Call for Proposals: Platform Livelihoods Gender Study

Application deadline: February 22, 2021


Caribou Digital is seeking in-country research partner(s) in Ghana, Kenya or Nigeria for a study in 2021 on women earning their income on digital platforms. This includes sectors such as e-commerce, ride-hailing, logistics, agriculture, creative industries, and social commerce. The study will be funded by the Mastercard Foundation.

New digital forms of working hold great promise for making work more inclusive, providing opportunities for young women to participate in livelihoods that are dignified and fulfilling. And yet, as work is digitized, partly and quite prominently via digital platforms of various shapes and sizes, there is unmistakable inertia of gendered ways of working, as our own research on the quality of platform livelihoods in Kenya has demonstrated. We strongly believe that the intertwining of gender in digital work needs further exploration and specific programmatic and policy engagement. 

Research question

This research project asks the question: “In what ways does platform work empower women?”, within which we propose a number of sub-questions around experiences, barriers and enablers for women in accessing and executing platform work as well as the impact of COVID-19.


We anticipate research to be conducted between March-December 2021 as follows:

Ghana: March & April 2021

Kenya: May & June 2021

Nigeria: August & September 2021

Overall analysis, write up and dissemination: October-December 2021


We are open to engaging one research partner across all three countries or one partner per country. The partner will collaborate in:

  • Taking the lead on obtaining the appropriate in-country research license
  • Co-researching and writing a short country-specific landscaping study on female platform workers and main stakeholders supporting women entering this work
  • Co-creating a research framework together with Caribou Digital, including brainstorming on the most relevant and innovative research methods (including remote due to COVID-19)
  • Conducting primary research during a period of 2 months per country in 2021. This will tentatively include:
    • 4-5 focus groups and 40 in-depth interviews with female platform workers, across different sectors, cut across demographics such as geography (urban/rural), age, marital status (for social norms), disability, education etc 
    • 10 in-depth expert interviews per country, including with civil society, platform and DFS providers, government regulators, and other private sector providers
    • and 3 potential roundtables  (1 per country)

However, we are open to other research methods, as long as protocols of consent and confidentiality are observed

  • Transcribing interviews and writing up notes
  • Analyzing findings together with Caribou Digital using qualitative software
  • Identifying the most suitable content for short videos and working with videography team (videographers will be contracted and paid by Caribou Digital separately to this contract)
  • Co-authoring any deliverables (Powerpoint decks, reports, additions to site) and co-presentation of findings via public webinars or internal learning calls
  • Client contact with Mastercard Foundation, including presentations, team meetings and webinars wherever relevant

Response to proposal

Please send a maximum 5 page proposal either in Word or PDF format by midnight Anywhere on Earth on 22nd  February 2021 including:

  • Planned research methods, including techniques for participant sourcing
  • Team composition
  • Relevant past experience, including links to specific outputs where possible
  • Timeline
  • Granular budget

Applicants can propose conducting the research for one country, two countries or all three countries, depending on company strengths.

Approximate budget: USD $70,000 per country

Please submit proposals and any questions to  We will respond to proposals by 2nd March 2021.