Mercy Corps is hiring a
Programs to be Evaluated
Education for Peace (E4P) and Hiwar (“Dialogue)
Implemented By: Mercy Corps Iraq
Project Locations: Anbar governorate (Fallujah, Heet, and Ramadi districts)
Project Start Date: December 1, 2022
Project End Date: November 30, 2022
Evaluation Start Date: November 1, 2022
Evaluation End Date: November 30, 2022
Funded By: The German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ)
**APPLICATION CLOSING DATE: 26 OCTOBER 2022, 23.59
REMOTE WORKING POSSIBLE
Mercy Corps is seeking an individual, team, or firm to design and carry out a summative evaluation of two programs — Mercy Corps Iraq’s Education For Peace (E4P) and Hiwar programs — that target the same implementation areas. The findings of the two evaluations will inform the future iterations of the noted programs and influence the agency’s overall learning and growth. Mercy Corps intends to use the findings of these evaluations to organize reflection sessions with key program stakeholders, including local partners, as well as current and potential donors. In addition, the findings will inform the design and implementation of future Mercy Corps social cohesion and education programming in Iraq and other similar contexts.
Program Background and Details
Mercy Corps is a non-profit organization made up of a team of 5,500+ global humanitarians who partner with communities, corporations, and governments to transform lives in more than 40 countries around the world. Our mission is to alleviate suffering, poverty, and oppression by helping people build secure, productive, and just communities.
Mercy Corps has been present in Iraq since 2003 and that has allowed the team to develop a broad network of community relationships and a deep understanding of the needs of conflict-affected populations. Since 2007, Mercy Corps Iraq’s programming in education and social cohesion has focused on increasing the influence of marginalized civil society actors and improving ethno-religious dialogue. Mercy Corps’ work in peacebuilding, social cohesion, and conflict management has placed the team at the forefront of working on the most pressing governance issues.
E4P and Hiwar are two 12-month programs funded by GIZ and implemented by Mercy Corps simultaneously in Heet, Fallujah, and Ramadi districts of Anbar governorate. Mercy Corps drew on its strong experience in social cohesion and conflict management as well as educational programming to implement these two programs.
Since the start of program activities, the E4P Program has directly reached 750 young people and 64 teaching staff and CSO representatives and facilitated the implementation of 15 collectively-designed social projects in schools and 15 social facilities. Mercy Corps also provided training to teachers and local Civil Society Organization (CSO) staff on peace education to implement a civic engagement curriculum for older children (10-15 years old) in an effort to strengthen the social foundations for peaceful development in Anbar, Mercy Corps supported the provision of peace education activities to children and young people and has reached around 1000 students. Additionally, as part of E4P’s support for good governance. Through organizing dialogue sessions, Mercy Corps facilitated links between relevant partners working on social cohesion in Anbar and engaged the Local Peace Committees which was established under Hiwar program in helping to identify and select schools and social facilities targeted by this program.
Hiwar, since the start of its activities has directly engaged 221 community members and 70 government representatives and aimed to improve vertical social cohesion across the three target districts with a total population of 40500. Mercy Corps worked to strengthen ties between community members and government/administrative employees and empower them to collaborate on identifying and ameliorating critical community basic services. Through the course of the 12 months of implementation, Mercy Corps established inclusive Community Committees in each targeted district to facilitate linkages between community members and government/administrative structures. In turn, Mercy Corps worked to strengthen administrative employee capacity for good governance and provision of basic services through a variety of training on good governance, interest-based negotiation, mediation, dialogue, community-led resource mapping and needs assessment, budget planning and project management. Together, targeted administrative employees and Community Committee members identified priority basic services needed in targeted areas that served as the foundations for the design of social and infrastructural projects to be carried out by GIZ.
Mercy Corps will conduct its own internal endline assessment to capture values for performance indicators associated with program achievements. The purpose of this final summative evaluation is to complement and deepen the understanding of program outcomes; this assessment should not duplicate the internal endline, instead it should evaluate the program using frameworks known in the evaluation sector that demonstrate the extent to which the interventions were of quality, the level to which the stated objectives and outcomes were achieved and any early signs of long-term systems changes that may have been achieved with the program's contribution. Below are some suggested evaluation questions:
Further Guiding Questions
How inclusive and reflective of local priorities are the programs and their respective selection processes (of schools, social facilities, CSOs, teachers, partners, participants, etc.)?
●To what extent were the selection of Community Committees and training participants considered inclusive? [Hiwar]
● To what extent were the development of the Community Action Plans considered inclusive of all targeted subgroups? [Hiwar]
● Whose voices and perspectives were heard? Whose were not? What were the major obstacles to inclusion? What were the best practices?
How did each of the programs contribute to social cohesion? What evidence is there of the sustainability of these results? Both programs?
●What components, strategies, approaches implemented as part of E4P and Hiwar program led to effective implementation of interventions that resulted in positive outcomes
● What components, strategies and approaches can be improved to ensure that the program achieves its stated objectives and how
●To what extent did engagement with CSOs contribute to increased partner capacity and to the sustainability of program impact?
● To what extent did the program contribute to changing the perception and behavior of administrative employees and government representatives toward meaningful and inclusive community engagement (in decision-making, peacebuilding, and local governance processes)?
● What are some of the examples when better outcomes were achieved upon ensuring inclusive community engagement by the local government?
● What was the effect of the joint community action plan and projects and the implemented social projects on the participating children and youth and the community at large in the targeted areas?
What unintended outcomes and/or results (positive and negative) were produced from particular interventions and the programs as a whole?
How did different groups of program participants report benefiting from the program outcomes (disaggregate findings by age, gender, geographic location, and other meaningful criteria should those emerge during the data collection
What are the most significant contributions of the program towards the (positive and negative) change?
●How do women and youth perceive their level of involvement and influence in decision-making processes? Has this changed as a result of the program?
●What special considerations were made by this program with regard to gender, protection, and engaging individuals with disabilities, and to what extent were these effective? What additional considerations/adaptations would have contributed to the inclusivity of the program?
To what extent did the layering of these two distinct, but related programs and their interventions contribute to program outcomes, both intended and unintended?
Which interventions were the most significant contributors to social cohesion, intergroup trust, and improved governance? Why? How could these be improved upon?
●To what extent did civic engagement and good governance training for the school representatives and linking those representatives to Local Peace Committees contribute to school connectivity to the community engagement structures and local authorities? [E4P]
●To what extent did forming the joint community and government action committee contribute to good governance in the targeted area? [Hiwar]
_It is expected that the above questions will be adjusted in collaboration with the consultant/service provider.
.Mercy Corps expects the external evaluator to propose methodological approaches that align with our evaluation questions and criteria in which the applicant(s) have experience and expertise. It is our expectation that, in addition to considering performance, the evaluation will be summative and assess program effectiveness and outcomes, as well as demonstrate contributions to systems-level or long-term changes where possible in the absence of rigorous counterfactuals. We anticipate a mixed-methods design that incorporates a variety of quantitative and qualitative data collection and analysis strategies (possibly including but not limited to site visits, focus group discussions, semi-structured stakeholder interviews, participant surveys, among others).
**Evaluation Roles and Responsibilities
The evaluation will be led by the External Evaluator (consultant) and his/her in-country team. The team is expected to consist of members with thorough contextual knowledge and evaluation expertise. Mercy Corps anticipates the team will be made up of all local or a combination of local and international members, as well as an appropriate mix of genders. Key team members should have a demonstrated track record of research/evaluation excellence who are well-prepared to conduct evaluation in a complex context The composition and number of team members has deliberately not been exactly defined.
The consultant will report to Mercy Corps Iraq’s Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning (MEL) Manager, who will facilitate communication with the in-country Program and MEL teams as necessary.
The consultant will work closely with the Senior Program Manager, Program Manager, PaQ Director, and Deputy MEL Manager who will be involved in deliverable reviews and/or who will help coordinate local stakeholder involvement and communication as well as navigate program documentation and materials.
Evaluation Deliverables and Timelines**
The main evaluation period is expected to begin on November 1, 2022, with an initial meeting with the Mercy Corps program and MEL teams. The consultant will work until November 30, 2022, when the final evaluation report (adjusted according to Mercy Corps’ feedback) will be shared. Mercy Corps anticipates the consultant will work for an estimated 30 days from November 1 - November 30, 2022 (inclusive). This is an estimate and can be adjusted in initial consultations with the external evaluator.
The invoice for services should be provided to Mercy Corps at the time of submission of the Final Evaluation Report, due no later than November 30, 2022.
_Details of the work period(s) and timeline will be finalized in collaboration with the selected consultant.
DELIVERABLE: Following desk review of relevant program documents including proposals, implementation plants, strategy documents, and existing databases/datasets, consultant will develop an Inception Report, outlining evaluation design, methodologies, and including all evaluation tools, as well as work plan with GANTT chart
Address feedback on Inception Report and evaluation tools, resubmit for approval
DELIVERABLE: Conduct orientation with in-country Mercy Corps leadership to discuss expectations and logistics
DELIVERABLE: Study instruments finalized and translated to Arabic and Kurdish and testested , as appropriate, and shared with Mercy Corps for review
DELIVERABLE: Oversee data collection and analysis, including hiring and training enumerators, pre-testing data collection instruments, data cleaning and analysis
DELIVERABLE: Prepare Draft Evaluation Report, including Executive Summary. This should be one report but clearly drawing upon individual program specific findings and deliverables.
Provide detailed feedback on Draft Evaluation Report
DELIVERABLE: Finalize Evaluation Report, incorporating Mercy Corps feedback. Prepare a separate slide deck with talking points (in English? Arabic?) summarizing key findings and lessons learned.
DELIVERABLE: Conduct presentation of findings/learning event for key Mercy Corps personnel and donor
What are the dates that the consultant needs to be fully available?
FINAL REPORT FORMAT:**
The final report should not exceed 30 pages, not including annexes and appendices. The content of the written report should be coherently structured with a logical flow. Data and information should be presented, analyzed, and interpreted clearly and systematically, with a clear line of evidence supporting the conclusions and recommendations.
The basic structure of the report should resemble the following:
International travel for the purpose of the consultancy may not be possible and would require advance approval from Mercy Corps in accordance with our latest COVID-19 policies and precautions. If approved, associated costs would be the responsibility of the consultant. Preference may be given to firms with teams based in Iraq. The consultant will be responsible for arranging their own accommodation, but Mercy Corps can provide guidance and recommendations if needed. The consultant will be responsible for arranging their own airfare and in-country transportation. Mercy Corps can support access to field/implementation sites.
Mercy Corps MEL and Social Cohesion teams will be available to work directly with the consultant throughout the duration of the evaluation to answer any questions as they emerge.
Assessment and Award of the Assignment
Interested applicants should submit a technical and financial proposal to Mercy Corps (not more than 20 pages) including the following:
Application Deadline: 26 October 2022, 23.59.
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.
Organization profile, knowledge of the theme and contexts
Technical proposal, including methodology and its responsiveness to SOW
Technical expertise and experience of assessment team (based on CVs provided)
One similar sample report