Terms of Reference (ToR) To conduct a Situational Analysis, Prescriptions and Capacity Building on Gender and Inclusion in SONGO project


ICCO Cooperation (www.icco-cooperation.org) is an international organization, whose mission is to end poverty and injustice in the global south, in partnership with enterprising people. We invest in the power and dreams of entrepreneurial people, stimulate their entrepreneurial spirit, and connect them with businesses, governments and social organizations.

ICCO Cooperation is playing the lead role to implement the EU funded “Sustained Opportunities for Nutrition Governance (SONGO) project” aims to improve maternal and child nutrition in Kurigram and Gaibandha districts. The SONGO is 5 years long project with 4 inter-linked outcomes; (1) Local nutrition governance and decision-making mechanisms are strengthened (2) Maternal and Child Health and Nutrition Practices are improved (3) Household WASH Practices Improved (4) Household access to nutritious food is improved. RDRS Bangladesh has been ICCO's long standing partner in a variety of large poverty alleviation and development projects in Bangladesh, often with food security components. RDRS will implement the project activities such as community mobilization, capacity building, committees formation, meeting organisation, workshops, monitoring, etc at a field level.

SONGO emphasizes the importance of sustained governance as a primary outcome and a precondition to achieve other outcomes that are based on three interlinked pillars or pathways (as per the UNICEF Conceptual Framework on Under nutrition and used in 2008 & 2013 Lancet Series):

  1. HH food and nutrition security (including availability, economic access and use of food)
  2. Feeding and care giving resources and practices (including maternal, HH and community levels)
  3. Access to and use of health services as well as a safe and hygienic environment (i.e. food, care and health).

While availability and accessibility of nutritious and safe food at HH level is a precondition for improved nutrition it does not automatically lead to improved nutrition among all HH members. Lack of nutrition, health and WASH related knowledge, attitudes and practices as well as intra-HH dynamics often impede nutrition improvement. Evidence has also shown that the extent to which women have access to and control over productive resources, time, knowledge and social support networks largely determine their own nutritional status and the kind of care they provide for their children and for the rest of the HHs. The nutritional status of a woman before and during pregnancy has a direct impact on the development and nutritional status of her baby. In order to address child undernutrition fully, the SONGO project will therefore employ nutrition-specific as well as nutrition-sensitive interventions through a lifecycle approach to deliver the right services and messages to the right person at the right time. The implementation will incorporate a Social and Behavior Change (SBC) strategy, using multiple approaches, ranging from interpersonal communication (such as counseling by health workers) to mass media (such as radio campaigns).


SONGO project is implemented in 18 unions of 6 UPZs in Kurigram and Gaibandha district under Rangpur division with direct beneficiaries of 112,000 households particularly women and children.  The approach is based on proven and evolving experiences taking into account the importance of pre-conditions to address e.g. dimensions of availability and access to food as well as the required synergy between interventions and actors at various levels. Interventions will focus on mobilizing and coaching target groups as well as local public, private and development actors to collectively take the necessary actions towards improved nutrition.

Kurigram district:

  • Char Rajibpur Upazila: Char Rajibpur and Mohanganj Unions
  • Chilmari Upazila: Chilmari and Ramna Unions
  • Rowmari Upazila: Bandaber, Dantbhanga and Jadur Char Unions

Gaibandha district:

  • Gaibandha Shadar Upazila: Ghagoa ,Gidari and Kamarjani Unions
  • Fulchari Upazila: Fulchhari,Udakhali and Kanchi Para Unions
  • Sundarganj Upazila: Belka, Chandipur, Haripur, Sreepur and Tarapur Unions


3.1 Objective:

The main objective of this assignment is “to mentor and support the SONGO project to improve its gender and inclusion approaches for ensuring the project’s impactful and sustainable outreach and support towards improving situational nutrition, WASH and livelihoods opportunities”.

  • To generate information on gender and inclusion gaps (including disability and other vulnerable groups) as well as needs, constraints and opportunities of women, men, and persons with disability in the project target areas in Northern Bangladesh as evidence-based data to develop a gender and disability inclusion implementation plan for the project.
  • To adapt existing practices, prescribing new methods, and reflection for the project to be more inclusive and gender sensitive.
  • To build the capacity of project staff on implementation of prescribed approaches in SONGO.

3.2 Scope of the work:

Situational Analysis - Identify inclusion gaps, particularly, though not exclusively, for inter-household women, adolescents, female headed households and people with disabilities:

  • Livelihoods: needs, constraints, opportunities, inclusion to income generating activities and access to credit from financial institutions, level of indebtedness, access to business development services, enterprise development, language and other relevant training, social safety nets
  • Access: to health services,  including family planning, UP Standing Committees, access to educational institutions and Service providing agencies, access to management positions in cooperatives and producer groups
  • Voice: ability to be heard in-household, financial and decision making processes, through community voices, their roles in governance platforms, advocacy for nutritional and health needs (e.g. SRH, equitable food distribution)
  • At a minimum, some of the tools employed should include, the Barriers Assessment, Accessibility Checklist, Analysis (stakeholder analysis, gender roles and responsibilities, timeline and access and control, Gender inequality and Equality tree, Gender analysis matrix) 

Prescription - Review and Prescribing adaptive approaches for the project’s current Inclusion and Gender sensitive activities, methods and techniques:

  • For adjustment/adaptation and improvement. The consultant(s) will be expected to work with relevant process-owners from the project to successfully adapt current approaches/methods and records to practical solutions that better reach the needs of the most vulnerable. This will include but is not limited to Gender Action Plans development/review at the ward and Union Level.
  • New proposed sets of actions/interventions should be proposed based on location, specific environment, most urgent assessed challenges and resources of the project. This includes mutually agreed key actions and supply of relevant monitoring tools and approaches to ensure correct outreach
  • Provide operational recommendations for strengthening the project strategy of the SONGO project, and provide key elements of a gender and disability inclusion approach

Capacity Building and Mentoring - the consultant will need to support the capacity building of the project team and provide follow-up support using their inclusion and gender sensitive lenses:

  • Based on situational findings, project context and key focus areas, a tailored Training of Trainers program (senior project staff members) to successfully adopt inclusion and gender sensitive lenses, to educate on current situation, gaps, ways forward and prescriptions
  • Gender/Inclusion Volunteers, Champions training to successfully implement effective participatory gender analysis, gender action plans and promote the roles and importance of improved gender equality, especially highlighting the project’s nutrition, caregiving, SRH, WASH and livelihood themes. Consultant(s) will be encouraged to include these existing stakeholders of SONGO right from the beginning of the consultancy.


The consultant(s) will be required to design a detailed methodology to accomplish the tasks across the duration of the contract and timely implement a work plan in close consultation with the SONGO team. The Situational Analysis, and Prescription elements should be conducted using mixed methods and gather information from both primary and secondary sources including drawing on successes from similar initiatives and contexts around the country.

The Capacity Building and Mentoring lens should be considering these also but inclusive of best practices in inclusion strategizing both in Bangladesh and Internationally. The Consultant’s lens and approach for the prescription and capacity building components of this consultancy should be sensitive having methods inspired by like-minded assignments. The consultant should outline from their experience, expertise and lens how they intend to conduct these parts of the assignment successfully.


  • An inception report after reviewing the project documents and communication with SONGO team;
  • A detailed work plan and methodologies which can be adjusted after sharing with SONGO team;
  • Study methods - including Interview schedule/questionnaire for household data collection and FGD,KIIs which will be revised by SONGO team before applying for data collection;
  • Prescriptions, including working with key project personnel to adapt existing project methods and activities to have an improved inclusion lens
  • Training of project staff and Stakeholders according to the previously stated needs. Facilitate/delivery ToT (Training of Trainers) at 01 batch for SONGO staff. Consultants will be required to bear all the training related expenses (accomodation, food, logistics) for this on an actual basis.
  • The copies of all resource materials used (including data, interview transcripts etc) should be submitted in Soft and hard Copy.
  • Based on gaps and prescriptions agreed, training materials  will be required to be developed to build capacity of participants for adopting gender responsive and inclusiveness approaches
  • Final Assignment Report, for submission on successful completion of the project assignment in April 2022.


The consultant must have the following experience and skills to be able to perform the tasks of the ToR:

  • Have advanced degrees in Gender, Sociology , Anthropology, Economics or a related field.
  • Minimum three years of research experience to develop gender monitoring plans or strategies for projects, with implementation experience preferred
  • Demonstrated ability to write high quality, methodologically sound, analytical papers in English
  • Solid communication skills and sensitivity to the target group
  • Ability to liaise properly with technical and administrative staff of international organizations.
  • Ability to liaise properly with senior officials of the government and social partners.
  • Have a good working knowledge of the quantitative and qualitative research methods and programming strategies commonly used in nutrition, governance, livelihoods projects.


This is a long term consultancy with three (3) tranches of work deliverables required, for work required until the end of May 2022. Consideration should be made by the consultant(s) of this timeframe when submitting their proposals. The work plan should be smart and consider the time scheduling required to complete the full assignment according to the deadlines and time periods given in the table below. This table is not inclusive of all components outlined in the deliverables:

Assignment Component


Situational Analysis

Study and Findings: Completed and Presented By 30 November 2021
Report Draft: By 15th December 2021


January 2022

Capacity Building and Mentoring

Training of Staff: February 2022
Tools/Application Mentoring: March-May 2022


The proposal evaluation team will scrutinize all the proposals and make a shortlist. Among the shortlisted proposals, the proposal evaluation team will select two/three potential consultancy firms/consultant(s) and dialogue with them to know how they will execute and for final selection. Proposals submitted without a clear workplan or financial proposal will not be considered. Consultants who have not shown original understanding and interpretation of the ToR will also be at a disadvantage. Finally for the successful applicant, the SONGO team and the awarded consultant(s) will sit together for negotiation to finalize the implementation modalities and budget. Preference will be given to organisations/firms applying however we will also consider outstanding individual consultant applicants with strong proposals.


The evaluation of the consultant/firm will be based on the combined scoring method – where the methodology, qualification and experiences is given 80% weightage and financial offer will be given 20% weightage. Only consultants/firms meeting a minimum of 75% of total points under technical evaluation would be considered for the financial evaluation. Following specific criteria would be assessed

Scoring criteria
1 Technical proposal
1.1 Quality of the proposal (Understanding, Design and Methodologies, quality control mechanisms etc.) and Approach for the Deliverables
1.2 Organizational profile/consultants team profile (team composition and expertise of the technical team, division of roles.)
1.3 Work Plan and Clear breakdown of tasks according to timeline
1.4 Experience of similar types of work, reporting evidence etc.
2 Financial proposal* (Proposed amount and justification, logical and detailed breakdown of budget)
*Proposals should consider separate payment timeline and tranches for completion of Phases I, II, and III, and a Service Period Separately when developing the Financial Proposal.


Interested consultant(s)/consulting firms must submit the following documents for appraisal. Proposers who do not submit the below mentioned documents will not be considered for further evaluation.

The proposal should include:

  • Updated CV of Consultant(s) with highlighting  similar achievements
  • Technical proposal (understanding, relevant track record, methodologies, work plan, quality control etc. and plan for safe conducting of assignment during COVID-19)
  • Clear Financial proposal with detailed itemized budget (honorarium, travel, enumeration cost etc.)
  • Annexes: maximum of 1 relevant supporting document/previous assignment to showcase consultant’s relevant experience and competency of the consultant.
  • Submit the photocopy of trade license, Income tax, VAT, organization profile (for firm only).
  •  VAT and Tax deduction as per Govt rules. Consultant/Firm is advised to submit financial proposals inclusive of VAT and Tax.

Prospective consultants should submit a written proposal (Technical and Financial)  soft copy duly signed by the authority to: procurement.bd@icco.nl

Any queries about the consultancy should be addressed to Md. Shariful Islam, M: +8801755617260 at s.islam@icco.nl

*ICCO Cooperation holds the authority to cancel the order without any compensation if the deliverables do not match the contract

Deadline: 20 October 2021