Terms of Reference – Data Support for Three Media Innovation Projects in Zambia (2023-2024)

Population Media Center - Zambia (PMC-Z)

Terms of Reference – Data Support for Three Media Innovation Projects in Zambia (2023-2024)

  • Zambia
  • Population Media Center - Zambia (PMC-Z)
  • 5 months ago


Data Support for Three Media Innovation Projects in Zambia (2023-2024)

Population Media Center- Zambia (PMC-Z), a US-based non-profit organization is seeking technical and financial proposals from qualified firms to support data collection for three (3) innovation projects over 17 months from August 2023 through December 2024. These projects each test an innovative social and behavior change (SBC) activity, and each require  mixed-methods baseline (focus groups, interviews, and quantitative survey), monitoring support, and mixed-methods endline data collection. The projects are:

  1. A series of call-in radio talk shows (RTS) in Copperbelt Province (estimated to take place from August 2023 through early 2024)
  2. A comic book roadshow and related school-based workshops in Eastern Province; Katete and Chadiza (estimated for the first half of 2024)
  3. A radio miniseries in Southern Province (estimated for the second half of 2024)

All work on these projects must be completed by the end of calendar year 2024.

Application Details:

  • The bidder should submit their technical and financial proposals ( see Section 7 below for requirements ) with relevant supportive documents through the email addresses mentioned below on or before July 20, 2023.
  • The selected firm is expected to notify PMC-Z office in 48 hours of willingness to accept the offer and start the work as soon as possible to meet the deadline.
  • Interested and eligible firms should submit technical and financial proposals to and copy to and .
  • Bidders may submit questions to the email addresses listed above at any time during the application window. PMC-Z will respond as soon as is feasible. Note that questions submitted immediately before the deadline may not receive a response, so bidders are encouraged to submit questions early on.
  • PMC-Z reserves the right to accept or reject any or all bids.
  • All timelines presented in this TOR represent PMC’s current best estimates and are subject to change.

1. Background of the Assignment

PMC-Z has a successful history of producing, broadcast, and evaluating long-running radio serial dramas in Zambia. Over the course of late 2023 and through 2024, PMC-Z will complete three innovation projects to test new approaches to SBC work. These projects operate on shorter timelines and apply PMC’s methodology to new media. They will ensure PMC stays on the cutting edge of SBC work that uses and entertainment-education (EE) approach. Collectively, PMC-Z refers to these three projects as “Innovalab.” These projects will be conducted in appropriate local languages, and all data collection tools, transcripts, and reports to PMC-Z and PMC headquarters must include English and local language versions. The three projects are:

  • Call-in Radio Talk Shows (RTS) —PMC-Z will test this approach on the Copperbelt focusing on a primary target group population aged 15-24 and secondary target group aged 25-49 years old, led by PMC’s Methodology to generate awareness, change attitudes and behaviors. The proposed innovation involves the development of 18 episode radio call-in shows of one hour each supported by various extension activities that will include drama based Public Service Announcements (PSAs), radio quizzes and Media awards to journalists that cover the issue areas exemplary over a period of one year. The main topics include: HIV/AIDS, Family planning,  SGBV, Maternal and child health. The total duration of this project is expected to be twelve months .
  • Comic Book Roadshow —PMC-Z will test this approach in Katete & Chadiza districts and will reach the primary target audience aged 15-19 years in school pupils in 10 schools (5 in Katete and 5 in Chadiza) and secondary target group aged 20-49 years to generate awareness, change attitudes and behaviors. The proposed innovative project intends to developand implement four activities that will include both Mass Media, Mid-Media and IPC to ensure comprehensive assimilation of the issues by the target populations: 1) School Comic Book Show, 2) Radio Serial Drama, 3) Community Led/Facilitated Dialogue (CLFD), and 4) Outside Broadcasting to address Teenage Pregnancies, Early Child Marriages, HIV/AIDS and SGBV. The total duration of this project is expected to be five months .
  • Radio Miniseries — PMC-Z will test this approach in Southern Province focusing on a primary target group population aged 15-24 and secondary target group aged 25-49 years old. The proposed innovation involves the development of a 4-episode mini-series of one hour each supported by various extension activities that will include both Mass Media and Interpersonal Communication (IPC) to ensure comprehensive assimilation of the issues by the target populations. The miniseries and extension activities will address three main topics HIV/AIDS, Family planning and SGBV. The total duration of this project is expected to be six months .

2. Objective of the Assignment

The purpose of this assignment is to support a broad range of data collection activities for each of the three projects. This will require bidders to work closely with PMC-Z staff, as well as with technical support and direction from PMC headquarters staff based in the US. The projects are sequenced to require steady level of effort over the next 17 months. For each of the Innovalab projects, firms will be required to complete the same general set of tasks:

  • Pilot Test Support —the successful bidder will work with PMC-Z staff to test the project materials (sample call-in RTS, draft comic book, sample of miniseries show) with a small sample of target audience members to test for quality, appropriateness, audience comfort with the material, etc.
  • Mixed-methods baseline —all projects will require some formative research to help PMC-Z understand the audience. This requires at least eight (8) focus group discussions (FGD) for each project, therefore bidders should plan for at least twenty four (24) FGD. Bidders may propose additional FGD with a justification, if they feel additional FGD are necessary. The baseline should also include limited key informant interviews (KII) with important staff in the Province—for example, key MOH staff in Copperbelt Province for the Call-In RTS, and key MOE staff in Eastern Province for the Comic Book Roadshow, etc. Finally, in addition to FGD and KII, bidders must complete household data collection to understand target audience awareness, knowledge, attitudes, beliefs, and norms.
  • Monitoring support —this will vary by project. The Call-in RTS is the longest running project and includes a number of radio messages that should encourage listeners to seek clinic services. Therefore, the Call-in RTS will require clinic monitoring at four to six (4-6) health facilities, including health centres and level one hospitals. The Comic Book Roadshow will largely take place in schools, so will require some data collection from students, teachers, and administrators. The Radio Miniseries will be broadcast over a very short time, and therefore does not require monitoring support.
  • Mixed-methods endline —all projects will require a mixed-methods endline to help PMC-Z quantify results, and also understand how and why the projects were successful, and—most importantly—how the projects can be improved in the future when implemented at scale.

3. Methods and Sampling Techniques

Bidders must briefly explain how they will approach the general tasks listed above, which include FGD, KII, household surveys (for the Call-in RTS and Radio Miniseries), and school data collection (for the Comic Book Roadshow).

Bidders are strongly encouraged to prepare a table that lists all data collection methods for each Innovalab project, and brief description of the proposed approach. For example:

Data Task Call-in RTS Comic Book Miniseries
Baseline FGD (at least eight) (at least eight) (at least eight)
Baseline KII (to be proposed by bidder) (to be proposed by bidder) (to be proposed by bidder)
Baseline Survey (must be households) (must be in schools) (must be households)

PMC-Z and PMC’s Technical Research Unit (TRU) have already begun to discuss FGD questions, KII questions, and survey questions for the various efforts. The greatest progress has been made on the Call-in RTS since that project is first. The Comic Book and Miniseries questions will be finalized in late 2023 with input from the successful bidder. All planning materials will be shared with the successful bidder.

Note that all projects contain a research component that will require preparation of a research protocol for review and approval by a Zambian Institutional Review Board (IRB). Given the separate focus and timeline for these projects, it is anticipated that three (3) research protocols will be developed, which will in turn require three (3) IRB approvals.

Also note that PMC-Z maintains a SurveyCTO subscription for quantitative data collection. The successful firm will be required to use this account for all quantitative surveys (i.e, clinic monitoring, school monitoring, and household baseline and endline surveys). PMC’s Technical Research Unit will support this step. Daily may be collected offline (without WiFi or cellular service) but must be submitted each day for audit by PMC-Z and PMC-TRU.

4. Tasks of the Firm

At contract signing, the successful bidder will work with PMC-Z and PMC headquarters staff to understand the full scope of these three (3) Innovalab projects, how they relate to each other, and what data will be required to demonstrate impact.

For each specific project, bidders will complete all deliverables listed below.

5. Deliverables

Each Innovalab project will require a consistent set of deliverables. Keep in mind that, as noted above, there are some difference in the projects (i.e., Call-in RTS will require monitoring data from health facilities, while Comic Book Roadshow will require monitoring data from schools and communities). Deliverables for each Innovlab project include:

Number Deliverable Description Page Limit
1 Inception Report Presents work plan, methods (for pilot test, baseline, monitoring, and endline), sampling, timing, roles, and responsibilities of research firm 5 pages
2 Data Collection Tools Must use PMC provided template, and all consent scripts and questions must be in local language and English. Will be included in Research Protocol (see below). Varies based on tool
3 Research Protocol Must be prepared in accordance with local IRB regulations. Includes mixed-methods baseline and endline, as well as monitoring. Excludes pilot testing. Varies based on IRB requirements; PMC-Z and PMC HQ to provide full support
4 IRB Approval Letter Must be obtained before baseline data collection begins N/A
5 Pilot Test Report Summarizes the firms pilot test process and succinctly lists successes, failures, and a prioritized list of action items to help PMC-Z maximize project quality 5 pages
6 Summary Baseline Report

(time sensitive)

Must combine quantitative and qualitative data to help PMC-Z develop key messages and public service announcements (PSA) to be included in the project—therefore must be done within two months of project start. Includes essential information to build a successful project. 10 pages
7 Pre-Implementation Presentations Firm must present summary baseline report first to PMC-Z staff, and then to our team of writers (after incorporating feedback from PMC-Z). Firm should plan to spend four (4) hours on each presentation. 20 PowerPoint slides
8 Complete Baseline Report A complete report of baseline data, that is less time-sensitive. PMC-Z and PMC HQ will work with selected firm on format. Must include transcripts of FGD, KII, and all quantitative data, as well as sampling approach, number of FGD and KII completed, successes, challenges, and lessons learned Main body of report may be no longer than 20 pages; transcripts, tools, and other contents may be put into appendices
9 Weekly Monitoring Report

(during data collection)

Firms must submit a weekly report to detail work achieved, successes, challenges, and progress each week during active data collection tasks. Note that there are many weeks during these projects where firms will not actively be engaged in data planning, collection, and analysis, and therefore do not need to submit reports Brief email (equivalent to one page only)
10 Monitoring Report

(after monitoring activities are complete)

The content of this report will vary considerably by project. Firms must summarize their findings from monitoring each project. Call-in RTS will require clinic monitoring, Comic Book Roadshow will require school monitoring, and Radio Miniseries will require audience monitoring. Main body of report may be no longer than 10 pages; Tools, sampling notes, and other details may be put in appendices.
11 Draft Final Report and Presentation to PMC-Z This report should summarize the overall project, from pilot testing, to implementation, monitoring, and key findings from baseline and endline. PMC-Z and PMC HQ will review Main body of report may be no longer than 20 pages; appendices may include extra information, as needed.
12 Final Report This report should incorporate all comments and address questions from PMC-Z and PMC HQ. This deliverable will complete each Innovalab project. Main body of report may be no longer than 20 pages; appendices may include extra information, as needed.

Note that while there are three (3) Innovalab projects, the selected firm will NOT be required to produce a report that compares, contrasts, or otherwise analyzes data across these projects. They are treated as separate interventions.

6. Duration of the Assignment

Data support should proceed as described below:

Sequence Deliverables (see numbered list above) Expected Timeline Fee Paid
Contract Signing None August 1, 2023 25%
Call-in RTS (Innovalab 1) Start-up Materials Completed 1-7 October 31, 2023 10%
Call-in RTS (Innovalab 1) Completed 8-12 July 31, 2024 15%
Comic Book Roadshow (Innovalab 2) Start-up Materials Completed 1-7 January 31, 2024 10%
Comic Book Roadshow (Innovalab 2) Completed 8-12 June 30, 2024 15%
Radio Miniseries (Innovalab 3) Start-up Materials Completed 1-7 July 31, 2024 10%
Radio Miniseries (Innovalab 3) Completed 8-12 December 1, 2024 15%

7. Instructions

Interested firms which are legally registered in Zambia are invited to submit both Technical and Financial proposals, as described below:

Technical proposal may not exceed twelve pages . The technical proposal must include:

  • A cover letter outlining the suitability of the firm for the assignment, motivation and summarizing relevant experience (Maximum 2 pages);
  • Clear work plan which addresses all tasks in Sections 3-5 above. Again, it is recommended that bidders use a table to summarize their approach to data collection and management for the three projects (Maximum 6 pages);
  • Technical details related to completed the work. This includes important notes about the projects, such as approvals by Ministry officials (which PMC-Z will facilitate, as needed), plan to write research protocol and receive IRB approval, process for working with PMC’s technical research unit (TRU) and PMC-Z’s MEL Officer, and notes on sampling frame and process for the surveys (Maximum 3 pages);
  • Contact details from at least two independent referees with in-depth and proven knowledge of the applicant’s expertise and relevant work experience (1 page)

Financial proposal —submitted in in Microsoft Excel or Google Sheet format may include:

  • A detailed budget containing total costs as per person per day rates, and any other costs anticipated in completing the assignment (i.e., travel to field sites, equipment);
  • Costs for conducting each project—while some costs (i.e., management) may be shared across projects, travel, data collection, analysis, IRB costs, etc. must be presented for each project.
  • A budget narrative (no more than one page) to justify costs.

Additional Materials:

  • Two samples of relevant studies previously produced.
  • CVs of the consultant/firm with full description of the profile and experience

PMC- Z will provide the necessary orientation for the firm to abide by the existing rules and regulations.

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