Purchase of services for an external content evaluation of Voices-of-Ukraine

Andreas Lamm

16 November 2022

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Location: Europe (flexible)

Deadline for applications: November 28, 2022

The aim of the project is to maintain the working capacity of journalists in Ukraine. The project includes an Emergency Stipend programme that covers living expenses thus enabling journalists to continue providing information for the Ukrainian population and foreign media. Further financial resources are located in the Technology Support fund that makes it possible to procure replacements for journalistic equipment having been damaged or lost during work in the war zones or when fleeing the country. For those who had to leave Ukraine because of the imminent threat, residency programmes beyond the country’s borders provide help – one of them is the Journalists-in-Residence programme in Kosovo, which is financially supported through this project. The final element of the project is a network conference in Bratislava in December 2022, where Ukrainian journalists will be able to discuss their living situation – and the development of a media landscape after the war.

The VOICES OF UKRAINE project is organised by the European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF) in cooperation with the following partners: the Public Interest Journalism Lab (PIJL), the Fix Media Foundation (FMF), and the Association of Journalists of Kosovo (AJK).

With funding from the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the VOICES OF UKRAINE project period started at 1 October 2022 and runs until 31 December, 2022.

The final evaluation is scheduled to take place during the last two months of the project period, from November to December 2022.

 

Terms of Reference

Background

The programme’s overall objective is to maintain the working capacity of journalists in Ukraine.

 

The activities conducted under the project are

  • Direct support of journalistic work through Emergency Stipends
  • Replacement equipment through a Technology Support fund
  • Provision of safe refuge in the Journalists-in-Residence programme in Kosovo
  • Training in the following areas: Digital security, resilience, recognising disinformation in times of crisis
  • Network conference

A detailed list of the specific activities can be provided upon request.

 

Objectives of the evaluation

An indicative list of the areas of assessment is provided below. The evaluation questions can be further refined by the provider carrying out the evaluation.

Relevance: Assess whether the funds from the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs contributed to maintaining the working capacity of journalists in Ukraine.

  • To what extent did VOICES OF UKRAINE achieve its overall objective?
  • To what extent did VOICES OF UKRAINE contribute to maintaining the working capacity of journalists in Ukraine?

Effectiveness: Assess whether the grant was implemented effectively and efficiently by the partners to fulfil the planned deliverables.

  • To what extent were the planned activities carried out and were these delivered within the planned budget and timetable?
  • Were risks properly identified and managed?
  • How effective was the programme’s design in the success of the project? (The programme’s design include the roles and responsibilities of the responsible partners)

Impact: Assess the changes resulting from the programme (positive/negative, direct/indirect, intended/unintended).

The project aims to strengthen the working capacity and independence of Ukrainian journalists. They are a pillar of democracy and a central source of information for the local population and foreign media. The support provided by this programme is intended to alleviate the consequences of the collapse of the Ukrainian media market. This should prevent media professionals from being silenced and make sure that other, more interest-driven stakeholders from business and politics do not dominate the public debate.

  • Emergency Stipends: 120 emergency stipends are awarded to journalists. To what extent dothe emergency stipends provide journalists with a livelihood so that they could continue to pursue their profession?
  • Technology Support: 120 journalists are supposed to be supported with the emergency fund. To what extent does the replacement of obsolete, damaged or lost equipment restore the journalists’ ability to work?
  • Journalist-in-Residence Kosovo: Does the relocation programme provide protection for additional 20 journalists (including their relatives) who have to leave Ukraine and/or the Russian-occupied territories?
  • Training: At least 60 journalists are to be trained in 6 training sessions. To what extent do the trainings contribute to strengthening the competence and resilience of the journalists?
  • Network Conference: The conference aims to create networks and make journalists’ voices heard in the current extreme political situations. It brings together media professionals from Western and Central Europe with journalists from Ukraine, Russia, Belarus, Moldova and Georgia to promote exchange and discuss the challenges facing journalists in the respective countries. To what extent does the conference achieve these objectives?

Sustainability and replicability: Assess whether the impacts achieved through the programme are likely to be sustained after the current funding period and if they are replicable in other regions.

  • What are the prospects of the programme being sustained?
  • To what extent does this programme stimulate capacity building of organisations and individuals, especially with regard to journalistic work in existential crisis and war situations? Learning Review: Identify and expand upon lessons learned that have not been drawn in the sections above.
  • This section will cover any key areas that have not featured in the sections above and that may surface throughout the evaluation process.
  • The evaluator should collect existing needs of Ukrainian media in order to better assess the effectiveness of the chosen measures in the programme.

 

Methodology and deliverables

The selected provider will:

  • Review all grant-related documents;
  • Assess the impact of the different activities implemented throughout the project implementation of VOICES OF UKRAINE;
  • Interview staff from the partner organisations involved in the project, including project managers and senior management;
  • Interview a cross-section of VOICES OF UKRAINE beneficiaries;
  • Other relevant activities.

All interviews with beneficiaries will remain confidential and anonymised. During all contacts with stakeholders, the independent evaluation provider will clearly identify themselves as independent consultants and not as an official representative of the partners behind VOICES OF UKRAINE.

The consultant will provide one draft report (approximately 30 pages long) covering all areas noted in Section 2. A first draft shall be submitted to ECPMF by December 31, 2022. The final report – which incorporates or has responded to any internal feedback provided on the draft version – should be submitted to ECPMF by January 30, 2022.

 

Eligibility criteria

The selected provider will need relevant subject knowledge and experience conducting journalism-related evaluations.

The independent evaluation provider must be strictly neutral, and it will not have had any involvement in the project prior to this activity, so as to avoid any potential conflict of interests.

Award criteria

Quality of the offer (60%), including:

  • Methodology proposed;
  • Previous experience in evaluating journalism-related projects/programmes;
  • Technical competence and experience in conducting evaluation from a distance/by video conference.

Financial offer (40%).

Eligible tenderers will be invited for an interview to discuss their credentials and proposed plan. All tenderers will be informed about the outcome of their submission by email.

 

Applications

Interested parties must provide a short proposal outlining their approach (two pages maximum). This should be accompanied by:

  • CV(s) of staff who will be involved in carrying out the evaluation;
  • A proposed methodology for carrying out the monitoring and evaluation;
  • Ideally, one example of an evaluation report recently completed in English.

Tenders shall be submitted by email only (with attachments) to the email address andreas.lamm@ecpmf.eu with the reference “VOICES OF UKRAINE 2022 evaluation”. Deadline for submission: November 28, 2022.

Interviews are tentatively scheduled to take place between December 1-31 and these will be conducted in person during the conference or remotely to address COVID-19 related health and safety risks.

The maximum amount available for the evaluation of the project, covering all the deliverables to be achieved by the selected tenderer as listed above, is 15,000 Euros (incl. VAT). The allocated budget includes consultancy fees, and travel and subsistence if relevant and in line with COVID-19 safety rules, and translation costs, if any.

The Evaluation has to presented in German and English

We look forward to hearing from you!

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