Consultancy: Case Study on Digitalization of CSE in the Global South

Posted by Nicole Moran on November 18, 2020 at 9:51 pm

1. Introduction

As part of our efforts to continue the development of evidence on Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE) we are looking for qualified consultants (individuals and/or organisations) to undertake the development of a case study on digitalization of CSE programmes and interventions in the Global South. Digital spaces here is understood broadly as websites, online platforms, mobile applications, video sharing platforms, and social media, among others. As many, but not all young people have access to digital spaces, we would like to explore the possible increase of the usage of traditional mass media as well.

For Rutgers, CSE is characterised by a positive approach to sexuality that accepts sexual feelings, desire and pleasure as essential components of young people’s sexuality (Rutgers Knowledge Reference File1, 2018; IPPF, 2017; WHO & BZgA, 2010). CSE is strongly linked with empowerment, gender equality and a rights based approach, and with putting children and young people at the centre of the education (BZgA2, 2016).

2. Background and justification

As an expert organisation in sexual and reproductive health and rights, Rutgers has been active in the design, delivery, monitoring and evaluation of CSE programmes both in the Netherlands and internationally for decades. It is a leading voice for evidence-based CSE, and both a partner and a resource for others working in the field. However, important challenges and gaps remain, such as successful scaling of CSE and the lack of integration of CSE with other services.

The Rutgers Centre of Excellence (CoE) on CSE aims to share expertise and knowledge with other organisations, institutions, peer educators, activists and government decision-makers to support them in delivering quality CSE and addressing the challenges of large-scale implementation. The Rutgers CoE is a collaborative effort, working with others to collect, curate and share knowledge.

Data from the International Telecommunication Union (ITU)3 shows that 70% of the world’s youth are online which has led in recent years to many activities related to sexuality education to be delivered using internet and technological tools and platforms. In 2020, this has increased due to the pandemic of COVID 19 as in many countries there have been restrictions on socialization and mobility, impacting the more traditional delivery of CSE, normally in person and in places such as schools and youth centres or clubs.

As a consequence in many of the projects Rutgers is involved in, as well in our network of partners, activities have shifted to, or increased its delivery through digital and virtual environments. The use of traditional mass media channels such as radio and television still remains, and in some cases it has increased as well, allowing to reach broad audiences that perhaps are not equally accessing new media technologies due to different factors. However, little is known in terms of uptake by youth, the quality and comprehensiveness of the content, and to what extend these strategies have been able to achieve the desired planned outcomes of the projects. This case study could support Rutgers staff, its partners and the broad ecosystem of actors working with the CSE allowing an optimal and more strategic use of digital tools in the delivery of CSE activities.

3. Scope of the assignment

This case study aims to explore what efforts have been taken to provide CSE through digital means, what has worked best so far in some of the international programmes Rutgers is implementing with partners in over 15 countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America, and to determine which practices and lessons can help to guide future development or strengthening of digital CSE interventions. This might include programmes in different implementation phases. The decision of which countries and experiences will be selected will be made by the consultant(s) and selected staff at Rutgers, based on the information collected during the desk review process.

Central research questions:

• What digital strategies for CSE delivery are most promising in terms of uptake; quality and comprehensiveness of content; and achieving intervention objectives?
• What are key factors for success?
• What are key recommendations for further development and strengthening of digital CSE interventions?

The case study is divided in four main parts: first, to develop a hypothesis for successful digital CSE interventions on basis of current literature, to serve as analytical framework. Second, to map and document which CSE activities have been implemented in digital spaces or mass media channels within Rutgers international programmes. Third, to select which examples seem most successful/can be learnt from most, for further analysis. Forth, to analyse the examples selected in more detail aiming to answer the central research questions and relevant sub-questions to be agreed upon with the consultant(s) and relevant staff at Rutgers.

Some of the elements to be considered and addressed in the Case Study as possible sub-questions, to identify key factors for success, are:
• Definitions and approaches to the “Comprehensive” element of Sexuality Education in digital spaces and mass media channels;
• How did COVID influence the design and/or use of the intervention?;
• Replacement or complement to existing CSE activities;
• Audience (new/already engaged youth; general or targeted on specific groups, etc);
• Process of content definition and/or adaptation;
• Role of young people in the decision of delivery methods, content and design;
• Platforms being used and the criteria to select them;
• Moderation and facilitation;
• Data collection and linkages with privacy or anonymity;
• Challenges encountered during planning and implementation;
• Technological constraints and challenges encountered;
• Uptake by youth and target groups (i.e. effective engagement with the activities);
• Knowledge uptake and behaviour change;
• What could and could not be achieved online;
• Outcomes and impact of the intervention/activity and the linkages with the respective project/programme target and goals (or Theory of Change, if applicable);
• Scalability and sustainability;
• Cost Analysis.

4. Deliverables for the case study

I. Inception report providing an overview of the approach to be used, including an overview of documents consulted and list of hypothesis and questions to focus on and planned information gathering activities;
II. A case study of no more than 20 pages including:
A 2-page executive summary, with highlights and key findings,
Narrative description of the findings on related to the main research questions mentioned on item 3;
III. A 3-page recommendations, opportunities and guidelines document on how to use digital spaces and mass media channels for optimal delivery of CSE.

5. Timeline

Estimative of up to 2 days for desk review, 1 day for planning, 5 days for information collection, 2 days for analysis, 2 days for write up. Maximum total of 96 hours, 12 days.

6. Roles and Responsibilities

The Consultant(s) will be responsible for the planning, coordination, and writing of the case study, contacting the partners and potential informants, contracting support, if required, and carry out the necessary interviews and/or focus group discussions, and producing the final report.
The Consultant will be responsible for keeping the Rutgers Centre of Excellence team up to date on progress and share plans and deliverables as they are produced. Online meetings will be set up to discuss progress on a needs basis.
Rutgers will provide the contact information of the partners, as well as the Rutgers team involved in the implementation of these projects. They are responsible to review draft(s) of the case study and will provide feedback and comments up to its final approval.

7. Applicant requirements and application process

– Technical knowledge on CSE and digital education;
– Ability to work and communicate in English and in a second language, preferable Spanish and/or French;
– Previous experience and track record conducting research, data gathering and the development of case studies and reports, and assessing program implementation;
– Availability to start by January 2021.

For any inquiries or for submitting your proposal, please contact Mara Machado ( Deadline for submission is December 6th and interviews will be conducted in the first half of January. The consultancy should start by February 1st, 2021. Your submission should include:
– A brief or narrative of why you (your team) are well placed to carry out this assignment;
– A track record and/or resume(s) for those working on the assignment;
– An indication of the required budget including the number of days and daily fee for those working on the assignment;
– A high level plan and timeline for carrying out the assignment.

8. Recommended Initial References

• Access Services and Knowledge (ASK) Program Reports.
• Federal Centre for Health Education (BZgA), UNFPA Regional Office for Eastern Europe and Central Asia and WHO Regional Office for Europe Policy Briefs.
• Rutgers CSE Knowledge File.
• UNESCO ‘Switched on: sexuality education in the digital space’ International Symposium Meeting Report.
• UNESCO ‘A review of the evidence: sexuality education for young people in digital spaces’.
• UNFPA ‘Learning Beyond The Classroom – Adapting Comprehensive Sexuality Education Programming During The Covid-19 Pandemic’.
• UNICEF ‘The opportunity for in East Asia and the Pacific digital sexuality education’.

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