NCA: Call for consultancy to conduct a baseline study for NCA Southern Africa Regional Policy Advocacy Office

Norwegian Church Aid (NCA)
Please note: this opportunity closing date has passed and may not be available any more.
Opportunity closing date: 
Friday, 6 November, 2020
Opportunity type: 
Call for proposals

Terms of Reference

Call for consultancy to conduct a baseline study for NCA Southern Africa Regional Policy Advocacy Office

Thematic Area(s) Fighting Inequality
Location Botswana, South Africa, Mozambique, Zimbabwe
Time Frame 30 working days
Tentative Start date November 23rd, 2020

1. Background

Norwegian Church Aid (NCA) is a diaconal organisation mandated by churches and Christian organizations in Norway to work with people around the world to eradicate poverty and injustice. NCA has been working in the SADC region since the 1990s and was active in supporting the fight against apartheid.

In 2008, the NCA office moved from Botswana to South Africa. In 2010, the office now based in Pretoria was delegated a Policy Advocacy mandate under a broad Economic Justice focus and started its work on Extractive Industries under which the Alternative Mining Indaba started. The AMI is the flagship programme for the Regional Office in Southern Africa (ROSA).

The Policy Advocacy mandate stemmed from the realization of the stark exclusion of the ordinary citizens from policy-making processes, this while the political elite make decisions which affect the ordinary citizens without the citizen’s participation and influence. The policy advocacy mandate was also as a result of the realization that the SADC region is not poor per ser, it is in-fact one of the region most endowed with precious natural resources but remains poor due to a host of factors including poor governance, corruption, lack of people participation and poor re-distribution of resources amongst others. The ROSA Economic Justice Programme thus sought to mobilize citizens, build their advocacy capacities and facilitate safe advocacy spaces to ensure that policy advocacy would become a strong catalyst for development in the region. The ROSA prorgamme is directly implemented in Botswana, Mozambique, South Africa and Zimbabwe and by extension across the SADC region.

The ROSA 2020 to 2024 Strategic Plan with a focus on Fighting Inequality builds upon the foundations of both the 2010 to 2015 (Economic Justice) and the 2016 to 2019 (Resource Governance) strategic periods. The strategic periods are seamlessly linked to each other. 

The global objective of the 2020 to 2024 Strategic plan is to achieve  Fair and equitable finance and redistribution of resources”, with two sub-goals  (i)  Duty bearers are influenced to increase finance for and spending to reduce poverty and inequality and (ii)  Rights-holders are mobilized for just resource governance. The work has a strong rights-based approach.
NCA ROSA works with Faith partners primarily through the National Christian Councils (NCCs) who are the core partners, it also works with specialized civil society organizations who constitute the resource partners who generate knowledge and information for the advocacy work.

NCA has just started a new strategic period and is in the process of establishing concrete baseline information at the beginning of the strategic period. The purpose of this study is to assess the progress made during the last strategic period and establish a baseline/starting point for the 2020 to 2024 strategic period. The data and information will be used for reporting and assessing progress in implementation and towards achieving the overall goal as defined in the strategic document.

2. Scope of the work

Due to the current COVID19 travel restrictions, the assignment will primarily be a desk study. The work will cover partners in the four programme countries Botswana, Mozambique, South Africa and Zimbabwe. The consultant will be expected to study various NCA documents such as the current and previous strategic, results framework, narrative and partner reports and conduct digital interviews and interviews with the following parties; NCA and partners will provide the relevant contact details.

  • NCA partners
  • Target communities
  • Youth
  • Women
  • Faith leaders and National Christian Councils
  • Traditional leaders
  • Strategic networks and alliances
  • Duty bearers such as provincial and national government departments

The technical scope of the baseline study includes:

  • Develop quantitative and qualitative baseline data by assessing the status of the programme areas as stipulated in the 2020 strategic plan and results framework
  • Develop core quantitative and qualitative indicators to be used for accurately measuring the changes in Fighting Inequality Programme over time
  • Incorporate baseline information in the results framework including gender, age disaggregated qualitative and quantitative data
  • Identify key strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats and other relevant factors to the successful implementation of the Fighting Inequality work based on the objectives set out in the strategic plan and make recommendations for improvement
  • Develop study design, methodology, planning and quality control procedures
  • Reviewing existing information, preparing outlines, including the development of sampling methodologies
  • Finalizing workplan and checklists, questionnaires and guidelines
  • Ensure incorporation of all COVID19 measures and restrictions: in the context of the COVID19 pandemic, the consultant is expected to undertake the work fully within the scope allowed by COVID19 WHO and national government guidelines

 3. Methodology

The consultant will propose specific methodologies they will use in the inception report to be submitted to NCA for approval before proceeding with the field work. They should demonstrate the use of mixed methods approach in arriving at plausible findings and in ensuring data quality. The inception report must provide details on the sampling strategy and quality assurance measures along the process. It must also provide and elaborate the data collection methods, tools, and timetables for the baseline study.

The consultant will propose and discuss the sampling strategy and NCA will take the final decision. The target communities will be selected by NCA and its partners. NCA’s minimum standard to sampling can be found in NCA’s survey guide, Operations Manual. The data collection and analysis must include gender and age disaggregation. The consultant must design a data collection methodology for all outcome and output indicators and other data needs for the survey. In addition, the consultant is required to propose a methodology for measuring the level of and impact of localization programming.

Some of the terms and survey questions will require contextual definitions before collecting data. These definitions will be developed and agreed on in cooperation with NCA. The consultant is expected to maintain regular contact and update meetings with NCA throughout the period.

The inception report must account for ethical approaches to research design, data collection, analysis and dissemination of findings. The consultant (s) shall commit to protect the rights and confidentiality of informants and abide by “do no harm” principles. The consultant(s) shall sign and be held accountable to ACT-NCA Code of Conduct in the implementation of the task. Data and information collected in the course of the assignment will be used for the purpose of the assignment only and handed over to NCA once the assignment has been completed.
NCA has established a Steering Group for quality assurance and approval of key baseline process deliverables. The consultant/team of consultants will report to NCA’s Steering Group Chairperson. Quality control must be integrated throughout the baseline process and it is recommended that competent research assistants with mastery of the sectoral subject matter and probing skills will be deployed.

Below are details of the outcomes of the programme. Further details on the outcome an output indicators are available in the attached results framework.

Fighting Inequality

1.1 Level of influence on duty bearers to increase domestic and international finance for and spending to reduce poverty and inequality
1.4 % of national budgets allocated to social protection (education, health, social security)
2.4.1 # of litigation cases engaged by the communities   
3.1 # of domestic and international public institutions that are compliant and responsive to instruments and frameworks promoting transparency and accountability
3.2 Extent to which governments make public information accessible for rights-holders  
Strengthening Civil Society

2.1 # of initiatives by faith leaders and right-holders to hold duty-bearers accountable    
2.3 # of initiatives by duty-bearers to engage rights-holders and demonstrate public transparency & accountability               
3.1: # of persons from underrepresented groups who have been trained to participate in decision-making             
3.2: % of these people (those counted in 3.1) who actively participate in decision-making bodies

4. Deliverables

Minimum requirements under deliverables are as follows:

  1. Inception report for approval by NCA before kick-starting the assignment. The inception report should include detailed description of methodology including data collection tools and strategies, account for ethical approaches to data collection, a work plan and a quality assurance plan.
  2. Final data collection tools. Where relevant, the collection should be undertaken and stored using kobo.
  3. Provide NCA with all the raw collected data, interview transcripts and summaries.
  4. The list of all respondents reached during the study.
  5. Presentation of draft baseline report to NCA Steering Group with focus on findings and analysis of findings for feedback by NCA Steering group. Consultant should share lessons learnt (challenges and opportunities) from data collection – these will inform on-going reporting for the programme and the end-line study process
  6. Validation workshop including presentations from the workshop.
  7. Baseline values as per the indicators in the results framework.
  8. Presentation of final written baseline report, maximum 40 pages (excluding annexes) and in English.

The draft and final baseline study report need, as a minimum, to contain the following components:

  • Baseline background
  • Deviations from ToR and/or inception report.
  • Indicator by indicator data with baseline values broken by geography/project/grant and disaggregated by gender and age
  • Brief analysis of interesting findings
  • Lessons learned from data collection – to inform end-line study process
  • Link to raw data

Annex 1 - Indicator by indicator – description of approach (method(s), sampling framework etc.)
Annex 2 – Data collection tools used
Annex 3 – Full ToR

5. Timeframe – schedule

The baseline study should be completed within 40 working days, from the time the contract is signed. The successful candidate must commit to accomplish and deliver the consultancy services within 40 days. The schedule will be as follows:

Task Days
Preparation and inception report 5 days
Data collection 15 days
Data analysis, report writing and final report submission 10  days


6. Qualifications and skills

  • University degree in any field, preferably Development studies, Social Sciences. Post graduate education is an added advantage.
  • In-depth knowledge and experience on research methods (household survey, key informant interviews and focus group discussions).
  • Knowledge of and familiarity with the SADC region context, especially understanding of socio-economic context, religious and civil society stakeholders and processes.
  • Fluent in both oral and written English
  • Knowledge of NCA thematic programme area of Fighting Inequality and the role of faith partners.
  • Excellent analytical, communication and report writing skills.

7. Submission and evaluation of proposals

The closing date for receipt of applications is Friday 6th November, 2020.

Please submit your applications by email to with the subject line NCA ROSA Baseline Study Consultancy:. The application must include the following:

  1. Proposal submission form;
  2. A brief technical proposal (5-10 pages), including an outline of the methodological approach and activities proposed considered to be necessary to achieve the contract objectives and a tentative timeline with key milestones.
  3. CV (if more than one, please submit CVs for all team members and detail the different roles and responsibilities)
  4. References of previous similar work done

The evaluation method will be the quality and cost-based selection. A two-stage procedure shall be utilized in evaluating the Proposals; a technical evaluation (75% of the score) and a financial evaluation (25% of the score). For the evaluation of the technical proposals, the Contracting Authority shall take the following criteria into consideration, with the indicated weights:

Technical evaluation Maximum Points  
1 Candidate’s relevant academic qualifications 10  
2 Candidate’s relevant experience with relevant research methods 20  
3 Candidate’s knowledge and familiarity with country 10  
4 Candidate’s relevant language skills 2.5  
5 Candidate’s knowledge of NCA thematic programme areas 2.5  
6 Candidate’s analytical, communication and report writing skills 5  
Sub-total Candidate and/or Organisation 50  
1 To what degree does the proposal show understanding of the task? 15  
2 Have the Terms of Reference been addressed in sufficient detail? 15  
3 Is the conceptual framework adopted appropriate for the task? 10  
4 Is the sequence of activities and the planning logical, realistic and promising efficient implementation to the Contract? 10  
Sub-total Methodology 50  
Total Technical Score 100  

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