The objective of this Request for Quote (RFQ) is to obtain the services of a Rwanda-based firm to support data collection for a tracer study of participants from a prior study of the Akazi Kanoze Activity in Rwanda.
Making Cents International (Making Cents), under the USAID YouthPower2: Learning and Evaluation (YP2LE) activity, will be conducting a tracer study of the Akazi Kanoze (AK) Activity. YP2LE builds, expands, and disseminates positive youth development (PYD) evidence and learning within and across multiple sectors, and provides leadership in promoting PYD best practices. YP2LE also provides rapid response and technical assistance support to USAID staff and partners to incorporate PYD evidence and best practices into the design, implementation, and evaluation of youth development programs. The purpose of the tracer study is to understand 1) how participation in AK may have contributed to long-term outcomes related to work, livelihoods, and productivity, and 2) how gender and health-related factors (e.g., early marriage, pregnancy, use of family planning, disability status) may have influenced these outcomes.
The AK Activity was a 5-year project implemented by the Education Development Center, Inc. (EDC) that began in 2009. AK was primarily focused on young people aged 14-35 who had left school prematurely, without a diploma, to help build their capacity for obtaining or creating sustainable livelihoods. Ultimately, the project served more than 21,000 Rwandan youth across 19 districts, 45 percent of whom were in rural areas (Alcid et al. 2021). Although AK concluded in 2016 after a two-year extension, the program goals align well with the continued Rwandan national focus on workforce development.
An impact evaluation conducted in 2014 involved 600 youth from the rural districts of Huye and Nyamasheke (300 treatment and 300 control). This study found promising results related to rural youth employment outcomes and gains in workforce readiness and financial management skills. A tracer study conducted in 2016 found positive impacts on work readiness in the short term, but no impact on longer term outcomes (employment status and income). The tracer study being conducted by YP2LE seeks to add a fourth datapoint (after baseline and endline of the impact evaluation, and the prior tracer study) on work-related outcomes and the contribution of health status and circumstances to these outcomes. Specifically, this new tracer study will look at whether effects of AK interventions last over time (i.e., nine years later) and which effects endure, thus enabling exploration of the sustainability and magnitude of the original impacts of AK participation on young people.
The selected offeror will implement a data collection strategy to trace the 600 participants from the treatment and control groups of the original study of AK and engage them in quantitative and qualitative data collection activities to document their current circumstances, outcomes, successes, and challenges related to work and livelihoods opportunities and other outcomes of interest as outlined in the study design. Tracer study data collection will be conducted throughout regions in Rwanda as needed, based on where original study participants are located.
The selected offeror will provide logistical and research services to support the study, which will encompass data collection strategy and outreach as well as in-person survey and qualitative data collection. The location of data collection activities will be determined based on information gained regarding participants’ current locations. The team leading the study implementation is comprised of a Team Lead, Principal Investigator, and Research Analyst (affiliated with Mathematica, a YP2LE subcontractor), as well as an in-country-based Making Cents consultant serving as Research Advisor/Local Data Collection Lead. Making Cents DC staff, including the YP2LE Lead Technical Advisor and the YP2LE Research Manager, will oversee study activities including the scope for this request for services. We request that offerors make recommendations regarding the composition of the data collection team (number of enumerators, logistician, other key staff) based on the description provided in this RFQ.
SCOPE OF WORK
The selected offeror will manage the logistical elements of tracer study data collection and provide a team of enumerators with both female and male representation. We strongly encourage offerors to engage youth (between the ages of 18-35) as enumerators. Enumerators are expected to collect in-person, tablet-based survey data from study participants. The offeror should also propose individuals (the same enumerators or others) who can conduct, facilitate, and take notes for in-person in-depth interviews (IDIs) with study participants, with guidance from the study team and under the direction of the Local Data Collection Lead. Enumerators or other study team members may also be requested to support facilitation and/or note-taking during key stakeholder interviews, which may be conducted by the Local Data Collection Lead or other members of the study team. Throughout, the selected offeror is expected to directly collaborate with—and manage key resources received from—Making Cents, as well as collaborate directly with Mathematica personnel. Specifically, the selected offeror will be responsible for the following tasks and deliverables:
1. Logistical Services for Study Coordination
The selected offeror will provide a Logistician to coordinate planning and travel logistics for the study, to include:
- Making hotel reservations for enumerators, if any data collection activities require overnight stays in a particular location.
- Arranging rental vehicles for enumerator travel between field locations for data collection.
- Collaborate with the Local Data Collection Lead to contact study participants, based on available contact information provided, to determine their locations and obtain initial consent to schedule data collection activities, while adhering to proper ethical procedures in recruitment.
- Collaborating with the Local Data Collection Lead on developing a data collection strategy, based on where study participants are located, for both survey and qualitative data collection.
- Supporting the Local Data Collection Lead with all scheduling and transport arrangements for any key stakeholder interviews to be conducted in person (locations TBD).
Note: The direct actual cost of the lodging and transportation arranged will be reimbursed to the offeror by Making Cents.
2. Enumerator Team Training and Pilot Testing
The selected offeror will coordinate enumerator training and pilot testing of the survey instrument, to include:
- Providing training venue in Kigali.
- Providing catering (lunch and coffee/tea breaks) for training attendees.
- Providing stationery and other supplies (including notepads, pencils, and printed copies of data collection instruments) for the study per the specifications of the Team Lead, Local Data Collection Lead, or other study team members.
- Scheduling and logistical arrangements – including transportation support as needed – to facilitate enumerators’ attendance at the training and pilot testing of the survey during the training period.
The selected offeror will collaborate with the Local Data Collection Lead and other study team members on the development of data collector training content, to include:
- Providing input on training materials (written in English).
- Participating in data collector training and facilitating portions as requested by other study team members (conducted in English).
- Providing note-taking support during training to document discussions and decisions related to protocol updates and data collection approaches.
- Reviewing instrument translations (in Kinyarwanda) and make any recommendations for improving translation.
- Pre-loading survey content on tablets in preparation for training activities.
The selected offeror will provide qualified female and male enumerators, with some youth representation, who will:
- Attend in full and actively participate in the data collection training.
- Conduct a pilot test of the survey with a small group of individuals with demographic characteristics similar to those of study participants, as per the data collection guidelines provided by the Team Lead, Principal Investigator, and Local Data Collection Lead during the enumerator training. The offeror will work with the Local Data Collection Lead to select and recruit individuals to participate in the pilot.
- Contribute to revisions to data collection instruments and data collection processes, according to pilot results.
The selected offeror will work with the Local Data Collection Lead and other members of the study team to conduct study fieldwork. The selected offeror will provide the enumerator team who will:
- Collaborate with Local Data Collection Lead to maintain ethical procedures while conducting fieldwork (confirming and documenting consent, safe storage of Personal Identifiable Information (PII).
- Conduct in-person tablet-based surveys (up to 600 surveys) with treatment and control group participants from the original study. Administration locations are to be determined based on where study participants are currently located. We anticipate some participants will still reside in Huye and Nyamasheke districts, while some may have migrated to other areas within Rwanda. If any identified participants have migrated outside of Rwanda, and are interested in participating in the tracer study, the offeror may be responsible for conducting phone-based or virtual surveys with these individuals.
- Report on data collection progress, including any problems or challenges, to the Local Data Collection Lead. Coordinate with logistical team to provide feedback on any necessary changes to data collection approaches.
The selected offeror will provide qualitative data collectors (who may also fulfill enumerator duties) who will:
- Conduct IDIs (approximately 30-50 IDIs) with treatment and control group participants under the oversight of the Local Data Collection Lead.
The selected offeror will also provide:
- Note-taking support during key informant interviews and meetings.
- At least one team member who has experience with transcription of audio recordings and translation (notes and transcriptions from Kinyarwanda to English).
- Assistance with interpretation during key informant interviews and meetings or trainings, as necessary.
- Audio recordings of qualitative data collection activities and transcriptions (translated into English) of these activities, with data documents de-identified.
The selected offeror will:
- With the support of the Local Data Collection Lead, obtain any necessary permissions or approvals from local leaders or government officials in targeted districts prior to launching data collection activities.
- Develop an information package for team members involved in data collection, including information on schedule and parameters of data collection activities, any hotel reservations, and transit information, and disseminate to data collectors in advance of field visits, and as details change.
- Manage the distribution and documentation of any incentives to study participants. Coordinate with Local Data Collection Lead to address any challenges with incentive delivery.
- Monitor movements of and respond to all inquiries from study team members regarding travel and logistics.
4. Prepare Data for Analysis
The selected offeror will:
- Review uploaded survey data for discrepancies and prepare the full, cleaned dataset in an agreed upon format (e.g., Excel, Stata), with variable and value labels in English.
- Alert the Local Data Collection Lead and other study team members as relevant about any issues with the data and determine appropriate follow-up.
- Contribute to codebook development for the data file, as requested by study team members.
- Implement a secure data transfer process to share the data file with relevant members of the study team.
- Transcribe recordings and translate notes from KIIs and IDIs from Kinyarwanda into English, deidentify data documents.
- Participate in regular debriefs with the Local Data Collection Lead during the active data collection period to assess progress and refine strategies based on lessons learned.
- Respond to follow-up questions from study team as needed, during data analysis phase.
The offeror will propose a program of activities addressing the above scope of work. Minimum deliverables include:
|DELIVERABLES FOR ACTIVITY 1: Logistical Services for Study Coordination|
|DELIVERABLES FOR ACTIVITY 2: Enumerator Team Training and Pilot Testing|
|· Arrangements for and participation in the data collector training, including training venue, supplies, and catering for training attendees.
|DELIVERABLES FOR ACTIVITY 3: Fieldwork|
|DELIVERABLES FOR ACTIVITY 4: Prepare Data for Analysis|
Making Cents International anticipates issuing a Time and Materials subcontract with loaded hourly rates to the selected offeror. Copies of time records for all personnel hours billed will be required.
PROPOSAL SUBMISSION INSTRUCTIONS
Proposals must be submitted in the format outlined below. Please note that the proposal must be concise, comprehensive, and responsive to the instructions contained herein. Unnecessarily elaborate brochures or other presentations beyond those sufficient to present a complete and effective proposal in response to this RFQ are not desired and may be construed as an indication of the offeror’s lack of cost consciousness. Elaborate artwork and expensive visual or other presentation aids are neither necessary nor wanted. These same requirements exist for the submission of subsequent revised technical and/or cost proposals, and technical/cost clarifications.
All proposals should include the following five items:
(1) Cover Letter (One page maximum)
Include the name of the organization submitting the proposal and the organization’s unique entity identification (UEI) number, which is required for a contract. See here for more information: https://sam.gov/content/duns-uei. Include a contact person for the proposal, including his/her name (both typed and signed), title or position with the organization, address, telephone, and email address. Also state whether the contact person is the person with authority to contract for the offeror, and if not, that person should also be listed. The cover letter must be signed.
(2) Technical Approach to the Scope of Work (SOW) (ten pages maximum)
The technical approach must provide enough information to permit a thorough evaluation of the proposal pursuant to the evaluation criteria listed below. The offeror must demonstrate a clear understanding of the SOW requirements. A brief description of how each of the tasks specified above will be implemented is required.
(3) Past Performance References
A minimum of two client references from entities to which similar services were provided during the last three years should be included. These references should include organization name, contact person, telephone number, and email address.
The price section should include enough detail—with a narrative explaining each line item—for cost evaluation purposes. Please include a total price as well as an itemized list with costs pertaining to the deliverables outlined in the SOW.
(5) Signed Representations and Certifications
See section below for Required Representations and Certifications.
These criteria are intended to (a) serve as the standard against which all proposals will be evaluated and (b) serve to identify the significant areas offerors should address in their proposals. This will be a best value evaluation considering the factors below totaling 100 points.
|Technical Approach||· Clarity and appropriateness of proposed activity.
· Implementation plan and proposed timeline are realistic and include all proposed elements of activity.
|Past Performance||· Previous successful experience implementing similar activities.||20|
|Personnel||· Proposed personnel have appropriate level of qualification and experience to implement project.||15|
|Price||· Reasonableness of proposed price based on scope of activities proposed.
· Cost realism.
OVERALL MAXIMUM SCORE
Making Cents may elect to interview potential offerors in addition to evaluating the written proposal.
Award will be made to the responsible and responsive offeror whose offer is determined to be the “Best Value” and responsive to the RFQ terms.
A responsive offer is one which complies with all the terms and conditions of the RFQ without material modifications. A material modification is one which affects the price, quantity, quality or delivery of the equipment or materials, or which limits in any way any responsibilities, duties or liabilities of the offeror or any rights of the Contracting Officer.
The offer of any offeror which does not conform to the foregoing instructions may be rejected.
PROPOSAL DELIVERY INSTRUCTIONS
Proposals must be submitted electronically via email with attachments to Dr. Chelsea Pallatino Trevelline at firstname.lastname@example.org. Each email must not exceed 10MB in size, including all attachments. All emails containing proposal files should, in the address line, state the name of the offeror and the RFQ number. If sending proposals by multiple emails, please indicate in the subject line the desired sequence of multiple emails. Zip files are not permitted. Facsimile submission is not authorized and will not be accepted.
 Note that this tracer study is focused on individuals who participated in a prior study of the original AK, funded by USAID. AK served as a precedent for other initiatives that followed, including the MasterCard Foundation-funded AK2, and the USAID-funded Huguka Dukore.
 It is anticipated that some of the original participants residing in Huye and Nyamasheke may have migrated to other parts of the country.
 Enumerators should have some prior experience (1-2 years) engaging in research activities and collecting tablet-based survey data. Experience with ethical data collection procedures when collecting sensitive data is required.