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The Aga Khan Foundation (AKF), an agency of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN), is a private, non-denominational, international development agency established in 1967. It seeks sustainable solutions to long-term problems of poverty, hunger, illiteracy and ill-health with special emphasis on the needs of rural communities in mountainous and other resource poor regions, primarily in Asia, Africa and the Middle East. Its main areas of focus are education, health, rural development, environment and strengthening civil society.

The Aga Khan Foundation (Pakistan) [AKF(P)] is seeking high caliber professional/firm for the following Short Term Consultancy in Gilgit and Chitral:

Technical Assistance required for Qualitative Evaluation on Maternal, Neonatal and Child Health in Gilgit Baltistan and Chitral under Access to Quality Care through Extending and Strengthening Health Systems (AQCESS) project

A: Background:

Aga Khan Foundation Pakistan (AKF(P)) is executing a multi country Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (MNCH) project in Pakistan – Access to Quality Care through Extending and Strengthening Health Systems (AQCESS). The project aims to improve MNCH outcomes, specifically women of reproductive age, men, girls and boys under the age of five (5). AQCESS is being implemented by Government Department of Health and local agencies that are institutional members of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN).  The programme seeks to accelerate the reduction of maternal and child mortality in targeted regions through focusing on three key components: improved delivery of essential MNCH health services; improved utilization of essential MNCH services by communities; and improved dissemination and use of MNCH information and evidence by key stakeholders in target regions. AQCESS supports strong integration of Gender equality in all components of the project. To identify factors that may influence or not influence the sustainability of the project and to explore the effectiveness of gender equality-related project interventions and to provide lessons learned, findings, for the local Department of Health to help inform and strengthen future MNCH interventions at the district levels, Aga Khan Foundation (Pakistan) is seeking qualified Consulting Firm/ Consultant to conduct qualitative assessment of: 1) Gender assessment of project activities and 2)Assessment of Community Health Revolving Fund(CHRF), 3)Assessment of male engagement activities 4)Sustainability of AQCESS in project areas of Gilgit – Baltistan and Chitral.

B: Scope of work

The location of the consultancy will be Gilgit –Baltistan and Chitral. The consultant will be entrusted to carry out the following tasks:-

Task1: The consultant/Consultancy firm will lead the qualitative data collection and will be responsible for ensuring the integrity of the data and its completion within the agreed upon timeframe while following ethical guidelines for data collection and reporting.

Task 2: Participate in an inception meeting to discuss the data collection process, and expected deliverables. Subsequently submit an inception report detailing the agreed methodology and tools, schedule of activities, and team composition including tasks and responsibilities of team members.

Task 3: Introduction/courtesy visit to the district administration in GB and Chitral prior to data collection, supported by AKF (P).

Task 4: Recruiting qualified research assistants to conduct Interviews and FGDs with informants as outlined in the evaluation protocol. Research assistants must have experience and technical skills for conducting interviews according to ethical procedures.

Task 5: Training of research assistants and pilot testing of interview guides. The consultant must have a hands-on approach in supervising research assistants.

Task 6: Supervise and co-ordinate data collection by trained research assistants. Interviews will be conducted in English or Urdu, depending on stakeholder.

Task 7: The lead consultant or a senior researcher within their team (in the case of a firm) would be expected to personally conduct the regional and national level stakeholder interviews. The consultant will be responsible for scheduling interviews with key informants with the assistance of AKF (P).

Task 8: Ensure progressive transcription and translation of audio recordings. Raw data files (i.e. audio recordings) and transcripts should be submitted to the AKF (P) contact person on a daily or weekly basis.

Task 9: Abide by established data quality assurance checks and ethical procedures, including submitting signed consent forms to the AKF (P).

Task 10: Avail themselves to an interim data review and analysis meeting (date to be agreed upon) with the AQCESS MERL team in order to quickly identify and address gaps in data collection and to review the data analysis approach.

Task 11: Analyze all qualitative data and submit a detailed report outlining the methodology, results and their interpretations, discussing the strengths, limitations, and implications of findings.

Task 12: Submit a detailed field report covering the entire duration of qualitative data collection, including quality assurance measures, changes made to the sampling methodology or tools, challenges encountered and if or how they were mitigated, and other relevant general observations. Draft of the report will be reviewed and commented on before finalisation.

Task 13: The consultant and research assistants are bound by confidentiality and are not allowed to share any of the data, tool and reports with a third party. They cannot claim rights to the data and tools thereof.

Task 14: Should the quality of the data be determined as inadequate as per standards set by AKF (P), the Consultant/Consultancy firm will be required to address data quality gaps at his/her own cost.

C: Timeline of the Consultancy

The research will be conducted from October to December, 2019.  

D: Main Deliverables

The Consultant/Consultancy firm will produce the outputs below:-

1.       The Consultant shall submit final detailed report and summary report and manuscript to AKF (P). An inception report detailing the agreed methodology and tools, schedule of activities, and team composition including tasks and responsibilities of team members.

2.      A detailed qualitative report (with appended tools, audio recordings, transcripts and copies of signed consent forms) outlining the methodology used, presenting the findings with their interpretations, and discussing the strengths, limitations, and implications of the findings

3.      A detailed field report covering the entire duration of qualitative data collection, including quality assurance measures, changes made to the sampling methodology or tools, challenges encountered and if or how they were mitigated, and other general observations necessary for accurate interpretation.

E: Payment Plan

The following payment plan is proposed for the assignment:

i)        30% of the contract value as advance on signing of the contract.

ii)      40% of the contract value on submission of first draft of the research, summary report and manuscript.

iii)    30% of the contract value on submission of the final report, summary report and manuscript.

Withholding tax will be deducted at source.

F: Qualification and Experience

The prospective consultant/firm is expected to demonstrate an appropriate balance of management, technical skills and research skills, knowledge of the region, and experience in qualitative and/or mixed method research. Consultant/ firm should possess excellent writing skills and analytical skills. Qualifications of key representatives should include:

i)        At least a Master’s degree in Public Health, Social Sciences Research or with a strong background and experience in gender analysis and gender equality integration;

ii)       Good understanding of the GB and Chitral health sector and context;

iii)    Minimum of 7 years of demonstrated experience in qualitative and/or mixed methods research including training and supervising qualitative research assistants;

iv)    Must have publications in peer reviewed journals;

v)      Excellent analytical and report writing skills;

vi)    Well versed in the use of NVivo for data analysis;

vii)  Excellent written and verbal communication skills in English;

viii)                     Strong leadership, planning and problem-solving skills;

ix)    Must be able to work independently with excellent demonstrated teamwork and coordination skills;

x)      Previous experience working for or with international non-governmental organizations and donors is desirable;

G.    Expression of Interest

Qualified and interested parties are asked to submit the following:

  1. A copy of curriculum vitae (CV) which should outline qualifications and relevant experience  of consultant/ key team members
  2. Proposal of a maximum of 5 pages clearly demonstrating a thorough understanding of the ToRs.
  3. A financial proposal with a detailed breakdown of costs for conducting the research, including:
  • Itemized Consultancy fees/costs
  • Itemized Administrative expenses

AKF (P) offers a competitive remuneration package and conducive working environment. We are an equal opportunity employer - females are encouraged to apply.

Interested candidate/firms should forward their applications or profiles by September 11, 2019.

Please note that only short-listed candidates/firms will be contacted.

For more information about AKDN, please visit www.akdn.org





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