ISSUE DATE: February 27, 2020
SUBMISSION DATE: March 12, 2020

Women’s World Banking seeks an experienced research firm to conduct quantitative and/or qualitative research among low-income women in India to address access to and utilization of financial services.

About Women’s World Banking
Mission: To expand the economic assets, participation, and power of low-income women and their households by helping them access financial services, knowledge and markets

Vision: One day all women will be able to build a secure and prosperous financial future for themselves and their households

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 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 achieve Women’s World Banking’s mission.

Project Context
Women face many barriers to saving which prevent them from addressing their lifecycle financial needs. These barriers to saving actively could be knowledge, attitudinal, societal & institutional. Women’s World Banking is working in India to increase the use of financial services and products. Women’s World Banking will broadly assess the effectiveness of the ongoing solutions through impact assessment, pilot assessment, M&E, outcome research and going forward also explore opportunities, identify needs and barriers for future solutions.

The objective of the partner agency is to conduct client and channel focused research through a variety of methodologies, as needed – like impact evaluation, pilot assessment, outcomes research and others as needed.

IRB Approval and Management:

Identify what Institutional Review Board (IRB) for conducting the field research would be use.

  • Ensure creation and sharing informed consent form with Women’s World Banking for approval.
  • Organize and submit all documentation to obtain ethical research clearance by a local Institutional Review Board.
  • Ensure sharing full IRB submission (in English) with Women’s World Banking for review, feedback and approval.
  • Obtain all permits and local government approvals, as required.
  • Manage ongoing issues that may arise from local IRB.

Research methodology:

Design and plan researches using a mixed-methods approach including quantitative and qualitative research to conduct studies and validate solution outputs.

Qualitative Research:

Conduct qualitative research including but not limited to

  • Individual semi-structured interviews
    • Key Informants
    • Customer (low-income and urban and rural populations)
  • Focus group discussion
  • Observations

Interview guides:

  • Design interview guide
  • Translate guides into local language
  • Pilot questions on the interview guide
  • Record any modifications made to the guide
  • Share results from the pilot with Women’s World Banking

Participant recruitment:

  • Propose sampling methodology for approval by Women’s World Banking. Design sample size, number of participants and method of participant selection (to be determined at time of qualitative research and may be informed by quantitative surveys or other inputs).
  • 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. Segments may include, but are not limited to: low-income women, factory workers, entrepreneurs, remittance receivers, entrepreneurs or MFI or FSP clients and non-clients.


Additionally, the research partner will be responsible for all logistics related to the interviews (securing space, refreshments, recruitment of participants, and provision of participant compensation/incentives). This may include the following activities:


  • 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; and Videotaping of sessions may be required.


  • Arrange for light refreshments (snack and drink) and financial compensation (travel reimbursement) for all participants;

Facilitation/ transcription/ coding:

  • Conduct or organize to conduct focus group sessions and interviews with women and men, using a semi-structured or structured discussion guide. Women’s World Banking will review the guides.
  • Audio record each interview and share English transcripts with Women’s World Banking. Transcripts should 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.
  • Logistics point person must be present at focus group 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 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.


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

Quantitative Surveys:


  • develop the questionnaire and align Women’s World Banking
  • Translate questionnaire into local language
  • Program the quantitative interview guides into software (e.g., SurveyCTO) to administer computer-assisted personal interviews
  • Pilot and test the survey
  • Record any modifications made to the survey
  • Share pilot results with Women’s World Banking
  • Update survey based on findings from the pilot prior to going to the field
  • Train and supervise quantitative research team
  • Ensure deep understanding of the objectives of the research and meaning of the research questions.
  • Women’s World Banking research team may participate in some aspect of the training (e.g., discuss training plan with field coordinator)
  • Supervise enumerators and conduct regular quality checks, providing written reports to Women’s World Banking
  • Provide research plan that describes the training, research team composition and structure, number of interviews to be conducted per day, strategy to ensure data quality
  • Participate in regular progress updates with Women’s World Banking team (frequency and channel of communication to be determined)

Recruit all research respondents:

  • Propose sampling methodology for approval by Women’s World Banking. 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.
  • Provide feedback on screening/eligibility criteria developed by Women’s World Banking for the given study
  • Recruit respondents according to study eligibility criteria
  • Assign a unique ID (not a national ID) for all respondents
  • Set appropriate survey participant compensation/incentives

Data sharing:

  • On a regular basis, provide de-identified raw data to Women’s World Banking to review
  • Clean and code collected data
  • Provide final survey tool in English and local language, complete and clean dataset with coding scheme, and any data files associated with the survey. All variables and answers should be translated into English

Quantitative implementation report:

  • Provide implementation report describing fully the methodology and sampling strategy used, response rates, respondent compensation, and any challenges (and changes) encountered during fieldwork. Report should include descriptive statistics, summary of key findings, and data visualization.

The duration of this consultancy is estimated to be from March 2020 – March 2021.

Research activities should begin upon contract award.

Field research will take place in multiple locations throughout India. Firms may apply if they have substantial research experience in India across urban, semi urban and rural locations.


  • Experience conducting research in the financial services
  • Understanding of low income segment, financial inclusion, financial products like saving, loans, insurance.
  • 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
  • Experience conducting large-scale quantitative surveys, various sampling methods and quantitative analysis
  • Experience in conducting Monitoring and evaluation. Pilot assessment, long term Outcomes research
  • Experience using Survey CTO and CSPro or other form of survey digitization (SurveyCTO preferred)
  • 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
  • Fluency in English required
  • Availability to attend regular calls with Women’s World Banking staff. Meeting hours need to be flexible sometime between 9:30 am – 6 pm IST (on a periodic basis)

Please submit your application, including the following components, by Thursday, March 12, 2020 Tuesday, March 17, 2020 at 11:59 PM EST at the latest:

Applicants may submit their question(s) in writing until March 13, 2020 to Please include in the e-mail subject line “RFQ: Consumer and Channel Research in India.”

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.