Research Study on Barriers to Women’s Participation in Democratic Processes and Community Decision-Making Identified in Target Communities in Peshawar, Nowshera, Mardan, and Charsadda

  • Contract
  • Anywhere

Cowater International

Brief Description: 


Founded in 1985, Cowater International Inc. has built a global reputation for excellence in the world of management consulting in international development.  Headquartered in Ottawa, Canada and with experience in more than 65 countries, Cowater has established itself as Canada’s leading management consulting firm in international development.

Cowater International Inc. is implementing a project Women Empowerment and Political Participation in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (WEPP-KP) which aims to increase the political participation and enjoyment of rights by women, particularly young and marginalised women and those at-risk.

WEPP-KP will conduct a research study in all four focus districts (Peshawar, Nowshera, Mardan and Charsadda) to investigate the barriers women experience in participating in democratic processes and identify opportunities to improve women’s political participation. The study will also highlight the social, cultural, and economic barriers posed by COVID-19 for women and their impact on women’s abilities to participate in democratic processes and community decision-making.


The purpose of this assignment is to support Cowater/WEPP-KP to deliver the research as outlined in the research plan attached.


Cowater/WEPP-KP is seeking a Consultant to implement the delivery of the research outlined in the Research Plan found in Annex 1. Cowater/WEPP-KP intends to take a collaborative partnership approach to the delivery of this research. Cowater/WEPP-KP will lead the research from a management and quality assurance perspective and the Consultant will be required to:

  • Contribute to the design of data collection tools;
  • Carry out data collection;
  • Lead on analysis; and
  • Prepare a research report.

The following table provides a breakdown of the key tasks and the anticipated roles and responsibilities of Cowater/WEPP-KP and the Consultant:

Research Design

  • Literature review (Responsibility: Cowater/WEPP-KP)
  • Refinement of areas of inquiry (Responsibility: Consultant)
  • Design of analytical approach (Responsibility: Consultant)
  • Collaborative design of research approach including geographic sampling, number of target respondents, and other elements to be discussed (Responsibility: Consultant)
  • Recruitment and preparation of field-based research team (Responsibility: Consultant)
  • Development of data collection tools (Responsibility: Consultant)

Field Consultations

  • Identification of initial respondents (Responsibility: Consultant)
  • Semi-structured interviews with key informants (Responsibility: Consultant)
  • Focus group discussions with different groups at the community level (Responsibility: Consultant)
  • Ongoing identification of prospective informants (Responsibility: Consultant)
  • Interview report writing (Responsibility: Consultant)
  • Review of relevant investigative journalism and other documentation around the women’s political and public participation (Responsibility: Consultant)

Systematic Analysis

  • Review of data and comparative analysis of responses and perceptions (Responsibility: Consultant)
  • Development of findings, lessons learned, and recommendations (Responsibility: Consultant)

Joint Analysis Session

  • Share preliminary findings with key stakeholders in workshop (Responsibility: Consultant)
  • Discuss analysis and report approach (Responsibility: Consultant)

Report Production

  • Preparation of final draft report including findings and recommendations from stakeholder feedback (Responsibility: Consultant)
  • Finalization of research report (Responsibility: Cowater/WEPP-KP)
  • Design work and preparation for report dissemination (Responsibility: Cowater/WEPP-KP)
  • Develop and deliver public presentation on research (Responsibility: Cowater/WEPP-KP)

The Consultant is expected to deliver all of the tasks listed above in close collaboration with the Cowater/WEPP-KP team. This assignment is foreseen to span a period of 3 months. It is the responsibility of the applicant to determine the resourcing approach necessary to effectively deliver the scope of services and to distribute time between resources in a value for money manner.


The contract will be administered on an inputs basis and all deliverables will be produced in collaboration with the Cowater/WEPP-KP team. Key deliverables will be agreed following contract signing; however, indicative deliverables that the Consultant will be primarily responsible for include:

  • Inception Report
    • Finalisation of the research approach
    • Data collection tools
    • Analytical framework
    • Sampling methodology and final sample
  • Recruitment and training of the data research team
  • Interview reports
  • Collation of initial findings
  • Final research report with annexes of schedules, tools, team bios, and other to be discussed

PLACE OF ASSIGNMENT: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Travel to districts will be required.

INDICATIVE BUDGET: The upper limit of the budget for this assignment is: PKR 2.5 million.

Applicants will be assessed on the competitiveness of their pricing in the evaluation process and are encouraged to propose a total budget less than the upper limit quoted.


Organisational / Technical

  • Demonstrated capacity to deliver research services to donor-funded development projects, including designing research plans and data collection tools and implementing the application of such plans and tools.
  • Past experience delivering projects with a similar scope of services in Pakistan. Experience delivering services in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa specifically is a distinct advantage.
  • Demonstrated understanding of the scope of services.
  • A technical approach to the scope of services which is relevant and presents a robust methodology based on best practice.
  • A concise approach to engaging with diverse stakeholders.
  • A resourcing approach appropriate to the level of effort required to deliver the scope of services, which highlights key leadership positions and describes how recruitment for remaining roles will be undertaken, if successful.
  • Nominated personnel for key leadership roles, who are adequately qualified and experienced to undertake their nominated role.


  • Fee rates which represent value for money and are commensurate with the roles and experience of the nominated staff.
  • Expenses included are appropriate and adequate.
  • Total proposed cost is in line with the budget upper limit and represents value for money.


The applicant requires the explicit approval of Cowater International to share with a third party any information, data, materials or results, obtained through this contract. In submitting an application for this procurement, the applicant agrees to these terms, which shall be applied to, and survive, any resultant contract.


The application requirements are outlined below. Incomplete applications will not be evaluated.


  • Up to 1 page capacity statement demonstrating your technical skills and experience delivering similar services in Pakistan, specifying any experience in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
  • Up to 1 page project sheet detailing a previous project delivered by the applicant which had similar service requirements.


  • Up to 2 pages describing in detail your proposed approach to delivering the scope of services in an effective and value for money manner. This should include details on how you propose to structure the research team and engage stakeholders.
  • 1 page CVs for each of your nominated personnel.
  • ½ -1 page describing the positions to be filled if successful and the approach to recruitment of remaining positions.


  1. Daily fee rate per nominated personnel.
  2. Number of days allocated to each nominated personnel.
  3. Expenses associated with the delivery of services [Note: this should only include expenses such as travel, accommodation, meal costs etc. Other costs associated with the delivery of activities related to the research, such as workshop costs will be covered directly by the project].
  4. Total proposed cost to deliver the scope of services.

All applications are to be submitted no later than 5pm EST, March 12, 2021 on our Career Page. For your application to be considered, please upload your documents as followed: Candidate Last Name, First Name, date, Title of the Position.


The evaluation of technical proposals will be conducted in line with the following approach.

a.1.1.1Technical Evaluation

The evaluation of the Technical criteria will be as follows:

Sl No: Criteria (Points)

Total points: 100 points

1: Specific experience of the Consultant (as a firm) relevant to the Assignment. (15 points)

2: Adequacy and quality of the proposed methodology in responding to the Terms of Reference (TORs). (40 points)

3: Appropriateness of resourcing strategy to achieving the outcomes of the assignment. (15 points)

4: Key Experts’ qualifications and competence for the Assignment. (30 points)

NB: The minimum technical score (St) required to pass is: 70 points.

a.1.1.2Financial Evaluation

The evaluation of the financial quote will be as follows:

The lowest evaluated Financial Quotation (Fm) is given the maximum financial score (Sf) of 100.

The formula for determining the financial scores (Sf) of all other Quotations is calculated as following:

Sf = 100 x Fm/F

in which “Sf” is the financial score, “Fm” is the lowest price, and “F” the price of the Quotation under consideration.

The weights given to the Technical (T) and Financial (P) are:

T = 80%

P = 20%

Quotations are ranked according to their combined technical (St) and financial (Sf) scores using the weights (T = the weight given to the Technical Criteria; P = the weight given to the Financial Quotations; T + P = 1) as follows: 

S = St x T% + Sf x P%.

Cowater reserves the right to cancel this procurement process without justification at any time and will not be held liable for any costs associated with responding to this call for applications.

*The above text is a summary. Please find the full RFP in the attached document below.


With more than 35 years’ experience, Cowater International is Canada’s global leader in management consulting services specializing in international development and has managed the implementation of over 800 projects in more than 80 countries around the globe. We work with governments, partner organizations, communities and civil society to design and implement sustainable solutions that generate lasting social, financial and environmental impacts. Our adaptive approach to management has led to our award-winning work and recognition as one of Canada’s Best Managed Companies in 2017, 2018 and 2019. Headquartered in Ottawa, Canada, Cowater International also has corporate offices in Montreal, Quebec, Paris, London, United Kingdom and Nairobi, Kenya in addition to project offices in a wide variety of other locations across Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia.

We thank you for your interest in building a better tomorrow with Cowater International.


To help us track our recruitment effort, please indicate in your email/cover letter where ( you saw this job posting.