Search for Common Ground (SFCG) is an international non-profit organization that promotes peaceful resolution of conflict. With headquarters in Washington, DC and a European office in Brussels, Belgium, SFCG’s mission is to transform how individuals, organizations, and governments deal with conflict - away from adversarial approaches and toward cooperative solutions. SFCG seeks to help conflicting parties understand their differences and act on their commonalities. With a total of approximately 600 staff worldwide, SFCG implements projects from 50 offices in 35 countries, including in Africa, Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and the United States.
The organization is an exciting and rewarding place to work, with a dedicated and enthusiastic staff that is committed to its mission and values. You will be joining a highly motivated staff with a good team spirit and there will be opportunities to grow in the role.
Will act as a Consultant for Quasi-Experimental Evaluation Early Warning/ Early Response Mechanisms in Northern Nigeria
Goals and Objectives
- The goal of the project is: Expanding and strengthening early warning and early response processes to enhance community and state actors’ ability to protect citizens in Borno and Adamawa States. It is supported by three specific objectives:
- Obj. 1: Reinforce and expand a community-based early warning and early response system;
- Obj. 2: Strengthen engagement between state and local actors to secure communities;
- Obj. 3: Strengthen Partners’ Capacity to Support and Monitor Early Warning Systems.
- It is constructed on existing initiatives of supporting an overarching community-owned peace architecture in North Eastern Nigeria. The project builds on a process of convening and training influential local leaders for community dialogue-to-action processes in order to promote increased collaboration and confidence in insecure areas, supported through a suite of media and community activities, and strengthening structures to work with the state and linking them to civil society groups. A core component is an early warning/ early response system to identify emerging conflict threats and appropriate solutions. The project also develops strategies to increase learning and building capacity of partners engaged in the project.
- A quasi-experimental evaluation will be designed during the first phase of the project, and shall ensure that there is an in-depth understanding of the project’s attribution of results, and if there are any unintended impacts due to the intervention. At least two times during the course of the project, the evaluation will seek to collect field data aimed at answering evaluative questions related to the theory of change, and test causal hypotheses between intervention and outcome.
- The final evaluation questions shall be developed in discussion with SFCG staff, the US Department of State, implementing partners and other key stakeholders. Tentative evaluation questions:
- Does SFCG´s civilian-led security intervention, including EW/ ER systems, lead to improved security environments in Borno and Adamawa States? What mechanisms delivered the impact?
- Does enhanced collaboration between community, state and security actors lead to increased trust and better solutions to fight violence?
- Does increased capacity to dialogue and to identify early warning signs result in reduced violence?
- Are there unintended impacts, and if so, what are they? What context, and what mechanisms, led to these unintended impacts?
- The data and analysis from the quasi-experimental evaluation will be presented in at least two stages to the US Department of State, and will inform the final evaluation report. Sampling of communities, including comparison groups, will be determined through rigorous criteria, while on the same time taking into account access and security.
- Evaluation strategy and tools will be discussed and validated by SFCG and the US Department of State. The final evaluation report shall be disseminated to a broad audience in Nigeria, in the US, and via the DM&E for Peace webinar series Thursday Talks.
- Location, Budget and Timeframe:
- The evaluator will work closely with the project team as well as SFCG’s Institutional Learning Team. The evaluator is home-based and travels to Nigeria during phases of data collection and presentation of results. The indicative budget is $120.000-150.000. It is intended that the evaluator starts in January 2017.
- Deliverables and Requirements
- SFCG is hiring an individual evaluator or researcher, or a team of evaluators/researchers, who will have responsibility for the design and implementation of the quasi-experimental evaluation and ensuring its quality. She/ he/ they will be responsible for the following:
- The design should include at least the following:
- Research objectives and questions to be answered (identified in collaboration with other actors);
- Strategies to be employed to deal with: a) selection bias; b) spill-over effects; c) attrition of study subjects and d) contamination of comparison groups;
- Detailed research design and description of methodological approach, including study sites (treatment and comparison); methodologies to be employed; sample frame and strategy, design, and size (with supporting power calculations - preferably in SPSS or STATA accompanied by a narrative explaining choice of parameter values); approach to data analysis; and data collection and existing or secondary data sources;
- Description of approach to and procedures for ensuring data quality;
- Description of approach to change in security context, accessibility and context over the duration of the evaluation project;
- Research and implementation team - identification and qualifications;
- Implementation timeline including deadlines for completing the field work, for presentation of preliminary findings, and for providing the data set and the draft and final report.
- Evaluation Elements:
- Inception report including a detailed description of the methodology, proposed source of information, data collection procedure, work plan, roles and responsibilities of each member of the evaluation team, and evaluation matrix including indicators;
- Draft outline of the report;
- Draft and final data collections tools and research guide;
- Anonymized data set including all data.
- Draft and Final Reports, including at a minimum:
- Executive summary;
- Intervention description and context;
- Evaluation methodology and sampling strategy;
- Descriptive statistics and status of key variables of interest in the treatment group and counterfactual;
- Findings: answers to the evaluation questions;
- Annexes (list of people interviewed, list of key documents consulted, data collection tools)
- The final report should be maximum 40 pages excluding annexes:
- Workshop to present preliminary findings and discuss findings with Search, donor, and key partners (Tentatively it shall take place in Maiduguri, Nigeria)
- Participation in at least two follow-up meetings with project stakeholders including community members to discuss the report(s) (Tentatively it shall take place in Maiduguri, Nigeria)
- The ideal candidate/ team leader will have the following experience, skills and competence:
- An advanced university Degree, PhD preferred, in a Social Sciences field or Economics;
- Knowledge and understanding of international development or affairs, social work, law, human rights, or similar field;
- Minimum of 10 years of research and/ or impact evaluation experience;
- Experience designing, conducting, and leading experimental and quasi-experimental evaluations;
- Demonstrated experience leading research studies concerning sensitive subject matter and good evaluation ethics;
- Experience in international development, preferably with prior experience in Nigeria or West Africa;
- Extensive technical knowledge, skills and expertise in evaluation design, concepts, and approaches;
- Experience of quantitative analysis (SPSS, STATA or equivalent);
- Excellent written and oral communication in English required.
- The consultant is required to respect the following Ethical Principles:
- Comprehensive and systematic inquiry: Consultant should make the most of the existing information and full range of stakeholders available at the time of the review. Consultant should conduct systematic, data-based inquiries. He or she should communicate his or her methods and approaches accurately and in sufficient detail to allow others to understand, interpret and critique his or her work. He or she should make clear the limitations of the review and its results.
- Competence: Consultant should possess the abilities and skills and experience appropriate to undertake the tasks proposed and should practice within the limits of his or her professional training and competence.
- Honesty and integrity: Consultant should be transparent with the contractor/constituent about: any conflict of interest, any change made in the negotiated project plan and the reasons why those changes were made, any risk that certain procedures or activities produce misleading review information.
- Respect for people: Consultant respect the security, dignity and self-worth of respondents, program participants. Consultant has the responsibility to be sensitive to and respect differences amongst participants in culture, religion, gender, disability, age and ethnicity.
- In addition, the consultant will respect American Evaluation Association and SFCG’s evaluations standards, to be found in SFCG’s evaluation guidelines.
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