Monitoring and Evaluation Consultant

Start Date: 3 July 2023

Duration: 120 Working Days (over a 3-year period)

Reference: EPP – ME

Deadline: 15 June 2023

The Arab Reform Initiative (ARI) is looking to hire a Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) consultant with a proven track record in monitoring programs tackling environmental issues and with experience working on evaluating the pathways to impact for knowledge producers.
The consultant will work with the team of the Environmental Politics program, and in particular with staff implementing the project “Strengthening Civil Society Actors: Towards a Just Environmental Transition in the Middle East and North Africa”, which is funded by the European Union (EU). The project seeks to (i) link and empower Civil Society Organizations (CSOs)– as well as locally-led initiatives - to be able to meaningfully participate in public policies and to influence policy dialogues in and about the region and (ii) ensure that efforts to tackle climate change and environmental degradation include inputs from impacted communities, address long-standing inequalities and ultimately support the emergence of accountable and democratic governance structures. The expected impact of the action is to contribute to a just transition in MENA through a participatory process that includes CSOs as well as impacted communities.

I. Background

1. About the project: “Strengthening Civil Society Actors: Towards a Just Environmental Transition in the Middle East and North Africa”

The project is implemented by a consortium led by ARI (with offices in Beirut, Tunis and Paris) and gathering Alternative Policy Solutions (APS) at the American University in Cairo (AUC), and the Moroccan Institute for Policy Analysis (MIPA). It will last for three years (until end of 2025). The consortium will address challenges faced by CSOs and by the population at large and specifically communities that are already feeling the impact of climate change and environmental degradation. It will in particular focus around three key themes: energy transition, water justice and food security/sovereignty and will be implemented in Lebanon, Egypt, Tunisia, Morocco (but will also include a regional component). In addition to the work within the MENA region, the project seeks to elevate perspectives and voices from the MENA region into EU dialogues and policies.

The action is centered around the concept of “just transition”, which seeks to ensure that the benefits of a transition to a greener and more sustainable economy are shared widely and inclusively and that those who have been left out by the current economic system – communities suffering from environmental degradation, food insecurity, water shortages or those with little support for adapting or mitigating the impact of climate change – are not sidelined in the context of the coming transition. Just transition entails including all actors and segments of society, which encompasses women, youth and marginalized populations, such as refugees and migrant communities, in decision-making processes.

2. About ARI
ARI is a policy research center whose key mission is to articulate a home-grown agenda for democratic change as well as social and environmental justice in Arab countries. We operate on the principles of impartiality, gender equality, and diversity, and maintain a strict line of independence from any external agendas. We conduct policy analysis and innovative field research, combine scholarly work and advocacy, and produce practical intellectual tools to strengthen practices of active citizenship and influence political transformation processes. We also empower research from the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region by providing an international platform for dissemination. ARI engages academic researchers, think tanks, social movements, civil society actors, decision-makers, media, and the public on issues of democratization, social justice and full citizenship. ARI works in partnership with regional and international institutions to promote sustained South-South and South-to-North exchanges and dialogues related to reform initiatives across the region.

II. Scope of work

The M&E consultant/team is expected to develop an M&E framework and guidelines for the above-mentioned project, follow up on its implementation and provide guidance and technical support on all M&E related activities. The M&E tools would have to capture progress and results on a regional level, while taking into account the country-specific particularities. The M&E consultant/team will also be responsible for rolling out the M&E system in the countries in which the program is implemented and ensuring proper M&E of the project by consortium partners. Moreover, the M&E consultant/team will be required to provide ongoing coaching, technical support and quality assurance to ensure that M&E activities and reporting are implemented effectively and efficiently and in a harmonious manner.

III. M&E Responsibilities

The Monitoring and Evaluation Consultant/Team will perform the following tasks:

1. Monitor and report on progress and results

- Develop monitoring tool(s) and indicators (qualitative and quantitative)- to capture progress at country specific and regional level - in line with the project’s submitted Logical Framework, EU guidelines, and ARI’s ongoing work on the definition of impact for research-oriented projects.
- Track and analyse progress towards agreed outputs of all activity clusters, in line with the program’s monitoring framework.
- Benchmark the Environmental Politics Program with existing regional and international similar programs.
- Summarize progress in a timely and user-friendly manner through agreed upon formats such as briefing notes, background materials or others that are jointly defined with ARI and compatible with the EU guidelines and format.
- Flag potential risks or challenges emerging from monitoring information to ARI and relevant partners where needed.
- Define and communicate required reporting details (timing, format, content, etc.) and provide suggestions for ways to improve tracking of results.
- Support in the development of the annual and final narrative reports to be submitted to the donor.

2. Provide monitoring coaching and support to M&E teams
- Provide coaching, follow-up and technical guidance on M&E to ARI team and consortium partners, following the guidelines of the EU.
- Support on-going data collection and interpretation of results at country and regional level.
- Develop, update and ensure effective use of M&E related guidance documents by ARI staff and consortium partners.
- Support the teams in effectively applying the monitoring framework. This includes providing support on the selection of outputs and indicators, and data collection tools.
- Provide regular technical support for consortium staff, such as coaching, mentoring and access to resources (where possible).
- Work with the program director to ensure that the consortium partners are aligned in terms of the program objectives and scope and encourage synergies.

3. Evaluation and learning
- Create feedback loops to ensure that project objectives, results and findings are interpreted jointly with the stakeholders (including other activists, researchers or impacted communities).
- Ensure that the input of impacted communities is documented so as to inform future programming strategies.
- Identify relevant policy recommendations that can be adopted for the project.
- Develop reports on lessons learned and best practices to be disseminated to relevant partners/stakeholders.

IV. Qualifications

The consultant(s) should be a senior professional(s) with an advanced degree in a relevant field and a minimum of 5 -10 years of experience working on monitoring & evaluation.The candidate(s) should bring to the position:

- Experience in designing tools and strategies for data collection, analysis and production of reports.
- At least 5 years’ experience in conducting M&E work on programmes dealing with the following topics:
• Environmental policies, with a focus on issues around food systems, water access, and energy transition.
• Civil society strategies to influence policymaking in the MENA countries.
• Effectively bringing Southern perspectives into EU dialogues and policies.
- Knowledge of monitoring and evaluation approaches and experience in designing, developing and implementing M&E systems for multi-country projects.
- Knowledge of monitoring and evaluation approaches and experience in designing, developing and implementing M&E systems for projects involving knowledge production and policy dialogues.
- A full understanding of security related issues and approaches with regards to collecting sensitive information from project beneficiaries and stakeholders.
- Regional/Country experience and knowledge especially on environmental issues.
- Master's degree, preferably in environmental studies, social sciences, or other relevant fields.
- Proficiency in English is mandatory. Arabic is a plus.

V. Duration of consultancy

This consultancy involves 120 workings days over a three-year period. The expected starting date is 3 July 2023 and ending date 15 December 2025.

VI. Application procedures

Consultants/consultancy teams meeting the above criteria are invited to submit a proposal by email to ARI at not later than 15 June 2023. Reference should be given to the title of the position “EPP - ME” in the subject of the email.

Proposals should include the following:
- CV of the consultant(s) outlining previous experience in monitoring and evaluation professional development; and
- A cover letter outlining the suggested approach, timeframe and budget, with justified daily rate.