Research and Development Contractor – Interpeace

Research and Development Contractor (‘’Reinforcing community capacity for social cohesion through societal trauma healing in Bugesera District’’) Pilot Programme

Location:  Rwanda (Bugesera District)

Application closing:  21 December, 2020

Interpeace

Interpeace is an international organization for peacebuilding, headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland. Its aim is to strengthen the capacities of societies to manage conflict in non-violent, non-coercive ways by assisting national actors in their efforts to develop social and political cohesion. Interpeace also strives to assist the international community (and in particular the UN) to play a more effective role in supporting peacebuilding efforts around the world through better understanding and response to the challenges of creating local capacities that enhance social and political cohesion. For more information about Interpeace, please visit http://www.interpeace.org

Background

In the 26 years since the genocide against the Tutsi, Rwanda has made strident efforts towards recovery and healing, across various dimensions of social and economic life. This has been characterized by cross-sectoral and locally owned innovations in diverse fields of practice, such as mental health, social cohesion and sustainability of livelihoods. With a view to meeting Rwanda’s of becoming a middle-income country by 2050, while sustaining peace amongst its citizens, there is now a need to systematize, enrich and standardize innovations in the above-mentioned fields of practice, to pave the way for country-wide scaling. The initial multi-stakeholder consultations led by Interpeace and involving several governmental and non-governmental actors in Rwanda has identified four specific activity domains, where such systematization and enrichment could prove beneficial for Rwanda: Integration of group-based approaches in the treatment of mental health disorders; systematization and standardization of community-based socio-therapy; utilization of collaborative livelihood initiatives as an approach for reconciliation and social cohesion; and development of group-based protocols for socio-emotional and skills strengthening. To advance this agenda further, Interpeace is now seeking the services of an international Research & Development (R&D) Contractor, who will bring in relevant global comparative expertise for the aforementioned topics while supporting the efforts of a team of national Rwandan experts that Interpeace is separately recruiting. The activities of the R&D Contractor, and of the national experts, will be in the context of the EU-funded ‘’Reinforcing Community capacity for Social Cohesion through societal trauma healing in Bugesera District’’ Pilot Programme, recently awarded to Interpeace and its national partner, Prison Fellowship Rwanda.

Assignment Description, Objectives and Expected Deliverables

The R&D Contractor, working under the supervision of Interpeace Great Lakes Regional Representative,  and in close coordination with Rwandan national senior experts, will be responsible to develop and / or standardize the various assessment and intervention protocols which will be integrated within the Bugesera Societal Healing programme. In addition, the R&D Contractor will support research, training and outreach activities related to the successful integration, mainstreaming, and scaling of the various protocols, systems and approaches developed under this contract.

More specifically, the R&D Contractor will be responsible for the following deliverables:

A. Design and/or adaptation of cross-sectoral assessment and intervention protocols   (Primary Deliverable)

The R&D Contractor will develop several intervention protocols to be integrated within the Bugesera Societal Healing Initiative, through an evidence-driven and consultative process which should incorporate the perspectives of Rwandan experts and policy stakeholders, as well as emerging international practices. The four domains of intervention for which the R&D contractor should develop and/or adapt appropriate intervention protocols, include:

  • Group-based Treatment of Mental Health Disorders
  • Community-based Socio-therapy
  • Collaborative Livelihood Initiatives at the Community Level
  • Group-based Socio-emotional and Cognitive Skills Training

Furthermore, to facilitate the allocation of beneficiaries into the various interventions described above, and to ensure that persons and communities that have already received support remain on a positive trajectory, a comprehensive screening, assessment and tracking system should be developed by the R&D Contractor in the context of this programme.

The R&D Contractor will be expected to recalibrate and improve all assessment and intervention protocols throughout the duration of the programme, based on pilot findings and the results of randomized controlled trials, as described in Deliverable C below. By the completion of the project, it is expected that all assessment and intervention protocols should be finalized and be ready for scaled-up implementation across other districts of Rwanda.

B. Design and analysis of a baseline and endline survey

The R&D Contractor will provide guidance to Interpeace’s national experts on issues related to the content and methods of a baseline and endline survey, which should cover all the thematic domains described under deliverable A above. The R&D Contractor will provide guidance to Interpeace’s national experts for the analysis of all data collected in the baseline and endline survey, and/or directly contribute to data analysis, as deemed appropriate. The baseline survey should be utilized to inform the design and deployment of interventions, per Deliverable A above.

C. Design and analysis of randomized controlled trials

The R&D Contractor will develop a framework for randomized controlled trials that will allow for impact evaluation of all interventions under Deliverable A above. All randomized trials will take place in the Bugesera District of Rwanda, through consultants and staff that will be employed by Interpeace for this purpose. The R&D Contractor will provide guidance to Interpeace’s national experts for the analysis of all data collected through the randomized controlled trials, and/or directly contribute to data analysis, as deemed appropriate.

In support of the randomized trials, the R&D Contractor is additionally expected to support the recruitment and training for the therapists and facilitators who will be implementing the interventions. It should be noted however that the formal recruitment process for therapists and facilitators, the majority of their training, and their ongoing supervision, will be conducted by Interpeace and its national experts.

D. Contribution to the Programme’s outreach efforts

The R&D Contractor will support Interpeace national experts, and where appropriately take the lead, in preparing reports that highlight findings and implications from the various program activities. Specifically, support will be provided to national experts for the preparation of reports to donors and national stakeholders; while the R&D Contractor will be responsible to coordinate the development of policy and scholarly outputs intended for international audiences. The objective of such outputs will be to showcase the work that is being done in Rwanda, provide evidence regarding its effectiveness, and reflect on its potential applicability in other contexts.  Finally, the R&D contractor should be available to participate in national or international events to discuss the Bugesera Healing Initiative, face-to-face or via webinar, as requested by Interpeace and its national partners.

The R&D Contractor is not expected to allocate equal effort to each of these four deliverables. In fact, it is estimated that about 70% of the R&D Contractor’s effort should be devoted to deliverable A, which is the primary deliverable. The remaining 30% of the R&D Contractor’s effort should be divided equally between the three remaining deliverables. Applicants should prepare a technical description, of between 5 to 10 pages, where they describe in detail how they intend to approach the production of each deliverable. In preparing their technical description, applicants should adhere to the following page limits:

  • Description of approach for Deliverable A: Between 3 and 7 pages
  • Description of approach for Deliverable B: Between 0.5 and 1 pages
  • Description of approach for Deliverable C: Between 0.5 and 1 pages
  • Description of approach for Deliverable D: Between 0.5 and 1 pages

The R&D Contractor will be expected to produce all deliverables within a period of 16 months, in the period 1 st  December 2020 – 31 st  March 2022. Applicants should provide a detailed timeline, in which they explain how they intend to utilize this period to sequence and complete all requested deliverables.

Scope of work

The Senior Expert on Socio-therapy and Social Cohesion will contribute to the successful implementation of all socio-therapy and social cohesion-related activities, as stipulated within the project document. Their services will be required for at least 100 working days during the period October 2020 to 31 December 2021.

Specifically, s/he will:

  • Conduct a mapping of socio-therapy and social cohesion programmes and approaches that are currently being implemented in Rwanda (and in Bugesera District particularly), including through governmental and non-governmental initiatives.
  • Identify and curate protocols and approaches already in use in Rwanda, related to socio-therapy and societal healing, community cohesion, inter-generational dialogue on the genocide against the Tutsi and social reintegration of ex-prisoners for the genocide.
  • Contribute to the design and / or adaptation of additional protocols and approaches for socio-therapy and social cohesion, ensuring that these protocols or guidelines are evidence-based and are culturally/socially appropriate in Rwanda.
  • Participate in the recruitment of a team of dialogue facilitators and socio-therapists who will be implementing all socio-therapy and social cohesion-related project activities at the Sector level (for all 15 Sectors of Bugesera District).
  • Serve as lead trainer for all selected dialogue facilitators and socio-therapists; and be responsible for quality control of their work in close collaboration with Interpeace Rwanda Team.
  • Contribute to the establishment of research protocols to assess the impact of social cohesion and reconciliation modules incorporated within the project, and supervise dialogue facilitators to ensure that the research protocols are correctly implemented
  • Contribute to the interpretation of findings from perception surveys and impact evaluation research conducted within the project, and in documenting such findings through policy briefs, media articles and scientific reports.
  • Participate in meetings and workshops with senior project stakeholders at all stages of the project’s cycle, to ensure that the project’s reconciliation activities are compatible with its wider objectives.
  • Participate in public events for dissemination of the project’s findings.

  Financial Proposal

The financial proposal should be calculated to primarily cover the human resource costs, and associated administrative expenses for the international senior experts and researchers who will be working on the programme deliverables. The following expenses will be covered separately by Interpeace, and should therefore NOT be included in applicants’ cost calculations:

  • Contracting of Rwandan national experts who will be locally supporting R&D efforts
  • Translation and interpretation services from English to Kinyarwanda to English, or from French to Kinyarwanda to French, whichever is required
  • Costs of all fieldwork that will be conducted in Rwanda, in the context of the R&D efforts
  • Travel, DSA and local transportation expenses for missions to Rwanda of the R&D Contractor’s senior experts and researchers.

In accordance with the above guidelines, applicants should submit a deliverable-based fixed-amount financial proposal, which should include the following:

  • Total amount requested for all four Deliverables
  • Breakdown of amount requested into total costs for Deliverable A, Deliverable B, Deliverable C and Deliverable D.

Qualifications

The R&D Contractor will be expected to bring together a suitably qualified multi-disciplinary team. The team should be led by senior experts in the domains for which assessment and intervention protocols will need to be devised and supported by additional researchers as appropriate.

For the purposes of this call, “senior expert” is defined as a specialist who:

  1. holds a Ph.D. degree in a relevant discipline, or,
  2. holds a Masters degree in a relevant discipline and possesses at least 10 years of relevant professional experience

For the purposes of this call, “researcher” is defined as a specialist who holds a Masters degree in a relevant discipline.

Fields of expertise that are relevant to this call include, but are not limited to, clinical and social psychology, peacebuilding, management science, development economics, sociology, or peace and conflict studies. A focus on various dimensions of resilience – such as community resilience, psychological resilience and economic resilience – is an important cross-cutting theme in this project, for which applicants are expected to demonstrate evidence of relevant background in the proposed senior experts.

The work of the project team should be coordinated by a Lead Institution, which will receive the full amount of the contract from Interpeace and be responsible for disbursing funds to various team members through whichever modality they have internally agreed (e.g. consultancy contracts, sub-contracts to other institutions, employee salaries). From its perspective, Interpeace will consider the Lead Institution to be responsible for all deliverables, while it will be the Lead Institution’s responsibility to allocate tasks and set internal expectations regarding the performance of all team members.

The applicant Lead Institution should be able to demonstrate relevant experience in supporting or leading complex Research & Development projects in conflict- or poverty- affected countries. Prior experience of the Lead Institution in sub-Saharan Africa will be considered an advantage.

Interested applicants should prepare a “Description of Project Team” document, which will include the following:

  1. Description of the Lead Institution, highlighting relevant experience, of no more than two pages
  2. Brief bios for each of the proposed team members (senior experts as well as researchers), of no more than 0.5 pages for each team member
  3. A table in which the role in the project of each team member will be described, along with the level of engagement for each team member, listed as cumulative person-months, or as cumulative person-days, whichever is more appropriate for the specific team member. Additionally, the table should clarify the number of times that each team member will be travelling to Rwanda, and the total number of days which she/he will spend in-country.
  4. A final calculation of the total person-months that will be provided by senior experts, and the total person-months that will be provided by researchers, for the whole duration of the project.

Evaluation Criteria

Applicants will be evaluated in accordance with the following scoring criteria:

  1. Suitability of Lead Institution and Project Team:  40%  of total score
  2. Technical Approach and Timeline Feasibility:  30 % of total score
  3. Financial Proposal:  30% of total score

How to Apply

To apply, please send the following by e-mail to  [email protected]  attaching the following:

  • CV/Organisational Profile (maximum 3 pages);
  • Motivation letter (maximum 1 page) outlining your skills and experience relevant to the Terms of Reference and your interest in the specific assignment for which you are applying.
  • Description of the methodology/approach you will use to deliver on the assignment you are applying for (maximum 2 pages).
  • A Financial proposal (as per the related guidelines, above).
  • Two examples of previous relevant work.
  • Please include  ‘’Research & Development Contractor- Bugesera Programme’’  in the subject line of the application e-mail.

Due to the large number of applications, Interpeace will only be able to respond to short-listed candidates. Thank you for your understanding.

For more information about Interpeace, its values and working principles, please visit its website:  http://www.interpeace.org

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