[Re-Advertisement] Terms of Reference for External Contractor: Final Evaluation of MSDA Program, DRC

Type of evaluationFinal evaluation – (Summative)
Expected evaluation methodologiesMixed method research combining qualitative and quantitative approaches
Expected start/end datesExpected start date: November 10, 2023 Expected end date: February 22, 2024
Budget40,000 USD
Deadline for receiving applicationsOctober 31, 2023.  


In the Democratic Republic of Congo, Internews has been deeply engaged with media and civil society through a variety of USAID programs and interventions since 2011. Under the five-year “Media Sector Development Activity (MSDA)” program (July 2019- May 2024), Internews is working with a core group of 77 community radio stations and three online media outlets located in 17 provinces, and operates from Internews offices in Kinshasa, Lubumbashi, Goma and Bukavu. MSDA provides support to advocacy of media organizations and civil society for media reforms. MSDA builds capacities of media professionals (journalists, editors, managers, technicians) in basic and advanced journalism, management, marketing, maintenance of equipment with the objective of improving the quality of the production of public interest information and building sustainable business models that notably protects the independence of journalists. MSDA also supports the production of inclusive, independent, and reliable public interest information (on topics such as local governance, electoral process, health, education, environment, gender-based violence (GBV), human trafficking, and the COVID-19 pandemic) notably through stipends and subgrants to journalists, partner media outlets or local media organizations, with a strong focus on fighting disinformation and hate speech.  

The goal of the MSDA program is to “promote a more open and vibrant media sector that contributes to more responsive and transparent institutions.” Implemented by a team comprising prime recipient FHI 360, its lead implementing partner Internews Network, local partners Association des Femmes des Medias du Sud-Kivu, Collectif 24, Journalist en Danger, Union Congolaise des Femmes de Médias (UCOFEM), Federation des Radios de Proximite du Congo (FRPC),  and technical partner Mobile Accord, Inc./GeoPoll, the project’s objectives are as follows:

  1. Strengthening the legal and regulatory environment for media
  2. Supporting targeted media outlets to become more independent and professional; and
  3. Increasing access to high-quality public-interest reporting.

MSDA efforts are being reinforced by five contributive projects funded by USAID, the Swedish cooperation, and the Swiss Development Agency.

To date, MSDA has provided support to 670 media outlets, trained 2,278 media professionals, and supported the production of 1,589 media stories on local governance, electoral process, health, education, environment, gender equality, GBV, human trafficking, COVID-19 pandemic. MSDA has also promoted the local and national democratic debate between journalists, civil society and local authorities or government on key public interest issues supporting 91 media roundtables, broadcast in local media.


Purpose of the evaluation:

MSDA is coming to an end, so Internews intends to engage an independent evaluator to conduct a final project evaluation. The main purpose of the evaluation is to assess the extent to which MSDA supported an open, inclusive environment in which media and civil society provided accurate and impartial information that promoted participation, inclusion, and accountability.

Tasks will include:

  • Assess the program design, approach to implementation, partnerships, activities, and outputs in relation to the project goals and objectives, notably the coherence and integration of the five contributive projects.
  • Assess the quality and efficacy of the program’s Monitoring & Evaluation process.
  • Assess the extent to which the program achieved its expected results and project objectives while highlighting any unexpected results.
  • Provide evidence demonstrating whether and how the program contributed to long-term change for target beneficiaries.
  • Provide recommendations, based on best practices and lessons learned for strengthening project strategies, management and implementation for future Civil Society programming focusing on Media about what has and hasn’t worked and why and give clear recommendations for future projects in the DRC.

Main audience of the evaluation and dissemination plan:

The primary audience of the evaluation report will be Internews, FHI 360, USAID/DRC and other key stakeholders. Findings of the evaluation will be shared in the form of presentations and/or written report.

Evaluation criteria:

The evaluation should be based on the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development’s (OECD’s) six evaluation criteria[1] focusing on relevance, coherence, effectiveness, efficiency, impact and sustainability. The exact focus and scope as well as key evaluation questions will be discussed and agreed during the inception phase.

Scope and Evaluation methodology:

The evaluation covers the project implementation period July 2019 to September/October 2023 (bearing in mind the project end date of May 2024). Thus, the evaluation will encompass four full years of project implementation, as data and impact for 2023 will be ongoing. The evaluation should aim to reach all implementing partners, the project’s core group of 77 community radio stations and three online media outlets located in 17 provinces, journalists, civil society partners and all other key stakeholders. Sampling/selection of provinces for data collection to be agreed with the evaluator at inception phase. Data collection is expected between October 15 and December 31, 2023.

The methodological approach and design of the evaluation will be developed and agreed between Internews and the evaluator, with support and cooperation from other key stakeholders.  Internews will be consulted on key decisions/changes related to the evaluation. The evaluator will  be responsible for its objective implementation.

In developing an appropriate methodology, the evaluator must consider potential limitations and include best-practice mitigation measures. The evaluation must be supported by data and information collected from engagements with beneficiaries and relevant stakeholders. The evaluation must clearly demonstrate links between the data collected and the subsequent findings, conclusions and recommendations drawn. The evaluator must not just provide an accounting of performance against targets but also provide independent analysis.

While the detailed methodology as well as all relevant tools will be developed and presented by the evaluator as part of the inception report, the data collection should use a mixed method research methodology, including both quantitative and qualitative methods to gain a deeper understanding of the outcomes of the project. These include but are not limited to:

  • Review of available background documents (project documents, such as proposal and workplans, project monitoring data and reports, any other relevant reports and evaluations or assessments as provided for by Internews),
  • Key informant interviews with project staff members and implementing partners,
  • Focus group discussions with key stakeholders and project beneficiaries,
  • Surveys with key stakeholders and project beneficiaries.

The evaluator must place emphasis on the collection of reliable empirical data and/or objectively verifiable evidence as opposed to anecdotal evidence. Where surveys or interviews are involved, the evaluator should provide information on an appropriate and strategic sampling methodology. Furthermore, the evaluator should also provide information on the timeframe, team composition and budget that allows for implementation of a comprehensive evaluation that adequately meets the objectives set above.


All logistical aspects of this evaluation will have to be taken care of by the evaluator. All costs related to logistics must be included in the proposed budget.


Key Activities and DeliverablesTimeline
Evaluation kick-off meeting with InternewsImmediately after signing contract
Inception report, including literature review, detailed methodology and an outline of the final reportNovember 20, 2023
First draft – final reportJanuary 31, 2024
Sense-making workshop of the first draft of the report with InternewsTo be determined
Final evaluation reportFebruary 23, 2024

All written deliverables are expected to be in English.


  • An advanced degree (PhD preferred) in media, journalism, communication, international development, evaluation, or related field for the team leader
  • At least 10 years of experience conducting research/evaluations 10 years of experience conducting research/evaluations in difficult contexts, particularly for US donors focusing on civil society and peace building programs.
  • Strong knowledge of international NGO operations, including program design, implementation, and Monitoring & Evaluation
  • Demonstrated expertise conducting research in the region, particularly in the Democratic Republic of Congo
  • Strong expertise on mis/disinformation issues
  • Strong expertise in media business development
  • Evidence of publishing research in respected journal
  • Excellent inter-cultural communication skills/cultural sensitivity and the ability to forge strong cross-cultural relationships and build trust demonstrated through previous intercultural experience.
  • Strong analytical skills. Ability to synthesize and present findings and conclusions, make practical recommendations, and prepare well-written, timely reports in English.
  • Demonstrated experience in qualitative data collection and analysis.
  • Experience of evaluating similar project strongly preferred.
  • Fluency in French and English.


Interested evaluators must submit to [email protected] the following documents:

  • A proposal of maximum four pages, describing how your methodological approach will address the scope planned for this evaluation; how your profile meets the criteria for selection of evaluators listed above, potential limitations in the evaluation, and an indicative timeline and budget.
  • Curriculum Vitae of the evaluation team/evaluator.
  • Indicative team profile with the relevant experiences of each team member highlighted.
  • Three previous, similar assignments carried out by the main evaluator in this application in the recent past including, contact information of the organizations for which these services were provided.
  • Copy of legal entity certification for firms.


We are an organization of dynamic, mission-driven individuals who are passionate about our core values and about supporting positive change in the world. We pride ourselves on our commitment to innovation and flexibility. We believe that diverse teams are strong teams and work to support an ethic of belonging, dignity, and justice for all people. Our current team includes a mix of genders, parents and non-parents, and people of multiple races, nationalities, ages, sexual orientations, and socioeconomic backgrounds. We are an EEO employer and encourage candidates of all races, genders, ages, orientations, ethnicities, and national origins to apply, and welcome those with alternative backgrounds and experiences.

While the deadline for accepting application is October 31, 2023, applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. Therefore, interested candidates are encouraged to apply soon.