Research study into the effectiveness and impact of Early Intervention for infants aged 0-3 with complex sensory impairments in Kenya and Uganda

Terms of Reference

Research study into the effectiveness and impact of Early Intervention for infants aged 0-3 with complex sensory impairments in Kenya and Uganda

Background information:
Sense International is a global charity that supports people with deafblindness in countries where some of the poorest people live – India, Bangladesh, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Peru and Romania. We work in active partnership with local organisations and governments to support people with deafblindness to realise their rights as equal members of society, through building the capacity of essential services, supporting families, advocacy and sharing knowledge about deafblindness and complex sensory impairments. Sense International (East Africa) is the only organisation in East Africa working exclusively for the rights of people with deafblindness and those with complex sensory impairments.

Sense International has just launched a 3 year programme funded by UK aid  from the UK government, to establish a sensory screening programme for infants aged 0-3 years in Nairobi (at Mbagathi District hospital; WaithakaHealth Centre II; Riruta Health Centre II; Ngong Road Health Centre II) and in Wakiso District in Uganda (Entebbe Hospital Ndejje Health Centre IV; Kasangati Health Centre IV; Wakiso Health Centre IV). Infants who are either born at the health facility, or come to the health facility for weight monitoring, immunisation or as an outpatient, will undergo the following screening: 1) Hearing screening (using a DPOAE hearing screener); 2) eye testing (using a red reflex test); 3) basic physical examination. Infants that screen positive will be assessed by an Occupational Therapist trained in Early Intervention prior to being referred for clinical assessments, as required.

Babies that are identified as having complex sensory impairments through the clinical assessments will be enrolled in an Early Intervention programme that we will be set-up in each health facility run by specially trained Occupational Therapists delivering sensory stimulation, physical and communication/speech therapy to 0-3 year olds. The programme will also determine the prevalence of congenital impairments, including Congenital Rubella Syndrome, and all babies found with congenital impairments will have their blood tested for this disease (the research partners for this are KEMRI in Kenya and UVRI in Uganda).

The programme runs for three years from 1 April 2016 to 31 March 2019.

As part of this programme we are commissioning an independent research study to evaluate the impact of the screening and Early Intervention programme.

Purpose of the research study:
Determine the efficiency, cost-effectiveness, impact, and suitability for scale-up by government.

Data available for the research study:
The following data will be readily available to access during the course of the project:

Quantitative data:

  1. Number of infants screened
  2. Number of infants identified with congenital anomalies
  3. Number of infants found to have Congenital Rubella Syndrome
  4. Number and type of clinical assessments conducted
  5. Number of infants receiving Early Intervention therapy
  6. Frequency of Early Intervention therapy
  7. Income and expenditure for programme

Qualitative data:  

  1. Progress made by individuals receiving therapy (against a developmental milestone framework for infants with complex needs and against Individual Development Plans
  2. Satisfaction levels of parents with the Early Intervention service
  3. Levels of knowledge of Occupational Therapists, nurses, Clinical Officers, Doctors etc on Early Intervention for children with complex sensory impairments.

The cost of the research study should not exceed £12,100 and should include a baseline study in year 1 and a final evaluation. This cost includes the consultancy fee, all travel, accommodation, subsistence and other expenses.


  1. Baseline study report
  2. Final evaluation report

The study should include a mixture of desk based analysis of the data generated by the project as well as site visits as required.

Expressions of Interest:
Please submit expressions of interest to by 1 July 2016 detailing the methodology you will use to conduct this research and a full budget. Expressions of interest will be short listed based on an evaluation of the research methodology as well as value for money.

Selection of the researcher will take place in the week commencing 4 July. The baseline study should ideally be completed by the end of July. The final evaluation should take place between January and February 2019.

Person specification:
Essential: Experience conducting research and evaluations
Essential: Experience of disability programming in resource poor settings (ideally Kenya and Uganda).
Essential: Experience of public health care services and policy and in (Kenya and Uganda).
Desirable: Ideally experience of Early Intervention of Early Childhood Development approaches.

First published: Friday 17 June 2016
Last updated: Friday 17 June 2016