Research Consultant – Children Pulse Survey At Save the Children


Type of Research Children Pulse Survey
Name of the Research National Children’s Pulse Survey in Iraq
Start and End dates 15th August-17th November 2021
Project duration 4 Months
Research locations: North, Central and South of Iraq
Thematic areas Education, Child Protection, CRG, Health and WASH
Donor TBD
Estimated beneficiaries N.A
Overall objective of the Research To understand Children’s perspectives in relation to their current situations in such areas of education, Child Protection and Rights, Socio Economic wellbeing, Health and WASH

This document provides Terms of Reference for the national pulse survey on children in Iraq particularly on their voices on issues pertinent to the fulfilment of their rights and aspiration. It is expected that this will guide SCI’s interventions for children in Iraq. The major components of this ToR include the study background, study scope, key study questions, methodology, reporting and governance, key deliverables and timeframes for the survey.

According to Save the Children’s desk review findings 2021, the demographic, social, political, and economic context of Iraq indicate that 58% of Iraq’s rapidly growing population are under 25 years old. The twin shocks of COVID-19 and economic downturn linked to oil market volatility have disproportionately affected children and young people; almost 2 in 5 children in Iraq are now poor. While the drivers of vulnerabilities across governorates and rural-urban areas vary (e.g. conflict and underinvestment), many of the implications for children’s rights are shared. Rising poverty and inequality has exacerbated negative coping mechanisms among families, driving protection concerns such as child labour and early marriage, as well as inequitable access to basic services.
3.1 Purpose, Objectives and Scope
SCI Iraq recognizes children as key stakeholders, partners as well as beneficiaries of Save the Children and it is important that the SCI strategies is shaped and influenced by their perspectives and expertise. This study is a significant opportunity that will shape our future positioning and influence as we respond to the challenges threatening children and their rights in Iraq, including the impact of the current global pandemic, COVID-19.Therefore, this is a timely and critical opportunity to ensure children’s’ voices, expertise and insights shape and influence our strategic decisions and plans as we endeavor, to the extent possible, to preserve children’s rights to survive, learn and be protected.
The primary purpose of the study is therefore to understand Children’s perspectives in relation to their current situations in such areas of Education, Child Protection and Rights, Socio Economic wellbeing, Health and WASH. The findings are expected to re-enforce the current desk review findings by SCI Iraq so as to create a solid evidence base for Save the Children’s strategic planning, programme design, advocacy strategies, and donor engagement.
Scope: the pulse survey will cover North, Central and South of Iraq and specifically focusing on girls and boys in the categories of 9-11 and 15-17 years old with a representative sample drawn from the above locations.
3.2 Key Study Questions
From the children’s perspective;
1. What is the situation of children in relation to their Learning, Protection and Rights including the involvement of Children and Adolescents in public advocacy and child sensitive social accountability, Socio Economic wellbeings, Health and WASH services? (can be disaggregated by vulnerable groups- CwD, girls, child labour, orphans etc)
2. Which categories of Children are most affected by issues identified in Qn 1 above?
3. Which program or technical areas need urgent intervention?
4. What are the opportunities and needs of children in Iraq?
5. Which geographic locations should be considered as high priority?
6. What impact has COVID 19 had on Children in Iraq?

4.1 Study Design
It is expected that this study will involve a mixed approach where both qualitative and quantitative methods will be used
The Research consultancy team is expected to articulate a robust and suitable evaluation methodology in line with the scope, and research questions. The detailed method should include but not be limited to the following:
* A robust study design to depict the study using mixed methods (quantitative and qualitative) including the use of secondary data, and the triangulation of the findings.
* Data collection instruments, protocols and procedures
* Sampling procedures for both qualitative and quantitative methods
* Procedures for analyzing mixed methods
* How users/key project stakeholders in the research will be involved
It is preferred that the method selected will involve mutual agreement save the children staff and partners.
For every methodological approach selected, it should take in consideration children’s involvements and participation in an inclusive manner, in addition to Child safe guarding.

4.2 Sampling [if applicable]
It is recommended that applicants propose a sampling strategy. The sampling strategy should include the sampling method and the sample size calculation values. The consultant is at liberty to choose from the list of sampling methods below depending on their appropriateness to the study questions, these include;
Probability sampling methods:
* Simple random sampling
* Systematic sampling
* Stratified sampling
* Clustered sampling
Non-probability sampling methods:
* Voluntary sampling
* Convenience sampling
* Quota sampling
* Purposive sampling
* Snowball sampling
4.3 Data Sources and Data Collection Methods / Tools
All primary data collected during the study must facilitate disaggregation by gender, age, disability, location or remoteness, vulnerability status]. Save the Children will provide guidance on tools and classification schemes for this minimum dataset.
Existing Save the Children secondary data sources that can be drawn on in this study include CRSA 2021, UNICEF situational analysis 2021, SCI global research on children as a result of COVID 19 pandemic. SCI Iraq will provide enumerators to assist with primary data collection. It will be a requirement of the study team to source additional external data sources to add value to the study, such as government administrative data. The team should also indicate how data triangulation will be realised.
The study team is required to adhere to the Save the Children Child Safeguarding; Protection from Sexual Exploitation and Abuse; Anti-Harassment, Intimidation and Bullying; and Child Protection Area of responsibility Data Protection and Privacy policies throughout all the research activities.
4.4 Ethical Considerations
It is expected that this study will be:
* Child participatory. Where appropriate and safe, children should be supported to participate in the evaluation process beyond simply being respondents. Opportunities for collaborative participation could include involving children in determining success criteria against which the project could be evaluated, supporting children to collect some of the data required for the evaluation themselves, or involving children in the validation of findings. Any child participation, whether consultative, collaborative or child-led, must abide by the 9 Basic Requirements for meaningful and ethical child participation.
Note: SCI and based on the UNCRC strongly believe that Children’s participation is not an activity or a one-off event, but rather a core principle that informs our organizational behaviour. Children’s participation permeates all aspects of our organization and is central in our aim of strengthening the position of children and inspiring breakthroughs in the way the world treats children. Children’s participation is a set of civil rights to be fulfilled, a principle to be applied, and a means to fulfil other rights.
Inclusive. Ensure that children from different ethnic, social and religious backgrounds have the chance to participate, as well as children with disabilities and children who may be excluded or discriminated against in their community, more importantly CAAFAG children and children of families with presumed or confirmed affiliations with IS
o Ethical: The study must be guided by the following ethical considerations:
o Safeguarding – demonstrating the highest standards of behaviour towards children and adults.
o Sensitive – to child rights, gender, inclusion and cultural contexts.
o Openness – of information given, to the highest possible degree to all involved parties.
o Confidentiality and data protection – measures will be put in place to protect the identity
o Reliability and independence – the study should be conducted so that findings and conclusions are correct and trustworthy.
It is expected that:
o Data collection methods will be age and gender appropriate.
o Study activities will provide a safe, creative space where children feel that their thoughts and ideas are important.
o A risk assessment will be conducted that includes any risks related to children, young people’s, or adult’s participation.
o A referral mechanism will be in place in case any child safeguarding or protection issues arise.
o Informed consent will be used where possible.
o Psychological First Aid training will be conducted to all data collectors allowing them to provide PFA if needed, also updated service mapping should be in hand

The study team will be required to obtain approval from a Human Research Ethics Committee. Save the Children will provide assistance with this process.

The consultancy will be contracted by and report to Save the Children – Iraq Country Office. The Head of MEAL, Child Protection Technical Specialist, PDQ director etc. will act as the advisory group for the Research process. They will provide the documents mentioned under list of documents. They will also provide technical assistance (e.g. make practical in-country travel arrangements, oversee/assist in making appointments, assist in finalizing the programme, avail any other documents and information needed etc.). The lead consultant will be responsible for managing the whole consultancy.

Interested consultants will be required to submit an Expression of Interest in line with the provided template, which should demonstrate adherence to the following requirements.
Understanding of Requirements and Experience
To be considered, the study team members together must have demonstrated skills, expertise and experience in:
o Designing and conducting rapid child surveys using mixed designs
o Conducting studies in the field of WASH, Child protection and Rights, Health and Education, particularly in relation to Children
o Leading multi displinary research consultancy work in Iraq that is sensitive to the local context and culture, particularly on child rights, gender equality, ethnicity, religion and minority groups and/or other factors]
o Conducting ethical and inclusive studies involving children and child participatory techniques
o Conducting ethical and inclusive studies involving marginalised, deprived and/or vulnerable groups in culturally appropriate and sensitive ways
o Managing and coordinating a range of government, non-government, community groups and academic stakeholders
o Experience conducting study in humanitarian contexts
o Strong written and verbal skills in communicating technical and/ or complex findings to non-specialist audiences (especially report writing and presentation skills)
o A track record of open, collaborative working with clients
There is a high expectation that:
o Members (or a proportion) of the study team have a track record of previously working together.
o A team leader will be appointed who has the seniority and experience in leading complex study projects, and who has the ability and standing to lead a team toward a common goal.
o The team has the ability to commit to the terms of the project and have adequate and available skilled resources to dedicate to this study over the period.
o The team has a strong track record of working flexibly to accommodate changes as the project is implemented.
Financial Proposal
Save the Children seeks value for money in its work. This does not necessarily mean “lowest cost”, but quality of the service and reasonableness of the proposed costs. Proposals shall include personnel allocation (role / number of days / daily rates / taxes), as well as any other applicable costs.

The following payments will be made to the consultant using and agreed mode of payment
o Upon approval of inception report and tools: [30%]
o Upon submission of First Draft Study Report: [30%]
o Upon approval of final study report: [40%]

How to apply

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