Islamic Relief Worldwide

Consultancy: End of Project Evaluation

Job Expired

Job Overview

Terms of Reference (ToRs), End Project Evaluation

Strengthening Community Resilience in Southern Iraq

Islamic Relief Worldwide Iraq

 

  1. PURPOSE OF THE EVALUATION

The purpose of the external evaluation is to assess the degree to which the program has achieved its intended outcomes after twelve months of implementation. The evaluation will focus on the detailed DAC evaluation criteria, including program relevance, effectiveness, efficiency, impact, and sustainability. The insights from this evaluation will be used to inform future programming and strategy development for similar interventions.

 

The results of the evaluation will be useful for general program planning, design, and implementation in Iraq. Additionally, the findings will contribute to informed decision-making, encourage learning, and promote a better understanding of humanitarian approaches in the project areas to develop more efficient and effective projects in the mission.

 

  1. Project Background and Context:

Iraq has been named the fifth-most vulnerable country to climate breakdown, affected by soaring temperatures, insufficient and diminishing rainfall, intensified droughts and water scarcity, frequent sand and dust storms, and flooding. Compounding this, water policies in neighboring countries have shrunk vital water sources, while rapid population growth, urbanization, and inefficient water use by the agricultural and industrial sectors is propelling a demand for more water. Without preparation and planning, the scale of environmental change is likely to be devastating and may force Iraqis to relocate in order to survive. Climate migration is already a reality in Iraq

 

Climate change is expected to have a major impact on Iraq’s socio-economic make-up. The increased number and duration of droughts and more prevalent sand and dust storms are projected to lead to significant declines in agricultural productivity, thus further challenging food security. These impacts are currently left unaddressed in Thi Qar southern Iraq, which is posing significant risks to livelihood conditions and livelihood security of the most vulnerable.

The proposed project “Strengthening Community Resilience in Southern Iraq ” has two components, component I, aims to strengthen community resilience in target communities through introducing the climate resilient approaches and livelihoods diversification for vulnerable and food insecure households in Thi Qar Governorate. The activities under component one aim at improving food security through distribution of stress tolerant seed varieties, efficient irrigation technologies including (drip, sprinkle irrigation) and providing income generating opportunities through tunnel farming and mushroom farming.

 

The component II will contribute to strengthen technical and institutional capacity through strengthening capacities of community organizations, local CSOs especially women organisations and government officials to support climate-resilient agricultural development and integration of climate risks in local plans. The project logic, including its components and outputs are designed to effect this change and enable vulnerable households to be better prepared to face climate change impacts. Through knowledge management, key learnings and best approaches for enhancing the adaptive capacities of vulnerable communities, ´ will prepare the ground for replication and expansion.

The project was implemented in 10 villages in Thi Qar governorate and directly supported 1250 households and 7,500 individuals (40% women, 40% youths and 20% men) under livelihood diversification and through capacity-building initiatives. The project has a gender transformative approach that was aimed at offering women specific opportunities to enhance their skills and livelihoods.

 

  1. SPECIFIC PROGRAMME OBJECTIVES
  • To improve food security through the distribution of stress-tolerant seed varieties, efficient irrigation technologies (drip, sprinkle irrigation) and providing income-generating opportunities through tunnel and mushroom farming.
  • To support climate-resilient agricultural development and integration of climate risks in local plans

 

  1. OBJECTIVES OF THE EVALUATION

The sub-objectives of the evaluation contributing to the learning and accountability are as follows:

  • Assess, in an evidence-based manner, the effectiveness and efficiency of the programme components and implementation strategies against programmes objectives and assess impact.
  • Provide an understanding of the relevance of the programme
  • To assess the sustainability of the programme
  • Capture lessons learned and make practical targeted recommendations to guide future programming

 

  1. METHODOLOGY

The external consultant will develop a detailed work plan outlining the scope of the evaluation and sampling approach that covers Thi Qar governorate in Iraq, where IRW is implementing its response interventions for this project. This work plan will guide the evaluators and their approach will involve analyzing various sources of information including program documents, reports, monitoring data, and consultations with program beneficiaries, external stakeholders, and IRW staff. The evaluators will use both quantitative and qualitative data to provide practical recommendations and learnings.

 

If there are changes in the context due to security considerations or other reasons, the consultant will be prepared to adapt aspects of the evaluation to a desk review and undertake remote key informant interviews as required. Additionally, the evaluator will hire a necessary local and international team to support with data collection and FGD or KII as relevant.

 

The evaluation team will make it clear to all participating stakeholders that they are under no obligation to participate in the evaluation study and that there will be no negative consequences for choosing not to participate. Informed consent will be obtained from the participants, and their anonymity and confidentiality will be assured. Robust data security measures will be employed to further ensure participants’ confidentiality and anonymity.

 

The evaluation will aim to assess the program based on the extended OECD DAC key criteria of relevance, effectiveness, efficiency, impact, and sustainability. Cross-cutting themes such as protection, conflict sensitivity, and project participant protection will also be taken into account throughout the evaluation.

 

The evaluators are expected to provide evidence-based findings to inform operational and strategic decision-making, and lessons learned will be actively disseminated and incorporated into relevant lesson sharing systems. A detailed methodology including data collection tools for interviews will be proposed by the external evaluator to ensure that the views of all stakeholders are reflected. All monitoring data utilized for the evaluation should be disaggregated by gender, age, and any other relevant criteria, where possible.

 

  1. KEY EVALUATION QUESTIONS:
  2. How well did the project objectives align with the needs of vulnerable and food-insecure households in Thi Qar Governorate?
  3. To what extent were the project’s activities relevant to the specific needs of women and youth in the target communities?
  4. To what extent were the project’s outcomes achieved, particularly in improving food security and providing income-generating opportunities for the target households?
  5. How effective were the capacity-building initiatives in strengthening technical and institutional capacities of community organizations, local CSOs, and government officials?
  6. How efficiently were project resources (financial, human, and material) utilized to achieve the desired outcomes?
  7. Were the project activities implemented within the planned timeline and budget?
  8. What impact did the project have on the food security status of the target households?
  9. How has the project impacted food security and livelihood diversification in the target communities?
  10. What were the impacts of the project’s gender transformative approach on women’s skills and livelihoods?
  11. To what extent are the project outcomes likely to be sustained beyond the project duration?
  12. What factors contribute to or hinder the sustainability of the project’s interventions?

 

  1. EVALUATION CRITERIA

The final evaluation will be guided by the Development Assistance Committee (DAC) evaluation criteria. The evaluation will assess the project based on the following criteria:

 

  • Relevance:

Assess the extent to which the project’s objectives and design are consistent with the needs and priorities of the target communities, particularly focusing on vulnerable and food-insecure households in Thi Qar Governorate.

Evaluate the alignment of the project with local and national development strategies and priorities, as well as with the needs of women and youth.

 

 

 

 

  • Effectiveness:

Measure the extent to which the project has achieved its intended outcomes, including the increased practice of climate-smart agriculture and strengthened capacities of community organizations, CSOs, and government departments.

Evaluate the effectiveness of specific project activities, such as the distribution of stress-tolerant seed varieties and the implementation of efficient irrigation technologies.

 

  • Efficiency:

Analyze the efficiency with which project resources (financial, human, and material) were utilized to achieve the project objectives.

Assess whether the project was implemented within the planned timeline and budget and identify any deviations and their reasons.

 

  • Impact:

Determine the broader and long-term effects of the project on the target communities, including any changes in food security, income levels, and resilience to climate change.

Identify any unintended positive or negative consequences resulting from the project interventions.

 

  • Sustainability:

Evaluate the likelihood of sustaining the project outcomes beyond the project duration, considering the capacities built among community organizations, CSOs, and government departments.

 

Assess the project’s contribution to creating an enabling environment for continued climate-resilient agricultural development and the integration of climate risks into local plans.

 

  1. THE EVALUATOR WILL BE RESPONSIBLE FOR:
  • The design, planning and implementation of the evaluation and prepare the evaluation report by the approach and timeline agreed upon with IRW, Iraq;
  • Conducting interviews with beneficiaries, stakeholders and IRW, Iraq staff
  • Data compilation and analysis
  • Report writing including finalization according to feedback provided.
  • Presentation of draft findings to senior IRW, Iraq staff, CD, Head of Programme, and Managers.
  • Drafting a report on lessons learned and good practices from the desk review;
  • Consulting and liaising, as required, with IRW, Iraq and partners to ensure satisfactory delivery of all evaluation deliverables;
  • Be available, to take part in briefings and discussions, either online or, or in person, at the IRW, Iraq Office in Erbil, as required, in alignment with the work outlined in the ToRs.
  • If any, supervise other team members which will be contracted individually by the IRW, Iraq ensuring quality assurance for their deliverables.

 

  1. EXPECTED OUTPUTS AND DELIVERABLES:

Deliverable 1: An abbreviated inception report (not more than 20 pages excluding the annexes), detailing methodology, workplan and timelines for submission and review.

Upon the review of available documents and an initial discussion with the project management. The inception report will:

  • Detail the evaluators’ understanding of what is being evaluated and why, showing how each evaluation question will be answered by way of: data collection methods, sampling techniques, analysis approaches, and any tools or instruments to be used.
  • Elaborate the methodology proposed in the TOR with changes as required;
  • Set out in some detail the data required to answer the evaluation questions, data sources by specific evaluation questions, (emphasizing triangulation as much as possible) data collection methods, and sampling
  • Selection criteria for individuals for interviews (should include men and women);
  • Detailed work plan for completing the evaluation, indicating the key milestones, activities, and deliverables;
  • Present a detailed plan for collecting data, including information about the sources of data, sampling strategies, data collection tools, set out the list of key stakeholders to be interviewed, and proposed data collection techniques (e.g., surveys, interviews, document review)
  • Data analysis plan, clearly describe how the collected data will be analyzed to address the evaluation objectives including methods, techniques, and procedures that will be used.
  • Set out the agenda for the stakeholders workshop;
  • Set out outline for the final evaluation report;
  • Describe ethical considerations related to the evaluation, such as informed consent, confidentiality, anonymity, and data protection
  • Outline how the evaluation findings, conclusions, and recommendations will be documented and disseminated.

Deliverable 2: A first draft of the Evaluation report with an executive summary and clear recommendations (complete less appendices) for comment from IRW, Iraq within 1 week of concluding interviews.

To be submitted to the evaluation manager in the format prescribed by the IRW, Iraq

Deliverable 3: Presentations of draft report

A presentation should be prepared for the IRW, Iraq to be used during the debriefing

Deliverable 4: A full final draft of the Evaluation report, integrating the feedback received within one week of receiving consolidated feedback on the draft report.

The report, in English, should be a maximum 20 pages long without appendices and should be submitted in electronic format (Word or PDF) to the IRW, Iraq Evaluation manager, and include the following sections:

  • Executive Summary (maximum 2 pages)
  • Brief context and description of the intervention
  • A brief overview of the assessment purpose, program background, methods, findings, and recommendations for adaptations to program activities as well as lessons learned
  • Presentation of evaluation methodology and any limitations encountered
  • Presentation of main findings, conclusions and recommendations using graphs, charts and tables where appropriate
  • Cleaned and as often (as possible visualized) disaggregated data (both quantitative and qualitative).
  • Recommendations with a strong focus on the wider lessons learned for IRW, Iraq to improve future similar programme planning and implementation.
  • The Evaluator will be responsible for scheduling all meetings with stakeholders
  • Scoring against the extended DAC criteria
  • Annexes: including ToR, list of people/groups consulted, methodologies, interview frameworks/questionnaires and tools
  • A complete list of sources of information (key informants, documents reviewed, other data sources)
  1. IRW, Iraq Responsibilities

The IRW evaluation manager will have the following responsibilities:

  • Approval of the final evaluation plan, tools and methodology
  • Review the evaluation questions with the evaluation team and liaise with concerned stakeholders as necessary.
  • Providing relevant documentation to the internal evaluator on the programme activities and an initial briefing on the response as well as expectations of this evaluation
  • Monitor the implementation of the evaluation methodology, as appropriate and in such a way as to minimize bias in the evaluation findings;
  • Review the evaluation report and provide initial comments;
  • Collect comments on the draft from all stakeholders and forward to the evaluator;
  • Circulate the evaluation report to all concerned stakeholders;
  • Liaise with Skills that work project staff whenever their engagement is needed to fulfil the requirements above.

The project team will have the following responsibilities:

  •  Provide all necessary information, documents and contact lists available;
  •  Facilitate the scheduling of meetings with key stakeholders when necessary.
  1. COMPLETION CRITERIA

Acceptance will be acknowledged only if the deliverable(s) concerned are judged to be by the requirements set out in the contract, to reflect agreements reached and plans submitted during the contract process, and to incorporate or reflect consideration of amendments proposed by IRW, Iraq.

Completion and acceptance of the final report will be based on the criteria set out by the IRW, Iraq Evaluation team.

Deliverables will be regarded as delivered when they have been received electronically by the Evaluation Manager and confirmed acceptance of them.

  1. SPECIAL TERMS AND CONDITIONS:

All draft and final outputs, including supporting documents, analytical reports and raw data should be provided in electronic version. All data and information received from the IRW, Iraq for the purpose of this assignment will be treated confidentially and are only to be used in connection with the execution of these Terms of Reference. All intellectual property rights arising from the execution of these Terms of Reference are assigned to the IRW, Iraq. Use of the data for publication and other presentation can only be made with the agreement of IRW, Iraq. Key stakeholders can make appropriate use of the evaluation report in line with the original purpose and with appropriate acknowledgement.

 

  1. Timeline

The evaluation will take place in June and July, 2024. The agreed final report inclusive of all feedback to be completed no later than 30 July 2024.

  1. Evaluation Arrangements and Professional Requirements

The independent final evaluation will be conducted by a firm/individual consultant, who will work with the support of a team of consultants.

This call for expression of interest is open to:

  • Firms/ individual Consultants interested in the role of the lead evaluator;
  • Evaluation consultancy firms or teams of consultants already organized under the leadership of an evaluator.

In case a candidate from an individual submission is chosen as lead evaluator, the IRW, Iraq will select additional consultants to perform specific tasks in consultation with the lead evaluator.

Women participation in team composition is required for submissions by teams of consultants.

The selection of the consultant (or team of consultants) will be based on the qualifications and experience of potential candidates as described in their expression of interest (EoI) for the assignment.

Interested candidates should include in their EoI:

  • Detailed description of their knowledge of the specific subject area (i.e. Skills and employability, skills policies and systems);
  • Detailed description of previous programme, organizational and thematic experience relevant to this assignment; CVs;
  • Financial proposal, with details of the daily rate for the evaluation work as well as any other potential cost and a breakdown of working days according to the expected deliverables (see list above) and a preliminary timeline;
  • Statement of availability for the assignment (specifying available starting dates in 11. Jun. 2024.
  • If applicable, information on their network and ability to identify national consultants in the areas targeted by the project.

The lead evaluator should have:
• Master’s Degree in social sciences, economics, development studies, evaluation or related fields, with demonstrated strong research experience;
• A minimum of 10 years’ experience in conducting projects and programme evaluations, with demonstrated experience in evaluating skills development-related programmes.
• Proven experience with program evaluation, logical framework approaches and other strategic planning approaches, M&E methods and approaches (including quantitative, qualitative and participatory), information analysis and report writing;
• Full proficiency in English.
• Knowledge of the IRW, Iraq mandate, tripartite structure and technical cooperation activities, as well as experience with the UN System;
• Excellent communication, interview and report writing skills;
• Demonstrated ability to deliver quality results within strict deadlines.
• Good interpersonal and cross-cultural communication skills; and
• Facilitation skills and ability to manage diversity of views in different cultural contexts.
The deadline to submit EoI for this Final Evaluation is by close of business 10. Jun. 2024. Please send your EoI via email.

 

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