What it is:
A number of documents (such as Terms of Reference (ToR), Request for Proposal (RFP) and/or Scope of Work) need to be created as part of the management of research, evaluations and studies. Such documents provide guidance, and they are particularly important when commissioning external evaluators. The documents state the roles, resources, and responsibilities of the researchers or evaluators and the scope of the study or evaluation.
The main BetterEvaluation site includes good resources on creating these documents. There is also a GeneraTOR tool developed as part of the Steps for Planning and Managing an Evaluation to generate a TOR. In addition, the UNEG Quality Checklist is a useful guide for UN agencies from the United Nations Evaluation Group, which includes a checklist for developing a good quality evaluation ToR or inception report. These pages are recommended background reading before considering options to apply to C4D.
C4D and Management Processes and Agreements
Applying the C4D Principles
|Recruiting consultants with expertise in both C4D and the specific program area can be challenging. Consider what kinds of expertise are required, what kinds are desirable, and what kinds are easily translatable from similar fields and approaches. Also consider whether capacity building and mentoring partnerships can be incorporated to fill gaps. See also Decide who will conduct the research/evaluation (or other study or monitoring).|
|Transparent and thorough record-keeping of management processes and agreements is supports accountability to all stakeholders in RM&E processes.|
Pay attention to the description of the Scope of Work and make sure it matches the funding available. Experienced consultants can see (and will avoid) Terms of References that ask too much within too little time and without adequate resources. Use the Determine and secure resources task to make sure the resources available match the scope and consider cheaper options.
Recommended options and adaptations for documenting management processes and agreements in C4D
Several good options that would work well for C4D, with little to no adaptation required, are listed on this page. These include: Expression of Interest (EoI), Request for Proposal (RFP), Scope of Work (SoW), and Terms of Reference (ToR). There is also advice on Contractual Agreements (formal contracts to engage external evaluators and Memorandum of Understandings (MoU) (high level agreement between two or more organisations committing to work together).
There are many examples of C4D-related Expressions of Interests, Request for Proposals and Terms of References. Below are two examples:
Search for Common Ground Final Evaluation for “Communicating for Peace in South Sudan: A Social and Behaviour Change Communication Initiative” (accessed from https://www.sfcg.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/SFCG-UNICEF-ToR-Project-Final-Evaluation_Final.pdf Dec 2, 2016)
This TOR gives a comprehensive and well-structured overview for a fairly standard type of evaluation. The document includes:
- The context
- The intervention summary (see Develop initial description)
- Goals (see Decide purpose)
- Audience (see Identify primary intended users)
- The key questions (see Specify the key evaluation questions and with criteria (see Determine what 'success' looks like)
- Some guidance on the suggested sample selection (see Sample) and methods (see Collect and or retrieve data (methods))
- Expectations and deliverables
- Logistical support
- Budget (see Determine and secure resources)
- Requirements of the evaluator (see Decide who will conduct the evaluation)
- Ethical and qualities standards (see Define ethical and quality evaluation standards)
- Instructions for applicants.
Terms of Reference for the action research and evaluation of ‘She Can’ - ActionAid
This is an example of a TOR for an evaluation more in keeping with the C4D Evaluation Framework. Although the term 'C4D' is not used in this TOR, the activities include campaigns, mobilisation, coalition building, and women's groups and school clubs: all relevant to C4D. The approach to be used as outlined in this TOR is a theory-based evaluation using some action research. Click here to read a summary and review of this resource. The approach and the TOR are consistent with the C4D Evaluation Framework in the following ways:
- complex: the use of the phased process allows for an adaptive approach. The first phase includes limited data collection to inform monitoring and learning strategies, followed by a second phase with six monthly data collection and review activities, and a third and final phase that includes a theory-based evaluation to unpack change processes.
- learning-based: building on the phased, adaptive, and learning-based process above where findings are built into the change theory and implementation over time, the users (specified on page 9) are the program staff and partners who will use the findings to improve implementation, the 'beneficiaries' who will use it to better understand effective strategies for change, and DFID who are interested from a policy point of view.
- participatory: this TOR is an example of how an external evaluator can work with program staff to undertake evaluation. The description on pages 5-6 show clearly the way the consultant is expected to work in partnership with program teams and other stakeholders, and the governance structures outlined on page 9 point to the inclusion of stakeholders and partners.
- realistic: The TOR directly addresses this by stating that the evaluation design must be proportionate to the scale and scope of the project, and should seek to minimise the burden on project and partner field staff in particular' (page 8). Further, although the consultancy will last approximately 3 years over four countries, the budget is relatively modest at $100,000, accounting for the fact that it is not a full-time consultancy.
- critical: The TOR states that the evaluation design must give 'due consideration to the involvement of project participants at all stages, and must seek to give primacy to the views and voices of people living in poverty, particularly women and girls'.