Terms of Reference
JISRA Baseline Study
Introduction As part of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ (MFA) political agenda of strengthening civil society under the Power of Voices policy framework, JISRA (Joint Initiative for Strategic Religious Action), an interfaith partnership aims to promote Freedom of Religion of Belief (FoRB) in Ethiopia, Indonesia, Iraq, Kenya, Mali, Nigeria and Uganda. The partnership is led by Mensen met een Missie in a consortium with Faith to Action Network, Tear (Netherlands), Tearfund (UK), and Search for Common Ground.
The JISRA partnership includes Catholic, Islamic, Protestant, interreligious and secular partners and local partners. Through the programme, the partnership aims to:
• Strengthen the voice of religious actors in civil society and in nurturing civic space • Leverage religious actors’ constructive role in high level advocacy
• Build on the consortium’s extensive FoRB experience and best practices
• Specifically focus on women and youth. For the JISRA programme, baseline, midline and endline studies will be conducted to validate the existing Theory of Change, to learn and adapt programming and to gain insights into the programme’s impact. These evaluations are also intended as reporting to the donor, especially in an effort to stay transparent and accountable. This Terms of Reference is set up for the baseline study for the JISRA programme, and to invite proposals from suitably experienced consultant(s) to lead the study. Background to JISRA JISRA’s approach to religious engagement recognises that religious actors, both leaders and lay people including women and youth, can be positive voices for peace within their communities. The programme intends to utilise the positive power of religion and religious actors to foster peace and just societies, thereby contributing to the prevention and resolution of intra-, inter-, and extrareligious challenges. The JISRA programme attempts to resolve challenges in the following spaces:
1. Intrareligious sphere, where challenges are:
a. The existence of harmful religious norms and practices towards women, youth and minorities
b. Proliferation of othering and exclusivist claims on the trust
c. Radical and extremist narratives increasingly taking root in people and communities experiences grievances and exclusion
2. Interreligious sphere, where challenges are:
a. Lack of meaningful interreligious interaction fosters tension between communities driven by prejudices against the other and scapegoating of the unfamiliar
b. Polarisation is exacerbated by the demise of local practices that help resolve grievances as well as those promoting peaceful co-existence and tolerance, the increase of more dogmatic views and fake news spread through social media
3. Extra-religious sphere, where challenges are
a. The influence of powerful religious groups on state policies and practices, and the use of religion by decision-makers for political gain or influence
b. Existing and upcoming policies (regional/national) and practices that curb the right to FoRB
c. Diminishing civic space, the exclusion of minority faith actors (including CSOs, women and youth) within decision-making processes.
d. Repressive security practices are often used as a legitimation for prosecuting certain religious minority groups and can lead to a rise in violent extremism
- Capacity and knowledge, where challenges are a. Lack of grassroots actionable knowledge on building FoRB and its intersectionality with other rights b. Lack of (interfaith) cooperation among civil society actors c. Religious actors not always being equipped in terms of project management, strategic and specialized know-how JISRA proposes to respond to the challenges with the following strategic programme objective: To strengthen and support religious actors in challenging harmful intrareligious norms and practices, transforming radicalisation and extremism, addressing interreligious grievances and promoting interreligious interaction, while influencing FoRB policies at the local, national and international level. Cross-cutting within all three pathways, the Theory of Change (ToC) focuses on strengthening the role of religious actors and civil society organisations (CSOs), as well as amplifying women and youth’s role in decision-making structures. See Annex for a detailed Theory of Change.
- Early Career Professionals Recruitment Programme – Batch B (Monitoring and Evaluation) at Society for Family Health (SFH)
- Early Career Professionals Recruitment Programme – Batch B (Administration) at Society for Family Health (SFH)
- Early Career Professionals Recruitment Programme – Batch B (Programme Management) at Society for Family Health (SFH)
- Team Leader – Analytics at Mercy Corps Nigeria
- Division Manager – Knowledge Management, Outreach and Capacity Development at the African Development Bank Group (AfDB)
Objectives of the Baseline Study
• Determine pre-programme conditions and set targets, against which future changes can be measured
• Based on the findings from the study, provide input on the validity of the three pathways of change and their interactions with each other, as described in the Theory of Change
• Provide recommendations on adjusting programme strategies
• Feed the knowledge and learning agenda for the programme, to support evidence-based advocacy
• Support accountability objectives vis-à-vis target groups, identified stakeholders, and the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs as the donor Methodology for the baseline: The baseline study should include (but not be limited to) the following methodologies: • Secondary research on freedom of religion and belief across the seven countries, and review of project documents and other relevant secondary sources
• Quantitative data collected from representative samples
• Qualitative approaches including focus group discussions and key informant interviews, along with other tools and approaches.
• Participatory set up: The baseline study should be implemented in a participatory way. Representatives of the local partners and target groups, and Consortium staff should participate in the implementation of the baseline. The study should ensure there is local leadership, in order to ensure that the baseline is also a learning process for the consortium.
• IOB Evaluation Criteria: The evaluation should take into account the IOB1 evaluation criteria for midline and endline evaluation, and ensure the baseline study meets the appropriate requirements. See Annex 2 for the IOB Evaluation criteria. Baseline study team The baseline study team at the consortium level will include the lead consultant(s) and the consortium’s PMEL working group. At the country level, the country teams (with support from the coordinating consortium partners) will be responsible for forming the baseline study team; this can include external consultants hired for data collection and analysis, or staff of ( partner) organisations leading the study internally. The lead consultant(s) will be responsible for guiding the country-level baseline teams on the design of the methodology and data collection tools, and for ensuring coherence in the methodology across the seven countries to fit into the global programme-level study.
Baseline Process The baseline study will include the following main stages:
- Indicator contextualisation With the ToC in mind, the consortium has defined indicators in the results framework, which should be measured by the partners on an ongoing basis, giving structure to data collection, analysis and reflection elements of their work. In the preparation for the baseline, partners will further contextualise these indicators and the tools for data collection jointly, to make sure the indicators are fully adapted to their contexts. The indicators need to be objective and SMART2 . JISRA’s PMEL team will support the partners in the contextualisation of indicators. This stage also includes developing specific indicators for the international advocacy strategy and knowledge programme (research and youth).
- Means of verification Each contextualised indicator will have a means of verification that will be used by the partners. The consultant(s) will also review the means of verification mentioned in the proposal and confirm them and/or provide recommendations for each country, and at the consortium level.
- Data collection methodology and tools Based on the contextualised indicators, the lead consultant(s) will lead the process of designing the methodology for data collection of the study, and ensuring it is participatory.
The lead consultant(s) will also lead the design of the data collection tools and sampling for the study, and follow the country-level progress and ensure coherence. The partners will be trained on the data collection methodology and tools by the study team(s).
- Data aggregation and analysis Data aggregation and analysis will be done at the country-level by the country baseline study teams, leading to a report. The country-level report should be a learning process towards validation of the country-level theory of change and assumptions, and identify recommendations to adapt programming. The consultant(s) will provide an analytical framework to the country teams and provide guidance and support as required. All the country level data and analysis should be aggregated at the global programme level, in order to validate the assumptions and Theory of Change and provide recommendations.
The consultant(s) will lead this process of data aggregation across the seven countries for the global programme-level baseline report.
- Validation process After the first round of analyses at the country level and the global programme level, validation sessions will be organised with the partners to present the analysis and discuss the meanings and implications of these results for the JISRA programme. These reflections will also enable learning at the consortium level, and these will be included in the final baseline report.
- Reporting and Deliverables • An inception report with a country-level and global data collection and analysis plan, and template for country-level reporting • Ensure a final report for each country of maximum 20 pages (excluding Annexes) covering the country-level baseline study, that is cohesive and sufficiently in-line with the global programme. • Cleaned final datasets containing all data collected for the baseline
• First draft of the programme-level report for review
• A final global programme-level report, incorporating inputs from the review, of maximum 35 pages (excluding Annexes) of the baseline study, which includes the following: o Executive Summary o Description of the baseline methodology and process, including limitations o Context analysis and risk analysis for the programme o Findings with regards to the baseline research questions (see below)
o Data analysis o Set targets for baseline values
o Power analysis and capacity assessment of the consortium o Baseline on the international advocacy strategy and knowledge programmes
o Conclusion and recommendations o List of abbreviations
• The above deliverables will be accompanied by a regular progress check-in with the consortium’s PMEL team. The frequency of this communication will be determined collaboratively. Baseline Research Questions The baseline research questions will be linked to the three main pathways of change: intra-religious, inter-religious, extra-religious, and the cross-cutting pathways of inclusion, capacity and knowledge. These research questions are aimed to guide the research process; the responses to these questions should provide baseline and target values for each indicator in the results framework.
1.1 To what extent are norms within religious communities open and tolerant of people with other (non) beliefs?
1.2 How do religious communities challenge harmful religious norms and practices, and what are the actions undertaken by them?
1.3 To what extent do religious actors challenge harmful norms and practices, and what are the actions undertaken by them?
1.4 How do religious actors understand FoRB, gender equity and inclusivity?
2.1 To what extent do religious actors collaborate across religious divides?
2.2 How do religious communities, including youth, women, and community members, address grievances and promote peaceful co-existence?
2.3 To what extent are religious actors supportive of interfaith action beyond their own community of faith?
3.1 What kind of policies, regulations, or legal frameworks exist on FoRB?
3.2 To what extent are policies, regulations or legal frameworks about FoRB implemented by duty-bearers and decision makers?
3.3 What kind of people-centred, prevention oriented responses exist for security actors?
3.4 To what extent do security actors adopt a human security approach?
3.5 How responsive are duty-bearers to evidence-based issues put forward by religious actors?
3.6 To what extent are religious actors and CSOs represented in the government, private sector, multilateral organisations, or other CSOs at a global, regional, national and/or subnational level include CSOs and religious actors in decision-making processes?
3.7 To what extent do religious actors and CSOs ensure that community members are included and feel represented?
4. Cross-cutting pathway
4.1 To what extent are women and youth represented in decision-making processes at the community, local, national and international level for FoRB and interreligious understanding?
4.2 To what extent do JISRA actors (local partners and consortium partners) have the ability to meaningfully engage with religious communities, religious actors and duty-bearers in inter- , intra- and extra-religious settings?
Roles and responsibilities
The programme-level baseline study will be led by the consultant(s), with support from the JISRA’s PMEL team. The country-level studies will be led by the country teams, with support from the lead consultant(s) in methodology, data collection, and analysis, to ensure that the study is locally-owned and participatory in nature.
The consultant(s) will be responsible for the final delivery of the countrylevel and the global programme-level reports. JISRA’s PMEL team, and programme coordinator will be available for all necessary information and operational support as required.
The PMEL-team lead will be the first point of contact for the consultant(s) Timeline • First draft of the global programme report: September 30, 2021
• Final draft of the global programme report: October 22, 2021 The assignment is expected to begin as soon as possible, latest 15th July, 2021. Qualifications The JISRA programme is seeking a suitably experienced consultant or team of consultants to undertake this assignment.
• Consultant(s) should have at least 5 years of demonstrable experience in leading (designing and undertaking) large-scale, multi-country quantitative and qualitative an evaluations
• Demonstrable knowledge and experience on freedom of religion and belief, or religion and development, or women and youth participation, working with faith-based actors
• Experience with participatory methodologies
• Post-graduate degree in research-oriented social sciences; e.g. development studies, public policy, sociology, related disciplines
• Ability to respond to comments and questions in a timely, appropriate manner • Excellent verbal and written communication in English. Proficiency in French and Bahasa Indonesia is appreciated
• Ability to work in diverse, multi-cultural teams • With most of the JISRA team based in CET time-zone, the consultant(s) should preferably be based in GMT -1:00 – GMT +4
• Experience in any of the JISRA countries is valued: Ethiopia, Indonesia, Iraq, Kenya, Mali, Nigeria, and Uganda.
• The consultant(s) should be available immediately. Application Process: Qualified parties can submit the following:
• Letter of interest for the proposal
• A detailed technical proposal demonstrating and understanding of this ToR, including methodology, data management plan, team composition and level of effort, detailed timeline and check-in moments • CVs of each proposed team members, along with sample(s) of previous work
• A detailed financial proposal with a breakdown of costs in Euros
How to apply
Applications can be sent to Christina Maasdam at firstname.lastname@example.org and Fatema Kakal at email@example.com by 27th June, 2021. For any further questions or information about the assignment, please contact Fatema Kakal.
Annexes 1. JISRA Theory of Change
- IOB Evaluation criteria
- SCS basket indicators