Team Leader: Assessment of Countering Trafficking in Persons Activities in Vietnam

Scope of Work: Team Leader

Assessment of Countering Trafficking in Persons Activities in Vietnam (Learns Task # 4.005)

USAID/Vietnam Learns Contract

Hanoi, Vietnam

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About Social Impact

Social Impact (SI) is a global development management consulting firm. We provide monitoring, evaluation, strategic planning, and capacity building services to advance development effectiveness. We work across all development sectors including democracy and governance, health and education, the environment, and economic growth. Since 1997 we have worked in over 100 countries for clients such as US government agencies, bilateral donors, multilateral development banks, foundations, and nonprofits. 

Project Objective

SI is implementing the USAID/Vietnam Learns Contract. The scope of the five-year project is to support USAID/Vietnam staff and its implementing partners to implement more efficient, effective, and sustainable programs by (1) improving staff knowledge and skills in Monitoring, Evaluation & Learning (MEL) and Collaborating, Learning & Adapting (CLA); (2) advancing evidence-informed decision-making; (3) strengthening strategic collaboration between staff and local stakeholders. 

(** Note: This position is open to both international candidates and local candidates **)

Background and Purpose

Trafficking in persons (TIP) is a significant issue in Vietnam. Men, women and children are trafficked domestically and internationally for a variety of reasons, including sexual exploitation, child labour, and domestic slavery. Despite rapid economic development since the mid-1980s, inequality and discrimination leave many people vulnerable to exploitation from criminal networks, loan sharks, and unscrupulous employers. Due to challenges in collecting and managing data and the social stigma surrounding victims, the scale of the problem is difficult to establish.

While the Government of Vietnam has taken some action to address these issues, including improving access to legal representation and financial support, it does not meet the standards required to eliminate trafficking. The Government continues to underreport cases, and does not sufficiently investigate and prosecute trafficking rings or complicit officials. Coordination between concerned entities within and across central and provincial levels is weak, hampering the effectiveness of response. Victim identification and assistance programs are also cumbersome and ineffective. As a result, the United States Department of State (DoS) Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons in 2020 placed Vietnam on the Tier 2 Watch List for the second consecutive year.

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Mission in Vietnam, recognizing the scale of the issue, is exploring the potential to launch new efforts to support countering trafficking in persons (C-TIP). As a preliminary step, USAID/Vietnam wishes to conduct an assessment examining the landscape for C-TIP activity in Vietnam. This will ensure USAID support is well-targeted, informed by experience, and likely to reinforce rather than duplicate efforts.

Research Questions

This assessment will address the following research questions. Note that these research questions will not be answered exhaustively in this assessment; the assessment will provide rapid analysis of each area, allowing for further research if necessary. The research will be conducted in two phases: formative research and development of USAID design recommendations.

Phase 1: Formative Research

  1. What is the current situation of trafficking in persons in Vietnam? This should include the types and estimated prevalence of trafficking, regional variations, internal versus transnational trafficking, and local awareness of and capabilities to address TIP. This should also indicate whether and how COVID-19 has impacted TIP.

  2. What is GVN doing to address TIP at present? What areas are they focused on and are they having impact? What areas are they not focused on? What should continue, and what should be done differently?

  3. Who are the key civil society organizations (CSOs) working on C-TIP? What are they doing at present, and what is the impact? What could be improved?

  4. Is the private sector in affected industries aware of and engaged in CTIP? What potential is there for private sector engagement in C-TIP, particularly in preventing labor exploitation?

  5. What donors are funding CTIP and in what sectors? Include US Embassy (INL) activities in this summary.

  6. Are there activities in which GVN/Civil Society/private sector could and would do more? What are the current limitations to expansion into such areas: GVN resistance, availability of donor funding, limited ability to make impact, etcetera?

NB: All research questions should apply the framework used in the DoS 2020 TIP Report, examining efforts in prevention, protection, and prosecution.

Phase 2: Support for USAID Programming Design1

  1. In light of above, what are the gaps and opportunities for USAID Vietnam? Where could USAID have the greatest impact without duplicating efforts? What are the potential implications of the Phase 1 findings?

  2. What partnership modalities should USAID consider to deliver programming in this area?

    1. In what ways could USAID engage productively with GVN on C-TIP? Which GVN agencies would be an effective partner as a Managing Agency for a stand-alone project? Which agencies should be beneficiaries of assistance?

    2. What is the potential for collective action to address C-TIP, working with civil society and/or the private sector?

    3. Where could the efforts of the US Embassy and other donors to Vietnam be reinforced by USAID support?

  3. How could C-TIP be incorporated effectively into existing programming? What activity or activities should a stand-alone C-TIP program focus on?


The research questions are expected to be answered through two methodological approaches:

Rapid Desk Review

  • GVN policies, directives, decrees, public statements, etc., on C-TIP.

  • USG documentation on C-TIP issues in Vietnam. This should refer primarily to the DoS 2020 TIP Report, reviewing its analysis and conclusions.

  • Reports developed by donors, global funds, and civil society related to trafficking in Vietnam in the last five years.

  • Programming of other donors and non-state actors, particularly UK FCDO, JICA, GIZ, DFAT, UNODC, IOM and ILO.

  • Summarizing key policies/programs in neighboring countries on C-TIP.

Key Informant Interviews (KIIs) and/or Focus Groups (FGs)

  • USAID Mission and Embassy staff concerned with C-TIP.

  • GVN representatives: Ministries of Justice; Public Security; Labor, Invalids, and Social Affairs; Foreign Affairs; and others as relevant.

  • Civil society organizations focused on C-TIP, e.g. Blue Dragon Children’s Foundation.

  • Private sector stakeholders and Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry officials concerned with C-TIP.

  • Other donors as specified above.


  • The research team may be tasked with facilitating a small series of workshops with existing USAID programs to explore the implications of Phase 1 findings, and identify opportunities for these programs to address TIP, informing Phase 2.

Key informants for interviews, focus groups and validation event(s) will be selected in coordination with USAID. The target number of KIIs and FGs will be confirmed in consultation with USAID and Learns at the start of the assignment. Note however that the methodology can be amended based on discussions with the consultant team and given circumstances at the time of kickoff.

Deliverables and Timeline

The assignment is set to commence in March 2021. An indicative timeline is set out in the table below. The estimated LOE per consultant is up to 80 working days.


Involved stakeholders


Tentative Timeframe

Kickoff Meeting for Phase 1 (in-person and/or virtual)

USAID SSDO, Embassy, Learns

  • Clarify research questions with consultants

  • Discuss methods and sampling to inform research design

  • Confirm expected deliverables and timeline

  • Production of research tools and interview schedule


Inbrief Presentation (in-person and/or virtual)

USAID SSDO, GVN stakeholders, Embassy, Learns

  • Validation of research design to keep relevant GVN officials (TBD) informed and help finalize the scope and develop broader buy-in

  • Develop buy-in with GVN to foster use of study results and recommendations

Late March

Phase 1 Data Collection


  • Desk review

  • KIIs and FGs

Early April

Validation Event


  • Validation of study findings and recommendations for comms strategy

Early May

Draft Report of Phase 1

Learns, USAID SSDO, GVN stakeholders

  • Initial report draft produced and shared

  • Feedback provided

End May

Final Report of Phase 1

Learns, USAID SSDO, GVN stakeholders

  • Submission of final report

Late June

Phase 2 Utilization Event (in-person and/or virtual)

USAID SSDO, Embassy, Learns, GVN stakeholders and other donors.

  • USAID and Learns team engagement on design implications stemming from the research

  • Identification of research needs to inform design

  • Planning for final research on design

Late June

Phase 2 Design Meeting (in-person and/or virtual)


  • Update to USAID on research question/methodology revisions based on Phase 1 and Phase 2 Utilization Event

Early July

Phase 2 Data Collection


  • KIIs and FGs

Early July

Final Report

USAID SSDO, GVN stakeholders, Embassy, Learns

  • Final report submission including Phase 1 and 2 findings

  • Production of options for programming design

End July

Learning Event (in-person and/or virtual)


  • Final workshop with USAID to co-develop programming options based on Phase 2 data collection

Early August


Required Qualifications

Team Leader

  • Master’s degree or higher, with preference for a degree relevant to law, public policy, international development, research, or another related field

  • Demonstrated familiarity with human rights, governance, law enforcement, and/or judicial processes in Southeast Asia. Strong preference for expertise concerning trafficking in persons.

  • 10 years of demonstrated experience conducting program evaluation or research

  • Strong experience leading research teams and conducting qualitative data collection

  • Demonstrable experience using research to inform government policy and/or donor programming

  • Experience with USAID research assessments and related requirements

  • Knowledge of USAID policy guidance and program design is strongly preferred

  • Very strong analytical and presentation skills are essential

  • High degree of fluency in written English required, fluency in Vietnamese a strong plus

  • Knowledge of the Vietnamese context, particularly with respect to undertaking research, strongly preferred

  • Note: If not currently residing in Vietnam, he/she needs to be willing to travel to Vietnam and follow quarantine protocols (currently 2 weeks in a hotel).

The closing date for application: March 07, 2021. Selection and interview will be performed on a rolling basis, and interested candidates are encouraged to apply as soon as possible.

To apply, please merge both your CV and a cover letter into one pdf file and submit it through the online portal.

To learn more about Social Impact, please visit our website:

SI is an EEO/AA/ADA Veterans Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, or protected veteran status.

Only selected candidates will be contacted for an interview. Please, no phone calls.

Interviews may include a practical test or skill-based demonstration.


1 Final research questions to be developed in collaboration with USAID\Vietnam.


Job Details
Organisation Name: 
USAID Learns/Social Impact
Application Deadline: 
Sun, 2021-03-07