Consultancy opportunity: Mid-term evaluation IPIS-Search joint DGD programme (Belgium, Burundi, DRC, Tanzania)

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Context of the Programme

These Terms of Reference (ToR) outline the joint evaluation process for the ‘United for Peace and Sustainable Development in Fragile and Conflict-Affected Settings’ programme, encompassing the Mid-Term Evaluation (MTE) and the potential for the consultant team to undertake the Final Evaluation. This programme is jointly implemented by International Peace Information Service (IPIS) and Search for Common Ground (Search). The programme is funded by the Belgian Development Cooperation (DGD) for a period of five years (2022-2026) and includes four outcomes (Belgium, Burundi, DRC, Tanzania). 


Search for Common Ground

Search is an international non-profit organisation that promotes the peaceful resolution of conflict. With headquarters in Washington, DC and Brussels, Belgium, Search has a mission to transform the way individuals, organisations and governments deal with conflict, moving away from destructive approaches in favour of more cooperative solutions. With over 800 employees worldwide, Search implements projects in more than 30 countries. 

International Peace Information Service

IPIS is an independent research institute that provides tailored information, analysis and capacity enhancement, and policy advice to support those actors who want to realize a vision of durable peace, sustainable development, and the fulfillment of human rights. Throughout the years, IPIS has developed a geographic focus on sub-Saharan Africa and a thematic focus on natural resources, conflict motives of armed actors, business and human rights, and international arms transfers. Within this scope, IPIS strives to be a center of excellence in field-based research.

The four outcomes of the joint programme

The joint programme implemented by IPIS and Search comprises four country outcomes – Belgium, Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Tanzania – with the overall aim of promoting sustainable peace and development, and equality in Fragile and Conflict-Affected Settings (FCAS).

  • Belgium (jointly implemented by IPIS and Search): This outcome revolves around policy-influencing and advocacy and aims to encourage policymakers, private sector actors, and development stakeholders in Belgium, as well as key actors at the European, international and multilateral level to apply policies and practices that 1) support and regulate sustainable business practices and 2) mainstream conflict-sensitivity and/or integrate peacebuilding, to shape interventions that are conducive to durable peace and sustainable development in FCAS. Activities include: production of evidence-based advocacy materials, conducting policy advocacy (private meetings, contribution to consultations, organisation of roundtable events / conferences / workshops, etc.), engaging in multi-stakeholder initiatives and networks to share information and best practices, capacity building (trainings, presentations, workshops, sharing of tools, etc.), sharing of expertise and information between NGOs/CSOs, creation of an informal Peace Alliance/Network for Belgian NGOs/CSOs, engaging NGOs/CSOs from FCAS in Belgian and international fora, providing the media with quality information (press releases, interviews, journalist field visit, etc.) and media campaigns to raise awareness for peacebuilding and sustainable business practices. 

  • Burundi (Search for Common Ground): This outcome promotes the economic empowerment and autonomy of women in Burundi and aims to contribute to reducing the prevalent socio-cultural and traditional norms in the country that limit women’s participation in socio-economic life. Among others, the outcome improves women’s access to professional/economic networks and opportunities, supports civil society organizations (CSOs) working on gender issues, and builds the capacity of media professionals to report on issues related to gender and economics. Activities include: training of media professionals, networking sessions between media, economic and governmental actors, (co-)creation of radio productions by Search and local radio partners (including a positive masculinity campaign), small grants for radio partners, ‘Women in Action’ exchange forums, town hall meetings between decision makers and citizens, sensitisation around gender within economic cooperatives and small grants to local organisations with initiatives in favor of women’s economic participation. 

  • Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) (IPIS): This outcome contributes to peace and sustainable development in Eastern DRC. It promotes human rights and improves working conditions; strengthens participatory governance in the extractive sector; increases the economic resilience of mining communities; and builds the capacity of local communities, CSOs, cooperatives and other relevant stakeholders. Activities include: establishment of a network of Kufatilia partners; dissemination of Kufatilia and follow-up on reported incidents (e.g. human rights violations, child labour, pollution); trainings to improve craftsmen’s knowledge of mining legislation; capacity tranings for SAEMAPE agents; qualitative research on inter-community relations and land conflicts followed by round table discussions; data surveys of Unconditional Cash Transfer (UCT) projects by Eight vzw.

  • Tanzania (IPIS): This outcome promotes access to justice, good governance and human rights in the natural resources sector, through evidence-based advocacy, strengthening justice mechanisms and empowering users and informing local, regional, national and international stakeholders about the impact of extractive industries. Avocats Sans Frontières (ASF) is a joint partner of IPIS in this outcome and will be included in the evaluation accordingly. Activities include:Capacity-enhancement (training and hands-on support) to partners and civil society; awareness-raising and public legal education for all stakeholders; human rights impact assessments; investigative qualitative case studies; data dissemination and communication adapted to the needs of different target groups, including through analytical reports, topical insights, periodical briefings, (web)maps, dedicated website, radio programmes, webinars, leaflets, social media and group chats; multi-stakeholder dialogues; advocacy and  policy recommendations; assisting justice seekers in accessing relevant (non-)judicial (corporate, customary, local government, (inter)governmental) avenues to legal aid; legal protection of project stakeholders and strategic litigation.

Goal and objectives of the assignment

The MTE aims to assess the performance and the progress of the United for Peace Programme against the selected DAC Criteria (relevance, effectiveness, coherence and impact) and identify mid-term learnings that serve as a basis for programmatic adaptations and for the future design of the next programme. To assess the implementation of our outcomes, we also ask to evaluate the extent to which the implementation of a joint programme delivers the expected added value (increased impact). The Final Evaluation will be centered around accountability towards the donor and will focus on assessing all DAC criteria. 

Candidates are required to submit a full proposal for the MTE and a proposition on how the Final Evaluation could be conducted in coherence with the MTE process. The proposition for the Final Evaluation will be taken into account when making the selection for the MTE  proposal. The confirmation for the Final Evaluation is dependent on validation of the quality of the work delivered during the MTE process (see also section 3.4.). 

2.1. Mid-term evaluation objectives

Main objectives

  • Assess the progress of the four programme outcomes against the DAC criteria of relevance, effectiveness, coherence and impact;  
  • Identify key learnings and best practices from implementation, including the cross-cutting themes (gender, climate and conflict sensitivity) to guide the programming team on learning questions to best consider by the close of the programme;    
  • Develop customized recommendations to improve synergies between the four outcomes and improve implementation.

Specific objectives for the joint Belgium outcome:

  • Evaluate the link between the outcome’s indicators, activities and the theory of change, and propose adjustments if needed;
  • Assess the effectiveness of our engagement so far with the different key target groups (policy makers, private sector actors, NGOs/CSOs and Belgian media and general public).
  • Analyze the emerging outcomes generated by the outcome advocacy activities and their preliminary contributions to the outcome’s goals; 
  • Assess the planned and achieved synergy in the different outcome activities of the two organizations and present opportunities for improvement. 
  • Document lessons learned and best practices of advocacy strategies, activities and monitoring tools;  
  • Provide recommendations for improving outcome design, monitoring and implementation, and propose strategies for adaptation.

Specific objectives for the country programme components – Burundi, DRC and Tanzania outcomes

Outcome Burundi:

  • Understand to what extent the outcome is contributing to the promotion of an empowering environment for greater women’s economic inclusion and participation in Burundi;
  • Assess progresses on outcome’s indicators and understand which expected and unexpected changes the programme is achieving;
  • Evaluate to what extent the theory of change was relevant and propose any adjustments to the theory of change or outcome intervention logic if needed.

Outcome DRC:

  • Evaluate the performance of all partners in the outcome regarding the cooperation to jointly achieve the goals of the outcome and propose adjustments; 
  • Assess our progress in terms of gender-sensitive working and gender-equitable participation. Propose a strategy to strengthen our endeavour to reach our targets and increase the participation of women in our activities;
  • Evaluate the cooperation of IPIS with the Kufatilia partner organizations. Assess how IPIS can improve ownership among partners and suggest adjustments to increase it. 
  • Evaluate the link between the outcome’s activities and its theory of change, propose if needed to adjust one or the other.

Outcome Tanzania:

  • Evaluate the performance of all partners in the outcome regarding the cooperation to jointly achieve the goals of the outcome, and propose adjustments; 
  • Identify missed and future opportunities for better collaboration of the four engaged partners to maximize the outcome of this joint engagement;
  • Analyze the emerging results of the outcome’s advocacy activities and their preliminary contribution to achieving the outcome objectives;
  • Evaluate the link between the outcome’s activities and its theory of change; validate the theory of change in a wider context, both in terms of recent changes in Tanzania and global trends.

2.2. Final evaluation objectives

Main objectives

  • Assess the four programme outcomes progress and performance  against the DAC criteria relevance, efficiency, effectiveness, coherence impact, and sustainability; 
  • Document key learnings and best practices from implementation, including on the cross-cutting themes (Gender, climate/environment and conflict sensitivity);
  • Evaluate the synergy of the two organizations regarding the implementation and outcomes of the activities and assess the added value of a joint programme;
  • Evaluate the outcome’s adherence to the guidelines and requirements set forth by the DGD (Accountability);
  • Formulate tailored and actionable recommendations for programme sustainability and future programming.

Specific objectives for the joint advocacy component Belgium/OECD outcome:

  • Identify the achieved outcomes generated by the outcome advocacy activities and assess the level of contribution towards the outcome goal; 
  • Document lessons learned and best practices of advocacy strategy and activities;    
  • Provide recommendations for enhancing outcome sustainability and inform future programming.

Specific objectives of the country programme components – Burundi, DRC and Tanzania outcomes: 

  • Conduct a comprehensive assessment of the progress towards the outcome’s objectives and overall impact of the activities on peacebuilding, economic empowerment, gender equality, and sustainable development within their respective regions.

Outcome Burundi:

  • Understand to what extent the outcome is contributing to the promotion of an empowering environment for greater women’s economic inclusion and participation in Burundi;
  • Evaluate to what extent the theory of change was relevant, and assess whether the outcome succeeded in reducing social norms limiting women’s socio-economic participation and improving their economic empowerment capabilities.

Outcome DRC:

  • Identify the achieved outcomes generated by the outcome activities and assess the level of contribution toward the targets of the five, partly interconnected results;
  • Evaluate to what extent the theory of change was relevant, and assess to what extent the activities are contributing to peace and sustainable development in eastern DRC.

Outcome Tanzania:

  • Identify the achieved (intended and unintended) outcomes generated by the activities and assess the level of contribution toward the targets of the results;  
  • Assess whether Tanzanian communities and civil society organisations (CSOs) are more empowered to engage government and industry in fostering access to justice, good governance and human rights in natural resource governance and to what extent the activities did contribute.

2.3. Suggested questions for the Mid-Term Evaluation

  • For the outcomes on Belgium and Burundi, the following questions have been identified as highly relevant and in line with the evaluation standards of the partners in the joint programme. The final questions will be further developed and discussed with the evaluator(s) in the inception phase. We respect the freedom and expertise of the applicant evaluator and will jointly decide on a final concept.

Advocacy component Belgium/OECD outcome:

  • Relevance: How relevant were the outcome activities and tactics for the key stakeholders (policy makers, private sector actors, NGOs/CSOs and Belgian media and the broader Belgian public) to incorporate sustainable business practice, conflict sensitivity and peacebuilding approaches into relevant policies and practices? Were the outcome activities relevant to enhance increased collaboration and networking among the target groups? Were the outcome activities relevant in equipping the target groups to implement interventions in the FCAS? 
  • Effectiveness: Can the outcome demonstrate a direct link between its activities/tactics and the adoption of relevant policies and practices by the different target groups? Can the outcome demonstrate a measurable increase of collaboration and networking and increased capacities of the target group as a result of the activities? 

  • Determining values of the outcome indicators and validating the results indicators (especially those where no or limited data has been captured by M&E system).

Outcome indicators:

0.1: # of relevant policies and practices at Belgian and international level that have integrated sustainable business practices, mainstreamed conflict sensitivity, and/or integrated peacebuilding as a result of outcome activities.

0.2: % of target group members actively engaged in the outcome who state that they have increased and improved their collaborations and networks within and beyond their field of expertise

0.3: % of target groups engaged in the outcome, that state they feel better equipped to implement interventions in FCAS that are conducive to durable peace or sustainable development

  • Coherence: How did the outcome activities align and complement each other in achieving the observed changes? Did the outcome demonstrate a consistent approach in addressing the needs of the target groups engaged in the FCAS? How did Search and IPIS collaborate to ensure coherence in their strategic approach towards achieving the program’s advocacy outcomes and goals?
  • Impact: What are the tangible observed changes resulting from the outcome intervention (positive/negative/expected/unexpected) and how are these substantiated? How well does the Theory of Change align with the observed outcomes? Does the joint implementation increase the impact and how can it be even improved? 
  • Adaptations and recommendations: What are the programmatic best practices and lessons learned from this intervention? What are the concrete and applicable recommendations to achieve the outcomes and goal of this intervention? 

Country programme components – Burundi, DRC and Tanzania outcomes: 

Outcome Burundi:

  • Relevance: How and to what extent does the outcome contribute to improving the economic inclusion and participation of women in Burundi?
  • Effectiveness: What are the changes observed as a result of the activities? (Please provide the mid-term values for the outcome indicators and comparative analysis to the baseline)?
  • Coherence: How well do the outcome activities align and complement each other in improving women’s economic inclusion and participation in Burundi? 
  • Impact: What changes (expected/unexpected) in women’s economic empowerment have been achieved as a result of the outcome’s activities (changes between the situation before the intervention and the current situation) that contribute to the transformation of social norms and cultural barriers? What does the Theory of Change actually mean in the outcome areas? How can the Theory of Change be validated or adjusted? How does the Theory of Change relate to outcome activities?
  • Adaptations and recommendations: What are the programmatic best practices and lessons learned from this outcome? What are the concrete and applicable recommendations to achieve the outcomes and goal of this outcome ? 

Key questions for the outcomes in DRC and Tanzania will be developed with the evaluator during the inception phase of the evaluation process.

2.4. Geographic locations of the programme

Belgium, Burundi (Bubanza, Bujumbura Rural, Bururi, Makamba, Rumonge, Kayanza, Ngozi, Muyinga), DRC (North-Kivu, South-Kivu, Ituri, Lualaba, Maniema) and Tanzania (Mara, Manyara, Tanga, Shinyanga).

Methodology and deliverables

3.1. Methodological approach and data collection tools

The evaluator(s) will propose a combined methodological approach that is relevant for the evaluation of the four outcomes and we respect the freedom and expertise of the applicant evaluator and will jointly decide on a final concept. However, IPIS and Search would appreciate it if the evaluator(s) would take the following considerations into account.

Outcome Belgium/OECD:

  • The methodology should ideally be based on a thorough desk review and data collection should include Key Informant Interviews and Focus Group Discussions. Additionally, the  following methodological orientations should be considered for each process:
  • For the MTE process, the evaluation team will primarily use Outcome Harvesting for capturing new outcomes and confirmed identified changes. Whenever data is available, support the outcome description with contribution analysis;
  • For the Final Evaluation, the evaluation team will preferably use contribution analysis of the identified outcomes, in addition to other methods that fits the needs.

Outcome Burundi, DRC and Tanzania:

  • The evaluation of outcome implementation will employ a summative evaluation methodology. This will involve assessing the causal relationship between outcome activities and observed changes, along with attributing or contributing outcomes to outcome interventions. Other methods required to answer the above objectives and questions per outcome are developed by the evaluator and jointly defined in the inception phase. 

3.2. Delivrables

  • The consortium members expect the following deliverables from the external consultant(s) for the MTE (team):
  • An inception report detailing a proposed methodology, tools, training plan of enumerators, calendar and written data collection tools;
  • A data collection and analysis plan, including participation role in data collection and analysis, a backplanning tool and dataset;
  • Analysis of the data collected and production of a draft MTE report in English,  detailing the process and preliminary findings for review by consortium members and partners;
  • Virtual workshop to discuss preliminary findings and adjust the draft with SC (or more from the organizations team if required), including a PowerPoint presentation of findings;
  • A Final Report in English (35 pages max in length, excluding appendices) that consists of (unless otherwise agreed upon with the consortium partners):
  1. Table of contents
  2. Abbreviations
  3. Executive summary of methodology, limitations, key findings and recommendations
  4. Background information (outcome specifics)
  5. Methodology: Objectives, data collection and analysis and limitations of the study
  6. Research findings, analysis, with associated data presented (should be structured around the main objectives/evaluation criteria and should cover all indicators)
  7. Indicator table showing baseline and mid-term indicator values and description of achieved outcomes
  8. Appendices, which include detailed research instruments, list of interviewees, terms of references and evaluator(s) brief biography.
  • Executive summary document: engaging 3-5-pagers visual document outlining the key results and key recommendations for each outcome (Belgium, Burundi, DRC and Tanzania) in English/French. 
  • A final hybrid debriefing session to programmatic team members, donors’ representatives, and key partners to present the key findings of the Mid-Term Evaluation process, and discuss the recommendations for adaptive management strategies.  

3.3. Tentative timeline

Please see timeline here.

3.4.  Data quality assurance and management

All deliverables will be reviewed and approved by the country offices and HQ’s Research and Learning Team for both Search for Common Ground and IPS prior to the acceptance of the final product. The consultant(s) are also required to develop a clear and rigorous quality control plan during the inception phase which will be implemented and deployed throughout all phases of the evaluation process to ensure reliability and validity of findings. Strong collaboration between Search, IPIS, and the selected consultants will be vital to ensure the success of this evaluation process. 

3.5. Logistical and information support

The consultant(s) will be responsible for organizing their own logistics for data collection, and this must be budgeted into the study. The consortium members will provide support in arranging logistics. At least one staff or partners member will be available to support data collection and logistics in each intervention country for this evaluation.

In addition, the consortium partners will share the following elements with the external consultant(s): Background materials including the programme proposal and logframes, M&E plans, activity trackers, outcomes journals, activity and monitoring reports, and other supporting documentation.


The estimated available budget for the entire assignment (including both the MTE and final evaluations) is around 90.000 EUR. However, there can be some flexibility to negotiate. 

The submitted financial proposal from the consultant should include a suggestion on how to split this (f.e. 40/60 or 50/50) amount between the MTE and Final Evaluation (keeping in mind that contracting for the Final Evaluation is dependent on the quality of the MTE). 

The financial proposal should include all necessary costs to conduct the assignment and which will be carried by the consultant(s), including daily rates for personnel, and costs related to in-person data collection in the countries (per total number of people sampled, sites for collection, etc.), analysis, and production of deliverables.  

5. Requirements of the consultant(s)

5.1. Requirements

The following skills and experience are expected by IPIS and Search For Common Ground for the evaluator (or team of evaluators) on this programme:

  • Lead evaluator: Minimum of 5 years of experience in project and advocacy evaluation, including methodological expertise in Outcome Harvesting and Contribution Analysis; 
  • Proficient in qualitative and quantitative data collection methodologies and analysis, with familiarity in diverse evaluation methods;
  • Proficiency in English and French (written and spoken); Knowledge of Dutch is desirable; The consultant should be able to conduct data collection in local languages (f.e. Kiswahili, Kirundi) either through their own team or contracted data collectors;
  • Sound understanding of the Belgian and European policy landscape and experience working with international organizations;
  • Familiarity with the contextual challenges and/or work experience in Burundi, DRC and/or Tanzania;
  • Demonstrated expertise in evaluating the integration of gender and environmental considerations, throughout project implementation;
  • Ability to collaborate with other in-country consultants and enumerators to minimize long-distance travel (consideration for the environment);
  • Strong quality assurance support from reliable data collection and analysis, with a commitment to maintaining the confidentiality of personal data.

5.2. Ethical principles

  • In addition, the consultant is required to respect the following Ethical Principles[1]:
  • Comprehensive and systematic inquiry: The consultant should make the most of the existing information and full range of stakeholders available at the time of the review. They should conduct systematic, data-based inquiries. The consultant should communicate the used methods and approaches accurately and in sufficient detail to allow others to understand, interpret and critique the work. The consultant should make the limitations of the review and its results clear;
  • Competence: Consultant should possess the abilities and skills and experience appropriate to undertake the tasks proposed and should practice within the limits of the consultants professional training and competence;
  • Honesty and integrity: Consultant should be transparent with the contractor/constituent about: any conflict of interest, any change made in the negotiated project plan and the reasons why those changes were made, any risk that certain procedures or activities produce misleading review information;
  • Respect for people: Consultant respects the security, dignity and self-worth of respondents, programme participants, etc. Consultant has the responsibility to be sensitive to and respect differences amongst participants in culture, religion, gender, disability, age and ethnicity;
  • In addition, the consultant will respect the DGD and consortium partner’s evaluations standards.

5.3. How to apply

To apply, interested candidates (individuals or teams) are requested to submit the following documents:

  • Curriculum vitae of the consultants;
  • A technical proposal outlining a methodology for the MTE (and suggestions for the Final Evaluation methodology), including detailed response to the ToR, suggested work plan and timeline for key deliverables, 
  • A financial proposal outlining the different costs foreseen for the assignment (broken down in specific budget lines) for the completion of the aforementioned deliverables.

Applications must be submitted through Search’s Lever platform to before 30th of June 2024. 

For any questions regarding this assignment, please contact the following focal points: Lisa Loeper – IPIS (; Andreas Van Peteghem (