Terms of Reference Evaluation of Plan International’s Nexus approach in the Lake Chad Region


1. About Plan International
Plan International strives to advance children’s rights and equality for girls all over the world. As an independent development and humanitarian organisation, we work alongside children, young people, our supporters and partners to tackle the root causes of the challenges facing girls and all vulnerable children. We support children’s rights from birth until they reach adulthood and enable children to prepare for and respond to crises and adversity. We drive changes in practice and policy at local, national and global levels using our reach, experience and knowledge. For over 80 years we have been building powerful partnerships for children, and we are active in over 75 countries.


2. Programme Background                          
The protracted crisis in the Lake Chad Basin region remains one of the most severe humanitarian emergencies in the world, affecting the North East of Nigeria, the Far North region of Cameroon, the Lake region of Chad and the Diffa region in Niger. The crisis has unfolded in a region beset by chronic fragility where poverty, underdevelopment, gender inequality, unemployment and a lack of prospects for young people fuel extremism. This is compounded by environmental degradation and the impact of climate change.

The Lake Chad Programme (LCP) is a joint initiative from Plan International’s Country Offices (COs) in Cameroon, Niger and Nigeria, as well as Plan International’s West and Central Africa Hub. It was established to address the crisis in the Lake Chad Basin through an integrated and regional programme approach. The LCP has built a clear regional programmatic vision in the areas of Education, Protection (Child Protection and Gender-Based Violence), Youth economic empowerment and Youth participation.

The LCP is based on the Lake Chad Programme Strategy (2018 - 2023), which moves beyond a humanitarian vision towards a full spectrum programme, working at the nexus of humanitarian and development efforts to promote children’s rights and gender equality. This approach recognizes the importance of meeting immediate humanitarian needs while tackling the developmental deficit of the region which is both a contributor to and an outcome of the crisis.

To achieve this, Plan International has developed collective desired outcomes across the functional areas of humanitarian, development and social cohesion which allow to respond holistically to the humanitarian needs of the affected population, while simultaneously tackling the underlying root causes of the crisis, promoting social cohesion and resilience and transforming gender norms by removing the barriers that keep girls from achieving their full potential and exercising their rights.

In 2018 and 2019 respectively, Plan International started to implement a) a multi-country protection project funded by the German Federal Foreign Office (GFFO) and b) a multi-sectorial multi-country project funded by the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ, funded as a transitional development assistance project) in Cameroon, Niger, and Nigeria. Both projects are contributing to the overall implementation of the Lake Chad Programme Strategy; putting the Nexus approach at programme level into practice while creating synergies with other donor-funded Plan International projects in the region such as The Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation – AECID, The European Union, Irish Aid, ECHO, and The Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency – SIDA among others.

Plan International Germany, on behalf of the Lake Chad Programme, wants to undertake an evaluation focusing on how the BMZ and GFFO-funded projects have contributed to the implementation of a HDP-Nexus approach at programme level. In order to do so, the evaluation will evaluate the direct contributions of the BMZ and GFFO-funded projects to the implementation of the Lake Chad Programme Strategy as well as their synergies and interactions, they created with other projects of the Lake Chad Programme in Cameroon, Niger and Nigeria. These projects will be selected based on their connection with the BMZ and GFFO funded projects in terms of sectors (Education, Protection, Youth economic empowerment and Youth participation), implementing communities (Cameroon: Far North Region; Niger: Diffa Region and Nigeria: North East Nigeria) and simultaneous implementation period (from the year 2018 to the year 2022).


3. Evaluation Focus
3.1 Purpose of the Evaluation

The purpose of evaluating Plan International’s Nexus approach in the Lake Chad Region is to:

a) systematically how and if the nexus approach enables Plan International to respond holistically to the humanitarian needs of the affected population, while simultaneously tackling the underlying root causes of the crisis, promoting social cohesion and resilience and transforming gender norms by removing the barriers that keep girls from achieving their full potential and exercising their rights.

b) systematically analyse the role of the above-mentioned GFFO and BMZ-funded projects in enabling, and contributing to, Plan International’s implementation of its Nexus approach in particular at programme level.

c) To draw additional higher-level learnings for BMZ, GFFO and Plan International which can be used and applied by each of them for further HDP-Nexus programming  

For a): the evaluation should provide a comprehensive analysis of the programme achievements as well as the short-comings of Plan International’s Nexus approach1 related to programming, coordination and financing. Furthermore, the evaluation should suggest concrete actions to strengthen the applied approach with the aim to maximise synergies, collaboration, complementarity and improvement in order to enable Plan International to achieve its Lake Chad Programme Strategy goal.   

For b) the role of the GFFO and BMZ-funded projects needs focusing on its synergies with other projects belonging i) to the same functional area (vertical) or ii) to the same collective outcome/Nexus outcome across the functional areas of humanitarian, development and social cohesion (horizontal) as presented in the Lake Chad Programme Strategy.2

For c):

  • Based on the evaluation results, there will be concrete suggestions for improvement on how Plan International Germany can make even better use of the GFFO and BMZ funding instruments to develop joint Nexus programmes. This knowledge will also benefit GFFO and BMZ in their general work.
  • The evaluation results will be used during the implementation of other planned Nexus programmes on which Plan International Germany is working with GFFO and BMZ (Sahel crisis, South Sudan crisis).
  • The evaluation results could be used in the future as part of a comparative analysis or evaluation of different nexus approaches (LC= nexus at programme level versus South Sudan and Sahel, where the nexus approach is more likely to be found at project level).
  • In addition, the purpose of the evaluation is to contribute to the national and international Nexus debate, showcasing Plan International’s Nexus approach, its benefits and learnings.


3.2 Evaluation Criteria and corresponding Research Questions

Relevance:

Assess to which extent the Nexus approach as it is applied by Plan International in the Lake Chad Programme with its underlying Strategy, framework, coordination mechanisms and strategic funding model is set up to meet the needs of the affected population in general and the target group(s) in particular; taking into consideration the social, economic and dimensions of sustainable development.

Furthermore, assess specifically to which extent the GFFO and BMZ-funded multi-country projects within the programme have paid a contribution toward meeting the needs of adolescent girls and young women.

  • To what extent does the Lake Chad Programme with its underlying Nexus approach use successful ways to work with other Plan National Offices/donors as well as other organisations to ensure both long-term development and short-term humanitarian impact as well as social cohesion promotion at the same time in the Lake Chad Region?
  • Do the German-funded projects and additional projects with regards to adolescent girls and young women make a relevant contribution to the programme (i.e. are the right challenges for this target group addressed and are they addressed in the right way?,
  • How relevant is the Nexus approach applied by Plan International in the Lake Chad Programme with regards to overarching developmental goals?
  • Is the Nexus approach based on sound Do No Harm and conflict analyses (including actors mapping)?
  • To what extent is the Nexus approach considered relevant by local stakeholders?


Efficiency:

  • To what extent were financial resources used economically and efficiently? Is there reason to believe that alternative programming approaches, yielding to the same results, would have been more efficient?
  • Is the Nexus approach managed efficiently? How well do decision-making and management processes work?
  • How could responsibilities in and/or communication between the German ministries and Plan International be better organized?


Effectiveness: Assess the extent to which the programme objectives and results have (or have not) been achieved and whether the desired synergies between the projects across the functional areas of humanitarian, development and social cohesion have (or have not) occurred.

Specifically, assess to which extent the intended Strategic Programme Objective of the Lake Chad Strategy has been achieved with regard to the target group of adolescent girls and young women.

  • Does the nexus approach work as intended in the programme strategy? / Are the causal relationships (cause-effect-relations) described in a plausible manner and with appropriate consideration of the framework conditions?
  • What are intended and unintended achievements, challenges and concerns that accompany the implementation of the Nexus approach in the Lake Chad Region?
  • To what extent are the respective project objectives in the areas of humanitarian aid and transitional development assistance jointly necessary to achieve the collective outcome?
  • Has the scope of the program across the three countries and as a program addressing the HDP-Nexus proven to be effective? / What are the connecting elements that justify the implementation of the program in the three countries Nigeria, Niger and Cameroon?


Impact (if already applicable for mid-term evaluation):

  • Did unexpected overarching (positive or negative) long-term effects occur? / Were there any unintended overarching impacts (positive or negative)? If yes, what were they and what steps were taken in response?
  • How did the Nexus approach support the reduction of (future) humanitarian needs?


Sustainability: Assess the probability of continued long-term benefits to the target populations after the programme has been completed. Additionally, assess to which extent have successful methods already been sustainably anchored in implementation and transferred to other places.

  • How does the Nexus approach promote sustainability of the implemented actions? How likely will the changes in the Lake Chad Region caused by this programme approach with the implementation of several projects continue beyond the life of the programme?
  • Is there a clear explanation of which external factors influence the implementation of the programme, its effects and their sustainability?    What approaches have been used to ensure that the transition from humanitarian aid to development cooperation is given? How were national actors involved in this process? / To what extend does the Nexus approach contribute to the transition from humanitarian to development work?


Coherence/ Cooperation: Explore how well the projects implemented through the Lake Chad programme fit in the overall programme nexus approach of Plan International for the Lake Chad region.

Furthermore, assess to which extent the GFFO- and BMZ-funded multi-country projects can serve as models on how to apply the Plan International specific Nexus approach as laid out in the Lake Chad Programme Strategy.

  • How well do the projects within the Lake Chad programme fit in the overall Nexus approach?
  • To what extent is the Lake Chad Programme Strategy already successfully and sustainably being implemented?  The success will be measured by the objectives of the Lake Chad Programme Strategy and the contribution made by AA- and BMZ-funded projects to implementing the strategy. Likewise, success is to be measured by whether the projects have created a nexus within their Specific Objectives (sector) via the functional areas.  
  • What evidence is there for synergies between the projects due to the programme approach including the German-funded projects into three different functional areas (humanitarian, development and social cohesion)?
  • How is the Nexus approach of PIan International in the Lake Chad Region aligned with or different from the Nexus Chapeau currently tested/piloted by GFFO/BMZ? What are the advantages of the Plan’s approach in case it is different? Is it still compatible?  


Lessons learnt and recommendations / Replicability: Assess areas of good practices that proved to be most effective and are likely to be sustainable and produce recommendations for the review workshop.

  • What are the key lessons learnt good practices, conclusions and recommendations?


4. Intended Users of the Evaluation                    
The intended users of the evaluation are the staff from Plan International Germany, Lake Chad Programme Unit, the German Federal Foreign Office, the Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development, as well as Plan International’s West and Central Africa Hub and the Country Offices of Cameroon, Niger and Nigeria.

Currently, the availability of thematic evaluations of this kind is limited. Therefore, it is expected that the evaluation report will contribute to critical thinking and publishing on Nexus by experts, academics, and students. The evaluation report might also be used by practitioners and policy makers at all levels.


5. Methods for Data Collection and Analysis

It is expected that the consultant develops a detailed methodology and appropriate methods to respond to the key questions mentioned under the section 3.2.

  • Desk phase: The desk review will cover the main external literature existing in the field of the Nexus and all the relevant Plan International internal documents related to the ongoing projects within the Lake Chad Programme including the full proposals, baselines, mid-term evaluations, monitoring reports and studies available.
    The desk review should highlight the links/synergies of the projects across the functional areas (humanitarian, development and social cohesion) by sector, as set out in the Lake Chad Programme Strategy
  • Key interviews: Individual interviews with key informants of each of Plan International's country office that implement projects in the Lake Chad region and contribute to the implementation of the Lake Chad Programme Strategy, with the staff members of the Lake Chad Unit for exploring individual understanding, experiences and perspectives of the Nexus approach in the Lake Chad Region and with key partners and stakeholders in the region mention in the section 5.1. At the end of the interview phase a reflection workshop with key stakeholders and the reference group (small working group, kind of sounding board, who will go along with the evaluation process) on preliminary results and on data validation. Compilation of good practices.
  • Synthesis phase: Draft report, reflection on draft report, feedback loop with Plan International National Offices, staff members of the Lake Chad Unit, Plan International Germany and selected stakeholders.


5.1 Participant selection
As a minimum requirement, representatives from key stakeholders and target projects should be given the opportunity to provide feedback on the programme’s nexus approach to the evaluator:

  • Lake Chad programme team (Regional Lake Chad Program Manager, LC Child Protection Specialist, LC MEL Specialist, LC Youth Engagement and Consultation Specialist and LC Communication and Advocacy Specialist)
  • Staff from the involved Plan Country Offices (Plan International Cameroon, Plan International Niger and Plan International Nigeria)
  • Relevant staff of Plan International's National Offices which implement projects in the Lake Chad region (Plan International Germany, Plan International UK, Plan International Ireland, Plan International Canada, Plan International Sweden, Plan International Spain, Plan International Nederland) and relevant staff of Plan International’s West and Central Africa Hub
  • Key stakeholders/organizations in the Lake Chad Region, like Search for a Common Ground, OCHA and Cluster Lead Agencies (UNICEF, Save the Children, World Food Programme, UNFPA among others).


The evaluator(s) could also identify and suggest additional or excluded stakeholders that they feel are important to involve to ensure they get the information they need to answer the evaluation questions.


6. Ethics, Child Protection and COVID 19 Safeguarding  
                
Plan International is committed to ensuring that the rights of those participating in data collection or analysis are respected and protected, in accordance with Ethical MERL Framework and our Child and Youth Safeguarding Policy. All applicants should include details in their proposal on how they will ensure ethics and child protection in the data collection process. Specifically, the consultant(s) shall explain how appropriate, safe, non-discriminatory participation of all stakeholders will be ensured and how special attention will be paid to the needs of children and other vulnerable groups. The consultant(s) shall also explain how confidentiality and anonymity of participants will be guaranteed.

Additionally, considerations will have to be made related to limitations and restrictions on data collection caused by COVID-19 and related restrictions on movement, and appropriate guidance and alternative methodologies will be developed and explained by the consultant(s).  
 

7. Key Deliverables    

The consultant is expected to lead, accomplish and submit the following deliverables within the agreed timeframe and budget:
                            

Deliverable / Format / Detail  

Inception Report
in MS Office format and PDF format
Including:

  • Detailed methodology, including sampling methodology and size;
  • An evaluation matrix;
  • Ethical considerations;
  • Draft data collection tools;
  • Consent forms for any primary data collection;
    (draft) methods for data analysis
  • Brief justification of the methods and techniques to be used (including relevant underlying values and assumptions/theories) with a justification of the selection of participants;
  • Schedule of activities


Draft Evaluation Report
in MS Office format
this section will be updated together with the consultant

Final Evaluation Report (including Executive Summary)
In MS Office and PDF format
this section will be updated together with the consultant

Summary report
In MS Office and PDF format
Including key recommendations (5 pages)

Presentation
In MS Power Point
Main aspects of the evaluation and its key recommendations to be presented during a learning workshop

Final Data Collection Tools
this section will be updated together with the consultant

Cleaned Data (including transcripts)
this section will be updated together with the consultant

Completed Consent Forms
For any primary data collection


All reports and data collection tools are to be submitted to Plan International Germany in English. The raw data can be submitted in its original language if no English translation exists.

In addition to this, the participation in a learning workshop which is planned to be held on September 2021 in the offices of Plan International Germany to present the evaluation results is preferred.


8. Timeline (indicative)                        

Activity / Time / Days of Work / Responsible / Individuals Involved

Tendering
11.01.2021
-
Plan International Germany
Lake Chad Unit

Background Checks and Contracting; Inception Call
28.02.2021
X
Plan International Germany
Consultant

Submission of Inception Report
30.03.2021
10 days
Consultant
Plan International Germany & Lake Chad Unit

Review, feedback and approval of inception report
15.04.2021
10 days
Plan International Germany & Lake Chad Unit
Consultant

Preparations for Data Collection
30.04.2021
10 days
Consultant
Lake Chad Unit
a) Develop tools
b) Tool translation

Submission of final data collection tools
15.05.2021
-
Consultant
Plan International Germany and Lake Chad Unit

Data Collection
X
Consultant
Lake Chad Unit

Data Entry and Cleaning
X
Consultant

Data Analysis
(Detailed planning to be done by the consultant)
-
Consultant
-

Validation of findings with key stakeholders and respondents & feedback incorporation
(Detailed planning to be done by the consultant)
-
Consultant
-

Submission of draft evaluation report and summary report
15.07.2021
-
Consultant
Plan International Germany & Lake Chad Unit

Review and feedback of draft evaluation and summary report
30.07.2021
5 days
Plan International Germany & Lake Chad Unit
Consultant

Submission of Final Reports and presentation
15.08.2021
5 days
Consultant
Plan International Germany & Lake Chad Unit

Participation and presentation in a learning workshop
15.09.2021
1 day
Consultant


9. Budget     

The maximum budget for the evaluation is 20.000 Euro. The evaluator’s proposal should include a detailed budget breakdown including fees, number of working days, social and medical insurance, translation and interpretation, software licenses, electronic devices, travel and VISA cost (if applicable), cost for the development of data collection tools, and all output-related costs.

The payment is instalments and subject to the delivery of outputs and their formal approval by Plan International Germany as follows:


Milestone / Detail / Amount to be Paid (%) / Expected Timeframe

Pre-financing
Following signature of contract
20% of total budget
05.03.2021

Approval of inception report
The inception report will be reviewed by GNO and LC Unit. The consultant is expected to include any feedback before the report will be approved.
35% of total budget
20.04.2021

Approval of the final version of evaluation and summary report
The final report and the summary report will be reviewed by GNO and LC unit. The consultant is expected to include any feedback before the reports will be approved.
40% of total Budget
30.08.2021

Presentation of results in learning workshop
5% of the total budget
20.09.2021


10. Expected Qualifications                 
The evaluator/ evaluation team should have the following experience and formal qualifications:

  • University degree in Politics and/or African studies and/or Peace and Conflict Studies, and/or (applied) Statistics
  • Five years of professional experience in the international development sector; especially in Humanitarian Assistance and Development Cooperation projects and programmes as well as in working with International NGOs and Civil Society Organisations.
  • Several years of experience in implementing surveys in conflict-settings on topics of resilience/ fragility/ livelihoods and rural development in conflict settings /Proven experience in carrying out evaluations of regional programmes
  • Well versed with training methods, moderation, facilitation and outstanding skills in information and communication in intercultural settings.
  • Knowledge of the theoretical Nexus approach
  • Knowledge of GFFO/S09 and BMZ (Transitional Aid) funding lines a plus
  • Business language skills in English and French
  • Experience in conducting studies and evaluations in the West Africa Region
  • Experience in developing guidance and ability to distil various viewpoints into a cohesive report.


11. Contact

Please send your application to Paula Blanco Alvarado, Programme Specialist West Africa Paula.Blanco@plan.de by 12.02.2021, referencing “Nexus Evaluation for Lake Chad Programme in the subject line, and including support documents as outlined.


12. Applications

Interested applicants should provide a proposal covering the following aspects:

  • Detailed response to the TOR
  • Proposed methodology
  • Proposed timelines
  • CVs
  • Example of previous work
  • Detailed budget, including daily fee rates, expenses, taxes etc.