Liberia Waking the Giant is looking for an evaluator

Open job: Evaluator for the Waking the Giant Liberia

The submission deadline for the offer is 30 November 2020.

The offer should be submitted by email to leena.luukkonen@lutheranworld.org

1. Introduction

‘Waking the Giant’ is a global ecumenical initiative of the Lutheran World Federation (LWF). It aims to build the capacity of churches to contribute effectively to the 2030 UN Agenda for Sustainable Development. With their vocation to serve, churches have for centuries engaged in promoting dignity and justice, particularly among those oppressed, forgotten or pushed to the margins. Many churches have established themselves as important actors in the provision of social and development services and as advocates for global human values, such as gender equality, peace and justice. They distinguish themselves through the permanence of their presence, an often high level of credibility and a wide reach at community level, including to the remotest areas where state institutions may be absent.

Despite the strong work being carried out by churches in relation to individual Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), many of them are not familiar with UN processes and the language of the ‘Agenda 2030’. The Waking the Giant initiative aims to create awareness and build the capacity of churches and other faith-based institutions on the Agenda 2030 and SDGs. On the other hand, the initiative is there to equip churches and other religious actors to be at the forefront of more effective implementation of Sustainable Development Goals/Agenda 2030 and make their work globally more visible.

The Waking the Giant initiative has been piloted during the years 2018-2020. At the global level, during those years, the initiative has provided churches and church-related actors with tools and training to relate their on-going work to the SDGs. The initiative has moreover been implemented in four target countries: Liberia, Colombia, USA and Tanzania. In those countries, churches and ecumenical partners have set up different implementation mechanisms for taking stock of their existing work in relation to the SDGs and engage in joint planning for direct action and advocacy. In 2019, an internal mid-term review exercise was carried out to gather the main observations, lessons learned and recommendations of the pilot phase.

In Liberia, the pilot phase focused on raising awareness among churches, ecumenical bodies and church related institutions and their communities on the SDGs and strengthen the capacities of the target institutions particularly around the SDGs 3 (good health and well-being), 4 (quality education), 5 (gender equality), 10 (reduced inequalities), and 16 (justice, peace and strong institutions).

During the pilot phase, the objectives of the project in Liberia have been as follows:

Project objective 1: Churches, church related institutions and ecumenical bodies in Liberia will have strengthened their roles in providing diaconal services in the areas of health (SDG3), education (SDG4), gender (SDG5), reduced inequalities (SDG 10) and peace and justice (SDG16).

Project objective 2: Churches, church-related and ecumenical bodies in Liberia increasingly engage as important Partners with governmental and UN actors in achieving the 2030 Agenda.

At the activity level, the project in Liberia has focused on the following areas of intervention:

  • Formation of a Project Management Committee
  • Awareness raising on SDGs in churches
  • Mapping of existing work of faith-based actors in relation to specific SDGs
  • Development of the country-based action plans
  • Training on SDG advocacy
  • Exposure to regional/global UN processes
  • Public and media relations/communication

 

2. Stakeholders and beneficiaries

Funding and implementing partners

The implementation in Liberia has mainly been funded by Bread for the World, with additional funding provided by GIZ and Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland. From 2021 onwards, Bread for the World is planning to continue funding the project in Liberia bilaterally.

The direct beneficiaries of the project are the leaders and staff (men and women, lay and ordained) from the churches, ecumenical bodies and church related institutions as well as other (non-Christian) faith leaders.

The members of the respective churches, ecumenical bodies and church related institutions can be considered as the indirect beneficiaries.

3. Purpose and objective of the evaluation

The evaluation is mainly conducted for the purpose of learning from the pilot experience in Liberia. Based on an overall assessment of the project’s outcomes, strengths and weaknesses, the evaluation shall formulate recommendations for the further work on involving faith-based actors in SDG processes in Liberia and document good practices and lessons learned to inform the further implementation of the Waking the Giant initiative globally.

The following are the specific objectives of the evaluation:

1) Provide an overall assessment of the project's strengths and weaknesses, effectiveness and potential for impact and sustainability

2) Formulate specific recommendations for the further process in Liberia

3) Document relevant good practices and lessons learned relevant for the future of the Waking the Giant initiative globally and in other target countries.

4. Evaluation questions

Effectiveness

  1. Has the project been effective in achieving the specific project objectives and indicators?

  2. Were the project activities and methods well-chosen to achieve the expected results in the given context? What worked well and what did not?

  3. What are the identified strengths and weaknesses of the project?

  4. What were the major factors influencing the achievement or non-achievement of the objectives?

  5. What is the contribution of the project to strengthening the local churches in their mission and role to work with local communities on SDGs?

Efficiency

  1. How do you assess the use of resources and time in the project?

Impact

  1. Are there any indications that the project will likely have a longer-term, systemic influence on participating churches, ecumenical bodies and church related institutions?

  2. Are there any indications that the project may have influenced national policies or other conventions?

  3. What can be said about intended and unintended effects (social, physical, environmental, economic, spiritual), both positive and negative, of the project?

Relevance

  1. Has the project addressed a specific need of the churches, ecumenical bodies and church related institutions?

  2. Were the project objectives and implementation strategy well-designed, taking into account existing gaps, priorities and capacities in the Liberian context?

Sustainability

  1. What measures have been planned/implemented in the project in order to ensure sustainability?

  2. What are the major factors influencing the sustainability of the project?

  3. What is currently the likelihood for churches, church-related institutions and ecumenical bodies in Liberia to continue their involvement with the Agenda 2030 should the current funding support end?

  4. What is the ability of the project to mobilize local resources? What is the ability to access funds and support from other sources (including the private sector)?

  5. What would need to be done in order to preserve any positive outcomes of the project beyond the project’s lifetime (sustainability strategy)?

Coordination and coherence

  1. How has the project been integrated with the activities and priorities of other agencies and organizations (including local and national government)? What are the major factors influencing coordination and coherence of the project with the activities and priorities of other agencies and organizations?

  2. How has the peer learning and sharing functioned with other Waking the Giant target countries?

  3. How were women included in the project planning and implementation?

  4. Evaluation design/methods

5. Scope

The evaluation should focus on those activities that were implemented between 2018-2020 under the project “Waking the Giant - Churches' Involvement in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in Liberia”. The evaluation should concentrate on the implementation in Liberia while recognizing that the Liberia pilot is part of a larger, global initiative. The evaluation design shall provide data that can be used to respond to the evaluation objectives (section 2) and answer the evaluation questions (section 3).

6. Data Availability

Available written data sources for the project include:

  • The binding project proposal

  • Annual plans, narrative and financial reports from Liberia

  • Mapping of Faith-based Actors’ Contributions to SDGs 3, 4 and 16 in Liberia report

  • Global initiative materials

  • Mid-term review report

  • Input received from churches/institutions

Besides the above-mentioned documents, the main source of information are the people who have been involved with the project, e.g. representatives of churches, ecumenical networks, faith-based organizations and governmental bodies.

7. Methodology

The evaluation methodology/ies chosen should:

  • take into account the OECD-DAC Quality Standards for Development Evaluation for a participatory, credible, gender-sensitive and fair evaluation1

  • ensure that different stakeholder groups, especially women, participate and that their different voices are heard and used

  • apply a mostly qualitative evaluation methodology, e.g. Interviews and focus group discussions with different stakeholder groups, direct observation during fieldtrips.

  • follow the applicable COVID-related regulations in Liberia.

A mix of methods, incl. triangulation, i.e. validation of data through cross verification from more than two sources, is recommended.

8. Expected deliverables

The Consultant will prepare:

  • a draft inception report including the evaluation design and draft data collection tools;

  • a final inception report;

  • a draft evaluation report and

  • a final evaluation report

These deliverables are to be:

  • Prepared in English

  • Submitted to the Waking the Giant Global Coordinator electronically via e-mail

Inception Report

The Consultant will prepare a draft inception report to operationalize and direct the evaluation. The inception report will describe how the evaluation will be carried out, describe the overall design, the methodologies to be applied and the draft data collection tools, the proposed detailed timeline, bringing refinements, specificity and elaboration to the terms of reference. LWF and BftW will provide comments on the draft inception report, which the Consultant shall take into account in finalizing the document.

Evaluation Report

The Consultant will prepare a draft evaluation report, including a description of the purpose, methodology and limitations of the evaluation, the evaluation findings, conclusions, recommendations, good practices and lessons learned. After receiving the comments from LWF and BftW, the consultant will finalize the evaluation report (max. 30 pages with an executive summary).

9. Expected timeline for deliverables

Draft Inception report

A draft inception report will be submitted within one (1) week of the contract signature.

Final Inception Report

Within one (1) week of receiving the comments from LWF on the draft inception report, the Consultant will produce a final inception report.

Draft Evaluation Report

The Consultant will submit a draft evaluation report for review by LWF by 4.1.2021 the latest.

Final Evaluation Report

Within one (1) week of receiving LWF’s comments on the draft report, the Consultant will submit a final evaluation report, including an executive summary and any relevant annexes.

10. Tasks

  1. A kick-off meeting online with LWF
  2. Review of available written information and documentation; hold initial conversations with LWF staff and the National Project Coordinator in Liberia
  3. Development of evaluation instruments/data collection tools and inception report, including a detailed methodology, work plan and timeline for the evaluation
  4. Further interviews with funding partners and other relevant global stakeholders.
  5. Local data collection: Individual and/or group interviews with church leaders; local staff involved in the project implementation, third-party representatives in the target countries (e.g. representatives of UN, government or local authorities, partner NGOs). Data collection in the project sites.
  6. Triangulate, analyze, compile and summarize obtained information in a written report. Present the results and recommendations for discussion and mutual reflection to key staff of DTMJ and the national coordinators of the target countries.
  7. Report sent for comments latest on 04 January 2021
  8. Finalize the evaluation report, based on feedback received. Submission of the final report within one week after receipt of comments.

Total of 16 working days in December 2020 and January 2021

11. Key qualifications of the evaluator

A successful candidate will have:

  • University Degree in political sciences, international development, or other relevant area;

  • Proven track record of conducting evaluations of international development projects;

  • Proven experience in using participatory and qualitative research methodologies;

  • Knowledge of the Liberian context (ideally, the candidate would be based in Liberia or Western Africa)

  • Experience in working with faith-based organizations;

  • Excellent skills in communication and report writing in English language;

How to apply

Interested candidates who fulfill the above qualifications shall submit the following:

  • A technical and financial offer according to the present terms of reference;

  • The technical offer shall contain a summary presentation of the proposed evaluation approach and the suggested methods to be used.

  • The financial offer shall contain the costs for honorarium (including taxes) based on a daily rate as well as any other costs.

  • CV(s) of all evaluators involved

  • A written sample of previous similar work (e.g. an evaluation report)

The submission deadline for the offer is 30 November 2020.

The offer should be submitted by email to leena.luukkonen@lutheranworld.org

Only short-listed candidates will be contacted by LWF.