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Database Design and Statistical Consultant Terms of Reference

Job Title: Database Design and Statistical Consultant for APTN research on barriers to HIV and related health services for transgender people in Indonesia, Nepal, Thailand and Vietnam.

Project: Key Population Research and Advocacy (KPRA)

Organization: Asia Pacific Transgender Network

Location: Home-based with travel to Bangkok, Thailand

Contract Length: 10 days

Contract Duration: March 2019


Recent reports and research studies offer a glimpse into the lived experiences of trans people worldwide.  Together they paint a picture of stigma, prejudice and discrimination, as well as, for many, harassment, abuse and violence. The impact is that trans people are often edged out onto the margins of society where they experience poor health and wellbeing outcomes. Available data consistently show that HIV disproportionately affects trans women with a pooled prevalence of 17.7 percent between 2000 and 2011 across low- and middle-income countries. Worldwide trans people are 49 times more likely to acquire HIV than the general adult population. Barriers to HIV prevention, treatment and care services, as well as to other healthcare services, aggravate poor health and wellbeing outcomes for trans people.

Asia is home to perhaps 60% of the world’s trans population, and despite this, relatively little primary research data exists in regard to factors impacting trans people’s access to HIV and other healthcare. Much of the available literature is in the form of UN agency and NGO reports that rely heavily on meetings with activists, and case reports. Even with nearly 10-years of Global Fund involvement and support for HIV and TB, very little information exists on how the transgender community accesses prevention and treatment services. In most cases, transgender women are considered under the men who have sex with men (MSM) or sex workers risk group

The proposed research aims to provide important information on HIV and other healthcare for transgender and gender diverse people, the barriers to accessing services, and the ways in which those barriers can be removed through community engagement and empowerment. It is based on the seven research priorities identified in the 2012 UNDP/APTN Lost in Transition Report and recently reaffirmed in the Barriers to Bridges meeting proceedings. The seven priorities include:

    1. Ending the invisibility of trans people and developing research that is tailored to trans persons as specific population, and spotlight the needs of sub-communities such as youth, elderly, rural and trans men;
    1. Utilising trans people as research partners;
    1. Documenting and understanding more fully the HIV vulnerabilities of transgender people, as well as sources of resilience;
    1. Empowering transgender communities through their CBOs and NGOs;
    1. Promoting trans positive attitudes and practices among those who with transgender persons;
    1. Getting health information into the hands of transgender persons and their organizations; and
  1. Promoting trans-competent, comprehensive and accessible healthcare (including for HIV services).

The APTN KPRA project is designed as community-driven and community-inclusive research that documents not only the barriers posed by specific HIV and other healthcare policies and practices but also the behaviors of healthcare providers and services-led by transgender persons. The project is funded through a regional Global Fund grant awarded to Save the Children, Nepal who is the Principal Recipient. The transgender research is intended to serve as a springboard for advocacy on community-led services. Four countries- Indonesia, Nepal, Thailand and Vietnam- have been included in the research study for transgender communities. In addition, there are three other Sub-recipients of regional key population networks including people living with HIV.

The research begins with a preparatory phase of mapping existing literature (published and unpublished) on HIV and other healthcare services (STI, SRH) available for transgender persons, and transgender organizations providing or facilitating HIV prevention and treatment services. Working with national partners, the research will map out community groups, venues, and services.

Phase two of the research will focus on developing the study protocol, tools (including questionnaires), sampling frame, and research methodology. Research methodologies involved should include Focus Group Discussion (FGD), key informant interviews, and a community-based survey. The sampling technique for the community-based survey should be robust. The research tools will be shared with national partners through a regional training. National partners will be responsible for data collection and data input, including conducting FGD and preparing the findings of the FGD sessions for dissemination.

APTN is currently in the phase three of the research study. Each country will share the collected data and FGD findings with APTN for further analysis. This information will be used to prepare a regional report with regional recommendations on the role of community in accessing and delivering HIV and related health services. These report and its findings will be shared with national partners and Save the Children, Nepal for development of national level advocacy plans and further funds will be requested for these activities.

The objectives of APTN’s research are to:

    • To understand current availability of HIV and related health services for transgender persons and potential obstacles to accessing services
  • To understand the role of transgender organizations and other organizations providing HIV and related health services for transgender persons

Tasks and Responsibilities

The overall purpose of this consultancy is to coordinate and manage the consolidation of data and findings of KPRA research. The Database Design and Statistical Consultant is responsible for designing and developing a database of data and findings collected in four countries including Indonesia, Nepal, Thailand, and Vietnam. Database Design and Statistical Consultant will provide guidance to APTN’s country partners on data analysis and work in coordination with APTN’s Regional Research Consultant (RRC) to ensure produce a regional data and statistical report. The Database Design and Statistical Consultant is expected to:

    1. Develop a database which include value checks and skip patterns that will be used for data entry for interview questionnaires with a user-friendly instructions on how to enter, manage and perform data quality control for data of the KPRA research in Indonesia, Nepal, Thailand and Vietnam;
    1. Oversee and provide necessary technical support in data cleaning, data entry and analysis of KPRA research in Indonesia, Nepal, Thailand and Vietnam;
    1. Develop analysis framework and dummy table in coordination with APTN Regional Research Consultant and APTN team;
    1. Prepare a template for national data presentation for the country partners and collaborate with Regional Research Consultant (RRC) to organize a regional meeting to consolidate data at the country level;
  1. Based on the guidance from the Regional Research Consultant and APTN team, develop study findings’ tables, diagrams, and statistical reports, for both country-specific and regional analysis.


    1. A functional database with a user-friendly guide on using the developed database;
    1. A combined dataset of 4 countries, Nepal, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia
    1. An Analysis framework and dummy tables;
    1. Draft reports on survey findings that include tables and statistics for each country and the region, for APTN team to comment;
    1. Final reports on survey findings that incorporate APTN comments, for each country and the region;
  1. A template for national and regional data presentation.

Qualification of the Consultant

A qualified consultant should have:

    • Proven research and analytical skills and knowledge of HIV, sexual and reproductive health and rights for transgender persons
    • Experience and/or academic training in database design, preferably in HIV, key populations, public health or related field
    • Experience working with community-based organizations in Asia-Pacific
    • Strong experience in conducting similar research projects
    • Strong writing skills, and experience in preparing similar report
    • Fluency in English written and spoken
    • Excellent organizational and planning skills
    • Ability to deliver outcomes in timely manner
    • Advance degree in Economics/Econometrics and Statistics, or public health, social sciences or related discipline with statistical expertise;
  • Minimum of 5 years of experience in analyzing the survey data or equivalent.
    • A minimum of 5 years professional experience in research related to HIV and AIDS or Sexual Reproductive Health, including cross cutting areas such as advocacy and human rights;
    • Proven expertise in quantitative research and database design;
    • Strong skills and familiarity with quantitative data analysis software (e.g., SPSS, Stata)
    • Ability to analyze complex data and summarize it for a range of audiences;
    • Experience in preparing multi-country comparative statistical reports;
  • Evidence of research-related publications in internationally recognized journals (please share at least two of your most recent publications in your application).

Proposal review/ Scoring criteria

S. N. Major topic Score weightage
1 Database design and analysis experience 40%
2 Methodology – data analysis skills 40%
3 Experience working in the region 5%
4 Experience working with Community 15%
Total 100%

How to Apply

Interested candidates should submit a cover letter and CV, a technical and financial proposal.

Send to:

Please indicate “Application: Database design and Statistical Consultant” in the subject of email.

Transgender Persons from Asia and the Pacific are highly encouraged to apply.

Only shortlisted candidates will be notified.


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