ISSUE DATE: July 18, 2019
SUBMISSION DATE: August 20, 2019

Women’s World Banking seeks an experienced research firm to recruit customers for and manage qualitative research among low-income women in Zambia.

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 40 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 49 institutions in 32 countries to create access to finance on a greater scale than ever before.

Women’s World Banking is working in Zambia to understand the financial lives, needs and behaviors of low-income women. The goals of the work will be to help financial services providers increase women’s access to and use of quality financial products and services (such as savings, credit, digital financial services, etc.). Under this initiative, Women’s World Banking will conduct qualitative research and is seeking a research firm that can assist in this activity.

The objective of the consultancy is to recruit and manage client-focused research with individual and group interviews. Research will need to be conducted with men and women separately, in both urban and rural regions Research activities may include (but are not limited to):

Qualitative Research:
Recruit for and manage qualitative research in the form of individual interviews or groups of both clients and non-clients. Firm would be responsible for all logistics of interviews (securing space, refreshments, recruitment of participants, and provision of participant compensation/incentives). This may include the following activities:

  • Participant Recruitment: Successfully recruit participants for group sessions and/or interviews. Arrange for a convenient time and location with the participant to participate in the research and follow up with this person to ensure availability. Number of participants and method of participant selection will be determined at time of qualitative research and may be informed by quantitative surveys or other inputs. Segments may include, but are not limited to: low-income women (segment A, B or C income segments), factory workers, mobile money users or non-users, remittance receivers, entrepreneurs or MFI or FSP clients and non-clients.
  • Venues: Identify and secure research venues for sessions. Venues should be neutral, quiet locations that offer privacy, are easily accessible by participants, and acceptable for cultural norms for women; Two-way mirrors are not required;
  • Transcripts: Audiotaping is required. Transcripts of the sessions could be needed as well.
  • Refreshments: Arrange for light refreshments (snack and drink) and financial compensation (travel reimbursement) for all participants;
  • Interpretation: Identify and hire one or two interpreters for simultaneous translation to participate in all research sessions attended by the Women’s World Banking team;
  • Note Taking: Identify and hire one or two note takers to take notes during all research sessions;
  • Transportation and accommodation for own and Women’s World Banking staff, as needed.

The selected consultant will be placed on a retainer contract for multiple engagements for one year, to be extended at Women’s World Banking’s discretion. The first project is estimated to be for 2 weeks in October 2019.

Zambia, exact location TBC


  • Experience conducting research in the financial services;
  • Understanding of digital financial services/digital payment solutions
  • Deep understanding of issues around women’s financial inclusion as well as broader issues that women specifically face;
  • Experience conducting qualitative research in the form of interviews and focus groups with low-income women;
  • Proactive project management skills with strong attention to detail;
  • Experience working in tight timelines and rigorous schedule of data collection;
  • Experience working in a multilateral and cross-time-zone team to meet deliverables;
  • Commitment to delivering excellent quality results that can have a meaningful impact for women; and
  • Fluency in English required.
  • Availability to attend the meetings with Women’s World Banking staff. Meeting hours need to be flexible sometime between 8 am – 5 pm EST.

Please submit your application by August 20, 2019 at midnight EST.

Applications should include: a cover letter, qualifications, and fee breakdown including unit costs (e.g., cost per individual or group interview).

The application should include the elements below:

  • Statement of your organization’s capacity to effectively conduct some or all of the specific activities described and relevant experience for each;
  • Team structure and organization of work: describe the proposed team and how they will be organized, and include CV(s) of senior staff who will lead the work;
  • Brief overview of proposed approaches for each component outlined above, and how capacity and/or research approach would differ across markets; and
  • References (minimum of two).

Apply Now!

Applicants may submit their question(s) in writing until August 19, 2019 to  Please include in the e-mail subject line “RFQ: Consumer Research in Zambia ”

This RFQ does not guarantee or commit Women’s World Banking to proceeding with the above described work. Due to overwhelming response, not all candidates will be contacted.

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

 Women’s World Banking will be unable to contract with any individual who is US citizen or resident without an LLC or LP or similar structure.

Q: Can you accept a price range based off the number of research?
: Please price per research activity – price per IDI, FG, transcription,etc.  Since we will still determine the number of research activities per given trip, we can take pricing per activity into account.

Q: Should the research firm be based in Zambia?
A: While the firm does not need to be headquartered in Zambia, you will need to specify how you will locally recruit and engage with participants and coordinate all of the research logistics.  We expect high participation on the ground and will need to understand the level of local engagement.

Q: Are activities over the life of the retainer contract expected to be wider in scope from the first 2 week project description (recruit and manage client-focused research with individual and group interviews) or should we expected that similar activities will be performed repeatedly over that period?
A: We have planned only one 2-week engagement, with potential for a repeat but we cannot commit to anything.

Q: Is this open to international firms?
A: Yes.