Since 2006, UN Women has been implementing an Africa wide programme aimed at creating wealth and reducing poverty and exclusion among women informal cross border traders (WICBT) in Africa. Phase I of the programme (2006-2009) focused on empirical baseline studies in the four sub-regions. Based on the results of the baseline studies and a thorough scan of the policy environment on WICBT, phase II of the programme was developed and implementation started in 2010. This programme was developed as a response to the gaps identified in the baseline studies on WICBT, and based on the mapping of the policy environment, the existing opportunities for collaboration with the Economic Commission for Africa, the Regional Economic Communities, African Governments, development partners and civil society groups to tackle those gaps. The goal of the programme is to create wealth and reduce poverty and exclusion among WICBT through the following outcomes, activities. This second Phase of the WICBT programme is articulated around three outcomes:
Outcome 1: Coalitions and networks of women cross border traders effectively demand and obtain better services, women friendly cross border procedures and gender mainstreaming into African trade agreements and protocols to their governments and RECs.
Outcome 2: Regional Economic Communities and mainstream government institutions demonstrate leadership, commitment, and accountability to support WICBT and mainstream gender issues in trade agreement and processes
Outcome 3: Greater visibility of the contribution of WICBT to wealth creation, employment generation, poverty reduction and regional integration through knowledge sharing
The programme is being implemented in the Great Lakes region-Rwanda, Democratic Republic the Congo and Burundi-, Nigeria, Liberia, Cameroun, Niger, Mozambique, South Africa, Zimbabwe and Mali. The implementation of the programme in these countries includes additional countries as the programme is being implemented across international borders.
A mid- term evaluation is being planned to provide evidence for the need to extend the implementation of the programme beyond 2012 given increasing demand from UN Women country offices for the implementation of the programme. Also, this evaluation is part of the planned decentralised evaluations of the Africa Section and responds to the UNWOMEN Management Results Output 2.3 Evidence generated through high quality evaluations for learning, decision-making, and accountability.
The baseline studies identified numerous challenges facing WICBT, ranging from invisibility due to unavailability of statistics and lack of recognition of their economic contribution to their economies, to weak trade-related institutions, services and resources in support of their activities, deficient implementation of regional trading agreements and protocols, violence, stigmatization and harassment, and lack of information on the opportunities provided by regional trading protocols and agreements.
The objective of the evaluation is to assess progress towards achieving programme outputs, outcomes and goal. The evaluation will be a reflective and forward-looking exercise. It will seek to answer some key questions relating to relevance, effectiveness, efficiency and sustainability of results of the WICBT programme. It will review UN WOMEN’s comparative advantage in strategies, management and technical support for the programme. It will reflect on what results have been achieved through the implementation of the programme and will analyze lessons learned. The conclusions of the evaluation will then inform decisions on the parameters for possible extension of the WICBT programme. The Evaluation will generate information that will eventually feed into UNWOMEN’s reporting on the WICBT programme internally and externally. The programme theory of change will be the basis for the Mid-Term Evaluation.
Specifically the evaluation will:
- Assess progress made towards the achievement of planned outputs and outcomes.
- Assess efficiency of the programme strategies and resources in the achievement of the intended results.
- Consolidate forward-looking recommendations and review the validity of the Theory of Change to further improve the implementation and management of the WICBT programme
- Contribute knowledge to organizations working in Africa on women’s economic empowerment (this is abstract, which organizations? Africa or countries where the project is implemented? And how to contribute knowledge? For what purpose?)
- Provide advice for UNWOMEN’s strategic reflection and learning on its work supporting economic empowerment of women.
Key evaluation criteria and questions to be addressed:
Relevance – alignment and response to context
- How relevant were the programmes in each country situation – in terms of -
- Alignment with priorities and needs of the region and the countries?
- How flexibly did the programme respond to the differences in national capacity and changes in country situations?
- How well did the programmes respond to the changes in the United Nations operating environment following the various United Nations reform initiative (e.g., Joint Programming, One UN pilot,)?
- Did the programme objectives address the identified rights and needs of the target groups?
- Was the programme design articulated in a coherent manner?
- How has the programme responded to external and internal opportunities if any?
- How relevant is the programme to UN women in the context of the transition from UNFIEM to UNWOMEN?
- What is UNWOMEN’s comparative advantage in designing and implementing initiatives on WCBT in Africa?
- Effectiveness – progress towards achievement of outputs, progress towards outcomesWhat changes has the UNWOMEN WICBT programme contributed to in terms of changes in the policy frameworks at international and national levels? What changes have occurred in terms of WCBT access to services and improvement of their lives? Etc.
- What capacities of the duty bearers and the rights holders have been strengthened through the implementation of UNWOMEN programme on WICBT
- Is the Programme’s leading to the expected long-term results increasing women’s benefits and influence on cross border trade in Africa?
- Is there notable progress towards achievement of intended results? What were the reasons for the non-achievement of results?
- What are the factors facilitating/inhibiting progress towards results? In particular:
Partnership choices and strategies:
- Programme strategies/approaches, e.g., capacity development, policy advocacy, strengthening women’s networks etc
- Beyond the stated programme outcomes and outputs, is there evidence that demonstrates value added, or potential value added, in ensuring greater attention to issues relating to WICBT?
- Are the selected activities being implemented sufficient to achieve programme outputs/outcomes? If not, what additional interventions are required, given changes in the global economy, to achieve the results of the programme?
- Has the implementation of the second phase of the WICBT taken into account lessons learnt/recommendations from the WICBT baseline studies that are undertaken in the first phase of the implementation of the programme? Has it taken into account lessons from other programmes in Africa and globally?
- What measures have been taken during the implementation period to ensure UNWOMEN resources are used efficiently?
- How did the UNWOMEN organizational structure, managerial support and coordination mechanisms support the efficiency of the implemented initiatives?
- Is the managerial and staff structure in place cost-effective? Is it adequate to current context and demand?
- To what extent were the inputs and outputs distributed between different groups of women? Were potentials of disadvantaged women fully utilized?
- What is the role of other UN agencies and of inter-agency collaboration in the area of WICBT in the sub-region/ country? Where these agencies adequately engaged in the different countries where the programme is being implemented
- To what extent has the programme been implemented in a timely manner? Have there been any delays and if so what are the impacts of these to the programme?
- How is the programme addressing external and internal risks?
Sustainability – Partnership collaboration and capacities installed:
- Are UNWOMEN’s programmes on WICBT leading to sustainable institutional changes and results?
- What are some of the main challenges and key opportunities for working more effectively and systematically on WICBT in Africa?
- Were the partnership and programme strategy choices appropriate for greater sustainability of the programmes/projects?
It is expected that the Consultant will develop an evaluation matrix that will further refine the above questions, the areas they refer to, the criteria for evaluating them, the indicators and the means for verification. The evaluation matrix may include additional questions not already included in these TORs that will be of relevance to the evaluation.
Some of the existing sources of information will include annual and donor reports from the programme. Other documents that are available are the programme documents/proposals, concept papers, narrative and mission reports. Country implementation plans are also available. Country baseline studies undertaken in the first phase of the WICBT will also provide relevant information for this evaluation.
The final evaluation methodologies to be applied in the evaluation will be developed by the Consultant and presented for approval to the Reference Group. The methodology should include:
- An evaluation design that builds on the above detailed objectives, scope and evaluation questions, including an evaluation matrix
- The instruments and tools to gather relevant information and data, including the variety of key informants to be interviewed; and the approaches for the analysis and interpretation of data.
- The approaches for the analysis and the interpretation of data (e.g. types of data analysis used, data collection instruments, the level of precision, sampling approaches);
- The selection process and criteria for sampling the programme countries to be evaluated;
- The list of information sources gathered, and making them available to UNWOMEN;
- Expected measures that will be put in place to ensure that the evaluation process is ethical and that the participants in the evaluation – e.g. interviewees, sources – will be protected (according to the UNEG norms and standards and UNEG Ethical Guidelines, see :http://www.unevaluation.org/ethicalguidelines
- A detailed work plan indicating timing of activities, responsibilities, and use of resources.
The deliverables expected from the consultant include the following;
- An Inception report with refined evaluation questions and evaluation methodology
- A draft evaluation report to be reviewed by the reference group
- A power point presentation to be made at the regional stakeholders workshop
- Final evaluation report which should include annexes of country specific findings from the evaluation.
Please note that a more detailed TOR will be provided to the selected Consultant which will be the basis for this evaluation.
- Demonstrates integrity by modeling the UN’s values and ethical standards.
- Promotes the vision, mission, and strategic goals of the UN Development Group.
- Displays cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality and age sensitivity and adaptability.
- Treats all people respectfully and fairly without favouritism.
- Ability to build and sustain effective partnerships with UN Agencies and main constituents, advocate effectively, communicate sensitively across different constituencies.
- Proven ability to analyze and integrate diverse information to provide advice to senior managers and colleagues.
- Ability to identify key strategic issues, opportunities and risks.
- Ability to monitor progress against targets, milestones and deadlines.
- Demonstrates understanding of UN systems, procedures and operational activities.
- Demonstrates excellent organizational and strong interpersonal skills.
- Ability to work independently as well as within a team.
- Consistently approaches work with energy and a positive, constructive attitude.