1. BACKGROUND TO THE WORK OF AFF
The African Forest Forum (AFF) is a pan-African non-governmental organization with its headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya. The purpose of AFF is to provide a platform and create an enabling environment for independent and objective analysis, advocacy and advice on relevant policy and technical issues pertaining to achieving sustainable management, use and conservation of Africa’s forest and tree resources as part of efforts to reduce poverty, promote gender equity, and economic and social development. Through all its programmes and activities, AFF seeks to, among other things, promote the empowerment of all marginalized groups, particularly women, who continue to be vulnerable to the impacts of climate change and whose representation, priorities and needs are rarely adequately addressed in the forestry sector.
1.1 The pre-AFF period
A joint project was initiated in late 2002 between the Board of the African Forest Research Network (AFORNET), based at the African Academy of Sciences, FAO’s Forestry Department and the Royal Swedish Academy of Agriculture and Forestry (KSLA) through its Committee on International Forestry. The project namely, “Lessons learnt on sustainable forest management in Africa”, commonly referred to as SFM I, was funded by the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Sida. It was implemented between 2003 and 2005, in response to the realisation that, in spite of repeated statements in the IPF/IFF and UNFF processes on the importance of basing decisions about sustainable forest management (SFMI) on “lessons learnt”, limited efforts had been made to analyse the vast experience and body of written material for such lessons, and more so in Africa. A key objective of this project was to analyse and establish what lessons have been learnt from positive and negative experiences of various initiatives, projects and programmes aimed at sustainable management, use and conservation of forests in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Between 2006 and 2008, a follow-up project, “Sustainable Forest Management in Africa” (SFM II), was implemented with the primary purpose of bringing the findings from SFM I to a wider range of forest stakeholders in Africa and identify priority projects and activities to resolve some of the key problems and issues. In addition, an important goal of SFM II was to establish an African Forest Forum that could galvanise the African voice and opinion on forestry issues as well as mobilise resources and mechanisms for their resolution. Hence, the AFF was established in January 2006 and was registered as a-not-for-profit international NGO in Nairobi, Kenya in December 2007.
1.2 The AFF period
In October 2008, Sida agreed to support the first project by AFF, titled, ‘A Mechanism to Strengthen Capacity for Forest Management and Some Initial Activities to be Carried out by the Forum’, in two phases, with the first phase spanning 2008 to 2011 and the second one implemented between 2012 and 2014. The overall objective of this project was to strengthen the basis for improved forest management in Africa through the African Forest Forum.
Between 2014 and 2019 AFF has been implementing a Sida supported programme on “Strengthening Sustainable Forest Management in Africa” with the overall objective being “to generate and share knowledge and information through partnerships in ways that provide inputs into policy options and capacity building for improved forest management that better address poverty eradication and environmental protection in Africa”. The operationalization of this objective is guided by the following six specific objectives that have been identified as covering the highest priority areas to be delivered by this project:
- To facilitate the emergence of strong partnership platforms through which stakeholders identify challenges related to sustainable management of forest and tree resources and co-create solutions.
- To facilitate the collation, synthesis, provision of access to, exchange and management of critical information and knowledge demanded by stakeholders in African forestry for forestry compatible development.
- To catalyse efforts to enhance sustainable management practices that have potential to improve resilience of forests and trees to adverse effects of climate change, and up-scale promising approaches that support livelihoods.
- To facilitate the formulation and harmonization of evidence-based policies, regulations and governance mechanisms to strengthen public and private institutions to effectively support SFM and transparent trade.
- To enhance capacity of institutions and individuals – including farmers and farmer organizations, and other private sector actors, professional organisations, and public sector organizations – to achieve forest compatible development.
- To strengthen participation in regional and international debates and negotiations related to forestry and enhance informed country adoption and implementation of international and regional forest and related agreements.
Needless to add that the work of AFF has developed organically, and guided by stakeholder consultations, external review recommendations, and the AFF Strategy.
This 2014-2019 programme is coming to an end in March 2019 and therefore subject to an external evaluation whose terms of reference are elaborated in the following section.
- THE EXTERNAL EVALUATION PROCESS
2.1 Evaluation purpose
This external evaluation refers to the current 5-year project supported by Sida and implemented by AFF in the period April 2014- March 2019. The main purpose of the Evaluation is to provide evidence-based input for a discussion between Sida and the AFF concerning:
a. Programme implementation and achievements, and;
b. The future beyond 2019; judging from where AFF has come, as elaborated in the previous section, and what the future of African forestry might look like.
2.2 Evaluation of key themes
A. The project objectives and its activities implementation
This key theme relates to how the project activities have been implemented and the objectives achieved. Activities and products in relation to the objectives are to be assessed.
B. The project objectives and their relevance in the African development landscape
Analysing the current project objectives within the context of current main challenges for forestry related activities in Africa; and more specifically as means for poverty eradication and environmental protection in Africa.
C. The character of AFF, its place within African forestry, its importance and future
Here, the character and development of the project owner and implementer, the AFF, should be analyzed as well as its relation to main actors within African forestry and perceptions among important stakeholders concerning AFF’s role and importance.
D. Project performance, efficiency and management
This area focuses on the one hand on achievements and on the other on efficiency and effectiveness.
2.3 Approach and Method
The evaluation will be conducted as follows:
First, the consultant shall develop specific tasks or areas to be examined in relation to the four areas (A-D) identified in Section 2 above, discuss them with AFF and partners; and agree on a set of tasks and methodology for each area (i.e. A-D), given time and other resources for the evaluation.
Secondly, the consultant shall then later elaborate on the intended approach and method in an inception report.
2.4 Time Schedule, Reporting and Communication
The assignment should start with an inception phase and be initiated no later than March 01, 2019.
The Inception Report, where the consultant describes the course of action for carrying out the review, shall be presented to AFF for revision and approval no later than March 20, 2019. The inception report shall place particular emphasis on the methodology and the results to be achieved. A reasonably detailed time schedule and budget, including travels, shall be included. The first draft of the evaluation report shall be submitted not later than 30th April 2019.
The evaluation shall start during the month of March 2019 and be conducted within a time frame of about ten (10) work weeks. The final version of the Evaluation Report shall be delivered no later than May 15, 2019. Before the elaboration of the full Report, the Team shall provide the AFF Secretariat in Nairobi, Kenya, with an oral briefing.
A draft report shall be submitted to AFF at a date that will be specified in the contract. The consultant will then allow for about one week for comments and corrections of any errors from AFF. The final report shall be submitted no later than one week after the date when the consultant has received the above comments.
The final report shall be minimum of 25 pages and maximum 30 pages, excluding annexes. In addition, it shall contain an executive summary of maximum 5 pages. The report shall be written in English and submitted to AFF via e-mail. The report shall have been professionally proof-read and edited before being sent to AFF.
The consultants shall be responsible for organising meetings with relevant stakeholders. AFF will assist the consultants with contact details to key interviewees. The consultants shall be responsible for all travel arrangements, such as booking of tickets and hotels.
AFF and partners will provide the necessary documentation.
3. RESOURCES – BUDGET
Indicate in the inception report the provisional budget for the evaluation.
4. EVALUATION TEAM QUALIFICATIONS
The core team should consist of 2-3 professionals. Competencies that must be represented by the core team include:
- solid knowledge and experience concerning contemporary African forestry development, forest related development efforts and environmental protection, and an understanding of the role of trees and forests in sustainable development;
- solid knowledge on efforts related to forestry as a tool for poverty eradication and environmental protection in Africa (and other developing regions of the world);
- a good overview regarding relevant actors within forestry, forestry related developments and poverty eradication in rural areas in Africa;
- good experience in mainstreaming and analysing gender in projects;
- solid experience in analysing organizational set-ups, project planning, management and, implementation and evaluation of comparable projects;
- profound knowledge on how to assess efficiency and effectiveness in projects;
- excellent writing skills and ability to elaborate evidence-based and contextually anchored recommendations towards the future.
- good experience in project/programme evaluation in African context would be an advantage
- Having at least one consultant in the team conversant in French (able to interview the francophone stakeholders of the project) would be an added advantage
- Good experience with travel and working conditions in Africa.
The evaluators must be independent of the evaluated activities and have no stake in the outcome of the evaluation.
5. APPLICATION PROCESS
Applications must be submitted by email with the subject line Evaluation of Project “Strengthening sustainable forest management in Africa” to:
The Executive Secretary
African Forest Forum
United Nations Avenue, Gigiri,
P.O. Box 30677-00100
and copied to email@example.com
Applications must be received no later than 22 February 2019. Successful applicants will be informed by February 26.