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Christian Aid (CA) is a UK-based international NGO, partnering with others to end poverty in Africa. At the heart of this vision is the transformation of the lives of people who live in poverty, empowering them to have a brighter future. Christian Aid works in more than 30 countries and has been operating in Nigeria since 2003. The Nigeria Country programme focuses on Community Health and HIV, Accountable Governance including humanitarian response and Gender.
Background and Rationale
In many parts of the world parents encourage the marriage of their daughters while they are still children in hopes that the marriage will benefit them both financially and socially, while also relieving financial burdens on the family. In actual fact, child marriage is a violation of human rights, compromising the development of girls and often resulting in early pregnancy and social isolation, with little education and poor vocational training reinforcing the gendered nature of poverty.
Adolescent Girls (AGs) in Northern Nigeria have very limited choices and opportunities to reach their full potential. Cultural and religious socializations have resulted in girls feeling isolated and powerless and therefore conforming to cultural pressures. Adolescent Girls, understood in this research as those girls in the state of development between puberty and maturity (12 to 18 years old). In Northern Nigeria, many face both systematic and structural marginalisation. Nearly two thirds of women in the North West and North-East regions have no education, compared to less than 15% in the South. Although 43% of girls in Nigeria are married before 18, in the North West, child marriage prevalence is as high as 76%.
Education is a strong indicator of whether a girl will marry as a child. 82% of women with no education were married before 18, as opposed to 13% of women who had at least finished secondary education.
Adolescent Girls’ education and empowerment are shown to be key in lifting families out of poverty with development outcomes for individual AG benefiting their families, communities and nations. It is generally assumed that economic empowerment will not only increase their individual income, it will have ripple effects for their families, communities and countries. In our research, we understand ‘adolescent girls’ empowerment as led by education, economic empowerment and delayed marriage. These are the dimensions we will be exploring in data collection and not others, e.g. health.
The centrality of religion in Nigeria enables religious institutions and leaders to exercise considerable influence. People rely on scriptural guidance as their source of inspiration which invariably governs their everyday lives and the relationship with one another. Therefore the influence of Faith Leaders in Nigeria, with specific reference to Northern Nigeria is unique and huge. Religion and culture is deeply entrenched in society as the main source of inspiration; people rely on scriptural guidance, which also influences the day-to-day decisions parents and society make about girls. Religion, culture and family values are the most identified factors that influence societal perceptions of the value and roles of adolescent girls. In our research, we understand ‘faith leaders’ as any person (male or female) recognized by community or congregation as spiritual leaders.
Faith/Traditional Leaders’ approval is an important factor in determining the position of AGs and the opportunities available to them; they are well positioned as catalysts for change in the collective voice for Adolescent girls. Religious actors have deep and trusted relationships with their communities and often have strong linkages with the most disadvantaged and vulnerable members.
As such, they are particularly well placed to address inequity related to societal factors such as social norms, behaviours and practices that affect access to services or fuel discrimination and deprivation - and thus facilitate efforts towards the realization of the rights of the most disenfranchised. However, no one has studied the role of Faith leaders in improving adolescent girls’ time of marriage in Kaduna state, hence this study.
Collective Action for Adolescent Girls Initiative (CAAGI) is a two-year transformational change project, tackling underlying cultural and perceived religious and structural causes of gender inequality and exclusion of adolescent girls. It is focused on achieving improved gender equality and the participation of adolescent girls in development activities.
Another objective is that Faith Actors as key influencers are better informed on Adolescent Girls (AGs) issues of education, early marriage and economic empowerment and are advocating on these AG issues within their communities, congregation and the media, and improved knowledge of men, boys, women and adolescent girls on the 3 AGs issues and changed attitudes around the value of AGs.
The project recognises that faith leaders are strong opinion leaders in the society and can influence positive attitude and behavioural changes within the society. It rests on the theory that norms are influenced by dependent behaviours of individuals, meaning that if social influencers change their behaviours around an issue without any backlash, more people are likely to think the new behaviour is acceptable, and will have the confidence to take up the new behaviour.
Therefore, it seeks to achieve its aim by supporting faith actors and faith based institutions at community, state and national levels as appropriate to take action around three major issues (education, early marriage and economic empowerment) affecting adolescent girls in the context of Northern Nigeria, thereby facilitating behavioural change.
The Project has been delivered by two fundamental actions: (1) Engaging, equipping and activating faith leaders and Faith-Based Organisations on AG issues, and (2) Increased community knowledge on the value of AG and increased inclusivity of AG within the family structure through community dialogue approaches and support to AG in the community. There are many points where these key actions overlap and intersect. Some gains have been recorded within one year of implementation and there is need to explore the role of faith leaders as well as barriers and opportunities at different levels for a sustainable project outcome.
Audience and Use of Findings
This study is targeted at Faith leaders, traditional leaders, and community members (men, boys, women and girls). The findings of the study will be used:
- To support programming (for Christian Aid/other INGO/ coalitions, working with faith leaders and/or on girls’ empowerment
- By Nigerian government / religious organizations to chart the cause for AG issues
- To improve the faith leader’s strategy to raise a collective voice and action for AG empowerment in Kaduna state and possibly the rest of northern Nigeria.
- The general objective of the study is to understand the role of faith leaders in improving the empowerment of adolescent girls (at community, state and individual levels) in Kaduna state.
- The study will leverage on the support provided by CA for the implementation of the project, and focus priority project intervention areas.
- It will also analyse opportunities beyond the current Project, with the aim to inform faith actors interventions in a more holistic way.
The specific objectives are:
- Explore how faith leaders have been influencing change in attitudes and behaviours of their congregation/community towards adolescent girls’ time of marriage
- Find out how faith leaders have been influencing and supporting other faith actors and parents towards addressing adolescent girls’ time of marriage.
- Explore opportunities and barriers to Faith Leader’s action on adolescent girls’ time of marriage and identify the different levels of intervention by faith leaders
- Identify practical suggestions and recommendations on how to harness the positive potential of religious teachings to promote positive behaviours and practices in ways that will ultimately benefit adolescent girls, exploring opportunities and barriers that exist.
- What are the roles of faith leaders in improving adolescent girls’ time of marriage in Kaduna state?
The following are sub-research questions:
- SRQ1: How do faith leaders influence congregations/community members in changing their attitudes and behaviours towards adolescent girls’ time of marriage?
- SRQ2: How do faith leaders influence governmental actors in changing policies towards addressing adolescent girls’ time of marriage?
- SRQ3: How do faith leaders support adolescent girls themselves to be involved in addressing their time of marriage?
- SRQ4: How do faith leaders influence other faith leaders towards addressing adolescent girls’ time of marriage?
- Christian Aid Nigeria Country Programme Monitoring and Evaluation (Governance and Gender) team and the Research, Evidence and Learning Adviser will guide and oversee the overall direction of the consultancy. The study will adopt a Non-Experimental Design with participatory approaches that will involve all key stakeholders at different levels. The data collection methodology will include but is not limited to focus group discussions, case studies, questionnaires (with structured and semi-structured questions), and key informant interviews (KIIs) and review of relevant documents and materials. Information triangulation will be undertaken to ensure higher credibility of the report and recommendations.
The research will provide quantitative and qualitative data through the following methods:
- Desk study and review of related literatures on Child marriage, the role of faith leaders in improving choices and opportunities for adolescent girls, including project documents (such as proposal document, project progress reports, Project Theory of Change, Case studies/stories of change).
- In depth interviews to gather primary data from key stakeholders using a structured methodology.
- Focus Group Discussions: Focus group discussions to take place in not less than 8 communities (divided into 4focus groups per community). Consultant to decide with M&E Officer on group formation).
- Key Informant Interviews (KII) - Using the already drafted questions, consultant and CA staff will work with partner staff on developing a list of identified key informants that the KIIs will be administered to.
- Case Studies/Stories of Change: Consultant and CA staff will work with partners to utilise the opportunity of the field research to identify people who are particularly interested and engaged in the program at this stage in order to track their progress and changes to their lives in the coming one year.
- Reason for choosing this method
- Research Question(s) being responded to.
- This will reveal depth of the role being played by faith leaders in improving the empowerment of adolescent girls. The use of quantitative method for this study is to provide a broader perspective and understanding of opportunities and barriers that exist for the faith leaders in advancing the cause of adolescent girls.
- Key Informant Interviews, Focus Group Discussions, Participatory Observation of Faith Leaders engagement will be valuable tools to capture data for this study.
- RQ and the 4 SRQs
Scope of the Study
- The study will be conducted in Kaduna state, covering the 3 Local government Areas (Makarfi, Chikun and Z/Kataf) in 12 communities.
An inception report, outlining the key scope of the work and intended work plan of the analysis, shall be submitted with the expression of interest before commencing the consultancy. The inception report should detail the consultants’ understanding of what is being researched and why, showing how each research question will be answered by way of: proposed methods; proposed sources of data; and data collection procedures. The inception report should include a proposed schedule of tasks, activities and deliverables. The inception report will be discussed and agreed upon by Christian Aid governance and gender team. The following shall be expected at the end of the research:
- A draft comprehensive research report that will inform all the key stakeholders. The report will be produced in English Language. The report should provide options for strategy and as well as recommendations. Christian Aid will provide comments after review within five days of the receipt of the Draft Report.
- Soft copy of final Report in clear, simple language free of jargon, and concise with detailed description of the context, methodology, data collection process, findings (tables and charts where applicable) discussions, recommendations, appendices etc. The main body of the report should be limited to 30 pages including the executive summary and recommendations. Background information should only be included when it is directly relevant to the report’s analysis and conclusions. Technical details should be confined to appendices, which should also include a list of informants, number of FGD sessions, KII and the research team’s work schedule
- Validation of the findings to key stakeholders.
Specific Responsibilities of the consultant
- Take the lead in defining and ensuring an agreeable methodology for this process with adequate consideration of the context.
- Review project documents and/or develop data collection tools for the research process and present them for review by Christian Aid/partners.
- Identify potential methods, approaches and techniques for data gathering and analysis.
- Participate in the identification and training of the data collection team including enumerators, supervisors and FGD facilitators.
- Participate in and supervise data collection and ensure accuracy and quality assurance in the evaluation process
- Conduct data entry, data cleaning, and data analysis of key indicators disaggregated by gender with accompanying graphs/charts
- Present the findings to CA, implementing partners and other stakeholders.
- Organize feedback settings with institutions supported by the project including GEADOR and FADF
- Compile final reports in line with the guidelines set out below and submit data collection materials, a soft copy of the report and analysis outputs in a CD
- Ensure ethical research standards and awareness of power relationships during the research
- The consultant is responsible to ensure data validity, consistency and accuracy and to submit reports written in good Standard English. If these standards are not met, the consultant will, at his/her own expense, make the necessary amendments to bring the reports to the required standards.
- The research is expected to start on 9th October 2017 to 17th November 2017 (exclusive of weekends) for an estimated duration of 30 working days. This will include desk reviews, field work - interviews and report writing.
Skills and Competencies
- Christian Aid is looking for consultants with a strong record in conducting research/evaluations. The consultant will need excellent knowledge of monitoring and research in theory and practice, and a good understanding of governance and gender work. The consultant should have the following skills and competencies:
- Demonstrable experience of producing high-quality, credible research/evaluations (sample report of such is required).
- Demonstrable experience of working with/evaluating NGO work.
- Demonstrable knowledge of governance/gender and inequality
- Demonstrable research skills and experience
- Demonstrable experience with participatory methodologies and understanding of power/gender analysis.
- Ability to write concise, readable and analytical reports and understanding of public communications.
- Excellent writing and verbal communication skills in English.
- Good working knowledge of Hausa language would be an asset.
- Budget and terms of engagement
- Christian Aid will cover for the necessary accommodation and transportation costs incurred by the consultant according to our in-country rates where necessary. All other costs incurred will be covered from the consultancy fee.
- 40% initial payment will be made (when the contract is signed) at the commencement of the job while balance payment will be paid upon receipt of a SATISFACTORY final report.
- 5% withholding tax will be deducted at source for individual consultancy and 10% for an organizational consultancy from the total cost of the consultancy fee.
- The Consultant will work with and report to Christian Aid Senior MERL Coordinator who will provide the needed technical guidance.
Timeline for deliverables:
- Draft report: 6 November 2017. The draft report should include initial findings, conclusions and recommendations.
- Final report: 16 November 2017.
Christian Aid invites proposals from organisations, or individuals, with the experience and skills described above. Tenders should include the following:
- A cover letter introducing the researcher/organisation and how the skills and competencies described above are met, with concrete examples.
- A 2-page outline of the proposed evaluation process and methodology.
- An overview of consultant’s academic qualifications/CVs and relevant experience to be included.
- An example of a previous evaluation/research report and 2 references from organizations where evaluation/research was conducted.
- Proposed budget and timeline
Method of Application
Interested and qualified consultants/organisations should submit their proposal to: firstname.lastname@example.org and copy email@example.com
Note: Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted. Only applications from individuals/firms resident in NIGERIA are eligible to apply.