International consultant: Independent Evaluation Team Leader

December 1, 2022
Application deadline closed.

Job Description

Purpose of the Joint Evaluation

As the regional project, “Enhancing Access to Justice for Women in Asia and the Pacific: Bridging the gap between formal and community-based systems through women’s empowerment” (Women’s Access to Justice), is approaching the end of the project timeframe, an independent final evaluation will be undertaken during the last year of the project, as per the Project Document. It will be a joint evaluation between UN Women, Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), and International Commission of Jurists (ICJ), in accordance with the guidance from UN Evaluation Group, and involve the evaluation units following their evaluation policies, where applicable. The purpose of the evaluation is to feed into learning about what worked well with respect to the joint approach to gender-responsive people-centered justice, what can be improved, serve accountability purposes, and feed into decision-making regarding further iterations of the project. The primary evaluation users, namely UN Women, OHCHR and ICJ, will use the evaluation to further strategize for gender-responsive people-centered justice, while secondary users within the respective organizations and partners will use the information to learn about what works when advancing and enhancing women’s access to justice. The donor, Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), may use the evaluation for accountability and as input for decision-making purposes.

Objectives of the Joint Evaluation

The overall objective of the joint evaluation is to assess progress made over the project period towards the attainment of the intended outcome, “Enhanced utilization of gender-responsive and people-centered? approaches in central and community-based?justice mechanisms?in Asia and the Pacific, that?enabled and empowered women, in all their diversity, to?equally access justice for the realization of their rights”, and the relevance, effectiveness, efficiency, sustainability, human rights, and gender equality, including a look into how women from vulnerable groups were engaged in the project. It should also provide an assessment of how the project has integrated the recommendations and lessons learned from the Mid-term Review. It will also provide inputs and give guidance for potential further iterations of the project or in the thematic area. The performance of the project will be assessed against the indicators presented in the results and reporting framework. The joint evaluation will:

Assess the relevance of the programme to stakeholders, including rights holders with respect to programme design and implementation;
Assess the effectiveness and efficiency of the approaches implemented in attaining the intended results and any potential unintended consequences;
Assess the potential for sustainability, and integration of human rights and gender equality in design and implementation; and
Produce lessons learned and issue actionable recommendations for further iterations of the project or similar programming.
Project background

The Project “Enhancing Access to Justice for Women in Asia and the Pacific: Bridging the gap between formal and community-based systems through women’s empowerment and reduction of gender biases” is a five-year programme that began in May 2018, with financial support from the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida).

The project aims to strengthen the gender-responsive people-centred justice, and eliminate gender discriminatory laws and practices to improve women’s use, access to and participation in justice systems. This is aligned with the gender justice concept, which considers women in legislative frameworks, but also promotes women as active citizens, with the right to live a life free from violence, fully participate in decision making, enjoy their rights, and have responsive avenues for redress if their rights are violated.

In realizing the goal, the project partners – UN Women, ICJ, and OHCHR, both the regional offices of Southeast Asia and the Pacific (OHCHR) – focus on achieving three outputs:

Domestic laws adopted and court decisions are consistent with international human rights law and standards, including CEDAW.
Gender discriminatory attitudes and stereotyped behaviours towards women by formal and community justice providers are addressed.
Grassroots women’s organizations and community-based women’s organizations are empowered and well-positioned to document, monitor, liaise and facilitate interactions with justice providers.

The project results are based on the theory of change that if: (i) A legal enabling environment for women to access gender-responsive justice is created by advocating for laws and court decisions that are consistent with international human rights law and standards, including the CEDAW; and, (ii) Community-based justice systems are gender-responsive and have an increased understanding and awareness of women’s rights; and, (iii) Grassroots women’s organizations, community-based women’s organizations, and communities are empowered and well positioned to document, monitor, liase and facilitate interactions with justice providers; then, women’s access to justice will be enhanced in the Asia Pacific region.

The project is implemented in the sub-regional level: Southeast Asia (SEA), South Asia (SA) and the Pacific Islands, with a specific focus on Indonesia, the Philippines, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Timor-Leste and Solomon Islands. The project is designed to work towards that all women will be beneficiaries, without leaving anyone behind, in line with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The total funding provided by the Government of Sweden amounts to $11,391,985. A Mid-Term Review of the programme was undertaken in June 2022. The project is due to end on 30 June 2023

The Outcome statement was updated by the project partners (UN Women, OHCHR and ICJ), in accordance with the recommendation of the mid-term review.

Key Evaluation Questions

The evaluation team will revise the evaluation questions based on consultations during the inception phase and considering the feasibility of objectives and scope outlined in this Terms of Reference. The evaluation team should raise and address any other relevant issues that may emerge during the evaluation. They should be guided but not limited by the evaluation questions listed below. The evaluation team will develop an evaluation matrix during the inception phase in consultation with the Evaluation Management Group (EMG) and the Evaluation Reference Group (ERG) (please refer to the management section for more details) which will outline the questions and means of answering them.

Scope of the Joint Evaluation

The evaluation will cover all components of the programme, including those implemented by each partner.

Time Frame: the evaluation will cover the entire project life (from June 2018 up to and including quarter 1 of 2023 as the last year of the project).

Geographical coverage: the evaluation will cover all countries where the project is implemented, while 2-3 countries will be selected for more in-depth review of outcome level achievements (please refer to methodlogy section for selection of case studies).

Stakeholder coverage: the evaluation will reach out to stakeholders, including right-holders and duty-bearers i.e. beneficiaries, participating governments, civil society partners, implementing partners at the national and regional levels, and partner agencies, as well as the project steering committee members and project partners.

Limitations: although unlikely, should there be limitations on the travel to selected countries, close collaboration with national evaluators and the conduct of virtual interviews/meetings would be required. Triangulation of information received from different sources and synthesis of key findings across the different countries and components will feed into the overall findings, but generalizations should not be made.

Design of the Joint Evaluation

The evaluation will be, in its nature, summative of the entire project period (up to Q1 2023) and include recommendations for the next iteration of the project. The approach should also promote inclusion and participation by employing gender equality and human rights responsive approaches with a focus on utilisation, empowerment or feminist approaches. The evaluation will be gender-responsive which applies mixed-methods (quantitative and qualitative data collection methods and analytical approaches) to account for complexity of gender relations and to ensure participatory and inclusive processes that are culturally appropriate. The design of the joint evaluation should be theory-based and the Theory of Change of the project may contribute to the evaluation.

Methodological approach

The suggested methods of data collection include desk review, key informant interviews, focus group discussions, and survey. A case study approach will be taken to allow for in-depth look at key issues or implementation modalities at the country level, which will include stakeholder consultation, observation, and review and documentation analysis (e. g. progress and completion reports, workshop and mission reports, knowledge and advocacy products, and other appropriate documentation produced and related by UN Women, OHCHR and ICJ). The criteria for case study selection will be identified during the inception phase – it is likely that the case studies will be limited to two or three countries and national consultants in the selected countries will be engaged to lead the data collation. The selection of case studies will be based on areas of high investment, opportunities for learning, gaps of information and feasibility. The evaluation must integrate gender and human rights approaches and perspectives throughout data collection and analysis. It is particularly important to understand and assess how the project addresses complex, intersectional discrimination and how this affects women’s rights.

Evaluators will conduct consultation with stakeholder groups, to the extent possible, using participatory tools and suggest a plan for inclusion of women and individuals and groups who are vulnerable and/or discriminated against in the consultation process and a plan for translation, as necessary. Based on consultations, the national consultants will visit selected project sites to validate the findings of the desk review and documentation analysis, and identify good practices and lessons learned. The evaluation may employ a participatory storytelling or most significant change approach through the country case study visits.

The entire evaluation will be undertaken as per UNEG guidelines and consider a human-rights-based and gender empowerment approach. The evaluation experts and all their direct collaborators will follow UN Women’s Evaluation Handbook and UNEG Ethical guidelines.

Stakeholder participation

There will be several stakeholder meetings, including debrief meetings with key in-country stakeholders (at minimum, UN Women, OHCHR and ICJ) at the end of each field visit to validate emerging findings from the mission and identify/fill data gaps. Then, once the evaluators have analysed the data, they will present preliminary findings to the Evaluation Reference Group (ERG) to validate these and consider preliminary feedback in the development of the draft report.

Key stakeholders (e.g., internal stakeholders, programme/project partners, donors, the Project Steering Committee, etc.) will be consulted through this the joint evaluation. It is important to pay particular attention to the participation of rights holders—women and vulnerable and marginalized groups—to ensure the application of a gender-responsive approach – this will be done through a civil society representative on the Evaluation Reference Group (ERG) and through the case studies.

Stakeholder participation in data collection: there will be the inclusion of a diverse range of stakeholders – including vulnerable groups – in data collection.
Evaluation Phases

The joint evaluation will be conducted according to the following tentative timeline and with the main deliverables outlined below. The Team Leader will be engaged in stage 1-3 (February to June 2023) for approximately 50 days of work (this is an indicative number that should be used as a guideline).

STAGE 0: PREPARATION (mid February 2023)

Joint review (UN Women, OHCHR, ICJ) of the Terms of the Reference
Formation of the Evaluation Management Group (EMG) and the Evaluation Reference Group (ERG)
Recruiting an evaluation team including one international and 2 to 3 national consultants

STAGE 1: INCEPTION (late March 2023)

Briefing and consultation with EMG
Desk review of key documents
Theory of change workshop
Inception report including the evaluability assessment, stakeholder mapping, proposed sampling for case studies, theory of change (reconstructed as necessary), methodology, work plan, evaluation matrix, and data collection tools
Presentation of the inception report to ERG
Duties and Responsibilities

Duties and Responsibilities

Under the direct supervision of the Regional Evaluation Specialist and the Access to Justice Project Specialist of UN Women ROAP, and in consultation with the Evaluation Management Group an independent evaluation Team Leader will be hired to undertake the project’s Joint Final Evaluation. The Team Leader will be responsible for the following:

Lead the evaluation team, which will include a research analyst and 2 to 3 national consultants who are based in the project’s pilot countries to collectively conduct data collection/analysis and generate the evaluation products.
Perform desk review of the project’s key documents including Program Document, Annual Work Plans and Budget, all progress reports of UN Women, OHCHR, ICJ and implementing partners, all knowledge products including studies, research and outcome documents from all conferences and workshops that have been conducted within the framework of the project.
Prepare an Inception Report detailing the evaluation team’s understanding of what is being evaluated and why, showing how each evaluation question will be answered by way of: proposed methods; proposed sources of data; and data collection procedures.
Collect primary data, including interviews with the project team members and key stakeholders involved in the project at regional level and based in Indonesia, Philippines, Nepal, Timor-Leste, Sri Lanka, Solomon Islands. UN Women, OHCHR and ICJ will provide a list of stakeholders and will assist with liaising and coordinating the meeting schedules as needed.
Analyse the primary and secondary data provided by the national consultants and collected by the Team Leader in line with the objectives and key questions of the evaluation to identify findings, conclusions and recommendations as detailed in the evaluation report.
Present the preliminary findings to EMG and ERG to validate and integrate feedback in the draft report.
Prepare a draft evaluation report and integrate feedback received from ERG and EMG into the final evaluation report not exceeding 40 pages (with annexes not to exceed 50 pages) in word format and in line with UN Women GERAAS standards.
Prepare a presentation of the final evaluation conclusions and recommendations.

Contract period and work location

From 1 February 2023 – 15 July 2023. This assignment is primarily home-based, data collection will be both online and field visits will be done in collaboration with national consultants based in the selected countries. For travel on the mission, travel costs and Daily Subsistence Allowance (DSA) will be provided by UN Women. Travel Authorization will be granted to the consultant prior to the travel date.