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Terms of Reference, Young Wives Study: Hiring of Qualitative Researchers in 2 States

About PCI India

Project Concern International/India (PCI India) is dedicated to the mission of achieving a happy, healthy, safe and sustainable world for all. In that direction, PCI deploys community mobilization strategies that effectively leverage and strengthen community groups and structures, particularly those consisting of women and other marginalized populations, as a key approach. With high-end in-house capacity to collect, analyse and generate great quality evidence on a concurrent basis, PCI develops scalable replicable models with high potential for impact and transformative change.

PCI has been working in India since 1998. Over these several decades, PCI has maintained a diversified portfolio, working in rural and urban settings in the areas of health, nutrition and community development with programs focusing on low-income, vulnerable and hard-to-reach populations in close partnership with national and state governments and civil society organizations. In Financial Year 2020-21, PCI India touched over 7.7 million lives directly in 163 districts of 13 states across the country, through 20 projects in different domains.

For an ongoing research project funded by USAID, PCI India seeks to recruit interviewers to complete a given number of structured and semi-structured in-depth interviews and observations in select rural areas.

Project Background

PCI India was recently awarded a research grant under Partnerships for Enhanced Engagement in Research (PEER) International Grants Program, 9th cycle. The grant has been awarded for a study titled “Young Wives: An Exploratory Study of Married Women Below Twenty and the Socio-Cultural Determinants of their Contraceptive Behaviour in Low Resource Settings in India”. The study will be conducted in rural areas of 1 district each in Assam and Jharkhand (Dhubri and Godda respectively). This is going to be a mixed methods research study.

Objective of the project is to study the gender roles and norms that determine the family planning behaviours of young Indian couples (i.e., women in the age group of 15-19 years married for at least a year and their husbands) and their decisions related to childbearing, so that we can compare the adopters versus non-adopters of family planning methods. Specifically, the research looks into the young wife’s socio-cultural environment, opinion and experience of marriage and living with spouse, pregnancy and family planning, communication and interaction with husband and other family members on these topics, knowledge and use of family planning methods, fertility-related knowledge, beliefs and behaviours, interaction with the health system, access to government schemes and services, mobility, and digital empowerment.

Scope of Work

To execute the study in the 2 study districts, PCI India would like to recruit a team of qualitative researchers. The team includes 1 Senior Researcher and 2 Junior Researchers (1 male + 1 female).

The project includes a quantitative research phase. Qualitative research will start before quantitative research, as the findings from qualitative research will be used to refine the quantitative survey tools.

In each state, 5 villages will be selected in the sample district. From each village, 2 families (1 FP adopter and 1 non-adopter) will be identified. Applicants are requested to note down the following numbers that would help them to estimate the field budget:

  • 1 Village Level Observation (5 per district)
  • 2 Household Observations per village (10 per district)
  • 3 IDIs per sample household x 2 households per village (30 per district)
  • 4 Key Influencer Interviews per village (20 per district)

Community-level Influencers could include Frontline Health Workers viz. ASHA, Anganwadi Workers and ANM, other local health providers (doctors and nurses at local Sub-centre/PHC/CHC and traditional healers), and other community influencers (religious leaders, PRI members and chemists). A total of 4 such influencers will be interviewed from each village. Interviews with the sample households (young wife, her husband, and mother-in-law) will be done with the aid of semi-structured checklists and 1 household observation guide.

All three qualitative researchers will visit the selected households and their villages, spending a few days in each village. The specific outputs of each member of the team would be as follows:

  1. Senior Researcher:


  • Village Transect Walk, Village Level Observations and interactions with key informants (5 per district; total 2 districts)
  • Selection of sample households on the basis of key informant inputs and establishing initial contact with those households

Village-level interactions will help in orienting the key persons/ community ‘gatekeepers’ about the study, building trust and opening up the lines of communication to enable them to understand the prevailing socio-cultural norms around family planning.

Estimated time required: 3 days each required for fieldwork in 5 sample villages of each district + 10 days required for post-fieldwork transcription and analysis of findings, consolidation of findings reported by other researchers and report writing = total of 40 days

  1. Junior Researcher (Male):

Activities: Data collection and transcription (including interviews with male members of both sample households in each village and interviews with male influencers)

Estimated time required: 1-2 days each required for fieldwork in 5 sample villages of each district including post-fieldwork transcription

  1. Junior Researcher (Female):

Activities: Data collection and transcription (including interviews with young wives and mothers-in-law in both sample households in each village and interviews with the female influencers)

Estimated time required: 2-3 days each required for fieldwork in 5 sample villages of each district including post-fieldwork transcription

Responsibilities of PCI India

PCI core team will be responsible for the following:

  • PCI will develop the Research Protocol and entire tool set and use these to orient the 3-member research team on the household selection criteria, errors to be avoided etc.
  • PCI will also arrange for the necessary approvals and permissions for conducting the research by liaising with the respective state governments and district authorities, to ensure an unrestricted progress of work.

Time Frame

The project is currently in pre-fieldwork phase (June to October 2022) to be followed by the fieldwork phase (from November 2022 to January 2023). The hiring of researchers, their briefing, actual fieldwork, transcription and analysis of qualitative data and report writing shall be completed during this phase. This time frame is not flexible. The interviewers will be expected to be available to travel to field during this period.

As described above, the assigned work should be completed within an overall time frame of 40 days by all 3 members of the team. This includes the time required for travel and village stay, transcription and analysis of the team meetings to compare and consolidate their notes, finalization of the report, sharing of transcripts with PCI, etc.

Applicants may suggest their own field plan. Individual applicants are free to form teams and apply collectively.

PCI Core Team

PCI has formed a team consisting of a Principal Investigator and a Research Lead for this research project. The International Institute of Population Sciences Mumbai is the Research Partner. The successful applicants will be working with this team.

Expected Competencies and Experience

Academic and Professional Competencies:

For senior researcher:

  • Experience of managing qualitative surveys, especially in the area of Public Health
  • Experience of error detection and quality assurance processes
  • Experience of working with vulnerable groups in highly disadvantaged surroundings
  • Ability to manage and troubleshoot adverse events in the field, if any
  • Ability to capture essential details and report to the Principal Investigator and senior faculty
  • Ability to build rapport with the respondents and make them comfortable
  • Ability to guide other researchers and advise them on how to enhance quality of the outputs

For junior researchers:

  • Experience of noting pertinent observations about the surveyed habitations and households
  • Ability to build rapport with the respondents and make them comfortable

For all field staff:

  • Fluency in Hindi and English (written and spoken)
  • Fluency in local languages and tribal dialects spoken in the study areas of Assam and Jharkhand
  • Familiarity with research ethics and sensitivities involved in research on reproductive health

Soft Skills:

  • Ability to resolve the doubts of the potential respondents and maximize the participation rate
  • Ability to counsel the field staff and look after their welfare, wherever required

Data Ownership

All the qualitative data generated from this research, filled in tools, notes taken etc. will be sole property of PCI India and will duly be submitted to PCI India prior to completion of the assignment.


Interested candidates can apply for the Position of Qualitative Researchers by 15th November 2022, 5:00 pm.

PCI India is an equal opportunity provider and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion (creed), gender, gender expression, age, national origin (ancestry), disability and/or marital status. Due to the heavy inflow of resumes, only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

*Female candidates are encouraged to apply

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