Lebanon: Evaluator for the project “Food security for Syrian refugees in Lebanon”

Organization: Belgian Red Cross
Country: Lebanon
Closing date: 22 Mar 2016

1) Backround and context

1.1 Collaboration between Belgian RC and Lebanon RC

Belgian RC is present in Lebanon since the ” July War » (conflict with Israel) in 2006. In response to that crisis, the Belgian RC strengthened the Lebanese RC EMS (vehicles, infrastructure). Since then, Belgian RC has also worked with the Lebanese RC on a project for the Dissemination of Humanitarian norms towards Lebanese youth, project financed by the “Service Consolidation de la Paix” (Belgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs) from 2009 until 2015.

Belgian RC also supported Palestine Red Crescent – Lebanon branch through Community Based Health projects (2009 to 2012) and Blood Transfusion projects (2008 to 2011) in the Palestinian refugee camps.

In the frame of the Syrian crisis, Belgian RC supported Lebanese RC with a 600,000.00 € subvention from DGD (Belgian Gvt) in 2012, and with a 45,000.00 € grant from funds raised from the Belgian population in 2014 for a relief and emergency health project.

In 2015, Belgian RC received another 850.000 € subvention from DGD in order to strengthened the food security of Syrian Refugees in Lebanon.

This specific project will be the purpose of the present evaluation.

1.2 Project Presentation

The project targeted as direct beneficiaries 4000 households of Syrian Refugees settled in Lebanon. It has been implemented in various location spread over the entire territory of Lebanon. More specifically, the places identified with the highest needs were: Halba, Zahle, Hasbaya, Tyre, Tripoli, Baalbek, Hermel, Raschaya, Saïda, Kob Elias and Tebnin.

The overall goal of the project was to improve the living conditions of Syrian refugees in Lebanon and the specific objective was to improve the access of the targeted population to food. In order to achieve this objective, two results have been defined as follow:

  • The persons who are the most vulnerable and most in need of complementary food are identified.

  • The beneficiaries’ daily food ration varied according to necessary daily nutriment amounts and respect local customs.

The project is part of the IFRC Emergency Appeal which planned to procure food parcels to Syrian refugees during the whole 2015 year on a monthly basis. The project supported that plan for 6 months, from July to December (depending on the greater operation and the evolution of the situation, the proposal might have covered few months before and/or after as well).

2) Evaluation

2.1 Purpose and scope

The project proposal foresees in its initial formulation that an external evaluation would be conducted at the end of the project. The purpose of the final evaluation is to promote institutional learning to improve the implementation of future “relief” actions and more specifically food distribution of the RC in Lebanon.

The outcomes of the evaluation (cf. 2.4) will be particularly interesting for the Belgian RC and the Lebanese RC and will be shared with the other partners who support the Lebanon RC in its relief activities (German RC, Swiss RC,etc.) and with the Belgian government.

The evaluation will assess the implementation of the project “Food security for Syrian refugees in Lebanon” from its beginning (1st of May 2015) until its end (30th of April 2016).

2.2 Objective of the evaluation

The evaluation aims to describe the effectiveness and relevance of the project and make recommendations to improve future performance of other relief actions.

The evaluator will set himself the evaluation criteria in order to meet the objective of the evaluation. These criteria will be primarily qualitative and related to the objectives and results as defined in the initial project proposal submitted to the donor. They will ensure in particular to answer the following questions:

1) Did the project achieve what was originally expected: Did it achieve the specific objective indicators and outcomes as formulated in the initial proposal (logical framework); if so, to what degree? If it is ruled out, what are the reasons?

2) What are the main effects (positive or negative, intended or unintended, direct or indirect) induced by the project on the Syrian Refugees targeted and also on the local communities?

3) Could the same or better results have been achieved with the same or fewer inputs by doing things differently or with another implementation strategy (for instance through Cash Transfer Programs)?

4) Are we doing the right thing? Considering the wider operating environment, has the project accurately identified the most important causes of vulnerability? Are these causes appropriately addressed in our activities and program design? Does the program address the real needs of families and communities?

5) Based on the above questions, what are the success factors and lessons learned, and recommendations for improving the implementation of future relief actions?

In the definition of the methodological approach (cf.2.3) for the evaluation, the evaluator will ensure to cover and take into account the perceptions of the various stakeholders (beneficiaries, local authorities, other NGOs or UN agencies involved in relief operation in Lebanon, RC volunteers and project team, branches and headquarter of the Lebanese RC) for each question. A particular attention will be paid in order to consult separately and take into account the specific perspectives of women and children. These separate consultation mechanisms will be described in the technical and financial bid.

A particular attention will be paid on certain groups of people: it will be required to consult separately women and children in order to take into account their specific perspectives. These separate consultation mechanisms will be described in the technical bid.

2.3 Methodology of the evaluation

The evaluation methodology will be defined by the evaluator. However, here are some suggestions that could be part of the process:

  • Reading and analysis of the documents listed in Section 4 (not exhaustive);

  • Visits on distribution sites;

  • Research and analysis of information through interviews and / or other participatory approaches (focus groups, etc.) to gathering information from:

  • RC Staff involved in the project at headquarters and branches level;

  • RC Volunteers involved in food distribution activities;

  • Local Authorities;

  • Representative of the hosted communities;

  • Direct beneficiaries (with a specific methodology for the participation of women and children);

  • Other partners of the Lebanese RC supporting relief activities;

  • NGOs and UN agencies involved in relief activities or more widely in the hosting of Syrian Refugees in Lebanon

2.4 Outcomes

The outcomes expected for this evaluation are:

  1. A presentation of the methodology that will be used (approach, criteria, tools) by the evaluator at the start of the evaluation;

  2. Two restitution meetings during which the evaluator will report its analyzes, conclusions and recommendations: (i) first meeting: at the end of the evaluation activities on the field, before drafting a first draft report (in the presence of – at least – a representative of the LRC) and; (ii) second meeting: after submission of the approved final report (in the presence of the BRC and LRC);

  3. The draft report for review and comment by the BRC and the LRC (within a period of 10 days after receipt of the interim report);

  4. A final evaluation report after receiving any comments on the interim report (to be submitted no later than the 12th of June 2016).

The final report will be written in English in order to be directly shared with the Lebanese RC and the donor.

The content of the report should at least contain the following sections (not exhaustive):

  1. An Executive summary

  2. A description of the context

  3. A description of the methodology, the means used and their limitations

  4. The results for each of the criteria defined by the evaluator

  5. The conclusions, lessons and recommendations (specific, feasible, and preferably listed in order of priority)

In annexes, the report will include: the Terms of reference, data collection tools (maintenance records, etc.), the sources of information used (primary and secondary).

2.5 Time schedule and Budget

The evaluation should be hold on the field between the 1st and the 30th of April 2016. The final report should be transmitted no later than the 15th of June 2016.

The planning of the number of days needed to carry out the evaluation is left to the appreciation of the evaluator.

For information, the budget of the evaluation should not exceed: 10.000 Euro.

3) Selection process

The evaluation team will be selected on the basis of technical and financial offers to be submitted not later the 22.03.2016 on the following email adress: lise.taviet@croix-rouge.be with mention “Evaluation of the project – Food security for Syrian refugees in Lebanon”.

3.1 Content of the technical and financial offers

Technical and financial offers should contain at least the following sections:

  • Description of the methodological approach;
  • Evaluation schedule (description of the work plan, the number of days required and deadlines);
  • The CV of the evaluator (or of each member of the evaluation team if the evaluation is carried out by more than one person)
  • The budget requested (with at least the following headings: fees, transportation, hotels);
  • An example of an evaluation report already made by the evaluator. The BRC reserves the right to launch a new selection procedure if the proposals received are not considered of sufficient quality.

4) Sources of data and information

The Belgian RC will place one copy of the following documents at the disposal of the selected evaluation team:

  • The call for humanitarian projects in the context of the crisis in Syria and affected neighboring countries;

  • The proposal of the project and its budget;

  • Convention with the Donor;

  • Terms and conditions of the contract;

  • Memory of Understanding between the BRC and the LRC;

  • The narrative (and financial ?) reports of the project;

  • Post-Distribution Monitoring Report.

5) Quality and ethics standards:

Evaluators should take all reasonable measures to ensure that the evaluation is designed and conducted in ways that respect and preserve rights and well-being of individuals and communities to which they belong; it is technically accurate, reliable and legitimate; it is carried out in a transparent and impartial manner; and it helps to promote institutional learning and accountability. Therefore, the evaluation team should meet evaluation standards and applicable practices outlined in the Evaluation Framework for the International Federation attached to this specification.

The standards of the International Federation for evaluation are:

Utility Standard

Evaluations must be useful and used. Evaluations are useful if they are done at the right time, serving the specific information needs of intended users. A utilization-focus requires that the needs of stakeholders are identified during the planning stage and addressed throughout the evaluation. It also requires that evaluations are conducted in a credible manner so that findings are accepted and can inform decisionmaking and organizational learning. There should be clear indication of how the evaluation findings will be used, and follow up should be specific in the response and in the investment of time and resources.

Feasibility Standard

Evaluations must be realistic, diplomatic, and managed in a sensible, cost effective manner. The Secretariat commits to allocating adequate resources for evaluation, which should be managed cost-effectively to maximize the benefits while minimizing the use of scarce resources and unnecessary time demands on stakeholders. In the context of complex, resource-strained settings, evaluations need to be carefully selected, planned and conducted. Practical and appropriate methods and procedures should be used that minimize disruption to ongoing programming, as well as the socio- economic and political context.

Ethics & Legality Standard

Evaluations must be conducted in an ethical and legal manner, with particular regard for the welfare of those involved in and affected by the evaluation. Evaluations should abide by professional ethics, standards and regulations to minimize risks, harms and burdens to evaluation participants – this includes careful consideration as to whether an evaluation or certain procedures should be foregone because of potential risks or harms. Evaluators should respect the customs, culture, and dignity of human subjects, (consistent with the fifth and tenth Principles of Conduct). This includes differences due to religion, gender, disability, age, sexual orientation and ethnicity. Particular attention should be given to address issues of discrimination and gender inequality, (in accordance with the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights). IFRC endorses the principle of “do no harm.” Processes and protocols (below) should be clearly defined to inform evaluation participants, obtain the consent and ensure confidentiality of respondents, and handle illegal or harmful activity.

Transparency Standard

Evaluations should be conducted in an open and transparent manner, in accordance with the ninth Principle of Conduct. Specific procedures and protocol should be developed to ensure transparency in the evaluation design, data collection, the development and dissemination of evaluation products, and handling competing interests, differences of opinion, and disputes. Terms of Reference and evaluation products, including the report, should be made public. It is important to note that transparency may be compromised if it threatens the rights and security of individuals, or where sharing of information violates personal data or breaches confidentiality under freedom of information rules, (consistent with Standard 4.3 for ethics and legality).

Accuracy Standard

Evaluations should be technically accurate, providing sufficient information about the data collection, analysis, and interpretation methods so that its worth or merit can be determined. Evaluators should possess the necessary education, expertise, and experience to conduct systematic assessments that uphold the highest methodological rigor, technical standards, professional integrity and best practices promulgated by professional evaluation associations and agencies.9 In the case of internal evaluations, participants should have adequate experience and expertise, which may necessitate capacity development as part of the evaluation process.

Participation Standard

Stakeholders should be consulted and meaningfully involved in the evaluation process when feasible and appropriate. Key stakeholder groups include the beneficiaries, programme staff, donor/s, Movement partners, with bi-lateral organizations, and between international, national, and civic society organizations. Particular attention should be given to include any marginalized or vulnerable groups. Stakeholder participation in data collection, analysis, reporting, and utilization increases legitimacy and utility of evaluations, as well as overall cooperation, support, and ownership for the process. It also helps to ensure the evaluation adheres to any donor requirements, and, (in accordance with the fifth Principle of Conduct), local laws, regulations, and customs. Local involvement is also consistent with the sixth and seventh Principles of Conduct, to find ways to involve beneficiaries and build local capacities.

Collaboration Standard

Collaboration between key operating partners in the evaluation process improves the legitimacy and utility of the evaluation. IFRC interventions are often implemented through various partnerships within the Movement, with bi-lateral donors, and between international, national, and civic society organizations. Within the Movement, collaboration between actors upholds the Fundamental Principles of Unity and Universality. Pluralism that involves beneficiaries and other key stakeholders in the evaluation process ensures that all the legitimate points of view are expressed and considered in a balanced manner. It encourages transparent information sharing and organizational learning. In addition to pooling together and conserving resources, collaborative initiatives such as joint evaluations can reduce the duplication of services and procedures and the related burden on recipients, build consensus, credibility, and support, and provide insights and feedback that might not be possible through a stand-alone evaluation.

How to apply:

Before applying please consider the informations below:

Evaluators Qualifications and Experience

As a minimum proposals should include one specialist in monitoring and evaluation with a postgraduate degree in social sciences or related discipline.

Additional requirements include:

  • Regarding the specific intervention zones(security context) , a preference will be given to people having the Lebanese nationality ;

  • Availability to travel on the field;

  • Several proven experience of successful project evaluations in the sector of relief or food security in emergency;

  • A good knowledge of the Syrian refugees crisis especially in Lebanon ;

  • Very good oral knowledge of French, English and Arab;

  • Very good writing skills in English;

  • Knowledge of the Lebanon Red Cross or/and the International Movement of Red Cross and Red Crescent is an asset.

The evaluation team will be selected on the basis of technical and financial offers to be submitted not later the 22.03.2016 on the following email adress: lise.taviet@croix-rouge.be with mention “Evaluation of the project – Food security for Syrian refugees in Lebanon”.

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