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Call for Applications

forumZFD Lebanon is seeking a consultant for "External Evaluation of the FTN2 (Future Together Now) Project (2017-2020)".

Woman walking in Saida in front of a painted wall
© forumZFD

The Task

The evaluation of the FTN2 Project, its implementation and impact, will be structured according to the OECD/DAC criteria and also cover the cross-cutting themes gender and conflict sensitivity to facilitate a joint learning process lasting proposed 18 consultant days. Statements should be supported by data generated from the reports, evaluator’s work, an (Arabic) online survey, interviews and other evaluation events (suggested methodology is tentative and can be adapted by the consultant). The proposed report (15 pages without annexes) should have anecdotal evidence (stories of change and personal narratives) to support the findings. Key challenges and lessons learnt by the project in the course of implementation and opportunities for the future are to be captured and recommendations are to be given by the evaluator. They should be feasible and clearly addressed to relevant actors.

 

About the project

Based on the experiences of the Future Together Now! I project, the “Future together Now! II” project works since 2017 towards improving relationships within and between different communities in the Beqaa Valley (rural context) and in Tripoli (urban context). The project, with the forumZFD team consisting of one Project Manager and 3 mentors, with one additional coordinator from 2018(10) – 2019(07), aims at supporting the Lebanese civil society to be able to establish inclusive structures for conflict transformation, community development and relationship-building through Community Mobilising.

Within the “Future together Now II” project forumZFD trains, mentors and accompanies 16 community activists (CAs) together with its partner organisations March, RDFL, Ruwwad Al Tanmeya, Shift and We Love Tripoli. In a first step, the CAs received training (40 training days in 16 training events by forumZFD) on topics such as conflict transformation, project management, dialogue etc. as well as on personal and Community Mobilising and development. In a second phase, the CAs applied their newly acquired skills by planning and implementing activities addressing local conflicts and needs in their respected communities. The implementation was monitored jointly with the partner organisations and mentored by forumZFD. Simultaneously, forumZFD and the partner organisations reached out to key and other people in the wider community of the target locations. The aim was to carry out a consultation process to incorporate the Community Mobilising approach into the local context – always adapted to the changing realities on the ground. In the communities workings groups were formed and facilitated by the CA to ensure community participation. The working groups were crucial to formulate initiative relevant for the communities.

The theory of change of the project is: If we build the capacity of NGOs staff on being active focal points for conflict transformative activities and support them with mentoring and training, they will be empowered to develop ideas and solutions to address social cohesion on an individual and community level. Setting up inclusive and participatory community initiatives will create ownership, foster joint decisions making and trigger process to address local needs and conflicts.

 

Project partners

The project is a partnership between forumZFD and five NGOs, four (4) in Tripoli (March, Ruwwad Al Tanmeya, Shift and We Love Tripoli) and one in Baalbek (RDFL).

 

General objectives of the Evaluation

The evaluation aims to assess their effectiveness and efficiency, relevance to conflict transformation needs, and relevance (DAC criteria) to forumZFD’s set outcomes for the current planning period:

  1. Impact: Progress towards the project outputs or impact. The role of training and the mentoring in the achievement of the impact is a proposed focus.
  2. Effectiveness: The reasons behind the achievement (or not) of outputs (e.g. if a project is not achieving outputs, whether the problem rests in the theory of change, or with difficulties in implementation process [including the institutional context], and whether these are leading to unintended [positive or negative] consequences). Whether the outputs are ultimately contributing to the realization of the program's vision or whether our outputs are contributing to the achievement of the outcomes.
  3. Relevance: The extent to which the intervention is suited to the priorities and needs of the people and communities it is intended to benefit, with specific reference to the experiences and opinions of women and other marginalized groups.
  4. Efficiency: The degree to which the financial resources of the projects have been used economically and efficiently though an efficient and transparent (human resource) management by forumZFD.
  5. Sustainability: Conditions and choices for exiting, scaling up, handover or other types of transitions to sustain the methodologies and project outputs within the partner organisation and also on the level of the trainees for their professional and personal future.

 

Specific objectives:

For the evaluation, the following specific objectives have been formulated:

  • To assess the impact, outreach, and outputs of forumZFD project.
  • To consolidate existing evaluations and feedback (documents) to identify lessons learnt to assess and strengthen partnership relations, participatory approaches and other processes
  • To strengthen future projects effectiveness, to formulate strategic and operational recommendations building on the experience of FTN2  and to increase awareness about possible risks and unintended results.
  • To contribute to organizational- and team learning.

 

In particular:

  • Internal Alignment: Review the individual project in light of outcome 1 and the Community Mobilising approach
  • How the approaches (training, mentoring, community initiative) for the partners were relevant and effective to strength and develop approaches of conflict transformation with the respective NGOs and the communities they work with.
  • Assumptions: Examine the validity of underlying assumptions, theory of change, in the project design.
  • Give insight on the change of identified beneficiaries (direct CA, and indirect the communities) of the projects and the relevance of the chosen trainees and NGOs.
  • Project learnings: Determine the challenges, lessons learned and best practices of the projects and also the responsiveness of forumZFD to them during implementation.
  • The end result: Render a full evaluation of project outputs, and effectiveness.
  • Sustainability: Provide recommendations for sustainability and needed follow-up.

 

Methodology

The evaluators will propose their exact methodology, which will be finalized upon consultation with forumZFD. It will have to be appropriate to the objectives laid out earlier and revised by the evaluator, while the evaluation will need to be compatible with the OECD-DAC criteria. The evaluators are expected to use interactive and systemic methodologies as much as possible. The evaluation approach should be inclusive of all stakeholders, participatory, culturally- and gender-sensitive. An exclusively online approach cannot be excluded in the light of the currently COVID crisis.

Among others, the following methodologies can be considered:

  • Collecting and consolidate secondary data and provided analysis thereof;
  • Conduct individual interviews (structured/semi-structured) with key informants, partners, beneficiaries;
  • Collective data analysis- and data collection methods, e.g. world café, workshops with relevant stakeholders (project partners, former forumZFD staff, teachers and students), and focus group discussions;
  • Online survey(s) in Arabic;
  • Appreciative inquiry;
  • Validation meeting with relevant stakeholders at the end of the field research phase.

 

Expectations

The following is expected from the evaluators:

Selection of the evaluator or evaluation team

  1. Provide an evaluation proposal (2 pages) together with the application that contains the following methodological topics:
    • Evaluator’s understanding of the evaluation process (including a tentative time line) and the key evaluation questions,
    • Instruments and tools to be used for data collection,
    • Reflection on the proposed outline of the report.
    • Remuneration with a daily rate and other expenses.

After selection of the evaluator - Inception and implementation phase

  1. Produce the work plan and evaluation methodology to be discussed and agreed upon with forumZFD through a meeting in Beirut forumZFD office.
  2. Design and organize with the assistance of and in coordination with forumZFD Lebanon
    • an online survey in Arabic,
    • develop guiding questions for interviews,
    • conduct online and face2face interviews and workshops with relevant stakeholders.
  3. Regularly consult and update forumZFD (Evaluation management team - EMT) about the process of the evaluation.
  4. Produce an evaluation report according to the tentative outline, covering the agreed upon objectives, with the set deadline, to be discussed in a validation meeting and then accordingly revised.
  5. To make, as appropriate, recommendations to forumZFD on various aspects of its programming in light of the findings of the evaluation, including but not limited to projects structure and project foci.

forumZFD will provide the following:

  1. Focal point: the Evaluation Management Team is composed of Bernhard Hillenkamp (lead, former forumZFD Country Director until April 2020, now Programme Advisor), Martina Belotti (PM&E Coordinator) and supported by the three FTN2 mentors who are splitting the tasks.
  2. Provide swift inputs and feedback for the evaluation proposal and all relevant steps of the evaluation.
  3. Give access to relevant project documentation.
  4. Supply the contact details of stakeholders to be contacted for the evaluation.
  5. Support the organisation and facilitation of the interviews and meetings.
  6. Reimbursements, upon receipt and prior approval, of travel costs in the framework of the evaluation, on the basis of the Federal Travel Costs Law of the German government (Bundesreisekostengesetz).

 

Remuneration

Applicants are requested to submit a budget with itemizing the expenses especially the daily rate of and days needed to perform the proposed consultants in- and outputs.

 

Application

Interested candidates are requested to send in the following documents by 4 June 2020:

  • motivation letter; and resume;
  • Concise document describing your approach to this assignment, suggested methodology and indicating your requested remuneration (evaluation proposal) in total consultation days; (2 pages)
  • 2 relevant samples of previous assignments, including contact details of the clients.

For clarifications on the task and the process, applicants are welcome to contact the PM&E Coordinator of forumZFD Lebanon, Ms Martina Belotti (Belotti@forumzfd.de).

Please send your applications by 4 June 2020 to application-lbn@forumZFD.de. We will start to contact consultants to discuss their application starting 6 June 2020.

Please refer to the full Call for Applications!

 

Work plan/Timeline

(tentative and is subject to negotiation, depending on the methodology) for June & July 2020, expected day for finalisation of the report is 31 July 2020. 

  1. Inception meeting - introduction to the project, partners, and documents (1/2 day)
  2. Desk Study for inception report and general context (2 days)
  3. Writing and submission of inception report (1 day)
  4. Discussion of inception report (1 day)
  5. Interviews & other evaluation events (mostly not face2face) (8 days)
  6. Writing and submission of the evaluation report (3 days) 
  7. Discussion of the evaluation report/ validation meeting (1/2 day)
  8. Submission of the revised evaluation report (1 1/2 days) 

Total consultant days: 18

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