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Mid-term Evaluation of Northern Rural Project, Afghanistan

Terms of Reference

Mid-term Evaluation of the Northern Rural Project

Basic information

Swedish Committee of Afghanistan (SCA) is a Swedish membership non-governmental development organization that has been operating in Afghanistan for thirty years. The mission of SCA is to empower poor women, children and men through combining service provision, capacity development and advocacy in the implementation of development programmes predominantly in rural areas. SCA runs four large programmes in the fields of health, education, rural development and rehabilitation of people with disabilities in 17 of the country’s 34 provinces. There are support units for all programme activities relating to quality assurance, civil society, human rights, gender and information. Please see more information on www.swedishcommittee.org

The Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) and SCA entered in April 2011 into an agreement to support the Northern Rural Project (NRP). The overall objective of NRP is to strengthen rural civil society by means of community mobilization and short-term financing on development projects of their own choosing. NRP contributes to the development of five districts in the northern region by responding to proposals from Community Development Councils (CDCs) for financial assistance. At least150 sub-projects are under selection for implementation by the CDCs. NRP follows principles of the National Solidarity Programme (NSP) and is complementary to it.

The CDCs are expected to carry out sub-projects which contribute to the improvement of the communal infrastructure, such as the establishment of a drinking water supply, construction and repair of village roads and bridges, repair of irrigation assets, and repair of buildings for education and health services. At the end of the project, it is expected that the benefiting CDCs have implemented sub-projects that contribute to their collective purpose needs, as well as have gained capacity to take increased ownership over their own development.

The principal governmental project partner is the Provincial Rural Rehabilitation and Development Department (PRRD). The civil society project stakeholders are the CDCs and the District Development Assemblies (DDAs).

The budget provided by Sweden is SEK 34.3 Million for the three-year project period. The CDCs contribute to sub-project costs at a level of 10 %

SCA established the NRP management office and the field office for the first cluster of three districts in Mazar-e-Sharif. The project started field operations in Balkh province in mid 2011. As the project structures and methods were developed, two districts were added to the cluster.

Purpose and scope of the evaluation

The overall purpose of the evaluation is to assess the results of NRP midway through project implementation and to provide advice on improvements.

The specific objectives to address in this evaluation are:
1. To establish whether the overall project design is relevant and suitable.
2. To determine if the methods and methodology applied are appropriate.
3. To assess the progress made so far towards achieving the stated outcomes.
4. To document the major lessons learnt so far, and go on to recommend specific improvements for the remaining project period, and for the long term in case SCA facilitates similar projects in the years to come.
5. To assess NRP’s contribution to wider local and district development processes

SCA will use the results of the evaluation to progress NRP implementation during the remaining project period, and also employ the recommendations and lessons learnt in similar future projects.

Methodology

The consultant will make use of a mixture of methods in data collection and analysis. A suitable and cost-effective methodology should be specified in the tender of the consultant. The evaluation will involve literature studies, discussions at the Kabul Management Office of SCA and at the Mazar Project Office. Furthermore, the consultant will visit the three districts in the first cluster, where she or he will consult with female and male CDCs, DDAs and district authorities. If project operations have begun in the second cluster when the evaluation takes place, the consultant may also want to pay a short visit to the fourth and fifth districts.

The evaluation consultant will also meet with PRRD and other relevant provincial departments, to assess how the provincial governments view NRP and to consider their comments and suggestions.

Scheduling

The evaluation will take place over a three week period starting from July 2012 and will require 18 days of work for a national consultant and 20 days for an international consultant:

Travel from home country to Kabul and settling in: 1 day
Desk study and mission preparations: 2 days
Discussions at SCA Kabul Management
Office and meetings with senior staff: 2 days
Travel to and from Mazar-e-Sharif: 1 day
Work in NRP districts and provincial capitals: 8 days
Compilation of data and drafting of report: 3 days
Presentation of findings and recommendations
at SCA Kabul Management Office: 1 day
Preparation of final report: 1 day
Travel from Kabul to home country: 1 day
Total days: 20 days

Management of the task

The evaluation will be carried out by an external national or international consultant. Responsible for commissioning and approving the work is a panel, consisting of: Director of the Programme Implementation Department, Head of the Rural Development Programme and the Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation Coordinator. The person to liaise with and refer to, should any issues arise, is the Head of the Rural Development Programme. The Deputy Head of the Rural Development Programme and the NRP Manager will be responsible for the necessary practical arrangements.

Expected outputs

• A draft report in English on soft copy before presentation at the SCA Kabul Management Office.
• A presentation in English, discussing the findings and recommendations with relevant staff at the SCA Kabul Management Office.
• A final report in English on soft copy, which incorporates or responds to feedback on the draft.

Required inputs

SCA will provide relevant project documents, air and land transportation, accommodation and, if needed, an interpreter in the northern provinces.

If the consultant is an international expert, SCA will also provide a return flight ticket from home country to Kabul and facilitate Afghan visa acquisition.

Profile required

• A relevant academic qualification.
• Excellent knowledge of community-driven rural development projects, and preferably be knowledgeable on NSP in Afghanistan.
• Experienced in evaluation of rural development interventions implemented by NGOs, particularly projects dealing with community development, community mobilization, participation and empowerment.
• An excellent understanding of gender issues and power structures at the community level.
• A good understanding of the aspirations and challenges of rural communities in Afghanistan is desirable.
• Objectivity and ability to operate systematically without supervision.
• Result-oriented and committed to respect deadlines.
• Highly proficient in written and spoken English, and preferably a good knowledge of spoken Dari or Pashto.

How to apply

• A proposal of maximum three pages detailing the response to the assignment, including methodology, data collection and presentation of findings and recommendations.
• A Curriculum Vitae, detailing consultant’s qualifications and experience relevant to the assignment.
• A specification of the consultant’s daily fee. Accommodation, food and travel within Afghanistan will be arranged and paid for by SCA. For international experts: The consultant must meet travel expenses in home country, and in country of visa acquisition, as well as pay visa costs from her or his consultancy fee. SCA will provide international return flight ticket in economy class from home country to Kabul.

Deadline for tender submission is 20th April 2012. Tenders should be submitted by e-mail to evaluations@sca.org.af Please state the reference “NRP Mid Term Evaluation” in the subject line.

For further information please contact Ghulam Nabi Dehzad: nabi.dehzad@sca.org.af

The assignment is subject to a tender procedure according to SCA’s standard procurement regulations. SCA reserves the right not to accept any of the tenders submitted. In addition SCA reserves the right to take references on the proposed candidate.
Tenders shall remain valid for a period of 60 days.

Organisation Swedish Committee for Afghanistan

Country Afghanistan