Call for Tender for an Evaluation of an BMZ-funded project in Lao PDR
The following project is to be evaluated:
Regional Program for Promoting Cooperative Self-help Organisations in Asia 2018-2020 – Sub-Project Laos (Regionalprojekt Förderung genossenschaftlicher Selbsthilfeorganisationen in Asien 2018-2020 – Teilprojekt Laos)
DGRV – Deutscher Genossenschafts- und Raiffeisenverband e. V., Adenauerallee 121, 53113 Bonn, Germany
DGRV - Deutscher Genossenschafts- und Raiffeisenverband e. V. (German Cooperative and Raiffeisen Confederation reg. assoc.) is the top-level auditing association according to the Cooperative Act. As national apex organisation its main task is the encouragement and development of the cooperative movement and the cooperative audit in Germany. International cooperation, exchange of experience, and knowledge transfer are traditional strengths of the German cooperative sector and constitute an important part of DGRV’s consulting activities. For more than 30 years, DGRV is actively engaged in development projects worldwide, working mostly on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). DGRV’s international cooperation activities are being organized and monitored by the “International Relations Department” (IRD), based in Bonn. For more details please refer to www.dgrv.de.
In Asia, DGRV operates in several countries within the framework of the “Regional Program for Promoting Cooperative Self-help Organisations in Asia”, funded by BMZ. Activities in Laos are a sub-component of this program. DGRV established first contacts in Laos in 2002/03. The country office in Vientiane was set up in 2004 and until 2013 served as the regional office for DGRV’s activities in South-East Asia. In its program in Laos DGRV aims to support the stepwise establishment of a sustainable cooperative system by working on different levels (micro, meso, macro) in the agricultural and microfinance sector. The portfolio of activities consists of:
Cooperative basic work: Consultancy and trainings on basic cooperative issues; elaboration of information and training materials, organization of stakeholder meetings (producers, govern-ment agencies, microfinance institutions, market partners); exchange of experiences with existing cooperatives locally and regionally; consultancy (for the establishment) of agricultural cooperatives as well as cooperatives in the microfinance sector; training and coaching; improve-ment of quality standards / value chain; capacity building for primary cooperatives through the development and implementation of Financial Literacy and Business Literacy training.
Promotion of regional cooperative networks / formation of association structures on a secondary level: Exchange of experiences between partner cooperatives locally/regionally. Capcity building for recently established cooperative networks.
Consultancy work on the macro level aiming at developing a legal and administrative framework for cooperatives and Savings and Credit Unions (SCU) and enabling the respective (government and non-government) institutions to provide appropriate support to cooperatives according to their mandate.
In the area of agricultural cooperatives DGRV’s main project partner in Laos is the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAF), Department for Rural Development and Cooperatives (DRDC) together with its respective Provincial Departments (PAFOs). In the microfinance sector DGRV works with Bank of Lao (BoL).
2. Consultancy Motive and Objectives
The current project phase covers the period January 2018 to December 2020. A continuation from 2021 onwards is planned; the respective funding proposal to the BMZ shall be prepared until July 2020. Therefore it is important to document and assess the present status of project progress.
The evaluation shall examine the achievements to date and, based on the findings, shall draw conclusions and develop recommendations for the future direction and possible new approaches of the program.
The specific objectives of the evaluation are to:
- measure project achievements with regard to outcomes and impact realized overtime, against what was originally planned or subsequently officially revised;
- determine whether underlying project theories and assumptions are still valid;
- assess efficiency, consistency, effectiveness, relevance and sustainability of the program;
- identify lessons learned (what worked, what not and why) and provide recommendations and/or modifications necessary for a successful continuation of the program from 2021 onwards;
- assess DGRV’s partners (MAF/DRDC, BoL, PAFO in Champasak, Vientiane Province and Huaphan) roles and performances as implementing agencies and possibly recommend corrective measures.
3. Scope and Tasks of the Evaluation
The evaluation shall look at the whole project which is characterized by consultancy and capacity building measures on different levels and in both the agricultural and micro-finance sector. The evaluation will assess project results, including an assessment of impact realized to date (progress towards achieving the set objectives). In doing so, the evaluation shall look at activities undertaken since 2014. More specifically, the evaluation will review the status and quality of the work by answering the following questions according to the DAC criteria among others:
- To what extent are the objectives of the project still valid/realistic? Are there differences between the time when the project was designed and today?
- To what extent does the project meet the core felt needs of the target groups/beneficiaries in the project areas?
- Has the specific situation (social, economic) in Laos sufficiently been taken into account?
- To what extent were the objectives achieved/are likely to be achieved by the end of the current project phase?
- What were the major factors influencing the achievement or non-achievement of the objectives?
- To what extent are the project activities suitable to achieve the objectives?
- To what extent have the indicators been appropriate to measure the project impact?
- Are the individual activities cost-efficient in the context of the project?
- Could the objectives have been reached with different / more cost-efficient measures? If so, what could be recommended for the continuation of the project?
- To what extent have synergies been built up with other actors active in the same field?
- To what extent and in which form (cash, in kind) have partners and target groups contributed financially to the implementation of activities?
- What real difference has the project brought about for the target groups/beneficiaries?
- What is the direct impact on beneficiaries i.e. is there additional income and/or what are benefits of the beneficiaries being member in the farmer groups/cooperatives/SCU that are supported by the project?
- What is the impact of the project intervention on the implementing partners DRDC and BoL? To what extent is the capacity building of DRDC and BoL relevant / important to the overall development of the cooperative sector in Laos?
- To what extent has the project contributed to the overall cooperative development in Lao PDR (including the possible establishment of regulatory frame conditions)?
- To what extent is the cooperation with pilot cooperatives likely to have an impact on the local and regional economic development?
- To which extent does the program contribute to the creation of sustainable and independent cooperative structures in Laos i.e. setting up of a regulatory framework?
- Which role did/can other actors (INGO, local NPA, local authorities) play in the extension and replication of cooperative concepts including the issue of financial literacy?
4. Evaluation design and methodology
The evaluation methods should be participatory, inclusive and involve as many relevant stakeholders as possible. Due to the type of program data sources as well as analysis will primarily be of a qualitative nature. Thus, besides undertaking a desk review of the key project documents and other relevant literature, it is expected that main tasks include but not be limited to:
- interviews with
- DGRV staff in the Country Office Laos
- DRDC, BoL and other partners staff
- Members of the farmer groups network in Champasak and of the SCU network
- Members and staff of farmer groups/cooperatives/SCUs
- representative sample of other stakeholders like other organizations involved in the cooperative sector and/or cooperating in the project
- focus group discussions with key beneficiary group (farmer groups/cooperatives, SCU in the project region; training participants) to assess changes in knowledge, attitudes and practices;
- case studies of selected beneficiaries to get sample in-depth information on the impact of the project activities on the individual farmer group/cooperative/SCU member
Note: The consideration of non-beneficiaries remains an option to be discussed and assessed for its feasibility.
5. Expected Outputs/Reporting
- Inception report outlining how the objectives and issues addressed in the ToR can be achieved within the evaluation. Possible amendments or modifcations of the ToR which may be recognized during the preparatory phase will be decided amicably with DGRV.
- Presentation of preliminary results for debriefing (incl. pptx).
- Evaluation report outlining the main findings and conclusions derived from the analysis as well as giving qualified recommendations for the further development of DGRV’s activities in Lao PDR for 2021-2023.
6. Procedure and Time Table
For the evaluation up to 26 days are foreseen including 4 days preparation/desk review, 14 days field visits (including international travel), 3 days analysis, 1 day debriefing workshop with core staff and partners and 4 days for final reporting and presentation. The evaluation can be scheduled during the timeframe of second half of October 2019 to beginning of December 2019. The final report shall be handed over to DGRV no later than January 31st 2020.
7. Management and Logistical Support
The evaluation will be managed by DGRV Country Office Laos in close cooperation with DGRV headquarter in Bonn, Germany. The DGRV Country Office in Vientiane will provide administrative support for this evaluation. Additionally it will assist with logistical support (transport, office space, secretarial services etc.) as requested by the consultant.
8. Requirements for the Consultancy
This evaluation will be conducted in Lao PDR and focusing on the cooperative sector. It will therefore require high skilled experts with proven knowledge, skills and experiences in undertaking a similar assignment in the same regional and sectoral context. The specific required skills and experiences of the consultants are:
- Knowledge of evaluation methodologies including quantitative and qualitative techniques
- Relevant developing country experience, preferably in Laos/South-East Asia
- Knowledge of the cooperative sector, the underlying concepts and prerequisites
- Ability to converse, read and write in English
- Ability to read and write in German, basic knowledge of Lao is highly appreciated
- Knowledge of partnership approaches and models
A mixed evaluation team composed of one international team leader and a local consultant acting as co-evaluator is foreseen. This tender is looking for the international team leader.
Are you interested in this assignment?
Please send your offer including CV and remuneration expectation by e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Subject: Evaluation of the BMZ Project Laos
DGRV – Deutscher Genossenschafts- und Raiffeisenverband e.V.
Abteilung Internationale Beziehungen
Contact for content related questions: Annette Becker, Project Coordinator Laos/Cambodia (email@example.com, Tel. 0228-8861 362)
Closing date: 3rd of June 2019