External evaluator (end of term) at Internews


Senior Journalism Advisor at Internews

Job Title: External evaluator (end of term)

Location: Bulawayo, Zimbabwe

Starting date: 01 July 2022

Department: Africa

Supervisor: Project Manager

Terms of Reference

End of term Evaluation for the Internews’ Zimbabwe Media Development (ZMD) Project funded by the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA) 2019 – 2022.

Introduction and background of the study:

Since May 2019, Internews Europe has been implementing a three-year SIDA funded Zimbabwe Media Development (ZMD) project in southern Zimbabwe. The project aimed to ensure that a resilient, digitally enabled, and sustainable independent media and civil society in Southern Zimbabwe have the skills, knowledge, and tools they need to reach citizens with accurate and impartial information that promotes inclusion and accountability. Internews has partnered with three international technical support partners; GeoPoll, Sunshine Cinema and NewsGain, as well as with five local Zimbabwean partners; Kubatana, Centre for Innovation and Technology (CITE), Digital Society of Africa (DSA), Humanitarian Information Facilitation Centre (HIFC), and the Zimbabwe Association of Community Radio Stations (ZACRAS) to facilitate the project which is targeted at Southern region provinces of Bulawayo, Matabeleland North, Matabeleland South, and Midlands. The support provided by Internews has resulted in the emergence and revival of several vibrant digitally enabled media initiatives that are serving marginalised communities in target location areas. In addition, the project also improved access to information by vulnerable people in marginalised communities in Southern Zimbabwe.

Project Expected Results:

Impact : Contribution to the development of alternative media platforms.

Outcome Area 1 : Increase the quantity and reach of independent, reliable, and data-driven information in the public sphere, with a focus on content production and consumption by women, youth, and rural communities.

Outcome Area 2 : Strengthen the capacity of media and civil society to inform and elevate citizen voices as key to holding the government accountable on key project themes i.e.: governance, human rights, corruption, health, environment, climate change.

Outcome Area 3 : Improve the business and financial sustainability of independent media.

Purpose of this Evaluation:

The purpose of this end term evaluation is two-fold.

  • Summative evaluation : to determine the extent to which the project has achieved its stated outcomes and to provide deeper insight about the mechanisms/factors that have enhanced or constrained project results.
  • Model replicability validation : to document the validity of the bottom up and partner centred model for media development in Zimbabwe.

More specifically the evaluation is intended to assess:

  1. Changes in partner capacity in producing high quality youth and women-oriented media content that addresses key governance issues and the possible impact this may have had on individuals or communities.
  2. Any progress on improving management, governance and sustainability of local media with a focus on community radio stations.
  3. Changes observed in the role of women in the media, the workplace and community and the extent to which young people are contributing to and participating in public debate on key governance and democratic issues.
  4. Improved revenue generation and resource mobilization mechanisms that contributes to enhancing the independence and professionalism of local media.

Evaluation scope and questions:

The scope of the evaluation is limited to the activities funded by SIDA. It covers the period from project inception in April 2019 up to April 2022. The geographical area is limited to Bulawayo, Midlands, Matabeleland North, and Matabeleland South provinces in Zimbabwe.

Evaluation criteria & questions:

The following evaluation criteria and questions provide guidance on the exercise and should be considered by the (external) evaluator to frame data collection, analysis, and interpretation. Regarding the two overarching evaluation goals of summative evaluation and model replicability validation, the evaluator should also consider the following cross-cutting issues:

  1. Relevance
  2. To what extent were the project objectives consistent with local needs taking into consideration gaps in media development and implementation of related programmes?
  3. To what extent did the project meet the expectations of its key target groups?

Impact:

How has the project succeeded in achieving its overall objectives? This will take into consideration intended and unintended results; including, but not limited to, the following:

  • Changes in traditional journalism practice or news and content production systems.
  • Changes in civil society formations and collaboration – e.g., whether collaborations established. Or networks founded through the project are strengthened and active.
  • Media reach and impact in terms of coverage of the key issues.
  • Reach and changes in knowledge and practices.
  • Provision of technical support to other stakeholders looking to implement work around media development.

Effectiveness:

How and why has the project been able/unable to achieve its results? Key issues to consider under ‘effectiveness’ include but are not limited to the following:

  • The extent to which the project has achieved its objectives and results.
  • Whether the results-based framework indicators demonstrate that the intended changes have and are taking place.
  • Assessments on the quality and quantity of the produced results in accordance with the plans and how the results are applied by the intended stakeholders, i.e. government, the community and mainstream media, civil society, oversight bodies, communities, beneficiaries
  • The contribution and effectiveness of each key project component to the achievement of results.
  • Whether the results areas and components of the project remain relevant and useful, and whether the project adjusted its priorities to remain so.
  • The contextual factors that enhanced or constrained the effectiveness of project components/strategies.
  • The extent to which gender equality, reduction of inequalities, and promotion of human rights have been achieved during the implementation of the project.
  • Whether gender criteria have been considered in the selection of activities and whether gender disaggregated data is produced.
  • How the communications/ advocacy activities within the project have been handled, and how effective they have been.

Efficiency:

How efficient was the project in terms of quantity, quality, and timeliness? Comparison should be made against what was planned, taking into consideration, the following:

  • Whether the activities transformed the available resources into the intended outputs/results, in terms of quantity, quality and time
  • What specific components / strategies demonstrate value for money?
  • Whether the project management was timely, efficient, and transparent.

Sustainability:

  • What is the degree to which the benefits produced by the project will continue after the external support has come to an end? This should take into consideration the following:
    • Which project components have potential for impact and sustainability beyond the project period?
    • Are skills gained being used/likely to continue being used after the project ends?
    • Whether the activities conducted were sufficient to ensure sustainability

Methodology:

The evaluation must make use of mixed methods and should, in as far as possible, adopt a participatory approach that engages key relevant stakeholders to ensure a comprehensive understanding of the achievement of results. The evaluation must provide evidence-based information that is credible, reliable, and useful. Validation of results must be done through multiple sources to ensure impartiality and balanced feedback. Following a briefing meeting with Internews, the evaluator will submit a detailed evaluation plan that outlines the methodology to be utilized in answering questions about how and why the project has/has not achieved its results as outlined in the previous section. More specifically, the evaluation will target individuals from the following categories:

  1. Stakeholders: Government officials, local authorities or civil society organizations involved in or engaged on specific activities related to the delivery of project outputs.
  2. Subgrant Partners: Heads of organizations or key staff members involved in project delivery.
  3. Local Media Partners: Directors of partner radios or journalists directly involved in project delivery selected for the purpose of this research.
  4. Direct Beneficiaries: Individuals or groups that directly benefitted from project interventions either through capacity building support, technical or financial support from Internews or its subgrant partners.
  5. Indirect Beneficiaries: Community members, groups or individuals who reported to have been impacted by the project interventions.

Limitations

Internews expects that the evaluation team should identify anticipated possible challenges or limitations to the evaluation and propose possible mechanism to address these limitations. Ideally, the evaluation should be implemented and completed withing the next three months, with the final report expected by the last day of September 2022. The evaluation team should therefore propose theory-based methodologies that are feasible within this time frame. Methodologies requiring more than this time frame will not be possible.

Use of Findings and Dissemination Plan

The evaluation results will be useful to the ZMD project team and to Internews as a whole. The evaluation will also contribute to a learning process which will enable Internews Zimbabwe and its partners to draw lessons from its experience to improve the quality of its interventions over the remaining period of the implementation period and beyond. Internews also intends to share the evaluation findings with the project donor; the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA). Internews also intends to share the findings of the research with other development organisations supporting media development in Zimbabwe such as USAID, EU, IMS-Fojo and others.

Deliverables

There are three deliverables from the evaluation/consulting team: an inception report for which a template will be provided; a final report for which a template will be provided; a PowerPoint presentation for which a template will be provided. It is expected that the evaluation team will be available to join a presentation of findings at the end of the evaluation project.

Workplan and Timeframe

The data collection phase is to be agreed between the consultants and INTERNEWS. However, it should start in July 2022 with the final report to be submitted to INTERNEWS by 30 September 2022.

Activity

Completion Date

Internews (IN) role

Inception report with detailed methodology to be used

30 July 2022

Review and approve the inception report

Draft Evaluation findings (PowerPoint and Draft report for review)

31 August 2022

Feedback and comments of the PP and draft report

DELIVERABLE : Final draft of

30 September 2022

Review and approves the final report

Note that the draft and final reports should be developed and presented in English and be no longer than 30 pages (excluding any relevant annexes) and include the following sections:

  • Executive summary of core findings and recommendations (max. 2 pages)
  • Introduction
  • Methodology, including sampling and limitations
  • Analysis and findings of the evaluation as per the ZMD project objectives
  • Conclusions for each of the end-term review objectives
  • Recommendations for future projects, specific and action oriented and tailored to all relevant stakeholders, including Internews and donors
  • Annexes should include but are not limited to:
    • Relevant maps and photographs of the evaluation
    • Bibliography of consulted secondary sources
    • Finalized data collection tools
    • List of interviewees with accompanying informed consent forms
    • PowerPoint presentation of preliminary findings

Application guidelines and requirements

Interested parties should apply to zw-hr@internews.org with copy to msibanda@internews.eu ; rmudemba@internews.eu . Applications should include the following documentation.

Deadline: 19 June 2022 :

  • A 2-3-page statement of interest/draft proposal, highlighting how your methodological approach will address the scope planned for this evaluation as well as describing how your profile meets criteria (see essential qualifications below).
  • A CV and 2 reference letters and contact details of references.
  • Evidence of evaluation work and or impact research (e.g. link to evaluation reports or PDF attachments), highlighting evaluation theories and approaches.
  • A short cost justification (not included in the 2-page limit) and estimated level of effort (number of days), including your salary history and/or daily rate for your last 3 similar consultancies.

Essential qualifications

  • An advanced degree (PhD preferred) in media, journalism, communication, international development, evaluation, or related field.
  • At least 10 years of experience conducting evaluations in difficult contexts, particularly for European Donors. Evidence of publishing research in respected journals a must
  • Excellent inter-cultural communication skills/cultural sensitivity and the ability to forge strong cross- cultural relationships and build trust demonstrated through previous intercultural experience.
  • Strong facilitation, presentation, writing and communication skills.
  • Fluent in English, Ndebele and Shona; ability to speak any other Southern languages (Kalanga, Tonga or Venda) will be an added advantage.

Application Guidelines and Requirements

Interested parties should submit an application that includes the below documentation.

  • A statement of interest/draft proposal, highlighting how your methodological approach will address the scope planned for this evaluation as well as describing how your profile and experience meet the criteria
  • Organisation profile /CV and 2 references
  • Evidence of relevant evaluation work (e.g., link to evaluation reports or PDF attachments), highlighting evaluation theories and approaches
  • A short cost justification / brief budget (not included in the 2–3-page limit)
  • Indicative team profile

 

More Information

  • Job City Bulawayo
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