Bangladesh: Mid-term Evaluation Empower Youth for Work Consultacy

By Oxfam Novib Organization: Oxfam Novib
Country: Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Indonesia, Netherlands, Pakistan
Closing date: 08 Nov 2018

Terms of Reference

Project title

Empower Youth for Work (EYW)

Geographical coverage

Indonesia, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Ethiopia, global programme oversight

Duration & Grant size 5 years – July 2016 to June 2021

Number of partners 15

Mid-Term Evaluation Budget 80 000 Euro (incl. VAT)

Reference Group Global Project Manager

Program Lead Youth

Senior Grant Manager, Programme Oversight Team, Oxfam GB MEAL Lead EYW

Evaluation Manager: MEAL Lead EYW

Sponsor: EYW Steering Committee

  1. Background

Despite their growing numbers, many young women and men across the world do not have access to safe, decent opportunities for (self-)employment. In rural areas, the lack of economic opportunities drives youth into already overcrowded and stressed urban centres, threating the future viability of rural areas and food security. This trend is worsened further by the impact of climate change. Often, their involvement in broader decision-making and policy processes is limited, even when it concerns aspects directly affecting their own lives. The five-year Empower Youth for Work project aims to improve the economic and overall opportunities for young women and men in rural climate-affected areas of Bangladesh, Pakistan, Indonesia and Ethiopia. The 5-year project started in June 2016 and is funded by Ikea Foundation with a total grant size of 20.9 million Euro.

  1. Intervention logic

EYW’s Theory of Change applies a holistic approach to effectively drive young people’s economic and overall empowerment through 1) our work on agency, capacity & skills, 2) linking young people to existing and new economic opportunities including access to finance and 3) the creation of an enabling environment by influencing social norms and policies that facilitate young men and women’s economic and overall empowerment.

Our target group, young people aged 15-29, is actively involved in all phases of the project. They are co-creators and co-implementers. The project has a strong emphasis on addressing barriers faced by young women – our ambition is that they make up 70% of our overall target group – and on the mitigation of the effects of climate change and food security.

  1. Agency & Skills – Through youth groups and other meaningful networks, young people gain knowledge, skills and self-confidence, enabling them to take control of their own future. With local partners, and in partnership with the private sector and government bodies in charge of skills development or technical and vocation training (TVET), young women and men obtain soft, technical and entrepreneurial skills relevant for their context and local market needs.

  2. Economic opportunities – EYW actively creates economic opportunities through improved linkages with potential employers, targeted enterprise development programs and by facilitating access to finance for aspiring and existing entrepreneurs. In the case of Ethiopia this is done through a dedicated Loan Guarantee Fund in collaboration with Micro-Finance institutions.

  3. Enabling social environment – This supportive environment is created through community-based interventions as well as larger mass media actions and targeted influencing efforts. We address the obstacles faced by young people, with special attention for the situation of young women. Result areas include the more equal distribution of unpaid care work within the household, facilitation of access to sexual and reproductive health services and reduced risk of Gender-Based Violence within both the private and public sphere. Moreover, we also stimulate and encourage young people to get involved in decision-making processes. Our youth groups take a lead in calling on their local and national governments to implement youth-empowering policies.

To deliver on the above, Oxfam has a dedicated team in each country. While the structure differs, these teams are led by an EYW Project Lead/Coordinator. They also generally include MEAL, communications/influencing and finance officer positions, some of which are part-time functions.

The Program Management Unit (PMU) is based in The Hague and includes a Global Project Manager, Finance Specialist, Influencing & Communications Lead, a MEAL Lead and a Project Officer. The PMU is responsible for overall delivery and project coordination. Their role is to connect and reinforce each country project and drive programme learning and innovation, influencing and partnering with global peers and stakeholders, and ensuring effective programme management and accountability. Next to that, EYW draws on the expertise of a peer-to-peer learning Expert, Researcher and a pool of Technical Advisors based in The Hague and Oxford.

  1. Purpose of the External Mid-Term Evaluation

EYW is currently in its third year of implementation. The main aim of the Mid-Term Evaluation will be to systematically analyse EYW’s progress and achievements so far.

The findings will inform the further implementation of the project, allowing us to fine-tune and – where needed – redirect current strategies to maximally achieve our aspired impact. More broadly, it will also inform Oxfam’s and Ikea Foundation’s current and future work related to youth, employment and entrepreneurship.

To this aim, we expect the consultants to:

  1. Collect evidence about whether the project has been implemented as planned and the expected as well as unexpected outcomes achieved so far

  2. Assess the efficiency, effectiveness and sustainability of our current strategies in each country, from the point of view of different stakeholders, in particular young women and men.

  3. Critically review emerging evidence related to the achievement of EYW’s overall impact (project documents, mid-line survey results, ..) and collect further qualitative evidence to substantiate these findings

A range of studies, including a quantitative baseline study and multiple qualitative researches are available to inform the Mid-Term Evaluation. At current, Oxfam is conducting a large-scale midline survey to collect outcome and impact level data for project indicators. We expect the consultants to build on these existing data and critically assess them as part of the Mid-Term Evaluation.

Important aspects for consideration throughout the Mid-Term Evaluation:

  • Gender: EYW has a focus on young girls and women. Therefore, it is essential that the Mid-Term Evaluation includes a strong gender lens, taking into account the potentially different ways in which young women and men have been involved in and responded to the programme.

  • Climate: EYW is working in climate-affected areas. We would like to get a better insight in the extent to which our current work is actively mitigating and/or addressing effects of climate change and food security.

  • Innovation: EYW is piloting new, innovative models and uses Human-Centred Design and related methods. Through the Mid-Term Evaluation, and especially under b) above, we would like to learn more about the effectiveness and perceived added value of these approaches and the overall innovativeness of our work.

The primary users of the Mid-Term Evaluation report will be Ikea Foundation as the donor for this project, Oxfam Country offices and partners organisations and Oxfam staff based in The Hague and Oxford. The findings are also directly relevant for the youth groups and/or youth advisory bodies for EYW in each country. Their involvement in the country visits, both in the fine-tuning of Mid-Term Evaluation questions and in reflecting on findings, is essential.

Secondary users of the Mid-Term Evaluation results will be the members of Oxfam’s Youth and Active Citizens Working Group, a multi-affiliate learning community within Oxfam with the task of consolidating Oxfam’s existing experience and track record of working with and for youth. In addition, learning could be valuable for the other complex multi-country programs implemented by Oxfam on related themes.

  1. Specific objectives and key Mid-Term Evaluation questions

The specific objectives of the Mid-Term Evaluation are:

  1. Stimulate learning and reflection among country offices, partners and youth groups, including from what has or hasn’t worked so far, and serve as input for a dialogue on opportunities to strategically redirect our work in the coming years.

  2. Evaluate and validate the achievements reached under each outcome as presented in the EYW annual reports (and underlying documents like quarterly monitoring reports)

  3. Validate the Theory of Change of this project and its underlying assumptions.

  4. Develop concrete recommendations for the next years of programme implementation as well as the development of future projects on related topics and for multi-country programmes in general.

The following questions are to be answered for each country:

  • Effectiveness: What are the principal outcomes/contributions achieved by the project? Were there unexpected positive or negative results? Based on available evidence, have these outcomes generated sustainable employment for young women and men in rural areas? What changes are recommended to further increase effectiveness?

  • Relevance of approach for target group: Did the approach suit the priorities, expectations and needs of the diverse groups of young women and men and their communities? How does the approach compare to other or best practice in the region/country? Was it inclusive / accessible for harder-to-reach youth? Did we promote gender equality and social inclusion? Has youth been adequately involved and empowered through all stages of the process?

  • Efficiency: Which internal and external factors have influenced the overall achievements so far (positive or negative)? Where are potential opportunities to achieve (cost) efficiency gains? Were the risks adequately managed?

  • Sustainability: What actions are or need to be taken to ensure sustained benefits for young people beyond the project lifetime?

  • Partnerships: Are our current partnerships adequate to deliver on the outcomes and impact as described in the ToC?

  • Loan Guarantee Fund: For Ethiopia specifically, a Loan Guarantee Fund was set up. Are the mechanisms and conditions of this Fund adequate? Are there any undesired consequences or risks, and how can the project anticipate these moving forward?

    To allow for the specificities of each country context, these questions will be further fine-tuned, and the exact scope will be agreed upon with key country stakeholders: Country Project Leads, partner representatives, youth representatives and others. Each country may add a maximum of 2 more targeted questions. This should be done in agreement with the evaluators to ensure it is feasible to satisfactorily answer the questions within the scope of the current exercise.

    Moreover, the final report will also address the following programme-wide questions:

  • What are the principal outcomes/contributions for the programme as a whole? What trends emerge across countries? Are changes so far in line with the logic underlying the Theory of Change, ultimately realizing our final impact?

  • Does the global/multi-country layer of the programme fulfil its roles in terms of oversight and management as well as on influencing, MEAL and innovation? Does the Pool of Technical Advisors work well?

  • Which good practices exist and could be shared between countries?

  • Scope of the Mid-Term Evaluation and approach establishing the basic methodological requirements

The scope is Empower Youth for Work programme starting from the pre-inception phase until November 2018. Key documents are the full EWY proposal, approved inception report and detailed work plans per country, and any changes to the programme during its implementation (yearly work plans, quarterly and annual reports etc.). Other important documents are the external Review commissioned by Ikea Foundation during the inception phase, baseline reports and the findings from the upcoming midline survey. A full list of documents for the document Mid-Term Evaluation will be provided during the kick-off meeting.

The Mid-Term Evaluation includes visits to the four EYW countries: Indonesia, Bangladesh, Ethiopia and Pakistan. The number of stakeholders to be consulted in each country as well as the geographical focus of the Mid-Term Evaluation (selection of provinces) will be agreed upon after submission of the detailed methodology. We expect each country visit to last around 10 days each to allow for an initial meeting, travel to (at times remote) project sites and 1-day debrief and participatory discussion of findings.

The methodology proposed by the consultants should adhere to the following principles:

  • Stimulate reflection and learning among Oxfam staff, partners and youth throughout the Mid-Term Evaluation process.
  • The proposed approach should sufficiently consider the different ways in which young women and men have been involved in and responded to the programme.
  • The evaluators will gather information through different complimentary sources (this could for example be methodologies such as outcome harvesting, but also direct observation, key informant interviews and a critical review of the results from existing surveys …).
  • The methodology should include verification mechanisms to increase reliability of the documented outcomes (peer checks, solicitation of additional information from key sources)
  • At the end of the in-country visit, the consultant will present the preliminary findings from the document review, interviews, participatory workshops and any other data collection methods used to Oxfam country staff, selected partners and youth.
  • Team: Qualifications and skills needed, plan for organizing the Mid-Term Evaluation team We are looking for a team of max. 2 experienced lead evaluators, ideally able to work in parallel during the in-country visits. One of them is expected to take the overall lead and coordination and will serve as the point of contact towards Oxfam.

For each country, a national evaluator shall be recruited by the lead evaluators as part of the Mid-Term Evaluation team. This will be done after the kick-off meeting and signing of the contract. Oxfam Country Offices will provide a list of potential candidates, yet the recruitment itself will be organised by the contractor as part of the overall Mid-Term Evaluation assignment. The person should be familiar with the local context and culture and speak at least one of the national languages.

The lead consultants should have the following qualifications: • Demonstrated experience in conducting multi-country evaluations • Experience evaluating programmes in least two, and preferably all of the following domains: employment and job creation programmes, business development with SME’s or micro enterprises, youth empowerment.
• Demonstrated understanding of issues related to gender equality and social inclusion. • Experience with active engagement of target groups, especially youth (Highly desirable) • Experience with the work of Oxfam or other iNGO´s (Desirable) • Experience with or knowledge of climate change adaptation and mitigation measures (Desirable) • The recruited national evaluators need to have experience with the topic of employment and job creation as well as gender in the context of their country • Excellent communication, writing and presentation skills in English. For national counterparts: Knowledge of at least one of the relevant languages spoken in project regions.

How to apply:

To apply please check the Tender dossier and Invitation to tender documents available in the link below:

https://www.oxfamnovib.nl/oxfamnovib-tenders

Oxfam invites bids from companies or groups of individuals with the experience and skills referred to above. The selected consultants are expected to be available to start immediately after their selection.

The complete bids should be submitted by e-mail to tenders.EYW@oxfamnovib.nl

The deadline for submission is 8 of November 2018 at 23:59 CET.

Please address any requests for clarification to Liliane.Ligtvoet@oxfamnovib.nl. The deadline for request for clarifications from Oxfam is Tuesday 30th of October. The answers to all questions will be issued on Friday 2nd of November and will be shared upon request. For this, please contact Ms. Liliane Ligtvoet.

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