Consultancy Opportunity: Tat Lan Evaluation and Outcome Harvesting

Location :The field research will be conducted in Kyauk Phyu, Rakhine State.

Oxfam in Myanmar

Since the 1990’s, Oxfam in has worked in Myanmar to reduce poverty and inequality through promoting the power of women and men to harness the benefits of political reform and economic development. This involves working with people to develop their economic livelihoods and support them to hold decision makers to account, and get better policies that protect their rights and reduce inequality and poverty for all. It also means working with both government to strengthen its capacity to be more accountable and responsive to peoples’ needs, and with private sector investing in Myanmar to be more accountable and transparent to communities and meet their human rights obligations.

The Programme

The Tat Lan programme, has been a four year project funded by the multi-donor Livelihoods and Food Security Trust Fund (LIFT). The programme is implemented by the International Rescue Committee, Save the Children, Oxfam, and Myanmar NGO, Better Life Organisation, with monitoring and evaluation support provided by CARE. The overall goal of the programme overall goal is to achieve a sustainable increase in food and nutrition security and incomes of participant households; crucial to this is more accountable governance. The components of the project include infrastructure, agriculture, fisheries, financial services, nutrition and other cross-cutting projects such as information management, government engagement, gender equality and social protection. The progarmme is being implemented in four townships of Myebon, Pauktaw, Kyaukphyu and Minbya in Rakhine State, on Myanmar’s west coast.

Phase I: During Phase one (March 2013 – December 2015) Oxfam contributed to four of the six outcomes, with Oxfam and local partner Better Life Organisation providing technical leadership in fisheries, governance and gender.

Phase II: The second phase (January 2016 – February 2017) was redesigned and Oxfam now delivers against outcome 6 which seeks to bring about food security and livelihoods improvements through more socially accountable government. Oxfam has implemented the second phase in partnership with Scholar Institute and brought in Earth Rights International (ERI) and the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) as technical experts to lead on specific activities. The project builds upon the governance activities undertaken within Tat Lan over the previous three years which have led to a better enabling environment for communities to engage in dialogue with duty bearers on their needs and rights and the generation of policy relevant evidence to feed into future dialogues.

Throughout the programme – in phase I and II – Oxfam has aimed to increase women’s empowerment in decision-making in community development and Tat Lan aims to contribute to increasing women’s access to and control over economic resources and opportunities especially to land, water, income, food, markets, and other productive assets. Gender mainstreaming is reflected throughout the project activities.

The project is coming to a close in Kyauk Phyu township at the end of February 2017.

Evaluation

As Oxfam’s interventions have been implemented as part of the broader Tat Lan framework, Oxfam seeks to better understand its contribution to both the overall programme outcomes and to identify and ascertain contribution to outcomes that were not part of the programme framework.

In particular the evaluation will seek to understand how women have benefited from Oxfam’s interventions and the outcomes for women.

Evaluation Objectives

  • Objective 1: Identify and summarise previously documented qualitative and quantitative results achieved through Oxfam’s interventions during phase I.
  • Objective 2: Identify, articulate and find supportive evidence of outcomes achieved through Oxfam’s interventions under both phase I and II.
  • Objective 3: Ascertain Oxfam’s contributions to the broader Tat Lan goals and outcomes (both phase I and II) to inform Oxfam’s final report.
  • Objective 4: Understand and illustrate if, and how, women have participated in and benefited from the project, and how this aligns to the LIFT gender strategy.[1] 

Evaluation Questions

  1. Did Oxfam’s intervention contribute to the broader Tat Lan outcomes under the first phase, and if so, how?
  2. Did Oxfam’s intervention contribute to the broader Tat Lan outcomes under the second phase, and if so, how?
  3. What other governance, livelihoods and gender equality outcomes have Oxfam’s intervention contributed to?
  4. Did the programme contribute to communities being able to exert greater influence over government plans, programmes and budgets?
  5. Have women participated in, and benefited from this project, and if so, how?
  6. How sustainable are the project’s results?

Methodology

The evaluation team should use a combination of qualitative methodologies such as document review, Outcome Harvesting and case studies as the basis for the evaluation.

The evaluation team will use outcome harvesting (or another similar methodology) to better understand project outcomes. Rather than only looking at progress towards achieving planned outcomes, the methodology examines actual changes and works backward to determine whether and how specific programming contributed to this change in behavior. Validation processes will provide independent substantiation of the outcomes, the significance of the outcomes, and the contribution of Oxfam to those outcomes.

In-depth critical instance case studies will serve as critical tests of the claimed causal links between the programme interventions and outcomes. These could be developed through observation, focus group discussions and interviews. This would focus on Oxfam’s technical contributions and at least one will address women’s leadership.

The evaluation team will be expected to produce a research plan including sampling strategy for approval by Oxfam.

Sources

The evaluation will focus on two sources of information.

1) Desk review of the programming documents of both phase I and Phase II - to a) synthesize data on contribution to Tat Lan Outcomes and b) harvest additional outcomes already identified. These will help inform the design of more primary data collection.

2) Key stakeholders - The researcher would initially need to meet with key stakeholders (CSOs, Scholar Institute, Oxfam staff) to review initial outcome descriptions (developed from desk research), and identify additional outcomes and further details on the organization’s contribution to the Tat Lan outcomes. Identified outcomes would need to be validated through broader engagement with project beneficiaries and government stakeholders.

Sampling

If feasible, the sampling strategy could include individuals within villages targeted by Oxfam’s intervention as well as those who were not targeted, providing the opportunity to compare outcomes, and potentially validate or disprove the contribution of the intervention to achieving those outcomes. A mixture of participants from villages where the intervention was more and less successful will need to be included.

Deliverables

  • Summarized descriptions of the outcomes achieved and contributions to:

         -the outcomes in the broader Tat Lan framework
         -the outcomes developed during the harvesting process.

This analysis will not only examine the outcomes associated with the interventions, but go further to identify contributions that led to these outcomes and the sustainability of the outcomes.

  • 4-6 case studies: Based on findings and insights, the researcher will illustrate changes identified through a series of case studies that explores the outcome, and how project contributed, and provide insights into what works best to achieve these outcomes. At least one of these will focus on women’s leadership. These case studies will include quotes from participants and community members as well as photographs where appropriate.
  • A final report (around 35 pages) that answers the evaluation questions. The report should identify linkages between Outcomes from the two phases where possible. Oxfam will provide guidance on the structure of the report.

Deliverables will be thoroughly reviewed for quality by Oxfam’s Programme Quality Team.

Duration

The evaluation team will be contracted for a period of between 15 – 25 days depending on the agreement reached with Oxfam based on the research plan outlined in the expression of interest.

Deadlines

Interested candidates must submit an expression of interest by 5pm on Friday 6th January. Data collection will take place during mid-end of January and the final research report must be submitted by 6th February 2017.

Logistical support

The Evaluation team will be expected to undertake research independently but will be accompanied to villages and will have access to Oxfam transport in Kyauk Phyu. Oxfam will cover costs for travel within Myanmar, and accommodation and travel during field visits, however no enumerators or interpreters will be provided by Oxfam.

Qualifications

Required

The evaluation team consisting of a principal evaluators and researchers must as a team, meet the following requirements:

  • Fluency in written and spoken English and Myanmar (and availability to travel to Kyauk Phyu in January)
  • 5 years evaluating livelihood development, local governance and community development projects
  • Relevant academic background
  • Expertise in qualitative data collection
  • Knowledge of evaluation theory and practice, including desired evaluation approaches
  • Working knowledge of international NGOs
  • Strong interpersonal, cross cultural, and presentation skills
  •  Excellent written and communication skills

Desirable

  • Experience evaluating development projects in Myanmar
  • Experience in outcome harvesting
  • Understanding of the context of Rakhine state
  • Robust understanding of loc al governance, social accountability and women’s leadership approaches

How to apply and Submission of Expression of Interest:

Oxfam invites Expression of Interest (EOI) from consultants with experience and skills described above. The EOI must include:

  • An expression of interest including an outline of a short research plan including estimated number of days and total fee for completion of the assignment. Oxfam will cover fees and internal travel costs within Myanmar only.
  • A copy of the CVs of all team members.

Interested organisation / individual should send their proposal to Oxfam Myanmar not later than 5:00 PM of 6th January 2017 to: Human Resources Department by email myanmarhr@oxfam.org.uk  (OR) No 34, Corner of Aung Taw Mu Lane and Golden Hill Avenue Rd, Golden Valley Ward. Bahan Township. Yangon. Myanmar