Baseline Assessment and an Exit Strategy: “Future for You(th): Young people as Leaders of Life Skills Education in the Balkans”

Baseline Assessment and an Exit Strategy: “Future for You(th): Young people as Leaders of Life…

Terms of Reference for conducting a Baseline Assessment and an Exit Strategy of the Regional Project: “Future for You(th): Young people as Leaders of Life Skills Education in the Balkans”  Project Duration: [...]

Terms of Reference for conducting a Baseline Assessment and an Exit Strategy of the Regional Project:

Future for You(th): Young people as Leaders of Life Skills Education in the Balkans”

 Project Duration: 36 months (March 2021 – February 2024)

 Deadline for application: July 19, 2021.

About CARE in the Balkans

CARE’s mission in the region is to contribute to post-war recovery and the socio-economic development of Bosnia & Herzegovina, Croatia, Serbia, Kosovo*[1] and Montenegro. CARE in the Balkans consists of Offices in Sarajevo and Banja Luka in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH); in Belgrade, Serbia; Skopje, North Macedonia and Pristina, Kosovo*.

CARE’s work in the Balkans started in 1992, when it provided humanitarian support to people affected by war. In the late 90-ties, CARE shifted its focus in the region from humanitarian post-war assistance and rehabilitation to socio-economic development engaging in interventions directed at conflict prevention and peacebuilding, sustainable livelihoods, gender equality and the prevention of gender-based violence.

CARE in the Balkans places the quality of its program at the centre and has developed a regional strategy that encompasses two main program directions: Gender Equality and Social and Economic Inclusion. The goal of the Social and Economic Inclusion Program is to strengthen capacities and create opportunities for marginalized, socially excluded and poor to integrate into society and access rights. CARE’s Gender Equality Program aims to empower women and girls vulnerable to violence, discrimination and poverty, to reach better life opportunities and social justice. CARE’s engagement and contribution lies in strengthening sustainability of key regional, national and/ or local civil society organizations and networks promoting gender equality and diversity, in the context of social inclusion and non-violence.

Project Summary

Peer and gender-based violence along with unhealthy lifestyles and risk of radicalization remain a pressing problem in schools and juvenile correctional institutions in Western Balkans, fuelled by gender stereotypes and social and cultural norms, and exacerbated by a challenging socio-economic context, with high unemployment and migration rates and political uncertainty. The educational and social welfare systems in the region, generally rigid and obsolete, are not successful enough with current programs in the response to this situation. In 2013, through the Austrian Development Agency (ADA)-funded project Young Man Initiative (YMI), CARE and partners started to advocate for introducing gender transformative life skills programming – such as Program Youth (hereafter, Program Y) – in high schools in Western Balkans, to fight inter-personal and gender-based violence and improve gender equality in the region.

Building on the achievements from YMI, this project will put the emphasis in institutionalization and sustainability, working with ministries and quality assurance institutions for the accreditation of Program Y and the integration of life skills education in national curriculums. It will expand its implementation by piloting the tailored programs in elementary schools and correctional institutions, strengthening the cooperation with pedagogical and teaching universities, and maximizing the use of online tools to ensure the continuity of the program in spite of the COVID-19 pandemic.

CARE’s gender transformative life skills programming reflected in the Program Y will contribute to creating positive and peaceful societies for young people in Serbia, Kosovo*, Albania and Bosnia and Herzegovina that embrace and promote gender equality and non-violence (Impact). CARE and partners will foster gender-transformative life skills education to become an integral part of education programs at schools and juvenile correctional institutions (Outcome). The focus will be to equip elementary and high schools and universities to effectively deliver and lead the implementation of CARE’s life skills program (Program Y) and support young people in their safe transition to adulthood (Output 1). Furthermore, the project will pilot CARE´s life skills program tailor-made for youth at risk in juvenile correctional institutions (Program Y Plus) to prevent radicalization and contribute to re-socialization (Output 2). All this will be sustained by mobilized communities which will take an active role in initiating the educational policy change, securing stronger public voices for youth within the Future 4 You(th) movement previously initiated by CARE previously (Output 3) and by empowering governmental bodies to develop strategies to institutionalize life skills programming through multi-stakeholder consultation processes (Output 4).

The change the project proposes will be achieved by working directly with 65,690 participants: at least 200 representatives of decision-making government institutions; 500 high and elementary school teachers and education staff; 160 social welfare staff; 47,800 young people from 11 to 30 years old in elementary schools, high schools, universities, as well as youth in communities; at least 17,000 local stake-holders in mobilized communities and at least 30 representatives of seven local partner organizations.

The project will be implemented by CARE in cooperation with seven local partner organizations: Centre E8 and SMART Kolektiv from Serbia, SIT and YMCA from Kosovo*, Act for Society Centre from Albania, Institute Perpetuum Mobile from Bosnia and Herzegovina and Status M from Croatia.

Purpose and Objectives of the Project Baseline Assessment

The Project Baseline Assessment will be carried out to allow a comprehensive understanding of the overall project progress by describing the situation at the project start and determine the basis for monitoring project progress along the way as well as determine the level of successful implementation during the Project Final Evaluation. Furthermore, Project Baseline Assessment will include Exit Strategy as this is the final, third phase of the project.

The specific objectives are:

  • Conducting Project Baseline Assessment per each result and indicator of the project Logical framework. This assessment should be done with the aim to collect baseline data related to project indicators and log frame and recommend adjustments (if applicable) on the profile and final number of all target groups, ratio of different ethnic groups (especially in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo* and Albania), specific target locations in all four countries considering criteria pre-established by the project, as well as review of outline of implementation strategy and its timeline. These data will be used for the development of baseline indicators and monitoring tools.
  • Development of Exit Strategy jointly with CARE, stakeholders and partner organizations which will define the proposed financial and institutional set up for sustainability of results after the project ends (for example, continuation of work of teachers-trainers, ownership of online tools and platforms, etc.).

The Consultant`s Responsibilities

The Consultant(s) will be responsible for the following:

  1. Review project documents with all relevant annexes, focusing on Logical Framework and prepare action plan for the assessment that will be shared with CARE Project Manager and YMI Senior Advisor.
  2. Conducting Project Baseline assessment through gathering data from project documents, national official institution documents from all 4 targeted countries and data from representatives of partner organizations and relevant stakeholders, as well as other relevant resources (where applicable).
  3. Provide recommendations on the adjustments required in the project log frame concerning targets, percentages of beneficiaries considering vulnerability criteria (e.g., people with disabilities)/ ethnicity, target location (i.e., specific urban or rural areas) and the addition/removal/fine-tuning of project indicators.
  4. Conducting online/face to face session with CARE and partner organization representatives for the purpose of development of Project Exit Strategy within the Regional Strategic Planning Meeting that will be organized by CARE.
  5. Deliver written document Project Baseline Assessment with Exit Strategy Report.

 Indicative workload with timetable

Description of the activities Number of Days Timetable
Analysis of documentation and preparation of Action Plan for the assessment 2 Days Aug 15 – Aug 31 2021
Gathering data and analysis (interviews included) 5 Days Aug 15 – Aug 31 2021
Exit Strategy Development 3 Days Sept 6 -15 2021
Finalization of analysis and reporting, including recommendations on the adjustments in the log frame 5 Day Sept 15 – 25 2021
TOTAL 15 Days Aug 15 – Sept 25 2021

 

Application

CARE invites individual experts, teams of experts, NGOs and agencies for the Balkans region, familiar with the context and subject of the project in question, to respond to this call and present in details their expertise, experience, division of work and responsibility levels/responsible person (in case of teams or agencies).

Required qualifications

  • Comprehensive experience with conducting Project Evaluations specifically focusing on Baseline Assessments (The applicant is requested to send several samples of prior assessments written by him/herself).
  • Experience in Strategic Planning for phasing out projects with the focus on its sustainability.
  • Background from social sciences with minimum of five years of working in project management and monitoring and evaluation field.
  • Prior experience of working in the Balkans region.
  • Prior experience with projects targeting youth.
  • Prior experience with projects targeting gender mainstreaming.
  • Experience in human rights approach and integration of ethical research considerations in data collection and evaluation tools and methods.[2]
  • Preferably prior experience with projects targeting educational policy.
  • Knowledge of the national/regional and EU public policies targeting prevention of gender-based violence and promotion of gender equity.
  • Excellent oral and writing skills in English.

Application process

The candidates (individual, company or teams) are expected to include in the application:

  1. Cover letter
  2. Technical Offer covering all aspects and tasks required in the ToR. The technical offer must include:
  • Approach, methods and design including tentative work plan and division of responsibility (if team of consultants is applying) suggested by the applicant (3 pages max)
  • Professional profile of the evaluator(s) (CVs of all individuals included in the consultancy team) indicating contacts on reference persons from at least three former employees/contractors.
  • Former baseline reports or other analytical outputs produced by the applicant.
  1. Financial Offer including cost breakdown.
  • The consultant(s) shall suggest the global price in EUR (per position if evaluation team applies) and the number of days predicted for the work.
  • The global price must include all administrative costs (such as but not limited to backstopping costs, insurance, reports, communication costs, rent for Contractor’s facilities), as well as a breakdown of travel, allowances and accommodation expenses if relevant.
  • Prices must be in gross amount (free of all duties, taxes and other charges, including VAT). The amount of VAT must be shown separately.

The applications will be assessed as follows:

  • Financial offer 30%
  • Technical offer 70%

Offers should be submitted by July 19 2021 at 4 p.m. to the following address:

Procurement Team, CARE International Balkans, Hasana Kaimije 11, 71 000 Sarajevo or to the e-mail address care@care.ba and shalkic@care.ba

The offer that is chosen by CARE International Balkans will be notified in writing by July 23rd  2021.

Deliverables

Following documents have to be submitted electronically:

  1. Action Plan for assessment with detailed explanation of methodology used based on technical offer provided but enriched with inputs from analysed project documentations and inputs from Project Manager and YMI Senior Advisor in the initial phase of the assignment
  1. Project Baseline Assessment Report:
  • Should be no longer than 20 pages without annexes (Arial or Times New Roman, font 11)
  • Should present disaggregated data based on sex and if feasible ethnicity and other vulnerability criteria (i.e., disability).
  • The report fulfils the requirements listed in the Terms of Reference.

  Exit Strategy

–      Should be no longer than 10 pages without annexes (Arial or Times New Roman, font 11)

  • The strategy fulfils the requirements listed in the Terms of Reference.

 Reports should be written in English (text must be edited free from spelling mistakes and unclear linguistic formulations).

 Coordination/Responsibility

The coordination between Consultant, CARE Project Manager and YMI Senior Advisor, partner organization representatives will be done by CARE Project Manager.

 CARE commits itself to:

  • Prepare and agree on a work-plan with the Consultant(s)
  • Coordinate with the Consultant(s)
  • Provide requested documentation to Consultant(s)
  • Provide logistical support to the Consultant(s)

Consultant commits him/herself to:

  • Realize all the activities listed in TOR in highly professional manner
  • Respectful collaboration with partner organizations and CARE staff in the field

Payment

The payment will be made upon CARE staff approval of submitted Report of the Consultant(s).

Annex 1 – Format for Project Baseline Assessment Report and Exit Strategy

The Baseline Assessment Report should include the following chapters:

  • Introduction
  • List of Acronyms
  • Executive Summary
  • Project Baseline Assessment findings
  • Conclusions with concrete suggestions for upgrade of Logical Framework
  • Annexes

All data should be disaggregated data based on sex and if feasible ethnicity and other vulnerability criteria (i.e. disability).

The Exit Strategy should include the following chapters:

  • Introduction
  • List of Acronyms
  • Executive Summary
  • Exit Strategy with concrete suggestions for ownerships, copyrights and sustainability
  • Annexes

[1] * This designation is without prejudice to positions on status and is in line with UNSCR 1244/1999 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo declaration of independence. Applies to the whole document

[2] https://www.entwicklung.at/en/themes/good-governance-human-rights-migration/human-rights

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