TERMS OF REFERENCE For research study on situational analysis

For research study on situational analysis of laws around
prevention of early marriages in Pakistan”
1. About Oxfam Novib
Oxfam Novib programme for Pakistan has been initiated in 1982. As a principle, the programme has
focused on entering into partnerships with Pakistani CBO's/NGO's both in development and
humanitarian programming In the first two decades, Oxfam Novib contributed to the programmes and
institutional development of a number of counterparts of which a number of them has developed into
key strategic partners: counterparts with a substantial capacity to deliver programmes and combining
grass roots work with advocacy efforts on provincial & national level Counterparts could implement
more effective advocacy from 2000 onwards as more liberties were granted to civil society in Pakistan.
As of date, ON supports medium to large sized Pakistani Counterparts. Examples in this regard are Sungi,
SAFWCO, Shirkat Gah and TRDP. From the start onwards, partners Oxfam Novib has supported can be
found in the provinces Sindh and Punjab focusing on agriculture/livelihoods In the end of the 90's, ON
has started to pay more attention on taking a more structural approach on gender mainstreaming .
It was in the beginnings of 2000, the portfolio was expanded with supporting partners in
(reproductive) health and education. Major event was the destructive 2005 Earthquake in the North
Eastern of Pakistan in which ON managed a major humanitarian and rehabilitation programme
amounting 5 million Euros. Number of partners has fluctuated, at present there are 20 core partners
and an additional 5 non-core humanitarian partners involved. The partners profile as of date include
some of the influential partners in Pakistan's civil society with an extensive outreach at the village,
Union Council, District, Provincial and Federal levels.
2. Youth Life Skills Program
Youth Life Skills Program also known as YLSP is Oxfam Novib Pakistan’s national level program to
promote sexual and reproductive health rights (SRHR) as a fundamental human right for youth (specially
girls) in Pakistan. YLSP’s ultimate goal is ‘A society where young people can claim and exercise their
rights for their sexual wellbeing’. We work through awareness raising, capacity building of key
stakeholders, lobby and advocacy with government and creating evidence on the SRH issues in Pakistan.
Youth life skills program under its sub theme of ‘early marriages prevention in Pakistan’ is working in
four districts of Sindh and Punjab provenance through awareness rising and capacity building of key
stakeholders around prevention of early marriages. As part of the project, the programme needs to have
evidence based knowledge for future programming strategies.
We are looking for the services of a suitable individual consultant who will conduct the research
according to the specific needs of the programme.
3. About the Research Topic
Despite international and national agreements prohibiting child marriage, many children especially girls
in developing countries like Pakistan are married before the age of eighteen. Children, in particular girls,
enter marriage at an early age without having the right to exercise free and full consent. These young
girls often have little or no choice over the partner with whom she will marry or the age at which this
event will occur. The practice of child marriage predominantly occurs in rural areas, where traditional
views towards women and marriage are prevalent. South Asia has the highest incidence of early
marriage where 70-75 per cent of women are married by age 18. There are many causes for why the
practice of child marriage continues. One significant cause is the established gender roles and lack of
alternatives for girls. Child marriage limits a girl’s development of skills, resources, knowledge, social
support and mobility, which contributes to the reduction of her negotiating power with regard to her
husband and/or in-laws. Subsequently, the increased vulnerability exposes girls to an increased
likelihood of violence, abuse, divorce or abandonment. The life of mothers in early age is more at risk
during child birth as compared to a woman bearing child after 18 years of age. In addition, there are
generational consequences of marrying children early. Poor infant and child health outcomes are related
to the early age of mothers with regard to their physical vulnerabilities and lack of social and
reproductive health services for this high-risk group.
The prevalence of child marriage in Pakistan becomes an impediment to the realization of nearly
every development goal – eradicating poverty and hunger, achieving universal primary education,
promoting gender equality, protecting children’s lives, and improving health. According to Pakistan
Demographic and Health Survey (PDHS) 2012-2013, the median age at first marriage among women is
19.5 years. In Pakistan, 24 % women of 20-24 years of age were married/in union before age 18.1 A
situation analysis is already being planned in four districts of Sindh and Punjab which will focus on
assessing the situation of early marriages in those districts through a household survey and reflect on
roles of different stakeholders that they can play in prevention of early age marriages through power
analysis. This analysis will help in clarifying the on ground situation of early marriages in the target
districts and also give an analysis of stake holders role and involvement in the early marriages.
In Pakistan, initially the Child Marriages Restraint Act 1929 was introduced and enacted to
discourage or restrain solemnization of child marriages. According to this Act, the marriageable age for
girls is 16 years and above and for boys, it is 18 years and above. In 1981, the Act was amended in which
the age of the girl child for marriage was increased from 14 to 16 years. Despite the fact that the
legislation is in place, the implementation is nowhere to be seen. One factor in this regard is the weak
penalties associated with it. The other factor is the legal lacuna in implementation of these laws.
The Sindh Assembly took a bold step to pass the first provincial legislature in the country against
early marriages. The legislation covers child marriages, honour killings, harassment of women and acid
attacks. According to the new bill, in cases of underage marriage the parents, bride and groom can all be
UNFPA 2012
sentenced to three years in prison and can be fined with Rs. 45,000. Now the age of marriage for boy
and girl is equal at 18 years. ‘If parents, guardians or any person in any capacity lawful or unlawful, does
any act to promote child marriage or permits it to be solemnized, or fails to prevent it negligently from
being solemnized, shall be punished with rigorous imprisonment which may extend to three years but
shall not be less than two years and shall also be liable to fine.
4. Rationale of the research
This study will provide an overall picture of constitution of Pakistan with reference to prevention
of early marriages. The key objective is to find out gaps in laws and their implementation and key
impediments to both so that we may create evidence and contribute in civil society to plan their actions
accordingly under the subject. This study will also compliment to the situation analysis to create a
broader picture on the issue. There is a need to thoroughly investigate and analyze the constitutional
obligations which directly or indirectly call for preventing early marriages and provision of different
rights for children in Pakistan. Also, concrete evidence is required to establish which laws are contrary to
early marriages restraint act. The perspective of key stake holders is crucial to analyze in terms of main
challenges in legislations and their implementation for prevention of early marriages in the country. The
rulings of the council of Islamic ideology regarding early age marriages needs to be reviewed in the light
of legal age of marriage in other Islamic countries of the world.
5. Specific Objectives of the Research
The study has two broader objectives which are following.
Objective I: Situation analysis of laws regarding early marriages
 To identify and analyze the constitutional obligations which directly or indirectly influence the
prevention of early marriages in Pakistan at national and provincial level
 To thoroughly reflect on the international commitments that bound the government to act
against early marriages in Pakistan.
 To do an analysis of laws in various Islamic countries with reference to legal age of marriage.
Objective II: Exploring the situation of implementation of laws
 Identifying challenges in implementation of laws from key stakeholders (Judiciary, law
enforcement agencies, nikkah registrars, legislators)
 Suggesting recommendations for mechanisms to better implementation of laws to prevent
early marriages
Scope and Scale of the Research
The scope of research is both at national and provincial level including Lodhran and Muzaffargarh in
Punjab and Shikarpur and Larkana in Sindh. The situation analysis of laws would be done both at
national and provincial level while the exploratory analysis with key stakeholders can also be done at
district level.
7. Methodology
Appropriate methodology for conducting secondary data analysis and qualitative study will be used. The
qualitative part of the study will include design, sampling method and sample size, data collection and
analysis procedure.
8. Outputs/Deliverables
1. An inception report with a detailed work plan, methodology and data collection
2. A draft report of the study.
3. A final report after incorporating comments from Oxfam team in two versions; Ms Word.
4. All materials produced by the study including hard copy of the report and raw data either in FGD
and IDI transcripts in soft form.
5. Presenting the most significant findings to the Programme team.
6. Final Report Format
The final research report should consists of following main topics
Standard cover sheet; having data on (title, date, evaluator, programme)
Executive Summary: (Having contents; Objectives, Methods, results & conclusion)
1. Background of the early marriages issues in Pakistan and south Asia [literature review]
2. Methodology (The methodology section should be divided in two components describing two
separate methodologies for two main objectives of the study having below mentioned
Study I: Situation Analysis of Laws regarding early marriages (Objective I)
a. Objectives of the study
b. Operational definitions of the variables
c. Study Design
d. Sources of data
e. Data analysis techniques
Study II: Exploring the situation of implementation of laws (Objective II)
o a. Objectives of the study
o b. Operational definitions
o c. Study design
o d. Sampling Method and Sample Size
o e. Data Collection Procedure
o f. Data Analysis
 4.. Findings and discussion
 5. Limitations
 6. Conclusions
7. Recommendations for advocacy initiatives
8. References
9. Annexure [TOR, data collection tools, case studies etc.]
Following lists must be given(if any) at the start;
o 1. Table of contents (automatically generated)
o 2. List of Figures
o 3. List of Tables
o 4. Acronyms and abbreviations
7. Time Frame
The planned time frame for the research is 2 months from May to June 2015. The final report must be
submitted on 25th July, 2015.
8. Qualification and experience of the consultant
We are inviting proposals from individual consultants with following requirements
The consultant should have Masters Degree in Social Sciences and 7 years experience of
conducting qualitative researches preferably in social issues specifically sexual reproductive
5-7 published researches as journal articles or reports
9. Content of the Proposal
The proposal should be of 10-15 pages at maximum and should contain description of following points.
Brief background of the topic
It should reflect how the consultant has conceptualized and understood the topic
The methodology section should be divided in two sections as the study involves desk review and a
qualitative study which would involve focus group discussions and in-depth interviews with key
stakeholders according to the research question. So the methodology should clearly reflect the following
points for the two sections separately.
Study I
Objectives of the study
Operational definitions of the variables
Study Design
Selection process of content for desk review
Analysis Scheme
Study II
Objectives of the study
Operational definitions of the variables
Study Design
Sampling technique and sample size
Data collection procedure
Data Analysis Plan
Detailed work plan with timelines
How to Apply:
Qualified candidates are requested to submit/ TCS a detailed research proposal along with subject
line: Consultant (Research), Oxfam Novib-Early Marriages Prevention, to HR Oxfam Novib House No.
27, main service road east, G11-3 Islamabad by 1st April, 2015.