WASH in Informal Tented Settlements (ITS) and Community Support Projects (CSP) Programme Evaluation in Lebanon 

WASH in Informal Tented Settlements (ITS) and Community Support Projects (CSP) Programme Evaluation in Lebanon

NRC WASH in ITS and CSP Programme Evaluation in Lebanon

As the Syrian displacement crisis is marked by its tenth year in a country challenged by the lack of equitable governance for its resources and services while coping with the burden of being the host of the largest concentration of refugees per capita, the living conditions of Syrian refugees in Lebanon have been increasingly deteriorating with time. Such deteriorating living conditions have become a factor of coercion that induce refugee households (HH) to consider premature returns to Syria. On the other side, the concerns of the host community around the economy and its impact on the stability of the country is palpable as demonstrated starting 2019. As the pressure on the government bodies mounts, the Government has declared a state of economic emergency in September 2019, and a state of national mobilization in response to pandemic in March 2020, while a rhetoric that attributes the crisis to the protracted displacement continues to be present. The vulnerabilities of Syrian and non-Syrian refugees remain high due to cumulative factors in this protracted situation, where refugees are still largely dependent on humanitarian assistance to meet their basic needs and stay resilient against exploitation and other risks.

The national water sector in Lebanon before 2013, has been suffering from inter-related and mutually re-enforcing challenges for a long time from policy gaps, to depleted infrastructure, resourcing challenges, weak governance and overlapping mandates, and operation management. In 2010, the Government developed a national water sector strategy including an investment plan and strategic roadmap that set out necessary initiatives to improve the management of the sector, enhance the enabling environment and bring services to acceptable levels for a growing Lebanese population. Unfortunately, in the wake of the crisis, the focus necessarily switched from systems upgrading to addressing the emergency needs of the displaced persons and host communities. Today, the Water sector is unable to meet all the needs of the different population groups in Lebanon, with a growing number of people in need to more than 2.6 million in LCRP 2020 and further expecting increase of water vulnerabilities during 2021 onwards in a situation where after years of strain due to impact of the Syria crisis, preceded by decades of under-investment and civil war, the water and wastewater service systems are in a state of severe disrepair.

SCOPE OF WORK AND LINES OF INQUIRY

The evaluation will cover the WASH programme response in ITS in Bekaa and the Community Support Interventions in three areas. The time period is 2018 to 2021. Geographical scope: Akkar governorate, Bekaa and Baalbeck-Hermel governorate and South governorate.

Lines of inquiry

The evaluation will look to answer the following questions: ITS (Lot 1):

Relevance/Appropriateness:

  • How relevant and appropriate is the current programme design and implementation (including the COVID-19 response) to the WASH needs of Syrian refugees living in ITSs? How can it be more relevant and appropriate?
  • To what degree is the programme designed and implemented based on the opinions and the priorities of Syrian refugees? Is it perceived as relevant by them? If so, how?
  • How can the programme improve its consultation process to better identify and target the needs of refugees in informal tented settlements?
  • Should the programme revise its classification and prioritization of target groups? How?
  • To what extent are the different needs of the various groups (females, males, persons at heightened risk) perceived to be considered? How can the programme better target these groups to become more inclusive?

Effectiveness:

  • To what extent were the objectives of the programme achieved?
  • To what extent has the presence of WASH focal points affected the ITSs as a whole? Are the WASH focal points and committees the right approach to community engagement and accountability to affected population?
  • How can the selection, role definition, monitoring and support of these focal points and committees be improved?
  • To what extent does the design and implementation of watsan facilities support safe, equitable and adequate access to Water and Sanitation services?
  • How is the current quality, coverage and frequency of the Kits distributions contributing to reaching improved health outcomes? Would better outcomes be reached if quality or frequency is modified, or other modalities are adopted. For example cash?
  • To what extent is the programme design and implementation gender-responsive? How can we improve this response?
  • How well is the NRC WASH Core Competency interventions, coordination and collaboration aligned with the WASH sector planning, coordination and reporting?
  • What are the major internal factors (programme design, management, etc ….) influencing the achievement or non-achievement of the objectives? How can we leverage more the enabling factors and mitigate the barriers?
  • What are the major external factors, aside from those in the known literature, influencing the achievement or non-achievement of the objectives? How can we leverage more the enabling factors and mitigate the barriers?
  • What programme design, implementation and monitoring elements can be added or amended to improve the effectiveness of the programme?
  • To what extent the objectives and approaches set out in the NRC protection policy have been integrated into WASH programming?

Efficiency:

  • How are the currently adopted service modalities more or less efficient than other used modalities across country? How can NRC reduce the cost of service delivery?
  • Is the WASH programme able to use well the resources available for provision of WASH services to ITS? Are there potential efficiencies that present themselves?

Impact (with a focus on the theory of change outcomes):

  • To what extent has the programme generated or is expected to generate, significant positive or negative, intended or unintended, high level effects?
  • What is the impact of the continued WASH services on refugee households (i.e water trucking and desludging) versus those households that had had these WASH services interrupted?
  • Were there any unintended positive or negative consequences of NRC WASH interventions in ITSs, on refugees and/or adjacent host communities?
  • What impact does the involvement of females as focal points in WASH governance on a site level have on the overall women’s access to WASH services? Are we contributing to overburdening of women or to empowering women?
  • What is the overall environmental impact of NRC ITS intervention re fecal sludge and solid waste disposal (treatment?), groundwater extraction and carbon footprint (trucking)?
  • Does the Hygiene Promotion programme contribute to sustainable behavioral change amongst different gender and age groups?
  • Has the overall improvement of site sanitation contributed to a better refugee acceptance or mitigated tensions with the neighboring host communities?
  • How could all the above inform the revision of the theory of change of the programme? What could be strengthened to achieve greater impact?

Community Support Projects (CSP) (Lot 2 and Lot 3):

Relevance/Appropriateness

  • How robust and inclusive is the community consultation process? How can it be improved?
  • Are NRC’s CSP selection criteria relevant and adequate? How can they be improved?

Effectiveness

  • To what extent were the objectives of the projects achieved?
  • Are NRC’s CSPs technically sound (are the technical objectives achieved)?
  • What is NRC’s added value to CSP versus a contracting firm or other alternatives
  • How can NRC build on the learning and experiences from CSPs to transition to a more adequate response option to strengthen public sector institutions and improving quality of public services?
  • Have the CSPs been sustainably operated and maintained by the local service providers after NRC handover?
  • To what extent were the service providers able to maintain the operationality of the system at full capacity?
  • In the case of municipalities and water establishments as service providers, to what extent is the cost recovery of the provided service is achieved?

Impact

  • To what extent have the projects generated or are expected to generate, significant positive or negative, intended or unintended, high level effects?
  • Have NRC Community Support Projects improved Syrian refugees’ acceptance in targeted areas of intervention?
  • How could all the above inform the revision of the theory of change of the programme? What could be strengthened to achieve greater impact?

METHODOLOGY

To answer the evaluation questions, NRC would like the evaluator to submit a study design and methodology, which focuses on participatory, qualitative methods, to complement the quantitative data about the programme already available. The methodology should also include comparison groups to examine the impact of the programme, for example ITSs that did not receive similar WASH services, and municipalities that have found other means to address the WASH problems. In particular, we are seeking an evaluator experienced in participatory evaluations, remote data collection, and theories of change.

  • At a minimum, the methodology could include but not be limited to the below, as we encourage suggestions of methodologies:
  • a desk review of key documents, including analysis of existing qualitative and quantitative programme data;
  • semi-structured interviews with beneficiaries and key informants;
  • participatory methods to seek the views and perceptions of the targeted beneficiaries, their communities and key stakeholders (WASH partners, community actors, international and national organizations, Water Establishments, etc);
  • Also, a field validation exercise, for confirming preliminary findings with beneficiaries should be envisioned in the field part of the exercise.

EVALUATION CONSULTANT TEAM

NRC seeks expressions of interest from individuals or joint applications, ideally with the following skills/qualifications and expertise:

  • Sound and proven experience in conducting evaluations, particularly utilisation and learning focused evaluations
  • Extensive experience of theories of change and how they can be used to carry out evaluations
  • Expertise in participatory qualitative data collection techniques.
  • Background in delivery of WASH programmes
  • Additional, desirable knowledge, includes:
    • Understanding of refugee WASH programmes providing in ITS settings
    • Understanding of WASH programming for community support projects

Necessary Skills:

  • Fluency in written and spoken English is required
  • Fluency in spoken Arabic is highly desirable
  • Prior experience in Middle East
  • Proven experience of managing evaluations of humanitarian projects
  • Experience of designing qualitative data collection methods and of managing participatory and learning focused evaluations
  • Excellent team working and communication skills, flexibility and good organisation skills
  • The most experienced team members are required to complete the qualitative interviews, delegating to junior researchers/team members that do not have sufficient experience is not encouraged.

Application Deadline: May 7, before 11:00 AM Lebanon time.

Interview dates: fourth week of May

To apply, send a message of interest to the email address to: mohamad.zeinedine@nrc.no to request tender documents. Once received, you will be sent the Tender Package needed to apply. The message of interest must be sent before May 6, 9:00 AM Beirut time which is the deadline to request the tender package.

Your final application is due on May 7 before 11:00 AM Lebanon time, and should be submitted electronically to lb.procurement2@nrc.no

Bids must include the following:

  • Tender package documents filled as requested by the procurement unit in NRC.
  • Proposal including: outline of evaluation framework and methods, including comments on the TOR, proposed timeframe, and detailed work plan with number of days per phase and personnel specified.
  • Proposed evaluation budget, with details about all costs (visa, travel, daily rate per consultant/team member, other costs)
  • Cover letter clearly summarizing experience as it pertains to this assignment (max 1 page).
  • Three professional references.
  • CVs and evidence of past evaluations for each team member.
  • At least one example of an evaluation report most similar to that described in this TOR and drafted by the consultant that will be drafting the NRC report.
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