Consultancy job at StrongMinds

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Background to Strongminds

StrongMinds is a social enterprise founded in early 2013 that provides life-changing mental health services to impoverished African women.  Since many African women cannot even begin to tackle issues like poverty and economic development until they overcome depression, StrongMinds has initially focused on treating women who suffer from this pervasive and debilitating mental illness.  By adapting a proven therapeutic model, StrongMinds is the only organization scaling a costeffective solution to the depression epidemic in Africa. We are guided by an ambitious and unique goal of treating three hundred thousand depressed African women between 2022 and 2024—enabling these women and their families to lead healthier, productive and satisfying lives.

SM MISSION is to improve the mental health of women in Africa.

SM GOAL is to treat and improve the lives of three hundred thousand African women with depression by 2025.

SM VISION is for every African woman suffering from depression to have access to mental health treatment, which enables her and her family to lead healthy, productive, and satisfying lives.

Strongminds Group Interpersonal Therapy

StrongMinds’ Group Interpersonal Psychotherapy (IPT-G) therapeutic model provides free, group talk therapy (both inperson and teletherapy) facilitated by community-based lay counsellors over 6, 8, and 10 weeks to treat depression and improve the well-being of underserved women and adolescents living with depression in Uganda and Zambia. Through a combination of direct implementation and replication through government and mission-aligned NGO partners, StrongMinds leverages existing health and education systems and NGO infrastructure to reach new markets and create sustainable access to mental health treatment in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). OBJECTIVES OF THE CONSULTANCY

The purpose of the consultancy is to collect post treatment data for provided sample sets of former clients for validation of termination score results. for two countries Zambia and Uganda

Scope of the consultancy

StrongMinds seeks to contract the services of a consultant(s) to collect post treatment PHQ9 and SIT data for its country programs in Uganda and Zambia for the year ended December 2022, and going forward from 2023. For the purposes of this ToR, this will specifically be 6 (six) months post treatment data for 2022 (PHQ9 and SIT) and 2 (two) weeks post treatment (PHQ9 only), and 6 (six) months post treatment data (PHQ9 and SIT) for 2023. StrongMinds is open to receiving applications for an organization that can undertake the consulting activity for either one or both countries. Since this is anticipated to be a recurring annual activity for the foreseeable future, the contract of the successful applicant may be renewed in writing, and at the agreement of both parties as and when the need may arise.

Notice of Physical In Country Locations/ Operating Areas:

Uganda operates in 13 districts– Kampala, Wakiso, Mukono, Kotido, Mbale, Iganga, Mayuge, Bugweri, Gulu, Mbarara, Adjumani, Kanungu, Lamwo

Zambia operates in Bauleni, MoH, Kabwe- Kasanda, Katondo and Makululu, Mandevu, Ng’ombe, Matero, George,

Chilenge, Kamwala, Kalingalinga, Mtendere, Chelstone, Makeni, Chipata, Kalikiliki, Bauleni, Makeni, Matero

The consultancy will be based on the following detailed scope:

Data collection period Zambia Data collection period Uganda  Data collected  Sample size Zambia Sample size Uganda 
19th June to 9th July 2023 (6 months post therapy


19th June to 9th July 2023 (6 months post therapy) PHQ9     and


Indicator Data

400 post therapy clients for groups terminated end November and in


400 post therapy clients.
24th April to 14th May (2 weeks post therapy 2023) 22nd May to 11th June for in person groups and 3rd to 23rd July for teletherapy groups (2 weeks post therapy) PHQ9 400 post therapy cycle 1 2023 clients.. Sample size breakdowns will be provided. 400 post therapy clients. Sample size breakdowns will be provided.
August/ September (6 months post treatment


6 Months Post Treatment 2023- Collected (Suggested August/

September 2023) 2023

PHQ9 and SIT 400 post therapy cycle 1 2023 clients, Sample size breakdowns will be provided. 400 post therapy clients. Sample size breakdowns will be provided.


Tier 1 indicators- highest priority (Tools are appended to ToR)

Metric Measurement question
PHQ-9 change PHQ-9
% 5+ change PHQ-9
% depression free PHQ-9
Functionality If you checked off any problems, how difficult have these made it for you to do your work, take care of things at home, or get along with other people?
Suicide Suicide risk assessment (Sucide protocol appended to ToR)
Gender % of females treated
Location District, parish, village/ area, zone
Age Age of client
Marriage status Relationship status of client
Phone/ Contact
Referral point Radio     Community  Poster          Event   Partner   Other    
SIT Q1 -Economic productivity Percentage of patients who report NOT missing significant work/economic activity in the past seven days because of illness, disinterest, loss of energy, or other reasons
SIT Q2 – Child well-being Percentage of patients who report they and their children consumed at least three meals in the past 24 hours
SIT Q3 – Missed school Percentage of patients who report their child missed school during the last week
SIT Q4 – Social support Percentage of patients who report having someone in their lives they can turn to for support
Residence status

Proposed methodology

1.            Data collection for teletherapy will be phone based, and data collection for in person therapy will be done via physical interviews

2.            For in-person surveys, use smartphones with a survey app to support real time data entry and consolidation. Recommended data collection apps are Survey CTO (paid) or OpenDataKit (free). The app must include the ability to automatically record GPS and audio in the background.

3.            Record audio of 20% – 100% of survey questions with a smartphone survey app.

4.            Daily analysis of key variables for outliers and logical inconsistencies to enable the rapid identification of any mistakes, in case the data collectors have to return to respondents. This will be the responsibility of the country M&E teams supported by the Global Research office.

5.            Data collection tools will be translated into local languages. These are already translated into local languages.

6.            The consultant will collect data, deliver the raw data set as originally collected, document any changes made, and also deliver a clean dataset.  This will be analyzed by another independent individual, and the report developed by the Global Research Office.  Considerations for Teletherapy

1.            Messages will be sent to sampled teletherapy clients ahead of the data collection exercise by StrongMInds. Phone calls or visits may also be made.

2.            If the client’s phone number cannot be reached after 8 attempts within 48 hours, they will be replaced. All replacement must be done within the 20 days data collection timeline. The country M&E teams retain primary responsibility for replacement.

Considerations for in person Therapy

Access to Adolescents protocol

▪              In Zambia the female members of the country M&E team familiar with the former clients will support the data collection exercise.

Considerations for Suicide Protocol

All post therapy clients scoring 5 and above will be referred to an MHF for further review


1.            Informed consent will be programmed into data collection activities with audio recorded.

2.            In Uganda parental consent for in school adolescents will be obtained ahead of the interviews by the country M&E team and school inspectors.

3.            The data collectors will follow the StrongMinds referral pathways, which will be provided, in cases where respondents are found to be suicidal or depressed.

4.            Prerequisite to have females as predominant data collectors, especially given the sensitive nature of questions.


Activities and Expected Outputs


Activity 1: Develop and submit an inception report detailing a clear work plan to StrongMinds

–     Inception report

–     Data collection schedule/ work plan

Activity 2: Recruit, orient, and train experienced research assistants/ data collectors/ surveyors

–              Profiled list of surveyors and their distribution

Activity 3: Data collection

– Original raw datasets for the study; Clean data set; documented changes with reasons why changed

– Audio recordings

– Field report on data collection (objectives, methods, description of field activities/ process, locations, personnel, timelines, ethical considerations, gender/ safeguarding/ interaction with minors considerations, limitations, data entry changes, results/interpretations, conclusion(s) ). The report may be up to 6 (six pages)


Confidentiality and Ownership

The consultant will protect the confidentiality of those participating in the survey at all stages. All data is confidential and is the property of StrongMinds. No data or other information from this survey will be released to third parties without the written approval of StrongMinds. The consultant will turn over all completed data tools to StrongMinds and will not destroy information and material at the end of the project. All data and original documentation will be delivered to StrongMinds in the specified formats.


Application Requirements

Interested consultants/ firms should submit technical and financial proposals to and copy to by 17:00 hours on Monday 3rd April 2023. Applicants should write their subject line in the following order: SM/Client Post


Treatment Data Collection Consultancy bid/2023/ your name or consultancy firm.

Please note: The request for applications accepts soft copy applications only.

The application submission should include:

  • Legal status and clean tax record
  • The consultant’s understanding of the Terms of Reference
  • A work plan with clearly itemized timelines
  • Organizational capacity statement, experience and activities related to Development Evaluations
  • Data quality assurance plan based on the quality protocols appended to this ToR
  • Curriculum Vitae(s) for the consultant team
  • Three professional recommendations on organization headed paper referencing examples of evaluation reports conducted in the last 3 years.
  • An itemized budget in local country currency specifying technical fees and operational/ logistical costs for each of the listed data collection activities.
  • Proof of a clean record of safeguarding and child protection in current and past assignments. The successful consultant/ firm will be inducted on, and required to sign the StrongMinds safeguarding policy as may apply.


Consultant Qualifications 

The successful consultant(s) must have the following qualifications:

▪              At least a Master’s degree in Social Sciences, Statistics, Public Health, Economics, Monitoring and Evaluation or any other related subject from a recognized university.

▪              At least 5 years’ demonstrated experience in the evaluation of health and/ or development projects in Uganda and/ or Zambia.

▪              Expertise in mixed-method research and evaluation methods, and ability to conduct high quality research, meet deadlines and respond to requests and feedback in a timely manner.

▪              Strong analytical and conceptual skills to clearly synthesize and present findings, draw practical conclusions, make recommendations and prepare high quality reports.

  • Experience in working with datasets to conduct data analysis across multiple variables of interest.

▪              Familiarity with, and ability to comply with international quality and accountability standards as applied in development cooperation.

▪              Understanding the mental health care system in Uganda/ Zambia based on the principles of the mental health gap action program (mhGap) with specific bias to treatment of depression.

▪              Demonstrated proficiency in written and spoken communications skills in the English language. Fluency in local languages is a plus.

▪              Capacity to work both independently and as a team




Total: 20 days



Stage     Proportion of payment

At contract signing 100 % of operational/ logistical costs and 20% of technical fees
At submission of draft datasets 40%
At submission of final datasets 40%

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