Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa
Conseil pour le développement de la recherche en sciences sociales en Afrique
Conselho para o Desenvolvimento da Pesquisa em Ciências Sociais em África
مجلس تنمية البحوث الإجتماعية في أفريقيا

Request for Proposals (RFP): Baseline Study on Women’s Leadership in Public Governance

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The Ellen Johnson Sirleaf Presidential Center for Women and Development (EJS Center) was founded in 2018 to be a catalyst for political and social change across Africa by helping unleash its most abundant latent power — its women. The EJS Center aims to amplify the voice of women and girls in all spheres of life by increasing the representation of women in public service leadership roles in Africa. Through a unique blend of programming, advocacy, archival research, and museum exhibitions, the EJS Center seeks to become a premier institution dedicated to advancing and sustaining women’s political and social development on the continent.

As a result of its work, the EJS Center envisions more voices heard, talents unleashed, and leaders launched that prioritize the aspirations of women. Its mission is to champion women’s ascension to the highest levels of leadership and challenge systemic barriers to girls and women’s advancement.

Project Background

Research on African women’s participation and leadership in public governance is limited. Much of the existing literature focuses on one aspect of the public governance architecture: women’s representation in the legislature/parliament. Significant research gaps exist concerning the participation and leadership of African women in the judiciary, the executive, as well as in regional and international institutions. In addition, where such research exists, the data privileges a limited number of countries.

The EJS Center seeks to become a leading voice in challenging the state of women’s participation in public life in Africa and provide thought leadership on how change can be affected. To this end, the EJS Center is conducting a baseline study on women’s participation in public leadership in Africa. The study will:

  • Generate baseline data on the state of women’s public leadership in Africa.
  • Provide foundational data that will support/ direct the Center’s current and future programmatic activities.
  • Create a public stock of research outputs that are useful in advancing inclusive governance.


Once contracted, the research partner/s are expected to submit the following deliverables at the agreed level of detail, format, quality and frequency, and within the agreed project timelines:

  1. Research methodology proposal and presentation (including any tools developed),
  2. Project plans, meeting minutes and any other project documentation,
  3. Draft report/s and presentation,
  4. Final report and presentation (including ALL tools developed)
  5. Any other agreed deliverables.

Key Dates

RFP circulated by 8 September 2021.

Submission of responses to EJS Center by 30 September 2021.

Research partners appointed by 30 October 2021.

Data collection, research, analysis, report writing between 1 November 2021 - 28 February 2022. (These timelines to be reviewed and finalized together with the appointed research partner/s).

Research partner/s to make final submissions of all deliverables to EJS Center by 15 March 2022. (These timelines to be reviewed and finalized together with the appointed research partner/s.)

Note: The EJS Center anticipates that data collection, research and analysis as well as the finalization of all deliverables will take approximately four months of work per region but encourage applicants to advise on their expectations for timelines.


Applicants are required to provide an itemized budget aligned to the proposed research methodology, project activities and timelines. The itemized budget must be denominated in US Dollars (USD) and it must be presented separately in an Excel file.

Selection criteria

In the selection process, the EJS Center will assess each researcher’s proposed approach to this project, ability to credibly source accurate data, track record of executing similar projects and their ability to finalize all deliverables within the required timeframes.

Proposals will be evaluated using a points-based system outlined below.

How to respond

Please submit your proposal and budget attached to an email to by 23:59 hrs GMT on the 30th of September 2021.