Request For Applications to Serve as a Local Implementing Partner for the 2013 Bangladesh Urban Health Survey

MEASURE Evaluation, on behalf of the 2013 UHS Technical Working Group (TWG), seeks an organization to serve as our local partner for the data collection and management of the 2013 Bangladesh Urban Health Survey.

Overview and purpose of the RFA

The 2006 Urban Health Survey

The National Institute of Population Research and Training (NIPORT), with funding from USAID and technical assistance from ICDDR,B and MEASURE Evaluation, conducted the 2006 Bangladesh Urban Health Survey (2006 UHS) to examine the health profile and health-care seeking behaviors of urban residents living in slum and non-slum areas of City Corporations and District Municipalities.  Along with individual and household interviews, the 2006 UHS included a community-level survey that gathered information about the broader circumstances within which urban residents live.  The results of the 2006 UHS expanded the knowledge base regarding population health and health-related behaviors in urban areas of Bangladesh, with a particular emphasis on understanding the determinants of intra-city inequality in health outcomes, vulnerability and environmental risks in the urban setting. The 2006 UHS Final Report is available at:

The 2013 Urban Health Survey

Six years have passed since the 2006 UHS and NIPORT and USAID seek to obtain an updated profile of key aspects of health conditions and behaviors of urban residents in slum and non-slum areas as well as updated information on the coverage of different health service delivery models.  As a result, a new Urban Health Survey is planned for early 2013. The coverage of the 2013 UHS will be the nine City Corporations (CCs) of Bangladesh plus District Municipalities and large towns (Paurashavas) with a population over 45,000 people.

MEASURE Evaluation, on behalf of the 2013 UHS Technical Working Group, seeks an organization to serve as our local partner for the data collection and management of the 2013 UHS. The purpose of this Request for Application is to determine the organization best suited to play this role. The successful applicant will demonstrate superior technical, logistical, and organizational capacity to conduct a large-scale community/neighborhood, household and individual-level survey focused on maternal and child health, nutrition status and food security, and migration.  

Survey Objectives

The objectives of the 2013 UHS are to document changes and obtain updated information on: 

  • Health conditions, health care-seeking behaviors, child mortality and causes of mortality, nutritional status, migration patterns in the main urban areas of Bangladesh (CCs and rest of urban areas), with emphasis on examining population groups in slums (The definition of slum will be consistent with international studies and accepted norms applied in the Bangladesh context. The definitions of slum and non-slum areas will be similar as those used in the 2006 UHS) and non-slums of the main cities of the country; and,
  • Individual, household and neighborhood-level factors associated with health outcomes, health behaviors, and nutritional status in urban areas. 

Community/neighborhood, household, and individual surveys will collect quantitative data on maternal and child health, nutrition, and migration indicators among a representative sample from three domains of analysis: 

  1. slum populations in the 9 CCs, 
  2. non-slum populations in the 9 CCs, and 
  3. the rest of the urban areas (all District Municipalities and large towns (Paurashavas) with a population over 45,000 people) 

The 9 CCs are Dhaka, Chittagong, Khulna, Rajshahi, Barisal, Sylhet, Rangpur, Narayanganj, and Comilla; in the case of Dhaka the survey will include the Dhaka Metropolitan Area.

 The survey will focus on the following thematic areas:

  1. Under-five mortality and causes of death;
  2. Maternal and child health care, access to services and utilization;
  3. Maternal and child nutrition status and food security;
  4. Migration patterns; demographic, environmental and economic factors for leaving a place and pull factors for choosing a destination;
  5. Coverage of different health care delivery modes;
  6. Individual-, household- and neighborhood-level factors associated with the themes in 1-5 above.


Similar to the 2006 UHS, the 2013 UHS will be a multi-level study designed to illustrate the circumstances at the community/neighborhood, household and individual level. Each strata of respondents will receive a unique and detailed survey instrument. The questionnaires from the 2006 UHS are being revised to reflect the thematic focus areas, but applicants should prepare their applications assuming the following instruments:

  1. Community/neighborhood Questionnaire
    To be administered to knowledgeable community leaders or neighbors. Designed to capture in detail basic characteristics of the community/neighborhood where the sample clusters are located, such as population density, prevalence of poor housing conditions, road/street conditions, primary economic activities, distance to public and private facilities from community/neighborhood, tenure security, water supplies (sources, sharing across households, reliability, etc.), sewerage and garbage collection arrangements, flooding, pollution, industries (such as tanneries), violence, and security in the community/neighborhood. The questionnaire is expected to take 40 minutes on average.
  2. Household Questionnaire
    To be administered to the female head of the household. It is designed to capture physical, demographic, and socio-economic characteristics of the household. It will also collect information on participation in social or development programs. The questionnaire is expected to take 25 minutes on average.
  3. Individual Questionnaire
    To be administered among those who are married and age 10-59 and all other adults age 18-59 within each selected household.  There will be two types of questionnaires: one short and one long. The short questionnaire will be administered to the total sample of households. The short questionnaire is expected to take 20 minutes on average. The long questionnaire will be administered in select households from the total sample. The long questionnaire will take 45-60 minutes on average. 
  4. Anthropometric Measures
    Anthropometric measures to be collected are height, weight, and others needed to estimate Body Mass Index. Anthropometry will be collected from children under 5 years of age and women.

Sample Size

The primary criteria for sample size estimation for the three domains is to provide estimates with acceptable precision for 1) under-five mortality and 2) percentage of birth deliveries in health facilities for all births in the last three years. The sample size estimates should allow for comparison of indicators across the three domains of analysis (CC slum, CC non-slum, and Rest Urban: District Municipalities and large towns/Paurashavas over 45,000 population). 

The target sample size by the three domains is provided in Table 1 below. 

Table 1. Sample sizes of households and clusters for major domains of analysis.


Short questionnaire households

Long questionnaire households

Total households

Number of HHs per cluster

Number of clusters

Number of mohallas

CC Slum







CC Non-slum






Rest  Urban














Note: The modules of the short questionnaire are also contained in the long questionnaire.

The 2013 UHS Technical Working Group (TWG) will select the sample of clusters in each of the three domains. The list of selected clusters will be provided to the successful applicant.

Activities and Responsibilities for the Organization

The successful applicant will be responsible for the following activities:

  • To serve on the 2013 UHS Technical Working Group. (The TWG will periodically review decisions related to the survey’s technical implementation, prior to their enactment wherever possible. The selected applicant will adhere to the decisions of the TWG);
  • To implement key aspects of the sampling strategy, including household listing, cartographic updating of selected clusters in the field, and provision of information for sampling weight calculation;
  • To prepare and submit protocol to the local IRB;
  • To participate in the revision and finalization of the 2013 UHS questionnaires;
  • To organize and conduct the pre-test of questionnaires;
  • To print final questionnaires;
  • To organize field work activities;
  • To recruit and train the field work team (with the participation of the 2013 UHS TWG);
  • To provide required ethics/human subject protection training to all staff involved in survey activities;
  • To conduct field work with appropriate supervisory and quality check activities;  
  • To conduct data entry and management;
  • To conduct appropriate quality checks at different stages of field work, data entry and data management process;
  • To produce frequency distributions for the datasets;
  • To prepare preliminary and final datasets with appropriate documentation;
  • To draft a report describing all data collection and data management procedures, supervisor observations/comments, and limitations/problems encountered; and
  • To participate in the writing of a series of preliminary and final reports concerning the results of the 2013 UHS.

The 2013 UHS TWG has already begun preliminary preparations for the survey. The successful applicant should plan to start activities in early February 2013. The expected timeframe for the main survey activities is presented below.

Main Activity Target Dates
Preparations February 2013
Pretesting and interviewer training February - March 2013
Production of final questionnaire March 2013
Fieldwork  April - July 2013
Data entry April - July 2013
Data cleaning and processing  August - October 2013 
Preliminary tabulations and report November 2013
Final report April 2014



  • Detailed workplan and timeline of activities
  • Final questionnaires (community/neighborhood, household and individual) in Bangla and English
  • IRB approval
  • Report on questionnaire pre-test
  • Reports on training activities
  • Biweekly reports on field work preparations and progress
  • Biweekly reports on data entry and management progress, including reports of quality check results
  • Reports on supervisor observations/comments, and limitations/problems encountered
  • Frequency distributions for survey data (hard copy and on a disc; data may also be submitted electronically)
  • Cleaned and fully labeled data set (on disc and submitted electronically) in STATA or other agreed-upon software
  • A copy of the codebook and any other data documentation
  • Provision of secured storage of all completed questionnaires

Application Requirements

Organizations wishing to serve as MEASURE Evaluation’s local implementing partner for the 2013 UHS should submit: 1) a technical proposal, 2) an organizational description demonstrating the capacity to serve this role, 3) a detailed budget, and 4) a description of financial/accounting structures and practices. The application should include:

  1. A Cover Letter that clearly identifies the application as responding to this RFA and stating the applicant organization’s name, address, phone numbers, URL, and main email address. There should be a contact person listed for any purpose related to this RFA.
  2. Technical Proposal -
    The applicant should describe in detail their approach to addressing the technical and logistical requirements to conduct a population based survey of the type and magnitude described above. This section should describe in detail how the organization will address the responsibilities and activities outlined in the sections above. The applicant should include a description of its available resources that will be used to carry out the required tasks. The applicant should also present a detailed workplan and timeline for all activities. A Gantt Chart could be used for that purpose.
  3. Organizational description and experience -
    The applicant should provide a brief description of the overall governance structure of their organization. The applicant should present the proposed organization and governance structure for the implementation of the 2013 UHS survey. The applicant should describe the number and roles/responsibilities of the staff that will implement the survey. The applicant should name the key technical and administrative/financial personnel that will be involved in the activities. It should name at least a Principal Investigator and a Chief Administrative/Financial Officer who will serve as the main technical and financial liaison persons with the 2013 UHS TWG and MEASURE Evaluation. CVs of key staff should be included in the application.

    The applicant should describe their organization’s past experience in successfully organizing and conducting household and community surveys in Bangladesh (in particular, in urban environments). The applicant should provide a description of past projects (up to 5, with no more than 1 page description per project; these pages will not count to overall length of the application). The demonstrated capacity to do high quality work will be a crucial consideration. Preference will be given to those organizations that have either an institutional review board (IRB) of reference or a Federal Wide Assurance (FWA) formalizing the institution’s commitment to protect human subjects in the course of research.
  4. Budget -
    A detailed line-item budget should be prepared based on the tasks/responsibilities described above. They should be presented in Bangladesh Taka and U.S. Dollars. It should include, but not be limited to: 

    Personnel cost: List number, daily rate and number of workdays for each category of staff (e.g., interviewer, supervisor, data entry clerk, statistician, drivers).  Please provide justification and a description of responsibilities for each category of staff.

    Per diem: List daily rate and number of workdays for each category of staff (e.g., interviewer, supervisor, data entry clerk, statistician, driver).

    Transport: List number of vehicles and number of days needed, estimated mileage and fuel cost per mile, vehicle maintenance and/or rental, if necessary.

    Materials: Questionnaire production (Unit cost per questionnaire * number of printed copies); interviewers’ equipment; other equipment and material used for data collection and management.

    Miscellaneous: List any other costs. 

    Budgets can be supplied in a separate spreadsheet.
  5. Financial/accounting structures and practices -
    The applicant should provide key information related to their financial/accounting procedures. It should submit an explanation of how the applicant calculates any indirect costs (if charged in the budget). The applicant should also describe the accounting software that they employ. The applicant should provide its last two annual financial reports. The annual financial reports will not count against the overall length requirements described in section Application Parameters below.


Proposals must be submitted electronically to by 5pm U.S. Eastern Standard Time on January 24, 2013. The submission should include all materials related to the application.

Application Parameters

The application should be no more than 15 pages, 1.5 spaced with 1 inch margins and 11 point Arial font. Curriculum vitae, descriptions of past projects, and the budget will not count against page limits. CVs should not be longer than 2 pages per person.

Proposal Review and Notification of Intent to Enter into a Sub-Agreement

Following receipt of applications, MEASURE Evaluation, in consultation with the 2013 UHS TWG, will review the received materials and may conduct a second round review of “best and final” applicants. If this occurs, MEASURE Evaluation will follow up with specific questions and may request additional information from the “best and final” applicants. Applications will be reviewed in terms of their technical soundness, organization's past experience, quality of key staff, and financial competitiveness. MEASURE Evaluation will inform the successful applicant (and notify the organizations not selected). The process of developing a sub-agreement with the successful applicant will then begin.

RFA Questions and Answers

Questions about this RFA may be submitted to MEASURE Evaluation at the above email address, in English, no later than January 10, 2013. Answers will be posted on the MEASURE Evaluation Web site under the Contracting with Us Web page.

RFA Questions and Answers

MEASURE Evaluation is a cooperative agreement funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and implemented by the Carolina Population Center of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC-CH) in partnership with Futures Group, ICF International, John Snow, Inc., Management Sciences for Health, and Tulane University.  MEASURE Evaluation aims to strengthen monitoring and evaluation systems and build the capacity of individuals, organizations and systems to collect, analyze and use data to make decisions that will result in improved health programs and policies.