Deal of the day

RESEARCH ON MEDICALIZATION OF FGM IN MAASAI COMMUNITIES

The Coalition on Violence Against Women (COVAW) is an organization that is focused on influencing sustained engagement on violations conducted against women and girls in Kenya, with emphasis on Gender Based Violence. COVAW envisions a society where women and girls enjoy equal rights, freedoms and thrive in safe spaces. In doing so, we focus on 5 Key areas of Access to Justice, Access to Comprehensive GBV and SRHR services, Women in Economic Empowerment, Women’s Leadership Development and Institutional Development.

COVAW’s interventions deliberately address norms, attitudes, laws, policies and practices that affect women and girls’ safety and wellbeing in general. This is done through implementation of gender progressive practices and supporting the development of regulatory and institutional frameworks. Additionally, COVAW fosters consistent engagement with different actors to prevent and respond to Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) and to hold perpetrators of these violations accountable.

COVAW is guided by its core values of respect, integrity, solidarity and commitment in improving the lives of its primary beneficiaries – women and girls. View COVAW strategic plan from here .

1. Project Description

The ‘Accelerate an end to Female Genital Cutting (FGC) amongst the Maasai and Samburu communities in Kenya’ project is focused on reducing FGC prevalence Narok and Samburu counties. Through a combination of community dialogue forums engaging the whole community in discussion about how FGC can end, complemented by radio shows and performance tours to raise awareness of FGC. The implementing partners i.e. COVAW, Orchid Project and S.A.F.E Kenya are committed to reducing FGC prevalence rates within the Maasai and Samburu communities by 10-19% points by April 2023. This programme is funded by Human Dignity Foundation.

Project objectives

The project aims at contributing to a measurable reduction in FGC prevalence by 10-19% over three years within Kenyan Maasai and Samburu communities. The project theory of change outlines the following short-term and long-term objectives:

Long term outcomes:

Outcome 1: FGC is no longer perceived as a key part of culture

Outcome 2: Enabling environment supporting community change

Outcome 3: Increased status/opportunity for girls and women in communities**

Short term outcomes:

➢ Community members have increased knowledge of FGC and human rights

➢ Key influencers are taking action against FGC

➢ Viable alternative options to FGC exist in the community

➢ There is increased visibility in regards to change towards FGC in the community

➢ There is increased collaboration between key stakeholders towards ending FGC

➢ Women and girls have greater agency in decision making

2. Purpose of The Consultancy

The purpose of the consultancy is to conduct research on medicalization of FGC amongst Maasai communities and use the research findings to develop an advocacy brief on the role of health care professionals in eradicating medicalized FGC. The consultancy will also seek to highlight programmatic implications around medicalized FGC. The findings and recommendations from the research will be shared with the Narok County Health Management Team, Narok County Health Committee, Anti-FGM Board and other relevant stakeholders involved in decision making towards eradication of FGC.

Background

COVAW’s efforts in reaching out to the communities in Narok have been ongoing for the past 6 years through various anti-FGC initiatives right from the community level to the county and national levels. Communities that practice FGC strongly believe that the cut increases the marriageability of a girl and it’s a way of controlling women & girls sexuality. Once a girl undergoes the cut, she is immediately perceived as a mature woman ready to be married off and bear children. As a result of this FGC has continued cutting short the future, education and economic opportunities of many girls. Many communities that practice FGC believe that it is safer to have girls cut in a medical setting by a health care professional or a health care extension worker. [1] The national prevalence of FGM in Kenya stands at 21. 1 percent, compared to 27 percent in 2008 and 32 percent in 2003[2]. This could be an indication that awareness creation and the laws in place are working albeit slowly. In spite of the steady decline nationally, the prevalence remains very high among some communities such as Samburu (86%), Kisii (84%) and Maasai (78%). [3]

Medicalization of FGC has been identified as an emerging trend[4]. There is a perception that when carried out under the supervision of a health practitioner, the cut is less harmful as compared to when done by Traditional Birth Attendants(TBAs). Health care professionals and health care extension workers perform FGC procedures in disregard of professional ethics and relevant laws. This challenge has been compounded by the fact that none of the survivors nor the health care professionals performing the medicalized FGC want to be disclosed. Through the community awareness forums held by COVAW, community members mention that the medicalization was slowly gaining momentum as it was perceived as ‘’safe’’ cutting.

Research objectives

The broad objective of the consultancy is to conduct research on medicalization of FGC in Kenya and use the research findings to develop an advocacy brief on the role of health professionals in eradicating FGC.

3. Specific Objectives

  1. To understand the magnitude of medicalized FGC as a ‘safer’ form of FGC in Narok County.

  2. To understand the health, social and legal factors underpinning medialization of FGC.

  3. To understand the type of FGC carried out by health care professionals. To get a clear understanding and definition of Kisasa in Narok County.

  4. To understand the health and psychological implications of medicalized FGC.

  5. To determine the role of health professionals in ending medicalized FGC.

  6. To develop an advocacy brief summarizing research findings and the role of health professionals in eradicating medicalized FGC.

4. Research Methodology

The research methodology proposed by the consultant(s) should include a suitable sampling strategy, participatory tools and a suitable mix of quantitative and qualitative data collection methods. The analysis of participatory qualitative and quantitative data collection should be well presented and focus on

  1. To understand the magnitude/prevalence of medicalized FGC as a ‘safer’ form of FGC in Narok County.

  2. To understand the health, social and legal factors underpinning medialization of FGC.

  3. To understand the type of FGC carried out by health care professionals. To get a clear understanding and definition of Kisasa in Narok County.

  4. To understand the health and psychological implications of medicalized FGC.

  5. To determine the role of health professionals in ending medicalized FGC.

  6. To develop an advocacy brief summarizing research findings and the role of health professionals in eradicating medicalized FGC.

Data collection, analytical methods, and presentation of findings, conclusions, and recommendations should be sensitive to and differentiate relevant gender, age, diversity dimensions and other relevant markers to allow precise analysis on girls, in different locations, and on different age groups and stakeholders throughout the studies.

Documented consent using the COVAW consent form template should be taken where respondents have to be interviewed, or their pictures have to be taken or any other information retrieved from them.

5. Deliverables and Timelines.

The required consultancy deliverables are;

i. One detailed inception report including a time bound outline of the research, detailed work plan, detailed methodology for both data collection and analysis, sample size calculations, data collection tools

ii. A comprehensive report on the findings including accurately analyzed data against the evaluation questions, lessons learned and recommendations.

iii. An advocacy brief on the role of health professionals in eradicating medicalized FGC.

iv. All typed datasets from both quantitative and qualitative data collections.

The consultant will also be responsible for,

i. Holding an inception meeting (remotely if required) with COVAW staff and reviewing any relevant documentation to gather background information

ii. Drafting an inception report (as above) – incorporating feedback on inception report into planned approach and activities

iii. Organizing the field travel in collaboration with the COVAW team

iv. Conduct training for enumerators including pretesting and prepare for fieldwork

v. Supervising and quality assuring field data collection and entry

vi. Analyzing and synthesizing both qualitative and quantitative data and preparing a report

vii. Submitting draft reports, with accompanying data analysis to COVAW contact staff for feedback

viii. Incorporating feedback and submitting a final report which provides evidence based findings that respond to the projects key objectives, as well as specific, useable and tailored recommendations which can be directly applied to COVAW’s programming

ix. Providing the typed raw data to COVAW contact staff

COVAW will be responsible for,

i. Availing all necessary project documents to the consultant

ii. Holding an inception meeting with the consultant to provide background information and to finalize the research work-plan, timelines and expectations

iii. Provide oversight for data collection.

iv. Reviewing the inception report and data collection tools and providing the consultant with specific and timely feedback

v. Facilitating access to the respondents who may include FGC survivors, local administration, Ministry of Health officials, TBAs and select community members in project implementation areas.

vi. Reviewing the draft research report and advocacy brief and providing the consultant with specific and timely feedback

vii. Managing and supporting the consultant throughout the research process

viii. Approving the final research report and advocacy brief.

The assignment is anticipated to take a maximum of 30 days:

Specific timelines will be agreed upon with the successful consultant.

  1. Reporting

The consultant must submit two bound copies and a soft copy of:

1.Research report which is expected to be within 40 pages (without annexes) and with the following components:

● Preliminary Pages (Title page, Table of Contents including a list of annexes, Acknowledgement, Executive Summary, List of Acronyms and Abbreviations, Definition of Terms and Concepts)

● Introduction describing the project’s background and context

● A description of the program, including the results framework and theory of change

● Purpose and objectives of research

● Key research questions and a statement of the scope of the research, with information on limitations and delimitations

● An overview of the research approach, methodology and data sources

● Research findings based on and expected deliverables from the TOR

● Conclusion based on research findings and expected deliverables from the TOR

● Recommendations based on research findings

● Lessons learned and good practices based on the research findings

● Appendices

  1. A two-page advocacy brief summarizing the research findings and recommendations on the role of health professionals in eradicating medicalized FGM.

  2. Preparatory documentation and raw data including questionnaires and primary sources used in data collection.

  3. Skills and Qualifications of Consultant

Education

Bachelor’s degree in Social Sciences, Human Rights, Research, or related field**.**

Required Experiences and Skills

● At least 5 years’ experience in conducting research/surveys on human rights/SGBV issues.

● Good understanding of SGBV, FGC, Human Rights and Social norms.

● Experience in drafting high quality advocacy briefs.

● Proven research and report writing skills and facilitation experience.

● High level of professionalism and ethics.

[1] https://www.unicef.org/protection/female-genital-mutilation

[2] https://dhsprogram.com/Who-We-Are/News-Room/Kenya-faces-a-surge-in-FGM-as-schoolgirls-stay-home-due-to-coronavirus-lockdowns.cfm

[3] https://data.unicef.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/Profile-of-FGM-in-Kenya-English_2020.pdf

[4] https://www.unicef.org/protection/female-genital-mutilation

How to apply

Interested consultants/firms must submit the following documents:

  1. Technical proposal which must include the following:

I. Proposed program and methodology to be used for the research not more than 5 pages

II. Consultants past experience in thematic area, supported by hard or soft copies of relevant reports.

III. Financial proposal (budget) in MS Excel in Kenya Shillings.

  1. CV of applicant with contact details for 3 referees; if applicant intends to work in a team, she/he should indicate all team members and attach CVs. Clearly highlight the Team leader.

  2. Two soft copy samples of previous related work undertaken.

All documents must be submitted not later than 5.00pm, Friday 6th August 2021 via email to [email protected] with subject: ‘RESEARCH ON MEDICALIZATION OF FGC.’

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