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Request for Proposals – Evaluation of the use of the Tracking Progress Initiative tool for Alternative Care Assessments – SOS Children’s Villages International, Ethiopia

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Category:  Consultancy and Training
Location:  Addis Ababa

Job Description

Background Information

The Tracking Progress Initiative (TPI) tool was developed in 2017, led by a steering group composed of various child-focused organizations and agencies. The tool aims to support those working on strengthening the care system for children at the country level to measure progress in the implementation of the Guidelines for the Alternative Care of Children. The tool supports child welfare actors to take stock of progress and identify challenges in the implementation of the Guidelines. The TPI tool is a free, web-based, interactive diagnostic and learning tool designed to

  • Enable national actors to determine the extent to which their country has effectively implemented the Guidelines and
  • Identify priorities for change.

In recent years, several SOS Children’s Villages Member Associations have initiated national-level assessments of the implementation of the Guidelines for the Alternative Care of Children in their respective country contexts as well as actions based on the results, using the TPI tool and similar methodologies. The TPI Project is aimed at strengthening evidence-based national alternative care policies and information management systems for children who have lost or are at risk of losing parental care across four countries: Kenya, Malawi, Uganda and Zambia, through the use of the TPI tool. SOS Children’s Villages Norway is the funding recipient and primary project coordinator for the 2-year project (January 2020- December 2021) funded by Norad. SOS Norway shares coordination responsibilities with the Project Lead in the SOS Children’s Villages International Eastern and Southern Africa Regional office and country project management is led by a national Project Leads in each of the implementing countries (4 in total).The objectives of the project are show in the table below.

Project Objectives

  • National Governments and CSO implement actions plan to improve alternative care options;
    Based on gaps, recommendations identified in national assessments and priorities identified by country-based technical working groups
  • Increased availability and broad use of data on alternative care and target group(s).
  • Government prioritizes implementation of the Guidelines for the Alternative Care of Children;
    Including data collected during initial national assessments, per evolving alternative care needs , policy & practice development.
  • SOS Children’s Villages Member Associations (programs & advocacy) contribute to improved government enforcement of Guidelines;
    Participating SOS Children’s Villages country offices use TPI assessment data & recommendations to inform own programs, collaborations with, and advocacy towards relevant stakeholders (e.g. Alternative / Shadow reporting to relevant UN committee)

The TPI Project aimed to establish national inter-sectoral technical working groups, comprised of relevant government ministries, civil society organizations and academia in the four participating countries. The national technical working groups, coordinated by the Project Leads, have been responsible for organizing and conducting assessments of their respective national alternative care systems.

In two of the countries, Malawi and Zambia, the Project adapted the TPI survey tool for national-level assessments. Kenya (2019) and Uganda (2018) completed alternative care assessments prior to the start of the TPI Project in January 2020, employing a methodological framework similar to the TPI tool. To date, The Tracking Progress Tool has seen limited use and therefore, an additional aim of the Project is to contribute to further understanding of the tool as well as to update the tool for continued use in African contexts.

After completing the TPI assessments, each national technical working group developed a final report including recommendations for improving alignment of their respective alternative care policies, with the Guidelines for Alternative Care of Children. In addition to their respective reports, each country technical working group developed and implemented action plans based on select 1-2 recommendations.

 

In terms of structure and governance, SOS Children’s Villages coordinate Project implementation in all four countries, while the process of assessing national alternative care systems and development of post-assessment actions plans, was envisioned to be government led.

Overall objectives and scope of evaluation

The evaluation should be summative and formative.

  • Summative – compare assessment results across participating countries.
  • Formative – assess whether project Implemented as planned and appropriateness of TPI methodology adaptation(s).

Objectives

  • The objectives of the evaluation are to assess the extent to which:
  • Project objectives are relevant to country alternative care needs, partner’ and donor policies and/or Guidelines for Alternative Care of Children
  • Project implemented as planned (effectiveness)
  • Effectiveness of TPI tool methodology and proposed adaptation needs
  • Consolidate and compare the country-based assessment results (alternative care status, identified gaps, recommendations) across the four countries, drawing out insights and learning

 Evaluation questions

Q1. To what extent was the Project relevant to country alternative care needs, partners’ / donor policies and/or Guidelines for Alternative Care of Children

Q2. To what extent was the Project implemented as planned, and targeted objectives met? What unintended results – positive and negative – did the Project produce? How and why did these occur?

  • Variations across countries
  • Cooperation across various levels of SOS and with local partners (SOS Norway; SOS International Office Region Eastern and Southern Africa, four implementing countries)?

Q3. To what extent was the adaptation of the TPI tool effective? In how far is this replicable for future assessments, if at all?

Q4. What are the key findings and learnings from the country-based assessments across the four countries, including similarities and differences in findings?

Scope:

 

  • Inter-sectoral technical working groups across the four participating countries. Bidder to propose relevant sample.

Intended user(s) and use(s)

The intended use of the evaluation is outlined per respective users:

  • Relevant National Authorities – each project group is government-led to ensure broad participation and likelihood that gaps identified during assessments are addressed as well as the sustainability of efforts based on recommendations made. The evaluation aims to provide information that enable relevant national authorities to move forward with such assessments of policies and systems
  • SOS Children’s Villages Country Offices – evaluation results aimed to inform own strategy in terms of programs, advocacy, and collaboration with relevant stakeholders in regard to national implementation of UN Guidelines.
  • National Civil Society Partners & Stakeholders – similar to SOS country offices, the evaluation should inform national civil society advocacy and interventions that bring national alternative care policies and practices in alignment with Guidelines
  • SOS Children’s Villages Regional Office / International – evaluation results aimed to inform own strategy in terms of supporting specific SOS Country care reform efforts and in developing strategy on regional advocacy per trends, gaps, challenges & opportunities related to implementation of Guidelines. The results will also inform further promotion and use of the TPI tool.
  • SOS Children’s Villages Norway – evaluation results aimed to inform support of SOS programs and advocacy efforts, including further development of methodology and tools to improve assessment of national Alternative care implementation and use of results.

Principles and approaches that will guide the evaluation

  • The Evaluator(s) team must demonstrate commitment to strictly adhere to SOS Child Protection Policy and Code of Conduct, as well as protocols related to data protection, confidentiality and anonymity. It is the responsibility of SOS Children’s Villages Norway to ensure that all persons hired, used, or otherwise consulted for this exercise, are made familiar with the policies and are in agreement with and also abide by them before their services are agreed to.

Methodology (Information sources, data collection instruments and procedures)

  • Desk review of project documentation and relevant literature supplemented by project member / stakeholder interviews. The suggested methodology is subject to further improvement/proposals by the bidders.

Procedures and logistics

The SOS Children’s Villages International Office Region Project Lead and SOS Children’s Villages Norway Coordinator must be informed of all requests for interviews or follow-up discussion directed to Project Leads or country-based members and stakeholders.

Timeline and milestones

 

The draft report must be completed and shared for feedback by 25th of November and the final report should be presented no more than 2 weeks after feedback to draft report has been received. Plan and timeline for conducting evaluation of the Project, to be developed by selected Evaluator team after hiring, and approved by SOS Coordination team.

Job Requirements

Roles, Responsibilities & Reporting Requirements

SOS Children’s Villages Norway represented by the TPI Norad coordinator, SOS International Office Region Project Lead and SOS Children’s Villages Country Associations’ Project Leads will serve as the SOS Coordination Team. Key contact persons for the Evaluator(s) are the TPI Norad coordinator, the SOS Regional Project Lead and the SOS International Evidence & Learning Advisor. The Evaluator(s) team is expected to lead the external review exercise, involving project staff and other key stakeholders where appropriate:

  • Plan Evaluation design in coordination with SOS Coordination Team
  • Review Project documentation and other sources of information
  • Plan, design, and coordinate the data collection process; Identification of Project stakeholders to be interviewed; Agreeing on information to be collected in an inception report
  • Data Collection & Analysis
  • Preparation of draft report and presentation of key findings for SOS Coordination Team feedback
  • Final Report, incorporating received feedback from SOS Coordination Team
  • The findings of the external review shall be a written report, of approximately 35 pages, excluding annexes, following the proposed outline:
  • Executive Summary.
  • Main findings on Project implementation and comparison of national assessment results.
  • Conclusion, lessons learned, effectiveness of TPI adaptation and recommendations for future planning

How to Apply

The proposal must be received by latest on October 7th, 2021, by the end of the day 23:00 CET. Proposals received after the deadline will be not be considered. Please send your proposals to: Samuel.Sanders@sos-barnebyer.no and Zeru.Fantaw@sos-kd.org

Desired Competencies of bidders:

Expertise in alternative care policy

Comprehensive experience in baseline and end line development evaluation preferably in child protection

Excellent knowledge and understanding of research methodologies and processes

Experience in gathering and systemizing large amount of data

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