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Consultant-Meta Analysis of Family Planning Literature

Position-Consultant (Meta Analysis of Family Planning Literature)

Reporting Line- State Lead-Concurrent Measurement & Learning


Duration- 20 days over a period of 3 months


About Project Concern International (PCI):


PCI, a Global Communities Partner has been working in India since 1998 with the Mission to empower people to enhance health, end hunger, overcome hardship and advance women and girls. PCI, a Global Communities Partner, envisions a world in which the most vulnerable people will have the power to lift themselves out of poverty and to create vital, healthy lives for their families and communities now and for the future.

PCI works with the government as well as social actors to create an enabling environment to improve and activate the social position of marginalized populations, especially women and girls, as well as strengthen convergent actions on the ground. Knowledge and evidence-based decision making, and data-driven management have been a trademark of our programs in India. For over two decades, PCI has maintained a diverse portfolio in India, with a presence in more than one-fifth of all districts in the country, reaching over 10 million people in 2019 alone. PCI’s health, gender, and community development programming focuses on low-income, vulnerable and hard-to-reach populations, especially adolescent girls, women of reproductive ages and children. By integrating its community mobilization and empowerment approaches into the government strategies and systems, PCI is helping to ensure that millions of vulnerable women, children, families, and communities throughout India have the ability to advocate for, access and utilize quality health, nutrition, and empowerment services and information for generations to come.


Please visit our website to learn more about our work in India.



Consultancy Description:


Between the last two rounds of the National Family Health Survey (NFHS IV and V), Bihar has experienced a substantial increase in modern FP methods use among currently married women. It went up from 23.3% to 44.4% but still it remains well below the country average. Female sterilization is the most common modern FP method in the state. This is a limiting method and mostly used after women give birth to about three children with suboptimal use of modern spacing methods. Higher contraceptive use not only reduces the fertility rate but more importantly, it produces a host of other benefits – health and non-health. Ill planned deliveries often due to inconsistent use of FP methods create additional barriers for women to realize their life goals that has bearing on women empowerment. While enough literature suggests that empowered women tend to use modern family planning methods and are capable of selecting the method of their choice that not only curbs fertility but also help them avoid unwanted pregnancies. On the contrary, it is also interesting to examine whether family planning programs can contribute to raising the level of empowerment among rural women esp. from vulnerable and marginalized communities through reducing unmet need and addressing other barriers at the individual, household, community and societal level.


Given this backdrop, PCI is interested to explore the relationship between family planning and women’s empowerment esp. in the context of rural Bihar and how various family planning programs in the state influence the level of empowerment among women. The consultant needs to explore the pathways that captures the contribution of family planning programs in elevating the level of empowerment among rural women in Bihar. In essence, it will be a landscape study that will answer the following key research questions:




Is there any relationship between family planning (FP) and women empowerment?

Can women empowerment (WE) be attained by improving family planning uptake? How can FP foster WE? (e.g., by giving women space to focus on their careers by delaying or spacing deliveries)?

Are there FP programs within and outside India that used similar pathways to improve WE? What are the recommendations from those programs and how much of which can be replicated in Bihar given the contextual variations?

Are the pathways of change cost-effective?  Will one of the pathways be able to leverage women’s collective? If yes, how?

What is the level of impact of improved family planning among women on their Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR)?


Position Description


The consultant will undertake a literature review, more specifically the role of women’s empowerment, gender, social norms, and power dynamics in the context of family planning practices. Based on the literature review, the consultant will develop a guidance note/ article emphasizing the linkages between family planning and women empowerment. The consultant will specifically focus on devising pathways to women’s empowerment through family planning outcomes. The article should answer all the research questions mentioned above through desk review of the available literature including grey and published literature.


The consultant will work closely with the select members of the PCI Concurrent Measurement and Learning (CML) team and report to the State Lead – Concurrent, Measurement and Learning, PCI Bihar. The current position needs to provide advice as well as step in with active support in accomplishing some of the necessary work needed for new project proposal development in the same domain.

PCI will acknowledge the work of the consultant appropriately but PCI will have exclusive right to use the study results as per its need.


Scope of work:


The consultant needs to undertake the literature review. PCI will also provide a list of suggested readings and published literature. The consultant needs to search for additional relevant research papers if necessary.

Based on the agreed-upon consultancy description, the consultant will develop the guidance note following global standard which could be used in future research. The consultant should mention the key challenges, barriers and possible solutions to address those barriers in the note. PCI may get the work reviewed externally also.


Key Deliverables:


A guidance note/ article with emphasis on the key role of women’s empowerment, gender, social norms, and power dynamics prevalent in the area of family planning.

Note should have highlights on key research questions that remain unanswered, key barriers or challenges and probable solutions to address those challenges based on the available literature.

If possible, the consultant can suggest a framework or theory of change for the issues mentioned (role of gender, social norms, and power dynamics prevalent in family planning) related to family planning.

A pathway to women empowerment through family planning should be outlined well with clear logic and underlying evidence and assumptions.

Note should have a clear mention of the references and data sources.

PCI will attempt to publish the work and the consultant should be able to prepare a journal article ready for submission to a reputed peer reviewed journal .



Educational Qualification, Experience & Skills:


An advanced degree in social science subjects

Minimum 10 years of experience in public health research

At least 10 publications in reputed peer-reviewed journals


Personal Characteristics:

Must possess high levels of integrity and commitment to data quality, confidentiality, and research ethics.

Should be well organized and must pay attention to detail in the assigned work and honour time commitment.

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