RFP-IRQ-CO-2022-004-External Evaluation Economic Recovery Program

Terms of References for External Evaluation

Economic Recovery Program For

Supporting durable livelihood solutions for vulnerable and economic crisis-affected people in Kurdistan Region of Iraq

Funded by GIZ

These TORs are open for qualified national and international individual consultants or independent firms.

Project title

Supporting durable livelihood solutions for vulnerable and economic crisis-affected people in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq



Project location


Erbil, Sulimaniya, Duhok, Ninewa

Project duration

15th August 2019-14th August 2022

Evaluation owner

DRC Iraq

Evaluation Manager

Country MEAL Manager as Evaluation Manager and Country Economic Recovery Coordinator **

Evaluation Team

TBD by selected company

Type of evaluation

End of Project Impact Evaluation**

Implementing Partners

Not Applicable

A. Context

As Iraq enters 2022, the humanitarian context is paradoxical and evolving. Many gains and positive developments continue to gain strength, slowly bringing millions previously affected by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and related counter-military operations back towards parity with other Iraqis. Yet, simultaneously, humanitarian needs and displacement remain stubbornly persistent for a relatively small but deeply vulnerable portion of the population. It has been eight years since the first emergence of ISIL. The intervening years have been filled with horrific suffering, widespread destruction, the fraying of a diverse social tapestry, and the internal displacement of some 6 million Iraqis. More recently, these years have given way to a new – albeit tenuous – hope for the future, as the country progresses towards recovery. Of the 6.1 million people displaced during the ISIL crisis between 2014 and 2017, 4.9 million people have returned while 1.2 million remain displaced, the vast majority of whom (1 million people) are displaced outside of formal camps. Based on the revised approach to assessing humanitarian needs, 2.5 million IDPs and returnees remain highly vulnerable and in humanitarian need. This includes all IDPs who live in camps (180,000), just over half of out-of-camp IDPs (549,000), and one third of all returnees (1.7 million)[1]. Of these, about 961,000 people face acute humanitarian needs, reaching extreme or catastrophic levels. In crisis-affected governorates such as Salah al-Din and Diyala, conflict and displacement affected market systems and pre-crisis livelihoods patterns. This is further exacerbated by limited availability of services, infrastructure damage, and outdated administrative and regulatory systems. Access to livelihoods opportunities is one of the major factors determining severity of needs among returnees.

For Syrian Refugees, ass of 31 December 2020, 242,163 (72,669 households) Syrian refugees are residing in Iraq. It is expected that the number of Syrian refugees in Iraq will remain stable in 2021[2]. Although returns to Syria were recorded in 2020, including during the intermittent border openings during the pandemic, large-scale returns of Syrian refugees living in Iraq are unlikely in the near future, based upon return intention preliminary Multi-Sector Needs Assessment (MSNA) findings. Despite the challenging political climate in Iraq, the current economic downturn and the COVID-19 situation, the protection environment in the KR-I, where the vast majority of refugees in Iraq resides, remains favourable, despite some challenges as a result of COVID-19 related movement restrictions, particularly the closure of the border with Syria. However, the absence of an effective legal framework for refugee protection in Iraq continues to preclude longerterm residency rights and other legal benefits for Syrian refugees. The difficult economic situation has negatively affected the livelihood opportunities of Iraqis and Syrian refugees alike and stretches the existing public services. Lack of access to sustainable employment and livelihood opportunities remains the main vulnerability reported by Syrian refugees and the root cause of protection issues, such as child labour and child marriage. It also led to refugees seeking relocation to camps and not being able to cover costs related to multiple needs, such as renting adequate accommodation, purchasing food for the household, ensuring children’s school attendance, and accessing adequate healthcare services. Research in Iraq by the Durable Solutions Platform found that livelihoods opportunities are Syrian refugees’ biggest need—and greatest obstacle—to achieving meaningful local integration.[3] Today, 38% of Syrians in KRI live below the poverty line.[4] Displacement-affected Iraqis face similar challenges.

B. Project Summary[5]**

The project objective is to promote the capacity of vulnerable and economic crisis-affected populations to conduct economic activities independently and in a sustainable manner. It is designed to serve as a bridge between humanitarian assistance and longer-term recovery and development strategies by identifying entry-points to assistance for households at different vulnerability stages: addressing basic needs and reducing reliance on negative coping strategies for extremely vulnerable households, and job creation and income generation for vulnerable households. This will result in participants having improved capacity to start their own business and generate sustainable income and/or improved work skills and access to the labor market through wage employment. The continuum of support allows the extremely vulnerable to graduate to job-creation and income generation assistance, thus strengthening the overall resilience and the self-reliance of crisis-affected communities.

The project includes:

Outcome 1: Vulnerable households have reduced reliance on negative coping strategies and have strengthened their livelihoods.

· Life skills for livelihoods activation grant, and business literacy training for micro businesses

· Employability training for on-the-job learners

· Provision of Livelihoods Activation Grant (LAG)

· Provision of micro-business grant

· Provision of on-the-job learning support **

Outcome 2: Vulnerable individuals have improved work skills and access to the labour market

· Provision of employability skills training

· Identification and placement of beneficiaries with private sector companies for on-the-job learning

Outcome 3: Small Enterprises in economic crisis affected settings generate sustainable income and provide employment opportunities for other members of the community

· Provision of business development services, business and financial management training and scale-up grants

C. Targeted Group

The intervention reached with comprehensive livelihoods assistance to 2,142 displacement households Reflecting the current context—where returnees now exceed IDPs, DRC targets IDPs and host communities, returnees, and Syrian refugees in the KRI. Project also covered 30% of women beneficiaries under each outcome and 10% of persons with disabilities.

D. Scope of Evaluation **

DRC Iraq is seeking to conduct an external evaluation with an overall objective of generating evidence to inform DRC’s economic recovery programming with main focus on its ‘’Graduation Approach’’ and ‘’Scale-up business support’’ to ensure that the programme interventions are relevant to the context, needs/preferences, socio-economic position of targeted population; and overall project performance is satisfactory; and have achieved to its objective. During the evaluation, apart from evaluating the performance of project, DRC aims to draw from lessons learned and best practices to refine//re-design its strategy to sustainable livelihoods and durable solutions, especially graduation approach and business scale-ups for employment creation. Through this evaluation, DRC expects to revisit its programming modalities for economic recovery program in relation based on evidence generated throughout the current programming and external evaluation conducted for the previous action, thus is it is expected that this evaluation will be instrumental to validate the economic recovery programme strategy and provides practical recommendations for adopting the approaches. The scope for evaluation is determined using OECD-DAC criteria, i.e., Relevance, Effectiveness, Impact, Efficiency, Sustainability and Coherence. Details of each criterion are given in the section H.

E. Specific inquiry areas on program modalities

It is expected to evaluate each modality of the economic recovery project separately with application of OECD-DAC criteria and also making comparative analysis of each in relation to the effectiveness, impact, sustainability, longevity, durability and appropriateness to socio-economic dynamics of target population, needs and context. DRC Iraq expect from consultant to propose a methodology which provides recommendation for future strategic direction, program modalities realignment, based on the lesson learned and best practice from project implementation. The focus areas of interest and inquiry questions includes, but not limited to; (These questions serve as guidance to develop evaluation methodology and needs to be detailed in evaluation tools)

i) Graduation approach (Consumption assistance with livelihoods support): DRC provides basic consumption assistance to extremely vulnerable households who fall under relief category (high reliance on negative coping strategies). The consumption assistance is followed with livelihoods support, either in the form of self-employment or wage-employment. The overall objectives of the layered assistance, consumption plus livelihoods, is to ensure that assisted households gain capacities to achieve self-reliance and resilience. The kye question of inquiry includes,

  • Was the transfer amount, frequency and duration of transfer enough to positively address extreme vulnerability and provide enough opportunity to continue participating in livelihood growth interventions?

  • Was the targeting model covered the vulnerability levels which makes graduation support justified to targeted households?

  • Were livelihood support interventions well sequenced with consumption assistance, and were chosen livelihoods pathways (self-employment or wage-employment) rightly selected and appropriate for individual households, considering the socio-cultural-economic dynamics of the specific households (e.g. female headed, male headed, households headed by persons with disability, households headed by persons without persons with disability, youth, adult)?

  • Was the livelihood support provided comprehensive enough in terms of its coverage of capacity building needs, assets transfers, coaching, counselling, linkages, etc. And what gaps in capacity building, transfer values, and other services were there that emerged or were not addressed adequately as a barrier to attain self-reliance?

  • How inclusive was the graduation approach for specific categories of target population, segregated by gender, age, and persons with disabilities; and by demographic status, i.e., IDPs, refugees, host communities and returnee population.

  • What has been the impact and sustainability of the intervention for different categories of the target population according to gender, age, status and disability.

  • The evaluation should provide recommendations of existing model and what revisions and improvement should be brought to all these elements, including specific recommendations for improved age, gender and disability inclusion.

ii) Scale-up business development support: Scale-up business support aimed at providing capacity building and financial (grants) services to existing businesses with potential of creating employment opportunities for additional people in their communities. The key area of inquiry includes.

  • How successful was the business development support for scale-up in terms of creating additional employment opportunities?

  • Specific questions of interest under this evaluation include the business grant transfer value appropriateness, market relevance of supported businesses, market saturation effects due to new businesses, and suitability of employment created by scale-ups.

  • How inclusive was scale-up business support and employment generation for specific categories of target population, segregated by gender, age, and persons with disabilities; and by demographic status, i.e. IDPs, refugees, host communities and returnees population.

  • What has been the impact and sustainability of the intervention for different categories of target populations according to gender, age, status, and disability.

  • Also, the evaluation should investigate the relevance and impact of business and financial management trainings, coaching and advisory support. Recommendations should provide practical and realistic refinements to existing approaches including recommendations for improved inclusion.

F. Specific objectives

The following are the specific objectives of the evaluation:

a) To assess the performance of the project against key evaluation criteria for livelihoods interventions, i.e., graduation approach and scale-up business development support implemented by DRC.

b) Evaluate the relevance and appropriateness of existing programming modalities to diverse population needs (Based on Age, Gender, displacement status, disability status - AGD), priorities and capacities of target population in terms of sustainability, participation, and achieving self-reliance.

c) Evaluate assistance modalities implemented under this project, i.e., graduation approach, scale-up business support and employment generation and provide recommendations for expansion, continuity or scale-down of specific modalities with AGD inclusion lens .

d) Assess the project implementation in relation to participation of project beneficiaries, communities, market actors in decision making through relevant mechanisms established by DRC

e) Identify lessons learned and best practices in programming implemented by DRC.

f) Identify and assess key internal and external factors that have contributed to, affected, or impeded the achievements of the project, and how DRC have managed these factors.

G. Timeframe of the project

External evaluation will be looking at the project implementation period from 15th August 2019 to 30th Apr 2022 across the project locations.

H. Intended Users of Evaluation Findings and Recommendations

This external evaluation will be shared with DRC Iraq internally, with donors and other livelihood actors in Iraq. The intended users of the evaluation are DRC Senior Management Team, Economic Recovery Coordinator, Economic Recovery Program Managers, Area Managers, MEAL Department.

I. Evaluation criteria and key questions to be addressed in the evaluation **

DRC will conduct the evaluation considering the following six criteria: Relevance, Effectiveness, Impact, Efficiency, Sustainability and Coherence.


Is the intervention doing the right thing?

· To what extent were the project design, objectives and interventions valid or in line with the needs of people and context specific? How needs-based, context-adapted, and capacity-conscious was the design of the programme? **

· Are the activities and outputs of the programmes consistent with the overall goal and the attainment of its objectives? How appropriate was DRC’s programme design and implementation structure?**

· How relevant were the livelihoods assistance modalities to the identified needs of diverse population groups in terms of vulnerability status, capacities, market situation and the context? **

· How relevant and appropriate were project activities to the needs of different targeted groups, e.g., men, women, persons with disabilities in targeted communities (please distinguish between gender, age, persons with disabilities, and by displacement status (IDPs, Syrian Refugees, returnees, and host communities) given their socio-economic circumstances and priorities?**

· To what extent have the key contextual changes, threats and opportunities that arose during implementation influenced and informed project implementation? **

· How appropriate were DRC’s beneficiaries’ participation and complaints and feedback mechanisms to the context? **

· How and to what extent were monitoring and research findings used to inform decision-making and the improvement of project implementation by DRC and partners?**


How well does the intervention fit?

· To what extent does the project complement existing interventions in the country as well as government policies and strategies? To what extent was the project coordinated with other relevant actors?

· To what extent were government stakeholders consulted in the design of the project, and how was it coordinated with them to improve complementarity and coverage?


Is the intervention achieving its objectives?

· To what extent were the objectives achieved / are likely to be achieved? What were the major factors influencing the achievement or non-achievement of the objectives?

· How effective was DRC’s response within economic recovery program with reference to intervention modalities (graduation approach, scale-up business support for decent employment creation) and intended results?**

· Was the economic recovery’s staff structure, including overall management structure, appropriate to deliver effective implementation? What are the recommendations in terms of structure for similar programs?

· How were beneficiaries selected and were they informed of the selection criteria or participation in the programme/projects? How effective were the selection criteria in reaching the most vulnerable populations for different activities?

· Were there any risks inherent to the duration of the project, either in the course of or towards the end of the intervention?


What difference does the intervention make?

· Analyse the contribution of the project to any observed impact (intended, unintended, positive, negative) and analyse what other actors and factors contributed to the impact. What real difference has the intervention made to the beneficiaries?

· Determine the scale, longevity, and durability of the impact on economic situation of the beneficiaries assisted under this project through various modalities and distinguishing according to age, gender, displacement and disability status.

· Make a comparative analysis of different livelihood tracks within graduation approach, i.e., self-employment and wage employment tracks, to determine the impact of individual approaches on people socio-economic conditions with recommendation of modalities for future scale-up/down, continuity and improvements.

· What were the intended and unintended effects of the programme, and how do they relate to the principal objective? Did all intended beneficiaries benefit equally from interventions as per their needs? **


Will the benefits last?

· To what extent are the benefits of the project likely to continue after donor funding ceases? Did the project plan and implement an adequate transition and exit strategy that ensures longer-term positive effects and reduces risk of dependency?

· What were the major factors which influenced the achievement or non-achievement of sustainability of the project?**

· Are the assisted population groups more resilient (in line with the project results) than before (applying AGD lens to indicate differences for men, women, youth, adult, persons with disabilities, persons of different displacement status)?**


How well are resources being used?

· Were the interventions cost-efficient? Were the objectives achieved on time? Was the programme or project implemented in the most efficient way compared to alternatives? Cost-efficiency of graduation approach (consumption support plus livelihood support) and business support for scale-up to generate employment is expected to explore in detail.

· How efficient were the management structures and the implementation modalities in terms of timeliness of delivery and cost-effectiveness of the interventions?

· Was the project implemented based on the best use of existing resources/capacity, e.g., the capacity internal capacity and expertise of DRC? What key limitations existed on this front? What could DRC’s future projects do to increasingly develop and invest in existing resources?

· What cost-effective alternatives could have been used?

J. Methodology

DRC is committed to conduct evaluation in line with the principles of ethics in evaluation, i.e., Integrity, Accountability, Respect and Beneficence. DRC consider engaging the beneficiaries and stakeholders in line with the OECD DAC Quality Standards for Development Evaluation. DRC will use quantitative and qualitative methods using both primary and secondary data collection techniques. The evaluation firm/individual consultant is expected to develop a detailed and robust methodology upon their selection (to be approved by DRC Iraq) to generate representative sampling size and credible findings. The evaluation methodology should also make use of existing monitoring and research studies data already generated by DRC Iraq programme. It is expected that individual firms will use desk review and in-depth analysis of existing reports and monitoring data to minimize the challenge of primary data collection because of in place travel restrictions and social distancing. It is also anticipated that this evaluation will be a participatory review and learning exercise. Innovative methodologies to evaluation of similar programs are highly encouraged to present and will be strong bases of selection of service provider.

Thus, it requires the consultant(s)/firms to be experienced in participatory approaches to learning and inquiry, and especially in seeking the views and perceptions of key stakeholders that include:

a. Targeted beneficiaries

b. Actors directly involved in the project at different levels:

· The service providers, i.e., training institutes

· Community leaders (if applicable) and representative of people of concerns

· Local authorities

· Private sector partners

· External livelihoods actors

· Donor’s representatives

c. DRC staff involved in the implementation of the project (e.g., area managers, program managers, coordinators, and other field teams)

In addition, the following should be taken into consideration:

· That the method(s) and approach chosen are relevant to the objective of the evaluation

· That the individuals to be consulted during the evaluation are relevant to the focus of the evaluation

· That evaluation samples are representative of men, women, persons of different age groups (youth, adults), displacement and disability status to allow for comparative analysis

· That the method(s) and approach chosen allows for source and method triangulation of findings

· That the beneficiaries are consulted only if relevant to the evaluation questions

· That collection of data that is not used and not relevant to the evaluation is avoided

· That the method and approach chosen are ethically sound and culturally sensible

· That the data privacy and security is sole responsibility of the contractor.

Note: Individual consultants or firms who are operational and aware of the local context in Iraq will be given priority

K. Timeframe of evaluation

The evaluation will be carried out between 15th June 2022 to 21st July tentatively, with the final report submitted to DRC as per agreed timeline within the contractual obligation. The exact dates will be negotiated with final selected firm or consultants. Deadlines agreed with the selected consultants/firms will be non-negotiable.

L. Reporting

Selected consultant or firm will report directly to MEAL Manager and Economic Recovery Coordinator and will work closely with Area Managers, and Economic Recovery Programme Managers in targeted locations throughout the evaluation process.

M. Evaluator’s qualifications and expression of interest

The evaluation consultant or firm should have the following expertise and skills:

· Extensive expertise in evaluations of complex programmes in humanitarian & development context and minimum three or more than three years of experience in conducting complex evaluation studies that include economic recovery programming consisting of livelihoods graduation programming, business development support and employment creation.

· Proven experience of conducting evaluation studies with international humanitarian and development organisations and knowledge of economic recovery sector.

· Proven experience in the use of quantitative and participatory qualitative methods for data collection and analysis including remote data collection and remote management of evaluation.

· Knowledge of ICT tools for mobile data collection.

· Excellent writing and communication skills in English.

· Post-graduate university degree in social sciences or another relevant academic discipline for the team leader and at least a first degree for the other team member(s).

· Understanding of data collection ethics including GDPR (Global Data Protection Regulations)

The following are desirable:

· Familiarity with the humanitarian response to the conflict and with Iraq context

· Proficiency in Arabic

· Familiarity with DRC programs and operations.

N. Expected outputs /Evaluation deliverables

The following are the expected deliverables of the evaluation.

a) Inception Report: Inception report will be submitted to DRC in 15 days after signing the contract with a clear evaluation methodology, timeline, and data collection tools. Inception report and tools will need to be endorsed by DRC before data collection starts.

b) First Draft of Evaluation Report: Consultant/Firm will prepare the first draft evaluation report in English and will share with DRC (between 35 to 50 pages excluding annexes, including executive summary not exceeding 2 to 3 pages). Feedback from DRC will be provided within one (1) week after the submission of the draft report. Minimum guidelines on the evaluation report:

I. The report should systematically answer the key questions posed.

II. It should fairly and clearly represent the views of the different actors/stakeholders.

III. It should give the conclusions of the evaluator clearly and substantiated by the collected evidence.

c) Evaluation Management Response Plan: Evaluation team will include all key findings in the management response plan for the team to prepare a management response plan to be presented in the debrief meeting by DRC team. DRC will share the management response plan template.

d) Evaluation Debrief Meeting: A remote or in person debrief meeting/workshop will be conducted by the selected firm or consultant to present the draft findings of the evaluation, and to give feedback to extended SMT.

e) Final Draft Evaluation Report: A final draft of the evaluation report will be shared within 7 days after the debrief meeting with DRC and partner staff. It will include changes/modifications, agreed between DRC and the consultant/firm.

f) Lesson Learned Note and Quality of Evidence Checklist: Two separate annexes will be prepared along with the final evaluation report, i.e., DRC lesson learned note and checklist for assessing the quality of evidence. DRC will share the templates for both annexes.

O. Payment

Overall bids will be evaluated based on technical and financial proposals demonstrating value for money and strong methodology of technical description. Payment will be tied to the submission of evaluation deliverables. Payment will be done in two instalments, 30% after the submission of inception report, and 70% upon DRC’s approval of the final evaluation report.

Note: Upon signing of a contract, a final timeline of evaluation deliverables will be agreed upon and a final payment schedule will be specified by DRC.

Cost to be included in the offer: All interested consultants and firms should include technical and non-technical cost in their respective financial proposals. Selected consultants will be responsible for securing visas, access letters to targeted locations, security approvals, and other relevant requirements by local authorities.

Note: The proposed budget may be subject to further discussion and negotiations.

P. Codes of Behaviour

The evaluation process will be directed by DRC’s policy for ethical conduct of evaluation guiding the evaluation team through careful considerations of the key ethical implications at every stage of evaluation. DRC is also a member of ALNAP (The Active Learning Network for Accountability and Performance in Humanitarian Action) and as such ALNAP’s Evaluation of Humanitarian Action Guide is a core reference when conducting evaluations. Selected consultant or firm will be asked to sign and adhere with the DRC’s Code of Conduct.

Q. Disclosure

Under the terms of reference, the consultant is not authorized to make any commitments on behalf of DRC. All data collected as part of this consultancy belongs to DRC and public dissemination of the data and evaluation products can only be done with the written consent of DRC.

R. Bid submission

Interested teams or consultants should submit their proposals on their own templates and to be submitted within the deadline and as per the instructions, the admin and technical criteria stipulated within the invitation letter.

How to apply

Interested Consultant/s shall contact to get the full bidding package.

Bids can be submitted by email to the following dedicated, controlled, & secure email address:

When Bids are emailed the following conditions shall be complied with:

· The RFP number shall be inserted in the Subject Heading of the email

· Separate emails shall be used for the ‘Financial Bid’ and ‘Technical Bid’, and the Subject Heading of the email

shall indicate which type the email contains

o The financial proposal shall only contain the financial proposal,

o The technical proposal shall contain all other documents required by the tender, but excluding all pricing information

· Bid documents required, shall be included as an attachment to the email in PDF, JPEG, TIF format, or the same type of files provided as a ZIP file. Documents in MS Word or excel formats, will result in the bid being disqualified.

· Email attachments shall not exceed 4MB; otherwise the bidder shall send his bid in multiple emails.

Failure to comply with the above may disqualify the Bid.**