The Advancing Community Empowerment in Southeastern Myanmar (ACESM) project, supported by the US Agency for International Development/Burma, aims to support communities in their empowerment processes by reducing vulnerabilities, promoting community participation in decision making, and strengthening mechanisms for more responsive and accountable local governance. ACESM is a five-year, $48 million project funded by USAID and implemented by Pact in partnership with Community Partners International, Mercy Corps, and Save the Children. The project will also partner with a range of local and regional organizations to address a variety of community needs and development priorities in the region.
ACESM will work to foster integrated, inclusive, and sustainable service provision to underserved communities in areas of Southeastern Myanmar. Beginning with community-identified needs and solutions, the project takes a systems approach that constructively engages the demand and supply sides of service delivery, focusing on health, education, livelihoods, water/sanitation/hygiene (WASH), and disaster risk management (DRM). The overall goal of the project is to empower vulnerable communities in Southeastern Myanmar by mitigating vulnerabilities, encouraging robust community participation in decision-making, and strengthening mechanisms for more accountable local governance, based on specific project objectives:
- Apply service delivery support approaches in health, education, livelihoods, WASH, and DRM that promote local engagement and leadership;
- Enhance community participation and leadership through strengthened coordination and governance structures, and cooperation towards sector-specific community activities;
- Strengthen local governance structures by developing capacity; connecting communities to influence a wider ecosystem; and encouraging trust and accountability.
The activities under each objective will develop and evolve in diverse, complex, and deeply political local contexts. To contribute to meaningful change and long-term impact, ACESM will emphasize learning and evidence-based decision-making, informed by Pact’s iterative applied political economy analysis (APEA) approach, and building on recent assessments and existing studies to avoid duplication. This will enable the identification and utilization of strategic entry points and establishment of adaptive models that support communities and contribute to conditions in which community members and key local stakeholders can work to influence decision-making and service delivery at multiple levels.
The GESI analysis will examine the drivers, dynamics, and consequences of inequality in terms of gender, social identity, and structural issues among targeted populations to inform ACESM’s GESI strategy.The purpose of the GESI analysis for the ACESM project is to rigorously analyze opportunities, barriers, and dynamics that affect gender equality and social inclusion, and efforts to address these issues, particularly at the state/region, township, and community levels. The analysis will examine opportunities for the program to support populations at risk of exclusion in communities and systems where ACESM will operate, with emphasis on women and youth, and people who are highly mobile, displaced, or vulnerable to climate change hazards.
ACESM will also collect comprehensive baseline data in the initial target areas, and will collect rolling baseline information from villages/townships as they are added. Baseline data will be used to develop and evaluate community profiles and set benchmarks for comparison with endline values.
Data collected through the APEA and the baseline studies (and not by this GESI contractor) will form the basis for the Gender Equality and Social Inclusion analysis, which provides a distinct opportunity to critically assess community- and systems-level gender dynamics and issues of inclusion/exclusion affecting levels of vulnerability and access. Ultimately, the analysis will inform the production of a GESI Strategy that will guide and support decision-making and project implementation by taking into account unequal power relations and the plurality of experiences in the region.
Statement of Duties and Responsibilities
Pact seeks an individual or institutional contractor who can effectively analyze, respond to, and produce the following specific objectives:
Design & Methodology Bidders are encouraged to suggest different designs, methods and/or approaches seen as most appropriate for the assignment. The following methods are suggested:Desk review: Due to the amount of capacity development efforts, human rights research, humanitarian interventions, and local advocacy work that has been conducted in Southeastern Myanmar/Burma and the border region, the contractor is expected to source, review, and reference relevant documentation to augment analysis, in addition to ACESM program documents.Key Informant Interviews (KII) with key stakeholders such as the APEA and baseline assessment researchers, ACESM staff, and local organizations, institutions, or community members that may assist in participatory analysis and/or data validation.Focus Group Discussions (FGDs): If the data from the above remains inconclusive for GESI-relevant aspects, a very limited number FGDs (maximum 4) with community representatives may be conducted, with the potential of support from Pact Myanmar staff. Scope of WorkPact Myanmar’s office is located in Yangon, and the ACESM project hub is based in Hpa-An, Kayin/Karen State. While the consultant is expected to be engaged throughout the assignment, she/he does not need to be present in-country for completion of some of the tasks. At a minimum, the consultant will be present for the kick-off meeting and debrief. The following tentative scope of work is envisioned. The final work plan will be mutually agreed upon with the contractor in the kick-off meeting.
- Objective 1: Ensure GESI-related data is adequately documented in the APEA and baseline assessment for ACESM.
- Objective 2: Develop an interim GESI framework for ACESM to employ during the initial implementation phase. The interim framework will support the project’s adherence to minimum standards of gender and inclusion principles and should provide clear and actionable guidance to ensure GESI aspects are sufficiently addressed prior to completion of the GESI Strategy.
- Objective 3: Using the APEA and baseline assessment data and findings, identify, analyze, and prioritize issue-specific opportunities and barriers related to GESI that warrant critical attention and offer windows of opportunity.
- Objective 4: Develop an overall GESI Strategy for ACESM that includes an analysis and findings section, programming recommendations, and a final GESI framework that is relevant to ACESM objectives and drawing on global standards and good practice.
|Activity + Estimated Level of Effort (LOE)||Finalized by|
|Review of inception reports (including tools) of the ACESM APEA and baseline assessment (2 LOE)||April 25, 2018|
|Kick-off meeting (Yangon) (3 LOE)||May 4, 2018|
|Draft interim GESI framework (5 LOE)||May 11, 2018|
|Data collection and analysis (10 LOE)||May 25, 2018|
|Review of and input to final reports (incl. tools) of the ACESM APEA and baseline assessment (2 LOE)||June 1, 2018|
|Debrief (1 LOE)||June 1, 2018|
|Draft GESI Strategy, including an analysis and findings section and recommendations (7 LOE)||June 13, 2018|
|(Review by Pact)||June 27, 2018|
|Finalize GESI Strategy (2 LOE)||July 6, 2018|
- The interim GESI framework, accompanied by an agreed workplan with timeline, data collection and analysis tools, and draft outline of the final GESI Strategy.
- The debrief to ACESM consortium partners will include PowerPoint slides and verbal presentation of findings, analysis, and initial recommendations before compilation of the GESI Strategy.
- The GESI Strategy should draw on global standards, GESI strategy papers, and good practices to deliver guiding principles and operational guidelines for integrating gender equality and social inclusion into program activities. Additionally, the Strategy will intersect with and incorporate ACESM conflict sensitivity commitments. The Strategy will include an analysis section (5-10 pages) including:
- Key findings and conclusions
- Practical and actionable recommendations to operationalize the GESI Strategy that are tailored to ACESM consortium
- Annexes including list of reviewed secondary data and any other relevant materials
Requirements For Application
Requirements:The consultant(s) shall minimally meet the following requirements:
Current or prior experience in Myanmar (particularly Southeastern states/regions) and prior experience with USAID projects are considered assets. CVs and level/type of engagement of the consultant(s) must be clearly indicated in the proposal.
- Advanced degree, preferably in gender or inclusion studies, social justice, anthropology, conflict studies, international development or related field
- Eight (8) years of experience in GESI analysis and program design
- Track record of producing concise narrative reports and strategies for mainstreaming gender and inclusion that provide actionable recommendations based on findings
- Able to work in Myanmar
Required DOCuments for Submission
- Curriculum Vitae
- Writing sample from prior similar assignment
- Biodata Form (Signed USAID 1420 Biodata form preferred) (https://www.usaid.gov/forms/aid-1420-17)
- Contact information of at least three references who can comment on similar work performed or relevant qualifications
As described above, the interim GESI framework is conceived of as an interim tool to support the ACESM project prior to completion of a GESI Strategy. The interim framework will apply minimum standards for the effective incorporation of GESI considerations and measures for integrating GESI principles in project planning, implementation, and learning activities.