AIM Qualitative Research & Learning Partner, BRAC , Tanzania

Mastercard Foundation Accelerating Impact for Young Women in Partnership with BRAC, or AIM, is a multi-faceted, seven-country program designed to equip 1.2 million adolescent girls and young women (AGYW) in Africa with age-appropriate entrepreneurship, employability, and life skills training, along with the tools to start and scale their own businesses. From 2022 to 2027, the five-year, $267 million program will integrate several of BRAC’s globally recognized, evidence-based approaches, drawing from Empowerment and Livelihood for Adolescents (ELA), Ultra-Poor Graduation (UPG), microfinance and other programs. Implemented in Sierra Leone, Liberia, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Ghana, and Kenya, AIM is part of the Mastercard Foundation’s Young Africa Works strategy, which seeks to enable access to dignified and fulfilling work for 30 million young Africans, 70 percent of whom will be young women, by 2030. AIM applies a “best-of-BRAC” approach, achieving social and economic development for AGYW by drawing from several programmatic models already shown through rigorous research to achieve positive impact in a way that is both scalable and cost-effective. The goals of AIM are to: foster the agency and voice of AGYW to act on their aspirations, enable AGYW to engage in sustainable livelihoods, create an enabling environment for AGYW, including support for their engagement in advocacy.


BRAC International seeks a qualitative research and learning partner in  Tanzania to execute a small-scale study of AIM’s first cohort, which went through the program in 2023. Applicants must have a physical presence in the country they propose working in.

The AIM Learning Agenda is a working document that serves as a roadmap for generating evidence and filling knowledge gaps to improve the effectiveness of the AIM program. The Learning Agenda is intended to help BRAC and its external learning partners design and plan appropriate research, monitoring, and evaluation activities to answer prioritized learning questions. More specifically, the Learning Agenda identifies knowns and unknowns, including evidence gaps in the existing literature related to the programme’s theory of change (ToC); establishes links between this ToC and the existing evidence base, while identifying key assumptions to be tested; proposes learning activities best suited to testing these assumptions and answering the prioritized questions; and identifies ways to assess the implementation fidelity, generalizability, and efficiency of the AIM model and its various components. Potential research partners should review the Learning Agenda thoroughly to acquaint themselves with the AIM program and our learning objectives.


The qualitative research partner will use in-depth interviews and focus group discussions to answer questions including but not limited to:

Among young women who have already completed the program in cohort #1, how do they perceive their experience in the programme? What changes in their lives and livelihoods do they attribute to the programme participation? How do participants describe the transition to microfinance (e.g., barriers and opportunities)? How do AIM cohort #1 mentors perceive their experience in the programme? After completing their role as a mentor, has their status in their community changed?

Core responsibilities

Co-develop a research protocol and qualitative data collection tools with the BRAC International Research & Learning team and respond to comments received from relevant programme teams.
Apply for and receive Institutional Review Board (IRB) and any other necessary local and/or national research permissions to conduct the qualitative research.
Actively communicate and coordinate with BRAC International research and implementation teams.
Collect data, manage, and store data according to the highest ethical standards.
Submit clear and well-articulated reports on research findings.

Contract deliverables and timeline:

Inception report – Brief report that details the key project milestones, an updated timeline, and mitigation strategies for any challenges that may arise – 10 days after contract signing with Payment schedule of 10%
Ethics approval – For any research involving human participants, and/or data relating to identifiable human subjects, researchers are required to complete a research ethics review and provide proof of the approval and/or exemption from the IRB that conducted the review. Documentation of approval(s)/exemption must be submitted to BRAC International to satisfy this requirement – August 2024 with a Payment schedule of 40%
Data – Qualitative data shared with BRAC International. All audio recordings must be transcribed verbatim and if not already conducted in English transcribed to English – September 2024 with a Payment schedule of30%
Final report- High-level report (20 pages in length). With – October 2024 with a Payment schedule of 20%
Changes to this deliverables timeline must be discussed and agreed upon by both parties.

Application timeline:

RFP published – May 6, 2024
Proposals due to BRAC International – June 3, 2024
Short-listed candidates invited to screener interview – June 14, 2024
Finalists invited to panel interview – June 30, 2024
Fully executed contract is delivered to both parties. – 15, 2024


The research and learning partner must have a permanent, physical presence in the country where the work will be completed and experience collaborating with NGO programmes on research activities. In addition, candidates must be available for virtual interviews in June 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.

Proposal guidelines:

Your proposal package must consist of only two items:

a single .pdf and
a completed budget using the provided Excel attachment.

The .pdf must contain:

Your technical proposal using the template provided.
There are five brief sections of the proposal. You must follow these guidelines carefully. Please do not submit a proposal in another format.
CVs of key team members
After you’ve completed the technical proposal template, please save it as a .pdf and attach the CVs of key project members.

Budget assumptions:

# of communities – 15 communities will be included in the qualitative sample
# of days of data collection – 15 (one day of data collection per community)
# of FGDs – 60 (four focus group discussions per community)
# of interviews – 15 (one in-depth interview per community)
Data collection locations – Interviews and FGDs will be conducted near AIM clubhouses.
Please note that finalists will be expected to produce the following documents for due diligence. These documents do not need to be submitted at this time, but if you feel that it will be difficult to obtain them, please mention this in your application packet.

A cover letter illustrating the supporting documents you are submitting. In the letter, please include:

A declaration that your organization agrees to BRAC International’s vetting and due diligence procedures.
A declaration that your organization (including its agents, employees, sub-contractors, sub-consultants and suppliers) does not contravene with all applicable AML/CFT laws and does not engage in or conspire to engage in any transaction that evades or avoids, or has the purpose of evading or avoiding, or attempts to violate, any of the prohibitions set forth in any AML/CFT laws.
Please include contact information for at least three references that you can speak to your ability to carry out similar scopes of work. If you plan to outsource any major component of the project (e.g., data collection, analysis, etc.) to another firm, please also provide at least three professional references for each partner. You may also include letters of reference, but these references should be able to be reached by phone or email.

Demonstration of financial capacity:

Please provide appropriate statements from bankers of the firm’s financial resources.
Please provide firm’s balance sheets or extracts from them, where publication of a balance sheet is required under company law in the country in which the supplier is established, where applicable.

Demonstration of legal capacity:

Legal capacity shall be confirmed by a power of attorney. This document shall also state that there is no judicial prohibition in place preventing the person, firm or employees from signing a contract with any potential customer or client.

Demonstration of taxation obligations:

Copy of trade license or equivalent
Copy of VAT Registration certificate or equivalent
Up-to-date copy of tax payment receipt or equivalent
A copy of your organization’s safeguarding policy. If no such policy exists, please include a description of the actions you take to ensure safeguarding.

Applications must be submitted as a single PDF accompanied by an Excel budget proposal to by June 3, 2024 11:59 PM East Africa Time (EAT). Please include the RFP title and the country where you are proposing the research in the subject line (e.g., “AIM Qualitative Research & Learning Partner Tanzania”).