Consultant for Doctors without Borders - Medecins sans Frontiers in Jharkhand


Medecins sans Frontiers invites proposals from academicians or researchers associated with reputed Indian research organizations and academic institutions to conduct a health seeking behavior study in Jharkhand


Duty Station: Sahebganj district of Jharkhand and Delhi


Duration: 6 weeks, to start immediately


Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) or Doctors without Borders is an international humanitarian medical aid organization working in more than 60 countries worldwide. Médecins Sans Frontières is neutral, impartial, independent, and not linked to any political party or governmental body. Our teams provide emergency medical assistance to people in need, irrespective of their nationality, race or religion. In 1996, MSF received the Indira Gandhi Prize for Peace, Disarmament and Development and in 1999 MSF was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.


MSF has worked in India since 1999 and provides medical treatment to hundreds of thousands of Indian patients, in remote areas in states including Bihar, Manipur, Assam, Jammu & Kashmir, Chhattisgarh, Orissa, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, with the full cooperation and appreciation of the Ministry of Home Affairs, state and district authorities. In 2008, MSF treated more than 400,000 patients. Our organization has also assisted victims of emergencies including the Gujarat earthquake, the Orissa cyclone, the Tsunami, the Kashmir earthquake and more recently the Bihar floods and the West Bengal cyclone. MSF enjoys wide respect for its medical and humanitarian work within Indian civil society.


Background of the present consultancy work:


MSF aims to start a project in Jharkhand to prevent, diagnose, and treat and follow-up people with kala azar and or malaria. The target community is the tribal population, residing in the Santal region


The project is based in Sahebganj District of Jharkhand State. The three most kala azar affected blocks are believed to be Barhait, Borio and Taljhari. The MSF team works closely with the MoH team and is comprised of medical Drs, nurses, ward attendants, health educators, data processors and health educators.


As part of the starting up of the project it is important to have a strong understanding of how the people most affected by kala azar and malaria understand these diseases, how they seek health care and the potential barriers that may exist in the successful implementation of the project.


A health seeking behaviour study is essentially an anthropological investigation of the above aspects that will inform and influence the IEC messages, case detection, diagnosis, treatment, follow-up and prevention strategies. By its nature and because of the newness of the project it is mainly a study that uses a qualitative approach.


A further Health Seeking Behavior Study may be conducted once the services are running in order to gauge take-up and compliance. Such a study would also have access to data so can have a stronger quantitative element.


Aim of the study –


To conduct and produce a study detailing the health seeking behaviour of people most likely to be affected by kala azar (and malaria) in Sahebganj District, and specifically in Barhait, Borio and Taljhari blocks.


The consultant will work under the direct supervision of Medical Co-coordinator and the MSF Jharkhand Field coordinator. The consultant will be working in a team comprised of MSF international and national medial and logistical staff and a local translator.


The consultant is expected to have his or her own laptop. Although MSF will do it all can to ensure the health and safety of the consultant during the study the consultant is required to have their own health insurance policy.


Scope of Work


(1) Conducting literature review and doing study design

(2) Study design finalization, briefing and planning activities

(3) Conducting field visit and doing the data collection

(4) Write-up and further research

(5) Debriefing and presentation of findings

(6) Preparing soft and hard copies of study report

(7) Preparing for the submission of article for publication




(1) Soft and hard copy of literature review

(2) Soft and hard copy of health seeking behavior study report

(3) Power point presentation of study, outcomes and recommendations

(4) Draft article for publication in appropriate journal

(5) Statement of expenditure




1. Work plan submission (includes conducting a full literature review, collecting and organizing the relevant documents, finalizing study plan, literature review & methodology including tools, briefing and planning activities): within 10 days after signing the contract


2. Field visit and research: within 4 weeks of signing the contract


3. Writing and finalizing the report, debriefing for presentation of findings of the study and submission of soft and hard copies of the report: (This can be done in the project site, in the MSF Delhi office, or at another agreed location): within 6 weeks of signing the project


4. Possible submission of article for publication: This is the unknown part of the exercise and if this is to happen will definitely be after the 6-week period allocated for the development of the HSB report. The consultant must decide how involved he/she chooses to be in the publishing process. This will only be known once the actual study is completed.


Required Expertise


• Demonstrated experience in organizing community based studies especially qualitative studies in health sector;


• A minimum of 3 years experience in conducting field based research, with at least 2 publication in a national or international journal


• Possessing required documentation and analytical skills – both quantitative and qualitative;


• Fluency in Hindi


Technical Proposal


The interested agencies are advised to submit technical bids, elaborating on their capacity to undertake the assignment, the approach taken towards the assignment, as well as a timeline indicating milestones.


While submitting the Technical Proposal, the Applicant shall, in particular, ensure to attach the following:


1. Profile of the organization (1/2 page) - (Brief overview of the organization including year of establishment, main areas of expertise (thematic and sector), past client organizations (credentials), geographic scope of work and contact information of key focal point).


2. Relevant Experience (1 page) - (Summary of relevant experience, main outcomes of similar interventions, if any, taken in the past and other information that is deemed necessary).


3. CVs of Team Members (attach separately) - (Curriculum Vitae of team members, specifically mentioning their technical expertise, from the Agency's own organization or external resource persons who will be part of the team. (Note: These members should be available for the assignment.) The CVs shall contain an undertaking from the respective Key Personnel about his/her availability for the entire project duration; and


4. Detailed methodology and conceptual framework with expected deliverables


Financial Proposal


A separate Financial Proposal (containing details of personnel fees, other expected costs, etc.) should be attached at the end of the proposal.


MSF will directly arrange for the transport costs to and from Delhi for briefing and debriefing purposes. Transport to and from Jharkhand for field assessment and research will also be taken care of. The consultant is expected to go by the same living and transport arrangements as the MSF team in Jharkhand. Reimbursement of work related telephone communication will be done and the team will have Internet access during the 6-week period.


All the above factors should be considered when preparing the financial proposal.


Proposals shall be sent to or by post addressed to the Medical Coordinator, MSF OCBA India Mission, C 203, Defence Colony, and New Delhi 110024. Please mention "HSB Jharkhand" in the email subject line.


In case of any queries please write to


Deadline for submission is 21st May 2010, 6 PM, IST.