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Terms of Reference Consultancy for Midline Evaluation for Somalia Emergency Assistance and Early Market Recovery (SEAM) Program – South Central Somalia

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Job Description

Terms of Reference Consultancy for Midline Evaluation for

Somalia Emergency Assistance and Early Market Recovery (SEAM) Program

Program:

Somalia Emergency Assistance and Early Market Recovery

Donor:

OFDA

Location:

The South-Central Somalia target areas include: Banadir region – Daynile and Kahda districts; Bay region – Baidoa; Gedo region – Elwak, Dollow, Bulo-Hawo and Luuq districts; Low Juba region – Kismayo district; Mudug region – Hobyo, Galkayu, Harhar, Garsoor and Gurmad; Middle Shabelle region – Jowhar and Bal’ad districts; Galgaduud region – Dhuso-Mareeb, Abudwak and Adado districts; and Lower Shabelle region – Merka, Qoryoley, Barawe and Bulo-Mareer districts.

Timeframe:

September-November 2020

Contact:

Ahmed Bunow, Senior MEAL Officer – abunow@mercycorps.org

Introduction:

Mercy Corps has been present in Somalia since 2005, responding to emergency needs stemming from conflict and displacement, while continuing work to build more resilient, peaceful, and productive communities in Puntland, Somaliland, Galmudug, Hirshabelle, Banadir Regional Administration, South-West and Jubaland States. The current country situation is seeing an increase of emergency activities resulted by recurrent floods, drought, COVID 19 pandemic and the insecurity around life-saving food, water, hygiene programs coupled with ongoing humanitarian programs around economic opportunity and development, youth & education, and reintegration of returnees.  Mercy Corps Somalia will support programs designed to enhance the capacity of the emerging regional and local administrative structures to expand the provision of basic services, governance, and social and protective safety nets while enhancing the resilience and absorptive capacity of Somalia communities so that they are better able to manage stresses and acute shocks. Mercy Corps deems these efforts essential to poverty reduction efforts in the medium term and as a link directly to the 2019/2022 Somalia National Development plan.  Mercy Corps perceives that IF crisis-affected men, women, boys, and girls receive support to meet their most immediate needs, and IF they are linked to options and opportunities that enable them to cope with and adapt to future risk, THEN households and communities will experience sustained escapes from poverty and vulnerability, and be empowered to contribute to a more peaceful and self-reliant Somalia.

Program Description:

The Somalia Emergency Assistance and Early Market Recovery Program (SEAM) is a two-year program funded by the United States Agency for International Development Bureau of Humanitarian Assistance (BHA). The program’s overall goal is “123,736 households (618,680 individuals), including IDPs and other vulnerable women, men, boys, and girls affected by natural and human-made hazards in Lower Juba/Gedo, Bay, Lower Shabelle, Middle Shabelle, Galgaduud, and Mudug regions, as well as in the Mogadishu/Afgoye Corridor, are better able to meet their immediate WASH, food security, and economic recovery needs and manage risk without detriment to wellbeing.”

The program’s overall anticipated outcomes are as follows:

  • Improved and expanded livelihoods assets and opportunities
  • Improved access to sustainable life-saving water supply and sanitation infrastructure
  • Improved food security through growth in agriculture and livestock value chains
  • Increased preparedness and capacities to better navigate future shocks and stresses

Several key intermediary results that should will lead to these outcomes are listed below:

  • Access to training, apprenticeship and supporting services (financial services, mentorship) to allow 740 youth and women to better engage in lucrative livelihood opportunities
  • Provision of clean and consistent water supply and sanitation facilities to vulnerable, conflict-affected communities, alongside a comprehensive field-based public health campaign, to improve hygiene and sanitation for 283,540 individuals
  • Construction 252 latrines (200 Mercy Corps, 24 Juba Foundation, 28 NARDO) to help improve the sanitation of target communities
  • Implement a comprehensive hygiene promotion campaign targeting 64,195 individuals.  The campaign will train community hygiene workers, distribute IEC materials
  • Provide water containers, which are necessary to encourage users to treat their water. Clean water, coupled with 250g of bathing soap, 200g of laundry soap, and menstrual hygiene kits, will dramatically improve individual hygiene
  • Conduct mass hygiene promotion campaigns that will drive uptake of improved hygiene practices, focused on reducing the current burden of disease that the households are facing
  • Make Targeted investments in agriculture and livestock at household, market and government level will help 61,888 households (309,440 individuals) be better equipped to meet their food needs
  • Train Community Animal Health Workers (CAHWs) to allow them to reach additional communities, provide households with the skills and knowledge to navigate potential livestock health challenges, and have the capacity to increase livestock productivity
  • Restock agro-pastoralist and pastoralist households with shoats
  • Provide agriculture inputs and train small holder farmers on good agriculture practices
  • Make strategic investments in the fish value chain to build inclusiveness and to further ensure the adoption of environmentally friendly practices in Kismayo district (including Farjano, Fanole, Alanley, Shagalaha, and Guulwade villages), Hobyo and other targeted coastal and riverine villages along the Shabelle and Juba rivers
  • Increase government institutions’ capacity to respond to community needs through awareness raising and information sharing; helping 4,400 households (22,000 individuals) better navigate cyclical environmental shocks and stresses, with a particular emphasis on capacity building of Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Response staff to develop DRR strategies and management approaches at a national level, while also providing tools and approaches to create regional approaches.
  • Establish and train new and existing Water Management Committees (WMCs)
  • Mobilize and sensitize communities to disaster risks Community sensitization and mobilization
  • Inception and Consultative Planning Meetings held.
  • Capacity building of Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Response staff to develop DRR strategies and management approaches at a national level, while also providing tools and approaches to create regional approaches.

Mercy Corps, and two local partners – Juba Foundation and Nasib Relief and Development Organization (NARDO) – are implementing the SEAM program in South Central Somalia. The South-Central Somalia target areas include: Banadir region – Daynile and Kahda districts; Bay region – Baidoa; Gedo region – Elwak, Dollow, Bulo-Hawo and Luuq districts; Low Juba region – Kismayo district; Mudug region – Hobyo, Galkayu, Harhar, Garsoor and Gurmad; Middle Shabelle region – Jowhar and Bal’ad districts; Galgaduud region – Dhuso-Mareeb, Abudwak and Adado districts; and Lower Shabelle region – Merka, Qoryoley, Barawe and Bulo-Mareer districts.

Evaluation Design:

This midline assessment will focus on three sectors of the SEAM program: 1) Economic Recovery and Market Systems (ERM) including financial services and new livelihoods development sub sectors; 2) Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) including water supply, sanitation, hygiene promotion and WASH non-food items sub sectors; and 3) Agriculture and Food Security including livestock, improving agricultural production/food security, irrigation, fisheries, and aquaculture sub sectors. The fourth sector of the program — Risk Management Policy and Practice — will not be a focus for this midline assessment because not enough activities have been implemented under the sector so far.

Objectives of the Midline Evaluation:

The overall objective of the proposed midline assessment is to assess, qualitatively, performance of the SEAM program at the mid-term point of implementation, with respect to the stated program objectives and anticipated outcomes. The midline assessment will focus on the economic recovery and market systems, WASH, livestock and agriculture and food security in Somalia. This midline assessment will enable the program to test innovative approaches and learn about what works, what did not work, where we need to improve, and where to focus in the second year of the program implementation.

The findings of this assessment should enable the program team to refine the year two implementation plan, try new approaches and to identify learning or good/promising practices and to provide a basis for accountability, including the provision of information to key stakeholders. The midline study should generate secondary data on key indicators to be maintained and updated in a database during the project implementation and afterwards.

The midline will focus on the livestock and agriculture market systems (expected focus on sheep and goats, with crop focus varying by locality), water supply, sanitation, hygiene and key supporting functions and rules/norms within them (such as water supply, sanitation and hygiene, livestock trade, fodder markets, animal health, input/seed systems, and political economy among others). 

Methodological Approach:

The Overall assignment will utilize qualitative approaches (Desk review, Focus Group Discussions (FGDs), in-depth interviews and observations to assess outcomes in year 1 and determine whether the program is on track to achieve its objectives.

The midline will seek to provide quantitative data and qualitative information on the proposed performance measures alongside the results framework. Specifically, the midline will assess the intervention’s aptness with DAC/OECD principles of relevance, effectiveness and efficiency:

RELEVANCE: The extent to which the intervention objectives and design respond to beneficiaries’, global, country, donor and partner/institution needs, policies, and priorities, and continue to do so if circumstances change.

  • To what extent has the project intervention been able to adopt to the target population’s specific needs.
  • Was the intervention undertaken in the required scale in order to have realistic outcome.
  • Were the project outcomes aligned with the relevant sectors/goals and targets in Somalia National development plan (NDP 2020-2024) and USAID resilience pillar.
  • Were the project implementation methodologies the most appropriate to the context.

EFFECTIVENESS: The extent to which the intervention achieved, or is expected to achieve, its objectives, and its outcome.

  • What factors have contributed to the success and failures of meeting project objective?
  • What factors have affected MC’s performance positively or negatively and how were these dealt with?
  • How can our interventions strengthen local coping systems? 
  • What can we learn from communities that cope better than others?

EFFICIENCY: The extent to which the intervention delivers, or is likely to deliver, outcomes in an economic and timely way. Focusing on the three sectors; economic recovery and market systems, WASH, agriculture and food security.

  • Was the project budget used appropriately according to originals plans and narratives? Was the financial control system in place?
  • What systems were placed to ensure project inputs provided were of the highest possible quality and were acceptable to beneficiaries?
  • Was the project management structure adequate and functional in terms of the implementation and monitoring?

Quantitative Approach: In order to complete the assessment in a timely manner, quantitative data collection will rely on secondary data from program reports this include; Quarterly and semi-annual reports, Baseline data, PDM data and reports, ad hoc assessment, activity completion/training reports, monitoring reports and cluster situational assessment. Additional reference materials will include the logframe and PMP.

Qualitative Approach: The assessment will utilize methods such as outcome harvesting with data collection methods including 31 FGDs, 15 In-depth interviews and 7 observation checklists using structured/semi-structured questionnaire, observation checklists. The selection of method for the midline assessment should principally take into account the areas of inquiry as well as balance cost, feasibility, and the level of rigor needed to measure the status of the project performance indicators at the onset of the project.

Scope and Main Tasks:

The midline assessment will be carried out over a four-week period in September and October 2002. The assessment will mirror the methodology outline above.

The consultant is expected to carry out the following activities:

  • Sampling: Review and revision of preliminary sampling and targeting
  • Desk Review: Review of program documents
  • Training of enumerators and data collection set-up.
  • Data collection tools: Draft appropriate qualitative data collection tools such as participatory learning action tools, interview guides, checklist etc.
  • Field Support: With support from the Mercy Corps team, the consultant will manage the day to day data collection efforts
  • Analysis of data: Analysis and interpretation of results and draft assessment report submission aligned with logframe, baseline indicators and learning questions
  • Write final report, hosting multiple feedback sessions: The evaluation report should represent a thoughtful, well-researched, and well-organized effort to objectively asses the status of the midline conditions. The report should ideally be in line with the following outline;
  • Dissemination:  Conduct short presentation to key stakeholders on findings and recommendations

Deliverables:

The consultant is expected to deliver the following:

  • Work plan
  • Inception Report
  • Debrief workshop on preliminary findings
  • Raw data
  • Draft and final assessment reports (both soft and hard copies)

Timeframe:

The consultancy work is expected to commence in late September 2020 and expected to take a maximum of 21 calendar days, including desk review, data collection, analysis and report write-up and submission. Detailed implementation schedule for the target regions and a budget will be part of the application process

Activity

Responsible

Suggested Dates/Timeframe

Desk review of documents and develop necessary data collection tools (i.e. survey and interview questionnaires; focus group, observation and informal interview protocols, etc.)

Consultant

Sep 30th, Oct 1, 3rd & 4th

Plan logistics: domestic travel, translators, translation of evaluation tools, drivers, vehicles, communications (cell phones, Sim card)

MC M&E & Consultant

October 4th

Facilitate orientation with field office leadership and key staff: clarify expectations and desired outcomes, review and confirm activity and logistics plan, etc.

MC M&E & Consultant

October 4th

Train Enumerators/Surveyors; Pre-test data collection instruments

Consultant

October 5th

Finalize data collection instruments

Consultant

October 6th

Implement data gathering activity

Enumerators (managed by Consultant & MC M&E

Oct 7-15th

Prepare draft evaluation report

Consultant

October 17-21st

Conduct debrief meeting (or circulate report) with stakeholders/ partners to review preliminary evaluation findings and review first draft of evaluation report

Consultant

October 22nd

Finalize Report

Consultant

October 25th

Debrief Session

Consultant

October 27th

Role of Mercy Corps:

The SEAM team will coordinate the logistics and mobilization of target groups.  The Consultant will provide managerial support and overall coordination of the assessment. Mercy Corps in general will take the following responsibilities in this assessment.

  • Provide the necessary documents for review
  • Logistics arrangements for field work including vehicles, accommodation and related travel expenses
  • Facilitate mobilization of required persons for interview schedules and discussions in the program area
  • Facilitate access to the necessary information and provide the required persons for the assessment
  • Provide inputs and comments to the work plan and proposal, assessment tools and report
  • Support enumerator training for survey
  • Provide detailed feedback on report drafts

Research Ethics Plan:

Bidders are required to set out their approach to ensuring complete compliance with international good practices concerning research ethics and protocols, particularly with regards to working with vulnerable groups in fragile and conflict-affected states. Consideration should be given to:

  • Administrative, technical and physical safeguards to protect the confidentiality of those participating in research;
  • Physical safeguards for those conducting research;
  • Data protection and secure maintenance procedures for personal information

Profile of the Consultant/Company:

The following qualifications are essential for the consultancy firm to take on this assignment

  • Sound knowledge of humanitarian responses programming in Somalia focused on key program sectors
  • Should have a mix of professionals with advanced academic qualifications in the fields of market development, WASH, agriculture and food security
  • Mix of technical skills related to M&E – data collection, analysis – in relation to key program areas: market development, pastoralist communities and working with adolescent girls
  • Prior experience of conducting similar assessments and able to present examples of such assignments
  • Familiarity with the area of assignment and sound contextual knowledge are assets
  • Advanced experience in program formulation, monitoring and evaluation

Consultancy Work Proposal Specifications

Interested consultants for this assignment must include a detailed technical proposal and completed Timeline & LOE chart (Enclosed). The study should not exceed a total of 30 working days, which includes all activities (prep, data collection, analysis & write-up).  The technical proposal should include the following components.

  • Description of the assignment (1 Page)
  • Approach and methodology (2 Pages)
  • Detail implementation plan (1 Page)
  • Budget/Level of Effort
  • Organizational and personnel capacity including profile of key personnel (Include Annex of CVs)
  • Previous experience of similar assignments (2 samples)
  • Any other relevant information to the assignment
  • 3 References

Reporting and Dissemination Requirements:

The final evaluation report will not exceed 30 pages, not including attachments.  The report shall be structured in accordance with the following guidelines:

    • Cover page (with a photo), list of acronyms
    • Table of contents that identifies page numbers for the major content areas of the report
    • Executive summary (3 pages) should be a clear and concise stand-alone document that gives readers the essential contents of the evaluation report, previewing the main points in order to enable readers to build a mental framework for organizing and understanding the detailed information within the report.  It should highlight the major findings and recommendations as per evaluation objectives, including lessons learned and good practices.
    • Methodology: It should describe the sampling methods including strengths and weaknesses of methods with potential to alter conclusions reached, team composition, schedule of activities undertaken, description of any or special statistical analysis undertaken, including justifications and software package used.  The discussion of any random sampling used should include details on how the respondents were identified and invited to participate. The methodology section should also include a detailed description of information collection techniques used throughout the evaluation.  Further, it should be adequately disclosed in the report, with particular attention to the limitations.
    • Results: The results section should be structured based on the evaluation questions and objectives.  It may for instance be helpful to organize the report against Program objectives, while in some instances it may make more sense to organize the report and findings as per evaluation questions.   
    • Synthesis, Recommendations and Lessons Learned: This is space for the consultant to reflect on the data and results in a way that logically leads to concrete recommendations for current and future Program improvements, pulls out organization lessons learned, and generally comments on data and results.  Everything presented in this section must be directly linked back to the information presented in the results section of the report.   Ideally, items discussed here should not be completely new to the reader, but rather will refer to previous discussions.  Recommendations that are not directly tied to Results can be included in an Evaluator Comments section for the report. 
    • Annexes: These include information collection instruments in English and translation (if applicable); list of interviewees with numbers and types of interactions; SOW, qualitative protocols developed and used, photos, participant profiles or other special documentation needed.  Datasets can be provided in electronic format and as an Annex, any required photos, participant profiles or other special documentation needed.

Selection Criteria

The following criteria and weighting will be used to select the consultant.

Criteria Weighting

Technical Evaluation

70%

Approach and methodology

10%

Organizational and personnel capacity and relevant experience

30%

Project & Resource Plan

20%

Quality Assurance & Risk

10%

Price

30%

Total

100%

Proposal Submission

Interested consultants can submit their application so-tenders@mercycorps.org to be received no later than 25th September, 2020. The Application subject: Consultancy for Midline Evaluation for Somalia Emergency Assistance and Early Market Recovery (SEAM) Program

Interested consultants for this assignment must include a detailed technical proposal and completed Timeline & LOE chart. The study should not exceed a total of 30 working days, which includes all activities (prep, data collection, analysis & write-up).  The technical proposal should include the following components.

  • Description of the assignment (1 Page)
  • Approach and methodology (2 Pages)
  • Detail implementation plan (1 Page)
  • Budget/Level of Effort
  • Organizational and personnel capacity including profile of key personnel (Include Annex of CVs)
  • Previous experience of similar assignments (2 samples)
  • Any other relevant information to the assignment
  • 3 References

Only Shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

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