Wednesday, 16 February 2022

New Tender Opportunity at Girl Effect Tanzania February, 2022

  AjiraLeo Tanzania       Wednesday, 16 February 2022
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REQUEST FOR PROPOSAL: Girls & Mobile 2.0 Research Agency

Girl Effect (GE) is a global organisation that uses creative digital and media products to empower adolescent girls. GE operates in more than 65 countries. In Africa, GE has a strong presence in Rwanda, Tanzania and Ethiopia through cultural brands and South Africa with digital products. In Asia, GE has an on-the-ground presence in India.
For more information about Girl Effect, please visit our website.


In 2018, Girl Effect undertook an extensive and ‘first of its kind’ research study – Girls and Mobile – to understand the needs, access and usage of mobile technologies among adolescent girls. Data existed on the gender digital divide between men and women, focusing on phone ownership and access to mobile internet, but not between adolescent boys and girls. Negative social norms about what a girl can do or achieve are often entrenched during adolescence and stand in the way of her reaching her full potential. The study revealed that this included social norms linked to digital access and literacy.

Girls and Mobile contributed significantly to the sector and has been valuable for Girl Effect and its partners in developing mobile and digital communication strategies for young people, particularly girls. Data from the report is still used and referenced across the sector.

The COVID-19 pandemic has fundamentally changed the lives of people around the world, adolescent girls and young women (AGYW) included. Data from the past twelve months is already highlighting the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on women and girls – 12 million have lost access to contraceptives, 1.4 million unintended pregnancies as a result of the pandemic (UNFPA) and 20 million girls may never return to school leaving them at higher risk of violence, child marriage, malnutrition and pregnancy (Malala Fund). Insights from Girl Effect’s own work show that 90% of girls report that life had fundamentally changed due to the pandemic, 40% were lacking access to sexual health services and many girls reached out in relation to stress, worry and anxiety. On the flip side, the importance and power of mobile and digital communications technology are more widely understood and appreciated than ever before. How is this playing out for AGYW? Are they benefitting from greater access to mobile, are they at greater risk of losing the connection of in-person support networks and being exposed to a complex world of online information?

Girls & Mobile learned from adolescent girls from around the world, and unearthed that:
  • Girls see others around them, including boys their own age, freely using mobile phones and want to join in too. However, they are much less likely than boys to own their own mobile handset, and often they only access phones by borrowing from gatekeepers
  • There are many social norms that restrict girls from doing so, including the perception that girls are vulnerable to predation, that they will be easily distracted from their school work, or that they will be keeping secrets from their parents about boyfriends.
  • As girls fear being judged for using mobile phones, many hide any access from their parents, and some even have secret handsets that they keep concealed from others in the household. Girls live in fear that if their parents found out about their phone use, they would get admonished for doing so – many girls even feared being beaten as a result.
  • When girls do ‘legitimately’ get their hands on a mobile phone, it is often heavily policed by their parents or other gatekeepers; they therefore only use the phone for basic needs such as calculator, radio or in some instances, accessing Facebook
  • Girls (and their parents) have a limited understanding of the potential of mobile and digital technologies and do not immediately cite the internet as a place for information, or educational support

Girl Effect intends to build on the momentum of girls accessing digital spaces, but to do so need to understand the situation for girls today: how adolescents are accessing content, what information they are looking for, and how is this access impacting their mental well-being. This is particularly pertinent in the wake of the global health pandemic. As schools are closed, physical freedoms are restricted, and complex information is being conveyed, we hypothesise that girls will be even more desperate to log into digital spaces to understand the world around them.

However, in some contexts use of social media has been proven to enhance feelings of isolation, inadequacy and depression. Therefore, it is crucial that creators of online spaces for adolescents are mindful of the potential negative impact this could have on well-being and mental health. However, very little is known about adolescent use of social media and online spaces in the context of low and middle-income countries, where the focus has been on the Western world. As more and more young people become digitally connected (particularly in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic), the connection between online use and mental health must be fully understood from a more global perspective. Learning how, when and why young people are going online, and how this experience can be the most positive for them will enable organisations to create spaces for adolescents that assist them to fulfil their potential, and not contribute to negative mental health outcomes.

Girls & Mobile 2.0 will look at adolescent demand, access and well-being when it comes to digital technology, building a deeper understanding of the gender digital divide. This research will inform how Girl Effect and others in the tech and development sectors are approaching programming in digital spaces, and contribute to the body of literature looking into mobile use and the impact on mental well-being among adolescents.

We hope this study can create baseline data, in a post-COVID-19 world, on girls’ digital world and be the catalyst for routine, close to real-time monitoring of the when, where and how girls are connecting and the challenges they face, so we are all primed and able to respond. We want this study to be a foundational step in building a more gender-equitable digital world.


The research questions will be refined in the first stage of the work but will broadly aim to address the following areas:
  • Demand: How much demand is there currently for adolescents to access mobile and digital spaces; where do they want to be, and what do they want to see – and how has this changed in light of the COVID-19 pandemic? How does this differ between adolescent boys and girls?
  • Access: How does demand for mobile correlate to access; do adolescents have the access they would like or are they yearning for more? What are the key barriers to access? And how has this changed in light of the COVID-19 pandemic? How does this differ between adolescent boys and girls?
  • Usage: How are adolescents using mobile and digital spaces – what content and information are they yearning for, which can they find, and where are the gaps? How do young people use social media, and how do they portray themselves on these platforms, and what impact does their engagement on social media have on self-esteem and mental well-being?
  • Online spaces and mental well-being: How has adolescent mental health been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, and do they have access to support services for any issues they might be facing? How does accessing online spaces and using social media positively and negatively impact adolescent mental health – what are the mediating factors within this?


The following countries will be included in this study:
  • India Hindi Belt
  • Kenya
  • South Nigeria
  • Ethiopia
  • Tanzania
  • Rwanda
  • Jordan


Girl Effect is commissioning agencies to complete two research methods:
  • Online closed communities within digital platforms specifically designed to enable secure online research participation (including moderated group discussion, photo/video uploads, polls, 1:1 conversations) – user friendly and youth-friendly interfaces, and accessible by smartphone.
  • Focus groups using participatory methods to engage participants in ways that allow for an open and engaging discussion. For the focus group discussions, we want to speak to a split of young people (and parents of young people) who have varying levels of digital connectivity, which we refer to as digitally ‘dark’ versus digitally connected’.
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We are aiming to speak to the following groups of people in each of the seven countries listed above:
*Young girls (14-21)
*Young boys (14-21)
*Parents of children aged 14-21

Online closed communities
Focus groups

*Within each of these samples we’re looking for a 50/50 split of those who are (or are parents of those who are)…
‘Digitally connected’: which means that they own their own smartphone and have unrestricted access to mobile internet
‘Digitally dark’: which means that they do not own their own smartphone, and only have access to mobile internet by borrowing a phone / they have no access to mobile internet at all

Scope of work:

We are looking for agencies to support us with this research in the following ways:
  • Support with selecting specific fieldwork regions/locations (please include recommendations in your proposal)
  • Support with ethical approval processes
  • Support with choosing research locations to meet the sample specifications
  • Refinement of data collection tools (which will be initially designed by Girl Effect, including the moderation guides, forum tasks/activities)
  • Translation and back-translation of data collection tools (from English to local languages and reverse)
  • Training of moderators/interviewers
  • Piloting of the data collection tools
  • Recruitment and screening of research participants
  • Data collection, logistics and fieldwork management
  • Incentivisation of research participants (please include your suggestion for this in your proposal)
  • Data cleaning and QA
  • Data delivery (including all interview transcripts, translated)
  • Data analysis
  • Insight reporting (max 30 slides)

Scope of agency proposal:

We would like agencies to indicate which elements of Girls & Mobile 2.0 they are proposing to deliver against. In their proposal, we expect agencies to clearly demonstrate their experience and ability to deliver against each selected component. Agencies will not be required to deliver on multiple components, countries or tasks if this sits outside of the organisation’s remit – applicants will be judged on the strength of their proposal against each component and not the breadth of their proposal.

When returning your proposal please include a copy of this table on the cover page – with an ‘X’ in the cells you are proposing to fulfill.

Note: You must be able to demonstrate an ability to deliver against all activities listed in the methods for data collection for all selected components.

Online closed communities
Focus group discussions
India – Hindi Belt
South Nigeria

In addition to providing evidence against the scope and methods selected above, agencies that submit proposals for this work must demonstrate the following competencies to be considered for this project:
  • Experience conducting research with young people (aged 14-21)
  • Capacity to deliver all areas expected of this research from recruiting and training researchers, to leading the data collection process in target field locations, transcribing data into English, ensuring quality assurance and working in line with research ethics principles
  • Experience in designing, conducting and analysing participatory qualitative methodologies in especially with children/girls, preferably in multiple regions
  • Ability to work with communities in relevant local languages
  • Excellent and demonstrated understanding of Child Protection/ Safeguarding and ethical issues in research, and willingness to align with GE’s SG policy standards and Code of Conduct
  • Excellent fieldwork supervision and data quality control strategies
  • A fieldwork team with adequate gender balance to carry out this work and specifically ensure that female researchers collect data from girls
  • Ability to conduct a risk assessment and mitigation plans for research
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and demonstration of effectively managing relationships with research partners
  • Exceptional communication and organisational skills
  • Ability to respond to comments and questions in a timely, appropriate manner
  • Experience in delivering outputs on time and on budget
  • Ability to write clearly and concisely in English
  • The reputation of the responding agencies and previous similar experience will be taken into account
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Agencies to submit proposals- February 2022
Agency contracting- March 2022
Kick-off between Girl Effect & Agency- April 2022
Set-up and tool refinement- April- May 2022
Piloting & data collection- May-June 2022
Data translation & transcription- July 2022
Data Delivery- June- August 2022
Reporting- September 2022

We would like all agencies submitting proposals to complete the budget template sheet. If any additional lines are needed, please insert new lines but highlight these in a different colour so that it is evident which items have been added.

We cannot provide a budget limit for this project as it will differ according to each geography. However, please do keep in mind that Girl Effect is a registered charity, and so we would appreciate any cost efficiencies that can be presented in your proposals.


If you have any questions about this RFP, please email copying by Friday 18th February. All questions will be answered and shared with all agencies that have received the RFP for fairness.


Please submit your proposal by Monday 28th February. In your proposal, please remember to include:
  • The cover page showing which activities your proposal will consist of
  • A succinct word or PowerPoint document (max 15 pages/slides) describing your approach to the activities listed in the scope of work (in 7a). This must also include evidence that demonstrates your ability to meet the core competencies listed (in 7c)
  • A list of 3 x references, outlining the name of the client, the work undertaken which supports your proposal in demonstrating relevant experience, and the period this work took place
  • The completed budget template (with any additional lines highlighted clearly). Technical and Financial proposals will need to be submitted as separate documents. Financial proposals will not be opened until the conclusion of the technical evaluation and then only for those proposals that are deemed qualified and responsive.

This engagement will be managed by the Senior Manager of Evidence and Insights and our Global Project Manager.

The criteria against which proposals will be evaluated are listed below:
  • Demonstrate the capability and capacity to meet the requirements of this RFP – 10%
  • Staff with relevant experience as demonstrated by their CV/bios – 10%
  • Geographical experience in one of the research areas (or a combination of experience in all areas we want to carry out the research)- 10%
  • Evidence of a minimum of three contactable references signed – 5%
  • Methodology and approach in implementing the project- 10%
  • Clarity of work plan and specific project activities – 5%
  • Demonstrated experience in carrying out research involving young girls and technology- 20%
  • Value for money/proposed budget breakdown – 30%
GE is not liable for any cost incurred during the preparation, submission, or negotiation of the award/contract. All submitted documentation and/or materials shall become and remain the property of GE.

Applicants are advised to ensure that they have a clear understanding of their tax position with regards to provisions of their local jurisdiction tax legislation when developing their proposals.

GE reserves the right to determine the structure of the process, number of short-listed participants, the right to withdraw from the proposal process, the right to change this timetable at any time without notice and reserves the right to withdraw this tender at any time, without prior notice and without liability to compensate and/or reimburse any party. GE shall inform ONLY successful applicant(s). The process of negotiation and signing of the contract with the successful applicant(s) will follow.


Girl Effect is committed to equal opportunity regardless of race, color, ancestry, religion, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, age, marital status, disability, gender, gender identity or expression. We are proud to be an equal opportunity workplace.

We are committed to building an organization that is increasingly representative of and works extensively with the communities that we serve. To this end, due regard will be paid procuring consultancy service organizations and individuals with diverse professional, academic and cultural backgrounds.**


Please submit proposals, as described above, to by February 28th 2021, 5:00 pm EAT latest. Please clearly mark your email with the subject “‘**Girls & Mobile Research Agency”**’

Thanks for reading New Tender Opportunity at Girl Effect Tanzania February, 2022

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