Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Who CARE's about the money

I just received a job offer from CARE. If anyone wants to know, what happens with all the money NGOs get from their donors, here you can see another example of the answer: It goes to administration and consultants.

CARE International in Lao PDR is seeking for a short-term consultant for End of Project Evaluation Mission - Team Leader.

Terms of References

End of Project Evaluation Mission – Team Leader

Care Australia

Improving Livestock Raising Practices in Remote Upland Areas (Khua District, Phongsaly Province, Lao PDR)


Lao PDR is ranked 133rd by the UNDP Human Development Report in 2009. Approximately half of all rural children are chronically malnourished and significant economic growth within Lao PDR over the last decade has not translated into nutritional gains at the household level. Food and nutritional insecurity in Lao PDR is strongly correlated with ethnicity, and the burden of poverty, including food shortages and insecurity, falls disproportionately on ethnic groups living in remote upland areas.

The northern province of Phongsaly is characterized by its remoteness, poor access to roads and markets, and steeply sloping lands. Rice production per capita, crop diversity, livestock ownership and education are low. Khua district is ranked among the 72 poorest districts in the country with almost 50% of villages classified as ‘poor’. Communities in the project area are predominantly of the Khmu ethnic group. Key challenges to achieving food and nutritional security in the target area are: inefficient production systems and limited income generation (access), poor nutrition practices (utilization), gender relations which limit women’s roles and access to resources, and marginalization of communities, particularly women, in district decision-making and planning processes.

CARE has been operational in Phongsaly province since 2005, implementing a portfolio of projects focusing on food security and livelihoods development for poor rural communities.

The present Gifts ‘06 project began its implementation in January 2008 with student scholarships as a continuation of CARE Australia’s Gifts’ Catalogue funding. The present project has been extended until December 2010. The former Gifts ’05 project ended in December 2008, and the remaining budget was rolled into the Gifts ’06 project,

The project worked in 2 districts, Samphan and Khua. In June 2010, resettlement issues forced CARE to close the programme in Samphan district.

The objectives of the GIFT 2006 project are within the scope of the larger project, which is the EC funded Food and Nutritional Security Project, which has the following overall objective:

To improve the food and nutrition security of women and the rural poor and to empower poor local communities to participate in decision making at the local level for the achievement of a sustainable food and nutrition strategy.

In the GIFT project proposal the objective was formulated:

Food security and livelihood of remote upland the villages is improved through higher family income through improved livestock raising.

The project has the purpose, to provide selected upland communities with livestock and extension services for improved livestock raising practices.

The review period for this consultancy focuses on project implementation from July 2009 to December 2010.

Objectives of the evaluation mission

The overall objective of the evaluation mission is to review and assess comprehensively the management, the implementation progress, the quality and impact of the achievements, and the approaches of project activities after two years of project implementation, and to produce recommendations on follow-up steps to be taken by CARE International Laos in order to obtain the impacts of improved livestock raising.

The main objectives of the evaluation are:

1. to engage with all relevant stakeholders to assess the impact of CARE’s Gift’s ‘06 project

2. to identify the strengths and weakness of the various aspects of the current project

3. recommend any changes to the livestock components arising from the evaluation

4. to engage the CARE team and Government counterparts to build their capacity and understanding of the impacts of the project

Main tasks of the evaluation mission

The main tasks of the evaluation mission include but are not limited to the following aspects:

* A ‘Lessons learned/good practices’ workshop focusing on improved livestock raising with special consideration of gender issues organized by the consultant

· Gender-integrated socio-economic, and technical assessment of the achievements by GIFT funding in Phongsaly province since the beginning of this project (July 2009-Janua\ry 2011)

· Assessment of student sponsorship programme

· Recommendations on necessary follow-up activities to sustain livestock raising including the livestock bank schemes, veterinary services, labour saving technologies and gender issues

· The evaluation will cover CARE Laos’ project activities in Khua and Samphan districts and engagements at local and provincial government level.

Questions related to project impact and benefits


* What has been accomplished by the project vis-à-vis the project’s logframe?
* How do villagers themselves evaluate the activities (strong and weak points)?
* How appropriate have been the household targeting strategies for the respective schemes?
* What have been the expected and unexpected benefits to women by the project?
* Which are the negative effects from this project?

Goat and Pig Banks

* Achievements of animal banks (productivitiy and income generation)
* Assessment/awareness raising of vulnerable household and gender-balanced targeting mechanisms in the villages of Omthan and Moklom (Samphan district) and Khua district (Houaysing, Kunglith, Mokpek, Na, Nambout, Omdeun, Omthap, Onmok, Phuvieng, Senlath, Viengkham)
* Environmental impacts
* Impact of capacity building activities and further capacity building needs
* Recommended strategies for set up of livestock bank schemes as sustainable mechanism

Labour saving technologies

* Achievements of forage planting and penning
* Capacity building and further needs
* Recommended strategies

Veterinary services

* Achievements of veterinary service system
* Cool chain equipment access and maintenance
* Capacity building and further needs
* Recommended strategies

Expected results

The team leader is liable to submit the following results to CARE International in Lao PDR.

* A comprehensive report that summarizes the findings of the mission, including

a. an executive summary, containing the major results and recommendations

b. Findings and detailed recommendations regarding the benefits and impacts

c. An appendix containing relevant references and contacted persons

The final report is to be sent through email. The consultant accepts that, after review of the report by CARE International in Lao PDR, minor corrections may be necessary.

* A lessons learned/best practice workshop in Muang Khua including a brief documentation of the workshop
* A final presentation of major findings and recommendations to CARE International in Vientiane


The evaluation will incorporate retrospective and prospective angles. The former will satisfy the requirements for analyzing the results and lessons learned and the latter will inform future policy and management decisions and strategy. The project evaluation is based on project documents and materials provided by CARE International and field trips to district offices and villages.


The methodology will include a variety of approaches, including participative review activities in communities (focus group discussions, household interviews, etc.), key stakeholder interviews, especially with Government partners and beneficiaries, and desk study. A gender sensitive approach will be used in all evaluation activities, and issues of diversity will also be captured (ie ethnic diversity and people living with disability) wherever possible.

Time frame, personnel and logistics

* The total duration of the assignment (including traveling, preparation/ briefing with CARE International and report writing) does not exceed 20 days.
o The evaluation expert is expected to carry out his/her fieldwork in Phongsaly from February 3 to 10, 2010
o The final report is to be submitted not later than three weeks after the completion of the assignment.
* During the mission, the expert will be supported by CARE International in transport, logistics and interpretation.
* An evaluation team will consist of representatives of the main stakeholders and should include male and female members. A suggested composition of the review team is:

Consultant (lead)

Provincial programme manager

2 staff members from the Khua team and their respective government counterparts

2 village representatives (possibly Kumban volunteers)

Qualifications of the consultant

The consultant should have experience with livestock development and fisheries, food security and rural development issues and extensive experience of working in Lao PDR. He/she should be able to understand the Lao language and able to lead the team, apply participatory approaches.

The consultant should be familiar with the conditions in upland northern Laos and be willing to travel to remote areas. The consultant should have strong report writing skills (in English).

Melinda Gates recently compared Coca Cola with NGO's, and she complained about having no real time data to monitor progress of projects while they are implemented. She quoted someone who said: "NGO projects are like bowling in the dark. You roll the bowl and after it hit the pins we switch on the light and see the result." That's what CARE is doing with this consultancy.

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