Performance evaluation OF Livelihoods Recovery and Resilience Program

  • Added Date: Thursday, 08 November 2018
  • Deadline Date: Friday, 23 November 2018

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I. STATEMENT OF WORK

Performance evaluation of Livelihoods Recovery and Resilience Program

II. PURPOSE OF THE EVALUATION

This performance evaluation will be a qualitative assessment of the effect of the livelihoods recovery and resilience program (LRRP) in improving agricultural productivity, diversifying and increasing household incomes and in the improvement of health outcomes within targeted communities. The results will assist the key program stakeholders including USAID, CRS and its sub-recipients, target communities, and relevant government line ministries, to learn from the program achievements and experience. The findings will also extend their usefulness to inform future programming that combines funding from multiple USAID offices, implement post-conflict recovery and resilience building initiatives that operates in fragile contexts in South Sudan. A third-party will conduct the evaluation and address these specific evaluation objectives;

  1. Establish the success, or lack thereof, in the achievement of the program’s strategic purposes and the contribution to community post-conflict recovery and resilience;

  2. Establish and explain the good practices (strengths) and weaknesses in the design, funding mechanism and implementation approach of the program that contributed towards the programming successes or a lack of it;

  3. Describe the mechanisms that appear to enhance or detract from the quality, acceptability and usefulness of the main technical approaches used in the program;

  4. Present evidence of changes (intended and unintended) associated with program activities and evaluate how they relate to progress toward program objectives, identifying factors that appear to promote or hinder the program’s progress toward desired objectives.

  5. Provide specific recommendations and lessons learned on resources allocation, strategies, and implementation approach that should be considered in the design and development of similar programs in the future.

III. SUMMARY INFORMATION

Strategy/Project/Activity Name

Livelihoods Recovery and Resilience Program

Implementer

Catholic Relief Services

Cooperative Agreement

AID-OFDA-A-15-00061

Total Estimated Ceiling of the Evaluated Project

$12,447,983

Life of Strategy, Project, or Activity

October 2015 - September 2018,

A No Cost Extension request up to May 2019 is in the process of being submitted

Active Geographic Regions

Jonglei State (Bor, Duk, Pibor counties) and Lakes State (Awerial county), South Sudan

Development Objective(s) (DOs)

[Insert number and name of the DO that this evaluation relates to]

USAID Office

Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance(OFDA)

IV. BACKGROUND

South Sudan is a new nation that gained independence in 2011 after secession from Sudan. Within two years of gaining independence, following decades of intermittent, but brutal conflict, South Sudan slipped into its own civil war. In December 2013, a dispute within the governing party escalated into armed conflict, exacerbated by ethnic divisions and the large-scale participation of manipulated, disempowered youth. These protracted national and inter-communal violent conflicts have defined the economic, civil, cultural and political spaces of post-independence in South Sudan. Today, the country is in economic decline and experiencing continued insecurity[1]. Local armed actors are opposing the government in parts of the country, especially in Upper Nile, Unity and Western Equatorial States[2]. The security situation is further complicated by localized tribal and economic resource-based feuds involving cattle raids and human abductions in areas like Jonglei State[3]. The lengthy suspension of oil exports, a decline in production and the slump in global oil prices have negatively affected the nation’s main sources of revenue. Other sectors of the economy are underdeveloped, and their performance has not been adequate to halt the country’s currency from slipping into hyperinflation. The conditions experienced in the country pose considerable social, political and economic challenges in the operation of humanitarian partners and projects such as the LRRP which aim to safeguard and strengthen communal and household livelihood strategies.

LRRP is a three-year program, regulated by a cooperative agreement signed between Catholic Relief Services and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA). The program is implemented by four partners, Catholic Relief Services (CRS), an international non-governmental organization and three national organizations; Nile Hope, Caritas Diocese of Rumbek and the Rural Water and Sanitation Support Agency (RUWASSA). The program aims to contribute to the recovery and increased resilience of conflict affected and vulnerable communities in Jonglei and Lakes States. LRRP has been in operation since October 2015 working in a shared space with other projects including those funded by USAID such as the Resilience Food Security Program (RFSP), and Reconciliation for Peace, among others. The LRRP was intentionally set to build upon and to strengthen the outcomes of these programs through integration, layering and sequencing of interventions for maximum mutual gains. The program will run up to September 30, 2018. However, CRS is planning to request a no cost extension of nine months, October 2018 through June 2019.

The goal of the LRRP is that, ‘conflict affected and vulnerable communities in Jonglei and Lakes states have improved, diversified and resilient livelihoods.’ The program implements activities that strengthen crop and animal value chain performances, aims to diversify and increase household incomes and to promote better health outcomes for the targeted communities through improved water, sanitation and hygiene behaviors. The program’s activities are either targeted at the household (e.g. hygiene promotion) or the community level where people are organized into groups of common interest that participate in capacity strengthening activities (e.g. producer groups, savings and internal lending communities(SILC)). The program has established community-based support mechanisms to provide readily available and sustainable support to program beneficiaries through individual resource persons (e.g. field extension agents, community animal health workers, SILC field agents, community hygiene promoters) or committees such as the water user committees, disaster risk reduction committees and the community led total sanitation committees.

The interaction of the three strategic purposes is used to enhance the recovery and resilience building strategies at the household and community levels. The program’s three strategic purposes and progress are described in greater detail below in Section A.

A. Description of the Problem and Theory of Change

The Problem Statement used in developing the LRRP was that the communities in Jonglei and Lakes states were affected by conflicts that weakened their livelihood strategies, disrupted market developments and made people vulnerable to livelihood shocks. LRRP was specifically proposed following the disruptions of the conflict in December 2013. The fighting displaced some 2 million people[4],, destroyed market infrastructure, disrupted market supply systems and arrested micro-and macro-economic progress. The agrarian livelihood gains realized prior to this war, inter alia, were largely nullified as many farmers fled their homes for their safety to protection of civilian sites or to other confinements for internally displaced populations and refugees in neighboring countries. As the situation stabilized, it required interventions that would strengthen the performance of the farming enterprise for specified value chain products, increase and secure household incomes and improve health conditions to stimulate livelihoods recovery and strengthen the resilience capacities of households and communities.

LRRP’s theory of change was that if vulnerable, conflict affected communities in Jonglei and Lakes States improve their productivity through skills training, access to inputs and improved technology, and if these communities are better linked to markets, and if they have improved health, and if they develop greater social cohesion and stability, then they will have greater resilience to shocks, including continued crisis, and will overcome chronic poverty. Some critical assumptions were postulated on the program’s logic model based on some very eminent potential risks when operating in the targeted areas in South Sudan. These assumptions were viewed as critical to the attainment of positive results and include;

  1. The micro and macro economies, commodity supplies, and prices remain stable or improve;

  2. Markets in the targeted areas become fully functional and spare parts, seeds and other inputs become more readily available;

  3. Key stakeholders uphold other service deliverables e.g. primary health care services and Disaster Risk Reduction and early warning information;

  4. Road access and transport links continue to facilitate movement of program staff;

  5. The security situation in the target areas does not deteriorate to a point where operations must be suspended or stopped;

  6. There will be no epidemic disease outbreaks or major insecurity events;

  7. No irregular rainfall patterns whereby rains are delayed, poorly distributed, or there is a drought.

The results framework for LRRP is presented here in Figure 1 below. LRRP has three interrelated strategic purposes with associated six outcomes and list of interventions that contribute to the attainment of the program goal. The objectives of the program that are presented at the impact, outcome and output levels have largely remained unchanged. However, some of the strategies employed in the WASH interventions were revised to improve the performance of the program and these are discussed in detail below in section B. Summary of project to be evaluated.

Figure 1: Livelihoods recovery and resilience program Results Framework

B. Summary of project to be evaluated

LRRP targets conflict-affected and vulnerable host communities, returnees and internally displaced persons in Bor, Pibor and Duk Counties in Jonglei State and Awerial County in Lakes State. The number of geographic strata of 12 payams and 24 bomas covered by the program is divided equally across the four counties. The program was established on an existing foundation of county-based offices, programmatic relationships with beneficiaries and key stakeholders, as well as the ability to leverage significant experience, lessons learned and best practices from past CRS interventions. CRS successfully launched LRRP across all the four counties in FY 2016, albeit a delayed approval of the workplan. The program has 83 full time staff including community resource persons who are seconded to the program from the government or recruited from within the targeted communities when seconded staff could not be found.

Community members are either targeted as individual households or are organized into groups, receive technical support from key project staff and community resource persons in agriculture, economic strengthening and water, sanitation and hygiene interventions. Farmers are organized into crop, livestock and fisheries producer groups which, through mentoring, training and increased access to inputs, aim to increase sustainable production and profitability of their farming enterprises. The farmer’s producer groups are also a hub for the program’s microfinance facility that uses the CRS private service provider savings and internal lending communities model. Projects promoted by LRRP have been a powerful vehicle for the promotion of social cohesion, cooperation and tolerance building within and between communities. Because of the integrative aspects of these activities, LRRP is expected to result in more sustainable, resilient livelihoods and increased social cohesion for both participating households and the wider community. The LRRP has maintained its objectives and spatial focus. The program’s Theory of Change also remains unchanged. The LRRP is organized into three complimentary strategic purposes that are described under the following sections;

Purpose 1: Farmers have increased production of agriculture, livestock and fisheries products

Purpose 1 encompasses activities and initiatives that support value chain actors, such as farmers involved in crop, livestock and fisheries production, to develop and utilize new and, or improved technical skills, resulting in increased agricultural production and improved livelihood opportunities. Nile Hope and Caritas Dioceses of Rumbek are technical partners in this strategic area. This strategic area is focused on training farmers to utilize new technical skills and management practices to increase production. LRRP established crop, livestock and fisheries producer groups and placed them under the tutelage of field extension agents. Farmers were trained and mentored on the use of improved farming techniques, technologies and farm enterprise management using CRS SMART[5] skills training approach. The SMART skills approach sequences and layers skill trainings to foster crucial capacities for producer groups who are at the early stages of market engagement and who aspire to be successful agro-enterprise development. Further support was given to livestock farmers through LRRP trained and resourced community animal health workers whose role was disease surveillance, livestock vaccinations and treatment. Farmers training also included non-technical areas such as gender mainstreaming, disaster risk reduction and conflict-sensitivity and peace building which were meant to improve inter-sex relations, enhance the capacity of farmers in using efficient agricultural technologies and management practices, reduce pressure on natural resources and mitigate the potential for intra-and inter-communal conflict.

Purpose 2: Households have increased and diversified income

Purpose 2 is integrated with Purposes 1 and 3. Integration with Purpose 1 is concerned with the use of producer groups as a hub for household income growth and diversity. CRS implemented the PSP-SILC methodology as a savings-led microfinance approach to enable rural farmers access loan funds for productive investments in the absence of formal financial services in the targeted villages. Under Purpose 3, beneficiaries participating in SILC access loan fund to improve sanitation and hygiene practices at household level. A second key activity in this strategic purpose was to improve access to markets (income earning potential) by addressing barriers to marketing such as lack of market related information, poor infrastructure, the absence of markets, improper storage facilities and poor understanding of market dynamics or a misreading of value chain opportunities.

Purpose 3: Households have improved health status

In the third strategic purpose CRS partnered with the rural water and sanitation support agency (RUWASSA) to improve the health status of targeted populations through the sustainable access to safe water, use of improved sanitation facilities and the adoption of hygienic practices. The community led total sanitation approach[6] was used to create awareness and a demand for household level self-construction of improved sanitation facilities and the attainment of open defecation free communities in four villages in Awerial County. RUWASSA was instrumental in the repair and rehabilitation of boreholes in Awerial County, while CRS led the rehabilitation of boreholes in Jonglei State. Hygiene promotion was implemented using community hygiene promoters who identified index women[7] in the households as a primary point of contact for the home visits. The program promoted the adoption of recommended safe behaviors that included hand washing with clean water and soap, or ash, at five critical times (i.e. after defecation, after cleaning a child's bottom, before feeding a child, before eating and before preparing food); safe fecal disposal; and safe water handling. On successful graduation from the hygiene promotion meetings, the caregivers (index women) are mandated to reach other household members with the same messaging and to influence improved hygiene and sanitation practices among household members.

C. Summary of the Project/Activity Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning (MEL) Plan

LRRP uses a USAID approved monitoring, evaluation and learning plan to track and report program performance. USAID originally approved a quantitative population-based survey at the baseline level and a combination of qualitative and quantitative final evaluations to track the performance of the outcome and impact level indicators. However, USAID later advised CRS to only stick to a qualitative final evaluation due to the instability and population movement in South Sudan. Below is the email guidance from the AOR regarding this change on July 26, 2017.

“The M&E plan notes that "The LRRP has plans for a baseline, annual survey, and a final evaluation to measure outcome and impact level indicators." It goes on to say that the "final evaluation surveys will be population based"; USAID does not see any value to a final evaluation population-level survey -- unless there is a major change in South Sudan and the situation is stable with no more population movement. In the case of stability, the final survey should not be compared to the baseline as an evaluation but could be simply a snapshot of the situation in which people live at the time -- more of an assessment. The data that is collected should be adjusted accordingly. Later in the document it is stated that the final evaluation will also employ qualitative methods. USAID recommends sticking to this portion of the final evaluation and requests the opportunity to review and comment on the SOW, the evaluation team, and the evaluation plan.”

The program did encounter a substantial number of disturbances and displacements. Findings from the beneficiary-based surveys (June 2018) showed that one in every three farmers (36%) reported that they had experienced displacement since the time that they were registered in the program indicating that the scale of displacement is significant.

The program will provide the evaluators with the program design documents and the MEAL documents generated in relation to the design documents. Specific documents available in the LRRP include the baseline survey report, beneficiary-based survey report, quarterly performance monitoring reports, semi-annual and annual reports and access to the program documents’ library and databases. Program performance monitoring reports like the monthly, quarterly, semi-annual and annual reports also present context monitoring data from the county level observations and from secondary information sources such as the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWSNET), WFP market price monitoring and publications from the Food Security and Livelihoods cluster. The county and program level reports contain data on food security updates, political security, climate conditions and disease epidemics for context monitoring.

LRRP has conducted two major surveys, i.e. a population-based baseline survey for thirteen quantitative outcome and impact level indicators at the beginning of the program and an annual beneficiary-based survey for four agriculture outcome level quantitative indicators. The monitoring of output level indicators for routine program activities is managed using two cloud-based databases i.e. the savings and lending information exchange database called the SAVIX; and the eValuate solution that uses iFormBuilder as a data collection and store application and Zoho reports as the business intelligence application for analyzing and visualizing the performance results of the program. LRRP also completes the USAID mandated Indicator performance tracking tables (IPTT) and maintains indicator tracking table (ITT) for output level indicators. Quarterly and annual reports were used from the beginning of the program until July FY 2017 when the program’s cooperative agreement was amended, changing the reporting frequency from quarterly and annual reports to semi-annual report submissions to USAID. The reports have details of the accomplishments of the program, the challenges encountered, the lessons learnt and success stories.

These documents and sources of performance data will be made available to the evaluators and shall be part of the desk review component of the evaluation.

CRS will conduct a second annual beneficiary-based survey in FY 2019 just prior to the final evaluation. The annual survey measures four outcome level agriculture indicators. The survey will employ quantitative survey methods by using fractional interval sampling to select farmers’ producer groups and to interview all farmers within the sampled groups using a structured questionnaire. The survey methodology will be according to the farmer groups approach as described in the Feed the Future (FtF) Sampling Guide for Beneficiary-based Surveys (2016). Fractional Interval sampling is used because a farmers’ group is almost always made up of 20 members. The second stage will involve a ‘take all’ individual interviewing of all members of the selected farmers groups. The results of the annual surveys for FY 2018 and FY 2019 will be available for the consultants to augment the findings of the qualitative final evaluation.

V. EVALUATION QUESTIONS

This section presents the evaluation questions for the program. The first question in each listing should be read as the main question and this is accompanied by sub questions that elaborate on the main question. The questions are numbered in order of priority and the evaluation is expected to answer these questions;

  1. How effective was the LRRP in achieving the strategic purposes of the program and in strengthening the recovery efforts and capacity of beneficiaries and communities to better manage shocks and in building assets to improve resilience?

  2. To what extent did LRRPs Theory of Change hold and what was the quality of its interventions and approach/implementation? How did LRRP ensure the quality of interventions and identify quality issues under each strategic purpose, and how were the quality issues addressed? What quality assurance mechanisms worked well and what did not work well?

  3. What were the strengths and weaknesses in the design and implementation of the program, with a special attention to the appropriateness of the assumptions and how effectively the activity monitored these assumptions and adapted the implementation strategy to changing circumstances.

  4. How did the LRRP coordinate, collaborate and compliment within itself and with other USG programs and how was adaptation effected to enhance synergies, avoid duplications and improve the probabilities for success of the programs?

  5. How effective was the program’s targeting criteria in the inclusion of vulnerable groups, especially women, and addressing issues of access to, and control over resources and participation in community institutions? How can the results that have been attained be sustained?

  6. To what extent does the LRRP’s data meet the five data quality standards of validity, reliability, timeliness, precision and integrity? Was the M&E system able to generate and ensure data quality assurance? How effective were data quality assurance mechanisms (such as training and refresher for the data collectors, PIRS for all indicators, consistent and appropriate methodology for designing surveys, and periodic data quality assessments? How was information collected and analyzed by the M&E system contribute to programmatic decisions and donor reporting and how responsive was the M&E Plan been to the needs of decision makers?

  7. Environmental Compliance: How well has CRS fulfilled the Environmental Mitigation and Management Plans (EMMP)? Describe any threats to the environment that apparently stem from program activities but are not addressed by the EMMP.

  8. How and to what level has population displacement due to conflict and instability affected the continuity of program interventions and results?

  9. How strong was the program in integrating cross-cutting themes such as gender and conflict sensitivity, DRR, protection mainstreaming, disability, youth and land issues into the program planning and implementation?

VI. EVALUATION DESIGN AND METHODOLOGY

The performance evaluation will be a qualitative assessment of the merit and value of LRRP. The evaluation team will design the overall methods and tools for the evaluation in consultation and agreement with CRS and USAID. The evaluation should employ methods that generate the highest-quality and most credible evidence that corresponds to the evaluation purposes and questions[8]. This section thus presents an illustrative description of the approach and methodology of the study to the evaluators and the final approach shall be a negotiated one.

The evaluation will collect primary qualitative data from the program’s direct and indirect beneficiaries, implementing teams, the donor and key stakeholders and a desk review of the performance related literature available for the program. The primary data collection will use a combination of qualitative data collection methods, including face-to-face in-depth interviews, focus group discussions, key informant interviews and direct observations of physical structures established by the program. All interviews shall be guided by semi-structured questionnaires, while checklists or media files, such as photographs, will be used to document the observations. The evaluation team will develop the semi-structured interview instruments and travel to the sampled survey sites for respondents to administer the interviews. Face-to-face interviews are the preferred primary way of collecting the data, nonetheless, computer assisted data collection and, or telephone interviews may be used with some key informants, when it is not possible to conduct interviews in person. The evaluators will propose a final listing for the survey. Below is a suggestive list of some of key informants to be considered for the evaluation;

· Relevant USAID offices and other USG offices in South Sudan and USAID/W;

· CRS Staff in South Sudan, East Africa Regional Office and headquarters;

· Nile Hope, Caritas Dioceses of Rumbek and RUWASSA staff in South Sudan;

· Other USAID programs operating in the targeted counties (i.e. RFSP, R4P);

· Key government line ministries and departments, at the state and county level;

· County commissioner, payam administrators and boma chiefs;

· Field level local resource persons e.g. field extension agents, field agents, community hygiene promoters, community animal health workers, DRR committees, water user committees;

· Other UN agencies, donors, INGOs and NNGOs with operations in Jonglei and Lake States.

The identification of the people who will be interviewed in the evaluation must be decided objectively. The selection must satisfy interviewing to satiation or to redundancy so that valid and reliable information will be obtained. The evaluators will propose a selection method that has a clear relationship to the effort to answer the evaluation questions and shall use data collection instruments and methods that respect research ethics and social responsibility in their approach.

A desk review shall be done for existing program information to measure the program’s performance in achieving intended outputs and outcomes. The program will supply the baseline survey report, beneficiary-based survey report, quarterly performance monitoring reports, semi-annual and annual reports and the quantitative indicator information in the IPTT, ITT and databases. All data in the quantitative reporting instruments have variables that may be used to disaggregate the data during analysis e.g. age, sex and geographic location. It is preferred that the evaluation uses computer-based programs in their analyses of the qualitative and quantitative data that is in this evaluation. All data transcriptions, coding and analysis will be submitted along with the evaluation report as part of the deliverables.

The following matrix summarizes the evaluation design and methods described above. The presentation of data collection and analysis methods here is illustrative and not prescriptive.

Table 1: Evaluation design and methods

Questions

Suggested Data Sources (*)

Suggested Data Collection Methods

Data Analysis Methods

How effective was the LRRP in achieving the strategic purposes of the program and in strengthening the recovery efforts and capacity of beneficiaries and communities to better manage shocks and in building assets to improve resilience?

Documents (including. performance monitoring data, project staff, stakeholders, expert knowledge, beneficiaries

Key informant interviews, focus group discussions, desk review

[To be determined by evaluation team]

To what extent did LRRPs Theory of Change hold and what was the quality of its interventions and approach/implementation? How did LRRP ensure the quality of interventions and identify quality issues under each strategic purpose, and how were the quality issues addressed? What quality assurance mechanisms worked well and what did not work well?

Documents (including. performance monitoring data), project staff, stakeholders, expert knowledge, beneficiaries

Key informant interviews, focus group discussions, desk review

[To be determined by evaluation team]

What were the strengths and weaknesses in the design and implementation of the program, with a special attention to the appropriateness of the assumptions and how effectively the activity monitored these assumptions and adapted the implementation strategy to changing circumstances.

Documents (including project design documents and implementation guidelines/ manuals), project staff, stakeholders, expert knowledge, beneficiaries

Key informant interviews, desk review

[To be determined by evaluation team]

How did the LRRP coordinate, collaborate and compliment within itself and with other USG programs and how was adaptation effected to enhance synergies, avoid duplications and improve the probabilities for success of the programs?

Documents (including reports and internal communications), project staff, stakeholders, expert knowledge, beneficiaries

Key informant interviews, focus group discussions, desk review

[To be determined by evaluation team]

How effective was the program’s targeting criteria in the inclusion of vulnerable groups, especially women, and addressing issues of access to, and control over resources and participation in community institutions? How can the results that have been attained be sustained?

Documents review, project staff, stakeholders, expert knowledge, beneficiaries

Key informant interviews, focus group discussions, desk review

[To be determined by evaluation team]

To what extent does the LRRP’s data meet the five data quality standards of validity, reliability, timeliness, precision and integrity? Was the M&E system able to generate and ensure data quality assurance? How effective were data quality assurance mechanisms (such as training and refresher for the data collectors, PIRS for all indicators, consistent and appropriate methodology for designing surveys, and periodic data quality assessments? How was information collected and analyzed by the M&E system contribute to programmatic decisions and donor reporting and how responsive was the M&E Plan been to the needs of decision makers?

Documents (including. performance monitoring data) project staff, beneficiaries

Key informant interviews, desk review,

[To be determined by evaluation team]

Environmental Compliance: How well has CRS fulfilled the Environmental Mitigation and Management Plans (EMMP)? Describe any threats to the environment that apparently stem from program activities but are not addressed by the EMMP.

Documents, project staff, observations

Key informant interviews, desk review, observations

[To be determined by evaluation team]

How and to what level has population displacement due to conflict and instability affected the continuity of program interventions and results?

Project staff, stakeholders, expert knowledge, beneficiaries

Key informant interviews, desk review and focus group discussions

To be determined by evaluation team]

How strong was the program in integrating cross-cutting themes such as gender and conflict sensitivity, DRR, protection mainstreaming, disability, youth and land issues into the program planning and implementation?

Documents review, project staff, stakeholders, expert knowledge, beneficiaries

Key informant interviews, desk review and focus group discussions

To be determined by evaluation team]

VII. DELIVERABLES AND REPORTING REQUIREMENTS

1. Evaluation Work plan: Within two weeks of the award of the contract, a draft work plan for the evaluation shall be completed by the lead evaluator and presented to CRS for a joint review with the Agreement Officer’s Representative/Contracting Officer’s Representative (AOR/COR). The work plan will include: (1) the anticipated schedule and logistical arrangements; and (2) a list of the members of the evaluation team, delineated by roles and responsibilities.

2. Evaluation Design: Within four weeks of approval of the work plan, the evaluation team must submit an evaluation design to CRS for joint review with the Agreement Officer’s Representative/Contracting Officer’s Representative (AOR/COR). This evaluation design will become an annex to the Evaluation report. The evaluation design will include: (1) a detailed evaluation design matrix that links the Evaluation Questions in the SOW to data sources, methods, and the data analysis plan; (2) draft data collection instruments or their main features; (3) the list of potential interviewees and sites to be visited and proposed selection criteria and/or sampling plan (must include calculations and a justification of sample size, plans as to how the sampling frame will be developed, and the sampling methodology); (4) known limitations to the evaluation design; and (5) a dissemination plan.

3. In-briefing: Within 2 days of arrival in Juba, the evaluation team will have an in-briefing with the CRS and the USAID South Sudan Mission for introductions and to discuss the team’s understanding of the assignment, initial assumptions, evaluation questions, methodology, and work plan, and/or to adjust the Statement of Work (SOW), if necessary. [The in-briefing could take place after the evaluation team has had the chance to conduct a desk review or examine secondary data.]

4. Mid-term Briefing and Interim Meetings: The evaluation team is expected to hold an online mid-term briefing with CRS and USAID South Sudan Mission on the status of the evaluation, including potential challenges and emerging opportunities. The team will also provide the evaluation COR/manager with periodic briefings and feedback on the team’s findings, as agreed upon during the in-briefing. If desired or necessary, weekly briefings by phone can be arranged.

5. Final Exit Briefing: The evaluation team is expected to hold a final exit briefing prior to leaving the country to discuss the status of data collection and preliminary findings. This presentation will be scheduled as agreed upon during the in-briefing. The team will provide the briefing to CRS, sub-recipients and USAID South Sudan Mission staff using a power point presentation. This meeting will be held in Juba at CRS office.

6. *Draft Evaluation Report: *The draft evaluation report should be consistent with the guidance provided in section X. FINAL REPORT FORMAT. The report will address each of the questions identified in the SOW and any other issues the team considers having a bearing on the objectives of the evaluation. Any such issues can be included in the report only after consultation with CRS. The submission date for the first draft evaluation report shall be 30 business days from the last day of the debrief meeting in South Sudan. Once the initial draft evaluation report is submitted,* CRS and USAID will review the report and submit comments to the evaluators who will have one week revise the report to produce a final version. After this the report shall be submitted to CRS for presentation of the final version to USAID business days hence, and again the CRS and USAID offices* will review and send comments on this final draft report within 10 business days of its submission.

7. USAID-CRS joint review of reports: CRS and USAID will hold a joint review of the report that is presented as the final version. CRS and USAID will discuss the summary of findings and recommendations in a convention of representatives from USAID, CRS and its subrecipients. This review will be scheduled through an agreement by the parties.

8. Final Evaluation Report: The final report and all project data and records will be submitted in full and should be in electronic form in easily readable format, organized and documented for use by those not fully familiar with the intervention or evaluation, and owned by USAID. Further guidance on the structure of the final evaluation report is provided in section XI. CRITERIA TO ENSURE THE QUALITY OF THE EVALUATION REPORT,** below.

VIII. EVALUATION TEAM COMPOSITION

The third-party survey firm will propose the size of the team that they see appropriate for an evaluation of this nature. The evaluation team members must be presented as part of the bid to offer evaluation services. The presentation or desired subject matter expertise and experiences is only indicative of the minimum expectations in the key positions in the evaluation team.

Notwithstanding this, all team members must have relevant knowledge and experience in program evaluation and the use of qualitative research methods. Individual team members should have the technical qualifications as described below.

The evaluation team should include at least three evaluation specialists with experience in conducting evaluations of this nature. The evaluation specialists must be in possession of least 10 years of experience in program evaluation, with a significant amount of experience in the use of qualitative research methods. The specialists must have experience working in developing countries and in the region, Sudan or South Sudan. The inclusion of local South Sudanese evaluators is highly encouraged. Familiarity with USAID programming, and the technical knowledge in agriculture (especially value chain development), economic strengthening, WASH, behavior change communication, disaster management and gender equality programming are highly desired.

Evaluation Team Leader: This team member will be the one who is accountable for the overall work and deliverables of the evaluation team. This individual oversees the overall management of the evaluation including the finalization of the evaluation design, commitment to meetings, coordination of data collection and the compilation and presentation of the draft reports, final reports (with relevant attachments) and the presentation of the results. The evaluation leader should have 15 years of experience in international development and work in multi sector programs and must be a specialist in one of the sectors in the LRRP, i.e. agriculture, economic strengthening or WASH. USAID experience will be an advantage. The evaluation leader must have experience leading at least three large and complex evaluations.

Sector Specialists: The count of evaluation specialists, and the compliment of the sector expertise not held by the evaluation team will be found in additional sector specialists. These sector specialists should have ten years’ experience in international development and be experienced in working as evaluators. The specialists must have experience in at least three large and complex evaluations. The number of sector specialists should be at least two but not more than three, in line with the strategic purpose areas of the program. The evaluation team must select individuals with relevant expertise to the evaluands that are stated in the objectives and the research questions of the evaluation. Experience in conducting qualitative evaluation and the ability to analyses quantitative data is desired in the sector specialists. The evaluation team leader and sector specialist must have experience in USAID’s cross-cutting program priorities, such as, gender equality and women’s empowerment. An ability to converse in local languages used in Pibor, Awerial, Duk or Bor will be an advantage.

All team members will be required to provide a signed statement attesting to a lack of conflict of interest or describing any existing conflict of interest. CRS will provide the conflict of interest forms.

The evaluation team shall demonstrate familiarity with USAID’s evaluation policies and guidance included in the USAID Automated Directive System (ADS) in Chapter 201.

The CRS MEAL Manager will participate in the evaluation team as an observer of the data collection efforts. A relevant USAID staff member may also join the evaluation team for part of the evaluation, as agreed upon in consultation with the evaluation team leader.

IX. EVALUATION SCHEDULE

This is an illustrative schedule. The evaluation team shall submit a detailed schedule, indicating the level of effort for the different team members and associated costs, as part of the application to provide consulting services. The schedule must be consistent with the stipulations in section VII DELIVERABLES AND REPORTING REQUIREMENTS.

Table 2: Illustrative timeline

Timing

Proposed Activities

No later than-date

5 days

Evaluation work plan

December 7, 2018

5 days

CRS and USAID review of the work plan

December 14, 2018

10 Days

Evaluation design

January 11, 2019

5 days

CRS and USAID review the evaluation design

January 18, 2019

1 day

In-Briefing

January 21, 2019

25 days

Data Collection

February 8, 2019

1 day

Exit briefing

February 11, 2019

15 days

Data Analysis

March 8, 2019

15 days

Report writing

March 29, 2019

5 days

CRS and USAID review of Draft Report

April 5, 2019

5 days

Incorporate CRS and USAID comments and prepare Final Report

April 12, 2019

1 day

Submit final report to CRS

April 15, 2019

X. FINAL REPORT FORMAT

The evaluation final report should include an abstract; executive summary; background of the local context and the strategies/projects/activities being evaluated; the evaluation purpose and main evaluation questions; the methodology or methodologies; the limitations to the evaluation; findings, conclusions, and recommendations. For more detail, see “How-To Note: Preparing Evaluation Reports” and ADS 201mah, USAID Evaluation Report Requirements. An optional evaluation report template is available in the Evaluation Toolkit.

The executive summary should be 2–5 pages in length and summarize the purpose, background of the project being evaluated, main evaluation questions, methods, findings, conclusions, and recommendations and lessons learned (if applicable). The narrative report should not exceed a maximum of 40 pages.

The evaluation methodology shall be explained in the report in detail. Limitations to the evaluation shall be disclosed in the report, with particular attention to the limitations associated with the evaluation methodology (e.g., selection bias, recall bias, unobservable differences between comparator groups, etc.)

The annexes to the report shall include:

· The Evaluation SOW;

· Any statements of difference regarding significant unresolved differences of opinion by funders, implementers, and/or members of the evaluation team;

· All data collection and analysis tools used in conducting the evaluation, such as questionnaires, checklists, and discussion guides;

· All sources of information, properly identified and listed; and

· Signed disclosure of conflict of interest forms for all evaluation team members, either attesting to a lack of conflicts of interest or describing existing conflicts of.

· Any “statements of difference” regarding significant unresolved differences of opinion by funders, implementers, and/or members of the evaluation team.

· Summary information about evaluation team members, including qualifications, experience, and role on the team.

In accordance with ADS 201, the contractor will make the final evaluation reports publicly available through the Development Experience Clearing house within three months of the evaluation’s conclusion.

XI. CRITERIA TO ENSURE THE QUALITY OF THE EVALUATION REPORT

Per ADS 201maa, Criteria to Ensure the Quality of the Evaluation Report, draft and final evaluation reports will be evaluated against the following criteria to ensure the quality of the evaluation report.[9]

· Evaluation reports should represent a thoughtful, well-researched, and well-organized effort to objectively evaluate the strategy, project, or activity.

· Evaluation reports should be readily understood and should identify key points clearly, distinctly, and succinctly.

· The Executive Summary of an evaluation report should present a concise and accurate statement of the most critical elements of the report.

· Evaluation reports should adequately address all evaluation questions included in the SOW, or the evaluation questions subsequently revised and documented in consultation and agreement with USAID.

· Evaluation methodology should be explained in detail and sources of information properly identified.

· Limitations to the evaluation should be adequately disclosed in the report, with particular attention to the limitations associated with the evaluation methodology (selection bias, recall bias, unobservable differences between comparator groups, etc.).

· Evaluation findings should be presented as analyzed facts, evidence, and data and not based on anecdotes, hearsay, or simply the compilation of people’s opinions.

· Findings and conclusions should be specific, concise, and supported by strong quantitative or qualitative evidence.

· If evaluation findings assess person-level outcomes or impact, they should also be separately assessed for both males and females. If recommendations are included, they should be supported by a specific set of findings and should be action-oriented, practical, and specific.

XII. OTHER REQUIREMENTS

All quantitative data collected by the evaluation team must be provided in machine-readable, non-proprietary formats as required by USAID’s Open Data policy (see ADS 579). The data should be organized and fully documented for use by those not fully familiar with the project or the evaluation. USAID will retain ownership of the survey and all datasets developed.

All modifications to the required elements of the SOW of the contract/agreement, whether in technical requirements, evaluation questions, evaluation team composition, methodology, or timeline, need to be agreed upon in writing by the COR. Any revisions should be updated in the SOW that is included as an annex to the Evaluation Report.

Individual/Consultant Firm Qualifications

· Must be a team of professionals with strong and proven experience in conducting qualitative studies and evaluating programs of a scale and scope that is like the LRRP.

· The team leader must hold at least 15 years of experience and any key consultants or technical specialists must be holders of at least a master’s degree qualification in agriculture, food security studies, social sciences, development studies or evaluation methods, with no less than 10 years of proven experience of research in food security, market systems and or health, including WASH.

· The team must have demonstrated experience in using qualitative data collection methods

· Experience among the team leader and or key consultants in conducting research in South Sudan or for USAID FFP/FtF and or OFDA programs is highly desirable.

· Must have good team leadership, time and resource management skills under a complex operating environment.

· Must have a good command of the English language and excellent qualitative data analysis and report writing skills.

· A technical proposal as per the guidance of LRRP final evaluation statement of work to demonstrate the team’s ability to carry out this assignment, including a detailed implementation plan with dates.

· A financial proposal in MS Excel which describes the budget required to complete the assignment on time with specified quality.

· A list of key survey team members including the current CVs of the listed team members

· Evidence of at least one qualitative study conducted by the team or its key members within the last three years.

[1] https://www.afdb.org/en/countries/east-africa/south-sudan/south-sudan-economic-outlook/

[2] https://www.un.org/press/en/2017/sc12761.doc.htm

[3] Ibid

[4] Planning from the Future, Component 2, The Contemporary Humanitarian Landscape: Malaise, Blockages and Game Changers, Case Study: The violence South Sudan, December 2013 to present, Daniel Maxwell and Phoebe Donnelly, 2015.

[5] This methodology was by CRS and the Center for International Tropical Agriculture (CIAT). It sequences and layers skill trainings to foster crucial capacities for producer groups who are at the early stages of market engagement and who aspire to successful agro-enterprise development.

[6] Community Led Total Sanitation was only used in four villages in Awerial County, Lake State.

[7] Contact person at household level through whom the new hygiene behavior is introduced and these include priority groups such as mothers or caregivers of under-five.

[8] USAID Evaluation Policy, January 2011, updated October 2016, Washington, DCC

[9] See ADS 201mah, USAID Evaluation Report Requirements and the Evaluation Report Review Checklist from the Evaluation Toolkit for additional guidance.

Applications should be submitted to CRS by e-mail (see below) by 5.00pm November 23, 2018.

Human Resources Manager

Catholic Relief Services – South Sudan Program

E-mail: southsudanvacancies@crs.org

Please indicate ‘’Livelihood Resilience and Recovery Program (LRRP)’’ on the email subject line. Only shortlisted candidates/firms will be will be contacted.

Note:

· CRS does not charge any fees from applicants for any recruitment. Further, CRS has not retained any agent in connection with this recruitment

· CRS is not obliged to accept the lowest bid, or any bid and reserves the right to cancel all or part of this bid without any notification, or to reject any offer and bid that does not meet the minimum criteria as stipulated in the ToR.

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