Call for Proposals: Lessons Learnt Synthesis Report For The USAID Funded REPSSI Caregiver Training Programme

Regional Psycho-social support Initiative
Please note: this opportunity closing date has passed and may not be available any more.
Opportunity closing date: 
Friday, 29 January, 2016
Opportunity type: 

Since 2012 REPSSI has been working in South Africa with the Department of Social Development (DSD) to improve the psychosocial wellbeing of vulnerable children, youth and those who care for them. The programme’s key objectives are:

  • To strengthen the quality of PSS service through development and implementation of national guidelines by September 2016; and
  • To expand access to professional PSS services through training 365 Community Care Givers in seven districts in KwaZulu-Natal by September 2016. 

Terms of Reference for Lessons Learnt Synthesis Report for the USAID Funded REPSSI Caregiver Training Programme

  1. Background

The Regional Psycho-social support Initiative (REPSSI) is the leading African psychosocial support (PSS) technical support organisation. REPSSI’s vision is that all girls, boys and youth enjoy psychosocial and mental wellbeing. To achieve this vision, REPSSI collaborates with governments, development partners, international organisations, and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to implement programmes that strengthen communities` and families` competencies to better promote the psychosocial wellbeing of their children and youth. Its aim is to ensure that all children have access to stable care and protection through quality psychosocial support. REPSSI works at international, regional and national level in 13 countries of East and Southern Africa.
Programme Description

Since 2012, REPSSI has been working in South Africa with the Department of Social Development (DSD) to improve the psychosocial wellbeing of vulnerable children, youth and those who care for them. The program’s key objectives are:

  • To strengthen the quality of PSS service through development and implementation of national guidelines by September 2016; and
  • To expand access to professional PSS services through training 365 Community Care Givers in seven districts in KZN Province by September 2016.

On objective (i) above, the main goal of the PSS Guidelines is to ensure the implementation of psychosocial support within the National Plan of Action for OVC (2012-2016) and beyond. The guidelines will provide for a common vision and harmonised practices among key stakeholders, especially Community Care Givers and program managers to promote effective, high quality service delivery. The PSS Guidelines are designed as an important tool to build a comprehensive Orphans and Vulnerable Children and Youth (OVC&Y) service delivery culture around children’s care, support and protection. Based on the PSS Guidelines, practitioners will not only be held accountable but will also be empowered to uphold quality standards as they carry out field work far from the administrative offices. By engaging with the PSS Guidelines and other formal mechanisms it will be possible to also raise awareness of children’s rights and encourage government institutions and governmental mechanisms to be proactive in identifying and denouncing violations of children’s rights.

In line with objective (ii), the project has collaborated with DSD to recruit and train 365 learners to do the Health and Welfare Sector Education and Training Authority (HWSETA) accredited Further Education and Training Certificate in Child and Youth Care Work (FETC in CYCW) with an emphasis on psychosocial support for community based care work with children and youth through top-up materials. These learners were drawn from various DSD service points across 8 districts in KwaZulu-Natal: Amajuba, Ugu (since August 2015), UMgungundlovu, EThekwini, UMkhanyakude, UThukela, UMzinyathi and Zululand. Learners provided psychosocial support services to children and linked them to other service providers such as clinics, school, social development, home affairs, South Africa Police Service and other community based organisations.

Purpose and Scope of Work


The purpose of the assignment is to prepare a synthesis of lessons learned from the implementation of the project in KwaZulu Natal. Specifically, we are seeking proposals from qualified organizations to conduct research to answer the following questions:

  • What strategies and models have proven most useful for recruiting and training Community Care Givers affiliated to the DSD?
  • How can partnerships that involve donors, government, and civil society and are focused on training community care givers be made more sustainable?
  • How has the training impacted on Community Care Givers’ practice? How could this training be improved to support carework practice?
  • How has the training impacted on Community Care Givers’ service monitoring and reporting practices)? How could this training be improved to support quality in monitoring and reporting?
  • What is the relationship between trained Community Care Givers and those who have not completed training? 
  • Have linkages between the community and other providers (DSD, health, South Africa Police Service, NGOs, etc.) been strengthened as a result of the project?
  • Based on REPSSI’s experience what are the essential components of an accredited course for Community Care Givers with a focus on PSS?
  • During course development, what could have been done better, and what outcomes would be expected from these improvements?
  • What aspects of recruitment, training, and worker support seem to promote retention, self-efficacy for service delivery, and quality carework practice?
  • How do beneficiaries and the stakeholders perceive the project’s accountability, and how could accountability be improved for the future?
  • What lessons learned could be transferable to DSD and Quality Council for Trades and Occupations (QCTO) for course design and development?
  • Does the training reflect the PSS guidelines, and/or is there a process to ensure that as guidelines are developed they are incorporated into training?

Approach and Methodology
Applicants are expected to propose a mixed methods approach incorporating qualitative and quantitative methods. Proposals should detail the rationale for methods chosen and outline expected sample sizes as well as the content of all data collection tools. Justifications for areas/sites for included should also be provided. Proposals must include the following components at a minimum:

  • Desk review;
  • Inception meeting to agree on methodology, time frames etc., with an inception report detailing these and other key aspects of the protocol;
  • A brief quantitative  survey among a randomly selected sample of CCGs;
  • Interviews with key stakeholders and groups within the project implementation sites. These will include but are not limited to project staff, senior management, government agencies, including HWSETA, South Africa Council for Social Service Professions and the representatives;
  • Field visits to project areas and collection of primary data through participatory approaches including through interviews or focus groups with a subset of beneficiaries;
  • Presentation of draft findings to the Technical Working Group (TWG) team (see below for TWG description);
  • The drafting of a final detailed report and submission to the TWG for feedback; and
  • Incorporation of TWG feedback in the draft report and submission of the final report.

Key Tasks and Deliverables
The consultant/firm will be responsible for collecting and analyzing data from the programme as described above. Key tasks and deliverables will be as follows:
Key Tasks

  • Review project documentation and other existing data to build a detailed understanding of the project methodology and implementation experience;
  • Draft appropriate work protocols to achieve the objectives of this assignment;
  • Design primary data collection tools as needed to satisfy the proposed design, and finalise with input from REPSSI, USAID, and other stakeholders;
  • Conduct primary qualitative and quantitative data collection. This includes interviews with stakeholders (DSD, HWSETA, REPSSI, Learners, OVC center managers and other third party monitors);
  • Analyse and document the lessons learnt from programme using qualitative and quantitative data obtained from primary and secondary sources;
  • Draft report and submit to the TWG to review and comment;
  • Incorporate TWG feedback and feedback from other stakeholders and submit the revised report;
  • Convene a lessons learnt workshop where the results of the study will be disseminated to and discussed with stakeholders.

Key Deliverables

  • Inception report that includes the project implementation plan;
  • Data collection tools that will  be used during the assignment;
  • Draft report (with an executive summary - soft  copy);
  • Final report that shall include at a minimum:
    1. Executive summary
    2. Acronyms
    3. Project Background
    4. Methodology
    5. Project implementation
    6. Lessons learnt
    7. Recommendations
    8. Annexes

 Project Timeline
It is anticipated that the assignment proposed herein will take place between January 2016 and 15 March 2016.
Technical Working Group Responsibilities
The country director, head of programmatic affairs, advisor-new children’s business and the monitoring and evaluation manager shall form a technical working group that will:

  • Provide the consultants/firm with all relevant information on REPSSI and DSD
  • Provide all relevant secondary sources such as previous reports that have been written about the  project
  • Provide information on key contacts  for all stakeholders
  • Oversee project implementation
  • Review and sign off on all project deliverables

 Applicant Requirements

  • Minimum of Masters-level degree in community development, education or social science.   A team would be preferred to an individual;
  • At least five years of relevant professional work in social research or related studies;
  • Extensive experience in leading studies/evaluations using a range of qualitative data collection and analysis methods;
  • Extensive experience in working with local NGOs, local government and beneficiaries;
  • Competency in written and spoken English. Knowledge of the local languages spoken in the project area will be an added advantage;
  • In-depth understanding of psychosocial support, community development, education, OVC&Y issues, HIV prevention and care interventions the South African SETA approach to training;
  • Demonstrable capacity to deliver high quality outputs within the proposed timeframe;
  • Excellent writing skills; and
  • Strong research skills.

Interested organisations are requested to send their proposals electronically to Any clarification on the terms of reference must be requested in writing to the staff listed above. Deadline for submission of the proposals is 22 January 2016.
All applicants should submit separate technical and financial proposal documents. Submission should be made by email to the address indicated above, by specifying on the Cover page the project title REPSSI USAID Project Lessons Learned Documentation.
The technical proposal should include at least the following:

  • A statement detailing the consultants’ understanding of the TOR;
  • Descriptions of proposed approaches and methods for undertaking the project as per the TOR, and which links specific activities to the research questions;
  • Timeline using GANTT chart or similar format that details when individual activities will be taking place and time allocated for review of deliverables;
  • An explanation of the skills, knowledge and experience of the individual or firm as relates to the knowledge and experience requirements detailed in the TOR;
  • A list of the members of the proposed project team, their proposed position/role in the project, relevant qualifications and an organogram or similar description;
  • A timeframe for the project with clear details concerning the work to be executed, and specifying how deliverables will be achieved; and 
  • An example of similar work produced by the project team or individual (or functioning links to online published papers, reports, etc.)

The financial proposal should include and adhere to the following:

  • Budget should be submitted in Excel format with functioning formulas if relevant
  • Budget should use at least the following line item headings (additional disaggregation is permissible): personnel, travel (including transport and accommodation), equipment & supplies, other;  
  • Budget must not exceed R500 000 including indirect costs and VAT if applicable;
  • Print ready (page breaks and margins formatted for easy printing);
  • Budgets should be submitted in South African Rand (ZAR) and VAT should be charged if the service provider is VAT-registered;
  • Include daily/hourly fees for the proposed staff/consultant and provide a column explaining the number of days budgeted for along with how the rate has been established;
  • Level of effort (of each person who will work on the project) should clearly align to activities in the technical proposal;   
  • Daily/hourly fees and number of days must be broken down per staff/consultant and should not be lumped together as consultant fees;
  • Daily/hourly fees must be in line by the proposed staff/consultants actual salary history and cost to company; maximum daily rate fees for individuals should not exceed R4500 per day;
  • Include all other costs to be charged to the contract (i.e. flights, accommodation, mileage reimbursements, printing, etc.) and show the unit cost and quantity for each item;
  • Budgets submitted under this TOR will be considered preliminary and are subject to negotiation and approval during the pre-award period.

Proposal Evaluation
Proposals will undergo a technical evaluation by a selection committee based on the schema outlined in the table below.

Scoring criteria

Proposal review will use the following point system:

Element Range
Methods (especially degree of responsiveness to research questions (0-25)
Data collection strategy (suitability and feasibility) (0-25)
Track record, task-applicable expertise (0-20)
Availability and commitment based on level of effort by key staff (0-10)
Cost efficiency (0-20)
Total (0-100)

Confidentiality Statement
All data and information received from REPSSI for the purpose of this assignment are to be treated confidentially and are only to be used in connection with the execution of these terms of reference. All conclusion and recommendations are for REPSSI’s exclusive use. All intellectual property rights arising from the execution of these terms of reference are assigned to REPSSI. The contents of written materials obtained and used in this assignment may not be disclosed to any third parties without the expressed advance written authorisation of REPSSI. 
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