Consultancy: Community and stakeholders Need Assessment across nation and regional stakeholders in Health area

Search For Common Ground


Search is seeking a consultant who can conduct assessment of the link between Risk Communication and Community Engagement (RCCE) interventions in Burkina Faso and Senegal related to fighting COVID-19 and strengthen health systems to respond effectively in future crises. Through this assessment, we are primarily interested by the assessment of Risk Communication and Community Engagement (RCCE) needs and existing strengths to be leveraged in designing solutions, to deepen and update the Dalberg Group’s April 2020 assessments in each country, reviewing progress toward addressing the RCCE gaps laid out in Dalberg’s report (i.e. the lack of national RC strategy, insufficient engagement with community leaders, etc.) and drawing out national health officials’ own assessments of their RCCE needs and strengths.  
1. Context
Search for Common Ground
Search is an international conflict transformation NGO that aims to transform the way individuals, groups, governments and companies deal with conflict, away from adversarial approaches and towards collaborative solutions. Headquartered in Washington DC, USA, and Brussels, Belgium, with 52 field offices in 29 countries, Search designs and implements multifaceted, culturally appropriate and conflict-sensitive programs using a diverse range of tools, including media and training, to promote dialogue, increase knowledge and determine a positive shift in behaviors.
The Project
Search proposes a series of Risk Communication and Community Engagement (RCCE) interventions in Burkina Faso and Senegal to support the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s response to fight COVID-19 and strengthen health systems to respond effectively in future crises. The primary outcome of this project is to build the capacity of government health officials to implement collaborative RCCE interventions to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and future disease outbreaks.  Controlling disease outbreaks like COVID-19 requires whole-of-community collaboration. Citizens rely on guidance from health officials to learn how they can protect themselves. Health officials and policymakers rely on citizens to provide information about new cases and to allow health workers safe access to provide medical response. Where trust between communities and health officials is weak, response efforts are frequently blocked by broken health systems and missed opportunities for early and effective interventions. As a result of this project, target groups and final beneficiaries will have access to reliable information about COVID-19 prevention and response measures, which will be communicated in a way that increases public trust in, and thus, acceptance of, the response. Community-based, conflict sensitive approaches will combat COVID-19 in the immediate term and lay the groundwork for stronger health systems, built on collaboration between communities and national and regional health officials.
The proposed intervention has been designed to support national health systems to address the COVID-19 pandemic, which requires rapid interventions capable of slowing down the spread of the disease and its negative consequences. As such, the project will be more focused on mitigation, but will also establish the building blocks for durable positive effects beyond its duration.
Institutional sustainability: This project will seek to institutionalize crisis preparedness knowledge among health actors through direct capacity building and access to best practices on designing and implementing RCCE to fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, which will endure and become useful tools to deal with future health crises.
Policy level sustainability: This project does not expect to produce sweeping national-level policy change, but will demonstrate the value of conflict-sensitive RCCE that promotes collaboration across divides as the best means for overcoming the COVID-19 pandemic, and may persuade policymakers of the need for adopting a similar approach in dealing with future crises. A performance improvement plan will be developed at the end of the project to further strengthen the government’s ability to plan and manage RCCE work (for roll-out in subsequent months).
2. Goal and Objectives of the Assessment
The purpose of this Assessment is to provide an analysis of the needs of RCCE and the existing strengths that can be used to design solutions.  Through this assessment, Search will deepen and update the Dalberg Group’s April 2020 assessments in each country. It will review progress in addressing the gaps in RCCE identified in the Dalberg report (i.e., lack of a national RC strategy, insufficient engagement with community leaders, etc.) and will draw on the analyses of national health officials on their own needs and strengths in RCCE.
Specifically, this will involve:
  • Identifying priority areas for project implementation;
  • Identifying local, cross-border actors and stakeholders who are influential in the communities;
  • Analyzing stakeholders’ perceptions of risk communication and community engagement and the resonance of RCCE in the health field.
Each analysis will identify hard-to-reach populations, such as internally displaced persons (IDPs), populations living in areas outside government control, religious and ethnic minorities, migrant populations, women and youth. Community stakeholder mapping may include local government officials, traditional leaders, village criers, health clinic workers, religious leaders, leaders of civil society organizations (including women- and youth-led civil society organizations), people influencing social media, community radio producers, etc. The mapping of community stakeholders may include community leaders, community leaders, community radio producers, and other stakeholders.
Based on these assessments, Search will design work plans in collaboration with health officials, the Dalberg Group and identified community stakeholders at the national and targeted sub-national levels. The co-design process will strengthen the sustainability of health systems by promoting co-ownership and alignment between government officials and community stakeholders. Participants will identify their own priorities and work with Search to pilot an intervention that includes elements of the full range of RCCE interventions – from CR, to rumor management, to EWER surveillance systems.
3. Key Questions of the Study
The keys questions of the assessment address the objectives identified in this research. These include, but are not limited to:
 1. The needs of the Risk Communication and Community Engagement (RCCE) and existing strengths to be leveraged in designing solutions?
2. Actions taken and progress noted in the implementation of RCCE in each country?
3. The gaps identified in the Dalberg Group’s April 2020 assessments in each country?
4. The perceptions of stakeholders in the communities on the Risk Communication and Community Engagement and the level of community leader’s engagement in the health area?
5. Areas to be identified for the implementation of the project.
4. Geographic Locations
In Burkina Faso: Target regions will illustratively include COVID-19 hotspots and border regions among Centre, Haut Bassin, Boucle de Mouhoun, and the Sahel (by priority order).
In Senegal:  The Assessment will cover target regions based on the MoH’s priorities. Based on Dalberg and our local analysis, we propose to work in 2 areas to be determined among Kedougou, Tambacounda, Ziguinchor, and Diourbel areas.
5. Methodology and Data Collection Tools
The methodological approach of the research will use literature review and quantitative and qualitative research approaches. The firm or team of consultants selected will propose a methodology, specifying the research questions and methods, which will:
  • Provide elements of answers to the research questions and objectives specified above,
  • Collect data from all stakeholders and triangulate information.
In order to ensure the adequacy of the proposed approaches, the consulting team will provide a report detailing the methodology for implementing the study. This methodology should show that the objectives of the study have been understood and should include the research questions, the research methods to be used, the data collection tools and the type of information they will allow to be collected, the modus operandi for data collection, and the tools that will be used for data processing and analysis.
The data collection methods and techniques proposed by the firm or team of consultants should result in the successful collection of quality data. The results of this research should be generalizable to all the project’s target communities.
Therefore, an inception report detailing the sampling of key respondents and the main research questions will be provided prior to the completion of the field phase of this research by the consultant in collaboration with Search’s ILT Design Monitoring Evaluation Coordinator for the Sahel.
The selected consultant will be asked to develop the main data collection tools (questionnaires, interview guide and focus group discussion). These tools will be developed by the consultant/firm once the consultant/firm is selected in collaboration with the Search teams. The tool drafts will be submitted to an internal review by ILT Design Monitoring Evaluation Coordinator for the Sahel for amendment and validation prior to data collection in the field. The tools will also be tested before being used.
Search expects the following deliverables from the firm of the consultant or the individual consultant
  • A detailed technical proposal on the methodology reviewed and approved by Search;
  • A detailed financial proposal reviewed and approved by Search;
  • Collection tools tested, reviewed and approved by Search;
  • A preliminary report of key findings from the research 72 hours after collection;
  • A report of the finalized study in English and French, including an executive summary reviewed and approved by Search;
  • A conflict analysis report finalized in English and French, including an executive summary reviewed and approved by Search;
  • A database of the information collected;
  • Field-collected raw data (paper or digital);
  • A presentation (PowerPoint or other) of the summary of the results.
Logistical Support
Consultant(s) will be responsible for organizing their own logistics for data collection (vehicles, fuel, and drivers), and this must be budgeted into the study. Search can provide support in arranging logistics as agreed upon based on the consultant’s proposal. At least one Search staff member may be available to support data collection and logistics.
In addition, Search and partners will share the following elements with the external consultant(s): Background materials including the project proposal and logframe, M&E plan, etc.
6. Ethical Considerations
The consultant firm or the consultant must be transparent with the client on any conflict of interest, any changes to the pre-negotiated study plan and the reasons for such changes, any risks associated with certain procedures/activities that could produce misleading information.
7. Data Quality Assurance and Management
The consultant firm or the consultant shall have the necessary capabilities, skills and experience to perform the proposed tasks, and shall apply them within the limits of his or her competence and professional training.
8. Timeline
The study will last 45 calendar days from the date of signature of the contract.
9. Budget
The total budget available for this study is 26.000 USD. A detailed budget should be provided, including daily rates for personnel, and costs related to data collection (per total number of people sampled, sites for collection, etc.), analysis, and production of deliverables.]
10. Requirements of Consultant
The following skills and experience are expected by Search for our evaluator for this project:
  • Proficiency in English and French (written and spoken);
  • More than 5 years of experience in project evaluation, including collecting data in interviews, surveys and focus groups;
  • Experience in conflict analysis and working with health, Government And civil society sectors;
  • xperience working with international organizations;
  • Experience conducting quantitative surveys and analysis;
  • Evaluation methods and data collection skills;
  • Familiarity and experience with contextual challenges in the geographic location(s) where the study will take place.
In addition, the consultant is required to respect the following Ethical Principles:
  • Comprehensive and systematic inquiry: Consultant should make the most of the existing information and full range of stakeholders available at the time of the review. Consultant should conduct systematic, data-based inquiries. He or she should communicate his or her methods and approaches accurately and in sufficient detail to allow others to understand, interpret and critique his or her work. He or she should make clear the limitations of the review and its results.
  • Competence: Consultant should possess the abilities and skills and experience appropriate to undertake the tasks proposed and should practice within the limits of his or her professional training and competence.
  • Honesty and integrity: Consultant should be transparent with the contractor/constituent about: any conflict of interest, any change made in the negotiated project plan and the reasons why those changes were made, any risk that certain procedures or activities produce misleading review information.
  • Respect for people: Consultant respect the security, dignity and self-worth of respondents, program participants. Consultant has the responsibility to be sensitive to and respect differences amongst participants in culture, religion, gender, disability, age and ethnicity.
Selection Criteria
Consultant proposals will be selected for:
– Relevance of proposed methodology to the goal, objectives, and research questions for the project.
– Quality of proposed methods, conflict sensitivity approaches, and quality control measures.
– Qualifications of the candidate(s).
– Proposed budget in relation to proposed methodology, deliverables and team.
– Timeline for proposed activities

How To Apply

Interested independent consultants or an experienced firm can send their application by 5.30 p.m. on 02 October 2020. at the latest with the words “Community and stakeholders Needs Assessment across nation and regional stakeholders in Health area” in Burkina Faso and Senegal” in the subject line of the e-mail: with cc
To apply, interested candidates (individuals or teams) are requested to submit the following documents:
  • Curriculum vitae;
  • A technical proposal proposing a methodology for the baseline
  • A financial proposal for the completion of the deliverables
  • A short cover letter.
Please apply here.

Type: Contract