EXTERNAL EVALUATION INDEPENDENT CONTRACTOR

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EXTERNAL EVALUATION INDEPENDENT CONTRACTOR

Job Category: Consultancies

Heartland Alliance International (HAI)

Iraq

Organization Summary

Heartland Alliance International (HAI) is the youngest and fastest growing part of Heartland Alliance for Human Needs & Human Rights, a family of organizations that has been leading anti-poverty and social justice work in Chicago for more than 125 years. HAI is comprised of nearly a dozen country offices implementing programs on a broad range of human rights issues globally, as well as the Chicago-based Marjorie Kovler Center for the Treatment of Survivors of Torture, which serves individuals from more than 50 countries. HAI has significant expertise in the fields of trauma-informed mental health care and access to justice for survivors of rights abuses. It is also an industry leader in access to high-quality and stigma-free health care. Across all of its programs, HAI promotes progressive, innovative approaches to human rights protections and gender equality.

Description

With generous support from European Commission (EC), HAI launched the Protect the Future: Juvenile Justice Reform in Iraq project is a 24 -month project in Iraq which aims to improve the service delivery of judicial institutions in Iraq through support of access to justice and improved detention conditions so that juveniles in conflict with the law are better protected. HAI anticipates achieving this overall objective by focusing on two specific objectives: (1) improving the functioning of the national legal aid scheme to improve compliance with international standards and relevant national laws for juveniles in conflict with the law; and (2) enhancing access to justice for vulnerable groups, including children and adolescents in conflict with the law. HAI expects four concrete results as consequences of this action: (1) Judges and prosecutors in Baghdad, Basra, Erbil, Dohuk and Sulaymaniyah will improve their capacity and accountability for assuring that the juvenile justice system functions to uphold the best interests of the child; (2) Juveniles in conflict with the law will be better protected from abuse during pre-trial detention and investigation; (3) The Iraqi and Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Committee on Family, Women, and Child will improve their capacity to advocate for a new Child Law; and (4) Juveniles will benefit from improved legal aid services and from better assessments provided by social workers. The action directly addresses the European Commission’s specific objectives to improve the functioning of the national legal aid scheme by seeking (1) to improve functioning of the juvenile justice system, (2) to enhance access to justice for vulnerable groups by working to ensure access to justice for juveniles, and (3) to prevent abuse in pre-trial detention. Juvenile justice reform is relevant to the wider aim of advancing the public legitimacy of Iraq’s national and regional governments because governments that permit human rights abuses to be committed against children lose legitimacy in the eyes of the public. By creating a more humane juvenile justice system, the Iraqi government will provide a compelling contrast with militias and ISIS, which routinely recruit and abuse children in furtherance of their political aims.

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The administration of juvenile justice in Iraq is harsh, arbitrary, and inconsistent with international human rights standards. Legal representation of juveniles is grossly inadequate in terms of both quality and availability of services, and children are often charged and convicted of crimes of which they have no understanding. Furthermore, children and adolescents who are victims of crimes themselves (such as prostitution and trafficking) are at particular risk of erroneous prosecution when they should be protected. Boys tend to be charged under legislation aimed at combating terrorism and organized crime, while girls tend to be charged under anti-prostitution laws. Once juveniles are arrested and charged, their guilt is assumed, and they are treated as disposable members of society, or even as “trash” according to one human rights expert in Iraq. Incarceration of juveniles in Iraq and Kurdistan is both arbitrary and excessively punitive, despite provisions in national legislation as well as in international conventions ratified by Iraq, guaranteeing that detention of juveniles should be used only as a last resort in line with acting in the “best interest of the child.” Pre- and post-trial detention places juveniles in extremely vulnerable situations that significantly heighten the chance of ill-treatment and abuse by government employees, as well as by other juveniles. Girls and members of ethnic minorities are at particular risk of sexual violence.

Police routinely arrest and hold juveniles with adults in lockups during the pre-trial investigative stage, where they are at grave risk of physical and sexual abuse. HAI has uncovered instances of children as young as nine being housed with adolescents aged 16 or older. In 2009, HAI discovered that approximately 15% of the 200 minors being held in Kurdish juvenile detention centres had been jailed due to sexual orientation. Systems to assess minors for psychological or developmental disabilities are weak or non-existent, and adolescents with autism-spectrum disorders have been convicted and given custodial sentences for very minor non-violent crimes. Children’s rights have severely weakened through the security crisis in Iraq, most notably due to child rights’ violations committed by armed groups including ISIS and Shi’a and Sunni militias active in large parts of Iraq. Children from ethnic minorities and girls face particular violation of their rights. The decision to charge a child with a crime is very often related to the social status and persuasiveness of the family, with children of ethnic minorities and low-income or “dishonourable” families being far more likely to be charged, convicted, and incarcerated.

 

Protect the Future: Juvenile Justice Reform in Iraq project addresses these problems by building capacity and accountability of actors in the justice system at all levels, including judges, prosecutors, police, social workers, and lawyers, so that they are better able to serve the best interests of the child and avoid the gross miscarriages of justice that continue to plague the system and undermine Iraq’s legitimacy. These target groups will benefit from participation in this action in myriad ways that will improve their professional capacity and ability to perform their legal obligations with the highest ethical standards. HAI is providing training, mentoring, and technical assistance tailored to the needs of each target group. HAI ensures ongoing consultation regularly with its co-applicants (PAO in both Baghdad and Dohuk, DHRD in Sulaymaniyah, Al Mesalla in Erbil, and Al Manahil in Basra)as well as directly with the target groups to ensure that its planned interventions are effective, timely, and geared to the specific challenges each group faces. Leaders of the target groups, such as the High Judicial Council (HJC), will be engaged in multiple activities to deepen their involvement and feeling of investment to improve the functioning of the national legal aid scheme so that children and adolescents in conflict with the law are better protected. HAI and its co-applicants will maintain an open dialogue with all target groups, encouraging their feedback as to the effectiveness of interventions and soliciting suggestions for how to further improve the support and technical assistance it provides.

Responsibilities

Evaluation Rationale

HAI seeks a Contractor to conduct a final evaluation of Protect the Future: Juvenile Justice Reform in Iraq over the life of the project.  The evaluation will measure the project’s effectiveness, efficiency, relevance, potential for impact, and potential for sustainability. HAI and the Contractor will collaboratively design the evaluation methodology to investigate key evaluation questions that include but are not limited to:

  1. Has the project been appropriately responsive to political, legal, economic, and institutional changes in the project environment?
  2. What is the effectiveness and efficiency of the project design and its interventions in relations to wider project aspirations?
  3. How has the sustainability of the project been integrated into the project design? How likely it is that momentum will continue both at local and national levels to combat the issues targeted by the project following the end of the project period?
  4. What are the key strengths and weaknesses of the project that have affected project performance?
  5. What are key lessons learned and emerging recommendations that can be used for future programming?

 

The evaluation will be shared both with HAI and the EC and will help inform the implementation of HAI’s future programming on project on juvenile justice work in Iraq and in the entire Middle East and North Africa region. The external evaluation will complement HAI’s internal assessment of the project, and HAI will share the evaluation with staff, partners, and other stakeholders as necessary.

Evaluation Design & Methodology

The design and methodology applied to this evaluation should generate the highest quality and most credible evidence to answer the evaluation questions listed above, and should primarily focus on assessing project activities implemented under Protect the Future: Juvenile Justice Reform in Iraq project. Prior to the start of data collection, the Contractor will develop and present, for HAI review and approval, a written methodology that details the evaluation activities, evaluation tools, and data analysis plan for this evaluation. The written methodology should be guided by a participatory approach to evaluation, and will be comprised of a mix of quantitative and qualitative tools appropriate to the evaluation’s research questions. HAI expects the methodology to include, but not be limited to, the following activities:

  • A desk review of relevant information on the status of juvenile justice, legal and social reforms in Iraq, the social and political context of the target population, and a review of existing methodologies adopted or recommended to measure to effectiveness, efficiency, relevance, impact and sustainability of juvenile justice and system reform efforts;
  • A review of all relevant project documentation in English, Arabic and Kurdish;
  • A review of project data;
  • Site visits to partners and stakeholders visits in Basra, Baghdad, Dohuk, Sulaymaniyah and Erbil;
  • Data collection methods and tools, including a pre-selection of key informant interviews;
  • Data analysis plan. Evaluation questions should be answered with information that is disaggregated by gender and location

HAI will provide the evaluation team access to all relevant project documents, including but not limited to:

  • The original grant agreement and subsequent modifications to the grant agreement;
  • Quarterly reports, work plans and management reviews developed as part of routine project monitoring; and
  • All data, including data collection tools, previously collected from routine project monitoring.

Evaluation Deliverables

  • Evaluation Methodology & Work Plan: A written, draft methodology for the evaluation will be submitted to HAI for review and approval no later than the 7th day following the signing of this agreement. The methodology plan should include the evaluation design, data collection plan, instruments, tools, and an operational work plan, including a timeline. The methodology plan will be discussed with HAI prior to any data collection activities.  The Contractor may change the methodology but must submit any changes for approval to HAI prior to implementation.
  • Evaluation Data: All raw data used in the evaluation analysis should be submitted no later than two weeks after data collection activities are completed. The Contractor will provide data in an electronic file in an easy to read format; organized and fully documented for use by those not familiar with the project or evaluation.

 

  • Draft Evaluation Report: The Contractor will submit a draft report of the findings and recommendations from the evaluation no later than 21st March 2019. Prior approval by the Company will be required should the Contractor want to revise this deadline. The format of the evaluation report should follow the guidelines listed in Attachment B. The report must be submitted in English, electronically. 
  • Debriefing with HAI and partner staff: The Contractor will present major accomplishments and findings from the evaluation to HAI and partner staff through PowerPoint presentation after completion of field-based data collection. The debriefing will include a discussion of achievement and issues as well as any recommendation the team has for possible modifications to project approaches, results, or activities. The Contractor will consider HAI project staff comments and revise the evaluation report accordingly, as appropriate.
  • Final Report: HAI will provide the Contractor with written comments on the Draft Evaluation Report no later than 26th March 2019 The Contractor will submit a Final Evaluation Report that incorporates HAI’s responses to the Draft Evaluation Report no later than 31st March 2019. The format of the evaluation report should follow the guidelines provided to the Contractor by HAI. The final version of the Final Evaluation Report will be submitted in English, electronically no later than 31st March 2019.

Requirements

The Contractor will receive support from HAI’s project team, as well as HAI’s Monitoring & Evaluation team. The Contractor should possess the following qualifications:

 

  • Fluency in Arabic, Kurdish and English;
  • Outstanding oral and written communication skills;
  • At least two years demonstrated experience in conducting evaluations and writing reports;
  • Demonstrated experience working in the field of Juvenile justice a plus;
  • Demonstrated knowledge of the key challenges and actors associated to juvenile justice work in Middle East and North Africa and specifically Iraq.

Other/More

Evaluation Management

HAI will provide overall supervision to the Contractor during contract period. HAI will assist the Contractor with finalizing the evaluation methodology and work plan, and assist in identifying and providing key project documents for the Contractor to review during the contract period. HAI will provide overall logistical support and assistance to the Contractor, as needed and when possible. HAI will provide [transportation, translation/interpretation during evaluation activities, data collection/entry support, etc.], as approved in the evaluation’s work plan. HAI’s project-based staff will be made available to the Contractor for consultations during the evaluation process.

 

The Contractor is responsible for arranging and completing all evaluation-related activities listed in the approved methodology and work plan, in coordination with HAI’s local project and logistics staff. The Contractor will advise HAI prior to each of those activities. The Contractor will be responsible for completing and submitting to the Company the evaluation products listed in Section E of this document. The Contractor will be responsible for procuring his/her own work/office space, computers, Internet access, printing, and photocopying throughout the evaluation. The Contractor will be required to make his/her own payments for such services. The Contractor will be responsible for any expenses beyond the fee provided by the Company as determined in this document. 

 

Payment Schedule

  • 1st installment: 50% upon signing this agreement.
  • 2nd installment: 50% upon review and approval by the Company of all items listed under the ‘Evaluation Products’ section of this  Scope of Work (SOW) and receipt of invoice from the Contractor. The Contractor will provide the Company with a written invoice within 15 days prior to the end of the consulting period for services rendered.

Application Instructions

To be considered for this contract, please submit the following to elee@heartlandalliance.org, copying bkasundu@heartlandalliance.org and hairaq-jobs@heartlandalliance.org by March 30th , 2019. For any clarification or questions contact Bosco Kasundu at bkasundu@heartlandalliance.org.

  1. A letter of interest, indicating how your skills and experience meet the qualifications listed above;
  2. A résumé or CV (no more than four pages);
  3. A writing sample (no more than three pages);
  4. A draft budget, including consultation fees and all other evaluation-related expenses, including travel for the entire exercise.

Incomplete submission packages and submission packages that do not adhere to the page limits stated above will not be considered. Present employees of HAI or HAI’s implementing partners need not apply.