Consultant - Midterm Evaluation of TAGHIR-SIDA Project - Iraq

Programs Mosul, Nineveh Governorate



Mercy Corps is a leading global organization powered by the belief that a better world is possible. In disaster, in hardship, in more than 40 countries around the world, we partner to put bold solutions into action — helping people triumph over adversity and build stronger communities from within. Now, and for the future. 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 midterm evaluation which will be conducted by an external consultant. The findings of the midterm evaluation will form the basis for a revised Action Plan to deliver the second phase of the project, with an emphasis on building resilient communities and households. Key considerations will be the extent to which the project has leveraged long-term resources to maintain the community resilience-building processes when the project comes to an end. Due to ongoing access challenges, the evaluation will likely be conducted remotely with full support from the Mercy Corps’ Iraq MEL team.                                                                          

The consultant/firm is expected to deliver a comprehensive evaluation report no later than 15 June 2021 - with a first draft submitted for review on 31 May 2021. Note that these are estimated and/or anticipated deadlines. 

Consultant Objectives:

A midterm evaluation will focus on progress to date including evaluation of the nexus approach on humanitarian/development cooperation within the project.

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

  1. How relevant, effective, efficient, and sustainable were the different processes, strategies and approaches adopted in the implementation of the project?
    1. Relevance will look at the planning, design, implementation and coherence of the programme related to the three outcomes. The Midterm Evaluation (MTE) will make suggestions on improvement of the programme design to achieve the results.
    2. Efficiency will look at how the programme is converting inputs in a co-effect manner and with best quality across its outcomes. The Midterm Evaluation will explore this approach and how it is improving programming.
    3. Effectiveness will examine factors contributing to achievement of the results in time. Any lessons learnt at this stage of the programme should be identified by the Midterm Evaluation.
  2. How effective were the adaptations made as a result of the COVID 19 pandemic? Were they more effective for specific population groups (youth, men, women, PWD)?
  3. How can the teams further adapt to ensure safe and dignified continuation of programmatic implementation and high level of program quality during these unique circumstances?
    1. Sustainability will look at the aspects of the programme which is contributing to the continuation of the results of the programme after its completion. Suggestions on further activities to improve sustainability of the programme can be made.
  4. How have the activities impacted the social cohesion of the community, the peaceful environment, and wellbeing of project participants?
  5. What were special inclusive considerations implemented for people with disabilities, gender-specific activities and how protection was incorporated throughout the project?
    1. Examine how women, men, boys and girls, and PWD are included, consulted, and incorporated in the program at all stages.  Suggestions on further activities to improve gender, protection, and inclusion mainstreaming of the programme will be made, and any lessons learnt at this stage of the programme should be identified by the Midterm Evaluation.
  1. What is the level of satisfaction of the stakeholders including partners, participants/beneficiaries, and others? Were stakeholders able to provide feedback with ease?

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

Consultant Deliverables:

The Consultant will:

  1. Inception Report – After completing a desk review of SIDA documents, the consultant will provide an inception report which would include: Detail the work plan for the evaluation, their key deliverables and milestones; all evaluation 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 be included.
  2. Orientation - Conduct orientation of in-country leadership to discuss expectations, logistics, and COVID-19 adapted solutions.
  1. Data Collection Tools - With input from MC-IQ’s program and MEL teams, refine data collection tools and translate them to Arabic and Kurdish.
  2. Training - Train Enumerators/Surveyors; Pre-test data collection instruments, and oversee data collection
  3. Analysis - Encode and Analyze data.
  4. Report - The comprehensive final evaluation report must follow the following criteria: The consultant is expected to deliver a comprehensive final evaluation 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).

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 progress with respect to indicators / targets / objectives and/or evaluation questions. Reference baseline and midterm evaluation information as well as program logic, theory of change, etc.
  • 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: 

A total of 35 days (April 16, 2021 – July 30, 2021)  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 External 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 an External consultant
  • 3 days (as it could be done remotely): Hire and train Enumerators/Surveyors; Pre-test data collection instruments by External consultant
  • 2 days: Finalize data collection instruments by External consultant
  • 6 days: Oversee data collection Encode and Analyze data by External consultant
  • 3 days: Encode and Analyze data by External consultant
  • 4 days: Prepare draft evaluation report by External consultant
  • 2 days: Provide detailed feedback to draft report by Project team, MEL Manager, PAQ Director
  • 2 days: Finalize report, produce presentation of findings, and share back with MC by External consultant

The Consultant will report to: Mercy Corps’ Head of Livelihoods Program, TAGHIR Senior Program Manager, TAGHIR Program Manager, MEL Manager, and Program Performance and Quality Director

The Consultant will work closely with: Mercy Corps‘ MEL Manager.

Required Experience & Skills:

  • 5-10 years of experience in relevant technical field (required)

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.