Call for proposals: French Civil Society Development Fund – Programme Evaluation

External evaluation of the Civil Society Development Fund

Programme 2014-2017

Performed for the Embassy of France in South Africa

Terms of Reference

1. Description of the programme to be evaluated

1.1. Overview of the South African context

With an estimated 354 billion dollars accounting for over 25% of sub-Saharan Africa GDP, as from 2016 South Africa is one of the largest economies in Africa. Significant progress on human development has been made since the beginning of democracy, particularly in terms of reducing extreme poverty (from 11.5% in 1994 to 5% now), access to electricity (available for 83% of households) or housing (76% of households now live in permanent houses). Despite the investments made by the successive governments, the coexistence of high unemployment (25.5% of the labour force, up to 50% among young people) and high inequality (Gini index of 0.7), structural consequences largely inherited from Apartheid, left almost 50% of the black population border on poverty and almost 10.5% of the population living with less than one dollar per day. As growth figures decrease, inequalities rise and after 22 years of democracy, South Africa citizens are still facing strong socio-economic defies.

The fiscal policy enabled the Government to cushion some of the critical needs of the disadvantaged communities through social grants but measures and policies which are designed to be protective do not address the challenges. Citizens are confronted to poor social and administrative services, the rise of unemployment, price increase, the lack of opportunities. As a result, these difficulties have rendered vulnerable group (such as women, children, sexual minorities, migrants and refugees) exposed to more structural, physical and emotional violence.

To overcome these poverty challenges, the civil society sector is a main partner for government alongside with the business sector in mobilising citizen for social change in order to fulfil the fundamental rights of all South Africans and consolidating the democracy. As recommend by the vision 2030 of the National Development Plan, “creative partnerships between, citizen, strong civil society institutions and thriving business” should be at play to support the outcomes and impact the development policies, reducing the fragility of the most vulnerable, reducing poverty and improving the living condition for all and building strong and cohesive communities.

1.2. Overview of the French cooperation

South Africa and France have built, over the last twenty years, a close collaboration to alleviate poverty and promote sustainable development in Southern Africa and the new bilateral France-South Africa Partnership Framework Document for the period 2016-2019 recently signed by the two countries continue to focus on some of the most strategic South African development priorities: to support an integrated, sustainable and inclusive development; to promote a sustainable and resilient environment and address long-term global challenges; to strengthen South African capacities and support job creation.

South Africa and France also strive to promote regional integration and democratic governance. The Embassy of France coordinates the French cooperation system. In South Africa, it includes AFD and its subsidiary Proparco, technical assistants posted in South African institutions and the French Institute of South Africa. The Embassy also implements projects supporting democratic governance through the social development fund as well as scientific, linguistic, and cultural cooperation.

1.3. Overview of the Social development Fund

The Social Fund for Development (FSD) is a special programme of the French Cooperation operating across the French Zone of Priority i.e. a dozen African States. The Social Fund for Development is a co-financing grant that targets small or medium-scale development projects initiated by NGOs or local authorities. The principal objectives of the projects implemented through this development mechanism are sustainable development, the eradication of poverty and the responding to essential community needs as well as fostering democracy by strengthening human rights and gender equality. The aim is also to build capacity, autonomy and accountability among local stakeholders, i.e. regional communities and grassroots civil society organisations, agricultural production associations, neighbourhood associations, women, parents schooling bodies…

1.4. The Civil Society Development Fund in South Africa and the project selection and implementation process

The Embassy of France in South Africa has managed three FSD program from 2001 to present, followed by two evaluations in 2008 and 2011.
This has offered new directions for the management of the FSD, renamed the Civil Society Development Fund (CSDF) and set broad funding priority sectors: improving local governance, public participation, and promoting human rights.
For each of her calls for proposal, the French Embassy sets up clear provision for the project selection: Public calls for proposals are issued; templates for concept notes and full proposal are published on the website; submitted proposals or concept note are rated according to selection criteria published on the website; a selection committee, made up of South African government, other donors and French Embassy’s representatives took part in the selection of the projects ; monitoring visits of ongoing funded projects are done; support to organisational development of civil society organisations (CSO) selected is provided.

1.5. Projects selected

In 2014 and 2015, the CSDF entered agreements with eleven new partners which responded to the main objectives of the fund.
Four organisations focus their work on improving local governance, public participation and access to basic services with a specific focus on sustainable development of communities and social cohesion:

1. Open Democracy Advice Centre
2. Freedom of Expression Institute
3. Lesidi la Batho
4. African Diaspora Forum

The seven others organisations are active in promoting respect for human rights, especially those of women, children, LGBTI persons, migrants and foreigners:

1. The Centre for Community Justice and Development
2. Gay and Lesbian Network
3. Lawyers for Human Rights
4. Lawyers against Abuse
5. Lifeline Johannesburg in partnership with Justice Detention International and Out Well-being
6. The Environmental Monitoring Group
7. Women’s Hope Education and Training Trust

2. Content of the evaluation

2.1. Objectives of the evaluation

The objectives of the evaluation are the following:

1. To assess the results obtained by the 11 micro-projects;
2. To capture case studies and draw lessons from 6 projects;
3. To assess the management of the Civil Society Development fund;
4. To advise on future cooperation sectors.

2.1.1. To assess the results obtained by beneficiaries

The assessment must take into account:

1. The completion of the general objective of the CSDF, in particular the capacity building component and the agency;
2. The completion of objectives as described in the financing agreement;
3. The benefit to the beneficiaries and the impact of the projects on the targeted communities:
a. Beneficiaries’ level:
i. Enhancement of managing capacities for CSO;
ii. Improvement of service delivery, improvement of network and communication between CSO;
b. Targeted Communities level:
i. Social and economic impact: perceived improvement of life for the beneficiaries (collect some example) behavioural changes, soft skills learnt, empowerment of women etc…
ii. Improvement of dialogue between community and officials: perceived improvement of social cohesion at a local level;
iii. Concrete community development initiatives launched as a result of the intervention.

The evaluator shall look at the impact of the project on community members, CSO/CBO benefiting from the project as well as other stakeholders (municipality, ward committee, community groups…) in building cohesive communities.

2.1.2. To capture case studies and draw lessons from these interventions focusing on six micro-projects

The promotion of social inclusion and social cohesion has become over the past years a concern of national importance and a central concept in the South African development policy. “Social inclusion is seen as a necessary condition for achieving a high level of cohesion and, therefore, all members of society, regardless their race, sex, belief, or class are to participate within public affairs and processes” (Cloete and Kotze, 2009, Department of Social Development).

Highlighted in the chapter 15 of the National Development Plan, the promotion of social inclusion and social cohesion across society, as well as active citizenry, strong leadership and people’s ability to help monitor government are fundamental in transforming the South African society and uniting the country and are seen as an essential element of the nation-building. At a local level, social inclusion is regarded as an outcome of the Integrated Development Planning (IDP).

The organisations supported by the Civil Society Development fund have developed, in their very specific practices with varied groups (farm workers, LGTBI people, Women, migrants, children, inmates, foreigners, slum residents, victims of Gender based violence…), articulated methodologies (access to right, information, opportunities, social justice, advocacy, advisory services…) to create the conditions of changes at a local level that improve individual and collective agency. The assumption is that promoting respect for human rights and human dignity, improving local governance and increasing public participation should lead to more cohesive and sustainable communities.

The evaluation aims at assessing these strategies initiated by the CSOs, their results in resolving problems and in bringing the glue that stimulates, facilitates and unifies communities.

The evaluator will capture case studies that explore underlying principles leading to their results:

Will be described:

  • The processes and their functioning illustrated with examples from the field:
  • Step on the path changes: How does it work? How mechanisms implemented promote problems resolution?
  • Vision and partnerships: How partnerships are created around common vision?
  • Leaderships and commitment: How powerless are empowered? What are the conditions that allow everyone to communicate in open dialogue? How communities engage with their local decision makers and with other stakeholders?
  • How youth and women are engaged?
  • How perceptions are challenged and changed?
  • Highlight a number of key lessons that could help project effectiveness more generally;
  • Provide for each of the six organisations some recommendations that will help them to improve their own monitoring function and develop appropriate social inclusion indicators that could be used in local communities to serve IDPs.

The six micro-projects that will be evaluated are: The Centre for Community Justice and Development, Gay and Lesbian Network, Lesidi la Batho, Lawyers against Abuse, Lifeline Johannesburg and Lawyers for Human Rights.

2.1.3. To assess the management of the CSDF

The evaluation shall look at the implementation of the recommendations made in the previous evaluations and provide new recommendations if necessary.

2.1.4. To advise on future cooperation sectors for the social development fund

The evaluation should advise the Embassy on either keeping these sectorial priorities or redirecting its support to other sectors aligned.

2.2. Evaluation criteria

The FSD shall be implemented in accordance with the internationally recognised criteria adopted for the evaluation of public policies. The points mentioned hereafter shall be examined on top of the aforementioned overall objectives. A two level analysis shall be made: the criteria must be applied not only to the FSD itself as an instrument of the French co-operation, but also to each supported project.

2.2.1. Relevance

It examines whether the intervention is justified in the light of the objectives and issues determined in the beginning. The following points should be examined:

  • Consistency with the objectives of South African national policy;
  • Correspondence with the need and requests of the beneficiaries;
  • Compliance with general guidelines provided by the French Ministry for Foreign Affairs.

2.2.2. Coherence

It concerns the relationship between the various aspects of the intervention. The following points should be examined:

  • Internal coherence: consists in determining whether the project was properly designed in light of the targeted results (design, resources, choice of actors, planning of intervention, relevance of the initial hypothesis, etc.);
  • External coherence: concordance with partners’ policies (central and local administrations) and search for any contradiction overlap or synergy with the operations carried out by international organisations, other donors and regional institutions.

2.2.3. Effectiveness

It relates to the extent to which the projects’ objectives were achieved or are expected to be achieved. The following points should be examined:

  • Level of achievement of activities;
  • Respect of the timetable;
  • Quality of monitoring and of management of unforeseen events;
  • Management of the project; detailed statement of hindrances and difficulties encountered which may have postponed the reaching of objectives;
  • Proper application of the clauses of the financing agreement.

2.2.4. Efficiency

It measure how economically resources/inputs (fund, expertise, time, etc) were converted to result. The following points should be examined:

  • How the financial, technical, organisational and human inputs were brought together (Were they made available in good time and at the lowest cost?);
  • Relation of costs to relevant benchmarks;
  • Relation of results to amounts spent;
  • Explanation for any costs overrun or delays observed;
  • Analysis of possible means of achieving the same results with fewer inputs or different tools.

2.2.5. Impact

It explains why the changes noted in the economic, social, technical and, if relevant, environmental fields took place and how far they can be attributed to the intervention. The following points should be examined:

  • Identification of the categories of the population that benefited –directly or indirectly – from the intervention and estimation of the number of people concerned in each category;
  • Description of the impact of the intervention in quantitative terms;
  • Description of the impact of the intervention in qualitative terms (negative, positive, expected, unforeseen), establishment of consolidation of a structure, desirable changes in practice, visibility of the operation, etc.

2.2.6. Sustainability

Has the operation generated lasting structures or practices able to remain effective and long-lasting once the intervention has ended?

  • Financial and operational sustainability of the mechanisms;
  • Institutionalisation of management mechanisms;
  • Possibility of repeating the operation.

3. Conditions and methods of the evaluation

3.1. Monitoring of the evaluation

The evaluation shall be monitored by a steering committee composed of members of the French Embassy, a representative of another bilateral donors and a representative of the South African Department of Foreign Affairs. The steering committee shall meet to:

  • select the consultant ;
  • Monitor and validate the consultant’s reports (preliminary report, mission plan and mission report);
  • Examine, discuss and approve the provisional reports.

3.2. Methods of evaluation

The consultant shall devote a maximum of 25 days to the evaluation which will be broken out into three phases:

3.2.1. Preparatory phase and inception report

Drawing up the methods of data gathering and of analysis for each project as well as for the case studies: participative methods (focus group, PRA tools…), evaluation questionnaires, framework for the analysis of the results, programme of visits and interviews.

The above will be compiled in an inception report which will be submitted to the Embassy for approval.

3.2.2. Desk and Field study

The files of the 11 projects must be analysed, with regard to the content of each project and according to the criteria previously set out but also to the way their administrative management was carried out.

As explained above, the evaluation contains a focus on six projects supported by the Embassy; therefore these 6 projects will be inspected by the consultant.

  • Field visits and implementation of evaluation tools;
  • Direct observation of the projects’ achievements;
  • Interviews of local authorities;
  • Group meetings with the beneficiaries;
  • Group meetings with the staff;
  • Interview with other stakeholders.

For the 5 other projects, the consultant could either visit them (if within budget) or evaluate them through:

  • Reports
  • Telephonic interview with NGO members and stakeholders
  • Correspondences

3.2.3. Reporting

The consultant shall provide a report to the Embassy within fifteen days after his/her return from the field mission.

Observation will be made by the Embassy within 21 days and the final report shall be handed over 15 days after reception of these comments.

The final report will be written in English. It will be printed in English (2 copies of which one unbound on white paper for reproduction) and also sent by email.

The final report shall include the following items:

  • Tables of content
  • List of acronyms
  • Map
  • Summary including a short recapitulation of the objectives pursued by the French cooperation , the context and the stakeholders involved in the intervention, breakdown of the costs incurred, description of the main stages of the intervention, summary of the result and impacts obtained, benefits for the beneficiary community, recapitulation of judgements on the intervention and the main cause of any gaps noted, summary of the recommendations
  • A presentation of the intervention under evaluation
  • Methodological recapitulation: choices made, techniques used and steps in the work of evaluation
  • Analysis, main findings and operational recommendations
  • Case studies and highlight of the lessons learnt which could be used at a later stage for another publication
  • Conclusions

The annexes may include in this order:

  • Terms of reference;
  • List of persons interviewed;
  • Report on field work;
  • Data collection instruments (questionnaires, interview formats);
  • Further general and statistical data useful for a better understanding;
  • Glossary of technical terms;
  • Presentation of the consultant;
  • Outline of methods used;
  • List of the Steering Committee members and dates of meetings;
  • Bibliography (including websites).

The report remains the sole property of the French Ministry for Foreign Affairs. The consultant commits himself/herself not to communicate, publish or use its content. The report shall be shared with the relevant South African authorities and with the beneficiaries

3.2. Summary Timetable (provisional)

  • By 26-09-2016: Deadline candidacies
  • By 10-10-2016: Selection of evaluators
  • By 17-10-2016: Contracts for team of experts signed and specific travel plans agreed
  • By 31-10-2016: Inception Report submitted by consultant
  • By 07-11-2016: Commented on by Embassy of France
  • By 14-11-2016: Inception Report revised if necessary and accepted

15 November – 15 February 2017 Field and desktop study (Christmas break in between)

  • By 28-02-2017: Handover of Rough Draft Report
  • By 20-03-2017: Rough draft commented on by the Embassy of France
  • By 07-04-2017: Handover of Final Report

4. Selection of the consultant

A public tender shall be launched by the French Embassy. The publicity of the TOR will be dispatched through mailing list, network and specific website. There shall be 20 days between the date of dispatch and the deadline for receiving candidacies.
The Embassy will select the consultant who must be independent, not involved in the operation under evaluation and have no relation with the organisations subsidised by the embassy.

4.1. Required qualifications of evaluators

The consultant we are looking for should:

  • be (an) experienced professional(s) in the field of development projects;
  • have performed evaluations successfully for international development organizations;
  • have a good knowledge of South African social public policies and of South African NGO sectors;
  • have a sound knowledge of issues around local governance and public participation;
  • being able to understand French is recommended.

We welcome the application of individuals as well as the application of teams.

The consultant will be chosen according to the following weighed criteria:

  • Professional skills and record (/35)
  • Envisaged methodology (/20)
  • Conformity of the offer to the command (/25)
  • Financial proposal (/20)

4.2. Applying procedures

Each consultant fulfilling the requirements and interested to apply for this evaluation is asked to email us:

  • a short letter emphasizing experiences and qualification related to the evaluation
  • CV(s)
  • A list of references (name and contact details)
  • A financial proposal including travel expenses and field work
  • A technical proposal (6 pages max) explaining his/her understanding of the terms of reference and outlining the preliminary design of the evaluation, including methods to use with respect to the context, activities, issued raised, players, and an approximate timetable.
Email should be sent to AND by 26-09-2016

5. Annexe-list of documents to be consulted

  • FSD evaluation (2 reports);
  • France and South Africa partnership agreement;
  • CSDF webpage on the Embassy website (;
  • Proposals, final reports or mid-term reports of each organisation.
Download the terms of reference here.

publie le 29/08/2016

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