INTERNEWS BASICS CONSULTANT EXTERNAL EVALUATOR

ABOUT INTERNEWS

Internews empowers people worldwide with the trustworthy, high-quality news and information they need to make informed decisions, participate in their communities, and hold power to account. Our vision is to unleash human potential everywhere by turning on the bright light of information.

For more than 35 years, in more than 100 countries, Internews has worked to build healthy media and information environments where they are most needed. We have proudly incubated hundreds of sustainable organizations, bolstered the skills of thousands of media professionals, activists, and citizens, and helped these partners reach millions of people with quality, local information.

OVERVIEW

Internews’ Global Technology Programs advance the digital safety of partners and advocate digital rights and protections for the world’s most vulnerable populations. From funding local internet rights advocacy initiatives and open source technology development to designing cutting-edge approaches to organizational security, we focus on local and regional needs and connect them at the global level to demand an inclusive, safe, open web. In addition, we provide technological support to media outlets and human rights defenders and pilot cutting edge approaches to analyzing and researching closing civic space.

Our team is looking for an external evaluator for a US government funded project that is focused on improving the sustainability of open source privacy and security tools, by building ties between tool teams and the communities they serve, and by identifying privacy-conscious methods for tracking tool usage and prioritizing development needs. The contractor will write both a midterm and a final evaluation report assessing the performance and success of the Building Analytical and Support Infrastructure for Critical Security tools (BASICS) Project, as well as the project team’s overall approach.

BASICS PROJECT SUMMARY

BASICS is designed to help identify and address key sustainability needs of digital security and privacy tools used by vulnerable and at-risk communities. The BASICS project is designed to build capacity within the teams maintaining these tools, so that tools are more sustainable and can continue being maintained over the long term, leading to better security and usability for at-risk users. Following a lightweight needs assessment process, tool teams co-design a Capacity Action Plan (CAP) to address those needs; Internews then recruits paid specialists (with a focus on sourcing them from at-risk communities) who can help implement the CAP. The type of support provided by specialists includes coding/development work, project management support, documentation, community management, and more. In addition to their skills, the specialists often bring a vantage point to the work that represents users in at-risk contexts. Finally, BASICS supports subgrantee Guardian Project’s “Clean Insights” approach to privacy-respecting analytics, which can provide insights on usage of a tool without undermining at-risk users’ trust or privacy. Those insights in turn can better inform development priorities and decisions made by the tool team. The project supports the build-out of developer tools to implement the methodology and recruits tool teams to adopt the approach.

ABOUT THE ROLE

The midterm evaluation report will examine the implementation of project activities to date, with a goal of deriving insights that can be used to improve performance throughout the remainder of the project.

The final evaluation report will examine the impact of project activities on beneficiaries as well as the sustainability of results.

The evaluation will be theory-driven, based on the OECD/DAC evaluation criteria (efficiency, potential for impact and sustainability), and include elements of both quantitative and qualitative analysis. The evaluation should pay particular attention to gender, marginalized, and at-risk groups.

The project is global and the evaluator should be willing and able to conduct virtual interviews with partners and other members of the community located in multiple time zones.The work will be conducted remotely.

This project includes sensitive partners; the consultant will be required to ensure that the identities of sensitive partners are protected and that no information in the report could be used to identify sensitive individuals or organizations.

TIMEFRAME AND DELIVERABLES

Deadline for applications: September 30, 2020, UTC 04:59 AM

Appointment of evaluator: by October 9, 2020

Timeframe: Midterm evaluation Oct-Dec 2020; Final evaluation July-Sept 2021

*NOTE: Final evaluation timeframe may potentially be affected by a future no-cost-extension.

SCOPE OF WORK:

Inception phase:

  • Evaluation Planning: Initial discussion with key project team stakeholders to identify internal priorities, lines of enquiry, and sensitivities. Based on this activity, the contractor will draft an evaluation workplan and methodological framework, detailing the qualitative and quantitative tools and evaluation questions to be used during the primary data collection phase. This workplan and framework will be shared with the Program Officer for review.
  • Desk Review: Review and analysis of project documents, including: proposal documents, quarterly narrative reports, and partner reports.

Primary data collection:

  • Data Collection: Design online survey(s), send to project partners/beneficiaries, analyze results. Evaluator should determine with the program team how the survey will be deployed safely.
  • Conduct in-depth interviews: Conduct remote interviews with key project partners and community members after results of online survey have been received and analyzed.  Evaluator should determine with the program team how the interviews will be conducted safely.

Final analysis and write up:

  • Draft report writing: Synthesize findings and draft report detailing the answers to the evaluation questions, findings, and recommendations.
  • Meeting and finalizing report: Prepare and hold meeting with Program Director and Program Officer to review preliminary findings. Incorporate final comments by Program Director and Program Officer.
  • Presentation: Organize and conduct a presentation of key findings, recommendations, and lessons learned.

Deliverables

  • Evaluation workplan and methodological framework, to include relevant documentation and:
    • Literature review
    • Draft methodology
    • Data collection tools
    • Outline of report structure
    • Midterm: due by Oct. 23, 2020
    • Final: due by July 16, 2021
  • 8-10 page midterm report (excluding appendices) including narrative description of results achieved, operational lessons, and recommendations for improving delivery of the project in its second year.
    • Due by December 4, 2020
  • 10-15-page final report (excluding appendices) including narrative description of results achieved, operational lessons, and recommendations for future programming.
    • Reports should contain a concise Executive Summary of core findings and recommendations, the latter being specific and action-oriented, and tailored to all relevant stakeholders. Reports should also include a methodology section, making explicit any limits to the evaluation. Where appropriate, reports will include illustrative graphics and charts summarizing project data.
    • Appendices will include (among other items) cross tabulations from quarterly reports and interviews, so readers can clearly see data that supports the findings and conclusions.
    • Due by Sept. 17, 2021
  • Presentation of findings to key Internews staff
    • Midterm: due by December 18, 2020
    • Final: due by Sept. 24, 2021

QUALIFICATIONS

  • Bachelor’s degree in a related field, graduate degree preferred
  • Fluency in both written and spoken English required
  • Demonstrated experience conducting evaluations of advocacy and human rights programs, particularly for US donors
  • Experience with qualitative and quantitative M&E data collection and analysis methods
  • Strong facilitation, presentation, writing and communication skills
  • Experience in the field of digital rights and internet freedom preferred

TO APPLY

Applications should include the below documentation:

  • 2-3 page statement of interest/draft proposal, describing how your profile meets the qualifications outlined above and highlighting how your methodological approach will address the scope planned for this evaluation.
    • Please indicate possible survey questions, and a very brief explanation of how you would propose to evaluate the project’s impact through conversations with our partners.
  • A short cost justification (not included in the 2-3 page limit)
  • CV or resume and the names of at least two references (these should be clients for whom you have conducted external evaluations previously)
  • Evidence of evaluation work (e.g. link to evaluation reports or PDF attachments), highlighting evaluation theories and approaches

**Please apply early, as applications will be reviewed on an ongoing basis.**

To apply, please visit the Internews website: https://phf.tbe.taleo.net/phf04/ats/careers/v2/viewRequisition?org=INTERNEWS&cws=38&rid=1236