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Call for applications: Independent evaluation consultancy

DefendDefenders (the East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Project) is the secretariat to a network of more than 78 member organisations drawn from eleven countries in the sub-region (that is, Burundi, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Somalia (and Somaliland), South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda). The project was designed to strengthen the work of human rights defenders (HRDs) in the East and Horn of Africa sub-region by reducing their vulnerability to the risk of persecution and by enhancing their capacity to effectively defend human rights. DefendDefenders implements activities in the areas of protection, advocacy and capacity building.
Additionally, DefendDefenders acts as the secretariat for the Pan-African Human Rights Defenders Network, which brings together five sub-regional networks from North, Central, West, Southern and the East and Horn of Africa. Further information about DefendDefenders’ activities can be found here on our website or through our social media outlets on Facebook and Twitter.

The overall aim of DefendDefenders is to maximize the protection of HRDs working in the sub-region and to enhance the awareness of human rights work through linkages with national, regional and international like-minded entities.
DefendDefenders seeks the services of a consultant (individuals or company) to undertake an external evaluation of DefendDefenders’ work in promoting and protecting human rights defenders in the East and Horn of Africa. The purpose of this external evaluation is to assess effectiveness, relevance, efficiency, impact, and sustainability of DefendDefenders’ work in the past five years (2011-2016. Identified strengths and weaknesses will be used for learning and to improve the design of DefendDefenders´ operations and programs going forward.
Objective of the review
The objective of the external review is to assess the performance of the Secretariat over the last 5 years, its development and its position as a regional network against its mandate and objectives. More in particular, the external review will focus on the following 4 areas:
  • Program management (planning, implementation, evaluation/documentation and communication);
  • Internal organisation of the Secretariat (human resources policies/practices, logistics/facilities);
  • Financial management and administration/external funding flows and levels;
  • Value added of the Secretariat for the member organisations.
For each of these areas specific recommendations will be made.
When evaluating the project, the consultant is advised to consider the criteria laid out in the OECD/DAC Principles for Evaluation of Development Assistance. The proposed questions set forth in the table below should guide the evaluation design to be developed at during the inception phase.
Proposed Evaluation Element Questions
  • Has DefendDefenders’ way of working been an efficient way to operate?
  • Is the relationship between administrative costs and operational costs reasonable for organisation of DefendDefenders’ type?
  • Were objectives achieved on time?
  • To what extent were the intended results achieved?
  • What were the major factors influencing the achievement or non-achievement of the objectives?
  • Examining DefendDefenders’ added value and comparative advantage in regards to protecting HRDs.  Look into DefendDefenders’ specific groups of most at risk HRDs.
  • Where would DefendDefenders need to prioritise its efforts to ensure maximum impact?
  • Are the current interventions appropriate solution to the identified problem and are the objectives still relevant and attainable?
  • What are the values of the interventions in relation to priority needs of human rights defenders? Are the outcomes beneficial to key stakeholders?
  • Does the program consider political and social tensions in design and implementation?
  • To what extent is the project aligned to other initiatives e.g., African Commission resolutions, UN resolutions, national government strategies and priorities and regional bodies strategies?
  • Are the activities and outputs of the program consistent with the intended impacts and effects?
  • What has happened as a result of the interventions? What difference has the interventions made to the beneficiaries?
  • Were the desired results achieved?
  • How many people, men and women, have been affected/have benefitted?
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  • What individual, environmental and structural effects has the program brought to individuals, communities, and institutions – either in the short, medium or long-term?
  • Analysis of the extent to which DefendDefenders has been able to achieve its intended objectives (effectiveness) and how has DefendDefenders been able to effectively fulfil objectives related to international, regional and country levels.
  • Do key stakeholders think this is a good program, would they want to see it continue?
  • Have implementing partners, and other key stakeholders developed the capacity and motivation to continue activities/interventions?
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  • Can program activities/interventions become self-sustaining financially?
  • Explore whether DefendDefenders’ approach and efforts are appropriate to sustain intended results over time.
  • Explore the level of engagement of state actors and how DefendDefenders has been able to influence policy and conditions for HRDs.
  • Does DefendDefenders have a clear resource mobilization strategy that is systematically implemented?
The evaluation envisages a process of desk review of documents and plans, as well as interviews with DefendDefenders’ former and current staff, Board members, former and current partners, beneficiaries of DefendDefenders’ programs and projects, as well as partner organisations and network members within EHAHRD-Network. The Consultant will be expected to design and develop a comprehensive action plan for consideration by DefendDefenders once selected.
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The methodology to be used should be proposed by the consultant in the tender. It is expected that that the methodology and evaluation design is further described and explained in the inception report. The Consultant is expected to use a combination of methods and information to be able to respond to the evaluation questions, such as:
Desk review of relevant documents
  • 2005-2011 organisational external evaluation report;
  • Strategic plan 2016-2020;
  • 2009-2015 Sida projects external evaluation report;
  • Activity and project reports;
  • Annual reports;
  • Website and issues of the monthly newsletter;
  • Consultation meetings and interviews with DefendDefenders’ staff, board members and EHAHRD-Net members;
  • Interviews with beneficiaries, partners, and stakeholders;
  • In-person interviews and focal groups  when/where applicable.
A breakdown of the expected activities is provided below.
  • Inception report (will form the basis for the evaluation process and method to be used);
  • Discuss the inception report with DefendDefenders and incorporating comments;
  • Desk review of previous proposals and reports;
  • Stakeholder engagement (physical in Uganda and 1 other country and the rest virtual via Skype and online);
  •  Analysis of data collected;
  • Report compilation;
  • Present and discuss the report with DefendDefenders;
  • First draft feedback (may include engaging key stakeholders);
  • Incorporating comments and final report compilation.
The Consultant is expected to present clear, concise and practical recommendations on the impact of the programs and activities that DefendDefenders implements. And also present clear and concise recommendations on the internal processes and systems supporting the program work. The Consultant is expected to deliver to DefendDefenders a comprehensive written report (in English) of maximum 30 pages excluding annexes which meets the following specifications:
  • Reviews and analysis the various aspects as outlined above. It is important that this evaluation takes stock from, and build on the existing organisational evaluation of 2011 and the subsequent project evaluations;
  • Highlights gaps, challenges and opportunities for DefendDefenders to achieve its overall objectives of promoting, building the capacity of and protecting human rights defenders;
  • Highlights and clearly indicates lessons that DefendDefenders could learn from its experiences in the past 5 years working in the sub-region;
  • Clearly indicates specific recommendations in all areas mentioned that DefendDefenders should consider implementing (especially given key and emerging issues affecting human rights defenders in the sub-region;
The payment will be made in two (2) equal instalments at the signing of the agreement and upon completion and approval of the assignment.
The external evaluation shall conform to OECD/DAC’s Quality Standards for Development Evaluation. These standards provide a guide to good practice in development evaluation, and identify the key pillars needed for a quality evaluation process and product. The Consultant shall specify how quality assurance will be handled during the evaluation process and stipulate what kind of mechanisms for quality control and consultation is foreseen.
The tasks under this external evaluation are to be undertaken for an estimated period of forty (40) working days. A report of the evaluation will be presented to the Board of Directors and the Executive Director of DefendDefenders. The location of the evaluation will be Kampala, Uganda and one other country (which will be decided after consultation with DefendDefenders).
Required qualifications of the team
  • A Post Graduate Degree in a relevant discipline (e.g Social Science, Law, Politics, Economics and Human Rights);
  • Demonstrable experience in evaluating programmes and projects across countries and also those of a regional nature
  • Knowledge of the socio-economic and political dynamics, as well as the social justice issues in the East and Horn of Africa region;
  • Demonstrable knowledge and understanding of the architecture of human rights organisations in the region;
  • Training in human rights and experience of working with human rights defenders at risk
  • Knowledge and/or experience in working with civil society networks;
  • Competence in organisational development or management.
Selection criteria
  • At least 7-10 years of directly relevant evaluation experienc;
  • Fluency in spoken and written English and French is a requirement;
  • Exceptional English writing skills – this is essential for ensuring the delivery of a well-written/high quality final report;
  • The Consultant must be independent of the evaluated activities and have no stake in the outcome of the evaluation;
  • The consultant must be willing to travel to Kampala and one other country and be available to meet with partners and stakeholders.
Consultants (including consultants firms) are requested to submit a project proposal (outlining the tools, methods, workplan and sampling model to be used) and comprehensive indicative project budget as part of their application for consideration. The allocated budget is 20,000Euros maximum.
Please send your application to [email protected]  with the subject line “Organisational External Evaluation Consultancyby 6 August 2017. Your application should include the following
  • CV(s) of the Consultant(s)
  • Proposal of how the Consultant(s) would carry out the work
  • 3 references for similar work undertaken.
Do not send copies of certificates or degrees.