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TERMS OF REFEERENCE: Action Research to Assess the OPA Model in Bangladesh, Cambodia, Indonesia, and Vietnam (SANA Phase II Project: ASR 687)

  1. Background

Older People Associations (OPAs)[1] are the “Groups or organisations of and for older people are found throughout the Asia region and fall into two main categories. First, several countries have wide coverage of organisations for older people established by the government or semi-government agencies several decades ago (e.g. Vietnam Association of the Elderly, Senior Citizen’s Council of Thailand, and Old People’s Associations in China). These focus mainly on social activities for retired or older people, frequently are led by retired civil servants, and engage others with expendable time and resources. They often have national-level associations or federations that sometimes also represent the interests of older people to policy-makers or ensure that older people are receiving entitlements. Second, building on the potential of such groups for broader developmental impact, a multifunctional older people’s association (OPA) approach was developed.

OPAs are community-based organisations that mobilise older people to improve their own lives and to contribute to the development of their communities across many domains. They are multifunctional, addressing interrelated needs of older people in the community, such as: livelihoods and support for work in later life; health and social care; social connection; rights and entitlements; disaster preparedness; women’s participation; transparent governance and community participation. They draw upon the community’s existing resources, particularly the capacities of older people themselves to serve as agents of change in their lives and communities. They also seek to strengthen links for older people at the community level with local government and services.

In Phase I of SANA project, a Regional Research was undertaken by the Institute of Population Ageing at the University of Oxford which assessed the impact of the different OPA models in the domains of health, income and social protection across 4 countries in the region (Vietnam, Cambodia, Myanmar and China) identified varying degrees of success in these domains across these countries. The result of the research was disseminated via a number of regional events. The research showed that Vietnam was the only country that was able to consistently replicate their country model across the 3 domains.


Although the regional research from the first phase of the project provided evidence regarding the impacts on the OPAs on the three different domains of health, income and social protection, it could not provide comprehensive analysis on either the critical success factors on the operation of OPA model in Vietnam nor the strengths and weaknesses on the operation of different OPAs in the other three countries. The Action Research in Phase II of SANA project is, therefore, very important for identifying the further work on OPAs in the target countries. The target countries in phase II of the project include Bangladesh, Cambodia, Indonesia, and Vietnam. Currently the project is piloting the implementation of an intergenerational and multi-functional OPA model with the targeted village level OPAs in Bangladesh, Cambodia, and Indonesia. For Vietnam, they are on process of national replication of this intergenerational and multi-functional OPA model.


  1. Purpose

The purpose of this assignment is to work in close collaboration with HelpAge staff and the project partners in 4 countries (Bangladesh, Cambodia, Indonesia, and Vietnam) to undertake an action-based research to support the learning and development of the OPA model;

This action will be designed to focus on;


  1. Identifying the key drivers that produce strong, effective, affordable, sustainable and replicable OPA models in Vietnam
  2. Providing an understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of OPA model in the four target countries, exploring options and recommendations for future development and addressing challenges across the region or for individual country


  1. Identifying how the OPAs contribute to or support the followings but not limited to the below areas and how these relate to successes or challenges;
    1. Participation and involvement of Older People in their own development including engagement with government and other relevant agencies
    2. Development of strong local leadership
    3. Build dignity, confidence and trust for members
    4. Encourage problem solving and opportunity to support others or give back to the community
    5. gender equity and Inclusion of people with disabilities


  1. Sampling group for the research


The sampling group of this research will be the existing OPAs in the target countries. They can include Project participants (OPAs) and non-project participants (OPAs). The Sampling group should represent different types OPAs in the 4 target countries such as NGO-led OPAs, GO-led OPAs, and any others.


  1. Specific tasks for consultant


The key tasks in the process are:

  • Literature/secondary data review to provide research gap analysis report based on the previous research conducted
  • Design a detailed research framework, action research based methodology and workplan according to this TOR in consultation with the project team.
  • Field research in target countries (In some countries that are not visited by the consultants, the project partners can support for field data collection using the tools developed by the consultants)
  • Analysis and reporting of data and information in a research report that provides clear recommendations on OPA model as well as case studies (both prepared to agreed outlines).


The consultant will propose a more detailed methodology that takes into account the following expected elements and involves beneficiaries and stakeholders in a participatory way.

The process will be managed by the SANA project manager and supported by a reference group comprising staff members of HelpAge and project partners.

  1. Outputs

The outputs for this ToR will be:

  • Literature/ secondary data review and A Gap Analysis of the OPA research in the target countries
  • An Inception Report to propose research framework and methodology (to be submitted end of January 2019) The report must be in English and should include;
    1. Findings from desk research/secondary data review
    2. Identified information and data gaps and proposed recommendations for focused areas of data collection in each country
    3. Proposed research framework, methodology, and data collection tools
  • Field data collection and/or participation in project event as necessary
  • Prepare a draft report including case studies from each country for review, circulation and comment
  • Present draft findings and recommendations to project stakeholders via
  • Prepare and submit Research Report

HelpAge will require a full research report in English language with maximum of 30,000 words written in clear non-technical language, encompassing:

  1. Up to 3 pages of Executive Summary
  2. Up to 50 pages describing the research methods, results, analysis, discussion and conclusions.

The structure of the report will be agreed during the discussion about the research framework and methodology.


  1. Time requirements and duration

The following is an indicative timeframe for the assignment. Specific deadlines may shift slightly depending on the timing of the event that consultants may have to attend, and availability of consultants and project partner to support field data collection.

  • December 2018: Consultant appointed and review of the research proposal and planning
  • January 2019: Desk Review and Inception report
  • February - March 2019: Field data collection
  • April 2019: Data Analysis and draft Report
  • May 2019: Final Research report


  1. Indicative budget

HelpAge is looking for Expressions of Interest (see Section 8) for this assignment in the general range of US$15,000 including all costs e.g. consultant fee, air tickets, subsistence allowances and miscellaneous travel expenses for visiting at least 2 out of 4 target countries. Vietnam must be one of the countries to be visited and the rest will depend on the discussion and agreement after reviewing an inception report.

  1. Qualifications/requirements of consultant

HelpAge anticipates hiring a single consultant or agency with the following qualifications.


  • A. or above in a field highly relevant to the nature of the study (e.g. community development, social science, economics)
  • Familiarity with the Asia region, and preferably one or more of the four target countries for this research
  • proven experience in action research methods and in the evaluation of technical assistance projects relevant to the themes covered by this project
  • strong communication skills, proficient in working across all levels of institutions with experience of conducting interviews sensitively in a range of contexts
  • excellent report writing skills in English
  • understanding of issues relating to ageing especially on older people organization and social pension in Asia



  • Previous experience of working on Older People Associations (OPAs) or Community Based Organizations (CBOs) related research/studies


  1. How to apply

Interested consultants are invited to submit an Expression of Interest for delivery of the assignment. The short Expression of Interest (about 4 pages) should include:

EOI should include:

  • a cover letter: A short (one page) cover letter addressing the selection criteria above.
  • Proposed methodology and any comments on TOR and Research Proposal
  • financial proposal: The financial proposal should provide cost estimates for services rendered including daily consultancy fees.
  • Clear work plan including output/deliverable and time frame for each stage of the project
  • Costing of each aspect (including day rates and any additional costs), note that Costs for the Regional Research Meeting will be met separately and should not be included in the EOI
  • Appendixes (not included in 4 pages)


  1. the applicant’s CV (maximum 3 pages) outlining his/her experience
  2. Examples of relevant studies previously produced
  3. Contact information for 2 professional references


Selection of the consultant will be by a HelpAge project committee and based on the experience of the consultant, the quality and relevance of the expression of interest, and the proposed budget. Selection will be based on value for money, within resources available. Final negotiated fees will be specified in the consultancy contract.

The deadline for submission is midnight 25 November 2018. Please contact Ms Chitlekar Parintarakul at for further information or to submit your EOI.


[1] Briefing on Older People Association (OPA)’s impact, sustainability and replicability, HelpAge International 2016

Contact :

ที่ปรึกษา / Consultant


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