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Search for Common Ground

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03 Décembre 2020 Il y a 10 mois

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Détails de l'opportunité

Régions concernées par cette opportunité: Tunisie

Search is seeking a consultant to lead a Needs Assessment that highlights the different needs of social workers that have emerged during the COVID-19 crisis as they deliver services to the target vulnerable populations. In this Assessment, we are primarily interested in the shifts in public and social institutions’ approaches to meet the needs of vulnerable groups that have occurred during the COVID-19 crisis. Consultant’s research proposals should include a plan to analyze these shifts across gender and age and target communities. 

1. Context

Search for Common Ground

Search is an international conflict transformation NGO that aims to transform the way individuals, groups, governments and companies deal with conflict, away from adversarial approaches and towards collaborative solutions. Headquartered in Washington DC, USA, and Brussels, Belgium, with 52 field offices in 29 countries, Search designs and implements multifaceted, culturally appropriate and conflict-sensitive programs using a diverse range of tools, including media and training, to promote dialogue, increase knowledge and determine a positive shift in behaviors.

The Project 

Search-Tunisia is launching a four-month project  that is funded by OECD and aims to strengthen the capacities of government institutions and local social protection bodies to effectively develop conflict-sensitive responses to COVID-19 crisis.

The project’s objectives are as follows: 

Objective 1: Strengthen the social protection system for vulnerable groups, in particular children and young people.

Objective 2: Improve coordination at the municipal level and between central and local levels.

Those objectives will be achieved through the following main activities:

  1. Rapid Needs Assessments of MoSA’s social workers and local coordination mechanisms engaged in COVID-19 response. 
  2. Social workers’ empowerment to deal with misinformation and violent behaviours towards support services in crises such as the COVID-19.
  3. Strengthening of local-level COVID-19 response coordination mechanisms through the development and delivery of logistical and capacity building support plans

2. Goal and Objectives of Needs Assessment 

The SFCG approach to Needs Assessments is grounded in the guiding principles of its work: participatory; do no harm, culturally sensitive; affirming and positive while honest and productively critical and valuing knowledge and approaches from within the context. SFCG will apply this approach to the Needs Assessment  which will be carried out in consultation and in participation with key relevant stakeholders.

The overall goal of this Needs Assessment is to highlight the areas that need support and empowerment to inform the SFCG team to design effective activities that best respond to social workers’ needs during COVID-19 crisis. The findings of this needs assessment will allow Search to design capacity building activities that respond to both the identified needs of MoSA’s social workers as well as the needs of local coordination mechanisms.

 The intended objectives of this Needs Assessment are  to:

    1. Identify the needs and challenges of social workers during the COVID-19 crisis to deliver services to vulnerable populations per target community.
  • Assess the communication and collaboration mechanisms among several institutional bodies at the local, regional, and central levels to understand how they maintain their services during the COVID-19 crisis
  1. Key Questions of the Needs Assessment

The Needs Assessment should respond to  the specific lines of inquiry mentioned below: 

OR1: How has the COVID-19 crisis affected the work of the Ministry of Social Affairs’  social workers to deliver services to vulnerable populations?

  • What tensions and conflicts have emerged or been worsened as a result of the COVID-19 crisis among the vulnerable populations, and between the vulnerable populations and the broader society?
  • What strategies or plans have social workers and public institutions used to overcome the emerging tensions and conflicts during the crisis?
  • What impact has COVID-19 had on the needs of vulnerable populations in the target communities? Are there any specific needs that have emerged? 
  • What do MoSA’s social workers need the most to continue delivering their services to vulnerable populations effectively in crises such as COVID-19?
  • What challenges have social workers faced during the COVID-19 crisis? How have they addressed these challenges? What gaps still remain?

OR2: To what extent have the local coordination mechanisms been effective in their responses to COVID-19 crisis? 

  • What actors and stakeholders have been engaged the most during the crisis in the target communities?
  • Have local coordination mechanisms been effective in delivering the needed services to vulnerable groups?
  • How can the local coordination mechanisms be improved to effectively respond to COVID-19 crisis and ensure stronger conflict-sensitive responses?
  • To what extent are local actors employing coordination mechanisms approaches to respond to COVID-19 crisis? What gaps still remain? 
  • Did local coordination mechanisms encounter coordination and communication challenges with regional and/or central level COVID-19 response committees? If so, what type of challenges?

OR3: Recommendations to meet the needs of vulnerable groups in times of crisis such as COVID-19

  • What kind of support and assistance do MoSA’ social workers need to better deliver their services during COVID-19 crises?
  • What kind of support and assistance do local coordination mechanisms need to strengthen their interventions in the target communities?
  • What kind of best practices does SFCG need to take into consideration when designing the training and activities for this project? 
  1. Geographic Locations

This Needs Assessment will target three governorates (two communities per each governorate): 

  • Sousse :  Enfidha and Sidi El Heni
  • Sidi-Bouzid:  Cebalet Ouled Asker, Sidi Ali Ben Aoun
  • Tataouine: Ghomrassen and Bir Lahmer
  1. Methodology and Data Collection Tools

The Needs Assessment will be based on a qualitative approach. The methodology will be  proposed and defined by the Consultant, based on SFCG requirements and validation.

This will include, but not be limited to the following principles or approaches: 

  • Secondary data review: review of any relevant documents (articles, researches, etc…) that can enrich the content of the Needs Assessment
  • The collection of qualitative information through key informant interviews, stakeholders meetings, etc…
  • Inclusiveness: the methodology should include a wide range of viewpoints

Proposals should outline approaches for data collection to be used and justification for these approaches related to the research questions. Proposals  should also include the sampling strategy and approach to analysis. Additionally, Do No Harm strategies, any proposed deliverables for sharing the findings of the study should be included in this section of the proposal.

In light of COVID-19-related risks, the proposals should include a mitigation plan for data collection in case the Tunisian government continues with the restrictions on mobility and assembly. 


Search expects the following deliverables from the external consultant(s) as they correspond to the timeline and budget:

  • An inception report detailing the methodology, data collection tools and timeline;
  • Data collection;
  • Oversight of data coding and analysis;
  • All original data submitted to Search;
  • A draft report in English , for review by Search staff and partners;
  • A final report in English (30 pages max in length, excluding appendices) consistent with Search branding and standards for Needs Assessments. The report:
    • Uses the Search ‘s template unless otherwise agreed in the contract
    • Provides a clear connection between context assessment and the intended results, and include other relevant project specifics
    • Fully explains the objectives and research questions of the study, limitations and methods chosen for analysis, 
    • Findings respect Search’s standards, are structured around the main objectives of the study, and are presented in relation to the intended target groups. 
    • Recommendations should have a clear audience and be specific, accessible, and actionable. 
    • Appendices should include detailed research instruments, list of interviewees, terms of references and consultant’(s) brief biography.

Logistical Support

Consultant will be responsible for organizing their own logistics for data collection (vehicles, fuel, and drivers), and this must be budgeted into the study. 

In addition, Search and partners will share the following elements with the external consultant(s): Background materials including the project proposal and logframe, M&E plan, etc.

  1. Ethical Considerations

SFCG places a high priority on ensuring that all  activities related to the Needs Assessment are conducted in an ethical manner. Participation in data collection activities is always voluntary, does not result in monetary gain and, where appropriate, the identity of participants is protected (for example, if information is provided in confidence, the consultant will not divulge related data in connection with their name and will limit the audience with access to the collected data and related discussion of results). Where the consultant conducts interviews to gather data, she/he garners informed consent of all interview participants (participants understand what the information provided will be used for, who will have access to the transcripts, who will have access to subsequent reports and how and if their name will be connected to their statements). The data collection approach should adhere to the  Do No Harm principles and COVID-19 precautionary measures ( respecting social distancing, using face masks, having hand sanitizers, etc…).

The data collection strategy should take into consideration the needs of both men and women. When collecting the data, respondents and targeted samples should be gathered in  a safe space.

  1. Data Quality Assurance and Management

All the submitted deliverables by the consultant will be reviewed by the DM&E team, program team and ILT.  To ensure effective data management, all the qualitative collected data (through FGDs, KIIs) will be transcribed respecting the data collection ethics. Access to the data will be allowed to the staff members who work on the project and will be limited to those who have the password.

All the deliverables will be reviewed and approved by our country office and global Institutional Learning Team prior to acceptance of the final product. 

  1. Timeline

This consultancy will be for one month starting from December 1st to 31st,2020:


Deliverables  Estimated Timeline 
Inception report 4th of December,2020
First draft of the Needs Assessment 16th of December, 2020 
Final report of the Needs Assessment 25th of December, 2020


Selection Criteria

Consultant proposals will be selected for:

  1. Relevance of proposed methodology to the goal, objectives, and research questions for the project.
  2. Quality of proposed methods, conflict sensitivity approaches, and quality control measures.
  3. Qualifications of the candidate(s).
  4. Proposed budget in relation to proposed methodology, deliverables and team.
  5. Timeline for proposed activities.

Critères d'éligibilité

  • Proficiency in English, Arabic, and French (written and spoken);
  • More than 5 years of experience in conducting Needs Assessments, including collecting data in interviews, surveys and focus groups;
  • Experience working with international organizations;
  • Experience working with Tunisian social services and vulnerable populations
  • Experience in conducting qualitative data and analysis;
  • Data collection methods and skills;
  • In addition, the consultant is required to respect the following Ethical Principles: Comprehensive and systematic inquiry: Consultant should make the most of the existing information and full range of stakeholders available at the time of the review. Consultant should conduct systematic, data-based inquiries. He or she should communicate his or her methods and approaches accurately and in sufficient detail to allow others to understand, interpret and critique his or her work. He or she should make clear the limitations of the review and its results. Competence: Consultant should possess the abilities and skills and experience appropriate to undertake the tasks proposed and should practice within the limits of his or her professional training and competence. Honesty and integrity: Consultant should be transparent with the contractor/constituent about: any conflict of interest, any change made in the negotiated project plan and the reasons why those changes were made, any risk that certain procedures or activities produce misleading review information. Respect for people: Consultant respect the security, dignity and self-worth of respondents, program participants. Consultant has the responsibility to be sensitive to and respect differences amongst participants in culture, religion, gender, disability, age and ethnicity.

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