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Mid-Term Evaluation for the Strengthening Smallholders Resilience (SSR) Project

South Sudan (South Sudan)

  • Organization: IRC - International Rescue Committee
  • Location: South Sudan (South Sudan)
  • Grade: Level not specified
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Environment
    • Monitoring and Evaluation
    • Project and Programme Management
    • Disaster Management (Preparedness, Resilience, Response and Recovery)
    • Peace and Development
    • Legal - Broad
    • Democratic Governance
  • Closing Date:

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Background

The International Rescue Committee (IRC)responds to the world’s worst humanitarian crises and helps people whose lives and livelihoods are shattered by conflict and disaster to survive, recover, and gain control of their future. The IRC was founded in 1933 to respond to the needs of people vulnerable to conflict around the world. Since then, it has expanded and evolved to become one of the world’s leading humanitarian organizations. In 2016, more than 26 million people benefited from IRC programs and those of its partner organizations. Today, the IRC continues to serve communities with emergency relief and reconstruction assistance and operating in both refugee and host communities affected by conflict and disaster. The IRC in South Sudan has been implementing Economic Recovery and Development (ERD) programs since 2005. Between 2015 and 2018, the IRC, ZOA and Cordaid implemented three separate projects under the EU Pro-Resilience Action (ProAct) in Unity, Jonglei and Upper Nile States, respectively. Overall, the ProAct projects aimed at increasing the capacity of vulnerable groups to sustainably produce and access food.

In 2019, with funding from Europe Aid the IRC (Lead partner), ZoA and Cordaid formed a consortium and designed a program to build on the achievements, lessons and foundations laid by ProAct. The Strengthening Smallholders’ Resilience in Greater Upper Nile project is designed to scale up reach to more vulnerable households, build long-term community resilience towards climate shocks, recover and stabilize from the effects of war and displacement. The four-year project will run from January 2020 to December 2024. The project is aligned with the objectives of the EUTF’s South Sudan Rural Development: Strengthening Smallholders’ Resilience (SORUDEV SSR) program whose themes and priorities focuses on strengthening individual and community resilience by improving production and nutrition through access to basic veterinary and agricultural extension services; agricultural inputs, nutrition (food diversification) and food hygiene awareness. Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR), conflict arbitration and peace-building skills as additional integrated component.

Objectives of the Project

The overall objective of SSR project is to contribute to strengthening the resilience of communities, improving governance of natural resources, and conflict prevention and reducing forced displacements due to loss of livelihoods. The two specific objectives of the project are, (i) to improve the food security of rural smallholders in Greater Upper Nile and (ii), to empower them to cope with environmental volatility and insecurity.

In order to better inform setup of the project milestones, and establishment of an informed M&E system, the IRC on behalf of the consortium seeks the service of an external individual M&E expert/consultant to conduct a mid-term evaluation study for SSR project.

Objectives and Scope of Mid-Term Evaluation:

The IRC is seeking a consultant or a team of consultants to conduct a Mid-Term Evaluation and learning component for this program. The Mid-Term Evaluation will focus on the indicator results framework approved by the EU in the project design document. The main assignment of the consultant will be to assess the project performance at mid-term and provide performance update on each of the indicators in the results framework.Further the Consultant is expected to provide clear and actionable recommendations that will enhance project performance and results achievement going into the last project phase.

Specifically, working with Consortium M&E and Project staff, the consultant will perform the following duties:

  • Study and understand the project design document of the SORUDEV SSR project including the Log-frame and other relevant project documents including mid-term evaluation report, annual report among others,
  • To assess the relevance, efficiency, effectiveness, outcome and sustainability of the project. Look for evidence regarding the impact of the project’s activities and investigate the potential sustainability of these results
  • Prepare tools for the mid-term evaluation in consultation with relevant experts,
  • Train and guide data collectors on the use of Kobo app using available electronic tablets provided by the client
  • Guide data collectors on suitable approaches while engaging respondents during data collection,
  • Prepare an inception report for the mid-term evaluation in consultation with relevant M&E staff,
  • Lead the primary and secondary data collection within quantitative and qualitative frameworks,
  • Consultations with relevant stakeholders at sector, national, and state levels.
  • Using the information and data gathered during the mid-term evaluation data collection the consultant will.
  • Analyze data and prepare location specific indicator trends feeding into the overall mid-term evaluation report
  • Draft a comprehensive mid-term evaluation report for the consortium review indicating and comparing indicators across the 3 study sites.
  • Develop a presentation kit of main results highlighting important analysis and trends
  • Incorporating feedback/comments and finalization of report
  • Report should show key project challenges, learning and recommendations for improvement
  • Submit a final mid-term report including an updated Results Framework

Geographical coverage and target population

The Mid-Term evaluation will be conducted in Panyijiar (Unity State), Bor and Pibor (Jonglei State) and in Manyo, Malakal and Fashoda (Upper Nile state). Focus will be on project location and target population in the design document.

Methodology

The desired methodology for this evaluation is participatory and all the consortium members (IRC, Cordaid & ZOA) will be part of the evaluation survey process. The consultant will however provide leadership and bear responsibility for the process, the findings, the recommendations and the content of the final report.

The Mid-Term evaluation survey methods will be based on quantitative and qualitative data collection method through literature review of relevant project reports from reliable and trusted sources, household interviews, key informant interviews (KII) and focus group discussion (FGD) and should include detailed data on target beneficiaries as well as secondary data. Disadvantaged household, age and gender per location (Unity, Upper Nile and Jonglei) must be disaggregated for all data collected through the assessment.

Line of Inquiry:

During this evaluation, the consultant is expected to consider the following DAC Criteria[1], as laid out in the DAC principles for evaluation of development assistance. This includes - Relevance, Effectiveness, Efficiency, Impact and Sustainability as outline below.

Relevance

  • Were the objectives and activities implemented by the SSRGUN project addressing humanitarian needs of small holders’ farmers in the target locations?
  • How do beneficiaries perceive the project and how have the activities implemented improved their lives? Are there any successful stories of change?
  • To what extent was the project able to adapt and provide appropriate responses to context changes and emerging local needs, and priorities of targeted small holders farmers?
  • To what extent does the SSRGUN project address the identified needs of the community?
  • How well does the SSRGUN project goal and objective align with the national Government and IP’S (IRC, ZOA & Cordaid) priorities?

Effectiveness

  • Is the SSRGUN project delivering on outputs and outcomes as planned?
  • To what extent are the SSRGUN project activities contributing to the overall project goal? And what were the major factors influencing the achievement of the objectives of the SSRGUN project?
  • Are the (or were the) activities and their delivery methods been effective? Are there aspects that could have been done differently?
  • To what extent is the SSRGUN project producing worthwhile results (outputs, outcomes) and/or meeting each of its objectives?
  • What opportunities for collaboration have been utilized and how has these contributed to the project effectiveness?
  • How has the consortium approach of implementation partners including the relevant structures been in the project delivery?
  • How has the initiative influenced the appropriate stakeholder community, and what capacities has it built?
  • Are the target population been appropriately involved at all stages and empowered throughout the process of SSRGUN project implementation?
  • How far has greater equity been achieved between women and men; boys and girls; and between other groups?

Efficiency

  • Has the SSRGUN project being delivered on budget?
  • Do the outcomes of the SSRGUN project represent value for money (vfm)?
  • How was the delivery of SSRGUN project not only in terms of expenditure, but also in terms of implementation of activities and delivery of outputs?
  • Was the SSRGUN project activity implementation (modality) cost-efficient, while not compromising quality?
  • What would have been opportunities within the SSRGUN project implementation to reach more beneficiaries with the available budget or reduce costs while reaching at least the same number of beneficiaries without compromising quality?
  • Was the SSRGUN project design timely in responding to the needs on the ground?
  • Were the activities timely implemented when compared to the project work plan?
  • Were funds available in time during implementation of the SSRGUN project activities?

Impact (For MTE interrogate outcomes)

  • To what extend has the SSRGUN project achieved the target indicators at outcome levels in the log frame?
  • To what extent have the planned objectives in the project log frame been reached, per indicator, disaggregated by gender and age and, when appropriate, by location (Unity, Upper Nile and Jonglei)?
  • Is the SSRGUN project impacting positively on key groups and on issues that have been identified as key important in project design – particularly, food security and nutrition, income activities, resilience, gender, youths, and environment?

Sustainability

  • Is there evidence that the small holders’ farmers supported through the SSRGUN project are likely to grow – scaling up after the phase out of SSRGUN project in Unity, Upper Nile and Jonglei States?
  • What significant changes have occurred in people’s lives (Especially the small holder’s farmers, VSLA groups, vegetable groups, fisherfolks and pastoralists) and to what extent are these likely to be sustained?
  • What strategies are in place for the sustainability of these project activities (VSLA groups, Farmer Field School, MtMSG/vegetable groups, fisherfolks, CMDRRC? Are the strategies being put into action by the implementing partners?
  • What mechanisms have IP’S put into place in order to sustain the key programme Outputs and Outcomes?
  • How has the programme worked with local partners to increase their capacity in a sustainable way?

Deliverables

The consultant will submit to IRC:

1.An inception report detailing the tools, approaches/methods of assignment, proposed timeline of activities and submission of deliverables, within 5 days on sign of the contract

2.Submit draft mid-term evaluation report in 10 days after field visit for comments and reviews by the consortium technical teams

3.Submit draft final mid-term report after addressing comments from consortium within 5 days for review by EU technical teams

4.Submit final mid-term report, including updated Log-frame with mid-term evaluation data within 5 days from the date shared with comments from EU technical team.

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Before applying, please make sure that you have read the requirements for the position and that you qualify.
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