Call for Proposals: Evaluation of Networks and Capacity Building

Posted by Maria Codina on July 24, 2019 at 10:41 am

Purpose of evaluation

The purpose of this evaluation is to evaluate the effectiveness and influence of the Center for Reproductive Rights’ (the
Center) recent work to strengthen the capacity of civil society partners and the judiciary in applying human rights and
comparative law to the protection of reproductive rights in selected countries in South Asia and Africa. This
retrospective evaluation will focus on the Center’s outcomes under a restricted grant and will be used for reporting to
the donor as well as informing the future direction of programming. It will provide an overview of what has been
achieved so far in order to provide a baseline for a future impact evaluation, and recommendations for improving the
program strategy.

Background of organization

The Center is the premier global legal organization dedicated to advancing women’s reproductive health, selfdetermination,
and dignity. Its mission is straightforward and ambitious: to advance reproductive health and rights as
fundamental human rights that all governments around the world are legally obligated to protect, respect, and fulfill.
Headquartered in New York City, the Center has regional offices in Bogota, Geneva, Kathmandu, Nairobi, and
Washington, D.C. and a diverse staff of approximately 200 diverse professionals. Its annual operating budget is
approximately $35 million, the result of an extraordinary growth trajectory. The Center is in the middle of a significant
expansion through its current (2016 – 2021) and next (beyond 2021) Strategic Plans.
The Center’s game-changing litigation and advocacy work, combined with its unparalleled expertise in constitutional,
comparative, and international human rights law, have transformed how reproductive rights are understood by courts,
governments, and human rights bodies worldwide. It has played a key role in securing landmark legal victories in Africa,
Asia, Europe, Latin America and the U.S. on issues including access to life-saving obstetrics care, contraception, safe
abortion services, and comprehensive sexuality information, as well as the prevention of forced sterilization and child
marriage. It has brought ground-breaking cases before national courts, U.N. Committees, and regional human rights
bodies, has led the development of historic, proactive legislation advancing robust protections for reproductive rights,
and has built the legal capacity of women’s rights advocates in more than 60 countries.
To learn more about the Center for Reproductive Rights, go to

Evaluation object and scope

The following areas of capacity building work in the period of 2016-2019 have been selected for this evaluation:

  1. Holistic mentorship with 5 core partners

National-level partnerships with local civil society organizations are a central component of the Center’s operating
model. Over the past three years, the Center has piloted an enhanced approach to these partnerships to further
strengthen national-level movements to advance reproductive health and rights and diversify voices in this field. This
has included undertaking capacity assessments to understand key partner strengths and areas of desired growth,
developing targeted trainings on reproductive health and rights, and an increased emphasis on supporting partners to have greater exposure to international and regional human rights mechanisms. This evaluation will assess the outcomes so far of this pilot approach to inform future models of partnership.

2.  Judicial sensitization and roundtables

Over the past two years, the Center has spearheaded an initiative to support the development of strong benches of judges who recognize reproductive rights as fundamental human rights. The Center has pioneered this work through formal relationships with judicial training institutes and other judicial affinity organizations, which has led to a series of judicial workshops and colloquia in countries in Africa and South Asia. Furthermore, the Center has developed a judicial curriculum on reproductive rights, to enable judges to approach reproductive rights cases with a global comparative perspective that takes into account states’ international human rights obligations and the growing body of national-level jurisprudence recognizing reproductive rights as human rights. This evaluation will include a review and analysis of feedback the Center has already collected from judges to assess alignment with intended outcomes of the workshops and colloquia and the development of recommendations for building on this body of work in a sustainable and scalable manner. It is possible this may involve key informant interviews with judges depending on time and availability.

3.  Network building among lawyers and advocates

The Center hosts two networks of lawyers and advocates in Africa and South Asia: The Africa Reproductive Rights Initiative (ARRI) and the South Asia Reproductive Justice and Accountability Initiative (SARJAI). These networks are dedicated to accelerating progress towards the full realization of women and adolescents’ sexual and reproductive rights by providing a forum for members to share experiences and jointly strategize on pressing reproductive rights concerns; catalyze new initiatives for the advancement of sexual and reproductive health and rights in both regions; and strengthen legal and policy advocacy at the national, regional, and global levels. This evaluation will seek to assess the contributions and effectiveness of participation in these networks as part of wider efforts to strengthen reproductive rights movements in Africa and South Asia. Recommendations for future development to include the potential for future expansion and development for these networks.

Evaluation purpose: Intended use and intended users

The purpose is to evaluate the ongoing influence of the Center’s holistic mentorship, judicial sensitization, and network building efforts in strengthening the reproductive rights movement and advancing law and policy reform on reproductive rights that are reflective of priorities of local partners in the respective regions. The evaluation will describe ways in which the work has been successful, identify areas for improvement and make recommendations to inform the Center’s ongoing strategy in this area.

Results from the evaluation will be used to describe how the activities did or did not accomplish the intended outcomes as outlined in the original funding proposal. As this work continues to grow, results will provide a baseline for a future impact evaluation and will be applied to internal learning as well as future funding proposals.

Evaluation objective and questions

The Center is at the end of a 3-year restricted grant cycle and will use the results of this consultancy to report on progress achieved toward the originally stated objectives. In addition to closing out the current grant, results will be used to improve the strategy and apply for more funding. Below are proposed research questions to be answered (to be refined with the consultant), organized by original intended outcome:

Objective 1: Build capacity of national and local CSOs to develop and implement comprehensive legal advocacy strategies to catalyze national level law and policy reform.

1. How did the capacity of national and local CSOs to implement legal advocacy strategies change as a result of the Center’s capacity building work?
2. In what ways have the Center’s capacity building strategies with advocates advanced national-level law and policy reform?
o What are the advancements?

Objective 2: Sensitize judges to effectively adjudicate reproductive rights cases using a human rights and global, comparative lens.

1. In what ways have judges involved with the project adopted a human rights and global, comparative lens in adjudicating reproductive rights cases? How has this evolved over the course of the project?
2. How have judicial sensitization and roundtables affected judges’ engagement with reproductive rights outside the courtroom?

Objective 3: Increase coordination and efficacy of reproductive rights movements in South Asia and Africa and increase influence over developments in global and regional forums in line with the advocacy priorities of local reproductive rights advocates.

1. How has the network building under this grant contributed to creating more coordinated and effective reproductive rights movements in South Asia and Africa?
2. How has participation in regional networks affected collaboration among advocates? In particular, cross-border collaboration?
3. How have network members leveraged global and regional bodies to advance legal and policy reform efforts at the national level?
o How have developments in global and regional forums been responsive to the advocacy priorities of reproductive rights advocates in Africa and South Asia?

Proposed methodology and methods for data collection and analysis

For the agreed upon research questions, we propose a review of existing project documents including partner feedback on trainings and convenings, followed by interviews with key stakeholders including the 5 partner agencies receiving holistic mentorship under objective 1 and identified key informants representing stakeholders in objectives 2 and 3. Depending on the location of the consultant, travel may be required as interviews may be conducted via skype or in-person.
Please submit an outline of proposed methodology, deliverables, and timeline for answering the research questions in Section V. Preference will be given to proposals that are clear in explaining the consultant’s intended methods and how they will answer the proposed research questions.

How evaluation will be managed by the Center

The consultant will report to the Director of Capacity Building and work closely with the capacity building team, regional team members, and be in consultation with the Senior Manager of Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning. Center staff will provide desk review materials (existing capacity assessments, training agendas and final reports, etc.), facilitate connection with partners and other key stakeholders, provide input on the methodology for the evaluation, review drafts of the final report, and if needed will provide other support as agreed upon with the consultant.

Anticipated timeline & deliverables

  • 15 July 2019: Terms of Reference circulated
  • 31 July 2019: Call for applications and approach statements closes
  • 12-16 August 2019: Short listed candidates interviewed
  • 19 August 2019: Consultant chosen and notified
  • 21 August 2019: Kick off call
  • 21 August – 13 Sept.: Desk review of materials
  • 16 Sept – 4 Oct: Interviews conducted and additional data gathered
  • Nov. 1: First draft of report submitted
  • Nov. 30: Report finalized

Consultant qualifications

Successful candidates will have the following skills and experience:

  • Minimum 5 years of experience working in monitoring and evaluation, including as a project lead
  • Demonstrated experience completing a successful retrospective evaluation in a global context, preferably in at least one of the involved regions (South Asia or Africa)
  • Demonstrated success completing evaluation projects on a short-term consultant basis, preferably for projects funded by DFID, Sida, or Global Affairs Canada (GAC).
  • Good understanding of human rights mechanisms including national and regional systems for accountability
  • Research experience related to legal systems, preferably with a focus on human rights frameworks and/or comparative law
  • Experience working with the judiciary preferred (research or otherwise)
  • Experience evaluating network building preferred

Application process

Interested candidates should submit the following to the Director of Capacity Building, Katherine Mayall at by 5pm EST on Wednesday, 31st July:

  • Short statement of your relevant experience with similar assignments (no more than 1 page)
  • Sample of an evaluation you have led or taken a lead role in
  • 1-2 page writing sample
  • Description of your proposed methodology for the evaluation including deliverables and timeline (no more than 2 pages)
  • Proposed budget, including daily rates and travel (if necessary)
  • Your CV
  • At least 3 professional references, preferably who you have worked with as an external consultant

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