Consultant: Development and Delivery of Gender Sensitivity Training

Closing date:


The Alliance for Financial Inclusion:

The Alliance for Financial Inclusion (AFI) is the world’s leading organization on financial inclusion policy and regulation. Currently, nearly 100 member institutions make up the AFI network including central banks, ministries of finance and other financial policymaking or regulatory institutions from over 85 developing countries and emerging markets. AFI empowers policymakers to increase the access and usage of quality financial services for the underserved through sustainable and inclusive policies and an effective use of digital technologies.

Policies developed and implemented by the members of the Alliance contribute to a range of the Sustainable Development Goals. by Setting their own agenda, AFI members harness the power of peer learning to develop practical and tested policy reforms that enhance financial inclusion with strategic support from both public and private sector partners.

AFI has 7 Working Groups (WGs): Consumer Empowerment and Market Conduct Working Group (CEMCWG), Digital Financial Services Working Group (DFSWG), Financial Inclusion Data Working Group (FIDWG), Financial Inclusion Strategy Peer Learning Group (FISPLG), Global Standards Proportionality Working Group (GSPWG), Inclusive Green Finance Working Group (IGFWG) and SME Finance Working Group (SMEFWG).

As the key source of policy developments and trends in financial inclusion and as the primary mechanism for generating and incubating technical content in the network, the Working Groups serve as “communities of practice”. Providing a platform for knowledge exchange and peer learning among policymakers to share, deliberate and deepen their understanding, the working groups offer leadership and expertise in their respective policy fields and support the network to monitor new developments in emerging fields.

The knowledge generated via the working groups is disseminated for implementation by a range of capacity building activities such as Joint Learning Programs, Member Trainings, Trainings by Private Sector Partners. The practical experience members garner from engaging in peer learning based capacity building is then applied by members as in country implementation projects which are supported by the provision of financial or technical support to AFI member institutions in conducting activities that aim to deliver financial inclusion policies, regulations, supervisory tools or enablers for the development of policies, such as national financial inclusion strategies

The working groups receive strategic guidance and insight from the High-Level Global Standards & Policy Committee, while the Gender Inclusive Finance Committee, supports WGs in integrating gender considerations into all aspects of their work and support members in fulfilling their Denarau Action Plan (2016) commitment to promote women’s financial inclusion.

AFI members have made further commitments in a range of other accords which can be read here.

The AFI’s five regional initiatives support policy implementation in Africa (AfPI), Latin America and the Caribbean (FILAC), the Pacific Islands (PIRI), Eastern Europe and Central Asia (ECAPI) and the Arab Region (FIARI).

2.Project Background

The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has a long-standing association with AFI. As a principal member of AFI, SBP is member of several working groups and has participated actively in various policy forums and conferences. SBP has now received technical assistance and grant under AFI’s In-country Implementation (ICI) Support Program, to implement the Banking on Equality Policy (BoE).

The BoE Policy has been developed to promote women’s financial inclusion by prioritizing gender-specific focus in the financial sector. The goal of the policy is to engender equality in banking and reduce the gender gap in financial inclusion. The policy identifies five key pillars under which actions are targeted towards improving institutional readiness namely:

  1. Product diversification and development capability;
  2. Customer acquisition and facilitation approaches towards women segments;
  3. Robust collection of sex-disaggregated data;
  4. Prioritizing gender focus in SBP’s policies; and
  5. Establishing a Policy Forum on Gender at SBP.

AFI’s technical and grant support is focused on BoE implementation. The support is classified into two areas namely i) technical support under which AFI’s internal support and consultancies will be provided, and ii) a grant support for knowledge sharing/peer learning country visits. Further, as part of the technical support, one of the initiatives is to ensure that all banks provide gender sensitivity trainings to their staff.

Considering Pakistan’s social norms, it cannot be discounted that people enter organizations from various backgrounds, each with their own set of prejudices about the opposite gender, which affects the workplace environment. As a result, women in particular may be treated as the inferior sex by peers and customers. Therefore, SBP aspires to address gender imbalances by promoting positive gender awareness, recognizing behavioural differences, and encouraging behavioural change in order to increase women’s financial inclusion. Accordingly, under the BoE policy, SBP will direct banks to ensure all staff receive gender sensitivity training.


The objectives of this project are to:

  1. Build an industry wide, replicable framework for designing and disseminating gender intentional/gender sensitivity trainings to financial institutions and State Bank of Pakistan staff, that is based on international best practices and aligned with local context;
  2. Understand how to foster an overall gender inclusive work culture within financial institutions, that not only encourages women to work in banks, but also supports female employees in designing products and services for women as well as encourages staff to be gender sensitive in their customer interactions
  3. Facilitate women customers’ access to all formal financial services with dignity and sensitivity by creating a facilitative environment at bank touch points.


The following are the project’s activities:

· Conduct a scoping exercise to identify priority areas for incorporation into the training curriculum, by consulting with all relevant stakeholders and sharing global and local best experiences of similar types of trainings and their impact.

· Carry out needs assessment activity using appropriate data analysis and research tools to understand what gaps exist in the facilitation of women at banks in Pakistan.

· Use the findings of needs assessment to develop a framework for imparting gender sensitivity trainings that are tailored to the local context while aligning with global best practices.

· Develop content for a training to equip participants of State Bank of Pakistan staff and financial service providers (FSPs), to understand concepts of gender inequality, implicit biases, its manifestations in the workplace and customer interactions, and how customer facilitation can be improved for women to ensure that they are treated with respect throughout the entire customer journey.

· Conduct surveys for pre and post assessment of training participants to gauge the level of understanding of gender concepts in the SBP and financial institutions.

· Sensitize State Bank of Pakistan and FSP staff towards their potential conscious or unconscious gender biases and help them overcome it in order to better serve women customers and their interactions with financial institutions.

· Assist financial institutions in understanding how to plan and implement products and services as well as gender sensitive activities, by taking into account the needs and priorities of both male and female customers

· Develop curriculum, handouts, reading material/resources and other relevant materials to help participants gain an insight into improved product development, marketing and customer facilitation approaches for female customers as well as increasing women’s comfort level when approaching banks.

· Develop a Training of Trainers (TOT) manual that defines the criteria and process for identifying candidates for TOT, and offers a complete guide for effective dissemination of curriculum contents.

· Plan in-person 10-12 TOT sessions for approximately 250 participants, comprising of SBP officers, and financial institutions’ staff members (approximately 25 participants per session).

· Oversee and manage at least 40% of the trainings conducted across the organization by the trained trainers through feedback sessions with the trained trainers.

· Develop online assessment tools/surveys, for measurement of effectiveness and cultural impact of the trainings with trainers and the involved institutions (SBP and financial institutions)

· Develop reports on key findings, impact and feedback from trainings with trainers as well as trainings across the organization conducted by the trainers.

5.Key Deliverables and Activities

The consultant is expected to deliver the following:

Deliverable 01: One Landscape and Needs Assessment Report which includes data on the current level of gender sensitivity/gender intelligence in financial institutions as well as information on the scoping exercise to identify gaps in women’s financial inclusion in Pakistan.

Deliverable 02: One framework for delivering gender sensitivity trainings that are tailored to local context while aligning with global best practices.

Deliverable 03: Develop content for a training to equip participants of State Bank of Pakistan and FSPs with an understanding of how to better support/serve women. Prepare the curriculum, TOT material, manual handouts, reading material/resources and assessment tools / surveys, for measuring the effectiveness and cultural impact of the trainings with trainers and the involved institutions (SBP and financial institutions)

Deliverable 04: One consolidated report on key findings, impact and feedback from trainings with trainers as well as trainings across the organization conducted by the trainers


This work would be carried out between November 2021 to March 2022.

The timelines are summarized in the table below:


Tentative Timeline – Person Days


Conduct a scoping exercise and pre assessment to gauge the level of understanding of gender sensitivity/ intelligence concepts in the SBP and financial institutions as well as identify priority areas

By 10thof December 2021 – 15 days

Submission of the landscape report

Carry out needs assessment activity

By 7thof January 2022 – 20 days

Submission of the needs assessment report

Submission of framework for delivery of gender sensitivity trainings

By 28thof January 2022 – 15 days

Develop a TOT manual and content for training

By 25thof February 2022 – 20 days

Delivery of trainings across the FIs and in the SBP

By the 4thof March 2022 – 4 days

Consolidated report on key findings, impact and feedback of trainings with trainers as well as trainings across the organization conducted by the trainers

By the 28thof March 2022 – 12 days

TOTAL 82 days


Note: The specified number of working days has been estimated as sufficient to complete the anticipated volume of work and is being proposed as a guideline for the assignment’s duration. It cannot and shall not be used as a criterion for the completion of work/assignment.

7.Consultant Experience

The consultant firm undertaking this assignment should have the following qualifications:

· Advanced degree in a field related to Economics, Public Policy, International

· Development or another related discipline.

· Minimum 10 years of professional experience with proven competence in strategy formulation and implementation in the financial sector and related areas.

· Minimum 8 years of specific experience in the fields of financial inclusion, gender equality and international development, with an emphasis on the Pakistani context

· Previous experience working with global and/or national institutions involved in financial inclusion and gender inclusive finance policy and regulation, particularly in developing and emerging countries.

· Previous experience in gender sensitive/transformative data gathering and analysis

· Extensive research experience in countries in the developing and emerging economies.

· A track record of publication in the fields of financial inclusion, gender equality, international development.

· Fluency in English (oral and writing) is compulsory

. Excellent written and presentation skills in the English language.


This consultancy work is a home-based work. No regional/international travelling is required.


Throughout the contract period, the Consultant will be reporting to AFI Team, Head of Gender Inclusive Finance and Senior Policy Manager (Financial Inclusion Data).

10.Criteria of Evaluation

The proposals submitted will be evaluated based on the following criteria:

1.Academic Qualification 10%

2.Experience and competence of the key staff for the assignment related; 55%
In strategy development/implementation in the financial sector or related areas 20%
In gender and financial inclusion policy related work 20%
Gender data gathering and analysis 15%

3.Adequacy of the proposed work plan and methodology in responding to the Terms of Reference 30%

Technical approach and Methodology 25%

Workplan 5%

4.Sample work – Writing experience and English 5%

Total 100%

How to apply

Interested applicants are expected to submit a proposal with an updated CV and using the template given (Download the RFP document here) by email to AFI’s Procurement & Contracts Office at by 28th October 2021.

The final decision on the selection of a consultant/consulting firm for this project rests with AFI management team and with the Inquiry. Only shortlisted and successful consultants will be contacted.

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