Consultant to conduct an end evaluation for an EU funded project: GROWW – Growing Rural Opportunities for Work and Wellbeing in Acholi

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Terms of Reference for a consultant to conduct an end evaluation for an EU funded project: GROWW – Growing Rural Opportunities for Work and Wellbeing in Acholi

  1. Background information

    1.1 Introduction

ZOA is an International Non-Governmental Organisation working in Uganda since 1998. Its mission is to assist in rebuilding the livelihoods of people who are affected by human conflict or natural disasters. In Uganda, ZOA works in three programme areas including West-Nile, Acholi and Karamoja programme areas. In West-Nile ZOA works to support relief and recovery of refugees from South Sudan and DRC and host communities, while in Acholi and Karamoja, ZOA works to support recovery of formerly internally displaced people due to political unrest and cattle-rustling by supporting improvements in education services, increasing access to land rights and improved self-reliance through livelihood interventions.
In Acholi, the GROWW project implementation started on the 1st of January 2019 and was originally planned till the end of 2021; however, continued with a 4 months no cost extension and will come to an end on the 30th of April 2022. This project builds on the results of an earlier completed project named Skills, Empowerment and Entrepreneurship for Acholi (SEE Acholi) that was funded by the EU (DCI-NSA PVD/2015/371-649). The design of the GROWW project was informed by the Government of Uganda’s (GoU) vision 2040 statement ‘A transformed Ugandan Society from a Peasant to a Modern and Prosperous Country within 30 years’ that seeks to build competitive skills, relevant knowledge and positive attitudes of young people. The project is jointly implemented by ZOA and Gulu University in Nwoya and Omoro districts in Acholi Sub-region.

1.2 Project Objectives
The overall project objective is: to improve wellbeing and employment opportunities of youth in Acholi sub region. This will be achieved through two specific objectives

  1. Increased number of (self- and/or wage) employed youth with strong technical and entrepreneurial skills in Acholi sub region by 2021.
    Strong technical and entrepreneurial skills are an essential building block to increased productivity, especially when access to credit and facilitating market linkages of the youth are established
  2. Empowered youth, Civil Society Organisation (CSOs) & Local Authorities (LAs) in Acholi sub region that sustainably contribute to quality, relevant, inclusive market-driven services.
    This aims to strengthen the voice of youth in public affairs and decision-making, as well as to build capacity of CSOs and LAs to strengthen their provision of quality and relevant services which leaves no one behind
    1.3 Target Audience
    The GROWW project targeted 1915 youths (as per EU definition of youth ) in the two districts of implementation, these youths were categorized in four groups namely: out-of-school youth, hard-to- serve youth, subsistence youths and market-ready youths. Selection of youth was based on informed criteria detailed in the project proposal for each category.
  3. Objectives of the end evaluation
    The purpose of this end evaluation is to measure relevance, effectiveness, efficiency, coherence and sustainability of the GROWW project in Nwoya and Omoro districts. Results of the evaluation will be shared across key stakeholders and beneficiaries and will also be used to inform future programming in livelihoods and food security interventions.
    Specific Objectives
  4. Assess and compare the impact of project interventions on beneficiaries and non-beneficiaries and identify factors responsible for the variations.
  5. Assess the level/degree of quantitative and qualitative impact of the project against its expected results (using indicators in the log frame)
  6. Identify and assess the effect of COVID-19 on internal and external factors that contributed, affected, or impeded the achievements, and how our local partner (Gulu University) has managed these factors
  7. Show evidence of the most effective approach to deliver the project objectives, comparing RI, VTI, apprenticeship and rapid training approaches.
  8. Draw key lessons and learning from the project and develop recommendations that will help inform the design of future projects
  9. Determine factors responsible for the obtained project results, and provide evidence-based findings to inform operational and strategic future decision-making.
    Evaluation criteria and key questions
    The end evaluation will use the OECD-DAC criteria for evaluation of humanitarian actions. These criteria are the basis of the survey questions, and they include:
    Relevance: to what extent was the project design relevant in the local context to; (a) address the needs of local beneficiaries; and (b) meet the priorities of the local government and EU.
    Effectiveness: how has the project achieved its impact, outcome and objectives? How are the observed changes attributed to GROWW project activities?
    Efficiency: how can the achieved project outcomes be measured against resources (time, money & human resources) invested in the project? To what extent have inputs and outputs been attained on a timely & cost-effective was as per the expected standards?
    Coherence: Explore synergies and linkages between the GROWW project and other ZOA projects within the Acholi program area and with other ZOA livelihood projects in the region with respect to EU initiatives
    Sustainability: the extent to which the outcomes, impacts, structures, and assets of the project are likely to continue after the funding ceases to exist, assess the economic and societal implications of sustaining the attained project results.
  10. Methodology
    The consultant will develop a comprehensive evaluation methodology, and this will be confirmed and refined by the evaluation team during the inception phase. However, a mixed methodology approach is proposed with focus on;
    Desk Review and Context Analysis: A careful analysis of existing data and information from secondary sources including policy documents, programme documents, activity reports, periodic project reports, past reviews and evaluations.
    Quantitative Primary Data Collection: determine a representative sample of households through a carefully designed survey (cluster sampling), bearing in mind that gender dimensions vary from one region to the other and their key element to be assessed
    Qualitative Primary Data Collection: through interviews, focus group discussions, key informant interviews and other participatory methods (triangulation of techniques is encouraged). This should cover both direct and indirect beneficiaries of the GROWW project in the two districts.
    Costs Analysis: to answer the questions related to efficiency will require detailed analysis of the cost drivers associated with the GROWW project.
    The evaluation will follow the OECD DAC evaluation criteria to assess changes resulting from the GROWW action
  11. Timeframe
    The Endline evaluation is expected to be conducted within a total of 34 working days. Deadline for submitting application is 22nd April 2022
    Timeline Duration Activity Responsibility
    2nd May 1 day Contract signing between ZOA & Consultant ZOA
    3rd to 6 May 4 days Desk review – study project documents & related materials (Keys documents to be share by ZOA) Consultant
    3 days Inception Report writing and Submission: detailing evaluation framework, proposed methodology, data collection plan and tools Consultant
    9th May 1 day Inception meeting at ZOA’s office ZOA, GU & Consultant
    10th May 1 day Response to inception report comments Consultant
    11th May 1 day Submit updated inception report after inception meetings Consultant
    12th to 14th May 2 days Hire ZOA & Consultant
    16th to 17th May 2 days Train Research Assistants & Pre-test data collection tools ZOA & Consultant
    18th to 24th May 5 days Field Data Collection Consultant
    3days? Data analysis
    30th to 3rd June 5? days Report writing and Submission of 1st version of evaluation report Consultant
    6th to 7th June 2 days Report review and feedback to consultant ZOA & GU
    1 day Dissemination / stakeholder meeting of evaluation findings ZOA, GU & Consultant
    6th to 8th June 2 days Respond to Feedback on 1st version of evaluation report Consultant
    8th June 2 day Submission of Final Evaluation Report Consultant
  12. Budget
    All costs related to the endline evaluation will be planned and submitted to ZOA by the consultant in a technical and financial proposal in response to these ToR. Payment will be issued in instalments and final payment to the consultant will be made after the final evaluation report has been approved by ZOA Uganda.
  13. Division of Responsibilities
    6.1 Consultant
    • Submit the technical and financial proposal with clear proposed study methodologies
    • Review documents and submit Inception report with detailed survey methodology and design and separate data collection tools (Interview, FGD, KII and Observation)
    • Develop the field work schedule
    • Develop Quantitative data collection on Kobo tool box and use own mobile apparatus as required
    • Hire, train and manage enumerators for quantitative data collection
    • Hire, train and manage translator (if needed)
    • Administer and supervise data collection, data entry and analysis of quantitative surveys
    • Conduct qualitative data collection with experienced facilitators
    • Analyze both qualitative and quantitative data to report in a clear and accessible format
    • Provide regular progress update to ZOA Programme Manager and MEAL team
    • Seeking and respond to comments and feedback from reviewers (ZOA team and stakeholders), through the Programme Manager, and incorporate agreed actions into final report
    • Provide all deliverables and final report to ZOA Uganda as per the agreed timeframe
    6.2 ZOA Team
    • Facilitate all arrangements required for the field data collection process
    • Provide guidance and technical support as required throughout the evaluation processes
    • Co-ordinate all phases of the evaluation in collaboration with partners staff as required
    • Ensure payments of the services as per the contract agreement
    • Review and approve inception reports, tools and other relevant documents/requirements.
    • Review the draft report and provide feedback to the consultant
    • Approve all final deliverables and disburse of payment to the services as per the contract agreement.
  14. Expected output
    ? Inception Report: will demonstrate consultant’s understanding of the task ahead by describing the way the chosen approaches will support the endline evaluation to realize the set objectives.
    ? Draft Report: A draft report on the endline evaluation and initial results from the data collected and empirical study will be submitted. The report should follow ZOA standard reporting format and should include a list of stakeholders interviewed, and graphical map should include data collection points (e.g. referenced through Kobo, ODK or any other mobile data collection system)
    ? Dissemination meeting of findings: The consultant will present to ZOA and her partners the initial findings. The consultant will address the feedback from the internal validation presentation. Required materials include a PowerPoint presentation of draft findings.
    ? Final Report: by incorporating all the comments received from ZOA and partners on the draft report, the final report of the assessment should be produced. The content of the draft and final report suggested to be the same, draft report template can be used for final report as well.
    ? Raw Data and Study Resources: The consultant should annex any relevant documents related to the assessment. And will submit raw data of the assessment to ZOA as part of final reporting. The consultant should respect the property right of all primary data/information generated as a result of the endline evaluation.
  15. Consultancy Requirement
    The lead consultant/Researcher must be a senior expert in conducting and facilitating evaluations on large and complex programs, holding a minimum of a Masters’ degree in Social Science, Development study, Economics, Rural Development, Statistics, Demography or a related subject and practical knowledge in conducting endline evaluations.
    The consultant/consulting firm needs to have the following key competencies, experiences, and skills:
    • A minimum of 10+ years’ experience in designing, implementing & managing baseline surveys on development programs. Experience on inclusive programing is an added value as well as experience with evaluation of EU funded projects
    • Proven track records in leading study teams and producing quality baseline survey reports.
    • Proven knowledge and experience in MEAL
    • Experience on quantitative research and data analysis using statistical software (SPSS, Stata, and others).
    • Proven ability to work with community and different stakeholders
    • Work experience with different NGOs implementing livelihood interventions
    • Excellent writing and presentation skills
    • Language: Acholi language skills are an added value, otherwise translators will need to be hired
  16. Application Process and Requirement
    The interested applicants on the consultancy services should adhere to the following application process and requirements:
    • The proposal should not be more than ten (10) pages, excluding the supporting documents and will have the following contents:
  17. The capacity statement describing how they meet required qualifications and competencies including summary of similar studies previously conducted
  18. Expression of interest describing how they understood the consultancy assignment
  19. Description of methodology, sampling strategy, approach to primary data collection and plan for data analysis
  20. Work plan on the activities of baseline survey
  21. Financial proposal that includes professional fees and all logistics expenses
  22. Team composition with their qualifications and roles in the survey (Annex the CVs of key team members)
  23. Minimum two samples of reports on surveys conducted that have been produced by the applicant, in soft copies (this will be treated as confidential and only used for the purposes of quality assurance)
  24. The consultant/consulting firm has to submit both technical and detailed financial proposals to ZOA Uganda via CV Selection online.
  25. Information to be provided to the consultant for the assignment
    The following documents will be provided to the consultant at the start of the contract:
    ? Results Framework
    ? Project databases
    ? Baseline final report and tools
    ? Contract with Gulu University
    ? Project proposal document
    ? Mid-term reporting

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