Call for applications: Young Women Researchers



Application Deadline

March 25, 2021 at 5:00 pm

Terms of Reference for young women researchers.

1. Statement of Purpose

Digital Opportunity Trust (DOT) invites young researchers to support the data collection and analysis for Rwanda gender analysis of program contexts for the Daring to Shift (D2S) project, an initiative funded by the Government of Canada & Digital Skills for Business funded by the World Bank’s Digital Development Partnership (DDP), the EQUALS’ Access Coalition and the GSMA. The purpose of this assignment is to: Generate research and evidence of gender in project contexts in Rwanda, through the mapping of stakeholders, recruitment of participants, qualitative data collection, and participation in analysis of results, using virtual methods and tools. The Young women researchers will work in close collaboration with the In-Country Consultant, DOT Rwanda Gender Officer, DOT HQ Gender Specialist, and other key DOT HQ staff.

The major objective of this initiative is to: Improve access, inclusion, and program quality for both young women and men, to support DOT’s gender equity approach to the D2S program. This initiative will provide an important grounding to D2S’s overarching goal of enhanced resilience and economic inclusion among participating unemployed and underemployed youth (aged 18 to 35) and their communities, and to develop and support the leadership and decision-making power of young women to enable them to thrive despite the barriers that they face to take advantage of economic opportunities.

2. Organizational Background

DOT is a leading international organization that is headquartered in Ottawa, Canada and was established in 2002. Through its programs, DOT enables economically marginalized individuals to access and apply information and communication technologies (ICT) to create educational, economic and entrepreneurial opportunities for themselves.

The organization’s vision is to make pathways to these opportunities available particularly to young people and women, as a strategy to eradicate poverty, vulnerability and gender inequality. DOT is differentiated by its unique youth-­to­‐youth model, its use of technology as an enabler to achieve economic and social goals, its record of engagement with the private sector, and its commitment to localization. Globally, DOT has trained over 6,000 young leaders who have in turn reached nearly one million young people and community members. DOT is currently operating in seven countries in Sub-­Saharan Africa, the Middle East, and North America.

DOT Rwanda Background

Digital Opportunity Trust (DOT) Rwanda is a youth-led movement of daring social innovators who have the tools, knowledge, and networks to create opportunities and transform their own communities. We support youth to become innovators and leaders, and to create and apply digital solutions that have positive impact in their communities.

DOT Rwanda has proven that individuals with strong digital, modern workforce and entrepreneurship skills and a support system of public, private and community organizations, can and will – access economic opportunities. They are finding and creating jobs; improving their livelihoods; participating more effectively in the modern workforce; and individually and collectively contributing to the country’s socio-economic development.

DOT Rwanda has been running youth-led programs focused on sustainable economic growth since 2010. To date, DOT Rwanda programs have reached more than 800 fresh graduates/ youth leaders who have in turn trained and coached more than 100,000 community members.

3. Background Information

D2S Project Background

Daring to Shift will enhance resilience and economic inclusion among participating unemployed and underemployed youth (aged 18 to 35) and their communities in the Sub-Saharan Africa and Middle East regions. Over the course of four years, it will develop and support the leadership and decision-making power of young women to enable them to thrive despite the barriers that they face to take advantage of economic opportunities. The project will take an innovative approach to scaling-up youth empowerment, leadership, and social entrepreneurship. The main programming will be in Rwanda, Kenya, Tanzania, Jordan, and Lebanon, while also deepening and extending programming in Uganda, Malawi, Zambia, and Ghana with support from a youth-led digital innovation team in South Africa.

Among other initiatives, the project will offer training programs, access to peer networks, and linkages to partner opportunities that will strengthen the leadership, social innovation, entrepreneurship, and enhance the digital inclusion of nearly 45,000 young women and men, encouraging the testing of new solutions to old problems. Daring to Shift will also build the capacity of participating organizations and institutions to design, develop, implement, and monitor gender-sensitive strategies that will enhance enabling environments for young women’s leadership and economic inclusion. Finally, the project will scale gender-sensitive youth-led leadership and economic empowerment programming by providing training, coaching, as well as access to technical and financial support to Youth Champions. These Youth Champions are young women and men driving community change through their own community-based non-profit initiatives that provide economic empowerment, digital inclusion, and leadership training and coaching for their fellow youth.

Gender Equality

Gender equality is a core DOT value and gender is mainstreamed throughout Daring to Shift’s management and activities – including in planning, design, recruitment, implementation, and monitoring and evaluation to ensure both gender equity and women’s empowerment. The project combines a focus on gender equality with development innovation and youth empowerment. It seeks to address the root causes of gender inequality, disrupt gender norms, shift mindsets, and build a movement to advance digital inclusion as a foundation for equitable economic empowerment.

Daring to Shift will respond to gender gaps through a comprehensive approach which is clearly outlined in all three intermediate outcome level results: promoting women’s role in leadership and decision making, enhancing the enabling environment, and expanding gender-responsive technical capacities. Moreover, the D2S project will use a gender equity approach to participant targeting, with a mandate to include 70% women in all program streams, and in every program country context. Finally, the project will also play an active role in championing gender equality and transforming gender norms across project countries by building the capacity of young leaders to serve as gender equality champions.

COVID-19 Context

As part of the participatory approach to D2S, DOT had intended to implement a series of co-design labs in each project country from April to July 2020, engaging young women and men in the development, testing, and iteration of programmatic strategies. This would have coincided with the project baseline study and gender analysis, and culminated in a final meeting bringing together DOT local partners and youth to finalize the Project Implementation Plan in August 2020. However, due to the COVID-19 global pandemic, and the subsequent pausing of international travel and in-person gatherings, DOT had to postpone the baseline, gender analysis and gender strategy.

Given ongoing COVID 19 operating conditions, and need to advance thinking around gender in D2S programming, the gender analysis will be conducted remotely using virtual methods. Balancing the need for safety and caution due to COVID, and the imperative to reach youth in areas where virtual access is limited is a clear challenge of this project. Some consideration may be made to strategies to mitigate this, including selecting accessible tools and platforms (e.g. phone calls instead of online chat platforms), and exceptions to virtual collection where necessary and possible, to be decided by DOT Rwanda Gender Officer, and DOT HQ.

4. Scope of Work

The support requested for this initiative includes supporting the delivery of a gender analysis and a baseline of programmatic contexts in Rwanda from start to finish over a 3 month period beginning in March 2021.

This assignment is divided into three phases:

1. Design Phase

The Young women researchers will provide input to the mapping of stakeholders relevant to youth entrepreneurship in Rwanda, adaptation of data collection tools to local contexts, the translation of data collection tools (consent documents, interview guides, focus group guides), and the selection of appropriate and accessible virtual platforms/tools for the country context.


Input/review of virtual data collection tools to ensure they are locally relevant and appropriate (interview guides, focus group discussion guides, consent documents) in collaboration with the In-Country consultant and Gender Officers.

2. Data Collection Phase

In close collaboration with the In-Country consultant, and supported by DOT Rwanda Gender Officer, DOT HQ gender specialist, and the Lead Consultant, the Young women researchers will support the identification and recruitment of participants, maintain consent processes, and facilitate support to participants during their participation (orientation on digital platforms/tools).

The Young women researchers will facilitate planned data collection methods, including working with the In-Country consultant to conduct key informant interviews and FG discussions with youth using gender-sensitive and virtual methods. Throughout, oversight will be provided by the Lead Consultant and DOT HQ Director of Impact and DOT HQ Gender Specialist to maintain gender-sensitive and ethical protocol and practices.


– Data collection completed within designated time frame
– Data Repository – proper storage processes and practices in place

3. Analysis Phase

The Young women researchers will support the validation and analysis of all data collected, through collaboration with the In-Country consultant, Lead Consultant, DOT HQ Director of Impact, DOT HQ gender specialist, and Gender Officers. It is envisioned that the lead consultant will facilitate data validation and analysis workshops with the Rwanda team, and facilitate an analysis workshop to synthesize recommendations across the network. The Young women researchers will participate in these validation and analysis workshops.


– Participate in analysis and validation workshops for relevant D2S program country to develop country specific recommendations, and Country-Specific Report;

– Participate in analysis workshop to develop overall D2S program recommendations that will feed into D2S Program report.

5. Timeline of Key Activities and Deliverables


– Participate in the mapping of stakeholders relevant to D2S program areas in Rwanda, in collaboration with In-Country consultant;

– Provide review/input on data collection plan generated by Lead Consultant (data collection matrix with gender-related research questions, data to be gathered, source of data, who will collect it, methods for data collection and analysis, and how the information will be used);

– Review/inform locally appropriate data collection tools (interview guides, focus group discussion guides) generated by Lead consultant, DOT HQ Gender Specialist, and Gender Officers;

– Participate in training/orientation on how to use data collection tools, gender-sensitive research methods, and DOT’s consent/safeguarding processes;

– Facilitate the recruitment of diverse participants (youth, key stakeholders, local organizations);

– Lead gender-sensitive qualitative data collection (interviews, focus groups), including orientation of participants on how to use digital platforms/tools, and obtaining consent;

– Record, Transcribe, and Translate findings, and maintain data storage procedures, in collaboration with In-Country Consultant;

-Participate in analysis and validation workshops for Rwanda to develop country specific findings and recommendations;

– Participate in analysis and validation workshop to develop overall D2S program recommendations.

6. Qualifications

The consultant(s) must possess:

– University degree;
– Experience in gender-sensitive research methods and gender analysis, including qualitative data collection
methods and tools;
– Experience collaborating with remote/distributed teams;
– Advanced virtual facilitation skills and experience with remote data collection;
– Strong local knowledge and networks relevant to youth employment/entrepreneurship in Rwanda;
– Experience supporting youth-led programming and working directly with youth to support their capacity;
– Thematic knowledge/experience in vocational education, entrepreneurship, and business skills development;
– Strong interpersonal skills and ability to communicate with stakeholders at multiple levels and in multiple
country contexts;
– Sensitivity to cross-cultural dynamics and gender equality;
– Fluency in Kinyarwanda and English;
– Be a woman aged between 21 and 35;

7. How to Apply

Interested parties are requested to submit applications by email to DOT Rwanda, at cc’ by March 25, 2021 at 5:00 pm .

Note that applications will be considered on a rolling basis and short-listed candidates will be contacted before March 28, 2021.

Interested parties should include the following in their proposal:

– A cover letter showing expression of interest;
– Curriculum Vitae.

8. Terms of contract

The duration of the assignment will not exceed 3 months. The assignment is expected to begin March 2021 and will end in May 2021, depending on virtual data collection and adjustments due to COVID.

Note that applications will be considered on a rolling basis and short-listed candidates will be contacted before March 28, 2021.