Aus4EqualitySystemic market change measurement advisory support





With more than 35 years of experience, Cowater International is Canada’s global leader in management consulting services specialising in international development. We have managed the implementation of over 2500 projects in more than 95 countries around the globe for clients such as FCDO UK, DFAT Australia, the European Union, the World Bank and Global Affairs Canada. We work with governments, partner organisations, communities and civil society to design and implement sustainable solutions that generate lasting social, economic and environmental impacts.

The objectives of the Aus4Equality|GREAT Program are:

  • Objective 1 (End of Program Outcome (EOPO) 1) – Women, particularly ethnic minority women living in Son La and Lao Cai, have improved economic benefits.
  • Objective 2 (EOPO 2)– Women, particularly ethnic minority women living in Son La and Lao Cai, have increased confidence and social status, including more balanced workloads and greater decision-making within the home, workplace, and community.
  • Objective 3 (EOPO 3) – Women, particularly ethnic minority women and household members living in Son La and Lao Cai benefit from more gender-responsive, inclusive, and effective provincial and national policies, plans, strategies, and programs.

The program is now entering its second five-year phase and GREAT 2 will continue its focus on agriculture and tourism, identifying specific sectors that lend themselves to opportunities for women’s economic empowerment and work with multiple stakeholders to address constraints, generate opportunities, drive market growth and increase productive value of the sector.

The program’s primary approach is market system development (MSD) which facilitates improvement of the market functions through changing behaviours and performance of the market actors of the selected sectors. As a part of the approach, the Adopt-Adapt-Expand-Respond Framework is used to stimulate the institutionalization of the newly introduced innovations/functions (Adopt stage) to be the core businesses within the selected market actors using their own investment (Adapt stage); then expand their business and/or see competing service providers scale the innovation themselves (Expand stage) and stimulate wider responses in the sector that reinforce innovations introduced (Respond stage).


In addition, GREAT will provide technical assistance to central and provincial agencies to strengthen good governance, evidence-based policy and decision making to facilitate the implementation of the Decree 27 to incorporate market-based principles, especially private sector engagement through the National Target Programs (NTP) for sustainable poverty reduction (NTP-SPR), for social and economic development for ethnic minority and mountainous areas (NTP-SEDEMA), for new rural development (NTP-NRD). The program will provide technical assistance to the process of development of implementation guidance, design pilot models in numerous provinces/districts and thematic reviews or end-term review of the NTPs. The support can lead to building up capacity of those central and provincial agencies to replicate the models nation wide or province wide and incorporate recommendations for improvements in the NTPs of next phase (2025-2030).


Cowater is looking for an international consultant to provide Advisory Support to the Measurement of Systemic Changes.

  1. Context

GREAT’s systemic change agenda poses a few specific and interlinked measurement challenges, but in particular:

  • Identification of valid, measurable indicators for monitoring and measuring behaviour and practice changes amongst program partners and which will underpin sustained improvements in service or function delivery.
  • Development of robust Theories of Change (TOC) for each intervention, linked with the project’s TOC as the basis for results measurement and which capture behaviour and practice change objectives; and
  • Development of valid methodologies through which to estimate and quantify indirect system actor and beneficiary impacts.
  • Operationalization of the MERL system in an integrated manner that integrates regular monitoring activities involving related stakeholders especially GREAT staff, PMUs, and implementing partners and intensive data collection by independent institutions through intended assessments and studies. The former requires capacity building for related stakeholders so that they can capture useful evidence on a regular basis that can be used for the latter to generate robust evidence of changes and change process.

Identification of valid practice and behaviour change indicators

GREAT’s developing portfolio targets a range of specific actor behaviours and practices that will underpin targeted system changes. These changes are more qualitative in nature but nonetheless critical indicators of program performance and sustainability, as well as in informing decision making and adaptation. GREAT currently uses the Systemic Change Framework (sometimes referred to as AAER – adopt, adapt, expand, respond) to guide the identification and targeting of behaviour and practice changes. The development and expansion of MSD programs world -wide in recent years has seen increasing experience and lesson learning in operationalising the AAER framework and enhancing the measurement of actor behaviour and practice change. This experience offers potentially invaluable learning for GREAT in its own efforts to define behaviour and practice changes, and to establish cost-effective measurement strategies drawing on international best practice.

These indicators form part of a wider monitoring, evaluation, research and learning (MERL) framework that supports routine, ongoing monitoring and reports and includes four periodic assessments/studies: 1) project level baseline/midline/endline assessments; 2) assessment of system changes, including estimation of indirect beneficiaries; 3) longitudinal study on WEE and GEDSI on ethnic minority women, households and communities; and 4) policy outcome study.


  1. Purposes


The purposes of this assignment are:

  1. Review selected TOCs and related Results Frameworks (RF) to identify strengths and weaknesses amongst logic and assumptions of system changes as transitioning from one level of change to the upper level in these TOCs; the measurements, including the developed success indicators; and the definition of behaviour and practice change indicators, and provide recommendations for improvements.
  2. Working with a selected TOCs, facilitate and advise the GREAT team in reviewing and strengthening the definition and measurement protocol for behaviour and practice change indicators and provide, as appropriate, recommendations for strengthening TOC logic and assumptions. as required respective Results Framework.
  • Based on team consultations and the review of TOCs, identify and/or confirm valid indirect impacts across the program portfolio and provide recommendations as to rigorous methodologies for capturing GREAT contribution to indirect results to support development of a program methodology for measuring indirect impacts and its submission to DFAT for approval.
  1. Upon the developed methodologies, measurements, and indicators (under the purpose iii.), review the established MERL system to map out data collection methods and activities to be mainstreamed through regular monitoring system or carried out intensively through assessments and studies; then develop a data collection protocol and tools to be used for each source.
  2. Support capacity building for GREAT and its selected partners to master the developed TOC of each intervention linked with the project’s TOC, improved measurements and indicators and definitions, data collection methodologies, tools and required data collection activities.


  1. Tasks


The consultancy will be divided into two elements: intensive and demand based. In the first element, the consultant will work both remotely and in country focusing on three (3) sectors and projects that already have TOCs. Additional, remote, demand-based support will form the second element of the consultancy to provide review and recommendations with respect to emerging TOCs for remaining sectors and projects as they become available and in support of the operationalization of MERL activities.

Specific tasks, deliverables and contract details can be found in the attached full Terms of Reference

  1. Required qualifications


  • Strong expertise and rich experience in designing and implementing assessments and assessment/measurement tools on systemic changes and their impacts of the MSD interventions and policy advocacy in agriculture and tourism.
  • Specialised in estimation of indirect beneficiaries of systemic changes and impacts of the MSD interventions and policy advocacy in agriculture and tourism.
  • Good knowledge on DFAT’s and DCED’s Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) standards is favourable.
  • Being familiar with the MIS and M&E system to be able to provide practical guidance on the use of the existing system for continuous data collection based on the selected methodologies and tools
  • Knowledge on gender and WEE issues is an advantage.
  • Being analytical and systemic thinking



Candidates are encouraged to apply no later than 5pm Hanoi Time (GMT+7) Thursday October 5th, 2023. We thank all applicants, however, only those making the shortlist will be contacted.

Interested candidates are invited to send an application to .Please indicate in the subject Application for Systemic market change measurement advisory support”.

Applications must include:


The budget for travel costs will be negotiated with the successful consultant.


Cowater is an equal opportunity employer. Women, people with a disability, and people from minority groups are strongly encouraged to apply. We thank you for your interest in building a better tomorrow with Cowater International.

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