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Terms of Reference for the Evaluation of Hope and Homes for Children’s Role in Childcare Reform in Rwanda (2018-2021)

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TERMS OF REFERENCE FOR THE EVALUATION OF HOPE AND HOMES FOR CHILDREN’S ROLE IN CHILDCARE REFORM IN RWANDA (2018-2021).

1.    Background

Hope and Homes for Children (HHC) is one of the leading organisations focusing on De-Institutionalisation (DI) globally - the process of reforming child protection systems from institutional to community and family-based care.

Since 2000, HHC has pioneered and demonstrated a range of successful family strengthening models and gatekeeping mechanisms in Rwanda.

In 2012, the Government of Rwanda developed and approved the National Strategy for Child Care Reform informed by learning from the successful professional pilot institution closure and findings of a national survey of institutions for children, jointly conducted by the Ministry of Gender and Family Promotion and Hope and Homes for Children.

Significant progress has been achieved since in reforming the main-stream institution system and securing political support to begin the vital next phase of reform, which includes centres for children with disabilities (CWD).

Together with Child’s i Foundation (CiF) in Uganda, HHC in Rwanda has been implementing a 35 month UK Aid Match funded project entitled No child left behind: Transforming children’s lives by creating a pathway for family and community living for children in institutional care in Rwanda and Uganda. The overall multi-country project budget totalled £2,765,097 over three years. The project began in April 2018 and will be completed by March 2021. It was designed to reach 123,169 children in two distinct national contexts to demonstrate how to build safe communities for children with disabilities (CWD), setting up the local community-based services families need to thrive, preventing the separation of children from their families and replacing institutions with alternative care, including for CWD.

Programme purpose and objectives:

  • Project Impact: Vulnerable children grow in safe family care benefitting from improved community mechanisms responding to family specific risks and poverty through better knowledge and increased awareness in two strategic countries in Eastern Africa.
  • Project Outcome: District wide communities in two countries in Eastern Africa (Rwanda and Uganda) have strengthened capacity to respond to family separation risks and improved knowledge regarding how to support vulnerable children in families, including children with disabilities.2.    Purpose of evaluation

The purpose of the evaluation is to assess the extent to which the project purpose and objectives were achieved, generate learning about the strategies developed so far in Rwanda, and strategic information to HHC on how they can strengthen their approaches to facilitate their future growth and effectiveness. The evaluation will also be used as a reference tool for both the organisation and the government in progressing childcare reform in the country.

3.    Scope of evaluation

This ToR covers the evaluation of the UK Aid Match-funded activities delivered in Rwanda only. A separate evaluation of UK Aid Match-funded activities delivered in Uganda will be conducted in parallel. It is expected that both evaluators will work closely together in planning and delivering their respective country-level evaluations as well as collaborating on the consolidation of both reports into one single final evaluation document.

The evaluation will mainly cover 3 years of programme implementation starting from 1st May 2018 and ending 31st March 2021 in Rwanda, but it will also draw on previous experience in child care reform in order to evaluate progress and effectiveness, usefulness and sustainability.

The evaluation will:

Look at outcomes of the care reform / deinstitutionalisation programme through:

  • Reviewing existing child protection legislation, policy and guidelines
  • Evaluating any policy change and amendments that facilitate deinstitutionalisation and childcare reform in general
  • Evaluating any mindset change of decision makers, social work professionals and stakeholders, including beneficiaries, and  what has brought about any identified change (possible linkages to the KAP study funded through the UK Aid Match grant)
  • Extent of beneficiary reach of the programmes in Rwanda in the last 3 years
  • Evaluating to what extent the 3-year project was able play a pioneering and a catalysing agent role in childcare reform implementation, focused on children with disabilities in Rwanda
  • Evaluating the quality of implementation by social workers (intervention, supervision of community level structures (volunteers), SOPs/tools)
  • Evaluating the outcomes for all the children/adults with disabilities (target of 66) transitioned out of the two pilot institutions into family and community-based care in Rwanda
  • Evaluating the outcomes for a sample of children under Active Family Support (prevention) in Rwanda (sample size to be determined by the evaluator; included in the evaluation methodology)
  • Evaluating the strength of the community based child protection system put in place across Rwanda (Community Development Networks, SMS technology, Community Hubs, foster care), its ability to respond to the needs of all children/families, including CWD, its capacity to respond to emergency relief - Covid-19, and the extent of its embedment in the overall system.
  • Evaluating to what extent HHC’s advocacy efforts have been/are able to mobilise any funds (private and institutional) for comprehensive system reforms in both countries
  • Evaluating the sustainability of HHC efforts to support care reform so far, with a special attention to assessing the costs of continuing the programmes in Rwanda.

Assess the readiness of the government and civil society to:

  • progress childcare reform in Rwanda
  • progress childcare reform for CWD in Rwanda
  • potentially develop a national action plan to underpin and consolidate child protection system in Rwanda.

Measure HHC Rwanda’s performance in:

  • Soundness and completeness of programme design
  • Capacity strengthening
  • Management of partners and engagement with local stakeholders; satisfaction of partners
  • Monitoring and evaluation
  • Value for money
  • Budget efficiency
  • Capacity to respond to emergency relief situations (Covid -19)
  • Outline strengths and weaknesses of the programme and the implementation thereof.
  • Formulate recommendations based on data/information obtained by area of evaluation.

Based on the above, and based on previously harnessed experience and lessons learnt, analysis and conclusions will be drawn as to what extent the elements of the programme can and will continue to be implemented and scaled up further.

4.    Timeline

The evaluation will be carried out between March and June 2021.

It will depend on the evolution of the pandemic in Rwanda.

5.Outputs/Deliverables of the Evaluation

In line with the purpose and methodology of the evaluation, the evaluator will deliver the following outputs:

  1. Inception report with detailed methodology, tools and work plan;
  2. Meetings/Calls with stakeholders debriefing (as a note or a presentation remotely);
  3. Draft evaluation report;
  4. Final evaluation report that incorporates evidence, learning, case studies, feedback received from HHC and partners and meets agreed quality standards. The report should be precise, must answer each evaluation objective and question and should at least contain the following (this can be discussed within the inception phase):
  • Cover page (title of the evaluation report, date, name of evaluator).
  • Contents table.
  • Executive summary (of no more than 2 pages outlining the key purpose of the evaluation, main points of analysis, key findings, conclusions and recommendations).
  • Introduction (outlining the background to the organisation and project; purpose and objectives of the evaluation; logic and assumptions of the evaluation; overview project activities.
  • Evaluation Methodology (evaluation plan; strengths and weaknesses of selected design and research methods; summary of problems and issues encountered and limitations of the evaluation).
  • Findings (overall results; assessment of accuracy of reported results; relevance; effectiveness; efficiency; sustainability; and impact).
  • Conclusions (summary of achievements against evaluation questions; overall impact and value for money of activities)
  • Lessons learnt (project level - management, design, implementation; policy level; sector level).
  • Recommendations.
  • Annexes (such as independent final evaluation terms of reference; evaluation research schedule; evaluation framework; data/information collection tools; list of people consulted; list of supporting documentary information; HHC’s management response* to report findings and recommendations).
  • Draft summary report (summarising key findings and recommendations, up to 4 pages) that can be used to disseminate findings, written in English, in clear and plain language and style suitable for all stakeholders.
  • The raw data (all transcripts, quantitative data) must be handed over to HHC together with the evaluation report.

The report should not exceed 50 pages, without annexes.

*Management Response: The report will be followed by a management response from HHC, outlining areas that we agree with and will take forward in future responses; responding to areas highlighted as requiring improvement; outlining any findings that we disagree with which have not been resolved through providing comments on the draft report, and indicating how learning will be taken on board in this and future responses. 

6.    Design 

The methodology of the evaluation will be designed and agreed with the evaluator/researcher, once they are recruited.

In line with the purpose and methodology of the evaluation, the evaluator will deliver the following:

  • Inception report with detailed methodology, tools and work plan, by 2nd of April 2021.
  • Field debriefing (as a note or a presentation remotely), pandemic allowing, by 15th of May 2021.
  • Draft evaluation report, by 31st of May 2021.
  • Final evaluation report that incorporates evidence, learning, case studies, recommendations, feedback received from HHC and partners (government and civil society) and meets agreed quality standards, by 25th of June 2021.

7.    Qualifications and Experience of Evaluator/s

HHC Rwanda is looking for a lead evaluator with a strong record in conducting evaluations as well as direct programme interventions. The lead evaluator will need to carry respect and credibility within the development field and have an excellent knowledge of evaluation and monitoring in theory and in practice.

Successful consultants will be able to demonstrate the following skills and experience:

  • The lead consultant should be affiliated to a University, with PhD degree in social sciences or MA/MSc degree with additional 7 years of experience in research.
  • Seven years’ experience as evaluation specialist in programme/ project evaluation in an internal development context.
  • Experience of result-based monitoring and evaluations.
  • Demonstrable experience of working with/evaluating civil society work.
  • Demonstrable understanding of participatory methodologies.
  • Familiarity with the following areas in East African region: a) De-institutionalisation/ child care reform for children including children with disabilities; b) Child rights and protection development projects; c) Community based mechanisms and Poverty reduction projects.
  • Experience of relevant evaluation/development interventions in Rwanda and East Africa.
  • Good understanding of NGO finance and audit – particularly of FCDO (formerly DFID) guidelines and requirements (specialist finance qualifications not essential).
  • Experience of managing evaluation teams, and the capability to handle necessary logistics.
  • Familiarity with international quality and accountability standards applied in development cooperation.
  • Ability to produce concise, readable and analytical reports.
  • An understanding of public communications.
  • Excellent English written and verbal communications skills.
  • DBS check. As the evaluation will require exposure to communities, the evaluation team will need to have up-to-date DBS checks in place at the commencement of the evaluation. In addition, all contracted personnel must comply with HHC Rwanda’s Codes of Conduct, which will be provided as part of the contract.
  • A good understanding of both Rwanda and East Africa contexts will be an added value.

8.    Application Process 

Qualified and interested applicants may send applications to info@hhcrwanda.org with a copy to ibaryinyonza@hhcrwanda.org by 05 March 2021, 5:00 pm Rwanda time, quoting “Consultancy for Final Evaluation” in the email subject line. 

Interested consultants should develop and submit their proposal including:

1) Letter of interest with confirmation of their availability for the proposed timeline;

2) General information with (i) names, (ii) phone, (iii) email, (iv) address, (v) affiliation, (vi) prospective role in this consultancy and (vii) a 100 words bio sketch (max 1 page)

3) Technical Proposal with the following sections: (i) Consultancy details (purpose of the Consultancy, objectives and key Consultancy questions, scope of the required task); (ii) Consultancy design and Methodology, (iii) Work Plan (Main activities, duration and delivery dates of the reports (first draft and final report) (max 3 pages)

4) Details of past performance/capacity including (i) general past performance, (ii) list of similar implemented projects, (iii) other consultancies that could be relevant to this assignment, (iv) details of at least 2 client references which Hope and Homes for Children may contact (max 1 page)

5) Budget proposal with (i) activities/item, (ii) days/items/, (iii) rate per day/item, and (iv) total as budget headings (max 1 page)

6) Three research papers published in peer-reviewed journals and/or certificate of consultancy/project completion related to the subject

7) Curriculum Vitae (CV)

The proposal/expression of interest will be evaluated against the following criteria: (1) relevance, efficiency and effectiveness of proposed methodology and technical approach; (2) organisational and technical capacity of the applicant; (3) relevant experience in similar type of research; and (4) budget. The evaluation of submitted proposals/expression of interests against these criteria will be used as a basis for selection of the contractor.

Only shortlisted applicants will be contacted.

9.    Terms of payment

 

Payment will be done according to an agreed time frame/arrangement:

Instalments

Amount

Time line

1st instalment

5% of the total amount

After inception meeting and sharing inception report from the evaluator with detailed methodology, tools and work plan (2nd of April 2021)

2nd instalment

25% of the total amount

Survey protocol including translated questionnaire and ethical approval (30th April 2021)

3rd instalment

10% of the total amount

Clean and annotated research database; Field debriefing (as a note or a presentation remotely), pandemic allowing (15th May 2021)

 4th  instalment

20% of the total amount

First draft evaluation report (31st May 2021)

5th instalment

40% of the total amount

Final evaluation report (25th of June 2021)

10.    Lines of communication 

HHC will conduct an initial briefing for the evaluator. Subsequent communications will be with programme staff based in the field. The evaluator will report to Innocent Habimfura on behalf of HHC Rwanda offices. Contact details will be provided.