The Coalition on Violence Against Women (COVAW) is a national non-profit women’s rights organization that was established in 1995 to respond to the silence of the Kenyan society in addressing Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG). Currently, COVAW focuses on five strategic areas as informed by its Strategic Plan 2018-2023, namely Access to Comprehensive SRHR and SGBV services, Access to Justice, Women’s Economic Empowerment, Women’s Leadership Development and Institutional Development. COVAW Strategic Plan 2018-2023 https://covaw.or.ke/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/COVAW-Strategic-Plan-2018-2023-Full-Version.pdf

COVAW’s vision is a society where women and girls enjoy equal rights, freedoms and thrive in safe spaces. COVAW’s mission is to champion the rights of women and girls to be free from all forms of violence. COVAW is guided by its core values of respect, integrity, solidarity and commitment in improving the lives of its primary beneficiaries - women and girls.

Project Description

COVAW with support from Girl Generation (Africa-led Movement to End FGM/C Programme) is implementing a one-year project on ending FGM/C in Narok County titled Ailepu (Maa for Arise). The project aims at accelerating community-based efforts towards ending FGC through triggering an uprising of a diverse and inclusive youth-led anti-FGM movement in Narok who will influence and shape evidence-based anti-FGC campaigns that are geared towards sustainable solutions.The project is being implemented in Suswa area in Narok County in the following 6 villages of Oloshaiki, Inkoiriento, Inkilonkosi, Oletepesi, Kipise and Enariboo.

Project objectives

COVAW intends to achieve the following outcomes;

  • Outcome 1: Reduction I n prevalence of FGC within Narok County from the current prevalence rate of 78%(based on KDHS report of 2014).
  • Outcome 2: Enhanced application of a gender transformative approach on addressing social norms related to knowledge, attitudes, and practices of FGC.
  • Outcome 3: A strong visible youth-led movement emerges from Narok and is influencing other FGM movement initiatives in Kenya.
  • Outcome 4: Increased number of health workers spearheading or supporting end of FGC campaigns in Narok County.
  • Outcome 5: Stronger organizations in terms of personnel skills, systems, structures and policies which will ensure efficiency in financial management, operations, mobilisation of resources and accountability to all stakeholders.
  • Outcome 6: Increased retention of girls in primary school as a result of reduction in FGC prevalence.

Purpose of The Consultancy

The purpose of the consultancy is to conduct research on medicalization of FGC amongst Maasai communities and use the research findings to develop an advocacy brief on the role of health care professionals in eradicating medicalized FGC. The research will also seek to highlight the impact of medicalization of FGM and provide key recommendations on what can be done to curb the practice. The findings and recommendations from the research will be shared with the communities in Narok, Narok County Health Management Team, Narok County Health Committee, Anti-FGM Board and other relevant stakeholders involved in decision making towards eradication of FGC.


COVAW’s efforts in reaching out to the communities in Narok have been ongoing for the past 6 years through various anti-FGC initiatives right from the community level to the county and national levels. Communities that practice FGC strongly believe that the cut increases the marriageability of a girl and it’s a way of controlling women and girls sexuality. Once a girl undergoes the cut, she is immediately perceived as a mature woman ready to be married off and bear children. As a result of this FGC has continued cutting short the future, education and economic opportunities of many girls. Many communities that practice FGC believe that it is safer to have girls cut in a medical setting by a health care professional or a health care extension worker. [1] The national prevalence of FGM in Kenya stands at 15 percent in 2022[2], compared to 21 percent in 2014. This could be an indication that awareness creation and the laws in place are working and communities are slowly abandoning the practice.

Medicalization of FGC has been identified as an emerging trend[3]. There is a perception that when carried out under the supervision of a health practitioner, the cut is less harmful as compared to when done by Traditional Birth Attendants(TBAs). Health care professionals and health care extension workers perform FGC procedures in disregard of professional ethics and relevant laws. This challenge has been compounded by the fact that none of the survivors nor the health care professionals performing the medicalized FGC want to be disclosed. Through the community awareness forums held by COVAW, community members mention that the medicalization was slowly gaining momentum as it was perceived as ‘’safe’’ cutting.

Research objectives

The broad objective of the research is to conduct an evidence based-research on medicalization of FGC in Kenya to support targeted approaches to addressing medicalized FGM as an emerging trend.

Specific Objectives

  1. To understand the magnitude of medicalized FGC as a ‘safer’ form of FGC in Narok County.
  2. To understand the health, social and legal factors underpinning medialization of FGC.
  3. To understand the type of FGC carried out by health care professionals. To get a clear understanding and definition of Kisasa in Narok County.
  4. To understand the health and psychological implications of medicalized FGC.
  5. To determine the role of health professionals in ending medicalized FGC.

Research Methodology

The research methodology proposed by the consultant(s) should include a suitable sampling strategy, participatory tools and a suitable mix of quantitative and qualitative data collection methods. The analysis of participatory qualitative and quantitative data collection should be well presented based on in-depth exploration of the specific objectives, outline above.

Data collection, analytical methods, and presentation of findings, conclusions, and recommendations should be sensitive to and differentiate relevant gender, age, diversity dimensions and also ensure confidentiality and safeguarding principles are upheld. Documented consent using the COVAW consent form template should be taken where respondents have to be interviewed, or their pictures have to be taken or any other information retrieved from them irrespective of their age.

Deliverables and Timelines.

The assignment is anticipated to take a maximum of 30 days:

Specific timelines will be agreed upon with the successful consultant.

The key deliverables are:

  1. One detailed inception report including a time bound outline of the research, detailed work plan, detailed methodology for both data collection and analysis, sample size calculations, data collection tools, after inception meeting with relevant COVAW staff.
  2. A comprehensive report on the findings including accurately analyzed data against the research questions, lessons learned and recommendations.
  3. An advocacy brief on the role of health professionals in eradicating medicalized FGC with key messages for influencing change.
  4. All data-sets from both quantitative and qualitative data collection processes to be surrendered to COVAW at the end of the process.
  5. An advocacy brief summarizing research findings and the role of health professionals in eradicating medicalized FGC.

The consultant will also be responsible for:

  1. Desk-top review of any relevant documentation to gather background information.
  2. Organizing the field travel for data collection in collaboration with the COVAW team.
  3. Conduct training for enumerators including pretesting and prepare for fieldwork
  4. Supervising and quality assuring field data collection and entry.
  5. Analyzing and synthesizing both qualitative and quantitative data and preparing a report.
  6. Submitting draft reports, with accompanying data analysis to COVAW contact staff for feedback.
  7. Incorporating feedback and submitting a final report which provides evidence based findings that respond to the projects key objectives, as well as specific, useable recommendations which can be directly applied to COVAW’s programming and for influencing purposes.
  8. Surrendering all the consent forms to COVAW.

COVAW will be responsible for:

  1. Availing all necessary project documents to the consultant
  2. Participating in the inception meeting with the consultant to provide background information and to finalize the research work-plan, timelines and expectations
  3. Provide oversight for data collection.
  4. Reviewing the inception report and data collection tools and providing the consultant with specific and timely feedback
  5. Facilitating access to the respondents who may include FGC survivors, local administration, Ministry of Health officials, TBAs and select community members in project implementation areas.
  6. Reviewing the draft research report and advocacy brief and providing the consultant with specific and timely feedback
  7. Managing and supporting the consultant throughout the research process
  8. Approving the final research report and advocacy brief.


The consultant must submit two bound copies and a soft copy of:

Research report which is expected to be within 40 pages (without annexes) and with the following components:

  1. Preliminary Pages (Title page, Table of Contents including a list of annexes, Acknowledgement, Executive Summary, List of Acronyms and Abbreviations, Definition of Terms and Concepts)
  2. Introduction describing the project’s background and context
  3. A description of the program, including the results framework and theory of change
  4. Purpose and objectives of research
  5. Key research questions and a statement of the scope of the research, with information on limitations and delimitations
  6. An overview of the research approach, methodology and data sources
  7. Research findings based on and expected deliverables from the TOR
  8. Conclusion based on research findings and expected deliverables from the TOR
  9. Recommendations based on research findings
  10. Lessons learned and good practices based on the research findings
  11. Appendices
  12. A two-page advocacy brief summarizing the research findings and recommendations on how medicalized FGM can be addressed. The advocacy brief should have an introduction, background, content analysis with data collected during the research and recommendations based on research findings in form of key messages to stakeholders.

Skills and Qualifications

  1. An advanced degree in Social Sciences, Human Rights, Research, Medicine, Medical Sociology or related field**.**
  2. At least 10 years’ experience in conducting high quality research/surveys on FGC/human rights/SGBV issues.
  3. Experience in drafting high quality advocacy briefs.
  4. Proven report writing skills and facilitation experience.
  5. High level of professionalism and ethics.

[1] https://www.unicef.org/protection/female-genital-mutilation

[2] https://www.knbs.or.ke

[3] https://www.unicef.org/protection/female-genital-mutilation

How to apply

Interested consultants/firms must include the following information in the Expression of Interest:

  1. Proposed program and methodology to be used for the research not more than 5 pages
  2. Detailed past experience in relevant thematic areas
  3. Financial proposal (budget) in MS Excel in Kenya Shillings
  4. CV of applicant with contact details for 3 referees. The referees must be based on relevant research work undertaken. If applicant intends to work in a team, she/he should indicate all team members and attach CVs and referees. Clearly highlight the Team leader.
  5. At least two samples of previous related research work undertaken as the lead researcher must be provided.
  6. Provide at least one sample of an advocacy brief developed in relation to research work undertaken.

All documents must be submitted not later than 5.00pm, Tuesday 28th February 2023 via email to recruit@covaw.or.ke with subject: ‘RESEARCH ON MEDICALIZATION OF FGC.’