Terms of Reference: Project Evaluation
About the Project
Title: Project Evaluation Advancing Fundamental Rights and Political Participation on the Internet
This evaluation will cover the collaboration between S International D Cooperation A (Sida) and Tactical Tech under 1 project: 1 August 2018 – 31 July 2021 : Advancing Fundamental Rights and Political Participation on the Internet.
Digital technologies and the internet bring great opportunities, but also significant challenges. They can be used to reinforce differences, manipulate democratic processes, normalise peer-to-peer surveillance, and have given rise to new, centralised forms of information and influence. Tactical Tech believes that we urgently need a response that sees these issues, not just as technical problems, but as socio-political ones.
With this intervention we propose tackling some of the major challenges that the Internet brings to fundamental rights, political participation and secure, inclusive, just societies. For this purpose we will work towards three interconnected objectives, all of which combine practical, evidence-based research with meaningful collaboration alongside experts in the field, and within communities, to produce hands-on, sustainable advice, tools and strategies – adapted to the target audiences’ individual contexts. The projects which contribute to these goals include: Data and Politics, Exposing the Invisible, Data Detox and The Glass Room.
The overall objectives is that civil society actors, activists, journalists and other media actors have an increased capacity to access, use and co-develop practical solutions and strategies to respond to digital threats to democracy, in particular fundamental freedoms. Specific objectives are to achieved by July 2021;
- Objective 1: Defending Political Participation and Fundamental Rights on the Internet.
- Objective 2: Enabling Freedom of Expression on Accountability and Transparency on the Internet.
- Objective 3: Strengthening Public Education on a Free, Open and Safe Internet.
The overall results from these objectives to be achieved by July 2021 are:
- 1.5 million civil society actors, activists and HRDs access high quality resources, including contextualised self-learning materials. As a result, they are in a position to politically participate thanks to their increased capacity to make more informed and safe choices and to define effective long lasting mitigation strategies regarding their use of the internet and digital technologies. (knowledge and capacity, ability to politically participate)
- At least 150 project partners working in the Global South collaborate with Tactical Tech toward the objectives to either co-develop, adapt or translate high quality resources. As a result of the partnership, the actors s are in a position to increase their communities’ knowledge and awareness on how to make make more informed and safe choices in their use of digital technologies. (capacity to advocate).
- Tactical Tech produces a series of applied research pieces on digital threats to democracy in particular fundamental freedoms. As a result, civil society actors as well as a broader interested public have a greater awareness of the impact of digital tech on democracy. This research also feeds into the co-development of high quality resources and self-learning materials. (Research, awareness)
- Tactical Tech and 150 partners co-develop, test and adapt a set of high quality resources and self learning materials which contribute overall to the development and capacity of the field. This contribution is unique in its content and format/accessibility. As a result, these field of digital security/privacy have a greater capacity to contribute to the overall goal. (field-building)
- Women human rights defenders and women who are politically active have an increased understanding of and capacity on how to develop strategies to overcome barriers and digital threats to fundamental freedoms. As a result, these actors are in a position to politically participate and exert influence. (WHRDs, Capacity)
Our approach is practice-based. We work to demystify and translate complex issues and provide practical, evidence-based solutions through high-quality, accessible resources. These are tested and iterated in collaboration with partners, and then further adapted by the geographical and community contexts where the need resides. We only intervene if we feel we can contribute to the problem, after we have understood the topics and context and only if we are responding to an expressed demand.
The evaluation shall begin in mid 2019 with the development of a framework for the evaluation. This evaluation could be conducted by a consultant or a company. The majority of the evaluation activities will occur later in the project throughout 2020 and 2021. The evaluation shall look at the progress of the Project in terms of effectiveness, impact, relevance, sustainability and efficiency and: make an independent assessment of the overall progress attained to-date in relation to expected early outcomes, from grant proposal indicators, highlighting what works well, and what can be improved to enhance the likelihood of achieving the project objectives; asses the results framework’s appropriateness for capturing of results of the intervention and suggest possible improvements thereof. Analyse and assess the chosen methodologies in relation to planned and achieved results; make a limited assessment of the efficiency and effectiveness of Tactical Tech's organisational internal management in relation to reaching the results of the project; and follow up on the progress of the recommendations of the previous Sida project evaluation.
Throughout its implementation cycle, the project will have generated data through routine monitoring activities and periodical reviews. Due to budget constraints and the global nature of Tactical Tech’s work a number of interviews will need to be conducted remotely. This data includes:
- Workshop and event reports
- Workshop Questionnaires
- Online visitor traffic results
- Anonymous feedback
- Progress reports
- The Consultant will draw up a suitable evaluation design in close consultation with Tactical Tech and within the boundaries of available resources.
- All evaluation activities shall abide by internationally accepted standards for conducting research activities with vulnerable populations and the proposal should be specific as to how potential risks to respondents will be minimised.
- Review and in-depth analysis of project monitoring data.
- Review and analysis of learning and intervention methods, including the attendance at one project workshop.
- Review and analysis on capturing results.
- Qualitative evaluation activities, that document whether and how the project has benefited audiences and stakeholders. Possible activities include: qualitative interviews; key informant interviews; at least 2 change stories.
- Qualitative evaluation activities, that informs and documents the efficiency and effectiveness of Tactical Tech's organisational and internal management. Activities will include: interviews with relevant staff.
As final outputs, we expect a:
- draft report for review and input
- final highly accessible summary of findings (4 page)
- detailed findings and recommendation in a final, formal, funder-facing report
- visualisation of key results
The Consultant or company will be able to draw on support from Tactical Tech to identify key respondents, the collation of project monitoring data and the advise and review of research software tools.
The consultant or company is responsible for his/her own travel logistics and travel visas.
The total budget for all evaluation activities shall not exceed EUR 20,000. This should include all the Consultant’s or Company’s professional fees as well as implementation activities.
We expect the majority of evaluation activities to conclude by the end of August 2021. A draft report to be completed by 4 September 2021 for review and input. Feedback will be provided by 15 September 2021. The final report should be available no later than 28 September 2021.
Criteria for Selection
The consultant or company shall be selected on the basis of proven experience, qualifications and ability to deliver a quality product in a timely, independent and efficient manner.
Qualifications should include:
- Has conducted impact evaluations and has experience with standard monitoring and evaluation mechanisms and processes in international NGO and donor contexts.
- Has at least 7 years experience.
- Is fluent in English.
- Has advanced degrees in humanities or social sciences discipline.
- Has extensive experience with empirical research, particularly qualitative and action research methods.
- Has a demonstrable understanding on issues around gender, digital privacy and security, freedom of expression, public education and awareness raising.
- Is familiar with and use of privacy-aware online tools and free and open source software.
- Is familiar with NGO and civil society contexts and networks in low and middle income countries.
- Demonstrable commitment to Tactical Tech's mission and values, including an understanding of the geopolitical contexts in which Tactical Tech's work is carried out including understanding the importance of confidentiality.
- Is available from July 2019 and can travel to attend sprints and events as needed.