Request for Proposal-Final evaluation of the Peace Enhancement for Community Empowerment through Women Investing in more Secure Env’t Program-Sudan

  • Contractor
  • Sudan
  • TBD USD / Year

Mercy Corps

1.Overview of PEACE-WISE Program.

Peace Enhancement for Community Empowerment through Women Investing in more Secure Environment (PEACE-WISE) is a 4-year peace building program being implemented in South Darfur, South Kordofan, Gedaref and Khartoum.

PEACE-WISE originally was selected to build on the momentum of 2019’s successful pro-democracy movement led by women protestors, which resulted in the formation of a democratic power-sharing government and the Declaration of Freedom and Change which followed calls in part for empowering Sudanese women and combating all forms of discrimination against them.

While Sudan experiences various changes – Sudan’s most marginalized women, particularly those in South Darfur and South Kordofan states (SDS and SKS), continue to go unheard and face acute poverty and structural inequality. In September 2019, the University of Khartoum and the Overseas Development Institute convened prominent and highly qualified Sudanese women advocates to develop a list of nationwide policy priorities for advancing women’s equality. In their final report, the group acknowledged that the only way to address the country’s persistent inequalities is through a bottom-up, grassroots mechanism, and based on a survey of 10,000 Sudanese, they noted that the best platforms for increasing women’s visibility and autonomy are labor unions and neighborhood committees.

Program Goal and Objectives

PEACE-WISE’s central objective is to ensure that Sudan’s most marginalized women have the skills and opportunity to advocate for their communities during the political transition. Without efforts to organize and support women in South Kordofan, South Darfur and Gedaref to establish new platforms for their engagement with local authorities and the national women’s movement, it is unlikely that marginalized women’s concerns and policy priorities will be reflected in the government’s policies.

Goal: Women from Sudan’s most marginalized and historically conflict-prone states of South Darfur, South Kordofan and Gedaref play an active role in preventing and mitigating violence and conflict by engaging in the country’s political transition process to ensure a sustainable, inclusive, participatory democracy reflective of their policy preferences.

Objective 1 – Networks: Women’s civil society networks in SDS, GRF, SKS and Khartoum will incorporate the needs and experiences of women from conflict-affected areas into decision making processes, including crisis mediation and dispute resolution, political transitions, and/or policies to transform gender inequalities that drive and perpetuate conflict.

  • Intended Result 1: Women’s civil society networks in SDS, GRF, SKS and Khartoum have relationships and trust with diverse communities of conflict-affected women and girls to legitimately amplify their needs and perspectives.
  • Intended Result 2: Women’s civil society networks have the technical knowledge, skills, and confidence to advance participatory solutions that transform the inequalities that drive conflict.
  • Intended Result 3: Women’s civil society networks safely influence decision-making, including but not limited to peace negotiations and/or peace accord implementation, crisis mediation, political transitions.

Objective 2 – Collaboration: Strengthened and expanded women’s networks collaborate on 40 shared initiatives to overcome divisions and build their collective influence and capabilities.

  • Intended Result 4: Women’s civil society networks and women’s groups work together towards joint aims.

Objective 3 – Learning and Exchange: Women’s networks in and across SDS, GRF, SKS and Khartoum provide peer-led capacity building and peer-to-peer learning, benefitting 620 existing and new women leaders, as well as 80 male leaders.

  • Intended Result 5: Women’s civil society networks, young and old, learn and grow together.

2. Scope of the Final Evaluation

Main Purpose

The main purpose of this assignment is to evaluate program achievements towards meeting its objectives and targets and to assess relevance, effectiveness, impact, efficiency, and sustainability of the program at program end. The evaluation will also generate recommendations for future programming. The information will be used for public presentations and learning, for sharing with government line-ministries, local stakeholders, and private sector partners, and for promotion of services in the community, as well as identifying possibilities for project replication. The results from the independent evaluation will also support Mercy Corps’ agency-level learning, by documenting and explaining why planned activities succeeded or failed. The final evaluation is expected to establish plausible links between program inputs and outcomes and results and draw lessons for improvement of future interventions.

Key deliverables:

The consultant is expected to provide a means of answering the evaluation questions using both qualitative and quantitative. The consultant will also specify in their proposal, means of data-collection, data analysis and provide the sampling strategy. Key deliverables will include:

  1. An inception report detailing agreed upon process and methodologies to be employed to answer the evaluation questions.

  2. Design qualitative and quantitative data framework and tools: The external consultant is expected to conduct a mixed methods evaluation using tools and a work plan that she/he/they have developed and have been approved by the Country MEL Manager prior to the start of the evaluation. Data collection shall involve visits to a sample of project locations, meetings with program partners, targeted participants, and other key stakeholders. The consultant will lead the qualitative and quantitative data collection, including supervising data collection teams, and completing the analysis within the approved timeline.

    1. Qualitative: The qualitative component of the final evaluation must capture lessons learned and best practices through a variety of qualitative methods. The evaluation team will design the overall qualitative study approach and should consider a variety of primary data collection methods, including semi-structured in-depth interviews, focus group discussions, and observations. The evaluation team leader and members will be responsible for collecting and analyzing qualitative data. Data will be collected from key stakeholders through interviews, discussions, consultative processes, and observations.
    2. Quantitative: The final evaluation will include primary data collection and analysis of quantitative survey data. The tools will be designed by the consultant including all field related operations – from hiring and training of enumerators and testing of tools.
  3. Draft and Final evaluation reports.

    The consultant is expected to produce a comprehensive evaluation report.

Report Structure & Content:

  • Cover Page, List of Acronyms
  • Table of Contents
  • Executive Summary: This section should be a clear and concise stand-alone document that gives readers the essential contents of the evaluation report, including a summary of major findings, lessons learned, and recommendations.
  • Methodology: This section should be sufficiently detailed to help the reader judge the accuracy of the report and its findings.
  • Limitations: This section should address constraints and limitations of the methodology, and the implications of these limitations for the findings, including whether and why any of the evaluation findings are inconclusive.
  • Results: This section should provide a clear assessment of progress with respect to indicators / targets / objectives and/or evaluation questions, production of indicator estimates with tables showing the indicators, Baseline/Endline indicator values.
  • Synthesis, Recommendations and Lessons Learned: This is space for the evaluation team to think about the data and results and make concrete recommendations for current or future program improvements, pull out organization lessons learned, and generally comment on data and results. Everything presented in this section should be directly linked back to the information presented in the Results section of the report.
  • Conflicts of Interest: Disclose any conflicts of interest or the appearance of conflicts of interest, including the interest of program staff in having a successful program.
  • Annexes: These should include a complete file of data collection instruments in English, list of stakeholder groups with number and type of interactions; SOW, qualitative protocols developed and used, any data sets (these can be provided in electronic format), any required photos, participant profiles or other special documentation needed.

Expected Activities to attain the deliverables.

Below is an overview of the activities expected during the consultancy period.

  • Review of the draft evaluation SOW to clarify the timeframe and available budget.
  • Undertake desk review of the relevant program documents that include the program proposal narrative, implementation plans, revised program designs and timelines, program implementation reports, Mercy Corps strategy documents, reports, assessment reports and any other relevant documents.
  • Develop an inception report detailing the process and methodologies to be employed to answer the evaluation questions. This should include all evaluation tools, and important time schedules for this exercise, and be presented to Mercy Corps for review and further inputs before going to the field.
  • With input from Mercy Corps program team and MEL teams, develop data collection tools and translate them as appropriate.
  • Train Enumerators/Surveyors; Pre-test data collection instruments
  • Finalize data collection instruments and share for review.
  • Oversee data collection
  • Prepare and share draft evaluation report
  • Produce presentation of findings, and share back with MC (Not more 30 pages – all other additions can be included as Annexes)
  • Finalize report based on feedback from the review team and share the final evaluation report.

NB: Mercy Corps’ Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (MEL) team will be available to work directly with the consultant throughout the duration of the assignment and to answer any question as they emerge.

3. The following are the key deadlines for the report:

  • First draft report to be submitted by 6th June 2024 .
  • Mercy Corps will review the draft report and provide feedback no later than 11th June 2024.
  • Final report, incorporating feedback, will be due on 17th June 2024.

4. Essential and Desirable Experience and skills

The consultant(s) should possess a blend of research expertise and peacebuilding knowledge as indicated below:

  • Strong experience in evaluating programs, particularly those related to social change or peacebuilding initiatives.
  • A strong approach to assuring quality assurance of data collected.
  • A strong ethical approach to data collection – while still being able to meet the objectives of the consultancy.
  • Knowledge of strategic and operational management of program operations and proven ability to provide strategic recommendations to key stakeholders.
  • Strong analytical skills and ability to clearly synthesize and present findings, draw practical conclusions, make recommendations and to prepare well-written reports in a timely manner.
  • Demonstrated experience in both quantitative and qualitative data collection and data analysis techniques, especially in emergency operations.
  • Data visualization skills are highly desirable.
  • Experience, knowledge, and clear understanding of the Sudan context.
  • Good interpersonal skills and understanding of cultural sensitivities.

5. Lines of Communication:

  • Line Manager- Mercy Corps Sudan Country MEL Manager and will work closely with the Mercy Corps’ MEL and PAQ team.

6. Timeframe for the final evaluation:

It is expected that the consultant is available to start on 14th April 2024, with an initial meeting with the key team members from Mercy Corps. The consultant will then work until 17th June 2024, during which, the final evaluation report (adjusted according to Mercy Corps’ feedback) is to be shared. It is expected that the consultant will work for an estimated 40 working days (excluding weekends) between 14th April 2024 and 17th June 2024. (Both days inclusive).

The invoice for services should be provided to Mercy Corps immediately after the delivery of the final evaluation report (due 17th June 2024).

Payment will be made in 3 installments, upon submission of inception report, after data collection and after submission of final report.

Upon contracting, the consultant(s) will be encouraged to submit a taxable invoice. In case a taxable invoice is not available, a 10% withholding tax deduction will be subjected to the invoiced amount.

7. Application Process and Requirements:

Qualified and interested parties are asked to submit the following.

  • A detailed technical proposal detailing the applicant’s understanding of the assignment, proposed approach/methodologies, timelines, and levels of effort, as well as proposed teams (CVs in the annex) among others.
  • Financial proposal breaking down all costs related to the assignment. Please note that the consultant will be responsible for ALL costs related to the assignment, and as such, should include these costs in the financial proposal.

8. Assessment and award of the assignment

  • Mercy Corps will evaluate technical and financial proposals and award the assignment based on technical and financial feasibility. Mercy Corps reserves the right to accept or reject one or all proposals received without assigning any reason and is not bound to accept the lowest or the highest bidder. Only those shortlisted will be contacted.
  • Any subcontracting under this evaluation consultancy will not be accepted.

How to apply

Qualified and interested parties are encouraged to read and Scope of Work attached and submit their applications to the email: [email protected]

Submission deadline by the 12th April 2024.

Deadline: 12 Apr 2024