ISSUE DATE: June 4, 2020
SUBMISSION DATE: June 18, 2020


Women’s World Banking seeks an experienced research firm to conduct quantitative and qualitative research among low-income populations and women entrepreneurs in Mexico 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 has various projects related with women´s financial inclusion and financial resilience in Mexico. These engagements involve in-depth qualitative and quantitative research. The main activities that we expect from this consulting partnership are listed below.

IRB Approval and Management

  • Identify what Institutional Review Board (IRB) the research firm would use.
  • Create and share 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.
  • Share 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.

Qualitative Research

  • Semi-structured interviews
    • Conduct qualitative research including but not limited to individual semi-structured interviews with target populations (low-income and MSME entrepreneurs in urban, semi-urban and rural populations)
    • Key Informants interviews
    • Focus group discussions
  • Interview Guides
    • Provide input and feedback on the interview guide developed by Women’s World Banking
    • Translate the prepared guides from English into Spanish
    • Pilot questions on the interview guide
    • Share results from the pilot with Women’s World Banking
  • 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 receivers, MSME entrepreneurs, microfinance institutions and FSP clients.
  • Logistics
    • The firm will be responsible for all logistics related to the interviews (securing space, refreshments, recruitment of participants, and provision of participant compensation/incentives). Some of these activities are listed below at a more detailed level:


  • 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 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 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 (see above).
  • 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.


  • Analysis
    • 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.
    • 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

  • Survey
  • Provide input on the questionnaire developed by Women’s World Banking
  • Translate questionnaire into Spanish
  • 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 input for the sampling methodology. Target population may include, but are not limited to low-income women, factory workers, mobile money users, remittance receivers, MSME entrepreneurs, microfinance institutions and FSP 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 national ID, cellphone number etc. This ID should be unique to each customer; however, not makes any third party capable to identify who the participant is).
  • Set appropriate survey participant compensation/incentives
  • Data sharing
  • On a regular basis, provide de-identified raw data to Women’s World Banking to review. This data set should be clear, clean, and well structured.
  • If any code or acronym is used, those codes and acronyms need to be shared with Women’s World Banking.
  • Provide final survey tool in both English and Spanish
  • Datasets, coding scheme and any data files associated with the survey based on the format that Women’s World Banking has requested. All variables and answers need to 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.


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


The duration of this consultancy is estimated to be from July 1, 2020 – June 30, 2021. Research activities should begin upon contract award.


Field research will take place in multiple locations throughout Mexico. Firms may apply if they have substantial research experience in Mexico.


  • Research firms with remote research experience are particularly encouraged to apply
  • Experience conducting research related to financial services
  • Experience managing remote qualitative and quantitative 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 and MSMEs
  • Experience conducting large-scale quantitative surveys (more than 1,500 participants), various sampling methods and quantitative analysis
  • Experience using SurveyCTO 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 8 am – 5 pm EST.

Please submit your application, including the following components, by June 18, 2020 by July 2, 2020 August 26, 2020 August 26, 2020 September 7, 2020 at 11:59 PM EST at the latest:

Applicants may submit their question(s) in writing until June 15, 2020 June 30, 2020 August 24, 2020  August 27, 2020  September 4, 2020 to Please include in the e-mail subject line “RFQ: Research Firm in Mexico.”

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: The RFQ mentions “various projects”: how many? In which states?
A: This RFQ is for hiring a research firm on for a long term relationship. The successful applicant will be considered for a contract that is for one year and at the end of first year, we can extend the contract for two more years (three years total). This type of contract does not put any obligation on us to assign the winning applicant a minimum number of projects. However, whenever there is a qual or quant research in Mexico, we will ask the firm to help us in running those pieces. The number of projects is not fixed and determined now, but we have two ongoing projects as of now that most likely we will need the help of a research firm. Ideally, we want the firm to be able to conduct the research in all parts of the country. However if you are only available for some specific parts of the country, please address that in your application documents.

Q: Will there be multiple rounds of quantitative data collection? Are you aiming at an impact evaluation of these projects? we will have different types of projects, including impact evaluation.
A: Based on the type of project and design, we may have one round or multiple rounds of data collection. So, we expect the firm to have the capacity to run multiple rounds.

Q: Could you share any information regarding the sample size – both for the quantitative and qualitative work?
A: Again, this depends completely on the project and will be different among different projects. That being said, we expect the firm to be able to run large sample surveys (+2000)

Q: Is the research design already finalized? Do you already have Principal Investigators working on this?
A: For one of our ongoing project yes, but for future ones no.

Q: Are these projects already taking place? Or do you have a timeline of the implementation?
A: Two of the projects are moving forward. But, as mentioned earlier we aim for a long term relationship with a firm and other projects will come up in future.

Q: Is there a budget cap?
A: Yes, but it completely depends on the project scope. We have provided a budget template that is necessary to be filled out by the applicant. It will help us to have a clear estimate of the costs.

Q: To provide a better price, it would be very useful for us to have an idea of the volume of activities that would be expected. Can you provide an estimate of how many focus groups, interviews, translations, transcriptions or other services that would be required from the selected firm on a monthly basis?
A: We plan to hire a research firm for a long term relationship. This firm will help us in conducting qual and quant research on our upcoming research projects. Each project may need different number of interviews, sample size etc. Therefore, we have provided a budget template and asked our applicants to fill it out. By having this template filled out, we can have a better understanding and estimate on the cost that each applicant proposes. I encourage you to check the budget template.

Q: The references you ask for are only name and contact information? or you require a letter of reference from 3 people/companies?
A: We only need name, contact information and how do you know them; for example: a former client, partner etc

Q: Should the costs be expressed in pesos (MXN) or dollars (USD)?

Q: In the proposed budget, is it necessary to include venue costs as well as coffee break and refreshments?
A: We need to have the cost for quant/qual/FG interview per unit cost. the coffee, refreshment …that is part of the interview should be reflected in the cost you give us. For example in the quant interview face to face: you need to include these costs in the cost per unit. Let’s say the interview in urban costs you X amount and you need to provide refreshments and etc. that cost you Y amount. So you will put X+Y amount.  For the qual, you can reflect those in the researcher cost in the cost template (“per person interviewed” / “researcher per day”).

Q: In the proposed budget, is it enough to present the cost of one unit or do we need to simulate a research with a specific number of cases?
A: Only one unit. No need for simulating a scenario

Q: We have collaborated before with WWB. One of the projects was more than 5 years ago, is it possible to mention 6 projects in order to present this previous experience as well?
A: I strongly recommend to add that and mention with whom in Women’s World Banking you had collaboration with. If possible, add that as one of your 5 projects. If not, submit 6.