Service Provider(s) - Ethiopia Phase_Eastern Corridor Research

IOM , Nairobi, Kenya
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Job Summary

Job Description

Request for Proposals (RfP)

The International Organization for Migration (hereinafter called IOM) intends to hire Service Provider(s) for data collection in Ethiopian communities of high emigration as part of the Eastern Corridor Research conducted under the EU-IOM Joint Initiative for Migrant protection and Reintegration in the Horn of Africa region, for which this Request for Proposals (RFP) is issued.

IOM seeks for Service Provider(s) / Consulting Firm(s) to provide Technical and Financial Proposal. More details on the services are provided in the attached Terms of Reference (ToR).

The Service Provider(s) / Consulting Firm(s) will be selected under a Quality–Cost Based Selection procedures described in this RfP.

The RfP includes the following documents:

  • Section I. Instructions to Service Provider(s) / Consulting Firm(s)
  • Section II. Technical Proposal – Standard Forms
  • Section III. Financial Proposal – Standard Forms
  • Section IV. Terms of Reference
  • Section V. Standard Form of Contract

Terms of Reference

In 2019, the Regional Data Hub (RDH) for the East and Horn of Africa (EHoA) launched a multistage research project aimed at better understanding the experiences, decision-making, perceptions and expectations of young Ethiopians along the Eastern Route regarding their migration projects. The project aims to investigate the nexus between decision-making, migrant expectations and realities on the ground by interviewing migrants leaving the Horn towards the Arab Peninsula. A more nuanced understanding of the migrants’ decision to migrate will help inform strategy and programmatic planning for the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and other humanitarian and development actors in the region.

Obock (Djibouti) and Bossaso (Somalia), were selected as the main study sites – both being gateways to Yemen and receiving a large number of Ethiopian migrants travelling on the Eastern Route. The final phase of the project will target communities of high emigration in Ethiopia, where both returning, re-migrating and potential migrants will be interviewed to get a more comprehensive picture of their motivations, perceptions and expectations, as well as a better understanding of the environment in which significant outward migration is taking place.

The current research in Ethiopian communities of high emigration will allow to make comparisons between communities to understand sub-national variations. The in-depth study of these places of origin will also help uncover social dynamics and transformations that may have occurred as a consequence of the high incidence of emigration. In this sense, the analysis will focus on two main themes:

Theme 1: Family ties, remittances and well-being To further understand migrants’ transnational activities including to what extent communication technology allows migrants to stay in touch with family and friends across borders, and how it allows migrants to maintain a sense of connection with their communities at home. The flow of remittances from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) to Ethiopia will also be studied (amount, frequency, modality, intermediaries etc.), as well as how they are distributed within the family (who receives and who controls their spending) and remittance usage (capital or current spending; is some of the money saved). Other resources that might be transferred between the two locations (such as skills and knowledge) will also be investigated to gain better insight into the extent of which migration and transnational linkages have fostered social transformation at origin, and what impact these transfers have had on the well-being and social status of migrants and their households.
Theme 2: Safer migration/ improving risk awareness To further understand levels of risk awareness, knowledge gaps and misleading narratives (brokers, returnees etc.), since information and awareness are key to risk mitigation. This will also entail the identification of platforms, actors and other ways in which accurate information can be disseminated, thereby enabling prospective migrants to make better informed decisions of whether they want to migrate, and supporting those who choose to migrate to do so with a clearer understanding of what they are undertaking, allowing them to better prepare for the challenges they might face.

The Service Provider will collect qualitative and quantitative data to feed the research outlined above, while also leveraging its knowledge of the target localities and experience in similar assignments to ensure the data collected is of utmost quality and can inform a robust analysis by IOM.
The data collection tools will be designed by IOM and provided to the Service Provider for their implementation in the selected assessment areas.
Fully cognisant that data collection modalities can greatly affect the relevance and quality of the analysis, the Service Provider will develop a full understanding of the underlying research objectives and themes to be able to take sensible decision when collecting data in the designated locations and among the population strata of interest.

Geographical coverage
The Service Provider is expected to conduct data collection in five woredas across five regions in Ethiopia. A list of potential woredas includes: Raya Kobo (Amhara); the urban woreda of Dechatu (Dire Dawa); Goma or Sigmo (in Oromia); Debud or Semen Mekele (Tigray) and Hadiya or Kembata in (SNNPR).
Within these target locations, the Service Provider (in close collaboration with IOM) will select five (5) data collection sub-areas where the incidence or impact of migratory phenomena is highest and where quantitative data collection will take place.

Data Collection Approach
This assignment will be based on a phased approach to ensure each data collection activity is sensibly sequenced and benefits from the previous ones, with the overall objective of obtaining a high degree of both inclusivity and depth in the data collected, given the complexity of migration and the different population strata considered.

Phase 1: Selection of study sites and fieldwork preparation

During this phase the Service provider will conduct a Rapid Assessment of the target woredas based on literature and secondary data sources that may be available and also based on a field visit during which targeted consultation with key local stakeholders will be conducted. The Rapid Assessment aims at providing: a general overview of the socioeconomic conditions of the woreda that may be relevant for the planning of data collection and the underlying research; a preliminary identification of subjects to involve in qualitative data collection; and, an initial proposal for the identification of the areas where the survey will be administered. Through the Rapid Assessment, IOM and the Service Provider should obtain indications on the feasibility of any sampling strategy or stratification sought for the administration of the survey.

Phase 2: Qualitative data collection

The second phase will focus on qualitative data collection based on the tools and the modalities defined by IOM and building on the findings and recommendations of the Rapid Assessments. Semi-structured interviews will be conducted with a list of Key Informants chosen among representatives of community groups, banks, Internet cafes, community college, informal foreign exchange providers, returnees, teachers, and community elders, local officials, youth representatives and other relevant stakeholders. Qualitative data will also be gathered via Focus Group Discussions (FGDs) and will generally aim at exploring the context and obtain nuanced information on the chosen research themes. To the extent possible, the qualitative data gathered will also inform adjustments/integrations to the quantitative tool to be administered in the subsequent phase and to the sampling strategy. Critically for meeting the objective of the research, the Service Provider will conduct during this phase a mapping of the households in the specific areas where the survey will be administered in order to facilitate sample selection.

Phase 3: Quantitative data collection and qualitative follow-up

The last phase will focus on quantitative data collection, drawing from the qualitative evidence collected during the previous phase and the preparatory actions to sampling and survey administration. It is envisaged that the survey will target two main types of households: (a) households with at least one migrant (b) households with no experience of migration. Additional stratifications targeting households with female migrants, returning migrants and migrants who were formerly internally displaced may be considering depending on opportunity and field condition considerations. During the third phase, in parallel with the administration of the survey, the Service Provider will also gather additional qualitative data to follow up on specific information gaps identified in qualitative data gathered during the second phase.


Based on IOM understanding of the matter, it is expected that the service provider will launch simultaneous data collection at least in three study areas for a total deployment period of three months to cover the five sites. The service provider will also be requested to provide translation services of the assessment tools (quantitative phase) and English translation of the interviews (FGDs and KI interviews – qualitative phase). It is expected that the translation of the quantitative tools will take around two weeks, plus two weeks for coding, while the translation of the interviews will take around two weeks following each assessment phase. In total the service provider has six months to complete all aspects of this assignment.

5. Requirements

The requirements and expectations of IOM with respect to the assignment relate to the following points: (a.) Selection of the areas for quantitative data collection and household lists for sampling; (b.) Selection of the subjects for qualitative data collection; (c.) Amount of data to be collected (d.) Translations, (e.) Compliance with and application of data protection principles; and (f.) Transparency and coordination with IOM.

a. Selection of the areas for quantitative data collection and household lists for sampling

Data collection is envisaged in five communities of high emigration. Five target woredas with high incidence of emigration have been identified based on data gathered among Ethiopian migrants during previous research efforts. While qualitative data collection can be conducted at a woreda-level, quantitative data collection will have to focus on a specific sub-area of the woreda that can be identified as a single ‘community’. Target communities are selected based on the incidence of emigration and generally based on the impact of migration-related phenomena on them. While the Rapid Assessments conducted in phase one will inform the selection of the specific communities where to administer the survey, any decision on this point will be made in close coordination with IOM.
During phase two, the Service Provider will define in close collaboration with IOM a sampling strategy for the household survey, which can be based on the preparation of lists of households1 or other sampling techniques.
Perspective Service Providers are invited to elaborate in their proposals on their approach to the conduction of the Rapid Assessment of the target woredas and how this will inform the selection of the sub-areas where the survey will be administered and the sampling approaches to be considered.

b. Selection of the subjects for qualitative data collection

Interviews with KI and FDG participants will be conducted throughout the assignment. Informants and FGD participants are selected based on relevance and the approach sought for ensuring balanced and unbiased group discussions. The Service Provider will be required to coordinate with IOM on the definition of the criteria followed for the identification of the subjects for qualitative data collection.Perspective Service Providers are invited to elaborate in their proposals on how they intend to identify informants and FGD participants.

c. Amount and quality of the data to be collected

For the survey, a minimum of 500 household (HHs) should be interviewed per target area. In total, a total of 2,500 HH interviews will have to be conducted across the five localities. IOM requires access to data in real-time during survey administration to be able to monitor operations and ensure data is being collected according to the prescribed sampling strategy. For this purpose, IOM may monitor the distribution of the sample through GPS coordinates of the interviews conducted either during the administration or after it. Thorough checks on interview metadata will also be conducted.
In terms of qualitative data, it is required that a minimum of two (2) Focus Group Discussions (FGDs) and ten (10) Key Informant (KI) interviews per study location are conducted, for a total of a minimum of ten (10) FGDs and fifty (50) KIIs, the transcripts of which will be provided in a template defined by IOM.
Recognising that the quality of the data submitted is key to ensure the robustness of the analysis – on the basis of which operational decisions may be taken – IOM will monitor constantly quality and will reject submissions not meeting acceptable standards, for both qualitative and quantitative data gathered.
Perspective Service Providers are invited to elaborate on how they intend to ensure the data collected is of the highest quality via enumerator training, protocols, quality risks mitigation measures, and ex post integrations/corrections.

d. Translations

IOM requires that the service provider facilitates the translation of the quantitative tools from English to the relevant local languages spoken in the target areas. The translation into relevant local languages considers the need of increasing data quality by properly adapting the tool to the local cultural context, but also recognises that there can be a trade-off with easiness of tool administration and data management/post-processing. For this reason, IOM reserves the right to decide when translation is cost-effective.
Concerning the qualitative data gathered, the Service provider is required to translate it into English from the original language. On-the-fly translation during interviews is not admitted. Translations are coordinated with the researchers and enumerators involved in the collection of the original data, in order to minimise the loss of meaning or translation bias.

e. Ethics of data collection and data protection

This assignment will entail data collection from different subject which may include vulnerable individuals and households. It is essential that data collection is conducted in full compliance of generally recognised ethical standards. This includes the need to obtain and record the informed consent of the respondents/participants prevent or avoid situations where the respondents/participants may suffer (directly or indirectly) any damage by making themselves available to the research. Perspective Service Providers are invited to elaborate on the ethical and methodological standards envisaged for data collection activities. During the assignment, the Service Provider is required to apply the data collection guidelines, protocols and the consent formulae suggested by IOM. Perspective Service Providers are also invited to demonstrate a clear understanding of IOM Data Protection principles in their proposals, and to elaborate on how these are incorporated in their proposed approach and plans.

f. Transparency and communication with IOM

IOM deems as essential that the Service Provider is fully transparent for what concerns data collection methodology and practice, data treatment and analysis. Transparency should also apply to the description of the procedures followed in any activity undertaken, and specifically with respect to any possible deviation from the standards set and their potential impact on the robustness of the analysis.As data collection operations will entail a significant amount of coordination with IOM, perspective Service Providers are invited to elaborate on how they intend to establish clear and effective communication lines and protocols to ensure IOM’s instructions and guidelines are promptly cascaded to the field.

6. Deliverables

In their Technical Proposals, Service Providers will define an appropriate set of deliverables for the assignment, as well as a timeline for their provision to IOM. This section outlines the minimum expectations of IOM for the deliverable list defined by the Service Provider.

The main deliverable of this assignment will be the data gathered throughout the various phases and activities. Any piece of data gathered by the Service Provider as part of this assignment (both quantitative and qualitative, in both local languages and in English) should be submitted to IOM with the shortest delay possible and by using the formats or templates defined by IOM.
To allow the conduction of data collection activities based on the set requirements the Service Provider will deliver:

  • Versions of the qualitative and quantitative tools translated into the relevant languages.
  • XLSForm version of the survey questionnaire, inclusive of the relevant translations.

    IOM also requires a set of additional deliverables focusing on providing contextual information on the data gathered and aimed at informing decision-making on data collection methodology and practice during the conduction of the assignment. These should include:

  • Inception Reports (phase one) inclusive of the Rapid Assessment of the five target woredas and a set of general and woreda-specific recommendations for the subsequent phases (one report per woreda). These reports will also include a detailed description of the procedures set for data collection and treatment in phase two, including preliminary informant lists, and a sampling strategy for the household survey for phase three.

  • Field Reports (phase two and three) describing in detail the data collection activities undertaken during phase two and three, with focus on the challenges encountered and the possible impact on data quality (one report per woreda).

  • A Final Report describing in detail the various phases of this assignment (inception, deployment, data collection and related limitations), including lessons learnt and other guidance to plan similar data collection exercises.