REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS- Nationally representative survey for a girls’ empowerment project

June 23, 2022
Application ends: July 8, 2022

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Job Description





Nationally representative survey for a
girls’ empowerment project

This Request for Proposal is to carry out a nationally representative survey to understand the reach, engagement and impact of radio programming produced for a girls’ empowerment project in Sierra Leone.

  1. The proposal shall be written in English
  2. The organization shall complete the deliverables by 8th July 2022 



Proposals in response to this RFP must be priced on a fixed-price, all-inclusive basis, including delivery and all other costs.  Full details of the proposal requirements are included in the below document.


Proposal preparation:

Please email your proposal, including an itemized budget with the names of two references for which your organization has carried out similar work, to:  

and copy:

Hard copies can be sent to: 

BBC Media Action Sierra Leone,41i Derek Drive, Off Spur Road


Please direct any enquiries to: Josephus Kongo, Senior Research Officer at BBC Media Action, Sierra Leone 


Karen O’Connor, Research Manager, BBC Media Action, UK 




  1. Background 

1.1 BBC Media Action 

BBC Media Action is the international development charity of the BBC. Established in 1999, the organisation seeks to reduce poverty and provide information to people around the world, through media programmes and campaigns that inspire and inform. Since its foundation, BBC Media Action has worked in developing and transitional countries in Africa, Asia, the Middle East and Eastern Europe on projects that deal with issues of health, resilience, governance, education, environment, livelihoods and emergency response.  

Our work is built on insights from our research and engagement with communities. We have been in Sierra Leone since 2007 supporting media development, creative content production across media houses in the country on issues around governance, accountability, health, education and empowerment.


1.2 The Project 

BBC Media Action Sierra Leone is one of four consortium members of the EAGER project ‘Every Adolescent Girl Empowered and Resilient’, which aims to improve the life chances of marginalized and out-of-school adolescent Sierra Leonean girls (13-17 years) who have never been in school or who have dropped out early. The project aims to provide them with the necessary skills to help girls transition into employment and/or further learning, depending on their preference, after completing the learning sessions designed by this project. 

BBC Media Action’s contribution to achieving this, is by challenging negative attitudes and practices, including those resulting from harmful and discriminatory social and gender norms that deter adolescent girls from accessing and continuing education, learning and other empowering opportunities. Through using social and behaviour change communication (SBCC) programming and activities across multiple media channels and formats, BBC Media Action seeks to address these socio-cultural barriers, promote sustainable attitudinal change, and encourage and increase support, discussion and dialogue between adults and adolescent girls.

Programming covers topics relevant to the harmful social and gender norms and barriers broadly faced by out-of- school adolescent girls in Sierra Leone. A series of social media content is being produced to support the radio Programme and target influencers at a national level.


The BBC Media Action component of the EAGER project includes the following outputs: 

  • National Radio Show: ‘Wae Gyal Pikin Tinap’ (When the Girl Child Stands) is a weekly 30-minute krio-language BBC Media Action branded magazine show. The Programme is broadcast by sixty-four (64) partner radio stations across the country.  
  • Radio drama Programme followed by short discussion: ‘Kotoku Baray’ is a short format BBC Media Action branded radio drama show that has been produced to address sensitive issues and role model supportive behaviours that enables girls to shape their own lives. Local radio partners then produce a short discussion Programme that follows the drama. Broadcasting of the drama and discussion started in May 2022. 
  • Training & Support: Presenters and producers in 18 local partner radio stations are being trained and mentored in producing gender sensitive and gender transformative media and localized content around the national drama radio Programme. This is a 10-minute radio show broadcast weekly in Krio by the respective stations. 
  • Social Media: BBC Media Action Sierra Leone’s Facebook page has been producing and broadcasting social media content in the form of videos and graphics, to amplify the themes and content from the national radio magazine Programme targeting influencers.



1.3 Research background 

The project is required to report on several quantitative indicators, which will be measured through a nationally-representative household survey. Data will be analyzed by multiple demographics, such as age, gender, geographical location among others to show outcomes for the target audience.  

The nationally representative survey will be conducted a couple of months before the project close to allow at least some of the last few episodes of the national radio show and the drama and discussion to have been on air. The aim is to obtain data that will be representative of the adult population (15 years and above) in the entire country. 

The BBC Media Action will develop the questionnaire for this survey, train enumerators, conduct analysis and prepare the reporting. An agency will be procured to manage enumerators and deliver fieldwork and submit a clean dataset, and data tables.



  1. Research Plan   

This endline evaluation will be conducted to determine the reach of the radio programmes and how much impact the project has had on those who have engaged with it. 

2.1 Research Objectives 

Overarching research questions:

    • What is the reach of BBC Media Action’s outputs, including radio magazine, radio drama, local radio discussions and social media content, under the EAGER project? 
  • Has BBC Media Action’s outputs produced and broadcast under the EAGER project, contributed to audiences more supportive attitudes to girls’ learning and empowerment?


In more detail, the main objective of this endline evaluation will be to assess the reach of BBC Media Action’s outputs under the EAGER project, and the impact of the programming on those who have been exposed. This impact research will specifically seek to explore if there exists any association between exposure to outputs (national radio magazine Programme, and drama and local discussion radio programmes) and results observed in relation to key project indicators:

  • Reach of the programmes – number of people reached and regularly reached, and type of audience (profile of listeners; e.g., age, gender, location)
  • Engagement with the Programme – what’s the reached audience level of engagement with the Programme.
  • Levels of knowledge, attitudes, discussion and practices around girls’ education and skills development and how this differs between those exposed and not exposed to the programming.
  • Levels of knowledge, attitudes, and discussion around the barriers and socio-cultural gender norms related to girls’ education and employment and how this differs between those exposed and not exposed to the programming. 


2.2 Permission to conduct research  

The agency will be responsible for obtaining permission from the relevant government ministry to conduct the survey and will also be responsible for obtaining local authority approval to conduct fieldwork in each region. 


2.3 Instrument   

BBC Media Action will provide a questionnaire and codebook that will allow us to measure the indicators in relation to exposure to our programmes.  The questionnaire will be in English and will be translated to the relevant local languages in each region. In our experience, surveys like this take about an hour to administer. 

BBC Media Action will provide the selected agency with the final English-language version of the survey instrument. The agency will be responsible for translating and back-translating of the instrument into local languages, and all response options. 

The agency will be responsible for piloting the instrument and providing feedback on the piloting process to BBC Media Action. Enough time should be allowed between the pilot and launch of full fieldwork to enable feedback discussions and any revisions to the survey instrument or accompanying fieldworker guidelines. 

Audio stimuli (short clips of the beginning of the radio programmes) will be used to facilitate respondents’ recall of the radio programmes which BBC Media Action will provide. 


2.4 Fieldwork 

The agency will carry out fieldwork to a high standard within the agreed timeframe. Fieldwork will consist of face-to-face interviews by trained enumerators. There should be a reasonably balanced proportion of male and female enumerators. The agency should also advise on any cultural considerations they will be making with respect to the selection of enumerators for particular areas.   

The agency will provide field reports weekly, with a breakdown of interviews completed per region, and seek guidance with country staff on how to best resolve any complications with completing interviews that may require revisions to the sampling strategy. The agency will record all unsuccessful visits in a non-response table and enter non-response or failed recruitment into the final dataset, so BBC Media Action is able to look at the characteristics of those who refuse to be interviewed.  

In the proposal, the agency will provide a detailed timeline for fieldwork, including details on how many teams will be sent into the field, and how the process will be overseen and quality controlled.


 2.5 Sampling  

  1. Sample Size: BBC Media Action has calculated the sample size for this survey to be at least 3,000. The estimates and assumptions for this sample size is based on a precision calculation. This assumption can, however, be reviewed by those submitting proposals. If you are proposing a different sample size, please outline your rationale for this very clearly as well as any calculation methods you are using to arrive at your proposed sample size.
  2. Target population: The target population for this work is adults (aged 15 years and over) living in all areas of Sierra Leone. BBC Media Action intends to have a nationally representative survey that will cover all 16 regions in the country.   
  3. Sampling design and sample selection:  Agencies are required to propose a sampling design which is nationally representative.

The research agency should detail where they will get their sampling frame, and respondent selection, in their proposal. 

BBC Media Action wants the sample of the survey to be representative of Sierra Leone’s national population breakdown (urban/rural, male/female, and age) according to Sierra Leone’s 2015 National Population and Housing Census [2], the sample frame developed by the Statistics Sierra Leone (SSL) or any other credible sources that provides similar population data (reference should be provided in such case). The target population for this work is adults (aged 15 years and over). BBC Media Action intends to have a nationally representative survey that will cover all 16 geographical regions of Sierra Leone. 

The successful agency will be expected to provide the sampling frame and an outline for a strategy for how to handle any complications with completing interviews consistently to BBC Media Action for final checks ahead of data collection.  


2.6 Quality control 

BBC Media Action researchers will attend and lead the training session with the local agents who will carry out fieldwork. BBC Media Action will also travel to the areas where data is collected to carry out regular spot checks and monitor the quality of the data collection.  This is standard practice for all surveys that BBC Media Action commissions and the agency and fieldwork staff should be aware of and comfortable with this degree of involvement. 

The agency will include its own plan for quality control in the proposal to ensure high quality of the data.  Cognitive testing maybe conducted by BBC Media Action, followed by a pilot testing of the research instrument by the agency.  The agency will also send the first 100 cases entered as an SPSS file to BBC Media Action for quality control no later than one week after fieldwork has commenced. The agency will halt fieldwork after the entry of these 100 cases and not resume fieldwork until BBC Media Action has checked these cases so any comments can be incorporated into the next phase of fieldwork. This should not normally take no more than 2 days, provided there are no major issues with the questionnaire or the data.  


2.7 Data Management  

BBC Media Action will provide a data entry protocol / codebook to the agency to clarify expectations for set-up of the SPSS file and approach to data entry. 

The agency will provide a clean and labelled (according to our specifications) dataset in Excel and SPSS format. We would request electronic data collection by the agency via CAPI.    

The SPSS dataset will also contain labelled variables detailing all levels of cluster sampling, except the household level.  If any variables are derived by the agency, the agency will provide the syntax file to BBC Media Action. 



3 Project Management 

The agency will provide one point of contact for BBC Media Action, as well as a detailed description of the proposed project management structure and team to include project manager, supervisors, translators, interviewers (clearly detailing gender and languages spoken) and data processing.  Please provide CVs of key personnel (no more than one page per person). 

The agency will include its own plan for quality control in the proposal to ensure high quality of the data. 

3.1 Ethical considerations, data protection and safeguarding 

Researchers and agencies working with BBC Media Action need to adhere to a strict code of ethics and endeavour to address major concerns around consent, confidentiality, anonymity the safeguarding of vulnerable people, and the potential impact of the research on both those researched and researchers.

In agency proposals a section will be required describing how the agency plans to meet and adhere to ethical protocols and quality control standards including the Global Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). This requires a full outline of how agencies will adhere to high quality research protocols with regards to the following stages of the survey:

  • How respondents will be assured of their confidentiality and the anonymity of data
  • How all data will be kept secure 

3.2 Risks and mitigation strategies 

We request the research agency outlines their COVID-19 safety plan for staff and enumerators during fieldwork. Agencies should propose what additional protective measures they will put in place for fieldwork in relation to COVID-19.  This will be to protect both the enumerators and respondents. 


We would request that the research agency outlines other challenges they anticipate during data collection and subsequent mitigation plans.  The proposal should also include a brief section describing how the agency plans to meet and adhere to ethical protocols to the highest standards.



  1. Deliverables 

The research agency will be expected to deliver (and the costing and timeline should consider) the following:

  • Design of the sampling approach according to BBC Media Action specifications. 
  • Recruitment, supervising and monitoring the field teams (interviewers and supervisors) to BBC Media Action standards during the quantitative survey.  
  • Scripting and translating the research instruments provided by BBC Media Action into the appropriate local languages.
  • Pilot testing the research instruments provided by BBC Media Action.
  • The sampling frame used for each level of clustered selection (where available). 
  • Preparing a research plan with field logistics and timelines for the fieldwork. 
  • Documented feedback from the pilot. 
  • Quality control and delivery of the first 100 cases after one week of fieldwork. Comments incorporated after receiving feedback from BBC Media Action before re-commencing the next phase of the fieldwork.  
  • Field interviews with as representative a sample as possible with at least 3,000 respondents.  
  • Field reports each week with a breakdown of interviews completed regionally. 
  • Cleaned and labelled dataset in English in SPSS format (SPSS compatible with SPSS version 24)
  • Tables of descriptive analysis (in Excel) of outcome variables against key demographic variables
  • A project completion report containing detailed methodology, finally achieved sample with detailed breakdown of field operations including challenges faced and limitations during the study




4.1 Deliverables from BBC Media Action

BBC Media Action will provide;

  • Stimulus (audio clips to play during interviews so that the respondents can identify radio programmes)
  • Technical oversight or sampling including sample size calculation
  • Support on delivering training to field team
  • A codebook to create SPSS variables for data entry
  • Data cleaning checks during data management
  • An analysis plan for descriptive analysis and tables



  1. Timings 

Please find below a timeline for the completion of the task. The agency should please provide their detailed timeline for the fieldwork, with the aim of meeting these BBC Media Action’s specific timeline. 

Task Tentative dates
Submission of proposals 8th July 2022
Contract Awarded 15 July 2022
Data Collection Starts 15 August 2022
Data with first 100 cases given to BBC Media Action 18th  August-22nd September 2022
Delivery of cleaned SPSS dataset 30th September 2022
Checks and sign-off of data set following BBC Media Action checks 28th October 2022


  1. Costs 

The proposal should include a budget breakdown for fieldwork and all related expenses including taxes and unit costs. 


6.1 Expectations for the tender 

We will award this contract competitively and will make our decision based on the following information: 

  • Provision of a sampling strategy that addresses our specifications and is nationally representative, random and self-weighting. 
  • Provision of a detailed timeline for fieldwork: This should include an explanation of how the project will be managed to deliver data to us on time and to a high standard. Please outline how long it will take to collect the data; how many teams you will send into the field and how this process will be overseen to ensure a quality deliverable. 
  • A data collection plan and the devices to be used for electronic data collection. 
  • Complete breakdown of costs including VAT, applicable taxes etc. and unit costs. 

Overall assessment of proposals will be concerned with value for money, taking account of the cost and quality of each research proposal. In particular, assessment will focus on:  

  • Relevant skills and experience of the research agency. 
  • Proposed methods, including sampling and quality assurance and project management. 
  • The acceptability of the proposed timetable. 
  • The proposed costs compared to the implementation plan. 


6.2 Proposals 

Each proposal should include: 

  • A one-page summary of the proposal. 
  • A detailed plan of how the research will be carried out, including: i) The process of obtaining any permissions necessary to carry out the research; ii) The sampling strategy; iii) Examples of previous work in the field; iv) Data capture plan outlining how many people will be allocated to this task, how you will implement quality control and whether data will be processed locally or sent to an external data processor; v) A description of deliverables; 
  • An outline of the agency’s skills and capacity to undertake and manage the research, including quality assurance, organizational background and references; 
  • A timetable for the study, a commitment to meeting the deadlines and a narrative of how these deadlines will be met; 
  • A financial proposal that describes in detail the costs to complete the work outlined in the specification, and unit costs; 
  • The names and contact details of two referees for whom your organization has carried out similar work.  
  • Specification of how and where the data will be entered into electronic format. Please specify how many people will be allocated to this task and how you will quality control this process. We are particularly interested in finding out whether your data will be processed locally or whether you intend to send it to an external data processor (given the extent to which this limits our ability to oversee and quality control and as it may cause severe delays). Please address this issue in your proposal. The agency must adhere to GDPR data protection standards.
  • A detailed plan of how quality assurance will be achieved.
  • Complete breakdown of costs by activity for all elements of the research. 
  • A detailed outline of what challenges the agency feel they may face in carrying out this research and how they will tackle these issues.



The full proposal, including both technical and financial components, should be no more than 20 pages. Please send the technical and financial proposals in separate files, clearly labelled. The proposal should be written in a font no smaller than 11 point. Annexes may be included with the proposal and will not count against the 20-page maximum limit. Proposals submitted in response to this RFP should address the research objectives set out in this brief and should be written in English. 


6.3. Confidentiality

All documents prepared during the assignment will be treated as BBC Media Action’s Property. The documents or any part, therefore, cannot be sold, used and reproduced in any manner without prior written approval of BBC Media Action. The contracted agency/firm will submit all original documents, materials and data (hard and/or soft copy) to BBC Media Action.



A research services template has been attached to this RFP for agencies to review alongside their RFP application. Bidding for this project means that you have read and are happy with the contract and/or have notified us of any issues that you have with this template early on.  Thank you.