Terms of Reference

VSO Nepal

VSO is the world’s leading international development organisation that works through volunteers to fight poverty. Working in 24 countries around the world, our unique role in international development is to place committed volunteers with carefully selected organisations where their skills can have the greatest impact. Our extraordinary volunteers live and work in some of the world’s poorest communities. Sharing their…

Terms of Reference

Terms of Reference

Updating the Political Economy Analysis (PEA) and the Social Exclusion and Gender Analysis (SEGA) for the ACTIVE Programme in Kenya and Nepal

1. Background

The Active Citizenship Through Inclusive Volunteering & Empowerment (ACTIVE) is a 3-year (2022-2025) programme funded by the FCDO. The programme takes a volunteering for development approach, centred on supporting the most marginalised  local people (especially women and girls, the young and people with disabilities) to engage others (including policy makers) to address their problems. It aims to enable the most marginalised local people and civil society to lead their own development by exercising the power of collective voice, claiming their rights to better services, and holding people in power and service providers to account. It aligns with FCDO priorities on promoting freedom and democracy through protecting open societies, effective governance and resilience.  ACTIVE will be implemented in Bangladesh, Cambodia, Eswatini, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Thailand, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe. It has four major outcomes, with the two most relevant for this ToR being: 

  1. Promoting active citizenship, where it aims to increase the percentage of marginalised and vulnerable people, as well as local volunteers who become more active as citizens.
  2. Improving access to quality services, where it aims to improve access to better quality services for marginalised and vulnerable local people

In promoting active citizenship and improving access to better quality services for marginalised and vulnerable local people, ACTIVE will build on previous and ongoing work which VSO has undertaken under the VfD1 and other grants. This work has involved mobilising and empowering marginalised and excluded communities to engage with policy makers so as to improve service provision. In light of this, previous grants have facilitated VSO’s better understanding of marginalisation and exclusion of groups from participation in decisions which affect their lives. They also helped VSO to better understand the obstacles/barriers as well as opportunities and incentives which determine the quality of public services and inclusivity and responsiveness of policies. Through previous Social Exclusion and Gender Analyses (SEGA) and Political Economy Analyses (PEAs), VSO has established that certain groups are excluded from decision making processes and development and also face discrimination due to their multiple and often intersecting identities. It must be noted that excluding groups from decision making deepens poverty, marginalisation, vulnerability and injustice, while on the other hand, power in decision making, who wields it and the incentives at play all play a role in determining outcomes for marginalised and excluded groups. These insights are useful in VSO’s new focus under ACTIVE, which seeks to mobilise primary actors to become active citizens as well as demand for quality services. 

VSO seeks to build on these insights to update its understanding of how through ACTIVE, we could identify the most marginalised and excluded groups, empower them as ACTIVE citizens and support them to engage with decision making structures and actors in ways which facilitate positive change in the lives of primary actors.    

2. Purpose of the Assignment

The aim of this assignment is to update VSO’s understanding of contextual factors which affect the ability of marginalised and excluded groups to participate in policy decision making and to access quality public services. VSO has built an understanding of these factors through previous PEA and SEGA analyses. These analyses have not only provided details of the condition of marginalised and excluded groups but have also provided information on the systemic and structural barriers in accessing decision making processes for marginalised and excluded groups that helped in our programme design and projects. It must be noted much of these analyses were undertaken prior to the outbreak of the COVID 19 pandemic in early 2020. This assignment therefore seeks to establish how these contextual factors have been reshaped by COVID 19. The assignment will basically update VSO’s previous PEA and SEGA that were carried out prior to the COVID 19 outbreak and the global economic and political changes due to the Ukraine war. 

The main objective of the assignment is to establish the current (‘post’-COVID 19) political economy and SEGA factors determining the participation of marginalised and excluded groups in decision-making processes and access to quality public services. The findings will inform ACTIVE programming in the target countries listed above. Specifically, the assignment will seek to address the following questions:

  1. What is the status of participation in decision-making and access to quality public services for the marginalised and excluded primary actors?
  2. Are there any additions to the individuals and groups who face exclusion due to the on-set of the pandemic and challenges they face? 
  3. Are there any additional considerations from a gender perspective particularly relating to GBV and exploitation (harmful social norms)?
  4. Who and what are the main barriers, obstacles and challenges which marginalised and excluded primary actors encounter in accessing decision-making structures as well as access to quality public services?
  5. What existing opportunities and innovations can the marginalised and excluded primary actors seize to improve their active engagement in decision-making aimed at improving their access to quality public services?
  6. What are the policy level changes and local context in which governments, private sector and civil society operate? 

3. Expected Outputs

The main output from this assignment will be updated report of the Political Economy and Social Exclusion and Gender factors informing the participation of marginalised and excluded primary actors in decision making and their access to quality public services. Specifically, the main outputs will consist of:

  1. Inception report capturing the methodology and schedule for the assignment
  2. Secondary literature review based on previous PEAs and SEGAs 
  3. Report of primary actor surveys 
  4. Updated PEA report
  5. Updated SEGA report
  6. A list of recommendations on how to improve the participation of marginalised and excluded primary actors in decision making and their access to quality public services

Notes on the Assignment

Target countries

  • This assignment will be undertaken in Nepal

4. Duration of assignment

This consultancy is expected to commence earliest October 2022 with the final report delivered by January 2023. 

5. Essential/Required qualifications, skills, knowledge and competencies

  • Experience in undertaking desk research in areas of social inclusion and gender and social accountability. 
  • Track record of producing research reports and documents relating to development issues relevant to vulnerability and marginalization. 
  • Evidence of working on issues of development, human rights and issues of health, education and livelihoods. 
  • Understanding of gender and disability. 

6. How to Apply 

Interested consultants should respond to this EOI by submitting:

  1. A maximum 4-page technical proposal indicating their understanding of the assignment as well as the methodology they will employ in getting the assignment’s outputs. They should also include a timeline for the assignment in their technical response. 
  2. A financial proposal indicating both the professional fee and logistical costs for effectively undertaking the assignment. 
  3. Technical and financial proposal demonstrating the understanding of the terms of references of SEGA study. 
  4. Curriculum vitae of proposed team members (no more than 4 pages each) detailing only relevant experiences.  
  5. The proposed methodologies, sampling, clear costing of planned activities including all applicable taxes and fees.
  6. Company registration certificate.
  7. VAT/PAN registration certificate.
  8. Latest Tax clearance certificate of FY 2077/78

Proposals must be submitted to an email: Procurement.nepal@vsoint.orgby 5th September 2022 by 5PM.