External Evaluation Consultant for ACT Alliance LEB201 Appeal
On August 4, 2020, at around 6:00pm, a warehouse at the Beirut Port containing large quantities of ammonium nitrate exploded. After an initial explosion, a subsequent blast caused widespread damage, with reports of damage more than 20 km from the port area. The explosions and ensuing fires reportedly released toxic materials in the environment. Hundreds of buildings including grain silos storing around 85 percent of the country’s grain, and numerous residential places have been damaged or destroyed, including many healthcare facilities and several major hospitals in the Greater Beirut area, due to the blast. UNOCHA estimate that at least 204 people were killed, over 6,500 were injured, and more than 300,000 people left homeless in the Greater Beirut area - out of which 80,000 are children according to UNICEF. Additionally, several expats, migrant workers, refugees, UN and Embassy employees were either injured, killed or missing.
Beyond the destruction of private facilities and goods, UNOCHA reports that at least 15 medical facilities in the Greater Beirut area, including three major hospitals, have sustained damages. Hospitals in Beirut that were already struggling to cope with COVID-19 cases are stretched beyond capacity and some are affected with structural damages which have hindered operations and medical interventions, even for the most critical cases. The destruction of the Port of Beirut furthermore exacerbates Lebanon’s already existing economic crisis, that has spiralled in unemployment, where more than 50% of the population is living below the poverty line, and with growing concerns over food supplies as the national wheat silo was destroyed. The government-owned Port of Beirut serves as the main maritime entry point into Lebanon and a vital piece of infrastructure for the importation of scarce goods. The explosion has hence limited the ability to import food and other basic necessary items. Following the resignation of the government, Lebanon’s capacity to respond to the massive humanitarian needs was additionally limited, and NGOs appealed to the international community to assist.
In order to ensure an efficient response, an ad hoc emergency coordination architecture has been launched, under the leadership of the Humanitarian Coordinator, supported by OCHA. The proposed structure, named Emergency Operation Cell (EOC), was agreed by the Humanitarian Country Team (HCT) on 8 August and is composed of representatives of humanitarian stakeholders responding to the consequences of the explosion and the sectors prioritized by the HCT (Food Security, Health, Protection, Shelter, WASH and Logistics & Emergency Telecommunications). The EOC is furthermore linked to other critical functions of the emergency response, namely assessment and analysis, urban search and rescue and environmental issues.
Following the explosion, ACT Alliance members in Lebanon directly engaged in emergency and life sustaining activities in addition to distributing ready-to-eat food, facilitating psychological first aid, removing rubble and cleaning damages homes, and providing temporary shelter - targeting all in all around 40,480 people living in the affected area, who lost family members or property (house and business) as the result of the explosions; NFIs to 6000 persons; emergency shelter rehabilitation , refurbishment and restructuring of broken homes for 1,410 persons; livelihoods financial support to 60 institutions and businesses, food package distribution and nutrition awareness to 13,800 persons, MHPSS/Protection services to 3,250 persons; rehabilitation of 3 schools with access to education for 2,350 children, cash and in-kind assistance for 8,500 persons; medical and health support to 3,250 persons; and family water treatment and personal hygiene kits for 22,000 persons. At the same time, ACT Alliance members have engaged in multi-sectoral and inter-agency coordination working groups and efforts necessary for focusing the on-going response both geographically and sector wise, which is reflected in this full appeal.
The magnitude and complexity of the crisis, the scale of the ACT humanitarian response and requirements from back donors, have called for an external evaluation of this appeal LEB201 which will be carried out during between March and May of 2021.
ACT EMERGENCY RESPONSE
- Size of the appeal:
Originally Requested: US $ 3,227,526
Actually Received: US $ 1,662,949
- Implementation Period: 17 August 2020 to 28 February 2021
- Appeal goal: The appeal aimed to provide life-saving support, reduce vulnerability and alleviate suffering for the most vulnerable and displaced populations affected by the Beirut explosion.
The response to the immediate needs was to ensure that the most vulnerable population has access to adequate shelter, clean water, sanitation, food, medicine, phycological first aid, and other basic needs. The needs were being addressed through a variety of contextually relevant modalities that include in-kind distribution, vouchers, multi-purpose cash assistance, and mobile clinics.
The appeal also supported early recovery activities that include the rehabilitation of damaged homes, schools and health care facilities, rehabilitation services for medium- and long-term injuries, psychosocial support, and support to affected local businesses run by vulnerable individuals.
- ACT Requesting Members (RM):
Christian Aid (CA), Diakonia Sweden, DSPR - Joint Christian Committee (DSPR-JCC), Middle East Council of Churches (MECC) and Norwegian Church Aid (NCA)
- Local and International Implementing Partners Operating under the LEB201 Appeal:
Arcenciel, Basmeh and Zeitooneh, ABAAD Resource Center for Gender Equality and International Orthodox Christian Charity (IOCC)
- Sectors of Intervention and Geographic Focus:
Sectors of Work: Shelter and Non-Food Items (NFIs), Protection and Psychosocial Support, Food Security, WASH, Education, Health and Nutrition, Medical Rehabilitation, Early Recovery, Livelihoods and Unconditional Cash
Areas of Operation: Greater Beirut (areas in Beirut and Mount Lebanon affected directly by the Beirut Blast)
DESCRIPTION OF THE ASSIGNMENT
This evaluation is intended to review the operations undergone under the ACT LEB201 Appeal and especially the compliance of ACT members with the ALNAP/SHO Quality Proforma for Humanitarian Assistance , the Red Cross/NGO Code of Conduct, and ACT Alliance Policies. ACT Lebanon Forum (ALF) Members, field staff and headquarters will use the learning from this evaluation to modify the interventions, if appropriate, to increase compliance with international standards and Code of Conduct. The next phase of the response plan: LEB211 Appeal will incorporate lessons from this evaluation.
1. To provide an overview of the ACT Alliance response to date with particular emphasis on work that was funded by the ACT LEB201 Appeal; identify gaps, priority areas and unmet needs from a geographic and sectorial perspective.
2. To improve quality and accountability by reviewing ACT members’ response to the Beirut Explosion against ALNAP Quality Proforma for Humanitarian assistance which is based on DAC (excluding impact as it is too soon to assess this) but focusing on outcomes (listed below) and outputs.
3. To identify lessons learnt and best practices, including innovations/new systems developed which may benefit communities in their recovery and further build local capacity as well as to generate knowledge for continuous program improvements of the ACT Lebanon Forum and the ACT Alliance as a whole.
Based on the understanding of this ToR, the evaluation team shall propose in the inception report the approach, design, methods and data collection strategies to be adopted for conducting the evaluation. The inception report should be submitted for approval prior to actual evaluation.
The team should triangulate and validate information, assess and describe data quality in a transparent manner. Data gaps and shortfall in evaluation design should also be highlighted in the evaluation report. ACT guidelines for evaluation reports shall be used for reporting.
While the evaluation is intended to promote learning and establish our commitment to accountability, in order to benefit from the many lessons learned and positive experience of the ACT Lebanon Forum in responding to the Beirut Explosion, the evaluator will have the task to specifically identify lessons and good practice for documentation and facilitate a lessons learnt workshop. A briefing meeting will be organized by the forum on day one of the evaluation and a debriefing on the final day or during the ALF’s scheduled monthy meeting.
Based on the lessons learnt discussed during the workshop, requesting members will jointly prepare an action plan outlining the actions they will implement in order to put the lessons learnt into practice in the follow-up appeal LEB211, and the time planning thereof. The results, successes and challenges will be presented and discussed in a workshop 1 day after the start of the action plan and/or serve as input to an external evaluation in future.
Overall, the evaluation should refer to the UN and Aid Partners Beirut Blast Appeal and the ALNAP Quality Proforma to ensure coherence with assessment and reporting of humanitarian practice (copy available at ACT Secretariat) and linkages with pre-existing coordination structures related to the COVID-19 response and the Lebanon Crisis Response Plan (LCRP), looking at how collective efforts were streamlined and are still to be made to transition towards recovery and reconstruction during the next LEB211 Appeal.
KEY EVALUATION DATES/SCHEDULE
The field mission should take place starting the third week of March 2021. We expect the field mission to be a maximum of 12 working days in the country. A briefing meeting shall be organized by the Forum on the first day of the evaluation and a debriefing on the final day. To note that both overseas and internal travel of either international or national evaluation team recruited is contingent on country-level authority COVID-19 travel restrictions, delays and evaluation costs.
EVALUATION CONSULTANT PROFILE
Qualifications and Expertise
The consultancy is open for individual consultants or teams and companies.
- Preferably holds a postgraduate degree in social sciences, humanitarian and development studies, research studies or a related field and/or has at least three years of experience working with NGOs with familiarity in Emergencies, SDGs and the Social field;
- Preferably has at least 4 years’ experience in conducting similar project evaluations in the Middle East;
- Possesses excellent skills in research, data collection and analysis;
- Ability to work both independently and as part of a team;
- Officially registered as a consultant or company with proof of VAT and Tax payments
- Proficient in Arabic, English and French;
- Has the ability to conduct interviews in Arabic;
- Is definitely knowledgeable about the social, political, economic, cultural refugees’ context in Lebanon;
- Is willing and available to travel around Lebanon;
- Has solid knowledge and experience of research and quantitative and qualitative evaluation methods (Interviews, FGDs, Surveys, Desk Study Review, Reflection Sessions etc.);
- Attentive to detail and able to meet tight deadlines.
Required Application Documents
All interested and qualified candidates are invited to submit the following 7 documents (in separate files) :
- CV (resume and list of previous consultancies);
- Proposal Submission Form
- Brief narrative technical proposal (tasks, timeline, methodology, deliverables, outcome of those deliverables etc.) including an understanding of the present terms of reference;
- Brief financial proposal (tentative budget);
- Letter of interest, clearly explaining how their experience meets desired qualifications;
- 1- 2 examples of previous evaluation work;
- Signed statement of integrity.
The LEB201 Requesting Members and the hired consultant(s) will agree upon a joint set of evaluation standards when negotiating the final contract of agreement. Recruitment results will be shared with the candidates by mid-February 2021.
EXPECTED DELIVERABLES THROUGH THIS ASSIGNMENT
- An Overall Final Evaluation Report (25 pages maximum) submitted in English, including the points reference in paragraph (main objectives of the mission)
- A “Lessons Learned and Good Practice” document
- Recommendations for further projects/interventions/coordination etc.
- A Highlight of the Critical Issues which may be of interest to the ALF
- A Joint Action Plan Workshop with RM
- Recommendations for the ALF and project partners to build on their strengths and achievements to overcome their challenges, identifying any continuing gaps or challenges that have not been addressed
TERMS OF PAYMENT
The consultant(s) will be paid in USD. 30% of the payment will be made upon signing the contract and the remaining 70% will be paid upon approval of the final evaluation report.
Please download the attached Application & TOR for more details on the expected evaluation.
How to apply
Kindly send your proposals and application documents to Mrs. Eliana Aoun (Admin & Procurement Officer – Diakonia Lebanon) at [email protected] & Ms. Zeina Schoucair (ACT Lebanon Forum Coordinator) at [email protected] mentioning "Application to ACT LEB201 Appeal External Evaluation Consultant Position" in the email subject.
The deadline for applications is Friday January 29th and start date is expected by a maximum of March 15th, 2021.