External Evaluation of the West Bank Protection Consortium

  • Added Date: Wednesday, 09 August 2017
  • Deadline Date: Sunday, 27 August 2017

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A. Background

The situation in the oPt remains a protracted protection crisis with humanitarian consequences. There is at present an increasing need to support 500,000 Palestinians living in Area C and East Jerusalem, who routinely experience violations of international humanitarian law (IHL) and international human rights law (IHRL) relating to policies of forcible transfer. The coercive environment which gives rise to forcible transfer manifests itself through a discriminatory permit regime for construction, lack of access to basic services, forced evictions and planned relocations, confiscation and destruction of civilian property, obstruction of humanitarian assistance through destruction or seizure of relief items, land expropriation, movement and access restrictions declarations of live fire zones and closed areas, settler violence and military operations.

The West Bank Protection Consortium (hereafter, the ‘Consortium’) was established in January 2015 to protect Palestinians in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, from individual and mass forcible transfer. The Consortium has brought together five INGO Partners (NRC, as lead agency, Action Against Hunger, ACTED, GVC and PUI – hereafter the ‘Partners’) with complementary field presence and sectorial expertise in order to develop a more holistic, protection-centred humanitarian response focused on prevention, emergency response and humanitarian advocacy. The Consortium is currently funded by nine Donors – DG-ECHO, Belgium, Denmark, France, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Spain and Sweden – through various projects.

Capitalizing on their strategic alliance, Partners have collaboratively developed an ‘Integrated Protection Approach’ to counter prevalent violations of IHL which give rise to forcible transfer. Crucially, the Consortium engages the targeted communities in assessing their vulnerability and in mapping appropriately corresponding protection responses, while also aiming to increase the capacity of the community to make informed decisions about their safety and organize their resources and efforts to reduce exposure to harm. Further, material assistance, essential services and emergency support including the rehabilitation of essential infrastructure such as homes, schools, WASH facilities, roads, land, and livelihood inputs are provided to communities and households affected or at risk of being affected by forcible transfer in order to assist them to stay in their location, to use their land and to support community empowerment. The Consortium also provides legal representation, counseling and advice to its beneficiaries. This assistance is supported with humanitarian and legal advocacy initiatives undertaken to promote lasting change in the relevant legislation, case law, policies and practices which give rise to forcible transfer and to seek restitution in cases of forcible transfer, demolition, seizure, eviction, and settler violence. This integrated approach endeavors to ensure that communities are sufficiently protected and equipped with both tangible and intangible assets, in order to remain in their current location of choice, and thus prevent their forcible transfer.

The results pursued by the Consortium and its main activities are as follows:

Result 1: Support Community empowerment and mobilization for communities living in an environment in which IHL violations are prevalent: 1.1. Implementation of the Community-based Protection Approach (CPA) to reinforce community capacities and coping mechanisms, through vulnerability, legal and incident profiling and the provision of risk preparedness tools and resources. 1.2. Implementation of an Early Warning and Response System for IHL/IHRL violations, in particular settler violence and excessive use of force by Israeli Forces, to alert incidents, provide emergency responses and refer affected persons/communities to appropriate agencies for complimentary services required for their protection. 1.3. Strengthening of community capacity to engage National and Local Authorities, Humanitarian and Development actors for their protection from IHL violations, the restoration of public life and provision of adequate services.

Result 2. Households and communities at risk of forcible transfer have access to essential services, material assistance, legal aid and cash or in-kind emergency support: 2.1. Provision of material assistance and essential services to communities vulnerable to forcible transfer, including the rehabilitation of critical infrastructure to allow community members to stay in their locale of choice and adequately use their land and property. 2.2. Systematic response to individual and mass demolition through technical assessment, cash and in-kind assistance, and response monitoring. 2.3. Responsive and remedial actions to reduce the risks for and mitigating the impact of incidents of settler or Israeli Forces violence and established patterns of abuse through protective responses, cash and in-kind assistance. 2.4. Legal representation, counselling and technical assistance to allow for timely, effective and unimpeded humanitarian response, and the recovery of those adversely affected.

Result 3. Seeking to promote changes in policies and practices, which lead to FT: 3.1. Targeted research, policy development and humanitarian advocacy undertaken with Third States and intergovernmental organizations to challenge policies and practices resulting in forcible, with a focus on corollary violations of international law such as the acquisition of territory by force, deprivation of essential services and obstruction of humanitarian relief. 3.2. Policy and coordination support to the Palestinian Authority to reinforce their role in preventing forcible transfer and in extending essential services to vulnerable communities, particularly in Area C. 3.3. Strategic outreach to the humanitarian and development community, academia and the media to further raise awareness about the coercive environment and rights of the protected population, with a focus on advancing the right to development of Area C communities in the context of prolonged Occupation.

Within the framework of the Humanitarian Country Team (HCT), the Consortium contributes to the coordinated humanitarian response in the West Bank through coordination by the Shelter, Protection (including the Legal Task Force and Settler Violence Working Group), WASH, Food Security, Education and Health Clusters. The Integrated Protection Approach is envisaged to support the three strategic objectives of the 2017 Humanitarian Response Plan: 1. The rights of Palestinians under occupation are protected in accordance with IHL and IHRL; 2. Ensure acutely-vulnerable Palestinians under occupation in Gaza and the West Bank have access to essential services; 3. Strengthen the ability of acutely-vulnerable Palestinian households to cope with protracted threats and shocks.

The Consortium maintains a strong focus on learning and participatory field monitoring and evaluation. The Community-based Protection Approach, specifically, supports outcome monitoring based on a continuous process of analysis of protection vulnerabilities and needs, utilizing both quantitative and qualitative data drawn from semi-structured surveying, individual interviews, focus groups, transects and sectoral surveys. An Internal Evaluation of the Consortium was carried out in mid-2016 to inform the Consortium’s structure, functioning, strategy and operations. The Evaluation investigated the Consortium’s effectiveness in relation to its initial results, based on a literature review, secondary analyses of monitoring data, and a beneficiary perceptions survey. The Internal Evaluation was later complemented in April-May 2017 by a Case Study of the Consortium aimed at drawing an array of lessons learned and recommendations from this experience in order to inform DG-ECHO strategy and programming, particularly as regards transitioning to integrated protection approaches. The Case Study examined the context and process of formation of the Consortium, the relevance and evolution of its programming framework, its role in the humanitarian coordination structure and approach to vulnerability-based targeting. A more in-depth review of the Consortium’s Integrated Protection Approach - inter alia, its focus, methodologies and tools - will be conducted in late 2017 to support continuous programming improvements. An external evaluation of NRC’s Information, Counselling and Legal Assistance (ICLA) Program, which is partially funded through the Consortium, will also be carried out from September 2017 to February 2018 to assess its overall performance and guide future strategic direction.

B. Purpose of the External Evaluation and Intended Use

The proposed Evaluation aims to externally verify the Consortium’s progress and achievements towards its stated objective of preventing the forcible transfer of vulnerable Palestinians in the West Bank. The Evaluation will form an evidence-based narrative around the added value that the Consortium has had in achieving these outcomes. The Evaluation will explicitly assess:

  1. The outcomes of the Consortium since its formation in January 2015, as defined by log-frame indicators, and its impact, to the extent possible.
  2. The added-value of working as a Consortium rather than as separate agencies – both programmatically in their impact, institutionally in the development of each agency and as a strategic consortium capable of supporting external transformation.

As well as a focus on results, the evaluation will support the Consortium’s commitment to learning and sharing of lessons learned through two additional learning questions:

  1. How the experiences of the Consortium can be used to guide its future direction and inform the broader humanitarian community in the oPt?
  2. How the experiences of the Consortium inform and strengthen future partnerships and program design for protection-centered humanitarian responses?

C. Scope of the Evaluation

Building on findings and learning from the Consortium’s ongoing monitoring and externally facilitated progress reviews, this external evaluation will critically look at the Consortium’s performance and the outcomes of its work across different programmatic areas and geographic locations over the past two and a half years. Performance will be evaluated and learning identified against the following outcome indicators:

  • Outcome indicator 1. 70% of communities provided to by the Consortium increase their recorded protection from forcible transfer.
  • Outcome indicator 2. 65% of beneficiaries reporting an improved feeling of safety and dignity.
  • Outcome indicator 3. 85% of beneficiaries in Area C who have eviction or demolition orders remain in their homes due to legal representation provided through the Consortium.
  • Outcome indicator 4. 90 % of households who received post-incident emergency support (in the form of cash and/or in-kind assistance) are not displaced after the response.
  • Outcome indicator 5. 50 actions are taken by Third Parties to challenge or mitigate policies which lead to forcible transfer.

Outcome indicator 2, specifically, will require the Consultant(s) to conduct a beneficiary survey (see methodology below).

The assessment will use the ‘DAC Criteria for Evaluating Development Assistance[1]’ – relevance, effectiveness, efficiency, impact, and sustainability – and some of the associated questions to systematically review the Consortium’s performance. Broadly, the evaluation could be guided by the following sets of research questions:

Relevance:

  • What, if anything, makes the Consortium’s integrated protection approach unique in the oPt context; and what can this uniqueness be attributed to?
  • Has the Consortium model created opportunities for cross-learning and fertilization across Partners? If so, in what form has this taken place?
  • Are the results and activities of the Consortium consistent with the attainment of its overall goal?
  • Do the Consortium mandate, structure and program design provide enough flexibility to adapt to changes in the context?

Effectiveness:

  • To what extent were the objectives achieved/are likely to be achieved? What evidence is there of the Consortium’s effectiveness across programmatic areas and geographic locations?
  • Would the protection response have been less effective, as effective, or more effective had there not been an NGO Consortium?
  • How effective has the Consortium model been compared to other models of protection response in the oPt?
  • What were the major factors influencing the achievement or non-achievement of the objectives?
  • To what extent the Consortium enhanced the timeliness and quality of protective responses?
  • Are adequate mechanisms in place to ensure accountability to beneficiaries, including feedback and complaints resolution mechanisms?
  • How effective and efficient is the Consortium’s vulnerability-based targeting system?

Efficiency:

  • How well has the Consortium leveraged co-financing for strategic impact, value for money, and institutional strengthening?
  • What scale of operations has the Consortium been able to achieve over time?
  • Were the activities cost-efficient?
  • Was the Consortium’s programming implemented in the most cost-efficient way compared to alternatives?
  • Has the Consortium’s structure guaranteed and supported efficiency and effectiveness at all levels in governance, program and financial management? How could the Consortium’s structure be further improved to support efficient and effective processes and ensure accountability?
  • Does the Consortium structure contribute to creating synergies by taking the best from each Partner and combining to a greater whole, reducing duplication?
  • Are adequate information management/sharing and record keeping protocols in place?

Impact:

  • What real difference has the Consortium made to the beneficiaries?
  • Has the Consortium strengthened the resilience of targeted communities against forcible transfer?
  • How many people and communities have benefited from the Consortium?
  • Is the Consortium model able to achieve any greater impact compared to responses implemented by its Partner agencies individually? If so, how?
  • Were there any unexpected negative impacts? If so, how can these be addressed in the future?
  • Which elements could be improved in the design to further improve protection benefits at both household and community levels?
  • Has the Consortium had any effect on gender dynamics at the household and community levels? How can the Consortium strengthen positive change in this area?

Sustainability:

  • What changes in the policy environment, if any, can be attributed to the Consortium’s advocacy?
  • What opportunities lie ahead of the Consortium in examining its humanitarian approach to long-term, chronic vulnerabilities?
  • Has the Consortium considered and implemented exit strategies? If so, in what way?
  • Does the Consortium offer opportunities for transitioning from relief to development? If so, what are the recommendations for taking the model into a transitioning phase on onwards towards future development?
  • Has the Consortium helped improve the broader humanitarian community’s approaches, tools, and strategies to better incorporate a protection-oriented response?
  • Has the Consortium contributed to localizing aid?
  • Has the Consortium strengthened the capacities of local stakeholders? If so, in what way?
  • To what extent have beneficiaries been engaged in/empower by Consortium activities? In what way?
  • Is the Consortium prepared for potential future developments in its areas of operation (e.g.: escalation of conflict)?

D. Methodology

The methodology to be adopted during the evaluation would include:

  • A desk review of the relevant literature and Consortium documents;
  • Secondary analyses of Consortium monitoring data, both quantitative and qualitative;
  • Stakeholder interviews with internal and external key informants, including staff from Partner agencies, Consortium Donors, Clusters and UN agencies, NGOs operating in the West Bank, and officials from Palestinian national and local authorities;
  • A household survey with a representative sample of beneficiaries to understand what difference the Consortium has made in their life, in particular as regards perceptions of safety and dignity and their resilience to forcible transfer;
  • Structured interviews and/or Focus Group Discussions with beneficiaries (men/women/marginalized groups) to understand how impacts manifested and obtain further beneficiary feedback.

An explicit focus on methodologies that are friendly to/engage/are led by beneficiaries is essential to the development of the findings.

E. Required Qualifications

NRC is seeking a consultant or team of consultants with proven experience in humanitarian protection and evaluations. The following qualifications:

Required (for the lead consultant):

  • Advanced university degree in Social Sciences or other related field

  • At least 10 years of demonstrated experience in protection/humanitarian programming in an international context

  • Excellent research and evaluation skills. Must have completed at least two high quality programme evaluations in the last five years, at least one of them being related to protection response in emergencies/humanitarian crises.

  • Excellent writing and communication skills in English (Reference and production of sample work required)

  • Innovation and lessons learned

  • Willingness to travel to project sites (NRC will provide full security briefing)

  • Ability to meet deadlines

Desirable:

  • Sound understanding of IHL/IHRL

  • Knowledge of the oPt context

  • Prior experience evaluating DG-ECHO funded humanitarian protection projects

G. Time Frame and Budget Considerations

Expressions of interest should be forwarded to the (nrc.opt.procurement@nrc.no) no later than 27 August 2017. The final decision on the candidate will be taken by 29 August 2017. Any queries to the ToR can be referred to (nrc.opt.procurement@nrc.no)

The evaluation should be conducted and finalised over a period of 35 working days, of which 25 days at least should be spent in Palestine. The evaluation is envisioned to take place between September and November 2017, and should be finalized no later than 15 November 2017.

Applications should include a proposed budget for the evaluation, covering consultancy fees, return flight, accommodation, per diem, visa, insurances and communication.

The Consortium will provide the necessary logistical support for the consultant(s) while in Palestine. The Consortium will also provide a team of iterators for the fielding of the survey and data entry support.

H. Deliverables and Reporting Deadlines

The consultant(s) will submit two reports and offer a presentation to Consortium Partners and Donors:

  • First draft report shared with the Consortium Steering Committee and DG-ECHO/DGD for feedback.
  • Meeting in Jerusalem to disseminate and discuss findings/recommendations with Consortium Partners and Donors.
  • By November 15 2017, Final report (not exceeding 30 pages, excluding annexes) detailing the findings, lessons learned, conclusions and recommendations should be submitted to the Consortium Steering Committee and DG-ECHO/DGD for validation, with the consultant(s) having addressed their comments as appropriate.

The evaluation will systematically review the Consortium, offering factual support, analysis of activities, and synthesis of all information received for purposes of conclusion/recommendations. A final evaluation report offering a mere repetition of facts and activities will not be approved.

The evaluation report should consist of:

  • Executive summary (2 pages)
  • Table of contents
  • Overview of the Consortium
  • Methodology
  • Main findings (to include commentary and analysis addressing the evaluation focus areas, including a section dedicated to the issue of particular lessons learned)
  • Conclusions and recommendations. Clear strategic and practical recommendations are expected in order to improve future activities and the Consortium’s program design.
  • Appendices, to include – at minima – the evaluation terms of reference, methodology (including survey questionnaires and tabulated data) and a bibliography.

All material collected during the assessment process should be handed over to the Consortium Secretariat prior to the termination of the contract.

I. Follow Up/Management Response

A management response from the Consortium’s Steering Committee, including any plans for incorporating recommendations into the Consortium programme, should be prepared no later than one month after receipt of the evaluation report. It is the responsibility of the Consortium Secretariat to ensure that the realization of these plans are monitored and documented.

This vacancy is archived.

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