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Call for application: Defining and Assessing Financial Health of Women SHGs and Micro-enterprises in Odisha, India

Thursday, July 1, 2021 to Friday, August 6, 2021

Inquiries to this request for applications may be submitted by email to financial.health@uncdf.org and uncdf.rfa@uncdf.org by 6th August 2021.

All applications must be submitted by 23:59 hours (IST) on 15th August 2021 using the UNCDF einvestment platform:

UNCDF has partnered with the Government of Odisha to further strengthen the financial lives of women entrepreneurs under the aegis of Mission Shakti Programme- an initiative to empower women through credit and market linkages by organizing them in self-help groups (SHGs). Nearly 70 lakh women, organized into 6 lakh SHGs throughout Odisha, benefit socially and economically through affordable financing, income-generating opportunities, and skill development.

UNCDF has set up the Mission Shakti Living Lab in the state, which aims to understand and improve the financial health of women entrepreneurs by designing and rolling out a suite of financial health-centric (digital) products and tools. We aim to achieve this by deepening our understanding of women’s financial lives, business needs and aspirations, market barriers and prevailing social and cultural norms that prevent women from pursuing and/or expanding businesses. We also seek to define financial health in the local context and create a financial health index to assess the impact of specific interventions.

UNCDF invites research firms, academic institutions, and think-tanks to contribute towards enhancing the financial wellbeing of women entrepreneurs participating in the Mission Shakti Programme in Odisha, India. In particular, the applicant(s) will be responsible to carry out the following activities:

Undertake deep-dive quantitative and qualitative research on the financial, business, and social lives of women in SHGs to churn insights leading to the development and delivery of financial health-centric solutions including mapping of social norms
Define financial health in context of women and women enterprises in SHGs of Odisha, identify its determinants, and design an index to measure and track financial health
Conduct an impact assessment of the specific financial interventions on women and women entrepreneur’s financial health, socio-economic, and business outcomes
The applicant/ lead applicant must be a registered entity with a local presence in India either through a registered entity or a branch office. The ideal firm will have demonstrated experience in conducting high-quality gender-centric consumer finance research, gender-centric financial product design, and women economic empowerment-related impact evaluations.

The selected applicant will sign a Performance-Based Agreement (PBA) with UNCDF. The applicants are required to propose the financial cost for this partnership, and we encourage applicants to share part of the cost. Applicants may apply independently or in a consortium.

The applicant/ consortium will work together with UNCDF in a joint effort to understand and build financial health for the low and moderate income women. Applicants/ Consortiums comprising of research firms, academic institutions, and think-tanks are encouraged to apply.