Terms of Reference: VAAM project end-line evaluation

January 10, 2023

With funding from the European Union, Hivos is implementing a three-year project titled ‘Voices and Actions for Accountability in Malawi’ (VAAM).

Contract title: VAAM End-line Evaluation
Terms of Reference: Please find all information, including work plan, timeline and deliverables in the ToR.
Location: Lilongwe, Malawi
Organization: Hivos
Email: sa-hub@hivos.org
Deadline: January 19, 2023

The overall objective of VAAM is to strengthen the capacity of Malawian civil society organizations, media, and high-spending Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) such as Agriculture, Water, Health and Education and selected local government authorities in evidence generation, analysis and publication of findings. This project will contribute towards viable, inclusive and transparent public budget and procurement processes. The project is being implemented at both national and district level in seven districts across the three regions of Malawi namely: Blantyre, Dowa, Mangochi, Ntcheu, Mzimba, Mzuzu and Zomba.

Below is a summary of the Terms of Reference

Project objectives

Specific Objective: To enhance citizen engagement practices and approaches between government (national and local) and citizens on budget cycle events and public procurement processes to advocate for viable, inclusive, and transparent public budget and procurement processes.

Outcome 1: Strengthened capacity of CSOs and media organizations to analyses and report on the public expenditure high-spending ding MDAs and Local Government Authorities. 

Outcome 2: Enhanced coordination, collaboration, and learning among CSOs and Media working on budgeting and public procurement processes at the national level.

Outcome 3: Increased dialogue and exchange of information on public expenditure between Local Government Authorities and citizens.

End-line Evaluation Assignment

Purpose and aim

An end-line evaluation will be commissioned at the end of the project in order to establish end-line data for the VAAM project and the intervention’s overall objectives which will allow project indicators at output and outcome level to be measured and evaluated. In order to support evidence-based decision-making and advocacy the evaluation will be conducted in line with the OECD – DAC evaluation criteria for evaluating development interventions, which focuses on assessing Relevance, Coherence, coordination, Efficiency, Effectiveness, Impact, and Sustainability.

The purpose of the evaluation is to understand the differences between the starting point established at the baseline evaluation and the midterm evaluation and to obtain an objective, critical, readable, and transparent analysis of the status of all indicators in the 7 target districts. This will lay a critical foundation for measuring change, understanding the project’s contribution to achieving this change, and drawing lessons learnt and best practices for future direction and project development.

Specific objectives

The evaluation looks at all key aspects of the implemented project, including the following specific objectives:

  1. To assess the implementation of the project against the key target evaluation criteria, i.e., efficiency, effectiveness, relevance, sustainability and impact.
  2. To assess the performance and achievements of the project against the plans laid out in the approved Log frame and determine the degree to which each of the individual objectives and indicators of the project were achieved and what impact these achievements have had so far and may have in future programming
  3. To document the project’s key lessons learnt and best practices and provide recommendation for improvements and for further engagements
  4. To assess the level of sustainability of the project and partners’ implementation

Key questions of the evaluation

 In line with the set objectives as indicated above, the end-line evaluation will seek to answer the following key questions.

  1. What progress was made towards achieving the anticipated project outcomes and impact as articulated by the indicators in the log frame?
  2. Progress made towards intended outcomes will be assessed on all the indicators, comparing status to the baseline and mid-term status:
  3. What are the reasons and explanations behind the progress made from the baseline to the end-term status?

End-line evaluation timeline

The Consultant is expected to conclude this assignment over a maximum period of 15 days which is inclusive of field visits to the target districts to collect data.

Expected outputs

The main output of the research will be a comprehensive end-line evaluation report covering the key focus areas with recommendations for the VAAM project. The report is expected to fully address the information requirements as outlined above. The other outputs shall be the study instruments/tools.

Budgets & payments schedule

Hivos seeks a financial proposal that maximizes potential efficiencies while maximizing value for money to deliver outputs within budget. The consultant must prepare and submit a comprehensive budget for the end-line evaluation, which includes all logistical, administrative, and non-administrative costs.

Payments will be made as follows, in line with the receipt of key deliverables:

  • 60% upon approval of the Inception report.
  • 40% upon submission and approval of the Finalized midterm report.

The Hivos Program Manager and the Regional Director have the overall responsibility of the assignment, where they will certify every consultancy deliverable and completion of work for payment purposes.

Consultant(s) requirements, knowledge and expertise

  • The consultant(s) should have relevant academic qualifications at minimum a Master’s Degree.
  •  Experience in working with local government authorities, ministry departments, and CSOs. Experience conducting research on governance projects will be considered an asset.
  • Consultant/research team has proven experience and expertise in both quantitative and qualitative methods and proven experience in successfully undertaking project baseline studies, midterm evaluations or end of project evaluations.
  • The consultant(s) should have proven experience of conducting Evaluations of similar set-up, size and scope in Malawi.
  • Knowledge and experience of participatory assessment / development approaches will be required.
  • Knowledge and experience in organizational development approaches including organizational capacity assessment and development.
  • Broad experience in conducting large Evaluation fieldwork (data collection, validation, entry and analysis).
  • Experience in leading teams implementing Evaluations in the field (training, field logistics, human relations, teamwork).
  • Existing research networks, partnerships and experience in Malawi is preferred.
  •  Experience in Transparency and Accountability and its related fields required.
  • Must travel to field sites during the fieldwork phase.
  • Provide a list of staff that will be involved in the project at all levels from the Regional Director, Project Manager through to field researchers- with a summary of their relevant experience and proposed role in the project. A full CV for each team member should be provided as an annex.

Submission and evaluation of proposals

Consultants who meet the requirements should submit a maximum of 10 pages’ expression of interest, which should include the following:

  • A suitability statement, including commitment to availability for the entire assignment
  • A short profile of the individual or organization
  • Updated curriculum vitae of each consultant or team member that clearly spells out qualifications and experience with special emphasis on governance/ transparency and accountability programming or implementation
  • A brief statement on the proposed study methodology, including a draft work plan
  • A financial Indicative budget for consultancy fees, detailing the activities, number of days, and the proposed daily fee.
  • All transport, including local transport, accommodation, and other research field costs (such as room hire for data collectors training, paying data collectors and all other costs) should be in the consultants’ fees
  • Three references from organizations that have contracted the consultant proving ability to carry out an Evaluation of such related nature

All interested parties should respond to the ToR by 19th January 2023. The expression of interest should be sent to sa-hub@hivos.org with the title VAAM End-line Evaluation in the subject line. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.