Great Lakes Community Action Partnership (GLCAP – based in Ohio, USA) is seeking qualified applicants to conduct a final evaluation for its project, Minority Empowerment in Moldova. The final evaluation needs to be completed by July 26, 2021.
GLCAP implements a variety of domestic and international programs. Many of our international programs are focused on civil society and empowering individuals to have a voice in their communities and governments and to help build sustainable democratic institutions that respect the rights of all citizens. Other programming is focused on leadership development (especially for women and youth) and sustainable community development strategies. GLCAPs’ mission is to create partnerships and opportunities that help individuals, families and communities thrive.
Since September 2018, GLCAP has been implementing a program in Moldova addressing the polarization of Moldovan society and the absence of many ethnic minority groups from participation in their democracy, either at the local or the national level. Our program is designed to build the capacity of minority groups to become involved in civil society and to demand justice and accountability from their government, as well as creating Community Empowerment Strategies in all participating communities.
Beginning in 2014, GLCAP and its Moldovan partner, Institute for Rural Initiatives (iRi), worked with 5 different ethnic minority groups in Moldova. Newly established local initiative groups (LIGA) were led by Roma, Bulgarian, Gagauzian, Ukrainian and Czech people from the community, but they engaged many others and worked closely with Moldovan or other ethnic partners. LIGA leaders benefited from action oriented organizing and advocacy trainings and learned from best practices shared by U.S. and European experts, and during the consultancy at their field visits. Thanks to DRL support with a cost extension grant in 2016, the coverage of our work grew from the original 15 to 22 communities across Moldova and allowed us to develop a mentoring program that helped a number of 7 new communities to learn about the project’s best practices and start implementing initiatives on their own. Activities involved not only local community members, but also involved local governments, business and other community groups.
In 2018, DRL funded a new project based on continuation of the existing model, with an added component of assisting communities with economic empowerment, which the final evaluation on the first project indicated was sorely needed by rural communities. That project is the subject of this evaluation. Like in previous phase of the project a number of seven new communities were added to the project, as well as a continuation of work in the original 28 communities. A strategy was added for training and empowering communities with new development ideas and assisting them with development of a strategy for their community (Community Empowerment Strategy – CES).
As Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) was not widely known in Moldova, we began educating local business leaders on this topic, and new community development and grassroots approaches. A public event was organized to share experience and business CSR survey results and provide recognition for the business leaders who contributed to our communities’ successful projects. This small Business Gala received national media attention and helped us to develop a rural CSR model that is already working in some communities in Moldova and that others can learn from.
At the beginning of our work some of the Local Public Authorities (LPAs) were not open to start a discussion with the ethnic minorities and/or listen to their needs or project ideas. But as the Local Initiative Groups for Action (LIGA groups) and grassroots organizing efforts proved their effectiveness with small projects engaging many community people, more and more local government leaders were open for meeting with them and learning about the community needs and ideas for solutions. By the end of the first project (July 2021), all project communities are expected to have the support of their local mayors and local government officials. This wide collaboration was unexpected in these communities, and ethnic minority groups that took the leadership on identifying and implementing a small community project earned recognition not only locally, but regionally and nationally.
Though we achieved results beyond our expectations in the first project, there was a strong consensus among the project partners that there was a need to continue the momentum in order to reach sustainable community development and successfully build on the social capital built by the project. We wanted to amplify and replicate the project’s positive experience as well as to successfully close the gap in leadership capacities of ethnic minorities throughout the country with the new project.
The corresponding activities that will help to catalyze this change are listed below. (Please refer to the attached Logical Framework for more detailed information about the approach and intended results.)
Objective 1) Develop civil society capacity of Roma, Ukrainian, Bulgarian, Gagauz and Czech national minority groups in 22 existing + 8 new rural communities and create a trained leadership in civic engagement.
- Activity 1.1: Formation of new local initiative groups (LIGA) in 8 communities, and continuation of these groups in 22 communities
- Activity 1.1.1: Conduct a two-day training for 24 LIGA Groups from the new 8 communities
- Activity 1.2: Conduct a 3-day capacity building training for LIGA group members from all 30 project communities
- Activity 1.3: We Act Because We Care campaign in 30 communities
- Activity 1.4: Development of 30 Community Empowerment Strategies
- Activity 2.4: 15 communities implement volunteer activities for Citizen Participation Week
Objective 2) Establish networking opportunities for leaders of different minority communities to improve interethnic communication and policies favoring minority inclusion and promote equal rights and tolerance at every level in Moldova.
- Activity 2.1: One-day training for community mentors
- Activity 2.2: Quarterly visits by project mentors to communities (8 visits per mentor)
- Activity 2.3: Regional Stakeholder Event “Sustainable partnership for community empowerment”: North, South, Centre
- Activity 2.4: Citizen Participation Market – innovative ideas for community development & “made locally” product promotion fair
- Activity 2.3: Conduct 3-day training on advocacy for 60 people to include topics such as legal enforcement, public policy design and implementation, participation in decision-making and more
Objective 3) Increase awareness on the importance of civic activism and support concrete campaigns on volunteering to improve the life of minorities and disseminate achievements to motivate others.
- Activity 3.1: Citizen Participation week: Volunteering day with 1,800 participants
- Activity 3.2: National Awareness Campaign: Posters, Articles and video spots in media, Website
- Activity 3.3: Online Sustainable Community Clinic as a means to promote the iRi community empowerment model by offering all materials online and consultancy in person (8 webinars involving 40 people)
- Activity 3.4: Drafting recommendations for the National Public Policy for Integrating of National Minorities
This project’s direct beneficiaries are ethnic minority communities and their residents, as well as local and national officials.
The primary users of the evaluation report will be GLCAP staff, who will use the findings and recommendations to determine which strategies have been successful and should be applied in future programs. The report will also be shared with the donor agency, DRL, and with the partner organization, Institute for Rural Initiatives in Moldova (iRi).
GLCAP is primarily concerned with assessing outcomes of the project. The evaluator should (1) assess how well GLCAP and its partner iRi implemented the program relative to its goals and objectives, as outlined in the grant agreement, and (2) measure the program’s results and impact, including our progress in reaching the targets for our outputs and outcomes. Based on the results of the findings, the evaluator also should offer lessons learned and recommendations for future programmatic activities.
The list of evaluation questions includes:
- How well was the project able to achieve its objectives by the end of the project?
- How well have program participants been able to transfer program knowledge and skills to their daily professional or public activities?
- In which areas did the project make the greatest achievements? Why and what were the supporting factors?
- In what areas did the project have the fewest achievements? What were the constraining factors and why? How can these be overcome?
- What lessons can be learnt from the experience of the project?
- How did the operating environment in country affect project outcomes and ability to achieve proposed objectives?
- Taking into account the current operating environment, is this the type of project that should be funded in the near future?
The methods proposed by the evaluator will be reviewed and approved by GLCAP’s evaluation manager. The primary data should involve mixed methods, and ideally include a desk review of the grant agreement, grant proposal, quarterly reports, and other relevant grant documents. The evaluator may also interview staff from GLCAP, its local partner, Institute for Rural Initiatives iRi), and other key stakeholders. Additional sources of data may come from focus group discussions with training participants, key informant interviews, and – if time and budget allows – a mini survey of members of the public where activities occurred.
The evaluation should take place in June and July 2021, with the final deliverables due and contract concluding by July 26.
A total of up to 30 working days will be available for:
- Evaluation preparation (including finalizing the evaluation design and work plan, performing the initial desk review of project materials, and creating and testing data collection instruments);
- In-country data collection; and
- Data analysis and synthesis (including transcription, data aggregation, writing a draft report, presenting findings to GLCAP by phone, and incorporating feedback from GLCAP staff and partners into a final report).
GLCAP staff will provide logistical and technical support as needed throughout the evaluation process. The evaluation manager will provide guidance during the evaluation preparation and reporting phases, and project staff will be available to compile project documents, coordinate travel and lodging, identify and/or serve as translators, provide administrative support, and assist with scheduling meetings in the field (if desired).
The final deliverables for this evaluation will include:
- An evaluation design and work plan (due to GLCAP’s evaluation manager for approval within the first 10 working days);
- One oral presentation of findings by phone or Zoom with relevant GLCAP staff (before submitting the draft report);
- A draft report detailing key findings, supporting evidence, and pragmatic recommendations (due to GLCAP’s evaluation manager for feedback within 40 working days); and
- A final report incorporating all relevant feedback from GLCAP (and its partner), and including an executive summary to be distributed with additional stakeholders (due by July 26, 2021).
Interested applicants must provide all materials outlined below to the evaluation manager with the contact information provided at the end of this document by 5:00 pm EST June 21, 2021. A final decision will be made on June 25, 2021.
The selected consultant should have demonstrated expertise in results-based project evaluation and familiarity with community organizing and grassroots programming. Local language skills looked upon favorably but not required. Additional information about desired qualifications is listed below:
- Multidisciplinary individual with knowledge of and expertise in grassroots programming;
- Minimum 5 years of experience in designing, overseeing, implementing and evaluating community-based programs;
- Experience with qualitative and quantitative M&E data collection and analysis methods;
- Excellent inter-cultural communication skills/cultural sensitivity and the ability to forge strong cross-cultural relationships and build trust demonstrated through previous intercultural experience;
- Strong facilitation, presentation, and communication skills;
- Strong ability to communicate effectively in English, both verbally and in writing; and
- Team player with the ability to closely collaborate with GLCAP staff, local partners, and stakeholders.
Interested applicants should provide a current CV and a 2-3 page statement of interest and abridged proposal. These materials should clearly outline the candidate’s key skills and experience that are relevant to this evaluation, as well as any key standards or principles that inform his or her work. For the proposal, please include a concise description of the desired evaluation approach. Please also provide a short cost justification – including your salary history and/or daily rate for your last 3 consultancies – and the names and contact information for 2 recent references.
The projected budget for this evaluation is between $10,000 – 14,500 USD. This figure includes all costs relevant to the evaluation, including the consultant’s daily rate, M&IE, travel, per diems, etc. Please note that payment in full will not be made until all project deliverables have been received and verified as meeting GLCAP expectations.
Cost-saving will be a consideration in the review process.
Please refer any questions and submit all application materials to the evaluation manager listed below before 5:00 pm EST June 19, 2021.
Only candidates selected for further consideration will be contacted.
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