ISSUE DATE: September 11, 2020
SUBMISSION DATE: September 25, 2020

Women’s World Banking seeks an experienced research firm to conduct qualitative research among low-income populations and women entrepreneurs in Cambodia to address access to and utilization of financial services.

For nearly 40 years, Women’s World Banking has partnered with financial institutions, showing them the benefit of investing in women as customers. We equip these institutions with in-depth research and data driven insights to develop financial products and educational programs. While our clients are financial service providers, our mission is to engage consumers – women who are marginalized by financial systems.

Women’s World Banking, Inc. is a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization registered in New York, that designs market-driven solutions, invests in financial institutions, and helps to shape policy environments in emerging markets to create greater economic stability and prosperity for women, their families, and their communities. The direct beneficiaries of our work include low-income women customers of financial service providers (FSPs) in developing countries.

Women’s World Banking’s co-actors are its global network of cross-sector partners including retail banks, mobile network operators, FinTech companies, governments, multinational corporations and funders, which today includes 55 organizations in 32 countries, serving more than 30 million women clients. These network members serve as implementing, catalyzing, and strategic partners that help Women’s World Banking achieve its mission.

Women’s World Banking is working in Cambodia 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 use of quality financial products and services. Under this initiative, Women’s World Banking will conduct qualitative research and is seeking a research firm that can assist in this activity. These engagements involve in-depth qualitative research. The main activities that we expect from this consulting partnership are listed below.

Qualitative Research


  • Coordinate all logistics related to the interviews (securing space, refreshments, recruitment of participants, any necessary local permissions, and provision of participant compensation/incentives). Some of these activities are listed below in more detail.
  • 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; and audio recording of sessions may be required.
  • Refreshments: Arrange for light refreshments (snack and drink)
  • Incentives: Arrange for financial compensation (travel reimbursement) for all participants.

Participant Recruitment

  • Successfully recruit participants for group sessions and/or in person 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, factory workers, mobile money users, remittance and government subsidy receivers.

Facilitation, transcription and coding:

  • Conduct focus group sessions and interviews with women and men, using a semi-structured or structured discussion guide. Women’s World Banking will develop the guides with input from the research firm.
  • Pilot questions on the interview guide and share results from the pilot with Women’s World Banking
  • Audio record each interview and share English transcripts with Women’s World Banking. Transcripts should ideally be shared within 48 hours of the completion of each research day to ensure that the content is aligned with the expectations of the Women’s World Banking research team.
  • Provide all raw notes from the interviews, including any audio or video recordings.
  • Participate in regular discussions with the Women’s World Banking research team to discuss emerging themes and reflect on the research approach.
  • Identify and hire one or two interpreters for simultaneous translation to participate in all research sessions, as needed.


  • Analyze session transcripts through inductive themes analysis, in partnership with the Women’s World Banking team. The research firm will lead the analytic coding and synthesis of findings with input from Women’s World Banking;
  • Develop PowerPoint deck detailing key themes and findings, including breakdown by any relevant segments and geographies. Provide in-depth analytic content from the analysis.

 Workshop/design facilitation

  • Assist in facilitating interactive workshops with partner institutions to share research findings and brainstorm or collaboratively build solutions
  • Support in arranging workshop logistics, development of materials (slides, handouts) for workshop activities, and coordinating any other materials needed for the activities (markers, post-its, paper)
  • Transcribe detailed notes from interactive workshop activities
  • Synthesize results of discussion in written document or slides deck


Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, many of the activities listed under may need to be conducted remotely. We expect the research firm to adjust the activities and conduct them online or remotely. Some of these adjustments are:

  • Recruit participants for virtual focus groups discussions and / or individual remote interviews
  • Develop a standard protocol for contacting participants and conducting remote user interviews
  • Arrange for a convenient time and place with the participant to participate in remote research and follow-up with everyone to ensure availability.
  • Manage all aspects of remote participant compensation (e.g. airtime top up, etc.)

Research firms with remote research experience are particularly encouraged to apply.

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 1 week in October 2020.

Field research will take place in Cambodia. Firms may apply if they have substantial research experience in Cambodia.


  • Experience conducting research related to financial services
  • Experience managing remote qualitative research activities, including remote recruitment, conducting virtual individual in-depth interviews/survey and focus group discussions with low-income women via phone, video chat, or other medium
  • 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
  • Flexibility and ability to adapt to changes in project timelines and needs
  • 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
  • Fluency in English required
  • Availability to attend regular calls with Women’s World Banking staff. Meeting hours need to be flexible sometime between 8 am – 5 pm EST.

Please submit your application, including the following components, by Friday, September 25, 2020 at 11:59 PM EST at the latest.

*** Only Cambodia-based firms will be selected for this consultancy ***
*** Applications should be submitted in English ***

Applications should include:

  • Cover Letter
  • A document that describes previous experiences of the firm in conducting relevant projects. Please fill the Research Experience Template using this link.
  • Resume or CV of the main people who will be involved in the project
  • Cost template in USD using this link
  • Description of remote research methods the firm has conducted or has the capacity to conduct
  • Three references

Applicants may submit their question(s) in writing until September 23, 2020 to Please include in the e-mail subject line “RFQ: Research Firm in Cambodia.”

Apply Now!

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: What is the duration of the consultancy, and what does retainership mean and entail?
A: Retainership means that the Research Firm will have a contract to work for Women’s World Banking for one year whenever we have a project in Cambodia. The data collection for the first project is estimated to hold for one week in October 2020.

Q: Methodology: as per RFP, this will be a qualitative study. Will it be Focus Group Discussion or In-depth interview.
A: It will be In-depth Individual Interviews (IDIs)

Q:  What is the length of interview / discussion?
A: The length of interview will be 1-hour long.

Q: What is the sample size for FGDs and individual interviews? How many Focus Group Discussions (FGDs) to be conducted?
A: It will be less than 20 people in a given urban area. The Final Sample size and location will be confirmed upon creating the contract for this particular engagement (Called a notice to Proceed or NTP). The final budget will be based on that information. For now, we are only requesting firms to submit a notional budget that shows rates per unit of work in the template provided.

Q: Any flexibility to schedule the study in November 2020?
A: The study will hold in October.