CONSULTANT/EDUCATION EXPERT END TERM EVALUATION


TERMS OF REFERENCE FOR PROJECT END TERM EVALUATION
1. Background
Red een Kind (REK) and its Partner organization ROCS in Zambia have been implementing a project funded by the EU called “Community Education: The Engine for Sustainable Development”, in short ENGINE. This is a 42 months project until 30th June 2016. The ENGINE project is being implemented in Chama and Mafinga districts of Muchinga province in Zambia. The overall objective is to contribute to human development by improving access to quality education and empowering communities to mobilize additional resources. The project works with thirty (30) community schools. This is done by developing their capacity to take a leading role in their communities and to provide quality service in response to education and sustainable livelihoods. The direct target groups are ROCS itself, the Parent Community School Committees (PCSC) (thirty (30) with ten (10) members each), teachers of the schools (120) and the thirty communities with solidarity groups (SG) and the children attending the schools, indirectly as improved schools benefit them and directly through children’s councils.
The overall idea is to develop capacities of teachers and committees of community schools, so that the 30 targeted schools will deliver better quality of education, will give more attention to access for vulnerable children and will mobilize the community at large, e.g. to work with solidarity groups. These groups will also be coached to increase their capacities, so that they generate income that can also be used to contribute to the school or help those who are the most vulnerable. At the same time children’s councils will be formed and coached in order to promote child participation in school and community governance. As a result of all this, the schools will be embedded in the community and will offer sustainable access to high quality education.
What was done before?
A logical framework (Theory of Change) and results framework were developed along with a series of concrete instruments to measure results at outcome level (and also at output level). A baseline study was done where each of the outcome results was measured at the start.
Regular follow up monitoring was also done. For each indicator (with its instrument) a measurement frequency was established (included in the baseline report) and this was kept in practice. This means that all outputs and outcome level indicators have been measured and are analysed, including a final measurement just before the evaluation. Annex 1 includes a brief overview of the Theory of Change and the outputs and outcomes that have been measured.
A Mid Term Review (MTR) was conducted in November/December 2014, which will also provide a good input into the ETE.  Before this MTR, some changes and additions in indicators were made to respond to challenges encountered during data collection and analysis.
Red een Kind and ROCS now wish to engage the services of an external consultant to undertake and End-Term Evaluation (ETE) of the ENGINE project.
2 Purpose of the Project Evaluation
The purpose of the ETE is twofold: One (1) to assess the ENGINE project results and two (2) to document good practices. The evaluation is expected to provide insight into the effectiveness[1], efficiency[2], impact and sustainability[3] as well as factors that enabled and/or constrained the achievement of results.
Value added from this evaluation is expected to be achieved through lessons learned and recommendations that can be utilized by ROCS/REK in improving its work, organizational learning and advocacy purposes. The documented good practices will also be used for wider dissemination.
Evaluation questions
Based on the evaluation criteria mentioned above, the following are the specific evaluation questions. For the effectiveness question it is important to realise that the measurement of outcomes is already done and available for the evaluation (see methodology below). The question about good practices (see also the required report contents) is a question that is cross-cutting through all other evaluation criteria: they could include good practices related to results (effectiveness), use of resources (efficiency) or sustainability.
Effectiveness and Impact
Results:
What are the main results achieved through the project? Has the project had any further impact beyond the results that have been measured? Which good practices in the project are relevant for the Zambian Education sector? Have there been any negative impacts or unintended consequences?
Activities:
What was the implementation quality of the project, including its main successes and weaknesses? To what extent did each of the activities contribute to achieving the results?
Efficiency and learning
Lessons:
What have been the main challenges that the project has faced and how has it overcome them? To what extent has ROCS shown itself a learning organisation in this project? What have been the main lessons learnt over the implementation project period? (this last question can also be used as a basis for documenting the good practices).
Finances:
Describe the general progress in meeting project budget expectations, and explain any significant variation between the original project budget and how the grant has been spent. Does ROCS have sufficient cost awareness? To what extent is the financial investment in the project reasonable compared to the results achieved?
Sustainability
Sustainability:
ROCS intends the project results to be sustained after the end of the project. What has ROCS done to facilitate this? To what extent have relevant linkages been created that can last beyond the project period? What technical and managerial support is available to communities following project completion? Are communities now better able to implement the major components of the project without further support from ROCS?
Scalability:
If REK/ROCS intends this project to be scaled up after the end in June 2016, what does it have to do to facilitate this, and what course of action will be recommended to REK/ROCS?
3 Methodology, Coverage and Scope
The prospective consultant is requested to propose a more elaborate methodology and approach in the technical proposal. The following major approach is suggested as a minimum:
  • Document analysis. This will include all documentation mention in paragraph 6 below and possibly also external literature such as sectoral policies and studies. Notably this also includes the raw and analysed data for the output and outcome measurement as done by the project.
  • Interviews with ROCS and REK staff.
  • Field visits to 5 schools in Chama and 5 schools in Mafinga. At each of these ten locations, there should be (individual or group) interactions with parents, teachers, PCSC members, Solidarity Group members, children participating in children’s councils and others where relevant. For each of these interactions there should be a systematic process of data collection, such as semi-structured interviews. Selection of the ten locations will be done in consultation between the consultant and ROCS. It is proposed to use maximum variation selection, such that the best and worst performing schools are included.
  • Interviews of other stakeholders, at least including DEBS. This could also include other schools, other governmental offices, other NGOs intervening in the area, or in education in general.
  • Analysis of financial information in relation to results achieved. We do not require a full cost benefit analysis, or cost effectiveness analysis, but a general judgement on the basis of the available information.
  • In the technical proposal, the evaluation questions and the proposed methodologies should be connected, such that it becomes clear which methodology is used to provide an answer to each of the evaluation questions.
4 Evaluation Tasks and Team
The evaluation team will, among others follow the outlined points below to address the scope of the evaluation:
  • Develop a technical proposal which shall include: work plan, evaluation framework, specific evaluation approach and details of procedures to be used;
  • Perform a desk review of the documentation provided to gain an understanding of the context and environment in which the Action/ project operates;
  • Perform a review of the monitoring information in order to gain understanding in the results achieved so far;
  • Encourage partners, stakeholders and beneficiaries to communicate concerns, ideas, questions and suggestions to the evaluation team during the evaluation process and actively solicit their views;
  • Draft the report according to the reporting timeframe and template and produce a final acceptable report;
  • Ensure a logical and plausible link between information gathered and analysed and results and recommendations presented;
  • Highlight / document specific recommendations for action  based on an analysis of findings and outline possible implications;
  • Be available to share the evaluation findings with key stakeholders, including EU and MoE at a dissemination workshop to be organised by REK/ROCS
  • Record all aspects of methodological choices, assumptions, and limitations of the evaluation process and present a critical review during a debriefing with ROCS and as part of the evaluation report;
  • Keep records of material collected and analysed, which will be submitted to ROCS for reference.
The evaluation team will consist of one or two members including the team leader. The team should provide the following experiences and skills (complementary set):
  • Experience in complex evaluations and the required quantitative and qualitative evaluation methodologies;
  • Understanding of current trends and challenges in Primary Education at global/regional/national/district levels in Zambia in general and community schools movement in particular;
  • Demonstrated ability to draft concise reports and communicate the evaluation results clearly;
  • Ability to interact with team members and stakeholders in a sensitive and effective way.
  • At least one member should have knowledge of Tumbuka/Nyanja to facilitate communication with beneficaries.
  • The team leader will be senior expert with university education and extensive and relevant professional experience of at least 7 years in the Education sector in developing countries, preferably in Zambia or Southern Africa.
  • The team leader shall be accountable for delivering of the products of the evaluation, which include an evaluation work plan, draft and final reports as well as a validation workshop. The purpose of the validation workshop is to present a summary of the major findings and lessons learned to interested stakeholders and partners of the project.
He/she is expected to ensure that the information provided in the report is valid and complete and that the evaluation team works in a coordinated and efficient manner, both when physically together, or as a “virtual” team.
5 Deliverables
  • Technical proposal: An overview of the proposed evaluation framework, methodology, timeframe
    An inception report with detailed methodology, time frame and tools to be used during the evaluation
  • A presentation of initial findings and proposed draft report to REK/ROCS.
  • Final Report (three printed copies and soft copies in word and pdf)
  • The team leader will provide a draft report not later than two weeks after the data collection has been completed, based on the following structure. The number in brackets indicates page limits in order to ensure a concise document:
    • Executive Summary (2)
    • Introduction (1)
    • Project Profile / Background Information (2)
    • Evaluation Methodology (2)
    • Evaluation Findings (18). Findings must relate to each of the evaluation questions, and must be the basis for the conclusions.
    • Conclusions (2). The conclusions must give concrete responses to each of the evaluation questions.
    • Recommendations and Options (2).
    • Annex (unlimited) including: minutes of key informant interviews with staff and beneficiaries, report of initial findings, terms of reference for evaluation. Furthermore, all evaluation tools and all raw data must be included in the annexes or in the form of additional files and/or hard copies.
    • Good practice document of at least 4 pages. This will be the basis for a separate publication.
    • The Annex should include at least the ToR, evaluation work plan (incl. schedule), list of people met, list of documents reviewed and tools used (e.g. questionnaires).
Timeframe
  • Submission of Proposals, February 22nd 2016
  • Award and signing of contract, March 4th 2016
  • Inception report, March 18th 2016
  • Actual Evaluation exercise, March/April
  • Draft report, April 30th 2016
  • Final report, May 16th 2016
6 What is available
REK and ROCS will make the following available for the evaluation:
  • All project documentation, including project proposal, plans and reports, budgets and financial reports.
  • Mid-term evaluation report.
  • Database and analyses of all outputs and outcomes of the monitoring framework. This will contain insights in the outcomes for all villages and for all schools.
  • Staff time for being interviewed.
  • Logistical arrangements: transport to and from the schools and villages to be visited as well as accommodation for the duration of the field work. This only includes transport in Eastern and Muchinga provinces. Any other transport should be taken care of by the consultant(s).
  • Initial contacts with stakeholders, on request of the consultants.
  • Meetings will preferably take place in the schools and the villages, or in offices of stakeholders or staff, so no specific meeting rooms (or transport of respondents) are available.
7 Application process
We invite interested consultants to submit the following application documents to the Director ROCS: marlon@rczsynod.co.zm and copy to: erine.dijkstra@redeenkind.nl
Deadline for submission is 22 February 2016
  • Technical proposal: An overview of the proposed evaluation framework, methodology, timeframe. An estimation of the required number of consultancy days is twenty.
  • Financial proposal
  • Copy of CVs (of the team who will undertake the assignment) and contact details of 2 or 3 referral persons;
[1] Effectiveness: achievement of results, comparison between target & results.
[2] Efficiency: timeliness, use of resources, participation, coordination (partnership-institutions/individuals).
[3] Sustainability: Partner capacity, empowerment of community, financial issues.
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