Rapid Assessement on the Impact of Covid – 19 on Ending Child Marriage in Reference to Planned Efforts as Stipulated in the Sadc Model Law on Ending Marriage and Au Commom Position on Ending Child Marriage Job at Plan International Zambia

Plan International Zambia



Founded 80 years ago, Plan International is one of the oldest and largest children’s centered development and humanitarian organisations in the world. We work in 50 developing countries across Africa, Asia and the Americas to promote child rights and lift millions of children out of poverty particularly those who are excluded or marginalized with high quality programs that deliver long lasting benefits by increasing its income, working in partnership with others and operating effectively. Plan is independent, with no religious, political or governmental affiliations.
Plan International purpose statement “We strive for a just world that advances children’s rights and equality for girls”.

We engage people and partners to:

  • Empower children, young people and communities to make vital changes that tackle the root causes of discrimination against girls, exclusion and vulnerability.
  • Drive change in practice and policy at local, national and global levels through our reach, experience and knowledge of the realities children face.
  • Work with children and communities to prepare for and respond to crises and to overcome adversity.
  • Support the safe and successful progression of children from birth to adulthood.
    Plan International core values are:
  • We strive for lasting impact
  • We are open and accountable
  • We work well together
  • We are inclusive and empowering

1.1 About Plan International 18+ Centre of Excellence on Ending Child Marriage & Teenage Pregnancy

The 18+ Centre of Excellence (CoE) on Ending Child Marriage, and Teenage Pregnancy is Plan International’s Middle East, Eastern and Southern Africa regional hub for ending Child, Early, and Forced marriage (CEFM) programmes as well as a shared service providing expertise for programming and evidence-based influencing to end CEFM, and teenage pregnancy in the region.
The CoE implements multi-country ending CEFM projects, and facilitates processes for sharing and learning to scale up best practices. Further the 18+ CoE mobilises expertise from a network of internal and external professionals to provide support that enables Plan International Country Offices and partner organisations in the Region to design and implement sustainable programmes, influencing strategies that address CEFM, and Adolescent Sexual Reproductive Health Rights (ASRHR). The 18+ CoE is hosted by Plan International Zambia in Lusaka.

1.2 About some stakeholders working collaboratively to end CEFM in Eastern and Southern Africa
Rozaria Memorial Trust (RMT) was founded in 2003 to promote access to quality education, health and entrepreneurship for young people in resource-poor communities. The vision of RMT is a world in which young people and women realize their potential, enjoy their rights and live in dignity. The organization is based in and the purpose of the organization is to create opportunities and unleash potential for young people especially girls and young women in resource-poor communities through health, education and entrepreneurship
Girls Not Brides is a global partnership of more than 1300 civil society organisations from over 100 countries committed to ending child marriage and enabling girls to fulfil their potential.
The UNICEF Eastern and Southern Africa Regional Office (ESARO) coordinates and supervises UNICEF’s work in 21 countries across the region. We also coordinate UNICEF’s engagement in the UN Coherence process in the region, as well as support country offices’ resource mobilization efforts. The regional office is a hub of technical support, policy guidance and oversight, and intellectual leadership on children’s issues.
UNFPA is the lead United Nations agency for delivering a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe and every young person’s potential is fulfilled. UNFPA works to improve lives in 23 countries in East and Southern Africa. We work with governments and through partnerships with other United Nations agencies, civil society, regional economic communities and the private sector to ensure that no one is left behind.
UNFPA Regional Office in Johannesburg, South Africa provides strategic support and technical expertise to colleagues in our 23 Country Offices and our partners who work on the ground to improve people’s lives. We provide policy advice, training and support. UNICEF and UNFPA jointly implement the Global Programme to end child marriage


The world is facing an unprecedented global crisis which has been described as the “greatest public health challenge in a generation.” It has the ability to crumple ordinarily functioning health systems, economies and social networks. As a girl’s rights and humanitarian organisation, Plan International has the responsibility to ensure the communities we serve across our current on-going emergencies and our longer-term development programming are supporting communities to prepare, prevent, and respond to the impacts of COVID19.
COVID-19 has negatively affected the lives of children and families across the globe and is impacting efforts to end child marriage and harmful practices such as Female Genital Mutilation and Cutting (FGM/C) . The pandemic has restricted human contact leading to shutting down of businesses and schools in a bid to slow down the infection globally. The prolonged school closures especially in rural areas have left many children without alternative home learning, and without the structure and protective environment that school provides, placing many girls and young women at high risk of teenage pregnancy and Child, Early and Forced Marriage (CEFM).
With the breakdown of family and community structures and the collapse of institutions that normally work to protect girls from CEFM, including education and social protection, adolescent girls and young women are more vulnerable to child marriage.
The implications of quarantine or home isolation have increased tensions in homes which in turn is increasing gender based violence, harmful practices such as Female Genital Mutilation / Cutting, teenage pregnancy, and child, early or forced marriage .
The disruption of preventive programming, combined with severe economic and food crises as well as the ongoing closure of schools, are and will continue to catalyse an increase in child early and forced marriages across Africa . While gender inequality and unintended adolescent pregnancy are some of the root causes of CEFM, in this time of crisis, many families are considering child marriage as a strategy to cope with economic hardship, to reduce the number of household dependents and to shield girls from violence or the perceived stigma associated with pregnancy outside of marriage

Before the COVID 19 Pandemic the SADC Parliamentary Forum (SADC-PF) in collaboration with stakeholders in the region has been promoting and advocating for the adoption of the SADC- Model Law on Ending Child marriage by members states. The Model Law provides guidance to parliamentarians, Ministries of Justice, policymakers, and other stakeholders in SADC Member States as they develop effective national laws to end child marriage and address inconsistencies in their current legal frameworks.
The adoption of the Model Law is at different stages in the region with some member states such as Mozambique and Malawi having taken concrete legislative measures to domesticate the provisions of the model law.
Therefore, the proposed rapid assessment of the impact of COVID 19 on measures to end child marriage and protection of those already in marriage will also contribute to the development of strategies to continue the operationlisation of the model law during the pandemic and its recovery phase.

The further stakeholders have been advocating for the implementation of the African Common Position on the AU Campaign to end Child Marriage. The common position outlines concrete measures that member states must take to eradicate child marriage. Therefore, this assessment will also seek to establish the extent to which member states are utilising the AU common position in their COVID 19 national response mechanism.


Gender and other rapid assessment reports, including media reports indicate an increase in teenage pregnancy and child marriage in countries already with a high prevalence of the practice particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Therefore, this rapid assessment will focus on assessing the impact of COVID 19 on established measures to end CEFM and teenage pregnancy in Eastern and Southern Africa. This will give the stakeholders a broader current picture and understanding of the situation of child marriage in the region and lead to development of informed strategies to address the impact of the pandemic on ending child marriage including during the recovery period.
Further the assessment will seek to establish how Southern African countries can apply the SADC Model Law on Ending Child Marriage in addressing the impact of COVID 19 on ending child marriage including in the pandemic recovery period. It is proposed that the assessment focuses on six countries (two in Southern Africa two in East Africa, and two in North Africa) for in-depth in country assessment, while data will be sourced from any country with an available COVID -19 Gender Assessment Report or similar reports


The purpose of this assessment is to generate evidence on the impact of the COVID 19 pandemic on measures to end child marriage in Eastern and Southern Africa so as to inform the development/alignment of programme and advocacy strategies. The assessment is further intended to outline strategies for utilisation of the SADC Model law during COVID 19 and in the pandemic recovery period.


1. What is the situation of child marriage and teenage pregnancy in Eastern and Southern Africa during COVID 19?
2. What is the state of implementation of the SADC Model Law, AU Common Position on ending child marriage in the target countries?
3. What measures are in place to curb rising or expected spike in teenage pregnancies and child marriage during COVID 19 and to what extent are these implemented?
4. What strategies can be employed to reduce the vulnerability of children to child marriage and enhance agency and protection of girls already in marriage especially during and after COVID 19 pandemic?
5. How can the SADC Model Law on ending child marriage be utilised by SADC member states in addressing the impact of COVID 19 on ending child marriage work?

The primary users of the assessment report will be stakeholders working to end child marriage in Eastern and Southern Africa particularly Plan International, the AU Goodwill Ambassador on Ending Child Marriage, UNICEF ESA, UNFPA ESA, the SADC-Parliamentary Forum Model Laws Oversight Committee, governments, and civil society stakeholders in the region as well as young activists.


The approach will be qualitative and quantitative to include desk review, data collection through key informants derived from the target population (girls, young women, and boys) Un agencies, community leaders, parliament, government departments, Civil Society Organisations.


The consultant/s shall work with the assessment reference group in proposing the sample size and sampling methods in identifying and selecting the target respondents and locations in the region. The target countries are, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Somalia, Ethiopia, Egypt, Mozambique, Kenya, South Sudan, Sudan, Malawi, Tanzania, Zambia, Lebanon, Jordan, and Zimbabwe.


The consultant/researcher shall seek the information and views on current situation of ending child marriage during the COVID 19 pandemic from various stakeholders as alluded to above including from girls, boys, young women and men, community leaders, government representatives and parliamentarians in the targeted countries.


Plan International is committed to ensuring that the rights of those participating in data collection or analysis are respected and protected, in accordance with Ethical MERL Framework and our Global Policy on Safeguarding Children and Young People. All applicants should include details in their proposal on how they will ensure ethics and child protection in the data collection process. Specifically, the consultant(s) shall explain how appropriate, safe, non-discriminatory participation of all stakeholders will be ensured and how special attention will be paid to the needs of children and other vulnerable groups. The consultant(s) shall also explain how confidentiality and anonymity of participants will be guaranteed.


– Inception Report or assessment Protocol including:

  • an overview of available literature on the topic / a literature review
  • an updated timeline;
  • detailed methodology, including draft sampling methodology and sample size;
  • draft data collection tools;
  • ethical considerations;
  • consent forms for any primary data collection;
  • (draft) methods for data analysis;
  • Brief justification of the methods and techniques to be used (including relevant underlying values and assumptions/ theories) with a justification of the selections made (e.g. number of persons be interviewed).

– Approval from an ethical review body, or written justification of why this is not needed
– Draft Assessment Report
– Final Assessment Report as outlined below

1. Forward
2. Executive summary
3. Introduction
4. Methodology
4.1 Assessment methodology
4.2 Assessment limitations
5. Key findings
6. Recommendations

  • Recommendations for SADC-PF
  • Recommendations for member states and national parliaments
  • Recommendations for stakeholders working to end child marriage in the region including young advocates

7. Case studies
8. Annexes

  • Final Data Collection Tools
  • Final Sampling methodology (including unit of sampling and sampling frame) and size
  • Cleaned Data (including data files), transcripts of qualitative data, syntax/ code books etc.)
  • Completed Consent Forms (including for children and their caregivers and adults)
  • Other Communication products for dissemination, as required


The table below outlines what we assess as an estimated reasonable amount of time for this work to be done within the budget available. This work must be completed by September 2020. Penalties will be incurred for delays
Person days (estimate) Month
Inception 2 days Sept 2020
Desk review of external evidence 3 days Sept 2020
Methodology Design and Tool Design 3 days Sept 2020
Preparation meetings with country teams 3 days Sept 2020
Country data collection 10 days Sept – Oct 2020
Final report draft (allowing for three rounds of comments) 10 days Oct 2020
*These days can be discussed with the successful candidate and are adjustable across the different tasks.


The consultant/researcher shall lead the assessment and is expected to propose a budget that covers all related costs for the assignment together with the proposed methodology in the research proposal for this consultancy work. Plan International Zambia and RMT will assist the consultant in coordination and making appointment with relevant ministries and NGOs for data collection in target countries.


  • Post graduate degree or PhD preferred in Social Sciences, Development Studies, must have extensive experience in research
  • Strong experience in carrying out rapid assessment in an emergency in the area of Gender Based violence, legal policy implementation, and child protection
  • Strong technical knowledge and practical field experience in advocacy, gender equality, ending child marriage, child protection, including in Sexual Reproductive Health Rights.
  • Strong grasp of current thinking and approaches within the development sector with respect to gender-sensitive, gender-responsive and gender-transformative approaches.
  • Experience of rights-based approaches for inclusive programming and influencing
  • Experience in remote qualitative and quantitative data collection and participatory research methods
  • Proven experience of working on multi-country rapid assessment, evaluations and/or research
  • Excellent verbal and written communications skills in English, French and Portuguese.

13. Applications

All applicants should provide a proposal covering the following aspects:

  • Detailed response to the TOR
  • Proposed methodology
  • Ethics and child safeguarding approaches, including any identified risks and associated mitigation strategies
  • Proposed timelines
  • CVs
  • Example of previous work
  • Detailed budget, including daily fee rates, expenses, etc.
  • Police Certificates of Good Conduct – especially where there is primary data collection


Please send your applications to Plan International referencing 18+ Regional Assessment by 9th September 2020. Only those who meet the requirements will be contacted. The assignment will be managed by the 18+ Centre of Excellence on Ending Child Marriage in Middle East, Eastern and Southern Africa based in Lusaka Zambia together with collaborating partners including the assessment reference group that will be constituted at a later stage.

Annex 1: Global Policy: Safeguarding Children and Young People
Annex 2: MERL Policy



The purpose of this policy is to support robust and credible monitoring, evaluation, research and learning (MERL) practices across all Plan International programme and influence work. This policy articulates the importance of MERL to the organisation, defines each of the four components and outlines the approach that Plan International will take. It complements the Programme and Influence Quality Policy (PIQP) and Programme and Influence Approach (PIA).

This policy is supported by a set of global MERL Standards that outline our quality expectations for each MERL component.


This policy applies to all work that is undertaken by all Plan International offices under the global Programme and Influence Quality Policy, from which it is derived.

Plan International recognises that there are broad sets of responsibilities linked to MERL and these are outlined in an Accountability and Responsibility Framework. It is important to note that MERL is the responsibility of multiple functions across the organisation, and this policy should not be read as being only applicable to the work of MERL staff.


This policy is effective from the date of approval: November 2018.


This document shall be reviewed 2 years from the date of approval, with a view to update and improve the policy.


Plan International strives for a just world that advances children’s rights and equality for girls. Monitoring, evaluation, research and learning (MERL) are all vital to our ambition to support 100 million girls to be able to learn, lead, decide and thrive. In particular MERL underpins Plan International’s delivery of effective and accountable gender transformative programmes and influencing, as outlined in our global strategy.

Plan International recognises that the four components of MERL serve different purposes and require a variety of approaches, yet we see them as interconnected and mutually reinforcing.

Plan International believes that MERL is useful and drives learning to improve the quality of our programming, informs decision making by providing evidence to support our programme and influence priorities, and helps strengthen other actors’ abilities to contribute. As Plan International strengthens its position as an influencing organisation, there is an increased need for good quality MERL of influencing work, from local to global levels.

Good quality MERL is an integral part of the development and humanitarian process itself, by supporting children, families and communities and other key stakeholders to articulate their views, analyse their experiences and build up their confidence to take action. The people we work with have the direct experience of the results of our work and on the issues effecting their communities and we will systematically engage with them to explore how we can improve the work and achieve more.

Plan International will use the evidence and learning that is generated from quality MERL to help improve the effectiveness and efficiency of our operating model and to support the mobilisation of resources.

Plan international is committed to ensuring that MERL is gender transformative
Gender transformative objectives, practices, and methodologies must be integrated into MERL work so that this thinking can be mainstreamed across all stages of longer term programmes, shorter project cycles and investigative studies that seek to underpin programming and influencing.

Plan International is committed to the implementation of high quality MERL for Results Based Management (RBM).
Plan International appropriately resources rigorous, relevant and high quality MERL on all our programming and influencing work using the results to inform decision making and continuous improvement at project, programme and strategy level. To do so, Plan International ensures that all relevant staff have the appropriate MERL competencies, in line with the MERL Competency Framework.

Plan International is inclusive and accountable to programme participants, donors, and partners.
Plan International includes programme participants, donors and partners in MERL practices in a meaningful way. We recognise that MERL must drive greater efficiency in programme and influence work. This requires all offices within the organisation to recognise an integrative approach, that promotes participation, avoids duplication, harmonises practices and builds broad collective ownership and support for MERL that minimises cost and time.

Plan International is transparent and honest.
Being open and accountable is one of our core values and underpins our MERL practices. Plan International is working towards full compliance with the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI) and will provide the systems and supporting environment whereby country office data will be available for reporting against the IATI Standards.

Plan International defines monitoring as a continuing process that involves systematic collection and analysis of data, including feedback from stakeholders, to provide management and the main stakeholders of an ongoing intervention with relevant information about the extent of progress and achievement of objectives, quality of approaches and relationships, as well as progress in the use of allocated funds.

Data generated through monitoring activities is systematically and periodically analysed and learnings identified. Specific actions to improve how we design and implement our programming and influencing work are identified and implemented.

Plan International staff, across different functions, monitor the following in all programme and influence work:

  • Processes: the quality of how we implement our interventions
  • Outputs: the immediate results of our activities
  • Outcomes: specific changes among target groups, stakeholders and institutions
  • Finances: the full cost of both project delivery and the required support


Plan International defines evaluation as an in-depth assessment of an on-going or completed project, programme or policy, covering its design, implementation and results. Evaluations include analysis of both qualitative and quantitative data and incorporate feedback from key stakeholders.

Plan International’s evaluations include assessments of:

  • Effectiveness: the extent to which, and the reasons behind, the achievement (or not) of the project or programme’s objectives, and whether these are leading to unintended (positive or negative) consequences for anybody involved or affected by the interventions.
  • Sustainability: the probability of continued long-term benefits to the target populations after the project or programme has been completed.
  • Relevance: the extent to which the interventions and their approaches were suited to the priorities and policies of the people and communities they were intended to benefit.
  • Efficiency: the extent to which financial resources were used economically and efficiently
  • Child rights, gender and inclusion: the extent to which the project or programme applied gender and inclusion sensitive approaches and explicitly aimed for results that improve the rights of children and young people and gender equality.

In some specific cases, it will be appropriate to conduct impact evaluations to establish causal attribution to any observed positive and negative, primary and secondary long-term effects observed. However, due to the complexity and cost of such evaluations, this will require the appropriate level of planning and resourcing.


Plan International defines research as original investigation, undertaken in order to gain knowledge and understanding about issues critical for Plan International’s programme and influencing priorities, through the use of qualitative and quantitative research methodologies.

At Plan International, we conduct research on topics which:

  • have been identified as a knowledge gap related to Plan International’s programming and/or influencing priorities and/or country strategies
  • reflect Plan International’s broader ambitions around child rights, inclusion and gender transformative programming and influencing
  • provide relevant, up-to-date information and analysis that contributes to strengthen the knowledge in the sector and in the country or region of implementation.


Plan International defines learning as an ongoing and continuous process of reflection and critical thinking with the purpose of developing new or modifying existing knowledge, attitudes, skills and practices.

Learning processes should draw on data collected from monitoring, evaluation and research initiatives, as well as the experiences and information that exist among those involved.

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