Invitation for proposals: Evaluation of long-term development cooperation between Ethiopia and Sweden

Invitation for proposals: Evaluation of long-term development cooperation between Ethiopia and Sweden

The Expert Group for Aid Studies (EBA) is a government committee mandated to evaluate and analyse the direction, governance and implementation of Sweden’s official development assistance (ODA). The EBA engages researchers and other experts to carry out studies of relevance for policymakers and practitioners. The EBA works with ‘dual independence’. This means that the EBA independently defines what issues to explore and which studies to commission, while the author(s) of each report is responsible for the content and the conclusions.

The EBA hereby invites proposals for an evaluation of the long-term Development cooperation between Ethiopia and Sweden.

Background, aim and questions:
Sweden has a long history of bilateral, typically long-term, development cooperation with partner countries. For example, the development cooperation with Tanzania has now lasted more than 50 years. The Swedish bilateral development cooperation is mainly managed by Sida and guided by country strategies, with considerable autonomy at the embassy-level. In 2018, Sweden had bilateral country strategies with more than 20 countries. In addition, large parts are guided by other strategies (for humanitarian assistance, Swedish CSOs, research cooperation etc.). For example, in 2016, Sweden´s bilateral cooperation with Mozambique was guided by four strategies. Moreover, a smaller part of the bilateral development cooperation is managed by other Swedish agencies.

In 2012, Sida presented a comprehensive evaluation of Swedish aid to Vietnam, Laos and Sri Lanka – development cooperation that began more than 40 years, ago. This was the first time an independent evaluation of Swedish aid had such a long-term perspective. In 2016, the EBA launched two country evaluations: one examined internal factors and processes in the cooperation with Uganda (EBA 2016:09) and one assessed the contribution of Swedish aid on long-term poverty reduction in Tanzania (EBA 2016:10).

During 2019, the EBA launches two country evaluations looking at long-term results: one evaluating Swedish cooperation in economic development with Bosnia & Herzegovina (EBA 2018:10) and one evaluating long-term development cooperation with Cambodia in democracy and human rights (EBA 2019:04). Both evaluations focus on a limited number of related objectives for Sweden’s bilateral development cooperation.

The EBA has now decided to commission an evaluation of the long-term development cooperation between Ethiopia and Sweden with a focus on the overarching long-term objectives of poverty reduction and to create preconditions for better living conditions for people living in poverty.

Why Ethiopia?

Over the past fifteen years Ethiopia has achieved high and stable GDP growth rates paired with a strong expansion in access to social services. Although poverty levels and poverty severity have declined markedly since 2000, the latest available head count ratio (2015) stands at 27.3 per cent (USD 1.90 international poverty line). In addition, the reported number of internally displaced persons is well over 2 million, the primary driver being conflict, followed by displacement due to climate induced factors.

After over half a century of reoccurring internal and external conflicts, wars, and famines; economic and social development, the Ethiopian Government’s reformist agenda during the last year and the recently formed reconciliation council are some of the factors bringing hope for sustainable Peace and improvements in democracy and human rights. While the challenges remain substantial, the current developments may also create new opportunities and priorities within existing partnerships in development cooperation. For example, in April 2019, the Swedish Government increased the volume in the bilateral strategy with Ethiopia by 200 million SEK (for 2019 and 2020) to be targeted at democratic development.

Ethio-Swedish relations began already in 1860s when the first Swedish missionaries landed in today’s Ethiopia. In 1954, Ethiopia became the first bilateral partner in Sweden’s official Development cooperation. During the last 20 years (1998-2018) Sweden disbursed almost 7 Billion SEK in aid to the country.

Important sectors for Swedish support to Ethiopia over time have been education (including higher education and research), agriculture, health, rural development, food security, private sector development, infrastructure, democracy, human rights and humanitarian assistance, and more currently environment and climate change.

One relatively well-known early program was the Swedish Primary School Programme, which led to the construction of 6,000 primary schools. Another early project in education started in 1954 with Byggnadstekniska Institutet, a school for Constructional Engineering financed by Sweden. The Swedish-led integrated rural development project CADU in Ethiopia’s Arussi province was designed by a group of experts from the Agricultural College of Sweden. CADU was an early Swedish attempt to transfer agronomic knowledge to an African country. Swedish cooperation to support the Health system in Ethiopia started already in 1957, and have at times included broad support from the Ministry of Health in Sweden. Very little General Budget Support have been provided by Sweden. (See also: https://openaid.se/aid/sweden/ethiopia/2018/ )

The current Swedish strategy for Ethiopia, 2016- 2020, focuses on 1) environment, climate, resilience and natural disasters; 2) democracy, gender equality, and human rights; and 3) better opportunities and tools to enable poor people to improve their living conditions. The third theme mentions improved opportunities for productive employment, decent working conditions, sustainable food security, resilient agriculture, business climate, social protection and the strengthening of institutions.

Aim
The aim of this evaluation is twofold:
(i) To gain an in-depth understanding of the relevance, long-term effects and sustainability of
Swedish development cooperation with Ethiopia
(ii) To generate lessons to inform future Swedish development cooperation with Ethiopia, and
other countries

The EBA expects the evaluation to deepen the knowledge and understanding of how to manage, develop and secure effective development cooperation interventions in Ethiopia and to highlight lessons learned that may inform current Swedish development cooperation as well as future strategies and interventions in the country and beyond. The purposes of the evaluation are accountability and learning.

Four evaluation questions (with sub-questions in italics below) shall guide the evaluation:

1. Has Sweden formulated appropriate strategies given the development constraints and opportunities in Ethiopia at specific periods in time? What have been the objectives of the Swedish development assistance in Ethiopia over time related to (multi-dimensional) poverty? What has been the rationale behind the formulation of content and objectives in the different strategies?Were the formulations based on in-depth thorough analyses of the specific conditions in the country? To what extent have Swedish contributions been consistent with the target populations’ and the broader Ethiopian society’s needs over
time?

2. Has Swedish development cooperation with Ethiopia contributed to sustainable results in terms of poverty reduction and better living conditions for people living in poverty? If so, in what way, and to what extent?

3. To what extent has a perspective of democracy, human rights and gender equality been considered in interventions financed by Sweden over time? In which ways have political dialogue (with Ethiopian authorities) and development projects reinforced democracy, human rights and gender equality?

4. What lessons can inform Swedish development cooperation with Ethiopia and other countries ahead?

In relation to OECD/DAC and other evaluation criteria, the focus shall hence be on issues of relevance (question 1), impact, effectiveness and the sustainability of results (question 2), and a formative perspective (question 4) to promote and create a basis for learning.

The focus of the evaluation, poverty reduction and better living conditions for people living in poverty,
relates strongly to sectors like education (including higher education and research), agriculture,health, rural development, food security, private sector development, social safety nets andinfrastructure. Democracy, human rights and gender equality should be a horizontal/integrated erspective of the evaluation.

The evaluation is expected to put Sweden’s contributions in a wider context of development in Ethiopia, including other donors’ engagement in the country. The team will choose the period of study. It is not required to study the entire period of cooperation (approx. 1954- 2018), but a longterm perspective is mandatory.

The main objective of the evaluation is to provide grounded and elaborate responses to the questions above. However, tenderers are encouraged to let their expertise guide the choice of approach in answering the evaluation questions (including design of the analytical framework, methodological approach and delimitations). We hope that this open approach will be attractive and encourage innovation in submitted proposals. An explicit but subordinate aim of this evaluation is also to develop methodology for long-term country evaluations.

Who is this evaluation for? Target group(s)

The main target group of this evaluation is the staff responsible for Swedish Development cooperation at the Swedish MFA, at the Swedish Embassy in Addis Ababa and at Sida’s Department for Africa. A particularly important group is the persons responsible for the renewal, implementation and monitoring of the Swedish strategy for Ethiopia after 2020 (including early dissemination of preliminary results to those responsible for the formulation of the new strategy). Secondary target groups include people with an interest in Ethiopia or development cooperation in general, Swedish media and the general public in Sweden and Ethiopia.

Implementation and methods

The authors are given an open mandate regarding implementation, focus and method of the evaluation with the aim that they should let their expertise guide the choice of approach in answering the evaluation questions.

The proposal should include a detailed analytical framework. It is up to the authors to choose study design, methods and delimitations (time, sectors etc.), but the choices should be clearly justified.

Potentially important sources of information, considering the long-term perspective, are written sources from of Sida and partner organizations, evaluations, mid-term reviews, final reports, previous research etc. We encourage the authors nevertheless to be prepared for limitations in available (especially early) data, missing project documentation and evaluations, incomplete results reporting and archives placed in various locations.

While there is no requirement for the main applicant to understand Swedish, the evaluation team
should include someone with the ability to analyse documents written in Swedish.

The EBA works with ‘dual independence’. This means that the EBA independently defines what issues to explore and which studies to commission. The content and the conclusion of each report is, however, the responsibility of the author(s).

Tenderers are expected to disclose potential conflicts of interest pertaining to members in the evaluation team, as this may be a ground for exclusion of a proposal.

For all studies, the EBA sets up a reference group consisting of experts in the field of study (members are designated by the EBA in dialogue with the authors). The overall purpose of the reference Group is to strengthen the quality of the report. The group will be chaired by one of the EBA members.

The evaluator(s) shall deliver a report (in English) presenting the results from the study to be published in the EBA report series (www.eba.se/en/published-reports/). The length of the report should not exceed 50 000 words (about 100 A4-pages), excluding annexes (www.eba.se/en/published-reports/).

The evaluator(s) shall present preliminary results at a pre-launch meeting with the MFA, Sida and the EBA, and present the final report at a public dissemination event (details to be specified in consultation with the EBA at a later stage).

Administration, budget and timetable:

The maximum cost for this evaluation is set to SEK 1 500 000 excl. VAT. The timetable shall include details regarding time used for each member of the project team.

The proposal should be no longer than 15 pages, including a presentation of the author/team, a detailed analytical framework, a detailed preliminary time table, allocation of time and functions within the team and budget (stated in SEK), Price/Hour, Proportion of time (per cent) for Team leader/Main Author; Proportion of time (per cent) for research assistant or junior employee (less than 3 years of experience), excluding CVs and additional annexes. At most three sample evaluations or studies carried out by members of the proposed team shall be attached as annexes.

The budget shall include costs for 3–5 meetings with the reference group. If the team resides outside of Sweden, some of the meetings could be conducted via video/skype/phone. The following timetable shall be considered.

The proposal shall be registered at the tender portal Kommers Annons eLite www.kommersannons.se/elite, no later than 9 August 2019. Proposals shall be valid until 9 November 2019. Tenderers are advised to monitor the tender portal regularly.

The tenderer shall submit an ESPD self-declaration by filling in the tender form at
www.kommersannons.se/elite. Please allow time to complete the ESPD-form before submitting the tender.

During the procurement process, the EBA is not permitted to discuss documentation, tenders, evaluation or other such matters with tenderers in a manner which favours or disfavours one or more tenderers.

Questions shall be posted, on Friday 21 June 2019 at the latest, on the Questions and Answers function on the tender portal Kommers Annons eLite, www.kommersannons.se/elite. Questions and answers to questions will be published, anonymously and simultaneously, to anyone who have registered for the procurement.

Selection of proposals
The following criteria will be used in the screening of proposals:

1. Quality of proposal, in terms of design, methods and plan for implementation (weight: 60 percent).

2. Experiences and qualifications of team members in the areas of 1) Evaluation and Impact evaluation; 2) Poverty, multi-dimensional poverty, economic development, education, Health and other relevant sectors; 3) Ethiopia (weight: 25 per cent).

3. Cost (weight: 15 per cent).
See attached table for which factors will be considered under each of the three criteria. There will be
no negotiation. The assessment of each proposal will be based on the material submitted by the
tenderer by the end of the bidding period.

Confidentiality

After the communication of the EBA’s selection, all submitted proposals will become official documents, meaning that the Swedish principle of public access to official records applies. Sentences, sections or paragraphs in a document may be masked in the public version if “good reasons” (thorough motivations in terms of causing economic damage to the company) can be provided and deemed valid. The tenderers are fully responsible for making their claims of confidentiality.

About the Expert Group for Aid Studies

The Expert Group for Aid Studies (EBA) is a government committee mandated to evaluate and analyse the direction, governance and implementation of Sweden’s official development assistance with a specific focus on results and efficiency. The aim is to contribute to an efficient implementation of well-designed aid. The EBA focuses primarily on overarching issues within Swedish Development assistance, not on individual projects. The EBA consists of an expert group of ten members, and a secretariat placed in Stockholm.

In 2019 the Expert Group consists of: Helena Lindholm (chair), Johan Schaar (vice chair), Kim Forss,
Torgny Holmgren, Sara Johansson De Silva, Magnus Lindell, Eva Lithman, Julia Schalk, Fredrik Uggla,Janet Vähämäki and one appointed expert from the Swedish MFA.