ghana, Malawi, Kenya, Uganda, Sri Lanka and Vietnam), with the possible expansion to other selected countries throughout the life of the project. Partners have been selected and onboarded in each country and the Project Implementation Planning (PIP) process has commenced.

Purpose and Objectives of the Study

The process of developing the Baseline Study is part of the Project Implementation Plan (PIP), which provides an early opportunity for project partners to collaborate and begin putting in place a results-based monitoring, evaluation, research and learning (MERL) plan for the project. The MERL plan must be based on GAC’s Results-Based Management approach.

The purpose of the baseline study for WUSC’s IGNI+E Project is to help the program staff and partners focus on program achievement related to a limited set of expected outcomes; and to empower partners to collaboratively measure and review these outcomes. Aligned with this purpose, the baseline study is designed to help the project achieve four specific objectives:

  • To better understand the implementation context for the project at the onset of implementation
  • To inform the performance measurement framework (PMF) by validating a SMART set of indicators, and establishing baselines for these performance measures
  • To provide the foundation for a comprehensive results-based monitoring, evaluation, research and learning (MERL) plan for the project

Specific baseline values must be provided for all relevant indicators in the PMF as early as possible in the project’s lifecycle. Baseline data will then be used to inform the establishment of realistic and achievable targets, and provide a point of reference against which progress on or towards the achievement of outcomes can be monitored and evaluated.

Baselines provided in the PMF must be accompanied by a narrative to explain how this starting point data was collected, analyzed and validated. In the PIP, this narrative includes an explanation of baseline data limitations at the onset of project implementation, and how these gaps will be dealt with as part of the project’s work planning.

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