1. Introduction and Background
The Consortium Project “CSOs & Policy Dialogue” is a three years programme funded by the Austrian Development Agency (ADA). Its current phase (Jan 1st 2020 – Dec 31st 2022) is the third phase of the project succeeding its pilot phase (Dec 1st 2014 – 30th Nov 2016) and a second phase (2017-2019) and is implemented by a Consortium of Austrian NGOs and their local partners in East Africa (Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania), with a total project budget of 500.000 EUR.
The results and implementations strategies of the project shall be reviewed with the support of external consultant(s) in the second semester of 2022, in order to facilitate learning among all stakeholders and to inform the finetuning of planning and implementation of its potential follow-up phase.
About the Project
Since 2014 five Austrian NGOs have subsequently implemented a consortium project, coordinated by HORIZONT3000 (Austrian Organisation for Development Cooperation), which aims at strengthening the capacities of selected East African partner organisations in policy dialogue engagement. The Consortium Project “CSOs and Policy Dialogue” strives towards contributing to a political environment in East Africa that is directed towards justice and equity by focusing on ways and methods that promote policies in the interest of marginalised populations and disadvantaged or vulnerable groups. A number of CSOs in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania have been trained on approaches, methods and tools of engagement in policy dialogue, have elaborated policy dialogue strategies and have implemented initiatives for policy dialogue.
The current phase of the Policy Dialogue Consortium Project (Phase III, 2020-2022) is focusing on further consolidating and institutionalising previous learnings at organizational level, on supporting partner organisations to be able to influence policies for the benefit of marginalised populations, and on analysing the existing environment for CSO capacity development in policy dialogue, in order to contribute to an inclusive system development in this field and to ensure long-term sustainability with regard to capacity development of CSOs for policy dialogue engagement.
The specific objective of the present project phase is to “Enable CSOs in East Africa to systematically influence policies in the interest of marginalized people”. The long-term change process the project envisages is to contribute to a political environment in East Africa that is directed towards justice, equity and the inclusion of marginalized people.
The Expected Results of the project for 2020-2022 are the following:
1. Policy Dialogue has been anchored institutionally at partner organizations and cooperation frameworks of the Austrian development community. (Contribution to SDG 17, esp. 17.9. and 17.17.)
2. Policies have been influenced successfully for the benefit of marginalized people and gender equality. (Contribution to SDG 16, esp. 16.7. and 16.b., as well as SDG 5, esp. 5.b)
3. Constraints and measures for an inclusive system for East African CSO engagement in Policy Dialogue have been identified and addressed. (SDG 17)
About the Consortium
The Consortium is composed of the following 5 Austrian NGOs: HORIZONT3000, Red Cross Austria, SOS Children’s Villages Austria, Caritas Austria and CARE Austria. The consortium partners in Austria steer and coordinate project implementation regularly via a steering committee meeting to discuss the programme’s progress.
HORIZONT3000 is the lead agency, which coordinates the project and is responsible for reporting towards the main donor, the Austrian Development Agency. The lead agency is also managing all activities on capacity development, experience capitalization as well as sharing events in East Africa.
The 7 local partner organizations of the Austrian Consortium who benefit from project components (capacity development), and implement project activities (Small Action Fund Initiatives) are the following: DESECE and GROOTS Kenya (partner of HORIZONT3000), Kenya Red Cross (partner of Red Cross Austria), SOS Children’s Village Uganda and SOS Children’s Village Tanzania (partner of SOS Children’s Villages Austria), PACIDA (partner of CARITAS Austria), CARE Uganda (partner of CARE Austria). See Annex I for short descriptions on the organizations.
About the lead agency
HORIZONT3000 is an Austrian NGO with eleven catholic member organizations. HORIZONT3000 is mainly funded by the Austrian Government (Austrian Development Cooperation), the European Union, contributions from its member organizations, Liechtensteinischer Entwicklungsdienst (LED), as well as the Medicor Foundation Liechtenstein. HORIZONT3000 works in close co-operation with local partner organisations, donors and other stakeholders such as international CSOs and research institutes to achieve common sustainable development goals. HORIZONT3000 specialises in the assistance, coordination and monitoring of projects and programmes as well as in the provision of technical experts in countries of the global south. Through its presence in the regional and country offices, HORIZONT3000 cooperates and engages through an open and constructive dialogue with local partner organisations and beneficiaries guaranteeing a participatory approach and ensuring relevance and sustainability. In 2020, HORIZONT3000 coordinated and supported around 160 projects through funding and 68 experts in 17 countries in Africa, Latin America and Oceania. HORIZONT3000 aims at targeting the most vulnerable population groups, such as smallholders, marginalised women, children and youth, human rights groups as well as indigenous populations.
About the main donor
The Austrian Development Agency (ADA) is the Operational Unit of the Austrian Development Cooperation (ADC). It is in charge of implementing all bilateral programmes and projects in ADC’s partner countries and administers the budget earmarked for this. Another part of ADA’s operations is related to development education and awareness-raising in Austria.
The Austrian Development Agency cooperates with non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and combines official development assistance with numerous civil-society initiatives. This way, government and civil society make a joint contribution to poverty reduction and improving the conditions of life in developing countries.
The review is intended to contribute to internal learning, the accountability towards our stakeholders and to provide recommendations for a subsequent phase of the project.
- Learning: insights and knowledge gained through the project review will contribute to the steering and implementation of the follow-up phase of the Consortium Project.
- Recommendations: The review will be valuable in terms of recommendations on how to increase positive impact in the field of policy dialogue engagement of local CSOs as well as possible improvements of the steering and coordination processes involved in the implementation of the project.
- Accountability: the outcome of the review will deliver insights on how the Consortium Project achieves results. It will be important for the accountability towards stakeholders, especially the Austrian Development Agency.
The main objective of the review is to assess the main results achieved of the Consortium Project “CSOs & Policy Dialogue” – Part III (2020-2022) in East Africa in order to facilitate learning among all involved stakeholders and organisations, as well as to receive recommendations for a potential subsequent phase 2023-25.
4. Focus and Scope
The review shall assess the current phase of the project (01-2020 – 12-2022). The review shall look into all 3 result areas of the project while emphasis shall be put on
Result 2*: Policy processes have been influenced for the benefit of marginalised people and gender equality* as well as
Result 1*: Policy Dialogue has been anchored institutionally at partner organisations and cooperation frameworks of the Austrian development community.*
The review shall facilitate analysis in a participatory manner and pay specific focus on:
- The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on policy dialogue in general and also specific implications on the Small Action Funds (SAFs) and Partner Organisations, as well as on capacity development and cross-learning measures during this project phase and potential implications and learnings for the next project phase;
- Gender analysis studies conducted and recommendations for the way forward in implementing recommendations and/ or finetuning the analysis studies;
- Continuous monitoring and evaluation of policy dialogue and advocacy activities;
- Institutionalisation and cross-learning at partner organisations – remaining challenges and priorities for follow up;
- Experience capitalisation – identifying potential case studies and good practices for sharing & learning.
5. Main guiding questions
Given the outlined focus and scope the consultant(s) shall propose the methodology as well as guiding questions – to be cross-checked with consortium partners in the context of the inception phase and report.
Regarding the specific elements of effectiveness, impact and sustainability of the project, the following main guiding questions are suggested, while taking into account findings from the project evaluation study (2019) conducted during the previous project phase:
- To what extent has the objective of the project been achieved? Which are relevant factors for (not) achieving the objective? What has been the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic?
- Which capacity development instruments did (not) prove to be effective for improving the performance of targeted CSOs in the policy dialogue field? How effectively are synergies between partner organizations used? How effective are cross-learning activities for improving the engagement of partner organizations? What has been the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic?
- Which policy dialogue approaches and methods in partner initiatives did (not) prove to be effective to influence policy making process in a meaningful way? Have adequate monitoring processes and tools been applied in partner initiatives in order to support effective implementation? What has been the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic?
- How effectively were other stakeholders involved and/or addressed in the project (policy makers, media and other CSOs) in order to increase the benefit of the project?
- To what extent did the Small Action Fund Initiatives of partner organizations affect national and local policy processes in a positive way for marginalized populations?
- How have the Gender Analysis studies affected the implementation of SAF initiatives?
- What other impacts – positive or negative, intended or unintended – can be identified because of the project and specifically by the consortium modality of project implementation in East Africa?
- How far are attained improvements and positive effects at organizational as well as policy level sustainable? Are strengthened capacities anchored in the organizations? What were enabling or hindering factors? What needs to be taken into account for future planning?
- What risks and potentials are visible regarding the sustainable effectiveness of the project, specifically for SAF? Which measures should be included when phasing out the SAF?
- To what extent did the project strengthen local ownership and leadership (by partners and also beneficiaries)?
The methodology including conceptual framework and approach as well as appropriate data collection methods are to be suggested by the consultant(s), and subsequently fine-tuned and agreed with consortium partners from Austria and East Africa. The methodology shall include and prioritise methods which facilitate participatory learning.
For the desk study, the consultants will be provided with the relevant project documents and reports.
It is suggested that the following actors, stakeholders and beneficiaries are involved in visits, interviews and/or workshops:
- Project Coordinator of the Consortium Project and all members of the Steering Committee of the Consortium Project (5 representatives of Austrian Consortium partners)
- Project and Management Staff of all 7 Partner Organizations who benefitted from Capacity Development measures and/or are involved in implementing Small Action Fund and other Policy Dialogue Initiatives of the Organization
- Representatives of beneficiaries of Small Action Fund Initiatives of 4-6 selected partner organizations in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania
- Consultants who accompanied capacity development processes and the elaboration of products for dissemination in a meaningful way.
Data should be collected and interpreted in a gender-disaggregated manner.
Besides appointments, meetings and interviews for the data collection according to the methodological approach of the consultants, the plan of activities shall include a (virtual) meeting with the Project Coordinator to discuss the inception report and kick off the data collection process, as well as a (virtual) meeting with the Project Coordinator and, if possible, all members of the Steering Committee after completing the data collection to discuss provisional results.
The inception report shall have a maximum of 10 pages and include a detailed outline of the assessment’s aims, approaches, methods, work plan, guiding questions, surveys etc..
The consultant(s) shall present a draft report at the latest two weeks after the presentation of provisional results and discuss the main findings and recommendations during a planned Sharing & Learning Event with all East African partners in November 2022. The draft report will be assessed by HORIZONT3000 as to its comprehensibility and comprehensiveness and the consultants are expected to integrate feedback in the final report.
The final report shall have a maximum of 25 pages (without annexes and index) and include: title page, table of content, list of abbreviations, executive summary (max. 5 pages), background, introduction, methods, findings, conclusions, lessons learnt, recommendations and Annexes (Logframe, terms of reference and schedule of the evaluation, list of key informants, list of documents used, questionnaires or other instruments used; Reports prepared for the field study; Information regarding the evaluators, and other document the consultant(s) consider relevant).
Additionally, a visually appealing summary shall be developed, representing the main findings and recommendations of the review at a glance.
The general coordination of the review including the selection, contracting and feedback processes is assumed by the Project Coordinator Policy Dialogue at HORIZONT3000 Vienna (email@example.com).
9. Time Frame
The review shall take place between beginning of September and end of November, with the draft report completed by end of October/ beginning of November and the final report completed by end of November/ beginning of December 2022.
The estimated timetable is envisaged as follows, to be finalised upon contract signature:
- Deadline for submission of offers – > 28th of August 2022
- Screening of offers, pot. interviews, contracting -> 9th of September 2022
- Inception report -> 30th of September 2022
- Provisional results/ draft report-> beginning of November 2022
- Feedback/ validation process -> discuss provisional results and/ or draft report during Sharing & Learning Event in November 2022 (week 47), details will be provided upon selection
- Final report -> end of November/ beginning of December 2022
The total budget available for the review is max. EUR 12.000.
This value must cover all costs relating to the assignment including fees, taxes, food, accommodation, national/international transportation, office materials, insurances, etc.;
HORIZONT3000 does not have any additional budget to organize workshops for the review. Review workshops must be included in the budget and should be easy to handle by the partner organizations.
Payment of the fee will be made in two tranches:
- 50% at signing of the contract,
- 50% after submission of final report.
11. Skills and qualifications of consultant(s)
In case the evaluation team consists of more than 1 person with different professional qualifications, a leader of the team shall be appointed. The consultants should have:
- Experience in the participatory review and evaluation of multi-country and of capacity development programmes as well as in gender mainstreaming,
- Expertise in CSO engagement in Policy Dialogue and/or Advocacy,
- Proficiency in English and strong analytical and writing skills,
- In-depth knowledge on and working experience in East Africa.
How to apply
The offer (in English) has to be submitted to the Project Coordinator Policy Dialogue at HORIZONT3000 Vienna (firstname.lastname@example.org) until latest August 28th, 2022.
HORIZONT3000 reserves the right to extend the deadline if the offers received by then do not meet the requirements.
Offers must include:
- the consultants’ CV, experiences and references,
- suggestion on the methodology, time and action plan and if necessary, suggestions and recommendations to the Terms of References,
- the number of working days designated to the assignment including daily rates,
- a detailed budget proposal, which has to be presented in EURO and must include all taxes, travel and other expenses.