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Request for Proposals of External Evaluation of BIRN Kosovo's Implemented EU Funded Project

Balkan Ivestigative Reporting Network - BIRN Kosovo
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Request for ToR: Extrenal Evaluation Specialists of BIRN Kosovo’s Implemented EU funded project.

Balkan Investigative Regional Reporting Network – BIRN Kosovo is opening a call for the following position:

External evaluation specialists of BIRN Kosovo’s implemented EU funded project

Background

Project title: Solidifying the Resilience of Kosovo’s Current and Future Journalists

Period of project: 

January 2020 – April 2022 

Balkan Investigative Reporting Network, BIRN Kosovo is a comprehensive media organization, employing journalists and editorial, administrative, and technical staff in the production of high-quality investigative and analytical reporting.  BIRN Kosovo was awarded with a contract by the European Union in Kosovo for a period of 28 months which intends to restore trust in media, and maintain news streams that provide objective, fact-checked and professional reporting. The project brought together the wider community of journalists and media professionals, media outlets, civil society, young media talent and the public in order to increase awareness, recognition and support for professional journalism as a means of solidifying the foundations of a sustainable democracy in Kosovo. The overall amount of the project was EUR 446,900.09.

The main expected results of the project:               

Result 1: Strengthened media capacities in investigative journalism through training 100 journalists and producing 60 investigative reports and 10 TV programs on the findings derived from investigations

Result 2: A more resilient public and change of the behavior of public officials and media outlets which will watch what they say because of 40 fact-checking articles and 3 public awareness campaigns on this topic

Result 3: An educated, informed, and empowered citizenry as a result of 12 TV reports and 5 documentaries produced on human rights, rule of law and minority communities’ issues

Result 4: Forty (40) media professionals who are more open-minded because they have exchanged experience and learned the language of the other ethnicity (Serb-Albanian) and shared experience with EU journalists

Result 5: Empowered youth, as 75 young talents will be trained in film and documentary making skills and 200 students from public high schools will produce around 50 media pieces on the KallxoRinia platform, as well as 50 students of journalism will receive training from an EU based media institution.

Target groups: 

  • Journalists and media outlets
  • Press Council of Kosovo
  • Youth, students and young entrepreneurs
  • Kosovo citizens
  • Marginalized groups
  • Members of the Independent Media Commission
  • Public institutions
  • Private sector

Partners of the project: 

  • ÇOHU
  • International Press Institute – IPI
  • jCoders Academy
  • RTV Dukagjini
  • TV Mreza

Purpose:

The purpose of this evaluation is to undertake a comprehensive overall assessment of the achieved results of the project, and to provide recommendations for possible continuation and scaling of the project.

Objective of evaluation: 

The main objective of this evaluation is to undertake an overall assessment of the results of the Solidifying the Resilience of Kosovo’s Current and Future Journalists project to be presented to the management of the organization and the donor. The evaluation will take place for at least 15 working days in the period of May/June 2022.

The evaluation process should produce a report containing assessment of the achieved results and outputs envisaged by BIRN, and their impact on the target groups and stakeholders. The assessment should compare the overall results of the project with the principles of effectiveness, efficiency and relevance of an intervention, and to what extent BIRN has fulfilled these principles. 

Additionally, the produced report should provide an assessment of the management, outcome and output levels of the project together with the lessons learnt by the involved target groups.  

Finally, the evaluation should provide assessment of the needs and potentials for a continuation or upscaling of the initiative. 

Subject and focus of evaluation: 

This evaluation will take place in BIRN Kosovo where conclusions and recommendations generated from this evaluation will be addressed to the organization’s management and to the donor of the project. The review and evaluation of the project implementation will: 

  • Analyze and document to what extent the Project contributed to the overall objectives, reached the project purpose and its expected results;
  • Assess the allocation of resources for implementation of the project and project management arrangements and division of roles;
  • Assessment of external factors affecting the project, and the extent to which the project has been able to adapt the effects of such factors in order to adapt to changing circumstances and situations;
  • The level of stakeholders and partners satisfaction with project implementation in project outputs;
  • The needs and potentials for a continuation or up-scaling of the initiative;
  • Identify good practices that could be possibly scaled up or replicated in future programs and projects.

Methodology

The evaluation of this project should be in line with international standards and practices in project evaluation with a special emphasis on the OECD DAC Evaluation Quality Standards.

The steps proposed to be undertaken for this evaluation are as follows: 

  • Review of project documentation, monitoring records and progress, and other relevant reports;
  • Initial meeting with Project Team to agree on the specific design and methods for the evaluation. Agreement on the evaluation questions that will need to be answered, given time and data limitations;
  • Interviews with key staff involved in the project implementation, and other relevant stakeholders;
  • Develop detailed plan for evaluation process;
  • Prepare draft-report of evaluation and present it to the project team;
  • Incorporate received feedback sent by the project team into final report;
  • Prepare the final report with Executive Summary.

The information sources that will be made available to the Evaluation Team are:

  • Project documents;
  • Project reports;
  • Other documents (published TV reports, TV programs, fact-checking articles, TV documentaries, reports, pictures, etc.) produced in the scope of the project.

NOTE: Please note that majority of the work (including interviews) will be conducted online or physically as needed.

Main Evaluation Questions:

Relevance 

  • To what extent does the project target the needs of its target group? Have the EU recommendations regarding gender, social standards, reconciliation, and environment been considered?

Coherence

  • Does the project have any effect on the functioning of other media?
  • What is the BIRN’s point of view on reconciliation, BIRN’s actions, and what was the impact of those during the EU support?
  • To what extent has the project empowered target groups?
  • What factors (internal and external) have been affecting the performance and have they been taken into consideration?

Effectiveness

  • To what extent has the project contributed to the overall objective (developing the trainings for high school students, the language course program, the fact-checking trainings for professional journalists, etc., helped on developing knowledge, attitudes and skills of young and professional journalists on independent investigative and professional journalism)?
  • Has it achieved its purpose, expected results and desired outputs?
  • Were the project activities adequate to achieve the objectives?

Efficiency

  • Have the project resources been used in a cost-effective manner?
  • How would you evaluate the efficiency of project management (including the effectiveness of partnership strategy and stakeholder involvement from the perspective of ‘good practice model’)?
  • Has the financial management been an integral part of achieving project results (with particular reference to adequate reporting, identification of problems and adjustment of activities, budgets and inputs)?
  • How would you assess the monitoring system during project evaluation, focusing to relevance of the performance indicators?
  • Are the activities and outputs of the project consistent with the overall goal and the attainment of its objectives?
  • Are the activities and outputs of the project consistent with the intended impacts and effects?

Impact

  • Does the project have potential to be replicated, either in terms or expansion or replication, and have any steps been taken to do so?
  • Are there any specific practices to highlight and what has made the organization successful?
  • What real difference has the intervention made to the beneficiaries?
  • How many people have been affected?
  • Are there any long-term effects produced by the project (directly, indirectly, intended, and unintended)?

Sustainability 

  • How would you assess the prospects for activities continuing after the end of the project, including the potential of the organization to be sustainable, and what would be the impact of the organization’s identity on this?
  • What is the organization’s capacity to take mentoring, knowledge-sharing and guiding roles, including the management of other project partners?
  • How did the project serve to the context of independent journalism and media in Kosovo?
  • What are the main factors which influenced the achievement or nonachievement of sustainability of the project?
  • Are the beneficiaries (students of journalism, professional journalists, high school students, and media outlets) willing and able to continue the activities of the project on their own, concerning independent journalism?

Evaluation approach & methods and timetable

The detailed description on evaluation approach and methods are provided below:

Timetable:

Required skills and competences of the evaluator/Evaluation Company:

  • Excellent analytical skills
  • Strong writing skills
  • Proven capacities to produce reports
  • Possesses knowledge of the media sector
  • Good application of Result-Based Management
  • Good communication, coordination, and facilitation skills
  • Constantly ensures timelessness, and quality of work
  • Equal treatment
  • Displays cultural, gender, religious, racial, nationality and age sensitivity, and adaptability
  • Demonstrates integrity by modeling ethical standards
  • Openness to change and ability to receive/integrate feedback

Experience: 

  • Minimum 10 years of relevant professional experience, preferably in NGO and media context
  • Experience in evaluation of communication/media projects

Personal qualification/Organizational qualification:

  • Ability to deliver when working under pressure and within changing circumstances
  • Excellent writing/reporting and presentation skills
  • Excellent interpersonal skills

Language:

  • Excellent knowledge of written and spoken English and Albanian language

The evaluator must be independent from both the policy-making process and the delivery and management of assistance

Reports

The draft evaluation report and final evaluation report need to be structured according to the OECD/DAC criteria and the evaluation questions.

The Evaluation Report should contain the following:

  • Title Page
  • List of acronyms and abbreviations
  • Table of contents, including list of annexes
  • Executive Summary
  • Introduction: background and context of the program
  • Description of the program – its logic theory, results framework and external factors likely to affect success
  • Purpose of the evaluation
  • Key questions and scope of the evaluation with information on limitations and de-limitations
  • Approach and methodology
  • Findings
  • Summary and explanation of findings and interpretations
  • Conclusion
  • Recommendations
  • Lessons, generalizations, alternatives
  • Annexes

The criteria of utility, credibility, and relevance/appropriateness will be used for assessing the quality of the evaluation report:

  • The report has to be written in professional and clear English language
  • The Executive Summary should be a concise chapter (not exceeding three pages), highlighting the evaluation mandate, approach, key findings, conclusions and recommendations
  • The information in the report has to be complete, well structured, concise, and clearly presented
  • All information in the report has to be adequately documented and supporting the findings
  • The information in the report has to addresses priority or strategic information needs
  • Findings and recommendations have to be evidenced, concrete, and implementable
  • Human rights and gender equality perspective must be considered.

Coordination/Responsibility

The focal points within the project management team will provide assistance and facilitate the work of the evaluator by providing logistical support. All project related documents will be available to the evaluator.

Application Procedure

Qualified and interested candidates are asked to submit their applications to kosova@birn.eu.com no later than 25 May 2022.

Applications should include:

1. Proposal:

  • Cover Letter – Explaining why they are the most suitable for the work;
  • Provide a brief methodology on the approach to the work and how it will be conducted (max. 300 words);

2. Financial proposal;
3. Personal CV/Organizational portfolio including past experience in similar projects and at least 3 references.

Lump sum contracts

The financial proposal shall specify a total lump sum amount, and payment terms around specific and measurable (qualitative and quantitative) deliverables (i.e. whether payments fall in installments or upon completion of the entire contract). Payments are based upon deliverables, i.e. upon delivery of the services specified in the TOR and will not exceed EUR 5,000.00

Shikime 567
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Skadon 25/05/22 (2 ditë)
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