Consultancy: Evaluation of WaSH and Protection response to the Syria Crisis in Lebanon funded by GAC
Oxfam invites EOI from organisations, or individuals, with the experience and skills described above. The EOI must include:
1. A cover letter of no more than 2 pages introducing the evaluator/organisation and how the skills and competencies described above are met, with concrete examples. Please also use this cover letter to indicate the consultants’ availability for the proposed period. Note: As stated above (section 7), the evaluation should start as early as possible
2. An outline of no more than 2 pages of the proposed process and key considerations including:
a. Key considerations for this evaluation;
b. Proposed outline methodology for this evaluation;
3. A CV for the evaluator (s), including 2 referees (with phone number and email address);
4. A one-page budget of the offer, covering all major anticipated costs (see section 10 above on what costs should be included in the offer);
5. Two evaluation reports for evaluations conducted in WASH, protection and/or livelihoods.
Please submit the EOI and other documents (as mentioned in point 14 above) to [email protected] with “ Evaluation of WaSH and Protection response to the Syria Crisis in Lebanon funded by GAC’’ in the subject line.
Also state if you have an MoF# or not (provide legal document if yes)
Also state the “modality of payment” (fresh or regular check/transfer)
Terms of Reference for Evaluation of WaSH and Protection response to the Syria Crisis in Lebanon funded by GAC
WaSH and Protection Response to the Protracted Syrian Refugee Crisis in North Bekaa, Lebanon 2020-2021
Global Affairs Canada, GAC
Bekaa (North Bekaa- Saaide and Bouday)
March 1st, 2020 to February 28th 2022
Evaluation to be conducted in
April and May 2021 (for approximately 25 days)
- About Oxfam:
Oxfam is a global movement of people working together to build a future where everybody enjoys equal rights and has enough to eat every day. Together with our partners, we are working in more than 90 countries to build this positive future now. We save, protect and rebuild lives in times of crisis, support lasting solutions to poverty, tackle inequality and stand up together to break down the barriers that keep people poor. Our purpose is to help create lasting solutions to the injustice of poverty. We are part of a global movement for change, empowering people to create a future that is secure, just and free from poverty. And we are building this positive future now.
Nine years into the Syria Crisis, Lebanon hosts up to 1.5 million Syrian refugees, including 919,578 registered with UNHCR. Despite a close to CAD 8 billion investment in support of the country since 2011 and a more or less stable refugee population since 2015, vulnerabilities persist at individual, community and institutional levels. The crisis continues to have major socioeconomic impacts on the country. The vulnerability of both host and refugee communities is increasing and impaired access to essential services, as well as rising anti-refugee political discourse, contribute to intensifying tensions. Against this backdrop, disparities among regions exist, with the Bekaa Valley, making up the vast majority of Lebanon’s 375 km border with Syria, being particularly vulnerable. Home to almost 600,000 Lebanese nationals – a significant percentage of whom are considered deprived – and 341,234 registered Syrian refugees, it is one of the areas most severely affected by the Syria Crisis8.
The Bekaa Valley is a water-stressed region characterized by high WASH vulnerabilities amongst refugees. Informal Settlements (ISs) – where the majority of refugees reside – are especially impacted, being at the back of the proverbial queue for public water and unregulated water sources. Oxfam’s areas include ISs that are 50% more vulnerable than in the rest of the region and host the largest number of high-debt households (HHs). Not only are WASH needs high – e.g. a 35% access to family latrines compared to a national average of 85% – but the lack of financial resources limits refugees’ ability to pay for trucked water and desludging services – both key to avoid negative coping strategies that result in a myriad of health and protection risks, with women and girls disproportionately affected and facing additional Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM) challenges. A WASH assessment by Oxfam (February-March 2019) revealed that 450 individuals need access to a latrine, 600 and 450 latrines require desludging and maintenance respectively, and 350 HHs are in need of water. Discontinued external assistance funding means basic services will stop from one day to the next, impacting not only Syrian refugees but Lebanese communities, and adding burdens on other sectors of assistance that also face funding constraints.
The restrictive Protection environment continues to push Syrian refugees into adopting negative coping mechanisms including early marriage, exploitative labour, debt accumulation, and premature return to Syria. One of the gravest threats is the inability of refugees in country to obtain residency permits. Since October 2014, the Government of Lebanon (GoL) implemented measures to limit refugee numbers – most recently through the adoption of policies that hinder its commitment to non-refoulement and measures that limit access to work. Nationwide, 73% of all refugees (above the age of 15) live without valid legal residency and only 30% of births are registered. Oxfam’s most recent Protection Monitoring findings in the Bekaa (July-September 2019) indicated that only 12% of Syrian refugee women and 31% of men had legal status and 24 individuals had been arrested in the 2 months preceding the interview, including 2 women. Refugees in the Bekaa continue to report being exposed to harassment, especially from landlords and host community members. Women and children are the main targets, in particular when they are forced to commute outside the ISs. Additionally, in January 2019, 98% of Gender-Based Violence (GBV) survivors in the Bekaa region were women, of whom 71% were Syrian refugees. Physical violence was the most commonly reported type, with 40% prevalence at the national level, and 68% of the incidents reported having occurred in Bekaa in January 2019 alone. Moreover, an increasing number of HHs are resorting to early marriage for girls; in some of the most vulnerable areas of the country, including Bekaa, up to 41% of Syrian women have been married before the age of 18.
3. TARGET GROUP:
The WASH activities will continue to benefit 5,480 people (2,830 women and girls; 2,650 men and boys) – corresponding to the total population of the 101 ISs, and Protection activities will continue to benefit 3,733 people ( 1,668 women and girls; 2,065 men and boys) in 30 ISs – those with 7 tents or more.
Oxfam is implementing this project through two modalities: through Lebanese local partners, NABAD for development, Lebanese Centre for Human Rights (Centre Libanais des Droits Humains-CLDH) and KAFA,. Oxfam has also directly implemented a significant portion of the project. This evaluation applies to the delivery of the project through both modalities.
4. Project intervention:
Oxfam is delivering WaSH and protection in informal settlements in North Bekaa;
The project will respond to immediate WASH needs in a gender-sensitive, inclusive and participatory way that adheres to humanitarian principles and international standards (Sphere, Core Humanitarian Standard - CHS, Charter for Change) as follows:
- Oxfam will continue to provide access to gender-sensitive latrines, adhering to a maximum of 15 persons/latrine. For every latrine, Oxfam provides a one-off cleaning kit. All construction works abide by Oxfam's Safe Programming principles, ensuring access is cleared of obstruction and that there are door handles, locks, lighting (solar) and rope handles for support. Location, design and positioning are selected in consultation with refugees, with a focus on women and girls, and persons with disabilities (PwD).
- For facility (latrines) rehabilitation, Oxfam shifted maintenance from implementation via contractors to a community-led modality. Oxfam selects Community Technical Volunteers (CTVs) and provides them with (on-the-job) training, a WASH facility toolkit and spare parts. CTVs, supported by Oxfam engineers, monitor and document the needs of facilities. These are compiled into a Bill of Quantities (BoQ) and Oxfam reviews and authorizes the works. CTVs obtain the material from an Oxfam-contracted hardware store at an average of CAD 39.42/facility. This market-based approach greatly reduces maintenance costs compared with private contractors that charge CAD 105.12/facility, empowers beneficiaries to engage with local markets, and prevents overcharging of refugees. Once works are completed, Oxfam checks their quality before handing them over to the HHs.
- Ongoing desludging services will be maintained for existing and new latrines and septic tanks via Oxfam-contracted desludgers to ensure functionality, mitigate community tensions within the ISs that arise from sharing latrines, reduce open defecation, and prevent proliferation of hand-dug pits that expose people to health and protection risks. Desludging is conducted every 2 months, as per latrine pit design requirements. Through the voucher system, a HH member who uses the latrine is present during the desludging, checks that the pit is emptied, and provides the desludger with the voucher when satisfied. The desludger is contractually bound to discharge the sludge at a wastewater treatment facility.
- Due to the aforementioned legal restrictions, Oxfam must continue supporting all HHs with ongoing water-trucking services through the voucher modality given the absence of alternatives, complemented with a distribution of water tanks. Oxfam will also pursue its support to rehabilitation, fees provision and water quality monitoring of water points to ensure the water is safe. With GAC funding, Oxfam will provide 20l/p/d in year 1 (to be complemented by 15l/p/d through Danida funding in Year 1), and 35l/p/d in Year 2– thereby adhering to sector standards in Lebanon of providing 35/l/p/d for refugees, and this standard will apply throughout the year (with no reductions during winter months).
- Public Health and Hygiene Promotion (PHP) activities (throughout the project) will remain a priority in order to reduce public health risks and environmental impacts. Oxfam has shifted from directly-implemented to community-based sessions facilitated by Community Hygiene Volunteers (CHVs), children’s groups and women’s groups – to favor community ownership and sustainability. Moreover, Oxfam and Nabad, along with refugees, will also be celebrating World Water Day on an annual basis for the two years, to further raise awareness on water as a fundamental human right, and will leverage this occasion in advocacy efforts for enhanced support to the Water Sector in Lebanon, with other donors.
- Oxfam identified the need for MHM support to women and girls, who consistently report challenges. A research on MHM amongst Syrian refugee women/girls in the Bekaa is ongoing by Oxfam, to explore women’s experiences, perceptions and practices and present solutions. The project will support all menstruating-aged women and girls in the 101 ISs with sanitary product distribution and wider educational/awareness activities to address harmful myths, communal perceptions and stigmatization. Research findings will inform these activities and define the type of products provided. Reusable washable pads are currently being piloted through Oxfam’s unrestricted funding to explore whether women/girls are comfortable and have enough water to adopt this solution.
- In light of new safeguards, Oxfam seeks to introduce a number of new activities and approaches to further mitigate adverse public health and environmental impacts: (1) Referrals and field assessments revealed that lack of and/or open grey water systems lead to health and protection issues, including children falling inside the pits and deaths in certain cases, and occurrences of skin diseases. Oxfam will roll out systems for grey water disposal at mid-Year 1 to mitigate these risks. (2) Oxfam will adjust latrine pits by introducing septic tanks at mid-Year 1 as per Water Sector and Ministry of Energy and Water (MoEW) guidance to minimize sewage pollution of underground systems. These will consist of 3 barrels through which wastewater flows for basic separation. The effluent is infiltrated either to a soakaway pit or wetland. Each tank will be connected to 30 individuals and desludged only once a year, also decreasing costs. The septic tanks are also part of an eventual exit strategy and will minimize the burden on refugee communities of covering the costs of desludging in the future. (3) In line with the MoE’s request that humanitarian actors support solid waste management in ISs, Oxfam will be providing solid waste sorting bins at project onset as well as heavy solid waste sorting collection containers to HHs and conducting awareness sessions on sorting and recycling, while monitoring that sorting is taking place.
The project will also sustain and scale-up Protection activities by further empowering the communities to identify and respond to shared threats and concerns, as follows:
- Oxfam and partners will continue to provide case management for GBV survivors and those at-risk (including psychosocial support, psychiatric treatment, mental health and group support services) and children experiencing or at-risk of child protection (CP) violations, among others. Legal assistance regarding administrative procedures, intervention in courts and legal representation will be provided for cases of childbirth and marriage registration, lawyer and detention fees.
- Throughout the project, capacity-building will continue to be provided on legal issues, GBV, basic services, and safe referrals for women and girls community leaders, FPs, and local actors, as well as information sessions on legal services and GBV among other topics to all HHs. In parallel, referrals by Oxfam, partners and FPs to specialized services available will take place as required.
- Oxfam will also work with refugees to identify community initiatives, where community groups will identify protection threats and mitigation measures, and organically identify community projects that the entire community benefits from.
- Oxfam and KAFA will continue engaging with women’s groups in a collective process of support, solidarity and capacity-building that includes facilitated discussions, psychosocial and emotional support, training to deliver GBV peer-to-peer sessions, and support for groups to engage in collective action through innovative community initiatives that respond to shared threats and concerns.
- As a new activity, Oxfam will provide Cash-for-protection (CFP) to (a) prevent the materialisation of a Protection risk, (b) respond to the consequences of a Protection incident and (c) reduce exposure to a threat. The amount received can be used to access legal documentation and Protection services (e.g. service providers not present in the immediate proximity), housing emergencies (e.g. immediate threat of eviction, fires), etc. CFP has proven to be essential after the increase in evictions, given that refugees' socioeconomic vulnerability does not allow them to address particular concerns (e.g. health cases not covered by UNHCR). As CFP generally does not solve the protection issue on its own, it is coupled with other services – e.g. case management or longer-term cash assistance. Oxfam will refer cases to specialized service providers when relevant.
5. PURPOSE AND SCOPE OF EVALUATION
This GAC-funded project will end in February 2022 and an external mid-term evaluation is planned to take place between April and May 2021. As this is a mid-term evaluation, its objective aim to assess the continued relevance of an intervention and the progress made towards achieving its planned objectives. They provide an opportunity to make modifications to ensure the achievement of these objectives within the lifetime of the project. The scope for examination is determined using OECD-DAC criteria for evaluating humanitarian action. Relevant criteria are associated with a number of key questions (under section 5) that are to be addressed and explored.
- To assess the design, planning, delivery and management of the project by Oxfam and its partners in accordance with Oxfam Programme Standards, Minimum Standards in Emergencies, IASC Gender Marker and Oxfam Minimum Standards for Gender in Emergencies;
- To identify and assess key internal and external factors that have contributed, affected, or impeded the achievements of the project, and how Oxfam and the partners have managed these factors;
- To assess how the project has impacted upon the protection of the target and affected population and contributed to a reduction of factors of vulnerability;
- To draw key lessons and learning from the project and make recommendations that will help inform Oxfam’s formulation and design of future projects that will benefit the Lebanese host community and refugees of the Syria Crisis.
- To assess the effectiveness and efficiency of a multi-year project on refugees and on Oxfam and its partners.
- Primary users of the evaluation findings are Oxfam and partner management and staff, GAC, and other actors directly involved in the implementation of the project.
6. EVALUATION CRITERIA AND KEY QUESTIONS TO BE ADDRESSED IN THE EVALUATION:
The following provides a guide to the questions to be addressed by this evaluation, under each of the criteria below:
Relevance and Appropriateness:
- Have Oxfam and its partner selected relevant operational areas for their work?
- Have Oxfam and its partner targeted the most vulnerable people, including vulnerable men, women, boys and girls?
- To what degree is the intervention addressing the WASH, livelihoods, and protection needs of the targeted women, men, boys and girls and contributing to reduced vulnerability?
- Was project design consistent with the Do No Harm principle? and with a safe programme approach?
- What was the level and quality of participation of the beneficiaries and the partners in project design?
- How responsive are project activities to the needs of targeted women, men, boys and girls in both communities (i.e. refugees and host communities), given their circumstances and priorities?
- To what extent are the key contextual changes, threats and opportunities that are arising during implementation influencing and informing project implementation?
- How and to what extent are monitoring and evaluation findings used to inform decision-making and the improvement of project implementation by Oxfam and partners?
- Is the project implemented based on the best use of existing resources/capacity; e.g. the capacity of the partners and the internal capacity and expertise of Oxfam itself? What key limitations exist on this front? What could Oxfam’s future projects do to increasingly develop and invest in existing resources?
- How cost effective is the intervention? What cost-effective alternatives could have been used?
- Is the project proceeding well towards the achievement of its outcomes?
- Is the multi-year nature of this project influencing the implementation, adaptability, and results of this project?
- Is there anything about the multi-year nature of this project that is having any impact on the beneficiaries so far (e.g. predictability of aid, etc)? (positive or negative)
- Is the multi-year nature of this project having any impact on the partners so far? (positive or negative)
- What are the main challenges of the project and how well are they being addressed? Is there anything in the multi-year nature of this project that is making these challenges more/less manageable?
- How were the beneficiaries selected and were the beneficiaries informed of the selection criteria?
- How effective were the selection criteria in reaching out to the most vulnerable populations?
- How inclusive and culturally sensitive are the activities carried out in terms of the approach, quality of participation, information and its dissemination?
- To what extent is gender being mainstreamed into the project? How can gender be better mainstreamed in this project?
- What unintended consequences (if any), whether positive or negative, is the intervention having on women, men, boys and girls so far (refugees and the host community)?
- What system and mechanism are in place (at Oxfam and partners) to ensure accountability to the beneficiaries and how well are they working?
- Are the ways of working with the partners contributing to building the capacity of the partners?
- Are there any risks inherent to the duration of the project, either in the course of, or towards the end/after the end of the intervention?
The evaluation will be conducted in line with evaluation best practices and will use qualitative methods, and draw on both primary and secondary data collection techniques. The evaluator is expected to develop a detailed methodology (to be endorsed by Oxfam). Note that a baseline survey was conducted at the beginning of the project, and an endline survey will be conducted towards the end of March 2022 (close to the end of the project). The evaluation methodology should make use of baseline data and other data already generated by Oxfam’s monitoring and evaluation team.
We anticipate that this formative evaluation will be a participatory review and learning exercise. Thus, it requires the consultant(s) to be experienced in participatory approaches to learning and inquiry, and especially in seeking the views and perceptions of key stakeholders that include:
- Targeted beneficiaries
- Partners and actors directly involved in the project at different levels:
- The implementing partners KAFA, NABAD, and CLDH;
- Community leaders (if applicable) and representative bodies of the affected population;
- Local authorities;
- Oxfam staff involved the implementation of the project e.g. PM, coordinators and field team.
8- TIMEFRAME, KEY ACTIVITIES AND EXPECTED LEVEL OF EFFORT:
The evaluation is to be carried out as early as possible in April and May 2021, with the final report submitted to Oxfam as per the timeline below. The exact dates of the evaluation are to be confirmed with the selected consultant(s).
Total expected level of effort: 25 working days
- Review essential documents of the project, including but not limited to the original project proposal, interim or on-going internal reports, and evaluations and lessons learned exercises undertaken thus far and review the key questions suggested and if necessary propose adjustment (6 days – work to be done from consultant’s home location, all documents will be shared by Oxfam via email);
- Develop a detailed Evaluation plan (to be endorsed by Oxfam) (0.5 days);
- Primary data collection (10 days in Lebanon);
- Data analysis and preparation of draft evaluation report (6 days);
- Meeting (online) to share and validate the findings from the evaluation (0.5 days). Selected Oxfam and partner staff will participate in this meeting;
- Finalize the final evaluation report and send it to Oxfam (3 days). Oxfam will then prepare a management response to be annexed to the evaluation report.
The consultant will report directly to Oxfam’s Project Manager in charge of the above project, and will work closely with Oxfam’s Monitoring, Evaluation, Accountability and Learning (MEAL) Officer and other Oxfam staff in Lebanon.
9. EVALUATOR QUALIFICATIONS:
This formative evaluation should be led by a person (or persons) with a minimum of 5 years experience in humanitarian interventions including demonstrated experience in the monitoring and evaluation of WaSH. Livelihood and protection programming (previous protection experience is a must), with preferably some experience in gender in emergencies programming, including the use of participatory qualitative methods. Strong facilitation and English writing skills are also required and a familiarity or direct experience working in Lebanon or in the Middle East broadly, and the working modalities of Oxfam, is preferred.
10. EXPECTED OUTPUTS:
- Develop a detailed evaluation plan (to be submitted after the document review but before the data collection - to be endorsed by Oxfam), outlining the proposed methodology;
- Draft evaluation report in English to be presented to Oxfam (no more than 30 pages excluding annexes, including executive summary not exceeding 2 pages);
- Meeting to present the draft findings of the evaluation, and to give feedback to Oxfam staff and the partners;
- A draft copy of the evaluation report within one week (7 days) of the meeting with Oxfam and partner staff. Feedback from Oxfam will be provided within one (1) week after the submission of the draft report. The consultant will review, then submit a second draft, which will also be subject to Oxfam’s feedback within 2 days. The final report will be produced in 3 working days of submission of the comments. It will include changes/modifications, agreed between Oxfam in Lebanon and the consultant. Some minimum guidelines on the evaluation report:
- The report should systematically answer the key questions posed;
- It should fairly and clearly represent the views of the different actors/stakeholders;
- It should give the conclusions of the evaluator, in a way that is clear and substantiated by the available evidence.
11. Instructions for interested consultants
Payment will be done in two instalments, 25% upon contract signature, and 75% upon Oxfam’s approval of the final evaluation report.
What costs to include in the offer: Consultants should include the following costs in their offer’s budget: daily rate, cost of travel (in the case of an international consultant living outside Lebanon), per diems, accommodation (3 overnight stays in Beirut, the rest in Zahle Bekaa region, east Lebanon), communication costs, miscellaneous costs (e.g. visa costs, depending on nationality of consultant).
What costs not to include in the offer: Oxfam will pay for and procure the following for the evaluation and therefore the following costs should NOT be included in the offer: pick-up/drop-off of consultant(s) from airport, travel inside Lebanon for data collection and meetings, interpretation services during meetings with beneficiaries/the partner, printing/photocopying costs.
Note that payment will be made based on the budget in the offer (not based on actual expenses incurred by the consultant). No receipts will be requested from the consultant towards the end of the evaluation.
12. CODES OF BEHAVIOUR:
The evaluation process will be directed by Oxfam’s guidelines for the ethical conduct of evaluations and research, guiding the evaluation team through careful consideration of the key ethical implications at every stage of the evaluation. These guidelines are available at this link: http://policy-practice.oxfam.org.uk/publications/undertaking-research-with-ethics-253032
13. SHARING AND USING FINDINGS:
The Oxfam International’s Policy on Program Evaluation requires Confederation members to act on the commitment to transparency by making public the Executive Summary and a Management Response to all final evaluations. The Policy is available at this link: http://www.oxfam.org/sites/www.oxfam.org/files/oxfam-program-evaluation-policy-dec10.pdf
Although free to discuss with the authorities on anything relevant to the assignment, under the terms of reference, the consultant is not authorized to make any commitments on behalf of Oxfam. All data collected as part of this consultancy belongs to Oxfam and public dissemination of the data and evaluation products can only be done with the written consent of the Oxfam.
 UNHCR-data portal as of September 30, 2019
 UNHCR April 2019
 WASH Assessment Platform (WAP) Data
 A Clean and decent life without WASH, Oxfam study (March 2018)
 Vulnerability Assessment of Syrian Refugees (VASyR) in Lebanon (2018)
 VASyR 2019 mid-term review
 GBV Information Management System (IMS)
 Design and technical specifications of latrines, Bill of Quantities (BoQ), and Operations & Maintenance procedures are available upon request
 Available upon request