Mid-Term Programme Evaluation Consultant(s) – Akazi Keza

  • Contract
  • Burundi

Spark


Main Tasks and Responsibilities:

For this Mid-term Programme Evaluation, the following tasks will be conducted:

  • (physical and online) Meetings with SPARK local, regional and central staff;
  • Desktop review of existing programme title documentation;
  • Development of evaluation inception report;
  • 2-week field-visit to Burundi (see Calendar below for global planning);
  • Analysis of gathered data through desktop review, focus group discussions and interviews;
  • Presentation of preliminary findings (before leaving the field) to SPARK staff;
  • Development of draft evaluation report and submission to SPARK staff for feedback
  • Processing of feedback on draft report from SPARK staff;
  • Finalisation of evaluation report and submission to SPARK staff;
  • Presentation and validation of key findings of the evaluation in a one-day workshop organised by SPARK Burundi staff.

Terms of Reference

Programme Info Programme name Akazi Keza Locations: Burundi (Cibitoke, Bubanza, Bujumbura, Gitega, Rumonge) Themes skill-up, start-up, scale-up and incubators Target group: Youth and entrepreneurs (with a focus on women) Programme duration July 2020 to June 2024 Donor : The Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs (NLMFA) Programme budget : EUR 4,044,787 Implementing organisation: SPARK web: https://spark.ngo/ email:[email protected] Programme Background :‘Akazi keza’ means ‘nice job’, which SPARK aims to create for youth in Burundi in the framework of this programme.

Burundi is hit by an alarming unemployment rate of around 40% and this particularly impacts youth1. With approximately 40% of its population aged 18–35 as of 2020, Burundi’s youth are the country’s most abundant asset and represents a key part of the potential workforce to boost the sustainable development of Burundi. However, Burundi’s youth lack skills that are critical for their professional development. The majority of Burundi’s youth, particularly women, enter the labour market without the necessary technical and professional skills. At the same time, skills are rewarded in Burundi’s labour market (Burundians who report receiving technical or vocational training earn three times more than those who report not receiving skill training). Furthermore, firms in the private sector raise the issue of the lack of low- and medium-level technical and professional skills across all industries. It is therefore of paramount importance that youth are provided with market relevant skills to stand a better chance of finding job opportunities that allow them to work towards a better future.

In addition, Burundi’s economic and social development have been constrained by the dominance of low productivity agriculture and limited economic diversification, with the bulk of the population engaged in subsistence farming where livelihoods are increasingly difficult to sustain because of high population growth and land degradation. As a consequence, the Burundian job market currently offers few opportunities. Agriculture employs approximately 80% of the population (while there is commercial agricultural production (tea, coffee, palm oil and cotton), as stated above, a majority of the population is engaged in subsistence farming); the burgeoning tertiary sector employs around 10% of the population; trade employs more or less 4% of the population; and the nascent industrial sector (consisting mainly of construction, agricultural processing, brewing, and energy) employs just around 2% of the population2. For these reasons, Akazi Keza not only aims to equip young people with the tools needed to succeed in the job market, but also wants to turn job seekers into job creators through entrepreneurship. Akazi Keza further encourages youth to either target non-agricultural sectors or to invest further up in promising value chains (e.g., transformation of agricultural produce).

Programme Strategic Objectives The main strategic objective of the Akazi Keza programme is to improve economic prospects and opportunities for youth, in particular young women and youth from peri-urban and rural areas, and in so doing contribute to the stability of these communities, via job creation both in non-agricultural sectors and agricultural sectors on the basis of four pillars: 1. Enhancement of skills in the job market in order to bridge the skills gap (e.g., providing training and coaching to better prepare youth for skills needed in the labour market) and to facilitate access to internships and jobs (e.g., linking talented youth to job opportunities at small and bigger companies). As shown in the theory of change below, the goal is to train 4,000 youth in employability skills, to place at least half of these youth (i.e. 2,000 youth) in internship and that 1,200 youth find a job in this way.

2. Capacity building of promising start-ups, through local (potential) demand analysis, tailored training, individual coaching and facilitation of access to finance. As shown in the theory of change below, the goal is to train 450 budding entrepreneurs so that 150 start-ups are created and 100 of these start-ups are able to access financing, which should lead to the creation of 675 jobs (directly and indirectly).

3. Capacity building of capable existing SMEs to help them thrive in order to boost production and sales, through local (potential) demand analysis, tailored training, individual coaching and facilitation of access to finance. As shown in the theory of change below, the goal is to provide proximity coaching and advanced training to 600 promising scale-ups and that 200 of these scale-ups are able to access financing, which should lead to 4,200 jobs (directly and indirectly).

4. Sustainable business models for 3 (independent) agri-business incubators (not in scope of this evaluation for scope/budgetary/time as choice was made for other value chains/sectors/provinces, see table below).

Akazi Keza Theory of Change (2020-2024)

ImpactTo contribute to increase stability of Burundi through poverty reduction of rural and peri-rural Communities in Burundi

Specific objectivesImproved and enhanced economic prospects and job opportunities for rural and peri-urban youth through job creation in cooperation with the local private sector

Outcomes1. Skill Transfer: 1200 youth in jobs2. Start-up Support: 675 youth in jobs3. Scale up support to SMEs 4200 youth in jobs4. Sustainable incubators 3 independent Incubators

Output1. Matching to jobs 4200 youth trained 2000 youth in internships2. Support to Start-ups 450 potentials trained , 150 start-ups created 100 A2F3. Expand existing SMEs 600 SMEs Supported 200A2F4.Sustainable incubators entrepreneurs supported, 3 incubators handed over

InputsFunding from EKN; (Local) partner network, knowledge and capacity; SPARK expertise; Global M&E; Learning, knowledge management and sharing; Continuous Beneficiaries Feedback

Programme Implementation To reach Akazi Keza’s goals, SPARK has identified and selected local implementation partners who are either employability specialists or entrepreneurship specialists. The employability specialists have been tasked with selecting motivated youth, training them in employability skills and placing them in internships which, if carried out well, have led to permanent jobs. Entrepreneurship specialists have been working either with start-ups (selecting budding entrepreneurs, training them in entrepreneurial and technical skills, organising business plan competitions and coaching the most promising entrepreneurs in implementing their business plan) or with scale-ups (individual coaching, advanced training, access to finance facilitation and administrative support (e.g. to obtain product certification). SPARK also works with a number of technical experts who provide advanced technical training and specialised coaching (e.g. Burundi’s beekeeping expert).

For this evaluation, SPARK has selected a number of intervention areas, in particular the areas that are new for SPARK. The table below sets these out, including the relevant locations and the rationale behind this.

#INTERVENTIONLOCATIONRATIONALE

01Employability skills development of youth (Outcome 1)Gitega Bujumbura- Entrepreneurs need young people with skills to growth their businesses (Communication Skills, Commercial Skills, Digital Skills and Professional Efficacy, for instance), especially via internships.D10

02Crafts (Outcome 2 for Rumonge, Outcome 3 for Cibitoke)Cibitoke Rumonge- Focus of Akazi Keza programme – Many initiatives active in the agricultural sector, there agro-services needed (demand) – Focus of Akazi Keza programme – Many initiatives active in the agricultural sector, there agro-services needed (demand)

03Palm Oil (Outcome 3)Rumonge-High potential for palm oil in Burundi (along Lake Tanganyika) and in relation to Blue Soap intervention of UNICEF in 2020 which negatively impact SMEs

04Honey (Outcome 2)Bubanza- High potential in Bubanza and in relation to innovative Digital Access to Finance solution (with MoneyPhone and Burundi Lend and Lease)

Akazi Keza also aims to contribute significantly to the capacity building of local partners and SPARK has therefore identified capacity building needs for each implementation partner and has dedicated a budget to responding to these needs. An international coach is now working with two implementation partners for capacity building purposes. Moreover, SPARK’s implementation of Akazi Keza is also permeated by a demand-based approach and the market systems development approach in particular.

Objectives of the Mid-term Programme Evaluation The objective3 of this programme evaluation is to provide valid and accurate lessons learned and programmatic recommendations from the programme’s implementation by assessing the relevance, effectiveness, coherence, efficiency, sustainability and impact of the programme. Among other characteristics of the programme, the meaningful participation of youth and gender and conflict sensitivity aspects will be analysed in this programme evaluation. The specific questions that this evaluation aims at answering are:

Relevance ● How relevant is the programme to the needs of its target group (i.e. youth and women)? ● How relevant is the programme in the involvement of Burundian civil society (organisations) and Burundi government priorities? Efficiency ● How efficient is the capacity to convert inputs into outputs and outcomes (Economic efficiency)?

● How efficient is the SPARK programme management structure, with focus on Burundi Country Team, Africa Hub Support and HQ Support (Operational efficiency)?

Effectiveness (regarding targets, results and expected results target group (i.e. youth and women)

Outcome 1 (Gitega & Bujumbura, Internships into Jobs) ● How effective are employability trainings in enabling youth to acquire demanded professional skills? ● How effective are employability trainings and the resulting professional skills in enabling youth to get into internships? ● How effective are internships in enabling youth to get a permanent job? ● To what extent did the innovative internship approach contribute toward creating a sustainable culture for internships (i.e. seeing young interns as an added value instead of a source of revenue?)

Outcome 2 (Start-Ups, Rumonge (Crafts) and Bubanza (Honey)) ● How effective is the approach to use pipeline partners (ENABEL, Swisscontact, WarChild, etc.) as a base to select youth? ● How effective are business development trainings and proximity coachings and the resulting entrepreneurship skills in enabling start-ups to start sustainable businesses? ● How effective are business plan competitions (with matching grants/seed capital) in boosting promising businesses? ● How effective is the digital access to finance (with MoneyPhone and Burundi Lend and Lease) component of the programme (for Bubanza beekeepers)? ● How effective are start-ups in creating (direct and indirect, permanent and temporary) jobs?

Outcome 3 (Scaling existing SMEs, Palm-Oil (Rumonge), Crafts (Cibitoke)) ● How effective are entrepreneurship trainings and proximity coachings and the resulting entrepreneurship skills in enabling SMEs to scale businesses? ● How effective is the approach to combine technical and business development coaching? ● How effective are business plan competitions (with matching grants) in boosting promising businesses? ● How effective is the access to finance (i.e. get a loan at MFI) component of the programme? ● How effective are scale-ups at creating (direct and indirect, permanent and temporary) jobs?

Coherence ● How has the implementation-overlapping (and continuation) between Akazi Keza and ABIN affected efficiency in Akazi Keza’s implementation (result wise)? (internal coherence)

● What are the synergies with the programs implemented by other organisations in the same ecosystem/intervention areas, i.e. (female) entrepreneurship, job creation and youth development? (external coherence)

Sustainability ● To what extent did the programme increase the capacity of its local partner organisations? Did the local partner organisations take ownership of their activities, outputs and outcomes? ● To what extent has the programme already contributed to systemic change in the regions/communities in which it is implemented and more specifically in the enabling environment for youth employment and SME growth?

Impact ● To what extent the programme has already influenced (if at all) positively perceptions/attitudes in the communities it operated, relevant to violence and stability? ● Is there any unintended (positive and/or negative) impact of the programme in the regions/communities it is implemented?

Time Schedule of the Mid-term Programme Evaluation The evaluation is expected to take place from July to September of 2022, including preparation, evaluation design, field assessment in the programme’s areas, report writing and presentation of findings and lessons learned and recommendations to SPARK, local partner organisations and donor. Additionally, the evaluation will be conducted in 17 fee days, which include reporting.

Tasks of the Mid-term Programme Evaluation

For this Mid-term Programme Evaluation, the following tasks will be conducted: ● (physical and online) Meetings with SPARK local, regional and central staff; ● Desktop review of existing programme title documentation; ● Development of evaluation inception report; ● 2-week field-visit to Burundi (see Calendar below for global planning); ● Analysis of gathered data through desktop review, focus group discussions and interviews; ● Presentation of preliminary findings (before leaving the field) to SPARK staff; ● Development of draft evaluation report and submission to SPARK staff for feedback ● Processing of feedback on draft report from SPARK staff; ● Finalisation of evaluation report and submission to SPARK staff; ● Presentation and validation of key findings of the evaluation in a one-day workshop organised by SPARK Burundi staff.

Deliverables

The consultant(s) conducting this evaluation will produce the following deliverables for this evaluation:

  1. Inception report (that includes Methodology and Evaluation matrix, Work plan and detailed timeline);
  2. Presentation of preliminary findings before leaving the field to SPARK programme title and Monitoring & Evaluation staff;
  3. Draft and finalised report, which will have the following structure4: ● Executive summary ● Introduction ● Methodology ● Analysis and findings ● Conclusions on findings, lessons learned and recommendations ● Annexes: Relevant maps and photographs of the evaluation areas, desktop review references, data collection tools, list of interviewees and participants in focus group discussions and raw data in an agreed format.
  4. Presentation and validation of key findings of the evaluation to the (one day) workshop organised by programme title staff.

The mid-term evaluation report will be written in English, in PDF and Word format and will be published on the SPARK website.

Timeline

The table below provides a tentative timeline for the mid-term evaluation. The exact dates in this regard will be defined by the selected evaluator(s), in consultation with SPARK.

Selection of EvaluatorEarly July 2022

Kick-off meetingEarly July 2022

Desktop review & First (digital) InterviewsMid-End July 2022

Burundi visit: ● Interviews with staff SPARK Burundi Team ● Interview with donor organisation staff; ● Interviews with programme title local partners’ staff (5 partners foreseen); ● Focus group discussion and/or interviews with programme title people served (entrepreneurs and interns especially) in Rumonge, Gitega, Cibitoke and Bubanza; ● Interviews with international organisations in same intervention areas (3 organisations foreseen); ● Interview with Ministry of Commerce (in relation to Plan National du Development, 2018-2027);Early-Mid August 2022

Presentation of preliminary findingsLate August 2022

Draft Evaluation ReportEarly September 2022

Final Evaluation ReportMid September 2022

Presentation/validation of key findings to (one day) workshop organised by programme title staff (and donor)Late September 2022

Submission of final evaluation report to the donor30 September 2022

Payment Scheme for the Mid-term Programme Evaluation

The payments for the Mid-term Programme Evaluation will be done through the receipt of invoices and upon deliverables approved by the SPARK staff, according to the following scheme:

DeliverablePayment

Signing of Contract40% of total contracting sum

Draft Evaluation Report30% of total contracting sum, upon approval of deliverable

Finalised Evaluation Report & Presentation/validation of key findings to (one day) workshop organised by SPARK staff30% of total contracting sum, upon approval of deliverable

Expertise required for the Mid-term Programme Evaluation

The evaluator(s) should be (a team of) experienced and independent consultant(s), freelance or from a consultancy organisation, with at least the following expertise: ● Advanced university degree in International Development, Economics, Agribusiness or other related field; ● A minimum of 7 years of professional experience with conducting programme/project evaluations; ● Demonstrated experience in SME development in relation to job creation (including internships); ● Previous professional experience in Burundi will be considered an advantage; ● Advanced communication, analytical and reporting skills; ● Fluent in English and French (both reading and writing); ● Fluency in Kirundi and/or Swahili will be considered an advantage.

Application for the Mid-term Programme Evaluation The deadline for submission of applications is 17/06/2022. All applications should include the following: ● Cover letter (maximum 1 page) stating also the candidate(s) availability during July to September 2022;

● CV’s of all evaluation team members, including three references with contact details.

● Technical proposal, which should include: o Understanding of the evaluation’s ToR. o Draft work plan including a detailed time schedule. o Financial Proposal: Which should include consultancy fees that include VAT and logistical costs, with a breakdown of days*fees per deliverable.

Requirements and Skills

The evaluator(s) should be (a team of) experienced and independent consultant(s), freelance or from a consultancy organisation, with at least the following expertise:

  • Advanced university degree in International Development, Economics, Agribusiness or other related field;
  • A minimum of 7 years of professional experience with conducting programme/project evaluations;
  • Demonstrated experience in SME development in relation to job creation (including internships);
  • Previous professional experience in Burundi will be considered an advantage;
  • Advanced communication, analytical and reporting skills;
  • Fluent in English and French (both reading and writing);
  • Fluency in Kirundi and/or Swahili will be considered an advantage.

How to apply

How to apply?

The deadline for submission of applications is the 17/06/2022.

All applications should include the following:

• Cover letter (maximum 1 page) stating also the candidate(s) availability during July to September 2022;

• CV’s of all evaluation team members, including three references with contact details.

• Technical proposal, which should include:

  • Understanding of the evaluation’s ToR.
  • Draft work plan including a detailed time schedule.
  • Financial Proposal: Which should include consultancy fees that include VAT and logistical costs, with a breakdown of days*fees per deliverable.

Interested consultants or firms should submit their applications to: https://vacancy.spark-online.org/Tab1/LoadProfileFromVacancy/387

Further information may be requested and questions may also be discussed with SPARK role and name at email. Please note that incomplete applications will not be considered.

Due to the large volume of applications we receive, we cannot respond to every applicant individually. There may be a delay between the application deadline and the moment we contact selected applicants.

If you have not received a reply, we regret to inform that we have continued with other candidates.

About SPARK

SPARK develops higher education and entrepreneurship to empower young, ambitious people to lead their fragile and conflict-affected societies into prosperity. SPARK is a dynamic and growing, international not-for-profit development organisation with 100+ staff members, in more than 14 offices around the world. SPARK supports youth and women in starting and developing their businesses in various, more stable parts of South Sudan. The focus of our activities is on agribusinesses.

How to apply

How to apply?

The deadline for submission of applications is the 17/06/2022.

All applications should include the following:

• Cover letter (maximum 1 page) stating also the candidate(s) availability during July to September 2022;

• CV’s of all evaluation team members, including three references with contact details.

• Technical proposal, which should include:

  • Understanding of the evaluation’s ToR.
  • Draft work plan including a detailed time schedule.
  • Financial Proposal: Which should include consultancy fees that include VAT and logistical costs, with a breakdown of days*fees per deliverable.

Interested consultants or firms should submit their applications to: https://vacancy.spark-online.org/Tab1/LoadProfileFromVacancy/387

Further information may be requested and questions may also be discussed with SPARK role and name at email. Please note that incomplete applications will not be considered.

Due to the large volume of applications we receive, we cannot respond to every applicant individually. There may be a delay between the application deadline and the moment we contact selected applicants.

If you have not received a reply, we regret to inform that we have continued with other candidates.

About SPARK

SPARK develops higher education and entrepreneurship to empower young, ambitious people to lead their fragile and conflict-affected societies into prosperity. SPARK is a dynamic and growing, international not-for-profit development organisation with 100+ staff members, in more than 14 offices around the world. SPARK supports youth and women in starting and developing their businesses in various, more stable parts of South Sudan. The focus of our activities is on agribusinesses.

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