The LIFT donor consortium approved a project to be implemented in Myanmar’s Central Dry Zone called the “Dry Zone Social Protection Project”. The project is implemented by HelpAge International in collaboration with the Mandalay YMCA. The project ends in December 2018. To help vulnerable households in the Dry Zone to cope and manage risks, this three-year project aims to expand social protection by enhancing informal community-based mechanisms and practices; strengthening government and community capacity to protect the poor; and delivering cash benefits to vulnerable groups (people with disabilities and older people). The project activities will lead to two project outcomes: poor households have expanded access to community assistance in times of stress, and vulnerable groups have greater income security. The project outcomes will contribute directly to the following Dry Zone programme outcome defined by LIFT: The basic needs of poor households in the target villages are met through effective social protection interventions.
The locations of the project are 30 villages in each of six target townships of two regions: Pakkoku and Yesagyo Townships (Magway Region) and Mahlaing, Myingyan, Taungtha and Natogyi Townships (Mandalay Region). The total number of target villages is 180.
At the beginning of the project, two baselines were conducted through a household sample survey. The first was a baseline assessment for the entire project, conducted to assess the context and to enable us to measure change in vulnerability and social protection over the course of the project. This resulted in a vulnerability and social protection index with various variables assessing vulnerability, resilience and social protection. A second activity of the project was to specifically assess cash transfers for older people (social pensions) and persons with disabilities, and a survey was carried out in both implementation villages and control villages. To measure the impact of the cash transfers over time (on beneficiary households and on the local economy), this cash transfer baseline was conducted through a household sample survey. End assessments, including surveys using similar instruments, will be conducted under this TOR.
Under this TOR, HelpAge will first contract a Principal Investigator consultant to be engaged as discussed below in both components. The PI will assist with study design, conduct data analysis, and reporting on the findings. A local company (a “Myanmar Research Firm”) will carry out data collection through questionnaire-based field work in target areas, under a separate contract.
The purpose of this assignment is to technically support two components of the project’s end assessment, which involve two surveys with separate but related questionnaires. This work includes elements of (a) study design and (b) data analysis for two components, and (c) producing the report for one component, as described below for each component. A Myanmar Research Firm will be separately contracted to do all field data collection. The two study components are packaged together in this TOR in order to build synergies, reduce redundancies and enable learning across these two related studies.
3. Nature and scope of the work, by component
The nature and depth of the work will vary by component but in general covers study design, data analysis and reporting. Each component will result in a separate report. Aiming to assess the results of the project, the two components are:
- Project endline including a survey of 1080 households across 6 project townships following an adapted version of the tools used for the baseline.
- Cash transfer (CT) endline including a survey of about 700-900 households using a substantially modified version of the baseline tools.
A summary of the roles under this TOR is below:
Lead in modifying existing design
Lead on Output 3
Advise/comment on Output 4
4. Methodology and specific tasks for consultant
Aside from one visit to Myanmar (if not already in country), this assignment will be home based and include distance communications with HelpAge and the firm collecting field data. The field data is expected to be collected by a single firm for both components, concurrently but in different locations and using two separate tools. The Principal Investigator will undertake these tasks in relation to the two components:
- Discuss and confirm the scope of the study with HelpAge by distance. This particularly includes the purpose of each of the components of the study and the structure/content of the Outputs (see below).
- Review relevant documents, including project documents, the baseline tools and reports from components 1 and 2, the project Measurement Plan, other related research and documents from Myanmar or other countries.
- Review carefully the calculation of the vulnerability and social protection index from the project baseline.
- Become familiar with the data sets for the two baseline studies to understand best how to design the follow-up surveys and align the data.
- Revise the workplan and report outlines for the whole study and agree with HelpAge before proceeding.
- Communicate by distance with HelpAge and the selected Myanmar Research Firm about the study and survey design.
- Draft the questionnaire of Output 1 in discussion with HelpAge and the Myanmar Research Firm.
- If outside the country, travel to Yangon, Myanmar for a visit of one week (dates to be agreed, anticipated early May 2018) to discuss the survey design and questionnaire. This visit is expected to include meetings with HelpAge and the contracted Myanmar Research Firm but no field research.
- After the visit, provide additional support by distance for questionnaire development and other issues. Revise Output 1 if needed. Provide feedback by distance during the data collection period as needed.
- On receipt of the data sets, advise the Myanmar Research Firm and HelpAge if any improvements in the data are needed so that corrections can be made by the firm.
- Analyse the data after the two surveys are completed and clean, confirmed data is available, in consultation with HelpAge and the Myanmar Research Firm. The PI should start first with data analysis for component 2 (CT endline), so that the report writer can begin analysis.
- Draft Output 3 and revise it based on feedback. Produce the final Output 3.
- Advise the report writer in the drafting of the report for the CT endline (Output 4). Carefully review and provide comments on the draft and revised version.
There are four general Outputs associated with the consultancy, plus one visit to Myanmar:
- Output 1 (design): One questionnaire for the project endline (component 1), which will be a modified version of the baseline questionnaire.
- Output 2 (data analysis): Data analysis for the two surveys as described in section 3 above. This means leading on analysis of all survey data for components 1 and 2 as required for reporting. (HelpAge will guide on the types of data analysis needed for component 2.)
- Output 3 (reporting): Analytical report for component 1 (project endline), as Lead.
- Output 4 (design/reporting): Advice and comments on the design and the report for component 2 (a third party will lead in the design and report writing for the CT analysis).
Output 3, Project endline survey report – After the survey for component 1 is complete and data provided by the Research Firm, the Principal Investigator will analyse the data in SPSS or similar software and produce a report of roughly 25-30 pages plus attachments as needed (e.g. additional tables, quantitative or descriptive information needed). The template may be an adapted version of the baseline report, which is available on request. The analytical report will present key findings by location and variable and provide overall assessments of the situation regarding vulnerability and means of addressing it in target areas – all in comparison to the findings of the baseline report. As in the baseline, the report will calculate end measurements for an index according to the following variables: Asset index, Saving, Household Dietary Diversity Index (HDDI), Income diversification, Access to finance, Indebtedness, Dependency, Health, Housing quality, Education, and Social participation. The report will also present (a) an endline calculation for the index described in the baseline report, by location and variable/factor, presented numerically and also visually; (b) an endline calculation for all project indicators measured through the baseline survey, as discussed with HelpAge.
Output 4 (covering component 2) – Support for cash transfer endline report: The report for component 2 will be produced by a third party. The Principal Investigator will provide technical advice to the lead person on the design/questionnaire, and on presentation of the findings and data, and will review and comment on the draft report.
The consultant should write all outputs above in clear language so that they can be easily understood, avoiding long sentences, jargon, abbreviations and technical terms to the extent possible, and should as necessary define the terms used. If appropriate, the outputs may also contain charts, diagrams or other visual materials to illustrate.
6. Time requirements and duration
The assignment is expected to start in April 2018, data collection in June-July and all outputs completed by mid-October 2018. Note that the consultant must commit to the design timeline because the field work will cover multiple studies which must be coordinated. The consultant must also commit to completion date because of the timing of the final evaluation and closure of the project make the timeframe relatively inflexible. The most intensive period of work will be after the surveys are completed and the data is available. A timeframe should be proposed by applicants (see section 8 below) and will be refined and detailed during discussions with the selected Myanmar Research Firm and HelpAge and coordinated with dates of the data collection field work. An indicative timeline is:
April: Data collection firm appointed
April - mid-May: Questionnaire design
May: Survey preparation
June - July: Survey field work (data collection)
Aug-Sept: report writing and revisions
Mid-October: Assignment (all outputs) finished
7. Qualifications of the consultant
- Degree(s) in a field highly relevant to the nature of the study
- Strong research experience, both quantitative and qualitative, in developing countries, ideally Myanmar or Southeast Asia
- Strong skills in SPSS or other suitable database software (beyond Excel)
- Exceptional data analysis, quantitative and summarising skills
- Clear understanding of vulnerability, social protection and community development
- Familiarity with academic research on vulnerability and social protection in Low and Middle Income Countries
- Demonstrable experience producing similar documents
- Strong writing skills in English with a clear, straightforward writing style
- Good communications and interpersonal skills
- Strong IT/computer skills including graphs and charts
- Master’s degree or doctorate in related field
- Work experience in Myanmar, ideally on issues relevant to the assignment
- Demonstrable expertise in social protection
- Hands-on experience with community development work
- Experience with sampling techniques
8. How to apply
Interested consultants (individual, team, firm) are invited to submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) for delivery of the assignment. HelpAge prefers to select a single applicant (individual, team, firm) for the entire assignment (both components), but candidates may also apply for only one component if preferred. The short EOI (about 4 pages) should include:
- Initial ideas on methodology and any comments on TOR and Outputs
- Work plan: Including outputs/deliverables and detailed time frames in line with timeline in section 6 above. Confirm number of days anticipated in Myanmar.
- Budget: Total costs including daily fee rates based on past contracts and any additional costs anticipated, excluding costs of travel to or within Myanmar and living costs in Myanmar (to be paid directly by HelpAge). Home base or departure city for Myanmar should be stated.
Appendixes (not included in the 3-4 pages)
- CV of the consultant(s)
- Contact information for 2 professional references
- 1-2 relevant studies previously produced, if available
The contract amount will depend on the qualifications and experience of the applicant. As noted above, the costs of travel to Myanmar, as well as living costs in Yangon, will be met separately (according to HelpAge standards) and do not need to be included in the EOI budget. Selection of the consultant will be by a HelpAge panel and based on the experience of the consultant, the quality and relevance of the EOI, and the proposed budget, keeping in mind value for money within the resources available. Final negotiated terms and fees will be specified in the consultancy contract.
The deadline for submission is Thursday 5 April 2018. Please contact Ms Chitlekar Parintarakul (Fon) by email at email@example.com for further information or to submit your EOI.