Call for Proposal Data-Need Assessment of Provincial Government

The Asia Foundation

The Asia Foundation is a non-profit, non-governmental organization committed to the development of a peaceful, prosperous, just, and open Asia-Pacific region. The Foundation supports programs in Asia that help improve governance, law, and civil society; women's empowerment; economic reform and development; and international relations. Drawing on more than 50 years of experience in Asia, the Foundation collaborates with private and public…

Call for Proposal Data-Need Assessment of Provincial Government

The Asia Foundation is a non-profit, non-governmental organization committed to the development of a peaceful, prosperous, just, and open Asia-Pacific region. The Foundation supports programs in Asia that help improve governance, law, and civil society; women’s empowerment; economic reform and development; and international relations. Drawing on more than 50 years of experience in Asia, the Foundation collaborates with private and public partners to support leadership and institutional development, exchanges, and policy research.

Data for Development Phase II 

The Data for Development Program, funded by UK aid, is implemented by The Asia Foundation in partnership with the Development Initiatives. The second phase of the program builds upon the first phase and now targets to strengthen the local data systems in the provincial and local spheres in the usage of data as evidence for decisions making, thus development. 

The program is being implemented in three provinces: Madesh Province, Lumbini and Karnali. The program currently partnering with three municipalities and a rural municipality in these provinces: Birgunj metropolitan in Madesh Province, Tulsipur Sub-Metropolitan in Lumbini Province, and Simta Rural Municipality in Karnali. 

Background of the Assignment

In the new federal structure, with data production functions having been provided by the Constitution to the provincial and local governments, it is critical to support the development of strong local data and information ecosystems consisting of data producers, intermediaries, and users at all levels. This is essential to facilitate demand, supply and use of data and information for decision-making. This necessitates working with all key stakeholders at different levels who have or could have an important role within the ecosystem. 

As part of Nepal’s ongoing transition to a full-fledged federal state, a contextual, adaptive programme is needed focused on supporting provincial and local stakeholders in the development of local data and information ecosystems in which there is local demand, supply and use of evidence for local development. By generating a baseline on data ecosystems, political economy, and capacities complemented by an action learning approach throughout the programme, and strategy interventions will be informed and adapted on a continuous basis while contributing to the development of a larger evidence base for data ecosystems. The sharing of knowledge generated by the programme will enable stakeholders and partners across spheres to come together to develop a common understanding of local data ecosystems while increased coordination on data governance and the division of labor between governments around the production of data and statistics, will facilitate the process of evidence-based decision-making at subnational level. 

The D4D programme aims to develop a robust understanding on data and information ecosystems at the provincial and the local spheres by engaging with local stakeholders who have the knowledge and capabilities to demand, produce and use data for evidence-based decision-making that addresses local development challenges. The intended impact of the second phase is that there are better local development outcomes as a result of evidence-based decision-making by provincial, local and non-government stakeholders. While the first two years were focused on the local governments, D4D plans to expand its actions to the provincial levels in its third year of implementation. The programme is implemented over a period of 4 years (started in March 2020) in three provinces: Madhesh, Lumbini and Karnali Province.

D4D plans to expand its intervention to the provincial level and begin by identifying the data needs at this sphere. The programme plans to assess the data needs of Madhesh, Lumbini and Karnali provinces through a primary investigation combined with engagement in an iterative stakeholder consultation process with the provincial governments to understand their needs and priorities in relation to evidence-based decision-making, through a participatory process. This iterative consultation process will be used to assess data needs, identify support required by provincial governments to enable them in data driven planning and policy formulation practices as well as to validate the findings of the assessment. The information from this assessment and consultations will be used to develop a specific, customized support options for the third and fourth year of programme that provincial governments can choose from.

Purpose of the activity

The proposed activity is aligned with the second outcome of the D4D program which envisages the provincial, local, and non-government actors using evidence-based, participatory processes. The overarching objective of the activity is to inform Data for Development in Nepal program on strategic areas for intervention that could have the most impact at the provincial data ecosystem to strengthen evidence-based decision making at this level. 

The program intends to identify the data needs of three provincial government along with their key priorities in relation to evidence-based decision-making. Through the assessment strategic areas for support (for data ecosystem) will be identified to inform the design of a curated intervention/intervention package for the provincial government to achieve their development goals. These may include, but not be limited to, intervention needs in areas such as evidence-based planning and policy formulation, strengthen service delivery, citizen engagement, and implementation of plans. 

Similarly, embedded with the data needs assessment the D4D also aims at developing a toolkit that will enable the user to undertake data need assessment at the sub-national level by means of adaptation or adoption. 

Specific Objectives

  • Design, test and refine a contextual tool that can be employed for the assessment of data needs at sub-national levels. 
  • Identify strategic areas of interventions and recommend solutions based on data need assessment for strengthening provincial data ecosystem based on the needs of the province. 

Approach 

  • The data need assessment will have two major components (refer to the objectives). While the specific methodology and tools for is to be proposed by the implementation partner the broader approach that is expected to be adopted is discussed below.

Development of data-need assessment tool

The development of the data assessment tool will be preceded by extensive literature review, where applicable analytics should be presented that can complement the rational for the tool contents to be developed. A small-scale interviews and discussions could also conduct to inform the design of the tool. 

Adhering to the iterative processes the tools will be reviewed and if required changes will be made based upon the experience and learning from deploying the tool for data collection in data need assessment of provincial government. Identification of the key data needs and priorities of the sub national government and Identification of the key actors who can influence the process of strengthening evidence-based decision making at provincial levels are the priority areas to be covered by the tool.

Data Need assessment of Provincial Government

The data need assessment of the provincial government will be conducted at the three provinces where D4D is working. The study will generate information from both primary and secondary sources on current practices, ecosystems, stakeholders, and needs regarding evidence-based governance. For this a robust methodology based on participatory approach should be designed. While the information on the data need is to be generated by the developed assessment tool, the study should highly prioritize data triangulation and validation which might require multilayered and multistakeholder dialogues, key informant interviews and other form of primary source for information, in addition to those conducted for need assessments. 

Scope of work

  • Produce an inception report including literature review, key actor’s mapping, and detailed methodology for the assessment.
  • Develop a tool for data need assessment of sub national government.
  • Design methodology/framework based on participatory approach for stakeholder consultation including the approach, key participants list, areas of conversation, sequencing, and estimated timeline to conduct the iterative dialogue.
  • Develop required tools/checklist for data validation.
  • Set up, conduct, and document consultation and other data collection methods with key stakeholders.
  • Present recordings as well as a transcript from the assessment.
  • Present the identified data needs and priorities of the provinces.
  • In consultation with the D4D program, set up phases and present the findings of the assessment at various phases for validation as well as scope for additional information.
  • Review and revise the data need assessment tool from the learnings of the data need assessment of the provincial government.
  • Finalize the report along with the identified data needs, analyze key priorities and recommend ideas for the curated intervention package to be designed for each of the provinces.

Timeframe

The study will be completed within a period of 3 months. All deliverables and the final report of the needs assessment after incorporation of feedbacks from the foundation, should be submitted by October 2022.

Qualification Criteria

Any company (for profit or not for profit), NGO, or academic institutions registered in Nepal can apply for the need assessment. The implementing partner shall show:

  • Demonstrable practical experience conducting research/study work for development projects in Nepal through the methods described above.
  • Knowledge and understanding of federalism, sub-national governance, and data ecosystems in Nepal. Understanding and experience in data ecosystem or data landscape will be an advantage
  • Ability to connect with government representatives at federal, provincial, and local level and strong track record of working with the government.

Submission of Expression of Interest

The submission should contain the following:  

  • A cover letter (1 – 2 pages), highlighting relevant experiences.    
  • An up-to-date organizational Profile demonstrating the relevant experience of the organization in conducting relevant research, ideally related to data, local and provincial government. 
  • A technical proposal in word file presenting (but not limited to) the organization’s understanding of the task by outlining the methodology for need assessment tool design, need assessment methodology, and proposed team members and their roles.
  • CV of the proposed team members highlighting relevant experience 
  • A detailed budget breakdown (in excel) and timeline.

Submissions must be emailed to d4d.nepal@asiafoundation.org, Subject: Proposal for Provincial Data Need Assessment, by August 7, 2022. Submissions received before or on this date shall be evaluated and institutions who are deemed qualified will be shortlisted and contacted for further information. Late submissions will not be considered.