Careers

Call for Expressions of Interest: External Evaluation of the Treatment Action Campaign 2010-2015 to Reflect Inputs from Comic Relief

 

The Treatment Action Campaign (TAC), which is a South African not-for-profit organisation and social movement, with more than 8 000 members organised in local branches in seven provinces, is calling for Expressions of Interest to carry out a major external evaluation.
The Expressions of Interest will represent the first stage of a two stage process to appoint suitably qualified consultants to carry out this external evaluation at the end of a significant five year Comic Relief investment grant.

In summary, TAC’s requirements are as follows:

Purpose and Objectives:

The overall purpose of the evaluation is to review

(a) TAC’s contribution to improvements in HIV policy, and effectiveness of the services provided to people living with HIV (in terms of the objectives set out in the Comic Relief grant agreement);

(b) TAC’s organisational development and more specifically progress made towards the organisational step changes of the Comic Relief grant;

(c) How TAC brought about these differences;

(d) Whether the Comic Relief investment has been used efficiently to strengthen TAC’s organisational development and its future sustainability;

and

(e) What has been learnt that should be taken into account for TAC’s future work in relation to:

• Organisational development processes: what has worked? What hasn’t?
 

• The cost-effective use of core funding; what could have been done differently?

 

The use of Comic Relief core funding in relation to other organisational priorities, such as TAC’s contracts with restricted funds, and other core-funding. Have other contractual requirements had any effects on the organisational development processes funded by Comic Relief?

 

• M&E systems and learning.

 

There are specific questions relating to:

• What difference has TAC made to people’s lives (what, who, where, when)?
• Progress with Organisational Development and Strengthening;
• How has the grant made this difference? In terms of approaches used by (a) TAC and (b) Comic Relief.

Methodology

The evaluation will be participatory. It should use an inclusive approach that enables TAC board members, political leaders, staff and members to reflect on, and learn from, the period of funding and put the learning into practice for future strategies, programmes, approaches and set-up. As TAC has a wide number of partners and donors, drawing on input from these sets of stakeholders will also be extremely important.

The choice of interviewees and key informants should reflect the extent of TAC’s work and the focus of the evaluation. So, it should acknowledge that TAC seeks to bring about change in policy and implementation at national level, but also seeks to bring about changes in policy and implementation and directly in the lives of people in seven provinces in South Africa. The evaluation should be both gender-aware and take into account other diversity and equality considerations in its design, analysis and reporting.

 

Schedule TAC is seeking to have a completed evaluation report by mid-June 2015.

The Consultants’ specification:

The contracted external evaluation team will comprise, as a minimum, three people, including a designated team leader/project manager. The team leader will have substantial experience in managing similar evaluations that have an emphasis on learning, and organisational development; have demonstrated technical knowledge of primary health care and civil society responses to HIV and AIDS, and an ability to understand the particular approach of TAC in the South African context.

The team as a whole should have a strong understanding of organisational development; the context of TAC’s work, with some in-depth understanding of particular South African provinces; and strong understanding of how complex organisations work and how to work with them. It should have an appropriate mix of language skills to carry out research and provide feedback across South Africa, and provide high quality verbal and written communications in English. The team members should demonstrate an understanding of how gender would impact the programme, and how to carry out the evaluation accordingly.
The budget is based upon 25 days of work for a project manager, and a total of 30 days for researchers, but an alternative combination would be acceptable.

Budget

An absolute budget of ZAR 310 000 (excluding VAT) is available for the external evaluation team, including consultants’ costs, travel and subsistence.

Application process

There will be a two stage process. Expressions of Interest will be reviewed in January to provide a short-list of consultants that have demonstrated that they are in a strong position to meet the specification.

Short-listed consultants will then be asked to provide more information on the approach that they would take, including the specific role of different team members, and their detailed budget break-down.

Expressions of interest should be submitted to Manti@tac.org.za by 08h59 South Africa time on Thursday 22 January with the subject line: ‘Expression of Interest: TAC evaluation 2015’. Submissions received after this time will not be considered.

 

Expressions of interest should comprise:

• A cover letter outlining your understanding of the consultancy, and your interest, suitability and availability for the evaluation. This should outline who the team members would be, and their respective roles;
• Curriculum vitae for all proposed team members;
• A summary budget identifying daily fees and time allocations for different team members, and other costs;
• Three referees who could be consulted at this stage.

Short-listed candidates will be contacted within one week of the closing date, and given 10 days to submit additional material.

 

Detailed Terms of Reference can be found below.

 

Terms of reference: External evaluation/learning review of the Treatment Action Campaign 2010-2014 to reflect inputs from Comic Relief

 

1. Introduction to external evaluation

In June 2010, Comic Relief awarded FoTAC UK an investment grant for GBP 3.02m over five years to be used to provide nearly GBP 2.8m to the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) with the balance enabling FoTAC to provide management and support. The grant’s aim was to “strengthen TAC to engage with government to deliver quality HIV services in South Africa”. The programme anticipated contributing to external outcomes resulting from the provision of services to inform and bring about behaviour change, as well as from advocacy for improved policy and implementation. In addition, because the programme was an investment grant, it anticipated contributing to internal outcomes or ‘Step Changes’ that would strengthen TAC in identified key areas.

Over the period of the grant, TAC’s emphasis changed appreciably from service provision to advocacy. The evaluation will focus on TAC’s work from 2010 through to December 2014 with a view to drawing out learning and providing recommendations that TAC should address as part of their management response to the evaluation, which is a Comic Relief requirement. The findings of the evaluation will be presented to TAC’s Board and National Council. The timing of the evaluation is important as the Board and National Council will very soon be discussing critical questions about TAC’s strategic and organisational approach against the backdrop of the evolving health and political landscape in South Africa and changing availability of funding.

The context to the evaluation is that Comic Relief is committed to learning from the work that it funds, to enable it to understand both what difference its funded projects have made, and how they have made that difference, i.e. understanding the key success factors for achieving long term change for particular groups in different contexts. It expects its grant holders to evaluate their projects, looking at both these what and how questions. (See Appendix 1 for Comic Relief’s guidelines on undertaking evaluations).

The evaluation will be participatory. It should use an inclusive approach that enables TAC board members, political leaders, staff and members to reflect on, and learn from, the period of funding and put the learning into practice for future strategies, programmes, approaches and set-up. As TAC has a wide number of partners and donors, drawing on input from these sets of stakeholders will also be extremely important. The evaluation should be both gender-aware and take into account other diversity and equality considerations in its design, analysis and reporting.

 

The key institutional stakeholders for the evaluation are:

• Comic Relief: a major charity based in the UK which strives to create a just world free from poverty.

• FoTAC: the Friends of the Treatment Action Campaign, a small UK charity set up to provide financial and other support to TAC. Comic Relief has provided funds to TAC through FoTAC.

• TAC: the Treatment Action Campaign, a South African not-for-profit organisation and social movement, which has as its Vision: ‘A unified quality health-care system which provides equal and affordable access to HIV prevention and treatment services for all people’. TAC is a membership organisation with more than 8000 members organized in more than 150 local branches in seven provinces. Working through its members has been a key strategy for TAC to bring about change.

 

Other donors will also have an interest.

 

2. Purpose and Objectives

The overall purpose of the evaluation is to review:

(a) TAC’s contribution to improvements in HIV policy, and effectiveness of the services provided to people living with HIV (in terms of the objectives set out in the Comic Relief grant agreement;

(b) TAC’s organisational development and more specifically progress made towards the organisational step changes of the Comic Relief grant;

(c) how TAC brought about these differences;

(d) whether the Comic Relief investment has been used efficiently to strengthen TAC’s organisational development and its future sustainability; and

(e) what has been learnt that should be taken into account for TAC’s future work in relation to:

 

• Organisational development processes: what has worked? What hasn’t?

• The cost-effective use of core funding; what could have been done differently?

• The use of Comic Relief core funding in relation to other organisational priorities, such as TAC’s contracts with restricted funds, and other core-funding. Have other contractual requirements had any effects on the organisational development processes funded by Comic Relief?

• M&E systems and learning. Specific objectives are to identify:

 

A. What difference has TAC made to people’s lives (what, who, where, when)?

1. To review whether the results that were anticipated at the outset of the grants were valid, and if necessary, agree with TAC an appropriate methodology for evaluating the project.

2. To establish which external parties have directly benefitted (women, men, girls and boys) and in what ways? Are those changes relevant to people’s needs? Are they likely to be sustainable in the long term?

3. To establish what changes (positive, negative or no changes) have occurred as a result of TAC within communities with particular attention paid to gender relations and the position of people living with HIV.

4. To identify what changes have been brought about to policies and implementation at different levels (facility, local, district and provincial, national) to benefit people living with HIV.  

 

B. Progress with Organisational Development and Strengthening

 

1. To identify the extent to which TAC has been strengthened as an organization to bring about change during the period?

2. What progress has been made toward the step changes identified in the Comic Relief’s grant? What progress has been made towards the organisational development priorities, more specifically:

a. How have TAC’s M&E and finance systems improved as a result of Comic Relief’s investment? How could the MEL system enable TAC to better measure its achievements, especially in influencing?

b. Strengthening TAC’s membership and governance.

c. Consolidating staff development and enhancing organisational performance.

d. Development of TAC’s capacity to communicate effectively, making the best use of media and celebrities.

e. Does TAC have a robust resource mobilisation strategy to support future sustainability? f. To what extent has implementation of TAC’s Gender policy brought about change?

 

3. Has the Comic Relief funding been used in an efficient way?

 

C. How has the project made this difference?

 

Approaches used by TAC

1. To establish what have been the most effective methodologies and approaches that TAC used to bring about changes, especially to policy and implementation. What worked and what did not? What lessons have been learned?

2.  To establish how the essential nature of TAC – as a national activist organization based upon members organized in local branches – helped or hindered the delivery of lasting change? Which elements of TAC contributed most to lasting change? Which elements should be prioritized going forward?

3. To establish how efficient and effective TAC’s evolving governance, management, planning, monitoring, learning and financial management systems have been, looking at the roles of the district/provincial offices and national office, and the relationships between them. How have they helped or hindered the delivery of lasting change? What steps should be taken to improve TAC’s effectiveness and efficiency, and how should this best be done?

 

Approaches used by Comic Relief To establish:

4. How have Comic Relief’s distinctive approaches, especially the concept of an ‘investment’ grant, helped or hindered the delivery of lasting change?

5. Has the identification of set step-changes from the outset of the grant helped or hindered organisational change?

6. Did Comic Relief and DFID provide support in overlapping areas? And how did this impact on the strategic focus and organisational strengthening of TAC? To establish how relationships between

(1) TAC and FoTAC and Comic Relief, and

(2) TAC and FoTAC and HLSP and DFID, helped or hindered the delivery of change/outcome?

7. To investigate the effects that other more restricted funding agreements had on the progresses towards organisational development.

 

3. Methodology

The evaluation should use a participatory methodology which engages a wide and purposeful range of TAC and external stakeholders. The choice of interviewees and key informants should reflect the extent of TAC’s work and the focus of the evaluation. So, it should acknowledge that TAC seeks to bring about change in policy and implementation at national level, but also seeks to bring about changes in policy and implementation and directly in the lives of people in seven provinces in South Africa. Clearly there will have to be a trade-off in coverage between inclusivity and the limitations of resources and time.

The stakeholders should include a range of TAC staff (past and present) and office bearers at both national and provincial/district level; TAC branch members; representatives drawn from TAC’s partners and from its funders; staff at health facilities; managers from the National and Provincial Departments of Health; political leaders; informed observers; representatives from groups of PLHA; representatives from local communities . In addition, there will be a need to engage with the Comic Relief HIV Programme Manager in UK, and representatives of FoTAC.

Engagement could be through face-to-face interviews, telephone/Skype contact, focus group discussions, and written responses to questions.

 

4. Schedule

TAC is seeking to have a completed evaluation report by mid-June 2015. Once a commencement date is agreed, TAC would expect deliverables to be available as set out below.

 

5. Expected Deliverables

The external evaluation team should provide the following deliverables within the time-frame indicated:

• Inception meeting between TAC’s staff and the consultant(s) selected for this assignment;

• Inception plan report, which should include the agreed evaluation methodology, the timeframe, the points at which interim feedback/’check-in’ is expected, and the interpretation of these terms of reference as agreed at the inception meeting.

• Initial face-to-face feedback to key TAC stakeholders at the end of the research phase to present key findings, and allow for immediate comment. (Schedule: within four weeks of commencement date)

• A draft report of the evaluation findings to be available to TAC (within six weeks of commencement date)

• A satisfactory final evaluation report to be made available to TAC (within three weeks of feedback on the draft from TAC, FoTAC and Comic Relief).

• A brief summary of the findings, written in accessible language, should be made available to enable TAC to provide formal feedback to key internal and external stakeholders, including those who participated in the research (within one week of acceptance of final report). The report should be clear and simply written, free of jargon. The main body of the report should not exceed 30 pages and should include a stand-alone executive summary and recommendations.

Technical details should be confined to appendices, which should also include a list of informants and the evaluation team’s work schedule. Background information should only be included when it is directly relevant to the report’s analysis and conclusions. The report’s authors should support their analysis of achievements with relevant data and state how this has been sourced. Recommendations should also include details as to how they might be implemented. The report should include guidance on the process by which findings will be shared and discussed with all stakeholders. TAC should own the report.

 

6. Required Inputs

TAC is the key stakeholder in the evaluation. TAC’s acting COO is responsible for overall management, is the budget holder and will sign-off on the outputs. At the outset, TAC will provide verbal briefings, and copies of key project documents, and will help to identify key stakeholders.

TAC will designate an operations manager, responsible for operational aspects of the evaluation; will provide administrative capacity to set up logistical arrangements for the fieldwork – particularly setting up interviews and focus group meetings against a schedule agreed with the external evaluation team; and provide staff or members to assist the evaluation team to locate those participating in the research.

The contracted external evaluation team will comprise, as a minimum, three people, including a designated team leader/project manager. The team leader will have substantial experience in managing similar evaluations that have an emphasis on learning, and organisational development; have demonstrated technical knowledge of primary health care and civil society responses to HIV and AIDS, and an ability to understand the particular approach of TAC in the South African context.

The team as a whole should have a strong understanding of organisational development, the context of TAC’s work, with some in-depth understanding of particular South African provinces, and strong understanding of how complex organisations work and how to work with them. It should have an appropriate mix of language skills to carry out research and provide feedback across South Africa, and provide high quality verbal and written communications in English. The team members should demonstrate an understanding of how gender would impact the programme, and how to carry out the evaluation accordingly.

The budget is based upon 25 days of work for a project manager, and a total of 30 days for researchers, but an alternative combination would be acceptable.

 

7. Budget

An absolute budget of ZAR 310,000 (excluding VAT) is available for the external evaluation team, including consultants’ costs, travel and subsistence.  

 

Appendix 1: Comic Relief guidance to grant-holders

 

1 Undertaking evaluations

 

Introduction

Comic Relief is committed to learning from the work that we fund, to enable us to understand both what difference our funded projects have made, and how they have made that difference, i.e. understanding the key success factors for achieving long term change for particular groups in different contexts. We expect our grantholders to evaluate their projects, looking at both these what and how questions.

We believe periodic evaluations provide a valuable space for stakeholders, to reflect on their work to date. Evaluations should facilitate a process of critical analysis that allows people to celebrate success, challenge assumptions and ways of working, and explore areas that have been difficult. The process should be an enriching one for all concerned, allowing for a dedicated opportunity for concentrated reflection and learning.

This section provides guidance to UK organisations and their local partners in receipt of a Comic Relief grant to make sure evaluations provide an opportunity to effectively capture what a project has achieved and what has been learnt. This can then be shared with all stakeholders.

 

A. Makeup of the evaluation team

The team should try to maximise, as far as is practicable, the diversity of stakeholders involved in the project (including representatives of the local organisations). We would like to see the CV’s of the candidates short listed for the proposed lead consultant role and discuss the final selection before they are contracted.

This person is likely to have overall responsibility for the work of the evaluation team – they could be a facilitator to support critical self-analysis, or an “expert” able to make informed assessment of progress. The lead consultant should be independent of the implementing organisations so they can capture the views of different stakeholders without fear of bias. We recommend someone who has previous experience of carrying out evaluations and has relevant technical knowledge. They should be independent as defined in Section 1, part C2 of the guidance to grant holders.

 

B. Terms of reference

The UK organisation must consult Comic Relief on the formulation of the evaluation terms of reference (TOR) at least one month before these have to be finalised. We would like the evaluation Terms of Reference to include the following areas of learning identified by Comic Relief. 

o What difference has the project made to people’s lives (what, who, where, when)?

o To what degree have project outcomes been achieved? Were there any unexpected outcomes? o Who has benefited (women, men, girls and boys) and in what ways? o Are those changes (outcomes) relevant to people’s needs? o Are they likely to be sustainable in the long term? o Have there been changes to policies, practice and attitudes of decision and policy makers to benefit the project’s target groups? o To what extent has the project contributed to the achievement of broader national and international policies, conventions, targets etc in the country/ies where the project is working?

o To what extent has the achievement of the changes/ outcomes been influenced by external context and other factors? How has the project made this difference? Approaches used by the project and implementing organisations:

o What was the overall theory of change for this project? Has it been effective in bringing about lasting change? Were there any gaps? o What have been the most effective methodologies and approaches the organisation used to bring about changes to people’s lives? What has worked and what has not? What lessons have been learned? Who have they been shared with?

o How has the type of organisations funded (e.g. user-led, social enterprise, national or international NGO), both UK and local, helped or hindered the delivery of lasting change?

o How have relationships between partners throughout the relationship chain (looking at UK organisation-local partner(s)-target groups) helped or hindered the delivery of change /outcomes? o How effective have the project’s management, monitoring, learning and financial systems been? How have they helped or hindered the delivery of lasting change? o Has the project been cost effective? Approaches used by Comic Relief: o How have Comic Relief’s grant making policies and processes (e.g. how we define our programme strategies and outcomes, how we assess applications) helped or hindered the delivery of lasting change?

o How has Comic Relief’s approach to grant management (e.g. individual work with grantholders, and learning activities with other funded organisations) helped or hindered the delivery of lasting change?

o How has the way Comic Relief used its organisational assets helped or hindered the delivery of change (e.g. use of the media, access to decision makers)? o Are there any other ways in which Comic Relief has helped or hindered the delivery of change?

 

C. Methodology

We require a participatory methodology, whereby the work engages all key stakeholders including Comic Relief grants staff who should be provided with an opportunity to provide input and comment to the evaluation team.

 

D. The Report

The report should be clear and simply written, free of jargon. The main body of the report should not exceed 30 pages and should include an executive summary and recommendations. Technical details should be confined to appendices, which should also include a list of informants and the evaluation team’s work schedule. Background information should only be included when it is directly relevant to the report’s analysis and conclusions. The report’s authors should support their analysis of a project’s achievements with relevant data and state how this has been sourced. Recommendations should also include details as to how they might be implemented.

We expect the report to include guidance on the process by which findings will be shared and discussed with all stakeholders including those who are benefiting from the project and how any resulting changes in the report will be included. The UK organisation and local organisations should own the report. The report should be accompanied by an analysis of up to 2 pages in length giving the views of the UK and local organisations on the quality/depth of the evaluation, the relevance and usefulness of the recommendations, and what actions they propose to take in response.

We would like to know how, and to whom, the evaluation report will be disseminated. E. The Response Following the dissemination of the report, we will require the UK organisation to let us know the response of project staff, local organisations, project participants and other stakeholders, including what is found to be useful and what is contested. We’d also like to know what is planned to be done differently in the future.