Call for Proposals: Assessment of the Effectiveness of the Categorisation Approach in Identification and Support to Vulnerable Children by Community Caregivers

Monday, June 18, 2012 - 14:54
Save the Children
Please note: this opportunity closing date has passed and may not be available any more.
Opportunity closing date: 
Monday, June 25, 2012
Opportunity type: 
Call for proposals

Save the Children is the leading independent organisation creating lasting change in the lives of children in need in the United States and around the world. Recognised for its commitment to accountability, innovation and collaboration, our work takes us into the heart of communities, where we help children and families help themselves. It works other organisations, governments, nonprofits and a variety of local partners while maintaining its own independence without political agenda or religious orientation.

Save the Children’s OVC programme aims to provide comprehensive care, support and protection to orphans and other children made vulnerable by HIV, working through community-based structures such as home community-based care (HCBC) organisations and schools.

The purpose of the assessment is to determine the effectiveness of the categorisation approach in ensuring comprehensive and compassionate care responsive to the needs of the most vulnerable children. In addition to documenting the process of categorisation, the service provider will therefore assess categorisation in terms of its contribution to positive outcomes for the most vulnerable groups of children, as well as providing recommendations for improving the efficiency and effectiveness of the approach.

Background

Save the Children’s programme that aims to provide comprehensive care, support and protection to orphans and other children made vulnerable by HIV was established in 2003. Through the programme, vulnerable children are identified, referred and supported by community-based structures such as home community-based care (HCBC) organisations and schools. One of the strengths of the programme has been the structures’ ability to identify the large numbers of vulnerable children hidden in the communities. As a result, more than 80 000 vulnerable children have been identified across 90 wards in the districts of Thabo Mofutsanyana and Fezile Dabi. In 2011, just more than 60 000 children were served through these communities.  A ward of anything between 5 and 10 community caregivers serves on average 666 children or between 70 and 140 children per caregiver. As a result of the burden on caregivers to serve these large numbers of children, appropriate and adequate care and support were not always provided, especially to the most vulnerable children. In response, the programme developed and implemented a methodology to categorise children into three different levels of vulnerability (most vulnerable children, children of average vulnerability and children moving to average levels of wellbeing) according to their needs. The most vulnerable children are prioritised and supported more regularly. Individual care plans have been developed for these children and they are monitored accordingly. The children with average vulnerability are mostly served through approaches that target more than one child. Vulnerability levels for the most vulnerable children are assessed regularly. Caregivers respond to information from peers or other community members to register and prioritise children that have moved from being less vulnerable to more vulnerable levels but also do annual assessments of all children to ensure that children not identified through day-to-day processes are followed-up on.
 
Purpose and Objectives

The purpose of the assessment is to determine the effectiveness of the categorisation approach in ensuring comprehensive and compassionate care responsive to the needs of the most vulnerable children identified through community-based structures.
 
The specific objectives of the assessment are to:

  • Document the categorisation process that was followed in wards;
  • Determine whether the outcomes /wellbeing  for the most vulnerable group of children have improved compared to the period before the approach was followed;
  • Determine how the approach has changed the reach (number of children served), the kind of services provided and the quality of services provided to children;
  • Determine whether the process /tools were effective in identifying the most vulnerable children;
  • Identify the shortcomings of the approach including any negative outcomes;
  • Provide recommendations to improve on the efficiency and effectiveness of the categorisation approach.
Scope of the Assessment

The scope of the assessment will include (but may not be limited to):
  • Assessing the process being followed in structures in identification, categorisation, interventions and monitoring of children;
  • Assessing the outcome of the intervention on children’s well-being;
  • Assessing the outcome of the intervention on structures’ organisational and technical ability to provide care and support.
Methodology

The consultant will be expected to design and apply tools which will produce valid and reliable data for use as indicated above. This will include but may not be limited to:
  • Individual interviews with Save the Children staff, community caregivers, community stakeholders, family members of vulnerable children, children themselves;
  • Analysing existing information and documentation generated by community structures.
Required Outputs

Assessment design including data collection tools;
Detailed implementation plan for the project;
Report with recommendations based on the assessment;
Summary of the findings.
 
Project Management

The onscultant is responsible for overall management of the project, including designing and conducting the assessment, drafting the report and debriefing the project team and key stakeholders. The consultant will liaise with Save the Children throughout the process, providing regular updates on the design and implementation of the assessment, and seeking their input and advice where necessary. The consultant will report to the learning and impact assessment manager, and consult with the Free State Provincial Manager on implementation of the assessment.
 
Save the Children is responsible for overseeing the consultant by managing the consultancy contract; monitoring adherence to specified deadlines; facilitating access to required information, resources and contacts; providing feedback on drafts of the assessment tool and report; sharing the finalised report with all relevant stakeholders not in attendance at the debriefing. On request, the project team will also provide coordination and support to activities, including transportation and interpretation/translation during field visits - provided that these visits are planned in advance and approved by the project team.
 
Required skills and experience of the prospective consultant

The consultant should possess the following as a minimum:
  • Experience in conducting research, specifically with childre;:
  • Knowledge and experience in assessment of children’s wellbeing;
  • Fluency in Sesotho is preferred but not essential;
  • Willingness to sign and abide by Save the Children’s child safeguarding code of conduct.
Duration of the Assignment and Agreement
The assignment is expected to take 10 working days to complete. A maximum of R40 000 is available for this assignment. A detailed timeframe will be agreed upon selection of the consultant. It is expected that the final product will be delivered approximately by end-July 2012.
 
Submission and Evaluation of Proposals

All proposals should be submitted by e-mail to dhopwood@savethechildren.org.za. Ensure that the subject line states ‘Proposal – Categorisation assessment’.
 
Proposals must not exceed two pages and should include the following:
  • Proposed approach to the assessment;
  • Outline budget;
  • A resume and references should be attached to the proposal.                                                                           
Selection of the Consultant will be based on:
  • How well the proposal meets the requirements set out in the t5erms of reference;
  • Relevant skills and experience
  • Value for money.
For more about Save the Children, refer to www.savethechildren.org.

To view other opportunities, visit www.ngopulse.org/group/home-page/other-opportunities.