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Consultancy for mid-term review – ActionAid DRC safe cities project – Kinshasa, RDC

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Consultancy for mid-term review – ActionAid DRC safe cities project – Kinshasa, RDC

Closing date : 04 Mar 2019

ActionAid DRC is seeking a consultant to conduct the mid-term review of the Comic Relief funded Safe Cities: Improving safety, mobility and public services for vulnerable women and girls in DRCproject. This Terms of Reference sets out the scope and details of the work to be undertaken.


Background :

ActionAid International (AAI) is a global movement of people working together to further human rights for all and defeat poverty. We work in 45 countries with over 15 million people across Asia, Africa and the Americas. A Human Rights Based Approach (HRBA) underpins all our work, and AAI has been focusing on development by advocating for human security, women and girls’ rights among other priorities. ActionAid International DRC (AAI DRC) has been supporting women to stand up against violence, increase their access to justice, their participation in governance and work to improve the safety of women and girls in public spaces.

The Safe Cities project is currently implemented by Comité national des femmes pour le développement (CONAFED) and ActionAid International DRC and is funded by Comic Relief. Starting in April 2016, the project has been designed to address violence against women and girls (VAWG) in the urban area of Kisenso, DRC and the need to make cities safe for women and girls. Widespread VAWG occurs in urban spaces – a 2011 study found 26 in every 1000 women in Kinshasa had been raped in the past year. A safety study conducted at project design in Kisenso, one of the poorest communes in Kinshasa, found that 42% of people interviewed know a woman who has experienced violence in a public place in the last 12 months. Of the women interviewed, 63% had concerns about their safety and security, 50% had concerns about robbery and 23% about sexual assault or rape (2015). Urgent action has been necessary to make cities safe so women and girls can move freely without fear of violence, participate in society, and exercise their social, cultural, economic and political rights.

Informed by best practice from ActionAid’s (AA’s) VAWG and Safe Cities programming and research, and research conducted in Kinshasa, the Safe Cities project has been empowering the community in Kisenso to hold duty bearers and public service providers responsible and positively respond to women and girls’ demands to make services more gender responsive. The desired outcomes of the project are that :

  • Women and girls understand their right to a violence-free life ;
  • Girls, boys, women and men take collective action to prevent VAWG in public spaces ;
  • Duty-bearers and public service providers positively respond to the demands of women and girls to make services more gender responsive ;
  • A women-led Safe Cities movement is established that promotes women’s leadership in the fight against VAWG ;
  • Strengthened organisational capacity of partners to prevent violence against women in urban spaces.


Overall purpose of the midterm review :

The overall objective of the mid-term review is to assess the extent to which the project is progressing towards its stated outcomes and to provide actionable recommendations for the remaining period of implementation. The review is meant to capture learning to date, particularly around the project learning questions (see below) and evaluate whether the project is implementing the most effective strategies in order to achieve the envisaged outcomes. It also seeks to examine if the change anticipated at the outset of the project is within reach, which factors are proving critical in making change happen (or in hindering change).

The review process will answer the following questions :

  1. How effective have community level actions and public awareness raising been to date in increasing the feeling of safety and reducing levels of VAWG in Kisenso?
  2. How effective are the strategies for mobilizing and empowering different groups of boys and men, women and girls (including traders, small-holders, and particular vulnerable groups) as change makers?
  3. If and to what extent increased support and engagement with duty-bearers has started to create sufficient impetus for duty-bearers and service providers to respond positively to women and girls’ demands, and what the enablers/barriers are in achieving this?
  4. If and to what extent does support for a wider Safe Cities movement provide a shared, cohesive agenda amongst diverse organizations for longer-term, sustainable change in policy and practice?
  5. How have the partnerships in the project helped or hindered the achievements of project objectives?
  6. How has the management structure supported or hindered project implementation and decision-making, as compared to previous structures?
  7. How have the partnerships in the project helped or hindered the achievements of project objectives?
  8. How has the management structure supported or hindered project implementation and decision-making?


Project details :

The project takes a multi-pronged approach to addressing VAWG. Key areas of activity are :

  1. Empowering women in communities through Reflect-Action circles and the participatory Safety Audit methodology. RA circles will provide safe spaces for women to identify and report violence ;
  2. Advocacy with duty bearers on the provision of gender responsive public services (GPRS) to prevent VAWG. Training on GRPS and women’s urban safety will sensitise duty bearers and public service providers ;
  3. Campaigning through media outreach and community mobilisation will be used to challenge social perceptions about women and VAWG and promote attitudes and behaviour aimed at preventing VAWG, particularly amongst men and boys.

Networking and solidarity with women’s rights organisations to build strong and inclusive social movements for sustainable changes in the lives of women and girls.The project’s theory of change asserts that if women and girls (boys and men) are empowered and mobilised to demand for an environment where they can live and work free from violence, and duty bearers at local, national and global levels are influenced to address violence and provide gender responsive public services, then women and girls will live with reduced fear of violence and enjoy their rights to the city.

Project Indicators :

The mid-term review and survey are required to produce data on the project indicators, for target communities, and disaggregated as specified. While some of these indicators will be based on multiple sources of data collected at different times, the mid-term review managed by the external consultant is expected to capture, directly or indirectly, quantitative data relating to each of the indicators through the use of ActionAid’s survey questionnaire.


Project communities :

The project is being implemented in the Kisenso district of Kinshasa. Target numbers are given below :

  1. Types of people benefiting
  2. Who is included in this figure?
  3. Total number of people
  4. People benefiting directly :
  • 750 women (market gardeners and informal traders) ;
  • 500 young people (250 girls and 250 boys) ;
  • 34 community leaders (17 female and 17 male) ;
  • 1,284.

‘Frontline workers’ :

  • 60 Authorities and service providers ;
  • 55 representatives from INGOs, NGOs, CSOs and CBOs ;
  • 19 Partner staff (9 male and 10 female) ;
  • 130.

Other people benefiting :

  • 13,872 women ;
  • 13,328 men ;
  • 27,200.

Indirect beneficiary numbers are estimates only, based on approximate population data for the target communities.


Methodologies :

The project has built on existing tools and methodologies developed under AA’s Global Safe Cities Programme. The baseline included the use of AA’s Safety Audit methodology, a participatory data collection process led by women and girls. Safety walks, trust mapping, FGDs and street surveys will generate quantitative and qualitative data on safety, risks and service provision that will be used to track progress against indicators, inform local advocacy with duty bearers and service providers, and enable women to identify barriers and solutions to improve their safety. The Safety Audit will be repeated at the end of the project to generate end-line data for the final evaluation.

The consultant will be responsible for recruiting and training experienced enumerators to conduct the survey, however ActionAid can support on the recruitment if needed. Given the extremely sensitive nature of the topic, AAI DRC places a premium on research ethics in designing, and conducting, the mid-term review. All data, qualitative and quantitative, collected through the research must be disaggregated by sex and age as a minimum. Other factors as highlighted in project indicators also need to be considered.

ActionAid expects all evaluations to be carried out in line with our Evaluation Standards. These Standards will be shared on request, but in practical terms require the evaluation and evaluator to consider :

  • Community voice and representation : it is essential that the evaluation reflects the voices of women and men involved in the project. People should be consulted as part of the evaluation, and their voices included in the evaluation report as direct quotes and case studies. In line with ActionAid’s mandate, the evaluation should prioritise people living in poverty and exclusion, especially women ;
  • Feedback : as a minimum the evaluators should commit to feeding key findings and recommendations back to the communities engaged in the evaluation ;
  • Transparency and ethical standards: the evaluators should explain clearly to communities engaged in the evaluation what the purpose of the exercise is, and how their information will be used. ActionAid’s ethical standards for research and data collection should be followed, including a risk assessment covering security risks to communities. As a minimum the evaluation should ‘do no harm’ ;
  • Women’s rights : Women’s rights must be respected in all evaluations. All evaluations should seek to explore how women have been affected by an intervention and the effect on gender relations. It is essential that women’s voices are heard clearly in the evaluation. The timing and location of evaluation activities and the composition of the evaluation team should be designed to maximise women’s ability to participate in the evaluation ;
  • Transparency about methodology : The evaluation should include a detailed and transparent discussion of the methodology used and key decisions taken in designing and implementing the evaluation. This should include information about the sampling (approach to sampling, numbers of people/communities covered, how representative), what tools were used and why, methodological limitations and gaps ;
  • Disaggregated data : data must be disaggregated in as much detail as possible. As a minimum this means disaggregation by age and sex. Where possible data should also be disaggregated by other relevant factors such as disability ;


Roles and Responsibilities :

The selected consultant will be contracted by and report to ActionAid DRC. Support provided by ActionAid DRC and the project partner will involve: introductory briefings with the consultant(s); security briefings and on-going security support; logistical support arranging visas and booking accommodation as required; providing contact details and introductions to key stakeholders; mobilising community members to be involved in the review; if required, recommendations for research assistants, interpreters or other local human resources as needed.

Transport arrangements from within Kinshasa to Kisenso for the mid-term review team will be discussed.

ActionAid UK will be responsible for providing technical advice on research approaches and ensuring deliverables meet agreed quality standards and grant requirements.


Tasks and Outputs :

    • It is expected the MTR consultancy will involve the following tasks ;
    • Meet with the Project Advisor, project partner and relevant other staff for initial briefing and discussion of TOR ;
    • Review project documentation (proposal, logframe, theory of change, baseline report, audit reports, Safe Cities Framework, DRC Development Framework etc.) and existing evidence, including available monitoring data ;
    • Write inception report and workplan for the MTR, and discuss schedule with AAI DRC ;
    • Design data collection instruments, including questionnaires and all data entry processes (where not already available from the baseline), and qualitative tools adapted for different target groups as appropriate ;
    • Develop research ethics, child protection and safeguarding protocols and appropriate response mechanisms ;
    • Review/revise sampling strategy and draw up list of sampling points ;
    • Provide training to enumerators and project staff on research ethics and data collection techniques ;
    • Pilot data collection tools / data entry processes (including translation if necessary) and refine as required ;
    • Lead on the recruitment of experienced enumerators, with the support of ActionAid if needed ;
    • Lead on the start-up of MTR assignment ensuring quality control processes are in place ;
    • Provide on-going technical support for the duration of the data collection process and ensure the on-going coordination and management of all data collection ;
    • Interviews with staff from partner organizations ;
    • Focus group discussions with beneficiaries including women groups, youth groups, peer educators and women market gardeners and informal traders ;
    • Collate data from the enumerators and analyse all data ;
    • Write a draft MTR report and present to AAI DRC and AAUK and partners for discussion ;
    • Finalise MTR report based on feedback received ;
    • Verbal presentation of findings and recommendations in workshop/meeting(s) with AA, partners and other CSO stakeholders (either in person or remotely) and provide presentation documents afterwards ;
    • Specific outputs of the consultancy will be ;
    • Inception report and workplan ;
    • Data collection methodology, including sampling strategy and collection tools ;
    • Training on tools and methodology for enumerators ;
    • All quantitative and qualitative data collected ;
    • Data analysis of quantitative and qualitative data ;
    • Draft(s) mid-term report ;
    • Final mid-term report ;
    • Oral presentation/meeting to AA, partner staff and other CSO stakeholders (in Kinshasa or remotely) ;
    • Summary slides / presentation material of the report ;
    • All raw data files including quantitative output and syntax files, qualitative transcripts etc ;
    • All reports must be produced by the successful candidate in English. The format of reports will be mutually agreed at inception phase and the finalised report will be translated into French by AAI DRC.


Timeline and Budget :

The MTR is to be carried out between March and April 2018; with a finalised report to be expected in late April/early May (exact timeframes and the final workplan to be agreed with the successful candidate).

AAI DRC seeks budget submissions which are cost effective and demonstrate value for money.

How to apply :

Skills and qualifications :

The successful MTR consultant will have a solid track record on the criteria below, with examples of evidence for each.


General criteria :

  1. Demonstrable expertise on women’s rights and gender equality ;
  2. Thematic expertise on violence against women and girls, women’s rights and gender equality, specifically VAWG ;
  3. Geographic expertise in central Africa, preferably DRC ;
  4. Must be fluent in both French and English (spoken and written). Please note the team will include fluent Lingala speakers, however recruitment will be supported by AA DRC and Conafed. Substantial communication and feedback on the draft report will be conducted in English ;
  5. A financial proposal that offers good value for money and that maximises potential efficiencies to deliver the outputs within budget ;
  6. An advanced degree or equivalent experience in project management, or related social sciences and/or gender.


Technical criteria :

  1. Experience in quantitative methods and analysis ;
  2. Experience in qualitative methods and analysis, participatory research, action research ;
  3. Experience in project monitoring and evaluation systems, including those using participatory approaches and ‘hard to measure’ indicators (i.e. empowerment, governance, well-being, etc.) ;
  4. Evidence of strong downward accountability mechanisms used with project stakeholders/research participants to actively share results and learning ;
  5. Evidence of use of ethical considerations and methodological measures for conducting research with girls, women, boys, men on sensitive topics ;
  6. Desired 5 years of experience working on and evaluating gender projects in low income urban settlements ;
  7. Knowledge of the challenges related to safety and security in urban settings ;
  8. Knowledge of partnership models and assessing their effectiveness.


Track record :

  1. Evidence of client responsiveness, creativity and flexibility of approaches towards clients’ needs and/or challenges in research implementation ;
  2. Evidence of producing clear, concise reports in English and high quality, published research and active dissemination of research findings.


Application process :

We invite interested researchers to submit the following application documents, applications which are incomplete will not be considered :

  1. Expression of interest addressing track record and selection criteria ;
  2. Technical proposal for the evaluation study including proposed activities schedule/work plan with time frame ;
  3. CV(s) of applicant(s) ;
  4. Budget (separating core consultancy costs and daily rates of team members and in-country data collection costs) ;
  5. An example of previous similar work.

Interested persons are encouraged to apply through the following address :, by 4thMarch 2019, indicating Safe Cities – Mid-term Review – DRC in the subject line. Applications will be reviewed and considered as they are received. If you have any questions about the Terms of Reference, please contact

Selected consultant(s) will be expected to sign and abide by ActionAid values and key policies (including Anti-Sexual Harassment Policy, Child Protection Policy, Safeguarding and PSEA Policy etc).

*Women are highly encouraged to apply.**

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