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Deadline Extended to 7th March Young Women and Labour Market Activation Tender

February 19, 2014 at 12:48

The Y Factor Project and
National Women’s Council of Ireland

INVITATION TO REQUEST FOR TENDER
Young Women and Labour Market Activation

The Aim of this Research
The National Women’s Council of Ireland youth initiative, the Y Factor, are seeking a suitably qualified researcher(s) to undertake research on young women and labour market activation, looking at unemployment, emigration and issues of precarious work, with a particular focus on the impact of the economic crisis on young women and activation initiatives, including the European Youth Guarantee (EYG).
 

Context and Background
The impact of the recession on unemployment has been studied and discussed, often with particular focus on the high level of youth unemployment, which grew from 8.5% in 2007 to 31% in 2012 and currently stands at over 26%.   There has however been comparatively little focus on the gendered aspects of unemployment and the differential impacts on young men and young women.
One aspect of the gendered dimension to unemployment can be seen from recent statistics which show that, as numbers on the live register are falling, they are not falling at the same rate for women.  In 201, the number of males on the live register fell by 3.1% while female claimants rose by 4.6%. In 2012 figures for men saw a 3.5% drop while figures for women fell by only 0.8%. In 2013 this trend continued with male claimants decreasing by 9.0% compared with just 2.7% for females. In 2013, numbers of males in long term unemployment also decreased by 6.6%, while females increased by 2.2%.

It is important to note that the Live Register does not reflect unemployment amongst other groups such as those on One Parent Family Payment, a majority of whom are women.  It does however reflect a number of those in part time or precarious work.

Another important trend relates to younger women in particular.  Over the last three years, a consistent and substantial majority of those emigrating in the 15-24 age group have been young women. CSO figures from September 2013 reported the departure of 19,600 young women and 15,100 young men.
All of these figures suggest that current labour activation policies may not be working equally or effectively for women. It is particularly important to examine and address this issue at a time when large-scale new initiatives are being introduced.


The European Youth Guarantee (EYG) is an EU wide project which aims to address the issue of youth unemployment by ensuring that, within a set period of time after becoming unemployed, each young person is given opportunities for quality training, education or work placement. The EYG has a particular focus on countries, such as Ireland, with a youth unemployment rate of over 25%.
The EYG will take different form in different countries, with some having previously established Youth Guarantee schemes.  Ballymun in Dublin is one of a number of initial pilot areas across Europe and Irish Government proposals for a full national rollout have recently been outlined and sent to the EU.
A true test of the EYG will be its engagement with gendered challenges around activation and the delivery of effective outcomes for young women.  Gender analysis is also important if the EYG is to reflect and support other national and European goals and commitments.  Increased economic participation of women is a core objective of Ireland’s National Women’s Strategy 2007–2016 and a key requirement under the Europe 2020 Strategy.
The NWCI Strategic Plan identifies Economic Independence of Women as a core priority and this research is rooted in that priority.  In 2013 The NWCI published a key research report, ‘From Careless to Careful Activation: Making Activation Work for Women’. This report outlined a range of different approaches to activation and also highlighted a number of important issues. The NWCI is interested in testing the recommendations made by the research against the experience of young women.
One concern within that report was the large proportion of women in low paid or precarious work. Activation into this type of work can lead to poverty and precarity traps. 
The report also called on activation policy to honestly engage with the gendered challenges around both part-time work which, in Ireland, has a tendency to be precarious and inflexible and full time work, which may often be accompanied by a disproportionate share of caring or domestic work.
Another important concern identified in the report was the risk that excessive focus on the Live Register as gateway to activation could leave up to a quarter of a million women who may want to be supported to return to work without the necessary supports to (re)enter the labour market. 
 

Research Goals
The main objective of the research is to build a picture of young women and access to the labour market, looking at unemployment and the related issues of precacity and emigration.
The research is expected to:
• Provide an analysis of key data in relation to young women and trends in unemployment, emigration and labour force activation and participation;
• Explore the qualitative experiences of young women around labour market activation.
• Identify obstacles and opportunities for young women’s participation in the labour market.
• Draw on experience and analysis from other countries, particularly around initiatives such as the EYG.
• Provide a set of short and long term recommendations which the NWCI can pursue in our lobbying and campaigning work.
The research will be expected to make recommendations on how the design, implementation and monitoring of activation policy, including the EYG, can support access to quality employment and training for young women.
Research questions for focus groups will be developed by the researcher in consultation with NWCI and the Y Factor.

Methodology
The methodology of the project is expected to include quantitative and qualitative approaches and secondary and primary information gathering and analysis.
The research project will comprehensively review data on the labour force participation of young women. It will draw on existing sources of information to provide an overview of the implementation and design of Youth Guarantee initiatives in other countries, focusing in particular on the experience of young women.
The experiences of young women will be central to the research project. The researcher will be expected to undertake focus groups with young women on a regional basis. Creative approaches to these focus groups will be welcomed.
An Advisory Group for the research will be established by the NWCI and will include members of Y Factor Steering Group, representatives of relevant NWCI members and individuals with relevant expertise. The Advisory Group will meet 3 times and the researcher(s) will be expected to attend meetings, liaise with the Advisory Group, and update them on the work.

Output
Primary output will be a comprehensive report, drawing on evidence gathered. The report is expected to include:
• The policy context and decision-making framework
• The main trends in relation to young women, activation and the labour market
• The international evidence and analysis around young women, activation and the EYG.
• The findings from the focus groups
• Data and analysis in relation to activation of young women, precarious work and emigration.
• Conclusions and Recommendations in relation to young women and the labour market, focusing on how activation initiatives such as the EYG can be designed, implemented and monitored to ensure effective participation and quality outcomes for young women.
• A short executive  summary
The editing and proofing work is the responsibility of the researcher and will be print ready. This report should be written in clear and accessible language, suitable for wide use as an advocacy and information resource by NWCI and the Y Factor.
Additional Project activities
The researcher will also be asked to present research findings at two events; to potentially include;
• Public launch of research
• Roundtable or seminar with key stakeholders or high level civil servants.
Any costs of publication, launch, seminar or roundtable will be covered by the NWCI.
Management
The project with be managed by the NWCI youth initiative The Y Factor.
Timeframe Research and Final Report to be completed by 12th June 2014


TENDERING PROCESS
Tender requirements
Tender proposals should include the following
• A statement or narrative demonstrating understanding of the project aims and objectives
• A demonstrated understanding and track record in the research area
• A demonstrated understanding and awareness of the requirements of the project
• An outline of skills, qualifications and experience in research area and research management.
• A work plan identifying the approaches and methodologies to be to be used in carrying out research demonstrating how the scope of the research will be achieved including a timeframe for focus groups process
• Demonstration of the arrangements for effective communication with designated personnel so as to ensure that the objectives of the project are being achieved, that the project does not overrun on time or cost and that any other problems that arise can be resolved
• Costs
o Set out any issues which may impact on the cost
o All costs must be inclusive of VAT and expenses
o Demonstrate value for money
o Breakdown of costs showing the number of days required to complete the task, the number of days each person, if there is more than one person involved, will be employed on the task, the cost per day.
o The fee quoted should include travel and subsistence costs
• A list of recent clients who may be contracted for references in relation to this tender.
• Confirmation of ability to meet the timeframe of the project.

Timeframe
• Tender to be submitted by March 7th 2014
PLEASE NOTE:  THE DEADLINE FOR THIS TENDER HAS BEEN EXTENDED TO March 7th 2014 

Research and Report to be completed by June 13th 2014
Project Budget

The total budget for the Project is €5,000 inclusive of VAT and all expenses.
Conditions of Tender
a) The NWCI reserves the right not to award a contract in the event that no proposal is deemed to be suitable. 
b) The NWCI requires that researchers will treat all information provided pursuant to this Invitation to tender in strict confidence.
c) Information supplied by tenderers will be treated as contractually binding. However, the NWCI reserves the right to seek clarification of any such information.
d) All material gathered and all outputs arising out of the proposed contract will remain the sole property of the NWCI.  Tenderers must agree to this condition in their proposals.  All information and knowledge acquired in the course of the research will be treated as confidential and should not be divulged to any unauthorized person or used for any purpose whatsoever without the prior approval of the NWCI.  The NWCI will ensure that the final report gives due credit to the consultants for research, textual and editorial work undertaken in its preparation.  Any subsequent use of the material shall also give due credit.
e) It will be a condition for the award of a contract that the successful contractor (and agent, where appropriate) will be promptly required to produce a Tax Clearance Certificate from the Irish Revenue Commissioners.  In addition, contractors must retain records of tax reference numbers for any sub-contractors, whose payments exceed €5,000 including VAT.  All payments under the contract will be conditional on the contractors being in valid possession of valid certificates at all times.
f) Tenders that are delivered late will not be considered.
g) Any conflicts of interest involving a contractor (or contractors in the event of a group or consortium bid) must be fully disclosed to the NWCI, particularly where there is a conflict of interest in relation to any recommendations or proposals put forward by the tenderer. 
h) The NWCI will not be liable for any costs incurred in the preparation of the tender.
i) Payment for all services covered by this Invitation to tender will be on foot of appropriate invoices.  Invoicing arrangements will be agreed with the successful supplier(s), subject to the terms of the Prompt Payment of Accounts Act (27 of 1997).
j) Payment of all services covered by this invitation to tender will be on the basis of the agreed contract price, completion of agreed stages of the work plan and upon the submission of the appropriate invoices.
k) 40% - at the beginning of the project:
40% - at 3/4 stage
20% - once final report produced to the satisfaction of the NWCI
The NWCI will own the completed research and will retain copyright. 
The NWCI will retain the right to publish as deemed appropriate.
Evaluation of Tenders
Tenders will be evaluated initially with reference to the following qualification criteria:
a. Completeness of tender documentation
b. Stated ability of tenderer to meet the requirements of the Invitation to Tender
Only those tenders, who meet both of these qualifying criteria, will be eligible for inclusion in the award process.
The contract will be awarded from the qualifying tenders on the basis of the most economically advantageous tender applying the following award criteria, not necessarily in this order:
• Cost effectiveness
• Understanding of the project
• Relevant experience of the designated personnel
• Reference sites, and
• Timeframe for completion
Tenderers are advised that they may be required to make a formal presentation of their proposal.

The Proposals should be made for the attention of Alice-Mary Higgins, alicemaryh@nwci.ie   Tender for Young Women and the Labour Market Research Project’

The National Women’s Council of Ireland
2-3 Parnell Square East
Dublin 1

To arrive no later than 5pm 26th of February 2014. 

PLEASE NOTE:  THE DEADLINE FOR THIS TENDER HAS BEEN EXTENDED TO March 7th 2014 

All information provided to NWCI in response to this request will be treated in strict confidence.



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