Terms of Reference

Baseline Study and Project Implementation Plan: Inkanyezi Project


The Inkanyezi (Zulu term for “bright shining star) Project is a targeted gender equality project that aims to transform gender and power relations and seek institutional and societal change in support of gender equality and women’s leadership in decision-making. Sonke Gender Justice (Sonke) is entering into a contribution agreement with Global Affairs Canada (GAC) over a four-year period from February 2022 to build on existing interventions and partnerships in the Amathole East District of the Eastern Cape Province, as well as the Ehlanzeni District of Mpumalanga Province. Using a feminist and human rights-based approach to achieving gender equality, the Inkanyezi Project will strengthen the ability of women leaders from political, traditional and religious structures to influence local decision-making processes, especially with respect to laws, policies and customs relevant to women’s rights, leadership and GBV. To this end, Sonke Gender Justice seeks the services of a consulting firm to develop and implement a baseline study in the Eastern Cape and Mpumalanga, and support the development of the project implementation plan for the project.

Background of the Inkanyezi Project

Since 2006, Sonke has worked to increase the linkages between community education and activism, rights literacy, media advocacy and the use of the law to advance gender equality in South Africa. Sonke’s recent external 10-year review (2018) found evidence that, “whilst gender equality and human rights remain elusive and are at times under increased threat in South Africa, the region and globally, the organisation has achieved significant success in multiple communities and contexts in advancing gender equality, reducing GBV, increasing health-seeking behaviours, changing social norms on masculinity, and contributing to new laws and policies, in South Africa, the region and globally, that promise to consolidate these gains.” Within its targeted policy advocacy agenda, Sonke and its partners have provided continuous input into the Traditional Courts Bill (TCB) since 2008 and have been campaigning for an NSP GBVF through the launch of the SGV campaign since 2014. Sonke continues to be involved in the various subcommittees that are monitoring the roll out of the NSP GBVF. Sonke’s sustained presence in the Eastern Cape since 2017 has led to the establishment of the municipal multi-stakeholder Mnquma GBV Forum, which was officially launched by the executive mayor in November 2018. 

Sonke therefore draws on expertise, commitment and networks to build on its past experiences and successfully achieve the objectives of the Inkanyezi Project. Using a phased approach, Sonke will launch the Project in the Eastern Cape in year one while strengthening existing and identifying new partnerships to launch the Project in Mpumalanga in year two.


Gender inequality is one of the most pressing global barriers to social and economic progress and the fulfilment of human rights, and South Africa is no exception, with the country ranking 113th out of 189 countries in the UNDP Gender Inequality Index. Global evidence shows that promoting gender equality is not merely ‘the right thing to do’, but also brings tangible and intangible benefits for individuals, social groups, society and the economy. Tangible results relate to better education outcomes, equal division of labour, access to land and housing, and secure income. Intangible benefits revolve around choice, voice, influence, recognition, confidence and negotiating power (including personal relations). There is evidence that investing in women’s empowerment and economic status towards gender equality also has positive effects on households and other social groups who may be considered vulnerable, such as children or the elderly. As previously excluded women gain better access to work and business opportunities, inequality can be reduced, especially when paired with transformed socioeconomic structures, like socially just service delivery and gender-equitable budgeting. Similarly, by investing in women’s empowerment and enabling their participation and representation in development, politics and governance, different ways of governing and decision-making may emerge that could further promote gender equality, reduce poverty and be beneficial to society at large. 

Gender-based violence and femicide (GBVF) is a phenomenon deeply rooted in gender inequality and continues to be one of the most notable human rights violations within society. GBVF is caused by gender inequality – including unequal power relations between women and men, rigid gender roles, norms and hierarchies, and ascribing women lower status in society. The GBV crisis in South Africa is exacerbated by entrenched patriarchal attitudes that pervade all levels of society, with the most marginalised populations at greatest risk. A 2018 report by Sonke and Wits University School of Public Health indicated that in a Johannesburg township, 56% of men had perpetrated violence against women in the last twelve months, many multiple times (3). A 2014 KPMG research study found that GBV costs the country between R28.4 billion and R42.4 billion per year, and this was deemed a conservative estimate. Promoting and achieving gender equality is a critical element in the prevention of violence against women. The National Strategic Plan on Gender Based Violence and Femicide (NSP GBVF) was finalised in 2020, however progress on implementation has often been slow and inconsistent across government departments. 

Communities, and especially young women, with women leaders as their role models, have an important role to play in becoming active citizens and holding local duty bearers accountable for the effective implementation of relevant laws and policies. At the same time, and equally important, Sonke will continue to build on and refine its gender transformative community education and mobilisation model that aims to shift the harmful social norms that drive gender inequality and GBV at an individual, community and institutional level. Sonke views this necessary shift in social norms as a critical pathway to violence prevention and women’s leadership, and ultimately to gender equality. 

A key strategy of the Inkanyezi Project is the engagement of male allies and influencers to ensure there is a supportive and enabling political and social environment for women leaders to succeed. The Project’s Theory of Change (ToC) states that when gender norms are disrupted and opportunities are created for women to be visible and influential leaders, decision-makers, and role models, then local government, traditional systems and communities will better address women’s needs, and will be in line with South Africa’s Constitution. 

Purpose and Objectives of the Baseline Study and Project Implementation Plan

The baseline study and project implementation plan are contractual obligations included in the project’s Contribution Agreement (CA) with Global Affairs Canada. The consultants are expected to develop both the baseline study and project implementation plan in consultation with the project’s team at Sonke.

Baseline Study

The purpose of the Inkanyezi project’s baseline study is to help key project stakeholders focus on achievement related to a set of expected outcomes; and to empower them to collaboratively measure progress towards them, as well as review them as needed and appropriate. The baseline will include a more thorough gender analysis with in-depth consultations with beneficiaries, intermediaries and other key stakeholders. An important component of the gender analysis will be to carry out a capacity assessment of the elected, traditional and religious women leaders in order to identify the gaps for capacity strengthening initiatives. The baseline will include a project inception meeting in the Eastern Cape (week of 2-5 May) in collaboration with key partners as well as selected beneficiaries in order to extensively review and further validate the project’s approach and activities. Aligned with this purpose, the baseline study is designed to achieve four specific objectives: 

  • To support a better understanding of the implementation contexts for the Inkanyezi Project at the onset of the project; 
  • To establish starting points or baselines for all indicators in the PMF, suggesting revisions in their formulation if the need emerges; 
  • To help validate the assumptions in the project’s Theory of Change (ToC) and define targets of the indicators in the project’s Performance Measurement Framework (PMF); and 
  • To provide recommendations for the development, updating and implementation of the results-based monitoring, evaluation, research and learning (MERL) plan for the project. 
  • To provide a comprehensive gender analysis of the implementation contexts for the project including national, and provincial for EC and MP

The baseline should take into consideration the following GAC feedback on the final Inkanyezi project proposal:

The project theory of change, logic model and PMF should be informed by a more in-depth gender equality analysis and baseline study that reflects the specific structural barriers the project will address in shifting discriminatory social norms. The revised gender equality analysis and the baseline study should analyze and respond to the structural barriers that reinforce gender inequalities and patriarchal norms in the areas where it is intending to work. Special attention should be paid to the needs of gender diverse individuals if the project intends to address the needs of all women. 

Baseline data is intended to inform the establishment of realistic and achievable targets, provide a point of reference against which progress on or towards the achievement of outcomes can be monitored and evaluated, and provide suggestions for the review of indicators if and where necessary. Furthermore, baseline data: 

  • Provides a specific value for an indicator at the outset of a project, program, etc. 
  • Should be disaggregated in the same way as its indicator. 
  • Is collected at one point in time and used as a point of reference.
  • Is the basis upon which progress on or toward outcomes is measured or assessed. 
  • Is the foundation for setting realistic targets [1]

Project Implementation Plan

The consultant(s) will also be expected to develop the draft project implementation plan (PIP) in coordination with Sonke staff. The baseline study represents the bedrock of the Project Implementation Plan, which describes how the Organization intends to implement the Project over the entire duration. The PIP should update Project information, validate the Project design and confirmation that all stakeholders are in agreement with respect to Project design. Core components of the project implementation plan include the theory of change, a description of the main beneficiaries of the project (as informed by the baseline), the baseline report itself (including the gender equality strategy), Results-Based Monitoring and Evaluation Plan, Communication Strategy and procurement strategy (as informed by Sonke’s procurement policies). The consultant(s) will be expected to develop the draft of the project implementation plan in close consultation with the projects’ team.

The Mandate of the Consultancy 

The Consultant (or consultancy firm) will serve as the lead coordinator of this baseline study and will be responsible for its design, the development and use of appropriate data collection tools, analysis of collected data, the writing of a final report summarizing the findings and inserting the data in the Performance Measurement Framework. The Consultants will also be responsible for developing the draft of the project implementation plan. The Consultant will design and facilitate a plan in close collaboration with the Sonke project management teams based in Johannesburg and Cape Town, as well as implementation teams in Eastern Cape (EC) and Mpumalanga (MP). Specifically, the mandate of the consultancy is to: 

  • Design – Work with designated Sonke staff during an inception workshop (week of 16 – 25 March 2022) to finalize a detailed methodology and workplan for this study; and contingency planning for data collection in the COVID-19 context; 
  • Lead and coordinate data collection at national and provincial levels in EC and MP, and act as lead technical coordinator for the baseline study; 
  • Support provincial collaboration – Assure collaborative adaptation of the overall baseline design to the local context in EC and MP through the direct involvement of key project staff and identified implementing partner representatives; 
  • Assure quality control – Provide oversight and quality assurance during sampling, development of data collection tools, data collection and entry, analysis of the data collected, and report writing; 
  • Provide meta-analysis – Integrate the findings from the baseline data collections undertaken in two provinces and nationally, to create a final consolidated and coherent baseline study report. 
  • Draft the project implementation plan informed by the findings of the baseline study.

The baseline study and project implementation plan will be supported by Sonke, with close collaboration with the Sonke Research, Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning team and Programmes Director. A more detailed consultative and decision-making management structure with clear roles and responsibilities will be determined during the inception meeting. 

Scope and Methodology of the Baseline Study 

The following elements should guide the design and implementation of this baseline study: 

  • The study should consciously apply qualitative and quantitative research methods that are gender and youth-sensitive, and engage as much as possible in participatory approaches; 
  • The geographic scope of the study will be aligned with the targeted areas, households and individuals targeted by the project as laid out in the project description; 
  • The data collection approaches and specific tools used to establish indicator baselines should be adapted to the local contexts in the two provinces, to assure the appropriateness and reliability of the data collected. 

Outcome statements, indicators, sources and data collection methods for each indicator, are included in the project’s draft PMF (available upon request.) The Consultant will be expected to review this PMF with key project stakeholders, and provide suggestions for potential revision of indicators, focusing mostly on measurability issues. The baseline study is expected to collect data for these measures and for all other indicators in the PMF. 

The baseline will include a more thorough gender analysis with in-depth consultations with beneficiaries, intermediaries and other key stakeholders. An important component of the gender analysis will be to carry out a capacity assessment of the elected, traditional and religious women leaders in order to identify the gaps for capacity strengthening initiatives. The baseline and draft PIP will inform and be validated at a project inception meeting in the Eastern Cape (week of 2 May 2022) in collaboration with key partners as well as selected beneficiaries in order to extensively review and further validate the project’s approach and activities. 

The draft project implementation plan will lay out the project will be implemented over the four-year period. The final, integrated baseline study report produced by the Consultant will be expected to provide specific suggestions on how the project’s draft PMF could be improved, and how quantitative and qualitative indicators within the PMF might be adjusted. 

While the Consultant, informed by discussions with field-based project teams is encouraged to suggest alternative methodologies that may be more appropriate, presently the PMF outlines the following data collection methods or evidence streams to establish a performance measurement baseline: 

  • Literature and document review, including reference to gender equality analyses conducted nationally and in the two provinces, and extraction of data points from local institutional information systems, whenever available and appropriate; 
  • Key informant interviews; 
  • Facilitated small group or focus group discussions 
    • with a broad group of representatives from local government, traditional and religious structures, and communities from the two provincial sites
    • with a narrower group of women leaders from political, traditional and religious structures
  • Surveys at institutional level among local government, traditional and religious structures. 

The Consultant will be expected to propose a detailed methodology for collecting data on all Inkanyezi Project Indicators using a combination of the above mentioned as appropriate. However it needs to be ensured that it includes both qualitative and quantitative methods. 

The Consultant will also be expected to adjust the overall methodology of the study, as well as each individual data collection tool, to the evolving situation of the Covid-19 pandemic in South Africa, in order to ensure that the whole study is timely and complete. 

Key Activities and Deliverables of the Consultancy 

An outcome for the project inception meeting will be the creation of a platform for learning, and a learning agenda, to ensure adaptive approaches of the project to meet beneficiaries needs. Learnings and recommendations from the project inception meeting and the baseline will influence the groundwork for Mpumalanga.

The baseline study will include four key phases: 

  1. Contracting (10 – 14 March 2022)
  2. Inception phase and baseline inception workshop (16 – 18 March 2022), 
  3. Data collection, data analysis and report writing (22 March – 22 April 2022). 
  4. Incorporation of baseline findings into Programme Implementation Plan (PIP) ahead of in-person project inception workshop in EC (2-5 May 2022)

After successfully completing the contracting process, the Consultant will immediately organize an initial round of consultations with key stakeholders, as well as complete an initial document review to better understand the project, its contexts and its informational needs. The Consultant will use the inception phase and workshop to assure a consensus on the baseline study’s design, outline the details of the methodology for the study, and develop the data collection tools. 

Following approval of the baseline study workplan by Sonke, the Consultant will recruit and train sub-contractors if required, carry out the data collection activities, and supervise data entry to ensure data quality. 

Once data collection is completed, the Consultant will focus on the treatment and analysis of collected data, and drafting of the final report, which will include an updated PMF, as well as recommendations on targets whenever appropriate. The Consultant will then develop the draft project implementation plan for presentation at the in-person workshops. During this phase, the Consultant will engage with Sonke RMEL team and Project Managers to refine the final report. 

The final Baseline Study Report must be submitted to Sonke on 22 April 2022. 

Ethical Standards 

The research for this baseline study must consciously abide Sonke’s Codes of Conduct, and Child Protection and Safeguarding Policies, as well as by relevant recognized professional and ethical guidelines and codes of conduct for individual researchers[2]. Codes of conduct must be specifically referenced and commitment confirmed in writing by each researcher involved in this study. The design of the study must clearly specify how data collection and use will be undertaken with integrity and honesty, respecting human rights and differences in culture, customs, religious beliefs and practices of all stakeholders. The Consultant must explain how its researchers will be mindful of gender-related needs and roles, ethnicity, ability, age, language and other differences when designing and carrying out the study. The design and implementation of the study must strike an appropriate balance between recognition of the potential benefits of the research, and the protection of participants from potential research-related harms. Safeguarding principles to protect key informants from sexual exploitation and abuse, sexual harassment and bullying, including child protection, must be explicit. 

The consultant will be required to adhere to all Sonke protocols regarding Covid-19-related measures, as well as to national guidance and directives from the South African government, to ensure safety and security of participants, as well as researchers, staff and partners. 

Qualifications of Consultant and his/her team 

  • Lead researcher/firm must demonstrate a minimum of 10 years of experience in administering studies, collecting data and producing quality baseline/end line study reports, preferably in education and for international non-profit organizations or multilateral agencies; 
  • Demonstrated experience in designing baseline and end line studies including proven experience in sound sampling, gender sensitive research methods, mixed methods approaches (quantitative and qualitative), data collection tool development, enumerator training, etc.; 
  • Demonstrated experience in developing project implementation plans for bilateral funders;
  • Excellent facilitation skills and ability to recruit and manage enumerators for both the quantitative and qualitative components, 
  • Demonstrated experience in quantitative and qualitative data analysis; 
  • Knowledge and experience with local government policy and implementation in Mpumalanga and Eastern Capewill be considered an asset; 
  • Knowledge and experience with customary law and leadership systems in Mpumalanga and Eastern Cape will be considered an asset; 
  • Knowledge and experience in gender equality, responding to gender based violence, and women’s leadership is mandatory; specific experience in data collection on gender norms is desirable; 
  • Previous experience and familiarity with programmatic planning frameworks from Global Affairs Canada will be an asset.
  • Fluency in English is mandatory and other relevant languages (isiXhosa, siSwati and isiZulu) an asset; 
  • Demonstrated capacity to respect and safeguard vulnerable populations; and 
  • Ability to produce high quality work under tight timeframes.

Budget and Application Process 

The overall level of effort contributed by the Consultant will need to be aligned with the total budget available for this mandate which is ZAR 400 000.00. This amount includes the cost of the entire consultant’s research team including enumerators. Sonke will provide addition resources for focus group discussions to be held in each province, including the following costs:

  • Consultant travel – flight (2 ppl traveling for 5 days)
  • Consultant travel – local transport (5 days hiring car)
  • Consultant travel – accommodation (2 ppl for 5 days)
  • Participant – local transport (10 participants, 3 x Focus Group discussion in each site)

Qualified and interested parties are asked to submit the following: 

  1. Detailed technical proposal (12 pages maximum) clearly demonstrating a thorough understanding of this ToR and including the following:
    • Description of the Capacity and qualifications of the consulting firm, including previous 
    • relevant experience (1.5 to 2 pages) 
    • Description of the proposed approach and methodology, including sampling strategy, data analysis, integration of gender considerations and ethical standards, quality assurance (3.5 to 4 pages) 
    • A proposed schedule/work plan (i.e. a Gantt chart), including contingency planning for Covid- 
    • 19 (1 page) 
    • Team composition and level of effort of each proposed team member (1 to 1.5 pages pages) 
  2. A financial proposal (in ZAR) with a detailed breakdown of costs for the study: 
    • Itemized consultancy fees/costs 
    • Itemized field data collection expenses 
    • Itemized administrative expenses 
    • Validity period of quotations 
    • Expected payment plan and method 
  3. Curriculum Vitae of all proposed team members outlining relevant experience (max 3 pages per CV) 
  4. Names and contact information of three references who can be contacted regarding relevant experience 
  5. A copy of a previous report of similar work undertaken 

Sonke recognizes the importance of safeguarding and is committed to ensuring it manages a wide range of risks such that beneficiaries, staff, other associates, and the organization as a whole are kept safe from harm. 

Complete applications should be submitted electronically to: nombulelo@genderjustice.org.za with the subject line of: ‘Inkanyezi Project Baseline Study Application’. 

Closing date for submission of the application package is 12 pm 9 March 2022  

[1] https://www.international.gc.ca/world-monde/assets/pdfs/funding-financement/tip_sheet_3_2-fiche_conseil_3_2-eng.pdf

[2] For example: Tri-Council Policy Statement, Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans, TCPS2 2018, Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, and Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council https://ethics.gc.ca/eng/documents/tcps2-2018-en-interactive-final.pdf


The final Baseline Study Report must be submitted to Sonke on 22 April 2022

Closing Date

9 March 2022