Terms of reference
Mid-term evaluation of the Nyamira North Women SACCO and Bosinya Women CBO projects
The International Solidarity Foundation (ISF) is a Finnish development organization, founded in 1970. It has a vision to be an organization with a leading role in the empowerment of women and girls in East Africa by 2030. It envisions a world where women and girls are empowered to build their own future, their self-determination is fully realised, and their right to bodily integrity respected.
The goal of ISF’s 2022 – 2025 programme is to strengthen the bodily integrity and livelihood resilience of women and girls in Kenya, Somaliland, Puntland, and Ethiopia. The programme consists of development projects that are implemented by local partners. Partners are local civil society actors such as NGOs, community-based organizations, and women’s own businesses.
ISF’s operating model is designed to strengthen local civil societies by empowering women and their organizations, capacitating judicial and moral duty bearers, and strengthening local CSOs. Learning and innovation are at the heart of the model.
Bosinya Women’s Community-based Organization (BWCBO) is a member owned organization founded in 2012 by women farmers from three neighboring wards (Manga, Magombo &Bosamaro) in Ting’a, Manga sub-County, Nyamira County. BWCBO is duly registered by department of social services. The vision of BWCBO is to be a leader in promoting women empowerment by enhancing sustainable livelihood for a transformed community, by achieving its mission to empower women through proper identification, Implementation, and management of community-based initiative such as strengthening of their capacities in agricultural, post-harvesting handling, agribusiness development as well as reduction of violence against women and girls (VAWG) in households.
BWCBO project: Improving BWCBO women farmers’ livelihood resilience 2022-25 (first phase in 2020-21). The project strengthens women’s capacity to lead and manage their own business collective, increases women’s access to skills development and innovation processes, and improves women’s access to productive inputs and markets.
The project trains women in nature positive agricultural practices and post-harvest handling methods and technologies. Cooperation with professionals help in designing training manuals and manuals for crop production standards that will be used in BWCBO peer adviser programme. In the project demonstration plots women are trained in new agricultural practices, such as shade net use, vertical gardening, greenhouse farming, drip irrigation and composting. In addition, demo plots are used for testing new crops and practices.
To improve women’s agri-business skills, the project uses model farmers and farms as instructive examples in diversifying and expanding production for improved profit. The project strengthens BWCBO’s table banking service (savings and loan) and builds women’s capacities in using savings and credit to grow their business. The project also links BWCBO and its members to micro-credit institutions, e.g., NNWS. The project helps BWCBO in establishing partnerships with inputs suppliers for quality and affordable inputs, such as seeds, shade nets and water tanks.
The project establishes a collection and processing centre where crops are stored, dried, ground, and packed for transportation and selling. The project facilitates BWCBO and its members’ cooperation with food companies and supports BWCBO in fulfilling the farming contract terms with companies such as Mace foods (indigenous vegetables and long cayenne chili) and local schools.
The project includes activities to reduce violence against women and girls. The community dialogues organized by the Muungano Gender Forum will complement these activities. The project builds BWCBO’s capacity to include PWDs in all the livelihood activities and improves livelihood of families with PWDs.
Nyamira North Women Savings and Credit Cooperative (NNWS) is a member owned organization duly registered as a Savings and Credit cooperative. The SACCO is located in Ekerenyo, Nyamira North Sub- County of Nyamira County. It is increasingly becoming a financial institution of choice to many women through the development of a strong, sustainable economic infrastructure using financially sound market mechanisms. Cooperative’s mission is to enhance accessibility of financial services to the rural women by promoting their socio-economic wellbeing through the provision of diverse opportunities for households with limited economic resources.
NNWS project: Building capacities of NNWS women farmers for sustainable livelihoods 2022-25 (first phase in 2020-21). The project improves cooperative’s operational and commercial capacity and its members’ knowledge, skills and networks in selected value chains, mainly indigenous vegetables, mushrooms and chilis. The project trains women in nature positive agricultural practices. The aim of the expert training is to create a peer support-based counselling system for the cooperative and to establish permanent link between the cooperative and professional extension and innovation services. The project improves women’s digital skills and access to digital technology and services.
The project establishes a collection and processing centre for the cooperative where crops are stored, dried, grinded, and packed for transportation and selling. Women are trained in storage and processing methods and technologies, as well as food safety standards (with Kenya Bureau of Standards), certification and packing. The cooperative focuses its testing, training and advisory services in the demonstration farm located in the centre premises.
All the trainings, demonstrations and example of model farmers improve women’s ability to use savings and credit to develop and grow their own businesses in sensible way. To reduce production costs, the project supports the cooperative in setting up common services for its members, such as collection and transport, storage and seed and fertilizer provision. The PWD cooperative members are represented in the cooperative management and the cooperative offers them special savings and loan services. The project improves the cooperative’s ability to find new buyers and negotiate contracts. The companies also give training and advice, especially in food quality requirements.
The project includes activities to reduce violence against women and girls. The community dialogues organized by the Muungano Gender Forum will complement these activities.
Purpose and scope of the evaluation
The overall purpose of the evaluation is to support the sustainability planning of the projects concerned.
More specifically, the purpose of the evaluation is
- to assess the projects’ effectiveness in developing women’s livelihoods and wellbeing
- to assess the partners’ organizational capacity to support its members’ livelihoods and the projects’ effectiveness in supporting this
- to assess relevance and efficiency of the project activities to promote sustainable results in developing women’s livelihoods and partner organizations’ operational capacity
- to make recommendations on measures to increase project impact and sustainability
The following key questions will guide the project evaluation.
The project’s effectiveness in developing women’s livelihoods (targeted beneficiaries) and wellbeing
- As a result of the project, what are the positive changes in the lives of the beneficiaries and what changes have been the most significant for their livelihood and wellbeing?
- Was there any permanent change in targeted women’s human resources, such as new knowledge, skills and attitude to apply new knowledge and skills?
- Were there any permanent changes in targeted women’s social resources, such as business contacts, advisory contacts, roles in the family and roles in the community?
- Were there any permanent changes in targeted women’s material resources, such as incomes, assets, and access to credit?
- Has the project developed functions, services and/or platforms that women want and need?
- Do women feel ownership of their organization? How women participate in the planning and implementing activities in their organizations?
- What critical services or information do women not receive from their own organization and from the project?
- What positive effects has the project had on gender equality?
- Which factors have facilitated/hindered the achievement of the expected results?
- Have the project interventions led to some unintended negative outcomes? What has already been done or can be done to correct this?
The project’s effectiveness in developing partners’ organisational capacity to support its members’ livelihoods and wellbeing
- How well the organisations can implement their key operational functions and offer relevant services to their members? Does the staff composition support this? What positive results have the projects achieved in this area? Where are the key gaps? Services subject to evaluation, as follows:
- Organisation’s capacity to help project beneficiaries in developing their personal knowledge, skills and abilities to ensure flow of quality products to markets? Special interest in the peer advice system and external expertise to support members in A) farming, post-harvest handling and climate adaptation methods, and B) business planning and development.
- Organisation’s capacity to supports its project beneficiaries’ access to key productive inputs. What kind of input financing model (micro fund) could work?
- Functionality, relevance and sustainability of the collection, processing, and marketing centres. Does the organisation have structure, competences and contacts that enable product development through value addition, packaging, and product certification? How well the organisations can commercialize activities in using their machines and equipment?
- The organization’s ability to sell its members’ products in new markets.
- Organisation’s capacity to form relationships and partnerships with peer organisations and private and public actors. How well the already established contacts help organisations in supporting their members’ livelihood through advisory service, certification, product development and value addition?
- How well can the organisation manage the finances of a business/an organisation to run its key operations e.g., running and maintenance of the pre-processing facility, value addition, certifications, advice system, product development etc.? Does the staff composition support this? What positive results has the project achieved in this area? Where are the key gaps?
- How well the organisation includes members in the decision making? What positive results has the project achieved in this area? Where are the key gaps?
Relevance and efficiency of the project activities to promote sustainability
These questions partly overlap with the previous two set of questions but are added here to emphasize the importance of identifying project approaches that enhance sustainability of project results.
- Have the projects’ activities been appropriate and adequate to allow women (direct beneficiaries) to continue their profitable business after the end of the project?
- Have the applied project activities been appropriate and adequate to ensure partner organizations’ capacity to support its members after the end of the project?
- Have the applied project activities been appropriate and adequate to ensure partner organization’s institutional capacity and financial sustainability?
- Have the projects considered the gender perspective at a sufficient level?
- Have the projects built right kind of skills and competence? Have the projects targeted the capacity development to right people, groups or institutions?
- Have the projects supported collaboration with relevant stakeholders whose contributions promote project and organizational sustainability? (Stakeholder strategy)
- Are there actors and/or institutions whose engagement could improve the efficiency of the project?
- Has the project developed relevant services, functions, and platforms?
- How project monitoring practices could be changed to improve learning and informed decision-making?
Recommendations on measures to increase project impact and sustainability
- Recommendations for project actions to ensure that the organizations have the skills and competence to continue implementing the functions developed in the project after the end of the project.
- Recommendations for project actions to ensure that the organizations have the financial means to take over and maintain the key functions developed in the project after the end of the project.
- Recommendations on necessary measures to ensure organizations’ member retention, including youth.
- Recommendations for project actions to improve women’s livelihood resilience.
- Recommendations for project actions to make the collection, processing, and marketing centers more efficient?
- Recommendations for the project activities to support organizations in developing business plans.
- Recommendations on how the partners can better consider gender perspectives in their organizations.
Methodology of the evaluation
The evaluation should collect and analyze quantitative and qualitative data through, among others, the following methods:
- Desk study and review of all relevant project documentation including project documents, annual work-plans, quarterly and annual project reports, any other reports
- Key informant in-depth interviews (KII) to gather primary data from key stakeholders
- Focus group discussions (FGD) with project beneficiaries and other stakeholders, among others the Most Significant Change -tool.
- Individual and/or group surveys, among others OCA self-assessment methodologies and toolkits
- Observations during field visit(s)
The stakeholders that should be consulted within this consultancy shall include but not be restricted to:
- Companies (Mace Foods)
- County and national government (Ministries, Departments and Agencies)
- Expert institutions (FAO, others)
Timing, duration and expected deliverables of the evaluation
The evaluation is expected to start in April 2023 for an estimated duration of 20 working days. This will include
- desk review and submission of inception report
- field visit(s) and data collection
- data analysis and evaluation report writing
- workshop to validate initial evaluation findings
- submission of the final report
Based on the project documentation, the consultant shall submit an inception report by the 13th of March 2023 that serves as an agreement between parties on how the evaluation will be conducted, covering the following items:
- Research methodology, including data collection tools, suggested target groups and sample sizes, and ethical considerations
- Proposal for a learning event to validation of evaluation findings.
- Schedule of the evaluation activities incl. travelling (timeline)
- Detailed budget
The first draft of the evaluation report should be sent for comments to ISF no later than 8th of May 2023. The final evaluation report, which incorporates the ISF comments and suggestions done to the draft report, should be submitted to ISF no later than 22nd of May 2023.
Qualifications of the consultant
The profile of the individual consultants needs to meet the qualification requirements below [adjust the list if needed]:
- University advanced degree (Msc/MA or PhD) in economics, business management, community development or other relevant degree
- Professional qualification in project MEL
- Extensive (more than 7 years) working experience in relevant fields, preferably with business development, including women’s economic empowerment, and community mobilization
- More than 5 years of experience in research and/or project development/management and review
- Experience of working with international organizations
- Evidence of quality outputs from previous assignments
- Fluent English
- Excellent qualitative and quantitative data collection and analytical skills
- Excellent reporting and presenting skills
- Punctuality and availability to complete the work on time
How to apply and selection process
- qualification of the consultant (CV)
- a draft consultancy plan (1-2 pages) including a short description on what methods will be used and the duration of the consultancy (number of days)
- cost of the tender: facilitation fee/ day, other costs
- sample report of similar previous work and two references
ISF will choose the consultant in according to three main criteria’s: a) the professional capacity of the consultant, b) the quality and content of the tender, c) the cost of the tender.
The selection of the consultant will be done by ISF. Only the selected candidate will be notified of the results of the selection process.
The tender must be submitted by 15th of February 2023 to [email protected] . Tenders submitted after this date will not be considered.