Expressions of Interest (EoI)

Terms of Reference (ToR) to engage a consultant to conduct Assessment on Impact of COVID 19 on Civic Spaces in Bangladesh  

Background and Introducing the Project

Assignment name Assessment of the impact of COVID19 on Civic spaces in Bangladesh
Assignment Location Rajshahi, Khulna, Sylhet, and Dhaka cities
Possible start date August 10, 2021 for up to 45 working days

Christian Aid Bangladesh is conducting a study to assess the impact of COVID19 on the civic spaces in Bangladesh. Civic space refers to the structures, processes and legal instruments, and the absence of restrictions, that make it possible for citizens to associate, organize and act on issues of interest to them in the space outside the family, the state, and the market.

Over the past decade, however, scholars, observers and activists have noted that we have seen a global shrinking of protected civil space. Although  threats to and restrictions for civil society actors, both from states and from non-state groups, have always existed, the last decade has witnessed something that scholars like Buyse (ibid)  and INGOs such as CIVICUS and Amnesty note, go beyond individual instances. This has significant implications, not only in general terms, but in crucial moments such as a global public health epidemic.  The restrictions brought on as a necessity of the Covid-19 pandemic, it is argued, has further deteriorated the organising ability of civic spaces. 

Objectives of the assignment

To understand how civic space has been further impacted by the restrictions brought on by Covid-19, how this has affected accountability and the freedom to mobilise in the countries that Christian Aid works in, and what impact this needs to have on our policy, advocacy, and other programmatic work.

Scope of the work:

The impact of Covid 19 on civic spaces will be analysed in the urban and rural context. In rural areas, the study will aim to understand the effect on civic spaces from perspective of marginalized groups particularly Dalits, plainland indigenous, and transgender communities. The study location will be from 3 out of the 8 working districts in Khulna, Rajshahi, and Sylhet divisions. In urban area- mostly Dhaka city and peripheral urban areas- the study will be limited to understanding the impact on workers, particularly ready-made garments industry workers. The consultation work will be held with the aim of researching the following questions

  • What are the existing civic spaces?
  • What are the existing institutional channels that restrict civic space and what possibilities for contestation do they offer? Were these channels set up prior to the pandemic?
  • How has civic space changed since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic?
  • How did governments at different levels respond to the demands of the civil society of marginalized groups for support during COVID-19 and was there any outreach activities to engage them and consult for any potential support from development partners?
  • Were there any specific groups that were more impacted than others?
  • How has Christian Aid centred and supported programming and civil society actors who push for institutional accountability and advocacy?
  • In what ways are the civil societies finding alternatives to the restricted civic spaces?

How to apply:

Please read the details terms of reference as given below. Interested companies/firms are requested to submit their technical proposal and financial proposal along with TIN certificate/VAT registration (if application), and one sample of previous work related to this assignment on or before July 25 2021, via email:  with the subject line –

‘Engaging a consultant to conduct an Assessment on impact of COVID 19 on Civic Spaces in Bangladesh.’

Please click here for detail Term of Reference