Consultancy baseline study – request for proposals

PROVISION OF CONSULTANCY SERVICES TO CARRY OUT A BASELINE STUDY – REQUEST FOR PROPOSAL

AIM OF CONSULTANCY

SECTION27 seeks a qualified consultant with extensive experience in developing monitoring and evaluation (M&E) frameworks and conducting baseline assessments within the non-profit sector in South Africa. Requirements are outlined in more detail below.

ESTIMATED DURATION OF CONSULTANCY

2 Months, starting 1 February 2022

ORGANISATION BACKGROUND

SECTION27 is a well-established and widely respected public interest law centre that seeks to achieve substantive equality and social justice in South Africa. Guided by the principles and values in the Constitution, SECTION27 uses law, advocacy, rights literacy, research and community mobilisation to ensure access to healthcare services and basic education.

SECTION27 aims to achieve systemic change and accountability to ensure the dignity and equality of everyone. Across our areas of work we are concerned with the duties of both public and private power. Our mission is to expand access to justice for marginalised and vulnerable people in the interests of equality and to ensure they are empowered to realise their constitutional rights.

SECTION27 was established in 2010, when it incorporated the AIDS Law Project, which for over 15 years had been at the forefront of civil society’s response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic in South Africa. The name SECTION27 is derived from Section 27 of the Constitution which covers the right to access healthcare services, and the organisation’s intention was to expand on the ALP’s focus on HIV to include health rights more broadly.

SECTION27 is based in Braamfontein, Johannesburg. Although our work aims to have a national impact we do have interventions with a strategic focus on particular provinces – Gauteng, Eastern Cape, Limpopo, KwaZulu-Natal and Mpumalanga.

CONSULTANCY TERMS OF REFERENCE

Background

SECTION27 was recently approved to implement the four-year European Union-funded  Enhancing accountability in health and education in South Africa project. The project will begin 1 February 2022 and will be implemented in partnership with the Centre for Child Law (CCL), University of Pretoria.

The project’s expected impact is that, by 2026, there will be an improvement to government accountability in advancing the constitutional rights to access basic education and health care services for vulnerable people in South Africa. This impact requires that public budgets fully fund basic education and health services, and as such a critical component of the approach to this project will include challenging current austerity measures that have seen a reduction in funding for socio-economic rights and related services, and advocating for a budget-making process that enables appropriate public and parliamentary engagement. SECTION27 and CCL will further use this project to strengthen its monitoring mechanisms used to hold government accountable, including developing innovative, structured monitoring tools and strengthening the level of engagement of communities and civil society.

SECTION27 and CCL will use the law, advocacy, legal literacy, research and community mobilisation to achieve impact, and will strengthen the capacity of coalitions and partners in these processes. Evidence-based research on community needs and priorities in Gauteng, the Eastern Cape and Limpopo will build on existing advocacy and litigation targets around school safety and infrastructure, access to emergency medical services, undocumented learners, universal health coverage, SRHR (including HIV and access to contraceptives and safe abortion) and budget reform. While the project will use these provinces to highlight specific rights violations and determine policy/legal requirements, including litigation and subsequent monitoring of judgments, the project is expected to have a national impact by catalysing systemic changes within the public education and health system, and ultimately creating long term benefits for all.

Expected results of the project

At the impact level, we expect to see 1) a measurable change in community members in the Eastern Cape and Limpopo feeling that their rights are respected; 2) an increase in absolute and relative levels of funding for basic education and health care services; and 3) increased responsiveness of the budget to gender inequality. Expected outcomes include:

  • Outcome 1: Increased civil society capacity to take action to achieve health and education rights (public education and outreach). While awareness and public discourse around the Constitution has expanded, there remains insufficient understanding of socio-economic rights and the duties they create, and insufficient access to the information needed for civil society to demand accountability.
  • Outcome 2: South Africa’s policies, laws and budget, and the processes to develop them, equitably and effectively advance the rights to basic education and healthcare (policy and budget advocacy). Laws and policies, and policy processes, must reflect the needs and priorities of the populations they impact.
  • Outcome 3: Effective mechanisms are in place to monitor and hold government accountable for the implementation of relevant policies and laws (policy monitoring). Just having appropriate laws and policies in place is not enough – they must be effectively resourced and implemented, with clear oversight mechanisms.

Baseline Purpose and Objectives

The overall objective of this component of the consultancy is to design data collection methodologies and collect data on all indicators of the project as described in the results framework for the project. The baseline study will provide the benchmarks against which any changes resulting from the project interventions and results will be measured. Specific tasks will be required from the consultant:

  • To design data collection methodologies for all project indicators, including developing data collection tools.
  • To collect, analyse and present baseline data at the impact, outcome and output level, based on the results framework, to allow for efficient measurement of project impact during and after implementation. This will include identifying and recommending key data to be disaggregated based on gender or other criteria relevant to the project.
  • Verify project results framework’s adequacy with realities observed on the ground and propose any adjustments to the results framework. Provision has been made for site visits to Limpopo and the Eastern Cape, if necessary and if the COVID-19 situation allows.
  • Propose evaluative questions and indicators to measure the project’s effectiveness, efficiency and sustainability, and collect relevant data.

Approach and Methodology

The baseline study should adopt a mixed methods approach, integrating quantitative and qualitative methods to ensure that data collected is triangulated and can be communicated, explained and contextualised.

The consultant shall conduct a desk review of all project and other related documents and secondary sources, to be provided by SECTION27.

Expected Deliverables

The Consultant will be expected to deliver the following by latest 31 March:

  • An inception report to demonstrate how s/he will accomplish the aforementioned tasks in a timely fashion, outlining the baseline study approach (sampling framework, data collection strategy and methodologies, tools, criteria etc.) and workplan for baseline study. The inception report will be due within four (4) calendar days after signing of the contract and its finalization will involve incorporation of feedback from SECTION27 and CCL;
  • Draft baseline report informed by: Field data collection; Analysis of data to verify existing or establish new baselines for all project indicators; Recommendations for changes to the results framework; Proposed indicators and monitoring methods for measuring effectiveness, efficiciency and sustainability of interventions and collect and analyse baseline data related to this endeavour;
  • Final baseline report incorporating feedback from SECTION27 and CCL;
  • Baseline data and all data collection tools.

KEY EXPERTISE REQUIRED

Education:

  • Minimum of an advanced degree in social science or another relevant field;
  • Other trainings in relevant sectors and approaches will be an asset (social justice, health, education, strategic litigation, advocacy, gender equality, etc.).

Experience

  • At least seven years of professional experience in the field of monitoring and evaluation;
  • Experience of carrying out mixed-methods baseline studies and evaluations and in producing high quality analytical reports (examples of previous work will be requested);
  • Statistical analysis skills and strong proficiency with data analysis packages;
  • Excellent communication and written skills in English and the ability to present data concisely and clearly.

SUBMISSIONS

Please submit your applications by email to kaseke-palmer@section27.org.za with the subject line Baseline Study Consultancy. Submissions must be made by 10 January 2022. The application must include the following:

  • A brief technical proposal, including an outline of the methodological approach and activities proposed to achieve the objectives, and a tentative timeline with key milestones
  • A financial proposal indicating total number of days required and daily rate
  • CV/ profile
  • References of previous similar work done

For any technical questions related to this RFP, please contact staples@section27.org.za