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ECONOMIC / COST-INCLUSIVE EVALUATION OF
FREEDOM HOUSE EMERGENCY ASSISTANCE PROGRAM
2. Project Background
3. Evaluation Overview
4. Application Guidelines
5. Contact Information
Freedom House is seeking qualified applicants to conduct an economic / cost-inclusive evaluation of its Emergency Assistance Program for frontline activists. The anticipated start date for this evaluation is from November 2018 – January 2019, for a duration of six to nine months. However, there is flexibility in start and end dates, depending on the availability of the consultant.
Freedom House is an independent watchdog organization dedicated to the expansion of freedom and democracy around the world.
Freedom House's programs support human rights and democracy advocates in their efforts to promote open government, defend human rights, strengthen civil society and facilitate the free flow of information and ideas. Freedom House primarily offers assistance through trainings, international exchange programs, grant giving and networking activities. In addition, Freedom House offers symbolic and moral support through advocacy and visible demonstrations of solidarity on behalf of counterparts abroad.
Freedom House currently has fourteen offices and conducts programs in over thirty countries in all regions of the world. Primary funding for Freedom House’s programs comes in the form of grants from USAID and the U.S. State Department, as well as from other democratic governments—Canada, the EU, the Netherlands, Norway, and Sweden—and from private foundations, including the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and the Ford Foundation.
Project Background: Emergency Assistance Program
Freedom House’s Emergency Assistance Program (EAP) provides emergency assistance (for which the program was named), security and capacity trainings, and urgent action sub-grants. The focus of this evaluation will be the emergency assistance grants.
EAP consists of four funds, each with a different thematic area . Since 2007, EAP has provided emergency assistance to more than 5000 human rights defenders, civil society organizations, and survivors of religious persecution in over 110 countries and territories. This assistance reaches frontline activists at their moment of greatest need. It has helped them survive attacks, given them the means to resume their critical work, and in many cases literally saved lives.
Emergency Assistance grants meet the specific needs of each individual or organization. For example, we fund legal defense and support the families of land rights activists arrested on spurious charges; help political prisoners suffering illness or injury to get medical treatment; assist anti-corruption groups in replacing confiscated computers and installing security cameras after their offices are raided; and help youth activists relocate to safety when their lives are threatened.
Emergency Assistance grants have two key objectives:
• After receiving assistance, human rights defenders (HRDs) and civil society organizations (CSOs) are safe from the threats and attacks they were facing.
• After receiving assistance, HRDs and CSOs are able to carry out effective human rights work to support marginalized people and communities.
EAP has systematically collected feedback from emergency assistance recipients since 2013, to understand recipients’ circumstances post-assistance, as well as views of efficiency, effectiveness, and external factors affecting their human rights work. Additionally, from 2016-2017, one of the four funds — Dignity for All: LGBTI Assistance Program—undertook an external evaluation focused on the strategy, results, responsiveness, accessibility, and cohesiveness of the Dignity for All approach to emergency financial assistance for frontline activists.
After the aforementioned external evaluation, several donors and stakeholders recommended that these findings could be supplemented by commissioning a follow-up study to better understand whether the program meets standards of efficiency, economy, and cost-effectiveness.
The primary objective of this assignment is an economic / cost-inclusive evaluation of Freedom House’s Emergency Assistance Program, specifically, the emergency assistance granting mechanisms. The objective is two-pronged:
• From a holistic perspective, EAP would like to understand whether investments have maximized benefits for HRDs and CSOs, specifically, (i) HRDs and CSOs are able to withstand threats and attacks, and (ii) HRDs and CSOs are able to return to their human rights work;
• From an economic perspective, EAP would like to understand the financial risks, costs, and impacts of the systems and practices under which they currently operate, and how these systems and practices could be improved to maximize operational efficiency.
The consultant, in consultation with Freedom House, will develop the specific research questions that the evaluation will answer. Suggested or potential questions are welcome in the respondent’s EOI.
Scope and Methodology:
The evaluation will concern the past 3 years of emergency assistance data (approximately 2,500 cases from 2016-2018 inclusive), including post-assistance impact survey data where applicable (received from approximately 60% of beneficiaries).
For the purposes of this solicitation, the term economic / cost-inclusive evaluation is being used, as Freedom House would like to discuss the most feasible approach (e.g., cost-effectiveness, social return on investment) with interested consultants. Freedom House will provide the consultant with access to evaluative data, budgetary figures, and information on the types of emergency cases funded.
The primary users of this evaluation will be Freedom House staff and its consortium of implementing partners, a group of donors that fund the various initiatives of the Emergency Assistance Program, and other programs that support assistance to at-risk HRDs and CSOs.
Timeline and Expected Deliverables:
We expect the exercise to begin in/around December 2018 and take approximately 6-8 months to complete. We are somewhat flexible on timeline and suggest the ideal timeline for the consultant be presented in the SOI.
a) Inception Report: Approximately 4-6 weeks after start of consultancy
The consultant(s) shall write an inception report to establish the methodology to be used for this exercise, which shall reflect the FH team’s understanding of the task to be accomplished; proposed approach and methodology; data collection tools; data analysis plan; foreseeable limitations; and work plan.
b) Mid-term check in: Approximately March 2019
The consultant(s) will present to the FH team on the current status of their work and any initial findings, key areas of inquiry/interest, and challenges/issues.
c) Executive Summary and Preliminary Recommendations: Approximately 4-5 months after start of consultancy
The consultant(s) will present a summary of Review preliminary findings and recommendations and have an in-house debriefing meeting to better shape the final report. The briefing aims at sharing the preliminary findings and recommendations and receiving feedback from the FH team and other stakeholders where necessary.
d) Draft Review Report: Approximately 5-7 months after start of consultancy
The consultant(s) will submit a draft report to FH with clear description of initial findings, conclusions, and recommendations.
e) Final Review Report: Approximately 2-4 weeks after receipt of FH’s comments on draft report
The consultant(s) will submit a final report that incorporates all responses and suggestions from FH. The format will include an executive summary, table of contents, methodology, findings and conclusions, and recommendations.
f) Learning Event:
The consultant(s) shall organize learning with participants from FH, donors, and other key stakeholders in attendance to ensure that key findings and recommendations of the report are understood and next steps for taking action on recommendations are determined by staff.
Freedom House will have a part-time program assistant dedicated to supporting this evaluation. The assistant will handle all emergency assistance data requests or pulls and assist in ensuring that the data is clearly presented for the consultants. Freedom House’s HQ-based monitoring and evaluation (M&E) specialists and EAP Director will provide quality assurance and review and provide feedback on all deliverables.
Prospective consultants should submit the following materials:
• Curriculum vitae for key consultant(s)
• Statement of interest outlining skills and experience relevant to this assignment, and a concise description of the most appropriate evaluation approach (3 pages maximum)
• Short cost justification, which includes salary history and/or daily rate for similar consultancies. Please include contact information for two recent references.
Upon review of these statements of interest, the review committee will select final candidates who will be offered the opportunity to submit a more detailed proposal.
Please refer any questions and submit all application materials to the EAP Director and the EAP M&E specialist listed below before 5:00 pm EST November 9, 2018. Only candidates selected for further consideration will be contacted.
Point of contact:
Mindy Michels, EAP Director
Jordan Fischer, EAP M&E Specialist
Organisation Freedom House
Country United States