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Mercy Corps is a leading global organization powered by the belief that a better world is possible. In disaster, in hardship, in more than 40 countries around the world, we collaborate to put bold solutions into action, helping people triumph over adversity and build stronger communities from within. Now, and for the future. In Nigeria, Mercy Corps has worked since 2012 by focusing its programming on adolescent girls’ empowerment, economic development, community asset construction and rehabilitation, agricultural development, conflict mitigation and humanitarian response.

Applications are invited from suitably qualified candidates for the position of:

Job Title: Consultant (Firm) – Learning Evaluation for BRICC, RIC-19 Programmes

Location: Yobe
Employment Type: Contract

Overview

  • The Building Resilience in Complex Crisis (BRICC) Programme implemented by Mercy Corps (MCN) and Consortium Partners Danish Refugee Council (DRC) and COOPI International seeks “to support early recovery from and build resilience to conflict-affected and vulnerable communities in Yobe state”.
  • With funding from the European Union, the program seeks to build the resilience of 26,875 households in For the last three years (April 2019 – April 2022), the program has implemented resilience-focused activities across various categories of participants that include male and female youths (aged 18-24) as well as male and female adults (aged 25 and above) from poor and vulnerable households; to enable them to cope with shocks and stresses of conflict, climate change, among other complex crisis and build their ability to transform underlying causal dynamics to reduce risk of future conflicts.
  • Intervention activities focused on the areas of social protection that deals with unconditional cash transfer, the livelihood components that focus on financial inclusion for saving and loan associations, climate-resilience agriculture that deals with improved agricultural practices for smallholder farmers, youth empowerment through vocational and entrepreneurship skill training as well as conflict management and peace-building where community resilience groups lead on dialogue sessions, negotiation, as well as prioritization of community projects where the program has been able to reach out to the most vulnerable persons across 30 communities in 6 LGAs in Yobe State.
  • To help navigate the uncertainty and unpredictability inherent in the implementation of its activities, the consortium applies an adaptive approach to the dynamic environment in Yobe State, regularly revisiting the intervention’s understanding of the boundaries and systems shaping the target community’s development, the shocks, and stresses threatening their plans for the future, the relative vulnerability of different groups to these threats, and the capacities which will help them cope, adapt and transform their
  • Reducing the Impact of COVID-19 (RIC-19) Programme is a European Union-funded activity complementing the overall outcomes of the BRICC Programme. The program is being implemented by Mercy Corps with the aim “to strengthen the capacity of government and communities to respond to and recover from the impact of COVID-19 and build resilience to future shocks”.
  • The programme seeks to improve the absorptive and adaptive resilience capabilities of 2,900 community participants (725 men, 725 women, 725 male youth, and 725 female youth) over an 18-month period (January 2021 – June 2022) while engaging with communities and local leaders that create the conditions for systemic change. In the wake of Covid-19, the 18-month programme was designed to complement the desired outcomes of the BRICC (Building Resilience in Complex Crisis (BRICC) programme implemented that seeks to “to support early recovery from and build resilience to conflict-affected and vulnerable communities in Yobe state”.

Evaluation Purpose and Primary Users of the Evaluation Findings

  • With both BRICC and RIC-19 Programmes coming to an end in July 2022, Mercy Corps, the lead implementer of BRICC and RIC-19 programme seeks to commission a learning evaluation focussing on assessing the merit and worth of the results achieved by the programmes to date; with ‘results’ being defined as intended or unintended outcomes influenced by the programme activities through the EU investment.

Evaluation Purpose
In taking stock of the key insights and learning through implementation of the two programmes, the learning evaluation is planned to take place within a month to achieve the following three main purposes:

  • Assess the results of the BRICC and RIC-19 Program achieved to date to establish enabling and hindering factors anchoring programme’s achievement to date. The learning evaluation is designed to ‘harvest’ BRICC and RIC-19 outcomes and assess achievement to date to profile how far they would verify progress towards the programmes’ strategic objectives in the operational (work) plan and logframe.
  • Assess the potential of the BRICC and RIC-19 Programme to contribute further to early recovery and household resilience objectives to conflict affected and vulnerable communities in Yobe State (across MC and Its implementing partners, State government, implementing partners, donors, and project participants), and provide strategic recommendations for an ideal design and implementation modalities.
  • Contribute to broader consortium and organisational learning with regards performance measurement and tracking for early recovery and resilience programming in Northeast Nigeria. Specifically,
    • Inform the review of the programme’s logic models (logframe indicators and their targets) – The consultant will be expected to review programme log frame indicators and targets to
    • Provide insights and justifications on performance to date and recommendations for final programme evaluation.
    • Profile programme’s key success and insights identifying potential research areas to be explored in consideration of future early recovery and resilience program in northeast Nigeria.
  • The findings of the learning evaluation will tie into final evaluation expected to start in early May 2022, by providing context specific learnings and a deep understanding of programme implementation modalities and processes and their effects for the BRICC and RIC 19 Programmes. The report will validate and provide context specific lessons ahead of the final evaluation and strengthen further the methodology and evaluation questions for the final evaluation.
  • Given the overall performance and achievements of the programmes to date, we hope that the learning evaluation will explore deeper contextual factors and principles that can be applied, or further refined, to inform collective action at the nexus of humanitarian, peace, and development programming that strengthens resilience in protracted crisis contexts like Yobe State.
  • To enable this, there will be a review of program and assessment reports and documents, Yobe state social protection strategy and government documents to further understand applied approaches during program implementation.

Evaluation Findings Primary Users
The primary intended users and uses of the evaluation’s findings are as summarized below:

  • EU as the main funder of both BRICC and RIC-19 Programmes – We hope that the learning evaluation findings will be used to decide if and how to further support similar early recovery and resilience programmes in Northeast Nigeria
  • Mercy Corps Nigeria and the Consortium Partners – We hope that the evaluation findings will be relevant to guide review of the programme achievement and sustainability plans, refine key programme documents including programme log frames and performance indicators and tools, and development of the the next funding strategy and help develop relationships with funders.
  • Implementing partners and the broader international not-for-profit organisation – for implementing partner and not for profit organisation implementing such programmes in the Northeast Nigeria, we hope that the findings will be useful to assess their role in designing and implementing similar programmes.
  • In addition, we hope that the evaluation findings will not only be critical to meet the above highlighted purpose, but also serve as a learning experience, where the process of generating answers to the proposed evaluation questions will provide MC and the implementation team and consortium members with new understanding on the programme achievements and inform an effective end of programme evaluation for BRICC and RIC-19.

Proposed Evaluation Methodology and Evaluation Questions

  • While the proposed methodology is not exhaustive, the learning evaluation proposes an outcome harvesting qualitative methodology adapting outcome mapping principles of evaluations for this specific assignment. This methodology provides a non-restrictive opportunity to harvest outcomes, collate successes and provide contextual insights.
  • In consultation with MC and the Implementation team, the evaluation team will be keen to add and/or refine the proposed methodology for this assessment to effectively respond to the proposed learning questions.
  • At minimum, the evaluation team will review programme documents, conduct key in-depth interviews with the programme implementation team, and facilitate relevant focus group discussions with program participants to understand programme achievements and outcomes to date that can further be explored to generate the required insight and learning and their potential use for resilience and development programming activities and strategies. Participants for these focused groups will be from the thematic areas of the BRICC and RIC – 19 Programmes with breakdown below. Note that all physical interviews will be conducted in Damaturu, the state capital.
S/NoType of InterviewNo of respondentsMethod of InterviewLoE
1KII with Mercy Corps staff8Virtual1 hour each
2KII with DRC Staff6Virtual1 hour each
3KII with COOPI Staff6Virtual1 hour each
4KII with EU staff1Virtual1 hour
5KII with SOCU1Virtual1 hour
6KII with Cash agents in Damaturu and Potiskum (1 in each LGA)2Virtual1 hour each
7KII with MTN1Virtual1 hour
8KII with NDE1Virtual1 hour
9KII with Redrose1Virtual1 hour
10KII with YESSO1Virtual1 hour
11KII with NISRAL Microfinance1Virtual1 hour each
12KII with NISRAL PLC1Virtual1 hour
13KII with Yobe Micro finance bank1Virtual1 hour
14KII with agro input dealers3Virtual1 hour each
15KII with Community Development Officers3Virtual1 hour each
16KII with Women Development Officers3Virtual1 hour each
17KII with UBA1Virtual1 hour
18KII with College of Agric Damaturu1Virtual1 hour
19KII with RUWASSA1Virtual1 hour
20KII with LGA Department of Works2Virtual1 hour each
21FGD with cash for work2Physical1 hour each
22FGD with Community Based Facilitators in Damaturu2Physical1 hour each
23FGD with participants who got wet season inputs1Physical1 hour
24FGD with participants who got dry season inputs1Physical1 hour
25FGD with participants who got livestocks1Physical1 hour
26FGD with CRGs1Physical1 hour
27FGD with Agric Extension Workers1Physical1 hour
28FGD with SIA participants – Male annd female groups2Physical1 hour each
29FGD with unconditional cash participants – male and female2Physical1 hour each
30FGD with community members who did not get livestocks, dry or wet season inputs1Physical1 hour
31FGD with community leaders who are not part of the CRGs1Physical1 hour
32FGD with non-SIA community members – Male annd female groups2Physical1 hour each
33FGD with community members who did not benefit from unconditional cash – male and female2Physical1 hour each
  • Understanding the program outcomes (as observable behaviour change of social actors that the programmes contributed to) should lead to formulation of learning questions that will be a starting point to unpacking further the program outcomes through the proposed structured interviews (KII and FGD breakdown above) that will be conducted with all relevant programme participants, including the leadership and staff to consolidate learning.
  • Proposed methodology should be participatory in approach, keen to engage participation of those with the most knowledge on the observable changes that have taken place through the contribution of the programme’s activity implementation. The proposed methodology should provide for further substantiation of the documented learnings by providing information that can verify learning and insights to strengthen credibility and deepen understanding.

Proposed Evaluation Questions
The evaluation team is expected to refine and expand on the following proposed questions:

  • What do the programme achievements and outcomes achieved by the BRICC and RIC-19 programmes imply for how similar programmes should be designed and implemented in the future?
  • To what extent and how do these programme achievements and outcomes by BRICC and RIC-19 represent a (potential) contribution to improved early recovery and resilience for conflict affected and vulnerable populations and communities in such protracted conflict contexts like Yobe?
  • To what extent and how do the achievements and outcomes of BRICC and RIC -19 represent (potential) contribution of the specific implementing partners involved in the implementation process?
  • To what extent was household resilience of affected population and communities achieved, and what are the major reasons for this? How sustainable are the gains achieved beyond the life of the programmes?
  • How did the program adapt implementation to meet the needs of those who are most vulnerable/marginalized (women, children, youth, elderly, PWDs etc.) throughout implementation? To what extent did the program consider protection mainstreaming and concerns of the most vulnerable in the community(ies) of implementation?
  • What are the pros and cons of the different cash modalities used by the BRICC Program?

The evaluation team will be required at the initial stages of this assignment, to finalize a robust evaluation design that will guide implementation of the evaluation to specify how the methodology would be applied, how the qualitative data would be analysed and interpreted, and the data presented and disseminated. The evaluation team should further specify what each evaluator would set out to do (and not do) to avoid substantive evaluation administration and communication problems, and the kind of support required from Mercy corps.

Required Sources of Information

  • For each evaluation question, the evaluators are expected to define the information required, sources of information, procedure for collecting data and ensuring its validity and credibility, and the method of analysis, interpretation, and synthesis.
  • This will be an iterative process between the evaluation team and the programme teams at the inception stage.
  • This process will also anchor the review of the original evaluation questions in the SoW when designing the criteria and standards for the data that would be required to answer them, to refine and finalize on the learning evaluation questions.
  • In addition, the recommended sources of information, Mercy Corps BRICC and RIC-19 implementation team will avail the programmes logframe and work plans to enable extraction of further learning questions for in-depth analysis.

Expected Evaluation Deliverables

  • The learning evaluation is expected to contribute to detailed insights and lesson critical to informing the final programme evaluation for BRICC and RIC-19 programmes. These insights will also be leveraged to review and update the program logframe, operational (workplan) and sustainability plans. In collaboration with Mercy Corps, the external consultant is expected to carry out the following tasks a

In this regard, the evaluation team will work closely with the BRICC, and RIC-19 programme teams to:

  • Produce a comprehensive learning assessment report with detailed insights relevant to inform programme future design and implementation approach. The reports should include detailed recommendations on potential opportunities for improvement, including competitive edge value propositions MC and its implementing partners.
  • Profile detailed recommendation to be used in the review of the programmes’ work plans and log frames and inculcate these findings to update the programme documents.
  • Finalize a formatted and copy read final version of the learning assessment report after incorporating feedback from Mercy Corps and consortium’ technical team. This copy read final version will go through two rounds of revision.
  • Two page infographic of pros and cons of the different cash modalities used by the BRICC Consortium.

Implementation Strategy and Evaluation Work Plan

  • Mercy Corps will manage the learning evaluation process in coordination with the evaluation team (external consultant) to provide technical support in the refinement of the evaluation methodology and – in the case of data collection tools, inputs, and all supporting documents to guide design and finalization of the evaluation methodology and data collection instruments.
  • The evaluation being largely qualitative, the engagement of enumerators for this assignment is not expected. However, Mercy Corps has a pool of enumerators ready to be engaged should need arise.
  • The learning evaluation is expected to commence and be completed within a month. Below is an overview of the activities, their duration, and the stakeholders responsible during the learning evaluation process. The duration/level of effort included is tentative to be finalized once the evaluation team have been identified.
DurationActivityStakeholder
1 DayEntry and Inception – Review the learning evaluation SOW with the External Evaluators to clarify timeframe, assignment objectives and available budget.

Agree on assessment tools, time schedules, and delivery period for data collection activities.

Programme Director, Programme Technical and MEL Focal Points, Strategic Learning Manager, Country MEL Manager, PaQ Director, PaQ Manager and External Evaluator/Consultant
2 DaysDevelop and share inception report with detailed evaluation design for feedback and inputs from the BRICC and RIC-19 Implementation teamsExternal Evaluator/Consultant
2 DaysProvide feedback to inception report and assessment tools for External Evaluator to incorporateProgramme Director, Programme Technical and MEL Focal Points, Strategic Learning Manager, Country MEL Manager, PaQ Director, PaQ Manager and External Evaluator/Consultant
3 daysProvide final versions of Inception Report and assessment toolsExternal Evaluator/ Consultant
Translate assessment tools as neededExternal Evaluator/ Consultant
Consultant/firm submits complete draft of the DATA ANALYSIS PLAN (DAP) to Mercy Corps’ POC (a complete draft includes dummy tables, placeholders for charts/graphs/images, description of how data triangulation/synthesis will be conducted, how qualitative data will be analysed, etc)

 

External Evaluator/ Consultant
Mercy Corps’ POC distributes DAP complete draft to ALL Mercy Corps reviewers (and donor reviewers if, required) and consolidates feedback returning this to consultant/firm

 

Programme Director, Programme Technical and MEL Focal Points, Strategic Learning Manager, Country MEL Manager, PaQ Director, PaQ Manager
Consultant/firm submits FINAL DAP to Mercy Corps’ POC having addressed consolidated all feedbackExternal Evaluator/ Consultant
10 DaysInitiate and conduct comprehensive data collection with programme teams and programme participantsExternal Evaluator/ Consultant
3 DaysEncode and analyse data collectedExternal Evaluator/ Consultant
2 DaysPrepare and share draft assessment reportExternal Evaluator/ Consultant
2 DaysProvide detailed feedback to draft report (one rounds of revisions)Programme Director, Programme Technical and MEL Focal Points, Strategic Learning Manager, Country MEL Manager, PaQ Director, PaQ Manager and External Evaluator/Consultant
1 DayHold a virtual feedback/validation workshop with key Mercy Corps key staff to present the reviewed findings and collate final feedbackExternal Evaluator/ Consultants + Programme Director, Programme Technical and MEL Focal Points, Strategic Learning Manager, Country MEL Manager, PaQ Director, PaQ Manager and External Evaluator/Consultant
4 DaysFinalise report, produce a presentation of findings, and update key program docs and share back with MC (not more 30 pages – all other additions can be included as annexes)External Evaluator
Data sets, code books, syntax, etc are delivered to Mercy Corps’ POCExternal Evaluator
Total30 Days

Proposed Assessment Report Structure & Content
In line with Mercy Corps Branding guidelines and templates, the following is proposed for the evaluation deliverable documents:

  • Cover Page, List of Acronyms
  • Table of Contents
  • Executive Summary: This section should be a clear and concise stand-alone document that gives readers the essential contents of the assessment report, including a summary of major constraints, opportunities, and recommendations.
  • Methodology: This section should be sufficiently detailed to clarify the assessment methodology as aligned to the accuracy of the report and its findings. This section should address constraints and limitations of the methodology, and the implications of these limitations for the findings, including whether and why any of the assessment findings are inconclusive.
  • Results: This section should provide clear assessment findings. Reference should be made to any assessment/evaluation information as well as existing literature etc.
  • Synthesis, Recommendations and Lessons Learned: This is space for the evaluation team to think about the data and results and make concrete recommendations for current or future programme design and improvements, and generally comment on data and results. Everything presented in this section should be directly linked back to the information presented in the Results section of the report
  • Conflicts of Interest: Disclose any conflicts of interest or the appearance of conflicts of interest, including the interest of programme staff in having a successful programme.
  • Annexes: These should include a complete file of data collection instruments in English and translations to Hausa; list of stakeholder groups with number and type of interactions; SOW, qualitative protocols developed and used, any data sets (these can be provided in electronic format), any required photos, participant profiles or other special documentation needed.
  • Note: The evaluator (consulting firm) is expected to deliver a comprehensive, professional quality final assessment report. The assessment report should be soft copy (PDF and Word – submitted electronically) along with the analysis plan and the data set. The page limit for the full report must not exceed 30 pages (exclusive of annexes and attachments).

Mercy Corps Support:
To ensure adequate support towards accomplishment of the above-mentioned tasks, Mercy Corps will:

  • Share all relevant background documents needed for a desk review and to understand the details of the assessment.
  • Provide input to all tool designs and any support necessary during the assessment.
  • Provide feedback to the draft report.
  • Mercy Corps Strategic Learning Manager (SLM) and the Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (MEL) team will be available to work directly with the consultants throughout the consultancy and to answer any question as they emerge.
  • Mobilize enumerators (if required) for data collection activities.

The Consulting firm will:

  • Ensure timely delivery of the assigned tasks
  • Oversee data-collection with all involved stakeholders and program teams in all the assessment locations.
  • Train enumerators for field data collection activities.
  • Share all data collected as part of the deliverables
  • Cater for all in-country travels and accommodation logistics. Cost of all in-country travel and logistics including enumerators (if any) costs should be included in the financial proposal. Travel is subject to Mercy Corps security clearance.

Timeframe / Schedule

  • It is expected that consulting firm will be available to start with an initial meeting with the MCN team.
  • The consultants will then work within a period of a month where the final learning assessment report (adjusted according to Mercy Corps’ feedback) is to be shared. Note Mercy Corps will only pay consultants for days worked.
  • It is expected that the consultants will work within a period of 30 days between the stipulated timeframe (inclusive of weekends).
  • In their application, the external consultant/ consulting firm should provide an estimate of the number of days/levels of effort they expect is required within the approved timelines for the assignment.

The Consulting firm will report to:

  • Mercy Corps Strategic Learning Manager (SLM).

The Consulting firm will work closely with:

  • Mercy Corps Director of Programs, BRICC and RIC-19 Programme Director, PaQ Director, Country MEL Manager, BRICC and RIC-19 Programme Technical and MEL Focal Leads and Teams among others relevant focal points available during the assignment.

Required Experience & Skills for the Consulting Firm
The following are the qualifications and experiences the firm should possess:

  • Strong qualitative background and experience conducting similar assessments and research exercises in support of major development programmes – preferably in economic recovery and resilience – in challenging operational environments.
  • Contextual experience in Yobe State or any other Northeast state is desirable. Cultural sensitivity is required.
  • A strong approach to assuring quality assurance of data collected.
  • A strong ethical approach to data collection – while still being able to meet the objectives of the consultancy.
  • Knowledge of strategic and operational management of humanitarian and development operations and proven ability to provide strategic recommendations to key stakeholders.
  • Strong analytical skills and ability to synthesise and present findings, draw practical conclusions, make recommendations and to prepare well-written reports on time.
  • Demonstrated experience in both quantitative and qualitative data collection and data analysis techniques, especially in emergency operations.
  • Data visualization.

Application Closing Date
29th April, 2022.

How to Apply
Interested and qualified Firms should send their Proposal submission to: ng-dtr-procurement@mercycorps.org using the Title as the subject of the mail.

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