Consultant (Urban WASH Programme, Mid-Term Evaluation)

Mercy Corps

Goma, Congo - Kinshasa


Project/Consultancy Title:

Project Location(s):

Consultancy Dates

# days envisaged

Urban WASH Programme – mid-term evaluation

Goma and Bukavu – Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)

April – July 2017 (with 5 week non-billable gap during May/June).



Goma and Bukavu have seen rapid urban growth over the past fifteen years as a consequence of conflict in rural areas driving people towards perceived safe havens in urban centers. However, in both cities the availability of clean water and sanitation facilities have not kept pace with the increase in demand as a consequence of a multitude of factors including lack of investment, poor management of existing infrastructure, restrictive legislative codes on management of the market, and poor hygiene practices.  Cumulatively as a result; water borne diseases such as diarrhea are rampant – leading to high incidences of child mortality. The cost of easily accessible potable water remains prohibitively high for most families – and women and girls continue to suffer from sexual harassment or assault when travelling long distances to collect it, in addition to missing out on education and economic opportunities.

Purpose / Project Description:

Responding to this, with the support of the UK Department for International Development, Mercy Corps is almost mid-way through the implementation of a five year, DFID funded urban WASH programme based in Goma and Bukavu under the overall envisaged outcome of “improved hygiene behaviours and safe, equitable and sustainable access to potable water and sanitation for 1,550,000 Congolese men, women, boys and girls”. The overall envisaged impact is “Reduced diarrhea rates in children under 5”. The project name is “Integrated Maji Infrastructure and Governance Initiative for eastern Congo” – or IMAGINE – and the four main programme outputs are as follows:

o          Increased availability of improved water, sanitation and hygiene infrastructure from source to tap; [Infrastructure]

o          Viable and sustainable water, sanitation and hygiene service provision market; [Service Delivery]

o          Effective governance and systems that are accountable to all citizen’s WASH needs; [Governance]

o          Improved knowledge, awareness and perceptions of essential water, sanitation and hygiene behaviours. [Behaviour Change]

An interesting web-map that outlines the rationale for the project can be viewed through the following link:

Mercy Corps is looking for a consultant to undertake a mid-term evaluation of the programme.

Consultant Objectives:

  1. Objective 1: A mid-term evaluation is conducted which provides evidence based recommendations and enables Mercy Corps to understand progress made against baseline values of log-frame indicators.
  2. Objective 2: A mid-term evaluation is conducted which enables Mercy Corps to indicatively identify both the joint and individual impact of each intervention type (water delivery, sanitation, hygiene promotion) in contributing to our overall goal of reducing the rate of diarrhea for children under 5.

Sampling Approach:

Quantitative Data Collection: In order to be able to fulfil both objectives, a relatively complex sampling model will need to be established – that will enable us to replicate the sampling approach applied to the baseline study (systematic random sampling distributed proportionally across quartiers of intervention), while also increasing the sample size in certain geographical areas in order to establish the control groups that will be required for us to achieve objective two. The consultant will be required to support with a critique and review of the proposed sampling approach in order to ensure that the model is sufficiently robust so as to enable us to achieve our stated objectives. Differently from the baseline, the midline study will aim at collecting information on people with disabilities; this should be taken into account when reviewing the sampling methodology. Sampling should also ensure that a reasonable balance of male/female respondents is reached.

Overall as a minimum standard the quantitative data collected (for Objective 1) should be at no more than 3.5% margin of error against the totality of the population of each target location (Goma and Bukavu), with a 95% confidence level. For gender disaggregated data, MC would accept 5% margin of error against the totality of the total population across all target locations. For Objective 2 results, we can accept a margin of error of 7% for each control group.

For Objective one, the overall sample will be skewed in favor of certain geographical areas compared to the approach that was applied during the IMAGINE baseline, because of the need to oversample certain geographical areas in order to cover for Objective 2 data collection needs. As such, in order to refine the sample for Objective 1 so that it aligns with the geographical distribution used for the IMAGINE baseline, we will need to develop an approach to randomly de-select records from a given number of households in quartiers that were proportionally over-sampled before analysis can take place.

For Objective, 2, we will take the data for the relevant target geographical zone (and control group) and analyze it in a separate database – before drawing comparisons between the results for the different geographical areas.

Qualitative data collection:  Qualitative data collection may take place in complement to the quantitative data collection process – with the focus topics to be identified in conjunction with the M&E team and Programme Director prior to the launch of the consultancy. Focus Group discussions or Key Informant interviews will most likely be used to probe progress on the Governance component in more detail and/or obtain the perspectives of specific categories of beneficiaries (e.g. people living with disabilities).  Focus group discussions and key-informant interviews would be required to take note of gender and age ethical and cultural sensitivities and requirements.  

Owing to formatting restrictions for the publication of this scope of work, it has not been possible to present the tables with the proposed sampling approach and control groups. As such, these in addition to the results of the baseline study will be sent to shortlisted applicants before interview.

Specific Activities:

In chronological order, to be able to achieve Objectives 1 and 2, the consultant will be expected to carry out the following activities. The amount of time spent in country and/or working from home will be subject to discussion at interview.  

  • Document Review: The IMAGINE programme team will share key documents and required literature (Log-frame, Inception Report, Baseline/Biannual survey report and Master Plans)
  • Reach pre-agreement of the sampling frame with the Mercy Corps technical support unit, and the IMAGINE programme M&E Officer and Programme Director
  • Liaise with the Mercy Corps M&E and logistics team over logistical planning for the mid-term.
  • Review all indicators and the goals they are paired with, and comment on their ability to show the quality, direction, pace and results of change – and suggest changes if necessary.
  • Finalise the draft survey questionnaire (which should be consistent with the baseline) to ensure capture of relevant information and share with Mercy Corps M&E team and Gender Advisor. Ensure that Gender questions are compliant with PIRS tables.
  • Finalise draft interview schedule for focus group discussions and key informant interviews (if required).
  • Conduct training of data collectors in conjunction with IMAGINE M&E officer on data collection, validation, ethical aspects and quality assurance criteria and pilot through a preliminary field test.
  • Conduct pilot field testing – in conjunction with Mercy Corps internal M&E team.
  • Produce brief inception report (5 pages) documenting field test and work plan to include clear description of methods to be applied for collection, processing, cleaning, analyzing and interpreting the data collected.

Subsequent to the conduct of the mid-term in the field, the consultant will be expected to:

  • Conduct all the analysis pertinent to the mid-term – in conjunction with the Mercy Corps internal M&E team – disaggregating findings by age, gender and disability – and establishing/refuting correlations between different variables and the dhiarrhea rate of children under 5[1]
  • Present findings to Mercy Corps staff – with subsequent Q&A (up to 4 will be conducted – with different audiences targeted). These shall be conducted in French.
  • Present findings to DFID staff – with subsequent Q&A. This shall be conducted in English and will take place in Kinshasa or Goma. 
  • Produce an accessible data-set covering all quantitative data (analysed and raw) collected will be developed and handed over to Mercy Corps M&E team. The language of the data-set can be French or English. The data-set will consolidate findings from both localities. An accompanying file with all qualitative data collected (as applicable) will be developed and handed over to Mercy Corps M&E team. The file should be in French.
  • Produce a comprehensive mid-term study report including (where relevant) tables, maps and graphs and circulate for review to Mercy Corps. The report will highlight considerations on gender, age and disability aspects and will propose relevant recommendations to increase inclusion of vulnerable groups.
  • Provide Mercy Corps staff with the opportunity to respond to the findings of the report (two weeks). Up to three rounds of comments by Mercy Corps will be provided with the consultant expected to provide a revised report within five working days after each review.  
  • Amend the report following feedback from Mercy Corps and send back to Mercy Corps for final validation.

Consultant Deliverables:

Consultant deliverables, payment anticipated for each deliverable and time to be taken for each deliverable are accessible through the following link:

Review Process

Mercy Corps requires a review period before approval of certain deliverables. Of greatest importance is the sampling frame and initial proposed methodology – which will be reviewed by Mercy Corps Design, Monitoring and Evaluation and Learning (DMEL) unit based in our headquarters in Portland, Oregon, US. The anticipated review period for this will be three days – and the statistical relevancy of the sampling approach proposed will be the primary issue for review.  For all other deliverables requiring approval (see table on page one above), review will take place in country, with approval from the M&E Officer/Manager, in consultation with the Programme Director in accordance with the time-table outlined through the link above.

Management Relationships:

The M&E consultant will report to the IMAGINE M&E Officer/Manager (recruitment pending), with the majority of tasks to be undertaken in collaboration with implementing partners, programme staff and, particularly, M&E personnel and primary stakeholder groups to enable a learning process and inclusive decision making and to maximise transparency and accountability. The M&E consultant will have management responsibility for the staff directly engaged in the conduct of the baseline in the field – with the exception of disciplinary action or removal of staff from the field – which remains within the purview of the M&E Delivery Manager. In such a case where disciplinary action is necessary, the consultant will be free to raise concerns to the M&E Manager and/or Programme Director for subsequent action to be taken (as required). 

Information and Services Provided by Mercy Corps:

For the duration of their consultancy, the consultant(s) will be provided with:

  • Up to 30 Android based smartphones for data collection using ODK.  ODK phones will be pre-programmed with the necessary questionnaires prior to the consultant’s arrival.
  • Full and active collaboration and support of the IMAGINE M&E team in country.
  • Translators and Interpreters from Swahili to French.
  • French speaking enumerators (50% female if possible). Estimated 10 per locality for 20 days including training, subject to change based on the methodology proposed. Data collectors will be expected to undertake a training on gender and age-sensitive data collection prior to field work inception (3 days, with Gender and M&E component)..
  • Access to all project documentation at the beginning of the consultancy.
  • Accommodation in Mercy Corps premises in Goma.
  • Accommodation in standard humanitarian worker hotel accommodation in Bukavu..
  • Assistance of the M+E team in each locality (1 expatriate Manager and 2 national staff in total) for set up, training and recruitment of enumerators. 
  • All internal flights or boat transport (potentially in the case of Bukavu) to the locations required for the baseline and subsequent presentation of findings (Kinshasa likely).
  • Access to Mercy Corps Office for working.
  • Transport in all sites targeted for the baseline (max two vehicles per location).
  • A per diem of 40$ per day while in country (including weekends). 

The Mercy Corps M&E team will be available to work directly with the Consultant throughout the duration of the consultancy – including in the supervision process for data collection, the technical set up of the ODK forms, training of enumerators and data analysis. The Mercy Corps M&E team, includes expatriate M&E Manager (English/French speaking), National M&E Coordinator (Swahili/French speaking) and National M&E Assistant (French/Swahili speaking). In addition, Mercy Corps has a database of potential enumerators (in both Goma and Bukavu) and will be able to hire them in advance of the arrival of the consultant. The consultant should take this into account when drafting his/her proposition. 

  1. Qualifications and experience required

In addition to outlining their capacity to meet the specific requirements of this consultancy, through their application and throughout the selection process, the consultants must demonstrate that they have:

  • Strong statistics background – acquired through either academic studies, practical experience or both. The consultant will need to be able to quality check the proposed sampling approach in addition to conducting quality data-analysis (using SPSS/STATA) that goes beyond descriptive presentations of data. 
  • Fluency in English required. French is an asset but is not a requirement providing other key technical skills needs are met.
  • Have strong experience conducting major research exercises in support of major Development Programmes – preferably in WASH – in challenging operational environments.
  • Have a strong approach to assuring quality assurance of data collected.
  • Have a strong ethical approach to data collection – while still being able to meet the objectives of the consultancy.
  • All data collected and study outputs in soft and hardcopy will be the property of Mercy Corps

Consultants will not be able to charge for working on weekends (Saturday/Sunday) – except in exceptional circumstances and on request and with formal approval of Mercy Corps – but will be provided with a 40$ per day per-diem that will be provided during this period.   

  1. Instructions for Detailed Proposals

Parties interested in bidding for this should submit the following to Mercy Corps by the closing date of 25/03/2017:

o          CVs of the consultant(s) envisaged for deployment.

o          Proposed total cost of consultancy including cost per day

o          2 references.

Bids can be submitted in either English or French.

  1. Selection criteria

Candidates for the consultancy will be selected according to the following criteria:

Relevant technical qualifications (focus on statistics) and experience for the tasks to be performed                              35

Relevant experience of similar assignments in challenging political/operational environments.                                     20

Experience with NGO agencies                                                                                                                           10

Language capacity (francophone)                                                                                                                                      5

Knowledge of the region                                                                                                                                                 10

Lowest Price                                                                                                                                                      20        

The Consultant will report to:

Benedetta Amici – IMAGINE M&E Officer

Patrick Cantin – IMAGINE Programme Director

The Consultant will work closely with:

New M&E Manager Mercy Corps (position pending recruitment). ).