Call for Expressions of Interest – Feasibility Study

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1. Overview

medica mondiale e.V. seeks a FEMALE EVALUATOR / TEAM OF EVALUATORS for a feasibility study:

Overview

Desired data collection period in-country (field work planned pending developing of the Covid-19 situation): January 2021

Programme Title: Concerted action for zero tolerance against SGBV in the Mano River Region

Country: Liberia, Sierra Leone

Programme Duration: 01.10.2021 to 01.12.2024

Programme background, feasibility study objectives / scope / questions / methodology / timeline / outputs

This TOR provides information about the purpose and objectives of the feasibility study, background information about the programme, and details about the scope of work, evaluation questions, methodological requirements as well as the projected timeline for the feasibility study with outputs and deliverables.

Professional qualifications

The key selection criteria are the methodological evaluation expertise and experience in qualitative and quantitative methods, professional expertise and experience especially in the areas of psychosocial support and services for SGBV survivors, capacity development and empowerment; the analysis of impacts at macro-level; cultural and conflict sensitivity; gender- and trauma-sensitivity; a feminist and intersectional research perspective; regional competency, including language proficiency; analytical, verbal and written communication skills.

In accordance with medica mondiale’s COVID-19 safety policy, cross-border travels will not be allowed. Therefore, we are looking for a consultancy team with at least one member based in Liberia or Sierra Leone. Expertise in conducting semi-remote research would be an asset.

About medica mondiale e.V.

medica mondiale e.V. is a non-governmental organisation based in Cologne, Germany. As a feminist women’s rights and aid organisation, medica mondiale e.V. supports women and girls in war and crisis zones throughout the world. Through own programmes and in cooperation with local women’s organisations we offer holistic support to women and girl survivors of sexualised and gender-based violence. On the political level, we pro-actively promote women’s rights, call for a rigorous punishment of crimes as well as effective protection, justice, and political participation for survivors of violence. Currently medica mondiale e.V. is working in Northern Iraq/Kurdistan, in Afghanistan, in Liberia, in Kosovo, in Bosnia and Herzegovina as well as the African Great Lakes Region.

Through programmes and in partnership with local women’s rights organisations, medica mondiale e.V. takes a multi-level approach to address the various factors contributing to violence against women and girls: On the individual level, medica mondiale e.V. provides access to holistic services (psychosocial, health, legal, economic) for survivors of s/gbv. On the level of women’s and girls’ social environment, medica mondiale e.V. supports communities to recognise and protect women’s and girls’ rights and to support survivors of s/gbv. On the institutional level, medica mondiale e.V. capacitates public institutions from the health and legal sector to adopt a stress- and trauma-sensitive approach towards survivors and to establish cross-institutional referral and support systems. On the political level, medica mondiale e.V. advocates for laws, policies and resolutions that address s/gbv and promote women’s political participation. On the societal level, medica mondiale e.V. campaigns against sexism and gender stereotypes, raises awareness on s/gbv or the long-term impacts of trauma within societies.

Further information on medica mondiale e.V. can be found on our website: www.medicamondiale.org

2. Purpose and Objectives of the Feasibility study

The aim of this feasibility study is to provide decision makers at medica mondiale e.V. with sufficient information to make an informed decision on the optimisation of the programme concept.

A particular focus is the feasibility of the planned programme, an analysis of potential impacts on the meso and macro level, and an assessment of the extent to which the planned approach is likely achieve its objectives in order to increase the effectiveness of the programme.

The feasibility study should generate practical recommendations for the planned programme that can be implemented by the programme actors within their sphere of control. medica mondiale e.V. will share the feasibility study results with the partner organisations and other recipients. As general standard, this feasibility study shall include an assessment of the programme’s impact, effectiveness, relevance, efficiency, coherence, and sustainability.

3. Background

Initial Situation and Programme Site

Matching the wider global trend, there has been an increase of reported SGBV against women and girls in the Mano River Region (MRR) in recent years. Aggravating this situation is a significant rise of COVID-19-related gender based violence, mirroring the experiences from the Ebola crisis in West Africa where researchers declared a ‘silent epidemic’ of rape, sexual assault and violence against women and girls.

While governments of Liberia and Sierra Leone have demonstrated increased concern about SGBV as reflected in a number of laws and policies, gender based violence is still firmly embedded in customary practices and public institutions. A stakeholder analysis in the region (mm, 2020) identified various barriers to address SGBV, e.g. weak institutional resources and capacity to implement existing laws and a disjuncture between policy and practice with laws that neither reflect deeply held gender-biases nor holistically address the way gender, poverty and other categories intersect in shaping violence. In addition, SGBV interventions often focus on response and are not necessarily informed by survivor-centred, gender-transformative or feminist approaches. On the contrary, while SGBV is increasing, women’s rights defenders in Liberia and Sierra Leone face the worldwide trend of shrinking spaces for women’s rights work. While research has shown that strong feminist movements are the single most important factor to achieve policy change, women’s rights activists in the region face a critical gap in access to funding, capacity development, and spaces to create structures, strategies and synergies.

Background information about the Programme “Concerted action for zero tolerance against SGBV in the Mano River Region”

Against this backdrop, the programme intervention logic is based on a Theory of Change that assumes that social change is created and sustained when strong women’s movements as part of a critical civil society have the resources, structures and strategies to change public opinion, to promote policy reform and to hold duty bearers on all levels accountable to address SGBV. Therefore, the programme applies a long-term, multi-level and holistic approach informed by a feminist analysis of the structural dimensions of gender based violence.

The programme contributes to establishing a concerted action for zero tolerance against SGBV in the MRR. It aims at increasing the commitment and capacity of community, state and inter-state actors to develop and sustain adequate SGBV prevention and response frameworks supported by a regional network of strengthened feminist civil society actors. The programme modules are interlinked: Module 1 aims at building capacities of duty bearers to address root causes and PREVENT SGBV. Module 2 aims at improving RESPONSE mechanisms and approaches. Module 3 aims at amplifying FEMINIST ACTION for social and policy change. Module 4 provides the framework to create a REGIONAL NETWORK of likeminded feminist actors for joint learning, strategizing and advocacy to integrate and uphold SGBV in national and regional debates and to hold governments and regional actors such as the Mano River Union (MRU) or the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) accountable.

All modules reflect the multi-level approach. At the macro level, the programme expects to impact on law/policy reform and enforcement through law/policy review, advice, advocacy work and monitoring of governments and regional actors. At the meso level, the programme will impact on institutional change through capacitating state and non-state SGBV service providers to translate policies into practice and to institutionalise a survivor-centred, stress- and trauma-sensitive approach. At the micro level, the programme intends to impact on social change though policy-led action such as making laws and policies known to the public, the empowerment of communities to create safe environments for women/girls and increased access to direct support for survivors.

Overall objective (impact): Establish a practice of feminist action1 and zero tolerance against SGBV in the Mano River Region enabling women and girls to live in an inclusive, harmonious society free from SGBV.

Programme goal: Increased capacity of duty bearers’ in the region to develop and sustain improved prevention and response mechanisms to effectively address SGBV supported by a regional network of strengthened feminist civil society actors who collaborate at all levels as equal partners and women and girls enabled to claim their rights.

Target groups:

  • Macro: National governments/policy makers, interstate/regional actors
  • Meso: Institutional duty bearers/public service providers (health, police, justice, education sector); civil society organisations
  • Micro: Community duty bearers; women and girls

Programme fields of observation with activities / results model: **

The current stage of the planning of the programme will be shared with the evaluation team once the contract has been awarded.

4. Scope of Work

Feasibility study. As part of the process, different programme sites will be visited. A combination of semi-remote and on-site research would be preferred.

Assessment – DeGEval Standards and DAC evaluation criteria

The feasibility study shall be conducted in line with the DeGEval Evaluation Standards: Utility, Feasibility, Propriety and Accuracy. The feasibility study shall include a performance assessment based on the latest OECD-DAC criteria and provide feasible lessons learned for future programming. Evaluation questions will be developed to assess the following areas:

  1. Relevance: Do we follow the right approach/are we planning to do the right things? To what extent does the approach with its objectives and design respond to the beneficiaries’, global, country, and partner/institution* needs, policies, and priorities? What are the differences and trade-offs between needs or priorities? To what extent will the approach remain relevant if circumstances change? Which changes are supposed have occurred after the programme ends?

    *government (national, regional, local), civil society organisations, private entities and international bodies involved in funding, implementing, and/or overseeing the intervention

  2. Coherence: To what extent is the programme compatible with other programmes in the country, sector, or institution? To what extent do other programmes and/or policies support or undermine the approach, and vice versa? What can be stated about the internal coherence (synergies/links with other programmes by same actor, and consistency with norms/standards followed by same actor)? What can be stated about the external coherence (consistency with other actors’ programmes in same context)?

  3. Effectiveness: Do we implement the approach in an effective way? Are there any differences between groups affected by or related to certain objectives? To what extent are the objectives likely to be achieved with the planned approach? How can effectiveness be improved? What are the major factors likely to influence the achievement or non-achievement of the objectives? What measures should be included to improve sustainability? Are synergies with other donors or programmes used? What impact logic should the programme be based on? How can an impact monitoring system be feasibly implemented?

  4. Efficiency: How can inputs and activities be used and realised in a cost-effective way? What resources (structural, financial, staff) are needed to achieve objectives in an economic and timely way? What are possible alternatives to achieve the most efficient way to implement the programme?

  5. Impact: What can be the impact of the programme/to what extent can the programme generate significant positive or negative, intended, or unintended, and higher-level effects? What can be stated about the impact on the overall situation of beneficiaries? What real difference can the programme make to the beneficiaries and how many people can reached overall? To what extent can the programme establish structures and have a broad impact? Is a multi-level-approach suitable to increase the impact of the programme?

  6. Sustainability: What can be stated about the sustainability of the programme’s positive impact after donor funding will cease/to what extent are the benefits of the programme likely to continue? What are the major factors influencing the achievement or non-achievement of sustainability? What needs to be changed to ensure sustainability? What financial, economic, social, environmental, and institutional capacities of the systems are needed to sustain the benefits? What elements of the programme (in order of prioritisation) should be continued if additional funding becomes available?

Assessment – further key questions of the feasibility study

Further key questions of this feasibility study are:

A) General key questions

  • Is the planned global programme appropriate for its context?
  • What is the initial situation in the programme country/Mano River region regarding feminist action and zero tolerance against SGBV? What are gaps and needs?
  • What is the relationship between the partner organisations and the target groups? Are there conflicts (of interest)?
  • What is the core interest of the partner organisations? How can ownership of the programme be fostered? Do the partner organisations have a mutual understanding of the goals of the programme?
  • What can be said about the logic model of the programme?
  • Which areas of observation are suitable for the development of (SMART) indicators? Which results of this feasibility study should be included in the results model?
  • What specific recommendations can be made regarding the development of the programme? Are there programme components that should be adapted, or added?

B) Macro level

  • What can be stated about the intended impact at macro level of the programme?
  • How can advocacy, advisory and watchdog activities achieve the best results?
  • What can be said about relevant entry points and actors for regional advocacy efforts?
  • What can be said about the capacities of the partner organisations to achieve impacts at the macro level? What are strengths and weaknesses?
  • How does the planned programme link with the German federal government’s strategy in the country/region? What is the development landscape regarding SGBV and feminist practice?

C) Meso level

  • What can be stated about the intended impact at the meso level of the programme?
  • What can be said about public service delivery, existing services and mechanisms as well as capacities and resources of state SGBV service providers to provide psychosocial/ stress- and trauma-sensitive services?
  • What are possible opportunities/entry points to promote and institutionalise the STA in the public sector, including the policy level?

In addition, the following questions are part of all standard TORs of medica mondiale e.V. to contribute to overall organisational learning.

  • What can be stated about the effects/impacts on different levels of medica mondiale e.V.’s multilevel approach?
  • What can be stated about the application and impact of the stress- and trauma-sensitive approach (STA)?
  • What can be stated about the programme’s contribution to peacebuilding?

The findings, derived conclusions and recommendations should be answered in an extra chapter in the final report.

5. Methodology

The evaluation team should use a mixed method design, using quantitative and qualitative data. The design should be based on a participatory approach and centre learning in all phases of the evaluation process, e.g. by designing data collection instruments in a way that data collection by itself allows for learning experiences on the part of stakeholders involved. In general, a trauma-sensitive way of working is important to us in the context of working with survivors of sexualised violence and ethical standards should be applied accordingly.

  1. Desk review and analysis of documentation – available reports and other documents from medica mondiale e.V. and the partner organisation shall be analysed and the methodology further refined in an inception report. For preparation purposes, initial Skype and phone interviews with relevant stakeholders shall take place before the field phase. The programme staff shall already be involved during the preparation. A planning meeting shall take place in Cologne or remotely.

  2. Interviews and focus group discussions shall take place with girls and women of the partner organisation’s target groups, community members, and staff of the partner organisations.

  3. Workshop with all relevant stakeholders shall be conducted to present and discuss the preliminary feasibility study results and to present the initial recommendations.

  4. Data triangulation and analysis shall be conducted in order to interpret the results and draft the report.

We require applications to consider alternative data collection to in-country visits and semi-remote models due to the uncertainty about the development of the current COVID-19 pandemic.

The final methodology will be defined and agreed upon in close cooperation with medica mondiale e.V. during the preparation and before the data collection of the feasibility study. This ensures transparency. Furthermore, the dialogue is important to achieve “ownership” of the feasibility study by medica mondiale e.V. and partner staff and with this the acceptance and use of the feasibility study results.

All data collection conducted for medica mondiale e.V. should follow the WHO (World Health Organisation) guidelines for ethical data collection “Putting women first: Ethical and safety recommendations for research on domestic violence against women” and “WHO Ethical and safety recommendations for researching, documenting and monitoring sexual violence in emergencies.”

6. Deliverables

  • The evaluation team is expected to compile an inception report with the final specified methodology, evaluation matrix, analysis methods, data collection instruments and work plan in English.
  • The evaluation team is expected to give a presentation of preliminary findings and recommendations in English to partner organisations and other relevant stakeholders at the end of the data collection phase. This workshop is an essential component in the evaluation process. Possible follow-up steps and actions can be discussed and a learning process takes place that is moderated by the evaluation team. The discussions and results of this “initial findings sharing workshop” have to be included in the evaluation process and its report.
  • The evaluation team is expected to compile a draft report in English within 14 days after completion of the data collection phase, which has to be shared first with medica mondiale e.V.’s Evaluation Advisor.
  • There will be two rounds of feedback, which the Evaluation Advisor coordinates internally, after which the draft report has to be revised and returned.
  • A presentation of the findings and recommendations to medica mondiale e.V. (in Cologne or remotely).
  • The evaluation team is expected to compile the final report (30 pages max. excluding appendix) in English

    based on the feedback on the draft report. Quality criteria for the report will be provided in advance.

  • An assessment of the planned programme according to the quality principles/features of medica mondiale e.V. (assessment grid will be provided in advance).

  • A summary of the evaluation report in English (max. 10 pages) for the website of medica mondiale e.V..

7. Timeline

Evaluation phase

  • November/December 2020: Preparation and Inception Phase
  • January 2021: Field phase
  • February/March 2021: Reporting

Please specify the number of planned consulting days for each step of the evaluation process in your technical/financial offer.

8. Management of the Evaluation

The selected evaluation team will be responsible for producing the final report. The Department of Evaluation and Quality of medica mondiale e.V. will lead and manage the evaluation process, e.g. consultant selection, contracting, and the provision and coordination of internal feedback on the reports. The Department is an independent unit within medica mondiale e.V., distinguished from programme departments, to enhance impartiality and credibility of the evaluation results.

The independency of the team towards medica mondiale e.V. and the partner organisations has to be guaranteed. For us, this independency is a key requirement for an evaluation and the resulting findings and recommendations. Drawing on different competencies of each evaluator is an important necessity for us to produce beneficial results and recommendations.

9. Evaluation Report – Requirements

The report shall be written in readily understandable language. The report shall clearly describe the background and goal of the programme as well as the evaluation methodology, process, and results in order to offer comprehensive and understandable content. A transparent line of arguments shall be kept throughout analysis, assessment, and recommendations so that every recommendation can be comprehensibly attributed to the results that are based on data analysis. As per the principle of usefulness, the recommendations shall be guided by the terms of reference and the information needs and be clearly directed at particular recipients. A document detailing quality criteria for evaluation reports will be provided by medica mondiale e.V. in advance.

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