Terms of Reference: Regional Baseline Survey

VSO International
Please note: this opportunity closing date has passed and may not be available any more.
Opportunity closing date: 
Monday, 9 November, 2015
Opportunity type: 

VSO is the world's leading independent international development organisation that works through volunteers to fight poverty in developing countries. Our high-impact approach brings people together to share skills, build capabilities, promote international understanding and action to change lives and make the world a fairer place. VSO-RHAISA has been awarded a grant by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) over a period of 3 years to implement the project “Promoting Human rights and access to health services in prisons in Southern Africa” in Zambia, Malawi, Zimbabwe and Prison and Correctional Services in improving the health of HIV positive prisoners. We are seeking the services of a consultant to conduct a baseline study to pave way for the implementation of the project. 
The consultant firm should demonstrate expertise and experience in conducting comprehensive base line and research studies and have prior experience performing similar work in prisons in Zimbabwe, Zambia and Malawi. The baseline study is one of the initial activities planned under this project, and is expected to serve as a benchmark to asses for future impact studies on how well the project objectives have been achieved. This will therefore constitute the beginning of the Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) process for the project as well as influencing how the M&E framework that is going to be established
The consultancy firm would have to work within a specified period to complete all the base line study activities and report to VSO as agreed. The goal and specific outcomes of the project are as follows: 

Goal: Improved health and dignity of prison population in Southern Africa
  • Outcome 1: Improved coordination among government sectors and civil society in the delivery of health and HIV/AIDS services in prisons in the targeted countries.
  • Outcome 2: Improved access to quality health and HIV and AIDS services for prison populations (including vulnerable sub-populations, such as juveniles, females) in the targeted countries.
  • Outcome 3: Prison facilities supported with nutrition rehabilitation programmes for successful reintegration of prisoners back into society in the targeted countries. 
  • Outcome 4: Strengthened capacity of CBOs, CSOs, SANOP and other service providers to implement human rights-based health and HIV and AIDS services in prisons. 

The baseline study will be restricted to the project sites shown in the table below. These sites have been decided and agreed with country Prison and Correctional Services (PCS) and the Donor.

Country Prisons Partners
  1. Chikurubi Prison Complex (Maximum, Farm and Female Prisons)
  2. Harare Central Prison Complex (Harare Central and Harare Remand Prisons)
  3. Masvingo  Remand Prison
  4. Mutimurefu Prison
  5. Khami (Maximum, Medium, Remand and Mlondolozi Female Prisons)
  6. Mutare Farm Prison
Collaborative &Strategic
-Ministry of Health and Child Care
-Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services (ZPCS)
-Zimbabwe Association for Crime Prevention and Rehabilitation of the Offender (ZACRO)
-Face Zimbabwe
-Batanai HIV/AIDS Service Organisation
-Zimbabwe National Network for People Living with HIV
  1. Nsanje Maximum Prison
  2. Bvumbwe Juvenile Prison
  3. Mikuyu Maximum Prison
  4. Kasungu Maximum Prison
  5. Byadzi Juvenile Prison
  6. Rumphi Maximum Prison
Malawi Prison Service

Collaborative & Strategic
-Ministry of Health
-Ministry of Gender, Social Welfare and Child Development
-National AIDS Commission
-Malawi Human Rights and Rehabilitation

  1. Chipata Central
  2. Kasama Milima Prison
  3. Mpika Prison
  4. Mkushi State Prison
  5. Petauke Prison
  6. Nyimba Prison
Prison Care and Counselling Association (PRISSCA)
Collaborative & Strategic
-Zambia Prisons Service
-National AIDS Council
-Ministry of Health
-Ministry of Community Development, Mother and Child Health

1. Purpose of the Regional Baseline Study

The purpose of this regional baseline study is to provide an information base against which to monitor and assess an activity’s progress and effectiveness during implementation and after the activity is completed. The baseline provides data upon which projects’ progress on generation of outputs, contribution to The Project on Promoting Human Rights and Access to Health Services in Southern Africa outcomes and impacts is assessed. 

Being effectively the first step in the activity’s M&E system, the baseline study is an early element of the activity monitoring plan which also gathers and analyses data using the logical framework. The baseline study gathers the information to be used in subsequent assessments of how efficiently the activity is being implemented and the eventual results of the activity, and forms a basis for setting performance targets and ensuring accountability to partners and other stakeholders. Also implementation evaluation, Mid-term reviews, outcome evaluations, project completion reports and other initiatives will assess progress by comparing recent data with the information from the baseline study.

2. Scope of the Baseline 

In collaboration with the project staff, the consultant will undertake the baseline to establish: 

  1. The level of knowledge by prisoners to HIV and AIDS related information, prevention, ART adherence, and support; stigma and discrimination within the prison settings as guided by the logical framework indicators.
  2. The level of access to quality health and HIV and AIDS services for prison populations (including vulnerable sub populations, such as juveniles, females) in the targeted countries as guided by the logical framework indicators.
  3. The level of knowledge, livelihood skills, and access to services of HIV+ ex-prisoners to support their positive reintegration into family and community socio-economic life following release as guided by the detailed indicators in the logical framework.
  4. The level of Partner capacity for networking, coordination, and evidence based advocacy and lobbying necessary to lead to improved practice in implementing human rights health and – HIV and AIDS services for prisoners, in line with country Correctional Service strategy, regional and international guidelines as guided by the indicators in the logical framework.

3. Methodology

It is expected that the baseline will take 40 days between (16 November 2015- 22 January 2016) including country field visits to the country (prisons and stakeholders) collecting data as guided by the by the following steps: 

- Step 1: Inception Report

The consultant will be required to submit and/or present an evaluation inception document which will detail the study design, methodology and work plan and will include the itinerary for the field visits.

- Step 2: Literature/ Desk Review

The VSO Regional and In-country staff will provide key primary documentation to be reviewed including but not limited to: Project Proposal and Logical Framework; VSO-RHAISA Prisons Project Strategy and any other documents as deemed necessary for the baseline. 

- Step 3: Field work/visits:

Actual schedule to be discussed with the consultant. Field visits should be conducted in the 4 targeted countries include such activities as: 

  • Conducting key Informant interviews with prisons’ leadership
  • Conducting focus group discussions 
  • Conducting in-depth interviews with prison management and staff (may include prisoners) 
- Step 4: Key Informant Interviews with:
  • Leaders of support groups 
  • Representatives of partner organisations
  • Other organisations with insights on  HIV and AIDS prison Programming 
  • Prison staff and management 
- Step 5: Final draft report
  • The final evaluation report should be concise and not exceed 60 pages excluding annexes. The use of pictures, quotes and graphs to clarify and enrich findings will be appreciated.
  • Finalization of the report shall include incorporating inputs from stakeholder groups by the study Team. 
  • Submission of the Final Baseline Report to VSO-RHAISA.

4. Key Deliverables 

The key evaluation deliverables/ outputs will include: 

  1. Deliverable 1: Consultative meeting with VSO-RHAISA Regional Team to be held week beginning 10th of November. 
  2. Deliverable 2: The Inception Report: To be submitted by 16th of November 2015.

This will include a finalized study design, methodology, work plan, assessment protocol and draft data collection tools. The inception report will be reviewed by VSO, revised and signed-off by VSO by 20 November 2015.

      III. Deliverable 3: Field Data Collection and Analysis 
To be conducted between 23 November and 11 December 2015. Data Collection Schedule below (This is not subject to revision). 

Country Data Collection Timelines
Zambia 23-27 November (5 days)
Zimbabwe 30 November-5 December( 3-5 days)
Malawi 7-11 December 2015 (3-5 days)

   IV. Deliverable 4: First draft of the assessment report to be submitted by the 4th of January 2016.

To include an executive summary, with summarized raw data provided as annexes. The final draft report will be reviewed by VSO and stakeholders, provide comments for incorporation into the report by the consultant by 12 of January 2016. For quality assurance purposes, all statements made in the report should be evidence-based, and this evidence should be available, in full and specific to that particular statement (i.e. no unorganized raw data but raw data that are specific to whichever statement is made), upon request.

   V. Deliverable 5: Final submission of the assessment report to be submitted by the 18th of January 2016.

With an excel sheet showing all the necessary primary data collected against all the indicators as detailed in the proposal application package.

5. Roles and Responsibilities of Each Party

        5.1. Consultant responsibilities  
  • Produce research protocol (inception report) for carrying out the baseline study 
  • Develop the data collection instruments in line with the project core outcome and impact indicators.
  • Design appropriate study methodology and sampling (to be discussed and agreed with In-country teams and Regional Team prior to implementation).
  • Train, recruit and manage interviewers and supervisors/team-leaders (VSO In-country teams and main Prison and Correctional Services country organisation to be included in the supervisory team). 
  • Oversee the data collection process to include: survey pre-test; and ensure effective management of data collection teams by supervisors. 
  • Code, encode and analyze collected data using the appropriate software.
  • Produce and submit to RHAISA team draft report on findings (per required format and data request).
  • Incorporate comments from the VSO team into draft report and produce final report. 
  • De-brief the VSO-RHAISA SHARP Regional Team (after initial field trip and upon submission of draft report). 
  • Coordinate with the VSO-RHAISA SHARP Regional Team to disseminate study findings to respondents and other stakeholders. 
  • Finalise a high quality baseline analysis report.
  • Present findings to the VSO team after the report submission 

        5.2. VSO-RHAISA responsibilities  

The VSO Regional and In-Country will provide key primary documentation and information to be reviewed, as well as participating in some activities, including but not limited to: 

  • The SHARP Proposal Documents 
  • And any other relevant documentation that will be deemed necessary for the baseline. 
  • Assist the team in setting up appointments with Partners. 
  • Consolidating VSO’s and stakeholders’ comments for incorporation by the consultants. 
  • Coordinating with the consultant to ensure the quality implementation of the study on ground (e.g. training and supervision of interviewers).
  • Ensuring the dissemination of survey findings to beneficiaries and other field-based stakeholders.
  • Providing additional information on ground.

6. Reporting and accountability

The consultant will formally report to The VSO Regional M&E Manager and Regional Co-ordinator on a day to day support, and also work closely with Project/Programme Managers in Zimbabwe, Zambia and Malawi for additional day to day support, facilitation and co-ordination.

7. The Report Format

The final report should be concise and not exceed 60 pages excluding annexes. The use of pictures, quotes and graphs to clarify and enrich findings will be appreciated. 

The report should follow the following format: 

  • Title page; acknowledgement; acronym list; list of figures and tables; executive summary (maximum 3 pages), project background, methodology used, findings and analysis, challenges, conclusions and recommendations; list of annexure; 
  • The final report should be provided in an electronic format compatible with Microsoft Word for Windows. 
  • Also the report should be accompanied by a short PowerPoint presentation. 

Timeframe: The consultant is expected to commence from the 16th of November 2015 to the 22nd of January 2016.

8. Budget and Payment Schedule

The total indicative budget for the evaluation is GBP 18,210, inclusive of all travel and subsistence costs and costs of organizing workshops/meetings to conduct stakeholder consultation, and report publication. 
Payments will be made as follows, in line with receipt of key deliverables: 

  • 30% upon approval of the inception report. 
  • 30% upon presentation and approval of the final draft report.
  • 40% upon submission and approval of the final report 

9. Award/ Selection Criteria 

Tenders will be evaluated using a weighted scoring approach, as specified below:

Quality of proposed evaluation design and methodology  
-Demonstrating a strong understanding of the analytical / contextual / logistical issues relevant for a study of this type and the objectives of the baseline.
Quality of the team  
- Relevant expertise, experience, understanding of the issues and ability to collaborate productively in an international setting.
Backstopping capacity  
Ample ability to draw on other people’s expertise, particularly to ensure cultural awareness and access to relevant language skills.
Quality of the consultant’s best work   10%
-Cost and value for money.

Application Procedure
All interested parties should respond to the TOR by making your application by clicking Apply Now on our application system and attach your Capability Statement. To apply please go to: http://vso.force.com/jobopportunities   


  • The consultant(s) should have relevant academic qualifications at minimum a Masters Degree.
  • Proven research experience in the health and/or human rights environment and marginalised and vulnerable population. 
  • Consultant/research team have proven experience and expertise on both quantitative and qualitative methods and proven experience of successfully undertaking project baseline studies.
  • The consultant(s) should have proven experience of conducting surveys of similar set-up, size and scope in Southern Africa.
  • Knowledge and experience of participatory assessment / development approaches will be required.
  • Knowledge and experience in organizational development approaches including organizational capacity assessment and development.
  • Broad experience in conducting large survey fieldwork (data collection, validation, entry and analysis).Experience in leading teams implementing surveys in the field (training, field logistics, human relations, teamwork).
  • Prior experience working with SDC, DFID, CIDA, SIDA, funded projects is preferred.
  • Must travel to field sites during the fieldwork phase.
  • Provide a list of staff that will be involved in the project at all levels from director, project manager through to field researchers- with a summary of their relevant experience and proposed role in the project. A full CV for each team member should be provided as an annex. 

Closing date: 9th of November 2015

VSO is an equal opportunity employer, values inclusion and seeks to have a diverse workforce. We welcome applicants from all sections of the community.

Only short-listed candidates will be contacted. 

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