International Consultants, End of Project Evaluation of Improving Livelihoods
Project: Consolidating gains in Policy Making and Livelihoods Improvement through Biodiversity Conservation and Sustainable Use of Natural Resources
BirdLife International is a global Partnership of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) striving to conserve birds, their habitats and global biodiversity, working with people towards the sustainable use of natural resources. Currently, the Partnership works in more than 116 countries through 117 national grassroots conservation NGOs. For operational efficiency, the BirdLife Partnership is grouped into six regional units, each supported by a regional decentralised office of the BirdLife Secretariat. In Africa, the BirdLife Africa Partnership is a growing network of 23 such organizations plus one Country Programme, covering 24 countries, with a combined total of more than 300 staff and 30,000 members. Partners are involved in research, conservation action, environmental education and sustainable development through a broad agenda focusing on birds, other fauna and flora, and socio-economic issues such as poverty alleviation. The Africa Partnership Secretariat, is made up of a small team (24 staff) based mainly in the main regional office in Nairobi, Kenya and a sub-regional office for West Africa based in Ghana.
The BirdLife Africa Partnership is making efforts to significantly reduce the rate of loss of the region’s biodiversity. These efforts include advocacy and conservation action for identified Important Bird Areas (IBAs) and priority species and empowering the local people to analyze threats and develop safeguard options that suit local socio-economic contexts and use the existing indigenous knowledge. The Partnership works through developing alliances with governments and non-governmental agencies to address threats to biodiversity. Nearly10% of bird species in Africa are globally threatened. The BirdLife mission is to conserve birds, their habitats and biodiversity more generally, working with people towards sustainability in the use of natural resources. BirdLife works through four thematic areas; Species, Sites, habitats and People. Our work entails the identification and conservation of threatened species and IBAs; participation in the development of appropriate policies and advocacy plans related to global processes and conventions for priority habitats and ecosystems, and empowering people to contribute to and benefit from sustainable use of natural resources. BirdLife’s work in Africa gives high priority to empowering people to manage and benefit from sustainable use of natural resources through livelihoods improvement, and all these are achieved through the four-pronged strategic objective of: Species, Sites, Habitats and People.
In rural Africa, most people depend on natural capital for their livelihoods. Recent studies have shown that the culture, health, income, food security and other aspects of the household economy of rural Africans are heavily dependent on the direct and indirect use of biological resources. Yet, until recently, formal conservation agencies and policies have broadly ignored these linkages, as have those working with poverty and livelihood security. It is only in recent times that the real synergy between conservation and livelihood security are being responsibly built upon. This trend is given added urgency by the Millennium Development Goals, which for the first time, make the global community accountable for the reduction of both poverty and biodiversity loss across the globe, and particularly so in the less developed countries of the South which are biodiversity rich and financially poor. Furthermore, the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MA) has provided detailed analysis of the theoretical pathways in which ecosystem services are clearly linked to human well-being. To gain the attention of Governments and key decision makers, practical examples that demonstrate these links in real life situations are needed.
The BirdLife Africa Partnership has been implementing, among others the project ‘Consolidating gains in Policy Making and Livelihoods Improvement through Biodiversity Conservation and Sustainable Use of Natural Resources’. This project, funded by Spanish Agency for International Cooperation (AECID), has been implemented through BirdLife Partners in three countries namely; Kenya (Nature Kenya), Ethiopia (Ethiopian Wildlife and Natural History Society) and South Africa (BirdLife South Africa). At regional and global levels, policy work has been going on and support has been provided to the above mentioned Partners, and the wider Partnership in Africa. The project, which started in 2010 and came to an end in June, 2012, was a follow up of a pilot phase which ran from 2009-2010. The project’s main focus has been policy influence at all levels in both biodiversity conservation and poverty reduction, as well as improving the livelihoods of the communities at site level at six sites that have been implementing the project. The logical framework of the project is available.
Objectives of the Evaluation
The overall objectives of the evaluation are to:
• Evaluate the performance of the project in terms of its stated objectives, strategy, and activities;
• Assess the impact of the project or progress towards impact in relation to;
- livelihoods improvement
- biodiversity policy making
- capacity building
• Identify strengths and weaknesses in design and implementation;
•I dentify opportunities for learning and sharing lessons.
• Make recommendations regarding specific actions that might be taken to improve similar projects in future.
There will be two components to the project review.
Component One: General review of the project
1. Assess the following:
a. After 2 years of implementation does it appear that the original project design was valid and that the stated objectives were achieved? In the light of this experience to date should the strategy be adjusted in any way in future projects?
b. Has the project made satisfactory progress towards the intended impact? Were long term objectives met?
c. Were the indicators identified in the logframe table valid in light of the internal Monitoring and Evaluation? Have baseline measurements been taken and have these been used to measure long term impact? If not, where were the gaps and how can these gaps be filled in future?
d. Did implementation and execution modalities operate effectively and efficiently? Was there a clear division of roles and responsibilities between all actors? Was there effective communication between all parties? What are the strengths and weaknesses? How can implementation and execution modalities be improved?
2. Identify the key lessons learned in relation to:
• Increasing effectiveness and efficiently.
• What has worked particularly well and could be considered “good practice”
• What should be done differently in a similar project in the future.
• What should not have been done because it had little or negative impact on the overall objective?
3. Make recommendations for consolidating and scaling up the achievements of the project.
In undertaking the tasks listed above, the review team should bear in mind that the project has operated at four different levels. It is important that the above tasks are addressed at the appropriate level:
a) Site level
b) National level
c) Regional level
d) Global level
Component Two: Special issues to be addressed
1. Project start up: The project took quite a while to start up. Did this have any impacts on technical soundness, participation, ownership and capacity development?
2. Project management structure: The project was coordinated by BirdLife Secretariat. National Partners implemented national and site components while global advocacy was implemented in collaboration with Global Secretariat and BirdLife Partners in other regions, especially the RSPB. How effective was this structure and are there any suggestions for improvement?
3. Link between livelihoods and biodiversity conservation: Did the project clearly demonstrated a clear link between the two areas: is there evidence that livelihoods improvement directly or indirectly enhanced conservation of biodiversity? This analysis should be done cognisant of the debate whether in fact poverty reduction enhances conservation of biodiversity and vice versa. Clearly evaluate this link and make suggestions.
4. Impacts beyond the project: Assess whether the project was successful in leveraging more impact beyond the immediate objectives.
5. Sustainability: Look at sustainability in terms of financial, institutional and systems context.
6. Social economic impact: What socio economic impact did the project have? Who benefitted in terms men and women? Were the poorest groups in the community reached?
7. Project side effects: What were the side-effects of the project? Were the negative ones mitigated? Were there been any negative effects in relation to gender and how were these dealt with?
8. Regional vs. National: The project is regional involving 3 countries. Assess if the coordination at regional level was effective and value this added to Partners at national level. On the other hand, what was the value added by the involvement of BirdLife/SEO as an intermediate to AECID?
9. Partnerships: In this project NGO work in partnership with government and regional inter-governmental institutions for biodiversity conservation. The development of this relationship seems to be more advanced in some countries than others. The contribution of this project in enhancing such partnerships should be identified and documented.
The project evaluation will be accomplished as follows:
• Consultations with BirdLife office in Nairobi and perusal of key project documents.
• Visit to the Partner countries (Kenya, Ethiopia and South Africa) and holding discussions.
• Visit sample project sites in each country: only three out of the six project sites should be visited.
The successful consultant will be the Team Leader and will be expected to organise how the work will be divided among his team. The Team Leader will have the overall responsibility for delivering the consultancy. The team will be supported by the Birdlife office in Nairobi and the Partners in Kenya, Ethiopia and South Africa.
• The evaluation will commence on 1st September 2012 for 15 days
• The final report will be submitted by 20th September 2012
• The final report will have (but not limited) elements suggested in Annex 1
Annex 1: Possible structure of final evaluation report
The Evaluation Report may be structured as follows taking into consideration Evaluation Terms of Reference:
(i)Acronyms and abbreviations
(iv)Project Concept and Design
(x)List of Annexes
Interested Consultants are requested to submit their EOIs (indicating the approach; the CVs of those who will be involved; cost; delivery time, and copies of at least two recent evaluations) to the undersigned, not later than 20th August, 2012. The successful Consultant will be notified by 27th August 2012. The consultancy is expected to be completed in two weeks time starting 1st September 2012.
For further information, please contact Edith: firstname.lastname@example.org