- Cover letter / Expression of Interest and financial proposal based on the requirements listed.
- Curriculum Vitae with 3 references.
- Sample work of the Consultant – previous evaluation report (sensitive data may be redacted).
- Applications should be submitted by email no later than Friday October 23rd, 2021.
MERATH is the relief arm of the Lebanese Society for Educational and Social Development, a Lebanese NGO that works with local partners and faith-based organizations and helps them implement relief and development projects for vulnerable individuals and families in Syria, Lebanon, and Iraq.
According to the 2019 update of the 2017-2020 Lebanon Crisis Response Plan (LCRP), “a major challenge to economic growth and job creation stems from a ‘skills gap’ in the Lebanese marketplace.” Despite high levels of tertiary education, Lebanese companies continue to highlight the lack of skilled labour in country. Information collected through information managment tools, along with feedback from implementing agencies, confirm a significant mismatch between demand and supply. Soft skills play an equally important role in positive employment outcomes and should also be included in training programmes (especially for the most vulnerable). As indicated in the LCRP, significant opportunities exist for providing technical and soft skills, as well as job-readiness training.
With support from donors, MERATH and its local partners have implemented four years of livelihoods activities including various vocational trainings, financial literacy and business entrepreneurship trainings, and mask sewing groups. These projects aimed to help alleviate the socio-economic shock of the Syrian crisis among vulnerable men, women, and youth in Lebanon through vocational trainings, financial literacy, and business entrepreneurship trainings. The programs also supported women’s sewing group through MERATH’s network of local partners.
The objective for this evaluation is to identify key lessons learned and recommendations for future MERATH livelihoods projects in Lebanon. This evaluation will inform the design of potential future livelihoods projects.
GOAL, OBJECTIVES AND QUESTIONS
a) Evaluation goal
To gather lessons learned for future livelihoods projects in Lebanon and to gain an understanding of the relevance, impact, and effectivness of MERATH’s livelihoods projects from 2017 to 2021.
b) Evaluation objectives and questions
The objectives and questions are organised according to OECD-DAC criteria for evaluating humanitarian action:
Relevance: Whether and to what extent the projects addressed the needs and priorities of the target groups and were aligned with relevant partner and donor policies and priorities.
- Did beneficiaries feel that the livelihood activities were relevant to their needs and priorities?
- Did implementing partners feel that the livelihood activities were relevant to the needs and priorities of the beneficiaries in their communities?
- Did implementing partners have the capacity, experience, and expertise to carry out the activities envisaged? To what extent did they feel supported in delivering livelihood program activities?
- What lessons can be learned for future program activities, especially to ensure they are relevant to community needs and priorities?
- What opportunities exist to expand future MERATH-supported livelihoods program activities that are relevant to the challenges Lebanon faces nationally and in light of the refugee crisis?
Effectiveness: Whether and to what extent the projects delivered the outputs and achieved the intended outcomes.
- What were the supportive factors and obstacles encountered during the implementation of the project which influenced the achievement or non-achievement of the objectives?
- Are the beneficiaries satisfied with the quality and delivery of project activities?
- To what extent have program activities focused on, addressed, and resulted in gains in gender equity, disability inclusion, and inclusion of marginalized groups?
Impact: Whether and to what extent the projects have had a positive impact on the livelihoods of project beneficiaries.
- What were the direct and indirect, intended and unintended, positive and negative impacts that program activities made on the lives and livelihoods of beneficiaries?
- Were livelihood activities realistic or effective given the realities?
- What can be done to maximize the impact of future livelihoods activities?
This will be a participatory evaluation providing for active and meaningful involvement by beneficiaries and other relevant stakeholders. The evaluation will include interviews with key MERATH staff and church and community-based organization partner representatives; Focus Group Discussions and/or phone call interviews with beneficiaries of previous project phases; as well as desk research.
The consultant will draft a report that will be shared with the partner organisations involved in the projects. Additionally, the consultant will provide direct feedback, as required, to the partner organizations.
The Consultant is responsible for:
- Guidance and directions to achieve the purpose and objectives of the evaluation.
- Conducting the evaluation.
- The day–to–day management of operations of this evaluation assignment.
- Regular progress reporting to MERATH’s Program Officer, particularly if any unforeseen issues arise.
- The development of results.
- Consolidation and presentation of evaluation findings and writing the final evaluation report.
- The production of deliverables in accordance with contractual requirements.
- Consultant will have strong expertise in livelihoods programming in complex contexts such as Lebanon, as well as substantial experience in M&E.
- Consultant will have significant prior experience conducting similar high-quality lessons learned exercises.
- Consultant will have a keen understanding of community-based development projects and will also ideally have experience working with small-scale community-based organizations, ideally churches, to carry out relief and development projects.
- Consultant will follow participatory, strengths-based approaches to the evaluation. Consultant will demonstrate respect for all project implementers and focus on capturing the strengths, successes, and lessons learned of the projects and not solely the problems or challenges.
- Consultant will have a keen understanding of the significant challenges of working within the Lebanese context.
- The consultant will engage openly with the local community, listen to, and synthesise varied perspectives.
- Consultant will ensure children, youth, women, girls and people with disabilities participate in the evaluation process.