Consultant – Covid Equity Research

  • Development
  • Anywhere
Country: Kenya
Organization: Fred Hollows Foundation
Closing date: 13 Feb 2021

The Fred Hollows Foundation is a development organisation working in more than 25 countries. We help train and empower local eye doctors, nurses and health workers to create a sustainable system of care in the communities that need it most. The work we do has a very clear purpose: to make sure everyone, whether they’re rich or poor, has access to high quality, affordable eye health.

We focus on preventable and treatable diseases such as cataract, trachoma and diabetic retinopathy. Our in-country work involves local training and providing affordable technology, so doctors, nurses and health care workers can recognise, diagnose, refer and treat eye problems in their communities. We use research to improve our understanding of avoidable blindness, then use our findings to implement strategies and advocate for change.

The Fred Hollows Foundation is seeking expressions of interest from individuals or consulting companies interested in undertaking the work described in these terms of reference.

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a global impact on health systems, halting eye care services for several months in our project locations. As several FHF country offices resume services, the research team is collaborating with three FHF country offices to conduct a comparative mixed methods study to understand the current challenges and opportunities for local communities’ access to and uptake of eye health services in the context COVID 19.

Purpose of the study

This comparative study will examine the impacts of COVID-19 on already marginalized, disadvantaged and excluded populations – especially those with blindness and vision impairment. The study will be conducted in partnership with three FHF country offices and their local partners—Kenya, Bangladesh, Pacific (PNG). The study will be conducted as quality assurance activities for current and future FHF projects being implemented in the study locations and for the benefit of study participants. This TOR is seeking support for Kenya-based data collection activities only.

Findings from the study will support The Foundation’s programming teams and partners to identify opportunities to enhance access for these groups during (and beyond) the pandemic. Locations will be subject to variation, depending on the capacity of partners and local COVID-19 situation.

Audience for the findings

  1. The Fred Hollows Foundation global staff
  2. The Fred Hollows Foundation Kenya staff
  3. Tharaka Nithi Hospital County Health Management Team
  4. Kwale
  5. Turkana
  6. Homabay
  7. Busia
  8. Ophthalmic Services Unit

Research/Evaluation questions

Main quality assurance data questions:

1.What are the impacts of COVID on already marginalised, disadvantaged and excluded populations – especially those with blindness and vision impairment?

a. Service Provider questions regarding eye health service challenges and opportunities during COVID and their understanding of access/uptake challenges for marginalised communities.

b. Beneficiaries questions regarding motivation, trust, opportunity, and knowledge of eye health (CEEHAT) and questions generating stories about the impact on daily life, especially eye health access (ethnographic methods)

2.When comparing the findings from three study sites, what patterns/factors/localised nuances emerge that help us better understand the social impacts of covid-19 on disadvantaged groups?

Time period of interest

Data collection activities analysis and report writing must be completed by June 2020. Overall, the project will take 12 months for development, implementation, analysis, write-up and dissemination. As such, planned timelines include:

  • Feb 2021: Data collection tool finalisation
  • Mar-Apr 2021: Data collection activities
  • May-Jun 2021: Data analysis, dissemination, and knowledge translation workshops

Project components or theme of interest

  • COVID-19 and Equity
  • Eye health focus, with consideration of other issues affecting access/uptake to access.

Participants

FHF Implementing partners in target areas, eye health program managers, MOH personnel: Each country office will identify programmatic partners and coordinate with them appropriate staff/personnel to interview.

Targeted beneficiaries: Each country office will identify marginal subcommunities in their project site locations (guided by GAPSED+) to conduct CEEHAT core module (Understand opportunity, motivation, trust for eye health services) & collect stories about eye health needs, challenges and service use during COVID

Sample size

Five semi-structured interviews with implementing partner hospitals to understand the impact of COVID on eye health services activities, healthcare workers and client profile.

Evidence gathered through safe community engagement methods (digital storytelling/ story circle) to capture about 55 stories (in each country) of community residents and community healthcare workers from subpopulations and/or areas most impacted by COVID-19. CEEHAT essential module and demographics will be administered with participants with potential to administer tool with additional community members.

Deliverables

  • Findings of the research will be reported and presented in the form of:
  • A summary of the desktop review.
  • A thorough and accessibly written report.
  • All data collected and compiled as part of the research.
  • A brief and accessibly written executive summary of key findings and recommendations
  • 1 Comparative knowledge translation workshop with implementing partners and other FHF and sector stakeholders.
  • 3 workshops with partners (to discuss findings, develop programmatic plans/redirection and consider advocacy strategies/policy change strategies using gathered evidence).
  • Additional deliverable: Participation in 1 knowledge-sharing workshop with other countries involved in COVID Equity project (PNG and Bangladesh)

Data Sources

Review of relevant literature on the impact of COVID 19 in the community. Interviews with selected study participants.

Data Analysis

Qualitative and quantitative analysis will be conducted using relevant analysis software/methods

About You! To be successful in this role, we are seeking someone with the following experience and skills;

  • Bachelor’s Degree preferably in social sciences
  • Training background in research methodologies
  • Experience working with County Health Management Teams.
  • Previous experience in gender-related research
  • Experience in qualitative and quantitative data analysis
  • Ability to publish reports in refereed journals
  • Research and analytical skills

Desirable Experience

  • Strong background in gender, equity, and development
  • Experience working with marginalised communities
  • Excellent understanding of equity
  • Superior qualitative data analysis skills

How to apply:

To express interest in undertaking the work described, please submit the following documents by email to: bthuo@hollows.org by 13th February 2020:

  • A cover letter addressing the key selection criteria.
  • A curriculum vitae including three references.

Please contact Sarah Olalo via email solalo@hollows.org for further details.

The Fred Hollows Foundation strongly condemns all forms of child abuse and categorically states that it is unacceptable in any circumstance. The Foundation is committed to ensuring a safe environment and culture for all children with whom we come in contact during the course of our work. All members of the Evaluation Team will be required to comply with the FHF Child Protection Policy and sign the Child Protection Code of Conduct.

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