Evaluation of the Swedish Burma Committee’s program 2015-2018

Terms of Reference

Evaluation of the Swedish Burma Committee’s program “Strengthening Democracy and Human Rights Activist Networks in Burma” 2015-2018 

  1. Background

The Swedish Burma Committee (SBC) is a non-profit, independent association that aims to promote human rights and democracy in Burma/Myanmar by raising awareness about the situation in Burma in Sweden and by supporting partners within Burmese civil society.

SBC is implementing a three-year, Sida-funded program to support grassroots level organizations and activists in Burma (July 2015-June 2018). The program, which builds on the experiences of two pervious program phases, is set up as a sub-granting program and provides grants to seven partner organizations (grantees), some of which in turn work together with numerous community based organisations/networks throughout the country.

The objective of the program is to enhance the efficiency of partner organizations to promote human rights and influence public decision making processes at various levels of society. In the long run, the program is expected to contribute to strengthen citizens’ influence in decision making processes; strengthen civil society’s capacity and change attitudes/values regarding gender equality and non-discrimination within civil society.

Our partner organizations are doing important work in advocating for human rights, holding authorities to account, and promoting citizens’ participation at a local level.  Projects are mainly carried out at the local, community level, but partner organizations are also increasingly engaging in policy making processes at national and sub-national levels. Some projects are specifically aimed at increasing the voice and influence of human rights-based women’s organisations. One project looks to rehabilitate and empower former political prisoners.

SBC coaches and provides input to partners’ human rights work throughout their project, and raises partners’ concerns and priorities in its advocacy work in Sweden.

An independent evaluation of the previous phase of the program in 2014 concluded that the program contributed relevantly and importantly to the overall strengthening of civil society, human rights and democratization in Burma. In particular, SBC’s strength was in supporting community level awareness raising and organizing. SBC also demonstrated a willingness to support civil society organizations seeking to push the boundaries of political space.

Five of the partner organizations have offices in Yangon, whereas the other two are based in Mae Sot and Lashio.

SBC has three staff members, of which two are based in Stockholm, and one in Yangon.

The current program budget amounts to 17 million SEK (three years).

  1. Rationale and purpose of the evaluation

The purpose of the evaluation is to assess the results of the ongoing program and to provide lessons learned and recommendations for future project development. It should therefore be forward-looking and take account of the program’s added value in relation to other relevant donor funded initiatives.

The evaluation is being undertaken at a relatively early stage of the program (two years into a three-year program). The reason for this is that SBC will use the results of the evaluation in its upcoming strategy development process (during the second half of 2017).

  1. Specific objectives of the evaluation

The specific objectives of the evaluation are as follows:

  • Peacebuilding: Assess the extent to which the program’s focus on democracy and human rights also contributes to long term peacebuilding (by promoting non-discrimination, non-violence, participation and equality).
  • Efficiency: Assess and analyse the efficiency of the chosen implementation strategy, including the role and added value of SBC in the program
  • Relevance: Assess and analyse the relevance of the program in relation to the human rights situation and democratic development in Burma, as well as against Sida’s priorities. The consultant is also asked to assess the relevance of the program in relation to other donor initiatives on democracy and human rights strengthening.
  • Effectiveness and impact: Assess the extent to which the objectives of the projects have been achieved on output, outcome, and – to the extent possible – impact levels
  • Sustainability: Assess the sustainability of the programs results.
  • Lessons learned and recommendations: Identify lessons learned and provide practical recommendations for future project design in terms of goals, target groups and implementation strategy.
  1. Methodology

In order to carry out the evaluation, the consultant should:

  • Study partner reports and other documentation from the program
  • Study Sweden’s Myanmar strategy and other relevant information from Sida
  • Study relevant background material and reports on democracy and human rights in Burma.
  • Carry out semi-structured interviews with different stakeholders, including but not restricted to:
    1. SBC staff/representatives in Yangon and Stockholm (Liz Tydeman in Yangon, Kristina Jelmin in Stockholm and Matilda Hald in Stockholm)
    2. Sida staff in Yangon (Tomas Lundström and Ann Stödberg)
    3. A selection of representatives from the seven partner organizations/grantees. This should include visits to at least 3 groups outside of Yangon (preferably Shan State, Mon State, Rakhine State, Kachin State or Bago Region) and one organization in Mae Sot
    4. A selection of target groups/beneficiaries who have benefited from program activities (villagers, farmers, youth, men, women). We suggest at least 2 group interviews in two different locations outside of Yangon. These interviews can take place in the same location as interviews with partner organizations (above).
    5. A selection of other relevant civil society actors and/or relevant donor agencies involved in civil society and democracy/human rights promotion in Burma

The evaluation process and report shall be carried out in accordance with the OECD/DAC Evaluation Quality Standards. 

  1. Organisation, time-frame and reporting

The evaluation is expected to take approximately four working weeks between May 29 and August 17, 2017, three weeks for preparations and field work and one week for report writing.

The process will begin with a start-up meeting between SBC and the consultant, when the evaluation questions, exact number of interviewees and timeframe will be discussed.

An inception report (3-4 pages) shall be presented to SBC before the field work is carried out, clarifying evaluation questions, process for selecting interviewees, number of interviewees, approach and other aspects of the assignment’s implementation.

Field work and interviews in Burma are expected to be undertaken during the first 2 -3 weeks of June.

A draft report shall be handed in to SBC no later than August 7 2017. SBC will provide comments within 3 working days. A final report shall be submitted no later than 5 working days after receiving comments from SBC.

Reporting shall be made in the form of a written report in English, not exceeding 25 pages, excluding annexes.

The consultant is expected to make an oral presentation for SBC and Sida, presenting the main findings, after finalizing the field work.

The following tentative time frame may be adjusted according to the requirements of the consultant:

Tasks Tentative dates
Start-up meeting and inception report writing Week of May 29
Document review Week of May 29
Submission of inception report June 2
Field work June 5-22
Oral presentation June 22
Report writing June 26-30
SBCs offices will be closed July 1-31
Submission of draft report August 7
Comments from SBC August 10
Final report August 17
  1. Requirements and qualification of the team

The consultant(s) proposed shall have documented experiences in the following areas:

  • Strong knowledge and experience of the Burma context, including the role of civil society
  • Relevant evaluation competence and significant evaluation experience of development projects in the fields of democracy, civil society or human rights
  • Relevant experience from development cooperation within the fields of democracy, peacebuilding, human rights and civil society
  • Knowledge and experience of Swedish development cooperation and priorities
  • Expertise in conflict analysis
  • Knowledge of Burmese (and other relevant local languages) or access to an excellent translator
  1. Cost frame

The proposal shall include a financial proposal, not exceeding 22 000 USD including a) fees and b) reimbursable costs such as travel, accommodation, visas, communication and interpretation related to the assignment. Fees shall be specified as fees per day including taxes, social security contributions and VAT. The budget should be presented in USD.

Tentative expected costs for domestic travel (may be adjusted)

In USD

Item # Tentative cost Total
Domestic travel from Yangon to   partner organization in Shan State (Lashio) 1 (no translator needed) 200 200
Domestic travel to meet partner organizations and their target groups in two locations (Mon State/Rakhine State/Kachin State ans/or Bago Region) by air or car 2 trips (translator needed) 400 800
Regional travel from Yangon to Mae Sot (by bus/air) 1 trip (no translator needed) 22 22/150

Translation will be needed during approximately 5 days (most partner organizations have English speaking staff)

  1. Required information

The consultant must submit a CV as well as the following information:

  • Methods for the implementation of the assignment
  • Timeframe of the assignment in accordance with the points specified in this ToR
  • A financial proposal in accordance with notes under cost frame
  • References to previously completed work similar to the tasks presented in this ToR

In cases where the proposal includes a team of consultants, their division of labor shall be presented.

If the consultant is not Burmese speaking, the team must include an interpreter, preferably with a knowledge of Burmese civil society, for a total of 5 days. SBC can recommend interpreters if needed.

  1. Deadline for submission of tender

Tenders must be sent to Swedish Burma Committee no later than May 2

Swedish Burma Committee intends to sign a contract no later than May 8

Proposals shall be sent by e-mail to kristina@burmakommitten.org (in English)

ToR in PDF: ToR Evaluation

Publicerad i Kalendarium, Nyheter