These terms of reference guide the services sought by UN Women Liberia Country office to conduct an end line evaluation of United Nations Peacebuilding Fund supported joint project “Promoting Inclusive Political Participation and Elimination of Violence Against Women in Politics” implemented by UN Women and UNDP.
Although Liberia has had a female president (2006–2018) and has a female Vice President (2018–present), women remain woefully underrepresented in national and local politics. Liberia ranks 156th out of 162 countries on the Gender Inequality Index and 163rd out of 187 countries on the list of women in national parliaments. While the average percentage of women in national parliaments is 26% for sub-Saharan Africa and 16% in West Africa, women make up less than 11% of the 103 seats in Liberia's National Legislature. Currently, only 9 out of 73 House of Representatives members (12.3%) and 2 of the 30 Senators (7%) are female.
A lack of political will and an absence of supportive legislative and institutional frameworks present significant obstacles to women's participation in politics. Furthermore, the socio-cultural, economic, and ideological barriers that impede women's leadership in politics and governance cannot be overlooked. Discriminatory gender norms and constrictive gender roles play a pivotal role in exacerbating these challenges. Traditional and religious leaders, often influential in the realm of aspiring politicians, frequently withhold their endorsements from female candidates. The dearth of political capital and networks, compared to their male counterparts, hinders women's ability to secure the necessary resources for their campaigns. Harmful stereotypes about women leaders persist, often perpetuated by the media and the public, influencing voters' decisions. Moreover, violence against women in elections and politics (VAWIE/P) is employed to reinforce gender hierarchies within households, communities, and governance structures.
With this background, UN Women and UNDP, with the support of the United Nations Peacebuilding Fund, initiated a $2 million project aimed at "Promoting Inclusive Political Participation and Eliminating Violence Against Women in Politics" in preparation for the 2023 presidential and legislative elections, implemented for a a duration of 27 months.
UN Women is currently seeking to recruit two consultants to undertake the end-of-project evaluation, including an International Lead Evaluation Consultant and a National Evaluation Consultant. The International Evaluation Consultant will assume a leadership role in overseeing the evaluation process, including planning and delegation of evaluation tasks. Meanwhile, the National Evaluation Consultant will provide essential support throughout the evaluation including assisting with local access, cultural considerations, and logistical aspects.
II. Description of the joint project
The project, Promoting Inclusive Political Participation and Elimination of Violence Against Women in Politics, has the overall outcome of increased women’s participation in elections, politics, public life, and peacebuilding mechanisms. The project aimed to strengthen coordination of peacebuilding, governance, and elections processes and stakeholders with a focus on greater participation of women in these processes – from the community to the national level. In the period heading towards the 2023 General Elections, the project focused on increasing awareness on the rights of women to participate in politics influencing attitude, norm, and behavioural change, and strengthening policies, laws and institutional frameworks, and adherence to national and international commitments to protect women’s political and civic rights and promote women’s meaningful participation and representation. It also aimed to achieve more effective prevention and response to VAWIE/P by strengthening institutional and civil society capacities for preventing, monitoring, reporting and responding to VAWIE/P, thereby building an enabling environment for women’s safe and free participation in politics and public life. The detailed project document including the results framework can be found https://mptf.undp.org/project/00128904.
Project Theory of Change, outcomes/outputs
If coordination and monitoring of peacebuilding mechanisms by grassroots networks (peace huts and peace committees etc.), CSOs, PBO, ZoA, is enhanced, and If NEC, community male gate keepers and political party leaders and other institutions and structures of governance in the executive, legislature and Judiciary are engaged and supported to prevent and respond to VAWIE-P, and to protect and support women's equal rights to political participation and representation, and If legal frameworks and policies are made more robust and intentional towards gender responsiveness, and If women's political agency is strengthened to claim their rights and demonstrate transformative leadership competencies, and are linked to economic empowerment initiatives and If the media effectively challenges negative stereotypes and builds public trust of women leaders, and high-level political lobbying takes place,
Then there will be positive cultural shift from men as partners to engage and promote women leadership and greater participation of women in elections and public office contributing to lasting peace in Liberia.
Because the deep seated institutional and social barriers, would have shifted to appreciate and promote women as partners in leadership; coordination at the grassroots and national levels would have been strengthened to mainstream all efforts towards inclusive political participation, and legal and policy frameworks have become more gender responsive.
Outcome: Increased women’s participation in elections, politics, public life, and peacebuilding mechanisms
Output 1.1 Political party and community engagements on women political participation are promoted through dialogue.
Output 1.2 Strengthened mechanisms for reduction of violence against women in elections, politics, and public spheres.
Output 1.3 Strengthened capacity of women and youth to formulate and implement measures to promote women’s participation in elections and peacebuilding.
Output 1.4 Strengthened strategies of national institutions and county structures to promote inclusive participation in electoral, political, and peacebuilding processes.
III. Purpose and use of evaluation
The main purpose of this evaluation is to contribute to improving UN Women and UNDP's approach to women's participation in politics and peacebuilding mechanisms programming. The key results, challenges, lessons learned, good practices, conclusions, and recommendations will inform future joint programming on women's political participation and preventing electoral violence, including violence against women in politics, and foster organizational learning and accountability. This evaluation is a mandatory component of project management, and the final evaluation report will be submitted to PBSO.
The evaluation findings will be used by relevant stakeholders to inform and enhance collective capacities of the Government, political parties and CSOs and women’s rights organizations at both the national and local levels to support women participation in politics and peacebuilding efforts.
The findings of this evaluation will also be used by the UN to further refine its approaches towards the promoting the thematic area. The results of the evaluation will be publicly accessible through the Global Accountability and Tracking of Evaluation Use (GATE) system and MPTFO/PBF website for global learning.
The main evaluation users include UN Women and UNDP in Liberia, as well as the Peacebuilding Fund and UNCT more broadly. Furthermore, national stakeholders such as the Ministry of Gender Children and Social Protection (MGCSP), National Elections Commission, Women Legislative Caucus of Liberia, Ministry of Internal Affairs, Peacebuilding Office (PBO), civil societies and women’s rights organizations in Liberia.
IV. Scope of the evaluation
The evaluation will cover the implementation period of the joint project from October 2021 to December 2023. (27 months). The evaluation will assess the projects reach at national, country and community level. The geographic scope of the evaluation will be decided in consultation with the evaluation team during the inception phase.
The objectives of the evaluation are to:
- Assess the relevance of the intervention, strategy and approach and UN Women and UNDP’s added value in the thematic area;
- Assess the effectiveness and efficiency in progressing towards the achievement of results as defined in the project document;
- Assess how human rights approach and gender equality principles are integrated in the deign and implementation of the project;
- Identify and validate lessons learnt and good practices that would allow UN Women and UNDP to support sustainability of results achieved in the thematic area as well as the replication and scaling up of programme and projects in Liberia;
- Provide actionable recommendations to inform future programming in the area.
VI. Evaluation design (process and methods)
The evaluation process is divided in six phases:
1) Preparation Phase
2) Inception phase
3) Data collection phase
4) Data analyses and syntheses phase
6) Dissemination and Management Response
The evaluation team is responsible for phases two, three, four and five while phase one and phase six are the responsibility of the Programme Manager and Chief Technical Advisor of UN Women and UNDP respectively, and designated representatives of UN Women and UNDP in collaboration with the PBF Secretariat in the Resident Coordinator’s Office.
In addition, UN Women is a UN System-wide Action Plan on Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women, or UN-SWAP reporting entity and the consultants will take into consideration that all the evaluation in UN Women are annually assessed against the UN-SWAP Evaluation Performance Indicator and its related scorecard. In line with the above mentioned, the Evaluation Report will be subjected to UN-SWAP quality scoring and must demonstrate evidence of gender integration in the evaluation process and report. The methodology should clearly focus on highlighting gender issues in the implementation of the program. This is one of the elements by which this evaluation report will be scrutinized by a team of external evaluators, using the UN-SWAP criteria. The evaluation performance indicator [UN SWAP EPI Technical Guidance and Scorecard] is used to appreciate the extent to which the evaluation report satisfies the following criteria:
· GEWE is integrated in the evaluation scope of analysis and evaluation indicators are designed in a way that ensures GEWE related data will be collected.
· GEWE is integrated in evaluation criteria and evaluation questions are included that specifically address how GEWE has been integrated into the design, planning, implementation of the intervention and the results achieved;
· A gender-responsive methodology, methods and tools, and data analysis techniques are selected.
· Evaluation findings, conclusions and recommendations reflect a gender analysis.
A Project Evaluation Reference Group comprising UN Women, UNDP, PBF Secretariat, PBSO and relevant stakeholders will be established and will review the content and quality of all evaluation deliverables and provide joint comments to the evaluators within 7-10 days of submission and whose comments need to be considered and responded to by the evaluators.
The evaluations will use mixed methods, including quantitative and qualitative data collection and analysis, to account for the complexity of gender relations and ensure participatory and inclusive processes, with active participation of women, girls, men, and boys benefiting from the project interventions, in a culturally appropriate manner.
The detailed methodology for the evaluation will be developed and presented by the consultants and validated by the Project Evaluation Reference Group at the inception of the evaluation.
Duties and Responsibilities
The Consultant will undertake the following tasks, duties and responsibilities:
- Review of Documents: UN Women will gather and share with the consultants all relevant reports and documents including the baseline and perception survey. The evaluators shall familiarize themselves with the programme through a review of relevant documents, including, but not be limited to: Project document, Joint Programme Work Plan, Annual and Semi-annual progress reports, Programme Monitoring reports, Project procurement and financial reports, minutes of project management meetings, briefs, studies and any other technical reports, etc.
- Key Informant Interviews: The evaluator shall do a comprehensive stakeholder mapping in the beginning to identify the key informant interviewees. The evaluator shall carry out key informant interviews with major stakeholders identified. The interviews should be organized in a semi-structured format to include for instance. focused group discussions; individual interviews; surveys; and/or participatory exercises with the community or individuals. The information from this assessment will be used as a baseline for PAPD and UNSCDF.
- Field visits: During site visits, the evaluator will conduct interviews and focus group discussions with the community, ensuring that the perspective of the most vulnerable group is included in the consultation.
The evaluation team should ensure the data collection tools and methods are valid, reliable, and responsive to gender equality and human rights. If the sample is not representative, this should be stated clearly, and the data triangulated to ensure robust results. The evaluation team should develop a detailed data protection plan and sampling frame (specifying the area, population, rationale, mechanics, and limitations), and address the diversity of stakeholders.
The evaluation should be conducted in accordance with UN Women evaluation Policy, evaluation Chapter of the Programme and Operations Manual (POM), the Global Evaluation Reports Assessment and Analysis System (GERAAS evaluation report quality checklist), the United Nations System-Wide Action Plan Evaluation Performance Indicators (UN-SWAP EP) and UN Women Evaluation handbook. All the documents will be provided by UN Women at the onset of the evaluation.
VIII. Stakeholder participation
The evaluators are expected to discuss during the inception phase how the process will ensure participation of stakeholders at all stages, with a specific emphasis on rights holders and their representatives. Their participation is crucial at each stage as follows: 1. Design; 2. Consultation of stakeholders; 3. Stakeholders as data collectors; 4. Interpretation and 5. Reporting, dissemination and usage of data. The list of stakeholders can be found in section III. Furthermore, a stakeholder analysis should be provided in the inception period.
It is important to pay particular attention to the participation of rights holders—in particularly young women and men targeted by the project. The evaluators are expected to validate findings through engagement with stakeholders at stakeholder workshops, debriefings or other forms of engagement.
IX. Evaluation questions and criteria
The evaluation should be guided by the evaluation questions below but should not be limited to them. UN Women/UNDP and the PBF/PBSO may raise other relevant issues during the inception process.
Relevance: The extent to which the objectives of the Joint Programme are consistent with national evolving peacebuilding needs and priorities of the beneficiaries, partners, and stakeholders and are aligned with programme country government priorities as well as with UN Women and UNDP policies and strategies.’
- Did the project results address the major peacebuilding needs of the target groups and of the country, more broadly?
- How timely and urgent was the project vis-a-vis the sustaining peace context in Liberia and how did it effectively utilize windows of political opportunities?
- How suitable for the context is the range of substantive areas in which the project is engaged (i.e., women political participation, violence against women in elections, civic education, gender mainstreaming during elections, mediation, and conflict resolution)
- How does the project reflect and align to Liberia’s national plans on gender promotion as well as the PAPD and the UNSDCF and to the specific government priorities women political participation and peacebuilding?
Effectiveness: The extent to which the project’s objectives were achieved or are expected/ likely to be achieved.
- What has been the progress made towards achievement of the expected outcomes and outputs? What results were achieved?
- What were the major interventions that contributed to the achievement of the outcomes and outputs?
- To what extent are beneficiaries satisfied with the results?
- To what extent did the project’s Theory of Change prove realistic and was implemented?
- To what extent are the project approaches and strategies innovative? What types of innovative practices have been introduced? What are the unsuccessful innovative practices?
- Has the project-built synergies with other programmes being implemented at country level by United Nations, International NGOs and the Government of Liberia?
Efficiency: A measure of how economically resources / inputs (funds, expertise, time, etc.) were converted to results. It is also a measure of the operational efficiency, i.e management and timeliness.
- Have resources been allocated strategically to achieve project outcomes?
- Were resources sufficient to enable achievement of the expected outputs?
- Is the joint project and its components cost-effective? Could activities and outputs have been delivered with fewer resources without comprising project quality?
- Were the project’s organizational structure, management and coordination mechanisms effective in terms of project implementation and monitoring? Are there any recommendations for improvement?
- Has the joint nature of the project improved efficiency in terms of delivery, including reduced duplication, reduced burdens and transactional costs? If so, what factors have influenced this?
- How was data from monitoring used for management action and decision making?
- Does the project have effective monitoring mechanisms in place to measure progress towards achievement of results?
- Have the project’s organizational structures, managerial support and coordination mechanisms effectively supported the delivery of the project?
Sustainability: The likelihood of a continuation of project results after the intervention is completed or the probability of continued long-term benefits.
- What is the likelihood that the project results will be of use in the long-term? What is the likelihood that the results from the project will be maintained for a reasonably long period of time once the project ends?
- Which components of the project should be carried over into the next phase, and are there any recommendations for their improvement? Which positive /innovative approaches have been identified if any and how can they be replicated?
- How have partnerships (with governments, UN, donors, NGOs, civil society organizations, religious leaders, the media) been established to foster sustainability of results?
- Did the intervention design include an appropriate sustainability and exit strategy (including promoting national/ local ownership, use of local capacity, etc.) to support positive changes, including in Gender Equality and Human Rights after the end of the intervention? To what extent were stakeholders involved in the preparation of the strategy?
Gender Equality and Human Rights (GE&HR)
- To what extent have gender and human rights considerations been integrated into the project design and implementation?
- To what extent have GE&HR been reflected in the overall intervention budget?
- Were there any constraints or facilitators (e.g., political, practical, bureaucratic) to addressing GE&HR issues during implementation? What level of effort was made to overcome these challenges?
- Were the processes and activities implemented during the intervention free from discrimination to all stakeholders?
Coherence. Includes internal that addresses the synergies and interlinkages between the intervention and other interventions carried out by the same institution as well as the consistency of the intervention with the relevant international norms and standards to which that institution adheres. External coherence considers the consistency of the intervention with other actors’ interventions in the same context. This includes complementarity, harmonization and co-ordination with others, and the extent to which the intervention is adding value while avoiding duplication of effort.
- Has the project-built synergies with other programmes being implemented at country level by United Nations, International NGOs and the Government of Liberia?
- To what extent has the project’s intervention been consistent with interventions of others in the same context?
- To what extent is the project complimentary, harmonized and coordinated with other interventions in this area?
Impact. addresses the ultimate significance and potentially transformative effects of the intervention. It seeks to identify social, environmental, and economic effects of the intervention that are longer term or broader in scope than those already captured under the effectiveness criterion.
- Has the project identified and addressed social, environmental, and economic effects of the intervention that are longer term?
- To what extent did the intervention contribute to the reduction of violence including violence against women in politics and the promotion of peace?
- What indirect, secondary and potential consequences of the intervention were captured?
The questions above are a suggestion and could be changed during the inception phase in consultation with members of the Reference Group and UN Agencies. It is expected that the evaluation team will develop an evaluation matrix, which will relate to the above questions, the areas they refer to, the criteria for evaluating them, the indicators, and the means of verification.
All evaluations conducted by UN Women are publicly available on the Global Accountability and Tracking of Evaluation (GATE) system along with their management responses.
X. Time Frame:
The evaluation is expected to be conducted according to the following time frame:
Desk review and inception meeting
Participate in a virtual inception meeting with UN Women, UNDP, and the UN Peacebuilding Fund Secretariat in Liberia to receive a comprehensive briefing on program objectives, achievements, and engage with selected stakeholder representatives. During this meeting, the evaluator will be provided with essential program documents for review, including program documentation, progress reports, and monitoring reports.
Submission of inception Report including data collection tools to the evaluation reference Group
Prepare an inception report that outlines the proposed evaluation methods, data sources, and collection procedures, as well as an evaluation matrix, proposed schedule, and background information.
The inception report should address how the evaluation process will ensure the participation of all stakeholders, with a specific emphasis on rights holders and their representatives. The inception report must be approved by the reference group and UN Women.
Data collection will include both in-country, face-to-face and/or virtual (telephone, video conferencing) interviews.
Analysis and presentation of preliminary findings and draft report
Share draft report including preliminary findings and recommendations with UN Women and UNDP. Report structure should follow UNEG evaluation reporting guidance. UN Women and UNDP will review the report as part of quality assurance and will share it with the reference group for their feedback.
The report should be finalized on the basis of feedback from UN Women and EMG. The draft report will be presented to stakeholders in a validation meeting facilitated by the consultants.
Evaluation Team &
Dissemination of Report.
With recommendations from the evaluation team, UN Women will develop a dissemination and utilization plan following the finalization of the Evaluation Report.
UN Women and UNDP
UN Women and UNDP
XI. Expected deliverables
The evaluation consultant will be key member of the evaluation team, engaged in all phases of the evaluation process and in each type of evaluation to produce concise and analytical evaluation reports. Deliverables for the evaluation consultant include the following: desk review, portfolio analysis, stakeholder analysis, interview notes, qualitative and quantitative data analyses, contributions to the inception report, presentations and final synthesis reports and annexes for evaluations. These deliverables must be high quality and in line with the criteria established in UN SWAP Evaluation Performance Indicator and UN Women GERAAS evaluation criteria.
XII. Management of evaluation
The ultimate responsibility for this evaluation rests with UN Women. The evaluation is managed by UNW-Liberia M&E Specialist in consultation with the Evaluation Management Group (EMG), Evaluation Reference Group, External consultants.
The EMG, Evaluation Reference Group will be established to participate in the evaluation process and quality assure the evaluation report on the basis of UNEG standards and norms, UN SWAP Evaluation Performance Indicator and GERAAS meta-evaluation criteria.
To enhance the quality of this evaluation, the Evaluation Management Group and Evaluation Reference Group will be asked by the UNW-Liberia M&E Specialist to provide:
- Feedback to the draft inception and evaluation report;
- Recommendations on how to improve the quality of the final inception/evaluation report.
The Evaluation Manager (EM) will review feedback and recommendations from EMG and ERG and share with the Evaluation Team leader, who is expected to use them to finalize the inception/ evaluation report.
The Evaluation Management Group is comprised of the UN Women Evaluation Manager (Liberia), UN Women Regional Evaluation Specialist , PBSO,PBF Regional Evaluation Specialist, Secretariat M&E Analyst, and Project Focal Points from UNDP. . The EMG will be chaired by the UN Women Evaluation Manager who will provide approval of the deliverables after clearance by the EMG and in consultation with the Regional Evaluation Specialist, in compliance with UN Women’s Evaluation Policy.
The EMG provides oversight, makes key decisions and quality assurance of evaluation process and deliverables. Specific responsibilities will include the following: ensure oversight of the evaluation methodology, review draft reports; ensure that the deliverables are of quality; participate in meetings as key informant interviewees; manage the evaluation by requesting progress updates on the implementation of the evaluation workplan, approve deliverables, organize meetings with key stakeholders, and identify strategic opportunities for sharing and learning. EMG substantive inputs are expected throughout the evaluation process.
The Evaluation Reference Group (ERG) is an integral part of the evaluation management group and is established to facilitate the participation of relevant stakeholders in the evaluation process, with a view to increase the chances that the evaluation results will be used, enhance quality, clarify roles and responsibilities, and prevent void real conflict of interest.
The ERG will be composed of PBSO, PBF Secretariat and staffs from key Government line ministries (i.e., MGCSP, NEC MiA through the PBO) including representatives from two implementing UN Agencies, and CSOs. The ERG will be engaged throughout the whole evaluation process and will review the draft Inception report and evaluation report. The ERG will be chaired by the Evaluation Manager. The Consultant is expected to integrate comments from the ERG into the Final Report, with an audit trail of responses. To ensure transparency the process in line with the UNEG norms and standards, justification should be provided for any recommendations that the Evaluation team omits.
The evaluation is managed by UN Women LBR Evaluation Manager in consultation with the EMG , Evaluation Reference Group, and External consultants in the following matrix:
Management Structure and Responsibilities
The roles and responsibilities are arranged in line with the Joint Evaluation modality
Evaluation Management Group
Finalizes the TOR; contracts and manages the evaluation team; ensures deadlines and milestones are met; supports data collection activities; consolidates and solicits feedback that will feed into the key deliverables; provides the following lists: key informants in HQ, region offices, and country offices, sub grantees; provides key programme documents, and list of locations for site visits; accountable for its robustness; meticulously reviews all deliverables based on their role in the evaluation, provides substantive comments and approves on the context of the joint programme; ensures the quality and independence of the evaluation are in alignment with UNEG standards and principles; ensures evaluation questions, findings, and recommendations are in alignment with the OECD/DAC evaluation criteria; endorses the evaluation dissemination process; contributes to the management response; and provides logistical support for mission; provides logistical support for the presentation of the inception report and the final report; participates in meetings on: progress updates on the work plan, preliminary findings briefing, key informant interview, and final report presentation
Evaluation Reference Group
Plays a key role based on their expertise providing their perspective as an external individual on the way the programme has rolled out; shares views on the feasibility of the recommendations; makes recommendations on the dissemination of the findings of the evaluation; makes recommendations on the implementation of the management response; and participates in meetings as a key informant interviewee.
Independent National and International Consultant
Carries out the external evaluation; prepares evaluation reports, including the inception report, work plan, bi-weekly progress updates, preliminary results briefing, final report, and holds a dissemination presentation. The independent consultant(s) will report to the Evaluation Manager in Liberia
XIII. Evaluation team composition, skills and experiences
The evaluation team will consist of two consultants: an international evaluation team leader and a national evaluation team member. The team leader will be responsible for the overall evaluation, including report writing and data analysis. Both consultants will report to and be managed by UN Women.
XIV. Ethical code of conduct
The United Nations Evaluations Group (UNEG) Ethical Guidelines and Code of Conduct for Evaluation in the UN system are available at: http://www.uneval.org/document/detail/100; Norms for evaluation in the UN system: http://unevaluation.org/document/detail/21 and UNEG Standards for evaluation (updated 2016): http://unevaluation.org/document/detail/1914
Required Skills and Experience
Required competencies and qualifications:
Master’s Degree in social sciences, Monitoring and evaluation, development studies, gender studies, international relations or related fields;
Experience and Skills
- The candidate should also have a minimum of five (5) years of experience in conducting evaluation of projects and programmes in the development context, including in post-conflict, fragile or peace building contexts
- Demonstrated experience in evaluating interventions/thematic knowledge related to women’s leadership preferred.
- Strong understanding and experience in the areas of gender equality and women’s empowerment, gender mainstreaming, gender analysis and the related mandates within UN Women, particularly in relation to women’s leadership interventions preferred.
- Excellent analytical, facilitation and communications skills and the ability to engaged and negotiate amongst a wide range of stakeholders.
- Experience and knowledge on human rights issues, the human rights-based approach to programming and evaluation, human rights analysis, and related mandates within the UN system
- Experience in West and Central Africa Region and specifically Liberia context is an asset
Language and other skills:
- Fluency in English is required.