Terms of Reference
Evaluation of the Project: Global Anti-Corruption Consortium (GACC)
The Global Anti-Corruption Consortium (GACC) is a groundbreaking partnership to accelerate the global fight against corruption by bringing together investigative journalism spearheaded by the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) and advocacy driven by Transparency International (TI), the global anti-corruption movement. The long-term goal of the project is to accelerate impact in the global fight against corruption by combining the strengths of investigative journalism and civil society advocacy.
The GACC is a unique collaboration between OCCRP’s global network of local journalists and TI’s 100+ national chapters and international secretariat to share data and knowledge generated through cross-border investigations, informing anti-corruption policy advocacy and contributing to legal action. The partnership connects TI chapters with experienced networks of investigative reporters across the world. In its first four years, the GACC has delivered significant impact, both exposing and enabling action against loopholes and facilitators of illicit flows at the global level and the abuse of natural resources at the local level, especially in developing countries.
Originally launched in 2016 with support from five governments, the GACC is currently funded by a collection of governmental and private donors, of which a U.S. Government agency is the largest donor (“Lead Donor”). In line with the requirements set forth by its donors, in particular the Lead Donor, OCCRP has decided to undertake the first evaluation of the work of GACC from its inception through December 2020.
These Terms of Reference were developed to guide this substantive evaluation, which should take place in the period from April to July 2021. The primary end users of the evaluation will be OCCRP, TI, and donors supporting GACC. Persons and organizations interested in contributing to GACC or in developing similar models of collaboration may also be interested in these findings and recommendations.
OCCRP is seeking a consultant, consultancy team or company (“evaluator”) to evaluate the project. The outcome evaluation will assess the project’s progress towards goals and objectives. The purpose of the outcome evaluation is to provide OCCRP and TI with external feedback on the achievements and implementation of the project and extract learnings and good practice, which could be used to enhance future project engagements and to record the project’s legacy. The evaluation is expected to result in a series of key recommendations to build on results achieved to date and guide the next phase of GACC’s work.
The evaluation is intended to assess the extent of the implementation of activities, the outcomes achieved and the challenges faced. This assessment should be completed with reference to the project’s initial framework, as well as every cost-extension, and other planning/proposal documents, and in line with the indicators set out in the project’s logframe as it has been adjusted over time. It should be noted that while GACC is also supported by other donors, and the project documentation, logical frameworks, and indicators used for those related projects may be used as reference material, these projects will not be formally evaluated through the present evaluation. The present evaluation focuses on the contribution from the Lead Donor to GACC. The overall results of the wider GACC project, which are also core Lead Donor activities, will form part of this evaluation.
In sum, the overall objectives of this evaluation are the following:
● provide an objective assessment of the achievements and results, weaknesses and strengths of the project, as well as an analysis of its performance in terms of progress and process, relevance, effectiveness, sustainability, and the extent to which the project is contributing to enabling the desired impact;
● generate lessons learned and good practices from the project; and
● provide clear recommendations that can guide the growth of GACC, and specifically the role of OCCRP and TI.
Key issues to be addressed
The following questions might guide the project’s evaluation, but are subject to discussion and agreement during the period of designing the evaluation approach. Questions should be formulated to promote a consultative approach.
Relevance: The extent to which the project matched the priorities and policies of the organizations responsible for the project, the donor, and the target groups (journalists and activists). It is useful to consider the following questions:
● To what extent is the project’s theory of change/logical framework relevant, particularly in the wider context of the fight against corruption?
● In what ways are the activities and outputs of the project consistent with the project goals and objectives?
● Are the project’s overall impact goals and objectives still relevant and valid?
● To what extent does the project add value, innovate or create new ways of operating?
Impact: The effect of the project on its environment—the positive and negative changes produced by the project (directly or indirectly, intended or unintended). This involves examining progress towards the main outcomes and changes during the life of the project. It is useful to consider the following questions:
● What have been the key outcomes achieved and how does this compare with what was expected? In other words, what has changed due to this project?
● What factors favorably or adversely affected the project outcomes and approach?
● Was the project successful in overcoming any unanticipated external negative factors?
● How has the project contributed to creating a new model of cooperation between journalists and activists? To what extent has this model been picked up by other actors?
● What were the other positive spill-over effects and significant impact achieved?
Effectiveness: The extent to which the objectives of the project have been achieved or are expected to be achieved, bearing in mind their relative importance, i.e. a comparison of the intended outcome with the observed outcome. It is useful to consider the following questions:
● To what extent were the objectives and outputs achieved?
● Have there been specific approaches (e.g. collaboration, capacity building, mentoring, shared use of tech tools) that proved successful/failed and what learnings can be drawn from this? In other words, what good practices or successful experiences have been identified?
● What are the views of the project’s beneficiaries (grantees, member centers/TI Chapters, external journalists and activists involved in investigations and advocacy) on the effectiveness of the above approaches or other support received?
● What are the views of key project stakeholders (TI staff, OCCRP staff/regional editors) on overall implementation and collaboration?
● How have any changes in the overall context and operating environment affected project implementation?
Sustainability: Sustainability is concerned with measuring whether the benefits of a project are likely to continue after funding has been withdrawn. It is useful to consider the following questions:
● In what way has the project created conditions to ensure that benefits continue beyond the project? What concrete steps have been taken to enhance the sustainability of GACC?
● Which of the successful approaches of the GACC project can be used to further strengthen the GACC? To what extent are these approaches institutionalized to continue beyond the life of the project?
● To what extent has the GACC model inspired new cooperation among journalists and activists as a useful modus operandi, both at OCCRP and TI and in the wider fight against corruption? In what ways is this model replicable?
III. SCOPE AND METHODOLOGY
The evaluation covers the period December 2016 to December 2020 and should encompass the entire geographical scope of GACC work, including Latin America, Middle East, Africa, Europe, and Asia. Thus, the evaluation will encompass four full years of project implementation (2017, 2018, 2019, 2020), as data and impact for 2021 will be ongoing.
The evaluation will be planned and led by OCCRP, as the main recipient of the grant award from the Lead Donor, with the support and cooperation of TI. The overall methodology and timing will be defined by OCCRP, together with TI, and approved by the Lead Donor.
The methodological approach and design of the evaluation will be developed and agreed between OCCRP and the evaluator, with support and cooperation from TI. The evaluator will then be responsible for its objective implementation. The methodological approach should be participatory, inclusive, gender-sensitive and culturally appropriate. It should engage relevant staff at OCCRP, OCCRP Member Centers, the TI Secretariat, TI’s National Chapters and local partners, and other stakeholders and project beneficiaries through structured methods, and ideally at each stage of the evaluation process. Both quantitative and qualitative data should be utilized in assessing the project. Due to the global nature of the project and complexity of the operating environments, OCCRP and TI envisage that Outcome Harvesting or Most Significant Change (MSC) approaches may be most appropriate. The exact evaluation methodology (including the proposed sampling of stakeholders to be engaged) should be presented by the evaluator, and defined, discussed, and agreed with OCCRP during the first 14 days of the evaluation period. Any list of potential or selected stakeholders will first be agreed with OCCRP and TI, as applicable.
The evaluation should include but not necessarily be limited to the following tools:
· desk review of relevant documents;
· individual and/or group interviews with internal and external stakeholders;
· online meetings with external stakeholders;
· survey questionnaires to internal and external stakeholders, if relevant.
The evaluator should find ways to ease logistical and time challenges and adapt to the respondents’ schedule and needs, to the extent feasible.
The evaluation and related research should abide by OCCRP policies and protocols related to data protection and security, and be conducted in line with ethical protocols including participant confidentiality and privacy. The secure transmission of data is of great importance and must be ensured at all stages of the evaluation. A non-disclosure agreement will be included in the consultancy contract.
IV. EXPECTED DELIVERABLES
The evaluator is expected to submit an evaluation report that documents the evaluation activities and results following a clear structure. The evaluation report will contain the findings, conclusions and recommendations as well as a recording of the lessons learned.
The evaluator will initially prepare a draft report, which will be submitted to OCCRP and TI for comments. While considering the comments provided on the draft, the evaluator shall use their independent and impartial judgment in preparing the final report.
The final report should be 20-30 pages, excluding the annexes and executive summary. Annexes to the final report should be kept to an absolute minimum. Only those annexes that serve to demonstrate or clarify an issue related to a major finding should be included. Existing documents should be referenced but not necessarily annexed. A summary document, for external consumption, should also be drafted which would include the executive summary, key findings and recommendations.
In sum, the main expected deliverables are:
● within two weeks of engagement: detailed work plan, including sampling and methodological approach, guiding questions, survey/interview questions, list of stakeholders and participation plan, security approach, detailed timeline and evaluation matrix;
● within 10 weeks of engagement: draft report for internal fact checking and feedback;
● within 14 weeks of engagement: final report, with a summary for external use.
OCCRP retains the sole rights with respect to all distribution, dissemination and publication of the deliverables, which shall be exercised in consultation with TI and the Lead Donor as applicable.
V. SELECTION CRITERIA
Applicants should have the following expertise, skills and experience:
● Advanced university degree, ideally in public policy, social science or law;
● Extensive experience in designing and conducting evaluations and surveys, and quantitative and qualitative analysis (minimum of 7 years), including complexity-aware monitoring approaches;
● Excellent knowledge of monitoring and evaluation methodologies;
● Sound judgment and ability to objectively evaluate programmes in terms of results achieved as well as processes (evidenced through previously conducted evaluations and references);
● Experience in conducting evaluations in the non-profit sector, related to independent media and investigative reporting, as well as civil society advocacy preferred, and familiarity with metrics on examining impact as well as collaboration in these fields.
● Strong understanding of anti-corruption, good governance, innovation and change management sectors is also desirable;
● Excellent communication and presentation skills;
● Excellent skills in working with people and groups to engender cooperation and responsive feedback;
● Excellent analytical report writing skills;
● Excellent conceptual skills;
● Experience working in a security-minded environment, ideally with secure technical tools such as VPN and encrypted emails; and
● Ability to keep with strict deadlines;
● Experience in monitoring and evaluation of grants funded by the US State Department.
● Familiarity with the activities, working methodologies, and approach of OCCRP and TI is an advantage as is familiarity with the anti-corruption sector;
● Experience in results-based program/project management approach; and,
● Background in evaluating journalism for the public good and creating impact.
The evaluator is expected to work a maximum of 30 working days, and finish the assignment by the end of July 2021. A detailed timeline needs to be agreed at the beginning of the assignment.
How to Apply:
Please email a statement of interest and CVs of the evaluator(/s/team) (none to exceed 2 pages of A4), along with two samples of similar previous assignments (if available), two referees, and confirmation of your availability, to Sarah Holmes at firstname.lastname@example.org, subject ‘GACC Evaluation”, on or before close of business, 09 April 2021 (EST).
Shortlisted applicants will be provided with the project Scope of Work (which shall form part of this TOR) for submission on or before 9 April 2021 (EST) of (a) a technical proposal explaining their comprehension of the ToR and how they would approach this assignment, summarizing the methodologies and approaches they would use, and including a timeline; and (b) a financial proposal outlining their expected fees and any additional costs.