Hiring of a consultancy firm to conduct a feasibility study to identify cost-effective solutions for transformative care services and childcare provision and map existing and needed care service provision and social care infrastructure including in rural and urban areas in 8 districts of Rwanda at UN Women Rwanda (Deadline: 04th May,2022)

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Hiring of a consultancy firm to conduct a feasibility study to identify cost-effective solutions for transformative care services and childcare provision and map existing and needed care service provision and social care infrastructure including in rural and urban areas in 8 districts of Rwanda at UN Women Rwanda (Deadline: 04th May,2022)

ūüŹėÔłŹ¬†The Organization¬†

The Organization

UN Women Rwanda

Rwanda is among eight pilot countries selected in January 2007 to implement the One UN Reform, which enables the UN System to provide a more effective and coherent response to the needs of the Government of Rwanda and its Development Partners. As part of the UN Country Team, UNDP works with other sister agencies to implement the ‚ÄúOne UN ‚Äď Delivering as One‚ÄĚ process.

ūüďč Consultancy Description Details

Hiring of a consultancy firm to conduct a feasibility study to identify cost-effective solutions for transformative care services and childcare provision and map existing and needed care service provision and social care infrastructure including in rural and urban areas in 8 districts of Rwanda

Organization: UN Women

Location: Rwanda

Type of contract: National consultancy firm

Languages required: English, Kinyarwanda

Duration of initial contract: 90 days

1. Project Background and description

1.1. UN Women’s Mandate

UN Women’s mandate is gender equality and women’s empowerment; as a global champion for women and girls, UN Women was created to accelerate the progress of women and girls and address their needs around the world. The agency helps Member States set and implement global standards to achieve gender equality and coordinates gender-related work within the United Nations. As part of its work for women’s economic empowerment, UN Women’s mandate is to ensure that all women have income security, decent work and economic empowerment. To achieve this goal, recognizing that women’s economic empowerment depends on the amount of unpaid work women bear, UN Women is catalyzing efforts to recognize, reduce and redistribute unpaid care work to remove structural barriers to women’s full and equal participation in the economy.

Based on the evidence that current trends in gender equality, particularly in crisis-affected contexts, does not support the achievement of sustainable development goals, UN Women has identified innovation and technology as strategic levers to accelerate the achievement of gender equality and women’s empowerment. This led to the creation of UN Women’s Innovation Unit, to help different offices explore and pilot new solutions that address the challenges and barriers faced by women and girls. The pursuit of innovation is based on partnerships and the Innovation Unit actively engages with partners to identify opportunities for collaboration, including with Member States, international organizations, academics, civil society and the private sector. The Innovation Unit has supported the offices at country, regional and headquarters level to set up innovative projects in thematic areas such as humanitarian, data, agriculture, women’s entrepreneurship, ending violence against women, through technological or non-technological solutions.

Innovative tools such as digital and mobile technologies have the potential to act as a lever to accelerate the achievement of gender equality and women’s empowerment ‚Äď and their economic empowerment. Digital and mobile technologies have demonstrated the potential to reduce poverty, especially for women.¬†They have also been identified as a promising solution to reduce the burden of unpaid care work for women; for example, mobile cash transfers can lead to significant savings in travel time, with qualitative evidence suggesting that the time saved is used for productive agricultural activities.

As part of its flagship programme “Empowering Women through Climate-Smart Agriculture”, UN Women has led the design and development of digital and mobile platforms tailored to the needs of rural women, enabling them to more easily access digital and mobile technologies, as well as¬† market opportunities, through e-commerce, ¬† information and education opportunities, through e-learning, and financial services, but also to allow them to better control their assets, activities and productive resources. As part of this effort, UN Women has launched the “Buy from Women” initiative, through which it is leading the development of multifunctional digital and mobile platforms that aim to become a “one-stop shop” for rural women in different countries in sub-Saharan Africa and other regions.

1.2. Project Description: 3R 

From cooking and cleaning, to fetching water and firewood or taking care of children, the sick or the elderly, women carry out at least two and a half times more unpaid household and care work than their male counterparts. This results in having less time to engage in paid labour, work longer hours or opting to combine paid and unpaid labour. Women‚Äôs unpaid work subsidizes the cost of care that sustains families, supports economies and often fills in for the lack of social services. Yet, it is rarely recognized as ‚Äúwork‚ÄĚ. The UN Women estimates that unpaid care and domestic work accounts for 10 to 39 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product and can contribute more to the economy than the manufacturing, commerce or transportation sectors. With the onslaught of climate change, women‚Äôs unpaid work in farming, gathering water and fuel is growing even more. Policies that provide services, social protection and basic infrastructure promote sharing of domestic and care work between men and women and create more paid jobs in the care economy are urgently needed to accelerate progress on women‚Äôs economic empowerment.

Prior to the COVID-19 crisis, women already did three times as much unpaid domestic work and care work as men with women on average doing around 4.1 hours per day compared to men who on average do around 1.7 hours. For women living in rural areas these figures can vary widely, particularly in areas with limited access to regular basic services such as energy, water and sanitation, as women and girls tend to bear the brunt of the unpaid labour to collect and manage these resources and services for daily household consumption.

Furthermore, illness or other negative events in the household can increase the time spent by women and girls on care-giving and domestic work. This has been brought into sharp focus by the COVID-19 pandemic which has exacerbated the care demands on women and girls due to pandemic-related measures and lockdowns. In Rwanda, on average, women spend approximately 26.7 hours per week on unpaid care work compared to only 16.1 hours spent by men according to the Labour Force Survey. According to the same report, women in Rwanda continue to face significant obstacles in entering the labour market and progressing in their careers. Barriers to participation, persistent occupational and sectoral segregation and a disproportionate share of unpaid household and care work prevent them from enjoying equal access to opportunities. This impedes women’s economic choices and weighs on their social status, while ultimately curbing the country’s growth and social development.

In order to address the inequities in unpaid care work, UN Women has developed a multi country programme dubbed ‚ÄėTransformative approaches to recognize, reduce, and redistribute unpaid care work in women‚Äôs economic empowerment programming‚Äô¬†programme (‚Äė3R Programme‚Äô) to be implemented in Rwanda, South Africa and Senegal. The overarching goal of the programme¬†is to remove the structural barriers to women‚Äôs full and equal participation in the economy by recognizing, reducing, and redistributing unpaid care work. In order to contribute to this overarching goal/impact, the programme aims to contribute to the following two outcomes:¬†

  1. National and local governments develop/strengthen laws, policies and services that recognize and address the disproportionate share of unpaid care work by women and girls
  2. Women’s cooperatives and other organizations provide transformative care services in rural and/or urban areas to reduce and redistribute unpaid care work

The 3R Programme will build on UN Women’s expertise at the global, regional and country level. It will complement existing UN Women programmes on climate-resilient agriculture and rural women’s economic empowerment in Rwanda, by developing a care component which responds to lessons learned that indicate insufficient attention is given to women’s unpaid care and domestic workloads and overall time poverty. This programme fills a critical gap by developing transformative solutions to these challenges.

The 3R programme responds to the need for more programmatic interventions on recognizing, reducing and redistributing (3Rs) women’s unpaid care and domestic work as well as overall time poverty. With support from Global Affairs Canada, the 3R Programme will integrate a standalone care component into existing UN Women programmes on climate-resilient agriculture and rural women’s economic empowerment in Rwanda and will:

  • Support national and local policy advocacy for greater awareness and capacity building to redress discriminatory social norms and address the 3Rs of unpaid care work in laws, policies and services.
  • Develop economically sustainable models of transformative care services and childcare provision.
  • Increase access to timesaving, climate-resilient infrastructure for thousands of women through well-established partnerships with women‚Äôs cooperatives, associates and other organizations.
  • Raise awareness in communities, including by engaging men and boys, about discriminatory social norms and the 3Rs of unpaid care work.

2. General Objectives and Scope of the Work:

2.1. General Objectives

general objective of these studies is to provide the identification and assessment of the needs and barriers faced by rural and urban women regarding unpaid care work, the mapping of the ecosystem relating to unpaid care work as well as cost-effective solutions for transformative care services and childcare provision that can respond to these needs for rural and urban women in Rwanda.

The findings of these studies will serve the following  purposes: (1) They will first  provide a reference and analysis of the needs and barriers faced by rural and urban women, the surrounding ecosystem and existing solutions, which will contribute to advancing understanding in the field of unpaid care risk among rural and urban women in Rwanda and  be useful to various stakeholders in developing policy and advocacy tools;   (2) The feasibility study will consider the projects developed by  Implementing partners and assess their feasibility. Subsequent recommendations from the feasibility analyis will be integrated in project implementation and necessary adjustments will be adopted; and (3) They will provide directly actionable information and specific recommendations to UN Women and its project partners that will guide decision-making during the implementation phase of the project, ultimately leading to the identification of innovative partnerships and models to recognize, reduce and redistribute women’s unpaid care work and the design of cost-effective solutions for transformative care services and childcare provision that meet the specific needs identified among rural and urban women (action research).

Consequently, the results of this research will be presented by separating in a clear and rigorous way the internal recommendations that will guide the implementation of the project from the conclusions and recommendations that will instead be disseminated to the general public.

2.2 Scope of the work

To ensure the achievement of the project objectives, the selected consultancy firm will be responsible for carrying out various activities including desk research and field data collection.  It will have to prepare and submit a separate report at the end of the mapping of existing and needed care service provision and social care infrastructure and the feasibility study to identify the cost-effective solutions for transformative care services and childcare provision.

2.2.1 Feasibility study to Identify the cost-effective solutions for transformative care services and childcare provisions. 

This will cover the following key elements:

  • Identification of needs and barriers faced by rural and urban women related to unpaid care services:
  • Lead the identification of rural and urban women and households needs in the 8 selected districts¬†in terms of reducing their vulnerability to unpaid care and strengthening their resilience and social and economic empowerment
  • Identify existing barriers limiting women‚Äôs access to cost-effective solutions for transformative care services and childcare provision and access of women to time saving climate resilient infrastructures and technologies (that would reduce their unpaid care workloads). This includes an analysis of access to relevant knowledge and skills, necessary equipment and infrastructure
  • Assess the climate resilience of these equipment and infrastructures, the legal framework, as well as conducting investigations into the willingness to pay for these services.
  • Based on the above assessment, identify the capacity building needs of rural and urban women who will be part of the beneficiaries of the project, in order to facilitate their access to care services. This will include skills and competences related to transformative technologies to reduce the unpaid care work, and other relevant topics.
  • Based on the analysis of needs, barriers and context, identify options to maximize the value proposition of these innovations for these groups and segments. This identification of options will be based on a set of criteria that will be defined following the analysis of needs identified with rural and urban women and the barriers preventing their access and adoption in terms of the proposed technologies (digital literacy level, access to mobile technology, last-mile infrastructure, barriers to the legal framework, etc.), as well as proposed mitigation strategies to overcome these barriers.

This phase of the study will be achieved through a methodology combining literature research and field data collection in the 8 districts, using interviews with experts, structured questionnaires and focus group discussions with women in cooperatives previously identified. To obtain information that is as much as representative of the needs of rural and urban women in the project areas, a sample of at least 300 rural women and 100 urban women will be covered. The methodology used for field data collection will need to be adapted to ensure compliance with public health guidelines as part of efforts to stop the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Mapping of the ecosystem and existing solutions:
  1. Assess existing solutions and products in the market, that can support women’s unpaid care workloads including, among others, financial and technological solutions, that can meet the needs related to unpaid care of rural and urban women, with a focus on transformative technology solutions. This will include a gap analysis of existing solutions and an analysis of good practices in the in the 8 Districts.
  2. Identify key stakeholders in the country with an interest in the sector related to unpaid care services for rural and urban women, including government, private sector, multilateral organizations and civil society organizations, including women’s organizations.
  • Designing potential solutions to address unpaid care work

The selected Consulting Firm will formulate a set of realistic solutions, mechanisms, products and services that can be designed and tested to address the needs faced by rural and urban women regarding unpaid care services, with a focus on exploiting the potential of transformative technologies including mobile technology.

  1. Based on the findings of the needs assessment, provide a set of realistic solutions, products and services that would contribute to the recognition, reduction and redistribution of unpaid care work including leveraging transformative technologies.
  2. Analyze the basic prerequisites necessary to deploy the proposed innovations in the project areas, in terms of digital and financial literacy level; access to mobile or digital technologies and equipment; access to social protection measures; existing last-mile electricity and telecommunications infrastructure; as well as the normative framework. Analyze how the current level of literacy, access to technology, equipment and infrastructure in the project areas and the normative framework can hinder the project objectives and propose appropriate measures if necessary to foster a more favorable ecosystem.
  • Final report with analyses, conclusions and recommendations:
  1. Provide a set of clear and specific conclusions and recommendations that will guide strategic decision-making for the implementation of the project.  This will include recommendations on:
    1. Groups of rural and urban women recommended as beneficiaries and their socio-economic profile.
    2. The main needs, risks and shocks of unpaid care work faced by rural and urban women in Rwanda.
    3. Barriers that rural and urban women face and/or may face in accessing innovative solutions on unpaid care services, and the likelihood that they will be able to adopt and pay for such solutions.
    4. Capacity-building needs for beneficiaries or segments of rural and urban women.
    5. Potential solutions that can be deployed to meet identified needs.
    6. Mapping the current ecosystem in Rwanda related to unpaid care for rural and urban women, including existing solutions and programs, gaps in current services in relation to the needs of rural and urban women, as well as good practices and solutions from other countries.
    7. Key players, potential partnerships and¬†business models¬†necessary for the proper implementation of each of the solutions of the proposed instruments, as well as the costs associated with the proposed solutions, and strategies for their sustainability and scaling; and the role to be played by the public sector and, especially women’s groups, in fostering an enabling ecosystem and addressing the needs identified around unpaid care services for rural and urban women.
    8. Available transformative technology options to improve the supply, distribution and demand of the above solutions and instruments, including the most appropriate transformative technologies, entry points, channels and infrastructure.
    9. Any activities necessary to remove identified barriers, mitigate risks associated with project implementation, and improve project outcomes in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis.

2.2.2 Mapping of existing and needed care service provision and social care infrastructure 

On the other hand, the purpose of the mapping exercise is to examine quality of key support services and identify protection services for children and their families in the 8 districts to reduce and redistribute the unpaid care work. The mapping will serve to identify both available services and gaps in service provision; it will also highlight barriers preventing vulnerable women and children from accessing available services. This analysis will consider factors that contribute to and compound the effects of protection related gaps and integrate cross cutting issues including but not limited to sex, age, disability and minority status. The Consultancy firm will be supervised by the project manager of 3R at UN Women with provision of technical support on the mapping exercise.

The specific objectives for the mapping exercise are to:

  1. Identify, list and provide key information on multisectoral care services and social care infrastructure which are available to facilitate provision of service
  2. Produce updated service maps with accurate information about the services and supports available (type, location, scope), the number of children living in those facilities (profile, gender, age, special needs).
  3. Assess quality of critical support services in reference to standard quality benchmarks to ensure they are safe, child friendly, gender sensitive and inclusive
  4. Describe governmental agencies and their functions as well community-based structures and their roles and the roles and services of national and international organizations.
  5. Give recommendations on how care service provision can be improved; compiling and documenting stakeholders’ (service providers and targeted users) suggestions for improving care service provision
  6. Develop a comprehensive and standardized monitoring tool package, including a check list that can be adopted by the National Child Development Agency for routine assessment of childcare service facilities.

The team of consultants will be responsible for managing all operational activities related to this   research/study, in close consultation with UN Women and other project partners. These activities will be carried out in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic and will need to comply with applicable laws and regulations, in order to ensure compliance with public health guidelines as part of efforts to stop the spread of the pandemic and protect the lives of UN Women beneficiaries and partners. All the activities required as part of this research project will therefore have to be designed considering risk reduction strategies.

3. Expected Deliverables 

The main deliverables that will be submitted by the consultancy firm are listed below. A preliminary timeline of activities and methodology will be provided by the firm as part of their proposal. The selected firm will then prepare a revised schedule of activities and methodology as part of the inception report, which will be submitted to UN Women within 7 calendar days from the signing date of the contract. Progress and coordination meetings with UN Women and its partners and presentations will be held on an agreed schedule basis.

List of key deliverables:

  1. Inception report with brief literature review, methodology of the research, development of research tools, work plan, etc… submitted and approved.
  2. Mapping of the existing ecosystem and needed care service provision and social care infrastructure submitted and approved.
  3. Report on potential cost-effective solutions for transformative care services and childcare provision and intervention strategies submitted and approved.
  4. Final report with strategic recommendation for implementation submitted and approved.
  5. Presentations summarizing the key findings, conclusions and recommendations of the research work.

The interim (first draft) and final reports will be structured in such a way as to clearly and fully address all the elements listed in sections 2.1 and 2.2 of these terms of reference. Two separate interim reports will be produced: the first one will cover the mapping of existing and needed care service provision and social care infrastructure and the second one will cover the cost-effective solutions for transformative care services and childcare provision in the 8 Districts of Rwanda.

According to the dual objective of this work, the final report will be composed of two separate outputs, one containing the information and results to be disseminated to the general public and presenting the results in a descriptive manner with recommendations for the medium to long term, and another one for internal use, providing specific analytical recommendations for the short term and aimed at guiding the implementation of the project for UN Women and its partners.

Deliverables

Activities

Deadlines

1: Inception Report (this applies for both studies)

Meeting with UN Women and partner institutions, prepare and present a comprehensive inception report which includes among others the conceptual framework for undertaking the assignment, methodology and preliminary sampling frame, sample tools to be used as well as the roadmap of the process with concrete timeline. Key partners to be consulted should be listed and consulted to finalize the study tools (questionnaire, etc…) at this stage.

For Feasibility study

2: Mapping of the existing ecosystem and needed care service provision and social care infrastructure

Produce a section report on the Mapping of the existing ecosystem and needed care service provision and social care infrastructure

3: Report on potential cost-effective solutions for transformative care services and childcare provision and intervention strategies

Produce a section report on potential cost-effective solutions for transformative care services and childcare provision and intervention strategies

  1. Draft study report combining the mapping of the existing ecosystem and needed care service provision and social care infrastructure; and the potential cost-effective solutions for transformative care services and childcare provision and intervention strategies

First study report presented to all stakeholders and provision of feedback.

5.Final report with strategic recommendation for implementation

Final report with strategic recommendation for implementation submitted and approved.

6.Presentations summarizing the key findings, conclusions and recommendations of the research work.

Presentations of key findings, conclusions and recommendations to all stakeholders in a physical meeting

For the Mapping study

7.Finalised Assessment

Tool (in English and

Kinyarwanda)

Revise the draft tool for the assessment of few selected care service facilities to ensure that  the  tool  is  comprehensive,  user  friendly,  captures  views  from key stakeholders (NCDA, MIGEPROF, MINIRENA, etc…) and is consistent with national and  international norms and standards as well as the  UN  guidelines on care services  and  captures  adequate information about:The interviewees; The facility such as the physical address,Management  of the facility;

Type of infrastructure; Source of funds; Qualification  of  staff  employed  in  the  facility  and  their  key role  and  responsibility ; Health, Safety and Nutrition standards; Hygiene  (Water and Sanitation)  facilities  within the home;      Food  and  Nutritional  Intake  of  the  children in the home;  Educational  Training                Programmes available; Information  on  the  number  and  type  of   children admitted;  The admission processes followed;   Availability of individual care  plans; The  type  of  care  and  reintegration  processes applied;  Protective  measures  in  place  in  the  facility;  Complaints mechanisms available  for  children; etc. The tool should also capture recommendations to the facility and/or the NCDA, MINIRENA and partners

8.Draft research report

The consultancy firm shall elaborate and share the initial comprehensive draft report of the mapping study and share it with the technical team for feedback and pre-validation.

9.Final research Report:

Following the feedback from the pre-validation workshop, relevant inputs shall be incorporated into the draft and a final mapping research report submitted.

5. Timeframe:  Start date and end date for completion of required services/results

The consultancy firm is expected to conduct the mapping of existing and needed care service provision and social care infrastructure and the feasibility study to identify the cost-effective solutions for transformative care services and childcare provision in the 8 Districts for a period not exceeding 90 days from the signing of contract day. Interested firms are called to submit their technical proposal, detailing their methods, outlining their timeline, and suggesting a budget based on the methodology agreed upon in COVID-19 context and considering the immediateness of the data required for it to be relevant.

6. Qualification and Experience

  • Advanced degree in social sciences, Economics, International Development, Gender studies, Political Science, Laws or related field areas.
  • Proven at least 10 years‚Äô experience in conducting participatory approaches and interviews as data collection approaches.
  • A proven experience (at least 10 years) in conducting gender equality assessments and studies and/or working with development projects that support women‚Äôs empowerment in Rwanda
  • Demonstrated familiarity with gender equality policy and legal frameworks in Rwanda
  • Experience in conducting care services and childcare studies, projects, evaluations, etc‚Ķ
  • Extensive experience on women‚Äôs rights, Rwandan cultural beliefs/attitudes and with some experiences on the intersectionality of climate resilient sustainable agriculture, women‚Äôs unpaid care work, and women‚Äôs economic participation and unpaid care work.
  • Experience in conducting quantitative and qualitative data using digital tools.
  • Managing and coding data collected through a survey.
  • Excellent facilitation skills.
  • Fluency in English and Kinyarwanda
  • Ability to engage people in conversation and record answers clearly and accurately.
  • Organizational and team engagement skills.

ūüĆź¬†How to Apply

Consultancy Application Channel Accepted  and any other relevant Application  Info’s 

Interested candidates are requested to submit their detailed CVs, technical proposal and intent letter to rwanda.offers@unwomen.org not later than 4th May,2022. Only pre-selected candidates will be notified.


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