The USAID/Egypt Mission has contracted The QED Group LLC to implement the Services to Improve Performance Management, Enhance Learning and Evaluation (SIMPLE). SIMPLE provides a host of services to support USAID/Egypt’s Program and Technical Offices in areas including monitoring, evaluation, program design, and information management. These services include activity/project designs, assessments, evaluations, management information and reporting. The primary purpose of this award is to improve performance management at all levels to help the Mission meet Agency requirements, make better informed strategic and management decisions, and advance Agency learning.
In this context, SIMPLE is seeking to engage the services of a senior international consultant experienced in institutional capacity building and economic growth activities/projects to serve as team leader for an Institutional Capacity Sustainability Assessment of Economic Growth Activities. This assignment is contingent on task order award. The period of performance is expected from September to December 2019, with an estimated LOE of up to 60 days of LOE for the Team Leader.
The purpose of this assessment is to undertake a systematic historic review of the work done so far by the Office of Economic Growth at USAID/Egypt to: 1) catalogue the work; 2) identify accomplishments and lessons learned particularly around sustainability; 3) develop recommendations for future programming. The assessment will review 20 years of institutional capacity building support for various local institutions across the public and private sectors. The assessment work will be conducted in two phases: the first, a thorough desk review with some field work to capture anecdotal information and, based on the outcome of this, an optional second phase that would undertake a more rigorous review of the programming. This scope of work (SoW) is for a Team Leader for Phase 1.
Phase 1 of this assessment, the subject of this Team Leader SoW, consists of a thorough desk review and limited key stakeholder interviews to capture available anecdotal and contextual information. This historical desk review will catalogue work done from 2000 through today gathering basic activity information, key lessons learned, and key accomplishments. Additionally, it will capture anecdotal information examine contextual data, as available from activity documents and reports to formulate a coherent narrative about the mission’s institutional capacity building support over the past 20 years under OEG. This process will develop in a collaborative manner with OEG so as to make changes and decisions together along the way to ensure the final deliverables serve the Mission’s needs.
By using the USAID Development Experience Clearinghouse (DEC) and the relevant contract numbers as compiled by the OEG, the assessment team will create a list of documents for review including, at a minimum, final reports, and evaluation reports. Additional documents may be reviewed but will be decided on in collaboration with OEG. Availability of the information, ease of access to key stakeholders, and Government of Egypt cooperation will be key in this effort in phase one, and a key determinant of whether phase two moves forward.
The QED Group is seeking to contract a senior Team Leader to lead Phase I of this assessment. The total length of the consulting contract is expected to be three months on a 6-day week work schedule, the bulk of which will be research and analysis conducted remotely. Selected interviews in Cairo with key USAID staff will require at least one visit to Cairo.
The senior consultant will design and lead the desk review in Phase I, cataloguing the information into a table/database as well as analyzing the research findings of a comprehensive desk review of projects implemented by the Office of Economic Growth in the last 20 years (i.e., reviewing documents such as final reports and evaluation reports). S/He will conduct selected interviews with key USAID staff.
The Team Leader will report to the locally-based SIMPLE Senior M&E Specialist or his delegate. The team leader will collaborate in refining the agreed upon methods, design of database for the desk review, interview instrument and research analysis approach. He/she will manage a small team of consultants cooperating on this task. In Phase I, it is anticipated that the team will include a local M&E Specialist, Research Coordinator, and designers as needed for deliverables. The Team Leader will also coordinate closely with the Office of Economic Growth, as this task will be conducted in close collaboration and guidance from this office.
All evaluation products will be subject to the technical review and clearance of QED and SIMPLE staff prior to sharing with USAID for their review and feedback. Final approval of deliverables rests with USAID/Egypt, in this case, the Office of Economic Growth.
- Finalize the design for this research effort, in collaboration with the SIMPLE and Office of Economic Growth team, once the task order is awarded.
- Conduct research and compile documentation for the historical desk review.
- Design a database to capture the desk review information and a visual timeline to effectively display the information
- Conduct the desk review, drawing out the key activity information to be inputted into the database.
- Analyze the information gleaned from the desk review so as to identify trends, key achievements, lessons, etc. (see more detail on this below, under deliverables).
- Design interview guide and conduct interviews with selected USAID staff; analyze the interview data, which is expected to feed into the analysis detailed above.
- Supervise, manage and task a small team of local consultants and a designer (expected two consultants) supporting the Team Leader in carrying out this task.
- Prepare a draft narrative to accompany the historical database.
Phase I Assessment Deliverables
Phase I will produce the following key deliverable, all under the responsibility of the Team Leader:
- Table listing each project containing: Name, Implementer, Mechanism, Dollar value, Dates, Location, Sector, Institutions impacted, Brief project description, Summary of key achievements. This list should classify the institutions based on their availability of data, degree of sustainability, relationship with USAID or other criteria that may be useful in deciding on further investigation should phase two proceed.
- Narrative report with: Analysis of the key accomplishments and lessons learned identifying trends, practices still sustained, innovations made, external issues that influenced outcomes and recommendations for further investigation.
- A graphic timeline mapping the activities, key milestones etc. and any relevant charts.
The desk review should also recommend a select number of institutions (2 to 5) that could be looked at more in-depth along with a rationale for the recommendation. This recommendation should be based on the availability of data and accessibility of informants to enable an in-depth examination of institutional sustainability following USAID support.
- Master’s degree in economics, social science, international development, or related area. PhD a plus.
- Over 10 years of relevant professional experience, with specific expertise in USAID institutional capacity building and economic growth programming a must; experience with public and private sector engagement a plus
- Research experience in similar international development assignments required.
- Demonstrated experience preparing final reports of key trends, lessons and recommendations required; experience with USAID requirements preferred.
- Excellent communication skills, including the ability to communicate effectively remotely and within a multi-cultural team.
- Ability to be flexible and work well under pressure, dealing with competing priorities, in a fast-paced team environment.
- Experience working with and conducting research in the economic growth sector; experience with similar USAID-funded assignments preferred.
- Strong interpersonal skills and talent for productively interacting with a wide range of actors.
- Fluent in spoken and written English.
- Work experience in Egypt a plus.