Call for Consultancy - Early Childhood and Women's Employment Needs Assessment

Deadline Mon, Oct 25, 2021

About Sawiris Foundation for Social Development

The Sawiris Foundation for Social Development (SFSD) was established in 2001 with an endowment from the Sawiris Family as one of the first philanthropic organizations in Egypt. Since its establishment, SFSD has focused on addressing the most pressing issues facing the most marginalized Egyptian communities such as poverty, unemployment, and lack of access to quality education. Over the past 20 years, SFSD has succeeded in funding and delivering programs aimed at achieving comprehensive and sustainable development, in partnership with the governmental and private sectors, as well as civil society. SFSD implements its work through three technical sectors: economic empowerment, education & scholarships and social empowerment.

Starting from 2021, SFSD adopted the philosophy and tactics of effective altruism, which calls for using rigorous scientific evidence to scale solutions to community challenges in a cost-effective manner, thus maximizing the foundation’s impact on the Egyptian community. Following this philosophy, SFSD makes it a requirement that all its funded projects be backed by rigorous scientific evidence whether they are pilots or existing projects need to be escalated. Accordingly, SFSD is currently working with global researchers with versatile scopes of research and work, as principal investigators (PIs), on evaluating the impact of SFSD’s projects.

Project Background

In its 2023-2028 strategic plan, the Education sector at SFSD is planning to implement an early childhood development (ECD) program with a main objective of working with governmental and non-governmental implementing partners on improving the quality of their services and expanding the accessibility of public nurseries across Egypt. This strategic direction aligns with research findings that show that investing in the ECD lowers the school drop-out rate as well as having significant impact on the short-term cognitive, social and emotional development of children and their long-term success in school and on later life [OECD (2001) Starting Strong: Early Childhood Education and Care. Paris: OECD.]. Increasing access to quality nursery care can also increase women’s employment.

In this light, SFSD is collaborating with the National Early Childhood Development Program (NECDP) to implement a pilot project that aims to improve the educational and pedagogical services in public nurseries for students aged 0 to 4 years in Minya and Beni Suef governorates. As per the Foundation’s project cycle requirements, this project design will incorporate an impact evaluation to test the causal effect of different intervention packages on raising the rate of attendance among nursery aged children and women’s employment in target communities.

Objective of the Needs Assessment

SFSD seeks to hire a consultancy firm to carry out a qualitative needs assessment in order to better understand the different circumstances in target communities, as well as providing answers to the following questions:

  • What are the main barriers that face women regarding access to employment, including self-employment, with a special focus on gender norms?
  • What are the current perceptions of ECD within target communities and how do they differ from ECD best practices?
  • How can the project effectively reach the target women (women with nursery aged children), given the physical distancing during COVID-19?

Through this needs assessment, researchers will be in a better position to proceed with designing interventions that address the local needs of target communities.

Scope of Work

The consultancy firm is expected to perform the following assignments:

  • A desk review of programs that have focused on women’s empowerment within the context of improving their employment prospects in Egypt and the MENA region,
  • A field review of existing development programs that are working on women’s economic empowerment and/or ECD in Minya and Beni Suef governorates,
  • 10 to 15 focus group discussions with target beneficiaries and relevant stakeholders on recent women’s economic empowerment and ECD programs (women, mothers with young children, mothers in law, fathers, community leaders, … etc) in Minya and Beni Suef governorates,
  • 10 in-depth interviews with relevant program managers who have experience in women’s economic empowerment and ECD programs in international and local organizations,
  • Three to five in-depth interviews with related government officials.


Collected data should be analyzed and synthesized to provide clear answers to the above-mentioned assessment questions, using thematic analysis to identify the recurring themes, quotations and stories that support the research main findings.


  • Inception report,
  • List of interviews and focus groups subjects and tools,
  • Soft copy of primary/secondary data,
  • Final report with the main finding in English and Arabic.


Needs assessment is expected to be conducted starting from November 1, 2021 until December 12, 2021.


The assignment is expected to be carried out by a consultant team with experience in carrying out needs assessments and designing interventions in similar programs in women’s economic empowerment, early childhood development and pre-primary education. The evaluation team is expected also to include members who have substantial expertise in qualitative data collection using focus groups and in-depth interviews, as well as qualitative data analysis methods.

Application Guidelines

Interested consultant firms only are requested to submit technical proposal in English along with the following documents to, with subject line “ECD Needs Assessment” by October 25, 2021:

  • Portfolio that indicates previous experience in conducting needs assessments whereas the companies applying to this ToR must have a date of establishment more than 3 years upon submission,
  • Brief implementation plan,
  • Financial offer should be submitted in Egyptian Pounds include all expenses and relevant taxes,
  • Official documents (Commercial register – Tax register).