RFS to Research Consultant Quantitative Impact Evaluation, Suaahara

In Vacancy by Rabindra Shrestha

Co-founded in 1915 by Helen Keller, Helen Keller International is dedicated to saving and improving the sight and lives of the world’s vulnerable. We combat the causes and consequences of blindness, poor health and malnutrition with more than 120 programs in 19 African and Asian countries, as well as in the United States. Renowned for our reliability, efficiency and high level of technical expertise, Helen Keller promotes the development of large-scale, sustainable solutions to some of the most pressing issues in public health.

Introduction

Suaahara, a USAID-funded multi-sectoral program in Nepal operates at scale. In its first phase (2011-2016), Suaahara expanded into 40 of Nepal’s 75 districts and now in its second phase (2016-2021), Suaahara operates in 42 of Nepal’s 77 districts; in both phases a district-wide approach was used, meaning blanket coverage of key interventions in all communities throughout the intervention districts. Suaahara II is led by Helen Keller International with six core implementation partners: CARE, FHI360, Environment and Public Health Organization (ENPHO), Nepali Technical Assistance Group (NTAG), Vijaya Development Resource Center (VDRC) and Digital Broadcast Initiative – Equal Access Nepal (EAN). In addition, district-specific Partner Non-governmental Organizations (PNGOs) are Suaahara sub-recipient partners responsible for sub-national level implementation of activities.

The overall program objective is to reduce the prevalence of stunting, wasting and underweight among children under 5 years of age, underweight among mothers, and anemia among mothers and children. The program aims to achieve these objectives through a multi-sectoral approach, organized around a results framework with four intermediate results (IRs).

  • IR 1: Improved household nutrition, sanitation and health behaviors
  • IR 2: Increased use of quality nutrition and health services by women and children
  • IR 3: Improved access to diverse and nutrient-rich foods by women and children
  • IR 4: Accelerated roll-out of the Multi-sector Nutrition Plan (MSNP) through strengthened local governance

Background

Before the start of Suaahara, an evaluation was planned and the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) was contracted to design the impact evaluation and lead the baseline survey of the impact evaluation in the summer of 2012. A Nepali survey firm was responsible for the baseline survey data collection and management. Additionally, in 2014 a mixed-methods process evaluation (de facto Suaahara I endline and Suaahara II) was carried out by an externally contracted principal investigator to lead the study design and locally contracted firms to carry out the quantitative and qualitative components.

Tasks and Deliverables

The Suaahara Evaluation Quantitative Impact Evaluation Research Consultant is required to collaborate with the Suaahara team, remaining in close consultation with the STA and MER teams, as well as the Principal Investigator and other consultants hired for the evaluation, from design through to completion of the studies.  Details of the tasks required under this contract are outlined below by phase:

  1. Evaluation Planning Updates (January 1, 2021-May 31, 2021) (50 days)

During this phase, the main responsibility of the Suaahara Evaluation Quantitative Impact Evaluation Research Consultant will be to ensure full understanding of the Suaahara program and interventions beyond Suaahara in both the intervention and comparison areas, two pre-requisites to ensuring that the evaluation design and questionnaires are appropriate. This position will also support in updating and finalizing of the evaluation protocol, NHRC application, and survey questionnaires and consent forms, particularly in relation to the Suaahara II extension and new COVID-19 context. The main task in May will be daily participation in the survey training and field testing.

Deliverable: New program impact pathways; and new English survey tools (March 31)

  1. Data collection: (June 1 – August 30, 2021) (20 days)

During this phase, the Suaahara Evaluation Quantitative Impact Evaluation Research Consultant, will monitor some of the data collection and devote time to drafting a statistical analysis plan for the primary and secondary research questions.

Deliverable: Draft statistical analysis plan; documentation of training and field observations (August 15)

  1. Data analysis: (September 1-December 31, 2021) (50 days)

During this period, the Suaahara Evaluation Quantitative Impact Evaluation Research Consultant would work on analysis and documentation of key findings, prioritizing the primary research question first followed by secondary research questions, in collaboration with the Principal Investigator.

Deliverable: Draft written report and slide deck of key findings (December 10)

Helen Keller International (HKI) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to saving and improving the sight and lives of the world’s vulnerable by combatting the causes and consequences of blindness, poor health and malnutrition. HKI is leading the consortium of CARE, FHI 360, Nepali Technical Assistance Group (NTAG), Digital Broadcast Initiative Equal Access (DBI EA), Environment and Public Health Organization (ENPHO), and Vijaya Resource Development Centre (VDRC) to implement the USAID’s Suaahara II “Good Nutrition” Program in Nepal. Suaahara II has been supporting the Government of Nepal’s efforts in preventing the risk of COVID-19 transmission in communities across 42 program districts.

Timeline and Level of Effort

January 1, 2021 to December 15, 2021 for a total of 120 days. The level of effort (LOE) is calculated according to the designated tasks, noted above. If an individual not based in Nepal is selected, this scope of work requires at least one trip to Nepal to oversee data collection and may require another trip to Nepal to collaborate with other hired evaluation researchers and discuss key findings with Suaahara II, USAID, Government of Nepal and other stakeholders.

 Qualifications/Evaluation Criteria

  • Bachelors degree, with preference given for those with a masters or doctoral degree, in epidemiology, statistics, economics, or public health nutrition or similar field (3 points)
  • Experience working on quantitative studies, including all steps of the process from design to tool development to training and data collection, with preference for prior experience on at-scale and/or multi-sectoral program evaluations (5 points)
  • Previous quantitative research experience in Nepal, with preference for prior experience in impact evaluations (3 points)
  • Previous experience working on a team and ability to work effectively across cultures, languages, and working styles (2 points)
  • English writing and oral communication skills (2 points)

The top three candidates will be shortlisted by the technical evaluation committee. Based on a review of the application materials submitted and estimated costs, the evaluation committee will make a best value trade-off evaluation of the technical quality and the consultant’s daily rate, associated travel and incidentals costs to identify the successful candidate.

This consultancy will report to the Suaahara II Sr. Technical Advisor.

To Apply

Qualified candidates should submit a cover letter, resume, per day consultancy rate and total consultancy fee both, and a recent, relevant writing sample and biographical data sheet to Suaahara.Consultants@hki.org noting “Quantitative Impact Evaluation Research Consultant” in the subject line. The biographical data sheet can be downloaded at the following address: https://hki.org.np/

For more details Request for Services

Note

Questions on scope of work to be submitted by October 30, 2020 by 5:00 p.m. Nepal Time at Email: Suaahara.Consultants@hki.org with subject line: “Questions for Quantitative Impact Evaluation Research Consultant.”  The answers to questions on scope of work shall be posted on https://hki.org.np/ by November 6, 2020.

 Applications will be accepted for four weeks from the date of posting till November 12, 2020 by COB EST.