REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS: OUTCOMES EVALUATION OF VOICES AGAINST VIOLENCE: THE GENDER-BASED VIOLENCE GLOBAL INITIATIVE

Purpose of Evaluation

Vital Voices is planning a mid-term outcomes evaluation of the Voices Against Violence: The Gender-Based Violence Global Initiative, funded by DRL. Since 2013, Vital Voices has implemented the Voices Against Violence Initiative, a public-private partnership led by Vital Voices and funded with support from the State Department and the Avon Foundation. The program, led by a Consortium of allied organizations is designed to ensure that  survivors of gender-based violence (GBV) and harmful practices around the world have better access to services, protection and the justice they deserve.

Over the last eight years of implementation, the project activities, outcomes, and partners have progressed and evolved. This evaluation will investigate the evolution of the project since the current consortium partners formed the existing consortium and take an outcomes mapping approach to better understand how program activities have contributed to outcomes and objectives from January 2016 through June 2021. The evaluation will primarily focus on established program activities, but will also consider newer initiatives introduced during the most recent cost extension where appropriate. Where possible, the evaluation will also try and capture some of the successes and challenges from the previous Consortium partners.

The evaluation is intended to provide actionable insights into the program model’s impact on it’s overall goal of improving quality and reach of services to survivors of GBV and enhancing access to prevention, protection, and justice for survivors of GBV. It should evaluate how program activities contribute towards the goals of the program and subsequent objectives and outcomes. Vital Voices program management and DRL staff intend to use this evaluation to better understand the program’s model and any alterations that may improve program delivery, efficiencies, and sustainability.

Evaluation activities are expected to occur over a six month period with a final report due 30 days after the completion of evaluation activities.

Background

The Initiative: “Voices Against Violence: The GBV Global Initiative” is a Public-Private Partnership to improve the quality and reach of services, enhance prevention and protection efforts, increase access to justice for all survivors and improve the provision of urgent assistance around the world, including countries affected by instability, conflict and terrorism.

The initiative is carried out globally and targets both survivors of GBV as well as service providers and advocates working for and on behalf of survivors.

Partnerships:

Vital Voices Global Partnership is the preeminent NGO that invests in women leaders who are solving the world’s greatest challenges. With more than 20 years of experience investing in the capacity of local, national, and regional community leaders in the areas of human rights, political participation, and economic empowerment and entrepreneurship through individualized investments, signature programs, and network activation.

The Avon Foundation for Women has for over six decades pioneered advocacy on causes of critical importance to women, through an investment of over $1 billion USD. The Avon Foundation’s commitment to end violence against women and girls worldwide has encouraged and elevated allied, multisector efforts around the world. Avon, the Department of State, and Vital Voices have collaborated on efforts to prevent and respond to GBV through a public-private partnership model for over a decade, first through the Global Partnership to End Violence Against Women, and later through the Voices Against Violence Initiative. Among its many collaborative outputs, these three partners launched the Justice Institute on Gender-Based Violence, an interactive, multi-sector training program that facilitates the creation of holistic responses to addressing GBV. Justice Institutes are a key component of the VAV Initiative, which have been replicated worldwide. To date, Vital Voices has implemented 22 Institutes funded by Avon in 13 countries.

Consortium

Led by Vital Voices, the Consortium plays a critical role in establishing the program’s comprehensive criteria, providing institutional support for the provision of urgent assistance, providing technical assistance to GBV responders when needed, and providing support and contributing their expertise to all technical assistance programming.

  • CARE is a global leader within a worldwide movement dedicated to ending poverty. They are known for their unshakeable commitment to dignity of people. CARE works around the globe to save lives, defeat poverty and achieve social justice. CARE supports the VAV’s mission through research-based GBV advocacy interventions.
  • Global Fund for Women is one of the world’s leading foundations for gender equality, standing up for the human rights of women and girls. They campaign for zero violence, economic and political empowerment and the health and rights of women and girls. Global Fund supports the VAV’s mission by providing small grants and technical assistance to nascent, local organizations dedicated to addressing GBV and advancing gender equality.
  • Promundo-US is an international organization founded in Brazil whose work engages women, girls, boys and men in an effort to transform gender norms and power relations within key institutions where these norms are constructed. Promundo supports the VAV’s mission through research and advocacy activities focused on engaging men and boys and addressing harmful gender norms related to GBV.

Previous members of the consortium included the American Bar Association – Rule of Law Initiative (ABA-ROLI) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM), both of which have since left the project. This evaluation will primarily focus on work being implemented by the current consortium but, due to the scope, may include some of the efforts from previous Consortium partners.

Program Objectives and Activities:

The first objective under the overarching goal is that survivors of extreme forms of GBV have increased access to global resources that allow them to address their urgent needs in the aftermath of violence or the threat of violence. The initiative includes the following outcomes under this objective:

  • Survivors and potential targets of extreme forms of GBV are provided with needed urgent assistance
  • Survivor-centered, tailored systems and mechanisms established, capable of addressing and adapting to survivors’ unique urgent needs and circumstances and mitigating risk
  • Increased organizational capacity of local organizations responding to needs of survivors

The provision of urgent assistance is the single most significant activity under the award, with Vital Voices currently funding approximately $150,000 in urgent assistance cases for  survivors each month through referring organizations all over the world. The fund has grown significantly in the last several years and has been the most durable activity of the project. The fund functions as a resource of last resort for survivors who have experienced or are facing imminent risk of extreme forms of GBV. The fund necessarily balances the financial risk inherent in providing direct cash assistance through strict vetting procedures and the specific needs of survivors and organizations serving them through survivor-centered and trauma-informed practices. This is an ever-evolving process of revision to maintain tailored systems to meet survivors needs while mitigating risk. The third outcome was added during the most recent cost extension to address the need for organizational capacity growth to reduce reliance on the fund from organizations who are the highest users. Activities under this objective include fellowships, small grants, and capacity support for service providing organizations that seek to grow local capacity for more sustainable approaches to GBV.

The second objective is that survivors of GBV have improved protections and access to justice, and civil society organizations (CSOs) have access to resources to advocate on behalf of survivors. The initiative includes the following outcomes under this objective:

  • Increased coordination and collaboration among stakeholders that respond to extreme forms of GBV, especially in conflict, post-conflict and insecure settings
  • Increased ability of civil society, law enforcement, service providers, survivor advocates, justice system actors and other stakeholders to respond to the needs of and coordinate with survivors of GBV

Multi-disciplinary trainings for justice system actors, called Justice Institutes, have been a central component of the initiative since its inception. Throughout the history of the partnership, the Avon Foundation has provided funding and in-country support in the implementation of 30 programs in 13 different countries, including 22 Justice Institutes on Gender-Based Violence. Trainings carried out under this objective may shift online due to COVID-19 travel restrictions. Under this objective, Vital Voices and its Consortium partners have completed workshops and provided small grants with partners in Lebanon, Turkey, and Jordan to prevent early force marriage; in West Africa to prevent FGM/C, and in the Balkans to support organizations working on GBV with digital security training and strategies for managing secondary trauma. Under this objective, Vital Voices has also carried out a series of workshops, grants, and additional capacity building for organizations working on GBV in Honduras.

The third objective is that an international network is established to serve as a focal point to coordinate efforts around prevention of GBV and protection of survivors. The initiative includes the following outcomes under this objective:

  • Increased ability of actors and stakeholders in the network to fill in the gaps of resources and services provision to the survivors of GBV in innovative and multifaceted ways
  • Expanded ability of stakeholders and actors to identify best practices, internal and external gaps and challenges that may affect implementation of the program.

Activities under these outcomes include funding for Consortium Partner activities and coordinating discussions with core partners on program implementation, challenges, gaps, and best practices. In earlier years of the project, activities focused on the development of a consortium and network. Throughout the project, subawards to consortium partners have been managed under this objective. This has included support for Consortium Partners’ coordination activities as well as specific projects carried out by Consortium Partners. This has included GBV programming in the Philippines and Bangladesh with CARE, subawards in Indonesia, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, West Africa, Sudan, Niger, and the Great Lakes Region with the Global Fund for Women, and research on masculinities and GBV in the MENA region with Promundo.  Regional implementers’ convenings for international GBV stakeholders have also been included under this objective.

Evaluation Questions

  • How have program activities aligned with the stated objectives and outcomes of the project? Where is there variation from how the project was designed?
  • How well do program activities meet the needs of survivors and local partners? What needs are met well by the program design and which needs are not met or not adequately addressed and may require program changes?
  • To what extent is the program on track to achieve its stated outcomes and impact? Which impact areas are best served by the program’s design?
    • Increasing access to services for survivors of GBV resulting in increased safety;
    • Increasing the capacity of organizations and professionals serving GBV survivors to improve long-term community responses to the needs of GBV survivors;
    • Increasing ability to coordinate and respond to the needs of survivors among actors in local justice systems to improve access to justice for survivors of GBV;
    • Filling gaps in prevention and protection through a collaborative approach of engaging stakeholders.
  • Does the program support long-term sustainability in community responses to GBV? Are partners able to develop sustainable plans to continue work after grants and trainings?
  • How can we improve the project’s long-term impact and sustainability?
  • To what extent does the consortium coordinate and collaborate to support the objectives of the project? What improvements can be made in coordination of consortium members?
  • What are a few specific recommendations for improving project implementation in each of the following outcome areas:
  • Increasing survivors’ access to services
  • Increasing capacity of organizations serving survivors
  • Increasing survivor’s access to justice
  • Increasing CSO resources for advocacy on GBV
  • Developing an international network that serves as a focal point to coordinate efforts in GBV

Evaluation and Research Methodology

The final methodology will be developed in coordiantion with Vital Voices staff with an opportunity for comment from DRL and additional stakeholders. At minimum, the evaluation will use mixed methodology including qualitative data gathered through semi-structured interviews with stakeholders as specified below. The evaluation will use non-random purposive convenience sampling within a sampling frame which includes all stakeholders involved with VAV-funded activities occurring from January 2014 through June 2021. The evaluation will also include quantitative analysis of data from urgent assistance cases during that time.

Data Collection: The external evaluator should expect to work with Vital Voices staff for some data collection due to the sensitive nature of the programming. At a minimim, the external evaluation will involve:

  • Review program documents including evaluation plans and logic model
  • Semi-structured interviews with all current and some past Vital Voices staff
  • Semi-structured interviews with referring partners for urgent assistance cases in all regions served by the intitiative (Sub-Saharan Africa, MENA, Latin America and Carribean, Europe and Eurasia, South Asia). These should include the current regular referrers and partners who have stopped referring cases since the program started.
  • Semi-structured interviews with current Consortium partners’ staff as well as previous ones
  • Review of data on urgent assistance cases including time to complete cases, types of cases, and outcomes of cases.
  • Semi-structured interviews with current and past sub-awardees
  • Review of data from sub-awardee reporting
  • Semi-structured interviews or focus groups with fellows and past programming participants
  • Review of data from assessments with fellows and training programs
  • Semi-structured interviews with training partners and additional stakeholders

Evaluation Workplan:

Within 6 weeks of the award of the contract, the lead evaluator shall complete and present a draft work plan for the evaluation to Vital Voices.

The work plan will include:

  1. Draft schedule and logistical arrangements;
  2. Members of the evaluation team, delineated by roles and responsibilities;
  3. Evaluation milestones;
  4. Anticipated schedule of evaluation team data collection efforts;
  5. Locations and dates for piloting data collection efforts, if applicable;
  6. Proposed evaluation methodology including selection criteria if applicable; and
  7. Evaluation Report outline.

Vital Voices and DRL will have 6 weeks to review the workplan and provide comments or feedback.

The contractor will update the evaluation work plan (the lists of interviewees, survey participants, the schedule) and submit the updated version to Vital Voices on a monthly basis.

Evaluation Design:

Within 4 weeks of approval of the work plan, the evaluation team must submit an evaluation design to Vital Voices. The design will become an annex to the evaluation report.

The evaluation design will include:

  1. Detailed evaluation design matrix that links the Evaluation Questions from the SOW (in their finalized form) to data sources, methods, and the data analysis plan;
  2. Draft questionnaires and other data collection instruments or their main features;
  3. List of potential interviewees and sites to be visited if applicable and proposed selection criteria
  4. Budgetary breakdown of evaluation costs. Budget not to exceed $75,000
  5. Limitations to the evaluation design; and
  6. Dissemination plan (designed in collaboration with Vital Voices staff)

Evaluation Team Composition

The contractor must provide information about evaluation team members, explaining how they meet the requirements in the evaluation SOW. All team members must provide a signed statement attesting to a lack of conflict of interest or describing an existing conflict of interest relative to the project or activity being evaluated.

Required qualifications and skills:

  1. Experience in evaluation design, methods, management, and implementation;
  2. Technical subject matter expertise in gender-based violence;
  3. Experience in regions with greatest amount of activities: Sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America, MENA; and

Language skills or translation costs to conduct data collection required in English, French, Spanish, and Arabic.

Interested parties should submit proposals to humanrights@vitalvoices.org including an outline of activities to be completed, information on evaluation team members, relevant experience, and a detailed budget by  July 2, 2021. Please ensure that proposal emails include VAV External Evaluation in the subject line.

Questions may be submitted to humanrights@vitalvoices.org until June 25th, 2021. Please ensure that proposal emails include VAV External Evaluation Question in the subject line.