Consultant for End-of-Project Evaluation at Wildlife Conservation Society


The Wildlife Conservation Society is a not-for-profit, tax-exempt organization registered in the United States of America, but with programs in more than 60 countries across the world and is the largest conservation organization in Africa. WCS has a mission to save wildlife and wild places through science, conservation action, education, and inspiring people to value nature.

We are recruiting to fill the position below:

Job Title: Consultant for End-of-Project Evaluation

Location: Cross River

Purpose of the Evaluation

  • The purpose of this evaluation is to assess project performance against the evaluation criteria: project design relevance, effectiveness, efficiency, impact, sustainability, M&E systems, other cross-cutting issues, etc.

The results from the End of Project (EoP) evaluation may be used for:

  • Assessing the contribution in terms of outcomes achieved by the project.
  • Identify learning on best practices and stories of change.
  • Providing recommendations on focal areas such as sustainability of the outcomes and methodology for further replications among others.
  • Accountability towards stakeholders at large (government, donor, farmer representative bodies, civil society, and the private sector).

The Users of the EoP Evaluation are

  • Project teams, partners, and governments (state and national): they will use the results and recommendations derived from the EoP evaluation to improve the future programs for greater impact;
  • European Union: EU may use the results for accountability and other project design purposes.
  • The EoP has an additional purpose of drawing lessons and developing recommendations for the Wildlife Conservation Society and the EU that may help in improving the selection, enhancing the design and implementation of similar future projects and activities in the country and on a global scale upon project completion. The EoP report should include examples of good practices for other projects in Southern Nigeria.
  • The evaluation team should provide an analysis of the attainment of the main objective and specific objectives. Through its assessments, the evaluation team should enable the Government, Wildlife Conservation Society, and other stakeholders and donors to verify prospects for development impact and sustainability, providing an analysis of the attainment of SDG goals, project objectives, delivery, and completion of project outputs/activities, and outcomes/impacts based on indicators.

Key Questions to be Answered by the Evaluation

  • The key question of the terminal evaluation is whether the project has achieved or is likely to achieve the project impact: the rainforests and wildlife of Cross River State are effectively conserved, providing critical, connected habitat for the recovery of Africa’s rarest gorillas and sustainable livelihoods for local communities; and the two main outputs.
  • Protection of 364,000 hectares of forest within Cross River National Park in order to safeguard habitat for important populations of the Cross River gorilla, Nigeria-Cameroon chimpanzee and forest elephant.
  • Improved environmentally sustainable economic opportunities for 1,000 households surrounding Cross River National Park by promoting conservation-friendly cocoa farming and the sustainable harvesting of non-timber forest products.
  • Based on the impact and outputs, the specific key questions that the EoP evaluation will address should include but not limited to the following:

Project Design
The evaluation will examine the extent to which the:

  • Project’s design is adequate to address the problems at hand.
  • A participatory project identification process was instrumental in selecting problem areas and national counterparts.
  • Project has a clear thematically focused development objective, the attainment of which can be determined by a set of verifiable indicators.
  • Project was formulated based on the logical framework (project results framework) approach.
  • Project was formulated with the participation of national counterpart and/or target beneficiaries.

Relevance:

  • To what extent did the project respond to the priorities and needs of the beneficiary, key groups, and Government of Cross River State and Federal Government of Nigeria? How relevant was it to the target groups’ needs and priorities?

Effectiveness (Attainment of project objectives and results):

  • To what extent the objective of the project was achieved? To what extent the expected accomplishments of the project were achieved? In particular, how did the project contribute towards the preservation of forest ecosystems in Cross River National Park? To what extent did the planned activities contribute to achieving the impact and the expected outputs? What were the challenges/obstacles to achieving the expected results? What has prevented (if any) the achievement of the desired results?

Efficiency:

  • Were the resources sufficient for achieving the results? Were the results commensurate with the resources? Were the results achieved on time? Were all activities organized efficiently and on time? To what extent the resources were used economically? How could the use of resources have been improved? Were there any alternatives to achieve the same results? If yes, which ones? Was the project implemented in the most efficient way compared to alternatives? How did the costs and use of resources compare with other similar projects in Nigeria?

M&E design:

  • Did the project have an M&E plan to monitor results and track progress towards achieving project objectives? The Evaluation will assess whether the project met the minimum requirements for the application of the Project M&E plan.

Impact:

  • What are the positive and negative changes produced directly or indirectly, intended, or unintended? What has happened as a result of the program or project? What real difference has the activity made to the beneficiaries? i.e., What was and what is? How many people have been impacted by the project efforts?

Learning:

  • What are the key lessons from the implementation of the project? Could be positive, negative. How can these lessons be used to improve further programming? Are there unintended outcomes? Could something have been done differently? Would it have yielded a better result? What are the lessons for future Wildlife Conservation Society Programming? What are good practices that should be consolidated in successive phases?

Sustainability:

  • Could the results be further sustained? In particular, to what extent will the benefits of the project continue after completion? How is the stakeholders’ engagement likely to continue, be scaled up, replicated, or institutionalized after funding ceases? How will the capacity built ensure that institutions will take over and sustain the benefits? What are the major factors that will influence the achievement or non-achievement of sustainability of the project?

Scope and Evaluation Approach and Methodology

  • The end-of-project evaluation (EoP) will cover the whole duration of the project from its starting date on 5th December 2019 to the completion date on March 5th, 2024. It will assess project performance against the evaluation criteria: design, relevance, effectiveness, efficiency, cross-cutting, coherence, sustainability, and impact.
  • It will be carried out as an independent in-depth evaluation using a participatory approach whereby all key parties associated with the project are kept informed and regularly consulted throughout the evaluation. The evaluation team leader will liaise with the Wildlife Conservation Society on the conduct of the evaluation and methodological issues.
  • The evaluation team will be required to use different methods to ensure that data gathering and analysis deliver evidence-based qualitative and quantitative information, based on diverse sources: desk studies and literature review, statistical analysis, individual interviews, focus group meetings, surveys, and direct observation. This approach will not only enable the evaluation to assess causality through quantitative means but also to provide reasons for why certain results were achieved or not and to triangulate information for higher reliability of findings.

The evaluation team will develop interview guidelines. Field interviews can take place either in the form of focus-group discussions or one-to-one consultations. The methodology will be based on the following:

  • A desk review of project documents, including, but not limited to: The original project document, monitoring reports (such as progress and financial reports to EU and annual Project Implementation Review (PIR) reports), MEL Tracking Tool, output reports (case studies, annual plans, etc. Other project-related material produced by the project. Since the project document contains a project results framework, the evaluation team will assess performance against this framework. The validity of the theory of change will be re-examined through specific questions in the interviews and, possibly, through a survey of the various stakeholders such as government officials.
  • Counter-factual information: Baselines and background information for the benchmarks exist for this project.
  • Interviews with project management and technical support including staff and management of the Wildlife Conservation Society.
  • Interviews with project partners including Government counterparts from Cross River State.
  • On-site observation of results achieved in demonstration projects, including interviews of project participants. The consultant will, in consultation with the Wildlife Conservation Society team, determine the appropriate sample sizes considering the geographical areas, targeted groups, and the homogeneity of the target population.

Evaluation Team Composition

  • The evaluation team will be composed of a national evaluation consulting firm/individual with experience of working in southern Nigeria.
  • The evaluation team should be able to provide information relevant for follow-up studies, including evaluation verification on request to the European Union (EU) up to two years after completion of the evaluation. Members of the evaluation team must not have been directly involved in the design and/or implementation of the programme/projects.
  • The Cross River Landscape Director and the MEL Specialist will support the evaluation team. The Country Director and Deputy Country Director will be briefed on the evaluation and equally provide support to its conduct.

Time schedule and deliverables:
The evaluation is scheduled to take place in the period from 18th March 2024 to 7th April 2024. The evaluation should not exceed 21 days. The key deliverables include:

  • Inception report
  • Inception meeting
  • Data collection tools
  • Progress report preliminary findings
  • PowerPoint presentation of the main findings
  • Presentation of findings at a validation meeting
  • Final Report (maximum 40 pages, excluding executive summary, table of contents, and annexes

Qualifications and skills of Evaluation firm  /individual
Essential:

  • At least Master’s Degree in any of Statistics, International Development, or Social Sciences, and
  • At least five (5) years’ proven experience in Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning specifically for developmental projects for the lead evaluator.
  • A proven record in delivering effective and professional evaluation results in developmental projects.
  • Excellent communication, analysis, writing and report presentation skills in English.
  • Capacity to carry out field research in Cross River State.
  • Experience in evaluation of projects of a major donor such as the EU. The consultant/consulting firm should send copies of similar work done when sending their proposal/expression of interest.

Desirable:

  • Knowledge and awareness of wildlife conservation in Nigeria.
  • Knowledge of the Wildlife Conservation Society and its work.
  • Ability to conduct interviews and discussions in English.
  • Ability to analyze and synthesize data from different sources relating to the scope of the evaluation.
  • Good eye for detail, adherence to logic and capacity for inductive reasoning.
  • Strong presentation, facilitating, communication and teamwork skills.
  • Good interpersonal skills, including the ability to conduct discussions with a diversity of people ranging from senior management to project participants.
  • Willingness and ability to travel to the different project sites in Cross River State.

Evaluation and Management Responsibilities
Evaluator’s (Consultant’s) roles and Responsibilities:
The firm/Consultants will facilitate an inception meeting in collaboration with the Wildlife Conservation Society team and obtain entry-point data/information and agree on the work plan and itinerary for the assignment. In addition, the following activities shall also be carried out.

  • Review all relevant documents for the evaluation study.
  • Develop evaluation study design which includes survey methodology, review and refine the data collection tools (household questionnaire, focus group discussion guides, interview protocol, data entry templates, etc.), as appropriate, including a field manual for training, in consultation with the Wildlife Conservation Society technical team, integrate all Wildlife Conservation Society feedback on the study methodology and tools.
  • Coding of quantitative tools and training of the field team in the use of data collection procedures.
  • Develop the fieldwork schedule in consultation with the M&E team.
  • Conduct training for the data collectors during the field visit phase, finalize the baseline study schedule Supervise the data collection process, give advice, and ensure the quality of the data.
  • Conduct all interviews.
  • Data analysis and report writing, draft the first reports and include feedback from the Wildlife Conservation Society and finalize the report for submission.
  • Hand over all the data collected to Project team.
  • Update Cross River Landscape Director and MEL Specialist on the progress and any challenges from the field.
  • Where necessary, confirm and obtain relevant information from key backstopping personnel from Implementing Partners and the Wildlife Conservation Society.

Wildlife Conservation Society Roles and Responsibilities

  • Recruit the external Evaluator/Consultant and finalize the Consultancy agreement.
  • Share all necessary documents to the Consultant to finalize the evaluation study design and data collection tools.
  • Provide inputs on the evaluation design, methodology, data collection, tools, and reports.
  • Share with the Consultant all the relevant project documents.
  • Ensure that inputs from the Wildlife Conservation Society are circulated and shared with external Consultant and vice versa throughout the evaluation study process.
  • Provision of working space for the Consultant while in Cross River State.
  • Provide guidance and coordination throughout all the phases of evaluation study, while keeping communication with external Consultant.
  • Provide support to the evaluation technical lead (external Consultant) for the baseline field visits processes such as orientation and training of enumerators, FGDs and KIIs Closely follow up the data collection process, ensuring quality control, daily debriefing, meeting the timeliness set for interview completion.
  • Inform relevant stakeholders and beneficiaries of the study evaluation and their involvement/roles in the exercise and help in setting specific dates for the evaluation field schedule.

Other Responsibilities of the Wildlife Conservation Society Team include:

  • The Country Director, Deputy Country Director, and Cross River Landscape Director will receive the desk research, progress and final reports and provide feedback on the final reports and publication.

The application from consulting firms shall contain the following sections:

  • Evaluator’s approach on conducting the EoP evaluation – Methodology (providing detailed information on suggested tools and analysis methods, etc.).
  • Research implementation plan (questionnaire piloting, implementation, data quality assurance processing, analysis).
  • Detailed work plan.
  • Detailed financial proposal. Please note that a 5% withholding tax applies for individuals and 10% for firms.
  • Information about the individual consultant/consulting firm and proposed staff (company portfolio in case of a consulting firm, containing information about similar projects, staff resumes; in case of individuals resumes and information about similar projects).
  • Examples of previous similar work/report.

The application should also include the following documents on the firm/organization applying (in case of companies/organizations):

  • Registration document of the legal entity.
  • At least three years tax clearance.

The proposals will be evaluated using the following criteria:

  • Clearly stated methodological proposal.
  • Adequacy of the methodology to key evaluation questions and criteria defined in the ToR.
  • Viability of the methodology in relation to the context.
  • Well-structured work plan with phases and deadlines for the results, detailed timeline.
  • Viability of the methodology in relation to the time available.
  • Methodological knowledge and M&E experience.
  • Knowledge and experience of developmental and humanitarian program evaluations.
  • Adaptability of the proposal in relation to proposed data collection and analysis.
  • Adaptability of the proposal in relation to available funds.

Application Closing Date
14th March, 2024.

How to Apply
Interested and qualified candidates should send a detailed Application (in PDF) to: [email protected] using the Job Title as the subject of the email.