EXPRESSION OF INTEREST TO UNDERTAKE A FEASIBILTY STUDY FOR PROVISION OF ECO-FRIENDLY SANITARY TOWELS IN NAROK COUNTY
Palladium is implementing the New Partnerships Initiative EXPAND: New Partners for Better Health (NPI EXPAND) activity, a five-year (October 2019-October 2024) USAID-funded cooperative agreement (7200AA19CA00015). The NPI EXPAND activity is designed to increase the availability and use of quality health services, by strengthening the technical and organizational capacity of New and Underutilized Partners (NUPs) and supporting them to scale up health innovations in line with the USAID Local Capacity Development (LCD) Strategy.
In Kenya, NPI EXPAND supports locally driven solutions to increase access to and use of health services in Narok County. Specifically, the program provides grants and tailored assistance to local organizations to implement context-specific approaches aimed at removing barriers to family planning access and use and improving maternal health outcomes. The primary beneficiaries of the program include adolescents and youth (girls and boys) who are in and out of school, women, men, and couples. While the NPI EXPAND program focuses on the health sector, this activity forms part of an integrated program that also advances livelihoods, food security, sustainable livestock raising, and conservation in the Mara Landscape. Grantees are required to coordinate closely with county government representatives and other organizations working in health, conservation, and development spaces in Narok County.
The overall goal of the NPI EXPAND project is to enhance the capacity of the local partners to increase demand for and deliver high-quality maternal health and family planning services to the underserved populations in Narok County - Kenya while ensuring the sustainability of the environment in which they depend on. The interventions will also contribute to the Ministry of Health (MOH) and County Health Management Teams' (CHMT) health goals toward equitable and sustainable healthcare for the population. The objectives of the project are: to improve the availability of integrated maternal health and family planning services while addressing both gender and environmental barriers, to increase demand and acceptance of maternal health and family planning services by addressing socio-cultural barriers, to strengthen the community health systems and response structures to support the uptake of maternal and family planning services, to strengthen the integration/mainstreaming of gender and biodiversity / environmental interventions, strengthen the capacity of the Narok County Health Department to plan, finance and coordinate maternal and family planning services for sustainability
2 SECTION II DESCRIPTION OF THE TASK
Anglican Development Services, Community Health Partners, and Health Right Kenya are implementing the NPI EXPAND project and are jointly seeking to undertake a feasibility study on the best approach to increasing access to eco-friendly sanitary towels in Narok County. The study will consider the cost-effectiveness and feasibility of the production of eco-friendly sanitary towels in Narok County and other options such as procuring eco-friendly towels from existing producers in Kenya.
Addressing menstrual hygiene is a fundamental component of addressing the sexual and reproductive health needs of women and girls and promoting gender equity. The proposed eco-friendly sanitary towels will have multiple benefits of eliminating menstrual poverty, contributing to keeping girls in school, reducing teenage pregnancies as well as keeping the environment cleaner and safe for the co-existence with wildlife.
Reproductive Health Needs in Kenya and Narok County specifically - The Kenya Constitution 2010, Article 43, guarantees the right to the highest attainable standard of health, including reproductive health. Kenya has made considerable progress in improving access to reproductive health services and especially family planning but there are still challenges, especially among poor rural women and girls, and other marginalized groups like persons living with a disability. Narok County leads in Kenya with a teenage pregnancy prevalence of 40% which is more than two times the country's prevalence of 18%. The percentage of women 20 – 49 years who married and commenced motherhood in childhood is 63.8% with the majority of Maasai women (78%) having gone through FGM1. The prevalence of teen pregnancies in Narok County is 28%.
 The State of Kenya population report 2020-ICDP25
 Kenya Demographic and Health Survey 2022
Factors contributing to teenage pregnancies in the Maasai community.
Narok County’s predominant community is the Maasai community. A recent study carried out in Kajiado county, a neighboring county occupied mainly by the Maasai community, reported that the key factors contributing to teenage pregnancies in this community included: early sexual debut ( 9-10 years) among the girls and especially after circumcision, normalization of teenage pregnancy in the community, the vulnerability of the teenage girls, and not being able to support their basic needs like sanitary towels and therefore look for support from males (younger or older) who take advantage and ask for sexual favors . The ‘Get Up Speak Out’ baseline report 2016 further recommended that girls should be provided with sanitary towels to reduce their vulnerability to males and reduce absenteeism in school during the menses leading to school drop-outs. The adolescent birth rate for girls aged 15-19 years in Narok County is 225 births per 1000 girls.
 Olenja J, Krugu JK, Kwaak v.d. A, Kawai D, Karanja S, Apanja M, et al., (2019). Factors influencing teenage pregnancy among Maasai girls in Kajiado West Sub-County, Kenya. An operational qualitative study report as part of the YES, I DO program implemented from 2016 to 2020.
 Gitau, Tabither, Tasneem Kakal, Lincie Kusters, and Maryse Kok. 2016. “Get up Speak out, Baseline Report Kenya.”
2.2 Statement of the problem
Sustainable Development Goals 4 and 5, Education for All and Gender Equity, respectively, cannot be achieved without addressing menstrual hygiene and girls’ access to sanitary towels. Despite the free primary education and 100% transition to secondary school policies spearheaded by the Kenyan government, many girls in poor and marginalized communities do not attend school consistently once they get to menarche age from 9-10 years. Primary school girls are absent from school at least 4 days in a month translating to 8 weeks of missed learning time in a year, affecting transition and retention in high schools. Kenya has made attempts to supply sanitary towels in public primary schools, augmented also by donors and well-wishers, but with approximately 500,000 girls in these schools menstruating every month, there is a need for sustainable ways of providing sanitary towels. In addition to increasing access to sanitary towels for girls, there is a need to consider the environmental impact of the interventions adopted. Generally, sanitary towels are absorbent single-use disposable products. Many of the sanitary towels are non-biodegradable and are therefore a threat to the environment. In a study conducted in India, used pads account for approximately 9000 megatons of waste that is non-degradable, posing a serious threat to the environment. Sanitary waste is a growing concern globally because disposable pads are 90% plastic, and plastic takes 250-800 years to degrade and break into smaller pieces that can eventually get into the air, food, or water, resulting in exposure to toxic chemicals that may be carcinogenic . Therefore, in addressing menstrual hygiene poverty, we also need to ensure that the interventions align with addressing climate change issues and waste management. Narok County is home to one of Kenya’s biggest conservation and wildlife landscapes, so it is critical to design environmentally friendly interventions.
 Yadav, Meena &Goel, Simran. (2017). Disposable pads and sustainable environment.
 Chockman, Laura (2019): “Unlearning Menstruation: Sanitary Waste in India,” EcoFemme, https://ecofemme.org/sanitary-waste-in-india/. […]
 Kenya Education Staff Institute (KESI), Journal of education management, 2018
2.3 Objective of the Task
The objective of the feasibility study is to explore an effective and sustainable means of availing eco-friendly sanitary towels in Narok County by comparing the overall efficiency of producing eco-friendly towels and distributing towels from existing producers in Kenya.
2.4 Key Steps
To achieve this task, the consultant(s) will:
Undertake a comprehensive literature review and identify practical case studies for the sustainable provision of sanitary towels, ideally assessing the success of similar efforts in other parts of the country.
Identify and document the different resources required for phased implementation of production of the eco-friendly sanitary towels.
Financial resources are required at different phases.
Human resources/expertise required.
Biodegradable materials are required for production and their availability.
Identify and document the legal and administrative frameworks required for production of the eco-friendly towels, including any consumer protection requirements and quality assurance requirements.
Identify and document the resources required to distribute eco-friendly sanitary towels from existing producers in Kenya.
Identify and document the processes or frameworks that will be required to distribute eco-friendly sanitary towels from existing producers in Kenya.
Assess the likely price to the consumer for eco-friendly towels produced locally in Narok county versus the price if towels are procured from existing sources in Kenya.
The assignment will be conducted through a combination of participatory and non-participatory methodologies including and not limited to a review of various literature and case studies of similar initiatives in closely related contexts. This exercise will also involve conducting key informants using structured tools that capture relevant information on improving access to eco-friendly towels.
Key stakeholders will be systematically sampled to provide their insight and guidance on the best approach for the adoption to availing eco-friendly sanitary towels.
Additional data will be collected through consultation forums with the NPI EXPAND grantees and the community members to gather more information on the preferences for provision of the eco-friendly towels.
Ethical approval will be sought from the relevant institutions. Qualitative data collected will be transcribed and analyzed using NVIVO and other software of use to generate key results by identifying key and emerging themes from the analysis. A comprehensive report detailing the scope of work and findings is to be submitted to NPI EXPAND.
2.6 Expected Output
The final output of this assignment is to provide a detailed feasibility study report that can form the basis of decision-making by the county government and other stakeholders to invest resources in supporting menstrual hygiene by either producing eco-friendly sanitary towels in Narok or distributing them from other producers in Kenya. It will also inform additional planning and integration of different sectors that will benefit from this.
2.7 Key milestones of the assignment
This assignment will be divided into 3 key milestones:
Milestone 1: Desk review/inception report and work plan for the role out of the feasibility study
A detailed work plan for undertaking the feasibility study. The work plan should include a strong methodology section with sufficient details on how the information will be collected from different stakeholders,
Tools that we will use to collect the data.
Literature review and identified case studies of examples of existing models of sustainably availing sanitary towels.
A comparative analysis of possible options for ensuring sustainable availability of producing eco-friendly sanitary towels in Narok.
A recommendation of the most feasible approach based on the evidence and comparative analysis.
Milestone 3: A business case detailing:
Cost analysis of implementing the identified feasible intervention
The business case should indicate the different phases—initial investment, operating costs, marketing/distribution costs, etc.
Human resources/expertise required.
Community involvement and economic benefits of the identified feasible intervention
Estimates on the size of the potential market for sanitary towels in Narok County.
Legal and administrative framework required to implement the identified viable option.
Feasibility of quality assurance processes for new production option
3 SECTION III – ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS
To be considered for this assignment, the applicants must meet the following minimum eligibility requirements:
Must be a Kenyan organization/institution / or an individual legally registered with the government of Kenya and compliant with government tax laws; (Provide Letter of Accreditation, existing Tax Identification Number, and copy of current tax compliance certificate).
Should have the organizational capability to fully execute the proposed activities within an agreed-upon timeline.
Must have a legal bank account in operation (Provide correct bank account details)
Must have experience of undertaking feasibility studies, experience of having undertaken a similar study will be an added advantage.
Must demonstrate the ability to work with multiple stakeholders in executing similar assignments.
Must demonstrate the technical capacity to undertake the assignment.
Must demonstrate financial capacity to implement the project.
4 SECTION IV – SUBMISSION AND APPLICATION INFORMATION
4.1 Submission Formatting
Written in English and in 12-point Times New Roman font.
Text in tables or charts may be in 10-point Times New Roman font.
Narratives should be prepared in Microsoft Word or compatible equivalent with print areas set to 8.5 x 11-inch, letter-sized paper, and one-inch margins, left justification and a footer on each page including a) page numbers, b) date of submission, and c) applicant name.
Spreadsheets should be prepared in Microsoft Excel or a compatible equivalent, with print areas set to 8.5 x 11-inch, letter-sized paper.
Official (signed) documents, memoranda, and certifications may be submitted as Adobe PDF files; and
Faxed and hard copy applications are not acceptable.
4.2 Submission Format
Cover Page (1-page maximum)
Organizational/Team Capabilities (1-page maximum)
Methodology or proposed interventions (2 pages maximum)
Key Personnel for the assignment (I page maximum)
Implementation work plan (1-page maximum)
Detailed milestone-based budget in Kenyan Shillings (no page limit)
5 SECTION V – APPLICATION REVIEW INFORMATION
5.1Merit Review Criteria
To the extent that they are necessary (if the award is not made based on initial applications), negotiations and/or interviews will then be conducted with the applicant whose application, after discussion and negotiation, has a reasonable chance of being selected for the award. Awards will be made to eligible, responsible applicants whose applications offer the greatest value, cost-effectiveness, and other factors considered. After it is determined that the minimum eligibility requirements have been met, the Technical Evaluation Committee will evaluate applications according to the criteria described below.
Merit Review Criteria Maximum Possible Points
A. Organizational Capabilities 25
B. Methodology or proposed interventions 30
C. Key personnel for the assignment 15
D. Implementation Plan 15
E. Cost Effectiveness/Realism 15
Total Possible Points 100
How to apply
Use subject line: Expression of Interest to undertake a feasibility study for the provision of eco-friendly sanitary towels in Narok County
Submission Date and Time: May 29th, 2023, COB
Submission email: firstname.lastname@example.org