Terms of Reference for Final Evaluation of the WNCB Programme (Work: No Child’s Business Programme, an Alliance of SCL, UNICEF, SCF


Purpose and scope of the evaluation Established in early 2019 by the Stop Child Labour Coalition (SCL), Save the Children Netherlands, and UNICEF Netherlands, the Work: No Child’s Business (WNCB) Alliance is led by Hivos and unites 32 partner organizations across Côte d’Ivoire, India, Jordan, Mali, the Netherlands, Uganda, and Viet Nam. This Alliance harnesses each partner’s strengths to address child labour through grassroots interventions and systemic advocacy. The programme is dedicated to tackling the root causes of child labour, aiming to ensure children and youth are free from labour and have access to quality education and future decent work opportunities. The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted the programme, presenting unprecedented challenges. The pandemic’s global scale and its economic, social, and health ramifications have likely a[ected the Alliance’s operations and the communities it serves. Issues such as increased economic hardship, school closures, and health crises have exacerbated the conditions that lead to child labour.

1.1 Purpose

The primary purpose of this evaluation is to assess the Theory of Change of the Work No Child Business programme by leveraging existing Monitoring, Evaluation, Accountability, and Learning (MEAL) data of our programme alongside two detailed studies conducted in two of our programme’s operational settings. In doing so this evaluation aims to create a better understanding of combatting child labour within the complete supply chain, including the (informal) economic ecosystem that is influenced around supply chains.

1.2 Scope

The evaluation aims to examine key programme outcomes reported from 2020 to 2024 across the six WNCB countries utilizing a desk review and conducting a validation of data to support these outcomes. In addition, given our Alliance’s valuable insights in addressing child labour within informal parts of supply chains, the evaluation is also expected to narrow its focus to child labour that exists and/or emerges within the complex (informal) economic ecosystem that exists around the lower tiers of (inter)national supply chains. To better evaluate the complexities involved in working within the lower tiers of the supply chain, we ask that the evaluation team to conduct a detailed analysis of two specific contexts: the natural stone sector in Rajasthan, India, and the cocoa sector in the Nawa Region, Ivory Coast. These contexts have been selected through a scoring process that allowed us to identify the most relevant contexts to assess the selected main focus of this evaluation.

2. Programme background:

Over the last five years, the Alliance has achieved significant progress through its collaborative framework, engaging in international forums, and forming strategic partnerships to influence policy and legislation. Despite challenges such as the COVID-19 pandemic, the Alliance adapted its strategies, employing alternative methods to continue its work and maintain momentum towards its goals. The WNCB programme emphasizes inclusive participation and gender equality, involving men and boys, to tackle specific discriminations and ensuring all programme activities foster safe and empowering environments for all genders and marginalized groups.

2.1 WNCBs Theory of Change (ToC)

The WNCB programme’s impact statement envisions a future where children and youth are free from child labour, enjoying their rights to quality education and future decent work. It outlines four pathways of change targeting communities, governments, the private sector, and international stakeholders, each with specific strategies and interventions tailored to the unique contexts of the participating countries, thereby promoting sustainable change. These strategic pathways encompass the following: • Strategic Pathway 1: Empowerment of children and improved access to formal education and youth employment within supportive environments. • Strategic Pathway 2: Governments enforcing laws and implementing policies on child labour, education, and youth economic empowerment. • Strategic Pathway 3: Private sector responsibility in preventing and addressing child labour. • Strategic Pathway 4: International and Dutch government support for eliminating child labour through due diligence policies and laws. By linking up a supply chain approach with an area-based approach along the identified strategic pathways, the programme aims to tackle root causes of child labour and realise sustainable change for all children and their families. The visualisation of our complete TOC (see Figure 1) includes the full comprehensive set of identified long-term and intermediate outcomes and assumptions of our programme. Key assumptions and barriers of the TOC The Alliance operates under key assumptions about the lack of awareness and opportunities, ine[ective legislation, weak collaborative e[orts, poor labour practices, and insu[icient data on child labour. These assumptions and identified barriers have guided the strategic decisions and approaches throughout the programme and will be tested in this evaluation.

2.2 WNCB strategies

The WNCB programme has built upon four key strategies to combat child labour in a holistic manner:

1. Supply chain approach: Encourages due diligence by the private sector in industries to identify and mitigate child labour in both formal and informal sectors.

2. Area-based approach: Focuses on high-prevalence regions, aiming to address root causes through community engagement, socio-economic support, and improved access to education.

3. Child protection systems: Enhances child protection frameworks and mechanisms, linking at-risk families to support services and promoting the enforcement of child rights legislation.

4. Lobby and Advocacy: Influences policy and legislation at all levels to advocate for child rights and responsible practices, aiming to eradicate child labour.

2.3 Adaptive programme management

The bottom-up consensus-based management approach within our programme allowed for adaptive responses at various level. This meant that insights gained in relation to (participatory) MEAL work, the Theory of Change reflections and emerging programme risks led to contextually relevant programme adaptations that were reflected in contextualized annual plans of each country. Several interesting lessons about our ToC, including its assumption are listed below:

1. Increased focus on the informal economy: Recognizing the importance of addressing child labour within informal economies connected to formal supply chains to ensure comprehensive coverage instead of just focusing on ‘the informal sector’.

2. Evolving awareness and empowerment approaches: Our strategy has evolved beyond the initial assumption that simply raising awareness of child labour’s negative impacts and the significance of education is su[icient. Our annual plans demonstrate a deeper connection between awareness-raising e[orts and enhancements in the knowledge, capabilities, and self-e[icacy of communities, governmental entities, and the private sector in child protection.

3. Addressing child labour risks from school closures: Adapting strategies in response to COVID-19’s impact, with a gender-focused approach to mitigate increased child labour risks due to prolonged school closures.

4. Gender transformative approach: Emphasizing the need for specialized support to address gender inequalities and foster sustainable changes the programme adopted a gender transformative approach.

5. Strategic engagement with governments and private sector: Focusing on influencing government policies for due diligence and Responsible Business Conduct (RBC) over direct pressure on the private sector.

6. Broadening the approach beyond high incidence areas: Integrating various strategies to strengthen child protection systems and encourage wider adoption and spillover e[ects, moving beyond initially targeted areas.

7. In working with an integration of approaches and strategies, the WNCB Alliance has learned that change can be realized and sustained if all stakeholders are convinced and work together around the norm that ‘no child should work – every child must be in school’. This enables us to address all type of child labour in a community, and thus also those target children who are working in the lower tiers of supply chains, and beyond. Moreover, this prevents children to move from one sector to another and/or to enter more hidden or worst forms of child labour.

3. Evaluation objective, criteria and questions:

The primary objective of this evaluation is to assess the relevance of the area-based approach by zooming in on the premise that its adoption is crucial for any supply chain strategy aiming to tackle child labour effectively and sustainably. Specifically, the evaluation will delve deeper into the relationship between local informal economies and global supply chains, by analysing how the interventions of the WNCB programme have navigated these complex relational dynamics and what their impact is in the two selected contexts.

3.1 Specific evaluation objectives

To ensure that we will have a comprehensive evaluation that makes good use of existing MEAL data, we have broken down our primary evaluation objective into three specific evaluation objectives. This allows for the evaluation to not only assess and validate the Theory of Change but also contribute to a strategic roadmap for ongoing and future interventions against child labour. The specific objectives of the evaluation are:

1. Enhance understanding of programme impact: To deepen insights into the e[ectiveness, sustainability, and impact of the WNCB programme by analysing programme data including MEAL products, referring to (but not limited to) the external baseline, mid-term and end-line studies of our key performance indicators and SenseMaker, as well as the programme’s outcome harvesting reports. This specific objective includes identifying key lessons and best practices that have emerged from the programme’s implementation to understand its overall contribution towards preventing child labour.

2. Identify scalable good practices at the intersection of the supply chain approach and the area-based approach: To pinpoint and elaborate on specific interventions within the WNCB programme that demonstrate significant potential for combatting child labour across the complex economic ecosystems linked to the lower tiers of supply chains. This includes an assessment of the role of all key-stakeholders that have been engaged in the programme. This will involve a detailed examination of the natural stone sector in Rajasthan, India, and the cocoa sector in the Nawa Region, Ivory Coast, to identify practices among various programme stakeholders that warrant further development and scaling.

3. Strategic recommendations for programme partners and key stakeholders: To garner external insights and recommendations on how Alliance partners can continue and effectively mobilize and sustain engagement among communities, the private sector, and international stakeholders towards the collective goal of eliminating child labour. This involves assessing current engagement strategies and proposing innovative approaches for enhanced future collaboration between governments, the private sector, CSO’s and communities with a high incidence in child labour.

3.2 Evaluation criteria

This evaluation extends beyond simply evaluating the relevance, effectiveness of the interventions carried out within the WNCB programme. It aims to delve deeply into a critical aspect of our strategy that is often overlooked: the interconnection between (inter)national supply chains and complex (informal) economic systems. In doing so, the evaluation places a strong focus on examining the coherence, sustainability and impact of the WNCB approach that addresses child labour in a holistic way. It sheds light on the pathways to change, showing how interventions not only aim to eliminate child labour in specific communities but also how national and international stakeholders can drive systemic change within the complex networks of global supply chains including its lower tiers. Given the programme’s complex nature, the evaluation will consider cost-eFectiveness by exploring the potential for spill-over e[ects and the opportunities for replication and scaling up in future programmes and programmes of WNCB partners and the work of key stakeholders.

4. Methodology:

The evaluation team is expected to adopt a mixed-methods approach, integrating the analysis of existing MEAL data (i.e. KPI data, SenseMaker data and outcome harvesting) with qualitative 8 insights deducted from the suggested study approach in two specific contexts. This robust methodology is designed to o[er a comprehensive view of the programme’s impacts and the e[ectiveness of its strategies.

1. Desk research of MEAL data: This involves leveraging existing MEAL data to assess the programme’s impact through a detailed examination of baseline, mid-line, and end-line studies according to our MEAL protocol, combined with reviewing annual plans and reports for each country context (incl. outcome harvesting reports).

2. We invite evaluators to propose a suitable methodology for further assessing the two selected specific contexts in India and Ivory Coast where the WNCB programme has been active. These studies should explore the premise that an area-based approach is vital for a supply chain strategy to address child labour e[ectively and sustainably. The studies will specifically investigate the relationship between local informal economies and global supply chains, assessing how the WNCB Programme’s interventions have navigated these complexities and what the role is of private sector players and government agencies. Possible methodologies used are the case study approach, appreciative inquiry, contribution analysis or the realist evaluation. Possible respondents to these approaches are community members, including children, (local) government representatives and private sector players. We strongly encourage to engage national in-country consultants for the implementation of these studies.

3. Online interviews and meetings with programme staff: to get access to country specific validation data of key outcomes, and to gain further insights into the potential future directions of the WNCB Alliance and its partners in combating child labour, we recommend conducting online interviews and workshops with programme staff in close collaboration with the L&L coordinator of the WNCB programme. This will enable a deeper understanding of the programme’s strategies, outcomes, and potential areas for improvement. Considering the timing of the evaluation around summer holiday period in the Netherlands, it is suggested that the consultancy team proposed dates for interviews and group meetings at the earliest possible occasion to ensure availability of respective staff.

5. Evaluation team composition

The Alliance is seeking for a consultancy agency/network with strong mixed method qualifications, and an international network to form an international team of consultants. The teams should have su[icient capacity to deliver the desired deliverables within the period of 14 to 16 weeks (including the inception phase). It is asked that the lead applicants will present their suggested team, and comparative advantages of each team member in relation to their suggested task. Consultants who will conduct work for the case studies should, to a large extent, be based in the region to limit the number of flying hours for country visits.

Evaluators Profile: Lead evaluator profile for WNCB programme evaluation Educational Background: • Higher university degree (Master’s or Doctorate) in a relevant field such as social sciences, development studies, international relations, economics, or a field specifically related to child labour and supply chain management.

Professional Experience:

• Extensive proven experience in conducting evaluations of multi-country and multipartner programmes, with a focus on assessing complex, theory-based initiatives.

• Demonstrable track record of leading evaluations that require a deep dive into both qualitative and quantitative aspects of programme data, showcasing the ability to draw meaningful insights from the interplay of diverse data types.

• Experience in leading consultancy teams for similar evaluations, including the coordination of local consultants/researchers in the regions of the two selected countries of implementation, ensuring a cohesive and comprehensive evaluation approach.

• No prior involvement in the WNCB Alliance work to maintain objectivity and impartiality in the evaluation process. Skills and Competencies:

• Excellent English speaking and writing skills, capable of producing clear, concise, and actionable evaluation reports and presentations.

• Demonstrated leadership skills in managing diverse teams and coordinating the work of local consultants/researchers across different countries and cultural contexts.

• Strong analytical skills, with a proficiency in both qualitative and quantitative research methodologies and tools, ensuring a holistic and in-depth evaluation approach.

• Ability to work collaboratively with a range of stakeholders, including programme sta[, donors, and local communities, to gather comprehensive evaluation data and insights. Desirable Attributes

• Knowledge of and experience in issues related to child labour, including familiarity with international frameworks, legislation, and best practices in child labour elimination e[orts.

• Knowledge of and experience with Outcome Harvesting methodology, contributing to a nuanced understanding of programme impacts and effectiveness.

• French speaking and writing skills to facilitate direct communication and data collection in Francophone regions, enhancing the team’s capability to conduct a thorough and nuanced evaluation. Requirements of other team members of the Evaluation Team The team should cover a spectrum of expertises, including:

• Quantitative analysis: Expert in statistical analysis, such as interpretation of Household Surveys and Tracer Studies making use of statistical analysis tools (R, SPSS, other)

• Regional qualitative researchers: Experienced in fieldwork for evaluations in the proposed method that will be implemented during the evaluation Experience in and knowledge of contexts of the 6 countries covered by the WNCB programme (India, Ivory Coast, Jordan, Mali, Uganda, the Netherlands/Europe, Vietnam)

• Child labour expertise: Knowledgeable about child labour laws and initiatives.

• Outcome Harvesting expertise: Experienced in outcome-based evaluation methods.

Overall Budget for this assignment is 100.000 Euro, including VAT.

Full ToR: https://wncb.org/assets/2024/04/Final-ToR-WNCB-End-Evaluation.pdf

How to apply

Interested candidates of the assignment are expected to provide the following documentation before 20 May, 17:00 Central European Summer Time (CEST) to: Sofie Ovaa, sovaa@hivos.org and Akky de Kort, akort@hivos.org

• Proposal of max 12 pages.

• Three samples of previous (similar) evaluations.

• Initial timeline based on methodology outlined, and indication of availability.

• A detailed total budget, referencing work packages and activities, the associated consultancy days and specifying the daily rates (incl. VAT).

• Description of the Team members, roles and responsibilities and complementarity. • Company profile and CV(s) of consultant(s).

• Minimum of two traceable, recent, and relevant references. For questions, please reach out to the programme manager, Sofie Ovaa sovaa@hivos.org

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