JOBS

Consultancy – RESOLVE Network External Evaluator

US Institute of Peace

Ms. Boglarka Bozsogi - Executive Coordination and Network Manager

RESOLVE Network/USIP

+1.202.457.1700

bbozsogi@usip.org

Description

I. Introduction and Background

USIP is a national, nonpartisan, independent institute, founded by Congress and dedicated to the proposition that a world without violent conflict is possible, practical, and essential for U.S. and global security. In conflict zones abroad, the Institute works with local partners to prevent,
mitigate, and resolve violent conflict.

For more information, please visit http://www.usip.org.

The RESOLVE Network (housed at USIP) is a global consortium of researchers, research organizations, policymakers, and practitioners committed to better research, informed practice, and improved policy on violent extremism. RESOLVE Research Initiatives—which span thematic and geographical areas—include commissioned original research, capacity building efforts, and convenings to provide key insights on specific aspects of violent extremism to enhance and inform preventing and countering violent extremism (P/CVE) research, policy, and practice. For more information, please visit https://www.resolvenet.org.

II. Purpose of the RFP

USIP requests proposals to conduct a comprehensive evaluation of the RESOLVE Network five years after its inception. The evaluation will be carried out jointly with the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operations (State-CSO), which has funded the RESOLVE Network since 2016. The evaluation will focus on understanding and assessing RESOLVE’s development, evolution, and value-add five years after its original inception in 2016. The evaluation should focus on key areas, including (but not limited to) RESOLVE’s research projects, publications, and activities; RESOLVE’s impact on programming and policy; and the growth and strength of RESOLVE’s Global Network. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, this evaluation should be carried out virtually.

Ideal candidates include skilled evaluators with experience in evaluating:

1) The impact of research on violent extremism on policy, practice, and other research;
2) The growth, evolution, cohesion, and efficacy of global networks of individuals and/or
organizations working on violent extremism.

III. Scope of Work

A. Project Background
International stakeholders and researchers launched the RESOLVE Network on September 22, 2015 following the White House Summit on Countering Violent Extremism in February 2015. With original funding from State-CSO, RESOLVE was incubated and remains housed at USIP, building upon the Institute’s decades-long legacy of deep engagement in conflict-affected societies.

i) Structure

– The RESOLVE Network Secretariat manages the implementation of RESOLVE’s suite of research projects, convening efforts, and Network activities (see below for more information on each line of effort). USIP Evaluation RFP 2020
– RESOLVE’s Global Network is comprised of 38 Member Organizations, 51 individual expert members of its Research Advisory Council, and an Advisory Board comprised of six individual board members

ii) RESOLVE’s Overarching Theory of Change and Objectives

If we connect and elevate the work and insights of local and international P/CVE experts and organizations and we provide resources that can improve research rigor as well as access to further connect local and international research on violent extremism (VE); then we can enable a global community of P/CVE researchers, practitioners, and policymakers who are better poised to craft effective VE responses because they will have better access, resources, and insights to understand VE dynamics and identify collaborative means of addressing them. RESOLVE’s primary objectives are the following:
– Facilitate the exchange of knowledge and capacity building through connecting and supporting a network of international and local practitioners and researchers working on violent extremism worldwide; and
– Elevate and translate empirical research findings into actionable recommendations for P/CVE policy and practice.

iii) RESOLVE’s Core Activities

Over the past five years, RESOLVE’s model and product types have evolved, but RESOLVE’s core activities and Network engagement have remained centered around the following:
• Research and Publications: The RESOLVE Network Secretariat runs and manages original research projects (Research Initiatives) and produces RESOLVE publications to inform policy, practice, and research priorities on distinct topics related to violent extremism. For more on RESOLVE’s previous and ongoing projects, please visit www.resolvenet.org.
• Convening and Capacity Building: RESOLVE facilitates conversations to share expertise highlighting new insights, innovations, and research findings related to violent extremism policy and practice priorities. Distinct RESOLVE trainings focus on building research capacity among local  and literacy among local practitioners and policy officials.
• International Network: RESOLVE develops and manages its international network of organizations and individual experts working on violent extremism around the globe. RESOLVE partners with members of its international network in carrying out and vetting RESOLVE research projects, supports network member priorities and activities, and serves
as a mechanism for the exchange of information and establishment of connections between and among Network members and external P/CVE stakeholders. RESOLVE ongoing and previous projects have focused on the following thematic and regional areas: Racially and Ethnically Motivated Violent Extremism (REMVE), Local Peacebuilding Approaches in Sub-Saharan Africa, Violent Extremist Disengagement and Reconciliation (VEDR), South East Asia, Community-based Armed Groups in Sub-Saharan Africa, Research Trainings and Toolkit, Edited Volume: Researching Violent Extremism Series, Western Balkans, Lake Chad Basin (concluded), and Bangladesh (concluded).

iv) RESOLVE’s Funding

RESOLVE is funded by interagency agreements (IAA) with U.S. government partners, including the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operations (State-CSO), the U.S. Department of State Global Engagement Center (State-GEC), and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).

B. Evaluation Scope

i. Goals and Objectives

Since its inception in 2015, the RESOLVE Network has evolved and expanded greatly in its membership, scope, and activities in efforts to complement global P/CVE priorities and initiatives; foster increased connections between researchers, policymakers, and practitioners; and address emerging and evolving global P/CVE research needs and priorities.

In line with RESOLVE’s core activities (outlined above) this evaluation will both:

• Take stock of RESOLVE’s efforts, evolution, and impact and evaluate its efficacy in achieving its stated objectives over the five years since its inception.
• Provide information, extract lessons, and suggest recommendations based on the past five years to inform future activities and efforts carried out by RESOLVE and its funders related to strategic development, global network development and cohesion, and product quality and improvement over the next 5-10 years.

The evaluation should clearly address these two purposes and include a full analysis of best practices, challenges, missteps, and suggestions for improvement. Final findings and lessons from the evaluation will be shared with the RESOLVE Secretariat, RESOLVE Members, State-CSO, and USIP to inform strategic planning moving forward.

ii. Evaluation Key Questions

This comprehensive evaluation should address the following topics and may be guided by the following example questions (to be refined with the selected evaluator):
• RESOLVE’s Network, Mandate, and Evolution
• How has RESOLVE adhered to and evolved in its mission, purpose, and activities (as detailed above) over the past five years?
• What strengths has RESOLVE exhibited and what key challenges impacted RESOLVE’s activities, structure, and mission over the past five years?
• What would RESOLVE Network members like to gain more of through their engagement/membership? What obstacles to engagement exist?
• To what extent has RESOLVE’s expansion and engagement benefitted network members?
• RESOLVE’s Research, Convening, and Capacity Building Activities and Impact
• To what extent have/do RESOLVE Network research products and activities influenced or have a perceived benefit in crafting more effective and informed policy and practice?
• To what extent has/does the RESOLVE Network influence policy and by U.S. Government officials?
• How have key stakeholders utilized RESOLVE Network research and publications to inform research, policy, and practice priorities?
• How can RESOLVE strengthen its impact, products, activities, engagement, and network in the next 5-10 years?

iii. Process, Data Collection, and Methodology

The project will require the evaluator to hold initial consultations with the RESOLVE Secretariat team, State-CSO, and relevant USIP teams to clarify evaluation questions, plan and coordinate data collection activities, and identify the precise methodology for the evaluation.

Ultimately, it is the responsibility of the evaluator to determine the appropriate methods for data collection and analysis, in consultation with and with approval from RESOLVE, USIP, and State-CSO.

Broadly speaking, data collection for the evaluation will include the following:

• A desk review of relevant RESOLVE Network documents (to include monitoring documents, reports, strategic plans, and publications provided by RESOLVE)
• Interviews with key RESOLVE stakeholders, including U.S. Government officials
• A survey of RESOLVE Network members, RESOLVE Network Research Initiative participants, and other relevant individuals from the P/CVE global policy, practice, and research community RESOLVE will provide an initial list of key contacts to the evaluation team upon request, but the evaluation team is encouraged to develop their own sampling strategy and means of eliciting further input and participation.

Deliverables will include:

• An inception report outlining the final set of evaluation questions, data collection strategy, and data collection tools. Data collection should not require travel and should be facilitated (partly or exclusively) online, due to the on-going pandemic.
• A data collection report to be submitted at the end of primary data collection, specifying data collection activities, and any divergence from the plan outlined in the inception report.
• A full evaluation report (not to exceed 30 pages plus annexes) detailing evaluation findings and recommendations. Drafts of and the final report will be shared with USIP, RESOLVE, and State-CSO.
• Final presentations of findings to include presentations to the RESOLVE Network Secretariat and State-CSO as well as participation in a learning session facilitated by USIP’s Learning, Evaluation, and Research team.

Tentative Timeline

Deliverable Estimated Due Date:

Kick off Meeting June 21, 2021

Inception report July 16, 2021

Data Collection Report (after the completion of data collection)
September 27, 2021

Draft Evaluation Report October 22, 2021

Final Evaluation Report November 8, 2021

Presentations of report and learning session November 15-19, 2021 Dependent on availability

Level of effort

• Kick off Meeting: 1 day
• Inception report: 3 days
• Data collection report (includes a survey and interviews with funders, partners, and Network members): 12-18 days
• Draft Evaluation Report: 10-16 days
• Final Evaluation Report: 2 days
• Presentation of report and consultations: 2 days

Expected Type of Contract: Firm fixed price

How To Apply

Complete proposals must be submitted by email to bbozsogi@usip.org by 11:59pm Eastern Standard Time on June 4, 2021.

Type: Contract

Start date: 06/28/2021

Application Deadline: 06/04/2021

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