Afghanistan: Evaluation of Civil Society and Capacity Development Unit Efforts

Organization: Swedish Committee for Afghanistan
Country: Afghanistan
Closing date: 20 Jan 2017

1. Introduction

Swedish Committee for Afghanistan (SCA)

Swedish Committee for Afghanistan (SCA) is a non-governmental, non-profit, membership based and value driven organization established in 1980 with a mission of empowering individuals, communities and local organizations, primarily in rural areas and with particular focus on women, girls, boys and vulnerable groups such as people with disabilities so that they may participate fully in society and influence their own development. SCA is achieving this by working closely with communities, local and national civil society organisations and relevant levels of government.

Our Vision is: An Afghanistan free from poverty, violence and discrimination, where human rights are respected and all live in dignity, enjoy equal opportunity and social justice.

SCA is currently implementing development programmes in Health, Education, Disability and Rural Livelihoods and Community Governance across 14 provinces in 5 regions of the country.

SCA strategic plan 2014-2017 focuses on rural communities, women, children and persons with disabilities. Service delivery, capacity development, advocacy, gender mainstreaming and rights based approach are the key building blocks of the new organizational strategy. Strategic plan 2014-2017 emphasizes working in close collaboration with the communities that SCA supports. Its programmatic activities are guided by respect for the context and the principle of local ownership. Emanating from a rights-based perspective, SCA supports the capacity development of rights holders in the form of civil society organisations (CSOs). It continues to commit itself to strengthening the voice of women and enhancing the capacities of CSOs to engage women more meaningfully.

2. Background Information and Rationale

SCA collaborates with more than a thousand civil society and community-based organisations in Afghanistan. These partner organizations are active either at the national level or in provinces where SCA operates. SCA’s partner organisations consist of Health Shuras (HSs), School Management Committees (SMCs), Disable People Organisations (DPOs), Teachers’ Elected Councils, professional organisations and associations and well established national associations. Currently, SCA supports 134 of these partner organisations with capacity development programmes identified through assessing their organisational capacity needs. Human Rights Based Approach and gender mainstreaming is a cross cutting theme across all SCA programmes. SCA also ensures that human rights and gender mainstreaming is incorporated in all initiatives of partners.

The Civil Society and Capacity Development Unit (CCU) is responsible for planning and implementing capacity development programmes and grant schemes for selected civil society partner organisations. CCU performs this role in close coordination with the 4 major programme units (Health, Disability, Education and Rural Development) and other cross-cutting units (Human Rights and Gender and Advocacy) at the Kabul Management Office (KMO) and the Capacity Development and Method Units (CDMUs) located in each of the 5 Regional Management Offices (RMOs). CCU conducts trainings and learning workshops, on-the-job trainings, coaching and mentoring, other follow-up support activities and provides project grants to 14 DPOs and 4 well established associations. CCU also provides support to the Capacity Development and Method Units in the RMOs in helping the CSOs develop functioning systems by providing manuals and guidelines. HRGU provides support to CDMU in implementing the rights-based approach and in mainstreaming gender in the SCA programmes and partners’ activities. CDMUs have its direct connection to CCU and HRGU in developing, planning, implementing and monitoring activities both at RMO and community levels. The Advocacy Unit in collaboration with the CCU provides support in advocacy related actions by the CSOs. In addition to CSOs, SCA through the CDMU and Programme Implementing Units (PIUs) in the regions also develop capacities of local government institutions (local government authorities) at the sub-national level (Provincial Directorates, and District Governor Offices).

The CDMUs work closely with the project implementing units (PIUs) in the Regions. It has a team of 3 staffs: the CDMU coordinator as lead person for the unit, the capacity development facilitator as focal person for CSO capacity development and human rights and gender senior officer as focal person for rights based approach and gender mainstreaming. The CDMU coordinator reports directly to the Head of RMO. The CDMUs support the programme staff in the regions by providing mentoring, technical assistance, and methodologies, so that the programme staff can support the CSO and CBO partners as well as the local government authorities with capacity development support. CDMUs work directly with the CSOs on organisational development and related issues and also with the local government authorities (LGAs) on institutional development related needs that enables them to support the CSOs.

The overall CCU programme aim is to develop the capacity of the target CSOs as responsible right holders and local authorities as responsive duty bearers. The CCU’s aim for CSO is “to develop their abilities and skills in project designing, implementation, community mobilization and advocacy, (so that they can respond better to the needs and rights of their constituencies) and demand for good governance from the local government authorities”. To effectively use these abilities and skills, CCU supports the development of effectively and sustainably functioning organisations. The Unit’s aim for local authorities is “to develop their capacity to better respond to the rights of the citizens to the services they provide”.

CCU through the CDMU contributes to the following SCA outcomes: (1) Communities are more actively involved in the promotion of accountable and responsive health services, (2) Increased demand for education amongst the target communities ,(3) Enhanced accountability of government for delivering quality education towards parents and communities, (4) Adult members of rural communities have strengthened capacities and improved access to resources to diversify their household incomes, (5) Rural communities including women, children and persons with disability are represented and increasingly participate in democratic community organisations and decision making, (6) Local authorities are more accountable and able to respond to the demands of local communities.

CCU and CDMUs embarked on the following key activities for the strategy period 2014 to 2017:

  • Conduct trainings and other capacity development intervention activities for the CDMU staff and programme focal points to be able to support CSOs and LGAs through assessments, training, mentoring and on-the-job training support of their staff;
  • Conduct training for other programme staff to enhance their capacities towards more participatory, inclusive and sustainable development programming;
  • Provide grants to select programme partners and strategically use these grants to develop their capacity to develop proposals and systems to support the implementation of their project proposals
  • Develop methods and tools that can provide guidance to SCA programme staff in working with CSOs and LGAs.
  • Develop rules and regulations for effective partners’ project design and implementation as well as to ensure adherence to and application of rules and regulations by partner organizations
  • Commission studies that would enhance more participatory, inclusive and sustainable development programming.

The first year of the strategy period was spent in regrouping SCA units into the current functional units. CCU in KMO and CDMUs in the RMOs were established in September 2015, however, the CCU has started working with the partners in 2014 by conducting organisational assessments and select trainings. CDMU was fully staffed in the regions by mid of 2016.

3. Purpose and Objectives of the Evaluation

Overall purpose:

The findings and conclusions of this Evaluation is expected to contribute to enhanced structure and better clarity in roles and responsibilities of the various units involved in capacity development of CSOs in SCA. The same will be important inputs to the ongoing review and finalization of SCA strategies for the next 4 years (2018-2021), especially on the capacity development of CSOs and LGAs.

Specific objectives:

The assessment will be at two levels. One level shall focus on CCU, HRGU and CDMU progress in achieving the following outcomes:

1) Increased competencies in supporting civil society organisations among SCA programme staff:

  • Effectiveness of CCU and HRGU in capacitating the CDMUs;

  • Effectiveness of the CDMUs in providing capacity development support to staff of the programme implementing units and the CSO partners in streamlining human rights, gender, advocacy and organisational systems development;

  • effectiveness of grants allocation to civil society partners;

  • Relevance of the capacity development interventions provided by CCU, HRGU and CDMU

2) Identified practices in organisational capacity development and rights and gender mainstreaming that has worked so far.

The other level shall focus on the SCA CSO and Local Government authority partners’ related outcome:

3) Increased competencies among SCA’s partner CSOs:

  • functional organisation (formulation of their VMV, strategy, financial management, planning and proposal development and establishing a basic M&E system, advocacy, community mobilization capacity, and human rights and gender mainstreaming)

  • sustainability of the CSO partners’ functioning

  • relevance of the CSO partners’ projects

  • impact on the target groups that the CSO partners represent

4) Increased support by relevant local government authorities to SCA CSO partners

For both levels:

5) Identified enabling and constraining factors for CCU, HRGU, CDMU and CSO partners in reaching its potential for optimum contribution to programme development and improvement.

6) Identified lessons learned and recommend ways to optimize desired results

The evaluation should carefully consider the achievement of the outcomes listed above in the context of the efforts towards human rights and gender integration and mainstreaming within SCA, partners and right holders and duty bearers

4. Scope of the evaluation

This evaluation is intended to be completed in 30 working days. It includes desk study and data collection from SCA regional offices and visits to at least 3 out of 5 regional offices, security permitting. The Consultant based on mutual understanding and consultation with CCU Team and ensuring correct and acceptable sampling size, will select the regions for evaluation and data collection. The possible target group for this evaluation would be the CCU and HRGU in KMO, CDMUs in the regional offices (CDMU coordinators, CDFs, HRG Senior Officers), programme staff in each regional office, and SCA partner CSOs and local government institution staff as primary source of information. Other secondary target source for data collection include other CSOs in the regions, community people and other marginalized groups/people that do not benefit from any SCA intervention. The target group would be chosen by following gender equality and sex segregation ensuring girls/women and boys/men perspectives.

The evaluation shall also do an in-depth study of the CCU, HRGU and CDMUs operations and its contribution toward the programmes’ outputs, outcomes and impact and how they have influenced quality of programme results. Rights based and gender sensitivity approach is an important cross cutting theme to consider.

5. Approach and Methodology

Candidates applying for this position are expected to send a comprehensive narrative proposal including methodology on how to achieve the objectives of this evaluation. The methodologies may include desk study of the available documents and reports (Strategy Plan 2014-2017, TORs of SCA Units, relevant guidelines and manuals, gender checklists, etc), interview CDMU, CCU, HRGU and programme staff, visiting SCA civil society partners and local authority partners to observe and interview them and interview other stakeholders.

The consultant is expected to use all possible tools for collecting both qualitative as well as quantitative data to achieve the objectives of the evaluation.

6. Guiding Principles and Values

This section clearly specifies the ethical procedures to be followed by the evaluator. This includes requirements for confidentiality, seeking consent before data collection, or adherence to ethical and professional standards set by various international organisations e.g. UN, professional bodies etc

The evaluation consultant is expected to adhere to the core principles of evaluation below and consider the sensitivity of the local Afghan context.

  • Confidentiality: All the collected data from the SCA document and target groups during interview has to be kept strictly confidential and shall be used just for SCA official purpose.
  • Systematic data gathering: The consultant is expected to adhere to the highest technical standard appropriate to the methods used for data gathering.
  • Honesty: The evaluator has to display honesty through the entire assignment and thus should disclose any relationship that might pose a real or perceived conflict of interest prior to accepting the assignment.
  • Be explicit: about their own, their clients’ and other stakeholders’ interests and values related to the evaluation.
  • Represent accurately: their procedures data, and findings, and attempt to prevent or correct misuse of their work by others.
  • S/he has to respect the local culture and values during the data gathering and interacting with staff, and SCA beneficiaries, s/he has to take consent from interviewees while gathering data & taking pictures.

7. Management of Task

CCU will be responsible for overall management and supervision of the evaluation throughout of the evaluation period. SCA inputs to this evaluation are:

  • Provide the consultant with all relevant SCA organisational documents.
  • Arrange her/his travel to and from Afghanistan, covering the costs of international flights, visas and health and travel insurance (if relevant).
  • Facilitate contacts with target civil society partner organizations, target local authorities and regional staff.
  • Arrange meetings both external and internal and provide accommodation, subsistence and transportation costs for the duration of the work carried out in Afghanistan
  • Accompany consultant on field visits and provide interpretation if needed.
  • Assist the consultant in data collection as needed
  • SCA security unit will provide the consultant with the security updates. The consultant will have to revise the field survey plans provided the security situation changes drastically and unexpectedly.
  • SCA is responsible for ensuring that relevant documents are reviewed by relevant parties at appropriate times, and that external objectivity is preserved.
  • Provide food and accommodation in SCA compound, in Kabul, and in SCA guest houses in provinces.
  • Kabul Airport pick and drop.

8. Professional Qualifications

The expected candidate meets the following qualifications:

  1. Relevant academic degree (Social Sciences, Research and Evaluation, Gender, Human Rights, Development Studies, Community Health etc.), with experience in project evaluation, capacity development and civil society work.

  2. At least 10 years of experience of evaluating projects and programmes with different national and international organisations.

  3. Experience of evaluating projects in Afghanistan.

  4. Previous experience of civil society and capacity development project related evaluation.

9. Proposal Submissions

  • Interested individuals are required to Submit a technical proposal clearly outlining: a) Their understanding of the terms of reference b) Individual/Company profile c) Methodology for conducting the evaluation with details on which methods will be used for which kind of target population d) Data Quality Control and Analysis Plan
  • Financial Proposal detailing the consultant(s) professional fees, travel costs and any other costs related to this consultancy
  • 2 sample reports of previous evaluations conducted by the consultant or consulting company

1. Deliverables and Timelines

A total of 30 working days are allocated for this evaluation including two-day travel to and back from Kabul. The researcher may select how he/she allocates the 30 days to complete the expected mission. Indicative allocation of time is suggested below:

Inception report: Following the desk review and prior to beginning the field work, the evaluator will produce an inception report in SCA inception report template. This report will detail a draft work plan with a summary of the primary information needs, the methodology to be used and a work plan/schedule for field visits and major deadlines. SCA shall review the inception report and will approve the study design prior to commencement of the study. This is considered part of planning/preparation period, and hence recommended to take place in 3 days.

Field Visits and Data Gathering: This is expected to be conducted within 18 working days (3 days to visit Kabul based organizations, including 1 day to interview East and Central region based organizations representatives in Kabul), 5 days Balkh and 5 days Taloqan visit which includes one day travel each and interview with partner CSOs and local government authorities for 2 days, and 4 day Jalalabad visit and 2 days to meet KMO department staff to discuss with the CCU and HRU, and program teams, tools and methods that will be used including orienting staff that will support the consultant).

Presentation of findings: A briefing of main findings through a presentation at the end of the evaluation to be held at Kabul Management Office (1 day to organise findings and 1 day to present these findings and initial recommendations, total of 2 days).

Draft report: A draft study report will be submitted to the Civil Society and Capacity Development Unit within 7 days of completing the evaluation. The feedback on the draft will be submitted to the researcher within 10 days of receipt of the draft report. (5 days for drafting the report)

Final report: The final report should be submitted by the consultant no later than end Feb 2017. Report has to be in SCA reporting format. However, the report is expected to include an executive summary that summarizes the key findings and recommendations for CCU. (2 days for finalizing the report)

How to apply:

ADMINISTRATIVE CONDITIONS

The procuring organization is Swedish Committee for Afghanistan, identity number 802010-4850 in Sweden and registration number 118 in Afghanistan. Address: Paktia Kot, Jalalabad-Kabul road, Kabul, Afghanistan, info@sca.org.af.

Questions about the procurement/tender process

Please direct question regarding this procurement process to Miss Marrisa Civil Society and Capacity Development Unit Manager through: marissa.espineli@sca.org.af

Procurement rules

This procurement is made by closed bidding. Tenders shall be submitted to SCA by the 20th January, 2017, at 03:30 pm. Tender shall be submitted in a sealed envelope either by courier or by regular mail addressed to evaluations@sca.org.af, Swedish Committee for Afghanistan, Jalalabad Main Road Paktia Kot Kabul Afghanistan, mark the envelope: Evaluation of Civil Society and Capacity Development Unit Efforts

The actual assignment would be in Feb 2017 the last date for submission of Application is 20th January 2017; 3:30pm Kabul time.

Please email the following to: evaluations@sca.org.af

  1. Resume

  2. Narrative Proposal outlining Approach and Methodology

  3. Financial Proposal, including:

a. Consultant’s daily fee

b. Travel + visa costs to Afghanistan (if relevant)

c. Any other costs associated with the evaluation

d. Afghanistan tax, which is 2% for registered and 7% for nonregistered consultants and firms.

Please subject your email as follows: Your Name for Evaluation of CCU. In addition to following SCA’s regular application process, which typically includes an interview and reference checks, applicants must be prepared to provide at least two samples of past similar work if shortlisted.

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