External consultant for She Leads evaluation

The She Leads partnership will conduct its mid-term evaluation in the year 2023. The evaluation is divided into 4 main parts. This Terms of Reference focuses on one of those parts: the evaluation of key strategies employed by She Leads. The She Leads partnership seeks an external consultant to carry out this evaluation. The Terms of Reference (TOR) for this evaluation are elaborated on below.

Plan International is looking for a:         

 Consultant for the evaluation of our She Leads partnership (external)

About She Leads 

She Leads is a joint strategic partnership between Plan International Netherlands, Defence for Children – ECPAT Netherlands (DCI-ECPAT), African Women’s Development and Communication Network (FEMNET), and Terre des Hommes Netherlands (TdH-NL). Equal Measures 2030 is a technical partner. She Leads brings together child rights organisations, feminist/women’s rights organisations, and groups led by girls and young women (GYW-led groups) and aims to increase the sustained influence of girls and young women (GYW) on decision-making and the transformation of gender norms in formal and informal institutions. Geographically, She Leads focuses on East Africa (Uganda, Ethiopia, Kenya), the Sahel (Mali), West Africa (Ghana, Sierra Leone, Liberia), and the Middle East (Lebanon, Jordan). In addition to programming in these countries, a considerable part of the programming is done at Middle East and Pan-Africa regional and global level, targeting institutions and stakeholders at these levels.

Objectives of the MTR

The mid-term evaluation of the She Leads consortium is compartmentalized into several components. One component will take place in each (country/regional) network and focuses on the evaluation of basket indicators. This component is supplemented by GYW-led research on She Leads’ relationship with girls and young women and their groups/organisations. The data collection for this component is underway. The second component is an evaluation of several of She Leads’ key strategies and activities that are being implemented under the civil society domain. The strategies and actions pertaining to this domain aim to strengthen the mobilisation and (self-)organisation of girls and young women. Together, these components will make up for the mid-term review (MTR) report at the consortium level. These processes are coordinated centrally by the She Leads desk based in the Netherlands with support from networks at the local level.

This Terms of Reference focuses on the second component; the evaluation of key strategies
applied by the She Leads consortium. The objectives are defined after careful consideration by the consortium and its partners. This evaluation will document the lessons learned by She Leads and inform future work. The objectives are to:

• Enable the She Leads consortium to learn about the successes and areas for
improvements of each strategy;
• Inform She Leads activities planning for 2024 – 2025;
• Inform strategic decision for prioritization, increased impact and added value in 2024-
2025 and beyond.

The evaluation of key strategies in She leads

The idea behind this exercise of evaluating key strategies within She Leads has threefold objective. This will provide insights on:

1. The success of Sher leads strategies
2. What is enabling and what needs to be adapted
3. The sustainability and replicability in other contexts of the interventions and their
replicability in other contexts.

This evaluation will primarily focus on following research questions:

1. To what extent have the strategies employed by the She Leads’ network actors
successful, in terms of supporting the organisation and mobilisation of Girls and Young
Women (GYWs)?

1.1 How have She Leads actors engaged with GYW groups? How were they selected,
how was the relationship built, how was it managed?
1.2 What kind of strategies (actions) have She Leads actors employed towards GYW-led groups? Among the She Leads’ strategies to promote GYW (self-)organisation and mobilisation are: the provision of financial support (resourcing), the provision of capacity support (training, coaching, organisational development support), linking and learning between groups and networking support, or a combination of these.
1.3 What are the results of the different strategies employed by She Leads actors on GYW self-organisation and mobilisation?
1.4 What are the enabling and disabling factors in the process of mobilising and organising GYWs?

2. To what extent are the actions taken by the GYW groups successful?

2.1 What kind of actions have been taken by the GYW groups in influencing existing
social gender norms through She Leads?
2.2 What kind of actions have been taken by the GYW groups to enhance the space for meaningful participation of GYW in political institutions through She Leads?
2.3 What are the enabling and disabling factors in 2.1 and 2.2?
2.4 How has She Leads’ support contributed to these actions?

3. To what extent are the structures and operations of the GYW-led groups supported by
She Leads sustainable?

3.1 What are the main challenges faced by GYW-led groups in consolidating their
structures and operations?
3.2 What kind of support do the GYW groups still need in order to continue their work. Recommendations for She Leads to effectively work in the short term (until 2025) and
the longer term (after 2025).

4. To what extent do we see similarities and differences between networks1 and their
strategies in engagement of and support to GYWs?


Data collection methods
The consultant is expected to co-create and design the methodology for conducting the evaluation. As per the requirements and scope of certain research questions, secondary sources can be used to generate data and information that are relevant to the programme. Where necessary it can be complemented with primary data. A mix of qualitative and quantitative methods, such as online surveys, online in-depth interviews with key informants and observation of the system, will need to be used to collect primary data. These methods must be rigorous yet at all times proportionate and appropriate to the context of the proposed programme intervention. All data collection tools are to be shared with the programme team as part of deliverables.

The consultant/firm is expected to determine a representative sample for respondents to be involved in the study by different methods, that will ensure proper conclusions and generalisations to be made on the findings. The evaluators should clearly describe how they reached at the sample size and its representativeness thereof.

Data analysis
A clear data management and analysis plan should be developed that will clearly explain how collected data will be handled and analysed to reach conclusions. Appropriate data analysis packages to be used should be explained. Datasets to be produced over the course of this evaluation should be clearly managed and presented as part of deliverables.

Role of She Leads desk and consortium partners

  • Provide guidance and support to consultant about programme locations and contact persons for consortium and network partners;
  • Provide relevant programme documents to consultant;
  • Assist the consultant with identifying and accessing stakeholders.

Ethical and child protection and safeguarding statements
The She Leads consortium is committed to ensuring that the rights of those involved in data collection or analysis are respected and protected, in accordance with ethical research principles. Those who wish to participate in the programme must include sufficient details in their proposal to clarify how they will guarantee the ethics and protection of children in the data collection process. In particular, the consultants should explain how the adequate, safe and nondiscriminatory participation of all stakeholders will be ensured and how special attention will be paid to the needs of children and other vulnerable groups. The consultants should also explain how they will ensure the confidentiality and anonymity of the participants.

Criteria for selection of consultant

The consultant should demonstrate clear competencies in one or more professional backgrounds in the area of conducting evaluations. More specifically, the consultant is expected to have:

• Master’s or a doctoral degree in social sciences and advanced skills in quantitative and
qualitative research methodologies;
• Proven track record in the evaluation of complex programmes implemented in multiple
locations, with specific attention to MIYP, gender justice and values as described in this TOR;
• At least five years of experience of conducting evaluations in the development sector;
• Knowledge of meaningful and inclusive youth participation, civil society strengthening, (flexible) grantmaking, movement building, gender justice, media influencing and lobby and advocacy;
• Proven expertise in qualitative and quantitative data collection and analysis for evaluations, and use of mixed methodologies for research including Outcome Harvesting;
• Experience of research/evaluations in locations of She Leads implementation, contextual
knowledge and understanding of environments in the She Leads implementation area;
• Ability to work independently, take initiative and respond appropriately to constructive feedback;
• Experience in sharing and discussing findings with clients, in-country partners and stakeholders within an international research network;
• Full working proficiency in English and full proficiency in French/Arab desired.

Proposal criteria

A proposal detailing the technical and financial aspects for the evaluation (with consultant’s understanding of the assignment, a clear outline of the proposed methodology, consultant(s)’ up to date CVs, detailed study cost) should be submitted. All proposals must include the following details:

• Proposed methodology and justification;
• How the consultant will ensure quality at all steps of the process;
• A plan for digital data collection and engagement;
• How analysis of each type of data will be completed;
• Implementation plan;
• Specifically, how the consultant and their team understand the specified research questions;
• Demonstration of how the consultant (and their team) meet the qualification and experience required, as detailed above.

The technical proposal will be evaluated based on the Quality Cost-Based Selection (QCBS) criteria:
• The individual general reliability as well as experience and capacity in the carrying out the assignment (30%).
• The approach in responding to the TOR and detailed work plan (45%).
• The qualifications and competencies of the proposed personnel for the assignment (25%).

Proposals obtaining more than 70% of the technical points will be considered technically suitable and qualify for a financial assessment.

Application process

Evaluators/Consultant(s) who meet the above requirements should submit the following:

1) A narrative/technical proposal which should include evaluator(s) very clear understanding and interpretation of the TORs, a thorough methodology and a detailed timeline;
*Technical proposal content should not exceed 10 pages (Arial font 11 should be used)
and financial proposal should not exceed 2 pages;
2) A financial proposal indicating fees for the consultancy to complete the task (Excel format with itemised budget lines)
3) Updated CVs/Profiles that clearly show the qualification and experience of the lead evaluator and his/her team;
4) Contacts of three organisations recently worked with-clearly similar/related work;
5) Annexes and cover pages/information not asked for should not be attached to the proposals;
6) Registration and tax clearance certificates (for Consulting firms).

The total budget of this assignment study is 25.000 Euro, including all taxes and costs. Interested parties can apply for this consultancy until 31st of March 2023. For further information or to send your application please contact: Zoë Nussy (zoe.nussy@planinternational.nl) and Himani Pathak (himani.pathak@planinternational.nl) .


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