Terms of reference for qualitative researchers for a primary qualitative research study to explore root causes for not participating in Mass Drugs Administration (MDA) aimed at eliminating Lymphatic Filariasis from the endemic districts in India
Position Name: Qualitative Researchers
Reporting Line: Senior Director, MLE, PCI India
Tenure: Up to 40 days
Location: Kanpur Nagar (Uttar Pradesh), Saran (Bihar) and Hazaribagh (Jharkhand)
Positions: 2 (one Male and one Female)
PCI, a Global Communities Partner has been working in India since 1998 with the mission to stay Rooted in community realities and co-create and scale sustainable solutions to complex development problems. PCI envisions A happy, healthy, safe, and sustainable world for all. PCI works with the government as well as social actors to create an enabling environment to improve and activate the social position of marginalized populations, especially women and girls, as well as strengthen convergent actions on the ground. Knowledge and evidence-based decision making, and data-driven management have been a trademark of our programs in India. For over two decades, PCI has maintained a diverse portfolio in India, with a presence in over 14 states, through the support of our donors and partners, we touched the lives of over 15 million people in FY 2022 alone. PCI is helping to ensure that millions of vulnerable women, children, families, and communities throughout India have the ability to advocate for, access and utilize quality health, nutrition, and empowerment services and information for generations to come.
About ‘Exploring root causes for never treatment in Indian population sub-groups: A qualitative enquiry towards developing prototype solutions for improved communication strategies’ Project:
Lymphatic Filariasis (LF) has been widely prevalent and is a serious public health problem in India. The country alone accounts for 43% of the global infected population (WHO, 1994). Out of 748 districts in the country, LF is endemic in 328 districts encompassing approximately 650 million population. The Government of India (GoI) is committed to eliminating LF from the country by 2030. However, to a great extent, the success of the program depends upon its ability to achieve and sustain the threshold drug coverage levels of 65% by the at-risk population.
Between Jul 2021 and Jun 2022, the post-MDA SM assessments conducted in the districts underwent MDA rounds across four states – Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, and Odisha indicate that ‘never treatment’ among adults is highest in Uttar Pradesh (20%), followed by Bihar (17%), Jharkhand (11%), and Odisha (10%). The never treated (NT) population poses a risk of resurgence and is likely to impede the elimination target by the year 2030. The sample survey captured reasons for non-compliance and provided a plethora of reasons for never treatment across the states. The reasons include ‘do not need these drugs’ (21%), ‘never received anti-LF drugs’ (19%), ‘lack of trust’ (15%), ‘fear of side effects’ (14%), ‘Drug Administrator (DA) never visited to administer drugs’ (10%), ‘unaware of MDA/anti-LF drugs’ (10%), ‘don’t know’ (4%), ‘severely sick’ (4%), ‘taking other medications’ (3%), etc.
Though the quantitative assessment has given a fair idea of the reasons associated with noncompliance in general, a further qualitative assessment is required to have a detailed understanding of the reasons why some individuals were never treated. An in-depth understanding of the factors inhibiting the uptake of anti-LF drugs and the context-specific enablers to improve the intake will help in designing a human-centered social behavior change communication strategy to address never treatment.
For the same, PCI has proposed an In-depth study with NT individuals. The team has already identified never treated individuals in three districts one each in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Jharkhand where NT population proportions are much higher than the state average. In each of the selected district, 30 IDIs are planned from three types of areas: 1) urban affluent area 2) urban poor-resource setting area, and 3) rural areas in equal proportion of male and female NT individuals. Total 90 IDIs are proposed from the three districts. For the same PCI India is looking for 2 trained qualitative researchers (1 male and 1 female) who can conduct IDIs and can transcribe the audio-record.
PCI will engage Survey Listers to identify eligible respondents before the Qualitative Researchers reach the survey sites – urban affluent, urban resource-poor, or rural area. From each site, the Qualitative Researchers need to interview 5 male and 5 female respondents and thus, in a district, the research team will conduct 30 IDIs. The Listers will prepare at least 10 male and 10 female respondents who are eligible for participating the survey. The Qualitative Researchers will select the respondents from the listed respondents based on their informed consent and availability. The Qualitative Researchers during the process of obtaining informed consent process will confirm the eligibility criteria. Each interview is expected to take about an hour or so. PCI has already developed the survey instrument which is a semi-structured tool covering basic profile, ever consumption of anti-LF drugs, associated reasons for never treatment, gendered issues related to MDA uptake, health seeking behaviour, media exposure, social networks for trusted health information and preferences for participation in MDA.
PCI will provide a day long training to the Qualitative Researchers in Delhi on the topic of research, study protocols including purpose of the study, ethical issues and research utilization. All the interviews will be audio taped and the qualitative researchers will have to submit full length written transcriptions in English to PCI. PCI will organize three workshops – one in each study district once the data is collected and analyzed. The Qualitative Researchers need to attend all the workshops and contribute to the discussion. During the workshops, PCI will try to brainstorm communication and non-communication solutions to convert the never treated individuals using the principle of Human Centered Design (HCD).
PCI will arrange for all travel and logistics for field trips and workshop attendance.
Key Roles and Responsibilities:
- Selection of interviewees from the pool of NT individuals already identified
- Establish a rapport with the respondents
- Conduct the targeted IDIs following a topic guide
- Record the interviews on an audio recorder
- Transcribe the interviews in English
- Daily reporting of activities conducted
Qualifications and skills required:
The short-term consultant position of qualitative researcher will require extensive field travel across three states.
- Post-graduate degree in social sciences
- Excellent command in verbal and written communication in Hindi and English
- Previous experience in conducting In-depth Interviews
- Familiarity with Grounded Research Theory is desirable
- Preferably some understanding of Human Centered Design (HCD) is desirable
All the qualitative data generated from this research, filled in tools, notes taken etc. will be sole property of PCI India and will duly be submitted to PCI India prior to completion of the assignment.
Interested candidates can apply for the Position of Qualitative Researchers by using the following link:
Terms of reference for qualitative researchers – PCI India (pciglobal.in) by 3rd March 2023, 5:00 pm.
PCI India is an equal opportunity provider and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion (creed), gender, gender expression, age, national origin (ancestry), disability and/or marital status. Due to the heavy inflow of resumes, only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.
*Female candidates are encouraged to apply