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Terms of Reference

Final evaluation report for the project New Impulse for Business Development in the Region North, Moldova’’ People In Need (PIN)

Background

People in Need (PIN) is a Czech non-governmental organization that provides relief aid and development assistance while working to defend human rights and democratic freedom. It is one of the largest relief and development organizations in post-communist Europe and has administered projects in 37 countries over the past 20 years. People in Need has been working in Moldova since 2003 and has an office in Chisinau, implementing projects in the field of economic development, civil society, and youth development and education.

Since 2017, People in Need Moldova, in partnership with the local partners ProCoRe and Regional Development Agency North (RDA), have been running the project: “New impulse for business development in the North region of Moldova”.  The project started on July 1, 2017 and is due to be completed by December 31, 2019. The project is funded by the Czech Development Agency and has a total budget of 14.785.000,00 Kč.

The project reflects problems in the region with the migration of labor force, lack of job opportunities, the insufficient linkage between education and labor market demands, and lack of business infrastructure. The project supports start-ups and business incubators in the region as new potential SMEs or hubs of ideas. It creates conditions for closer cooperation among SMEs in the Northern region to achieve better access to local or international markets, to strengthen their position towards governmental institutions and potential customers. SMEs will further have possibilities to create partnership with national and international partners.

The project increases the capacities of RDA North and helps them to improve services for local SMEs. Through improved services of RDA, the local SMEs have better information about legislation, finance opportunities, and grant opportunities. During the project implementation, regional SMEs have opportunities to meet with international experts, who provide them with coaching and mentorship in order to accelerate their business or develop their business ideas. The involvement of local authorities ensures access to important business information to rural areas and helps to disseminate the impact of the project activities to the majority of SMEs in the region.

The main objectives and expected results of the project are:

Overall Objective: Increasing employment and competitiveness of the economy in the North region of Moldova

Specific Objective: Increasing the competitiveness of SMEs in the North region of Moldova

Output 1: Competitiveness and turnover of existing SMEs increased

Output 2: Creation of new SMEs and fostering innovations and employment in the region

Output 3: Creation of technical capacities for further assistance to SMEs in the region.

Objective and Scope of the Evaluation

Objective(s):

  • Evaluate the project’s final results towards its objective and final results and their achievement
  • The evaluator will also determine the unachieved results, as well as the unexpected results in case these are identified.

 

Scope: Evaluation of project components implemented by PIN and partners to contribute to increasing competitiveness of target SMEs in the North region and to facilitate creation of new jobs by the SMEs.

Geographical scope: Chisinau; Balti; Soroca; Singerei; Edinet

Period under review: July 1, 2017 – September 30, 2019.

Key evaluation questions

Relevance

  • Is the approach of creating sectoral Business Associations relevant to the Moldovan context and does it represent a useful instrument for SMEs in the North region?
  • To what extent has our project contributed to establishing new SMEs in the region North, compared to the situation at the beginning of the project?
  • Was the approach of establishing a Business Info Centre under the management of RDA relevant to the needs of SMEs in the region?

Effectiveness

  • Has the sustainability of SMEs in North Moldova been increased as a result of the project? What is the evidence?
  • Has the number of employed staff of the SMEs from the incubators increased? To what amount?
  • Has our project contributed to creating new workplaces in the region North since the beginning of the project?
  • To what extent have the SMEs supported by the project increased their turnover?

Efficiency

  • Were the resources and inputs (of PIN and project partners including financial and non-financial) converted to outputs in a timely and cost-effective manner?
  • Was the management, coordination and monitoring of the project efficient and appropriate?
  • What has been the quality of partnership between PIN, RDA and ProCoRe (division of responsibilities, coordination, communication, monitoring)? How did partners view their roles and responsibilities in the project?

Sustainability

  • What is the likelihood that the results of the project will be maintained after its completion?
  • Will the Info Centre be able to perform its function after the completion of the project?
  • Do the newly created Business Associations have the capacity to continue their activity independently without the project support in the future?

Impact

  • What changes (positive and negative, intended and unintended) have been generated by the project?
  • Has the competitiveness of the SMES in the North region of Moldova been increased by the project?

NOTE: PIN will require specific and data-supported answers to each of the agreed evaluation questions or strong justification for why the data could not be obtained. Justification of data unavailability must be communicated by the evaluator without any delay as soon as it becomes apparent and approved by PIN. Failure to do so can result in decreasing the consultant’s remuneration. 

Methodology

Document review

-     Project documents

-     Baseline of the project

-     2017 Annual report to donor

-     2018 Annual report to donor

-     Mid-term evaluation report from August 2018.

Field research

-     Interviews with relevant stakeholders and project partners and beneficiaries, among which BIs, BAs, ProCoRe, and RDA

-     Focus groups with the new established SMEs and field visits to their offices

-     Field observations to the info center.

Specific Tasks

  • Study the relevant project documents
  • Meetings with project staff and relevant stakeholders
  • Preparation of evaluation documents: inception report, draft report, main findings for PIN, and final report.

Expected Deliverables

  • Inception report (evaluation matrix, methodology, tools, and work plan)
  • Draft report (25 pages max)
  • Summary report
  • Presentation of major finding for PIN
  • Final report (Deadline: October 31, 2019).

Evaluation Report

The evaluator will use the following template for the evaluation report:

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: Summary of the evaluation, with particular emphasis on the main findings, conclusions, lessons learned and recommendations.

INTRODUCTION: Description of the evaluated intervention, its logic, history, organisation and stakeholders. Presentation of the evaluation’s purpose and questions.

METHODOLOGY: Description of the sampling strategy and methods used for data collection; description of the limitations. 

FINDINGS: Factual evidence relevant to the questions asked by the evaluation and interpretations of such evidence (answered evaluation questions).

CONCLUSIONS: Assessments of intervention results and performance against given evaluation criteria and standards of performance.

LESSONS LEARNED: General conclusions with a potential for wider application and use.

RECOMMENDATIONS: Specific and actionable proposals regarding improvements of the project or management addressed to the client of the evaluation or other intended users.

ANNEXES:

Note: The evaluation report should not exceed 25 pages (excluding annexes).

Duration

The duration of the contract for the evaluator will be for the period of October 1st to October 31st

The evaluator will respect the following timeframe:

  • Preparatory phase: 4 days
    • Desk review
    • Evaluation Design (methodology and instruments)
  • Field research: 10 days
    • Meetings with PIN team and partners
    • Data Collection
    • Presentation of preliminary findings (no later than 20 of October)
  • Data analysis and draft report: 4 days
    The draft report should be provided for feedback no later than 25 of October
  • 2 days to incorporate feedback from country team
    Final report should be shared with PIN country team no later than 31 of October.

Logistics

The transportation costs for the Evaluator’s field trips will be included into the financial offer.

Qualification requirements

  • Proven experience within the following areas:
  1. Experience in collecting data and working with complex monitoring and evaluation tools
  2. Conducting and managing external project and programme evaluations
  3. Experience in economic development programs targeting SMEs
  4. Good analytical skills presenting on data using graphs, diagrams, and other visual tools
  5. Previous work experience with local and foreign NGOs and donors
  6. Strong communication skills both oral and written.

Application process

Applications for evaluation should be submitted by email to concurs.moldova@peopleinneed.cz by 9 am (Republic of Moldova) on Tuesday, September 23rd, 2019 with the ref.: ‘‘External Evaluator for the project New Impulse for Business Development in the Region North, Moldova".

 

NOTE: All the documents should be presented in English.

The candidate should send the following:

  • Curriculum Vitae or resume
  • A short Cover Letter in English
  • The financial offer with description of activities and estimation of prices
  • A sample of a prior Evaluation Report
  • Recommendation letters from previous assignments.

Selection criteria of the Offer will be as follows:

  • The best offer price (40%)
  • Proven relevant experience (60%).

Payment modalities

%

Milestones

20%

Following the signing of the Contract on Evaluation Services

30%

After the Inception report has been submitted and approved by PIN

50%

After the final version of the final evaluation report has been submitted and approved by PIN

PIN reserves the right to deduct up to 0.5% of the total contract price for each day's delay in meeting the deliverables specified. This deduction shall be applied to the last payment of 50% of the contract price.

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