Consultancy: Syria Programme Evaluation

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Kvinna till Kvinna is looking for a consultant/s for an evaluation on our Syria Programme ”Advancing the role of women as agents for peace and development in Middle East and North Africa” 2017-2021

Background/Context

The Kvinna till Kvinna Foundation is a Swedish non-profit organisation, not affiliated with any political party or religious movement, that works together with local partner organisations promoting women’s rights and peace in over 20 conflict affected countries in the Western Balkans, Central and Western Africa, Middle East and Northern Africa and the South Caucasus.

Kvinna till Kvinna’s vision is a world with sustainable peace based on democracy and gender equality, in which conflicts are managed through non-military means. It envisions a world where human rights for women, men, girls boys and non-binary persons are respected, and all people can feel safe and secure regardless of gender, age or ethnicity. Kvinna till Kvinna has an inclusive (feminist) approach to cooperation in all contexts in which it operates and considers that women should have power and influence over decisions and  be involved as equal actors in the economic and political development of society to the same extent as men. This vision is permeated and further developed in the global strategy Kvinna till Kvinna for 2016-2021, with four complementing focus areas; gender-based violence, participation, peacebuilding and organisational development.

Kvinna till Kvinna has supported women human rights defenders and partner organisations in Syria since 2009 and is currently implementing the final year of a 5-year programme for Syria, titled “Advancing the role of women as agents for peace and development in Middle East and North Africa” supported by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency through the Swedish Embassy in Beirut, Lebanon and the Sweden’s Regional Strategy for the Syria crisis 2016-2020 (extended until 2023).

The programme aims to support Syrian partner organisations with a women’s human rights agenda in sustaining their visions, management of resources, and adaptations to the changing contexts and needs of constituencies, to safeguard efforts towards the elimination of discriminatory norms, and drafting gender sensitive laws and policies. The overall objective is for partners to have increased capacities for promotion and greater awareness about women’s rights and generation of a sustained level of empowerment in different areas of engagement. The programme has three outcomes, focusing on (1) organisational sustainability and capacity building, (2) advocacy for changes to law, policy and practice that promote women’s rights and gender equality and an enabling environment for women human rights defenders as well as prevention of and protection against gender-based violence and (3) support for ensuring women’s meaningful participation in all levels of society and access to decision-making arenas.  

In the perspective of the efforts that Kvinna till Kvinna and partner organisations have put into strengthening organisational capacities and promoting women’s human rights and gender equality in the Syrian context on various levels, Kvinna till Kvinna is now looking for consultant/s to carry out an external final evaluation as the programme, with special focus on impact, contextual challenges and dilemmas and for extracting the learnings from this process, which will also be used to inform the design of the next programme phase. 

Objectives and scope of the assignment

The consultant/s is to perform an assessment to evaluate the impact of Kvinna till Kvinna’s support to partner organisations, as well as the impact of the initiatives performed by partners supported by Kvinna till Kvinna.

More specifically, the objectives are to:

(1)   Assess the progress that has been made towards the outcomes of Kvinna till Kvinna´s Syria programme with only a few months left of the programme.

(2)   Evaluate the programme´s relevance in the Syrian context, assess the partner organisations approach and contributions to the programme, thematic priorities, programming methods and approaches, and identify lessons learned and good practices.

(3)   Assess and analyze relevance and impact of Kvinna till Kvinna's support to partner organisations (capacity building, networking, advocacy and project funding support),

(4)   Identify and document lessons learned and good practices to inform and strengthen Kvinna till Kvinna programming and on leveraging partnerships and grants more effectively

(5)   Formulate recommendations for Kvinna till Kvinna’s Syria Programme team on how to best focus its work and inform the next Syria Strategy and Programme phase from 2022 and onwards.

The evaluation should identify lessons learned, good practices and give recommendations to Kvinna till Kvinna in relation to the next programme´s focus, approach and design, taking into consideration other relevant evaluations done in relation to the current programme (Mid-term Review, Evaluation of programme component focusing on support to Women’s Political Participation). The evaluation scope includes the entire project period and all relevant geographic locations included in the project.

The consultant/s should take into consideration the aggravating circumstances of the shrinking space for Syrian civil society both inside Syria-, and outside the country.

Guiding questions

The overall objective is to evaluate the project in relation to OECD/DAC Criteria of overall effectiveness, relevance, efficiency, sustainability, as well as the cross-cutting gender equality and human rights criteria:

Evaluation questions can be added and/or refined by the evaluator(s). A more elaborated list of evaluation questions with adjustments made for the specific programme and different target groups can form part of the inception report. As in the examples below, questions often refer to more than one evaluation criteria, and are as such not grouped below;

  • To what extent has the programme achieved its expected outcomes and results, and how likely is it that the expected targets will be achieved or partly achieved by the end of 2021, what has contributed to this and how has the change occurred?
     
      • Are there any key factors and/or unintended outcomes?
      • Have thorough identification of contextual and programmatic risks and adequate mitigation and management measures, and monitoring of implementation resulted in adaptive management for achievement of outcomes? 
      • To what extent was the project efficiently and cost-effectively implemented? What observations can be made about the project organisational set-up including staff resources in terms of efficiency?
      • How has Kvinna till Kvinna, in partnership with partner organisations, managed to maintain flexibility towards adjustments to the development of the context? What factors have enabled and/or prevented flexibility and adequate response?

  • How purposeful and effective is the Syria programme overall in its’ current context?
      • To what extent do the achieved results (project objectives, outcomes, and outputs) continue to be relevant to the needs of women and girls in Syria, and to the overall advancement of women’s rights?
      • In what way has the choice of thematic focus (participation in decision-making and peacebuilding, prevention, response to gender-based violence and women´s economic empowerment) been relevant?
      •  How and to what extent has the programme contributed to the achievement of results towards ending violence against women, gender equality and/or women’s empowerment (economic and political)(both intended and unintended impact)? 
      • How has the programme (Kvinna till Kvinna and partners) worked with conflict sensititvity, human rights-based and gender-responsive approaches and gender-, and power-perspectives? (applied within the project as well as related to contribution to wider results) 
  • What is the added value of Kvinna till Kvinna/the programme in terms of developing the capacity, and how is the support received by Kvinna till Kvinna perceived by the targeted partner organisations, in terms of process/methodology, as well as impact in their organisational development? (Effectiveness, Impact and Relevance)
      • How and to what extent has the programme contributed to organizational capacity enhancement and learning of targeted Syrian partner organisations, and which support is perceived as relevant and/or not relevant for the Syrian partner organisations work and why?
      • Has the choice of partner organisations and activities been relevant and strategic for achievement of the set goal and expected results? If not, why?
      •  Are the partner organisations´ supported programmes/projects consistent with needs/priorities and gaps in the Syrian context as identified by other key stakeholders (Local grassroots/CSOs/NGOs/UN & INGOs/Donors) and to what extent have their initiatives the potential for continuity and scale-up?
      •  To what extent are the partner organisations’ project structures and interventions likely to be sustainable in the long run and how is that linked to the support provided from Kvinna till Kvinna?
  • What are the learnings/insights of target groups of Kvinna till Kvinna and/or partner organisations and/or critical areas for Kvinna till Kvinna and/or partners to take into consideration for a future programme phase?
      • What can be further improvements of the process and the ways of working, in terms of methods used, level of participation, right-based approach etc, context-based thematic focus etc.?
      • Are there stakeholders relevant for target/support and/or other areas that the partner organisations work in, currently not supported by Kvinna till Kvinna, that would be more strategic for Kvinna till Kvinna to support in view of context developments and framework?
      • What challenges/lessons learnt/recommendations related specifically to set-up and management of implementation worked/not worked so well in terms of project management, remote management, monitoring, follow-up and reporting can be extracted?

Methodology

The assignment will be conducted in accordance with Sida’s principles and criteria for evaluations and the OECD/DAC Evaluation Criteria.

The assignment will ensure that the methodology approach includes an understanding of:

  • A Feminist approach, based on key values of: transparency, intersectionality, inclusiveness, sensitivity and a right-based approach; and
  • The values set forth in the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness and Accra Agenda for Action including ownership, harmonisation, alignment, results and mutual accountability.

The consultant(s) shall develop and propose a methodology for the evaluation, which should include both a desk review of relevant documentation, as well as distance (on-site if situation allows) visits and interviews with representatives from Kvinna till Kvinna’s offices, partner organisations, target groups and other stakeholders during the process and/or holding focus group discussions (FGD’s), developing online surveys etc.

The evaluation should as far as possible be based on a combination of qualitative and quantitative methods and participatory, involving the partner organisations and their target groups to the greatest extent possible. The selection of interviewees is performed in consultation with Kvinna to Kvinna, for the sake of transparency. Any limitations of the stakeholders defined as relevant by the consultant(s) shall be made explicit and their consequences shall be discussed with Kvinna till Kvinna as soon as possible including any ethics considerations that these are based on.

It is the responsibility of the consultant(s) to schedule appointments for interviews/FGDs etc., and to conduct all logistic arrangements for the assignment. Contact details and key support documents will be provided by Kvinna till Kvinna.

Deliverables and tentative timeline

Start of Assignment (including start-up meeting): 1 July

Inception Report/Work Plan including activities, documents to be reviewed and timetable (to be developed in close consultation with Kvinna till Kvinna staff): 10 days after assignment starts

Desk review, visits/interviews, FGDs etc: After approval of inception report, no later than 1 month after start of assignment (end-July/beginning of August)

Draft Evaluation Report: 1 month after start of data collection

Final Evaluation Report: 2 weeks after draft

Workshop delivered for Kvinna till Kvinna presenting and discussing lessons learned and recommendations: One week after approval of final report

Tender proposal content

  • CV(s) and descriptions of the evaluator(s) involved in the assignment, including information on evaluator(s) language skills & country of residence and contact information.
  • Brief methodology and work plan for implementation of the assignment, including time frame in accordance with this ToR and including methods for data collection and ensuring quality and a participatory approach (approx. 4-6 pages)
  • Budget incl. VAT and all expenses in accordance with the financial framework of this ToR
  • References to previous assignments similar to the assignment presented in this ToR

Financial Framework

The consultant/s’ fees shall be specified as fees per day (per person, if applicable) including taxes, social security contributions and VAT. The total budget for the assignment shall cover all the costs, including salaries, travel and per diem and any other expenses related to the assignment.

Contracted consultants cannot further subcontract the assignment. In case the proposal includes a team of evaluators, the division of work shall be presented.

Qualifications

The Consultant(s) must have:

  • English and Arabic (spoken) language proficiency  
  • Solid experience of working with gender, civil society and development cooperation, preferably from the MENA-region and with proven knowledge of the Syria context
  • Previous experience of rights-based analytical evaluation work in the context of international development cooperation and civil society
  • Experience with programme design and theory of change, participatory approaches and stakeholder engagement
  • Master’s degree or equivalent experience in social sciences or other related disciplines;
  • ·Excellent analytical-, and communication skills with strong commitment to delivering timely and high-quality results

Submission of proposal 

Proposals must be sent to Kvinna till Kvinna no later than 18 June, 2021.

Tenders should be sent by clicking the submit tender button

For any questions and requests for clarifications, contact tina.sandkvist@kvinnatillkvinna.se






 

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