Deadline: Aug 4, 2023, 12:00 PM U.S. Pacific Time.
About the Organization:
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation launched the Gender Equality Division in 2020 to accelerate progress toward a more gender-equal world by addressing structural barriers that prevent women and girls from being fully active in their homes, economies, and societies. Restrictive gender norms1 are barriers to gender equality and prevent women and girls from achieving critical health and well-being outcomes.2 The Adolescents and Social Norms (ASN) team was established as a Learning Agenda to expand the body of data and evidence on gender norms and their impact on progress toward gender equality. By generating more data, supporting multimedia platforms, local leaders, and champions of women, the ASN team’s goal is to accelerate sustained progress to achieving gender equality by changing gender norms, which will enable adolescent girls and young women to have the agency to make decisions about their health, education, and economic opportunities. The ASN team’s portfolio for 2023 – 2027 will be focused on three countries: India, Kenya, and Nigeria.
About the Grant:
Entertainment media (EM) plays a key role in creating narratives that affect health and livelihood outcomes of adolescents and can shape perceptions of norms.3 Integrating educational messages in EM narratives has shown to be an effective strategy for raising awareness, shifting attitudes, and inspiring individuals to change their behaviors and improve their health and well-being.4 In addition, studies have shown that the most popular programs watched by young adults do not always accurately portray the risks, consequences, and responsibilities of sexual behavior.5 As such, it is critical to understand the content that is being consumed by adolescent girls and young women (AGYW) and their influencers so that we can design the most effective EM interventions. Shifting cross-cutting gender norms among AGYW and their influencers can have a sustaining impact on a range of behaviors and outcomes.
The ASN team is interested in understanding the causal links between EM use/exposure and effects on outcomes related to sexual and reproductive health (SRH), age at marriage, gender-based violence (GBV), physical safety, women’s economic empowerment (WEE), and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Hence, EM content analysis can lay the foundation for measuring potential causal links between EM use and impacts on these desired outcomes. It can also identify critical entry points or opportunities for the EM industry and content creators to produce and distribute gender-positive content.
Area of Interest:
This RFP seeks innovative approaches to addressing two objectives: (1) conduct EM content analysis and (2) monitor EM content in India, Kenya, and Nigeria.
A. Objective 1 – Conduct EM Content Analysis: collect baseline data and synthesize the EM content consumed by AGYW and their influencers in three countries: India, Kenya, and Nigeria. These include television shows, popular films, radio, digital platforms, etc. This will allow the ASN to understand how EM content impacts audiences, specifically AGYW and their influencers, the type of content that is most popular in each context. Identifying and analyzing the EM content will help to classify harmful content and inform the design of EM interventions that are needed to shift the EM industry toward creating gender-positive content in the three countries and other similar contexts. In a separate investment, a Tool Kit and Scale/Index will be developed to assist content creators in creating more gender-positive content. At the end of Year 1, a convening will be held for leaders of the Content Analysis and of the Tool Kit and Scale/Index to share indicators, data, and findings to align indicators across investments in the three priority geographies.
Although we expect the team that responds to this RFP to propose what they consider to be the best methodology, we anticipate a mixed method approach of conducting content analysis using established methodologies in the literature, including coding themes on the outcomes of interest, visual cues, brief mentions, dialogue, minor & major storylines, etc., and/or using emerging technologies, such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) supported language processing, which can provide key insights including but not limited to the following:
- Identify the top shows consumed by AGYW and their influencers and the types of content watched on TV and other media platforms for each of the countries, and specific sub-geographies within each country as relevant.
- Identify how outcomes and norms of interest important for the ASN team (gender-based violence, physical safety, women’s economic empowerment, sexual and reproductive health, etc.) are portrayed in the shows included for analysis.
- Identify what themes regarding the outcomes of interest are most prominent among AGYW and their influencers.
- Identify if the shows analyzed integrate educational information into their storytelling and/or social media sites regarding the risks and consequences of the outcomes of interest.
- Identify if the shows include portrayals of harmful/positive beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors and identify harmful norms that might be normalized.
- Identify actual frequency of gender-related content (both positive and negative).
B. Objective 2 – Monitor EM Content: set up and maintain a platform for continuous monitoring of EM content for the top shows consumed by AGYW and their influencers in India, Kenya, and Nigeria until at least Oct 2027. These include television shows, popular films, radio, digital platforms, etc. This public good is expected to provide key insights including but not limited to the following:
- Track overtime the frequency of gender-related content (both positive and negative) that AGYW and their influencers are exposed to in the three countries.
- Track the increase or decrease in quality of gender-positive and gender-equitable EM content.
- Track the number of hours AGYW and their influencers spend on different media outlets.
- Track the frequency of use of different media sources.
Expected deliverables include but are not limited to the following below:
- A detailed workplan and implementation roadmap for the project.
- A detailed outline of the methodology employed in the work, why it is the best choice to address the two objectives outlined, analysis plan, how the expected results will be presented etc.
- Raw data (per a Data Sharing Agreement signed with the foundation, for internal use and further analysis to inform foundation and ASN team priorities).
- Initial results for feedback and team discussion.
- Semi-annual learning sessions to help the ASN team digest the results and main takeaways from the findings and facilitate learning discussions.
- Semi-annual reports.
- Publication(s) in peer-reviewed journals (optional).
- Proposal on the best approach to monitor and analyze EM content on an ongoing basis until 2027.
- A platform that can serve as a public good and where ongoing data and results from monitoring EM content in the three countries can be displayed and accessed by the public.
- The project is expected to start in Oct 2023 and the results for the first content analysis are tentatively expected by Jul 2024.
- The EM content monitoring is expected to start in Oct 2023 and continue until at least Oct 2027.
Teams that respond to this RFP are expected to provide two budget proposals: please submit your proposed plan and budget according to what is required to complete the scope of work.
- Budget focused on the cost for conducting the EM content analysis for the three countries, deliverable expected no later than July 2024
- Budget focused on setting up and maintaining a platform for continuous monitoring of EM content in the three countries until at least Oct 2027.
- Knowledge and/or experience with the EM market globally, in Hollywood, in the three focus countries, or similar geographies.
- Deep expertise in the methodologies selected to conduct the content analysis and building a platform for monitoring EM content.
- Engagement of local, in-country partners or organizations that can provide thought partnership, ground truthing, and context validation of the methodologies, processes, and platforms selected.
- Record of implementation ability, including experience in market research focused on EM, content analysis of EM, and building platforms to monitor EM in the three focus countries or similar geographies.
- Quality of performance history, including experience with adherence to deadlines, quality of deliverables, and effective cost control.
- Proposed team’s qualification, including gender expertise and the ability to deliver against the project’s overall objectives.
- Flexibility, innovation, and creativity, with a clear and meaningful plan of action.
How to Apply:
All proposals must be submitted using the Concept Memo format provided in this link. Please carefully read all the important guidance provided in the Concept Memo before making your submission. Attach your document in word format to the Attach Proposal Task.
All application documents should be submitted no later than Aug 4, 2023, 12:00 PM U.S. Pacific Time.
Successful applicants will be notified before the end of October 2023.