Request for Proposals: Via Tracer Study

BACKGROUND
The International Youth Foundation (IYF) invests in the extraordinary potential of young people. Founded in 1990, IYF builds and maintains a worldwide community of businesses, governments, and civil society organizations committed to empowering youth to be healthy, productive, and engaged citizens. IYF programs are catalysts of change that help young people obtain a quality education, gain employability skills, make healthy choices, and improve their communities.

In partnership with the Mastercard Foundation, IYF is implementing Via: Pathways to Work, a five-year initiative that aims to improve economic opportunities for underserved youth in Mozambique and Tanzania through sustainable changes in the national technical and vocational (TVET) and entrepreneurship systems. The program, which launched in October 2015, employs a systems change approach, intending to influence the collective behavior of TVET system actors and seeks to reach over 20,000 youth directly with enhanced technical and vocational training and related services. The legacy of the program will be the systemic changes made at the institutional level and across an array of stakeholders that lead to mutual benefit for Mozambican and Tanzanian young people and the TVET ecosystem.

IYF seeks an evaluator or firm to design and carry out a Youth-Level Tracer Study in Tanzania with a comparison group to identify outcomes of youth participants, as well as teachers in training at the Morogoro Vocational Teachers Training College (MVTTC), that have completed training delivered by TVET system partners in Tanzania. This tracer study should include participants of the Via program from the three partner VETA Centers and MVTTC as well as youth that enroll in training in non-Via VETA Centers. Part of this activity shall include the development, contextual adaptation, or implementation of a reliable and valid competency-based assessment to measure skills and behavior outcomes.

REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS AND SUPPORTING ANNEXES
The full RFP and supporting annexes can be downloaded through the links below:

Request for Proposals: Via Tracer Study

Annex 1: Via Theory of Change
Annex 2: Via Logical Framework
Annex 3: Via Learning Questions
Annex 4: Budget Template and Guidance

QUESTIONS TO THE RFP
Below are the questions pertaining to the RFP we have received as of 24 May 2019.

Q1: Is this mission limited to firms or individual experts are also considered?
A1: This RFP is open to both individual consultants and firms.

Q2: The RFP states that a comparison group can be sourced from non-partner VETA centres in similar geographic areas. Will IYF obtain support from the relevant Zonal Directors/Vocational Coordinators for non-partner VETA centres to participate? Or will this be the evaluator's responsibility?
A2: IYF and the selected firm will work jointly on this effort, with IYF leading and managing the relationship with the Zonal Directors/Vocational Coordinators.

Q3: We would like to understand how students decide to enroll in a Via VETA centre versus a non-Via VETA centre. For example, do students chose where they enrol and if so, what are usually the factors driving those decisions (e.g. TVET eligibility criteria, student geographic preference, etc.)? Or are students allocated to a centre in some way?
A3: Typically, students enroll in VETA centers based on geographic location, transportation and access, or due to local accommodations with family members.

Q4: We assume that the tracer study will collect data from students after they have completed their VETA course. Is this correct? Or is there an opportunity to collect data from students both before and after their course?
A4: It is expected that the selected firm will collect pre/post data.

Q5: If there is no opportunity to collect data from students before their course, has IYF already collected student baseline data on students? If so, what data is available? Is this also available for students in non-Via VETA centres?
A5: IYF administers baseline, exit, and 3-month and 12-month expost surveys to Via participants. There is no data available for non-Via VETA centres. Once selected, the evaluator will have access to pertinent participant data in our participant database.

Q6: Is there an expectation that data will be collected from students in person? Or are electronic data collection methods acceptable?
A6: Electronic data collection is acceptable, as long as the selected firm can ensure a good response rate. We are open to your proposed data collection methodology.

Q7: If data should be collected in person, does IYF have appropriate details (phone number, address, place of employment) to allow the evaluators to find the students?
A7: We do have contact information for Via participants.

Q8: Will the study include students that take part in all VETA courses or a particular subset of courses? On average, how many students are enrolled per VETA?
A8: As much as possible, we would want representative sample, but the firm may propose sampling methodologies recognizing limitations to collecting data from a representative sample. Enrollment data varies greatly from center to center. We have had approximately 5,500 youth participate in the Via Tanzania program since program activities started in 2016/2017.

Q9: The early section of the RFP refers to conducting the tracer study with teachers-in-training from the MVTTC, however, no further details on this group are provided. Is it anticipated that a different tracer study approach will be needed for this group, or will they simply be part of the larger tracer study?
A9: We expect that there will be a separate tracer study approach for the MVTTC teachers-in-training and look forward to reviewing the proposed approaches.

Q10: What is the location of the focus group (former trainees/ youth)? Are they still connected to the TVET institutions and can they be interviewed in one place or is it expected from the evaluator to locate them and go to their work/house? Their location greatly influences the sample size of the tracer study.
A10: The tracer study will be conducted with youth from all three centers – in Dar es Salaam, Dodoma, and Mtwara. Some youth will still be active TVET students, while some will have graduated. It is up to the selected evaluator to locate and contact youth, and the methodology should be proposed by the evaluator.

Q11: Will the evaluator be able to access IYF's database, via IYF's point of contact? This is needed to give the evaluator basic information on each VIA participant. This will be essential to construct a reasonably comparable control group from non-VIA VETA centres. Secondly, do the non-VIA VETA centres have a similar database?
A11: We are open to mixed-method data collection and can provide access to our participant database as requested by the selected evaluator. We do not have a database for non-Via VETA centers.

Q12: The goal of the tracer study also incorporates the identification of outcomes of teachers in training at the Morogoro Vocational Teachers Training College (MVTTC) that have completed training delivered by TVET system partners in Tanzania (under part 2. Scope of the service, page 3). However, the research questions that need to be answered by the youth-level tracer study on page 6 under 5.3. seem to be solely geard towards youth participants and not teachers in training. Does this mean that the evaluator is expected to carry out a seperate tracer study to the outcomes on teachers in training?
A12: Yes, a separate tracer study is expected for the MVTTC teachers-in-training, as there are different outcomes associated with this group.

Q13: Does IYF consider it to be relevant to give a presentation to IYF Mozambique teams (under 5.4 deliverables, page 7) when the tracer study is only focused on Tanzania?
A13: The evaluator will not be required to present in Mozambique, however, the Mozambique team may join remotely.

Q14: The evaluator is expected to work directly with IYF staff to coordinate data collection. Does this mean that IYF staff will be available to conduct data collection?
A14: IYF staff will assist with coordination, but the evaluator is expected to conduct all primary data collection.

Q15: In the evaluation matrix (page 9) the evaluator or team leader is asked for examples of relevant evaluations and examples of relevant work in research and publications in topics similar to the programme intervention, can these examples be captured in the requested reports (page 8) or do these examples need to be shared as separate examples?
A15: These examples can be captured in the requested reports.

Q16: What data was collected from new students on employability and other relevant indicators for the baseline? Was this done for all participants or a sample?
A16: Data relating to indicators & disaggregations can be found in the Via Logical Framework (Annex 2 of the RFP). Expost data is collected on a sample basis, while baseline and exit data is collected from all participants.

Q17: Was any of this indicator data collected again at any point after baseline, e.g. at end of training?
A17: We collected data at the baseline, exit, and 3-and 12-months expost.

Q18: Is such data available for students at the VETA centres proposed for use in the comparison group?
A18: We are open to discussing mixed method data collection/sharing based on what is proposed by the evaluator.

Q19: Are there different cohorts of Via students? If so, how many and what for what periods? e.g. students trained in year 1, students trained in year 2 etc.
A19: Thus far there have been 372 cohorts of Via participants in Tanzania. Cohorts are defined by groups of participants that receive the same enhanced training package, and the length of time is dependent on the vocational training course. Many courses are short courses which run between 1-3 months.

Q20: Is this a one-off baseline/endline comparison or would it be used as a rolling tracer study?
A20: It is expected to be an ongoing activity.

Q21: What is the timeframe for the evaluation?
A21: The study should begin once an evaluator has been selected and contracted, and the activity will run 6-months beyond the project end date of October 2020 (we are in the process of obtaining formal approval from our partner).

Proposals are due to IYF by Tuesday, 28 May 2019. Please submit proposals to n.minadakis@iyfnet.org, with the email subject line: Via Tracer Study – [Insert Consultant/Firm Name].