External Evaluator at Roma Education Fund

Deadline: May 22, 2012
Open to: Individuals with demonstrated experience in impact and institutional evaluation, expertise in social science research with appropriate academic qualifications
Remuneration: Not specified

Description

The Roma Education Fund (REF) was founded by the Open Society Foundations (OSF) and the World Bank in the framework of the Decade of Roma Inclusion in 2005.  Its mission and ultimate goal is to close the gap in educational outcomes between Roma and non-Roma. In order to achieve this goal, the organization supports policies and programs which ensure quality education for Roma, including the desegregation of education systems.

Following are the main questions of interest to REF and its donors; they would like to see an evaluation proposal that addresses many if not all of them:

•    How and to what degree has REF’s work  resulted in changes in law, policy or practice designed to increase access to education and improved educational outcomes for Roma across Europe?
•    To what degree has REF’s work contributed to measurable, increased access to education or improved educational outcomes for Roma in fact?
•    How effective and relevant  has REF’s policy advocacy work been in furthering its mission objectives?  How significant is the policy advocacy work in financial terms?  How has it been incorporated into other work supported by REF (such as service delivery)?
•    Which of the five Program areas noted above are most and least effective in contributing to REF’s mission objectives?
•    How can REF strengthen its impact?

The external evaluation should cover at minimum REF work in three countries of the Decade of Roma Inclusion: including EU and non-EU countries. There is a particular interest in including one country from each of the following categories: countries where REF directly implements projects, countries in the Western Balkans (as this is the geographic area where REF does most of its work), and EU countries where REF does work but does not directly implement projects.  Country selection should result in an evaluation that accurately reflects REF’s work as a whole.

The timeframe of activities included in the evaluation should be Jan 1, 2008 to June 1, 2012.

The working language of the evaluation is English, although the ability to conduct interviews and research in one or more of the target countries will be helpful. All the deliverables listed below should be provided in English (except the questionnaire and interview guides, which should be translated into local languages as well).

•    Notes/ transcripts based on individual interviews and/or focus groups
•    Questionnaire survey database
•    Draft evaluation report
•    Final evaluation report
•    Presentation to the REF board

The evaluator(s) will be expected to present the findings of the evaluation to the REF Board in a draft evaluation report of approximately 35,000 words, including a 2,500-word summary, plus annexes in English (using REF’s style manual).

Eligibility

The selected evaluator(s) are expected to demonstrate the following qualifications and competences:
•    Demonstrated experience in impact and institutional evaluation, with experience as a lead researcher in an impact evaluation being an advantage.
•    Expertise in social science research with appropriate academic qualifications.
•    Knowledge of the policy and institutional framework for the education of Roma in the Decade of Roma Inclusion.
•    Experience working on social inclusion and/or education issues, with experience working with Roma being an advantage.
•    Work experience in South East Europe and especially in one or more of the countries in REF’s focus.
•    Strong comprehension, verbal, and writing capacity in academic English and any other languages of the Decade countries.

In the selection process, evaluator(s) who have not benefitted from REF in the past and are not expected to benefit from REF in the future will have preference.

Application

Please send a cover letter explaining the consultant’s relevant experience for carrying out the evaluation (maximum 2 page); CV(s) of evaluator/evaluation team, with a description of their roles in the evaluation design narrative.
•     Writing sample(s) in English (preferably a published external evaluation);
•    a proposed work plan with timeline, evaluation outline, appropriate evaluation methodology and the research instruments to complete the assigned requirements (including the desk research template, frameworks for secondary data analysis, questionnaires, timing for the main phases of implementation and interview/ focus group guidelines for primary field research)An itemized budget proposal, including fees and estimated expenses (e.g. travel, accommodation, interpretation, etc.)  for realizing the evaluation;

All listed documents should be sent to the Chair of the REF Board at the following address: [email protected].
Please mention the name of the position (External Evaluator-Roma Education Fund Impact Evaluation) in the subject line.
The deadline for applications is 22 May, 2012.
Timeline of procedures:
Expected date of contract signing: 20 June, 2012
Draft evaluation to be submitted: 24 September, 2012
Final report to be submitted: 26 October, 2012

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