Consultant: Capacity Needs Assessment and Baseline Survey

Consultancies Yangon, Myanmar


Scope of Work - Capacity Needs Assessment and Baseline Survey


Mercy Corps is seeking expressions of interest for to carry a capacity needs assessment and baseline survey as detailed below. A decision will be made pending receipt of applications.


1) Background of the project


The DFID-funded Center for Good Governance Facility (CGG) presents an important opportunity to work with local-level government, civil society, and communities in Bago and Kayah States to trial innovative, locally-led approaches to strengthen civic engagement and responsive, effective development planning and government service delivery.


As an implementing partner of CGG, Mercy Corps is implementing a project in Kayah State with the aim to build the capacity of ward/village tract administrators (W/VTAs) to engage in effective, inclusive, participatory and transparent development planning processes, budgeting, and implementation. The project will coordinate with and provide training for approximately 40 W/VTAs to increase their capacities to: effectively engage citizens in development planning; budget and advocate for resources; and communicate effectively both horizontally and vertically.


2) Purpose and objectives of the consultancy


Mercy Corps is seeking a consultant undertake two distinct, but interrelated objectives:


  1. A capacity needs assessment of W/VTAs in two/three target townships of Kayah State with the purpose of identifying the capacity gaps of W/VTAs in those geographic areas primarily in terms of their role in local governance and development planning processes. The findings and recommendations will inform the training curriculum, which Mercy Corps will then design and deliver.


  1. A baseline survey to gauge the status of W/VTAs performance with respect to effective, inclusive, participatory, and transparent development planning processes, budgeting, and implementation. The data will be gathered from community members served by W/VTAs (e.g. like village administrators, VDC members, Village Clerk) as well as with the other actors working alongside the W/VTAs like township officials. The baseline will serve as a benchmark to eventually compare with a final endline survey and identify the degree of impact the trainings had


3) Tasks

The consultant will be expected to undertake the following activities which will contribute to both objectives:


  1. Undertake a desk review, which includes studying the W/VTA responsibilities as outlined in government documents, as well as reading related project documents and Kayah specific studies to learn more about the context and capacity building support provided to W/VTAs by Mercy Corps and other actors in past programs;
  2. Update research questions and design, including identifying indicators for baseline survey;
  3. Prepare a set of tools that will allow for data collection for both the capacity assessment and the baseline;
  4. Have consultation with General Administration Department (GAD) officials in Kayah State around existing internal training curricula, previous training received by W/VTAs, and capacity need priorities for W/VTAs;
  5. Lead discussions with long-serving, as well as newly-elected W/VTAs to identify current skills/gaps and verify perceptions of their mandates and responsibilities;
  6. Interview relevant stakeholders in Kayah State (including local CBOs/CSOs/NGOs, INGOs, EAO officials, and others) who might have provided support to, or worked closely with W/VTAs;
  7. Use a team of enumerators to gather feedback from community leaders (e.g. VDC leaders, Village Clerks, Administrators) who work closely with and directly benefit from the work of W/VTAs;
  8. Analyse the data collected, with attention to the variances based on certain W/VTA or community characteristics (e.g. remoteness, ward vs. village tract, level of experience of W/VTA, EAO vs. mixed/government control areas); attention should also be placed on identifying contrasts between perceptions of different respondent groups;
  9. Write capacity assessment report, including findings and recommendations for capacity improvements;
  10. Compile and present baseline data for pre-determined indicators in the form of a report.



4) Methodology

The Consultant (in consultation with Mercy Corps’ CGG team) will be expected to use a mixed-methods approach to assess the capacity needs of the W/VTAs and conduct the baseline. The assessment and baseline tools may include both quantitative and qualitative methods, including (but not limited to) consultations, focus group discussions, and key informant interviews. If deemed appropriate, the consultant may also choose to bring different stakeholders/respondents together for group discussion.


5) Support from Mercy Corps Myanmar

The CGG Learning and Program Coordinator will be responsible for the overall coordination of all the evaluation tasks with the Consultant. In addition, the country M&E Manager and the Strategy and Program Development Director will provide all the necessary technical and operational support required throughout the targeted needs assessment process. Mercy Corps’ Director for Programs will provide overall oversight.


Mercy Corps will be responsible for the following:

  • Share all necessary documents with the Consultant to finalize the methodology and data collection tools
  • Provide input for the methodology, data collection tools and report
  • Ensure that input from Mercy Corps is circulated and shared with external Consultant
  • Overall accountability of the assessment process
  • Guidance and coordination throughout all the phases of the assessment
  • Closely follow up the data collection process, ensuring quality control, daily debriefing, meeting the timelines set for interview completion
  • Inform audience for their involvement in the study and help in setting specific dates for the assessment field schedule.


The consultant must include the following logistic cost in the proposed budget plan and have to arrange their own:

  • Travel expenses for the Consultant to Kayah State
  • Vehicle hire in Kayah State to support the assessment exercise
  • Accommodation arrangements while in Kayah State
  • Working space while in Kayah State


6) Schedule and logistics

The overall evaluation process is expected to take approximately 23 working days, which includes preparation, data collection, analysis, and reporting. The Consultant should be able to undertake some of the tasks concurrently to fit within the planned time-frame, without compromising the quality expected. The assignment is expected to commence in late February 2019, with the targeted needs assessment report expected by the end of March 2019.  Estimated timeline can be found below;



Estimated duration (days)

1. Review of existing information sources


2. Develop research questions and detailed methodology


3. Revision of research questions and design based on MC feedback


4. Preparation of data collection instruments for assessment


5. Revision of tools after feedback from MC


7. Data collection


8. Data analysis and report outline draft


9. Report writing


10. Revision of draft report based on two rounds of MC feedback



7) Deliverables

The Consultant will be expected to deliver the following outputs:

  • An updated list of research questions and detailed methodology.
  • Data collection tools.
  • Report outline.
  • Draft Capacity Needs Assessment report (soft-copy)
  • Draft Baseline Survey results report (soft copy)
  • Final Capacity Needs Assessment report (soft copy)
  • Final Baseline Survey report (soft copy)


8) Qualifications

  • Strong and documented experience in conducting participatory quantitative and qualitative assessments related to governance or capacity building;
  • Demonstrated experience in leading similar assessments, including designing assessment tools;
  • Ability to interact with host government, EAOs, and/or others;
  • Strong organizational, analytical and reporting skills, presentation skills, attention to detail, and ability to meet deadlines;
  • Knowledge of the Myanmar context, with preferable experience in the Southeast. and / or Kayah State
  • Previous experience in a fragile environment with tight security context will be preferred;
  • Excellent verbal and written communication in English required.
  • Burmese/Myanmar language skills preferred.


9)  Application Process and Requirements

Qualified and interested parties are asked to submit the following;

  • Statement of interest
  • A detailed technical proposal clearly demonstrating a thorough understanding of the ToR and including, but not limited to the following:
  1. Description of the Methodology;
  2. Demonstrated previous experience in similar assignments and qualifications outlined in this ToR, preferably in the form of a writing sample;
  3. Proposed data management plan (collection, processing and analysis);
  4. Proposed timeframe detailing activities and a work plan;
  5. Team composition and level of effort of each proposed team member (include CVs of each team member).
  • A financial proposal with a detailed breakdown of costs (including all applicable taxes) for the study quoted in United States dollars.


10) Assessment Criteria

  • All proposals will be assessed on the following criteria:





Experience of Applicant

Combination of entity (individual or group) experience, profiles of key individuals on the project, and proof of previous work


Technical proposal

Quality proposals will provide detail of the approach,  methodology, and duration of  activities.


Value for Money

Cost of work, compared to quality of anticipated products being provided