Sudan: Consultancy for Mid-Term Review of EU Funded Project in Mornei, West Darfur, Sudan:

Project: Improving the Food Security of Vulnerable Conflict-Affected Households in West Darfur

Background
Concern Worldwide has been operational in West Darfur since 2003 when the conflict flared in Darfur between rebel groups and the Khartoum Government. During that time Concern established operations in West Darfur initially to provide humanitarian assistance to internally displaced people. From 2011, as the security situation approved, Concern started developing programmes to support the recovery and gradual transition towards building community resilience. The main programme focus is now on interventions in the sectors of Livelihoods, Health, Nutrition and WASH, with gender equality, social protection, DRR and HIV/AIDS mainstreamed throughout planning and implementation processes.

Concern received funding from the EU in 2015 for a three-year project which aims to improve the food security situation of vulnerable conflict-affected populations in West Darfur, with the specific objective to enhance the capacities of vulnerable groups in Mornei (both IDPs and settled communities) to produce and/or access sufficient food to maintain healthy and active lives.

It has the following results, which aim to both improve the situation of the target groups and technical and management capacities of local structures and local government departments and officials:

  1. Increased agricultural/livestock production and productivity linked to strengthened marketing and business opportunities.
  2. Improved nutritional status among children under the age of 5
  3. Strengthened community capacity and management of communal natural resources as a means to address climate variation sustain future resources and reduce conflict.

  4. Purpose of the Consultancy The purpose of this mid-term review is to generate quantitative and qualitative information on the EU-funded project to provide a detailed picture of target populations’ situation in relation to agreed programme indicators. The MTR will enable Concern to undertake reflection and gathering of evidence on project progress as well as challenges in order to explore, test, revise assumptions and inform future planning.

  5. Essential and Desirable Experience/Qualifications

The successful consultant will meet the following experience and qualifications: Essential: • Minimum of ten years experience in programme development and management with a focus on food security and/or agriculture • Significant experience in undertaking programme evaluations of a similar nature • Post graduate qualification in Agricultural Development, International development, Rural development or similar Desirable: • Experience in undertaking evaluations of EU funded programmes • Experience of programme management and/or consultancies in Darfur/Sudan

  1. Objectives and Specific Tasks to be undertaken by the Consultant(s) Objectives of the mid-term review are to identify: • Indications of change (outcomes and impact both positive and negative when compared to baseline values) in relation to objectives as a result of the Action, how significant this is and for whom. • Whether the activities being carried out and ways of working are likely to lead to the changes the project is aiming for and, if not, whether the team are effectively identifying barriers to those changes. • What, if anything, needs to be done differently (in terms of Concern or the partners’ ways of working, activities required, etc)? • Whether the work Concern is doing is still relevant (i.e. are these still the right objectives?) • Participation of programme participants and non-beneficiaries of the programme. The MTR should also: • Capture any lessons learned and make practical targeted recommendations to guide any future planning adjustment; • Enable Concern to undertake robust reflection and gathering of evidence on project success and challenges in order to explore, test and revise assumptions.

Concern’s team in Sudan shall guide and oversee the overall direction of the consultancy. The mid-term review will provide quantitative and qualitative data through the following methods: • Desk study and review of all relevant project documentation included project proposal, baseline, logframe, annual work plans, annual progress reports among others, as well as secondary data. • In depth interviews to gather primary data from key stakeholders using structured methodology. • Focus Group Discussions with project beneficiaries and other stakeholders. • Interviews with relevant key informants (the list of relevant institutions will be provided by Concern Sudan’s team). • Observations (field visits using checklists).

To undertake this work, the evaluator will need to visit relevant project sites (including IPD camps) in Mornei (West Darfur) as well as meetings at State Capital (El Geneina) and Khartoum levels. Note: access to the programme area is contingent on government permission.

  1. Outputs The Consultant is expected to produce a final mid-term review report which does not exceed 20 pages (excluding annexes). It should be on A4 size paper and in a legible font (e.g. Times New Roman 11 or 12, Arial 10 or 11, or a similar print size). The report should contain the following sections:
  2. Executive Summary
  3. Introduction
  4. Methodology
  5. Answered questions/ Findings (see below)
  6. Overall assessment
  7. Conclusions, Recommendations and Management Responses
  8. Annexes to the report

As per the EU’s MTR guidelines, the report should answer the following questions: Relevance & quality of design

  • Did the project proposal conform to the goals of the EC programme?
  • Upon what documentation was this project based?
  • Was the design appropriate for the geographic area?
  • Was the intervention logic coherent and accurate?
  • Were recommendations from previous evaluations incorporated in the design?
  • Were any lessons learned from previous pilot projects in the area?
  • Were the indicators of progress and of impact in the design of good quality?
  • How was the quality of the outputs going to be determined?
  • Were the outputs achievable or overly ambitious?
  • Were risks properly assessed? Efficiency of implementation
  • Did the project start on time?
  • Were all key staff in post within 6 months of start up? And maintained through project life?
  • Were all inputs delivered on time?
  • Were inputs of acceptable quality?
  • Was the methodology of implementation the right one under the circumstances?
  • Did the NGO/agency get good cooperation from relevant local government authorities?
  • What was local government’s assessment of this intervention?
  • What was the local leaders’ assessment of this intervention?
  • Did the NGO/agency get good cooperation from relevant local leaders?
  • Was access to project areas acceptable?
  • Were most of the outputs achieved to an acceptable standard?
  • Was co-financing a success? Did other donors deliver on time?
  • Did the community contribute in cash and in kind according to the proposal?
  • Was the budget spent according to the proposed budget lines?
  • Was the rate of spending acceptable?
  • What was the alpha value of this project? (% of budget that actually reached the beneficiaries)
  • To what extent did the NGO/agency take on board the recommendations from EC’s field visits and feedback on progress reports provided by the EC? Effectiveness
  • Does it appear that the activities listed in the proposal will result in total achievement of the specific objectives and attainment of outputs?
  • Were there any non-planned effects and were these good or bad?
  • Was coordination with other development actors effective?
  • Where the effects of the project felt equally across the project area or were some areas neglected?
  • Were technical designs effective and appropriate for that environment? Impact to date
  • To what extent have beneficiaries, including CBOs, benefited from the project activities and outputs? Has the project changed their lives in any meaningful way?
  • To what extent have local government institutions benefited from the activities and outputs?
  • To what extent have local leaders benefited from the activities and outputs?
  • To what extent is the impact sustainable over the longer term?
  • Has the project increased or decreased dependency on outside intervention? Effect on alleviating poverty
  • To what extent did the project alleviate poverty in the host population?
  • Was there any attempt made to measure the extent of poverty at the start of the project and at the end? Potential sustainability
  • To what extent can the outputs be expected to be sustainable over the longer (5-10 years) term?
  • What characteristics make the outputs sustainable or unsustainable?
  • Do the local government authorities fully support the initiatives taken by the project?
  • Do the local community leaders fully support the initiatives taken by the project?
  • To what extent has the project strengthened the capacities of local government and local leadership structures? (Particularly important in SPLM areas where governance bodies are particularly weak).
  • To what extent are the people themselves contributing to the sustainability of the initiatives?
  • To what extent has the private sector become involved in the development of the area as a result of the project?
  • Has a special effort been made to educate and train women to assume decision-making roles?
  • Are revolving funds working as intended?
  • Did the NGO/agency formulate a practical exit strategy and is it working? Reporting
  • Was monitoring and progress reporting adequate according to the EC requirements?

Observations on donor’s role and influence on project implementation. Were communications with the Contracting Authority satisfactory in terms of promptness and content?

  • Was technical / administrative support provided timely and adequately when requested?
  • Were Grant Contract administrative procedures and actions timely taken care of and did these influence project implementation in any way? Key observations, overall conclusions, actions recommended for future interventions by whom and in order of priority

Preliminary findings should be presented to and discussed with relevant members of the Concern Sudan team at the end of the field visit. A draft report should be produced and shared with Concern’s team for review within 1 week of return from the field visit. A final version of the mid-term review report, with feedback incorporated should be submitted no later than 10th November 2016.

Final payment is dependent on the submission of a good quality, well-written final report (as detailed in the TOR). A digital copy of all reports will be required by Concern at the end of the piece of work.

  1. Data Collection: Concern will facilitate the collection of primary data and provide the consultant to use for analysis and report writing. The consultant will source and request secondary data as appropriate from relevant Concern staff.

  2. Lines of Communication

The consultant will report to the Concern Sudan Country Director or her delegate. Focal point for field work arrangements will be Concern’s West Darfur Programme Director, based in El Geneina.

  1. Timeframe The full duration of the MTR consultancy is estimated to be between 24 and 27 working days: • 2 preparation days working from home (as field work tools and questionnaires must be submitted to the Government of Sudan’s Humanitarian Aid Commission for approval prior to commencement of field work); • 7 to 10 days in Khartoum: During the time the Consultant will conduct desk study, collect and analyse data sent from WD/Mornei, and hold meetings with Concern Khartoum-based and WD staff and relevant Ministries. • 3 days for travel to West Darfur capital El Geneina and meetings with Concern staff, NGO and Government partners. • 5 days for travel to Concern’s Mornei field office and meetings with Concern staff, focus group discussions and key informant interviews. • 2 days for return to El Geneina and debriefing to relevant Concern staff. • 1 day return to Khartoum. • 3 days writing of draft report from home; plus 1 day for incorporation of feedback and production of final report. The final report is due to Concern no later than 10th November 2016.

“This document has been produced with the financial assistance of the European Union. The contents of this document are the sole responsibility of Concern Worldwide and can under no circumstances be regarded as reflecting the position of the European Union.”

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