In August 2020 Internews launched Supporting Coverage and Advancement of Religious Freedom (SCARF), a project that aims to improve the quality, quantity, and dissemination of high-quality reporting on religious freedom issues to promote more democratic, tolerant societies. The first phase of the project ran from August 2020 to August 2022 (24 months) in Tajikistan and Uzbekistan; the second phase of the project is running from September 2022 through February 2024 (18 months) in Tajikistan and Kazakhstan.
|SCARF Project Phases
|Initial implementation period
|Cost extension period
|Project Goal To improve the quality, quantity, and dissemination of high-quality reporting on religious freedom issues to promote more democratic, tolerant societies.
|Objective 1 Build local capacity to produce high-quality, conflict-sensitive content on religious freedom issues
|1.1: Comprehensive training and mentorship for trainers on covering religious freedom 1.1.1: Inception workshops 1.1.2: Training-of-Trainers (TOT) 1.1.3: Development of training courses for media on covering religion and religious freedoms 1.1.4: Finalization of courses and selection of key trainers 1.2: Training for journalists to cover religions and religious freedoms 1.2.1: Trainings for content creators 1.2.2: Sessions for editors-in-chief
|Objective 2 Increase engagement with inclusive content that sparks discourse on religious issues and promotes understanding and tolerance.
|2.1: Grants, fellowships, and hands-on technical assistance to produce quality coverage of religion, the life of religious communities, and religious freedoms 2.2: Regional event to promote discourse on religious freedoms within communities
EVALUATION PURPOSE AND OBJECTIVES
The purpose of this evaluation is to assess the performance and sustainability of the project; respond to the following illustrative key evaluation and specific learning questions; and provide recommendations for future similar projects. Particular attention should be paid to the different amount and forms of support provided in each target country due to the shift in country focus in the project extension; comparisons based on different stages of support would be welcome.
Key evaluation questions:
- To what extent did the beneficiary media outlets/content producers find project activities/support useful?
- In what ways, if at all have they used outputs from these activities?
- In what ways are the results of the project activities sustainable, if at all?
- In what ways could these results be sustained?
- Have beneficiaries found it easier to work with/ cover religious communities?
- Have the project activities resulted in changes to editorial or management practices?
- Have beneficiaries or editors/managers changed their attitudes toward the importance/ necessity of covering religious affairs and religious communities?
Specific learning questions:
- What interventions into content on religious affairs are most effective in achieving change in operations, dynamics, production processes, and content production among content creators and/or newsroom staff?
- What are the different effects of proactively publishing content on neutral and/or positive events/figures related to religious diversity and tolerance, compared to publishing reactive content meant to address disinformation or negative coverage related to religious issues?
- What types of stories (human-centered, features, news items, historical, etc.) are most effective at achieving perception change among audiences?
- What are the factors, threats and challenges that affect journalists/media publishing religious discrimination/violence content?
- The evaluation report should include evidence-based guidance and recommendations for media programs in this space. This should include the following:
- Recommendations on approaches to produce high-quality, conflict-sensitive content on religious freedom issues that increases engagement in content on religious issues and tolerance.
- Lessons learned on approaches to strengthen local capacities to produce high-quality, conflict sensitive content.
- Guidance on opportunities or potential future progress related to how to strengthen engagement on conflict-sensitive content on religious freedom issues.
- Lessons learned on how outcomes from high-quality, conflict-sensitive content production are achieved.
The estimated project budget is $6,000 – $8,000.
EVALUATION PROCESS AND FORMAT
The evaluation process should consist of three main phases: (1) developing the methodology, (2) data collection, and (3) analysis and report writing. While the evaluation should take into consideration all SCARF beneficiaries and partners, the evaluator(s) may want to single out case studies for a more in-depth assessment. The evaluation team will exercise discretion in the handling of sensitive and proprietary information and follow Do No Harm principles in the evaluation design, data collection, data analysis and data management of this evaluation
Internews will offer all relevant data source and contacts to selected evaluator(s):
- Project staff
- Consultants and trainers
- Training materials and resources designed and used
- Participating media outlet partners
- Project narrative and M&E reports
- Event and training evaluations, reports, and tests and survey results
- Other M&E data and project documentation as necessary
- Media products
Suggested data collection tools:
- Project document and data review
- Interviews with relevant SCARF program staff
- Interviews/focus groups with a sample of participating media outlets/content producer beneficiaries
- Interviews/focus groups with a sample of audience members
- Interview with consultants/trainers
- Comparative groups analysis
The above-mentioned Evaluation purpose, objectives, process, and format are illustrative and listed as recommendation, but not limited to listed approaches. The evaluator(s) are encouraged to adjust or propose alternative approach that may not be listed above. If done so, the applicant should define the alternative methodologies and the overall evaluation approach should be incorporated into the evaluation methodology submitted by the evaluator(s). The selected candidate’s proposed approach might be discussed and adjusted based on consultations with the project team after selection.
REQUIRED TASKS AND DELIVERABLES
- Conduct an extensive document review, including the original solicitations and proposals, all quarterly narrative reports and M&E data, documentation of grant opportunities, project content analysis, and other records and data collection tools as necessary.
- Finalize research methodology and other details in conjunction with project staff, including the creation of data collection tools (e.g. a semi-structured list of questions for an interview protocol or focus group script) seeking to engage each target group of stakeholders.
- Hold in-person/online meetings/interviews/focus group discussions with project staff, consultants, and trainers, participating media partners and participants, and other stakeholders as relevant throughout the project’s target countries to evaluate project outcomes. This data collection should include detailed notes and/or transcripts to inform data analysis.
- Conduct data analysis of the collected data. For primarily qualitative data, this should include the creation of a codebook used to reduce and triangulate data sources and inform analysis. In their proposal, the applicant should detail how they will analyze data for the final report. Given there are three case countries, the applicant should explain how they will conduct a cross-case comparative analysis.
- Complete the evaluation report (15-20 pages) in English with findings and recommendations. The report should include overall findings and recommendations, but also present and compare the results in each of three countries. It should also include an executive summary or a summary document of another kind. The final structure of the report will be agreed with Internews after selection of evaluator(s). The Evaluator(s) may need to produce an internal iteration of the report and an external version of the summary that is scrubbed of information as necessary.
- Presentation and debrief with program staff and the donor on the evaluation findings (first draft and final evaluation report).
Approximately 26-34 working days according to the estimated timetable below. The final evaluation report must be submitted by December 20, 2023.
|ESTIMATED LOE (days)
|Intro meeting to set goals and priorities
|Conduct desk research of existing project information (documents, materials, reports, M&E data base etc.)
|Finalize research methodology, evaluation framework, list of interviewees, and interview questions.
|Field phase: Conduct interviews/focus group discussions with key informants
(approx. 2-3 days per country)
|Analysis of information collected and completion of first draft
|Debrief with project team on primary evaluation findings and recommendations
|Update the initial draft and prepare the final report
|Finalize evaluation report based on Internews’ comments and present the final report
|December 20, 2023
- Both local and international evaluators and companies offering evaluation services are encouraged to apply
- Every qualified applicant will be considered for employment. Internews does not discriminate based on race, gender, gender identity or orientation, genetic information, age, national origin, marital status, disability status, political ideology, military or protected veteran status, or any other characteristics.
QUALIFICATIONS/EXPERIENCE OF EVALUATOR(S):
- Master’s degree or above in social sciences, media, international development, evaluation, OR equivalent professional experience.
- Demonstrated experience conducting mid-term and final external project evaluations, including monitoring and evaluation experience, application of interviewing techniques (in-person and remote), qualitative and quantitative data collection and analysis, research, and statistical analysis.
- Knowledge of media and political environments in the targeted countries; in-depth understanding of issues facing media outlets in these countries
- Excellent inter-cultural communication skills/cultural sensitivity.
- Required fluency in English, Russian and fluency in at least one country language (Uzbek, Tajik, Kazakh) strongly preferred, but not mandatory.
- In all duties the evaluator(s) is expected to demonstrate an understanding of and commitment to upholding Internews’ Core Values.
- Technical proposal describing the methodological approach
- Financial proposal/offer (in USD) (Please be sure all taxes and translation services, if necessary, from Uzbek, Tajik, Kazakh are included)
- CVs of evaluator(s), including at least two reference contacts relevant for this SoW
- Portfolio and information on previous similar services
- Application must be in English
- The application must be sent to [email protected]
- Application deadline – June 26, 2023 until 21:00