Term of Reference (ToR) of hiring Consultant for research, documentation of learning, and innovation in relation to 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 EU funded “Sustained Opportunities for Nutrition Governance (SONGO) project” to improve maternal and child nutrition in  Kurigram  and Gaibandha districts. The SONGO project is 5 years duration with 4 inter-linked outcomes; (1) establishing upazila  nutrition  governance, (2) improving maternal and child health, nutrition (3) improving WASH practices (4) enhancing availability and access to safe and nutritious food.

RDRS 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 the 2nd National Plan of Action for Nutrition (NPAN2) and three interlinked pillars or pathways (as per the UNICEF Conceptual Framework on Undernutrition.

1. HH food and nutrition security (including availability, economic access and use of food)

2. Feeding and caregiving 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 (SBCC) strategy, using   multiple approaches, ranging from interpersonal communication (such as counselling by health workers) to mass media (such as radio campaigns).  SONGO will reach out to 120,000 HH final beneficiaries of which 95,000 HH are direct beneficiaries.  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 RajibpurUpazila: Char Rajibpur and Mohanganj Unions, ChilmariUpazila: Chilmari
and Ramna Unions and RowmariUpazila: Bandaber, Dantbhanga and Jadur Char Unions

Gaibandha district: GaibandhaShadarUpazila: Ghagoa, Gidari and Kamarjani Unions, FulchariUpazila: Fulchhari, Udakhali and Kanchi Para Unions and SundarganjUpazila: Belka, Chandipur, Haripur, Sreepur and Tarapur Unions


SONGO is working in climate-affected river basin areas in northern districts in Bangladesh. SONGO is looking for a consultant to research/investigate including operate gender and inclusion related activities across the project area, for a full-time long- duration consultancy: Because of the project size and diverse nature of activities, the project management will have to perform substantial number of tasks through directly hired individual consultants. The overall objectives of this assignment are to assist the project management of SONGO in developing gender strategy and action plan through the research work for successful implementation of the project activities in achieving the objectives as stipulated in the project. The Gender and Inclusion Consultant will work as a focal person on Gender Development & Inclusion related tasks to support the implementation of the SONGO project under the supervision of the Project Manager. The scopes of the services and deliverables of the consultant including: 

  • Conduct research and assessments to capture and document the impact and effect of SONGO interventions, including scalability and sustainability, considering climate change  effect in SONGO areas.
  • Mainstream gender aspects into all relevant components of the project document: Ensure that all aspects of the project documents are gender responsive: work with the project implementation team to devise the projects results framework and theory of change: develop gender-responsive outcomes, baselines, targets, and indicators for the project results framework and ensure that all applicable indicators are disaggregated by sex and other relevant, intersecting forms of identity; ensure that gender considerations are integrated into the project’s theory of change, including in the discussion of impact, assumptions, evidence and risks
  • Identify new opportunities and markets, which are essential for mapping out future growth. Additionally, she/he should provide insight into new business model opportunities for the organizations work with.
  • Carry out a gender analysis to fully consider the different needs, roles, benefits, impacts, risks and access to/control over resources of women and men (including considerations of intersecting categories of identity such as age, social status, ethnicity, marital status, etc.) given a project’s context, and appropriate measures taken to address and these and promote gender equality; collect gender responsive data relevant to project planning and monitoring; identify the share of female and male direct beneficiaries.   
  • Guide the project implementation team in using participatory techniques that involve both women and men in assessments and discussions. 
  • Assist the project implementation team in identifying and developing partnerships with gender equality/women’s governmental institutions, local women’s NGOs/CSOs and relevant stakeholders.  
  • As requested by the project development team, assist with capacity building and other aspects of project preparation to ensure gender and inclusion considerations are mainstreamed into the project document.


  • At least 3 years of relevant experience in research, analyzing and integrating gender and inclusion dimensions into programme formulation and implementation, particularly in the context of health and nutrition, climate change, agriculture, food, water, health
  • Experience in research, capturing the learnings, designing the interventions for the vulnerable areas in climate affected areas in Bangladesh.
  • Expat and Bangladeshi will be equally treated for this assignment, fluency in oral and written English is required.
  • Profound knowledge on gender issues and mainstreaming gender and inclusion in programme formulation and implementation.
  • Experience in developing gender-related capacity building and knowledge sharing products.
  • Experience in conducting gender impact assessments or vulnerability assessments is an asset.
  • Familiarity with gender-responsive monitoring and evaluation methods, including gender and inclusion related statistics and indicator development is an asset.


  • Very good interpersonal skills and demonstrated ability to engage and work with community people
  • Previous experience in developing and/or implementing Gender Based Action Plan and strategies for any project or organization
  • Experience in consultation with stakeholders and organizing workshops, training on gender and inclusion
  • Demonstrated ability to provide relevant, well-grounded, and high-quality analytical inputs to operations with a focus on results.
  • Demonstrated ability to synthesize complex information into usable forms for diverse audiences.
  • Ability to write effectively for various audiences under pressure, with tight deadlines in a rapidly changing organizational environment with attention to detail
  • Strong drive for results with the ability to work independently and diligently, while prioritizing and meeting deadlines.


  • A gender equality and inclusion mainstreaming action plan based on the midterm evaluation results and recommendations, for the implementation of gender and social-responsive activities throughout the life of the project.
  • Document existing available knowledge and data on gender & Inclusion in Nutrition and Climate vulnerabilities and identify knowledge gaps;
  • Provide expertise and support research on the differentiated impacts of climate change, nutrition and people’s organization on women and men;
  • Assist in developing and disseminating best practices on gender mainstreaming for the use of organizational context;
  • Assist with the collection and analysis of data, identifying potential gaps and strategies to address them;
  • Contribute significantly to communications and awareness raising activities (visual communications, print, online media, etc.);
  • Coordinate the planning and delivery of events such as policy dialogues, webinars, workshops and side-events;
  • Assist in social media outreach, speeches and speaking points on gender-related topics as relevant

Nature of Consultancy:

December,2021 to March,2022 initially with possibility for extension depending on contribution, performance and requirement of the project.

All transportation costs incurred as a result of engaging in project activities will be reimbursed by ICCO

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

SL Scoring criteria Marks
1 Qualification and Experiences (80)
1.1 Detailed CV 10
1.2 Interview 50
1.3 Work Plan and Clear breakdown of tasks according to timeline 10
1.4 Experience of similar types of work: especially on research 10
2 Financial proposal* (Monthly remuneration rate) (20)

REQUIRED NUMBER OF CONSULTANT: 1 (One) - to apply as individuals

LOCATION: Dhaka but frequently travels to field.

COMPENSATION: Negotiable. Consultant should put forward their proposed Monthly/Daily rate in the cover letter excluding tax & VAT.


Please submit your application details four pages CV and cover letter with mentioning expected Monthly or Daily rate to procurement.bd@icco.nl. The subject line should be ‘' Consultants for research, documentation of learning, and innovation in relation to Gender and Inclusion in SONGO project”. Only shortlisted candidates will be notified for an interview.

Women are encouraged to apply

Application Deadline: 30th  November 2021

**ICCO  Cooperation  holds  the  authority  to  terminate  the  consultancy  if  the  consultant’s
contributions and standards are not meeting the expectations of the organisation