External Evaluation Consultant or Team

Job
from Caritas Luxembourg
Closing date: 31 May 2019

Fondation Caritas Luxembourg is looking for a consultant or a team for an External evaluation of Shelter project intervention in urban context - Homs, Syria

1. Background and context

1.1. Context

Fondation Caritas Luxembourg (FCL) is a humanitarian organisation providing assistance to people in need and supporting local organisations of the world wide Caritas network and humanitarian actors. In the Syrian region of Homs, FCL is supporting two partners WASL (Wide Approach to Sustainable Livelihood) based in Lebanon and SSCC (The Sisters of the Sacred Hearts’ humanitarian office) located in Homs for a shelter response project in the city of Homs. FCL desk officer is providing technical guidance to WASL and SSCC for project development.

WASL is a private consulting company, established in 2017 in Lebanon. WASL provides strategic services and support for projects focused on the recovery and rehabilitation of communities affected by conflicts. Services include expert analysis, tailored counsel and access to local knowledge, programing and operational activities, capacity building for grassroots initiatives, monitoring and evaluation, and assessments. WASL is providing technical expertise and coaching to the development of SSCC recovery department in Homs.

SSCC is a religious congregation founded in Syria and Lebanon in 1853. Its vision is to provide aid and social services to people in need. The monastic order in Homs provides education for children with disability to improve their lives and promote their social integration into society. In January 2017, SSCC recovery department was created with a specific technical team supported by WASL/Caritas; and started to implement a humanitarian response project of housing repair in the city of Homs in Syria.

Project intervention is taking place in urban areas of Homs in two neighbourhoods of Homs: the Old City and Al Waer, where most of the fighting took place. Both areas have significant destruction and are in need of assistance. SSCC are implementing the shelter response: team assesses family vulnerability and shelter needs; develops bill of quantities of work to be done; provides financial grants to families under self-help approach and monitor the rehabilitation process.

SSCC recovery department has a young and dynamic team consisting of 8 people with 5 engineers and architects including 2 liaison officers/social workers. The recovery department is supported by WASL and FCL with the financial support of the Ministry of Foreign affairs of Luxembourg, CAFOD UK, DP Canada and Canadian government.

1.2. Project achievements

Since January 2017, the project has helped 93 families/415 individuals by providing financial support for the rehabilitation of 75 shelter units in the districts of Old Homs and El Waer of Homs, Syria.

An additional 250 shelter units are ongoing and planned to be rehabilitated by the summer 2019 as well as addressing the rehabilitation of 20 buildings. In April 2019, the rehabilitation of 144 shelter units (from the targeted 250 units) were in progress.

1.3. Purpose of the evaluation and scope

This evaluation will support Caritas / WASL / SSCC in identifying strengths and weaknesses as well as the impact of its shelter activities while reflecting on challenges, drawing good practices and lessons learnt.

This evaluation will cover the initial period from 2017 to the current implementation in 2019.

Findings and recommendations will directly feed into WASL/SSCC Operations Manual, Technical Handbook, and other Technical Guidelines.

2. Objectives of the evaluation

2.1. Objectives of the evaluation

Overall objective:

To assess the overall relevance, effectiveness, impact, coherence, economy and efficiency of WASL/SSCC shelter response.

Specific objectives:

  • To assess the extent to which the projects implemented by WASL/SSCC have achieved the programme’s initial objectives and outcomes and consequently met the needs of conflict affected communities;
  • To review the technical challenges in supporting community based response “Self-help” response in urban areas and technical issues related to infrastructure damages in urban context;
  • To identify key lessons and provide recommendations to strengthen WASL/SSCC’s response.

2.2. Evaluation criteria

A list of key questions to be addressed will be develop and agreed between FCL and the consultant at the initial stage of the evaluation process.

The main research questions of this evaluation are:

  • What impact has the project had on the living conditions of the target populations?
  • How relevant, effective, efficient and sustainable are the shelter activities at the household level and at the community level?
  • What lessons and good practices (in terms of activities, design, M&E, etc.) can be drawn and replicated for future projects?

With reference to the partnership Caritas/ WASL/SSCC added value, the following specific questions should be answered:

  • Was the partnership involvement relevant, appropriate, coherent, and timely?
  • What was the specific contribution of each partner Caritas/WASL/SSCC to the programme? What should have been managed differently?
  • How has working in partnership benefitted the overall programme? How has Caritas’ partnership approach benefitted partners, and supported the work of the partners in the programme?

2.3. Expected outputs/deliverables

Deliverables of the external evaluation include a draft report and, after discussion and review by the team, a final report comprising:

  • Executive summary and main recommendations table (tentatively up to 4 pages);
  • Commentary and analysis addressing the issues raised in the TOR (up to 5 pages)
  • Conclusions and recommendations including specific suggestions for taking forward lessons learnt (2-4 pages)
  • Evidence of beneficiary feedback on the programme.

The reports should be in English and no more than 10-15 pages (excluding annexes). The dates each report should be submitted by will be agreed between WASL and the evaluator. Appendices should include the evaluation terms of reference, maps, contact list, beneficiary feedback and bibliography (all materials collected during the evaluation process should be lodged with Caritas/WASL prior to termination of the contract).

The report and all background documentation will be the property of Caritas.

2.4. Methodology

The evaluator will include a description of the preferred methodology in the proposal. A more detailed methodology and a work plan will be later agreed by the evaluator and CAFOD.

The methodology is initially expected to include:

  • Use of international guidelines (OECD-DAC criteria for evaluating development assistance, ALNAP guide for evaluating humanitarian action, Sphere, the Red Cross Code of Conduct and HAP)
  • Use of participatory approaches and feedback from participants, especially the beneficiaries where possible.
  • Interviews with FCL desk officer in Luxembourg (skype)
  • Field visit to Beirut ( WASL) and Homs (SSCC) -
  • Field visit to beneficiaries in Al Waer and Old Homs.
  • Interviews with WASL – SSCC Caritas in Lebanon and Syria.

3. Management of evaluation process

3.1. Role and responsibilities

FCL - Luxembourg

  • Liaise with consultant, partners organisations
  • Issue consultant contract
  • Request for visa through sister organisation in Syria (if needed)
  • Pay the consultant.

FCL/ WASL

  • Review and comment on proposed methodology (including evaluation tools);
  • Initial meeting or teleconference to review background information, to finalize methodology and agree on work-plan;
  • Coordinate and organise logistics, as needed;
  • To provide key programme documents;
  • Review draft evaluation report and offer any additional clarification as needed;
  • Approve final report;

WASL – Beirut:

  • Provide technical support for field visit
  • Ensure security briefing and follow up

SSCC – Homs

  • Liaise with consultant, and authorities during field visits;
  • Organise field visit, support community meetings;
  • Coordinate and organise logistics, as needed;

Consultant:

  • Develop evaluation methodology (including tools);
  • Drafting of detailed work-plan;
  • Carrying out the evaluation as per the agreed methodology;
  • Present initial findings at a half day discussion workshop (Beirut).
  • Produce draft evaluation report (in English);
  • Incorporate comments and submit final report.

3.2. Key working relationships

The consultant will be working independently but

  • FCL Luxembourg: Syrian desk officer will act as the focal-point for the evaluation process;
  • WASL will provide all support in Lebanon and transportation to Homs Syria;
  • SSCC in Homs Syria: will provide all logistics, transportation accommodation support.

3.3. Payment

FCL will pay an advance of 50% at the contract and the balance after approval of the final report.

The rate will be agreed upon with the consultant prior to the signing of the contract.

3.4. Timeline

The consultant should conduct the evaluation between July and August 2019.

Estimated time frame: 11 working days.

The timeframe will include time for preparation, field work as appropriate, writing, written feedback, including a debriefing after conducting mission to Homs with presentation and discussion of findings and finalization.

Expected field duration in Homs – SSCC: 5 days

Meeting in Beirut /Lebanon – WASL: 1 day

Debriefing in Beirut WASL – SSCC – Caritas: 1 day

How to apply:

4. Consultant’s proposal

4.1. Qualifications required from the consultant

The evaluation will be conducted by one professional or a team with the following experience and skills:

  • Fluency in Arabic and English with excellent writing skills;
  • Relevant work experience in humanitarian relief and shelter interventions and housing reconstruction in urban areas;
  • Relevant evaluation experience of humanitarian aid programmes, including the use of participatory evaluation methods with beneficiaries;
  • No conflict of interest with the ongoing activities of WASL or Caritas.

Desirable:

  • Experience, knowledge and clear understanding of Syrian humanitarian context.
  • Working with faith based agencies, national NGOs and organisations that work in partnership;

4.2. Consultant’s proposal

Applications should include:

  • A project proposal explaining the methodology, time schedule, summary budget, tentative work-plan and description of outputs in no more than 4 pages;
  • A CV of the consultant or each member of the team with two references;
  • References of past evaluations or technical documents/research conducted in shelter related field;

Each offer will be analysed and graded according to quality of the proposal and experience.

Applications for the implementation of the consultancy should be submitted by e-mail to: Alain.robyns@caritas.lu and Marwan.solh@consultwasl.com

Specifying in the subject line: External evaluation of Homs 2019-01.

Deadline for submission of the application: 31 May 2019