Wednesday, February 15, 2017

ActionAid Rwanda,ToR for Final Evaluation for the Big Lottery Fund Project in Muko Sector



TERMS OF REFERENCE (ToR)
Final Evaluation for the Big Lottery Fund Project in Muko Sector: Improving food security and economic opportunities for women farmers and their families in Muko, Rwanda
FEBRUARY 2017
Summary
ActionAid Rwanda (AAR) is seeking a consultant(s) to conduct the final evaluation of the three-year project titled Improving food security
and economic opportunities for women farmers and their families in Muko, Rwanda. The project is funded by the Big Lottery Fund and implemented by AAR in partnership with Faith Victory Association (FVA). This Terms of Reference sets out the scope and details of the work to be undertaken, expected methodology and deliverables of the evaluation. The evaluation is expected to highlight the project results, the impact and the processes which led to these results, key lessons learnt, and the sustainability of the project benefits.
BACKGROUND INFORMATION
Project Overview
ActionAid is a global movement of people working together to further human rights for all and defeat poverty. We work in 45 countries with over 15 million people across Asia, Africa and the Americas. A Human Rights Based Approach (HRBA) underpins all of our work.
This three year project, implementation dates 9th June 2014 – 8th June 2017, aims to enable 1,256 of the most vulnerable women smallholder farmers and 251 vulnerable male smallholder farmers in Muko sector of Musanze district (Northern Province) to improve their food security and gain greater economic empowerment through increased agricultural profitability. With a total budget of £527,940, of which £489,858 is provided from the Big Lottery Fund, the project is being delivered and managed by AAR and implemented by FVA, while ActionAid UK (AAUK) holds and manages the relationship with the donor.
Project Outcomes and Agreed Indicators
OUTCOME 1: Women smallholder farmers advocate for improved agricultural services and implementation of the new law that recognises women as land owners, leading to greater access to land and services, and increased control over their lives.
Indicators:
  • Number of women who participate in advocacy activities
  • Number of women who report increased access to agricultural services (e.g. veterinary and extension services)
  • Number of women who report increased decision-making in the use of farm land
  • Number of trained government workers and journalists who have an increased understanding of women smallholder farmers’ challenges
OUTCOME 2: Women smallholder farmers are more resilient to disasters through greater understanding of sustainable farming methods and raised awareness of environmental and disaster mitigation strategies.
Indicators:
  • Number of smallholder farmers that report increased knowledge of DRR
  • Number of smallholder farmers that report increased knowledge, skills and confidence in sustainable farming methods
  • Number of smallholder farmers that report increased food security during the food insecure seasons
  • Number of Disaster Mitigation Strategies put in place
  • Number of seed/grain banks functioning
OUTCOME 3: Women smallholder farmers are organized and strengthened through the establishment of cooperatives and increased access to sustainable agricultural training and inputs, resulting in enhanced opportunities for economic development.
Indicators:
  • Number of smallholder farmers that report increased knowledge of business management and marketing, and that are using the cold room and milling machine
  • Number of cooperatives that report an increase in income from cooperative activities
  • Number of cooperatives using agricultural inputs (e.g. fertilizer, seeds, livestock)
  • Number of cooperatives registered with RCA
Beneficiaries
This project is being implemented in one of the most impoverished and environmentally insecure sectors of Rwanda, suffering from chronic food insecurity and flooding. At the time of the project design 52% of the 3,886 households in Muko were living below the poverty line. 58% of Muko’s population are women farmers and a 2012 baseline survey undertaken by the Institute of Policy Analysis and Research, Rwanda revealed that 74% of the respondents in Muko were food insecure, with 19% of women farmers eating just one meal a day.
Project beneficiaries include:
1. 1,256 women smallholder farmers and 251 male smallholder farmers from vulnerable households: The focus is on vulnerable women such as those who are suffering from food insecurity, women heads of households who are mostly widowed, disabled women and women living with HIV and AIDS. These women are some of the poorest in society, seldom have a voice in decision-making about farming at any level, often farm smaller plots on marginal land, and have the fewest assets to cope with shocks. Local leaders, FVA and community members have assisted project staff in identifying the most vulnerable women smallholder farmers. The project aims to improve their food security and household income through increased access to land, agricultural inputs, training in sustainable farming methods and empowerment through collective organisation. During consultations with the community at the project design, women smallholder farmers requested training, with 93% of the respondents expressing that they needed help in farming skills, 10% in business skills and 7% in marketing.
2. 7,500 family members of the smallholder farmers (6,000 children): At the time of the project design 50% of Rwandan children suffered from chronic malnutrition. The Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) estimates that ensuring women farmers have equal access to productive resources would reduce the number of undernourished people by 12-17% as women are more likely than men to invest gains in income to support the nutrition, education and welfare of their children. According to this, the project aims for approximately 7,500 family members of the smallholder farmers to have improved food security due to increased food production and household income.
3. 6 Government extension workers/agronomists: Extension workers/agronomists will be trained in sustainable agricultural practices, supporting cooperatives, and managing the maize plant and cold room. During consultations in August 2013, extension workers expressed a need for training in sustainable agricultural methods, demonstrating that they will be responsive to the training included in this project.
4. 80 Government officials and media staff: Officials and media staff will be trained on women’s rights and issues related to women smallholder farmers, to improve their ability to respond to women smallholder farmers’ demands and accurately cover these issues in the press. This project is closely aligned with the Government of Rwanda’s strategy and aims to help government officials to attain their objectives.
specific aims and objectives of the FINAL EVALUATION
Purpose
The overall objective of the final evaluation is to assess the extent to which the project objectives and outcomes have been achieved after the full three years of implementation. The evaluation serves as an opportunity for ensuring accountability to the target communities, relevant stakeholders and to the donor. Another key objective is for the evaluation to be used to document and share learning on effective strategies for improving food security and economic empowerment for female and male smallholder farmers through increased agricultural profitability. This will serve as an evidence base for future programming in this sector.
Evaluation Objectives
Specific objectives for the evaluation are:
  • To assess to what extent the project has achieved its intended outcomes;
  • To review to what extent the project has been implemented in line with ActionAid’s HRBA principles (particularly with regards to women’s rights and accountability to communities); and
  • To identify and document effective strategies for bringing about change in the project context, lessons learned and recommendations for improvements for ActionAid’s on-going work on women’s rights and smallholder farmers.
The assessment of the project’s outcome will be in line with OECD-DAC Criteria, and include sub-questions on:
  • – have we done the right thing?
  • – have we done the right thing well?
  • (and value for money) – have we got the most (and best) results for our inputs?
  • – what changes (positive or negative, intended or unintended) to beneficiaries’ lives has the project contributed to?
  • – will what we have done remain after the project ends?
Key Evaluation Questions
In fulfilling the aims and objectives of this ToR, the evaluation is also expected to address and answer the following questions:
  • What have been the most effective strategies for increasing women smallholder farmers’ ability and opportunity to advocate for agricultural services and rights to land, and why have they worked (or not) in different contexts?
  • What have been the most effective strategies for increasing women smallholder farmers resilience to disasters and their impact on food security, and why have they worked (or not) in different contexts?
  • What has enabled, or been a barrier, to women smallholder farmers’ income and opportunities for economic development?
  • How has the ActionAid programme worked to support the organisation and strength of smallholder farmer cooperatives and has this translated into any improvements in women’s lives or their economic empowerment?
Additional specific evaluation questions will be discussed and formulated with the selected evaluation consultant and the project team.
Proposed approach and methodology
ActionAid expects all evaluations to be carried out in line with our Evaluation Standards. These standards will be shared on request, but in practical terms require the evaluation and evaluator to consider:
  • Community voice and representation: It is essential that the evaluation reflects the voices of women and men involved in the project. People should be consulted as part of the evaluation, and their voices included in the evaluation report as direct quotes and case studies. In line with ActionAid’s mandate, the evaluation should prioritise people living in poverty and exclusion, especially women.
  • : As a minimum the evaluators should commit to feeding key findings and recommendations back to the communities engaged in the evaluation.
  • Transparency and ethical standards: The evaluators should explain clearly to communities engaged in the evaluation what the purpose of the exercise is, and how their information will be used. ActionAid’s ethical standards for research and data collection should be followed, including a risk assessment covering security risks to communities. As a minimum the evaluation should ‘do no harm’.
  • Women’s rights: Women’s rights must be respected in all evaluations. All evaluations should seek to explore how women have been affected by an intervention and the effect on gender relations. It is essential that women’s voices are heard clearly in the evaluation. The timing and location of evaluation activities and the composition of the evaluation team should be designed to maximise women’s ability to participate in the evaluation.
  • Transparency about methodology: The evaluation should include a detailed and transparent discussion of the methodology used and key decisions taken in designing and implementing the evaluation. This should include information about the sampling (approach to sampling, numbers of people/communities covered, how representative), what tools were used and why, methodological limitations and gaps.
  • Disaggregated data: Data must be disaggregated in as much detail as possible. As a minimum this means disaggregation by age and sex. Where possible data should also be disaggregated by other relevant factors such as disability
Proposed Methodology
ActionAid welcomes methodological proposals that meet the overall evaluation objectives questions outlined in this ToR. However, it is expected that the evaluation will use participatory methods to collect both qualitative and quantitative data. It is expected that evaluation research will use a mixed method approach, combining qualitative and quantitative data, and all data collected through the assessment must be disaggregated by sex and age. Quantitative data from baseline and mid-term is available and it is expected as the final evaluation will include an end-line survey using the same tools, to be reviewed and revised as necessary by the selected consultant. The final evaluation report is required to directly compare changes over time, incorporating baseline and mid-term data. Options for quantitative digital data collection using tablets will be discussed with the selected consultant. Previous rounds of data collection have included sampling 35 cooperatives and 280 individual project beneficiaries. Guidance will be sought from the selected consultant as to the proposed sample size and strategy for the end-line survey. In addition, it is anticipated that the final evaluation will include focus group discussions and participatory exercises with multiple groups of project beneficiaries and interviews with a range of stakeholders, as well as making full use of available secondary data.
ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
Consultant Responsibilities
It is expected the successful evaluation consultancy will carry out the following tasks:
  • Develop an inception report and work plan
  • Review of key project documents, including; needs assessment, market research report, project business case, proposal document, log-frame, annual survey data and findings, mid-term review and donor reports.
  • Review of existing secondary information (literature review)
  • Discussions with the stakeholders
  • Develop and submit methodology, including the research design,sampling, data analysis, work plan, budget and additional questions for the annual Survey Questionnaire Tool, to AAR for approval
  • Pre-test and finalize all the evaluation tools
  • To collect data using the tools provided against agreed outcome indicators enabling project success and impact to be measured against the indicators and outcomes since the start of the project (June 2014)
  • To assess the overall performance of the project with reference to its respective strategy, objectives and quantitative and qualitative indicators defined by the project document
  • Lead field work, including interviews of the sampled project’s cooperatives and beneficiaries, chosen according to the agreed methodology
  • To conduct the survey using the Annual Survey Questionnaire Tool
  • Conduct data entry and cleaning process
  • Analyse data and findings, and submit a draft report to AAR and AAUK for comments
  • To incorporate comments and produce final report to submit to AAR and AAUK for approval
  • Present the findings in a stakeholder workshop and during official handover meeting in Musanze
Action Aid Rwanda and Faith Victory Association’s Responsibilities
Support provided by AAR and FVA will involve:
  • Introductory briefings with the consultant(s)
  • Security briefings in advance of travel and on arrival, and on-going security support
  • Logistical support including providing contact details
  • Assist in the identification of key stakeholders to be interviewed as part of the evaluation
  • Mobilising community members to be involved in the evaluation, including informing the project beneficiaries,  local community structures, and other identified stakeholders that the survey is going to be conducted and completing the necessary paperwork and obtaining of consent
  • If required, recommendations for research assistants, interpreters or other local human resources as needed
  • Making available all relevant project documents
  • Providing the consultant with the necessary support to ensure that the study is undertaken with reasonable efficiency
ActionAid UK’s Responsibilities
Action Aid UK will also provide:
  • Technical advice on research approaches and ensuring deliverables meet agreed quality standards and grant requirements
  • Support with collation of key project documents as required
  • Review and feedback on first and all subsequent drafts of the report
Supervision and Management of the Assignment
The selected consultant will be contracted by and report to ActionAid Rwanda, and shall work under the supervision of the Project Manager.
Key Deliverables in the Report
The format for the final evaluation report will be mutually agreed in the inception report but will cover the following components:
  • Evaluation report of no more than 50 pages, (excluding annexes) as a Word document written in clear and concise English with minimal jargon.The report will include:
    • Cover page (title of the evaluation report, date, name of consultants, photo)
    • Contents table
    • Executive summary of no more than four pages outlining the purpose of the evaluation, main points of analysis, key findings, conclusions and recommendations
    • Introduction outlining the background to the intervention and the evaluation
    • Purpose and objectives of the evaluation
    • Methodology/approach, indicators used, and limitations of the evaluation
    • Major findings (data analysis, including gender analysis)
    • Lessons learned and recommendations
    • Annexes: details of data collection tools; schedule of field visits and meetings; list of people interviewed; bibliography of key documents consulted; ToR for the evaluation
  • The report must allow for a management response from ActionAid, outlining areas that we agree with and will take forward in future responses; responding to areas requiring improvement; outlining any findings that we disagree with which have not been resolved through comments on the draft report; and indicating how learning will be taken on board in this and future responses.
  • The evaluation team are required to make a presentation of key findings and recommendations to AAR and partners in Kigali (remotely if not in person).
  • A PowerPoint presentation summarising key findings and recommendations that can be used to disseminate findings within ActionAid and with external stakeholders.
  • The raw data (all transcripts, quantitative data, and data collection tools) must be handed over to ActionAid together with the evaluation report.
  • Where photos are included, these should be provided to ActionAid in high resolution JPEG format. The evaluation team must ensure photos are obtained in line with ActionAid guidelines on consent.
  • Diagrams/flowcharts/infographics developed by the evaluation team can be included but the original artwork should also be submitted as separate files along with the evaluation.Note: ActionAid reserves the right to modify artwork as appropriate.
TIME FRAME
Activity
Date
Contract agreed and signed
End of March / 1st April, 2017
Data collection
April, 2017
Final submission of the evaluation report
8th May, 2017
QUALIFICATIONS
The successful final evaluation will have a solid track record on the criteria below, with examples of evidence for each. 
General criteria
  1. Demonstrable expertise onwomen’s rights, gender equality and on a human rights based approach
  2. Geographic expertise in East Africa, preferably Rwanda
  3. A financial proposal that offers good value for money and that maximises potential efficiencies to deliver the outputs within budget
Technical criteria
  1. Experience in quantitative methods and analysis
  2. Experience in qualitative methods and analysis, participatory research, action research
  3. Experience in project monitoring and evaluation systems
  4. Experience in designing and conducting rigorous research
  5. Evidence of strong downward accountability mechanisms used with project stakeholders/research participants to actively share results and learning
  6. Evidence of use of ethical considerations and methodological measures for conducting research with girls, women, boys, men
  7. Understanding of agriculture and rural livelihoods, market approaches, resilience and economic empowerment
Track record
  1. Evidence of successful collaboration with NGOs.
  2. Evidence of client responsiveness, creativity and flexibility of approaches towards clients’ needs and/or challenges in research implementation.
  3. Evidence of producing clear, concise reports in English and high quality, published research and active dissemination of research findings
  4. Experience in delivering agreed outputs on time and on budget
APPLICATIONS
Applications should be addressed to the ActionAid Head Office Remera behind Amahoro Stadium, Next to RSSB Building with ZIGAMA CSS BANK and RGB and should clearly define the service to be provided by 5:00pm, 7th March, 2017 and must include:             
  • CV
  • Expression of interest addressing track record (at least three references to past experience)
  • An example of previous similar work
  • Proposed budget
  • Proposed activity plan
  • Certificate of business registration
Selected consultant(s) will be expected to sign and abide by ActionAid values and key policies (including Anti-Sexual Harassment Policy, Child Protection Policy etc.).
Actionaid Rwanda Management

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