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Evaluation Project at Gnot Ou District, Phongsaly Province on March 2019TERMS OF REFERENCEMid-term evaluation of Project1. Introduction Lao Biodiversity Association (LBA) is made up of 2 main wings, namely: (1) programmes and (2) operations and administration. The programmes is under the overall leadership of Mr. Houmphan Rattanavong, the Executive Director and the founder of LBA, with technical support of Mr. Swady Kingkeo. The operations is in charge of Ms. Khambang Thipphavong and Thommy Dethavongsa.LBA’s goal -- Sustainable conservation mechanism and management of biodiversity, including natural resources and climate change issues with active participation of infected communities under the ownership and leadership of various stakeholders.In order to achieve this goal the following approach has been deployed: Inclusiveness – local stakeholders and particularly the effected groups of people as well as poor segments of the targeted communities get involved in the whole process of the implementation, ranging from assessment, data gathering and validation, planning, implementation, monitoring of progress and evaluation. Sustainability assurance – this covers (1) capacity building for local communities and duty bearers and (2) tools, which are designed and developed with specific stakeholders for stakeholders and for wider use by other stakeholders like other government agencies, development partners and CSOs. Advocacy – connection between communities with different levels of government authorities and development partners through different channels.The Project “Sustainable livelihood for the poor communities in the buffer zone of Phoutazan Provincial Protection forest in Gnot Ou District, Phongsaly Province, Lao PDR”, 01.01.2017 – 31.12.2019, has two main objectives of (1) To support improvement of community livelihood in the target villages and (2) To protect the village conservation forest for sustainable use.This Project covers four targeted villages in Gnot Ou District of Phongsaly province. The Project focuses on the poor segment of the ethnic communities in these five villages.The main district government authorities that has been providing leadership in the implementation is District Agriculture and Forestry, and District Industry and Commerce. The district government agencies also engage in the project activities e.g. Lao Women’s Union, and District Justice Office.Bread for the World has been LBA’s generous donor since 2016. LBA’s funding for this project is Bread for the World who is the globally active development and relief agency of the Protestant Churches in Germany, empowering the poor and marginalized to improve their living conditions in more than 90 countries. Key priorities of the Bread for the World’s work are food security, the promotion of health and education, the access to water, the strengthening of democracy, respecting human rights, keeping peace and the integrity of creation.The project will result in the development and implementation of sustainable bamboo and cardamom management plans in 4 villages, Gnot Ou district that directly benefits 185 households and indirectly 305 families in 4 targeted communities, including the 2 existing villages (Soumkham and Savang villages under Project number B-LAO-2013-5183 (2014-2016). The management plans and forest rehabilitation by re-planting cardamom will ensure a more sustainable income generated through bamboo processing and increase income by improving product quality (handicrafts) and development the semi-final products of cardamom and access to wider markets. The income of 185 households in the 4 villages is expected to increase by at least 25% after 3 years of the project intervention activities.2. Cause and the objective of the evaluation It is required by the donor and it is also LBA’s intention to learn in order to improve our performance, ensuring that the project is successfully bring ab0ut intended outcomes to the targeted communities.The mid-term evaluation will cover the project period 01 Jan 2017 – 31 Dec 2018. This mid-term evaluation are forward looking and will capture effectively lessons learned and provide information on the nature, extent and where possible, the potential impact and sustainability of the Project. They will collate and analyse lessons learned, challenges faced and best practices obtained during implementation period which will inform the remaining implementation period (Jan – Dec 2019).The results of this mid-term evaluation will be for LBA and its government partners to use for improving the project’s performance during the rest of its implementation for more positive impacts.3. Key questions RelevanceAre we doing the right thing? This criterion measures the extent to which the objectives of a project align with the needs of the beneficiaries and strategies of the partners and donors.To what extent did the project address the environmental and livelihood issues identified during the project design? These might include: pressure from agricultural activities; uncontrolled exploitation and harvesting of forest for household consumption and trade; how household income; weak institutional and governance structure at village level; lack of sustainable financing system to enable sustainable small local enterprise development. EffectivenessAre the objectives of the project being achieved? This criterion measures the extent to which the objectives of a project will (foreseeably) be achieved.To what extend is the project on track to achieve its objectives and outcome? What progress has been made so far?How well is the project achieving its planned results?What factors may be limiting the achievement of intended results?To what extent has the project adapted or is able to adapt to changing external conditions (risks and assumptions) in order to ensure benefits for the target groups? EfficiencyWill the objectives be achieved in an economically viable manner? This criterion measures the adequacy of the deployed resources in relation to the achieve results and effects.Were the financial resources and other inputs used efficiently to achieve outputs? Are there opportunities to improve efficiency?How well are outputs achieved? – have all planned outputs been delivered to date? And in a logic sequence?What is the quality of outputs to date? Are the outputs achieved likely to contribute to the intended results?ImpactWill the project contribute to the attainment of overall development goal? This criterion assesses whether and to what extent the project will contribute towards the attainment of the intended primary and secondary long-term objectives under development policy. Additionally, whether and, if so, which other positive and negative changes have occurred will be investigated. What socio-economic and environmental changes have taken place among the beneficiary community as a result of the project, including both intended and unintended effects? If possible, this should specifically capture changes in overall household cash and non-cash incomes, with an attempt to assess attribution; as well as assessments of change in forest health and condition (the sections where cardamom trees have been planted and where the VCMC’s patrol groups have been overseeing).SustainabilityWill the intended positive changes (foreseeable) have a lasting effect? This criterion assesses the extent to which the positive effects of the development intervention will continue beyond the end of the project period. To what extent are the project’s positive actions likely to continue after the end of the project? in particular, what environmental, economic and institutional changes are likely to be sustained beyond the project lifetime? What actions need to be taken to increase the likelihood of the project results being sustained?To what extent will the target communities continue to harvest economics benefit from the results achieved through project interventions?The extent of continued institutional support by the community structures and government and the extent on how the target communities have attained livelihood technologies which supports environmental conservation.How are capacities strengthened at the individual and organizational level (addressing also contributing factors and constraints)Describe the main lessons that have emerged.What are the key factors that will require attention in order to improve prospects of sustainability of the project outcomes and the potential for replication of the approach?Cross-cutting issuesHave practical and strategic gender aspects been adequately considered in the project design and implementation? Please consider the following aspects of gender mainstreaming:Has the project been planned on the basis of a gender-differentiated beneficiaries’ analysis?To what extent will or could the gender sensitive approach lead to an improved impact of the project?What is the likeliness of increased gender equality beyond project end?Is the project respecting environmental needs? Please consider the following aspects of mainstreaming environmental aspects:Have environmental practices followed in project implementation (water, energy, waste production etc.)? Does the project respect traditional, successful environmental practices?Has environmental damage been caused or likely to be caused by the project? what kind of environmental impact mitigation measures has been taken?Additionally, LBA’s processes, procedures and monitoring system might be assessed during an evaluation.4. Evaluation design/methodThe mid-term evaluation shall employ a variety of data collection and analysis techniques for both quantitative and qualitative data to ensure a comprehensive evaluation exercise – this will likely include, at a minimum:Document and systems review: review of existing documentations, including project reports, project log-frameSurveys: application of structured survey questionnaires with a representative, random sample target population to quantitatively assess outcomes.Focus group discussions: with target groups and other stakeholders to assess implementation experiences and effectiveness, document successes, challenges and lessons learned, and develop recommendations for improvement.Key informant interviews: consultations with project stakeholders, including field staff and partners. Guidance on appropriate stakeholders will be provided by field and LBA office in Vientiane.5. Process of evaluation/timeframe The assignment is expected to commence in end-Jan 2019 with final deliverables handed over to LBA by end-Feb 2019. The estimated total number of days for the assignment is 16 days. TasksCommentsResponsible partyDuration / deadlineContracting of consultant LBA28-31 Jan 2019Initial meetingReview TORAgree aims, tasks and expectationsAgree on tools and process and field activity planLBA & consultant5 Feb 2019Data gatheringDesk reviewConsultant6-7 Feb 2019Field data collectionField visitsConsultant with LBA11-20 Feb 2019Present topline findingsPrimary findingsAnalysisLessons learnedConsultant22 Jan 2019Draft report and finalise reportSubmission of final reportConsultant6 Mar 2019 6. Expected productsProductsNote1. Detailed data collection planThis field data collection plan shall cover:Agreed data collection tools (English & Lao languages)Groups of informantData collection schedule2. Topline finding (presentation)In a form of powerpoint presentation (English & Lao languages), it shall at least respond to the key questions’ of the mid-term evaluation, with brief comments or recommendations.The Lao version will be presented to government partners3. Draft reportSubmit the draft report to LBA for comments (English version)4. Final reportWith inputs from LBA, finalise the report and submit it to LBA (English & Lao versions)7. Key qualifications of the evaluators Qualification and desirable competenciesStrong analytical, facilitation and communication skillsFamiliarity with the Lao country context and the non-profit association in LaosExperience on evaluation of similar projects.Fluency in English and Lao language skills is idealA minimum of 7 years’ experience in carrying out evaluations, demonstrable acadermic and practical experience in qualitative and quantitative research methodology, evaluation design and implementation ield.Excellent reporting and presentation skills8. Content of the evaluator’s offerThe application for this assignment shall contain:Most updated curriculum vitaeTechnical proposal: short explanation and justification of the methods to be deployedFinancial proposal: consultancy daily ratePlease submit your application to the addresses given below:Ms. Khambang Thipphavong, LBA Program Coordinator, email@example.com; copied to Bounthavong Sourisak, Project Coordinator, firstname.lastname@example.orgApplication deadline: 25 February 2019Template – Evaluation ReportCover sheet withProject titleProject numberImplementing organisationEvaluator (author)Report dateRegion/countryPossibly project periodTable of contentsList of abbreviationSummaryShort presentation of the subject matter of the evaluation, possibly including key framework conditionsBrief information of the evaluation: cause and objective, assessment periodKey findingsKey recommendationsShort description of the subject matter of the evaluationProject/programme/instrument (idea, target group, formulated objectives)Implementing organisation, term, donorsFramework conditions (only as far as relevant to the subject matter of the evaluation)Political, economic, ecological, societal and socio-cultural factorsRisks to project success, assumptions/prerequisitesRelevant activities of the other organisations/private-sector companiesRole of government partnersDescription of the evaluation and the methodology usedTiming of the evaluation within the course of the projectComposition / expertise of the evaluation teamMethodologyGroups of people involved, number of participantsPotential difficulties in conducting the evaluation and how to deal with themResults4.1 Relevance4.2 Effectiveness4.3 Efficiency4.4 Impact4.5 SustainabilityRecommendations (based on findings, realistic, specific and addressed)Potentially: General conclusions (lessons learned)For the project type (including exemplary nature)Regarding the procedures and instrumentsAppendixProject Indicator Tracking TableTravel and working procedureSources (discussion partners, documents, specialist literature, field research etc.)Terms of Reference.The interest person should send the CV to LBA Office email: email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org, mobie phone: 020 2241 8363; 020 9298 6025, office phone: 021 251665 and short list of candidate will be interviewed. The evaluation will start at the end of March 2019 (20 - 30th March 2019). The TOR is attached.