Request for Proposals to Serve as Local Implementing Partner for Impact Evaluation of a Gender Equality & Social Inclusion & Community Engagement Intervention for Health Facility Operation & Management Committees in Nepal: Qualitative Component

MEASURE Evaluation seeks a research organization to serve as our local partner for the purpose of data collection and management for the qualitative component for the impact evaluation of a Gender Equality and Social Inclusion (GESI) and community engagement intervention for Health Facility Operation and Management Committees (HFOMC) in Nepal.

MEASURE Evaluation is a United States Agency for International Development (USAID) cooperative agreement 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.

MEASURE Evaluation seeks a research organization to serve as our local partner for the purpose of data collection and management for the qualitative component for the impact evaluation of a Gender Equality and Social Inclusion (GESI) and community engagement intervention for Health Facility Operation and Management Committees (HFOMC) in Nepal. The purpose of this Request for Proposals (RFP) is to determine the organization best suited to play this role. The successful applicant will demonstrate the superior technical, logistical, and organizational capacity skills needed to conduct a qualitative study utilizing multiple methods. If a successful applicant is selected, it will be contracted through MEASURE Evaluation.


II. Background and Rationale

With funding from the Asia and Middle East Bureaus (A/ME) of USAID, the Health Policy Project (HPP) and MEASURE Evaluation are jointly undertaking an activity to work with country programs to scale up best practices in the region with attention to gender, policy, and measurement. This partnership, known as the Gender, Policy, and Management Program (GPM), is working with the Suaahara Project in Nepal, a five-year USAID-funded project dedicated to improving the health and nutritional status of pregnant and lactating women and children under two years of age. Together, GPM and Suaahara aim to design, implement, and evaluate a scalable capacity strengthening intervention for HFOMCs to ensure GESI-related issues are addressed as part of the delivery of quality health services.

The GPM-Suaahara intervention seeks to increase women’s and disadvantaged group’s use of health services through strengthening capacity within HFOMCs to address gender equity and social inclusion for quality health services. The project seeks to build individual-level knowledge and skills; strengthen the organizational-level processes that make committees more responsive to the needs of women and other marginalized groups; and translate needs into actions that strengthen systems necessary for improving the responsiveness, oversight, and accountability of health facilities. The intervention will be implemented through Suaahara in collaboration with the Government of Nepal and evaluated independently by MEASURE Evaluation.


III. Study Aims and Methods

The key objectives of the project are to:

  • Make HFOMCs inclusive and ensure that women and representatives from disadvantaged groups (DAGs) are empowered to meaningfully participate in committee meetings and the decision-making process;
  • Strengthen the capacity of HFOMCs to lead inclusive and collaborative quality improvement processes for community health services and programs; and,
  • Strengthen the capacity of HFOMCs to hold health providers accountable to meeting the needs of women and DAGs.

An impact evaluation incorporating mixed methods will be undertaken to determine the extent to which GESI-related training and community engagement improve HFOMCs’ ability to achieve the abovementioned objectives. Although the overall study will include mixed methods, the applicant is only responsible for the collection and management of qualitative data. The qualitative component is expected to include focus group discussions (FGDs) with HFOMC members, FGDs with women in the community, in-depth interviews (IDIs) will HFOMC members, key informant interviews (KIIs) with community leaders, health facility observations, and exit interviews with maternal and child health (MNCH) clients at health facilities in three study districts in Nepal: Syangja, Baglung, and Parbat (as the control). The qualitative methods will allow the evaluation to gain a more in-depth understanding of the impact of the intervention, to capture unintended, indirect effects of the intervention, and to better assess the quality and character of the intervention implementation. More specifically, this component will obtain information to better understand:

  • How integration of GESI and community engagement processes into capacity-strengthening activities with HFOMCs affects utilization of maternal and child nutrition and health services by DAGs
  • How integration of GESI and community engagement processes into capacity-strengthening activities with HFOMCs affects maternal and child nutrition and health service performance for DAGs
  • HFOMC members’ experience of the intervention components

It is anticipated that the information collected will be used as a baseline against which to measure changes in key outcomes resulting from the study interventions.


We will purposively select 5 VDCs per district (total of 15 VDCs) in which to conduct this research. In each VDC, we will carry out the following:

1. FGDs with HFOMC members

We will conduct 2 FGDs with HFOMC members; 1 FGD with women and 1 FGD with men.  The FGDs are anticipated to take approximately 60 minutes each.

2.  IDIs with HFOMC members

We will conduct 2 IDIs with HFOMC members; 1 IDI with a female HFOMC member and 1 IDI with a DAG representative on the HFOMC. The IDIs are anticipated to take approximately 90 minutes each.

3.  Health facility observations

We will conduct 1 health facility waiting room observation in each VDC. We expect each observation to take approximately 90 minutes.

4. Exit interviews with MNCH clients at health facilities

We will conduct 4 exit interviews with clients who have used MNCH services. These exit interviews are anticipated to take approximately 45 minutes each.

5. Community FGDs

We will conduct 2 FGDs with community members; 1 FGD with women and 1 FGD with men. The FGDs are anticipated to take approximately 60 minutes each.

6.  KIIs with community leaders

We will conduct 2 KIIs with community leaders. These interviews are anticipated to take approximately 45 minutes each.

7.  Health service data collection

Health facility MNCH service data from each facility will be collected. This may include electronic or photocopied copies of patient registers noting services provided, ethnic/caste background of patients, and other data collected by health facilities.

IV. Sampling

The survey will use stratified purposive sampling in one control (Parbat) and two intervention districts (Baglung and Syangja). Table 1 below indicates the sample sizes anticipated.













HF observations




Exit interviews




Community FGDs




Community leader KIIs




Health service data collection



15 (facilities)


V. Activities and Responsibilities for the Organization

The successful applicant will be responsible for the following activities:

  • Prepare and submit protocol to local IRB
  • Participate in the revision and finalization of all questionnaires, including translation of the questionnaires into Nepali
  • Organize and conduct the pre-test of questionnaires
  • Print final questionnaires
  • Organize field work activities
  • Recruit and train the field work team (with the participation of MEASURE Evaluation staff)
  • Provide required ethics/human subject protection training to all staff involved in survey activities
  • Conduct field work with appropriate supervisory and quality check activities
  • Carry out data transcription and translation into English
  • Conduct appropriate quality checks at different stages of the field work  and data management process
  • Prepare preliminary and final transcripts with the appropriate documentation
  • Draft a report describing all data collection and data management procedures, supervisor observations/comments, and limitations/problems encountered
  • Participate in the writing of a preliminary report concerning the results of the study

VI. Deliverables

The successful applicant will be responsible for the following deliverables:

  • Detailed workplan and timeline of activities
  • Final questionnaires (HFOMC FGDs and IDIs, Exit interviews, Community FGDs, Key Informant Interviews) in Nepali and English
  • Local IRB approval
  • Report on questionnaires pre-test
  • Report on training activities
  • Biweekly reports on field work preparations and progress
  • Biweekly reports on the data entry and management process, including reports of quality check results
  • Reports on supervisor observations/comments and limitations/problems encountered
  • Electronic files from audio-recorded interviews/focus group discussions
  • Transcripts in Nepali and English (hard copy and on a disc, data may also be submitted electronically)
  • Cleaned and fully labeled dataset from health facility service data collection (on disc and submitted electronically) in agreed upon software
  • Provision of secured storage of all completed questionnaires and other data

VII. Terms of Agreement

The data collected under this SOW will be collected on behalf of MEASURE Evaluation and its sponsor, USAID, and no ownerships rights to the data will vest with the sub-recipient. All data collected will be transferred to MEASURE Evaluation at UNC for secure data storage and analysis. If the sub-recipient is interested in conducting data analysis and publication, the terms of the data sharing and publication between MEASURE Evaluation and the sub-recipient will be expressed in a written agreement as part of the sub-award.

The successful application should plan to start activities in November 2013. The tentative timeframe for the main research activities is presented below.

Main Activity

Target Dates


November 2013

Pretesting and interviewer training

November 2013

Production of final questionnaires

November 2013


December 2013 – February 2014


December 2013 – March 2014

Transcriptions, field reports, and other data delivered

April 2014

VIII. Application Requirements

Organizations wishing to serve as MEASURE Evaluation’s local implementing partner for this impact evaluation in Nepal should submit a full application with the following sections:

1. Cover Letter – The cover letter should clearly identify that the applicant is responding to this RFP 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 RFP.

2. 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 baseline study. The applicant should describe the number and roles/responsibilities of the staff, including international consultants if applicable, 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 MEASURE Evaluation. CVs of key staff, noting any experience in conduct of qualitative research, should be included in the application as an appendix; these do not count toward the page limit.

The applicant should describe their organization’s past experience in successfully organizing and conducting qualitative studies in Nepal, particularly related to gender, maternal and child health, family planning, or related services. 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.

3. Budget – A detailed line-item budget should be prepared based on the responsibilities, sample size estimates and methods, and expected deliverables included above. Budgets should be supplied in a separate spreadsheet (spreadsheet does not count toward page limit). Costs should be presented in Nepalese Rupees and U.S. Dollars. Please note that final budget will be worked out with the selected applicant once sample sizes are finalized. The budget should include but not be limited to:

  • Personnel costs: List number, daily rate, and number of workdays for each category of staff (e.g. interviewer, supervisor, data entry clerk, drivers, etc.). 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, drivers, etc.).
  • Transport: List the number of vehicles and number of days needed, estimated mileage and fuel cost per mile, vehicle maintenance and/or rental costs, if necessary.
  • Materials: Questionnaire production (unit cost per questionnaire * number of printed copies), interviewers’ equipment, other equipment and materials used for data collection and management.
  • Miscellaneous: List any other local costs.
  • Indirect costs: If applicable, list any indirect costs and provide an explanation of how costs are calculated.

3. Budget Narrative – An accompanying narrative in a separate Word file must be included. Within the narrative, please provide justifications for and descriptions of major tasks and staff responsibilities. Please also include an explanation of how rates, the number of days for participant selection/training/field work/transcription/translation, and other costs were determined.

4. 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.

IX. Questions

The question submission period is closed. 

Q: As mentioned in Section VII, there is provision of awarding the sub-recipient with data analysis and publication. We would like to know the nature of autonomy and interpretive freedom allowed if provided that opportunity in the form of a sub-award.

A: If selected as the sub-recipient, your organization could negotiate access to and use of the data generated for your own analysis and publications. In general, data sharing and collaboration on publications is anticipated, though the extent of your organization’s autonomy with respect to using this data would need to be further discussed and negotiated as part of the sub-agreement award.

X. Deadline

The cost proposal must be submitted electronically to by 5pm U.S. Eastern Standard Time on Monday, August 19, 2013. The submission should include all materials related to the cost proposal. Please limit the overall proposal to 20 pages in length. This page limit is not inclusive of budget spreadsheets or CVs of staff.


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

Following the receipt of cost proposals, MEASURE Evaluation will review the received materials and may follow-up with specific questions and may request additional information from the designated applicants. Applications will be reviewed in terms of their financial (30%) and technical (70%) 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. Please note that the release of this RFP does not necessitate that an applicant be awarded.