Call for proposal: Consultant/ Evaluator

Call for proposal: Consultant/ Evaluator

01/09/2022
in News

1. Context of the assignment

Rikolto is an international NGO with more than 40 years’ experience in partnering farmer organisations and food chain stakeholders across Africa, Asia, Europe and Latin America. Rikolto runs programmes in 18 countries worldwide through seven regional offices. Rikolto’s mission is to work towards a sustainable income for farmers and nutritious, affordable food for everyone.

We reach our goals by building bridges between smallholder farmer organisations, companies, authorities and other actors across rural and urban areas. Together, we create innovative ways of accessing, distributing and producing nutritious, quality food, so no one is left behind. Through our global network, we seek to inspire others to tackle with us the inter-related challenges of food insecurity, climate change, and economic inequality.

1.1. Rikolto’s 2022-2026 strategy

In 2021, the organisation launched its 2022-2026 strategy to enable consumers in at least 30 major and intermediate cities to access affordable and nutritious food, produced sustainably by more than 300,000 smallholders, belonging to more than 250 farmer organisations or related groups.

Our global Sustainable Rice, Cocoa & Coffee and Good Food for Cities/GF4C (previously known as Food Smart Cities) programmes, will seek change in three key food system domains where Rikolto has particular strength:

  • Sustainable production base
  • Inclusive markets
  • Enabling environments

While this strategy builds on the 2017-2021 strategy and Rikolto’s added value, it also represents a move towards embracing our work from the perspective of the food system. We recognise the need to engage more actively with stakeholders in areas related to our core business, such as nutrition, health, social inequality, and urban governance. These collaborations will prove critical in delivering our mission: a sustainable income for farmers and nutritious, affordable food for everyone.

The programmes will test innovations in those domains through initiatives aimed at triggering structural changes to address the challenges that food systems pose. In addition, we will ensure strong emphasis on gender and youth throughout Rikolto’s work and make concerted efforts to reduce biodiversity loss and environmental damage, address climate change impacts, and enhance food system resilience in the face of shocks and crises.

We anticipate that the GF4C programme, which connects the urban consumers and rural producers, will become the central component of Rikolto´s work, contributing strategically to the achievement of sustainable food systems. These systems must allow consumers to access affordable and nutritious food that is produced sustainably by smallholder farmers, earning incomes that enable them to achieve dignified livelihoods and build resilience into farming, whilst regenerating their farms and the natural resources on which these rely.

1.2. Rikolto’s programme in Indonesia

In Indonesia, Rikolto implements programme in commodity (rice, cocoa and coffee) and good food for cities programmes.

1.3. Rikolto’s organisational structure

The launch of this new strategy coincides with the culmination of a major overhaul in organisational structure, initiated in 2017 with Rikolto’s rebranding and decentralisation. As of 2022, the main programme management structure will shift from regional offices to global programmes: Sustainable Rice, Cocoa & Coffee and GF4C.

These programmes, composed of representatives from each regional team and a global programme director, have been in the driver’s seat of the new strategy design and will continue to lead programme management at the global level. This ensures strategy alignment in all the countries we operate (with local accents), opens the door for internal learning and enables leveraging evidence generated worldwide in relevant global spaces.

It is also important to know that the responsibility for M&E processes at regional and country level is placed entirely within the local programme teams. We do not have any local staff that is specifically dedicated to M&E, just 2 coordinators at global level.

2. Scope of the assignment

The present assignment regarding the implementation of our 2022-2026 evaluation framework comprises the following components:

  • Participation in the validation of the baseline report
  • Implementation of the DGD mid-term evaluation in 2024
  • Implementation of the DGD end-line evaluation in 2026

These assignments shall be carried out for Indonesa It is however worth noting that these evaluations will be part of a larger evaluation exercise of one of Rikolto’s global programmes. This is why these processes are overseen and coordinated by a team of international consultants who will assure quality and coherence among all evaluations. More details on the mode of collaboration between all parties involved can be found in the following section 3.2.

2.1. Participation in the validation of the baseline report

The international lead consultants will be in charge of developing Rikolto’s 2022-26 evaluation framework and systematize all available data at country level into a baseline report corresponding with that framework. The agreed format for this baseline report is a concise Powerpoint presentation. This baseline report will be presented to and validated with the local Rikolto team. The local consultant is expected to participate in this validation meeting to already familiarize him/herself with the evaluation framework and the available data at local level and actively comment on it.

2.2. Implementation of the DGD mid-term evaluation

In 2024/5, the local evaluator shall coordinate and conduct the mid-term evaluation of the DGD programme in Indonesia. This includes, but is not limited to, the following activities:

  • Review the proposed evaluation focus in light of on-the-ground evolution of implementation in Indonesia and the latest organisational priorities and submit for internal and donor approval (at the latest 1 month prior to the expected start of activities)
  • Plan the evaluation process together with ADE and the local Rikolto team to make sure activities are feasible for everyone involve
  • Collect qualitative data to complement the locally available data sources
  • Organise the local sense-making processes
  • Write up findings and answers to the evaluation questions, including recommendations for strategy adjustment
  • Hold de-briefings with relevant teams

2.3. Implementation of the DGD end-line evaluation

In 2026/7, the local evaluator shall coordinate and conduct the endline evaluation of the DGD programme in Indonesia. This includes, but is not limited to, the following activities:

  • Review the proposed evaluation focus in light of on-the-ground evolution of implementation in Indonesia and the latest organisational priorities and submit for internal and donor approval (at the latest 1 month prior to the expected start of activities)
  • Plan the evaluation process together with ADE and the local Rikolto team to make sure activities are feasible for everyone involved
  • Collect qualitative data to complement the locally available data sources
  • Organise the local sense-making processes
  • Write up findings and answers to the evaluation questions, including recommendations for strategy adjustment
  • Hold de-briefings with relevant teams

3. M&E system and evaluation principles

3.1. M&E system of the 2022-2026 strategy

Seizing the opportunity of the above-mentioned organizational restructuring, we have conducted a large internal and external review of our M&E system and toolkit. This resulted in a comprehensive programme management toolkit updated with new tools relevant for the 2022-2026 strategy, such as a multi-stakeholder process assessment tool, social return on investment analysis and evidence for impact toolkit, along with reviewed existing tools.

The key guiding principles for this updated M&E system are utility for programme staff, multi-functionality (relevant for different donors), learning-oriented and supportive of the creation of evidence for more impact.

Nonetheless, several challenges persist:

  • Striking the right balance in our evaluation processes between learning, accountability, strategy improvement and external positioning of our work.
  • Identifying the right indicators and variables that enable meaningful evaluations without overburdening staff with data collection.
  • Smooth integration and data flow between the various M&E tools as to avoid double work
  • Creation and ownership of evaluations that responds to the needs of global donors while staying relevant for internal learning and strategy adjustment.

3.2. Evaluation methodology

Key principles

Based on past experiences, the chosen methodology for the 2022-2026 evaluation framework shall follow the following principles:

  • Mix of field & desk evaluation: evaluations with in-country field visits were only conducted for outcomes with poor performance or with high learning potential. These field visits were conducted by the local consultant, which is part of the overall evaluation team. The remainder of outcomes was evaluated via desk study based on Rikolto’s M&E data.
  • Mix of internal and external evaluation: due to budgetary limitations the external consultants focused on assessing one case in depth per country, complemented by an internal evaluation of the remaining interventions contributing to the same outcome (supervised by the external evaluator). The external evaluator was responsible for the methodological setup of both the external and internal evaluation framework.
  • Participatory approach for learning and strategy development: a participatory and co-creative approach that involves Rikolto staff and strengthens their critical reflection and strategic thinking skills alike, along with the involvement of other key stakeholders, like implementing partners, to foster joint learning, planning and ownership.

In the frame of this approach, we are therefore looking for a local evaluator in Indonesia to collaborate with Rikolto and ADE, the selected international evaluation consultant, to implement our evaluation framework for the 2022-2026 programme period.

Collaboration between Rikolto, the international and local evaluators

Rikolto seeks to strengthen local evaluation capacity, embed the evaluation work in the local context dynamics and reduce our environmental footprint. Therefore, we decided to work with an international evaluation team composed of a lead evaluator in charge of the overall evaluation methodology and coordination, and local evaluators in charge of conducting the assessments on the ground.

The international consultant chosen for this assignment is ADE (https://ade.eu/). Their technical proposal for this assignment can be consulted here. The local consultant is part of a larger consortium of evaluators, which, under the leadership and coordination of ADE, is responsible for the execution of the task as laid out in section 2 of these TOR. This set-up significantly determines the modus operandi between the local consultant, the lead consultant, and Rikolto. Concretely this means:

  • The approach, as mentioned in the proposal of the lead consultant, will be respected with regard to working method and timing.
  • The local consultant has the obligation to adhere to instructions from ADE in terms of methodology, process, timing and format of deliverables.
  • Final deliverables at local level are to be submitted to the lead consultant in the first instance to be reviewed and approved in terms of objectivity. Only after that the deliverables shall be submitted to Rikolto for final approval.

4. Budget and timeline

  • The total amount of days budgeted for his assignment are about 24.5 working days over the whole assignment. The services must be provided in 3 periods of time:
    • Validation of 2022 baseline report: 0.5 days, December 2022
    • Mid-term evaluation: 12 days, September 2024-March 2025 (approx.)
    • End-line evaluation: 12 days, September 2026-March 2027 (approx.)
  • Should the local Rikolto team want the local consultant to assume additional responsibilities as the ones outlined in these TOR, additional days shall be negotiated between the two parties.

5. Required profile

We are looking for a local consultant, based in Indonesia, that has:

  • Solid M&E background and work experience (at least 5 years)
  • Expertise with impact assessments, preferably in food systems, for large donors, such as DGD, EU, USAID, UNEP, Enable and the like.
  • Solid understanding of change dynamics in food systems, upscaling dynamics, policy environment, agricultural value chains (especially coffee, cocoa, rice) and farmer organisation capacity development include in the level of urban consumer and its supplies.
  • Capacity to provide critical-constructive feedback and transmit suggestions for improvement to a local team of collaborators (local Rikolto team)
  • Ability to write clear and concise reports, including realistic and relevant recommendations
  • Professional fluency in English

6. Application process

Candidates are requested to submit their application/proposal to Rikolto Indonesia : recruitment.id [at] rikolto.org by September 5th 2022 including the following information:

  • CV
  • List of relevant experience in relation to the work at hand
  • Sample of past impact evaluation reports (max. 2)
  • Daily fee rate, incl. all local taxes

We expect to have interviews with the shortlisted candidates shortly after the application deadline. Should you have any questions related to the details of this assignment please reach out to us for further information.