Terms of Reference: Research to Improve Older Persons Access to Social Services in South Africa

HelpAge International
Please note: this opportunity closing date has passed and may not be available any more.
Opportunity closing date: 
Tuesday, 10 February, 2015
Opportunity type: 
Call for proposals


With over 80 affiliates and more than 180 partners in over 70 countries, HelpAge International (HelpAge) helps older people claim their rights, challenge discrimination and overcome poverty, so that they can lead dignified, secure, active and healthy lives. In a region facing multiple economic, social and political challenges and a rapidly growing older population, a coordinated network of development and charity organisations is vital to maximising impact. HelpAge facilitated the creation of the South African Age Network (SAAN) in 2013 to ensure better communication and collaboration amongst stakeholders in the ageing sector and to improve local government policies affecting older people.

Despite the existence of The Older Persons Act (Act 13 of 2006), older people remain largely invisible in South African policy and development programmes. The Older Persons Act specifies that each government department should have a specific role in countering issues affecting older people; however this has not occurred and older people continue to suffer abuse and neglect with no dedicated government support.

While many South Africans have had difficulties accessing housing, water and electricity, women and men aged 60+ have the added challenges of being neglected and discriminated against when trying to access these critical services. According to our local partners and SAAN members, in Gauteng, Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal, older people have not been able to access housing, and where they are able to access water and electricity services, they have paid extortionate costs – all coupled with the abuses and neglect they face as older people.
Anglo American Chairman’s fund has provided HelpAge with funding for a research project and national stakeholder meeting in order to begin to address these challenges for South African older persons. Working with members of the South Africa Age Network (SAAN), this project specifically will help to improve older people’s access to social service delivery, including electricity, water and housing by researching existing policies on these services and the success rates of implementation.

The resulting research report will then be used to raise awareness and propose actions to policy makers and other stakeholders through a national stakeholder meeting. This work will form the basis of a potential programme strategy for the following 3 years to improve older persons access to social services. 
The consultancy:

Therefore HelpAge International seeks the services of a qualified consultancy or consultant to:  

  1. Develop and implement an effective research methodology to generate a robust evidence base on older people's vulnerabilities and their lack of access to housing and basic utilities in 3 district municipalities;
  2. Present a fully referenced and evidenced research report, with a set of well substantiated recommendations to HelpAge and SAAN, which will address the barriers and build on successes identified by the research.
  3. Contribute to the development of a plan of action for SAAN and other key stakeholders to implement recommendations of the research report.

Expected Outputs and Deliverables:

  1. A desk review of existing policy on housing and utilities access in 3 district municipalities, looking at which specific groups are addressed, the barriers identified and policies and plans for access;
  2. An inception report which includes a viable (effective and efficient) methodology for comparative research across the 3 districts, which ensures participation of old people and youth and all key stakeholders at local and national levels as described in the project proposal;
  3. A detailed primary research carried out within the agreed time frame consisting of Focus Group Discussions (FGDs) and interviews with older men and women in 3 municipalities, as well as key stakeholders and informants (youth, district officials, and other local and national government representatives);
  4. Gender and age disaggregated data and a gendered analysis of the research results to inform the next phase of policy and actions
  5. A detailed research report, including empirical findings and a set of recommendations for why and how older people's need should be implemented in and/or better recognised by the Housing Act, the Older Persons Act, youth policies, and other housing and utility related policies, which will serve as a guide to best practice for older people’s inclusion in local policy and service delivery;
  6. A presentation in power point which summarised the findings and recommendations and can be used in meetings and training to communicate the results of the research and stimulate discussions and local responses;
  7. A two page executive summary which can be used as a stand-alone document outlining the main findings and recommendations, for a public audience;
  8. A workshop session to disseminate the findings of the research and guidance for SAAN and other invited stakeholders in the following discussions to develop policy and action plans;
  9. Timely presentation of key deliverables for approval by HelpAge and SAAN steering group

Contract Draft Terms and Conditions

  • The finalized TOR will guide the terms and conditions of the contract to which it will be annexed
  • The contract will be signed with HelpAge International Southern Africa Office
  • The consultant will report to the Regional Head of Programmes and work closely with a steering committee set up by HelpAge with SAAN and SAFRO (South African Older Persons Forum)
  • The consultant will provide a short report on progress on a weekly basis throughout.
  • HelpAge will provide office space for the consultant’s use
  • HelpAge will cover costs of transport and accommodation during fieldwork
  • Any expenses, unless explicitly articulated in the contract, will not be claimable from HelpAge.

Minimum Requirements of the Consultancy

  • A university degree in a relevant field
  • Excellent spoken and written English
  • Ability to work under tight delivery dates and with minimal supervision
  • Demonstrated experience of developing and implementing qualitative and quantitative research in the field of social sciences, social policy or other relevant area
  • Excellent negotiation and facilitation skills and experience
  • Facilitation and strategy development experience
  • Understanding of South Africa social policy context and political environment

Submission of Proposals

HelpAge International Southern Africa Regional Office in Pretoria would like to invite interested consultants who meet the minimum requirements to submit their proposals via e mail to zandile.sithole@helpagesouthafrica.org  no later than 10 February 2015. The proposals should be in word document format and not more than 3 pages, with the following included:

A clear, detailed demonstration of an understanding of the task and its deliverables

A proposed schedule of milestones, deliverables, proposed number of days and related costs

Proof of past deliverables

CV of the consultant with 3 reachable relevant references.

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