Call for Proposals – External Mid-Term Evaluation
Contract type: Consultancy Agreement
Application Deadline: 8 February 2024
Language: Tenders must be submitted in English
Founded in 2014, the Sana’a Center for Strategic Studies (SC) is an independent think tank that seeks to foster change through knowledge production with a focus on Yemen and the surrounding region. An emerging leader in designing and implementing track II programs, the Sana’a Center leads multiple informal peace processes at the levels of Track 2 and Track 1.5 working around three main pillars: Knowledge production, providing a platform for Yemenis, and Influencing policies.
The SC is currently implementing a four-year project ‘Supporting a Localized, Inclusive and Sustainable Peace in Yemen (SLISPY)’, which is funded by the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The aim of the project is to enhance localization of the peace processes, boost civilian protection, and empower youth, civil society, and women to shape peacebuilding policy by focusing on making peace negotiations and peacebuilding initiatives more responsive to the needs and aspirations of Yemenis, and enhancing localization so that Yemeni intellectuals, youth, CSOs and women are influential locally and nationally on issues related to peace and conflict resolution. The project provides policy platforms to Yemenis to inform and shape policy at the local, national, and international levels and supports the platforms through technical capacity building activities, facilitating collective action, and introducing effective consultation mechanisms between them and international mediators and policymakers. The project operates through two main components:
- The Peace Incubator (PI), which is a dynamic, collaborative platform that connects Yemeni experts with international peace actors and initiatives, and
- The Yemen Peace Forum (YPF), a track II youth and civil society platform that seeks to invest in building and empowering Yemeni youth, women and CSOs to bridge the gap between these groups and national and international decision-makers.
In this context, the SLISPY project is seeking to hire a consultant / consultancy firm to conduct a mid-term evaluation for the project for the period from its inception in May 2022 to 31 January 2024.
2. Purpose, objectives, scope and clients of the mid-term evaluation
The purpose of the mid-term evaluation is to review the project performance in order to gain better insight into operations to enable efficient and effective delivery and management in the remaining period and to validate the relevance and effectiveness of the project design, while identifying any strategic changes that may be required, for achieving the desired change given the constantly developing context of Yemen.
The objectives of the evaluation are as follows:
- Assess the project’s progress to date — across all outcomes and outputs: comparing performance to the planned indicators, target strategies, and implementation modalities chosen; partnership arrangements, constraints, and opportunities.
- Provide strategic and operational recommendations, as well as highlight lessons learned, to improve performance and delivery of project results for the remaining period of the project.
The external mid-term evaluation will cover the period from project inception in May 2022 to 31 January 2024 and create a comprehensive picture of implementation for both the components of the project: the Peace Incubator and the Yemen Peace Forum. The evaluation must generate findings of evaluation criteria, document successes, good practices, and lessons learned, while also providing strategic and operational recommendations.
3. Evaluation criteria and questions
The evaluation will examine the project performance against the OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC) evaluation criteria. Inclusivity and gender will be examined as a part of effectiveness.
Questions the evaluation will seek to answer
Relevance / appropriateness
To what extent was the project’s design (activities, outcomes, and outputs) justified and relevant to the localization of peace processes and the empowerment of Yemenis, including intellectuals, youth, civil society, and women, to shape peacebuilding policy? Is the design still relevant in the coming period? Is there any change required to ensure relevance in the second half of the project, given the continuously evolving context of Yemen?
Coherence and partnerships
To what extent were project interventions coherent with other Sana’a Center projects, other Yemeni peace initiatives, and national and international peacebuilding policies and strategies? To what extent were the interventions consistent with the UN-led peace process and other regional and international peace interventions? To what extent has the work added value to the work of other peace actors doing similar work without duplicating efforts? What processes / capacities led to coherence? How can the coherence be sustained / improved in the remaining period?
Progress and effectiveness
Is the project progressing in the right direction towards the desired change? To what extent were the mid-term targets for the expected outcomes and outputs achieved? What factors / processes / capacities (including management, monitoring, networks, expertise, communication) contributed to or slowed the project from achieving its desired results? Is there a need to reorient the project? If yes, what change is needed to ensure effectiveness and progress towards the desired results in the second half of the project?
Have the project’s approaches matched the capacity of experts, youth, and women engaged in the project? What capacity building will be required in the second half of the project to enhance effectiveness?
How did the project perform in terms of inclusiveness and gender sensitivity? What processes /capacities / factors contributed to or impeded inclusivity and gender sensitivity? What should be done to improve inclusivity and gender sensitivity in the coming period?
Were the project resources (funds, expertise, time, etc.) optimally used and converted into intended outputs? What systems / processes / capacities contributed to or detracted optimal use of resources? How can optimal use of resources be ensured in the coming period?
To what extent did the project contribute to the impact and the planned results? What factors / processes / capacities contributed to the progress towards the impact? What should be done to ensure progress towards achieving the impact?
Do you think the project’s results and mechanisms will be sustained in the long run? What factors / processes / capacities contributed to or impeded sustainability? How can sustainability be ensured?
The evaluation shall be conducted remotely. As mentioned in the previous section, the evaluation will follow the OECD/DAC Evaluation Quality Standards. The evaluation will also be conducted in a participatory manner ensuring engagement of the project’s stakeholders.
The following methods will be used to collect the required information:
- A desk review of all relevant available project documents.
- Interviews (individual or group discussions) conducted with project stakeholders including the project team, Sana’a Center management, donors, experts, youth, and women engaged in the project.
5. Roles and responsibilities of the consultant / consultancy firm
The consultant / consultancy firm shall carry out the following tasks under the direct supervision of the Project Manager:
- Conducting a preliminary meeting with the project team to understand the assignment.
- Conducting a desk review of the available project documents.
- Developing and submitting an inception report including the detailed evaluation methodology (evaluation tools, data collection methods, sampling) and a time-bound action plan for the evaluation;
- Developing the final tools, methodology and action plan after modification based on feedback provided by the project team and Sana’a Center;
- Collecting the data as per the agreed methodology and final tools;
- Analyzing the data and developing the preliminary draft of the mid term evaluation report;
- Developing a presentation on the key findings and recommendations of the mid term evaluation and debriefing the project team, the Sana’a Center and the donor on the findings;
- Developing the first draft of the mid term evaluation report based on the discussion and feedback received during the debriefing session and sharing the same with the project team and the Sana’a Center for review and feedback;
- Developing the final mid term evaluation report after modification based on the feedback received and submitting the same for approval;
- Developing a report on the entire assignment.
The key deliverables of the evaluation will be as follows. All deliverables will be submitted in English.
- Inception report
- Final tools for the mid term evaluation
- Final mid term evaluation report
- A brief presentation on the key findings and recommendations of the mid term evaluation
- Conducting a debriefing session to present the key findings and recommendations from the mid term evaluation
- A report on the entire assignment
- Clean data / transcripts of the interviews conducted.
7. Structure of the mid term evaluation report:
The final report, excluding annexes, but including the executive summary should not exceed 35 pages.
Suggested outline for the evaluation report is as follows:
- Cover page
- Executive summary
- Purpose, objectives, scope and clients of the evaluation
- Findings of the mid term evaluation
8. Timeline and work plan
It is anticipated that the evaluation will require a total of 25 workdays between February and March 2023 as follows:
Conducting a preliminary meeting with the project team to understand the assignment
Conducting a desk review of the available project documents
Developing and submitting an inception report
Developing the final tools, methodology and action plan
Collecting the data as per the agreed methodology and final tools
Analyzing the data and developing the preliminary draft report of the mid term evaluation
Developing a presentation on the key findings and recommendations of the mid term evaluation and debriefing the project team and stakeholders
Developing the first draft of the mid term evaluation report
Developing the final mid term evaluation report
Developing a report on the entire assignment.
9. Required qualifications, experience, skills and competencies
The consultant / consultancy firm should have the following expertise and experience.
- Proven experience in evaluation of peacebuilding projects
- Experience in the context of the Middle East. Experience in Yemen will be an added advantage.
- Excellent written and spoken English and Arabic.
- Postgraduate degree or equivalent in the wider field of peace studies, conflict studies, peacebuilding, peace and security studies, transitional justice, and peace studies, etc.
- Excellent analytical, communication, and presentation skills.
10. How to Apply?
Interested candidates are requested to submit a technical and financial proposal for conducting the mid term evaluation as described in the TOR to the email: [email protected]
The Technical Proposal should include the following:
- Introduction: Experience of the candidate including a list of similar assignments carried out in the past two years; Purpose, objectives, scope, and clients of the evaluation; Approach and Methodology; Work plan; Proposed Team (in case a team is going to be involved) and CVs.
- Previous Work Samples: Examples of similar midterm reviews conducted.
- References: Contact information for previous clients who can provide feedback on your work.
- A statement confirming the availability to conduct this assignment.
The Financial Proposal should state the total fees for the consultancy including the detailed fees per day multiplied by the number of working days specified in the TOR.
The Sana’a Center for Strategic Studies
Founded in 2014, the Sana’a Center is one of the few independent research centers that has continued to operate in Yemen throughout the ongoing conflict. While the Center maintains cordial relations with all key stakeholders, it has remained fiercely unaligned with any of the belligerent parties. The Sana’a Center has thus maintained a unique position and the ability to work throughout Yemen and beyond.
The Center maintains a strong network across Yemen with access to key political, military and security figures, tribal leaders, the financial sector, economists, journalists, humanitarian actors, civil society, and other important stakeholders. The Center has also established a broad network and presence within the international community, connecting it to international organizations, diplomatic circles, regional and international policymakers, research centers and global forums.
The Sana’a Center’s reports and researchers are widely quoted in local, regional, and international media outlets, while the analysis of the Center’s experts is regularly sought out by local and international stakeholders.