Oxfam-Sweden Midterm Evaluation

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Midterm Evaluation Terms of Reference

“Developing Equitable Agricultural Production and Market Systems for Resilient Economic Development in the occupied Palestinian Territory”

Program title Developing Equitable Agricultural Production and Market Systems for Resilient Economic Development in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt)

Donor  Sweden

Partner organizations

Implementing Partners:

Agricultural Development Association (PARC),

Economic and Social Development Center (ESDC),

Palestinian Livestock Development Center (PLDC),

the Rural Women’s Development Society (RWDS),

MA’AN Development Center (MA’AN).

Level of efforts Partners:

Bethlehem University’s Institute for Community Partnership (ICP)
Palestinain Trade Center (PalTrade),
Palestinian Farmers’ Union (PFU)
Coady International Institute as back-stopper

Geographical coverage:

West Bank

Nablus,
Tubas,
Jenin,
Hebron,
Jordan Valley,
Bethlehem,
Jerusalem.
Other areas with minimal scope of work

Gaza strip

Beit Hanon,
Beit Lahia,
Gaza City,
Sheikh Ejilen,
Eastern Gaza,
Middle area,
Rafah.

Program lifespan

Inception phase: 1/11/2015 to 30/06/2016

Implementation phase: 1/07/2016 to 30/11/2019

Program budget

SEK 91 million

Targeted value chains

Cucumber
Grape
Olive
Potato
Small Ruminant
Traditional Food Processing

Background and Rationale

The overall objective of this program is to contribute to resilient and equitable agricultural growth from which small-scale women and men producers will benefit in the oPt. The specific objective is to increase the wellbeing and income of women and men engaged in small-scale agriculture in vulnerable communities through improved agricultural and market systems in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip.  

Through the Theory of Change, the program aims to catalyze and establish better functioning market services led by the private sector in collaboration with the public sector. The approach will be to establish extension and training services and new business models, based on a strong small-scale producers (SSP) supply base. The program will contribute to developing more equitable agricultural production and more resilient market systems for SSPs in the oPt, which will lead to an increase in production, quality, profitability, and competitiveness of fresh- and processed fruits and vegetables. In addition, the program advocates for more enabling and inclusive policy and planning frameworks. Oxfam, furthermore, will continue to raise awareness of the Government of Israel (GoI) violations of IHL and IHRL affecting the agricultural sector in the oPt.

The intended outcomes of the program are:

Outcome 1: Small-scale agricultural farming systems are more productive, sustainable, and responsive to market demand in the selected commodity value chains through a market system approach.

Outcome 2: Market systems in selected (5+1) Value Chains (VCs) are efficient, transparent, inclusive and rewarding for women and men small-scale producers.

Outcome 3: Enabling policies and market regulations are more inclusive and better promote the interests of SSPs; and GoI violations of IHL and IHRL affecting agriculture sector are challenged.

Outcome 4: Local partners and relevant sector organizations can practice market systems approach for pro-poor and resilient agriculture development.

Direct Targeted groups

The program is expected to have a direct impact on the lives of 10,350 small-scale producers, including 2,250 women, engaged in the selected VCs. The table below provides information on direct beneficiaries and geographical outreach per VC.

In addition to small scale farmer beneficiaries, the program will work with other stakeholders who are expected to benefit, including:

30 producer cooperatives and social enterprises and CBOs, half of which are women-led, who will be supported in taking up extension and technical advisory services, as well as technical training. This will be achieved by encouraging the creation of embedded, paid services.
10 social entrepreneurs with farming enterprises will be supported through matching grants to adopt new technologies.
10 input suppliers and 10 retailers will be incentivized to improve inputs sold to SSPs.
4 urban women entrepreneurs will be supported through bundles services.
23 entrepreneur-led enterprises will be supported (8 in Gaza, 15 in East Jerusalem) through capacity development to engage more profitably in markets.

Purpose of the Evaluation and Specific objectives

The purpose of this evaluation is to conduct an external midterm review of the program funded by Sweden: ‘Developing Equitable Agricultural Production and Market Systems for Resilient Economic Development in the occupied Palestinian Territory’, and to support Sweden, OXFAM and partners to review program progress and provide concrete recommendations for the remaining duration of the program. 

This evaluation is expected to assess and document the relevance, effectiveness, efficiency, impact, and sustainability of this program, on the basis of a market systems development framework. It is expected that the evaluation will enable Oxfam and implementing partners to review program progress and performance against planned outputs and outcomes, identify program achievements, challenges, opportunities, and document lessons learnt and recommendations to guide the overall management and implementation of the future interventions within this program during the remaining period.  

The evaluation shall specifically seek to achieve the following:

To assess the extent to which the program objectives have been achieved.
To assess the program log frame MEAL action plan and assess the level of achievement of the program against its expected results (indicators),
To assess the extent of integration of key cross-cutting issues including gender equality, conflict sensitivity and advocacy (influencing) in program design and implementation.
To assess the implementation approach (market system development approach) and how effectively the MSD approach is utilized in program design and implementation.
To assess the program’s value for money and on the realization or potential realization of systemic change at market system level.
To assess the achievements of the different intervention strategies, the associated exit strategies, and the likelihood of sustainability of these interventions and of effecting market system changes.
To assess the effectiveness of the developed market development strategies per targeted outcome and output as outlined in the Project Document.
To assess key internal and external factors (positive and negative) that contributed to, affected or impeded program progress.
To assess the design, planning, implementation, and management of the program for Oxfam and its partners.
To assess the degree to which the observed changes can be attributed to the program.
To identify and document key lessons learnt and good practice, providing short-term and long-term recommendations for the remaining duration of the program.                                                 

Key questions of the evaluation

The following questions cover several criteria important to Sweden, Oxfam and other program partners. The evaluation needs to consider a market systems development framework in its approach. This list provides an indicative framework for evaluation questions to guide the design of the evaluation. It is expected that the consultant comment on these in their proposal, and that a final set of evaluation questions will be developed in coordination with the Oxfam team during the evaluation inception phase.

Program relevance:

To what extent has the program been relevant to national priorities and communities’ needs?
Is the program’s Theory of Change still appropriate to what Oxfam and its implementing partners are doing and hoping to accomplish?
Do the assumptions that underlay the program theory of change hold true in each implementation context and amongst the program target beneficiary group?
What are the attitudes of the different stakeholders (private and public partners & small-scale producers) around the program intervention strategies?
Are the resources, capacity and timeframe adequate to achieve the program purpose?

Efficiency:

Did we work with the right partners under the intervention strategies?
Is the remaining timeframe of the program adequate to achieve the intended impact and results/targets?
To what extent Oxfam and partners best utilized the program resources (cost-efficient)?
If and how value for money has been achieved?

Effectiveness & Impact:

Have the outputs been appropriately identified to addressing the problem? To what extent are they contributing to achieving the program outcomes and impact?
To what extent has the program achieved its intended impact and results (outcomes and outputs)?
What is the likelihood that program objectives will be achieved?
To what extent is the achievement of impact (or outcomes) attributable to program support versus contribution or influence from alternative actors or explanations?
How well did implementing partners have played a key role as facilitators (external players), that is by stimulating market players to adopt new or improved innovations or roles and proactively promote broad uptake of that change throughout the market system?
Have the capacity building measures for implementing partners been adequate?
How many beneficiaries are reached/could be reached and how effective was the program’s beneficiary selection/targeting?
Are there any factors which prevent some target groups from benefitting? Are there a sort of winners and losers within the target groups?
How well were the input suppliers and retailers in the market system incentivised?
To what extent has the program ensured buy-in or political will for the uptake and use of program outputs (results?)?
What 'unintended', whether positive or negative, impacts can be identified also negative and positive impacts on target groups?

Program strategy and governance:

Is the program governance (advisory and technical bodies) functioning appropriately for program steering?
Has the program managed risks at all levels effectively?

Program business models/ intervention strategies:

Are business models/intervention strategies feasible, successful, cost-effective, scalable, and sustainable within the different value chains?

  1.  
How well are the intervention strategies addressing the root causes, as opposed to symptoms of why market systems are not serving target groups?
Do all main business models have results chains with indicators of change?
Is appropriate baseline information adequately established?
Is adequate progress being made towards end-of-program targets?
What is the size of expected outreach and impact of each intervention strategy?
Is the income change clearly attributable to the intervention?
Is there evidence of systemic change happening to the benefit of small farmers to increase the scale of outreach and to enhance the sustainability of the impact?
How is value for money being assessed on these interventions?
What are the overall recommendations for any significant adjustments?
Scalability, spill over effect
What business models are most successful and why?
Have any risks or unintended negative effects been materialised as a result of the business models (e.g. on other geographic areas, on market players, etc).

Program market system development approach:

To what degree is the program following a market systems approach characterised by an approach that is facilitative; market systems-centric; and adaptive? What works, what does not, and how to improve? To what extent have the principles of the market systems development approach been applied in not only programme design but also implementation in terms of facilitation functions that develop the market in a sustainable way versus ‘direct delivery or support? What factors helped or hindered the MSD application?

Result measurement & learning:

How robust was the program’s monitoring, evaluation, and learning approach?

Is results measurement being effectively used to inform ongoing program learning, continuous improvement and adaptation of the program?

Is sex-disaggregation well considered in the program MEAL plan?

Has the common DCED results measurement standard been utilised in program monitoring and reporting?

To what degree have we learnt from this experience and shared the learning with others and ourselves? What will we now do differently, or what will we do more of?

Program sustainability:

To what extent can programmatic outcomes be sustained beyond the life of the program at the level of individuals, enterprises and systemic change at market system level? (With consideration to institutionalization, shifts in enabling environment)

To what extent does the program contribute to target groups’ capacities, in particular women groups?

Are program stakeholders and beneficiaries taking ownership of program results?

Are there any external factors that might jeopardise the sustainability of benefits?

Cross-cutting issues:

To what degree has the gender equality plan developed in the inception phase and including both specific women-targeted initiatives and gender mainstreaming approach across all program components have been implemented? What gender-based constraints have been tackled?

To what degree has the conflict-sensitivity analysis, developed in the inception phase, been incorporated into program design and implementation?

Influence (have the program interventions influenced other actors in the domain to change their way of operating especially in adopting a market system development approach?)

Scope of the evaluation

The evaluator will conduct this assignment using a combination of evaluation methods including desk review of key program documents, individual and group interviews, focus group discussions, questionnaire survey, document studies, observation and field visits. Special attention will be given to the use of participatory methods to ensure that both men and women stakeholders are given the opportunities to contribute to the evaluation. Interviews will be conducted with implementing partners, representative(s) of the program stakeholders and market actors, relevant beneficiaries, target groups and other key stakeholders (eg. private sector) who could bring perspective into the operations, scope etc. of the program. Oxfam will provide support to the field visit schedule for the entire mission period based on the methodology outlined by the evaluator.  

The selected external evaluator is anticipated to be as independent as possible and will work with Oxfam team to refine and agree on the final methodology. The evaluator would be expected to take technical leadership of the evaluation in terms of designing a scheme, time line, resource requirements and reporting, and should submit an inception report before the start of the evaluation mission. It is expected that the methodology will include, but not limited to, the below components:

Briefing:

Prior to the evaluation taking place, the evaluator is expected to attend a briefing/inception meeting at OPTI office with senior management level of Oxfam Economic Justice program leads in West Bank and Gaza and the technical level with the Economic Justice program team.

The evaluator is also expected to meet with Sweden represented by the Consulate General of Sweden in Jerusalem.

Preparation

Following the Briefing/ Inception Meeting the evaluator will review the preliminary program data and information obtained from the past reports, program management and partners (program design documents i.e. proposal, log-frame, MEAL framework, baseline study, budget follow-up as well as reports and produced documents/publications...etc.). Evaluator may examine closely the current situation of the program results in consultation with Oxfam and partner organizations and conduct the preparation of the midterm evaluation framework and sample for the field study. Based on the sampling, the consultants prepare the detailed survey plan and logistical requirements.

Detailed plan & methodology

Selected consultant should submit a detailed evaluation plan and methodology (Inception Report). The inception report will provide details regarding the evaluation methodology, approaches and tools, questions, timeframe, sampling methodology and calculations, and implementation plan before the start of the work. The inception report will be reviewed and approved by Oxfam team before the commencement of the evaluation process. Oxfam reserves the right to ask the consultant for modifications and adjustments as it sees fit. In the event the consultant fails to fully submit all relevant parts of the inception report or if the inception report in its entirety does not meet Oxfam’s quality standards, Oxfam reserves the right to terminate consultancy contract at the inception phase.

Data collection

Consultant is expected to collect an appropriate range of data. This includes (but not limited to):                 

Field visits: to targeted localities within West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

Direct information: Primary data collection using standard and participatory evaluation methods (e.g. semi structured interviews, FGD and observation) in targeted groups, market players, stakeholders and communities.

Indirect information: Interviews with local representatives; interviews with project staff expatriate and national staff; meeting with technical decision makers, groups of beneficiaries/end users, donor representatives and other market stakeholders. For indirect data collection, standard and participatory evaluation methods are expected to be used (interviews and FGDs with beneficiaries/end users, non-beneficiaries and key informants).

Download Full ToR

The submitted offers should be in US dollar excluding VAT. The tendered should be able to issue invoice if not they can submit payment request in addition to deduction at source

certificate (شهادة خصم مصدر) or will deduct a percentage of the final payment according to Palestinian Taxation department & laws.

Latest curriculum vitae of evaluator and any supporting team members.

Evidence of relevant previous experience and names and contact details of references with good knowledge of your previous work.

Deadline for the submission of bids is 25 June 2018 with the subject title: Oxfam-Sweden Midterm Evaluation.

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موعد الإنتهاء 25, Jun
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