The purpose of this Terms of Reference is to request proposals from individuals interested in, and capable of conducting an in in-depth study of the factors contributing to the high HIV incidence amongst adolescent girls and young women in Zimbabwe. The TOR highlights the services required as well as areas to be covered in the study.



Zimbabwe is the sixth country with high new HIV infections in East and Southern Africa region.[1] According to the Zimbabwe Population-based HIV Impact Assessment 2020 (ZIMPHIA,2020) the annual HIV incidence for Zimbabwe remains the same as compared to 2015-2016 report. Adolescent girls and young women aged between 15-24 have the highest HIV incidence in Zimbabwe 0.76% compared to adolescent boys and young men in the same age group.


Adolescent girls and young women are also impacted by the gender inequalities that exist in the Zimbabwean society. Gender inequalities result in AGYW being unable to negotiate for safe sex, seek sexual reproductive health services, child marriages and these increase their risk of contracting HIV. According to the United Nations Zimbabwe Common Country Analysis 2021, the incidence rate for HIV infection amongst AGYW are more than double those among young men.


Women have been brought up to be submissive to their husbands and this patriarchal nature makes men enforce this. Intimate partner violence increases the risk of exposure to HIV and empowerment programmes can improve decision making amongst women (Shamu, Shamu and Machisa, 2018). According to the Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey 2019 (MICS,2019), 4.7% of adolescent girls aged 15-19 have ever experienced sexual violence and 12.5% of young women aged 20-24, have ever experienced sexual violence.


Biological difference between women and men can explain the difference in prevalence’s amongst men and women. Pregnancy, thinner cervical walls which are normally found in adolescent girls and menopausal women, presence of Human Papilloma Virus, genital ulcers and cervicitis also increase the risk of HIV in women (Canadian AIDS Society, 2020) (Ribeiro Filho et al., 2011).

Globally efforts have been made to bring attention to the plight of women. For instance, the UNAIDS Agenda for Accelerated Country Action for Women, Girls, Gender Equality and HIV encapsulates the key global issues and strategies for addressing the needs and rights of women and girls within the context of HIV. In addition to adapting various commitments, many efforts have also been done in country to address the specific issues facing women.



UN Women recognises that women bear the burden of HIV in terms of being infected, accessing health services, and caring for family members living with HIV.  The Fast Track and national target for reduction of new HIV infections by 2020 was 75% from a 2010 baseline indicating that the country is not on track with prevention[2]. This gap is accentuated by the socio-economic situation. The purpose of this research is to identify the policy and programmatic responses that are in place to ensure that the HIV incidence rate in AGYW is reduced. The study seeks to ascertain the relevance, effectiveness, and efficiency of existing programmes on HIV prevention.

This research will enable the country office to inform national HIV response in understanding factors that contribute to high HIV incidence amongst adolescent girls and young women in Zimbabwe and how to address these factors. 


Therefore, to build this evidence base and get a clearer and deeper understanding of factors that contribute to high HIV incidence amongst adolescent girls and young women in Zimbabwe; UN Women wishes to engage the services of an institution or individual to conduct the study. accessed 13 January 2023

[2] The United Nations Common Country Analysis Zimbabwe 2021.

Duties and Responsibilities

Research aim

The aim of this research is to critically analyse the factors that contribute to high HIV incidence amongst adolescent girls and young women in Zimbabwe.  In addition, the study also seeks to examine the relevance, effectiveness, and efficiency of existing programmes on HIV in preventing new HIV infections among AGYW.


Scope of Work

Conduct a study to:

  1. critically analyse the factors that contribute to high HIV incidence amongst adolescent girls and young women in Zimbabwe focusing on Matabeleland South due to the high HIV prevalence rate[1].
  2. examine the relevance, effectiveness, and efficiency of existing programmes on HIV in addressing VAW and vice versa.



  • Inception report-3 days-10%
  • Conduct research-21 days-40%
  • Draft report-10  days-10%
  • A concise report on the factors that contribute to high HIV incidence amongst adolescent girls and young women in Zimbabwe-6 days-30%
  • Based on the findings, develop a recommendation document for priority interventions and areas for UN Women to consider, both in terms of UN Women’s own work and to recommend to other stakeholders in the HIV sector. -5 days-10%


[1] Zimbabwe Population-based HIV Impact Assessment 2020.


Core Values:

  • Respect for Diversity
  • Integrity
  • Professionalism

Core Competencies:

  • Awareness and Sensitivity Regarding Gender Issues
  • Accountability
  • Creative Problem Solving
  • Effective Communication
  • Inclusive Collaboration
  • Stakeholder Engagement
  • Leading by Example

Please visit this link for more information on UN Women’s Core Values and Competencies:

Required Skills and Experience


  • Advanced degree in public health, social sciences, human rights, gender/women's studies, international development, or another related field.



  • At least 10 years relevant experienced in relation to conducting research in the HIV and health sector, gender assessments and understanding of gender equality and women’s sexual reproductive health issues.
  • Have extensive experience in undertaking research focusing on the HIV and gender equality.
  • Extensive Knowledge of Zimbabwe’s health sector
  • Experience working with people living with HIV.
  • Proven experience and excellent networking and partnership skills with UN agencies, government and CSOs.
  • Excellent communication skills, both verbal and written and strong presentation skills
  • Cultural sensitivity
  • A demonstrated understanding of the Leave No one Behind Principles.


Reporting Arrangements

The consultant will be reporting to the UN Women Gender and HIV/AIDS Programme Specialist and the UN Women Deputy Country Representative.


Language Requirements:

  • Fluency in English is required.
  • Ability to write well is essential
  • Knowledge of the other UN official working language is an asset.



Interested parties must provide the following:

  • A brief technical proposal not more than 10 pages with the proposed research design



  • All applications must include (as an attachment) a completed UN Women Personal History form (P-11) which can be downloaded from
  • Kindly note that the system will only allow one attachment and candidates are required to include in the P-11 form links for their previously published reports and articles completed within the last two years. Applications without the completed UN Women P-11 form will be treated as incomplete and will not be considered for further assessment.


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