Consultants- Abt Associates


Consultants- Abt Associates

Statement of Work: Consultant for qualitative field research

SHOPS Plus (Sustaining Health Outcomes through the Private Sector) is USAID’s flagship initiative in private sector health.

In Nepal, SHOPS Plus supports the goals of USAID and the Government of Nepal to increase the use of and access to family planning and other health products. To this end, the SHOPS Plus Nepal program is tasked with building the technical capacity and financial sustainability of CRS, a Nepalese social marketing organization and key USAID partner. This program will address CRS’s capacity in distribution, promotion, behavior change communications, product development, pricing, research, monitoring and evaluation.  By building CRS into a strong, local institution, SHOPS Plus will contribute to the achievement of the Strategic Objective of CRS to increase access to and utilization of family planning and other health products through the private sector.


Position: Consultant

Abt Associates is looking for qualified four female field researchers to serve as facilitators and note takers for focus group discussions (FGDs). Consultancy will be short term: approximately 4-6 weeks in July-August, 2018 working 80% of the time (~30 days). 

Department / Location: Research, Monitoring and Evaluation/ SHOPS Plus/Nepal Office, Kathmandu
Reports to: Director- Research, Monitoring & Evaluation
Supervision: None
Collaborative With: Nepal CRS Company and CRS field staff; SHOPS Plus Nepal and US offices; Nepali government counterparts where fieldwork will occur

Job Purpose: 

The consultant will work in the SHOPS Plus/Nepal research office. She will be responsible for conducting focus group discussions with female community members who have children under five years old. Focus group discussions will discuss topics related to diarrhea treatment. Specifically, the focus group discussions aim to 1) pre-test a new diarrhea treatment product (an ORS and zinc co-pack) and 2) explore caregivers’ thought processes when seeking diarrhea treatment and perceptions related to specific diarrhea treatment products. 

The consultant will attend data collection training, help translate data collection tools, pre-test data collection tools, collaborate with local stakeholders to facilitate recruitment of FGD participants, conduct FGDs, and transcribe FGDs. 

Major Duties and Responsibilities:

Preparing for data collection

Working closely with RM&E Director, the consultant will help prepare data collection tools. This includes but is not limited to:

  • Review the  FGD guide
  • Assist with translation ofthe FGD guide into Nepali (if English language skills are sufficient)
  • Review the field implementation plan and protocols

Training and Pre-test

  • Participate in two-day data collection training
  • Manage and conduct pre-test FGDs in nearby Kathmandu.
  • Transcribe data from pre-test FGD
  • Translate pre-test transcripts into English (if English language skills are sufficient to do so)

Field implementation

  • Coordinate with CRS district/regional staff
  • Communicate with CRS community change agents (CCAs) and other staff as relevant to recruitFGD participants (i.e., mothers with children under five in the community)and to identify an appropriate venue for the FGD  
  • Facilitate or serve as note taker for the focus group discussions
  • Debrief with research partner and supervisor daily on challenges, best practices, and lessons learned
  • Maintain verbal communication with the Director of Research, Monitoring & Evaluation to update on fieldwork progress and flag potential problems for input
  • Audio record all FGDs and successfully transfer audio recording to RM&E Director 

Documentation and Reporting

  • Transcribe the focus group discussion verbatim in Nepali
  • Translate all transcription content into English (if English language skills are sufficient to do so)
  • Prepare short report of post-field implementation, detailing how field work was actually implemented and any challenges encountered


  • Represent SHOPS Plus/Nepal office and its values at the local level. Coordinate with CRS/local bodies/communityto smoothly implementstudies and share learning.

Job Specifications (minimum job requirements)

Education: minimum bachelor’s degree in public health/social science/statistics from a recognized university

Work Experience: Three years’ experience conducting qualitative research on health and social science at the field level. 

Required Skills:

  • Relevant experience conducting qualitative field research, especially conducting focus group discussion
  • Willing to travel to rural settings frequently
  • Experience on verbatim transcription offocus group discussions
  • Proven ability to work in a multidisciplinary team

Preferred Skills 

  • Proficiency in written and spoken English,Nepali and local language (some FGDs will be carried out in Province 2 so we are also searching few candidates who can facilitate in local language mainly Maithili/Bhojpuri)


  • Successful completion of data collection training 
  • Audio recordings of all focus group discussions 
  • Transcribed (in Nepali) verbatim focus group discussions
  • Post-field implementation report detailing how fieldwork was implemented and challenges encountered 

Application: To apply, please send your CV and cover letter to no later than 17:00 NPT, June 15, 2018.


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