Deadline: March 23, 2020
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About African Population and Health Research Center (APHRC)

The African Population and Health Research Center (APHRC) is a leading Africa-based, African-led, international research institution headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya, and engaged in multidisciplinary, evidence-based policy research. Our work address important issues and challenges facing Africa in areas such as education, health, population, aging, urbanization, and well-being. We engage with policy-makers in the region to disseminate our research findings to influence policy decisions and improve the quality of life in Africa.

About Challenging the Politics of Social Exclusion (CPSE) project

APHRC is implementing an innovative four-year project on Challenging the Politics of Social Exclusion (CPSE), in which the Center acts as a key knowledge partner to the constellation of policy actors engaged in advancing the realization of regional commitments, made by the African States, to enhance the sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) of their populations. To this end, CPSE will (i) support the generation, synthesis and translation of relevant evidence at regional and sub-regional levels in Eastern, Southern and Western Africa as well as in seven focal countries (Burkina Faso, Kenya, Liberia, Malawi, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, and Zambia); and (ii) help strengthen core capacities of key (sub-) regional partners to effectively marshal and use evidence in policy processes and engagements.

Problem Driven Political Economy Analysis in Zambia


Despite existence of a relatively liberal abortion law – that allows for the termination of pregnancy on health and other broad socioeconomic grounds – the reality is far more complicated. As a result, the vast majority of women still face multiple barriers to access safe abortion services. Stigma remains profound, very few women know they have the right to a safe, legal abortion or know where to seek safe abortion services. Additionally, the high out-of-pocket cost of abortion services leads many women and girls to resort to unsafe abortions methods and procedures. Thus, unsafe abortions are prevalent, and continue to contribute to high rates of maternal morbidity and mortality. Quality of service [both for abortion and post-abortion care (PAC)] is also fundamental to reducing induced abortions-related maternal morbidity and mortality. However, despite political commitments, services are scarcely accessible in Zambia.

In response, in April 2018, Zambia, through the Ministry of Health, developed new safe abortion guidelines. However, the lack of political will to fully implement the guidelines has impeded its operationalization. Thus, there is a need to understand the proximal and distal factors driving the unsafe abortion menace in Zambia. By doing this, we hope to create opportunities for strengthening advocacy towards improvement of current abortion legal context as well as facilitate the full implementation of safe abortion policies. To achieve this, we propose to conduct a study utilizing the problem driven political economic approach to examine the political, social and epidemiological context of abortion in Zambia. Evidence from this study will significantly contribute to the CPSE program in furthering the capacity of actors to strengthen evidence and advocacy to reduce unsafe abortions in Zambia.

Scope of the assignment

APHRC is seeking the services of a consultant, to support the implementation of a political economic analysis (PEA) the abortion context in Zambia, with a view of gaining a better understanding of the drivers and barriers to unsafe abortions in the country. The successful candidate will, through PEA, contribute to improving the understanding of the power relations, dynamics structures and processes that enable the development and implementation of laws and policies on abortion in Zambia.

The consultant is required to identify the critical actors or agents, structures, and institutions that facilitate or block access to safe abortion in Zambia. The consultant will unpack the visible, invisible or hidden relationships between these actors and institutions that exercise significant control over decision making process, attitudes, perceptions and practices. Emphasis will be put on context, power, institutions, actors, relationships and processes as part of the PEA analysis. The review will test the explicit and implicit assumptions about the influence and interests of stakeholders and the way that power is exerted in a specific institutional and individual context that underlies policy orientation and implementation as well as attitudes and behaviors

Specific Objectives of the political economy analysis

  • To identify the key power relations, dynamics and trends in governance systems, structures and processes related to SRHR in the three Countries. This should include overt and covert power brokers, values and norms for decision making, as well as enabling institutions both formal and informal for SRHR.
  • To undertake a stakeholder mapping and power analysis for SRHR with a view to identifying overt and covert power brokers, structures and systems that enable these power brokers, incentives and rewards for the power brokers and the formal and informal institutions enabling the perpetuation of the perceived or real power of these power brokers.
  • To identify and highlight the current roles of women, youth, men, key populations and other groups in decisions and actions related to access to safe abortion in Zambia.
  • To identify key obstacles that prevent active and influential advocacy and use of evidence for transparent, accountable and inclusive access to safe abortion in Zambia.
  • To provide recommendations on both immediate and long term approaches/strategies that APHRC and other stakeholders – governments, communities, media, researchers, investors and civil society – can use to ensure transformative agendas addressing community and stakeholder needs.

Outputs/ Expected deliverables

  1. Co-created protocol with APHRC to be submitted for ethical approval at the national level. The consultant will provide leadership in ensuring protocol is approved on time in-country.
  2. Data collection and analysis
  3. Effectively convene and facilitate a stakeholder workshop to validate PEA findings
  4. A study work plan and accompanying budget
  5. Stakeholder mapping and analysis
  6. Final Report on the Political Economy Analysis together with original data.

APHRC responsibilities

  • APHRC shall provide relevant information relevant to CPSE’s work
  • APHRC will lead the development of the PEA protocol and data collection tools
  • Provide financial support for joint stakeholder convening’s to contribute to the PEA protocol and later on validate the PEA findings
  • APHRC shall provide guidance and high-level administrative support such as making available relevant documentation and tools
  • Provide financial support for the activities
  • Essential skills and experience


  • An advanced university degree in international relations, political science, public administration, finance, economics or related field.


  • A minimum of 5 years of progressive experience in sexual and reproductive health, with a focus in Zambia;
  • Extensive political economy analysis experience;
  • In-depth understanding of the complex abortion context in Zambia including the politics, moral and social disputes that prevail
  • Proven experience in conceptualizing and conducting research on sexual and reproductive health in sub-Saharan Africa;
  • Proven experience of working with government authorities as well as civil society organizations and academic institutions.

Language Requirements:

  • Fluency in English, including outstanding writing skills and knowledge of local language is an added advantage

Consultancy Period:

The period of performance for this Scope of Work is approximately 35 pro-rated working days from April to July 2020.

Application procedure

Your submission should include the following items.

  1. Suitability statement that express commitment to availability for the entire period of the assignment.
  2. Cover letter of no more than one page
  3. CVs of researcher/s, totaling no more than 5 pages- (where applicable)
  4. Contact details of at least two referees;
  5. A work plan articulating the frameworks and processes that will be used to implement the activities in this consultancy (a maximum of four pages).
  6. An indicative budget of including all expected costs but broken down to demonstrate what each cost covers.

If you meet the criteria above and are interested in this exciting opportunity, please email and a copy to with the subject: Abortion -Zambia-RFP Response, CPSE PEA Consultant. Applications should reach us by March 23, 2020.

For more information about APHRC visit

APHRC is an equal opportunity employer and is committed to the protection of children