Request for Quote/Proposal: Consumer research to evaluate the impact of the Chi Initiative Phase III on target audiences in Vietnam

RTI, prime implementing partner of the USAID Wildlife Asia Activity, is currently seeking a research agency to deliver a thorough, systematic, and objective assessment of the impact of the Chi Initiative Phase III (see Background p2) on the knowledge, attitudes, and practices (KAP) of wealthy Vietnamese men aged 35-55 (income of VND 23.5 million per calendar month and above) with regard to rhino horn consumption. For full Statement of Work and inquiries, please email by COB June 24, 2020. Solicitation timeframe: June 18-July 6, 2020

Program - USAID Wildlife Asia

The USAID Wildlife Asia activity is a five-year regional (Southeast Asia and China) project aimed at combating wildlife crime by: reducing consumer demand, strengthening law enforcement, enhancing political commitment, and increasing regional collaboration. The project is focused on four species – elephant, pangolin, rhino and tiger. Launched in August 2016, the project is now on its third year. Activities under the consumer demand reduction component cover China, Vietnam, and Thailand, the
largest consumer markets for illegal wildlife parts and products in Asia.

In order to move from raising awareness to changing practices, demand reduction activities are guided by a social and behavior change communications (SBCC) approach. The SBCC planning process starts from analysis of the behavior of the specific target audience – current and potential consumers - and based on this analysis, appropriate communication strategies are designed and employed to motivate a change in behaviors. Monitoring and evaluation of results are inherent in the SBCC planning process.

In 2018, USAID through the Saving Species project conducted a baseline consumer research study in Vietnam to obtain up-to-date data on demand for rhino horn and other illegal wildlife products. The study featured quantitative and qualitative components. Key findings from this research are:

• Among the urban Vietnamese population, 6% have bought rhino products in the past year
• The buyers of rhino parts and products are skewed towards males and those with middle and higher incomes.
• Among current buyers, 73 percent intend to repeat their purchase in the future, indicating a strong and persistent demand for rhino parts and/or products
• In terms of behavior, they are significantly more likely to be (occasional or regular) travelers vs the general population in the five cities surveyed.
• Rhino Buyers associate more attributes with rhinos than the general population do, particularly social and health benefits.

Among these attributes, “are worth their price no matter how expensive” and “indicate wealth, power and social status” are seen as highly important and are the main drivers among buyers, i.e. highest derived importance combined with highest ‘performance’ (or agreement with the statement).

These findings have helped shape the third phase of the Chi Initiative (launched 2018) a social marketing program working to reduce consumption of rhino horn among wealthy urban Vietnamese men aged 35-55 (known within the initiative as Mr L) – a key user group. In its first two phases, the Chi Initiative pioneered the application of SBCC methodology to demand reduction for rhino horn and forged key partnerships with civil society organizations to reach the Mr L target audience.

During this third phase (Chi III), funded by USAID Wildlife Asia, the initiative expanded outward, strengthening ties to the private sector and forging new connections with government and religious partners to influence target audience behavior. Most of Chi III focused on engaging civil society organizations and government partners in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC), and Da Nang.

The project, under Chi III, has increased activities with local business associations, such as the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Vietnam Automobile and Transport Authority, and Hanoi Association of Women in Small and Medium Enterprises, by holding business skills workshops integrating messaging against illegal wildlife trade and encouraging member businesses to adopt wildlife-focused corporate social responsibility (CSR) programs, as well as giving them the tools to spread Chi behavior change messages against illegal wildlife consumption throughout their networks.

The Chi III initiative has also partnered with the Vietnam Central Buddhist Association, and sponsored lectures at local pagodas in Hanoi to show that rejecting the products of endangered species is an act of compassion.

The Chi III Initiative has worked towards more robust government policy on illegal wildlife trade and to change consumption behaviors among government officers by partnering with two key government agencies--Vietnam’s National Assembly, the highest organ of state power, and the Central Committee for Propaganda and Education.

In addition to its work with private and government partners, the Chi Initiative has been countering rhino horn consumption by displaying behavior change public service announcements (PSAs) online, at events, and in public spaces, with a focus on addressing health- and business-driven consumption motivations.

This SOW is for a research agency to plan and implement a rapid evaluation research to determine the impact of Chi III in changing attitudes, intention to use, actual use and social acceptability of rhino horn among those targeted by the above activities.

Scope of Work of Research Agency

USAID Wildlife Asia, through RTI, is seeking a research agency to assess the results of Phase III of the Chi Initiative. The specific tasks are:
1. Prepare and submit a research proposal that will accomplish the objectives as per above research objectives, timeline of research activities, an itemized budget and statement of agency capability for the research task. The agency will select and justify the appropriate research methodology/ies (quantitative and/or qualitative) to be employed. The research proposal will be approved by RTI and USAID Wildlife Asia.
2. Once the research proposal is approved, prepare relevant research instruments and other documents necessary for submission to the RTI Review Board. Since this research will be funded under the RTI subcontract of USAID Wildlife Asia, the research proposal needs RTI approval.
3. Implement the research study according to plan (as per # 2 above). This task will include, among others:
• Recruitment of eligible respondents
• Organization of logistics for data collection (funding for logistics will be part of the proposal response to this SOW)
• Data collection based on the approved methodology and instruments (funding for data collection will be part of the proposal response to this SOW)
• Analysis of data
• Formatting and cleaning of the quantitative dataset
• As applicable, documentation and summary of qualitative data in English
• Preparation and submission of topline report
• Preparation of full research report in English and Vietnamese in PPT
• Preparation and submission of full research report in word
• Presentation of findings to USAID Wildlife Asia

 Qualifications of the Research Agency

The agency to be selected must meet the following requirements:
• At least 8 years’ experience in planning and managing knowledge, attitudes, practices (KAP) research studies in environment, conservation, health, and related fields. Experience in wildlife demand reduction research is a plus.
• Have the ability to recruit eligible respondents and organize logistics for data collection in Vietnam
• Able to read, speak and write fluently in Vietnamese and English
• Experience in writing research reports in English
• Ability to work in collaboration with the USAID Wildlife Asia Demand Reduction team in Hanoi and in Bangkok
• Knowledge of evaluation policies of USAID and/or other donors desired
Submission Requirements
1. Research proposal in English to meet objectives listed above
2. Company profile outlining relevant experience
3. Detailed budget in Excel (not to exceed USD 20,000 inclusive of 10% Vietnamese Government Value Added Tax/Personal Income Tax). The budget will include level of effort, logistics and all costs related to implementing the research.
4. Resumés/CVs of project staff
5. Copy/ies of 1-2 most recent research report(s)
All research deliverables will be submitted to RTI/USAID Wildlife Asia. These will include:
• Research protocol (English),
• Questionnaire, other research instruments and materials (English and Vietnamese)
• Formatted and cleaned quantitative data set
• Frequency distribution tables in excel format
• As applicable, documentation and summary (including relevant quotes) of qualitative data in English
• Topline report in PPT format (English and Vietnamese)
• Full research report in PPT (English and Vietnamese) and in word (English)