Call for Proposal : Consultant for AHA Child Marriage Acceptance Research

Term of Reference / Kerangka Acuan

Location:Home-based, with travel to PIA in NTT Province
Application Deadline:27 November 2020
Contract Type:Professional Service Contract
Working Language:English and Bahasa Indonesia
Expected Starting Date:7 December 2020
Contract Period:7 December 2020 – 31 March 2021

I. About Plan International in Indonesia

About Plan International

We strive to advance children’s rights and equality for girls all over the world. As an independent development and humanitarian organisation, we work alongside children, young people, our supporters and partners to tackle the root causes of the challenges facing girls and all vulnerable children. We support children’s rights from birth until they reach adulthood and enable children to prepare for and respond to crises and adversity. We drive changes in practice and policy at local, national and global levels using our reach, experience and knowledge. For over 80 years we have been building powerful partnerships for children, and we are active in over 75 countries.

About Plan Indonesia

Plan International has been operating in Indonesia since 1969, according to the Memorandum of Understanding with the Government of Indonesia. In 2017, Plan International Indonesia transformed into Yayasan Plan International Indonesia (YPII/Plan Indonesia); registered by the Ministry of Law and Human Rights. This transformation aims to reach more children, especially girls in Indonesia. In Plan Indonesia Country Strategy 4 (CS4) 2017 – 2022, the objective of the Adolescent Health and Agency (AHA) program is girls and young women make safe and informed decisions about their sexual and reproductive health, are able to decide when and whom to marry, and protect themselves from risky behavior (contributing to SDG targets: 3.1, 3.7, and 5.6.). The program has three outcomes, as follow

  • Outcome 1: Adolescents, particularly girls and young women, understand and uphold their SRHR (sexual and reproductive health and rights).
  • Outcome 2: Adolescents, particularly girls and young women, are supported by their communities to obtain their sexual and reproductive health and rights.
  • Outcome 3: Adolescents, particularly girls and young women, are protected by the local and national government through gender-responsive policies that ensure healthy and productive life choices.

II. Background

The government has set clear targets and strategy to decrease child marriage, aim to decrease child marriage prevalence to 8.74% in 2024 and 6.94% in 20301. Revisions to Article 7a of the Marriage Law are expected to encourage the creation of culture and new norms new of the ideal age marriage. However, the Marriage Law No. 16 of 2019 which raises the minimum age for marriage for women and men does not guarantee that child marriage can be prevented. The Marriage Law allows applications for dispensation marriage if the prospective bride does not fulfill minimum age requirement for marriage2.

Progress in addressing child marriage has stagnated and nationally around 17% of girls are married before 18, with serious implications for their health, education, economic opportunities, and protection3. There are wide geographical variations, the prevalence of child marriage reaching 37.3% in West Sulawesi, and 20.7% in NTT4. The causes of child marriage include gender discriminatory social norms, poverty, and lack of educational and economic opportunity, though child marriage is also prevalent among the rich. Early unsafe sexual activity is common, resulting in high adolescent fertility at 47.8 per 1,000 women 15-19 years old5. Teenage pregnancy contributes to Indonesia’s high maternal mortality, which was 359/100,000 births in 2012, and the high neonatal mortality rate, which is stagnant at around 19/1000 live births6. Teenage pregnancy is also an important cause of child marriage. Most pregnant girls have unsafe abortions or get married due to social stigma. The abortion rate is thought to be around 35 per 1,000 adolescent pregnancies7. Due to cultural and religious taboos, young people lack reliable information on sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR), and which is inadequately addressed, for example, there is no sex education in schools. Other risky behaviors are increasingly prevalent: 1 in 3 boys and 1 in 4 girls tried smoking before the age of 10 years and there are around 1 million adolescent and youth drug users8.

A research conducted by YPII and KPI (Koalisi Perempuan Indonesia) in May 2020 reported that the practice of child marriage still occurs in Indonesia, although the Marriage Law has been revised, there are still some parties who carry out child marriage. The decline in child marriage rates clearly be seen from information obtained from schools, community leaders, and KUA officials. The community has begun to understand the importance of education on child marriage prevention. Village officials, health workers and religious leaders are often involved in disseminating this issue. However, the community especially parents still believe that child marriage is permissible because there has been “an accident” or (unwanted) teenage pregnancy and it causes disgrace. In fact, in the practice ofmarriage, sometimes there is coercion by parents of children without considering their opinions9

AHA Program with its objective is expected to address the above issues through projects under the program in AHA sponsorship project in Project Implementation Areas (PIAs) in NTT Province. Therefore, the program needs to Research the youth’s perspective, particularly girls and young women, on level of acceptance to child marriage and factors that lead to child marriage in PIA.

III. Research Focus10

Purpose of research:

1.To gather in-depth and detailed evidence on the root causes of child marriage practices.

The research focuses on exploring social attitudes, values and norms concerning child marriage, and identifying the structural and environmental factors which influence them. The results of the research will assist in the design of effective advocacy, policy and programming interventions aimed at eradicating child marriage.

2. The research would also inform the development of an index for programming in areas which relate to the acceptability of child marriage.

The index will be used on a yearly basis to measure changes in social norms, and structural and environmental factors that are associated with child marriage acceptability. The purpose of the index is to, measure the impact of Plan’s programs in these areas to track progress, and to help Plan design programs that are effective and well targeted.

Research questions:

The research questions have been designed around this theory, to gather information about:

The content and nature of (dominant) norms and attitudes concerning (child) marriage:

  1. What are the prevailing customs, moral rules and social norms about why and when a girl’s marriage should take place? Under what circumstances is marriage of a girl deemed to be necessary, desirable, acceptable, or unacceptable?
  2. What is considered to be the ‘ideal age’ of marriage? What is considered to be ‘too early’ and ‘too late’?

The influence of structural factors on these (dominant) norms and attitudes; and the substantive relationship between social and material conditions and the prevalence of child marriage (the relationship between dominant norms and social and material conditions):

3. What factors are most important to the timing of marriage? (such as Household economic stress, how well a girl is doing in school or if she has dropped out, whether she is contributing income to the household, pre-marital pregnancy, experience or threat of sexual violence, the social status of the potential husband, etc.)

4. Do changes in the realms of education, disaster risk management, sexual and reproductive health, livelihoods, violence against women and girls and implementation of policy relevant to age of marriage intersect with changes in the prevailing norms and attitudes on the acceptability of child marriage?

The presence, content and nature of alternative narratives, attitudes and experiences in relation to child marriage, and how these relate to dominant norms and practices:

5. Do girls’ ideas about marriage, and wishes concerning choice and timing of marriage, differ from the community’s, and, if so, how?

6. Is there a difference and if so, how many years/months difference is there, between the age girls say they would like / would have liked to be married and actual practices?

How dominant and less-dominant norms concerning child marriage relate to structures of social power:

7. Who are the stakeholders in sustaining/ eradicating child marriage?

8. Who are the main decision-makers in child marriage?

Finally, evidence gathered in relation to addressing all queries above will be used to answer the final research question:

9. What are the preconditions for change in relation to child marriage? How can Plan most effectively intervene to change attitudes and individual and collective patterns of behaviour about child marriage?

IV. Users of the Research

The target audience of this research are

  1. Government at national and sub national level
  2. Donors
  3. Development agencies
  4. Community leaders
  5. Educators

A dissemination plan will be developed by Plan Indonesia at the start of the research.

V. Methods for Data Collection and Analysis

This research will use a mostly qualitative method with a possibility limited quantitative in Lembata, Nagekeo, and TTS District, NTT Province. In selecting the respondents, it is necessary to consider the different identities of social groups in the research area that may have various ethnicity, class, religion, disability/ability, and geographical (mountain or coastal). Methods and tools for data collection were also informed by Plan programming tools, particularly the Results Framework for Child Marriage and the Girl’s Empowerment Star11. This was to ensure the relevance of research findings to Plan’s program frameworks and approach. If time allowed, the research could utilize sampling method of 10% – 20% mainly female youth beneficiary respondents in targeted location.

When using qualitative method, use the purposive sampling of key respondents such as youth beneficiaries, parents and caregivers, key village/community leaders, key local government partners, below is table population of 3 intervention districts:

The detail of sampling and respondent number will be proposed and elaborated by the research consultant team in the inception report/reserach design document upon the suitability of the program context, time, and resources.

Respondent Selection and Recruitment

Representatives from key stakeholders and target groups should be given the opportunity to provide feedback on the research to the researcher(s). This includes:

  • Adolescent girls (age 12 – 18 years). With equal composition between girls who have married before 18 years old, and unmarried.
  • Adolescent boys (age 12 – 18 years old). With equal composition between boys who have married before 18 years old, and unmarried.
  • Youth age 19 – 24 years (Female). With equal composition between female youth who have married before 18 years old, and unmarried.
  • Youth age 19 – 24 years (Male). With equal composition between male youth who have married before 18 years old, and unmarried.
  • Parents or Caregiver of adolescent girls.
  • Local leaders (community leaders, religious leaders, educators, etc.)
  • Program Management Team and AHA Project Managers from Plan Indonesia (incl. if possible former staff who have resigned during the project).
  • Local government (District and Village) respondents.

The researcher(s) is also welcome to identify and suggest additional or excluded stakeholders that they feel are important to involve to ensure they get the information they need to answer the Research Questions.

VI. Ethics and Child Safeguarding

Plan International is committed to ensuring that the rights of those participating in data collection or analysis are respected and protected, in accordance with Ethical MERL Framework and our Child and Youth Safeguarding Policy. All applicants should include details in their proposal on how they will ensure ethics and child protection in the data collection process. Specifically, the consultant(s) shall explain how appropriate, safe, non-discriminatory participation of all stakeholders will be ensured and how special attention will be paid to the needs of children and other vulnerable groups. The consultant(s) shall also explain how confidentiality and anonymity of participants will be guaranteed. All Plan International staff and consultants hired by Plan International must adhere to Plan Internationals Child and Youth Safeguarding Policy (see Annex 2).

The consultant must obtain written/ verbal consent from the respondents of primary data collection. Permission from parents must be sought if the children under 18 years are involved. Signed informed consent of each child and his/her parents need to take after explaining purpose of the Research and its usage. Provide Assent Form to respondent below 18 years, that allow respondent to express willingness or unwillingness to participate in the research. Details on child safeguarding will be provided during the inception briefing. All projects managed by Plan International and its partners should be aligned with Plan Internationals global ambition to reach 100 million girls, using gender transformative approach in delivering its tasks. In this assignment, the consultant is expected to understand and evaluate addressing gender norms, strengthening girls’ and young women’s agency, advancing girls’ and women’s condition and position, working with boys and men to embrace gender equality, responding to the needs and interest of girls and boys in all their diversity, and fostering an environment that enables gender equality and girls’ rights.

VII. Key Deliverables

Within the timeframe of the consultancy, the researcher(s) should complete the following deliverables:

VIII. Timeline

IX. Budget

The total amount Rp. 280,000,000,- /gross paid to the consultant(s) in addition to the daily rate of the consultancy includes the total budget necessary to conduct the research. Specifically it includes:

  • IT equipment
  • Translation costs
  • Internet credit
  • Travel costs
  • Insurance
  • Expenses/per diems
  • VAT/taxes

YPII will provide support for logistic arrangements as relevant. This might include key documents, facilitating contact and support letters to access key respondents.

The consultant is expected to present a budget table outlining how the requested total budget splits into the items mentioned above.

Table of Payment Schedule

MilestoneDetailsAmount to be Paid (%)Expected Timeframe
Inception Report ApprovedYPII Will provide inputs. Once the inception report is finally approved the payment will be released30%Approx. 10 days after start of assignment
Final Research Report ApprovedAfter final approval & Submission in English and Bahasa Indonesia, the final tranche will be released70%First week of March

X. Expected Qualifications

The required skills and competences for the consultant are:

  • At least 5 years’ experience in conducting research/Research with (I)NGOs.
  • Advanced degree in Public Health, Population Research, Development Studies, Gender, Population Studies, Monitoring and Evaluation or any other relevant degrees.
  • Specific knowledge and expertise in SRHR, Risky Behaviour, and Child Marriage are preferable.
  • Regional working experience in NTT, preferable in the districts outlined above.
  • Proven experience in quantitative and qualitative data methodology and analysis
  • Proven experience with a portfolio and recommendations
  • Good communication skills, with the ability to explain complex problems or concepts in simple and easy-to-understand language
  • Experience in researches involving marginalized or vulnerable children, young people and communities (desirable)
  • Demonstrated understanding of and commitment to children’s rights, gender equality and development issues
  • Experience in working across multiple sectors including with INGOs. Knowledge of Plan International/Plan Indonesia and its work (desirable)
  • Fluent in Indonesia language and proficient in the use of English both oral and written

XI. Application Procedure

Yayasan Plan International Indonesia (Plan Indonesia) will coordinate the application and hiring process locally. Firms/teams of consultants with relevant expertise and portfolio are invited to apply for the assignment by sending:

  1. A letter of intent expressing the consultant’s or firm’s capabilities and qualifications including a response to the ToR
  2. Proposal of the assignment with the following content:(a) background; (b) approach and methodology of the assignment outlining key activities and key deliverables produced and proposed content of the research; (c) workplan; (d) Ethics and child safeguarding approaches, including any identified risks and associated mitigation strategies; (e) personnel involved including their CVs and detail task and responsibilities related to the research;
  3. Proposed detailed budget, including daily fee rates, expenses, taxes, etc. for all personnel involved as outlined above
  4. Proposed timelines
  5. Organization Profile with the information on: (a) current and previous relevant works and clients/users; (b) CV of the personnel involved in the assignment and their key responsibilities/roles in the assignment.
  6. Police Certificates of Good Conduct

The above documents should be sent electronically through the email:; mentioning the code [AHA_Research] in the email subject, before 17.00 PM, latest on 27 November 2020.

The selected candidate will be announced at the latest by 1st December 2020.