Local Researcher/Consultant – Research Agenda (Filling the Knowledge Gap) at ZOA

Project Officer – We are Able! (2 Positions) at ZOA

We Are Able! – 2023 Research Agenda(Filling the Knowledge Gap)

Terms of Reference for local researcher/consultant


The assignment entails conducting a research study in the WaA! Implementation areas(Yumbe, Terego,Arua, Nwoya and Omoro districts) on assessing ways of Strengthening the capacity of OPDs in designing effective advocacy strategies and clear theories of change and effectively communicating with local Authorities, a study that is in line with Uganda’s 2023 learning Agenda. The learning Agenda is a framework created to help facilitate learning and decision making within the WaA! program and the partner organisations within the consortium at large.

Focus of the assignment

As agreed through discussions with the country MEL team facilitated by THA expert during the Learning Agenda training, the research study will focus on the following question:

How to strengthen the capacity of OPDs in designing effective advocacy strategies and clear theories of change and, effectively communicating with local authorities.

Background of the WAA! Programme

We Are Able! works in six African States (Burundi, DR Congo, South Sudan, Sudan, Uganda and Ethiopia) as well as in the Netherlands and has as main objective ‘Co-creating inclusive governance for access to basic resources that leaves no-one behind’.

We Are Able! wants to see People with Disabilities (PWDs) improving their right to land and food security by creating an enabling environment for action at grassroots level.

In Uganda the We Are Able! Consortium consists of (I)NGOs, namely ZOA as lead, NUDIPU and Light for the World (LftW). In addition, The Hague Academy (THA) and Vereniging Nederlandse Gemeenten Internationaal (VNGi) have been subcontracted under this grant.

We Are Able! is being financed by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs under the Power of Voices subsidiary framework and runs from January 1st 2021 until December 31st 2025.

We Are Able! focuses on lobby and advocacy by and for People with Disabilities and other marginalized groups to increase their access to basic resources such as land and water as detailed in the Theory of Change for the WAA! programme. We Are Able! will be working with individuals directly as well as through their representative organizations, such as Disabled People Organizations (DPOs) and mainstream Civil Society Organizations (CSOs). Formal and informal authorities at local, national and international level are involved to promote dialogue and a conducive enabling environment for change that ensures food security for those most at need in countries affected by conflict as well as by the impact of the COVID19 pandemic.

Background of the assignment and expected results

The research project is a “creature” of the six key recommendations from the scoping Study undertaken in 2021 on the existing knowledge gap requiring further investigation on the challenges faced by men and women with disabilities to access of services and resources;

The Scoping studieshighlighted the need to investigate;

1. What awareness-raising means contextually, for instance, promoting rights to services and resources, or rather promoting participation in decision-taking?( whose awareness needs to be raised, as well as the possibilities of ‘targeted awareness raising’)

2. How to change social norms leading to stigmatization in specific communities which is a central concern for the program.

3. Access to basic social services –notably education and health care which is seen as essential for decreasing vulnerability and exclusion. Understanding of what accessibility entails is required among persons with disability, government authorities, and the community.

4. How to strengthen the capacity of OPDs in designing effective advocacy strategies and clear theories of change and, effectively communicating with local authorities

5. Investigation of Barriers towards implementation of the existing legal frameworks as well as strategies to ensure that existing legislation is respected and realized in practice.

6. Reliable data to support efforts of inclusion of persons with disability through having an understanding of different categories of disability, and the particular vulnerabilities associated with these.

WaA! partners through priority setting identified recommendation 4 as a key recommendation that needed most attention with a focus on understanding how OPDs capacity can be strengthened to effectively create change.

It is to this reason that a consultant is hired to undertake a study on;

How to strengthen the capacity of OPDs in designing effective advocacy strategies and clear theories of change and, effectively communicating with local authorities

It is critical for the consultant to properly understand the three key pathways of change for the WaA! project and how they work to create a synergy in creating effective change.

The findings shall inform interventions in Uganda and the WaA! consortium learning agenda broadly in 2023 and beyond taking into account country-specific challenges and intervention practices

Aim of this assignment

The main aim of this research is to assess the gaps that exist within OPDs/CSO in designing effective advocacy strategies and clear theories of change and, effectively communicating with local authorities.


· To assess the effectiveness of methodological approaches currently being used by OPDs in designing and implementing advocacy strategies.

· To Describe the domains/approaches of capacity building and how they can be used by OPDs in designing effective advocacy strategies and theories of change.

· To identify the most effective communication channels that can be used by OPDs and WaA! Program to communicate and share learnings with local authorities at all levels of engagement in WaA project interventions.

· To show the interaction of the three WaA pathways and how they can support the design of effective advocacy strategies to create an effect change.

Together with WaA! Uganda MEL Coordinator and in consultation with the overall Knowledge Management coordinator (Netherlands), co-organize the discussion on the findings with consortium members, and key stakeholders in WaA! Uganda to arrive at exchange of experiences and lessons learned; and an identification of key themes for further study in the years to follow.

Activities to be performed

· Design Research study framework and tools in collaboration with the MEL and KM team

· Conduct data collection in collaboration with country team

· Synthesize, analyse and I nterpret the data collected in collaboration with the Uganda WAA! partners

· Present the results/findings to the Uganda partners and MEL-KM team

· Draw recommendations from the report for informing Uganda’s Learning Agenda for the WaA implementing partners.

Outputs (expected deliverables)

· Notes on interviews

· Comprehensive report on findings relevant to the research question as the above objectives.

· Presentation and discussion of findings during knowledge sharing workshops (including power-point)

· Recommendation for future learning Agenda

Minimum qualifications


· Advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent) in Development studies, Cultural Anthropology, Public Administration, Economics, or other relevant field.

Professional experience

· Extensive experience in qualitative research and interviewing;

· Knowledge of the inclusion of marginalized groups in development programmes and governance in fragile settings;

· Experience with organizing and facilitating interactive research and workshops;

· Knowledge of the socio-cultural context in Uganda and specifically the West Nile and Acholi regions

· Experience of working with People with Disabilities is an advantage


· Fluent in English both speaking and writing, and fluency in local languages (West Nile and Acholi) is an advantage

· Gender sensitive

· Excellent reporting and advising skills

· Strong analytical skills

· Excellent facilitating and presenting skills

Approximate number of working days and planning = 25 days

In consultation with the Knowledge management Coordinator, MEL Coordinator and WaA! Country teams;

These 25 days will be distributed as suggested;

· Develop a framework to support the collection: 2 days

· Finalization of topic guide : 2 days

· Planning and organization of the interviews: 6 day

· Consolidation of information needed /Document review:5 days

· Writing report on findings :5 days


1. The first instalment (50% ) equivalent to 11 days of work will be paid after the submission of the draft research report.

2. The second (final) payment (11 days) will be made upon the completion of final report and dissemination.

Period of the assignment

27th February-31st March 2022

The 25 days’ work can be spread over this period – see below

Place of the assignment: Uganda

Time frame

1. Sign ToR: -March

2. Briefing meeting with KM coordinator, Consultant and MEAL Coordinator – March2023

3. Preparation of the consultancy – March 2023

4. Conducting interviews/Reviews- March 2023

5. Delivery of report of findings and input to knowledge sharing events –February through March 2023

How to apply

·Interested applicants should be Uganda-based consultants, researchers or students with relevant experience in conducting studies, and writing policy papers.

·Applicants must be available for the period of the assignment, and able to conduct desk-based research and carry out interviews and online meetings with stakeholders and key informants.

· Applicants should have their own laptop/phone/internet access for the assignment.

· Interested applicants should submit their expression of Interest with the below-listed documents using: https://cvselection.net/zoa-uganda/7834/

1. CV (no more than 2 pages) showing relevant experience

2. Cover letter explaining suitability for the role

3. Outline work plan, based on the above schedule, including any additional suggestions or considerations to support the study

4. Proposed budget for the assignment, based on a day rate calculation (Working days are to be considered)

Above information should be submitted to ZOA through this February 24th, 2023.

Persons with disability are encouraged to apply.


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