Short-Term Consultant or Consulting Team: External Impact Evaluation of the Centre of Social Excellence (CSE) Africa

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REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS

External Impact Evaluation of the Centre of Social Excellence (CSE) Africa

Earthworm Foundation invites proposals for a short-term consultancy to evaluate the impact of the Centre of Social Excellence (CSE) Africa.

Background
Centre of Social Excellence (CSE) Africa is a unique educational initiative of Earthworm Foundation focused on cultivating skills and capacities of social practitioners in commodity production and natural resource management in Africa. CSE seeks to support the development the knowledge, skills, and practices needed to transform the way land-based business is undertaken in Africa by turning confrontation into collaboration and problems into solutions. Its mission is to create an enabling environment for social harmony and realized human rights by equipping companies, civil society and governments with well-trained social practitioners from the regions where they operate.

Since its establishment in 2008, CSE Africa has trained early and mid-career professionals from diverse sectors and institutions of over ten countries in Central and West Africa. The foundational training program offered by CSE Africa is a 10-month course consisting of five months of theoretical and practical implementation methods and tools, followed by a five-month internship with companies and institutions in which the students carry out agreed social activities while still under the coaching of CSE leaders. CSE Africa also offers short-courses for professionals already working as social practitioners by customizing short-courses to companies, organizations, and governments based on the needs and requests of the audience.

In 2021, CSE Africa will undergo its first external impact evaluation in order to document and analyze the transformation achieved by alumni in their post-CSE careers, identify lessons and make recommendations for improvement. The evaluation will collect and analyze evidence of the program’s cumulative impact, develop specific case studies, including cases of positive change by CSE alumni, and provide lessons and recommendations for the improvement of the program. It will involve on-the-ground research and field data collection in Cameroon and at least one other country of Central or West Africa. The evaluation will consider the different timescales of impact (e.g. by recent and earlier graduates) and document CSE Africa’s successes and limitations and inform the design and implementation of the CSE program and thus improve its effectiveness. This evaluation therefore will provide valuable inputs to the further development and management of the program.

Objectives:
– Evaluate the impact of the CSE program, on capacity building and changes in social management in Africa since its founding in 2008. The evaluation should also look at the uptake of best practices in companies and institutions that have employed CSE alumni and effects of CSE alumni on stakeholder and worker relations.

– Identify, describe and document the types and extent of impact that CSE Africa alumni have created within and around their respective organizations, institutions, companies, and/or communities across their post-CSE careers (including over multiple jobs/sites over their time employed), including the number of companies/employers, local people and communities, workers, and land area impacted;

– Measure and/or estimate capacity building in social management through training of CSE participants (directly) and by CSE alumni replicating capacity (indirectly) by training their colleagues, staff and teams;

– Document known cases where CSE Africa has influenced the approach taken by training by other civil society organizations and training programs;

– Develop a set of in-depth case studies and CSE alumni profiles documenting the impact alumni have had in their roles and locations;

– Clearly document the evaluation methods (e.g. surveys, field visits, and interview methods/formats with employers and stakeholders) and guidance for potential replication;

– Provide well-structured raw data collected, including survey formats and responses, and baseline data, for use in future monitoring and evaluations;

– Document concrete lessons learned from the field where CSE alumni apply the skills, methods, and practices acquired at CSE, including recommendations from alumni on how to make CSE more effective at achieving impact;

– Review the alumni survey and methods and recommend specific improvements for the CSE alumni survey and methods used by EF;

– Use survey data, interviews, and other information to make recommendations for improving the direct and indirect impacts of CSE Africa.

Deliverables
-Written impact evaluation report (presented in English) in digital version;
-Evaluation methodology, survey, and guidance for potential future replication;
-At least 5 in-depth case studies of CSE alumni experience and impact;
-Assessment of current alumni survey and methods, and specific recommended changes for improvement of the survey and methods for future monitoring of alumni;
-Raw data, including qualitative and quantitative data gathered and analysed in carrying out the evaluation.
-High quality digital photographs of field sites and interviewees.

Methodology
The consultant will propose a mixed methodology for the study. The proposed methodology should include – but is not limited to – a desk review, analysis of CSE alumni survey data, meetings and interviews with key stakeholders, and field visits to sites where alumni are working in at least two Central and/or West African countries. The consultant(s) will propose a work plan for approval from EF which includes the schedule, approach, and methods for:

1. Collecting and analyzing data, including through multiple methods (including interviews and field visits);2. Reviewing and assessing existing CSE alumni surveys and methods;
3. Collaboration with EF staff on communications with alumni and their institutions of affiliation (e.g. current and past employers), and periodic check-ins with EF staff to monitor and report progress;
4. Qualitative and quantitative analysis of data collected;
5. The presentation of draft and final reports and data.

CSE Impact Evaluator
The consultant (or team) should meet the following criteria:
1. Extensive experience and proven track record of carrying out impact evaluations of training/capacity building projects and programs in Africa;
2. Academic and practical experience in qualitative and quantitative research methods, evaluation design and implementation;
3. Strong understanding on social and environmental issues related to commodity production and responsible natural resource management in Central and West Africa is highly desired;
4. Existing knowledge of relevant studies and program experiences in the fields of social responsibility, stakeholder engagement and communications, and natural resource management;
5. Extensive experience in Central and West Africa;
6. Excellent verbal and written communication skills both French and English.

Time Schedule
The evaluation team will be selected by the third week of March 2021. The work of the evaluation team shall commence by April 5th, 2021 and conclude with the presentation of final reports and deliverables by the second week of August 2021.

To Apply
Please submit a detailed technical and financial proposal, including a list of proposed team members and professional and institutional CVs to usa.recruitment@earthworm.org by March 8th, 2021.
CSE Africa is funded with UK aid from the UK government.

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