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Terms of Reference for BBC Media Action Capacity Strengthening Evaluation

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BBC Media Action is planning to commission an independent evaluation of its capacity strengthening activities in Ukraine.

1. Background

The digital multi-platform newsroom and its respective workflows:

BBC has been supporting its partner broadcaster in Ukraine in its reform process:

  • Providing mentorship and support for the management to implement change needed;

  • Re-designing with the management the newsroom workflows to fit a new multimedia ways of working;

  • Strengthening the capacity of the newsroom staff.

Part of the broadcaster’s reform requires giving up traditional concepts of news productions and old-fashioned management structures. To support this reform, a new concept of a newsroom that would help it modernize its processes and keep up with the changing media environment was designed. This new concept means new workflows based on a newsgathering input/output system with a story-centric approach, where the story is at the heart of a multi-media news operation. Through this approach, a story can be shared internally and reach the different audiences, on the different platforms far more efficiently and effectively. This includes the diverse audiences of digital, radio and TV. This requires a centralised planning with a story-centric approach and new job roles and teams. These workflows have been re-designed and implemented as part of this project. Given the complexity of evaluating workflow re-design and implementation of new ways of working within the newsroom, BBC Media Action now wishes to commission a detailed independent evaluation of its mentorship, support and capacity strengthening activities in relation to this area of work.

2. Target audience and purpose

This evaluation is designed to provide a clear, accessible, and independent assessment of BBC Media Action’s intervention described above.

The purpose of the evaluation is twofold:

  • To evaluate the re-design and implementation of the new workflows

  • Draw out lessons learnt to inform Media Action’s approach to newsroom reform

Specifically, the evaluation will:

· Assess the outcomes and impact of the mentorship efforts aimed at the management team in re-designing and implementing the new workflows.

· Assess the outcomes and impact of the capacity strengthening of the newsroom staff to implement to new workflows.

· Identify intended and unintended results achieved (on content, staff, workflows, structures and ultimately audiences).

· Explore how the project’s Theory of Change and the assumptions used in the design this work worked out in practice.

· Identify the lessons learned to inform BBC Media Action’s approach to building lasting change within newsrooms

The intended audience for the evaluation report is BBC Media Action and the donor. Please note after the completion of the independent evaluation consultancy, BBC Media Action intends to use the findings alongside existing research to produce a short visual summary of the insights and lessons learnt for external audiences.

Key Questions

We would like the consultant to conduct the evaluation against the following research questions, which will be refined in consultation with BBC Media Action at the start of the work.

Activity level

What impact has the project had on:

· Improving the technical production skills (including digital skills and multiskilling) of the newsroom team

· Improving the editorial skills of the newsroom team

· Improving the capacity of the management to understand, design and implement new workflows

· Improving the capacity of the management team to understand and embed a culture of change within the newsroom to support new workflows

Output level

What impact has the project had on:

· Contributing to the improved quality of news programmes

· Contributing to the improved synergy of work between the central newsroom team and regional outlets

· Contributing to the reach and perceived quality of news programming amongst audiences

Impact level

What impact has the project had on:

· How, if at all, has the work contributed to the broadcaster’s commitment to its transition to public service broadcasting?

Learning

· Partnerships: What can BBC Media Action learn from this partnership to inform its approach to supporting public service broadcasters to deliver high quality news programming?

· Lasting change: What are some of the barriers and enablers the broadcaster may face in maintaining the quality of news programming and work flow models following the end of BBC Media Action’s support?

· Added value: What value added did BBC Media Action bring to this capacity strengthening relationship (in comparison to other providers of media and communication expertise)?

· Testing assumptions: How did the project’s Theory of Change and the assumptions used in the design working out in practice in this programme?

3. Methodology

It is anticipated that the methodology will include (but not necessarily be limited to):

Desk reviews:

· Desk review of key relevant BBC Media Action project and research products

· Review of content including the news content on radio, television and digital platforms, wider broadcaster’s programming and other relevant programming in the media environment

UK-based/telephone interviews:

· Interviews with BBC Media Action’s project staff and consultants

Ukraine-based/telephone interviews:

· Interviews with the broadcaster’s staff, senior management, other relevant country stakeholders (such as media experts/commentators)

n.b. Because of the pandemic it is assumed that all work will be conducted remotely

4. Outputs

  1. Evaluation report to be submitted to BBC Media Action for feedback by 16th August 2021.

  2. A presentation of the evaluation findings. This should summarise the impact of the capacity strengthening work and the lessons learnt for BBC Media Action’s approach to capacity strengthening.

It is important to note that the evaluation will be an independent assessment and ultimate editorial decisions reside with the consultant.

5. Roles and responsibilities

Consultant will be required to:

· Review existing internal project documentation and interview relevant BBC Media Action Staff

· Research and propose individuals for interview, as needed

· In consultant with the Project Manager approach interviewees and manage the interview schedule.

· Gain informed consent and manage the evaluation to the highest research and ethical standards,

· Work with the Project Manager to support the gathering of relevant partner content to feed into the evaluation and visual research summary

· Write and circulate draft evaluation report

· Incorporate feedback from BBC Media Action staff

· Produce a final draft within the timeframe specified in the contract

· Present the findings to BBC Media Action and other stakeholders

· Follow appropriate BBC/BBC Media Action Policies (e.g. expenses, risk assessments, editorial guidelines and reporting style guide)

BBC Media Action’s project manager and key expert overseeing the reform process will:

· Brief the consultant prior to field and ensure key documentation is shared in a timely fashion

· Make staff available for interviews and provide logistical guidance as needed

· Support the selection of interviewees and facilitate the booking of interviews with individuals outside of BBC Media Action.

BBC Media Action’s project team will:

· Ensure consultant has all necessary documentation for the project

· Support consultant in identifying suitable interviewees as needed

· Review the evaluation report with the BBC Media Action Research team

BBC Media Action R&L team will:

· Help shape key evaluation questions to be explored.

· Provide methodological guidance to consultant as needed

· Provide feedback – both substantive and stylistic – on the evaluation report draft.

· Facilitate a presentation by the consultant to the stakeholders on the evaluation findings and implications

6. Timeline

The proposed timetable for the evaluation and the anticipated work start and end dates are below:

Activity

Timeline

Terms of Reference to be submitted no later than: 20th June 2021

Selection of consultant / contracting: By end of June 2021

Work starts: Start July 2021

Report submission due: w/c 16th August 2021

Award Criteria and Assessment

BBC Media Action intend to use the following criteria to evaluate the responses submitted:

Award Criteria

Weighting

Evaluation Expertise including Technical and Professional Excellence 20%

Broadcasting and Media Experience20%

Value for Money20%

Media Development and Development Communication Capacity Strengthening Experience 20%

Project Management and Efficacy 20%

7. Consultant Skills

The consultant should have the following skills:

· Strong media and communications sector expertise

· Strong expertise within the newsroom and understanding of multimedia newsroom

· Experience and understanding of the Ukrainian media environment

· Experience in conducting independent evaluations

· Track record in undertaking media and communication capacity strengthening assessments

· Track record of reviewing programme management and delivery

· Track record of reviewing research and policy products

· Track record in delivering quality products on time and to budget

· Fluency in English and Ukrainian

The external evaluation will be managed by the Country Research Manager, based in London, with support from the Senior Research Manager and project team. The contract will be issued by BBC Media Action’s office in London.

We are interested in receiving applications from a single or joint consultancy which cover the required skills.**

How to apply

To apply, please provide a cover letter and CV which details how you meet the consultant skills criteria. Please send these to Anisha Ratan, Research Manager (Anisha.Ratan@bbc.co.uk), and Julie Boutros, Project Manager (Julie.Boutros@bbc.co.uk) no later than Sunday 20th June 2021.

Please email Anisha.Ratan@bbc.co.uk if you have any questions relating to the Terms of Reference.