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Inter-Agency Real Time Evaluation (IA-RTE)
Location: Somalia, Kenya, Ethiopia and possibly Djibouti (Horn of Africa region)
Last Date: August 26, 2011
Email: ochaesu@un.org (Reference: DevNetJobs.org)

Consultants for Inter-Agency Real Time Evaluation (IA-RTE) of The Humanitarian Response to Horn of Africa Drought Crisis
CALL FOR EXPRESSION OF INTEREST
August 2011
United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)
Closing date: 26 August 2011
Approximate duration of assignment: 140 days (over a period of four months)
Tentative contract starting date: 1 October 2011
Location countries: Somalia, Kenya, Ethiopia and possibly Djibouti (Horn of Africa region)
Background
The Horn of Africa is experiencing the most severe food crisis in the world today. Over 12 million people in Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia are severely affected and in urgent need of humanitarian aid, and there is no likelihood of this situation improving until 2012. This figure of affected people is a 38% increase since the figure recorded in March 2011. The situation is continuing to deteriorate, with famine in the lower Shabelle and Bakool regions of southern Somalia officially declared by the UN on 20 July. Eight other regions of southern Somalia are at risk of famine in the coming 1-2 months unless aid delivery increases in proportion to needs. While the famine declaration pertains to Somalia only, large parts of Ethiopia, Kenya and Djibouti are also suffering from severe food insecurity as a result of drought and high food prices, and are seeing significant inflows of refugees fleeing the drought in Somalia. The funding requirements for the region are at $2,481 million, but are only funded at 42 % as of 28 July.
Job description
The situation in the Horn of Africa have fulfilled the criteria to automatically trigger an inter-agency real-time evaluation as a means of obtaining real-time analysis and feedback to help better focus and adjust on-going implementation strategies. The IA RTE will evaluate the humanitarian response in two countries of the Horn of Africa, namely Somalia and Ethiopia.
The evaluation will as such provide an analytical snap shot of the current situation in these two countries. It will also offer an independent perspective on issues such as main successes and shortcomings within the current responses. It will also address the issue of whether current humanitarian action in these countries is adequately grounded in humanitarian principles including gender equality. The evaluation will also focus on the crucial issue of whether the current response is addressing and covering actual needs on the ground particularly vulnerable individuals and families and whether partnership arrangements with key national actors are wholly adequate. Hence, the evaluation will be targeted at the main results and outcomes of the aid provided by the whole system and will not address coordination issues already analyzed by the Clusters.
The evaluation shall be looking at the following aspects of the humanitarian response both in terms of what was planned and what was delivered:
- Look at how the needs of all parts of the populations, men and boys, women and girls, old and young were assessed and whether all layers of the population have received what they needed
- Assess results, positive and negative outcomes of the response for affected populations by asking some simple questions to beneficiaries who did and did not receive assistance during their displacement
- Assess what was not delivered and the reasons for that
- Look at the humanitarian systems' commitment and compliance to standards (such as SPHERE) and principles for delivery of services and goods
- Provide an external analysis on critical issues that explain why the response was delivered as planned or not delivered and what improvements or adjustments may be needed to help address current needs and what alternatives exist to improve the overall delivery of results and ultimately lead to measurable impacts of the response in similar contexts of displacement.
- Look at monitoring and evaluation systems, including the way that recommendations from past evaluations were used
- Look at how the response has promoted greater coverage and connectedness among stakeholders?
Key Issues & Questions:
While analyzing critical successes and failures of the system to deliver what was needed and what it committed to, it should seek explanations of such factors by looking more specifically at
- What were the common strategies and plans developed at the national and the provincial / division level to respond to the humanitarian needs of displaced (and remained?) populations (female and male) whether in camps or in host families
- The way all the civilian and military partners, international and national, UN and non-UN did collaborate to provide an efficient and effective response to the humanitarian needs
- How humanitarian space, access and security has been and is negotiated, maintained, expanded to the effect of providing assistance to the most needy population
- How timely provision of resources to respond was advocated for, obtained and effectively used and managed
- Which systems have been put into place to monitor, report and evaluate the efficiency and effectiveness of the overall response
Some of the key questions suggested are:
- To beneficiaries (male and female): (how) were they asked what their needs were, what kind of assistance did they receive and has it covered their most urgent needs? Were women and girls and women headed households approached separately through females?
- To national and provincial authorities and military forces that participated in the response: Was there a common strategy to respond to the humanitarian needs developed together with all implementing partners of the national and international humanitarian system? Was the assistance provided by the system adequate and timely? Did it build on and build local capacity?
- To all humanitarian partners, national and international involved in the response: What were the major favouring and hindering factors for an effective and efficient response to the need of the affected populations?
- Did the response draw on key lessons from past evaluations/ reviews? What key lessons can be learned from this response to inform future responses in similar settings?
Methodology
The evaluation will be carried out through analyses of various sources of information including desk reviews; field visits to Kenya, Somalia, Ethiopia and possibly Djibouti (locations to be determined); interviews with key stakeholders (such UN, I/NGOs, donors, beneficiary communities and government including the Core Group on PCNA), direct observation and through cross-validation of data. Briefing and learning workshops in -country will serve as a mechanism to both feed back findings on a real-time basis, and further validate information.
The approach will be essentially deductive, trying to identify critical success factors from the assessment of timeliness, adequacy and effectiveness of the response. It will also be highly participatory, facilitating 'space for reflection' by key international actors involved in the response on how well the response was conducted and how it could be strengthened.
There will not be sufficient time to do a random sampling which ideally should be proposed. Instead, since the aim is to identify only critical successes and failures, the identification of affected populations to meet should be made by targeting recipients (female and male) where aid has been provided and also those who have not received any or sufficient / adequate aid. Focus groups as well as individual interviews can be foreseen to that end. These will be constituted so as to reflect views of different groups of recipients so that 'elite capture' of data doesn't skew the evaluation findings. In a second step, interviews with decision-makers as well as joint briefings and debriefings are foreseen.
While maintaining independence, the evaluation will seek the views of all parties. Compliance with United Nations Evaluation Group standards and ALNAP quality pro forma is expected and the evaluation report will be judged in this regard. All external evaluation reports will also be submitted to ALNAP for inclusion in the regular meta evaluation process that rates the quality of evaluation reports.
Criteria / skills requested
This review will require the services of a mixed team of three to four experts be tasked with this independent evaluation:
- 1-2 internationals with a good Horn of Africa regional experience and background
- 1-3 national consultants with good knowledge of the context in the region and previous evaluation experience / exposure. At least one member of the team should be a woman.
The team will have the following qualifications and experience:
- Demonstrable experience in conducting evaluations of humanitarian programmes and the capacity to work collaboratively with multiple stakeholders and on a team is a mandatory requirement
- Proven senior-level experience and ability to provide strategic recommendations to key stakeholders;
- Good knowledge of strategic and operational management of humanitarian operations, preferably in the Horn of Africa region; the ability to bring on board national consultants(s) from the Horn of Africa region would be an asset;
- Good knowledge of humanitarian system and its reforms, including of UN agencies, IFRC, NGOs, and local government disaster response structures and systems;;
- Strong analytical skills(including gender analysis) and ability to clearly synthesize and present findings, draw practical conclusions and to prepare well-written reports in a timely manner;
- Strong workshop facilitation skills;
- Excellent writing and presentation skills in English; and
- Immediate availability for the period indicated.
Who should apply
Applications from individual candidates are expected. The Evaluation and Studies Section encourages the application of female candidates. Candidates should have the following competencies:
- Proven senior-level experience and ability to provide strategic recommendations to key stakeholders;
- Good knowledge of strategic and operational management of humanitarian operations, preferably in the Horn of Africa region; the ability to bring on board national consultants(s) from the Horn of Africa region would be an asset;
- Good knowledge of humanitarian system and its reforms, including of UN agencies, IFRC, NGOs, and local government disaster response structures and systems;
- Demonstrable experience in conducting evaluations of humanitarian programmes and the capacity to work collaboratively with multiple stakeholders and on a team;
- Strong analytical skills and ability to clearly synthesize and present findings, draw practical conclusions and to prepare well-written reports in a timely manner;
- Strong workshop facilitation skills;
- Excellent writing and presentation skills in English; and
- Immediate availability for the period indicated.
How to apply
Interested consultants should submit an expression of interest to ochaesu@un.org Reference: EE-IA-RTE Horn of Africa Drought Crisis. The application should contain the following:
1. CV and UN P-11 of candidate
2. Letter expressing interest and clearly identifying how the candidate meets each of the criteria/ skills listed above
Only short listed candidates will be contacted. Contracting is subject to funding.

 


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