Consultancy to Conduct End-of-Project Evaluation for DFAT Project in Marsabit and Turkana County

NAT
NAT
23 Min Read
  • Contract
  • Kenya

Arid Lands Development Focus Kenya


  1. BACKGROUND AND CONTEXT

    a. About ASAL Humanitarian Network (AHN)

The ASAL Humanitarian Network (AHN) is an advocacy platform led by local and national NGOs that aims to amplify voices, promote locally led action, advocate for an effective aid system in Kenya that cushions vulnerable communities and promotes the development in the drylands challenging environments. Established in March 2019, the network currently consists of 30 members operating within ten Arid and Semi-Arid Land (ASAL) counties in Northern Kenya. Together, we possess a diverse range of expertise, including cash programming, women’s rights, MEAL, media and advocacy, food security, livelihoods and nutrition, climate change adaptation, WASH, gender-sensitive budgeting analysis, and community mobilization. The AHN serves as a platform for local NGOs to advocate for the localization of Humanitarian Action, facilitate information sharing, engage stakeholders, hold duty bearers accountable, and coordinate the actions of local and national NGOs in delivering aid to affected people and communities. The counties represented in the ASAL Humanitarian Network are Baringo, Garissa, Isiolo, Mandera, Marsabit, Samburu, Tana River, Turkana, Wajir, and West Pokot. AHN works with oxfam, partners, public and private sector institutions alongside vulnerable women and men to end the injustices that cause poverty.

b. About the Project

Kenya has recently experienced severe drought of historic levels, compounded by conflict and insecurity in the Arid and Semi-Arid Lands counties (Humanitarian Situation Report No. 5, UNICEF, July 2023). Rainfall in March to May 2023 has brought some recovery from the severe drought; however, it has also brought floods and heightened the risk of cholera outbreaks. The number of acutely food-insecure people in Kenya is 4.4 million, with over 970,000 children under 5 years old requiring treatment for malnutrition.

The Australian Humanitarian Partnership (AHP), a collaboration between the Australian Government and Oxfam Kenya, is addressing food crises and severe droughts in Ethiopia and Kenya. Oxfam Kenya through AHN is leading the local partners to deliver these responses in Marsabit and Turkana Counties. These responses will be the subject of a thematic evaluation on food security and livelihoods. The purpose of the evaluation is to inform future programming by AHN, Implementing partners and the broader humanitarian sector. The project is being implemented by Oxfam in Kenya through its three independent national organizations that are members of the Arid and Semi-arid Lands Humanitarian Network (AHN): Strategies for Northern Development (SND) , Pastoralist Community Initiative and Development Assistance (PACIDA) and Turkana Pastoralists Development Organization (TUPADO). The project is being implemented in Marsabit and Turkana Counties and will run from April 2023 to August 2024. It will address food security and malnutrition through multi-purpose cash assistance and assist with acute water stress and public health risks exacerbated by the drought through tailored Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) infrastructure and public health measures. The project also focuses on addressing gender and protection concerns facing drought-affected communities and deepening the localization of humanitarian response.

c. Project Impact objective

To substantially diminish food insecurity and malnutrition prevalence within drought-affected communities in Kenya and Ethiopia by implementing multi-purpose cash assistance programs, alleviate acute water stress and mitigate public health risks exacerbated by the drought through the deployment of customized Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) infrastructure and public health measures.

d. The project focuses on the following key outcomes:

  1. The food security of 1500 households (9,800 program participants, including 3,080 women, 2,590 girls, 980 men, and 3,150 boys) will be improved through five cycles of MPCA.
  2. Improved access to safe and adequate water and WASH-related information for the prevention of diseases for 6,100 households (41,600 individuals: women 12,957, girls 10,059, men 6,763, and boys 11,821) in Marsabit (Laisamis) and Turkana (Turkana North) Counties.
  3. 2,917 households affected by drought (women 5,090, girls 4,033, men 4,303, boys 4,074) are protected against SGBV and drought-induced protection risks, and survivors supported to access medical and psychosocial health referral services.
  4. Effective coordination, complementarity, and localization of humanitarian response.

2. SCOPE

Rising global food insecurity will be a long-term challenge, with climate change exerting increasing pressure on already stressed food systems. The main purpose of this thematic evaluation is to develop cross-cutting lessons, including success stories, on food security and livelihoods to innovate and contribute to the AHN, Oxfam, Implementing Partners and broader sector’s learning for specific responses and broader strategies. This evaluation will assess the approach to addressing food security, WASH, and livelihoods during activations in Marsabit and Turkana. The evaluation will cover all project activities from April 2023 to August 2024.

a) Objectives of the evaluation include:

  • Accountability: The evaluation will provide a high-level assessment of the performance and results of the responses to help AHN present high-quality and credible evidence of actual impact to the donor (DFAT) and stakeholders.
  • Learning: The evaluation will determine the reasons why certain results occurred, or did not occur, to draw lessons, derive good practices, and develop pointers for learning about food security and livelihood responses.
  • Findings will be actively disseminated to inform operational and strategic decision-making by AHN and the implementing partners, and lessons will be incorporated into future responses. The thematic evaluation will provide a touchstone of AHN’s work on food security and livelihoods, shining a spotlight on the challenges, as well as useful insights and valuable recommendations to address challenges more systematically.

The response has the following components on FSL, which will be the focus of this evaluation:

  • Emergency nutrition interventions targeting affected populations, including children under five years of age and pregnant and lactating women.
  • Cash assistance transfers to support immediate needs, food security, and livelihoods.
  • The provision of agricultural inputs and cash-for-work activities to enhance incomes and improve families’ access to nutritious food in drought-affected areas.
  • Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) infrastructure and public health measures

b) Evaluation users

Primary users will include Oxfam Kenya, AHN County government, The Australian Government’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), and the three Oxfam implementing partners. Secondary users include the broader humanitarian sector.

3. EVALUATION CRITERIA

The evaluation will assess the impact, relevance, effectiveness, efficiency, and sustainability of these responses. Impact and effectiveness criteria will be examined in greater depth due to the thematic nature of the evaluation and its cross-cutting focus. The evaluation will use a food security and livelihoods lens, placing more emphasis on strategic lessons for future interventions and developing evidence of what worked and what didn’t work and why. Additionally, the evaluation will investigate four common cross-cutting issues:

  • Inclusion (gender, disability, and other social disadvantages including those related to age and ethnic minority)
  • Accountability to affected populations (AAP)
  • Localization
  • Climate change.

4. EVALUATION QUESTIONS

The evaluation will address the following key questions, which will be further developed/revised by the evaluation team during the inception phase.

Criteria & Key Evaluation Questions

Relevance

  • Did the FSL interventions reach the intended beneficiaries with the right mix of assistance?

Effectiveness

  • Did the FSL interventions deliver results for women, girls, men, people with disabilities (PWDs), and boys?
  • What are the major factors that influenced progress in achieving or not achieving the FSL outcomes/objectives of the intervention?
  • How effective was the humanitarian strategy in addressing the WASH/FSL needs of the vulnerable communities?

Efficiency

  • Were the FSL interventions efficient compared to possible alternatives?

Impact

  • What are the medium-term effects of the FSL interventions on beneficiaries’ lives?
  • To what extent have the standards of living increased for the project participants, including persons with disabilities (PWDs), survivors of gender-based violence (SGBV), those affected by malnutrition, women, men, girls, and boys?
  • Have there been any unintended outcomes, either positive or negative, from the FSL initiatives?

Inclusion

  • To what extent did the response provide adequate protection for drought-affected girls, women, boys, and men through referral pathways, psychosocial support, and other assistance?
  • To what extent did the responses implement strategies to promote gender equality and women’s empowerment?
  • How did the response identify and address barriers to inclusion and opportunities for participation for people with disabilities to enable them to benefit equally?

Sustainability

  • To what extent did the AHP projects successfully blend emergency response with livelihood and capacity-building interventions to sustain impacts in the longer term?

Accountability to Affected Population (AAP)

  • To what extent did communication and feedback mechanisms for affected peoples and communities influence the design and implementation of the FSL and protection interventions?

Localization

  • what extent did the interventions use local systems and strengthen local leadership, coordination, and capacity?
  • How did the project contribute towards improving the capacity of local partners, stakeholders, and communities in responding to emergencies?

Climate Change

  • To what extent did the interventions increase resilience in the face of climate change?

5. METHODOLOGY

The evaluation team will develop a comprehensive and rigorous evaluation methodology. The methodology for the evaluation will be designed in detail by the evaluation team of the selected company during the inception phase. However, each bidding consulting company should indicate the methodology it employs for answering the evaluation criteria and questions in its technical proposal, as this will be one of the main criteria for the selection of the consulting company for this evaluation.

The evaluation will assess the food security, WASH, and livelihood components of the responses. The methodology will be documented in an Evaluation Plan that includes the relevant data collection and analysis tools. The evaluation methodology will address the requirements of Oxfam’s Monitoring and Evaluation Standards. The evaluation approach should take full account of the program’s focus on inclusivity and protection activities. The approach to data collection will involve several different methods to triangulate data. It should also use tested frameworks and data collection tools. While the consulting company will design the data collection methodology, it should involve:

  • Desk Review and Context Analysis
  • Quantitative data collection
  • Qualitative primary data collection.

The evaluation will be designed and conducted with regard to high standards of ethical conduct. The approach to ethics and safeguarding will be documented in the Evaluation Plan

Key steps in the evaluation will include:

  1. Developing a detailed evaluation plan, including methodologies, an evaluation question matrix, data collection tools, interview guides, a framework for data analysis, and a timeline. The evaluation team should ensure that the perspectives of the affected people are central to the evaluation plan. The evaluation plan will be updated and finalized based on feedback from Oxfam and AHN team.
  2. Developing a rubric with input from key stakeholders, identifying clear standards for each of the evaluation questions to enable the evaluation team to make transparent judgments about the project.
  3. Conducting a desk review of background documents and developing data collection tools.
  4. Collecting data through key informant interviews, focus groups, surveys, direct observation, and/or other appropriate data collection techniques. Ensure all sectors of the community are reached, including people with disabilities.
  5. Analyzing and triangulating data against the evaluation questions and rubric.
  6. Presenting preliminary findings for sense-checking with the Oxfam team, AHN, stakeholders, and partners.
  7. Writing an evaluation report suitable for publication, to be published.

6. EVALUATION GOVERNANCE

a) Evaluation Utilizations

The evaluation is intended to demonstrate results to communities, stakeholders, AHN and donors. It will also demonstrate ways that humanitarian assistance for food security and livelihoods can be best delivered in the context of increasing humanitarian needs and global climate change. The evaluation process and the report produced must be suitable for circulation, as AHN intends to publish the evaluation report. The report should also provide the basis for partners to share findings with affected communities and to generate wider learning through the Oxfam partnerships. To facilitate this, the Evaluation Report summary document should be suitable for wider circulation to wider Humanitarian sector actors.

7. KEY DOCUMENTS

Some documents that will be useful for the evaluation includes project proposals and annexes (e.g., MEL log frames, GEDSI plans, activity plans, risk register. The AHN and Oxfam Technical team will also make available to the Team Leader other information and documents relating to the project as required. The evaluation team is expected to independently source other relevant material and literature.

8. EVALUATION DELIVERABLES

The following deliverables will be expected from the evaluation team.

Deliverables

Inception Report: 5 days

  • Outlining the evaluation methodology, data collection tools, literature review and work plan 5-page summary version.

Data collection and analysis: 15 days

  • Scripting of the questionnaire using the agreed-upon tool.
  • Training of enumerators and note-takers.
  • Pre-testing and adaptation of tools.
  • Leading data collection and cleaning for synthesis and analysis.

Draft evaluation report: 5 days

  • The report shall consist of an executive summary, background, methodology, findings by objective/evaluation criteria, conclusions, and recommendations. Annexes should be attached, including the updated M&E impact matrix, raw datasets, analyzed datasets, a copy of the TOR, and a list of stakeholders consulted.

Validation workshop- 1 day

  • The draft report will undergo validation during a centralized workshop organized by AHN to confirm the findings.

Final evaluation report: 4 days

  • Maximum 35-page report plus annexes
  • 5-page summary version
  • Including visuals and thematic case studies

9. EVALUATION TEAM

The evaluation will be conducted by a team of consultants. The evaluation team will include:

  • Evaluation Team Leader: A senior evaluation specialist with thematic experience in food security, WaSH, and livelihoods, including in evaluations in complex humanitarian responses. The Team Leader is responsible for producing the Evaluation Plan and ensuring the team delivers on the plan, including the delivery of a high-quality final report.
  • Team Members: Individuals with experience in evaluations or social research and a strong knowledge of the local languages and contexts of Marsabit and Turkana. All team members must have a strong understanding of gender equality and social inclusion. The consultants will be engaged by the MEAL support unit.

10. EVALUATION TIMELINE

Provision of the services and the evaluation is expected to commence within May 2024 and be completed by the end of June 2024 unless both parties agree to terminate this Agreement early or amend it in accordance with the terms of this Agreement. The assignment is proposed to take 30 working days.

a) Timeframe and Work schedule

OUTPUTS

  • Development and sign-off of the TOR (March 2024)
  • Advertisement of the signed off TOR (April 2024)
  • Shortlisting of the Expressions of Interest (EOI) (April/early May 2024)
  • Interviews with shortlisted consultancy firms /individuals and contracting (May 2024).

b) Tax and VAT arrangements

AHN will deduct withholding tax from the consultancy fees which will be in conformity with the prevailing government rates and submit the same to the Government of Kenya. The consultant will be entitled to a copy of the tax submission certificate on request.

c) Ethical considerations

The consultant will ensure that the materials developed, and the evaluation process are conducted in line with Safeguarding Policy and Ethical Research and Evaluation Guidance which outline specific requirements on safeguarding of communities and privacy and confidentiality.

  • Data collection will need to be culturally appropriate and consider issues of language and literacy.
  • Data collected will be disaggregated by gender, disability, and other relevant attributes.

d. Supervision

The overall supervisors of this assignment will be Oxfam’s MEAL Advisor with support from the relevant officers. The Team Leader will provide regular briefings to the Oxfam MEAL Advisor as required.

11. BUDGET

The budget for the evaluation will be structured according to the following:

  • Milestone payments will be released in tranches against the high quality and timely delivery of specific key deliverables (i.e., evaluation plan, validation workshop, draft evaluation report and final evaluation report).
  • The proposals will be assessed according to technical and financial criteria. Companies are encouraged to submit realistic, but competitive financial proposals.
  • The budget is inclusive of all travel, subsistence and other expenses, any workshops or communication products that need to be delivered.

12. SELECTION CRITERIA

a) Team Leader

  • Required skills, qualifications, and experience.
  • Significant demonstrated experience in undertaking evaluations in the humanitarian sector.
  • An advanced academic degree in Evaluation, International Development, Food Security, Wash and Nutrition, Humanitarian Action, or a related field.
  • Relevant subject matter knowledge and experience regarding food security and livelihoods, as well as the cross-cutting themes (i.e., inclusion, accountability to affected populations, localization, climate change).
  • High-level skills in quantitative and qualitative research and analysis, as well as report writing.
  • Highly developed communication skills, including advanced English speaking and writing abilities, and a proven record of communicating with beneficiaries, including through interpreters.
  • Experience in working with international organizations or NGOs, including compliance with their child protection and prevention of sexual harassment, exploitation, and abuse policies.
  • Demonstrated experience in humanitarian response, knowledge of humanitarian standards (Core Humanitarian Standards, Sphere, Code of Conduct), and an understanding of and commitment to humanitarian and evaluation ethics.
  • Desirable skills, qualifications, and experience.
  • Demonstrated experience working in Marsabit and Turkana Counties.
  • Demonstrated experience undertaking a thematic evaluation of a food security and livelihoods project.
  • Expertise in one or more of the following areas: Gender equality; Disability inclusion; Climate Change; Accountability to Affected Populations; Localization.

b) Team Members

  • Required skills, qualifications, and experience.
  • Academic degree in International Development, Humanitarian Action, GEDSI or a related field.
  • Thorough understanding of data collection methods.
  • Knowledge of Core Humanitarian Standards, a strong understanding of humanitarian and evaluation ethics and a commitment to ethical working practices.
  • Demonstrated experience of working in Marsabit and Turkana Counties.
  • Proven record of communicating with beneficiaries, including through interpreters, and with children using child friendly methods.
  • Fluency in English.
  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills.
  • Desirable skills, qualifications, and experience.
  • Previous experience conducting evaluations for large-scale projects.
  • Experience in food security and livelihoods projects.

How to apply

AHN invites submissions from companies or individuals who meet the criteria to submit expressions of interest that clearly articulate the consultant(s)’ experience in food security and livelihoods, along with proven experience in leading large, complex evaluations. Additionally, understanding the terms of reference, methodology for executing the work including key deliverables, and a tentative budget with appropriate cultural and contextual understanding.

Submissions should be sent to [email protected] no later than the Close of Day (COD) on 5th May 2024 with the subject line “Consultancy to Conduct End-of-Project Evaluation for DFAT Project in Marsabit and Turkana County.” Late submissions will not be considered.

Applicants must submit four items as outlined in the below.

ITEM/ DETAILS /CRITERIA

  1. Cover letter addressing criteria – Maximum 2 pages; Quality of relevant experience.
  2. Resumes of the Team members; Maximum of 3 pages (each); Quality of relevant experience
  3. Proposed Methodology; Maximum of 4 pages; Quality in terms of the technical methodology and approach
  4. Indicative budget; Maximum of 1 page; Budget represents value for money.

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