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Consultancy opportunity: Measuring the outcomes of economic strengthening programmes on children

Save the Children - Child Poverty Global Theme


Measuring the outcomes of economic strengthening programmes on children; Developing global guidance for country offices

1. Introduction and Context
Children in the poorest households are most at risk of not surviving, missing school and of being harmed. Our work in the Child Poverty Theme aims to support families to break free of extreme poverty and enable them to invest adequately and consistently in their children. We also aim to support future parents, especially adolescent girls, and enable highly deprived and vulnerable young people to transition into viable livelihoods.
We focus on those children most left behind because their families are poor, and often also experiencing additional deprivations relating to discrimination and exclusion on the grounds of gender, race, remoteness or living in a context affected by conflict or fragility. We aim always to reach and include the most deprived. We work to reduce child poverty and deprivation by also improving the resilience of families to cope with and recover from disasters while minimizing and avoiding negative impacts on children.
In addition, The Save the Children movement has created Global Themes (GTs) as platforms for stronger collaboration and coordination for the Members, Regional and Country Offices in order to achieve greater impact for children in five key thematic areas for children’s survival, learning and protection from violence. Our work in the Child Poverty Global Theme covers four main sub-thematic areas: Child-Sensitive Social Protection; Child-Sensitive Livelihoods; Adolescent Skills for Successful Transitions; and Policy and Advocacy.
There is some evidence from our programmes and wider literature reviews and evaluations that indicate that increased household income does not automatically lead to improved child wellbeing outcomes in terms of education and learning, health, nutrition or child protection. In some cases, negative impacts on some indicators of child wellbeing have also been found (see Chaffin and Ellis, 2016). Organisationally we have not to date been strong at measuring and assessing the extent to which and how economic strengthening interventions benefit children (either directly or as a result of increased household income; or understanding whether indeed economic strengthening programmes are causing children harm. As a child rights organisation, we are committed to going beyond the assumption that increasing incomes at household level is enough to improve child wellbeing.

2. Purpose of the Consultancy

The Child Poverty Global Theme recognises that Country Offices require guidance in measuring and assessing the impact of their economic strengthening programmes on children, both positive and negative, expected and unexpected.

Support is needed in developing guidance for country offices in measuring the impact of economic strengthening programmes (which would include FSL, cash-based programming, social protection and some aspects of youth livelihoods work) on children. These indicators should aim to bridge the gap between ES outcomes at household level and high-level outcomes for children. Measurements of HH food security, livelihoods and resilience are already widely available through the Global FS cluster, HEA, IPC, CSI and others , e.g. increase in household income, expenditure, savings, assets, investments, etc. We also know from other sectors what the goal/impact level outcomes we want to achieve are for children across our three global Breakthroughs.

This menu of indicators does not focus on either of these two levels, but rather the middle level of indicators as depicted in the diagram below which connects the two. These indicators should demonstrate whether economic strengthening outcomes lead to increased investments in children (e.g. increased expenditure on nutritious food for children), and reduced practices/coping strategies that could be harmful to children (e.g. removing children from school for economic reasons). These can be described as intermediate outcomes for children.

The guidance produced by the consultant should also explain and demonstrate how the three levels of indicators interrelate. For example, it may illustrate how the three levels of indicators contribute to outcomes at different levels of a theory of change.

Scope of the Consultancy and Key Objectives

The Consultant shall produce a manual for measuring outcomes of economic strengthening work for children. The manual shall have the following sections:

1) An introductory section clearly explaining the rationale for the manual and what it shall help staff achieve in the programmes. It shall also explain that guidance on measuring the impacts of economic strengthening programmes (food security, livelihoods, resilience, social protection) at household and wider levels already exists, and shall indicate where staff can find such indicators.

2) A ‘menu’ of indicators measuring and assessing the intermediate outcomes of economic strengthening interventions on children. Each indicator shall come with a clear definition, and they shall be organised by the Save the Children high level ‘Breakthrough’ outcomes to which all programmes shall contribute (i.e. that children will learn, survive, and be protected), as well as those which are cross-cutting in relation to these Breakthroughs. This shall build on the draft list of indicators already developed internally, and incorporate feedback already gathered. The menu of indicators shall enable the measurement and assessment of both positive and potentially negative impacts of household-level economic interventions on children, with disaggregation, wherever relevant, among girls and boys and children of different ages. They may be of a qualitative as well as quantitative nature, with scope wherever possible for participatory measurement together with household members. The menu shall be relevant in ‘stable’, fragile and humanitarian crises and recovery contexts.

The indicators are intended primarily for country office programme development. The term ‘menu’ is used as it should be a long list from which country offices can choose, depending on what is appropriate for the contexts, size, budget, duration and donors of their programmes. They are not primarily intended to provide data for cross-country comparison, nor would a country office be expected to include them all in a single programme.

3) Comprehensive guidance and tools for measuring each of the indicators and using them for assessment of impacts. Where tools exist which have been produced, tested and used by other organisations, these should be used, provided they are considered robust and fit for purpose. Guidance shall include details of the process and frequency for data collection, time and budget considerations, and forms and instructions to be used by field teams.

4) Guidance on how to select appropriate indicators from the menu, based on child-sensitive context and risk analysis, theory of change/programme objectives (see Analytical Toolkit below); budget; timeframe; skills of field staff etc. This may take the form of a decision tree or another appropriate format. The consultant should note that a complementary piece of work is being finalised on a broader analytical toolkit for Child Sensitivity in Economic Strengthening. The consultant will be expected to work closely with SCUK staff leading this work to ensure complementarity and cross-referencing with this broader programming framework.

The consultant shall ensure that the manual is technically sound and appropriate for the following end users:

• Country office technical advisors (largely national staff) involved in the design and implementation of projects
• Country office MEAL staff involved in designing MEAL frameworks, and supporting MEAL during implementation
• Country office programme field staff (who will likely use the forms and guidance)
• Save the Children member technical staff, who support country offices in programme design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation

The consultant shall design a process to obtain and respond to feedback from colleagues across the above four levels of the organisation. This may include CO head office visits, field tests, workshops, webinars, individual interviews, etc as the consultant sees appropriate.

Please note that a workshop is already planned in Nepal in Q2 of 2017 (dates tbc) to bring together at least three country offices (Bangladesh, Nepal, Myanmar) to contribute to the development of a toolkit on child sensitivity. The consultant may ‘piggy back’ on this workshop, using it as an opportunity to gain input into this work. Please note that costs for this workshop are already covered in a separate budget (excluding consultants’ participation).

Role of Save the Children
Save the Children will provide the following:

• Key documentation:
o Draft menu of indicators and feedback obtained during a meeting with 6 country offices and technical staff on child sensitivity in November 2016
o Draft child sensitivity in economic strengthening programming analytic toolkit (currently under development)
o Child poverty strategic documentation from the global theme
o Overview of existing programming on child poverty and sample proposals and MEAL frameworks
o Chaffin and Ellis literature review of child impacts of economic interventions and other major background reviews and key materials in this area, including by the SEEP network, World Vision International, etc.

• Participation from key staff
o Oversight and regular engagement from project leads (Senior Asia FSL Advisor/Child Poverty Rep and Deputy Director, Child Poverty Global Theme)
o A reference group of key technical advisors to advise on work related to their particular sector (i.e. education, child protection, health, nutrition, gender, FSL and social protection, and humanitarian FSL advisors). These will be available for periodic document reviews and occasional calls/meetings
o Active engagement from up to 6 Country Offices (the consultants should work with key contacts in those country offices to identify programmes and staff for piloting/feeding into indicators)

1. Activities and Deliverables

Deliverables of the consultancy
• Review of existing available indicators related to measuring positive and negative intermediate outcomes for children of economic strengthening activities
• Full outcome measurement manual including:
a) Introduction to the manual and summary of existing indicators for measuring household level indicators of economic strengthening programmes
b) Menu of indicators for measuring outcomes of economic strengthening programmes for children
c) Definitions of the above indicators
d) Guidance on indicator selection – linking with draft toolkit for child sensitivity in economic strengthening programmes
e) Guidance on measuring indicators, including tools, forms, frequency etc (drawing on existing material where it exists)
f) Indications of the cost and operational feasibility of the different indicators
g) Guidance on how to analyse the data for differentiated assessment of impacts on children
h) Considerations on adapting the indicators and their measurement in humanitarian contexts

The deliverables shall be submitted in phases, with review and approval from Save the Children taking place at the end of each phase.

The contract will only continue to subsequent phases upon successful completion and approval of each preceding phase:
Phase 1: Review of existing indicators; menu of indicators; indicator definitions; and guidance on indicator selection (a-c)
Phase 2: First draft guidance on measurement of indicators, cost, feasibility and data analysis (d-f)
Phase 3: Any processes involving travel/workshops/field testing of the above
Phase 4: Finalisation of deliverables

2. Details and timeline for submission
Consultants are invited to submit a tender for this work by Monday 13th February. Proposals should include:

• Critique of/response to ToR
• Detailed plan of the process for developing outputs
• Details of how outputs will be presented
• Detailed budget and timeframe
• CVs of the individual(s) who will carry out the work, including their role(s) and level of effort

Proposals should be sent to Vanessa Self at

3. Required profile of the consultant

The consultant/team must demonstrate the following qualifications in order to be eligible for this assignment:
• Demonstrated experience (ten years or more) in the design, implementation and management of Household Economic Strengthening / Food Security / Livelihood programmes in an international development context
• Expertise in MEAL, in particular for FSL, cash/social protection and other relevant household level economic strengthening programmes
• Experience in developing tools to measure outcomes for specific target groups, in particular children and young people
• Experience in data collection and analysis
• Understanding of child rights programming and situation analysis of children’s rights
• Familiarity with various analytical tools relating to food security and livelihoods, in particular the Household Economy Analysis approach
• Familiarity with Save the Children and / or other major child rights organizations
• Excellent communication skills, including fluency in written and spoken English including an ability to write clear and well-argued assessments, reports and proposals
• Ability to work effectively and collaboratively with a range of stakeholders including country office national technical and operations staff, head office technical colleagues, and potentially other consultants leading on complementary work.

4. Schedule for deliverables and payment

Payment will be made incrementally upon successful completion of each phase as follows:

Phase 1 by 31st March: Introductory section, Review of existing indicators; menu of indicators; indicator definitions; and guidance on indicator selection (a-d)

Phase 2 by 30th April: First draft guidance on measurement of indicators, cost, feasibility and data analysis (d-g)

Phase 3 by mid-May: Any processes involving travel/workshops/field testing of the above

Phase 4 by 9th June: Finalisation of deliverables

Save the Children covers the following costs directly: - economy class airfares; in-country accommodation bookings (mid-class hotel, and meals taken in the hotel only); in-country transportation arrangements. Any other expenses, if agreed in advance with Save the Children, will be reimbursed upon production of receipts and relevant documentation.

Save the Children works in more than 120 countries. We save children’s lives.
We fight for their rights. We help them achieve their potential.

Save the Children, 1 St John’s Lane, London, EC1M 4AR
Tel: +44 (0)20 7012 6400 Fax: +44 (0)20 7012 6963

Registered charity England and Wales (213890) Scotland (SC039570)


To obtain a Word version of this Request for proposals, please email Vanessa or

The Request for proposals need to be completed and returned alongside the other documents required to

Deadline for applications: 13th February 2017


Instructions for bidding

Bidders are requested to respond to sections 4 and 5 below then return this document with the relevant sections completed via email (no hard copies required) to and

Deadline for submission: 13th February 2017
Response period: 2 weeks

This Request for Proposal does not constitute an offer and Save the Children UK (SCUK) does not bind itself to accept any proposal. SCUK reserves the right to accept a proposal in part, rather than in full.

Tendering Timelines
Activity Date
Deadline for submissions 13 February 2017
Award of contract Ideally 1st March 2017
Contract start date Ideally 1st of March 2017

4 Bidder’s response – service delivery

The proposal should include the following sections:

• Critique of/response to ToR
• Detailed plan of the process for developing outputs
• Details of how outputs will be presented
• Detailed budget and timeframe
• CVs of the individual(s) who will carry out the work, including their role (s) and level of effort

Detailed methodology

Outline the detailed methodology for undertaking the key activities set out in the Terms of Reference

Team composition, profile and capacities

Bidders should provide the detailed CV of each individual responsible for carrying out the work.

CVs should include staff members' educational background, degrees and diplomas, professional experience, research work, publications and linguistic skills.

Statement of experience

Bidders should provide a detailed description of their relevant experience in the line of work, including similar or relevant projects undertaken in the past and their geographical coverage.

Please provide contact details of 2 key references

Work-plan and delivery timeframes

Bidders should provide a detailed schedule of all activities, tasks, deliverables, and progress reports required for this project. This must be in line with the list of activities and deliverables set out in the Terms of Reference.


Bidders should set out what insurances and levels of cover they hold.

Child Safeguarding

The appropriate level of safeguarding and therefore type of DBS required will depend on the research method proposed by the applicants; the applicant will be asked to cover the costs for the appropriate level of DBS/IPC

5 Bidder’s response – Cost proposal

5.1 Please provide your proposed cost in the table below.

All bids must contain a financial proposal to be submitted according to the form below.

Prices are to be quoted in GBP. For bidders based in countries where GBP is not the main currency, the evolution of the exchange rate will not be a reason to modify the price of the initial tender. Bidders choose the exchange rate and assume all risks or opportunities relating to the rate fluctuation.

The price per work stage must include all consultancy costs and expenses (including travel and subsistence expenses)

Prices must be quoted inclusive of all duties, taxes and other charges, including VAT. The amount of VAT may be shown separately.

Work stage Daily* rate Proposed number of hours/days Total cost
Ex. Undertake the in-depth desk review
(add stages as appropriate)

* minimum of 7 hours per day

5.2 Other costs:

If there are any further costs or expenses that you propose charging please detail these below together with an explanation.

Cost description Value Reason


6 Engagement & payment

As a donor funded body SCUK is committed to ensuring our resources are used as efficiently as possible, in order that we can focus them on achieving maximum impact for children and that our arrangements with third party suppliers represent value for money. We expect this approach to be demonstrated from any contractor it does business with.

The successful bidder will be asked to sign a consultancy contract.

It is SCUK policy to pay for work in arrears using our 30 day payment terms.

Organisation Save the Children