Background & Description

Project Description:

This consultancy supports an ICRW Advisors’ project with a prominent apparel company and its philanthropic foundation. The purpose of the project is to document and analyze how gender equity can be supported in supplier factory settings, with special attention to policies and practices sexual harassment.

Three factories from the company’s supply chain have been selected for in-depth data collection. The factories are located in Bangladesh, Cambodia and Pakistan. The company seeks to understand how gender inequalities manifest in factory settings and how those workplaces can be made more equitable through the implementation of better policies, programs and structures. We will investigate three interlocking domains: institutional policies; organizational culture and practices; and employee and leadership mindset.

The International Center for Research on Women (ICRW) will analyze the data to develop a final report for the company, which will examine trends, areas of specific risks, successful practices and gaps in addressing the issues of gender inequality that are uncovered.

Task Description (overview):

ICRW seeks a Consultant/Contractor to conduct quantitative and qualitative data collection and translate and process the data in preparation for analysis. The data collection activities will include: 1) a quantitiave survey with female and male non-supervisory workers; 2) focus group discussions with male and female non-supervisory workers and line supervisors; 3) and semi-structured interviews with executive leaders, HR management and production managers. ICRW will develop the data collection methodology and all tools and conduct the analysis.

The Consultant/Contractor will collect data within the factory during a 3-4 day site visit. ICRW anticipates the site visit will occur in a rolling process. For example, the Consultant/Contractor may start with a half or full day visit to the site for introductions, finalize data collection logistics and to gather preliminary documents. Following the introductory visit, the Consultant/Contractor will debrief with ICRW and ICRW will make appropriate adjustments to the data collection tools. Following these adjustments, the Consultant/Contractor will return for a 2-3 day visit to conduct the survey, focus groups and interviews. Where possible, the Consultant/Contractor may conduct at least 1 FGD outside of the workplace if the Consultant/Contractor feels discussions in an environment other than the workplace may lead to a more comfortable conversation.

The Consultant/Contractor will debrief the ICRW research team daily on successes and challenges encountered during data collection. ICRW and the Consultant/Contractor will work very closely together to refine and tailor the data collection procedures to the factory setting, as necessary, during the site visit to the factory.

ICRW expects that all data will be collected with a spirit of “appreciative inquiry.” Appreciative inquiry is an organizational change management approach that focuses on identifying and replicating strengths rather than punishing deficits. The data collection process should set the stage for an ongoing collaborative relationship between the vendor and the company. This is not a compliance exercise.

Because the suppliers chosen to participate in this project are strategic sourcing partners for the funder, we anticipate a high degree of collaboration and transparency; however, as independent businesses, their participation is voluntary and they may decline to provide certain information or access.

The Consultant/Contractor will be trained on and expected to comply with ICRW’s Human Research Protection Policy. The Consultant/Contractor will also be required to sign the funder’s non-disclosure agreement.

ICRW will be responsible for analyzing and examining the factory’s written policies. In the case that the workplace policies are not already in English, the Consultant/Contractor will be asked to provide translation of the documents into English. Policy documents are likely to include, but are not limited to:

  • recruitment, retention and promotion;
  • personal, family and parental leave and other benefits;
  • housing, transport and childcare;
  • compensation and contracting;
  • structure and use of grievance channels including for sexual harassment and other types of gender discrimination.

Specific Tasks:

The Consultant/Contractor will:

  • Participate in a remote training conducted by ICRW staff;
  • Translate all data collection tools (70 question survey, 2 FGD guides, 3 IDI guides) developed by ICRW into local language and input into desired format (i.e., paper form or technology-based app or program);
  • Work with ICRW and the factory to schedule a 3-4 day factory site visit, including scheduling in-person interviews with a variety of individuals as identified by ICRW, the funder, and the factory;
  • Conduct 1-2 semi-structured interviews with local organizations focused on labor rights and/or women’s rights to glean relevant contextual information and provide high-level summary to ICRW;
  • Work with the factory to recruit a representative sample of staff members to participate in the interviews, FGDs and surveys;
  • Conduct semi-structured in-depth interviews with 8-10 members of staff including executive leaders, head of HR, senior managers and mid-level managers;
  • Conduct 5 semi-structured focus group discussions with male and female line workers and line supervisors (FGDs comprised of 6-8 participants each);
  • Collect survey data from a representative sample of 100 non-supervisory workers;
  • Enter quantitative data into electronic format to be transferred to ICRW;
  • Translate and transcribe interviews and FGDs into verbatim, English-language transcripts;
  • During data collection period, speak with the ICRW team daily to share information on insights and challenges, work with ICRW to refine and tailor the data collection procedures to the factory setting, as necessary, based on realities experienced during the site visit.
  • At the end of data collection, participate in a debrief call with ICRW and the funder to discuss reflections and insights gained;
  • Answer clarifying questions, as needed, during data analysis and report drafting;
  • (If applicable) Support ICRW in translating factory policy documents.

ICRW anticipates all preparation, orientation, and translation for data collection to be completed by 15 January 2020. Factory visits are to be conducted in the latter half of January or early February, with complete datasets delivered to ICRW by 28 February 2020.

Note: The activities and expectations above reflect an ideal scenario for the data collection process. However, the quality of data collected is most important to ICRW and the funder. Should the consultant/contractor anticipate that activities may require additional time not originally budgeted for, the consultant/contractor should communicate this possibility as the need arises. Should the additional time be deemed valuable and necessary to maintain quality and integrity in the work, contingency funds or other support may be made available by request.

Anticipated Deliverables:

  • Translated data collection tools
  • Final quantitative dataset in Excel
  • Verbatim transcripts of all in-depth interviews in English
  • Log summarizing key reflections from data collection process
Requirements and Skills
  • Significant experience (at least five years) with both quantitative and qualitative research design, implementation, analysis and reporting.
  • Significant experience performing research in or related to global garment or apparel supply chains.
  • Demonstrated communication and interviewing skills, particularly related to sensitive topics around workplace harassment, assault, and discrimination.
  • Significant experience working with private-sector partners, particularly communicating with business leadership and executives and building rapport.
  • Ability to adapt and be flexible as additional information or unexpected challenges surface during data collection. 
  • Fluency in English and Urdu.
How to Apply

Interested Consultants/Contracting firms are asked to submit a proposal that includes:

  • A capacity statement no longer than 4 pages describing experience in conducting the necessary data collection and processing of data, as well as evidence of the required skillset and demonstrated experience conducting research in workplace settings;
  • A detailed budget in USD with budget notes;
  • CVs of key personnel who will be engaged in the data collection. Data collection firms/organizations must also submit an institutional capacity statement;
  • Brief paragraph summaries of 3-4 examples of similar data collection work conducted with the past two (2) years. The summaries should include descriptions of the past efforts, covering the scale of data collection, the methods used, field strategy (including interviewer/researcher recruitment, team structure, quality control systems, etc.), data management approach, quality control systems, etc.
  • 2-3 references that can be contacted regarding the quality of the Consultant’s/Contracting firms’ work
About Organization

The International Center for Research on Women (ICRW) has been the premier applied research institute focused on women and girls for the last four decades.   ICRW works with partners to conduct empirical research, build capacity, and advocate for evidence-based practical solutions to change policies and programs.  Headquartered in Washington, D.C., and with regional offices in South Asia and Africa, ICRW conducts research to inform policies and programs seeking to alleviate poverty, promote gender equality and protect the rights of women and girls. Corporations, foundations, governments and civil society organizations partner with ICRW to discover through rigorous research how to dismantle barriers and help women and girls achieve their full potential.  ICRW’s focal areas include gender-based violence, healthy transitions to adulthood, economic empowerment, HIV/AIDS, and sexual and reproductive health and rights.

At ICRW, we believe that research can and should be a process of social development, and we employ participatory methods when appropriate.  Further, ICRW pursues intersectional research to the greatest extent possible.  All research we undertake serves to advance ICRW’s mission of improving the status of women and girls, promoting gender equality, and eradicating poverty. The International Center for Research on Women (ICRW) is a global research institute with headquarters in Washington, D.C., and regional offices in New Delhi, India and Kampala, Uganda. Our research evidence identifies women’s contributions as well as the obstacles that prevent them from being economically strong and able to fully participate in society. ICRW translates these insights into a path of action that honors women’s human rights, ensures gender equality and creates the conditions in which all women can thrive.