Consultant – Gender Equity and Social Inclusion

OTT Consulting Consultant

Commissioning work: Exploring gender equity and social inclusion in transparency, accountability and participation


As part of the Hewlett Foundation’s transparency, accountability and participation (TPA) strategy refresh process, OTT Consulting is undertaking an evaluation of the strategy and a landscape scan to explore how the TPA field is evolving and what the emerging challenges and opportunities are. This assignment is being commissioned as part of the scan.  

Objective of the assignment

In the last five years, the foundation’s TPA strategy has supported projects that seek to further gender equity and social inclusion (GESI) by enhancing the participation of underrepresented or marginalised groups in governance and social accountability. Notable grantmaking areas have included natural resource governance, tax and social accountability programmes in sectors such as health (including universal health coverage and sexual and reproductive health) and water and sanitation.

OTT seeks a consultant to explore key questions that will help the foundation to better understand the nature and dynamics of GESI in some of the countries where it is working; how these issues show up in governance and citizen participation programmes, platforms and mechanisms (common barriers and opportunities); and what the landscape of civil society groups or movements that are self-organising to make their voices heard and address these issues looks like.

The landscape scan has five focus countries: Kenya, Tanzania, Senegal, Ghana and Burkina Faso. In this study, we suggest that the consultant undertake deep dives in three of these five countries: Senegal, Kenya and one other. 

Key questions

Specific questions that the foundation seeks answers to are:

  1. How are terms such as ‘underrepresented’, ‘underserved’ and ‘marginalised populations/groups’ understood and interpreted? How do groups that may fall into the category of GESI self-identify? What terms or ways of describing these groups would be most appropriate for a funder like the Hewlett Foundation to adopt to ensure that it honours people’s dignity and can lift up their voices more authentically?
  2. Which groups tend to be underrepresented or marginalised with regards to governance, citizen participation and service delivery oversight processes in our focus areas and why? How do different forms of discrimination intersect in the target geographies?
  3. What roles have underrepresented groups themselves played in advancing improved governance, citizen participation and service delivery oversight and/or improved access and outcomes for themselves and others? 
  4. How does representation of underrepresented or marginalised groups (in political and economic spheres, such as running for office, representation in formal decision-making etc.) affect governance, citizen participation and service delivery oversight, and access and outcomes for these groups? What works and what does not? What are the risks and obstacles?
  5. What is the landscape of social/political movements or civil society groups led by (and campaigning for the rights of underrepresented groups) in the focus countries for this study (or regionally)?  What is known about the extent to which these groups have been able to help create the conditions for improvements in governance and service delivery access and outcomes?
  6. Given the multiple identities people carry with them, how do these movements integrate intersectionality into their work?
  7. To what extent do national and local governments and other stakeholders prioritise/seek to advance the participation of underrepresented or marginalised groups?
  8. What opportunities are there for funders (like the Hewlett Foundation) to: (a) integrate a deeper, more constructive and authentic understanding of GESI into its strategies in the future, (b) support the work of existing social/political movements or civil society groups that are already working with these populations on these or related issues.  What changes in policy, practice or relationships might help facilitate this?


We are looking for a candidate with the following knowledge, skills and experience:

  • Experience undertaking research in the governance, citizen participation and/or social accountability field.
  • Knowledge and expertise on GESI.
  • Experience advising funders (preferred).
  • Experience living and working in East or West Africa (preferred).
  • Proficiency in English.
  • Proficiency in French (preferred).

Deliverables and timeline

  • An inception report (five pages) outlining (a) the consultant’s methodology and approach to answer the questions and carry out this study to completion, (b) any revisions or additions to the questions that the consultant would propose, and (c) a timeline/work plan showing dates for submission of a draft report, a final report and other key deliverables.
  • A draft report (roughly 15-20 pages, with annexes if required) and PowerPoint slide deck.
  •  Presentation to the Hewlett Foundation TPA strategy team.
  • A final report.

We anticipate that this assignment will begin sometime in December and will be completed with all deliverables met no later than 30 March 2021.

How to apply

Please send the following:
  • A one-page note outlining any responses or comments to the questions and how the consultant proposes to answer them (e.g. interviews, document reviews, websites).
  • A budget proposal that does not exceed US$18,000
  • A short (two-three-page) CV.

Please send these documents to Linnea Mills ([email protected]) by 4 December 2020.

We aim to have a conversation with shortlisted applicants in the week of 7 December, with the assignment due to start shortly after that.