You are here

Individual Consultancy: Terms of Reference for Malawi Census Project Evaluation

1. Background and Purpose of consultancy:

The Deepening Evidence and Engagement on Population Dynamics Project, or the Census Project, has run since 2018 to ensure that everyone, everywhere, is counted, and accounted for in the pursuit of sustainable development in Malawi. The main implementer of the Census Project is the National Statistical Office of the Government of Malawi, and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) provided technical assistance and financial and coordination support. Other development partners that provided resources and technical expertise to this project included the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the Government of Norway, the Government of Iceland, the Government of Germany (GIZ), the Government of Ireland, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and the Standard Bank.

The project is set to conclude implementation in December 2021. Given this premise, these terms of reference seek to engage services of two individual consultants (one local and one international) to evaluate the project in accordance with established international standards and practices, fully taking into account relevant local contexts.

Through the National Statistical Office, the Census Project strengthens the generation and use of evidence including population statistics disaggregated by age and sex for evidence in the public policy process. The 2018 population and housing census exercise coincided with the global adoption of the SDGs and the African Agenda 2063. In 2018, the project mobilised over 15,000 tablets on top of the 5,000 tablets procured by the government making Malawi’s census one of the first to fully embrace Computer Assisted Personal Interviews (CAPI) for a PHC in the region. The key take-away results in the two years that followed were the completion of the preliminary and main census reports in record time, and the 14 subsequent thematic reports providing a wealth of analysis and data on population dynamics.

Against this background the proposed evaluation of the Census Project will serve the following key objective: To provide the Government of Malawi including the National Statistical Office, in collaboration with the UNFPA Malawi Country Office, national stakeholders and rights-holders, development partners as well as a wider audience with an independent assessment on the results and the processes of the Deepening Evidence and Engagement on Population Dynamics project.

2.0 Scope of work: (Description of services, activities, or outputs)

 As outlined in the project document, in the final year of implementation, the project steering committee shall hold an end-of project review by engaging independent evaluation experts to evaluate the project and capture lessons learned against the criteria outlined below.

The two consultants, in the thematic scope of the evaluation will cover the implementation and the results of the Census project during the period 2018-2021. Under the direct supervision by the Deputy Representative and the overall supervision by the Resident Representative, the consultants will work closely with the Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist in collaboration with Population and Development section to reach out to the Government of Malawi through the National Statistical Office. More specifically, the consultants will:

  1. Provide an independent assessment of the relevance, effectiveness, efficiency and sustainability of project implementation and outputs;
  2. Provide an assessment of the role played by the Government of Malawi, UNFPA and other stakeholders, with a view to enhancing the collective contribution to the project’s ’intended results; and
  3. Draw key lessons from the current project implementation to provide a set of clear, forward-looking and actionable recommendations.

The evaluation will examine the following criteria: relevance, effectiveness, efficiency and sustainability. It will also use the evaluation criterion of ‘coordination’ to assess the extent to which the Government of Malawi and NSO, in collaboration with UNFPA, harmonised interventions with other actors and promoted coherence and synergy without duplications.

Relevance: The extent to which the objectives and outputs of the Census Project correspond to population needs at country level (in particular, those of vulnerable groups), and were aligned throughout the project period with government priorities and with strategies of UNFPA.

Effectiveness: The extent to which the Census Project outputs have been achieved and the extent to which these outputs have contributed to the achievement of outcomes as outlined in the project document.

Efficiency: The extent to which the Census Project outputs and outcomes have been achieved with the appropriate amount of resources (funds, expertise, time, administrative costs, etc.) and by maximising their utilisation.

Sustainability: The continuation of benefits from a UNFPA-financed intervention after its termination, linked, in particular, to their continued resilience to risks.

Coordination: The extent to which the Government of Malawi including NSO, and UNFPA have been active members of and contributors to existing coordination mechanisms across stakeholders.

3.0. Expected Deliverables

The expected outputs and deliverables of the evaluation are as follows:

  • Inception report outlining the consultants’ understanding of the Terms of Reference, and proposed methodology. The report should translate the requirements of the ToR into a practical and feasible evaluation approach, methodology and work plan. It should include (at a minimum): (i) the evaluation approach and methodology (incl. the theory of change and sampling strategy); (ii) the final stakeholder map; (iii) the evaluation matrix (incl. the final evaluation questions, indicators, data sources and data collection methods); (iv) data collection tools and techniques (incl. interview protocols); and (v) a detailed evaluation work plan and agenda for the field phase.
  • PowerPoint presentation of the design report. The PowerPoint will be delivered at an update meeting one week after the inception meeting to present the contents of the design report and the agenda for the field phase
  • Draft evaluation report presenting findings, conclusions and recommendations, based on the evidence that data collection yielded. It will undergo review by NSO and UNFPA.
  • Final evaluation report and PowerPoint presentation outlining the findings and conclusions, as well as a set of practical and actionable recommendations. The PowerPoint presentation, to be presented at the steering committee of the Census Project, will provide a clear overview to be used for the dissemination of the final evaluation report.

4.0 Schedule:

  • The consultants are expected to take 8 weeks. (starting mid-September 2021)

 

5.0 Required expertise, qualifications including language requirements:

Qualifications: Evaluation Expert (International Consultant)

The competencies, skills and experience of the evaluation team leader should include the following:

  • Master’s degree in public policy/administration, social sciences, demography or population studies, statistics, data science, development studies or a related field is required.
  • 10 years of experience in conducting or managing evaluations in the field of international development is required.
  • Extensive experience in leading complex evaluations commissioned by United Nations organizations and/or other international organizations and NGOs is desirable.
  • Demonstrated expertise in population data including the integration of population in development planning is desirable.
  • In-depth knowledge of theory-based evaluation approaches in accordance with established international standards and practices is required.
  • Demonstrated ability to apply both qualitative and quantitative data collection methods and to uphold high quality standards for evaluation is required
  • Demonstrated ability to ensure ethics and integrity of the evaluation process, including confidentiality and the principle of do no harm is required.
  • Demonstrated ability to consistently integrate human rights and gender perspectives in all phases of the evaluation process is desirable.
  • Excellent management and leadership skills to coordinate the work of the evaluation team, and strong ability to share technical evaluation skills and knowledge is required.
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills (written and spoken) is required.
  • Work experience in/good knowledge of the national development context of Malawi is an asset.
  • Fluent in written and spoken English is required.

 

Qualifications: Population Data Expert (Local Consultant)

The competencies, skills and experience of the population dynamics expert should include the following:

  • Master’s degree in demography or population studies, statistics, data science, public policy/administration, social sciences, development studies or a related field is required.
  • Minimum 5 years of experience in conducting evaluations, reviews, assessments, research studies or M&E work in the field of international development is required.
  • Substantive knowledge on the generation, analysis, dissemination and use of housing census and population data for development, population dynamics, migration and national statistics systems is required.
  • Demonstrated ability to ensure ethics and integrity of the evaluation process, including confidentiality and the principle of do no harm is required.
  • Demonstrated ability to consistently integrate human rights and gender perspectives in all phases of the evaluation process is desirable.
  • Solid knowledge of evaluation approaches and methodology and demonstrated ability to apply both qualitative and quantitative data collection methods is required.
  • Excellent analytical and problem-solving skills is desirable.
  • Experience working in evaluations commissioned by United Nations organisation is an asset.
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills (written and spoken) is required.
  • Work experience in and good knowledge of the national development context of Malawi is required.
  • Familiarity with UNFPA or other United Nations organizations’ mandates and activities will be an advantage.

6.0 Application Requirements:

  1. Cover letter: A short letter addressing the evaluation criteria
  2. Technical Proposal:
  • Understanding of the TOR, review framework, methodology, work plan, team structure with specified individual roles and timeline
  • Background information about the organization/ individual certificate and financial capacity statements other projects handled and CVs of the persons who will be engaged in the assignment.

Iii. Financial Proposal:

Detailed budget for the work plan including total fee for the assignment (should specify various components like manpower, travel, miscellaneous).

7.0 Method of Application

How to apply: Candidates who have the required/relevant qualifications and experience should submit their applications including application requirements listed above to the following address: recruitment.malawi@unfpa.org. Please specify in the email subject: “Census Evaluation”. Applications should be received not later than 16th August,2021.