Consultant - Enhanced Resilience through Multi-Sectoral Programming [Learning Agenda #3], TAGHIR-SIDA - Iraq (Remote)

Monitoring & Evaluation Anywhere, United States


Description

Background:

TAGHIR is a three-year project funded by SIDA on “Promoting resilience for returnees and host communities in Ninawa”. The project runs from 1 June 2019 to 31 May 2022 and targeting 112,265 people (youth, returnees, and host communities) in three districts in Ninawa, including Mosul, Sinjar, and Tel Kaif - which are prioritized due to the diverse ethnic and sectarian make-up of the population in Ninewa (Sunni Arab, Shi’a Arab, Shabak, Yazidi, Christian, Turkman, Kurd), as well as a large number of displaced and returning populations. The goal of this project is:
To facilitate peaceful environment and wellbeing of the returnees and host communities in conflict-affected districts and sub-districts of Ninawa through psychosocial resilience, social cohesion, and livelihood restoration. 

Below are the three outcomes of the program:

  • Outcome 1: Improved psychosocial wellbeing for vulnerable adolescents and youth aged 10-24
  • Outcome 2: Increased social cohesion between communities including greater inclusion of women and youth in Ninewa
  • Outcome 3: Increased economic resilience of youth through enhanced livelihood opportunities in three districts of Ninewa.

Purpose / Project Description:

Mercy Corps is planning a learning research which will be conducted by an Consultant. The findings of the learning research will form the basis for implementing multi-dimensional programs in Iraq, with an emphasis integrating education, agriculture, social cohesion, livelihood and cash programs to improve resilience in conflict affected regions in Iraq. Key considerations will be the extent to which the project will leverage on long-term resources to maintain the community resilience-building processes through a multidimensional approach. Due to ongoing access challenges, the learning research will likely be conducted remotely with full support from the Mercy Corps’ Iraq MEL team.

The Consultant/firm is expected to deliver a comprehensive assessment report no later than (TBC) - with a first draft submitted for review on (TBC). Note that these are estimated and/or anticipated deadlines.    

Consultant Objectives:

To generate evidence-based research and learning on how a multi-dimensional approach in programming could improve resilience of conflict affected households in Ninewa, Iraq.

The illustrative evaluation questions that will be considered as cornerstones for this assessment are:

  1. How relevant, effective, and sustainable are multidimensional programming interventions to resilience-focused projects?
    1. Relevance will look at the planning, design, implementation and coherence of multi-dimensional programming and the degree to which this contributes to improved resilience in conflict-affected households in Ninewa. The research will make suggestions on improvement of resilience programmes and how best to leverage multi-dimensional programming. Is multi-dimensional programming better suited to particular groups/sub-groups/contexts?
    2. Effectiveness will examine which elements of multi-dimensional programming within TAGHIR-SIDA and the degree to which these have contributed / are contributing to the achievement of the programme goal. Any lessons learnt from other implementing partners in Iraq and the Middle-East should be identified by the learning research as well.
    3. Sustainability explores aspects of multi-dimensional programmes that contribute to prolonged resilience following implementation. Suggestions for activities and intervention strategies that tangibly contribute to sustainably enhanced resilience should be explored. To what degree does implementation with and through local partners (as with TAGHIR-SIDA) contribute to the sustainability of community resilience achieved via multi-dimensional programming?
  2. Where do sectors intersect? (i.e. Where do sectors complement each other and where do they compete?) Where are the strategic and contextually relevant opportunities for cross-sector collaboration or integration that contributes to resilience? How could this integration across sectors be facilitated/improved/realized? Are there instances when multi-dimensional approaches detract from rather than contribute to community resilience? How can these be avoided and/or rectified?
  3. What were specific considerations related to gender and ability that should be taken into consideration when implementing multi-sectoral programming? Identify barriers to and opportunities for engagement for people with disabilities, women, and other disadvantaged groups in conflict-affected areas of Iraq.
    1. Examine how women, men, boys and girls, and PWD are included, consulted, and incorporated when implementing multi-sectoral programmes. Suggestions on activities to improve gender, protection, and inclusion mainstreaming will be explored, and lessons learnt from other implementing partners will be identified by the learning research.

It is expected that the above questions will be adjusted in collaboration with the Consultant/service provider.

Consultant Deliverables:

The Consultant/firm is expected to deliver the following:  

  1. Inception Report – After completing a desk review of SIDA and other existing documents (primary and secondary), the Consultant will provide an inception report which would include: Detail the work plan for the research, their key deliverables and milestones; all assessment tools, and important time schedules for this exercise, and be presented to Mercy Corps Iraq for review and further inputs; set out the list of key stakeholders to be interviewed and the tools to be used for interviews and discussions. COVID-19 adaptive solutions to be included. 
  2. Orientation - Conduct orientation of in-country leadership to discuss expectations, logistics, and COVID-19 adapted solutions
  3. Data Collection Tools - With input from MC-IQ’s program and MEL teams, refine data collection tools and translate them to Arabic and Kurdish.
  4. Training - Train Enumerators/Surveyors; Pre-test data collection instruments, and oversee data collection
  5. Analysis - Encode and Analyze data.
  6. Report - The comprehensive final assessment report must follow the following criteria: The Consultant is expected to deliver a comprehensive final assessment report; the report should be in four (4) hard-cover-bound, physical, copies and a soft copy (PDF and Word - submitted electronically). Page limit for the full report is 40 pages, excluding the 5-page standalone executive summary (exclusive of annexes and attachments).

Suggested Report Structure & Content:

  • Cover Page, List of Acronyms
  • Table of Contents 
  • Executive Summary: This section should be a clear and concise stand-alone document that gives readers the essential contents of the evaluation report, including a summary of major findings, lessons learned, and recommendations. 
  • Methodology: This section should be sufficiently detailed to help the reader judge the accuracy of the report and its findings.  
  • Limitations: This section should address constraints and limitations of the methodology, and the implications of these limitations for the findings, including whether and why any of the evaluation findings are inconclusive. 
  • Results: This section should provide a clear assessment of insight of the research questions.
  • Synthesis, Recommendations and Lessons Learned: This is space for the evaluation team to think about the data and results, and make concrete recommendations for current or future program improvements, pull out organization lessons learned, and generally comment on data and results. Everything presented in this section should be directly linked back to the information presented in the Results section of the report 
  • Conflicts of Interest: Disclose any conflicts of interest or the appearance of conflicts of interest, including the interest of program staff in having a successful program.
  • Annexes: These should include a complete file of data collection instruments in English and translations (Arabic); list of stakeholder groups with number and type of interactions; SOW, qualitative protocols developed and used, any data sets (these can be provided in electronic format), any required photos, participant profiles or other special documentation needed.
  • Including COVID-19 adapted solutions

Timeframe / Schedule:  

An estimated total of 31 days (Feb 16th, 2022 - April 6th, 2022) is required for this consultancy;
2 days: Undertake desk review of the relevant program documents that include the Proposals, Implementation Plans, Program Implementation Reports, Mercy Corps strategy documents, and any other relevant documents by Consultant
3 days: Develop an Inception Report detailing the process and methodologies to be employed to answer the evaluation questions. This should include all evaluation tools, and important time schedules for this exercise, and be presented to Mercy Corps Iraq for review and further inputs by Consultant
1 day: Conduct orientation of in-country leadership to discuss expectations and logistics by Consultant, MEL team, Program team
3 days: With input from MC-IQ’s program and MEL teams, refine data collection tools and translate them to Arabic by Consultant
2 days (as it could be done remotely): Hire and train Enumerators/Surveyors; Pre-test data collection instruments by Consultant 
2 days: Finalize data collection instruments by Consultant
6 days: Oversee data collection Encode and Analyze data by Consultant
2 days: Encode and Analyze data by Consultant
4 days: Prepare draft evaluation report by Consultant
2 days: Provide detailed feedback to draft report by Project team, MEL Manager, PAQ Director
2 days: Finalize report, and share back with MC by Consultant
1 day: Presentation of Findings for internal/partner audiences by Consultant
1 day: Presentation of Findings for external/donor audiences by Consultant

The Consultant will report to: Deputy MEL Manager

The Consultant will work closely with: Mercy Corps’ Head of Livelihoods Program, TAGHIR Senior Program Manager, TAGHIR Program Manager, Country MEL Manager, and Program Performance and Quality Director

Limits and Exclusions:

  1. All the collected data and provided reports will be sole property of Mercy Corps and should not be shared or published without approval.
  2. Mercy Corps will not have any obligations for any issues arising between the consultant and SIDA staff/management.  
  3. Mercy Corps will have a maximum of 3 reviews/revision processes for each tool/report submitted before service provider finalization and usage.
  4. All the materials must be delivered in word and pdf format.
  5. The consultant must sign the data-sharing agreement with Mercy Corps at the onset which stipulates that any data on programme documents, internal Mercy Corps must not be shared unless otherwise have prior approval from Mercy Corps.

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
Achieving our mission begins with how we build our team and work together. Through our commitment to enriching our organization with people of different origins, beliefs, backgrounds, and ways of thinking, we are better able to leverage the collective power of our teams and solve the world’s most complex challenges. We strive for a culture of trust and respect, where everyone contributes their perspectives and authentic selves, reaches their potential as individuals and teams, and collaborates to do the best work of their lives. 

We recognize that diversity and inclusion is a journey, and we are committed to learning, listening and evolving to become more diverse, equitable and inclusive than we are today.

Equal Employment Opportunity
We are committed to providing an environment of respect and psychological safety where equal employment opportunities are available to all. We do not engage in or tolerate discrimination on the basis of race, color, gender identity, gender expression, religion, age, sexual orientation, national or ethnic origin, disability (including HIV/AIDS status), marital status, military veteran status or any other protected group in the locations where we work.

Safeguarding & Ethics
Mercy Corps team members are expected to support all efforts toward accountability, specifically to our stakeholders and to international standards guiding international relief and development work, while actively engaging communities as equal partners in the design, monitoring and evaluation of our field projects. Team members are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner and respect local laws, customs and MC's policies, procedures, and values at all times and in all in-country venues.

Assessment and Award of the Assignment 

APPLICATION GUIDELINES: 

Interested applicants should submit a technical and financial proposal to Mercy Corps (not more than 20 pages) including the following: 

  1. Organization profile, including list of similar assignments preferably with INGOs and CVs of key evaluation team members 
  2. Technical proposal including methodology and its responsiveness to the Scope of Work 3. At least one sample Evaluation Report or similar assessment (preferably in Iraq) 4. Project timeline/workplan
  3. At least two references for similar work completed
  4. Full financial proposal including detailed budget with all associated expenses (including breakdown of International and national flights, accommodation, data collection, etc as relevant)
  5. Relevant registration and tax certificate(s)

Application Deadline: 09 February 2022, 23.59. Applications will be evaluated on a rolling basis. 

Mercy Corps will evaluate technical and financial proposals and award the assignment based on technical and financial feasibility. Mercy Corps reserves the right to accept, or reject one or all proposals received without assigning any reason, and is not bound to accept the lowest or the highest bidder. Only those shortlisted will be contacted. 

Any subcontracting under this evaluation consultancy will not be accepted.