Appendix: Terms of Reference (TOR) for the NICFI Colombia coherence evaluation

Background:

Rainforest Foundation Norway (RFN) is a leading international organisation working to protect the world’s large, contiguous rainforests and strengthen indigenous people’s rights, in partnerships with indigenous and environmental organisations in South-East Asia, Central Africa and the Amazon.

The grant agreement Forest for People – People for Forest (Agreement number QZA-21/0047) is funded by the Norwegian International Climate and Forest Initiative (NICFI), and administered by Norad, for the period 2021-2025. RFN implements the agreement with 17 partners in Brazil, Peru, Colombia, DR Congo, Indonesia, and Papua New Guinea, in addition to an international advocacy component. The agreement builds on the results and experiences from Rights-based REDD+: Indigenous peoples as guardians of the rainforest (2016-2020). The agreement is RFN’s second largest with Norad and runs in parallel with the framework agreement (2023-2027).

The grant agreement is divided into seven components, six at country level and one at the international advocacy/policy level, each with individual results frameworks. The overall aim is to contribute to rights-based sustainable rainforest management and protection of forest ecosystem integrity. The grant agreement’s theory of change was designed to build on previous efforts of strengthening the rights and means of indigenous peoples and local communities (IPLCs) to manage their traditional territories, and policy advocacy to create the necessary framework conditions for doing so. It combines local, national, and international advocacy by RFN and partners. RFN and partners complement each other in terms of expertise and influence on various types and levels of decisionmakers. RFN often adds value by providing access to and experience in influencing international institutions, whereas partner organisations at the national and local levels in rainforest countries have access to private sector and government agencies in-country. By addressing an issue simultaneously at multiple levels, results at each level can be reinforced, increasing likelihood of a lasting impact.

In Colombia, the NICFI programme consists of two projects implemented by two different partners: Asociación Ambiente y Sociedad (AAS) and Organización Nacional Indígena de Colombia (ONIC). ONIC also implement a project under RFN’s framework agreement. Additionally, the framework agreement consists of three other projects implemented by Organización Nacional de los Pueblos Indígenas de la Amazonia Colombiana (OPIAC), Fundación Etnollano (Etnollano), and la Fundación para la Conservación y el Desarrollo Sostenible (FCDS). Together, these programmes and projects make up the RFN Colombia country programme.

Purpose:

The purpose of the evaluation is to map coherence, i.e., cooperation, exchange, needs and synergies between RFN and partners in Colombia, and among the partners in Colombia, aiming at more fully exploiting the potential for coherence within the NICFI programme and between the NICFI programme and the Norad framework programme.

Evaluation use and users:

The Primary Intended Users of the evaluation are:

1. RFN: Thematic advisers and the MEL adviser in the Peru/Colombia team, and relevant advisers in the Strategy and Learning Team.

2. NICFI partners – ONIC and AAS: Project coordinators

3. Framework partners – OPIAC, FCDS, Etnollano (and ONIC): Project coordinators

The Primary Intended Uses of the evaluations are:

  1. RFN and its Colombian partners will design a NICFI 2026-2030 program with more coherence between projects and with the Norad framework projects.
  2. RFN and its partners will review their current NICFI projects to better utilize potential coherence during the final year of implementation.
  3. RFN and its Colombian partners will improve and systematize modalities for joint information exchange, learning and strategic planning between projects and programs at the national level.
  4. Colombian partners strengthen cooperation and alliances among themselves and with other relevant actors in Colombia. Projects and partners include the voices, interests and priorities of communities, organizations, and allies.

Objectives: To achieve its purpose, the objective of the evaluation is closely related to the OECD-DAC evaluation criteria of coherence:

Coherence of RFN and partners’ interventions under the NICFI grant agreement with each other, with other RFN and partner interventions, and with relevant interventions by communities, other organisations, and allies. This includes complementarity, harmonisation and co-ordination with others, and the extent to which the interventions are adding value while avoiding duplication of efforts.

Evaluation questions:

The four Key Evaluation Questions are structured according to Primary Intended Use of the evaluation.

  1. RFN and its Colombian partners will design a NICFI 2026-2030 program with more coherence between projects and with the Norad framework projects.
  2. RFN and its partners will review their current NICFI projects to better utilize potential coherence during the final year of implementation.
    1. To what extent are there potential coherence between RFN's NICFI project and its partners in Colombia, and between these and the projects and partners in the Norad framework agreement?
    2. To what extent have the NICFI partners and project made use of this potential coherence since the beginning of the current NICFI program period, to increase the effects of NICFI projects and programs in Colombia?
  3. RFN and its Colombian partners will improve and systematize modalities for joint information exchange, learning and strategic planning between projects and programs at the national level.
  4. What modalities have been used among RFN partners in Colombia for joint information sharing, learning and strategic planning since the beginning of the current NICFI program period and how has RFN contributed to these modalities?
  5. Colombian partners strengthen cooperation and alliances among themselves and with other relevant actors in Colombia. Projects and partners include the voices, interests and priorities of communities, organizations, and allies.
  6. To what extent have RFN's NICFI partners managed to create alliances with other RFN partners and other actors to improve the impact of their projects?

Scope:

Time: The period 2021-2024

Geography: Colombia

Projects: Primary: NICFI projects (ONIC & AAS)

Secondary: Framework projects (ONIC, OPIAC, FCDS & Etnollano)

Thematic: Coherence between the NICFI projects, and among all projects in the Colombia portfolio

Method:

To answer the evaluation questions, a mixed method data collection is needed, with an emphasis on qualitative methods. The evaluation is inspired by the Utilisation-Focused Evaluation approach, but the budget does not allow for all the steps to be followed. The approach should, however, be participatory, and the specific methods may be suggested by the evaluator(s) and agreed during the inception phase.

The evaluation may include a combination of document review, interviews, focus group discussions, surveys etc., to collect and assess data. The evaluation should collect data from a variety of sources, including RFN and partner staff, and considering gender and age diversity. RFN can help identify sources/interviewees among partners and other stakeholders and will provide relevant programme and policy documents for review.

Specific methodology and approach should be suggested by the evaluator(s) in the tender proposal, to be further detailed and agreed during inception phase, including list of suggested data sources.

Deliverables:

a) Inception report: The purpose of an inception report is to give RFN the chance to approve suggested methodology, scope, or other delimitations of the evaluation before the evaluation proceeds. This should be discussed with and approved by RFN, and should contain (not exhaustive):

· Outline of evaluation, including potential adjustments of evaluation questions

· Methodology (including data sources, sampling, data collection tools and plans for analyses, and list of people and organisations to be interviewed etc.). Must include a detailed description of how the qualitative data will be gathered, structured, and analysed.

· Scope and delimitations

· Key evaluation questions if these are modified/different from the ToR

· Summary of already collected/identified information sources and data and identification of gaps in data/information available.

· Detailed work plan and description of planned field work (including team composition and distribution of responsibilities)

· Timeline

· Detailed budget

b) Draft evaluation report: The draft report should present the initial findings for review and feedback from RFN and involved partners. The aim of this presentation is to receive feedback on findings and preliminary conclusions and recommendations, as well as to facilitate use of the evaluation. The draft report should be submitted shortly after the completion of data collection and initial analysis, with some time left for adjustments to the analysis.

c) Validation workshop/Presentation of draft report findings: Organise presentation of main findings and preliminary conclusions and recommendations to relevant RFN staff and partners (one for RFN and one for Colombian partners). Preferably physical event but may be done online if needed. The purpose is to receive feedback on evaluation findings and preliminary conclusions and recommendations. The evaluator(s) will draw inputs from the validation workshops and incorporate in the final report. The validation workshops should be organised immediately after the submission of draft report, in consultation with RFN.

d) Final evaluation report: To be submitted and presented to RFN, Colombian partners, and Norad/NICFI, after feedback is received and integrated into the draft report. The final report should present the details of key findings, main challenges, lessons learned, and specific recommendations linked to findings. The final report should incorporate the inputs from the validation workshop and be submitted within 30 days of the validation workshop. The final report should be submitted electronically as a final, proof-read version, in a reader-friendly layout. The report shall be in Spanish and maximum 30 pages, excluding annexes. It should contain at least the following sections (not exhaustive):

· Executive summary (max 2-3 pages).

· Introduction and context background.

· Brief description of the grant agreement and projects/cases evaluated.

· Description of evaluation questions and methodology, especially detailed for data collection and analysis.

· Description of scope, constraints, and limitations.

· Findings and conclusions.

· Recommendations for remainder of the grant agreement and for future development of coherence in Colombia.

· Annexes: The agreed Terms of Reference (incl. evaluation questions), Inception report, work plan, data collection instruments, references to sources (including interviewees) for both qualitative and quantitative data.

In addition, an extended executive summary in English of 5-8 pages which provides brief summaries of all the main parts of the main report.

e) Facilitation of use: Suggestions for additional deliverables that will facilitate use of the evaluation by the Primary Intended Users. This may both include use that involve the evaluator(s) and recommendation for use without involvement of the evaluator(s). Specific proposals are welcome in the tender proposal and during the inception phase.

Timeline/milestone and budget:

The final report should be submitted to RFN by end of January 2025. Data collection, analysis the draft report and the validation workshops should be delivered in 2024. The maximum budget is NOK 200,000 including all costs.

Interested candidates are asked to submit a proposal including budget with estimated workdays and daily rates, as well as possible timeline for deliveries as outlined above. A detailed timeline and budget will be set with the selected consultant(s) in the contract.

Ethical considerations and data protection

The assignment should be conducted in accordance with the highest professional standards. As such, the work will ensure sensitive, safe, non-discriminatory, and inclusive participation, and confidentiality of respondents/sources. Specific consideration must be given to ethical issues of design, data collection, reporting and storage. The consultancy is obliged to maintain appropriate measures to protect personal data according to the EU General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR). Info on GDPR can be found here: https://gdpr.eu/

Ines Luna Maira

Team Leader, Peru and Colombia Program
(+47) 452 48 654
ines@rainforest.no