Search for Common Ground (Search) Kyrgyzstan invites applications from individual consultants/firms/research organizations dealing with social media and social network to carry out the social network analysis as part of the project “TaasirLink: Citizen Narrative Campaign”.
1. Organization background
Search for Common Ground (www.sfcg.org) is a leading international peacebuilding and conflict transformation organization, working in 36 countries across Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. It strives to transform the way the world deals with conflict - away from adversarial approaches towards collaborative problem solving. Through various multi-faceted approaches, media initiatives and collaboration with local partners in both government and civil society, Search has been implementing a number of projects aimed at promoting a culture of tolerance and collaborative problem-solving in Central Asia.
2. Project summary
In response to the growing problem of radicalization and recruitment through social media, Search Kyrgyzstan is implementing a 12-month project to increase the resilience of youth (aged 14-35 years) at risk of radicalization and recruitment. The project will roll out counter-messaging campaigns, building on positive deviance approach to behavioral and attitudinal change and implemented through a network of influencers identified via an analysis of social network.
Utilizing the same infrastructure used by extremist groups - internet and social media users with pressing grievances - Search aims to implement an innovative project that will engage positive influencer role models - celebrities, industry experts and thought leaders, content creators, and micro influencers within communities - to counter violent extremism narratives among young Kyrgyzstani citizens. Search will employ online and offline public outreach campaigns that resonate with and positively impact the target communities at risk of radicalization and recruitment.
The project’s underlying theory of change are: IF cross-sector alternative and counter-messaging networks have increased their capacities through (1) locally-resonant outreach campaigns, (2) community-based intervention programs and services (3) offline and online counter messaging campaigns THEN opinion leaders, trusted figures, and pre-existing social networks and community key stakeholder positively influence the attitudes and behaviors of vulnerable communities to build communal resilience to violent extremist and radicalization BECAUSE they are empowered on counter-messaging, developed constructive ways and opportunities to address grievances via conflict sensitive approaches and adapted community-based intervention programs for positive contribution towards preventing radicalization and violent extremism in the Kyrgyz society.
In general, the “TaasirLink: Citizen Narrative Campaign” project pursues three main objectives:
Objective 1: Identify networks of individuals, programs, and services that influence and interact with individuals vulnerable to radicalization and recruitment.
Objective 2: Increase the network’s capacity to design locally-resonant outreach campaigns that positively influence the attitudes and behaviors of vulnerable communities.
Objective 3: Community based groups implement offline and online counter messaging campaigns in their local communities.
3. Social Network Analysis Objectives
The main objectives of the Social Network Analysis are to:
i) Recognize and map existing community-based intervention programs and services in relation to media and social network.
ii) Identify networks of individuals, programs, and services that influence and interact with individuals vulnerable to violent extremism, radicalization and recruitment;
iii) Identify credible messengers from religious communities, youth and student organizations, media, research/academia, local businesses, and community elders who are able to engage credible messengers in local communities.
4. Key target groups for Social Network Analysis
Consultant is expected to identify research respondents taking into consideration the following three key-target groups:
#1. Youth aged 14 to 18 years.
#2. Youth from 19 to 28 years
#3. Adult aged 29-36 years
5. Key Questions Guiding the Analysis
1. Who are the top-3 influencers relevant to each key-target groups who have their strong effect in: i) Education, self-education, sciences, and applied knowledge; ii) Culture, religion, and traditions; iii) Sports and entertainment; iv) business and social entrepreneurship?
2. What are the most popular social online and off-line networking, typically used by the following influencers: i) celebrities; ii) industry experts; iii) thought leaders, content creators, and iv) micro-influencers at communities?
3. What are the strongest networking channels the 4 categories of influencers using for on-line and off-line networking at i) national, and ii) local level?
The analysis shall apply a qualitative and quantitative methodology to gather key data in order to inform program implementation. Furthermore, the consultant(s) will be requested to conduct several analytical stages including:
a) Mapping of existing community-based counter messaging projects and services implemented by the support of state institutions or local and international NGOs in target villages in Issyk-Kul, Osh and Jalal-Abad oblasts. For this, the consultant should conduct both desk-based study, key informant interviews (KII) with local self-governance bodies and local NGOs in the target areas, as well as with regional divisions of international NGOs and UN agencies working on the subject matter. For the desk-based study, the consultant should use database of Coordination Council on the projects and programs run by State Commission on Religious Affairs (SCRA) of Kyrgyz Republic, which provides a matrix of donor funded projects on countering radicalization and violent extremism. This database outlines goal of the project, target areas, duration of the projects, and key contact points. The database will be a good entry point to identify grass-root level interventions and organizations to invite for KII during the field work to collect in-depth information of project interventions. Moreover, mapping exercise should identify gaps and overlaps of intervention activities implemented on the ground. The consultant should conduct not less than 6 KIIs with heads of the local-self-governments (LSGs) in target areas or with key focal points of LSGs; 6 representatives from local law-enforcement bodies who are carrying out preventive activities on radicalization among local population in target areas; and up to 5 members of local NGOs and CSOs and 7 international NGOs working in the field.
b) Social network analysis using mathematical, graphical, and conceptual tools to develop models of networks and their structure to understand how social networks work in Kyrgyzstan context. The consultant is expected to develop tools to study individual actors, their relationship properties as type of relationships (friendships, advice, etc); direction of relationship (direct vs indirect); and strength of relationships (binary vs weighted); as well, as node network properties (isolate, outlier, degree, centrality); and tie properties of networks (reciprocity, bridge), and provide the reliable sampling strategy, ensuring 95% of confidence level and 5% confidence level with additional 10% sample added for potential non-response error
c) Carry out at least two focus group discussions in each target location with credible messengers to identify key messages and forms of delivery – one in each target village:
7. Scope of work
The scope of work of the consultant(s) will include the following:
- Develop indicators and parameters identification of an experimental group of youth identified in social media and set a trajectory for assessing how the messaging resonates to these youths.
- Develop a set of tools suitable for Social Network Analysis with Search inputs through a comprehensive inception report in English. The appropriate tools should be translated into Kyrgyz and Russian languages once approved by Search’s Institutional Learning Team (ILT).
- Carry out a literature review, a source analysis of both online and offline documents and social networks, key informants’ interviews and Focus Group discussions.
- Collect reliable data from each of the target areas.
- Identify and rank the top three influencers relevant to each key-target group in the following particular fields: i) Education, self-education, sciences, and applied knowledge; ii) Culture, religion and traditions; iii) Sports and entertainment; iv) Business and social entrepreneurship.
- Identify and rank the three most powerful channels theses influencers use for the dissemination of their messages among young people.
- Identify which channels are most used across the 4 categories of influencers identified (i) celebrities, ii) industry experts; iii) thought leaders and content creators; iv) micro-influencers within communities).
- Develop the concept map depicting the structures and main trends of social on-line and off-line networking, relevant to four types of influencers: i)celebrities; ii)industry experts; iii)thought leaders, content creators, and iv)micro influencers at communities
- Produce a draft report in English covering all key findings, major conclusions and recommendations in order to help inform the design of the project. The report is reviewed by search Kyrgyzstan and ILT for further improvement.
- Submit final report by incorporating comments and suggestion from Search Kyrgyzstan and ILT. Once the report is finalized, it needs to be translated into Russian and Kyrgyz languages. The report should specify clear entry points for project activities.
8. Key Duties of Consultant(s)
1) Collect, analyze and document information related to the social on-line and off-line networking, gather information from media experts, and four types of influencers: i)celebrities; ii)industry experts; iii)thought leaders, content creators, and iv)micro influencers at communities
2) Conduct the reliable number of KII and FGD; transcribe them into language of origin and host the data into qualitative and quantitative databases.
3) Process the collected data, and transform into the significant findings matrix.
4) Produce a report based on report template agreed with Sirach Kyrgyzstan and furnish a set of recommendations based on Social Network Analysis findings and best practices on on-line and of-line social networking.
5) Present Social Network Analysis findings to Search Kyrgyzstan and its stakeholders
6) Participate in a design exercise held by Search Kyrgyzstan, to create a Citizen Narrative Campaign and a message map.
The data collection should take place in six villages namely Saruu and Jeti-Oguz in Issyk-Kul; Alle-Annarov and Nariman in Osh; Begabad and Arslanbob in Jalal-Abad oblast.
The Social Network Analysis deliverables should be strictly communicated and written in English. Within the consultancy period, the Social Network Analysis team is expected to complete the above-mentioned scope of work. The deliverables are as follows:
Inception Report with Social Network Analysis work plan completed within first 7 days of the signing of the contract and consists of the assignment as agreed upon by program team. The inception report should have detailed methodological approach and data collection tools to capture the key research questions. The inception report and the data collection tools/questions need a formal approval from the Local DM&E Specialist and Senior Regional DM&E Specialist of Institutional Learning Team (ILT) before starting the data collection process.
First draft of the Social Network Analysis report: The report is subject to Search Kyrgyzstan and ILT’s review . The review and feedback may be of multiple rounds depending on the quality of the report. No final payment is released unless the report is technically approved by Institutional Learning Team (ILT).
Final Social Network Analysis report: The report should be written (and fully edited) in English, at least 35 pages (except annexes), and consist of:
▪ Title page and other initial pages
▪ Table of contents;
▪ Executive summary that includes context summary, brief context and project description and objective of the analysis, methodological approach, key findings and recommendations (no more than 3-4 pages). The key recommendations in the executive summary should be written in short bullet points;
▪ Project introduction including the goal, objectives, expected results, summary activities; and objectives of the analysis.
▪Social Network Analysis’ methodology, detailed explanation of sample size calculation and distribution across locations, gender and ethno-religious identity.
▪ Social Network Analysis findings, analysis, and conclusions. The findings section will have subchapters to cover the thematic areas covered by the key research questions. This is the core of the Social Network Analysis report.
▪Strategic and activity focused recommendations to the project implementation team. Every single recommendation should be directly linked to the Social Network Analysis findings.
▪ Appendices, which include, research instruments, list of interviewees, bibliography, and consultant (s) brief biography;
▪ One electronic copy (in MS Word document) in English
▪ Executive summary (3-4 pages) in Kyrgyz and Russian
The consultancy period will be from 21 October to 25 December, 2019 (approx. 65 calendar days). The consultant should be based in Kyrgyzstan. Any international travel cost and accommodation cost in Bishkek will not be paid by Search, under any circumstances, whereas the cost of accommodation outside Bishkek will be borne by Search.
14 October, 2019
Signing of the contract
21 October, 2019
Reviews and Inception report approval
15 November, 2019
Field data collection completed
18 November, 2019
Draft report submission
5 December, 2019
Final report submission
15 December, 2019
Final report approved
25 December, 2019
The schedule of payment of the consultancy fee is as follows:
1. 50% will be paid upon approval of an implementation plan and Inception Report.
2. 50% will be paid upon completion and approval of the final report (in English and summary in Russian). The prerequisite for the release of the second installment is the formal approval of the report by ILT.
13. Supervision of the consultant(s)
The consultant will work under the Search Kyrgyzstan DM&E Specialist with technical oversight of the Senior Regional DME Specialist for Asia.
14. Qualifications required
- Experience in developing qualitative and quantitative research methods;
- Experience researching social dynamics on social media
- Education in law is highly preferable;
- In-depth understanding of current state about the religious dynamics in Kyrgyzstan;
- Experience in carrying out project evaluations in conflict transformation and peacebuilding and making a legal expertise;
- Good analytical and writing skills, and the ability to clearly present findings, draw practical conclusions, and develop lessons learned;
- Fluency in Russian and English required; fluency in Kyrgyz preferred;
- Ability to travel to the field for data collection and cross-checking the data;
- Good organizational and communication skills with international/ national officials and rural communities are required.
15. Selection of the consultant/Team of consultants
According to Search rules and regulations, service contracts must be awarded by means of a procurement procedure. The contract will be awarded to the tender offering the best price / quality ratio in accordance with the principles of transparency and fair competition and taking care to avoid any conflict of interest. Additionally, the Social Network Analysis will be carried out by a consultant(s) who has a wide experience in carrying out research in peacebuilding and law reform projects.
16. Application process
Interested candidates should send their CV, separate technical and financial proposal (detailing the cost calculations), and one sample of research done by the applicant in the last two years and written in English and two professional references to email@example.com by 14 October 2019. Short-listed candidates will be contacted for further selection process. Please note that only short-listed candidates will be contacted for an interview.
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