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October 2016c:\users\thoque\appdata\local\microsoft\windows\temporary internet files\content.outlook\m2vrhddx\pi_logo_rgb_blue.jpg

Plan International Bangladesh

Terms of Reference for hiring consultant to conduct

An End Line Study on I’MPOWER: Creating a supportive environment to end child marriage in Bangladesh and Zimbabwe Project

Project Summary

Project Name

I’MPOWER: Creating a supportive environment to end child marriage in Bangladesh and Zimbabwe Project

Bangladesh Component

Project Location

Niphamari Sadar & Jaldhaka Upazila of Nilphamari district, Bangladesh

Project duration

2015-2017 (2 years)

Implementing agency

Plan International Bangladesh, with support from Plan International Canada

Final report deadline

March 2017

  1. Introduction to Plan International

With almost 78 years’ experience working with children in poverty, and their families and communities, Plan International is one of the most respected and trusted grassroots, child rights based organizations in the world. Plan International is independent, with no religious, political or governmental affiliations.

Plan International works in 72 countries across the world. This covers 52 programme countries across Africa, Asia and the Americas supported by fundraising operations in 21 countries (including 2 programme countries Colombia and India), 4 liaison offices (to EU in Brussels, UN in Geneva and New York and to the African Union in Addis Ababa), as well as 4 regional offices and Plan international headquarters in the UK.

Plan International has been operating in Bangladesh since 1994. Plan International seeks to ensure the rights of the children to education, health, safe water and sanitation, protection, livelihood and prevention and protection against disaster throughout the country, reaching more than 13 million population including more than 4 million children. Plan International Bangladesh works with partners and non-government organisations both in Plan International working areas and beyond. Plan International is also working closely with the government in strengthening policies, systems and mechanisms. Currently, Plan International Bangladesh operates in 26 districts having two divisional offices in Rangpur and Barisal, two programme units in Dinajpur and Gazipur; and several field/project offices throughout the country

  1. Background and overview of the project

I’MPOWER: Creating a supportive environment to end child marriage in Bangladesh and Zimbabwe Project is a 2 year initiative supported by Global Affairs Canada (GAC) – formerly the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFATD) – focusing on the prevention of early and forced marriage. Plan International Bangladesh is now seeking qualified consultant(s) to complete an endline study of the Bangladesh component of the Project. The endline study will allow Plan International Bangladesh to report endline figures for key Intermediate and Immediate outcome indicators as outlined in the project Performance Measurement Framework (PMF) and present some lessons learned and recommendations for future CEFM programming. As this project is being conducted in two countries with common outcomes and a shared PMF, the Bangladesh end line must be consistent with the baseline study completed at the start of the project in each country; this consultancy is for the Bangladesh component only.

Staggering trends: Child marriage impacts nearly 70 million girls in the world. Globally, some 14 million girls under the age of 18 marry every year. One in every three girls in the developing world is married by the age of 18 and one in seven before the age of 151. Should the current trend continue unabated, an estimated 140 million girls could become child brides this decade. Globally, girls in rural areas are twice as likely to be married by 18 in comparison to their peers in urban areas2. Fewer boys are affected by or likely to be affected by child marriage relative to girls.
Bangladesh at a glance: Child marriage prevalence rates vary significantly between countries and within countries: a staggering 65 per cent of girls are married by the age of 18 (29 per cent by 15 years of age) in Bangladesh3. For example the Khulna Region in Bangladesh has a prevalence rate of 75 per cent compared to the Sylhet Region at 48 per cent. Trends show rural, uneducated girls living in poor families to be the most affected (twice as likely to be married/in union before age 18) as compared to their urban counterparts.
Grave, inter-generational consequences: Child marriage is a violation of a girl’s basic human rights. It profoundly and adversely affects the trajectory of their lives – curbing their childhoods, ending or limiting their educational and economic opportunities, and subjecting them to early and high-risk pregnancies, social isolation and increasing their vulnerability to domestic violence and other poor health outcomes, particularly maternal and child health outcomes and mental health outcomes.
Complex drivers: Child marriage is driven by complex and interrelated factors globally; at the core of it are rigid gender and cultural beliefs and norms about the role and value of girls. Poverty plays a decisive role in driving child marriage. Parents often decide to marry their daughters as children because they believe it is the best thing for her and the family. Marrying girls very young due to lower dowry costs as in Bangladesh are potent drivers for instance. Families also often marry off their girls because they believe it will provide them with protection from sexual assault, rape, sexual activity or the stigma of pregnancy outside marriage-child marriage is inextricably linked to a girls sexuality. A lack of alternatives and/or a lack of knowledge of alternatives to early marriage is also a factor propelling self-initiated marriage amongst girls.
Key lessons learned are: child marriage cannot be eradicated without changing social norms that ascribe less value to females than males requiring a gender transformative strategy; to have impact at scale, it is important that initiatives address child marriage at multiple levels simultaneously; programs must empower girls at risk for child marriage through the creation of safe spaces for them; girls’ access to and completion of at least nine years of quality education is critical; breaking the silence on child marriage at the community and family level by demonstrating the harmful effects of the practice on the community; supporting girls and boys to participate and negotiate in an informed and effective manner can influence parents to alter their views on what is in the best interests of their children, and their families; engaging traditional and religious leaders as active agents of change is crucial; working with boys and men to take action is central; supporting the enforcement of laws on a legal age for marriage and universal birth registration and marriage registration is key; strengthening community-based child protection mechanisms are particularly effective to intervene where girls are at risk of marriage; promoting girls’ sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) is an important outcome in and of itself and as a child marriage prevention strategy.
Overall Objective of the I’MPOWER project

The project will contribute to reduced early and forced marriage for girls at high risk in selected communities in high prevalence areas of Bangladesh and Zimbabwe. This TOR is only for the endline work in Bangladesh.

  1. The Assignment

Overall objective of the study:

The objective of the Study is to review the project performance identifying the achievements against set indicators for immediate and intermediate outcomes set in the projects PMF, through replication of the baseline study. The Study also includes a small evaluative component aimed at identifying key lessons learned and recommendations for future early child marriage programming in Bangladesh. The specific objectives are:

  • To measure seven (7) of the project’s intermediate and immediate outcomes indicators as per the project PMF;

  • Compare endline results to baseline results and project targets

  • To pilot a participatory assessment to understand the views of adolescents on the overall outcomes of the project implementation

Key focus for the limited evaluative component of the study are:

  • Identify the most important project actors or combination of project actors that have been able to execute successful actions to end/prevent child marriage. The idea here is that the project worked with a broad range of Child Protection Actors (CPAs) and Community Gatekeepers, so the task is to narrow down the focus to identify those that have been the most important in ending/preventing child marriages.

  • Assess which project components are the most effective at leading to successful actions to prevent/end child marriage?

  • Adolescent-girl (ages 13-18 years of age) participatory assessment activity (i.e. photo voice, community mapping, art or drama-based activities, scoring through spider net/H method/mood meter) on early and forced child marriage in their communities and how to create supportive environments to prevent/end child marriage in their communities.

Framework of the study:

The study will be undertaken following the PMF of the project:



Data Collection Method

Data Source

1100: Regional and local level child protection systems address and respond to child marriage

% of targeted Child Protection Actors who have taken action to prevent or respond to child marriage (e.g. creation of action plans, bylaws, programming changes)

Survey Questionnaire and Key Informant Interviews

Sample of stakeholders participating in the project

1200: Improved agency and resilience of girls to determine their own futures

Level of social network strength reported by adolescent girls

Focus Group Discussions

Sample of in-school and out-of-school girls participating in the project, as well as a sample of in-school boys

1300: Communities in project areas take action to prevent CEFM

% of targeted community members reached through the project (i.e. gatekeepers, trained men/boys, health workers, influential women, religious leaders) that have taken at least one action to prevent child marriage

Survey Questionnaire

Sample of community members participating in the project

1110: Enhanced capacity of institutional stakeholders and duty bearers at different levels for establishing and strengthening child protection mechanisms at community level towards a fully functional national child protection system

% of targeted actors (f/m) who have demonstrated understanding of CEFM issues (i.e.: causes and effects of CEFM)

Survey Questionnaire

Key Informant Interviews

Sample of targeted actors

1220: Improved capacity of out-of-school girls (and boys) who are at risk / affected by child marriage to be more resilient

% of targeted out of school girls who are at risk/affected by child marriage who can identify that they have access to safe spaces and other support services (i.e. health services, VSLA etc.)

Focus Group Discussions

Sample of out of school girls

1310: Communities are better informed to change attitudes towards and practice of CEFM

Level of community awareness of the harmful effects of CEFM in the community

Focus Group Discussions

Sample of community members in project area (adult women and men)

1320: Community gate-keepers/influencers have increased capacity to take action in their spheres of influence

% of targeted gate keepers (f/m) who demonstrate an understanding of the importance of eliminating CEFM

Survey Questionnaire

Key Informant Interviews

Targeted gatekeepers


The required approach is a mixed method design that integrates qualitative and quantitative tools. The tools and methodology need to be consistent between the two project implementation countries – that is, the same tools will be used, in the same way, and reported in a consistent manner by both countries – to allow for consolidation at overall project level by Plan International in the shared PMF. To allow for this consistency, the tools, and guidelines for implementing them, have been developed by Plan International and will be provided to the recruited consultant in Bangladesh. The recruited Bangladesh consultant will therefore be responsible for contextualizing and translating tools, as well as completing data collection and reporting. Due to the adolescent girl focus of the project, the approach applied must be adolescent-girl friendly and participatory wherever possible, and proposals must be developed to indicate how this will be achieved.
Primarily this assignment will require:

  • desk review of relevant project documents, including the baseline report and periodical program reports, photographs, publications, visit project locations,

  • conduct Focus Group Discussions with adult male and female community members, in-school adolescent boys and girls, adolescent out-of-school girls,

  • complete a survey of a sample of project actors,

  • conduct key informant interviews with key project stakeholders

  • facilitate adolescent-led participatory assessment activity.

During data analysis and report writing, the consultant(s) will compare the qualitative and quantitative data from the baseline and endline and are expected to exercise triangulation of findings. Plan International International will update the baseline tools to allow for capturing any further information to help inform the small evaluative component, and consultants are expected to provide feedback on these updates during the inception period to identify any further opportunities they would like included to allow for completion of the evaluative component.
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