Call for consultant: Gender-sensitive political economy analysis on legislative scrutiny and barriers to women’s political leadership and participation in Laos

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Vacancy - consultant

Call for consultant: Gender-sensitive political economy analysis on legislative scrutiny and barriers to women’s political leadership and participation in Laos

WFD is looking for a consultant(s) to collaborate with and develop gender-sensitive political economy analysis (PEA) on legislative scrutiny and the barriers to women’s political leadership and participation in Laos, particularly violence against women in politics.

I. Overview 

About WFD 

Since 1992, the primary aim of the Westminster Foundation for Democracy (WFD) has been to assist, support and encourage the peaceable establishment and development of democratic practice and political institutions. We continue to believe that stronger democracy is the best way of safeguarding human rights and ensuring sustained prosperity and stability.

WFD is the UK’s leading democracy assistance agency, working in  partnership with political parties, parliaments and civil society organisations around the world to create more inclusive, accountable and transparent democratic systems. WFD strengthens the capacity of these key democratic institutions, helping ensure they have the systems, knowledge and skills to perform effectively. WFD also fosters improved democratic processes, bringing together individuals and institutions and encouraging them to work together to solve concrete problems, applying democratic values and principles.

WFD’s work on legislative scrutiny, especially post-legislative scrutiny, helps to make  countries’ political systems more accountable. In an accountable political system, citizens  can hold people with power responsible for their decisions, usually via parliament and civil society. This means that there are consequences when things go wrong, and lessons are learned when things could be improved. In turn, this helps ensure better delivery of public services.

WFD in Laos

WFD’s governance programming in Laos has focused on supporting the National Assembly and Provincial People’s Assemblies (PPAs) to become stronger and more active governance  actors that are able to discharge their primary roles – as the representative organs of the people and as the bodies holding the executive accountable for its actions – in a more meaningful way. Our programming has been focused on specific key parliamentary practices  that can enhance accountability and inclusive representation – pre- and post-legislative scrutiny, gender-sensitive scrutiny of legislation, and gender-responsive budgeting and budgetary oversight.

On top of that, WFD programming was also aimed at instigating and facilitating wider discussions on questions such as how gender-sensitive laws and policies can contribute to the advancement of gender equality. The components of WFD’s support addressing the NA’s and PPAs’ representative function have encompassed a wide range of capacity building activities concentrating on mainstreaming of gender in parliamentary practices and procedures. 

To ensure that the Laos parliament can conduct meaningful oversight, the PLS practice which has thus far been rolled out to a narrow set of actors within the NA under previous WFD work needs to be rolled out to further National Assembly committees. 

On the representation function, Laotian women political leaders – working both at the national and the PPA level – do not have equal de facto standing to men, like women in many other ASEAN countries. While gender equality is enshrined in laws and policies, in practice, women remain disadvantaged in their participation and exercise of leadership in governance institutions at both national and provincial levels.

Barriers to WPL in Laos may include ‘barriers to entry’ for prospective women candidates,  discrimination, harassment or violence against women in politics. These barriers have not been properly investigated through methodical data collection and rigorous research and evidence. The development of an evidence base on the barriers to WPL in Laos would inform wider gender equality work of national decision-makers, civil society actors, and the international donor community.

Our work on women’s political leadership1 considers the social, cultural, economic, and political factors that stop women from fully participating in politics and governance. We work with partners to develop systems and strategies that challenge and transform them. Our programmes help to embed gender analysis throughout all aspects of parliamentary business, support women's political leadership and end violence against women in politics.

Background to gender-sensitive political economy analysis (PEA)

The delivery of the capacity building modalities used in the programmes – including the orientation sessions, workshops, mentoring support and clinics – will be informed by the findings of the PEA, which, among other things, will investigate and map capacity needs of the NA and PPA committees.

WFD aims to 1) better understand the political, economic, and socio-structural factors that influence the (post-) legislative scrutiny practices, using the PLS indicators to assess the effectiveness of such practices in the Lao context; and 2) have greater understanding of the barriers and current state of women’s political leadership in Laos. The gender-sensitive political economy analysis is to be situated within the Lao context. 

Through the gender-sensitive PEA, WFD seeks to 1) assess the country's context on (post-) legislative scrutiny practices at the national and provincial levels, and how to enhance its effectiveness; 2) how likely the current environment (including the top-level gender audit of the NA’s process) enables the advancement/progress of women’s political leadership and participation I.e. what are the root-cause problems and barriers? and 3) identify concrete opportunities and recommendations for programming areas to address the specific issues on legislative scrutiny and barriers to progress women’s political leadership and participation in Laos. Country-level interventions and activities will be driven by context-specific gendered political economy analyses and will be adapted during implementation.

WFD has developed a gender-sensitive PEA framework that is designed to identify problems without assuming solutions and is informed by probing systems and processes; key players including those that are left out of decision-making processes; behaviour drivers; and asks who is missing from the political process. This analytical framework actively aims to foreground the voices of marginalised and under-represented communities who are seeking to interact with the political process. The consultant will be briefed on WFD’s PEA framework and encouraged to use this to inform the analysis.

WFD is looking for a consultant(s) to collaborate with and develop gender-sensitive PEA on legislative scrutiny and the barriers to women’s political leadership and participation in Laos, particularly violence against women in politics.

II. PEA specifics


  • To collaborate with WFD team to undertake a gender-responsive, contextualised PEA focusing on the priority areas that reflect interconnected power relations of politics, economic, and social factors which can inform current and potential future WFD country programme.
  • To lead in delivering the WFD methodology of PEA, ensuring that it is feasible and  contextualised.
  • To undertake data collection and analysis on the lines of enquiry established in the PEA.
  • To analyse collected data and its implications for programme implementation. 
  • To write up the PEA findings in a comprehensive PEA report (draft and final versions) structure to be agreed with WFD.
  • To lead in the development of a summary version of the team’s finding for external use.
  • To lead an external briefing on the PEA for relevant stakeholders.

The consultant(s) will:

  • Demonstrate a deep understanding of the political and governance dynamics in Laos, with thorough knowledge of the recent and ongoing democratic transition and political situation
  • Have worked in Laos, including experience and knowledge of civil society actors, organisations and dynamics, particularly relevant to people’s participations
  • Bring a thorough understanding of the Political Economy Analysis framework and methodology, past experience leading a PEA or as a member of a PEA team highly desired
  • Have excellent research, analytical and writing skills
  • Have at least a Master’s degree in political science, development or related field
  • Working professional fluency in English (essential) and Lao (desirable)

Timeframe and rate:

  • A maximum of 25 working days. 
  • It is anticipated that this PEA will take place between 9 October and 22 December 2023 with a deadline for the final PEA reporting suite of 22 December 2023.
  • Rate of up to USD $200 per day will be applied depending on academic background and experience. The overall budget cap for this PEA is fixed at USD 4,000.

The timeframe below lists the key tentative dates for the gender-sensitive PEA process. 
These will be agreed with the consultant(s), once secured.

Activity Date
Deadline for applications 1 October 2023
Interviews with shortlisted applicants 2-7 October 2023
Starting date of the consultancy  9 October2023
Inception meeting with WFD  16 October 2023
Submission of consultant’s workplan, including the general 
structure and description of main themes of the PEA report, main 
interlocutors for consultation/ interviews, and literature for desk 
23 October 2023
Submission of first draft for review 24 November 2023
WFD feedback to the first draft 1 December
Submission of a blog-post on the related content for external 
8 December 2023
Submission of final version and presentation of PEA findings 15 December 2023
Submission of executive summary  22 December 2023

Expected output:

  1. PowerPoint Presentation (template to be agreed) of key findings to share with the Reference Group and other key stakeholders (in both Lao and English).
  2. A gender-sensitive PEA report (report format to be agreed) for internal use (WFD) on legislative practices and the barriers to women’s political leadership and participation in Laos, particularly as manifest in violence against women in politics.
  3. An Executive Summary of PEA (in both Lao and English) for communications purpose (max. 3 pages).
  4. A blog-post on related content, for publication on the WFD website, drafted as suitable for an external audience.


  • PEA discussion, Design, Data Collection, Data Analysis and Reporting
  • All process in the methodology will include working closely with WFD’s teams in London and Laos

III. How to apply and submission of expression of interest

Interested candidates (individuals or consultant teams) are invited to submit an expression of 
interest comprising:

  • A cover letter of not more than 2 pages stipulating how the experience, skills and competencies of the consultant(s) meet the above requirements
  • One written sample of their previous work in this area
  • Submit curriculum vitae for the consultant(s).
  • Expected consultancy fee per day.

Please submit the above documents in English to Nilaphone Chanthachack, Programme Coordinator: and Cc.

Email Subject: WFD – Gender-Sensitive PEA - Laos

Closing Date: 25 September 2023

Interview: Week of 2 October 2023