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  • Request for Proposals: Girls Connect Role Model Training and Support Partner at Girl Effect - iSON BPO

  • Posted on: 14 September, 2017 Deadline: 22 September, 2017
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    Girl Effect is a creative social enterprise that exists to unlock a New Normal: one where girls can fulfil their potential and where behaviour and social change for all occurs at scale. Occupying a unique position at the intersection of three capabilities, Girl Effect brings together deep development expertise and a global competence in brands and media with mobile technology and data. It now has a global portfolio reach of 48 million people in more than 60 countries.

    About Girls Connect
    Girl Effect prides itself on trailblazing new and innovative approaches to accelerate change for girls. Girls Connect is the newest initiative to be born from our innovation lab. In 2016, Girl Effect partnered with one of Africa’s largest IT companies, iSON Group, combining the power of Girl Effect’s expertise with global, private sector technology and processes. Together, we’ve created a new, never before tested, approach that puts girls in the driving seat of their own life experiences. Girls Connect is a unique platform that delivers a personalised, anonymous and confidential experience for girls, combining access to on-demand content and on-demand conversations via a digital platform. Girls control what entertaining and informative story they select on an IVR platform, but their experience doesn’t stop there. After the story, girls are connected to one of iSON’s call centre agents – trained to transform into role models – who help girls make sense of what they’ve listened to and think about how to apply critical life lessons to their own life. Girls Connect is aimed as a service for girls 14 – 16, with a larger audience of girls 14 – 19.

    Request for Proposals: Girls Connect Role Model Training and Support Partner


    Taking Girls Connect to Scale
    A successful 4-week pilot (Phase 1) was conducted from July to August 2016 followed by a successful 8-week pilot (Phase 2) conducted from April to May 2017, both in Kano state. During Phase 2, Girls Connect received over 44,000 calls – 5 times more than expected – from nearly

    8,000 unique users. We’ve also gained global interest, most recently being featured in TIME. Now is the time to scale Girls Connect. The service offered content on safety, relationships, social media and money. Girls Connect has been designed from the beginning with the aim to reach girls at scale. In July 2017, we began a new, exciting phase (Phase 3) moving from prototype testing to designing for scale across Nigeria with our 1 Million Unheard Voices and Choices campaign. Our campaign will kick-off in January 2018 running for 6 months across Kano, Edo and Oyo states. It will offer the service in Hausa, Pidgin and Yoruba connecting 1 million calls to content and conversations.

    Girls Connect Role Models
    Role models are a critical component to Girls Connect. As highlighted above, after listening to stories, callers are connected to Girls Connect role models. Role models then answer girls’ questions and talk to them about the stories for up to 8 minutes. After speaking with a role model, girls are offered the opportunity to connect with other services for more information, support and guidance. We train role models to handle these calls and those from parents, gatekeepers and boys helping to ensure that they all have a positive experience with Girls Connect. Girls Connect has taken the structure of a traditional call centre and trained call centre employees to deliver this innovative service for girls. In practice, role models use scripts designed specifically for them which reinforce the key lessons, skills and knowledge from the audio stories to help structure the conversation with girls. Role models are iSON employees, working from iSON’s office in Ibadan. For additional information on the role model’s roles and responsibilities, see

    Appendix A.
    Girls Connect provides training and mentoring to role models through the Role Model Training and Support Partner. This training and mentoring is aimed to help role models: 1) understand the complex issues and challenges girl callers face; 2) practice conversations with the scripts; and 3) develop the skills to emotionally connect to callers, help put them at ease, and facilitate a conversation and answer their questions. We also continue to strive to maintain the balance between providing support and signposting to girls, while not being a counselling service.

    Role models during Phase 1 and Phase 2
    Thirteen role models supported the previous test phases of Girls Connect in 2016 and 2017. Interested and qualified iSON staff underwent a stringent selection process including Hausa language testing and knowledge of the local context.
    During Phase 1, role models were supported by GE London and Nigeria staff, with minimal consultant training support. Once the Girls Connect concept was proven to be successful during Phase 1, we then enlisted the support of an external role model support and training partner to provide more structured support for Phase 2. During Phase 2, the partner led the development of a training programme, with GE support, delivered training modules both pre-launch and during the 8-week test phase, and was support and mentoring point of contact.

    Learnings to date
    A key goal for Phases 1 and 2, was testing the innovative model of Girls Connect: Could we apply the call centre model of an IVR platform with employees who are trained to follow a script and provide a quality service to customers, to deliver social impact. Phases 1 and 2 showed us that we can, and Girls Connect is ready to be tested at scale. During these testing phases we gained many insights that we will take with us into Phase 3. These include:

    You can employ call centre employees to deliver a social-impact service. If you apply a rigorous recruitment process, bringing young female call-centre employees with a passion and commitment to working with girls and contributing to meaningful change, their passion transcends. Girls sense the passion and interest of the role models, making the role model component incredibly effective.

    Scripting for the unknown questions girls will ask is challenging, but not impossible. Whilst we continued to refine the scripts throughout Phases 1 and 2, additional refinement is necessary to support role models in answering off-script questions. We need to ensure there is a balance between providing role models with a guide to reinforce the critical skills and lessons of the stories, while also leaving some room for them to safely deviate from the script to have a dialogue that flows and responds to callers’ questions.

    Training and practice is key. Girls Connect role models do not generally have a counselling or international development background. Guiding and training them on essential gender concepts and on the core skills of mentorship or counselling is critical to ensuring they are adequately skilled and prepared.

    Role models need additional boundary-setting training and support. Being emotionally connected but not too invested, is a balance that we need to ensure is managed properly. Role models are committed and invested in Girls Connect, and as highlighted above, this commitment adds tremendous value to Girls Connect. However, we also need to ensure that role models are properly trained to understand appropriate boundaries and how to set them.

    Phase 3: Going to Scale with the 1 Million Unheard Voices and Choices campaign With the ambitious plan to scale up into other states in Nigeria, Girls Connect seeks to recruit a pool of up to 72 role models by May 2018. As we scale, we will also develop a role model training and support infrastructure with the tools and systems that would allow Girls Connect to scale throughout Nigeria and potentially beyond. For Phase 3, we will build off of the infrastructure and learnings from Phase 1 and 2 to:

    Develop an elevated role for role models who were with Girls Connect in Phase 1 and 2, providing them an opportunity to become a ‘superstar’ to provide support to new role models.

    Re-envisage the role of our Quality Assurance Advisors (QAA). In Phase 1 and 2, the QAAs, who are also iSON staff, supervised the role models daily and were the first point of call if the role models needed immediate support. We would like to review the role of the QAA and understand how they can take on more responsibility, including becoming safeguarding focal points, develop skills to handle sensitive calls that role models don’t feel comfortable answering and other opportunities for them to take on a leading role in guiding and supporting the role models.

    Identify additional professional development courses role models can take which reinforce the specific trainings they will be given.

    Scope of Work
    Girl Effect is recruiting a partner to lead the training and mentoring of the role models and QAAs throughout implementation of the 1 Million Unheard Voices and Choices campaign. The partner will be critical to developing and implementing key aspects of the role model training, support and career development. With an eye towards developing tools and system that would allow Girls Connect to scale throughout Nigeria and beyond, the key aspects of the work include:

    Develop and implement a training programme for role models, superstars and QA advisors: With Girl Effect’s London and Nigeria offices, develop and implement training for role models, superstars and quality assurance advisors. The Partner would be responsible for:

    • Developing and write the training programme for all role model levels. The training programme should address the 1) initial in-depth training required and the 2) longerterm, ongoing plan for recommended refresher trainings.
    • Implementing the training programme including weekly meetings at the iSON office, and being available as needed.

    Writing the role model script: With Girl Effect team, the partner will lead on writing the call script, which is the script and guide role models follow on calls with girls. The role model scripts need to support the role models as guide girls through the key lessons from each
    story, helping callers digest the lessons and put them into practice in their lives.

    Additional support and mentoring: In addition to the training programme development and implementation outlined above, the partner will be responsible for designing and implementing the necessary systems to ensure that role models are continuously mentally, emotionally and technically prepared to carry out their assignments.

    o In addition to the weekly meetings at iSON, this may include ad-hoc face to face meetings. The Partner should provide an overview of how this will be structured to ensure role models, superstars and QA advisors are adequately supported.

    Policies and Procedures: Providing expertise and supporting the development of the Role Model Handbook, which includes necessary Girls Connect policies and procedures, complimenting iSON policies and procedures.

    Career development:

    • Support the design of career progression plans for all role models.
    • As part of the mentoring process, understand role models’ longer-term ambitions
    • Provide suggestions for informal or formal training opportunities that support role models’ development in line with their longer-term career ambitions and skills required to deliver the role model.
    • Specific deliverables, workplan and payment schedule will be agreed upon during the finalization of the Terms of Reference and contract.

    Required skills and experience

    • The successful partner should display the following skills and experience:
    • Substantial experience in training and mentoring individuals who deliver a phone-based service, i.e. call centers or hotlines.
    • Substantial experience in developing and delivering capacity building trainings and mentoring programs that are designed to deliver impact for girls and/or young people
    • Substantial experience working on child protection and safeguarding issues
    • Experience or strong familiarity with gender and/or girl centered programming
    • A strong understanding of the Nigerian girl context
    • Familiarity with development projects using digital technologies is preferable
    • Ability to work effectively with a range of stakeholders, from private sector companies to community-based organisations. Partner will be working closely and coordinating with iSON staff and management.
    • Excellent project management experience
    • Experience in international development preferred
    • Ability to provide the training in English, and review scripts and materials in Hausa, Pidgin and Yoruba
    • Strong communication and relationship management experience

    Job Description
    Reporting Lines: iSON Quality Assurance Advisor

    Location: Ibadan, Oyo state

    Contract: November 2017 – July 2018 (9 months) with possibility of renewal

    About Girls Connect Role Models
    There are currently eleven role models who supported the previous test phases of Girls Connect in 2016 and 2017. In order to become a role model, interested and qualified iSON staff underwent a stringent selection process including language testing and knowledge of local context. Once selected, role models are provided with in-depth training to increase their awareness on issues that affect girls, develop the skills required to support girls in learning from the lessons built into the audio content, and help girls see how they can meaningfully apply what they have learned. With the ambitious plan to scale up into other states in Nigeria, Girls Connect seeks to recruit additional role models.

    About iSON and Girl Effect
    About iSON
    iSON BPO, one of Africa’s largest IT services and BPO companies with a presence across almost 25 African countries began operations in Nigeria in 2011. Currently iSON has about 3100 staff in Nigeria. iSON Group of Companies offer business processing outsourcing Services, IT Services including consulting, systems integration, application management and managed services, and a new initiative focusing on driving consumer internet businesses in Africa though iSON Innovation and Investments (I3). iSON has three main competitive advantages: a cost-effective outsourcing model, state-of-theart technology, and knowledgeable and top quality employees. Known for its state-of-the-art technology, iSON has partnered with the best technology partners worldwide, who supply the company’s hardware and software needed to provide the best services to its customers.

    Our Role Models
    Does Girls Connect sound exciting? Do you want to get involved? Read all about what it takes to be a role model and find information on how to apply!
    Role models are an integral part of the success of Girls Connect. When girls use the service, they first listen to entertaining and informative stories. But their experience doesn’t stop there. Once they finish listening to stories they connect with role models who help them make sense of what they listened to, ask questions to get girls to think about how they would apply the lessons from the story to their own lives and give them support and guidance and answer questions they have. So, role models are a huge part of what makes Girls Connect successful!

    What does this mean if I became a role model?
    In practice, role models use scripts designed specifically for them, which follow the lessons from the audio stories to help structure the conversation with girls. Girls Connect also provides lots of training to role models to help them understand the complex issues and challenges girl callers face, practice conversations with the scripts, and develop skills to emotionally connect to users, helping to put them at ease, facilitate a conversation and answer their questions. By facilitating conversations and experience within the parameters of the script and trainings, the post holder (role models) is responsible for contributing to the overall experience of the Girls Connect user. Sometimes people other than girls call in, like their parents, brothers or community leaders. We train role models to handle these calls to make sure they also end the call having a positive experience with Girls Connect.

    Key Responsibilities

    Guide conversations with Girls Connect Callers, helping to ensure they have a positive user experience

    • Respond to all calls using the scripts, working to ensure that the user leads the conversations at their own pace.
    • Ensure that conversations with Girls Connect users is within the set time frame for each conversation (the time frame will be agreed upon with role models).
    • Connect emotionally with callers and avoid personal bias, judgement and opinion
    • Maintain confidentiality and professionalism at all times.

    Familiarity with the script
    Study and internalise all working scripts to ensure positive and rewarding interactions with users.

    Ensure users are signposted to vetted organisation where relevant. Details of these organisations will be provided to you.

    Participate in trainings and workshops

    • Participate in all trainings to ensure effective delivery of task
    • Contribute to the design and development of Girls Connect platform to ensure the best user experience
    • Participate in all mentoring and feedback sessions to ensure continuous professional growth
    • Participate in role models design workshops and contribute to the development of your system, scripts and other tools which will help you do your job effectively

    Document user experience at the end of each call

    • Ensure all calls are immediately documented and logged using approved reporting template
    • Ensure to document your experience after each call
    • Report immediately any safeguarding concerns or reports to the Quality Assurance Advisor.

    Essential criteria /skills

    • Must be female aged 20-30 years old.
    • Fluent in written and oral Hausa, Yoruba and/or Pidgin and have a fair knowledge of the local context in Kano, Edo and/or Oyo states
    • Experience in the use of telephone, and computer programs
    • Ability to use databases to record and retrieve information
    • Ability to understand and respond to needs of girls at the point of contact
    • Strong demonstrable ability to connect emotionally with girls
    • Demonstrable commitment to girls’ rights, gender equality, diversity and anti-discrimination
    • Demonstrable ability to be patient, non-judgmental and show empathy
    • Ability to handle sensitive and emotionally difficult calls
    • Demonstrate interest and ability to commit to a medium or long term project (minimum 6 months)
    • Commitment to realising the potential of girls through mentoring and support
    • Strong inter-personal skills with an ability to work effectively as part of a team
    • Ability to work outside conventional hours
    • Able to manage sensitive issues and maintain the highest levels of confidentiality

    Desirable skills/ experience

    • At least 6 months’ experience volunteering in a similar context
    • At least 6 months’ experience working with girls or other vulnerable groups

    Additional benefits:

    • Ongoing professional development opportunities
    • Career growth opportunities within the Girls Connect role model structure

    Method of Application

    To apply, send a proposal and estimated budget to Manre Chiratu at at by midnight September 22, 2017.

    Submissions must include:

    A proposal that includes:

    • An overview of the approach to the work. Suggested sections include: Objectives and your organizational approach to this work.
    • Overview how you will address each aspect of the scope of work and where relevant, topics covered.

    Key deliverables


    • If you do not have staff in Ibadan, please outline how you would ensure regular communication and support with role models and iSON staff.
    • A detailed budget, with number of days for work. If proposing a flat fee, please also show an overview of days projected for the work. If not based in Ibadan, al associated travel costs, including any travel days, should be listed separately.
    • CVs of all team members on the project
    • Sample or examples of previous work, including 2 references

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