Terms of Reference – Consultant

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 – Consultant

Terms of Reference

Learning and Evidence generation with a focus on addressing harmful social norms with focus on Sexual Reproductive Maternal Newborn, Child and Adolescent Health (SRMNCAH)

SYAHAAR – Strengthening Access to Adolescent Holistic Health Right

VSO Nepal

VSO is seeking to appoint a consultant for the Contribution of Community and Families addressing social and Gender norms and HTPs and resulting in Adolescent and Youth fully exercising their sexual and reproductive Health right through Volunteering for development methodology with a focus on Sexual Reproductive Maternal Newborn, Child and Adolescent Health (SRMNCAH). This study is to understand how community and family engagement in harmful social norms change practices is enabling Adolescent and youth to seek their SRMNCAH rights in different VSO working projects. The contract will be for a period of 4 weeks.

Contract period: from 15th feb to 15th March 2022.

1.  Introduction

VSO is an international development agency with over 60 years’ experience of addressing poverty and marginalisation through our unique approach of working through international, national and community volunteers. By bringing together different perspectives and working at all levels of society – from communities to government ministries – volunteers can build trust and provide the right support to ensure that national development efforts deliver lasting change.  Our works falls into the three thematic areas of Health, Education and Livelihoods.

In Nepal, by the number of populations itself, adolescent children aged 10-19 years constitute 22.01% of the total population (NDHS 2016, Family planning Fact sheet-2019), which is a critical phase of life. During this age, adolescent girls lives are already at risk due the practice of discriminatory harmful social norms and socio-cultural practices and gender based discriminatory practices. Young people in Nepal face a lot of challenges when it comes to SRHR. This sensitive and much needed topic is often surrounded by myths and social stigmas.

The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated such pre-existing sexual and reproductive health issues in young people hindering effective delivery of sexual and reproductive health services. Marginalized groups are doubly troubled due to stigma and discrimination that COVID-19 adds to already existing challenges in accessing sexual and reproductive health.

2.  Background and rationale

The proposed work aims to capture, capitalize and understand community and family engagement in in harmful social norms change practices is enabling A&Y SRMNCAH rights. This study will provide the evidence of initiatives from communities and families to address social norms and harmful practices creating barriers in promotion health rights of adolescents and youth.

Study on community and family engagement in addressing harmful social norms and practices to enable adolescents and youth for their health rights:

This study will be based on analysing VSO Nepal’s interventions on health, education and Gender based violence. The study will help to understand how harmful social norms transformation contribute in promoting health rights of youth and adolescents in relevant programmes like Pariwartan focusing on gender-based violence and VFD funded health and education initiatives.

The key interventions that will be closely assessed in the study are activities targeting families, couples, opinion leaders, youth champions, communities’ sensitization, menstrual hygiene management, social campaigns on ending child marriage and harmful norms, school based initiatives.

Lasltly, study will support in gathering evidences to advocate for transforming harmful social norms. These evidences will be further shared in local, provincial, national and international fora to bring forward voices of marginalized groups to influence policy reforms at various levels.

3.  Objectives

Based on the background provided above,this study provide evidence of initiatives from community and families to address social norms and harmful practices and envisions following objectives;

  1. Identify contributing factors in community and family engagement that triggered transformation of harmful social norms and practices for enabling youth and adolescents to access quality health services.
  2. Identify barriers in transforming harmful social norms and practices that creates challenging environment for youth and adolescents to access quality health services.
  3. Explore contributing roles played by volunteers in transforming harmful norms and practices.
  4. Identify areas that needs to be further strengthened for ensuring active volunteer mobilization to transform harmful norms and sustain positive norms.

4.  Scope

Under the responsibility and accountability of the Project Specialist – Adolescent Youth Sexual Reproductive Health, the consultant is expected to help facilitate the following tasks:

Study duration15 Feb- 15 March 2022
ScopeAnalysing and evidence VSO Nepal’s interventions on health, education and Gender based violence and expore to understand how harmful social norms transformation can contribute in promoting health rights of youth and adolescents, progress and quality of health service delivery in relation to SDG 3, and Health Accountability with a focus on Sexual Reproductive Maternal Newborn, Child and Adolescent Health (SRMNCAH). Study will also provide evidences on impact of positive norms on women and girls empowerment and agency building that will enable to claim their basic rights.
Major TasksDefining scope of work,Evidence review,Consultation with relevant stakeholderEvidence generationValidation Workshop

Consultancy should include the following key tasks and activities:

  • Participation in a kick-off meeting with core team of VSO Nepal to discuss the terms of reference, study objectives and decide the study methodology.
  • Prepare inception report with clear study protocol, which should lay-out, in detail, methodologies to respond to research questions and include all relevant data collection tools and consent documents; methodologies for data analysis and report preparation
  • Manage field work activities in agreed study areas as outlined in the study protocol.
  • Carry out in-depth interviews with Primary actors, targeted family member,opinion leader key governmental personnel and carry out observation of existing data recording and reporting forms and processes from local, provincial and federal governments where possible.
  • Produce and submit draft report with findings from the study and proposed recommendations. Gather VSO Teams( comments and inputs, and address comments as needed to finalize the report and PowerPoint presentation.
  • Validation Workshop, present findings via PowerPoint presentation.
  • Finalize report based on comments received from these interactions.

5.  Approach and Methodology

Methodology comprise of desk research (evidence review) and consultation with relevant stakeholders.

The consultant should propose appropriate methodology for the desk review, field visit, information collection from primary actors and key information and analysis for streamlining evidence based way forward. It is expected that checklist will be developed, shared with and agreed by VSO Nepal technical team by incorporating technical inputs provided and finally approved by VSO before the consultant starts desk review and field visits and consultations for evidence generation. It is expected that consutlat will prepare the report framework before hand to develop common understanding on the framework of the final study report.

Evidence Review

This will include review of existing project documentation, media coverage, grey literatures, guidelines, and manuals developed by other organization and VSO Nepal’s different projects (Sisters for Sisters, ENGAGE, SAHAJ, Pariwartan, VFD initatives) and their findings on Social norms.

Key Informants Interviews

This will include series of key informant interviews need to be undertaken with the following stakeholders:

VSO Nepal staff, Big sisters, Little sisters, Targeted family members, opinion leaders, Teachers, Community mobilisers, disability groups, Health Workers and FCHVs, Community members, Volunteers working on the project, Key partners representative and Government officials (Health, Education and GBV)

Focus Group Discussion: (at least 4 working districts of VSO)

The FGD is to be conducted with the following for evidence generation:

  1. Adolescent youth representing sexual minorities, person with disability, prison (Youth champions)
  2. targeting families, couples,
  3. opinion leaders,

It is encouraged that the consultant presents best practice, lesson learnt, key findings and way forward especially on the intervention processes, as diagrams or flowcharts or power point presentation. The consultant will be required to present the findings with VSO’s technical team fordiscussions through various modes, i.e. face to face interactions, online mode (virtual call), etc. The consultant is responsible to incorporate relevant technical feedback provided, share the report and get approval from VSO as final steps.

6.  Deliverables:

The consultant is expected to deliver the following outputs :

  • Detailed work plan, with milestones and timelines.
  • Inception report covering following points:
    • Full study protocol, laying-out in detail methodologies used to respond to research questions and include all relevant data collection tools and consent documents as well as a summary of any desk based research completed during the development of the study design.
    • Final study instruments
  • Final qualitative and quantitative datasets and analysis files
  • Report framework with key aspects like:
    • Impact of social norms transformation on women and girls empowerment
    • Social norms transformation affecting promotion of adolescent health rights
    • Case study and Best practices related with social norms transformation from each Projects
    • A compilation of impact of COVID on ongoing SRHR programs and social norms, how continuation transformation of social norms beneficial to marginilized community within COVID response mechanism.
    • Recommendations and way forward
  • Final (approved by VSO Team) study report.
  • Short summary of study report
  • Presentation of the findings including key recommendations (validation workshop)

The first draft should be made available in due time for VSO team (VSO Nepal and Global Health practice area) to comment on the draft and for these comments to be incorporated in the later versions. The final report will be reviewed by VSO team for final approval. PPT of the desk review that includes the key findings and PPT of the summary report should also be presented.

7.  Time and level of effort

  • The expected level of effort is estimated to max. 4 weeks. The research will be conducted and produced by 15th March 2022.

8.  Timeline and output

The guideline should be completed within 15th  March 2022.

Typical project milestones /outputs for deliverablesDeadlines
Initial Meeting with VSO core TeamInterim ReportLiterature/document reviews completedReview of project’s logic models ( Theory of Change, Results Framework, Log-frame)completedDesign of primary study instruments/methodology completed, need to incorporate Global Health practice area suggestion and inputs for tools finalization.Pilotiong of tools completed,Field VisitPrimary qualitative surveyAnalysisAnalysis of data and results completedDraft interiom Report submittedPresentation to VSO’s Evaluation Steering GroupDraft of Final ReportAll analyses completedDraft of final report, case studies completedFinanl ReportsFinal report and sumarry report revised and completed including suggestion and inputs of Global Health practice area.Validation Workshop:15th Feb 2022


Need to be completed within 1st week of March

March 7th 2022



March 15th 2022




March 15th 2022
Typical project milestones/outputs for deliverablesDeadlines
1. Study and Reporting PhaseFirst Draft of EvidenceFinal Evidence paper7th March 202215th March 2022

Detailed steps, processes, need to be designed and their implementation timeline need to be mentioned clearly on work plan.

Please confirm you will follow our reporting requirements outlined below:

  • Final Guideline along with a standard PPT presentation should be submitted in both hard and soft copies form and should be submitted in English in the specified frame.
  • The consultant will be required to provide face-to-face presentations on validation workshop based on the findings of all deliverables as an integral part of the submission process.
  • The consultant will be expected to provide a fully ‘cleaned-up’ guideline.

The estimated budget for this work is NPR 800000 (In words: Eighty lakhs Only) that is inclusive of tax as per VSO rules which covers the interim and final report as major two deliverables for the research project. The payment will be made directly to the bank account of the consultant or the firm. The schedule of payment for the work will be in two instalments and as follows:

First phase-  At the time of project sign:30%

Second Phase-  Draft report and Validation workshop: 30%

Last phase-  After completion of final report:  40%

In performing the service, the Consultant will act as an independent consultant and will not be deemed to be an employee or agent of VSON. The consultant will be bound by VSO’s safeguarding policy. Bidders are required to organise and fund their own duty of care arrangements as required. Please provide a fully costed proposal in the form of a price schedule. It is important that the successful bidder has taken all reasonable measures to mitigate any potential risk to the delivery of the required outputs for this evaluation.

9.  Management and governance

The consultant will be expected to attend report to the VSO Nepal and attend all meetings as agreed with the VSO Nepal’s Project Specialist. The consultant will be required to submit to Project Specialist regular progress reports (by email) during the study periods summarizing activities/tasks completed to date (per cent achieved), time spent etc.

10.  Intellectual Property

The contract will be work for hire. Therefore, all planning and work products and all final outputs of this project will be the property of VSON. Except for purposes of this assignment, no information about the study may be disclosed or used by the consultant without the written permission of the VSON Reporting Manager.

11.  Required Qualification and Skills

The proposed research consultant should include the technical expertise and practical experience required to deliver the scope of work and research outputs with regards to:

  • Proven research and analytical skills and knowledge of social norms and Harmful practices, sexual and reproductive health and rights for marginalized youth
  • Experience and/or academic training in research design and methodology in HIV, key populations, public health or related field
  • Experience working with community-based organizations in Nepal
  • Strong experience in conducting similar research projects or academic works
  • Strong writing skills, and experience in preparing similar report
  • Fluency in English written and spoken,
  • Experience of developing Policy brief, social norms transformation, Advocacy and SRHR strategies.
  • Excellent organizational and planning skills
  • Ability to deliver outcomes in timely manner
  • University education, Master’s/Doctoral degree in public health, Gender studies, social sciences or related discipline
  • A minimum of 5 years professional experience in research related to HIV and AIDS or Sexual Reproductive Health, including cross cutting areas such as advocacy, Disability and inclusion;
  • Ability to work with remote team

12.  Logistics and Quality Assurance Procedures

Ethical plan: Consultant should consult and coordinate with VSO and Implementing Partner of VSO for FGD and KII. In case of any changes on plan, prior notification should be given to VSO focal point.

13.   Application Procedure

Consultants are required to submit the following: 

  • Applicant’s resume
  • A cover letter explaining the applicant’s interest and suitability
  • Technical proposal which includes objectives and method with detailed timeline.
  • CVs of professional personnel proposed for the project
  • Copy of company registration certificate
  • Copy of PAN/VAT registration certificate
  • Incase of individual/freelancer- Copy of VAT registration certificate
  • 3-5 sample of previous productions in line with the technical and creative requirements of the project.
  • Latest Tax Clearance Certificate FY 77/78

14.  Reporting Line

The Consultant will report to VSO Nepal’s Project Specialist.

15.  Closed date for submission:

  • The submission closed date is 14 Feb 2022, no later than 5:00 pm.
  • Submissions should be addressed to: Procurement.nepal@vsoint.org