Terms of Reference
“Democracy and Development in Action through Media and Empowerment” (DAME) Project
Search for Common Ground (SFCG-TL) Timor-Leste seeks qualified consultant(s) to conduct a Final Evaluation of its project “Democracy and development in Action through Media and Empowerment” being implemented in all 13 districts of Timor-Leste. For this consultancy, SFCG|TL seeks to procure the services of an independent, external consultant(s) to design, plan and conduct a high quality final evaluation covering at least six district among the 13 districts. The objective of the Evaluation is to assess and evaluate the project performance and achievement against the set goals, objectives and results as described in the logframe.
Search for Common Ground (www.sfcg.org SFCG) is an international, non-governmental organisation whose mission is to “transform the way the world deals with conflict: away from adversarial approaches, toward cooperative solutions.” With programming in 35 countries in Asia, Africa, Eastern Europe and the USA, SFCG works with governments, the military, civil society, women, youth, and other relevant sectors in order to maximise its’ influence in the prevention of conflict.
SFCG began work in Timor-Leste (TL) in April 2010. In August 2012, SFCG began implementation of a two-year project entitled Democracy and Development in Action through Media and Empowerment (DAME). The initiative was funded by the European Commission (EC) through the contracting authority of the National Authorising Office (NAO), under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of Timor-Leste. The project aimed to strengthen the democratisation process in Timor-Leste and further stabilise the country by building the capacities of non-state actors (NSAs) and improving channels of communication between citizens and decision-makers.
The Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste (TL) stands at a critical juncture in its development, with the security and political environment remaining exceptionally fragile. The staggeringly high birth rate and soaring youth unemployment, coupled with feelings of disenfranchisement has resulted in tensions and higher likelihood of violent conflict. Youth, in particular, must be involved politically, economically, and socially, to become drivers of the country’s future. However, in a context where youth feel disenfranchised, risks of mobilisation and return to violent conflict are high.
While the Government of Timor-Leste (GoTL) and various NSAs have made substantial efforts toward improving the living standards of the Timorese people, it is generally agreed that development efforts need to be more coordinated and programming better implemented. Likewise, state and civil society capacity to deliver basic services and execute budgets is severely limited, with both segments of society beset by human resource challenges. By strengthening NSA voices, legitimacy, organisational strength, and relationships with government, the programme seeks to prevent the rise of tensions in Timor-Leste. This action will promote a participatory environment that stimulates information flow, nurtures NSA and youth involvement in peacebuilding and development, and builds relationships for future cooperation amongst NSA and youth, and between NSA, youth, and Timorese decision-makers. The programme will address huge gaps in media programming for youth, and create opportunities for two-way communication between youth and the government.
The overall objective of the Democracy and Development in Action through Media and Empowerment (DAME) project is to strengthen the democratisation process in Timor-Leste and further stabilise the country by building NSA capacities and improving channels of communication between citizens and decision-makers.
The specific objective is enhanced effectiveness of engagement between NSAs, state authorities (SAs), and their constituencies in the development process.
To achieve the aforementioned objectives, the project will seek to attain the following expected results:
- Verifiably strengthened operational, technical, and financial capabilities for national and local NSAs and NSA networks, as well as media and youth organisations involved in the project.
- Increased capacity and mechanisms for NSAs and local and national government to collaborate more effectively via improved inclusive dialogue, coordination and partnership.
- A better-informed population about NSA activities as well as democratisation, policy-making, and conflict sensitive development processes.
The project target groups include:
- Staff from three national NGOs (30; SFCG-TL, BELUN, FOURM TAU MATAN, and thre umbrella organizations 9CNJTL, FONGTIL, and Press Club).
- Local level NSA staff members ( 34*10 = 340)
- National and local government actors (25*5 = 125)
- Timorese Media Professional (60)
- Timorese youth leaders (approximately 350, aged 15-29) and Timorese youth (approximately 1040) (2275, 35 members in each of 65 sub-districts)
- EWER CPRN members
Evaluation Objectives and Key Evaluation Questions
The overall objective of this final evaluation is to assess to what extent the project has contributed in strengthen democratization process in Timor-Leste and how has it improved the communication and dialogue between youth, NSAs and decision makers at various levels. SFCG wants to explore how the DAME project was implemented, to what extent the project objectives and results were achieved, as well as furnish recommendations for similar project interventions for the future.
In accordance with the OECD-DAC Criteria of evaluating Conflict Prevention and Peacebuilding Programming, SFCG sets the following criteria and key questions for the evaluation:
- To what extents the objectives of the intervention were consistent with the needs of the beneficiaries, partners, donor’s policies, and GoTL’s strategic plan (2010-2020)?
- How relevant was the methodology and approach given the social, political and conflict context in Timor-Leste?
- How relevant are the project strategies and activities as perceived by the beneficiaries and other community stakeholders?
- What, if any, are the project’s unique contributions to NSA and media empowerment in Timor-Leste that were not previously being provided?
- What are the major outputs and outcomes of the project? How is the progress in comparison to the relevant baseline data?
· To what extent has SFCG achieved its goal of increasing the capacity/skills of project partners, journalists, youth and local leaders in conflict transformation and conflict sensitive journalism?
- To what extent has the project contributed to enhancing the capacity of its partner organizations and their staff in various aspects of organizational capacity development?
- To what extent the project has contributed in improving relationships and cooperation/collaboration of youth, NSAs, local constituencies and decision makers/GOTL authorities in peacebuilding and development process?
- To what extent the project has been able to link Timorese citizen with the work of NSAs and the conflict sensitive development process?
- To what extent the project has contributed in promoting common ground journalism in Timor-Leste? Has there any shift in media’s role in promoting peacebuilding and conflict sensitive development in Timor-Leste?
- What major factors are contributing to the achievement or non-achievement of objectives?
- Are there any unintended positive or negative outcomes/consequences of this work in Timor-Leste?
- Intermediate Impact
- What is the overall (direct and indirect) contribution of the project in strengthening the democratic process in Timor-Leste?
- How has the project contributed in promoting culture of inclusive dialogue and collaboration among NSAs, youth and the decision makers? Are there abundance of examples constructive engagement of NSAs, Youth and GOTL institutions in promoting peacebuilding and development in the country?
- What is the contribution of the project in institutionalizing the conflict sensitive and non-adversarial culture among journalists and media outlets in Timor-Leste?
- What aspects of the project outcomes are likely to be sustained after the life of the project? Have there been any particular mechanisms in place to ensure sustainability of initiatives?
- How has the Organizational Capacity building of NSAs contributed in defining their role in Timor-Leste’s peacebuilding process?
- What shift and attitude and behavior among the Timorese people caused because of the media programs and other project interventions targeting Timorese citizens?
- How has SFCG managed coordination among implementation partners?
- How do partners view the role of SFCG and vice versa?
- What were the major coordination challenges, if any? How SFCG did managed/overcome those challenges?
- How can the coordination among SFCG and implementing partners can be made more efficient and effective in the future?
Horizontal issues (EC Visibility)
The evaluation should look if necessary steps have been taken by SFCG to publicise the fact that The EU has financed the action / program, such measures must comply with the communication and visibility Manual for EU external actions laid down and published by the European commission.
The evaluation is meant to produce information and make recommendations that are valid and reliable based on actual data and analysis. We expect that the methods to be used by the evaluator in completing this evaluation will include a mixed methods approach, including, but not necessarily limited to: document review, analysis and review of monitoring data, key informant interviews, focus group discussions (FGDs), surveys, case studies using most significant approach (MSC), observation, etc. The evaluator should employ “triangulation” between several methods of data gathering where attribution of a net change to a project intervention is difficult, by eliciting responses from several different types of sources (e.g., program management, key informants in community radio stations, SFCG’s partners and project associates (BELUN, TLMDC, FTM, CNJTL, and Community Radio Centre (CRC), CPRN, GOTL officials and targeted youth groups including listeners groups).
The evaluator will be tasked with analysing both quantitative and qualitative data. Existing project documents, periodic reports and the ROM report along with other relevant documents will be shared with the evaluator. The evaluator is expected to carry out a quantitative survey (similar to the baseline but shorter one with specific focus on major outcome indicators and listenership of radio programs). S/he is expected to draft the questionnaires in consultation with the SFCG Team and get approval of the questionnaires before administering the survey. The consultant will calculate same size using scientific methods, identifies local researchers, trains them on data collection and administers the survey in target locations with the sample population.
Similarly, the consultant is expected to develop FGDs/KIIs guiding checklists for different set of stakeholders groups such as youth, NSAs, Government officials, radio producers/journalists etc. The SFCG team will review these checklists and needs approval before starting the field work. These data collection tolls will be part of Inception report to be submitted by the consultant before starting the fieldwork for data collection. The consultant will conduct at least 5 KIIs and 2 FGDs in each of the districts and 2 stories collection using MSC approach.
Scope of Work and deliverables
This evaluation will take place in same five (5) districts as the baseline study (Manatuto; Baucau; Dili; Liquica and Emera) and one (1) district not covered in the baseline study (Bobonaro).
- Inception report to be submitted within five days of signing the contract. The inception report includes a brief introduction of the project, the evaluation objectives and final Key evaluation questions agreed with SFCG and the consultant, detailed evaluation methodology, including all required data collection tools (such as FGDs/KIIs checklists, survey questions, other tools) data analysis approach and the evaluation timeline from signing the contract to the submission of the final report. SFCG will provide a sample inception report for reference.
- Filed visit to all districts included in the evaluation plan.
- Draft report for review by the SFCG TL team and the Asia Regional DM&E Specialist.
- Final report after incorporating the comments and feedback from the SFCG Team and the Asia Regional DM&E Specialist. The report should be in English and no more than 30 pages in length and consist of;
- Cover Page. SFCG will provide sample cover sheet for reference.
- Table of contents, list of acronyms/abbreviations and list of tables and charts
- Executive summary of key findings and recommendations – no more than 3 pages.
- Introduction: Context analysis, project description, evaluation methodology with clear explanation of sampling, survey methodology, FGDs/KIIs participant selection and data analysis approach.
- Evaluation findings, analysis, and conclusions with associated data presented per evaluation objective and per evaluation criteria, via a reasonable balance of narrative vs. graphs and charts (mandatory).
- Recommendations for future activities/intervention. The recommendations should be forward looking and should focus on program design, planning vs implementation, implementation methodology and approach, project monitoring and evaluation system, among others. The recommendations should also be frame according to eh evaluation criteria.
- Appendices, which include collected data, detailed description of the methodology with research instruments, list of interviewees, bibliography, and evaluator(s) brief biography.
- The evaluator should submit an electronic version of the report sent by email.
- Make a final presentation of the report with the SFCG Timor-Leste Team. However, this will be negotiated, if the consultant will be submitting the final report from Outside of TL.
The evaluator works closely at every stage with the SFCG DM&E Coordinator and the SFCG Asia Regional DM&E Specialist. The evaluation report will be credited to the consultant and will be placed in the public domain at the decision of SFCG.
The evaluation team will include the evaluator, SFCG’s DM&E Coordinator, SFCG Asia DM&E Specialist. The evaluator will be under the direct supervision of the SFCG Country Director. SFCG’s DM&E Coordinator will be responsible for supervising the team and facilitating the needs of the consultant for the purpose of the evaluation.
SFCG will provide logistic support to the Evaluator. SFCG Timor-Leste’s DM&E Coordinator will assist the Evaluator in logistics, travel, translation (if required), accommodation, communications, and scheduling of meetings and appointments. She will also ensure that all required documentation is made available to the Evaluator as required.
Experience and Qualifications
- A minimum of a Master’s degree in social science or other related subjects. Candidate with(Master’s degree peacebuilding, conflict transformation or international relations will be desirable);
- Between 5-10 years of DM&E experience required (experience in programme implementation preferred); experiences in conducting project evaluations in the following subject areas – governance, NSA, Youth, media and peacebuilding programs) would be an added advantage;
- Work experience in Timor-Leste is an advantage;
- Work experience in a post-conflict environments required;
- English required; Tetun and/or Bahasa Indonesia desirable;
- Excellent writing and speaking skills in English; and
- Able to work in challenging conditions, and
- Sensitive to cultural issues.
The consultant will receive a daily rate for total of 27 working days; of which 20 days must be spent in Timor-Leste. SFCG will covers travel to and from home country; per diem and accommodation while in Timor-Leste; and local travel costs related to fieldwork.
The schedule of payment of the consultancy fee is as follows:
- 40% will be paid upon signing the contract.
- 60% will be paid upon completion and approval of evaluation report.
SFCG will be responsible for all air (if applicable) and ground transportation and translation services.
Recruitment Process and Timeframe: An application letter along with a CV should be submitted to Mr. Jose Francisco de Sousa (SFCG Country Director) via email: firstname.lastname@example.org no later than 10 of November 2014. Questions regarding this Terms of Reference (ToR) should be submitted in writing by 5th of November 2014.
A decision on the selection of the Evaluator will be made by 15th November 2014. The contract should be signed by 16th November 2014.
The evaluator should begin the evaluation on 20th November 2014 and be in Timor-Leste for two weeks during starting from 27 November 2014.
- The deadline for first draft of results will be 16th December 2014.
- Submission of the second draft of the report will be 4th January 2015
- The deadline for final receipt of all deliverables will be 15th January 2015.
A complete proposals/application should be submitted by the deadline and should include:
- Proposal (maximum 6 pages, including the methods and methodology to be adopted)
- Budget estimates and price quote
- Cover letter
- Writing sample
 Total fertility rate = 6.95 – one of the highest fertility rates in the world (UNFPA Timor-Leste)
 For youth aged 15-24, the unemployment rate in 2007 was 18.4% (UNESCO, Timor-Leste – Country Programming Document 2009-2013, p.6).