Consultancy: Gender Approach Review (Water Access and Use)

Mercy Corps
Goma, Congo (Kinshasa)
Position Type: 
Organization Type: 
NGO/Civil Society
Experience Level: 
5-7 Years
Degree Required: 
Advanced Degree (Master's or JD)
Languages Required: 
English and French


Please note: this job post has expired! To the best of our knowledge, this job is no longer available and this page remains here for archival purposes only.


Mercy Corps has been operating in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) since August 2007, with a staff of around 300 people working in North and South Kivu. Mercy Corps’ national office is in Goma with sub-field offices in Beni, Kitshanga, Butembo (North Kivu), Bukavu, Walungu, Kalehe, Minova (South Kivu). Current Mercy Corps activities focus on the provision of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) through large-scale WASH infrastructure and service delivery development in urban centers. Mercy Corps also has Food Security, Economic Recovery/Development and Governance programs, with an increasing shift towards transitional and integrated development programming.

Purpose / Project Description:

The Integrated Maji Governance Infrastructure for Eastern Congo (IMAGINE) program works to improve access and utilization of water resources in Goma and Bukavu in Eastern DRC. The goal of the program is to reduce diarrheal disease and morbidity of children under 5 years of age. Funded by UKAID, the program is working to rehabilitate and extend the Drinking Water Supply and Treatment Systems as well as working to reform management structures to ensure that systems are managed sustainably while addressing issues concerning Governance, Behavior Change Communication, and crosscutting gender aspects.

The IMAGINE Gender team works on Gender and Protection issues with the program’s 4 components - Infrastructure, Water Service Delivery, Governance, and Behavior Change Communications.

The Gender team’s Theory of Change states:

If safe and equitable access to WASH Infrastructure is available, and

If men and women participate in joint decision making and management of water provision, and

If WASH actors engage in and promote Gender awareness which includes contributing to a functioning GBV complaint system, and

If WaSH roles and responsibilities are divided equitably among males and females, So Gender equitable and safe WaSH services that respond to specific needs of women, men, boys and girls will increase.

Consultant Objectives:

In line with MC's Minimum Gender Standards and other international Standard for mainstreaming Gender in WaSH, Mercy Corps is seeking a consultant to conduct a review of the Gender approach to understand the level of involvement of men, women, girls, boys, as well as persons with reduced mobility in IMAGINE program activities; the management, use and control of water resources, hygiene and sanitation, at the level of households, communities covered by the program. 

The Review should evaluate, on the one hand, the level of influence and involvement of marginalized groups - women, girls and persons with reduced mobility - in the activities of the program, and on the other hand evaluate whether the results can be linked to the IMAGINE Gender approach; and on the other hand identify gaps in this implementation approach-both strategically and operationally, as well as ways to address them for the next program and/or for another similar program that could be developed by Mercy Corps.

The report will provide recommendations based on findings to guide program activities, exit strategy, and the final evaluation of the IMAGINE Gender approach. It will also provide lessons and recommendations for future programming, differentiating between general good practice for mainstreaming Gender in all types of programming, and specific thematic recommendations (WASH programs, programs working with adolescent girls, or programs in urban contexts).

Based on the programs design, needs, and identified knowledge gaps, key questions to be considered by the consultant are:

Program Level

  • Alignment to MC Gender mainstreaming Minimum Standards and other international standards
  1. Program adaptation: Did the recommendations from the Gender Analysis inform the design of the activities? Were the activities adapted to respond to identified gaps?
  2. Gender contribution to the components: What was the impact of Gender mainstreaming on the other components? Did it contribute to a more appropriate programming? Did Gender mainstreaming contribute to other components’ capacity to develop and implement safeguarding measures for the protection of both staff and beneficiaries?
  3. Was the set-up, recruitment, organizational chart, allocated resources, and management of staff of the Gender component pertinent and efficient? Could the set-up have been done differently to enhance effective programming?
  4. Capacity building: has the mechanism put in place to ensure that staff and partners have enough skills to mainstream Gender and Protection been effective and pertinent? Could we have done differently or better?
  5. Was the selection of, coordination with, technical support to, and joint activity implementation with partners efficiently conducted? What could be improved?
  6. Do No Harm: Has introduced notions of Gender equality in the communities received backlash? Or was there community buy-in?

Activity Level

  • Women's contribution to decision-making at the community level: To what extent has the technical support of the Gender team contributed to increasing the influence of women in decision-making processes? And, how much ownership of Gender mainstreaming did the other components have to facilitate decision-making by women?
  • Taking into account the needs of men, women, girls, boys and persons with reduced mobility in relation to the accessibility, use and management of water resources, hygiene and sanitation: What is the contribution of each category to the design and location of the tap stands ? Did we chose an effective way to do it or not?
  • Joint decision-making between men and women on the household's WaSH activities: was the program's approach to the participation of men in certain tasks traditionally performed by women, such as the administration of children under five at home, accompanying sick children for medical care, etc. appropriate. And, how did the program influence parents for boys’ participation in household water collection?
  • GBV mitigation: to what extent have mitigation measures (staff inductions, sensitization, GBV orientation etc.) for GBV reduced the incidence of these cases in communities?

Consultant Activities:

The consultant will be responsible for determining the appropriate research methodologies for data collection (including sampling strategy), database creation and data analysis.  The consultant will propose methodologies that ensures a participatory approach ensuring inclusion and do no harm principles - with active representation of gender, age, varying income levels, ethnicity, people with disabilities, and marginalized groups etc. (where appropriate). The consultant will be responsible for synthesizing and analyzing collected data disaggregated by gender, age, and disability (where relevant).

Results of the studies will be presented to the IMAGINE Program Director, the IMAGINE Program Grants Manager, the IMAGINE Research and M&E Manager, the IMAGINE Gender Manager and other key IMAGINE staff to allow for in-depth analysis of key findings. This analysis will lead to recommendations for program activities, exit strategy, and the final evaluation.

Consultant Deliverables:

The Consultant will provide:

  • Work plan - with anticipated methodology, analytic framework, sampling plan, training plan, a timeline of fieldwork and draft of questionnaires and tools. The work plan will be submitted to the Gender Manager and M&E Manager for review and feedback
  • Desk review - review documentation on context, preliminary assessments, possible methodologies and analytical frameworks. A bibliography referencing all documents and data reviewed and cited to be provided
  • Training materials, tools and guidelines for interviews and focus groups
  • Database – the consultant will hand over the database created with guidelines for use
  • Final report – this will involve providing initial drafts for review before finalization. The report will provide recommendations based on findings to guide program activities, exit strategy, and the final evaluation of Gender, as well as lessons and recommendations for future programming
  • PowerPoint for workshop presentation– to present findings and final report.
  • Create a “reader friendly” version of the report for presentation to external audiences.

For the duration of their consultancy, the consultant will be provided with:

  • Collaboration and support of the Gender/M&E team in country.
  • Access to all project documentation at the beginning of the consultancy.
  • Access to Mercy Corps’ Office for working.
  • Transport in all sites targeted
  • Accommodations in each city
  • Mercy Corps has a database of potential enumerators and will be able to hire them in advance of the arrival of the consultant. The consultant should take this into account when drafting his/her proposition. Data collectors will be expected to undertake a training on data collection prior to field work inception.

Timeframe / Schedule: 

The consultancy is expected to a maximum of 60 workings days as outlined below. This includes the desk review, research scoping, field interviews and data collection, dissemination workshop and findings alignment with team and report writing.

The consultancy should start in June with approximate deadlines to be refined and confirmed with final work plan:  

  • Methodology finalized and validated by MC (5 days): 1st week of June
  • Enumerators training - Goma (1 day): 2nd week of June
  • Data collection – Goma (5 days): 2nd week of June
  • Travel from Goma to Bukavu (1 day): 3rd week of June
  • Enumerators training - Bukavu (1 day): 3rd week of June
  • Data collection – Bukavu (5 days): 3rd week of June
  • Travel from Bukavu to Goma (1 day): 3rd week of June
  • Preliminary report (10 days): 1st week of July
  • Feedback from IMAGINE program (5 days): Mid July
  • Final report (4 days): End July

The Consultant will report to:

Program Grants Manager, IMAGINE

The Consultant will work closely with:

IMAGINE Gender Manager and IMAGINE Research and M&E Manager

Required Experience & Skills:

Mercy Corps is seeking a Gender and Evaluation Specialist skilled in leading multi-sector, integrated Gender review with both secondary and primary qualitative and quantitative data sources. The right person will bring a strong experience in BOTH areas, as well as demonstrated experience in systems-thinking and experience in approaches for understanding complexity for development programming. S/he will also value shared learning and have demonstrated experience using assessment processes to build the capacity of program implementation teams.

The consultant will have the following:

  • MA or equivalent in Gender, Sociology, Anthropology, Women’s Studies, International Development etc.;
  • 5-10 years of relevant experience working within the WASH Gender context designing and leading research;
  • Proven experience with Gender research methodology, ethical and responsible protocols;
  • Clear understanding of the ethical considerations involved in WASH and GBV research and proven capacity to incorporate these in the research process (essential);
  • Extensive knowledge of and experience in leading (designing and undertaking) social surveys/research using both qualitative and quantitative methodologies, in an empowering way (essential);
  • Extensive knowledge and experience of how to undertake rigorous analysis of both qualitative and quantitative data (essential);
  • Advanced knowledge and skills on Gender research in Urban settings;
  • Strong analytical skills;
  • Excellent written and speaking skills in English and French; able to produce a high-quality research report draft (Swahili not required but an advantage);
  • Knowledge of the DRC context desirable;
  • Acquainted with the national legislation (desirable) and the international conventions related to Gender equality (essential).


Candidates interested in bidding for this should submit in French or English the following to Mercy Corps by the closing date of March 31:

  • CV and cover letter (please include links to any applicable assessment reports the candidate has authored)
  • A technical proposal with detailed response to the SoW, description of the assignment, approach and methodology to be used;
  • Initial work plan based on methodology outlined;
  • A financial proposal of consultant expenses and study expenses including cost per day;
  • A minimum of 2 references that can be contacted by MC
  • Examples of a written English report (could be via links to authored articles/reports as above)