Final Evaluation of the Cross-Border Dialogue for Peace in the Great Lakes Programme

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Countries: Burundi, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda
Organization: Interpeace
Closing date: 12 Feb 2021

Interpeace

Interpeace is an international organization for peacebuilding, headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland. Its aim is to strengthen the capacities of societies to manage conflict in non-violent, non-coercive ways by assisting national actors in their efforts to develop social and political cohesion. Interpeace also strives to assist the international community (and in particular the UN) to play a more effective role in supporting peacebuilding efforts around the world through better understanding and response to the challenges of creating local capacities that enhance social and political cohesion. For more information about Interpeace, please visit www.interpeace.org

A. Introduction

The Cross-Border Dialogue for Peace in the Great Lakes II programme implemented by Interpeace and its local partners in Burundi, DRC and Rwanda seeks a team of consultants (international and local) to conduct a final programme evaluation. The evaluation is expected to assess programme performance and results, contribution to and progress towards intended outcomes. It is also expected to identify strengths and weaknesses as well as lessons learned to provide recommendations for ensuring programme effectiveness and efficiency, adapting to changes in the political context, as well as maximising programme impact in a prospective next phase. The programme has been designed using the outcome mapping approach, an approach focused on catalysing changes in behaviour and choices of targeted actors. Outcome mapping is expected to guide the methodology of the evaluation. Interpeace anticipates that the evaluation will commence on 12th February 2021, for a period of 30 working days, including a minimum of 15 days across Rwanda, Burundi and Eastern DRC.

B. Background

The Cross-Border Dialogue for Peace in the Great Lakes programme is a four-year (1st January 2017-31st March 2021) programme in its 2nd phase funded by the Governments of Sweden and Switzerland and implemented by Interpeace, Centre d’Alerte et de Prévention des Conflits (CENAP) in Burundi, Never Again Rwanda (NAR) in Rwanda, Centre d’Etudes Juridiques Appliquées (CEJA), Action pour la Paix et la Concorde (APC), Réseau d’Innovation Organisationelle (RIO) and Pole Institute in the DRC. The second phase of the programme commenced implementation on 1st January 2017.

Interpeace is an independent, international peacebuilding organization established in 1994 and has been working in the Great Lakes Region since 2002. Interpeace’s aim is to strengthen the capacities of societies to manage conflict in non-violent ways by assisting national actors in their efforts to develop social and political cohesion. Interpeace also strives to assist the international community to play a more effective role in supporting peacebuilding efforts around the world. In the regional programme, Interpeace provides the following main oversight, management, coordination and capacity building support.

The Great Lakes Region, composed of Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Rwanda and Uganda, has been the theatre of interconnected cycles of violence since the countries gained independence in the 1960’s. According to the 2004 Strategic Conflict Analysis for the Great Lakes Region produced for Sida, “the conflicts in the region have a dual character: even if most of the conflicts have a distinct local and/or national anchorage, they are at the same time fuelled by or fuelling regional conflicts.”[1] Indeed, it is almost impossible to categorise conflicts in the region as either ‘interstate’ and ‘intrastate.’ This is because the conflicts tend to transcend the national borders of the regional state, with constantly shifting actors and epicentres.[2] The cycles of violence have affected stability, development and economic prospects creating vulnerabilities that catalyse other cycles of violence. Decades of violence have created intense mistrust between communities within and across the borders of the Great Lakes countries. This has hindered collaboration in preventing violence, in building sustainable peace and in advancing development.

To contribute to addressing the cyclical conflicts in the region and to rebuild trust and collaboration for sustainable peace development, Interpeace and its partners designed the Cross-Border Dialogue for Peace in the Great Lakes Region II programme using the outcome mapping approach, focusing its efforts on contributing to behavioural change among key stakeholders in order to promote sustainable peace in the Great Lakes. In keeping with the outcome mapping approach, the programme has identified the following:

Vision: A Great Lakes region where there is peace, stability and social cohesion through strengthened resilience capacities for peace and reconciliation; inclusive and responsive governance; and regional cooperation.

  • Mission: To pursue this vision, the programme will engage community members and decision makers to provide spaces for inclusive dialogue between diverse actors in the region, to conduct research that catalyses debate and influences policy, to promote a regional approach to peace education and to integrate peacebuilding approaches into efforts to promote youth entrepreneurship.
  • Expected outcomes:
  • Community members of diverse backgrounds, including women and youth, use dialogue to identify their capacities, gaps for peace, reconciliation and cooperation within and across borders; to deconstruct negative stereotypes in order to have mutual positive and collaborative relations; and to come to consensus on peacebuilding priorities. They collaborate with CSOs and decision makers to develop and implement solutions to address local and cross-border priorities for peace and reconciliation. They take independent initiative to build resilience capacities and to drive peace, reconciliation and cooperation within and across their communities
  • Decision-makers work in partnership with citizens and CSOs to understand the needs, priorities and capacities of the population and to develop solutions (policies and programmes) that address the needs and priorities of the population within and across borders. They partner with citizens and CSOs and collaborate across borders to strengthen citizens’ capacities, to address the needs and priorities of the population, and to advance peace, reconciliation and cooperation across the Great Lakes region.
  • Theory of Change: If community members and decision makers in target areas, including women and youth, participate in research processes to identify their resilience capacities for peace and reconciliation, then they will have a better understanding of both their collective existing capacities and how to utilize these capacities to address the obstacles to peace that they identified during the first phase of the Cross-border Dialogue for Peace in the Great Lakes Region programme.

If community members and decision makers, including women and youth, better understand their existing capacities for peace and reconciliation and how to use them to address their identified obstacles to peace, then they can better work together, using their collective existing capacities, to develop sustainable and concrete, locally-owned-and-driven solutions to address jointly identified peacebuilding needs and priorities within and across borders.

If community members and decision makers, including women and youth, collectively develop sustainable concrete solutions based on these capacities and are provided with opportunities to strengthen these existing capacities, through dialogue, training and exchange, then they will be better able to use these collective capacities to undertake independent initiatives to address common priorities and to promote peace and reconciliation within and across borders. And they will be better able to collectively develop relevant local, national, and regional policies and programmes that are informed by community priorities and support community capacities to promote sustainable peace, reconciliation and collaboration in the Great Lakes region.

  • Boundary Partners: To achieve this mission, the proposed programme has as direct target groups: community members and decision makers to provide spaces for inclusive dialogue between diverse actors, to conduct research that catalyses debate and influences policy making, to promote a regional approach to peace education and to integrate peacebuilding initiatives into efforts to promote youth entrepreneurship.

Interpeace and its partners commenced the second phase of the programme with an ongoing Participatory Action Research (PAR) process to assess resilience capacities for reconciliation. The programme has continued to engage dialogue groups established in the first phase of the programme. Additionally, the programme has undertaken efforts to engage women, religious leaders and youth in the pursuit of peace. Among the issues that dialogue groups and other actors engaged in the programme have tackled are obstacles to cross-border movement of people and goods. The programme has also launched a process of raising awareness on the links between trauma and reconciliation and how healing can be harnessed to promote social cohesion.

The programme is approaching the end of the second phase, scheduled to close out in March 2021. The final evaluation is intended to not only assess the implementation of the programme against key evaluation criteria, assess the results/outcomes of the programme, and to document challenges and lessons learnt, but also to provide recommendations for improving programme design and implementation in a prospective next phase.

C. Justification and Objectives

The final evaluation is a condition of the funding agreement between Interpeace and the Governments of Sweden and Switzerland.

The main objectives of the evaluation are:

  • To assess programme performance and achievement of intended outcomes, particularly contribution to changes in the knowledge, perception and actions of boundary partners
  • To identify management, technical and performance challenges and providing recommendations for similar programmes in the future
  • To identify strengths, weaknesses, deviations as well as lessons learned from programme implementation
  • To assess effectiveness and efficiency, adapting to changes in the political context
  • To provide recommendations and strategic input for maximizing programme impact in prospective future programming phases
  • To indicate any risks that may compromise the sustainability of project results, suggest actions to overcome it and make suggestions to enhance the perpetuation of project results.

D. Scope. Methodology and Deliverables

The anticipated duration of the evaluation is 30 working days with a minimum of 15 days spent in Rwanda, Burundi and Eastern DRC (Goma, Butembo, Bukavu, and other locations) as possible. The anticipated start date is 16th February 2021 with submission of the final draft by 24th March March 2021. The final timeframe will be agreed upon with the selected consultants and the donor representatives.

The evaluators are expected to use evaluation methodologies consistent with the outcome mapping approach, which may include but are not limited to, Outcome Harvesting, Theories of Change, Contribution Mapping/Contribution Analysis. The interviewers are expected to conduct interviews and focus group discussions, self-efficacy assessments and other activities they see fit. The methodology used should also be gender sensitive, conflict sensitive, respect the principles of Do No Harm and take into account the current sanitary constraints linked to COVID-19. The evaluators are expected to apply the conceptual framework of assessing outcomes and changes in behaviour and relationships among boundary partners as a result of engagement in programme activities and actions. The evaluation will be both an objective and a consultative/participatory exercise.

The Following matrix presented the anticipated deliverables of evaluations.

MATRIX

While Interpeace anticipates the use of the elements listed above, the list is not exhaustive. The evaluation may include additional elements and approaches as appropriate for responding to the final evaluation questions. The applicant is encouraged to suggest a comprehensive methodology that includes these elements and others that the evaluators deem fit for meeting the evaluation objectives. The methodology for data collection should be described in the proposals. The final list of elements will be discussed with the selected team of consultants and will be agreed upon as part of the submission and review of the inception report.

E. Key Evaluation Questions

Key evaluation Questions:

Relevance:

  • To what extent was the overall strategy of the programme relevant for the context of cross border peacebuilding in the Great Lakes (Rwanda, Burundi and DRC)?
  • To what extent was the overall strategy of the programme relevant to the needs and priorities of boundary partners?
  • To what extent was the intervention logic/overall strategy relevant in pursuing the programme’s mission?

Effectiveness and Impact

  • What progress has the programme made towards progress markers and expected outcomes?
  • How and to what extent has the programme contributed to knowledge, perceptions, attitudes and actions/practices of boundary partners?
  • What were the main factors that influenced whether the programme reached its expected outcomes/changes or not?
  • To what extent has the programme applied lessons learned and recommendations from the first phase, the mid-term evaluation and ongoing reflection to improve programme implementation?

Sustainability

  • How likely are boundary partners to sustain choosing to act differently beyond the support of the programme?
  • How effective are the strategies for sustainability of impact following withdrawal of external support?

Efficiency

  • To what extent have the programme’s strategies and activities been sufficient for meeting expected outcomes?
  • How did the project adapt to changes in the context and emerging challenges during programme implementation?
  • Were the appropriate implementation methodologies applied in the different contexts and circumstances of the programme?
  • To what extent do the programme partners have the sufficient capacities to achieve the programme outcomes? What areas of capacity strengthening are needed to elevate programme implementation?

  • To what extent did the programme implementation approach generate value for money (for example, any possible alternative approaches that could have benefited a larger number of people or resulted into less cost?)

Coherence

  • To what extent did the programme work with and complement the efforts of other peacebuilding actors and relevant government institutions?
  • To what extent did the programme synergise its activities and strategies with other cross-border programmes, and programme funded by the governments of Sweden and Switzerland?
  • To what extent did the programme activities and results complement and contribute to other Interpeace peacebuilding programmes in the three countries?

Cross cutting issues:

  • To what extent has the programme integrated gender equality into the programme’s strategy?
  • How effective are the programme’s efforts to integrate gender equality into the programme strategy? In particular, what was the impact of the programme on gender relations and the practices of boundary partners
  • To what extent does the programme adhere to the principles of Do No Harm and employ conflict sensitivity while implementing and adapting the programme strategies? To what extent was the programme effective and responsive in managing risks that were anticipated and/or encountered during programme implementation (i.e. security, regional tensions, political space management, etc.)

Project Design Improvement

  • What best practices and lessons learnt from the programme should be incorporated into a prospective next phase of the programme?
  • What strategies should the programme employ in its next phase to be more relevant to the context, responsive to the needs and priorities defined by stakeholders and relevant for the programme’s boundary partners?
  • What should programme partners take into consideration to improve the overall design of the programme’s next phase?
  • What areas/themes would be most relevant for the programme (and any spin-off programmes) to focus on in the next phase?
  • What do the outcomes of the programme imply for initiatives for sustainable peace in the Great Lakes Region?

Interpeace and its local partners anticipate that these key evaluation questions will be further refined with the selected evaluation consultants.

F. Reporting and feedback

The evaluators will hold a feedback meeting (or meetings) with the Interpeace programme staff and donors in Kigali, Rwanda, or another suitable location in the region. This will be an opportunity to debrief on the evaluation, and to exchange views on preliminary findings and recommendations.

The evaluation report will include a main text of no more than 30 pages with findings and recommendations. The report will be expected to be structured in the following manner:

Acronyms

Executive Summary

  1. Introduction and brief background
  2. Methodology
  3. Major findings
    • Relevance
    • Effectiveness and Impact (including major accomplishments)
    • Efficiency
    • Sustainability
    • Coherence
    • Cross-cutting issues
  4. Overall Assessment
  5. Challenges
  6. Best Practices and lessons learned
  7. Recommendations for future programming

Annexes:

  • Terms of Reference
  • List of documents assessed
  • List of persons interviewed
  • Evaluation Matrix
  • Presentation of changes identified related to programme outcomes and progress markers

G. Qualifications

The evaluation will be undertaken by a team composed of international and local consultants. The consultants will be expected to have the following skills and experience at a minimum:

International consultant(s):

  • Proven Experience conducting and leading evaluations/assessments
  • Proven Experience in conducting gender sensitive evaluations
  • Strong analytical skills and experience working with the Outcome Mapping approach
  • Strong knowledge of and experience with conflict resolution, peacebuilding and reconciliation programmes
  • Experience working in the Great Lakes region and other conflict or post-conflict environments
  • Strong knowledge of the Great Lakes context and the sensitivities of peacebuilding efforts in the region
  • Proven record of delivering professional outputs
  • A willingness to travel to Burundi, DRC and Rwanda
  • Excellent French and English speaking and writing skills.
  • An ability to work within tight deadlines
  • Experience in data collection and analysis
  • At least a master’s degree in social sciences, peacebuilding management, evaluation, social research etc.

Local Consultant(s):

  • Experience conducting and/or leading evaluations/assessments
  • Experience in conducting gender sensitive evaluations
  • Strong analytical skills and experience working with the Outcome Mapping approach
  • Strong knowledge of and experience with conflict resolution, peacebuilding and reconciliation programmes in the Great Lakes region.
  • Proven record of delivering professional outputs
  • Excellent English and French speaking and writing skills.
  • Fluency in relevant regional languages (Kinyarwanda, Kirundi and Kiswahili)
  • An ability to work within tight deadlines
  • Experience in data collection and analysis
  • At least a bachelor’s degree in social sciences, peacebuilding management, evaluation, social research etc.

Gender balance and geographical representation are highly desired and will be considered favourably in selecting the successful team of consultants.

[1] Sida, Division for Eastern and Western Africa. A Strategic Conflict Analysis for the Great Lakes Region, pg. 23. 2004. https://www.sida.se/contentassets/608c2b513ef44b7cbbfd7685b10702c2/13974.pdf

[2] Kanyangara, Patrick, “Conflict in the Great Lakes Region: Root Causes, Dynamics and Effects”, Conflict Trends, 2016/15

**

How to apply:

For consideration for this opportunity, please submit an expression of interest (no longer than 5 pages and inclusive of the proposed methodology for the evaluation, including the framework for gender analysis, a proposed budget and a CV for both the international and local consultants proposed by 12th February 2021 (midnight Nairobi time) via email to: recruitment@interpeace.org.

“**Final Evaluation GL**” MUST BE included in the subject line of the application email to be considered.

Applications will be reviewed using the following criteria:

  • 30% Team composition, competence, and experience
  • 30% Understanding of the assignment.
  • 30% Proposed metehodology
  • 10% Financial proposal

Applicants, if shortlisted, will be required to subsequently submit work samples in English, references, and a preliminary evaluation methodology.

Interpeace values diversity among its staff and aims at achieving greater gender parity in all levels of its work. We welcome applications from women and men, including those with disabilities.



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