Consultancy

Evaluation of a three year project on Family planning and Early Marriage

21 August 2019

Beirut, Lebanon

Terms of References

Evaluation of a three year project on Family planning and Early Marriage

 

 

Background

 

UNFPA’s mandate revolves mainly around delivering a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe and every young persons’ potential is fulfilled. UNFPA believes that every individual has the right to make their own choices about their sexual and reproductive health and make informed decision about family planning choices. While reaching out to the population at large is at the core of its work, UNFPA strives to reach out to vulnerable population including adolescents, refugees, poor, young mothers, etc in both crisis and normal situations. Since 2011, UNFPA Lebanon CO has been considerably supporting nationwide health and protection related interventions particularly around enhancing access to reproductive health (RH) and preventing/responding to gender based violence (GBV) with due attention to the Syrian refugees and Lebanese in hosting communities. Those interventions translated mainly into reinforcing national systems and structures, enhancing quality of care, capacity and institutional development, raising community awareness as well as development of advocacy campaigns against early marriage and promoting favourable environment for social change.

 

Accordingly, and to be able to achieve concrete results and changes, it was found that empowering girls and young people, and engaging families and communities – through various approaches including peer to peer among other - are strategic areas to reaching change.

 

 

Rationale

Interventions that aim at promoting access to RH including FP and preventing/responding to GBV namely child marriage are receiving increased attention from governments, civil society, donors and the UN system in development as well as in humanitarian related contexts. This is due in many parts to the literature as well as documented cases of forced/child/early marriages particularly in war and crisis zones on the one hand as well as denial access to RH/FP services and information particularly those of life saving nature. While UNFPA has a global mandate to support interventions that aim at mitigating, reducing, preventing, protecting and responding to child marriage on the one hand and to promote access to quality, timely and contextual RH/FP services, the Fund is therefore committed to maintaining the highest standards in implementation and systematically monitoring the sustainability and impact of related programs.

In the context of the Syria crisis, UNFPA and its partners implemented a three-years program (between 2017-2019) that aims to mitigate and respond to early marriage and to promote safe motherhood and adoption of family planning (FP) and which constituted the 2 outputs of the programme. UNFPA believes that mitigating and responding to early marriage requires long term sustainable interventions at various levels designed based on contextualized evidence. In addition, UNFPA’s support to the population affected by the Syria crisis focuses also on promoting family planning in informal tented settlements and facilitating access to reproductive health services including for safe delivery and healthier families.  This three years program involved around 10 implementing partners (namely local and international NGOs) and working in more than 75 communities across the country. Some of the implementing partners executed exactly the same type of activities but in different regions namely related to outreach and awareness raising, and others had specific interventions that are more technical such as institutional and capacity development as well as knowledge transfer. This three years project has reached more than 150,000 (??) people be it young people, community leaders, men and women, service providers, local actors, etc through different interventions that are fully aligned with the priorities set in the 2017-2020 Lebanon Crisis Response Plan.   

 

Based on the above, UNFPA is seeking to undertake an evaluation of the outcome of a three-year project that focuses on 2 pillars: a) Promoting access to safe motherhood and family planning and b) preventing/combatting early marriage with the aim to measure the results and impact initially set forth as well as to retrieve lessons learned including best practices, challenges and constraints. The findings of the evaluation will allow UNFPA, and partners to assess possibility for expanding and scaling up the program interventions based on the effectiveness, efficiency, coherence, relevance and connectedness of the used approaches.

 

 

Purpose

The main purpose of the evaluation revolves around four main axes as follows:   

 

  1. Demonstrate accountability to stakeholders on achieving results;
  2. Support evidence-based decision making for tailoring/scaling up/expanding interventions;
  3. Appraise sustainability of approaches; and
  4. Contribute to key lessons learned to the existing knowledge base on how to promote wellbeing of women and girls through empowerment initiatives, access to RH/ FP and prevention/response to GBV namely child marriage . 

 

The emphasis of the evaluation will be at the process, outcome and sustainability levels so as to better understand where successes for promoting family planning and empowering women/ combatting child marriage are being achieved, what is driving/ undermining successes and social changes, and what measures could ensure sustainability of the interventions beyond the lifespan of the program.

 

 

 

Objectives

While the overall goal  of the evaluation is to produce an independent and useful report, with a view to informing similar programs and contributing to the elaboration of the next UNFPA country programme for Lebanon, the evaluation will address selected aspects of the effectiveness, efficiency, relevance, coverage, coherence and connectedness criteria either through specific tasks under this evaluation and/or tapping on existing reports generated during the 3 years project implementation period.  

 

 The specific objectives of the evaluation are detailed below:

  • Assess the efficiency and effectiveness of the approaches used to achieve the project outcome ;
  • Identify challenges, constraints encountered and mitigation measures taken at the different stages of the project; retrieve lessons learned and good practices;
  • Measure key results the project has had within thematic areas of intervention as stated by the project’s indicators
  • Determine elements for sustainability of interventions beyond the lifespan of the project
  • Provide analysis on UNFPA and partners’ added value for the implementation of key activities and achievement of outcome and draw key lessons related to the cooperation and partnerships within the project
  • Propose recommendations for future similar interventions

 

 

Scope of the Evaluation

 

It is anticipated that the evaluation will look into outcomes and deliverables at various levels i.e. through implementing partners and through focused consultancies carried out within the frame of the project. As such, the evaluation will adopt a three staged process namely 1) interviews with key informants, 2) Focus group discussion with selected high holders, and 3) review of various reports and documents generated within the frame of the project.  The evaluation will take place over a period of 5 weeks. The consultancy firm will be asked to account for diversity in this exercise – selecting interventions that have had more or less success achieving targets and end results.

 

The evaluation will cover key activities planned and/or implemented during the period 2017-2019 in the frame of the two outputs proposed by the project. Besides the assessment of the intended outcome of the programme, the evaluation also aims at identifying potential unintended changes.  The evaluation entails developing a matrix summarizing 1-2 findings for each of the following criteria: relevance, coverage, effectiveness, efficiency, coherence and connectedness.

 

A final evaluation report will be provided to i) summarize key findings in regard to the above points, ii) highlight variances in the implementation, strengths and challenges, iii) identify sustainability factors and IV) provide a concise set of practical and feasible recommendations that can be implemented in future similar projects.

 

 

Process and Methodology

Preparation and Inception

  • Preliminary communication to clarify terms of evaluation between consultancy firm and UNFPA.
  • Delivery of brief 3 – 5 page inception report detailing consultancy firm understanding of the work required the proposed approach to work, analysis approaches, and timeframes for product delivery.

 

Desk Review

  • Desk review of documents including project documents, training reports, assessment reports, annual review meetings reports, resource material, etc produced in the frame of the project.
  • It is expected that the desk review will consist of around 15 documents mostly in English (average 35-45 pages per document)

 

Consultations with UNFPA implementing partners – including Focus Group with rights holders

  • The consultancy firm will design an evaluation methodology (including data collection tools, evaluation questions, and evaluation matrix with associated assumptions to be assessed) using mostly qualitative data
  • The consultancy firm will hold meetings and interviews with UNFPA implementing partners including relevant experts involved in the project. If/ where needed the firm will meet/hold FGD with right holders/beneficiaries and community members to get their input on specific areas. Meeting with donor representative is also envisaged.
  • It is expected that the consultation process will consist of 10 -12 interviews/meetings, and 3-4 FGD

 

Synthesis phase

  • During this phase, the consultancy firm will proceed with the analytical work based on the desk review and consultation process. A preliminary report would be shared with UNFPA team for review and input.

 

Final report

  • The consultancy firm will incorporate comments received from UNFPA into final report
  • The consultancy firm will submit (a) a complete, copy-edited and cleanly formatted English analytical report (30-35 pages excluding annexes) with references as a Word document (template to be discussed and agreed upon), (b) an executive English summary (3-4 pages) with the key findings and recommendations and (c) a power point presentation in English language (with 15-20 slides) summarizing key outcomes and findings of the evaluation exercise.

 

Support to be provided by UNFPA

  • Clarify consultancy TORs and expectation
  • Avail all documentations
  • Be available for meetings with the consultancy firm when need be
  • Facilitate organization of meetings and interviews with its implementing partners
  • Provide additional and immediate advise and information when need be
  • Review draft report and provide input
  • Work station with access to internet and printing services

 

 

 

Indicative time frame for the consultancy

 

Engagement of consultancy firm and development of the evaluation methodology including tools

Week 1:August 26th - 31st, 2019

Desk review, Interviews with key informants + draft report

Week 2-3:September 1st -15th, 2019

UNFPA review period

Week 4: September 16th- 22nd , 2019

Submission of Final report including feedback from UNFPA

Week 5: September 29th, 2019

 

 

 

Skills and experience required

The time period for the evaluation is limited therefore a consultancy firm is requested to fulfill this task whereby evaluation activities need to be implemented simultaneously and a team must be readily available, fully dedicated to this exercise and equipped to undertake requested multiple tasks.   

 

The consultancy firm must have relevant experience in evaluations, experience in development and/or humanitarian settings, knowledge of evaluation methodology, and experience and in-depth knowledge of the Lebanese context and Syria crisis.

 

Qualifications

 

The consultancy firm must offer the following demonstrated expertize, and qualifications:

 

  • Extensive experiences in carrying out evaluations for similar projects
  • At least 5 years of experience working with international organizations/ UN agencies/ donors.
  • Previous work in evaluation of interventions in humanitarian contexts including familiarity with humanitarian related resources and material
  • Extensive experience, knowledge, and expertise in the field of emergency response, institutional development, public health, public policies;
  • Knowledge and understanding of the emergency response, culture and working modalities in Lebanon

Consultancy firm that meet the required qualifications set forth in the TORs may apply on line by sending a cover letter expressing interest, identification form ( Annex IV), previous experiences ( Annex V), and financial offer (Annex VII). All documents must be sent to the following email: info-lebanon@unfpa.org by no later than August 19th, 2019.