For the Call of Expression of Interest for this Consultancy (to review ARASA’s Strategic Plan (2019-2022) and mid-term evaluation of ARASA’s SRHR Programme), click here.
Background and Context
The AIDS and Rights Alliance for Southern Africa (ARASA) was established in 2002 to galvanise a movement of progressive civil society actors to advance a human rights-based response to HIV in southern Africa. In 2019, ARASA adopted a new strategic plan, with the goal to promote respect for and the protection of the rights to bodily autonomy and integrity for all in order to reduce inequality, especially gender inequality and promote health, dignity and wellbeing in southern and east Africa.
In 2019, ARASA received support from Swedish International Development Cooperation (SIDA) for the implementation of a regional programme titled: “My Body is not a Democracy” for the period of 1 August 2019 to 31 July 2022.
The 3-year “My Body is not a Democracy” programme is based on the premise that the rights to bodily autonomy and integrity are central to sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR), which are in turn fundamental to people’s health and survival, to economic development, and to the wellbeing of humanity.
The programme is implemented at both national and regional levels through two synergistic programme pillars of Capacity Strengthening and Advocacy. Programme implementation is spearheaded at the regional level in southern and east Africa by the ARASA team, which provides targeted financial and technical support to ARASA partners and other civil society partners to strengthen local mobilisation and scale up advocacy efforts in 5 focal countries (Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Namibia and Uganda). Advocacy and mobilisation activities are also supported in 13 other countries.
Programme and Anticipated Outcomes
A Programme Theory of Change (Annexure A) and a comprehensive Results Framework outline the main outcomes, targets, baseline, indicators and key activities. The programme’s goal is: “Realising the rights to bodily autonomy and integrity and the fulfilment of sexual and reproductive health and rights for LGBTI persons, women, adolescent girls and young women in southern and east Africa, through the elimination of stigma and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity; increased access to available, accessible, acceptable, quality comprehensive SRHR services as part of UHC; increased access to safe abortion for all women in all their diversity; and increased access to available, accessible, acceptable, quality HIV prevention services”.
ARASA aims to achieve the goal through the implementation of activities that contribute towards the following 2 outcomes:
Outcome 1: Civil society has increased co-ordination, understanding, capacity, agency and strategic alliances, which contribute to stronger, more inclusive movements for SRHR and use these to mobilise communities for transformation of social norms and to advocate to national key influencers and decision makers for positive changes to laws, policies and financial allocations for: (a) Elimination of stigma and discrimination based on SOGI and the impact of failure to do so on health; (b) access to AAAQ comprehensive SRHR services as part of UHC for LGBTI persons, women, adolescent girls and young women; (c) access to safe abortion for all women in all their diversity; and (d) access to AAAQ HIV prevention services for LGBTI persons, women, adolescent girls and young women.
Outcome 2: Key influencers and decision makers have increased understanding of the need to realise the rights to bodily autonomy and integrity and fulfil SRHR and of the impact of failure to do so on health and use this to catalyse positive changes to laws, policies and financial allocations for: (a) Elimination of stigma and discrimination based on SOGI and the impact of failure to do so on health; (b) access to AAAQ comprehensive SRHR services as part of UHC for LGBTI persons, women, adolescent girls and young women; (c) access to safe abortion for all women in all their diversity; and (d) access to AAAQ HIV prevention services for LGBTI persons, women, adolescent girls and young women.
The programme is implemented at national and regional levels through two synergistic programme pillars of Capacity Strengthening and Advocacy.
Scope and Objectives of Mid-term Evaluation
ARASA wishes to engage a consultant(s) to conduct a mid- term evaluation of the “My Body is not a Democracy” programme and submit a comprehensive mid-term evaluation report reviewing, progress made to date against the goal, objectives and anticipated outcomes of the programme. The evaluation will cover the period 1 August 2019 to 31 December 2021 and will allow ARASA to make appropriate adjustments to ensure the achievement of the programme goal, objectives, outcomes and targets during the remainder of the programme as well as during a potential new phase of the programme after 31 July 2022.
The objectives of the mid-term evaluation are:
- To review progress made to date against the objectives, outcomes and outputs of the programme (against quantitative and qualitative targets/ indicators) defined in the results framework have been met during this period.
- To assess the likelihood of the objectives, outcomes and outputs of the programme (against quantitative and qualitative targets/ indicators) defined in the results framework being met by the end of the programme period.
- To analyse the soundness of programmatic pathways used and the extent to which they allow activities to contribute towards the programme goal, objectives and outcomes and outputs.
- To assess whether the structure of the Programme as well as related operational processes and procedures, including the country coalition set-up and sub-granting are effective and conducive to ensuring that the programme’s goals and targets are met.
- To analyse which, if any contextual changes may have influenced programme implementation and / or may do so during the remainder of the programme or during a potential new phase of the programme.
- To draw lessons (including on implementation challenges and obstacles faced) and make recommendations for the implementation of activities during the remainder of the programme period and during a potential next phase of the programme.
The evaluation criteria to be applied shall include:
Efficiency: The extent to which the cost of the implementation of the programmes can be justified by the results, taking alternatives into account. In particular:
- Are resources used appropriately and economically to produce the desired results?
- Is the programme accountable and transparent in the use of resources?
Effectiveness: The extent to which the programme has achieved its objectives, taking their relative importance into account. In particular:
- Is the programme achieving satisfactory progress toward its stated objectives? If not, why?
- Are selected partnerships contributing to programme results?
- Is the programme’s theory of change sound?
- Have the M&E system delivered robust and useful information that could be used to assess progress towards outcomes and contribute to learning?
Relevance: The extent to which ARASA’s programmes meet the needs and priorities of target groups. In particular:
- Is the programme Theory of Change relevant to achieve the objectives?
- To what extend does the political and social tensions affect the design and implementation of the programme?
- To which extent has the project conformed to the needs and priorities of the beneficiaries and key stakeholders?
- To what extent does the project engage with and align with other initiatives or interventions by other players in the target areas? Specifically in relation to the HIV prevention agenda, and with players such as the Global Fund, ACHPR and the UNDP Inclusive Governance Initiative.
Methodology and Timeframe
The review will be undertaken during a period of 6 weeks, and a final mid-term evaluation report submitted by end of April 2022.
The consultant is responsible for recommending an appropriate methodology, which should include a combination of both quantitative and qualitative tools and can include a desk review, analysis of regional and national level activities and results, interviews with implementing partners and other programme stakeholders, facilitation of reflection sessions and surveys / assessments.
|Start-up meeting [VIRTUAL]||ARASA Team and consultants||11 March|
|Draft inception report||Consultants||18 March|
|Inception meeting [VIRTUAL]||BAI Coalition Members||24/25 March|
|Comments from intended users to evaluators||ARASA Team and Sida||28 March|
|Data collection, analysis, report writing and quality assurance||Evaluators||15 April 2022|
|Debriefing/validation workshop)||ARASA Team & Coalition Members||20 April 2022|
|Draft evaluation report||Evaluators||22 April|
|Comments from intended users to evaluators||ARASA & Coalition Members||27 April|
|Final evaluation report||Evaluators||2 May|
The inception report will form the basis for the continued evaluation process and shall be approved by ARASA’s Director before the evaluation proceeds to implementation. The inception report should be written in English and cover evaluability issues and interpretations of evaluation questions, present the evaluation approach/methodology, methods for data collection and analysis as well as the full evaluation design. A specific time and work plan, including number of hours/working days for each team member, for the remainder of the evaluation should be presented. The time plan shall allow space for reflection and learning between the intended users of the evaluation.
The final report shall be written in English. The executive summary should be maximum 3 pages. The evaluation approach/methodology and methods for data collection used shall be clearly described. All limitations to the methodology and methods shall be made explicit and the consequences of these limitations discussed. Findings shall flow logically from the data, showing a clear line of evidence to support the conclusions. Conclusions should be substantiated by findings and analysis. Recommendations and lessons learned should flow logically from conclusions. Recommendations should be specific, directed to relevant stakeholders and categorised as a short-term, medium-term and long-term.
A mid-term evaluation report shall be submitted electronically to the ARASA Director (firstname.lastname@example.org), covering all of the issues outlined in this ToR. The report should be submitted in English and be not less than 25 pages but not exceeding 35 pages in length.
Qualifications and Key Skills
- Demonstrated experience leading (midterm) evaluation and review processes (particularly related to evaluating policy advocacy-related Theory of Change processes) in sub-Saharan Africa.
- Demonstrated experience and knowledge in various methods and tools for monitoring, evaluation and learning (including Results Based Management).
- Strong analytical skills related to quantitative and qualitative data and ability to filter for outcomes and impact.
- Proven experience in evaluating regional or multi-country advocacy programmes implemented by with civil society (including key and marginalized populations).
- A basic understanding of key sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) challenges facing southern and east Africa (particularly regarding the status of HIV prevention, access to safe abortion, sexual orientation and gender identity and SRHR in Universal Health Coverage) will be an added advantage.
- Ability to respect confidentiality and establish a safe (interview) setting and trusting relationship with respondents.
- Ability to use innovative methods of data collection.
- Flexible approach to planning and responsive to contextual changes.
- Excellent English writing, presenting (and other communication) skills.
A CV for each team member shall be annexed to the expression of interest. It should contain a full description of relevant qualifications and professional work experience.
The evaluators must be independent from the evaluation object and evaluated activities, and have no stake in the outcome of the evaluation.
The contact person at ARASA is Maggie Amweelo at email@example.com and copy to Felicita Hikuam at firstname.lastname@example.org. The contact person should be consulted if any problems arise during the evaluation process.
Deadlines for submission of Expression of Interest
Consultants who meet the requirements should submit an expression of interest of not more than 10 pages (excluding annexes), which should include the following:
- a brief description of proposed methodology and workplan with timetable
- proposed personnel, including short motivation on the personnel selection
- budget for conducting the assignment
- additional information relevant for the assignment.
The deadline for submission of Expressions of Interest is 28 February 2021.
The selection process will be completed early in March and decisions will be communicated in the second week of March 2022. Consultants are expected to commence work immediately following notification.