Evaluation of Palme Center’s two Burma Programmes, 2016-2018
The main purpose of the evaluation is to assess the general performance and results of the Olof Palme International Center’s (Palme Center) two Burma programmes in relation to the programme objective. The two programmes have similarities in terms of target groups, scope and methodology, but at the same time the programmes have different funding streams (Sida/CIVSAM and Sida/Myanmar), result frameworks, reporting processes and separate monitoring schemes. Both programmes end in 2019.
In the spirit of aid effectiveness, OPC and Sida have started a process to merge the two programmes. The evaluation is expected to feed into the merger process. Hence, the evaluation is seen as an important opportunity for the Palme Center and partners to create synergies and strengthen the strategic focus of the emerging programme 2020-2024. The evaluation is expected to provide lessons learned and recommendations on how to increase the long-term sustainability of the achieved results in the operations of the Palme Center and the work of the cooperation partners in Burma for the upcoming period.
The Palme Center recently adopted an international strategy that will guide the organisation for the next six years 2020-2025. The evaluator is also expected to assess how the design of the new programme is aligned with the new strategy. Another important rationale for the evaluation is to provide recommendations on how the Palme Center can strengthen conflict resolution and peace in Burma and how it may best be designed and integrated into the rights-based approach as well as function in practice. These recommendations aim to contribute to the future programme to achieve long-lasting effects that integrate democracy and human rights with constructive conflict resolution, peace and dialogue.
Both Burma programmes aim to strengthen and democratise civil society in Burma to increase popular influence for a good democratic transition and sustainable peace in Burma. The programmes include support for civil society organisations promoting democratically structured community development, women’s rights, public participation in the peace process, environment and human rights as well as health and media structures for various groups.
The primary target groups are workers, women and minority groups. These are reached through the partner organisations and their various networks. The program also aims at developing the capacity of partner organisations so that they can reach the target group more effectively and safely.
The Palme Center implements the programmes in partnership with partner organisations/networks in Burma who are in their turn work with numerous civil society and community-based organisations and networks throughout the country.
The Olof Palme International Center with 27-member organisations constitute an active hub of the Swedish labour movement’s international work articulated through a trade union, political party and civil society organisations. These organisations represent more than one hundred years’ experience of promoting civic engagement, democratisation and poverty reduction. OPC cooperates with people and organisations throughout the world, in countries such as Brazil, Burma, South Africa, Palestine, and Bolivia.
Through our development partnerships, we seek to empower people to change their own lives. Women, youth, and grassroots activists are our main target groups. The Swedish Labour Movement’s extensive international network enables cooperation with global partners who share our values. The Palme Center has its main office in Stockholm and several local offices. The overall goal of the Palme Center is “a world of peaceful societies founded on the ideals of democracy and equality of all people”.
The assignment will be divided into two parts, to better fit with the timeline of the merger process. The evaluation is aimed to carry out:
Part 1: Formative
- Context and Conflict Analysis. Provide in-depth reflections of the socioeconomic, political and other relevant factors that may have affected the two programmes negatively and positively and which may affect the value of the future merged program. Special attention must be given to the analysis of the social (political) conflicts that the Palme Center and the cooperation partners must be aware of and take into consideration while embarking on activities for social change, democracy, human rights and peace. This assessment should also take OPC’s international strategy, 2020-2025 into account.
- Analytical Assessment. Analyse potential functional and strategic challenges that the merged programme may face as well as the potential synergies and alliances from both programmes and concrete ways how to strengthen the strategic focus of the merged programme. Review and evaluate the Palme Center’s modus operandi in Burma. Assess how the programme can contribute to the ambitions in the Palme Center international strategy as well as Sweden’s bilateral strategy to Myanmar. Give recommendations on how the Palme Center can support partner more effectively.
- Conflict Sensitivity. The assessment is expected to give particular attention to whether the merged program is strategically and operationally conflict sensitive and how it may provide opportunities for contributing to peace and sociopolitical harmonisation in the country.
Part 2: Result
- Analytical assessment of direct programmes results. Assess the general performance and impact of the two programmes in Burma and their effects on the cooperation partners capacities in terms of outputs, outcome and impact on the target groups. This also includes assessing the effects of the programmes on the local partners´ organisational development, internal working methods and external models of activism, learning, training and advocacy.
The evaluation should include relevant persons at the Palme Center as well as the local partner organisations in Burma and a selection of persons from the target groups. The selection of organisations and target group most relevant to the aims of the evaluation is to be discussed between the Palme Center and the evaluator. The evaluation entails holding a one-day lesson- learned and feedback workshop with the cooperation partners in Burma and will be facilitated by the Palme Center.
The evaluation will take place in Stockholm, Thailand and in Burma where various relevant involved target persons reside. The process will start with a dialogue between the Palme Center and the consultant, whereby the concrete qualitative and quantitative methods of evaluation, assessment questions, the exact number of interviewees and timeframe will be defined more specifically. The tenders should provide a blueprint of the evaluators’ analytical methodology. A detailed inception report is expected from the evaluators that win the contract two weeks after the start of the evaluation. The inception report should present concrete the timeframe and the analytical methodology. The Palme Center shall approve the inception report.
The assignment will include the following methods;
- Document review:
- The two Burma Programmes applications, LFA matrixes, updated work plans, previous evaluation reports and annual reports
- The Palme Center’s International Strategy for 2020-2025.
- Sweden’s Strategy for development cooperation for Myanmar 2018-2022
- Semi-structured interviews with Palme Center staff:
- Michael Hauer, Burma Program Manager
- Frida Perjus, Burma Program Manager
- Palme Center’s local staff in Burma
- Micael Fagerberg, Deputy of International Department
- Thair Ismail, Method Adviser, Conflict and Peace.
- Any other relevant staff member
- Semi-structured interviews with a selection of relevant staff at the partner organisations.
- Approximately three partners from each programme should be interviewed. The selection of partner organisations will be decided upon after consultation with the Palme Center and the main partner organisations.
- Semi-structured interviews and focus group interviews with a selection of the target groups in Burma.
- From which organisations and locations will be decided upon after consultation with Palme Center and the main partner organisations.
Interviews with the involved persons from the Palme Center should be carried out in Swedish or English. Interviews with the partners in Burma must be carried out in English, Burmese or other local languages.
The Palme Center will provide the Consultant with the relevant cooperation documents and assist with an introduction to the organisations and coordination of travel and interviews in Burma. It is suggested that the interviews will be semi-structured and with open answers focusing on getting in-depth answers and stories of change, impact and indications of challenges.
Timeframe and duration
If the consultant would prefer, the two parts of the assignment could be divided into two deliverables. For Part 1 Palme Center will request a first draft of the report on September 27 2019. For Part 2 of the assignment Palme Center will request a first draft of the report on November 11. The Palme Center and the other involved organisations will provide comments within five working days. The deadline for the final version is two weeks later. The assignment should finalise with a meeting in Stockholm (or Yangon, to be decided) to discuss the evaluators’ main conclusions.
The target groups for the evaluation report are the Palme Center and its implementing partners.
Reporting shall be made in the form of a written report in English, not exceeding 25 pages. The report shall describe facts, make analysis, draw conclusions and make recommendations.
The evaluation report shall at least contain;
- The purpose of the evaluation
- The scoop of the evaluation, methodology and limitations
- Empirical observations
- In-depth analysis, conclusions and recommendations
- Attachments (ToR, reference list, list of people interviewed and in which location, interview questions, etc.)
The report shall also be presented in an oral presentation at the Palme Center and preferably a lessons-learned workshop with partner organisations in Burma.
The Palme Center will be the sole owner of the results of the assignment.
Requirements on the evaluator
The Palme Center expects a team of consultants that have the following qualifications:
- Documented previous experience in monitoring and evaluations as well as practical experiences in the evaluation methodology, including interactive methods such as interviewees etc. and context analysis.
- Documented previous experience in Planning Monitoring & Evaluation methods as well as documented practical experiences in the analytical methodologies of evaluation.
- Have excellent knowledge of the English language, speaking and writing.
- Good capacity in analysing conflict-affected contexts and reporting results and conclusions.
- Have relevant theoretical knowledge and worked practically with the issues of democratisation and human rights processes as well as the role of the civil society organisations in conflict-affected contexts.
- Good knowledge of the Burma context and previous, related working experience from the region.
- Independent from the organisations included in the evaluation.
- Documented theoretical and practical experiences with evaluations of the Swedish development cooperation.
- Good knowledge about and expertise in conflict analysis, management and resolution.
- Good knowledge about popular education and political, trade union and civil society organisations and alliances.
- Knowledge about the Swedish and the international labour movement.
- An economically advantageous tender.
- As a team, have good knowledge of Burmese language, speaking and writing.
The tenders must include a maximum budget frame, including any VAT.
The payment will be made as follows:
First payment: 50 per cent at the start of the assignment after the agreement has been signed and upon receiving an invoice from the consultant.
Second payment: 50 per cent of the budget after the approval of the evaluation report and upon receiving an invoice from the consultant.
The tenders shall be submitted via email to firstname.lastname@example.org no later than August 19, 24:00 (Swedish time-zone).
The bid must include curriculum vitae and details of experience in the field, a suggested timeframe, suggested interview questions for individual interviews as well as a budget.
The budget should include all costs related to the evaluation, including VAT. Costs of interpreters should be included in the budget.
We reserve the right not to accept any of the bids received.
For questions, contact Michael Hauer, email@example.com ; +46 8 677 57 94