Research Institute / Consultants to conduct a Randomised Control Trial and qualitative analysis on the Aflateen+ Life Skills and Financial Education programme in Zimbabwe

From: Aflatoun International, Amsterdam
When: January 2021 – August 2023. The candidate should be available in February – April 2021 and
December 2022 – February 2023.
Deadline for submitting proposals: Monday 25 January 2021


Aflatoun International is a non-profit organization, which offers social and financial education to
children and young people worldwide, empowering them to make a positive change for a more
equitable world. Aflatoun creates high-quality curricula, for different age groups, which are
contextualized to local needs and specific circumstances. In 2019, Aflatoun reached 10.5 million
children in 108 countries through over 345 partner organizations.
Aflatoun programs inspire children to discover their talents and put them to use, to stand up for their
rights and those of their communities, to play games, and to solve problems. They learn how to save,
how to budget, and how to set up social and financial enterprises that benefit themselves, their families,
and their communities.
Aflatoun has been identified as a best in practice organisation by The Brookings Institution in the report
‘Can We Leapfrog? The Potential of Education Innovations to Rapidly Accelerate Progress’. The report
presents a forward path in global education by examining the possibility of using innovations to
‘leapfrog’, rapidly accelerating educational progress to ensure that all young people develop the skills
they need to thrive in a fast-changing world. Additionally, in 2019, HundrED Connect officially
recognized Aflatoun as one of top 5 Spotlight Innovators for its work on financial education. HundrED
Connect is an initiative that aims to improve education and inspire a movement by encouraging
pedagogically sound and ambitious innovations to spread across the world. Aflatoun was also selected
as an official Vanguard Member of the Million Lives Club, which celebrates innovators and social
entrepreneurs who are reaching new horizons of impact and improving the lives of those living on less
than $5 a day, and who have already scaled to serve at least 1,000,000 people.

Project information
While significant progress has been made towards universal primary school attendance, the reality is
that a third (34%) of children of lower secondary school age (12-14 years) and more than half (58%) of
15 to 17-year-olds in sub-Saharan Africa are not in school. Hence, majority of those who should be
acquiring the skills to prepare them for the job market, or move into further education, are not in the
classroom, making it less likely that they will have a positive impact on their countries’ development.
Improving youth’s future prospects for decent work helps break the intergenerational cycle of
poverty and is beneficial for entire communities. To do so, it is crucial that adolescents understand
money, resources and the markets that increasingly affect them, as they become consumers, workers
and active citizens. This greatly improves their prospects for the future, as it prepares young people
for a complex and turbulent job market.

In this context, Aflatoun will roll out its Aflateen+ programme in Zimbabwe through its partnership
with implementing organization Junior Achievement Zimbabwe. Junior Achievement Zimbabwe is a
not-for-profit organization aiming to prepare and inspire young people to value free enterprise,
business, economics and entrepreneurship.
Aflateen+ is a comprehensive educational programme to transform the lives of adolescent girls and
boys aged 14-19 through social and financial education, and entrepreneurship with a gender lens. The
programme’s biggest strength is its flexibility to adapt to the local needs of the girls and boys, while
offering a variety of lessons on life skills, sexual and reproductive health and rights, and financial
empowerment. Throughout the lessons, the connection between gender equality and economic
prosperity is emphasized. The project’s overall objective is
To socially and economically empower young girls and boys (ages of 14 to 19) in Zimbabwe by
providing them with the social and financial skills necessary to make informed choices about their health, financial situation, and education.

Impact assessment

To assess the impact of the Aflateen+ programme on adolescent girls and boys in Zimbabwe, this
research will use a mixed-method approach, with a heavy quantitative component. The study will
collect and evaluate quantitative data through a Randomised Controlled Trial (RCT) and qualitative
data from e.g. Most Significant Change or Focus Group Discussions.
The main question of the research is: What is the effect of the Aflateen+ programme among
participants of the Aflateen+ programme, relative to the representative control sample in Zimbabwe?
Since the project runs over three years, we aim to not only measure knowledge, awareness and
attitudes of adolescent girls and boys, but also assess the impact of the programme on SDG outcome
and impact indicators like school retention/attendance/drop-out, teenage pregnancy, gender based
violence, and HIV-risk behaviour.

Capacity assessment
In order to assess the effectiveness of the capacity building component of the project, the research
will include two tools assessing the capacity of both trained partners/NGOs, as well as trained
Adding to that, as a follow up to the training of teachers, weekly push messages will be sent to the
teachers or trainers via SMS or social media platforms. These messages may be questions or surveys
on the progress of Aflateen+ activities. Additionally, micro content that reinforces learning, or guides
teaching activities will be shared.
The evidence generated through this study will assist in regional advocacy and Aflatoun’s engagement
with regional bodies like SADC and the African Union, which will contribute to our efforts towards
education system change.

Experience requirements
Research institute/consultants should have:

  1. Experience conducting Random Control Trials;
  2. Extensive experience with leading a team of researchers and data enumerators incl. training of
    data enumerators on the use of evaluation tools;
  3. Extensive experience in survey development and contextualisation;
  4. Experience with statistical analyses using statistical software such as STATA or R;

  1. Experience developing and contextualising qualitative evaluation tools e.g. Most Significant
    Change or Focus Group Discussions;
  2. Experience with collecting qualitative data and qualitative analyses;
  3. Experience with writing quantitative and qualitative evaluation and capacity assessment
    Skill requirements
  4. Fluency in English;
  5. Master’s degree or PhD in a relevant field (e.g. Development Economics, Social Sciences, M&E);
  6. Contextual knowledge of Zimbabwe.
    Scope of the assignment
    Research institute/consultants agrees to:
  7. Liaise with implementing partner to understand implementation design;
  8. Attend the training of teachers to understand programme methodologies and content;
  9. Execute the randomisation based on a list of schools/informal centers provided by
    implementing partner;
  10. Write an inception report with the proposed research design, sample size, effect size
    calculation, randomization, and work plan;
  11. Contextualize the quantitative and qualitative tools based on the already developed Aflateen+
    survey and Most Significant Change guidelines;
  12. Develop a simple monitoring tool to track programme attendance to be used by teachers;
  13. Develop two tools to assess the capacity of both trained partners/NGOs, as well as trained
  14. Procure ethical approvals from Independent Review Boards before commencing data
    collection activities;
  15. Test the internal validity of the developed evaluation tools in a pilot phase, report results and
    provide recommendations and integrate those for tool improvement;
  16. Recruit and train data enumerators on the use of the contextualised evaluation tools;
  17. Collect quantitative and qualitative data from a minimum of 30 treatment and 30 control
  18. Collect data on the capacity of the trained partners/NGOs, as well as trained
  19. Import all the quantitative data into statistical software and analyse the quantitative and
    qualitative data;
  20. Write a high quality baseline and endline report with the impact and capacity assessment
    results and recommendations.
    Research institute/consultants agree to work within the following timeline:
  21. Contracted should be available to prepare for the job starting in the last week of January
    2021 in Zimbabwe:
    a. Preparation visits/meetings to organise the impact and capacity assessment
    b. Inception phase
  22. Throughout the rest of the time the contracted will work on collecting quantitative and
    qualitative data, analyses and report writing.
    a. The baseline takes place in February 2021
    b. The endline takes place in December 2022

The budget for this assignment is 60.000 EUR and the payment schedule is as follows:

  • 30% upon approval of the inception report
  • 20% upon approval of the baseline report
  • 30% upon completion of the endline data collection and receipt of the data file
  • 20% upon approval of the endline report
    Submission and questions
    Submit any questions and proposals by email to:
    Livia Remeijers. E-mail: livia@aflatoun.org
    Bid for research institute / consultant services
    Interested candidates must include the following:

a. Technical proposal including experience conducting RCTs;
b. Detailed financial proposal including daily rates of all team members and activities (incl.
c. Curriculum Vitaes of all team members who will be involved, clearly stating their role;
d. At least three references.