Summary

The Solidarity Center was awarded a grant through a competitive funding opportunity for a program focused on increasing women’s full, equal, and safe participation in the workforce, including vulnerable women worker’s access to decent work. As part of the award, the Solidarity Center designed and implemented programming in Georgia and Armenia.

Description

Statement of Work – External Evaluation Services

Strengthening Women’s Participation in the Workforce (Georgia and Armenia)

June 2024

I      PROJECT BACKGROUND AND OVERVIEW
 

    1. Project Background and Goals

The Solidarity Center is the largest U.S.-based international worker rights organization. Its programs are based on the principle that, by exercising their right to freedom of association and forming trade unions and democratic worker rights organizations, working people can collectively improve their workplaces, call on governments to uphold laws and protect human rights, and be a force for democracy, social justice, and inclusive economic development. Its programs in more than 60 countries focus on human and worker rights awareness, union skills, occupational safety and health, gender equality, migration and human trafficking, and pro-legal strategies, as well as bolster workers in an increasingly informal economy. The Solidarity Center was awarded a grant through a competitive funding opportunity for a program focused on increasing women’s full, equal, and safe participation in the workforce, including vulnerable women worker’s access to decent work. As part of the award, the Solidarity Center designed and implemented programming in Georgia and Armenia.

Objective 1: To improve processes for women to access quality employment.

Objective 2: To improve work conditions for vulnerable women workers

Objective 3: To promote enabling environments to increase women’s economic empowerment and opportunity.

Objective 4: To reduce barriers and enhance protections in policies, laws, regulations and practices (public and private) to facilitate women’s participation in the economy.
 

    1. Project Partners

Institutional partnerships with trade unions in both countries proved to be crucial in facilitating links to workers, unions, and employers in specific sectors. Similarly, civil society partners including women’s rights groups and business associations served as key coalition partners, assisting in stakeholder outreach to municipal leaders, educational institutions, and key government officials and institutions.

II         EVALUATION PURPOSE AND SCOPE OF WORK 
 

    1. Evaluation Purpose

The Solidarity Center seeks an external evaluator to conduct an independent final evaluation of the Strengthening Women’s Participation in the Workforce program across both program countries. The primary evaluation objective is to provide the Solidarity Center with critical information for designing future programs related to improving women’s access to and rights within workplaces, both in the Caucasus region and globally. The evaluation will assess program effectiveness, appropriateness of the program design, and sustainability of the initiatives. Information collected from this evaluation will also identify weaknesses to improve on, needs for future programmatic priorities, and effective approaches, practices, and strategies to replicate in the future.
 

    1.  Evaluation Questions and Methodology

Following OECD evaluation standards, key evaluation criteria and questions are provided below:
 

  • Relevance:
    • To what extent did the project’s activities respond to the needs and priorities of women in the workforce and women not yet in the workforce, with an emphasis of those from marginalized communities?
  • Coherence:
    • To what extent did external factors in Georgia and/or Armenia impact the project’s ability to increase women’s access to decent work and realization of their rights in the workplace? 
  • Effectiveness:
    • To what extent did the program increase women’s full, equal, and safe participation in the workforce?
    • How is the program perceived and valued by workers, unions, and other relevant stakeholders?
  • Impact:
    • To what extent have changes — expected and unexpected, positive and negative — impacted women in both countries, including those from marginalized communities?
  • Sustainability:
    • To what extent can the improvements made to women’s employment and access to equality and safety at work be sustained after the completion of this program? 
    • How can the sustainability of the program be further improved?

The selected evaluator will be expected to review and refine the evaluation questions in coordination with the Solidarity Center prior to commencing the evaluation. The evaluation design will include a review of the existing program documents and material, monitoring data, and logic model of the program.

Methodology, as envisaged by the Solidarity Center, may include outcome harvesting, process tracing, or collaborative outcomes reporting. Prospective vendors should elaborate their proposed methodologies and data collection techniques in proposals submitted to the Solidarity Center and outline relevant experience they have had in utilizing the methodologies and techniques they have proposed. The methodology should be inclusive of the evaluation to take place in both countries in which program activities took place. As such, the Solidarity Center will not consider applicants that are not able to address the full scope of the evaluation need expressed.

    1. Stakeholders Engagement

Stakeholder involvement is critical to the successful implementation of the evaluation. The evaluator is expected to retain independence in developing their analysis regarding program effectiveness and to employ a participatory and collaborative approach to ensure meaningful involvement of the following key stakeholders:

  • Relevant Solidarity Center staff based in headquarter and field offices
  • Union and CSO representatives (local leaders, activists, and members involved in this program – in program delivery or as allies)
  • Program participants and beneficiaries, if possible

The final evaluation report will also be shared with key partners and individuals participating in the evaluation, enabling them to see how their contributions have been used. SC staff will also reference the report in future program planning conversations with these partners, demonstrating learning from the findings.

III       WORK PLAN AND EXPECTED DELIVERABLES
 

    1. Work Plan (indicative)

The evaluation is expected to be commenced in June 2024 and completed by September 30, 2024. The consultant will be required to provide and confirm a detailed work plan during the inception period. The main activities and evaluation timetable are as follows:

Evaluation Process
Deadline
Responsibility

Selection and award of contract to selected applicant (evaluator)
June 21, 2024
Solidarity Center

Inception report submission
July 5, 2024
Evaluator

Final Approved Inception report
July 12, 2024
Evaluator / SC

Completion of interviews and fieldwork
September 6, 2024
Evaluator

Weekly coordination check-in during fieldwork to discuss progress, obstacles, and support needed (email or call)
Weekly
Evaluator / SC

Data Validation Session
September 12, 2024
Evaluator / SC

Draft report submitted
September 18, 2024
Evaluator

Final report submitted
September 30, 2024
Evaluator / SC

Respond to recommendations and questions from DRL, if applicable, and update report accordingly
October 31, 2024
Evaluator / SC
 

    1. Expected Deliverables

The evaluation requires the Evaluator to submit the following deliverables:
 

  1. Final inception report: The inception report will be based on an initial document review and, if needed, preliminary interviews with various stakeholders. Documents will be provided to the evaluator upon full execution of the contract. The report should detail how the evaluation will be implemented, how stakeholders will be engaged, how evaluation questions will be addressed, and what security measures will be taken. The following elements should be included: expectations of the evaluation; any refinements and elaboration of evaluation questions; methods – qualitative and quantitative – and data collection, including possible constraints; outline of the final evaluation report; an evaluation matrix linking questions, methods, data sources, and indicators, among other components that are collaboratively determined with SC.

 

  1. Validation session: The evaluator will hold a validation session with SC and partners to present and discuss the evaluation findings and associated lessons.

 

  1. Evaluation report: The report will present the findings of the evaluation in a clear and concise manner. The report will be roughly 35-40 pages (excluding annexes). A draft report will be sent to SC staff for review and written comment. Based on the comments provided, the evaluator will make corrections as warranted to ensure the accuracy of the final report.

 

  1. Evaluation brief: Following the completion of the report, the evaluator will prepare an evaluation brief summarizing the purpose of the evaluation, methodology, findings, and lessons learned. This resource serves as a public-facing document that summarizes the evaluation findings, lessons, and recommendations to encourage the utilization of evidence generated.

IV        OPERATIONS 

    1. Roles and Responsibilities

The Solidarity Center will be responsible for:

  • Providing technical guidance throughout the implementation of the evaluation;
  • Providing access to program data and documents and facilitating access to stakeholders;
  • Approving the proposed evaluation plan, including methodology, prior to the start of the evaluation; and
  • Reviewing and commenting on drafts of the inception, the evaluation report, and the evaluation brief, among other deliverables.

The Evaluator will be responsible for:

  • Developing an evaluation matrix that includes evaluation criteria, evaluation questions, data sources, collection methods, and data analysis methods;
  • Collect and review relevant data, reports, and publications as part of the overall analysis and reporting;
  • Designing and conducting all necessary qualitative and quantitative assessments and fieldwork;
  • Coordinating logistics for the fieldwork, including travel, scheduling, organizing interpreters (with assistance from the SC), and hosting focus groups and interviews;
  • Overseeing the day-to-day management of the evaluation, including establishing mechanisms to ensure data quality;
  • Providing regular formal and informal reporting to the Solidarity Center;
  • Participating in key evaluation-related meetings; and
  • Producing deliverables (mainly an inception report, evaluation report, and an evaluation brief) in accordance with the Scope of Work and contractual arrangements.
  • Present evaluation findings, conclusions, and recommendations (via a data validation session) to the project team, partners, and other stakeholders as relevant.

 

4.2 Data Security and Storage

 
All information gleaned from participants in the evaluation must remain anonymous. Any personal identifiable data must be collected and stored by the vendor in compliance with relevant regulations in Georgia (Law on Personal Data Protection adopted on June 14, 2023) and Armenia (Law on Protection of Personal Data adopted on 18 May 2015).

V   QUALIFICATION, APPLICATION, AND SELECTION
 

    1. Qualification of Consultant

The SC is seeking an evaluator with experience in evaluating labor-oriented or democracy and governance programs, and familiarity in evaluating US government grant-funded development programs. The evaluator should have excellent written communication skills in English. Knowledge of Georgian and/or Armenian will be considered desirable. While the majority of the in-country evaluation may be conducted in the local language, all key deliverables (mainly the inception report, evaluation report, and evaluation brief) must be provided in English. Should the evaluator require the assistance of an interpreter or translator for any language other than English, the SC will cover such expenses as mutually agreed upon.

The evaluator should also have knowledge of gender-sensitive evaluation approaches, preferably in the world of work. Experience with labor rights programs and working with unions and worker organizations as program partners is highly desirable.
 

    1. Application Process and Selection Criteria

Selection of the evaluator will be based on the strength of the qualifications provided by potential candidates through their expressions of interest for the assignment. The application should include:
 

  • Resume and a cover letter stating the qualifications to conduct the evaluation as described above. If the evaluator intends to engage any other party(ies) the application must include a statement of qualifications for the proposed team member(s) as well as an overview of the envisioned roles;
  • Technical proposal;
  • Two relevant evaluation samples;
  • Fixed price per deliverable based on the deliverables listed in the ‘’Workplan and Expected Deliverables’’ section;
  • Names and contacts (telephone and e-mail addresses) of three professional references familiar with your qualifications and work experience, ideally clients or supervisors for whom you have consulted or worked; and
  • Statement of availability for the assignment.

Please send all applications to: Europe-central-asia@solidaritycenter.org

Applications should be submitted as soon as possible and will be reviewed on a rolling basis; please note that target start date for candidate selection is June 21, 2024.

NOTE: This Terms of Reference is currently under review by the donor and may be subject to change. The draft will be finalized before contract signature.