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Publicerad 2021-03-10
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Terms of reference: Evaluation of the Olof Palme International Center’s programmes of Democracy support through Swedish party affiliated organisations

Submit latest 17th of May

The Olof Palme International Center (Palme Center) with its 27 member organisations, constitute an active hub of the Swedish labour movement’s international work articulated through trade union, political party, and civil society organisations. These organisations represent more than one hundred years of experience of promoting political and civic engagement, democratisation, and poverty reduction. Through our development partnerships, we seek to empower people to change their own lives. The Palme Center has its main office in Stockholm and several local offices.

Political parties are an indispensable part of a functioning representative democracy. Politics is a tool for resolving conflicts of interest without violence. With a democratic political system, violence and reprisals are replaced by political dialogue and negotiations. Political participation, party political organisation and grassroots influence are prerequisites for functioning political parties that can fight poverty and strengthen democracy and people’s power and influence.

Political parties are key actors in trying to counter contemporary societal challenges, as potential key drivers of a development that is permeated by the ideas of equality and sustainability. Supporting political parties in the development of their organisations, their internal democracy, as well as contributing to their policy development and encouraging strategic alliances lies at the heart of our theory of change.

The Palme Center leads and implements several programmes that contribute to the Swedish Strategy for Democracy Support through Swedish Party Affiliated Organisations. Four of these programmes will be included in the evaluation. These programmes are:

Latin America Programme
Middle East and North Africa Programme
Palme Academy Programme
Western Balkans Programme

Purpose of the evaluation
As the Palme Center soon is to approach the end of a four-year programme period (2019-2022), the organisation wants to evaluate methods commonly used within the programmes. The evaluation will serve as input for possible adjustments of the way we work to achieve results in a new application post 2022.

All the four programmes centre around different types of trainings, seminars, academies, and workshops that target representatives of political parties. These educational activities aim at raising capacities on different topics among the representatives of the parties that participates in them. However, we do not want the results to stop there. The idea is that the participants further will bring these raised capacities to their respective parties, so that the broader party organisations will gain from the activities, and not only the individual participants. The objective of the programme activities is to reach outcomes on organisational levels among the political parties.

With this background, the evaluation should assess:

  • Which are the conditions that facilitates, and the conditions that hinders, the political parties to gain broadly from the raised capacities among a few representatives that have participated in educational activities within the Palme Center programmes.
  • What should the Palme Center and its partners continue to do, and what can they improve in the way they work, to facilitate stronger results on organisational level.

The outline of the work shall be planned in consultation with the Methods Adviser on Political Party Support and the Head of Methods at the Palme Center. The Palme Center will support the consultant with necessary documentation about the programmes and contact details to relevant partners, political parties, and representatives from the political parties that have participated in educational activities.

The assignment, scope and methodology
The evaluation report will be used as input for possible adjustments of the way we work to achieve results on organisational level, in a new application post 2022, but the report will also be shared with the funder Sida.

The evaluation will begin with a dialogue between the Palme Center and the consultant, where the concrete methods of evaluation and timeframe will be defined and agreed more in detail.

The methodology is open for suggestions from the evaluator. It might include any of the method below:

  • Desk study
    Review of programme documents: applications, activity plans, reports etc.
  • Semi-structured interviews/focus groups with programme managers at the Palme Center/and or implementing partners
    Interviews with Palme Center staff or implementing partners that are working with the programmes and implementing educational activities.
  • Semi-structured interviews/focus groups with participants
    Interviews with political party representatives that have participated in educational activities.
  • Semi-structures interviews with key persons at the political parties
    Interviews with a selection of key persons at the leadership of the political parties.
  • Observations
    Participation as observer in educational activities, if relevant and suitable.

The language necessary for the assignment is English, with access to the following languages, either by members of the team or through interpretation/translation:

Albanian, Arabic, Bosnian-Croatian-Serbian, Burmese, Russian, Spanish, Portuguese.

The Palme Center is open to sub-contracting of local consultants – to cover all the languages and to ensure context sensitivity.

Furthermore, the Palme Center wants to minimise the carbon footprint from this assignment by avoiding unnecessary travels, and foresees that online solutions will be central also due to the global pandemic.

Timeframe and duration
The assignment starts with the signing of the contract and ends with the delivery of the evaluation report and a presentation of the findings for the Palme Center.

An estimation is that a total of 9-11 weeks of work, including the preparatory reading and presentation of the final report, will be needed.

A detailed inception report is expected from the evaluator on the 30th of June 2021. The inception report should present a detailed analytical framework, methodology and workplan. The Palme Center shall approve the inception report.

The Palme Center will request a first draft of the evaluation report on the 1st of November 2021. The Palme Center will provide comments on the draft within 10 working days. These comments will be discussed in a smaller workshop with the Palme Center staff involved in the programmes and the evaluators.

The deadline for the final version of the evaluation report, and the presentation of findings, is on the 27th of January 2022.

Reporting shall be made in the form of a written report in English, not exceeding 50 pages. The report shall describe facts, make analysis, draw conclusions, and present recommendations. The evaluation report should at least contain;

  • Index
  • Summary
  • Background
  • The purpose of the evaluation
  • The scoop of the evaluation, methodology and limitations
  • Observations
  • In-depth analysis, conclusions, and recommendations
  • Attachments (ToR, reference list, list of people interviews and in which location, interview questions etc.)

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:

  1. Documented experiences working with political parties.
  2. Documented theoretical and practical experiences with evaluations of international development cooperation, including in-depth analyses based on interviews and reports, as well as a good capacity of reporting results and conclusions.
  3. Have an excellent knowledge of the English language in speaking and writing.

1.      Documented in-depth knowledge and previous experiences of results-based management, monitoring, and evaluation.

2.     Good knowledge about the context of the programme regions.

3.     An economically advantageous tender.

4.     As a team, speak relevant languages stated in this term of reference.

The budget and remuneration for the assignment will be according to the winning bid but cannot exceed 685.000 SEK, including VAT.

The payment will be made as follows:

The first payment: 50% percent when the inception report has been approved and upon receiving an invoice from the consultant. The second payment: 50% of the budget after approval of the evaluation report and upon receiving an invoice from the consultant.

The tenders shall be submitted via e-mail to sanna.eliasson@palmecenter.se no later than 17th of May 2021, 24:00 (Swedish time-zone).

The bid must include curriculum vitae and details of experience of the members in the evaluation team, a suggested timeframe/indicative work plan, a description of the approach and methodology applied, availability of personnel and a registration certificate of consultant’s company/entity, and a budget.

The budget should include all costs related to the evaluation, including VAT. Any costs related to interpreters should be included in the budget.

We reserve the right to not accept any of the bids received.

The Palme Center will inform all interested parties as soon as possible after the allocation decisions has been taken. The tenders shall indicate the e-mail address to which the decision can be sent.

Note that neither the process nor the allocation decision means that a binding agreement has been made. A binding agreement only exists when a contract have been signed by both parties.

For questions, contact Sanna Eliasson at sanna.eliasson@palmecenter.se.