StrongMinds is a dynamic and fast-growing 501(c)(3) social enterprise that focuses on one of the most underserved populations and one of the most pervasive mental illnesses in the world. We treat depression among women of all ages in Africa, where access to mental health treatment is extremely limited.
Since beginning operations in 2014, StrongMinds has treated nearly 70,000 women with depression in Uganda and has recently expanded into Zambia. We are the only organization scaling a solution to depression in Africa with the potential to serve millions in the next ten years.
StrongMinds has earned an impressive reputation in the global mental health space. In addition to media coverage in the New York Times, Forbes, the BBC, and the Stanford Social Innovation Review, we are described by UK organization Founders Pledge as the most cost-effective mental health organization working in the developing world. Our partners include Save the Children, BRAC, Grand Challenges Canada, and the Global Innovations Fund (GIF) We are also proud to be a founding partner of citiesRISE.
StrongMinds’ Gender Work
In 2020, StrongMinds began a three-year partnership with GIF, who has tasked StrongMinds to research, build, and implement a gender protocol across all levels of the organization. This includes in StrongMinds internal operations, in the implementation of programs, and the measurement and evaluation of the impact of our programs, which are targeted predominantly towards women and young women. The purpose of this work is to promote and enforce gender equity and gender-informed decision making at the core of StrongMinds’ operations. StrongMinds will be contracting an individual consultant or firm to carry out the research and protocol design processes in close collaboration with each of StrongMinds’ offices.
Scope of Work
To ensure the highest quality of StrongMinds gender-focused activities, a “gender expert” or team of experts will be consulted to drive this work forward. The breadth of the work will include close work with each of StrongMinds’ offices, as well as work with stakeholders and constituents in Uganda, Zambia and the US. The consultant will lead gender research, operational improvement, and capacity building activities. The goal of the consultant’s work will be to integrate her/his/their findings and recommendations into StrongMinds policies and procedures, and to create a plan for sustained action and competency. Key activities and deliverables are listed below:
- Orientation and review of StrongMinds’ work, current theory of change, and evidence base
- Develop proposed Gender Research/Assessment Plan
- Conduct assessment of the impact of StrongMinds’ program on clients from a gender perspective (Uganda and Zambia)
- Interview key informants and stakeholders to assess context and environmental factors
- Conduct a landscape analysis/benchmarking exercise of existing gender equity policies and mechanisms and identify gaps and best practices
- Develop an organizational gender equity (GE) policy for StrongMinds review and approval
- Conduct a landscape analysis/benchmarking exercise of existing gender-based violence (GBV) and response policies and mechanisms and identify gaps
- Work with the StrongMinds team to build a GBV protocol for standardized response to clients’ needs
- Build and deliver GE and GBV organizational training protocols and schedules for roll out and adoption across all SMU offices and with partner organizations as needed
- Work with the StrongMinds Gender Working Group to develop action items for sustained gender accountability
- Provide quarterly progress updates in writing to inform StrongMinds reporting
- A final community/client gender impact assessment/research plan and methodology for review and approval by StrongMinds (To be completed by December 2020*).
- Annual research and learning reports that summarize all activities completed and identifies all gender- based outcomes/impact found. The report should include detailed recommendations, to include:
- A revised StrongMinds gender theory of change
- Qualitative and/or quantitative research on gender outcomes & mechanisms (as outlined in gender theory of change)/assessment
- Relevant, actionable qualitative and quantitative research methodology, tools, scales, and outcome indicators for StrongMinds’ consideration, including tools that can be modified and agile during COVID or in a similar emergent situation
- Proposed plans/methods for data collection informed by these new tools and indicators
- Subsequent report on findings from data collection
- Proposed program/process adaptations and scale/replication adaptations in light of genderoutcome findings
- A complete organizational Gender Equity strategy for StrongMinds’ review and adoption (To be completed by December 2020*)
- A complete GBV strategy for StrongMinds’ review and adoption (To be completed by December 2020)
- A final GE and GBV- policy training protocol and proposed training schedule (To be completed by June 2021*)
- A gender workshop for senior staff and gender training for all StrongMinds field staff. (To be delivered intermittently between December 2020 and December 2021*)
- Quarterly progress reports to inform StrongMinds reports to GIF. (First report to be completed byOctober 2020*)
The successful Gender Consultant will also be expected to embrace and model StrongMinds’ core values:
- We are people-focused
- We think big and act fast
- We are data-driven
- We do what we say and say what we do
- We believe in collaboration, not competition
Qualifications of the Individual or Firm: A qualified individual or team will have at least 10 years of experience in research, policy, or capacity building solutions in Sub-Saharan Africa with large NGO, public, and/or donor partners. Candidates with experience in the intersection of mental health and gender outcomes is preferred, including work in sexual and gender-based violence, intimate-partner violence, gender equality in the home, agency, decision-making, productivity and empowerment. Experience working in Uganda and/or Zambia, or with local researchers in either/both countries is considered an asset. Work in other areas of women’s health and well-being such as maternal health is a bonus. Proven competency in designing and executing gender-based research, including in qualitative methods.
Terms: A start date on or around July 1, 2020 for a duration of approximately 18 months. Start date, travel, and duration of work will be flexible to account for disruptions related to COVID-19.
Location: The position will be based remotely with expected travel to and between StrongMinds’ offices in Kampala, Uganda and Lusaka, Zambia. Strong preference for candidates from or residing in the Eastern or Southern Africa regions.
To Apply: Please send a brief proposal electronically to: firstname.lastname@example.org. The proposal package should include the following:
- A concise (no more than 3 pages) narrative proposal that details:
- The firm’s experience in response to the requirements noted above and relevant informationregarding size, location, area of expertise.
- A description of the engagement team assigned and their experience, as relevant. Please notewhether the use of sub-contractors will be required.
- A summary proposed response to the scope of work above, to include a brief work plan, citingproposed milestones, timelines, and any travel needs.
- A list of at least two references.
- A Not-to-Exceed cost figure for the proposed work, along with a proposed summary budget that outlines direct costs, including estimated hours and rates by role, and indirect costs as relevant.
- CVs or resumes of key parties as relevant.
- (Optional) links to relevant work products.
Deadlines and Questions:
RFP Circulated: Week of May 18, 2020
Deadline for Proposal Submission: June 10, 2020 5:00pm EST
Notification of Selection:June 26, 2020
Start Date: July 1, 2020
Questions can be submitted to email@example.com and will be addressed within 24 hours. The deadline for question submission is May 29, 2020.
*StrongMinds recognizes the unprecedented effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on all of our staff, constituents and beneficiaries. As such, the deliverable deadlines and workplan will evolve with the situation to accommodate possible restrictions on the consultant(s) ability to complete the tasks outlined.