Call for Proposals - Evaluation Consultant “South Caucasus Socio-Economic Reintegration Programme for Mine Victims”
 
Interim and Final Review
Terms of Reference for Evaluation Consultant/Consultant Team
 
Project Name 
“South Caucasus Socio-Economic Reintegration Programme for Mine Victims” 
 
ITF (Contracting Authority)
 

 To see Call for Proposal in pdf. format click here.
 

                                                                                                              I. CONTEXT
 
1.1         Project Background. As a result of the complex and interlocking past and recent armed conflicts as well as the legacy of former Soviet armed forces bases in the region sizeable areas have been contaminated with landmines and explosive remnants of war (ERW); altogether over 600 square kilometres in Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia have been contaminated. Sadly, the legacy of mines and explosive remnants of war (ERW) has resulted in over 3.500 direct casualties – mine victims.
 
The problems and challenges of the mine victim assistance lie in the complex nature of solving their health and rehabilitation condition, annulling their social and economic exclusion, and regaining their human as well as civic rights.
 
Faced with high unemployment levels (in Azerbaijan reaching over 70 per cent of targeted population) mine victims rely on self-employment as the only accessible option for mine survivors as well as many people with disabilities to earn for livelihood, because, in general, it is difficult to find a formal job in developing and transition countries. One of the main obstacles to self-employment of mine survivors is access to capital for small business start-ups. Thus, mine victims are being deprived of possibility to earn income, due to their disability, lack of collateral, steady employment and a verifiable credit history (cannot meet even minimum qualifications to gain access to traditional bank loan).
 
The project aims that mine victims and their families as a vulnerable and marginalised group achieve socio-economic re-integration into Azerbaijan, Armenian and Georgian society, i.e. earn their livelihoods, improve their standard of living and become participatory members in their society.
 
The project would apply following approach in achieving that aim through:
 
a.    Providing the non-financial services (social intermediation, business skills development training, referrals and counselling) and financial services (disbursing, monitoring and collecting micro-credits) to mine victims by local implementing partners.
 
b.    Enhancing the national institutional set in the field of mine victim assistance and disabilities in general through engaging with State Partner Institutions and other stakeholders (National Commissions, Working Groups, NGOs etc.), especially in Armenia and Georgia, where the assistance to mine victims has not been provided yet in a systematic manner.
 
c.    Additionally, project will promote regional cooperation and networking, through implementation of experience sharing regional workshop in Tbilisi, Georgia, for project stakeholders as well as regional mine victim assistance awareness campaign.
 
The regional project is based on the experiences and lessons learnt from the pilot project implemented in Azerbaijan in period November 2007 – November 2009 (supported by ADC/ADA through ITF) as well as local partners’ experiences in providing non-financial and financial services to endangered group of people within a general population (e.g. asylum seekers, victims of trafficking, refugees and displaced persons).
 
1.2         Project objectives and components. The overall objective of the project is to contribute to socio-economic re-integration of mine victims, as a vulnerable group in population of South Caucasus countries, into their society.
 
In order to accomplish the overall objective the project aims to achieve following goals:
 
(1) Mine victims earn for a living, improve self-esteem and become participatory members of their families and societies by providing them non-financial and financial services through project activities. [Region-wide - project aims to provide assistance to up to 250 mine victims by providing them small business development trainings, micro-credits, education and job counselling and referrals.]
 
(2) Mine victim needs and ownership of assistance (in particular in the field of socio-economic assistance) are incorporated in the national institutional set on policy, coordination and service provision level within the national mine victim assistance programme or within the wider programme of assistance to persons with disabilities. [In Armenia and in Georgia project aims to facilitate the awareness and solutions to enhance the national institutional set predominantly through the consultation activities with the government counterparts. In Azerbaijan project aims to provide on-job training opportunities to a local NGO for them to be able to provide non-financial and financial services to mine victims after conclusion of the project.]  
 
(3) Facilitation of the regional cooperation and awareness in the field of mine victim assistance and contribution to reconciliation and confidence building efforts in the region. [Region-wide - project aims to implement a regional awareness campaign and regional technical workshop on the subject of integration of mine victims/people with disabilities in South Caucasus.]  
 
The project is implemented in Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia in areas with mine victim population. The project will be implemented in period December 2009 – October 2012 by the International Trust Fund for Demining and Mine Victims Assistance (ITF) with the Organization for Migration (IOM) missions in South Caucasus as leading local implementing partners. The total budget of the project is EUR 528.225,14. The leading donor for the project is Austrian Development Agency (ADA).
 
1.3         Contracting Authority. The International Trust Fund for Demining and Mine Victims Assistance (ITF).
 
ITF is a humanitarian, non-profit organization devoted to the elimination of threat from post-conflict and disruptive challenges, including landmines, explosive remnants of war (ERW) and the illicit ownership and use of small arms and light weapons (SALW), in South-East Europe and other affected regions in the world.
 
Established by the Government of the Republic of Slovenia in March 1998, the initial purpose of ITF was to help Bosnia and Herzegovina in the implementation of the peace agreement and to provide assistance and support in relation to post-conflict rehabilitation.
 
Since its inception, ITF has augmented its activities to include the rectification of landmine problems and helping landmine survivors with physical and socio-economic rehabilitation across the region of South East Europe. As the European Commission acknowledged ITF as the reference model of regional organization in mine action, ITF was asked by mine-affected countries and donors to expand operation to other mine-affected regions and countries as well, e.g. Cyprus, the South Caucasus, Central Asia, Latin America and Middle East.
 
As the impact from landmines and UXO in SE Europe becomes less severe, there is a growing need to address other post-conflict and disruptive challenges, to support Security Sector Reform (SSR) and Disarmament, Demobilisation and Reintegration (DDR) programmes, and to combat violence and terrorism from the illicit ownership and use of SALW. Such challenges pose a potential threat to human security just as serious as the danger from landmines and UXO.
 
 
                                                                                 II. THE RATIONALE OF THE REVIEW
 
2.1   The evaluation is a vital part of the Austrian Development Cooperation (ADC)/Austrian Development Agency assistance as well as ITF working policies and procedures. By evaluation, both ADC/ADA and ITF understand the assessment of a project or programme (or an instrument of implementation or an institution) with the greatest possible degree of thoroughness and objectivity, based on criteria pertaining to development policy goals and the particular area concerned.
 
2.2   The review. According to OECD DAC Glossary a review is an assessment of the performance of an intervention, periodically or on an ad hoc basis. Frequently “evaluation” is used for a more comprehensive and/or more in-depth Reviews tend to emphasize operational aspects. Sometimes the terms “review” and “evaluation” are used as synonyms.
 
2.3   The review for the project “South Caucasus Socio-Economic Reintegration Programme for Mine Victims” is being contracted by ITF.
 
2.4   The reviews of the project will be carried out during the project cycle (Mid-term Review) and at the end of a project (Final Review). The mid-term review will focus on the internal dynamics of implementing organizations, their policy instruments, their service delivery mechanisms, their management practices, and the linkages among these. The final review, a study conducted at the end of project, will focus on determining the extent to which anticipated outcomes were produced. Additionally, the final review will identify the factors of success or failure, assess the sustainability of results and impacts, and to draw conclusions that may inform other interventions.
 
2.5   The review has to be carried out in accordance with the ADC/ADA Guidelines for Project and Programme Evaluation and OEDC/DAC evaluation standards and principles. 
 
 
                                                                                   III. THE PURPOSE OF THE REVIEW
 
3.1   Underlying the importance of review/evaluation proceedings within ADC/ADA development assistance programme and ITF contractual responsibilities the purpose of the project review is to:
 
(1) Inform the public on activities and achievements of the ADC/ADA as well as accounting for the use of funds received towards political decision-makers and tax payers.
 
(2) Ensure the high levels of quality and effectiveness of development activities. It is an instrument for project and programme managers to monitor and improve implementation. Thus, it essentially contributes to an ongoing process of learning in the ADC/ADA and it helps partner organisations in developing countries – both NGOs and governmental institutions – to improve their work.
 
(3) Review of the progress made by ADC/ADA development activities in contribution and commitments to the Millennium Development Goals of the United Nations by Austria and its partner countries and, if necessary, to take corrective measures.
 
 
                                                                               IV.THE OBJECTIVES OF THE REVIEW
 
4.1         The objectives of the review are following:  
 
(1) Analyse the intervention logic (i.e. Logical framework) in order to improve the design of interventions, most often at the project level. It involves identifying strategic elements (inputs, outputs, outcomes, impact) and their causal relationships, indicators, and the assumptions or risks that may influence success and failure. It thus facilitates planning, execution and evaluation of a development intervention.
 
(2) Ascertain and interpret already existing results (output, outcome, impact) and assess the effectiveness, efficiency and relevance of a project intervention. Additionally, determine the sustainability of the project intervention.
 
(3) Work out lessons learnt. Lessons learned are generalizations based on evaluation experiences with projects, programs, or policies that abstract from the specific circumstances to broader situations. Frequently, lessons highlight strengths or weaknesses in preparation, design, and implementation that affect performance, outcome, and impact.
 
(4) Develop recommendations and future strategies, which result from lessons learnt. Recommendations are proposals aimed at enhancing the effectiveness, quality, or efficiency of a development intervention; at redesigning the objectives; and/or at the reallocation of resources. Recommendations should be linked to conclusions.
 

                                                                                   V.      MAIN EVALUATION QUESTIONS

5.1   In order to guide the review proceedings the main evaluation questions were formulated. The aim is to determine the relevance and fulfillment of objectives, development efficiency, effectiveness, impact and sustainability of the project intervention.
 
5.2   The guiding evaluation questions according OEDC/DAC evaluation criteria are following:  
 
(1) Relevance
·         What is the relevance or significance of the socio-economic intervention regarding local and national requirements and priorities? To what extent are the goals of the project still valid?
·         To what extent does the socio-economic intervention comply with the development and poverty reduction policy and planning of the recipient country or the partner government? To what extend it complies with the disability (including mine victims) policy and planning?
·         How important is the socio-economic intervention for the target group and to what extent does it address their needs and interests?
 
(2) Efficiency
·         Have the goals and anticipated results of the socio-economic intervention been achieved/ are likely to be achieved?
·         To what extent is the target group reached?
·         To what extent were the originally defined goals and anticipated results of the project intervention realistic?
·         What were the major factors influencing the achievement or non-achievement of the goals and anticipated results?
 
(3) Effectiveness
·         Are the objectives achieved in a cost-efficient manner by the socio-economic intervention? How big is the efficiency or utilisation ratio of the utilised resources? (comparison: provided means – results)
·         Are there any alternatives for achieving the same results with less inputs/funds? Was the socio-economic intervention implemented in the most efficient way compared to alternatives?
·         Were the socio-economic goals and results achieved on time?
 
(4) Impact
·         What has happened as a result of the socio-economic intervention?
·         What real difference has the activity made to the target groups?
·         How many people have been affected?
·         Does the socio-economic intervention contribute to the achievement of overall objective and its goals (tangentially, overall objective)? What is or are the impact(s)/effects of the intervention compared to the total situation of the target group or those affected (positive and negative, intended and unintended effects).
·         To what extent was the socio-economic intervention exemplary, created structures and/or had a broad effect/impact in terms of leverage (e.g. adaptation among target groups and organisations)?
 
(5) Sustainability
·         To what extent will/did the benefits of the socio-economic intervention continue after donor funding ceased? To what extent will activities, results and effects be expected to continue after donor intervention has ended?
·         What are/were the major factors which influence(d) the achievement or non-achievement of sustainability of the project intervention?
·         To what extent is/are the target group(s) capable and prepared to receive the positive effects of the project intervention without support in the long term?
 
 
                                                                                                  VI.     SCOPE OF REVIEW
 
6.1         External Consultant/Consultant Team. ITF will contract an external Consultant/Consultant Team to execute the review.
 
6.2         Stakeholder Involvement. Stakeholder participation is fundamental to ADC/ADA and ITF evaluations. The Consultant/Consultant Team is expected to conduct a participatory review (interim and final) providing for meaningful involvement by project partners, beneficiaries and other interested parties. Stakeholder participation is to be an integral component of evaluation design and planning; information collection; the development of findings; evaluation reporting; and results dissemination.
 
6.3         Accountability and Responsibilities. The Consultant/Consultant Team will be supervised by the ITF’s assigned Project Manager who will represent the ITF during the review. He will direct and co-ordinate the review.
 
The ITF Project Manager is responsible for:
 
(1) Overall responsibility and accountability for review;
(2) Guidance throughout all phases of execution;
(3) Approval of all deliverables;
(4) Co-ordination of the ITF’s internal review process; and,
(5) Directly reporting to the project donor.
 
The Consultant/Consultant Team is responsible for:
 
(1) Conducting the interim and final review;
(2) The day-to-day management of operations;
(3) Regular progress reporting to ITF's Project Manager;
(4) The development of results; and,
(5) The production of deliverables in accordance with contractual requirements.
 
6.4         Review Process and Methodology. The interim and final evaluation/review will be carried out in conformity with the principles, standards and practises set out in the ADC/ADA Guidelines for Project and Programme Evaluations.
 
Following proceedings will take place after the signature of the service contract:
(1)       Handover of the necessary project documentation to the Consultant/Consultant Team by ITF.
(2)       Execution of a thorough desk study and submission of the inception report to ITF. The inception report should be prepared in accordance with the Annex 7.9 of the ADA Guidelines for Project and Programme Evaluations. The inception report should be endorsed by the ITF before the Consultant/Consultant Team executes field visit.
(3)       Execution of the field visit and acquirement of additional information through interviews. The field visit should be executed to Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia and is expected to be no longer than two weeks. The Consultant/Consultant Team submits the first draft report to ITF, which will provide feedback and at the endorse it.
The proceedings of the review process (inception report, desk study, field visit with interviews, review report) should be executed twice, namely for the interim and for the final review.
 
6.5   Deliverables. The Consultant/Consultant Team will prepare: 1) the interim and final inception reports; and, 2) the interim and final review reports in accordance with standards identified in the ADC/ADA Guidelines for Project and Programme Evaluations.
 
These deliverables are to be:
 
a.   Prepared in English only; and
b.   Submitted to ITF electronically via e-mail and/or on CD/DVD medium.
c.   Submitted in hard copy format (specified number of copies)
d.   All reports are to be submitted to ITF's project manager.
 
 
                                                                  VII.     CHARACTERISTICS OF THE CONSULTANCY
 
7.1   Duration and type of consultancy. The consultant/team will be offered a fixed-price contract for the execution of the interim and final reviews in period October  2011 – October 2012. The consultancy is expected to commence on 02 November 2011.
 
7.2   Location of work. The Consultant/Consultant Team will work out of their home location with travel required to Slovenia and two field missions to South Caucasus (estimated at around 28 days in total).
 
7.3   Budget. The total cost of the consultancy should not exceed EUR 13.000,00 including all travel and other expenses incurred by the consultant(s).
 
7.4   Payments. The consultant/team will be paid in the following manner: (i) 30% upon signature of the contract; (ii) 20% upon submission and ITF approval of the interim evaluation report; (iii) 30% upon submission and ITF approval of inception report for the final review; and (iv) 20% upon submission and acceptance by the ITF of the completed version of the final review.
 
7.5   Qualifications and experience. The consultant(s) assigned to the job must have demonstrated knowledge of current evaluation theory and practice as well as extensive experience in conducting evaluations (humanitarian and development projects) and a proven record delivering professional results. The consultant(s) should have in-depth knowledge of mine victim assistance/assistance to persons with disability in particular their socio-economic inclusion and, preferably, a good understanding of the countries in South Caucasus. The consultant(s) should be familiarized with Gender and Environment issues. The consultant(s) with these qualifications are encouraged to apply. The consultant/team must be fluent in English; a proficiency in Russian and/or local languages is an asset.
 
7.6   Presentation of proposals and selection criteria. Interested consultants/teams should present a proposal to the ITF briefly outlining (i) a methodology for conducting the work under this consultancy; (ii) the name(s) and CV(s) of the individual consultant(s) to be assigned to the job, including their qualifications and experience; (iii) the estimated number of days that each of the consultants will work on the assignment; and (iv) an itemized budget and indication of the total cost of the proposed service. The ITF will under no circumstances increase the agreed amount of the consultancy once a contract has been drawn up.
 
7.7   Submission deadlines. Proposals should be presented by 05 October 2011 at 12:00 hrs CET to Mr. Luka Buhin, Project Manager, ITF. Additional questions and proposals may be submitted electronically to luka.buhin@itf-fund.si and info@itf-fund.si.
 
 
 


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