Jul 012018

Organization: ActionAid
Country: Bangladesh, Ghana, Rwanda
Closing date: 15 Jul 2018

Terms of Reference: Mid-term evaluation for Promoting Opportunities for Women’s Empowerment and Rights (POWER) Project

1) Summary

ActionAid International is seeking a consultant(s) (or consultancy team or firm) with a strong women’s rights focus, to conduct a multi-country project mid-term evaluation across four countries. Promoting Opportunities for Women’s Empowerment and Rights (POWER) project1 is a five-year initiative (2016-2020) supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Netherlands under the Funding Leadership and Opportunities for Women (FLOW2) grant. The project aims to increase the income of 21,000 women in Ghana, Rwanda, Bangladesh and Pakistan and their ability to control their income, through practicing Climate Resilient Sustainable Agriculture (CRSA), better access to markets and reducing, recognising and redistributing their Unpaid Care Work. The project also seeks to address issues related to violence against women and girls through interlinkages with the project focus areas.


The mid-term evaluation will be carried out in Rwanda, Ghana and Bangladesh, to assess the performance and the progress of the project implementation. The evaluation will use qualitative methods to gather information from primary respondents including project participants, duty bearers, partners, project staff, key informants and other related sources of data. It is not expected that an in-depth quantitative survey will be completed as part of the MTR, however, the evaluation will triangulate the collected qualitative data with the quantitative data generated through project monitoring and tracking of time use of selected project participants over time.

This Terms of Reference sets out the scope and details of the work to be undertaken.

2) Background

ActionAid’s vision for women’s economic empowerment is of a world in which women have equal access to and control over resources and opportunities including skills development and market information and live in a social, cultural and political environment in which women have control over their time, access to income-generating opportunities and control over that income. Across all societies this vision is far from realised due to a combination of interlinked social, economic and political factors.

Deep seated views of women as caregivers, and men as ‘breadwinners’, continue to perpetuate the discrimination of women, restricting women’s mobility and thus limiting their participation in society and the economy. This is often compounded by a lack of policies and poor implementation at local, national and international levels.

Evidence suggests that economic empowerment cannot be achieved without first addressing women’s unequal workload, which reinforces gender inequalities by impinging upon education, restricting opportunities for paid work, putting women at greater risk of gender-based violence and limiting women’s participation in decision-making spaces that affect them. Our long-term objective is to increase the economic empowerment of women in Ghana, Rwanda, Bangladesh and Pakistan and contribute to gender equality.

The root cause of violence against women lies in the unequal power relations between women and men, which ensure male dominance over women and are a feature of all societies. Violence itself, and the threat of violence, is a central factor in perpetuating women’s position of economic, social and political subordination, marginalisation and inequality and as such must be addressed within programmes seeking to increase women’s economic participation. Violence or threat of violence, along with women’s unpaid care work restricts women’s movement, thus keeping women in the 2

household. The POWER project provides women with the opportunity and safe space to address issues of violence, as well as providing women with information regarding support services and working with community members to raise awareness and denounce violence against women.

These issues are mapped out in the POWER project theory of change, which leads the project to focus on the following four interlinked outcome areas with a strong intention to address the intersections of these issues;

  • The empowerment of women at household and community level, raising awareness of and claiming their rights;
  • The recognition, redistribution and reduction of Unpaid Care Work which keeps women in the private sphere;
  • The increase of women’s access to productive resources, markets and knowledge of sustainable practices through Clmiate Resilient Sustainable Agriculture (CRSA), which will ensure women continue to have a livelihood in the longer term, and;
  • Effecting policy and institutional change to provide an enabling environment that supports women’s economic empowerment

3) Mid-term evaluation purpose

Women’s economic rights is a priority for ActionAid. ActionAid’s strategy and all our work is based on the understanding that unequal power relations deny people, particularly women, their rights leaving them poor and excluded. Their poverty is structural and only by helping to shift power relations can poor and marginalised women begin to exercise their rights. The POWER project falls under the international strategic priorities on women’s economic empowerment; resilient livelihoods and secure climate justice, as detailed in Action for Global Justice2. It also contributes to the policy influence element of ActionAid’s ‘Women’s economic empowerment in the changing world3’.



The evaluation should build upon the project baseline and monitoring data, providing an opportunity for more in-depth analysis and understanding on why certain intended or unintended outcomes are/are not occurring. Moreover, this mid-term evaluation will provide the opportunity for accountability towards the project stakeholders, as well as important learning for the project teams and partners.

The main objective of the evaluation is thus: To assess the progress and quality of the project implementation in achieving its outcomes and to test the project’s theory of change.

In doing so, related specific objectives are:

  1. To evaluate the POWER project against selected OECD-DAC criteria (especially cost-efficiency, effectiveness, sustainability and any likely impact the project has created so far).

  2. To triangulate project monitoring data on progress against indicators with detailed qualitative information to measure and understand the progress against the theory of change and towards project outcomes.

  3. To assess how and in what ways the project is contributing to immediate changes in policies, practices, ideas and attitudes, and if there have been any negative or unexpected effects.

  4. To make recommendations for improvements for the final 2 years of implementation

  5. 4) Intended users

The evaluation is expected to draw on a ‘utilisation-focused’ approach. The primary and secondary intended users include:

  1. ActionAid, project partners and and donor: to understand more about the project progress and the changes the project is creating on the lives of the participants.

  2. Project staff (AA and partner project managers/officers and MEL staff): the findings will help re-assess the project theory of change and proposed activities, to inform and /or adjust project implementation if necessary.

  3. Project stakeholders and participants: to understand more about the impact the project creating on the project participants and to be accountable to the project stakeholders

  4. ActionAid globally: to use the findings of the evaluation to improve the quality of women’s economic empowerment interventions across the world, by using them to inform programme policy and research around alternative economic systems that better work for women.

  5. Evaluation Questions

In line with the Objectives of this ToR and to fulfil the purpose of this evaluation, the following specific questions should be addressed (also reflected in the project logframe and indicators):

  • To what extent is the implementation of the project activities contributing to the achievement of project outcomes and theory of change assumptions?

  • To what extent are women’s groups (as farmers and carers) able to demand their rights at household and community level and has the project contributed to this?

  • To what extent are women participating in the household and community level decision- making processes and structures? And are the women now viewed differently by their communities’ members?

  • Are there any behavioural and attitudinal changes of stakeholders i.e. men, boys, women, girls and duty bearers (community leaders, religious leaders and political leaders) on women’s unpaid care work due to the project? And have these changes resulted in recognising, reducing and redistributing unpaid care work?

  • Is there power shift between men and women within the target groups? How is this happening and are there any negative outcomes or risks emerging?

  • Are there any actions taken by any of the stakeholders to recognize, reduce and redistribute the women’s burden of unpaid care work? If so, how are these actions impacting the lives of the women participants and the wider communities?

  • Has the project made a change in policy makers and policy implementers’ understanding of the barriers that women face to enter productive activities and resources?

  • How does the use of CRSA techniques and agricultural inputs help women farmers to improve the quantity and the quality of their yields? As result, are women farmers realizing increased income? How/Why not?

  • How has women’s access to productive resources and market related environment changed in the project areas? What are the opportunities and challenges?

  • In those cases where women’s incomes have increased because of better market access, has this had effect on intimate partner violence?

  • To what extent does the intersections of CRSA, women’s unpaid care work and women’s economic participation are leading to changes in policy and practices of sub-national, national, regional and international stakeholders? What have we learnt the intersection between those key issues?

  • Is there any increase in national policy support for interventions that reduce women’s unpaid care work, and VAWG in the project target areas?

  • To what extent the project addresses VAWG throughout its implementation?

  • To what extent is the project strengthening the capacities of partner organizations to advance women’s rights and gender equality? And what is the achievement as of today?

  • What are the project’s learning and best practices, both related to the project goals and any other achievements?

  • Are there any unexpected outcomes of the project? What are these; are they positive or negative and how are they being responded to?

  • 6) Methodology

mWe would expect this evaluation to use mainly qualitative methods to collect primary data from the field. We would welcome proposed methodologies, particularly participatory approaches and tools that will answer the objectives and evaluation questions of this ToR. We imagine this might include Focus Group Discussions to generate broad views of issues of concern; In-depth interviews to collect data on individuals’ project perspectives and experiences; Key Informant Interviews to obtain data from duty bearers and other related stakeholders of the project; and participant observation to collect data on naturally occurring behaviours in their usual context. Ethical protocols and appropriate approaches to issues such as violence should be considered in the methodlogy.

We expect the lead consultant to travel to Ghana, Rwanda and Bangladesh and conduct face-to-face interviews with the project teams, partners, duty bearers at different levels, stakeholders, project participants and representatives of related institutions with support from members of the project team and partners. The project management team, in-country project managers and the consultant will agree the sampling process and the logistical arrangements. Due to the importance of the perspectives of the project partners for this evaluation we expect that the consultant will speak to all the eleven project partners.

The methodology for the evaluation will also need to draw on desk research of documents from all four countries to understand the project and its specifics and to assess progress against the evaluation questions. The sources for desk research include the project proposal, theory of change, log-frame, M&E frame work, quarterly reports, annual reports, case studies, baseline, policy briefs, research and other documentation, such as reports produced by country teams, video documentaries, communiqués, etc. The project collects monitoring data against the project indicators and this should be used to infrom qualitative data collection and analysis. The project also has collected time diary data which captures the amount of time the respondent spent on different activities in the last 24 hours. Time diary data for the first year has undergone detailed feminist anlaysis by a research partner and findings from this (along with any analysis already compelted for year 2 data) should feed in to this evaluation.

It is expected that the mid-term evaluation will facilitate programmatic and M&E learning and sharing of experiences between country teams. This will involve an element of peer review, with staff from one ActionAid country supporting the evaluation of another country. The mix of external and internal expertise will facilitate organizational learning, develop staff capacity across the federation and create an inclusive evaluation approach. The lead consultant will travel to Ghana, Rwanda and Bangladesh, each time accompanied by a peer reviewer from one other ActionAid country to conduct the evaluation. Additionally, the international POWER project MEL coordinator and an PMT staff will join 5

the evaluation team in their first mission in one of the countries to support the set-up of the evaluation.

The same data collection methodology will be used in all three countries. However, this may need to be contextualised for each country and space will need to be given to country specific variations, constraints and specific requirements, supported by local project staff and partners.

7) Sampling

The consultant(s) will determine the appropriate sample sizes in consultation with Project Management Team (PMT), POWER project country teams, partners and taking into consideration the activities carried out so far, size of the project participants and stakeholders.

8) Expected tasks and outputs

  • Meet with POWER International Project Manager, MEL Coordinator and other relevant staff for initial briefing and discussion of TOR

  • Review project documentation (proposal, log frame, theory of change etc.) and existing evidence and data

  • Review/revise sampling strategy and draw up list of sampling points

  • Inception report and work plan covering the evaluation approach, detailed methodology, processes and implementation

  • Travel to three project countries for data collection (Ghana, Rwanda, Bangladesh)

  • Training of in-country teams including ActionAid and partner staff supporting the evaluation

  • Data analysis of both quantitative and qualitative data

  • Agreement of structure for final country level and global reports with POWER International Project Manager and MEL Coordinator

  • Three country-level mid-term evaluation reports

  • A country-level (leaflet/or brochure) summary of the mid-term evaluation report

  • Combined global mid-term evaluation report

  • A ‘user-friendly’ summary of the mid-term evaluation report to aid sharing key findings with communities

  • All raw data files including quantitative output and syntax files, qualitative transcripts etc.

  • All reports will be produced in English. The expected format for the final evaluation reports and summaries will be agreed during inception phase.

  • Conduct learning circle/webinar for some intended report users on the findings of the mid-term evaluation.

  • 9) Expected timeline

The evaluation is expected to take approximately 60 days including travel, data collection, analysis, report writing and submission of final products, starting August 2018. The consultant(s) is expected to present a detailed activity plan and timeline as part of the inception report.

The project will be holding an annual review meeting in Rwanda at the end of August (w/c 27th) and this may be a good opportunity for consultants to meet project teams and start the process.

10) Governance and coordination

The selected consultant will be contracted by and report to the Project Management Team and the POWER project MEL Coordinator will be the focal point for regular communication between all 6

stakeholders. He will also provide technical advice on research approaches and ensuring deliverables meet agreed quality standards and grant requirements.

An advisory Committee will be established to support the technical quality of the evaluation. They will review plans, documents and advise the management of the evaluation. The advisory committee will be compromised of representatives from ActionAid UK and ActionAid international with strong women’s right expertise.

As part of ActionAid’s standard ways of working and the POWER project governance structure, an International Project Accountability Team (IPAT) has been established. The IPAT will have strategic oversight and accountability for the evaluation. The IPAT is chaired by ActionAid International Senior Women’s Rights Manager and includes Country Directors from each project country, and the Project Management Team (Programme Quality and Assurance Manager, International project manager and the POWER project MEL Coordinator)

Opportunities for the involvement of partner organisations in each country, and of women directly involved in the project, will need to be explored. As a minimum it is suggested that each country convene a group of women involved in the project to act as a reference group to provide feedback to and from specific issues (i.e. on the Terms of Reference for the evaluation, evaluation protocols, feedback on draft reports etc.). ActionAid countries will be responsible for this arrangement.

Support provided by ActionAid International will involve: introductory briefings with the consultant(s); security briefings in advance of any travel and on arrival, and on-going security support; logistical support arranging visas and booking accommodation as required; providing contact details and introductions to key stakeholders; and mobilising community members to be involved in the evaluation.

11) Budget

The budget for the evaluation consultancy is approximately EUR 36,000 inclusive of consultant travel expenses and all taxes that may be payable by ActionAid International.

12) Selection Criteria

ActionAid is seeking proposals from individuals or teams with the following skills and experience:

  1. Demonstrable experience working on women’s rights and gender equality programmes, particularly relating to women’s economic empowerment;

  2. Technical expertise in women’s rights, particularly related to women’s economic empowerment, unpaid care work and violence against women, ideally alongside knowledge of sustainable rural livelihoods and agroecology;

  3. Geographic knowledge of at least some of the project countries;

  4. Experience in conducting feminist and/or gender-responsive evaluations;

  5. Previous experience working with communities conducting action research and/or using participatory approaches;

  6. Demonstrated understanding of and commitment to ethical issues in research/evaluations;

  7. Experience in managing and coordinating evaluation/research exercises, including with or through country-based partners, delivering agreed outputs on time and on budget;

  8. Ability to write high quality, clear, concise reports in English.

Selected consultant(s) will be expected to sign and abide by ActionAid values and key policies (including Anti-Sexual Harassment Policy, Child Protection Policy etc.). Selected consultant(s) will also be expected to make a commitment to the work the evaluation period.

13) How to apply

We invite interested individuals, groups or firms to submit the following application documents:

  1. A. Copy of CV of the consultant(s) who will undertake the research and evaluation (maximum 4 sides of A4 each);
  2. B. A maximum 4 sides of A4 expression of interest that addresses the above ToR;
  3. C. A proposed activities schedule/work plan with tentative time frame;
  4. D. Financial proposal detailing consultant(s) itemized fees, data collection and administrative costs
  5. E. One recent example of similar evaluation report written by the applicant (if joint authored to include a description of the role of the named consultant in the report);
  6. F. Contact details of two independent referees
  7. G. The recruitment process will involve two stages, those selected in the first stage will be invited to submit a full proposal for further evaluation.

The deadline for applying is 15th July 2018 We are aiming to select the consultant by 31st July 2018 and start the contract from 3rd August 2018

Annex 1: POWER Project logframe extract

Impact Indicators: **

Long-term objective: To contribute to the increased economic empowerment of women in Ghana, Rwanda, Bangladesh and Pakistan

Specific objective: 21,000 women in Ghana, Rwanda, Bangladesh and Pakistan have increased income, and ability to control their income, through practicing CRSA and reducing, recognising and redistributing unpaid care work

Indicator 1: Reduction in the amount of time women spend on UCW

Indicator 2: Greater gender equity in household distribution of UCW between men and women

Indicator 3: Proportion of sampled women with increased control of resources and income from practising CRSA and increased access to markets

Outcome Indicators: Outcomes

Objectively Verifiable Indicators

Outcome 1: By the end of 2020 21,000 rural women are organised and are able to demand their rights as farmers and carers and have greater influence in their households and communities

70% of targeted women report increased skills and confidence demanding their rights and reporting cases of violence by the end of the project

50% of women report having greater control over resources in their households by the end of the project

60% of target communities in each country in which a majority of sampled women report greater presence of women on community structures by the end of the project

25% of women regularly participating in community structures by the end of the project

Outcome 2: By the end of 2020 Women’s unpaid care work (UCW) is more highly valued within households, communities and government, more

70% of duty-bearers, men and women sampled from target communities reporting positive attitudes towards addressing unpaid care work by the end of the project

How to apply:

Please send your applications, or any questions, to: and

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