NETZ Partnership for Development and Justice

Terms of Reference for Base line study of a livelihood project titled Eradication of extreme poverty and hunger in structurally disadvantaged areas of Bangladesh and India (DABI)

1.  Background

NETZ Partnership for Development and Justice (NETZ), a non-profit organization registered in Germany and Bangladesh, has been working in Bangladesh since 1989 to establish human dignity and to fight against poverty with a bottom-up, self-help approach. Across its programmes, NETZ works together with local partner NGOs and focuses its support on income and food security for extremely poor people, primary education for children of extreme poor families and promotion of human rights in Bangladesh.

Under its Livelihood programme, NETZ currently continues its effort to fight extreme poverty and hunger through a number of projects. NETZ aims at contributing to the eradication of extreme poverty (SDG 1) and hunger (SDG 2) in the poverty stricken areas in the region. As part of its endeavours, NETZ started the DABI project to support the self -help abilities of 3,000 marginalised households (HHs) in the district of Dinajpur in Bangladesh and Birbhum and Murshidabad in India. The project started in July 2018 and to be continued till December 2021. The specific objective of the project is that the food security of 12,000 extreme poor people in the project working area (all members of the targeted 3,000 families) is permanently improved and that they can sustainably meet their nutritional needs and claim their basic economic, social and cultural rights. The expected results of the project are: 1) The targeted families significantly increase their income; 2) The vulnerability of the target group in relation to their health, their nutrition intake, future natural disasters and the risk of losing their productive assets decreases significantly; 3) The established CBOs have developed strategies and implement these to claim their rights and hold local authorities and service providers accountable regarding the distribution of Social Safety Net measures and public services.

The target group includes 1,600 HHs under two upazilas in Dinajpur of Bangladesh. In India, 1,400 HHs in four blocks (2 in each district) in two districts are targeted. The selected geographic areas in Bangladesh and India are largely affected by extreme poverty, with the highest proportion of people suffering from malnutrition.

Against this backdrop, NETZ considers it crucial to conduct a base line study to capture the socio-economic conditions of the selected participants at the initial stage of intervention and set benchmarks for the developed indicators of the project.

2. Objectives

The objective of the baseline survey is to set the benchmarks to understand the initial socio-economic conditions of the project participants with a focus on their livelihood situation in the selected regions, their vulnerabilities, and their ability to meaningfully participate in the local decision-making, policy-making and policy application processes. All data needed to meaningfully employ the indicators set in the logical framework of the project, should be collected in the framework of the baseline study. The findings of the baseline study will be compared with that of an end line survey to be undertaken applying the same questionnaire in the last year of the intervention.

3. Scope of work

The consultant will lead the base line study. She/he will propose the issues of inquiry and design the questionnaire in consultation with NETZ and its Partner NGOs working in the project locations. Among other things, this will also include the design, adaptation and refinement of special region-specific instruments to assess dietary diversity and food insecurity, such as the Household Dietary Diversity Score (HDDS) and the Food Insecurity Experience Scale (FIES –SM). She/he will develop benchmarks to measure the set indicators of the logical framework of the project. The consultant will train enumerators / data collectors for the survey in data collection and data entry and provide oversight during the survey’s implementation. A detailed activity plan shall be developed after signing of the ToR. Among others, tasks will include:

  • Literature/document review
  • Development of data collection tools (incl. region-specific instruments to assess dietary diversity and food insecurity, such as the HDDS and the FIES).
  • Training of the enumerators / data collectors
  • Fieldwork for data collection
  • Analysis of data using widely recognised statistical software
  • Preparing a first draft of the report and presentation of the draft for feedback from NETZ
  • Finalisation of the report

4. Methodology

The methodological approach of the survey will be developed by the selected lead researcher and be finalised in consultation with NETZ. In a preparatory phase, the researcher will review relevant literature/ documents of the project. A structured questionnaire will be developed based on the project’s logical framework and other data points considered to be relevant in analysing the target group’s socio-economic conditions, vulnerabilities and ability to participate in decision-making processes. The analysis of data is conducted with widely recognised software, such as SPSS or STATA.

5. Study locations

The study shall be conducted in a number of Unions and Panchayets in Bangladesh and India respectively.

6. Outputs and deliverables

Both the draft and final reports shall be written in English and should ideally consist of no more than 30 pages (excluding annexes). The report should, at a minimum, include the following contents:

  • Executive Summary: a tightly drafted, to-the-point document including the key issues of investigation, major findings.
  • Introduction: Background and purpose of the study, scope, key questions and short description of the context
  • Methodology
  • Key findings with regard to the questionnaire formulated structured along the objectives and results (and associated indicators) of the logical framework of the project and the additional data points considered to be relevant in analysing the target group’s socio-economic conditions, vulnerabilities and ability to participate in decision-making processes.
  • Conclusions based on evidence and analysis
  • Annexes (TORs, timetable of the study, references, data collection instruments)

7. Reporting

The consultant shall:

  • Present a detailed study plan to NETZ and the Partners within three days of signing of the ToR
  • Finalise the questionnaire and other tools based on field tests and the feedback of NETZ and its partner NGOs
  • Present the draft survey report in a debriefing session with NETZ
  • Submit the final report within 5 days of getting feedback from NETZ on first draft

8. General terms

  • The Consultant will provide a financial proposal along with the technical proposal for this study and will receive 30% of the amount as mentioned in the contract after signing the financial agreement for this assignment. Remaining 70% will be paid after acceptance of the final report by NETZ
  • VAT and Taxes will be deducted at source upon government rules. NETZ will bear the food, accommodation and travel costs to be incurred in economical manner during field visits and meetings under the proposal
  • The NETZ management reserves the right to amend the terms of reference at any time as required upon mutual discussion with the lead researcher
  • NETZ reserves the right to terminate the contract at its sole discretion in case of non-compliance of the terms and conditions that will be finally agreed

9. Timeframe

The study shall be conducted expectedly in one and a half months from start of the study, and is scheduled to preferably start in the 3rd week of February 2019. The consultant will submit the final report latest by mid-April in 2019. The timeframe will be finalised as agreed by the consultant and NETZ. A time plan following the below-given format for the assignment has to be submitted by the consultant and to be agreed by NETZ. (as Annex)

No. of Days/consultant
Total man/days
Responsible person(s)

10.Composition of the Research Team

The study team will consist of one lead consultant who will team up with enumerators /data collectors hired by NETZ. The lead consultant should have profound knowledge of the dynamics of poverty and structural causes of poverty in the working region, and expertise in the areas of climate change and minority rights as well as specific nutrition- and food -security-related knowledge for the entire project working area. The consultant should also have profound knowledge of the use of quantitative and qualitative methods in development research. She/he should have required knowledge and skills to use widely recognized statistical software, such as SPSS or STATA.

11. Management of the Survey

The NETZ Bangladesh Office will be responsible for the management of the entire logistics for the study. The NETZ Partner-NGOs will ensure that all necessary arrangements are in place to provide the researcher with support needed to conduct their fieldwork.

12. Proposal Submission

Interested candidate are requested to submit a technical proposal (3 pages max), updated bio-data (4 pages max)and financial proposal  by 13 February 2019 in the following address.  The technical proposal should be made in consideration of the attached ToR.