Consultant - MEL Final Evaluation - Uganda
Project Locations: Yumbe, Arua and Moyo district, Uganda
Uganda is Africa’s largest refugee hosting country and one of the top five worldwide. As of January 2018, Uganda hosted 1.3 million refugees, most of whom (around 850,000) have fled South Sudan’s conflict and unrest and settled in Uganda’s West Nile region. Situated in Northern Uganda, the districts of Arua, Yumbe and Moyo are home to large settlements of refugees. Located in proximity to the urban center of Arua Town, Rhino Camp is home to 109,669 individuals, of whom 97% are South Sudanese, and 62% are under the age of 18. 87km from Arua town, the district of Moyo is largely agricultural, with most residents engaged in subsistence farming. Palorinya settlement is home to 120,154 individuals, 98% from South Sudan. The biggest refugee settlement in Uganda is Bidibidi and host a total of 230,423 refugees and 68% are under the age of 18. Bidibidi is separated in 5 zones and is situated in Yumbe district.
From July 2017 – June 2018, the ReHope pilot “Demonstrating a Market Systems Approach funded by DFID was implemented in West-Nile. The pilot successfully found that MSD is a viable approach to refugee response with a critical mass of early adopter refugee and host community farmers, agrodealers, agents and private sector partners looking to expand production, support services and buying in West Nile in and around refugee-hosting districts. Additionally, it has shown that access to employment opportunities are limited in the settlements because of lack of start-up capital and services. Mercy Corps, with funding from DFID, is implementing a 16-month programme, BRIDGE that is an expansion of the previous pilot. BRIDGE program is implemented in the refugee settlements of Rhinocamp, Bidibidi and Palorinya. The program participant target are equally split between the three refugee settlements for the agricultural part of the project. The Innovation Centers are based in Bidibidi zone 3 and zone 4 and Rhinocamp. All activities implemented in and around the Innovation Centers are targeting all host and refugee community around those centers. Out of the total participants, 70% are anticipated to be refugees and 30% from the host communities targeting at least 50% females. The program mainstreamed gender across the intervention, especially given the female- and youth-demographic density of refugee settlements.
The goal of the BRIDGE programme is to “Increase income and resilience for refugees and host communities in West Nile” with three specific objectives implemented by Mercy Corps and seven partners, namely two private sector organizations (GADC, Fuzu) and five NGOs (ICRAF, Village Enterprise, Innovation Village, HYT and CTEN). The programme, with impact statement “Increased income and resilience for refugees and host community population in West Nile”, has three objectives:
- Refugees/host communities gain access to jobs and start micro/small enterprises
Key activities include basic and advanced computer and IT training, training on Interlocking Stabilised Soil Block technology, tailoring training and linkages to an online market place. Further activities include supporting vulnerable households to start up new businesses and linkages to online job platform to improve job opportunities.
- Innovation Centers are recognized as hubs for learning, creativity and employment linkages
An Innovation Centre concept was originally fostered from the ReHope Pilot to develop alternative employment opportunities for refugee settlements. This program has three Innovation Centers in Bidibidi and Rhinocamp each with their own focus: agroforestry, technology, or agriculture, training a total of 770 individuals.
- Refugees/host farmers increase yield and sales of selected agricultural commodities
The program takes a market systems development (MSD) approach and has reached around 6,000 farmers through a private sector partnership. Agro-agents distribute, via a voucher system, subsidized seeds (cotton, sesame, groundnuts and maize) to farmers. Farmers are then trained on different modules by the private sector partner, which will be off-taking the production from farmers after harvesting.
Purpose, scope and objectives
BRIDGE is looking for a consultant to conduct the final evaluation of the programme. The final evaluation will compare the existing baseline results with end results (to be collected as part of this consultancy), will compare the results of the ReHope pilot, and will add other relevant evaluation questions that might be used for proposals development for future programming.
Following the DAC/OECD evaluation criteria, the evaluation is anticipated to show impact, effectiveness and sustainability of all programme activities implemented under the BRIDGE programme. The evaluation won’t focus on the ‘relevance’ and ‘efficiency’ criteria because the relevance of this program has been demonstrated already during the pilot and efficiency will be covered using DFID value for money tool.
The three evaluation criteria, impact, effectiveness and sustainability have been chosen because of they are most relevant to the programme. To gain key insights and learnings of the impact of the programme it’s important to find out what the effect is of the activities and interventions on the target group and if it contributes to an increased income and resilience to the communities (impact). By looking at the effectiveness of the programme we will find out if the programme activities has achieved its purpose and will show learnings how to improve on similar programming. Although this program is relatively short, it’s important to measure if the interventions have contributed in the longer term. It should measure the exit strategy of the Innovation Centers and in which way the centers are sustainable after the program. As BRIDGE is partly an MSD program, the final evaluation should demonstrate what the systemic change is and what the potential opportunities are.
The evaluation report should be completed by mid March 2020.
Key high-level questions that need to be answered are:
- What was the impact of the programme?
- What progress have we made towards reaching our objectives and targets?
- What lessons can we learn to help us improve similar programs?
- What are the systemic change?
The evaluation should ensure consistency with the baseline survey conducted in July 2019 (a household survey covering more than 600 units in Yumbe region) and the baseline and endline evaluation of the ReHope pilot to allow comparison.
Existing Program Information Sources:
The consultant is expected to review the existing documentation of the program, including: MEL plan (theory of change, logframe and indicator plan), baseline survey tools and report, Rehope baseline and endline report, quarterly donor reports, agreement with partners and internal standard operating procedures.
Key Evaluation Questions:
Evaluation questions will focus around three main objectives of the project that is drafted in the theory of change. Below are questions that will guide the evaluation. Additional questions can be added during the process.
- How many participants have gained jobs or have started micro/small enterprises and how has this impacted their income?
- What is the average income change for the participants?
- What is the increase in yield and sales of the farmers?
- To which extent have indirect participants benefitted from the program?
- What role did the Innovation Centres play to reaching the objective of improving access to jobs and starting new business?
- How effective is a market system development approach in West-Nile refugee settlements and what are the main learnings we have to consider for future programming?
- What is the systemic change of the program?
- Is there evidence that the Innovation Centers are likely to continue on its own – scaling up and out – beyond the project life?
- To what extend has the programme contributed to an increase in the livelihoods of refugees and host community members beyond the project?
- To what extent did the programme contribute to a behavioural change at the participants and partner level
- How effective has the design of the program been in incorporating gender into activities?
The consultant is expected to use a mixed-method approach with quantitative and qualitative methods. The following methods and activities are anticipated:
- Review of program monitoring data and records
- Direct observations of interventions through site visits to the Innovation Centers
- Use of existing quantitative data (baseline surveys, endline report and routine monitoring)
- In-depth interviews with partner’s participants (Fuzu, CTEN, Innovation Village, Village Enterprise, ICRAF, HYT, agro-agents)
- In-depth interviews with other stakeholders (OPM, UNHCR, local government)
- Semi-structured key informant interviews (Program staff, staff of partner organizations, participants)
- Final evaluation household survey (At least 600 households from baseline study)
The Consultant will work closely with the Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (MEL) team and Program Manager to design and conduct this evaluation. As part of the consultancy, the consultant will:
- Facilitate orientation / meeting with organization’s field office key staff and management to clarify expectations and desired outcomes, review and confirm activity and logistics plan, etc.
- Train Enumerators/Surveyors; Pre-test data collection instruments
- Manage mobile data collection using final data collection instruments
- Develop data encoding tools and analysis plan and encode and analyze data (including baseline comparison)
- Prepare draft evaluation report outlining evaluation process, program achievements, constraints, lessons learned, recommendations, next steps/ action plan
- Conduct debrief meeting with staff/stakeholders/ partners to review preliminary evaluation findings and review first draft of evaluation report.
- Finalize Evaluation Report that includes recommendations and explain how these changes would improve program outcomes and sustained impact.
- Engage with BRAER’s ULEARN facility, and to share any data and findings with them.
Consultant Deliverables (30 – 35 days)
The consultancy is expected to last between 30 and 35 working days. The following timetable is anticipated:
- Review of BRIDGE documentation and in-depth discussion with programme staff (3 days)
- Submit a workplan for data collection, analysis and reporting for approval from Mercy Corps and a final report outline (1 day)
- Develop data collection tools that are aligned with logical framework, indicator plan and baseline survey -in depth interviews with partners, key informant interviews and household evaluation questionnaire (4 days)
- Train enumerators for evaluation household data collection (1 day)
- Lead the data collection activity with enumerators (12 days)
- Provide a half-day workshop on main findings and debrief (1 day)
- Submit draft final evaluation report for review by Mercy Corps (5 days)
- Submit final evaluation report including recommendations (8 days)
The number of travel days to and from Yumbe is not included in the number of days. Previous evaluations show that 30-35 days should be sufficient to conduct the final evaluation.
Risk and challenges
There are some risk and challenges in
- Data collection may be hampered because of bad road conditions. The different settlements are far away from each other which makes it sometimes hard to reach.
- There is a high probability that a proportion of survey respondents is neither literate nor numerate. While most innumerate respondents will still be able to provide numeric information, it is possible that the lack of numeracy among respondents might impact response precision or even exclude certain respondents from the final dataset due to missing or incorrect values. It’s important to note that respondents should chose the units by themselves e.g. number of acres or number of kgs.
- In the different programme locations, several local languages are spoken by the community and there is a high probability that participants cannot speak English. To make sure there is no bias in the responses of the respondents, translators should be prepared and trained to make sure all information they will pass on to the data collector is correctly translated.
Timeframe / Schedule:
Preparation and data collection: 3rd- 21st February
Final report: 24th February - 13th of March
The Consultant will report to:
Program Manager BRIDGE
The Consultant will work closely with:
MEL team (1 Senior MEL officer, 1 MEL officer and 1 MEL assistant), MEL Advisor, data collectors and Program team
Required Experience & Skills:
- Advanced academic qualification in Statistics, Economics, International Development or other relevant degree
- Minimum 7 years of experience in monitoring & evaluation, survey/household design and implementation or other related quantitative and qualitative field research in developing countries
- Demonstrated experience conducting and managing all aspects of MEL planning and implementation, endline evaluation and complex program evaluation
- Experience managing mobile data collection using mobile apps e.g. Ona, Kobo etc.
- Ability to analyze quantitative and qualitative data, evaluate data quality, manage large data sets, and present findings in clear and effective format
- Familiarity with the Uganda agricultural context and market actors; Experience in northern Uganda preferred
- Excellent analytical, research, writing and concise and compelling communication skills; Strong visual presentation skills preferred.
- Language skills: Professional capacity in English