Consultant (Urban WASH Programme – Review of Gender Status Index)

Mercy Corps

Goma, , CD




Goma and Bukavu have seen rapid urban growth over the past fifteen years as a consequence of conflict in rural areas driving people towards perceived safe havens in urban centres. However, in both cities the availability of clean water and sanitation facilities have not kept pace with the increase in demand.  This is a consequence of a multitude of factors including lack of investment, poor management of existing infrastructure, restrictive legislative codes on management of the market, and poor hygiene practices.  Cumulatively as a result; water borne diseases such as diarrhoea are rampant – leading to high incidences of child mortality. The cost of easily accessible potable water remains prohibitively high for most families – and women and girls continue to suffer from sexual harassment or assault when travelling long distances to collect it, in addition to missing out on education and economic opportunities.

Purpose / Project Description:

Responding to this, with the support of the UK Department for International Development, Mercy Corps is mid-way through the implementation of a five year, DFID funded urban Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) programme based in Goma and Bukavu under the overall envisaged outcome of improved hygiene behaviours and safe, equitable and sustainable access to potable water and sanitation for close to 1 million Congolese men, women, boys and girls. The overall envisaged impact is reduced diarrhoea rates in children under 5. The project name is “Integrated Maji Infrastructure and Governance Initiative for eastern Congo” – or IMAGINE – and the four main programme outputs are as follows:

  1. Increased availability of improved water, sanitation and hygiene infrastructure from source to tap; [Infrastructure]
  2. Viable and sustainable water, sanitation and hygiene service provision market; [Water Service Delivery]
  3. Effective governance and systems that are accountable to all citizen’s WASH needs; [Governance]
  4. Improved knowledge, awareness and perceptions of essential water, sanitation and hygiene behaviours. [Behaviour Change]

An interesting web-map that outlines the rationale for the project can be viewed through the following link:

Mercy Corps is looking for a consultant with strong competencies in statistics and gender to review the Gender Status Index (GSI), a tool developed by the programme to measure gender equity in urban WASH programmes. The GSI was introduced in 2015 as an innovative composite index that tracks gender equity throughout the lifespan of a programme – specifically, at the critical junctures of the baseline, mid-term and final evaluations. The GSI aims to measure comprehensive changes to gender related WASH behaviours at the outcome and output level, and to provide data and recommendations to high-level policy makers, programmers and donors. Over the past three years, the tool has been drawing quantitative and qualitative data from household and school surveys conducted in the cities of Goma and Bukavu, DRC.

However, the requirements in terms of internal statistical validity are especially high for a composite index such as the GSI and it is not clear whether the tool is currently achieving the necessary degree of statistical rigor. Moreover, the questionnaire has been changed to a large degree over the past three GSI studies in order to improve the wording of the questions and to account for lessons learned in previous editions of the study, with implications for the comparability of results from one year to another. To critically review and improve the existing GSI tool, the IMAGINE M&E team is recruiting a consultant to fulfil the following objectives:

Consultant Objectives:

Objective 1: Review the existing GSI tool and data as to their statistical thoroughness and thematic pertinence.

Objective 2: Depending on the result of the review, either refine the methodology of the existing GSI or develop and test a new index with greater statistical and thematic robustness.

Objective 3: Train the IMAGINE M&E and Gender staff in implementing the improved tool.

Consultant Activities:

To be able to achieve the three objectives, the consultant will be expected to carry out the following activities:

  • Document Review: the IMAGINE M&E team will share key documents and required literature (Log-frame, Inception Report, GSI reports, GSI databases and dashboard, GSI manuals and toolkit).
  • Produce a review report of the methodological thoroughness of the existing GSI tool and the quality of data collected so far with clear and detailed recommendations on how to improve the tool.
  • Discuss findings of the review of the existing tool and expectations for the improved tool with mission-level M&E Manager and Gender Manager as well as IMAGINE M&E and Research Manager and Programme Director.
  • Conduct focus group discussions with communities and pilot field testing – in conjunction with the IMAGINE M&E and Gender teams.
  • Produce a detailed instruction manual in French for the improved GSI tool with a detailed work plan and clear descriptions of methods to be applied for collection, processing, cleaning, analysing, interpreting, visualising and disseminating the data collected.
  • Produce a GSI questionnaire in French that is adequate for the context and reflects the learning agenda reflected in the programme’s biannual surveys and log frame.
  • Conduct a workshop to train the IMAGINE M&E and Gender teams on all aspects of data collection, validation, analysis, ethical aspects and quality assurance criteria in relation to the improved GSI tool.
  • Produce the first edition of the GSI report that can be used as a template for subsequent reports. The report will present the findings in an appropriate way to internal and external stakeholders (programme management, donors, other urban WASH programmes).
  • Present findings to DFID – with subsequent Q&A. This shall be conducted in English and will take place in Kinshasa or Goma.

Consultant Deliverables:

The consultant will deliver:

  1. A review report of the methodological thoroughness of the existing GSI tool and the quality of data collected so far.
  2. An improved Gender Status Index tool with high internal statistical validity.
  3. A GSI questionnaire in French adequate for the context and if possible in line with the IMAGINE log frame.
  4. A manual with detailed instructions for data collection, processing, cleaning, analysing, interpreting, visualising and disseminating of results.
  5. A workshop with the IMAGINE M&E and Gender teams on how to implement the new tool.
  6. A first edition of the new GSI report presenting the findings to internal and external stakeholders.
  7. A presentation of findings to DFID.

Timeframe / Schedule:

In consultation with the IMAGINE M&E team, the schedule for the deliverables will be determined with the consultant and aligned with the team’s needs and implementation timelines. The amount of time spent in country and/or working from home will be subject to discussion with the consultant. Tentatively, half of the time could be spent working from home. The consultancy should ideally start in July 2018.

The Consultant will report to:
Moritz Schuberth – IMAGINE M&E and Research Manager

The Consultant will work closely with:
Patrick Cantin – IMAGINE Programme Director
Caitlin Snyder – MEL Manager Mercy Corps DRC
Melanie Coutu – Gender Manager Mercy Corps DRC

Required Qualifications and Experience:

In addition to outlining their capacity to meet the specific requirements of this consultancy, through their application and throughout the selection process, the consultants must demonstrate that they have:

  • MA/S or equivalent in statistics, gender studies, public health, international development, or similar field.
  • 3-5 years of experience working with a gender focus, designing and leading research.
  • Strong statistics background – ideally acquired through both academic studies and practical experience. The consultant will need to be able to check the quality of the data collected so far and the statistical validity of the GSI tool.
  • Experience with urban WASH programmes is desirable.
  • Strong experience developing research tools in support of major development programmes in challenging operational environments.
  • Have a strong ethical approach to data collection and data quality assurance.
  • Fluency in English is required. Fluency in French is strongly preferred.
  • All outputs of this consultancy will be the property of Mercy Corps.