Co-design and implement COVID-19 response communications activities and products

Closing date

Terms of Reference

Co-design and implement COVID-19 response communications activities and products under the Adolescent Girls’ Education in Crisis Initiative (AGENCI) in Moyo and Obongi Districts of West Nile-Uganda

About Aga Khan Foundation

The Aga Khan Foundation (AKF) is an Agency of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN), a group of private, non-denominational development agencies that share a mission to improve the living conditions and opportunities for marginalized communities across some target countries in Africa and Asia. AKF was established by His Highness the Aga Khan in Switzerland in 1967 and began working in East Africa in 1974. In Uganda, AKF operates a multi-sectoral portfolio that includes programming in Education, Economic Inclusion, Civil Society, Health and Early Childhood Development predominantly in the Central and West Nile Regions. AKF is committed to ensuring girls and boys, women and men, are equipped with the knowledge, skills, attitudes, and values to help them interact effectively with the world and be contributing members of a pluralistic society.

1. Background of the AGENCI Project

AKF and World University Service of Canada (WUSC), in partnership with Global Affairs Canada, will be implementing a four-year project to increase the agency and self-empowerment of adolescent girls and female youth pursuing educational pathways in Moyo and Obongi. The Adolescent Girls’ Education in Crisis Initiative (AGENCI) project will impact the lives of 148,000 adolescent girls and female youth aged 10-24. AGENCI will improve equitable learning outcomes for adolescent girls and female youth in primary, secondary school, and in non-school learning programmes. AGENCI will respond to specific barriers and educational needs identified by adolescent girls, female youth, community members, and education stakeholders to address the root causes of inequality by challenging and helping transform structural barriers and entrenched social norms, attitudes, and power relations that impact girls’ ability to access and benefit from education.

2. Purpose and Objectives of the Communications Activities

As a result of the global COVID-19 pandemic, AKF together with partners, have leveraged additional resources to support schools, communities, and boys and girls in Moyo and Obongi to effectively respond to the current uncertainties and enable all boys and girls to continue their learning. The current situation has posed unprecedented challenges to Ugandan’s education system and more so the marginalised and vulnerable populations living in states of on-going crisis and conflicts including adolescent refugees, internally displaced populations and Ugandan’s living in the host community. The COVID-19 Emergency Response Plan for the Adolescent Girls’ Education in Crisis Initiative (AGENCI) seeks to slow the spread of the virus and mitigate its effects for schools, households, and communities by rapidly responding to immediate necessities, including providing important personal protection equipment (PPE) and COVID-19 messaging to enable communities to take positive action towards protecting themselves and boys and girls living in these communities. All activities actively promote gender equality and social inclusion.

AKF seeks an experienced communications agency to design and implement selected COVID-19 communications activities and products. The intended length of contract will be for two months starting on the 05th Jan 2021 and finishing on 05th March 2021. The successful partner will be responsible for implementing agreed activities to AKF’s quality standards and maintain contract compliance. AKF will conduct regular quality assurance of all work. All activities will be delivered in Moyo and Obongi districts in West Nile-Uganda.**

3. Scope of work

It is expected that the successful agency will co-design and then implement the following activities:

a) Conduct community events in strategic public locations as part of a broader back to school campaign. The events will be designed to raise the issue of ensuring all children return to school especially girls. Because of the current COVID-19 Pandemic, the Contractor will follow the Government Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) directing how such activities should be conducted. It is expected for the to use diverse communication strategies including:

  • Develop pre-recorded messages (in the local language) for the events
  • Use mobile vans for airing the community messages
  • Host pop-up talk shows during these events to enable discussions with communities for promoting adolescent girls and young women’s education
  • Propose additional creative opportunities for engaging communities to actively support adolescent girls’ education during COVID 19

b) Develop and record radio messages, including info-spots, in relevant languages on strategic radio stations in both districts to further raise the issue of children returning to school and encourage home learning including the allocation of time for girls to commit to their academics at home. Ensure that the radio campaigns are linked to other AGENCI COVID 19 Response messages to encourage people participate in all ongoing activities including design competition and community events

c) Design and commission murals, to be painted in strategic community spaces where communities congregate or frequently pass. These could include trading centres, markets, or bus parks, across the both districts. The mural will be developed using participatory design processes such as commissioning a competition inviting children and community members to share their views about supporting learning and other child protection experiences during COVID 19. These submissions will then be used by specialized artist to develop and finalize murals to be painted in schools and communities.

d) Design and rollout competition for Children and Community members about COVID 19, this activity will aim at attaining children and communities’ own experience of COVID 19 and how they are copying up with promoting learning during this universally challenging period

e) The successful consultant is also encouraged to propose practical ways of linking all activities under this assignment to diversify avenues through which community receives the same related using radio, WhatsApp, and other mediums

The Contractor will ensure all communication products are co-developed with AKF and informed by a selection of diverse representatives to ensure quality, relevance of language, relevance to specific audience, and is responding to the cultural context.

The Contractor will collect and report on feedback from community members for all communication products and activities as agreed with AKF during the inception.

The Contractor will respond to these data to identify additional products or media channels AKF could leverage to influence progressive behavioural change leading to more gender equitable relationships and healthy habits in the communities.

4. How to apply:

The successful Contractor will undertake the assignment under supervision of the AKF Programme Manager. The Contractor will ensure they comply with AKF’s reporting requirements and maintain regular communication during the contract period. The Contractor is expected, but not limited, to:

  • Develop a detailed technical proposal including budget for undertaking the assignment. This must include key activities and necessary processes for delivering, gathering data, and reporting on these
  • Share a company profile indicating similar assignments handled for other clients, as well as 3 references
  • Propose core team with ideal professional background to deliver the proposed activities including sharing of CVs of the proposed personal and previous similar engagements undertaken
  • Following an initial meeting upon selection, provide a detailed inception report outlining how the processes will successfully delivery of the outcomes and provide refinements to the original proposal.

5. Key deliverables

  • A minimum of 30 community events conducted across the two districts (Being 15 per district: All agenda, themes, and communication materials will be approved by AKF before use)
  • At least 12 different Radio info spots developed to be aired on local radio stations in Moyo and Obongi about protecting communities against COVID 19 and promoting adolescent girls’ education during and after COVID 19
  • 8 large murals painted (measuring at least 8ft x 8ft depicting girls’ empowerment and education messages). Murals must be culturally relevant and easy to understand with primary aim of addressing gender inequality in education
  • Design and run competition involving Children and Community members about mitigating COVID 19 and how communities are copying up with promoting learning during the pandemic
  • Provide activity reports that include reach and feedback from those reached
  • Final report collating all data and summarising progress made, impact, challenges, and lessons learnt

6. Work Plan

Deliverables and Deadline

  1. Inception Report (including methodological approach) - 11 December 2020
  2. Project Start up Workshop for partners: Agenda and Materials - 18th December 2020
  3. Conducting activities - 1st January – 13th February 2021
  4. End of project/consultancy meeting - 19th February 2020
  5. Final Report and end of contract - 26th February 2021

7. Qualifications of Contractor and his/her team or partners

  • Demonstrate relevant experience and expertise providing evidence of having developed high impact communications activities for reputable organisations or companies. Previous experience of working within emergency and refugee contexts and with complex social issues including sexual reproductive health rights (SRHR) for adolescent girls will be an added advantage
  • Experience delivering communications work focused on gender and education in Uganda
  • Commitment to respect safeguarding of vulnerable populations including children, women, the elderly, and people living with disabilities. Organisation must have a safeguarding policy and be ready to submit to AKF on demand
  • Evidence of high quality written, technical, and presented work

8. Criteria for selection

All submissions will be assessed on the following criteria

  • Technical proposal 40%
  • Technical experience 30%
  • Value for Money 30%

How to apply

1. To Apply

Individuals or organisations interested in this opportunity should submit:

  • Six-page (maximum) technical proposal including workplan
  • Proposed activity budget with total cost
  • Organisational profile including a minimum of two examples of similar successful engagements.
  • Previous clients as references to be contacted by AKF before being engaged on this assignment

Submissions must be received by AKF no later than 6th December 2020. E-mail all required documents to with ‘Application for COVID Response* in the subject line. *Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

AKF is an Equal Opportunity Employer and is committed to Safeguarding and Promoting the Welfare of Children and Vulnerable Adults and Expects all Staff and Partners to Share this Commitment.

The Aga Khan Foundation is an agency of the Aga Khan Development Network (