ISSUE DATE: September 28, 2020
SUBMISSION DATE: October 19, 2020

Women’s World Banking seeks an experienced research firm to conduct qualitative research among low-income populations and women entrepreneurs in India 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.

WWB has been a global leader in Women’s financial inclusion from past 40 years with global reach of 63 million women. In India, WWB primarily undertakes projects to understand the financial lives, needs and behaviors of low-income women and women entrepreneurs. 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 research and is seeking a firm that can assist to conduct the research. The main activities that we expect from this consulting partnership are listed below.

Depending on the needs of the project, the Consultant will be responsible for some or all of the following:

  1. Conducting quantitative surveys or studies
  2. Execution of qualitative research
  3. Ensuring flawless execution of research logistics

The agency should be capable of conducting the research through multiple modes such as in person interviews, telephonic surveys, focused group discussions and customer panels.

The following details out the various aspects which the research agency may have to undertake as part of the project. Depending on the individual projects, the scope of the work may be subsequently extended or limited.

  • Conduct quantitative surveys or studies

The agency may be asked to conduct the following with respect to quantitative studies:

  • Collaboration on survey instrument creation, methodology development and analysis
  • Field testing of survey instruments, piloting questions
  • Executing the survey
  • Overseeing data collection activities
  • Entering, cleaning and/or coding data
  • Analyzing findings
  • Designing and submitting final reports in written document or slide decks


  • Qualitative Research Execution:

The agency may be asked to conduct and/or moderate qualitative sessions which incude responsibilities such as:

  • Participate in regular discussions with the WWB to discuss emerging themes and reflect on the research approach.
  • Undergoing training of a particular methodology
  • Conducting interviews, focus groups or other types of sessions
  • Synthesize results of discussion in written document or slides deck


  • Research logistics

The agency will be expected to carry out certain logistical functions necessary for conducting the research:

  • Participant Recruitment
    • Successfully recruit appropriate number of participants for research sessions, per agreed criteria
    • Depending on the project, customers would either be recruited from lists provided by the institution, or from the open market
  • Venues
    • Identify and secure research venues for sessions. Venues should be neutral, quiet locations that offer privacy and are easily accessible by participants, for example a spare room in a hotel or restaurant.
    • While preferred venues will have electricity, two-way mirrors are not required. In some cases, a separate room with audio will be required, to allow team members to listen to sessions as they are held
  • 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.
    • Women’s World Banking may also occasionally request interpreters for field activities
  • Other Logistics:
    • Be present at research sites to ensure logistics of participant arrival and criteria confirmation, as well as facilitate logistics of research venue, refreshments and financial compensation.
    • Provide all raw notes and transcripts from the interviews, including any audio or video recordings

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

  • Experience conducting individual-level quantitative and qualitative surveys, including ability to conduct and complete large sample phone surveys within time frames. Ability to train enumerators and test pilot surveys
  • Experience conducting different types of qualitative research, including focus groups, individual interviews and behavioral narratives; ability to train enumerators and field guides for interviews
  • Ability to conduct analysis of data and development of report on results with recommendations
  • Ability to conduct quantitative and qualitative interviews in local and regional languages of India
  • Experience conducting research with low-income participants, and participants with limited to no literacy, particularly with a focus on women.

Deliverables to include fully developed research design, sampling strategies and workplan, analysis and report. The final deliverables will be detailed out depending on the scope of the projects.

Timelines expected
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

To Apply
Applications must be received no later than Monday, October 19, 2020 Saturday October 24, 2020 at 11:59 PM EST at the latest.

Your application should include the following elements:

  1. Organizational Capacity and Experience
    • Please provide a brief statement of your organization’s capacity to complete this work, listing similar projects completed/relevant organizational experience.
    • A description of the proposed team, including team leaders, supervisors, survey staff and any others who will be involved with the work and how they are organized
    • Presence in other cities and head quarter
    • Team size
  1. Cost template using this LINK
  2. “Three” references with whom the agency has worked in the past

Applicants may submit their question(s) in writing until October 15, 2020 October 21, 2020 to Please include in the e-mail subject line “RFQ: Research Firm in India.” DO NOT SEND APPLICATIONS TO THIS EMAIL ADDRESS. Applications must be submitted through the below link to be considered.

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: Are there any restrictions on international partners applying for this call?
A: International agencies can apply, provided they have undertaken similar research projects in India and have a presence in key metro and semi urban cities in India.

Q: Is it possible to provide the budget in currency other than Rs?
A: Budgets can be provided in USD and subsequently applicable exchange rates can be finalized

Q: Would you be any to share any more information regarding the potential budget for this call?
A: As the scope of future projects are still under deliberation, information on potential budgets cannot be disclosed currently.

Q: Are we ale to indicate which particular context we want to execute the research in?
A: The research will broadly fall under the subject of financial inclusion, focused for low-income women in both urban and rural India. Depending on the scope of the future projects, the research will be customized to the required topics under financial inclusion

Q: Is there a geographical preference for the call?
A: We would suggest to make the submission and inform us about the key geographies where you are able to undertake extensive research and done so in the past. We may undertake some projects in the future which could be limited to only few geographies and can therefore consider your proposal for those projects

Q: What are the project objectives, outcomes, No of beneficiaries, activities, any baseline?  It would be helpful to also share the budget limits and any cap on the Indirect costs.
A: The projects are under discussions currently, hence we are unable to share the details of the project. The purpose of the RFQ is enter into retainer agreements with leading research organizations in India for potential work. Do make the submissions as per the minimum work that is typically undertaken for each of the modules so that we can get a cost estimate.

Q: Can two research firms/organizations based in India jointly submit a bid?
A: Yes a bid can be submitted, but kindly do specify the internal agreements between the two firms and what scope of work typically which organization covers.

Q: Can we tie-up with a survey agency, as the data needs to be collected across India?
A: Yes, a tie-up with a survey agency is fine, but do share some details of the kind of agreement you have in place with them and if they have done any prior work for your agency.

Q: What is the total Sample Size you look forward to the successful completion of the Research? What shall be the No: of Locations/States that need to be covered for data collection?
A: The projects are under discussions currently, hence we are unable to share the exact details of the project. The purpose of the RFQ is to enter into retainer agreements with leading research organizations in India for potential work. Do make the submissions as per the minimum work that is typically undertaken for each of the modules so that we can get a cost estimate. Also, if you have expertise in certain states or cities in India do mention the same as well.

Q: You would require is to provide references entailing contact details of name, designation and contact co-ordinates of clients/projects we have worked with in the past, is there anything else in addition the references should include?
A: References should be former clients or people who have worked with. You should share their contact information for our team to reach out to them.