CONSULTANT: Study and develop evaluation framework for the ‘We Cannot Wait’ project operating in Somalia, Uganda, South Sudan, Sudan, Ethiopia

PROJECT BACKGROUND

The “We Cannot Wait: Towards an Inclusive and Diverse Women’s Movement in the Greater Horn of Africa (WCW)” project represents an entirely Southern-led consortium of organizations that are explicitly focused on women’s empowerment throughout the Greater Horn of Africa (GHoA). The Power of Women programme enables organizations such as SIHA and its partners in the Global South to shift power to indigenous women’s organizations and in turn share its power with grassroots individuals and groups. The WCW consortium recognizes the structural and interconnected challenges that the movement for gender equality in the Global South faces and works to enable, support and collaborate with women’s rights activists and organizations to effectively lobby and advocate for gender equality in the Greater Horn of Africa. The WCW consortium will be engaging women, women’s rights activists and women’s rights organizations (WRA/Os) in all their diversity across the GHoA to ensure that the gender equality agenda can be promoted and upheld. The baseline study is a key component of this project.

Project Theory of Change:

It is clear that building a strong, autonomous, inclusive, grassroots women’s movement, led by dynamic individuals, women’s rights activists and organisations, with the advocacy and lobbying capacity to demand women’s rights and gender justice, is critical to stimulating greater political, legal and economic equity, from the family and household levels to the national and regional arenas and is essential to the development and implementation of progressive social policies. Only by facilitating the establishment of such a feminist movement in the GHoA will we realise the SDG5 goal of greater equality and empowerment for women and girls.

Strengthening the capacity of women’s rights activists and organisations, movements and their networks to better equip and enable them to lobby and advocate for equality and equal representation is, therefore, a precondition for positive change and a major focus of this coalition which aims to build and capacitate an inclusive and diverse women’s movement in the GHoA. The WCW Consortium will support strengthened capacity of women activists and organisations and feminist movement building in three key ways: equipping them with the skills and tools needed for effective advocacy; linking them with other groups to build momentum and support to set shared agendas; and facilitating access to advocacy platforms to raise their voices and creating a more enabling environment for women’s equality including their political and economic participation.

Advancing women’s rights occurs through mutually reinforcing cycles. Economic agency is needed to increase political participation, which is vital to the law and policy reform needed to advance equality, including the ratification of international agreements and recognition of global norms which create a stronger framework within which to advance women’s human rights; and since the greatest impediments to personal agency stems primarily from restrictive civil codes, family, personal status and customary laws, and discriminatory social norms, customs and practices, which create barriers to women’s ability to access resources, money, and jobs and gain personal agency and financial autonomy. Since legal restrictions are among the strongest impediments to economic agency, reforming them can be expected to increase economic agency, empowering another increase in women’s political participation and restarting the cycle. Specific attention will be placed on interrogating existing laws, customs, practices and norms, and understanding their impact on women’s legal capacity and personal agency. Within both customary and statutory legal frameworks, those laws, customs and traditions which place jurisdiction over women’s economic and legal autonomy in the hands of others will be those marked most urgently in need of reform.

For this reason, the consortium will work to directly map out and assess the laws, policies, social practices and norms that hinder women’s agency in each country – focusing particularly on women’s legal capacity and personal agency. By redefining restrictive civil codes, family, personal status and customary laws, and discriminatory gender norms, customs and practices which create household and societal barriers to women’s ability to access resources, money, and jobs, the “We Cannot Wait: Towards an Inclusive and Diverse Women’s Movement in the Horn of Africa” project will support women to gain personal agency, financial autonomy, independence at the family and household levels and increase their political voice. With access to income, resources and decision-making power, women will gain greater control over their lives and decisions. These increased freedoms will be reinforced at all levels as liberating women from repressive laws and norms will enable greater women’s participation in all spheres, supporting social transformative processes, the realisation of gender equality and justice and greater economic and political participation – as well as a reduction of fertility rates.

As restrictions on women’s agency lessens and they are more able to participate in social, political and economic spheres, the women’s movement will continue to gain confidence and momentum in advocating and lobbying for further freedoms, creating a self-fulfilling cycle of steadily increasing autonomy and equality, towards achieving the Consortium’s long-term strategic objective, Women in the Greater Horn of Africa will be leading and defining the political, sociocultural and economic agenda through a gender lens at all levels.

The consortium members will achieve this by focusing on three key project outcomes, the pathways of change for the realization of each of which are outlined below:

  1. Women’s rights activists and organizations (WRA/Os) are advocating for policy, law reform, and social norms.
  2. WRA/Os in GHoA form an inclusive and diverse coalition with shared agendas.
  3. WRA/Os engage actively and visibly in existing or new political and social platforms to promote their agendas.

The project will directly contribute to achieving objective two of the Power of Women, strengthening women’s leadership and women’s participation in (political) decision-making, and objective three, strengthening women’s economic empowerment and improving the economic climate for women. The first objective, prevention and elimination of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) against women and girls, will be addressed indirectly, in training, sensitization and policy/law reform.

C. OBJECTIVES OF THE BASELINE STUDY and EVALUATION FRAMEWORK

The overall objective of the baseline study and evaluation framework is to establish the basis for measuring progress towards the intended outcomes of the We Cannot Wait project. The baseline study and evaluation framework should determine quantitatively and qualitatively the current situation in all project countries in relation to the main objectives of the project and set the basis for measurement of changes in these indicators at different stages of the project implementation. The baseline should be established around the project´s key performance indicators that constitute the basis for monitoring implementation progress and measuring project performance. The consultant / consultant firm is expected to propose appropriate study methodologies, design data collection tools, and collect data in all regions.

SIHA expects that the overall research and evaluation design will set as its objective the testing of underlying assumptions of the We Cannot Wait theory of change and provide opportunities to reassess and undertake programmatic alterations should some element of these assumptions not prove valid. Two key assumptions to be tested include the link between strengthening the regional women’s movement and improved indicators of gender equality and the link between women’s increased agency and gender equality. The baseline report should provide accountability for project stakeholders and build a profound basis for further monitoring within the project and the end evaluation.

Baseline Objectives

a. Map legal reforms, laws and policies benefitting women’s economic and political empowerment; identify government provided services to women in all five project countries

b. Identify governance attitudes for women in leadership positions, spaces for women’s political participation

c. Identify capacities of Women’s Rights Activists/Organizations (WRA/O) and their coalition and mobilization on national, regional and/or global network level; analyze the security situation of the WRA/O’s activism and access to support services in case of crisis

d. Identify groups which are built by women and youth from diverse backgrounds that are part of coalitions; identify community dialogues, outreach events, forums (on national, regional, global level)

  1. Gather baseline data on the knowledge, attitudes and practices of men, women, girls and boys in relation to gender stereotypes such as sports, vocations, professions; gather data on knowledge of women and girls on leadership and communication
  2. Identify legal knowledge of women and women using legal aid services for economic and political rights; identify cases and legal claims
  3. Provide recommendations on potential approaches that could successfully affect the desired outcomes of the project activities as well as any potential risks

Key Indicators and Evaluation Framework

The baseline study will serve as the foundation of the final evaluation. The following key indicators should be set out across all countries:

· To what extent have laws, policies and strategies been adopted or improved for the benefit of women’s agency or legal capacity?

· How far did change happen within the target group (disaggregated by type, age and gender) towards improved knowledge, attitudes and practices in regards to women’s agency?

· To what extent has improvement in women’s capacity to advance women’s rights and gender equality and women’s collective action and coalition building nationally and regionally led to improved gender equality?

· To what extent has women’s improved agency led to increased gender equality?

· To what extent did CSOs succeed in creating space for CSO demands and positions on women’s rights, through agenda setting, influencing the debate and/or movement building?

· How many individuals and to what extent did women and girls’ strengthen other individuals’ competencies to advance women’ rights and gender equality (disaggregated by type, age and gender)?

  • How often and to what extent were advocacy initiatives carried out by CSOs, for, by or with their membership/constituency?
  • To what extent could CSOs increase L&A capacities and be included in SPs programmes?
  • To what extent did local ownership and/or representation of marginalized groups change or improve?
  • To what extent did inclusion of women and youth, in particular girls increase?

Methodology

The baseline assessment will combine primary and secondary research to obtain a clear understanding of current systems and spaces for women’s rights movements. A thorough desk review of relevant literature will be followed by field research. Both qualitative and quantitative methods can be used, including but not limited to focus group discussions, semi-structured interviews, and surveys in all five countries. Data collection can include data from complementary projects of SIHA through exchange and guidance of the SIHA teams in all the five countries. The research concept will include a strategy set up across the five countries.

The overall research and evaluation design should take into consideration other methods of data collection to be undertaken during the project as part of the ongoing monitoring and evaluation of the project, this includes participatory capacity and needs assessments of targeted groups, participatory monitoring, annual stakeholder reflection meetings, outcome harvesting and other routine monitoring. The design should be complementary and create a robust framework for the evaluation of project progress and impact

Deliverables

a) Fully conceived research design including research method, data collection tools, indicators, budget and work-plan.

b) Detailed Baseline Report including situation analysis and baseline indicators and framework for evaluation of progress throughout the project duration.

Schedule of Activities

a) Review project documents and background information – April

b) Develop research design, tools, indicators and work-plan in consultation with SIHA staff – April

c) Desk review – April

d) Finalize research plan – April/May

e) Field work and data collection– May to June

f) Analysis and report write-up – Submission of first draft of the report is end of July

g) Final report after receiving comments due end of August

D. REQUIRED CANDIDATE COMPETENCIES

Functional Competences:

· Excellent analytical, editing and writing skills in English language;

· Extensive research and project impact evaluation experience;

  • Demonstrated experience with a variety of qualitative and quantitative research methods, and the ability to combine data collection methods to achieve impact, and designing and implementing baseline studies in similar project types; in gender/social norms, GBV, Livelihoods, and community accountability interventions, including analysis and writing high quality reports;

· Proven accuracy and attention to detail;

· Strong interpersonal skills and the ability to communicate and work well with diverse and multicultural supervisors and staff members;

· Demonstrated ability to meet deadlines and work under pressure.

Education:

· Master’s or advanced degree in one or more of the following disciplines: Social Sciences, Development Studies, Statistics, Gender Studies.

Experience:

  • Minimum of 5 years of progressively responsible and relevant experience in conducting research or baseline studies using mixed methods;
  • Proven expertise in supporting research and statistical processes in the area of legal reform, normative change, gender equality and/or women’s empowerment interventions;
  • Exposure in working with communities and grassroots, in particular in some or all of the five project countries (Somalia, Uganda, South Sudan, Sudan, Ethiopia).

Language:

  • Fluency in English is required and knowledge of Arabic, Somali or other local languages of the project countries is an asset.

ABOUT SIHA

The Strategic Initiative for Women in the Horn of Africa (SIHA) is a civil society coalition bringing together grassroots women’s rights organizations from Sudan, South Sudan, Somalia, Somaliland, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Kenya and Uganda. It was established in 1995 by a collection of women’s rights activists, with the view of strengthening the capacity of women’s rights organizations in the Horn of Africa. SIHA aims to contribute to unlocking the massive potential of women’s rights movements in the Horn of Africa, by improving the capacity of local organizations, and to build a strong network of grassroots civil society members that are able to interact and support one another in advocating for effective change. SIHA operates as a regional platform for the mobilization of activists, vulnerable and marginalized groups of women, men, and girls to harness resources that include, but are not limited to knowledge and information, capacity building and financial support aimed at challenging the root causes of problems and challenges faced by women and girls in the Horn of Africa Region. More information about SIHA is available at www.sihanet.org.

How to apply

Individual or consultancy firms are enabled to apply. To apply, please send an expression of interest, including a technical and financial concept note (max. 3 pages including the budget), a cover letter, a copy of your C.V. (complete with two references) or a description of your consultancy firm including references. Send all documents to SIHA at the following e-mail address: humanresourcesiha@gmail.com by 5th April 2021.**

In the e-mail subject line please write ‘APPLICATION: SIHA BASELINE CONSULTANT WCW’.

Applications not following these guidelines correctly will not be considered. SIHA is committed to offer fair compensation based on the successful candidate’s experience and qualifications. Due to the volume of applications SIHA receives, only short-listed candidates will be contacted for scheduling of interviews. Thank you for your interest in SIHA’s work.

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