ELAS Research & Learning Partner Request for Proposals

Location Kampala, Uganda
Date Posted April 2, 2024
Category NGO Jobs in Uganda
Currency UGX


BRAC International seeks competitive technical proposals for the ELA in Schools (ELAS) Research & Learning partner opportunity. The partner will oversee endline data collection for an on-going project. Although data collection will likely take place from February through April 2025, the engagement will commence several months prior to ensure proper research permissions are obtained.

Contract Duration: July 2024 to June 2025


BRAC International is a leading international nonprofit with a mission to empower people and communities in situations of poverty, illiteracy, disease, and social injustice. BRAC designs proven, scalable solutions that equip people with the support, skills, and confidence they need to lift themselves out of poverty and achieve their potential. BRAC International’s flagship model for youth empowerment in Africa is Empowerment and Livelihoods for Adolescents (ELA), a program in operation for more than 15 years. ELA has served as a model for many other girls’ and youth empowerment programs due to the large body of evidence on its impact and effectiveness. As with many girls’ safe spaces programs, BRAC International’s ELA clubhouses are community-based and situated in rented and borrowed spaces, ideally within walking distance of participants’ homes. The ELA curriculum contains a holistic mix of social and economic empowerment teachings and activities led by near-peer mentors. These clubs target both in-school and out-of-school girls.

Despite remarkable evidence of success, the ELA model has shown itself to have shortcomings, not the least of which is that it requires a sustained and consistent flow of donor funding. In searching for a more sustainable pathway to scale, BRAC designed a project (called ELA in Schools or ELAS) to adapt the ELA curriculum and delivery model to an after-school club setting, with content delivered on school premises rather than in community-based clubhouses, with teachers instead of near-peers serving as mentors.

Researchers started with formative research to learn how to adapt a community-based program to an afterschool setting. This was followed by a small-scale prototype in eight schools in Uganda's Mityana and Mubende districts, subbing in teachers for near-pears and schools for community “safe spaces.” The formative research greatly influenced the design of the ELAS prototype and curriculum. Resulting from this, BRAC decided to include adolescent boys and young men (ABYM) in the prototype stage because they learned there is a strong desire amongst parents and students for more content geared towards young men navigating adolescence, especially content related to positive masculinity.

BRAC Uganda is now leading the rollout of the project on a larger scale in an attempt to demonstrate its effectiveness via a randomized controlled trial (RCT). ELAS is being implemented in 100 schools in eastern, western, and central Uganda. BRAC Uganda staff train teacher mentors who create clubs for ABYM and AGYW. Club activities will be on-going throughout 2024.

To evaluate the project, we partnered with external researchers (see team composition section). Baseline data collection was completed between June and December 2023. Due to changes in BRAC International’s organizational structure, we are now seeking a new firm to conduct the endline data collection activity which will involve tracking the original 7,500 students who participated in the baseline data collection activity.

Team composition

The research partner will report to BRAC International but will collaborate with the principal investigators leading the study:

Manisha Shah, PhD, Chancellor’s Professor of Public Policy, University of California, Berkeley
Jennifer Seager, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Global Health, Milken Institute School of Public Health, George Washington University
Esau Tugume, Research Associate, BRAC Uganda
In addition to the team outlined above, there is also support in the form of an RA based at the PI’s university as well as a second RA based in Uganda. The research team also receives coordination support from BRAC International’s Learning & Effectiveness team.

Core responsibilities

Apply for an Institutional Review Board (IRB) amendment and Uganda National Council for Science and Technology (UNCST) amendment for the ongoing study.
Actively communicate and coordinate with the lead researchers, BRAC International, and the BRAC Uganda implementation team.
Program and test survey tools into SurveyCTO for administration in the field via tablet
Training enumerators to conduct high quality data collection
Pilot survey tools in the field prior to the start of data collection
Oversee data collection staff to ensure research is conducted to the highest rigor and safeguarding standards,
Conduct high frequency checks of the data to confirm consistency and accuracy of the data, and overseeing callbacks and revisits to correct errors as needed
Tracking baseline survey respondents for interviews who may have left school or moved from their previous location.

The research and learning partner must have a permanent, physical presence in Uganda, the capacity to conduct data collection throughout 23 districts in Uganda, and experience collaborating with academic researchers. In addition, candidates must be available for virtual interviews in April and May 2024 and must have existing capacity to meet the deadlines specified above. Institutions that cannot meet these eligibility requirements are discouraged from submitting an application.

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