RfP: Evaluation of MSF Hong Kong's REaction Assessment Collaboration Hub (REACH) Project
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In August 2017, the independent medical humanitarian organisation, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) Hong Kong section launched a project to address the challenges of information management in disaster prone settings. The project was based on the significant experience gained in the region through the Emergency Response Support Unit (ERSU) in Hong Kong. The REaction Assessment Collaboration Hub (REACH) project set out to develop an innovative online tool that would support operational decision-making during emergencies with the objective to achieve better and faster response.
REACH aimed to achieve this objective by centralising and mapping regional contacts, archiving, and managing operational histories, sharing information, monitoring emergencies and by applying artificial intelligence (AI) to external channels. The project was piloted in Indonesia and managed by MSF Hong Kong and the ERSU.
Following the successful completion of the pilot and some adaptations to the project objectives, the second phase of the project was launched in November 2017 and sought to roll-out the platform in the South-East Asia region while simultaneously preparing the platform for worldwide roll-out in the third and final phase. Funding of the second phase was provided by MSF's internal Transformative investment Capacity (TIC), a fund designed to invest in innovative or transformative projects and administered by MSF Canada, on behalf of the MSF movement. Funding of phase two was approved by the TIC in November 2017 as well as in September 2018.
During the project period, there were no major emergencies in the SEA region, making it difficult to test the tool in a real-life setting. Also, although sites where identified, the project was not able to launch the pilot projects needed for testing the platform in other contexts. User feedback also highlighted some important areas for improved development.
With the phase two extension coming to end in March 2021, as well as some significant doubts about ongoing funding, the project has requested an evaluation in order to capitalise on the investment and experience so far and to support the team to identify various scenarios moving forward.
PURPOSE AND INTENDED USE
The primary purpose of the evaluation is to assess the value or significance (definition based on Davidson, 2007) of the REACH platform when considering the needs, context, quality, comparison, cost-effectiveness, and exportability. The information will be used to inform decisions on the future of the REACH project and platform. Another somewhat related purpose is to support learning around the conditions of the project, its design and implementation, and make recommendations for similar projects in the future.
Evaluation question 1: What functional value does the REACH platform have when considering both the operational needs and the use of the platform?
· What were the operational needs the platform aimed to address, and how do they remain relevant to the organisation?
· What is the user experience and how useful is the information generated?
· What alternative ways are available to the organisation to meet the identified needs and how do they compare in terms of efficiency, effectiveness, reliability, cost effectiveness?
Evaluation question 2: What is the structural value of the REACH platform when considering reliability, efficiency, security, and maintainability? (Based on external evaluation which is due October 2020). Examples of questions to address:
· What threats to the structural value have been identified and how have they been addressed?**
· What opportunities can be identified for ongoing maintenance and development of the platform?**
Evaluation question 3: C*onsidering the answers to the above questions, what were the main determinants of success for the REACH project and how could they be taken into consideration in the future?*
EXPECTED DELIVERABLES**1. Inception Report**
As per SEU standards, after conducting initial document review and preliminary interviews. It will include a detailed evaluation proposal, including methodology. 2. Draft Evaluation Report
As per SEU standards. It will answer to the evaluation questions and will include conclusions, lessons learned, recommendations and scenarios as appropriate.**3. Working Session**
With the attendance of commissioner and consultation group members. As part of the report writing process, the evaluator will present the findings, collect attendances´ feedbacks and will facilitate discussion on lessons learned. 4. Final Evaluation Report
After addressing feedbacks received during the working session and written inputs.
TOOLS AND METHODOLOGY PROPOSED
In addition to the initial evaluation proposal submitted as a part of the application (see requirement chapter), a detailed evaluation protocol should be prepared by the evaluators during the inception phase. It will include a detailed explanation of proposed methods and its justification based on validated theory/ies. It will be reviewed and validated as a part of the inception phase in coordination with the SEU.
- Project documents (including project proposals, logical frameworks, reports, and updates, etc.).
- Documentation regarding any ongoing operational research or evaluation of the project.
- External literature and documentation of similar projects or products and specifically related to industry standards and theories.
PRACTICAL IMPLEMENTATION OF THE EVALUATION
Number of evaluators: One
Timing of the evaluation: December 2020 – February 2021
PROFILE/REQUIREMENTS FOR EVALUATOR(S)
o Demonstrable skills and knowledge of evaluation, specifically synthesising mixed data
o Knowledge of the humanitarian sector and emergency programming
o English (Fluent)
o Immediate availability
o Experience with software development projects including user interface and source code
o Previous experience evaluating software development projects
o Previous experience working with Early-Warning initiative and or tools
o Previous experience working with MSF or other NGOs
o French (Fluent)
The Terms of Reference with the above information can be downloaded here.
How to apply:
The application should consist of a technical proposal, a proposed budget, CVs for the proposed team, and corresponding work samples. As a minimum the proposal should include a reflection on ethical standards for evaluations, any sensitivities of the topic at hand and a detailed methodology and approach which clearly demonstrate the proposed data collection and link to the evaluation questions. Please note that the SEU is particularly interest to receive proposals with creative and innovative ways to achieve the stated evaluation purpose.
Proposals should include a separate financial quotation for the complete services, stated in Euros (EUR). The budget should present consultancy fee according to the number of expected working days over the entire period, both in totality and as a daily fee. Travel costs, if any, do not need to be included as the SEU will arrange and cover these. Do note that MSF does not pay any per diem.
Applications will be evaluated on the basis of whether the submitted proposal captures an understanding of the main deliverables as per this ToR, a methodology relevant to achieving the results foreseen, and the overall capacity of the evaluator(s) to carry out the work (i.e. inclusion of proposed evaluators’ CVs, reference to previous work, certification).
Interested teams or individuals should apply to email@example.com referencing REACH no later than 16th November 2020. We would appreciate the necessary documents being submitted as separate attachments (proposal, budget, CV, work sample and such). Please include your contact details in your CV.
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