Gender Consultant

Integrating Gender in Polio Outbreak Responses

Organisation

Bluesquare is a fast growing technology company focusing on Global Health. Bluesquare’s goal is to help Global Health resources get where it matters the most. We partner with Global Health Funds, national governments, health service purchasers, and NGOs, to help them make smarter health investments. Bluesquare’s technologies are in use in more than 30 countries and support +60 different clients, including the World Bank, the WHO, the Global Fund to Fight HIV, TB and Malaria, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, leading NGOs and consultancies.

For more information about who we are: https://bluesquarehub.com/

Please note we have opened a second round of applications: read carefully the Instructions for Submission section

Bluesquare Project Background

1.Polio Project

Campaign quality and timeliness have been major challenges to stop poliomyelitis transmission. The establishment of Standard Operating Procedures by the Global Polio Eradication Initiative in 2020 aimed to improve the systemic and real-time tracking of the course of outbreak responses both at the global level and regional levels. Making use of the available data and gathering it into data systems is therefore pivotal in improving Polio outbreak responses processes.  

Bluesquare has been supporting the partners of the Polio project (Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, WHO AFRO, UNICEF, ORPG) with high-quality data integration, data consolidation, data cleansing and data visualization services to further improve the Polio surveillance and response data management processes. Through the development of various mechanisms to extract information from the existing tools used by countries and partners, Bluesquare provides an overview of outbreak response activities happening in the WHO AFRO region and beyond – standardizing the reporting for implementation steps of an outbreak response. The work on the Polio project has been released as an open-source, and generalizable technological platform that extracts the necessary information and presents it in a user-friendly way. 

The journey towards Polio eradication is not over yet. It is widely acknowledged that the last milestone resides in vaccinating the remaining ‘zero dose’ children in seven subnational ‘most consequential geographies’ which accounts on average for 80% of all polio cases worldwide. According to the 2022-2026 GPEI Polio Eradication Strategy, digital geo-enabled micro-planning would reduce missed children, and the timely analysis of collected data would support identifying gaps and barriers, for continuous campaign quality improvement. The GPEI strategy also emphasizes the importance of collecting, analyzing and using sex-disaggregated and gender data to strengthen campaigns and routine immunization.

2.“RISP project”: Greater Data use in Niger and CAR for RISP (routine immunization  strengthening in polio high-risk geographies)

This project is a joint effort to maintain polio eradication in the long term by improving routine immunization (RI) coverage in select subnational areas of 10 polio high-risk geographies including Niger and Central African Republic (CAR). It will drive sustainable improvement of government RI systems at the subnational level, including greater use of data. 

This project fits in the RISP strategy by highlighting how immunization coverage can be improved through the increased use of data by the national immunization program, in particular by regional and district-level immunization teams. The intervention aims to increase both routine and campaign immunization coverage. It aims at improving immunization planning, response, monitoring and impact assessment in Niger and the Central African Republic (CAR). It aims at enhancing the immunization program digitization, data access and data use at national, regional and district level. The investment will provide immunization programs with a set of digital tools and data products that will facilitate data driven steering, planning and operations.


3. Gender dimension

Gender equality is a fundamental human right and a powerful driver for better health outcomes. In order for polio interventions to be effective in reaching every last child with life-saving vaccines, we must tackle gender-related barriers to eradication. Gender dynamics continue to play a crucial role in polio eradication efforts, from women’s key contributions in the delivery of vaccinations, to household power-dynamics for immunization access.  Gender equality is central to achieving more effective and sustainable results in polio eradication. A successful health intervention rests on being informed by sex-disaggregated data and gender-sensitive analysis and action.

Further, introducing new technologies requires careful consideration of how digital applications can either reinforce disadvantages or challenge gender norms and power relations, contributing to gender equality. Gender stereotypes influence the development of technologies, which then go on to impact gender norms through their implementation and use. This often results in a vicious cycle where past inequalities are perpetuated and amplified through health interventions, in this case immunization programs, that are guided by technology. 

It is therefore important for the Polio and RISP project to be gender-responsive by mainstreaming gender in our work. Addressing the final challenges for a Polio-free world requires the recognition of the indispensable role of women in achieving this goal, and of the transformative power of an approach that addresses inequalities and  gender-related barriers in Polio eradication. 

Purpose of Consultancy: Integrate Gender in Polio Outbreak Responses

This study aims to enable the two Bluesquare projects to promote equitable and gender sensitive health information and digital health systems and improve the effectiveness and efficiency of health service delivery in their different contexts. The aim will be to promote and ensure equal and active roles and responsibilities for women in their interaction with Bluesquare digital health products (platforms, dashboards, etc.) and to identify any form of gender barriers affecting the eradication of Polio so that they can be addressed. This includes women’s inclusion all along the digital tools’ life cycle (design, development, deployment, use and management), including women as end users, health workers or decision-makers.

The results of this consultancy will also be essential to inform the design of an ambitious transformative approach that aims to challenge gender inequalities within the workforce and in the broader society, by changing attitudes and practices related to health care. 

Integral to our goals is the integration of gender in all the technical products, services and expertise released and utilized in the Polio/RISP projects. This intervention should proactively address the fight against the gender digital divide by monitoring and fostering the increase of equal access to digital technologies. 

Finally, these gender-based projects will enable Bluesquare to build up gender expertise in digital health company-wide.

Team: We are a horizontal company with more than 70 team members in multiple countries.

We value ownership, autonomy, flexibility, communication and teamwork. We strive for excellence in the solutions we provide for pressing challenges, emphasizing continuous self-improvement and supporting the individual development of our team members. Nevertheless, we firmly prioritize work-life balance, well-being, and recognizing each person as a unique individual for an optimal working environment.

Focus and Responsibilities

Project and Context Assessment: Review the existing Polio projects for gender inclusiveness and assess the context:

  • Analyze the two Polio projects to identify and understand the different roles, opportunities and power dynamics that exist between women and men in our specific context: our countries or regions of intervention, the digital divide, the consequences for access to healthcare, the gender inequities in the existing health information systems, and of the possible gender implications of the digital deliverables of these projects
  • Present findings of the Assessment in a comprehensive report and presentation to Bluesquare and partners

Gender-based Approach Activity Plan to support gender integration in the projects’ tools and technologies: based on the results of the context assessment, develop an activity plan including:

  • Steps to intentionally design tools, data products and deliverables, and training materials / sessions with a gender approach, including the collection, analysis and use of sex-disaggregated data
  • To design an approach that promotes the inclusion of women all along the digital tools’ life cycle (design, development, deployment, use and management), including women as end users, health workers or decision-makers, and recommendations (in the MEL framework) for how to measure and track it. 
  • Activities to mainstream gender in all forthcoming communication streams: including external trainings, workshops, the dissemination of tools across countries to build capacity of key stakeholders. 
  • Present the Activity Plan in a comprehensive report and presentation to Bluesquare and partners. Ensuing discussion will support identifying any areas that need clarification or revision, and building consensus on next  steps. 

Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning Framework: Create a Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (MEL) plan to define measurable indicators to evaluate the progress and impact of the gender activity plan.

  • Define relevant indicators to assess the progress and impact of the Gender Activity Plan and their calculations 
  • Develop relevant tools (questionnaires, surveys, quantitative methods) to calculate indicators
  • Outline the timeline of measuring and evaluation: baseline figures, reporting frequency
  • Present MEL to Bluesquare and partners 

Bluesquare Gender-based Guidelines and Capacity Building: based on the lessons learned of this consultancy, these two projects and the applied activity plan, support Bluesquare’s capacity building with:

  • Host a company-wide online session to raise awareness of the importance of gender issues in our business and show the concrete levers each of us can apply to get involved; 
  • Host an online session with a smaller committee (Bluesquare project managers, around 15 people) to look in greater depth at possible methods for analyzing the context, setting up activities enabling us to be gender transformative in our projects, and monitoring the results;
  • Consolidate a set of operational documents and guidelines for Bluesquare’s project managers to manage projects from a gender perspective to promote equitable and gender sensitive digital health systems. 

Implementation Monitoring & Support: Continued support, advice, and proactive monitoring throughout the period of performance provided to Bluesquare for the implementation of gender-sensitive Polio projects.

  • Evaluate the progress of the activity plan through the implemented M&E framework and monthly bilateral meetings with the Bluesquare team
  • Create a final progress report detailing the findings of the completed MEL and lessons learned from the project’s duration

Location: the application countries will be Niger and the Central African Republic as part of the RISP project. The application countries will be the WHO AFRO region as part of the Polio project.

Deliverables & Timeline

  • A context assessment report [September  15th, 2024] 
  • An activity plan [October 15th, 2024]
  • A MEL framework [October 15th, 2024]
  • Gender-based  guidelines and Bluesquare capacity building [September 1st, 2025]
  • Implementation monitoring & support [throughout project] with a final progress report [December 2025]

Period of Performance

15 July 2024 – 31 December 2025 (18 months) 

Methodology 

This consultancy, its methods and deliverables would refer to and rely on the strategies, principles and guides established by GAVI on gender in digital systems.

Requirements

We are looking for an experienced candidate with strong technical skills, notably:

  • Strong expertise working on gender mainstreaming within the healthcare setting in low and middle incomes countries 
  • Strong experience with health information systems and digital health systems 
  • Knowledge and/or experience in the collection, analysis and use of gender data. Including experience completing literature reviews, development of research and interview guides, and conducting key informant interviews
  • Knowledge of gender integrated MEL frameworks, sex-disaggregated and gender sensitive indicators, and measuring the impact of gender work
  • Expertise conducting gender analyses of an issue or context, and assessments/audits of healthcare projects, preferably with a gender lens. Proficiency to be analytical and translate these findings into action plans for change. 
  • Experience in gender mainstream in and/or gender-related program/project design
  • Ability to analyze and articulate the gender dimension of complex issues and to identify relevant opportunities to advance gender equality
  • Experience working with or analyzing WHO AFRO regional health systems
  • Proficiency in stakeholder and company-wide capacity building: engaging stakeholders, trainings, workshops to build consensus and drive sustainable action and understanding

Instructions for Submissions

Timeline 

  • Issuance date: June 5th 2024,  6:00 pm  (GMT+2)
  • Questions due date: June  21st 2024,  6:00 pm  (GMT+2)
  • Questions answered: June 26th  2024,  6:00 pm  (GMT+2)
  • Proposal due date: July 5th 20246:00 pm  (GMT+2)
  • Decision date: July 12th  2024,  6:00 pm  (GMT+2)

Email address for submission 

gender_rfp_2024@bluesquare1.odoo.com 

Method of application

Applications must consist of:

  1. An inception report detailing approaches and strategies to carry out the project responsibilities  as stated in section ‘Focus and Responsibilities.’ This must outline a step-by-step procedure on how you will approach finalizing these deliverables
  2. Submit a statement of capabilities and past performance, detailing the offeror’s organizational and technical capacity to fulfill the project responsibilities. For staffing competencies and capabilities, include a description of the key team members for this work, their roles, level of effort, and qualifications. A team lead and key focal point should be designated and CVs of proposed team members should be included.
  3. Develop a cost proposal detailing the budget for every deliverable, stated in Euros. All proposed costs must be directly applicable to performing the work under the award and budgeted amounts should not exceed the market cost/value of an item or service. 

Evaluation Criteria

For the purpose of selection, the evaluation will be based on the following weighted point scale (totaling 100 points) of the proposal in its entirety, including, but not limited to, the following:

No. CriteriaPoints
1Technical Approach, Methodology and Implementation plan
Comprehensiveness of proposal approach. Clarity and appropriateness of proposed activity.
The inception report is realistic and includes all proposed elements of activity.
Responsiveness to Terms of Reference
50 
2Capabilities and Past Performance 
Organizational and technical capabilities/resources to implement the proposed work
Previous successful experience implementing similar activities including experience with gender analysis, gender data, gender mainstreaming and/or building capacity to address gender equality issues (required)
30
3Proposed Costs
Reasonableness of proposed budget based on scope of activities
Summary and accurate detailing of budget for every deliverable
Comparative lowest price
20
Total100

Questions and answers 

All questions or clarifications regarding this request for proposal must be in writing and submitted

to gender_rfp_2024@bluesquare1.odoo.com, no later than the date and time specified above. 

Questions and requests for clarification, and the responses thereto, will be shared with all RFP recipients who have indicated an interest in this RFP.