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Consultant -End of Project External Evaluation for Irish Aid Project

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Thu, 27/06/2019 - 17:00

Terms of Reference

End of Project External Evaluation for Irish Aid Project

 

THE PROJECT: Women Unite! Strengthening Women-led Social Cohesion and Accountability in Post-Election Sierra Leone

 

Project Start Date: September 1, 2018

Project End Date: August 31, 2019

 

Context

We are Searchers. We are over 600 strong worldwide. We believe in our mission to end violent conflict. It’s our purpose- our call to action.

A Searcher understands our vision of a world where: Differences stimulate social progress, rather than precipitate violence. Respect for and cooperation with those we disagree with is considered the norm.

A Searcher is a dedicated, enthusiastic and passionate individual, committed to our values. Empathy. Audacity. Humanity. Humility.

Our Program in Sierra Leone

Founded in 1982, Search is one of the largest conflict transformation organisations in the world. With offices in 35 countries, across Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and Africa, our mission is to transform the way that the world deals with conflict, away from adversarial approaches and towards collaborative solutions. Working with actors from all parties, ranging from grassroots organisations to top-level leaders, we develop locally-adapted responses to a wide range of conflict issues, using a toolkit that includes capacity-building, mediation and alternative dispute resolution, community dialogue, arts-based approaches, and mass media to advance conflict prevention and resolution. We do this through an inclusive approach, engaging government, civil society, media, and traditional and community actors, with a particular focus on women and youth, to become agents of peace in their communities and in their country.

Search has worked in Sierra Leone since 2000, producing innovative radio and television programmes that have contributed to opening space for dialogue on critical and sensitive social and political issues in the country, while promoting social cohesion and reconciliation throughout the post-war period. In almost two decades of continued presence in Sierra Leone, Search has built a reputation as a neutral and trusted actor, allowing us to engage a diversity of stakeholders, including CBOs, CSOs, community members, local and national government stakeholders and institutions, community leaders and influencers, and media outlets. Within our work, we have advanced innovative interventions, addressing land rights, environment, education, and health. Moreover, as a core part of our country strategy, we have carved out a strong role within the governance space, particularly around driving women’s empowerment, participation, and inclusion; promoting government-citizen relationships and dialogue; and fostering collaborative and multi-stakeholder engagement around service delivery and increased transparency and accountability within governance.

The Project

Search for Common Ground (Search), in partnership with the 50/50 Group (50/50), the Institute for Governance Reform (IGR), and the Budget Advocacy Network (BAN), is implementing an Irish Aid 12-month project that builds on our current and past work, particularly on our recent elections programming, pre-election debates project, and governance programming, to ultimately promote social cohesion and accountability within the post-election environment, with women’s empowerment and participation streamlined throughout, and media programming. In consultation with our partners, Search identified three key activity streams, which includes ‘fostering women-led social cohesion’; ‘Strengthening local level accountability and women's participation, and strengthening ‘media programming’ to promote access to information and positive narratives relevant to the goals of this project. To ensure scalability and influence, leveraging our partnership with the Independent Radio Network (coalition of 37 radios), a robust media component providing a platform for citizens to access information and ensuring national coverage, is serving to elevate the critical themes of the project and feed local processes into national issues around social cohesion and accountability. The target areas of this intervention are Kono, Port Loko, Kambia, Kenema, and Tonkolili, which were selected based on the presence of election-related violence as well as Search and its partners’ access to and ongoing work in these districts.

The target groups for this project include women leaders, influencers, community members, and women-led civil society organisations (CSOs); recently elected Members of Parliament (MPs); local authorities, elected leaders, and services providers; and community members, youth, local leaders, and members of civil society. The project builds on inclusivity of a variety of stakeholders, including from diverse socio-economic, religious, ethnic, political, and educational backgrounds. Direct beneficiaries include 10 women-led civil society groups, eighteen Women’s Community Solidarity Groups (WCSG’s) and five community radio station in five targeted districts.

Project Result Chain/Theory of Change

Theory of Change: IF women CSOs, groups, and leaders are equipped with the skills and capacity to promote peace, meaningfully participate in public life, and strengthen local-level accountability alongside their peers and other stakeholders, THEN they can effectively contribute to democratic peace consolidation that is holistic, inclusive, and sustainable.

The overall aim of the project is to strengthen the role of women in promoting social cohesion, local-level accountability, and inclusive decision-making processes in five districts of Sierra Leone. This overall aim is supported by the following corresponding objectives and expected results:

Objective 1: To build social cohesion at the community level through women-led approaches.

  • ER1.1 Women CSOs, groups, and leaders have increased capacity to carry out social cohesion and peace initiatives within their communities.

  • ER1.2 Women CSOs, groups and leaders foster stronger networks and shared learning among and between each other to achieve their collective goals.

  • ER1.3 Participatory and culturally-relevant events and initiatives foster peace and cohesion within communities.

Objective 2: To strengthen women’s role in promoting local-level accountability

  • ER2.1 Women CSOs, groups, and leaders are equipped with the skills and capacity to strengthen local-level accountability.

  • ER2.2 Community members, local authorities, and elected officials have increased platforms for engagement.

  • ER2.3 Elected leaders become more responsive to citizens’ concerns (especially those of women) in local governance and development processes.

Objective 3 To increase citizens’ access to information and awareness raising around social cohesion and governance processes

  • ER3.1 Citizens have increased access to peaceful narratives that strengthen social cohesion and promote peace.

  • ER3.2 Citizens better understand local governance and development processes and how to actively engage in such processes.

2. Goal and Objectives of Final Evaluation

As per the project document, the final evaluation will be conducted by an external consultant, who will assess the relevance, effectiveness, efficiency, Impact and sustainability of the project in achieving the stated change objectives. The external evaluation will measure key project results and provide lessons learned that will inform future initiatives for women led approaches in promoting social cohesion and public sector accountability. The evaluation will be based on quantitative and qualitative methods and will evaluate the transformation of attitudes and behaviours of the target groups through the performance indicators. Lessons learned and recommendations will be shared among beneficiaries, partners and other key stakeholders during renditions organized by the evaluator with support from Search. The evaluation report will be available to the public on the Search and other web sites and on the DME for Peace platform.

Objectives

The objectives of the evaluation are summarised below:

  1. To evaluate the entire project in terms of its relevance,effectiveness, efficiency, impact and sustainability, with a priority on assessing the project expected the result, objectives and overall goal.

  2. To identify key lessons and potentials practices for learning.

  3. Evaluate the transformation of attitudes and behaviours of the target groups.

  4. To measure key project indicators.

The evaluation will in particular seek to assess the relevance, effectiveness, efficiency, impact, and sustainability of the project’s intervention on the participation of women, young girls, project stakeholders, CSO groups implementing the activities.

Key Questions of the Study

The evaluation will be guided by the following questions:

No

Evaluation Criteria

Mandatory Evaluation Questions

1

Relevance

  1. To what extent the project is relevant to the identified needs of the target beneficiaries and the context central to the women's participation in decision making in SL?

  2. Were the project inputs and strategy (including its assumptions and theory of change) realistic, appropriate and adequate to achieve the results

  3. To what extent do achieved results (project goal, outcomes and outputs) continue to be relevant to the needs of women and girls in SL?

  4. How do the project beneficiaries/participants perceive the relevance of the projekct vis-a-vis their needs?How relevant is the project against the national objectives of peace, accountability and social cohesion? What Is its relevance  to the development priorities of the corresponding districts?

  5. R

  6. How relevance is the project to match the  Irish Aid governance priorities in SL?

  7. How appropriate were the management process in supporting delivery of project expected results?

2

Effectiveness

  1. To what extent did the Project’s M&E mechanism contribute in meeting project results?

  2. How effective were the strategies and tools used in the implementation of the project?

  3. To what extent were the intended project goal, outcomes and outputs achieved and how?

  4. To what extent did the project reach the targeted beneficiaries at the project goal and outcome levels? How many beneficiaries have been reached?

  5. Has the project lead as well as partners the institutional capacity (staffing, local knowledge, experience, commitment, etc.) to implement the project?

3

Efficiency

  1. How far the results achieved did justified the cost incurred - were the resources effectively utilized?

  2. Did project activities overlap and duplicate other similar interventions (funded nationally and/or by other donors? Are there more efficient ways and means of delivering more and better results (outputs and outcomes) with the available inputs?

  3. Could a different approach have produced better results? If yes, why?

  4. How efficient and timely has this project been implemented and managed in accordance with the Project proposal?

  5. How cost-efficient was the project structure (consortium approach) to delivering the results of the project at scale?

 

Impact

  1. To what extent has this project generated positive (or negative) changes in the political participation of women, young girls?

  2. How has the project positively or negatively contributed to changing traditional norms and practices about women participation in decision-making and local development processes?

  3. What are the unintended negative and positive consequences as a result of the project activities?

  4. Are there any significant changes in the context as a result of the project intervention?

  5. What are the key/big stories/ conflict resolved by this project?

 

Sustainability

  1. How will the positive outcomes of the project be sustained beyond the duration of the project?

  2. Does the project has an exit strategy? If yes, what is this framed and if not why not?

  3. What key factors will be required to improve prospects of sustainability and potential replication of the approach?

 

Learning and Replicability

  1. What are some of the key lesson learned at a result of this project that can be shared and replicated?

  2. What worked well and what could have been done better?

  3. What are the recommendations for similar future interventions?

3. Final Evaluation methodology

The assessment will use a qualitative research approach based on feedback from partners, beneficiaries and stakeholders collected through Key Information Interview and Focus Group Discussions both in the project implementation areas to paint a picture on what works, what didn’t work and to provide recommendations on how to improve the project’s implementation and content for the second half of or similar intervention for the project to be as impactful and effective as possible. The evaluation will assess the project implementation against the theory of change using the following evolution methodology:

  • Literature review: The evaluation will review relevant project documents and content produced before and during project implementation including the project proposal, results/logframe, annual and quarterly work plans, project progress reports, annual project reports, public policy documents and other documents produced by or associated with the project.

  • Key Informant Interviews (KIIs) with Project Stakeholders : A set of  5 KIIs per district  will also be conducted with selected relevant key informants and institutions (A list of key informants and institutions such as Irish Aid, the Chiefs, Local council leaders, Social Welfare, Gender and Children Affairs,  women leaders, the security sector etc. will be agreed between the external evaluator and Search and partners.

  • Focus Group Discussions (FGDs): The consultant is expected to conduct 10 FGD in the five districts, 2 per district targeting project participants in the selected urban and rural communities.  Data will also be collected using focus groups discussion with project participants and these will be women, girls and youth and other project stakeholders like the Chiefs using a pre-designed focus group discussion guide.

  • Quantitative Survey:  Given the nature of the logframe  indicators , the qualitative survey will be done with project participants only and not with entire community population.

  • Sampling: Given the total population of project participants of 3980 across five districts, we will generate a total sample size using 95% confidence level and 5% confidence interval to generate the total sample ise of 350. In order to overcome non-response error, we will additional 10% sample size in the total sample size calculated earlier. Hence the total sample size will be 350 +10%, which is equal to 385.  The consultants is expected to distribute the total sample size to five districts proportionate to their participants population. The final sample size for each districts weil be determined while finalizing the inception report. Data will be collected through pre-designed survey, questionnaires and will be administered in the project communities among project participants.

Geographic Locations

The target areas in Sierra Leone are Kenema, Kono, Port Loko, Kambia, and Tonkolili districts. The final evaluation is expected to take place in all five districts. The consultant will develop an inception report, a Final evaluation matrix, Final evaluation tools with inputs from Search, 50/50/IGR, BAN and the ILT, conduct data collection, data cleaning and analysis, and will write a report outlining the findings and conclusions of the Final evaluation.

Logistical Support

The consultant(s) will be responsible for organizing their own logistics for data collection (vehicles, fuel, and drivers), and this must be budgeted into the study. Search will provide support in arranging logistics. The external evaluator will be responsible for managing the logistics provided, enumerator hiring and training, quantitative data analysis and other related management issue.

In addition, Search and partners will share the following elements with the external consultant: Background materials including the project proposal and logical framework, M&E plan, baseline, midterm reports, etc.

The Evaluation Team will report to Search although they will not have control over the professional work of the evaluators. The DM&E Coordinator and Search’s ILT and DM&E teams in Washington/ Senegal will provide technical guidance for the evaluation to ensure the independence of the evaluation process, and that Search’s independent evaluation policy is followed.

Restitution

The intended users of the final evaluation report will be Search and the implementing partner’s 50/50/IGR, BAN and the donor. The consultant is expected to handover final report to Search including all logistics supplied for the exercise.

The report will be shared widely with project participants and partners, and presented during Search and Irish Aid meeting when necessary. The evaluation report – with sensitive details redacted – will eventually be published on Search’s website and shared with other learning networks.

Ethics

The consultant is required to respect the following Ethical Principles:

  • Comprehensive and systematic inquiry: Consultant should make the most of the existing information and full range of stakeholders available at the time of the review. Consultant should conduct systematic, data-based inquiries. He or she should communicate his or her methods and approaches accurately and in sufficient detail to allow others to understand, interpret and critique his or her work. He or she should make clear the limitations of the review and its results.

  • Competence: Consultant should possess the abilities and skills and experience appropriate to undertake the tasks proposed and should practice within the limits of his or her professional training and competence.

  • Honesty and integrity: Consultant should be transparent with the contractor/constituent about: any conflict of interest, any change made in the negotiated project plan and the reasons why those changes were made, any risk that certain procedures or activities produce misleading review information.

  • Respect for people: Consultant respect the security, dignity and self-worth of respondents, program participants. Consultant has the responsibility to be sensitive to and respect differences amongst participants in culture, religion, gender, disability, age and ethnicity.

In addition, the consultant will respect Search’s evaluations standards, to be found in Search’s evaluation guidelines: http://www.Search.org/programmes/ilt/dme_guidelines.html

Final Evaluations Expectations

The evaluation is expected to start in the first week of August 2019 and will last for 30 working days including fieldwork/interviews and report writing and submission. Final Report will be submitted on the 31st August, 2019

 

Deliverables and Timeline

No

Deliverables

Description

Timeline

1

Inception Report

This must define the scope of the work with a proposed work plan and evaluation questionnaires to be submitted 5 working days following the official commencement of the evaluation. The inception report will provide the Consortium, its donor and other key stakeholders the opportunity to ascertain that the evaluator(s) share the same understanding about the evaluation objectives. The inception report should detail the evaluators’ understanding of what is being evaluated and why, showing how each evaluation question will be answered by way of: proposed methods; proposed sources of data; and data collection procedures. The inception report should include a proposed schedule of tasks, activities and deliverables, designating a team member with the lead responsibility for each task or product. Before accepted to become the guide for the evaluation, the inception report must be discussed and approved by Search.

1-5- August 2019

2.

Evaluation tools

These must be developing the inception report and shared with Search, partners and ILT for comments and confirmation.

6-8 August, 2019

 

Field data collection

This will be conducted by the consultant, This should include the qualitative and the quantitative study using the evaluation criteria.

10-19-August, 2019

 

PowerPoint presentation of findings;

Following the field study (Q&Q), the evaluator must prepare PowerPoint presentation of findings to Search  and partners and should document suggestions from the team which should be incorporated in the draft report

21st  August 2019

3

Draft Evaluation Report

The evaluator(s) must submit a draft report of 35 pages (in MS Word format) for review and comments by all parties involved. The report needs to adhere to the structure and minimum evaluation report writing requirements of Search for Common Ground ILT Unit. Other stakeholders in the evaluation must review the draft evaluation report to ensure that the evaluation meets the required quality criteria.

22-28th August, 2019

3

Final Report

The final report should be around 35 page in MS word format. This will be submitted 7- 10 days after receiving comments from the project team and Irish Aid. The content and structure of the final analytical report with findings, recommendations and lessons learnt covering the scope of the evaluation should meet the requirements of for Search for Common Ground ILT and DM&E departments and must include the following: Executive summary (2 pages). Introduction (1 page), context description 2-3 page, Description of the evaluation methodology (2-3 pages), Key findings according to the Evaluation Criteria and project objectives and outcomes (15-20 pages), best practices, challenges and lessons learned (2-3 pages) Conclusions and recommendations (2-3 pages). Appendices: Charts, terms of reference, field visits, people interviewed, documents reviewed

28-31 August, -2019

 

How to apply

Required Qualifications and Expertise for Lead Evaluator

The Evaluator (individual or firm) shall have the following expertise and qualification:

  • At least Master’s degree in Public Policy, International Development, Development, Economics/Planning, Economics, International Relations/ Diplomacy or any other relevant university degree;

  • At least 5 years of experience of doing project evaluation and/or research. Experience in evaluating peacebuilding programming will be an added advantage.

  • Extensive expertise, knowledge, and experience in the field of aid effectiveness and aid management process related issues, local level governance, Social Cohesion and accountability and electoral support programmes and management in developing countries – especially in West Africa;

  • At least 5 years of experience in working with international organizations and donors;

  • Knowledge and understanding of international and country-level implementation of governance and civil society support projects in West Africa;

  • Experience of project formulation and evaluation and practical experience of end project evaluation in Sierra Leone or a similar context;

  • Excellent written and verbal Communication skills is English. Experience in local Sierra Leonean language including Krio will be and added advantage.

The offers will be reviewed according to the following criteria:

  1. Consultant's ability to conduct qualitative studies, knowledge of methodology and field of research;

  2. Research experience in areas of peacebuilding programing and governance;

  3. Consultant's ability to complete the study in a timely manner;

  4. Consultant's capacity to recruit local data collection teams;

  5. Quality of reports proposed by the consultant as a sample;

  6. Other: quality of the writing of the Consultant will be also evaluated.

Submissions

The application file must include:

  • A technical offer of maximum 8 pages which will include:

    • A detailed methodology, including the main research questions;

    • A short proposal for the organization of data collection and supervision of enumerator teams;

    • An updated curriculum vitae of the Evaluation Coordinator of up to 4 pages;

    • In annex: 2 examples of studies / qualitative research conducted for other organizations as principal investigator.

  • A detailed financial offer which will include:

    • Consultant fees;

    • Costs related to the recruitment of accelerated field data collection teams;

    • Other items deemed necessary.

Interested qualified and experienced person, group of person or firms must submit an application package by 20th June 2019 to sierraleone-job@sfcg.org, copying skoroma@sfcg.org, outlining availability in line with the approximate timeline.

 

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