Invitation to tender to update One Family’s Human Rights and One-Parent Families Guide and develop an accompanying guide for those implementing the Public Sector Equality and Human Rights Duty | July 2021

About One Family

One Family was founded in 1972 as Cherish and is Ireland’s national organisation for people parenting alone, sharing parenting and separating. As a registered charity, we offer support, information and services to all members of all one-parent families, to those sharing parenting, to those experiencing an unplanned pregnancy and to professionals working with one-parent families. Children are at the centre of our work and the organisation helps all the adults in their lives, including mums, dads, grandparents, step-parents, new partners and other siblings, offering a holistic model of specialist family support services. Full information on One Family can be found at


In 2006 One Family published a guide called ’Human Rights and One-Parent Families’. This project aims to update this guide for people in one-parent families and the professionals working with them and to produce a separate guide for anyone implementing the Public Sector Equality and Human Rights Duty. One-parent families are consistently and significantly over-represented in national poverty and deprivation figures.[1] Through our work we know discrimination can occur for one-parent families when accessing public services. Data from the CSO confirms this, with almost half of all lone parents saying they ‘often experience judgmental attitudes or exclusion’.[2]

This project aims to explore the experience of one-parent families interacting with public bodies in Ireland and investigate if inequalities and human rights infringements exist, and if so, how widespread they are. This evidence will be used to inform the updated ‘Human Rights and One-Parent Families’ guide and accompanying guide for those implementing the Public Sector Equality and Human Rights Duty, and to inform One Family’s policy work.

Request for Tender

One Family received funding as part of the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission Grant Scheme 2021-2022 and is seeking to contract a consultant to update its Human Rights and One-Parent Families Guide and develop an accompanying guide for those implementing the Public Sector Equality and Human Rights Duty. This research will inform the development of an updated publication and a new accompanying guide for those implementing the Public Sector Duty. The successful applicant will work with One Family to identify participants in a rights-holder steering group to guide our policy work in this area and lead on the development of the publications.

We would like this to be a mixed methods research employing use of secondary data, evidence and literature review of international and national best practice, as well as primary research with key professionals and affected parents to determine current practices being used in Ireland.

The purpose of the research is to achieve the following:

  • To the build capacity of parents to recognise rights infringements and discrimination in their interactions with state bodies and to provide the information they need to challenge these infringements and seek appropriate support.
  • To reduce incidences of rights infringements and discrimination and strengthen the upholding of the Public Sector Duty, by providing knowledge and information for public sector staff on the rights and experiences of one-parent families.
  • To gather information and evidence that can be used by One Family to influence national policy relating to one-parent families.

One Family wishes to engage a researcher to carry out qualitative and quantitative research into the experiences of people parenting alone when engaging with public sector bodies and public services.

The central questions the research aims to interrogate are;

a) What are the experiences of rights-holders (people parenting alone and sharing parenting) when accessing public services and do they experience discrimination, human rights violations or inequalities?

b) What changes can Public Sector Duty implementers make to improve the experience of rights-holders and reduce any inequalities or discrimination they may face?

Specifically, the successful researcher/s will be required to work with One Family’s staff team to develop the following components:

  • Participatory research into the experiences of one-parent families in accessing public services.
  • Rights-holder led update of the Human Rights and One-Parent Families publication .
  • Develop an accompanying guide for those implementing the Public Sector Equality and Human Rights Duty.
  • Inform One Family policy work with evidence based on the experiences of one-parent families.
  • Survey of parents in one-parent families and those sharing parenting.
  • Dissemination of the guides and awareness raising with rights holders, professionals working with one-parent families and public sector, including but not limited to presenting findings at seminars/conferences.

Key activities (should include, but may not be limited to the following)

  • Develop a project work-plan with clear timelines and deliverables.
  • Conduct a review of current equality and human rights legislation and policies which affect and influence outcomes for one-parent families, using the original One Family guide ‘Human Rights and One-Parent Families’ as a framework.
  • Carry out quantitative research with rights-holders (one-parent families) to explore their experiences of interacting with public bodies.
  • Conduct qualitative participatory research with people parenting alone and sharing parenting to explore their experiences of interacting with public bodies.
  • Use quantitative and qualitative research findings to develop a framework of best practice and inform the update of the Human Rights and One-Parent Families guide and an accompanying Human Rights and One Parent Families guide for Public Sector Duty implementers.
  • Recruit participants via the qualitative research and One Family’s service users and media channels for a steering group to inform and guide the development of the guides.
  • Participate in the planning and content development for an online seminar aimed at those implementing the Public Sector Duty.
  • Develop policy recommendations informed by the evidence gathered as part of the research which can be used in One Family’s policy work.
Best Practice Guidelines

The two guideline resources should be presented to a high standard of quality which meets both the strategic planning and governance requirements of One Family.


The closing date for submission of proposals is 12 August 2021. It is expected the research will commence in September and will conclude (including the completion of all outputs) by 31st of July 2022.

Management of the research

Selection of a researcher or research team is made at the discretion of One Family. Day-to-day management of the research/contract will be led by One Family Policy Manager. The successful contractor will also work closely with the CEO and other One Family staff as required.

Format of Tenders

Tender documents should be no more than 3,000 words (excluding researcher CVs which should be added as appendices). Tenders should include:

  • Consultant CV including relevant experience as below:
    • Knowledge and experience of issues facing one-parent families; separated families; and public sector services in Ireland.
    • Knowledge and experience of human rights, equality legislation and participatory research practices.
    • Expertise and competencies specifically relating to the area of work described above, and evidence such as published work where possible.
  • Proposed outline of research and methodology, including consultation/engagement with stakeholders.
  • Detailed budget.
  • Timeline for the project, including length of time and number of days over this time period.
  • Identification of any conflicts of interest.
  • Referees: contact details must be supplied for two referees, that One Family can contact who have engaged the proposed consultant for similar/related work and two examples of similar work carried out.
  • The successful consultant will be required to submit evidence of relevant professional indemnity and insurance details.
  • Contact details.

The Budget available for this project is €13,000 (inclusive of VAT). Please outline clearly all fees (including expenses and with VAT as applicable noted as a separate charge). A current tax clearance certificate will be required. This contract will be awarded on the basis of a fixed price contract, and as such, all costs must be quoted (and clearly indicated) as a fixed price in Euro. The successful consultant is expected to work within the agreed budget and report regularly on budgetary issues. All costs associated with the consultant’s response to the Request for Tender will be the responsibility of the consultant. One Family is not bound to accept the lowest or any tender and will award the contract to its best advantage.

Tender Evaluation Process

Initially the tender proposals will be checked for compliance with the Request for Tender conditions. Potential consultants will be assessed both on their tender proposal and a follow up interview. They will be assessed against the following major attributes:

  1. Proven capability and experience in relevant field of work (350).
  2. Methodology (350).
  3. Value for Money (300).

A minimum threshold of 150 in any one category will be required. Consideration will also be given to timeline under which the work can be fully completed in the Methodology section.

Tender Submissions/Contact

Please return tender with Human Rights and One-Parent Families Tender in the subject line to Niamh Kelly at email: nkelly@onefamily.iewith all queries directed to same.

Tenders will be accepted by email only. The onus is on the applicant to ensure their tenders have been received on or before this deadline.

The contract for service rests with One Family. The primary point of contact for the successful consultant will be Niamh Kelly, Policy Manager at One Family.

One Family expressly reserves the right to:
  • Extend the time of lodgement of responses to the Request for Tender and/or to vary the timings and process for their Request for Tender.
  • Vary any requirements of the services required for the Request for Tender.
  • Following evaluation, accept or reject any or all responses to the Request for Tender.
  • Seek and obtain clarification of any responses to the Request for Tender, including additional information.
  • Request providers to amend their responses.
  • Accept any proposal in part or in total.

The closing date for receiving proposals is 10am, 12th August 2021.