Date Issued: January 22, 2016

Submission Date (extended): February 19, 2016

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Women’s World Banking seeks a research firm specializing in behavioral economics intervention, with a focus on financial inclusion, to support in the design and management of the research component of a project to expand women’s access and usage of digital financial services (DFS). This project leverages an innovative partnership between a bank and a mobile network operator in Nigeria and aims to build understanding of what it takes to make DFS work for women and to become a demonstration model for successful DFS initiatives globally.

The project includes the implementation and testing of engagement strategies, such as marketing approaches, agent training and incentive programs, and enhanced use cases through additional mobile-based products.

About Women’s World Banking
Women’s World Banking is the global non-profit devoted to giving more low-income women access to the financial tools and resources essential to their security and prosperity. For more than 35 years we have worked with financial institutions to show them the benefit of investing in women as clients, and as leaders. We equip these institutions to meet women’s needs through authoritative market research, leadership training, sustainable financial products and consumer education. Headquartered in New York, Women’s World Banking works with 39 institutions in 28 countries with a reach of 14 million women to create access to finance on a greater scale than ever before.

Objectives and Responsibilities
Women’s World Banking is seeking a research firm specializing in behavioral economics intervention, with a focus on financial inclusion, to collaborate on research design and management. Proposals must be based on behavioral economics theories and concepts.

The responsibilities of the firm include (but are not limited to):

  • Conduct a literature review on best practices, including testing SMS-based communications in financial services
  • Collaborate with Women’s World Banking to develop the research methodology, including:
    • Engage in Behavioral mapping: Work with involved organizations to engage in a behavioral mapping process to tease out sequence of events from the client’s engagement and activities.
      • Develop the experimental design and intervention, including hypotheses and sampling strategy
      • Design tracking methodology for treatment and control groups
      • Establish data collection methods, and analysis plan for account data
      • Develop behavioral interventions, including, but not limited to, variations to SMS message content, agent training materials and agent incentive schemes
    • Provide advisory services through the implementation of the testing
    • Collaborate on analysis of data
      • Use collected and cleaned descriptive data and account usage data to describe participants (using demographic, financial and account usage variables) and determine causal relationship between variables (driver of outcomes)

Preferred Qualifications
Ideal respondents to this RFP include research organizations with skills and competencies in the following areas:

  • Expertise in behavioral economics interventions, including RCTs
  • Experience in research on financial inclusion (gender components preferred)
  • Experience applying the principles of behavioral economics to changing behavior by designing behavioral nudges through real world products, processes and/or services
  • Experience working with and managing randomized control and treatment groups for a large client pool (over 100,000 clients), multiple datasets, and multiple organizations

The research design will begin in early 2016, and testing will begin in July of 2016.

To Apply
Proposals must be received no later than February 19, 2016 and should include the elements below:

  1. Organizational Capacity and Experience
    • Please provide a brief statement of your organization’s capacity to complete this work, listing similar projects and completed/relevant organizational experience.
  2. Team Structure and Organization of Work
    • Describe the proposed team required and how they will be organized.
    • Attach CVs of senior staff who will be leading the work.
  3. Availability
    • Specify availability for the described activities in the indicated time period, as well as any times where availability it limited
  4. References (at least two)
  5. Proposed budget

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There will be an informational conference call on Monday, February 1, 2016 from 9:30am-10:30am EST.  We will review the proposal, the research project, and answer any questions you may have about the process. If you are unable to attend the informational call, all questions and answers will be posted on our website shortly thereafter. On February 1, the following phone conference line will be available for call-in:  1-866-528-2256, code 5047410 between 9:30am and 10:30am EST.

Applicants may submit their question(s) in writing to Please include in the e-mail subject line “Questions: Research Design – Client Behavior in Digital Financial Services (Firm).”

This RFP does not guarantee or commit Women’s World Banking to proceeding with the above-described work. Due to an overwhelming number of responses, not all candidates will be contacted.

Women’s World Banking is an equal employment opportunity for all regardless of race, color, citizenship, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, disability, veteran or reservist status or any other category protected by federal, state or local law.


Q: Do you have a list of deliverables you anticipate?
A: As outlined in the RFP, we will require a literature review and research methodology to be developed. Any additional deliverables will be negotiated and formalized as part of the contracting process.

Q: Can you talk more about the outcome of interest? How do you define usage?
A: The outcome of interest is to increase funding and usage (a certain number of transactions over a specific period), particularly among women.

Q: How much travel do you anticipate needed by the firm?
A: The amount of travel required, if any, will depend upon the methodology proposed by the individual firm along with the team from Women’s World Banking.

Q: Is there a page limit to the “brief statement?”
A: There is no page limit to the “brief statement” required for this proposal.

Q: Are you open to a consortium (different organizations) bidding together?
A: We are open to a consortium. It may be beneficial to have a lead organization/point person. Any variances in rates, anticipated services, etc. across organizations should be specified.

Q: Do you anticipate we would start as soon as March or later, given the February 12th deadline?
A: We anticipate work beginning in mid to late March.

Q; To what extent do you expect reports as part of the deliverables?
A: While we have not identified specific reports that will be required as part of the deliverables, we will likely require some of the deliverables in written format.

Q: What is the budget available for this work? Will the Consultant be expected to include the cost of data collection?
A: We are unable to share budget information at this time. Please propose a daily rate or flat fee for this project. Do not include cost of data collection in your proposed budget.

Q: Do you have any preference as to the size and composition of the team?
A: We do not have any preference as to the size and composition of the team.

Q: The RFP refers very clearly to RCT, are you open to other methodologies?
A: Yes, provided they stand up to scientific rigor and integrity.

Q: Will data be collected from MIS or from personal interviews?
A: Data will be received regularly from the bank and mobile network operator. We are open to additional data collection techniques.

Q: Are an approach and methodology required for this proposal or will a detailed workplan with timelines be sufficient?
A: A proposed approach and methodology are required.

Q: Is there a limit on the number of “similar projects and completed/relevant organizational experience” we have to include in the proposal?
A: There is no limit or expected number you need to include; however, please include the most recent and relevant.

Q: Is there a template or limit on the number of pages for detailed CVs?
A: No, there is no template or page limit for CVs.

Q: Is the organization expected to conduct a primary survey of the ultimate beneficiaries of the “Women World Banking” or will it be limited to the officials of Women’s World Banking, the partner bank, the mobile network operator and other relevant stakeholders?
A: The research firm will work with Women’s World Banking and the financial institution to conduct any primary research, if needed.

Q: In which regions of Nigeria will the research be completed?
A: Research will be done in Lagos, Nigeria. Travel by the research firm may or may not be required.

Q: Is there a budget template or other guidance that we should use to submit the proposed budget for this scope of work?
A: We do not have a template or guidance on the proposed budget for this scope of work. Candidates may propose either daily rates or flat fees for their proposed scope of work.

Q: What type of contract or agreement is envisioned?
A: We require that consultants sign a standard contract with us that is structured either on a daily rate or flat fee basis, incorporating the agreed-upon scope of work.