Project / Consultancy Title: Content & Partnerships Evaluation, YES! Program
Project Location(s): Nairobi, Kenya
Duration of Assignment: 30 working days, starting February 2018
Background: Mercy Corps is powered by the belief that a better world is possible. Across the more than 40 countries in which we operate, we’re working to address root causes of poverty head on, and helping those caught in crisis not only meet their immediate needs, but build a brighter future.
In taking on these challenges, Mercy Corps does not act alone nor are we satisfied with business as usual.
In our work, we strive to innovate for greater impact – often through increased take-up of technology and investment in market-driven models.
In our work, we see technology as an enabler to improve scale, access, efficiency, engagement, and effectiveness in our global work.
Youth Empowered for Success (YES!) is a partnership with The Coca-Cola Africa Foundation (TCCAF) and Harambee which seeks to enhance employment for 25,000 young people in six African countries by 2018, and 500,000 by 2022.
Mercy Corps is the lead implementer in Kenya, Uganda, Liberia, Nigeria, and Kenya.
The program has three work streams:
– Core YES! Model: Localizing the YES! model in 6 countries to improve the employment and entrepreneurship of 11,000 youth.
– Innovation and Digital: Driving innovation in youth employment in Africa through business solutions including digital tools, reaching 14,000 youth.
– Thought leadership: Research and learning on youth economic empowerment in Africa, building an evidence base enabling partnerships to scale to reach 500,000
Under both the Core Hub Model and the Innovation & Digital work streams, YES! has developed a range of content and partnerships to implement its overall strategy.
Through the former, YES! designed a curriculum with 25 modules to impart skills we considered central to positive employment and entrepreneurship outcomes:
- Transferable skills: self-esteem; communication; teamwork; critical thinking; goal setting; leadership; networking
- Employability skills: identifying work options; career designing; job applications; CV writing; interviewing; work place ethics; customer service
- Financial management skills: record keeping; saving money; developing a savings plan; borrowing money and loans; developing a budget
- Business skills: entrepreneurship; benefits and risks of self-employment; generating business ideas; growing your business; understanding the market; and writing a business plan
The YES! curriculum has been deployed through Hubs in Uganda and Kenya, reaching nearly 6,000 young people across the two countries.
Additionally, YES! developed a stand-alone sales curriculum, which includes modules on making a pitch, building relationships with customers and ‘closing the deal’.
This curriculum has been delivered by YES! trainers in Kenya, and customized to match the needs of private sector partners.
Under the Innovation & Digital work stream, YES! sought to identify, incubate, and scale business solutions to youth unemployment in Africa.
To this end, the program piloted its strategy with various technical partners to place locally accessible educational content about youth employability online and offline as part of a business-led model.
YES! drew upon 10 modules from its curriculum to develop 10 youth-friendly videos in English and 20 in Kiswahili. This content was developed in close collaboration with the program’s networks of youth groups across Nairobi.
So far, the content has been deployed across 100 sites in Nairobi through one tech partner, and online through a career growth and matching site.
Objectives of the Consultancy: To date, YES! has only carried out small qualitative case studies to determine intermediate outcomes of our content and curricula.
As YES! closes out its first phase, the program is committed to continue building its evidence base on what works and what does not in our current strategy to empower young people in Kenya as well as to contribute meaningfully to the global conversation on youth economic empowerment.
The YES! Program in Kenya is seeking qualified consultant/s to conduct an evaluation of the employability curriculum, the sales curriculum, the video content as well as the partnership mechanisms developed under the Innovation & Digital work stream.
Key areas of inquiry to be investigated in this evaluation are outlined below; these shall be revised and refined in consultation with the successful bidder.
Analysis of Curriculum Content
The consultant/s will examine the employability and entrepreneurship as well as the sales curriculum. Key questions include:
- Do the curricula content respond to the needs of youth participants (both self-reported, and as per existing literature and program assertions), considering both content and presentation?
- Do the curricula content provide adequate support for trainers or content delivery?
- To what extent are the curricula organized and presented to successfully facilitate targeted learning outcomes?
- Do the curricula content correspond to existing standards for similar content in the field, particularly in Africa?
Digital Content Analysis
Building upon results from above, the consultant/s will assess the digital content (and learning experiences) developed under this program.
Note: there will be results from quizzes currently being deployed online to supplement these summative evaluations.
- Does the content facilitate learning outcomes?
- Do the quality and presentation of content meet the expectations of target audience?
The consultant/s will evaluate the delivery mechanism for this particular initiative, as well as implementation in line with the overall strategy for the Innovation & Digital work stream.
(i) Do the delivery mechanisms for the digital content facilitate learning outcomes? How could these have been structured to be more effective?
(ii) Do the partnerships demonstrate capacity for sustained impact?
The consultant/s will develop their own approach, in collaboration with the YES! Results, Learning & Research Coordinator and the Senior MEL Officer.
They will employ research methodologies with sufficient rigor to generate actionable answers to the research questions within the resources and timeframe available for this effort.
They will have access to the database of monitoring data from YES! implementation so far, as well as data from our technology partners, but much of the research will require review of existing literature, as well as a range of participatory activities.
The tools will be submitted to Mercy Corps program staff for review prior to field testing or deployment. The assessment should actively and respectfully engage primary stakeholders throughout the research cycle.
The consultant/s will deliver a final evaluation report that outlines the achievements, challenges and learning of the program, and will provide recommendations for future programming in the particular geography and technical area.
A draft copy of the report will be reviewed for feedback by Mercy Corps for completeness and accuracy of program objectives and results.
The report will be no longer than 40 pages excluding annexes.
The target audience for the report is Mercy Corps, its partners, and other organizations operating in the region.
The Consultant/s will:
i. Develop a research methodology based on geography and program strategy
ii. Review relevant program data and strategy documents
iii. Develop qualitative and quantitative tools that will be reviewed by program staff before piloting and implementation
iv. Undertake data collection, including interviews with key program staff and partners
v. Develop a final evaluation report
The Consultant/s will deliver:
i. An inception report no more than one week after the signing of the contract
ii. Data collection instruments for review prior to testing and deployment
iii. A draft final evaluation report for review by YES! management
iv. A final evaluation report highlighting the results and achievements of the program in relation to its stated objectives
v. The full raw dataset of surveys and interviews conducted for the evaluation
The consultant/s will have responsibility for ensuring quality and rigor of the research findings.
The consultant/s will engage in the following activities and others as required:
The work from start to finish is estimated to take 30 days.
This contract will be deliverables-based and payment will be based on the successful completion and delivery of all components of the work.
Time frame: The consultancy will take place over 30 days starting February 2018
Mercy Corps will be responsible for:
- Access to program documents and key program staff
- Workspace while in the field
The consultant/s will be responsible for:
- Travel to primary Mercy Corps site
- All field expenses (food, accommodation, communications, etc.)
- Any computer or software needed for the assignment
The Consultant will report to: YES! Results, Learning and Research Coordinator.
The Consultant/s will work closely with: The YES! Kenya Program Manager, YES! Program Director, Senior MEL Officer
Lead consultants for the project should possess the following qualifications:
- Advanced university degree in education, program management or other development related fields
- Experience in applying qualitative and quantitative evaluation methods, with a minimum of 6 years, demonstrating a strong record in designing and conducting/leading evaluations, particularly in the area of education
- Experience evaluating curricula or learning content in general required
- Experience evaluating digital learning preferred; experience assessing innovative and/or digital partnerships is a bonus
- Experience carrying out participatory assessments in Eastern Africa;
- Excellent language skills in English (oral communication and report writing); knowledge of Kiswahili preferred
To apply provide the following:
1. Technical proposal, of no more than 10 pages, containing the following:
- Understanding of the objectives of the study;
- Proposed methodology;
- Implementation plan;
- Proposed final report structure;
- Team structure and CVs of team members; if applying as a firm, include firm registration documents
- Details of proposed enumeration team;
- References, web links or electronic copies of two or three examples of recently completed evaluation reports. Candidates are also encouraged to submit other references such as research papers or articles that demonstrate their familiarity with the subject under review
- At least one reference from a former client.
- Pin certificate for individuals and or registration documents for companies.
2. Financial proposal containing the following:
- Detailed budget, clearly outlining each cost, the quantity, and the total anticipated project cost
Proposals will be evaluated on both technical and financial criteria.
Applications must be received by February 19th, 2018 at 1500 Hrs.