Tshikululu Social Investments;Jala Peo Initiative: Terms of reference for Mid-term evaluation

Tshikululu Social Investments
Please note: this opportunity closing date has passed and may not be available any more.
Opportunity closing date: 
Monday, 1 February, 2021
Opportunity type: 
Call for proposals

Jala Peo Initiative
Terms of reference
Mid-term evaluation

January 2021

 1. Background and rationale

The Jala Peo Initiative aims to support the existing School Food and Nutrition Gardens (SFNG) Programme, (hereinafter, referred to as the programme) which falls under the auspices of the Department of Basic Education’s (DBE) National School Nutrition Programme (NSNP). While the programme promotes the policy that schools should have a garden, the Jala Peo Initiative seeks to achieve the programme’s universal coverage, as articulate in the Jala Peo vision.
 
Vision 2030
Every school in South Africa has a thriving food and nutrition garden. This garden serves as an educational resource for teachers to use to deliver quality educational outcomes for learners. Whilst providing a pleasant learning environment for learners and teachers, the gardens will promote nutrition knowledge and practice and promote the greening of community. The garden also contributes fresh produce to school meals.
 
Medium-term goal for 2025
To demonstrate that the model(s) developed and proven by 2020, can be replicated successfully in three additional provinces.
 
Goal for 2020
Collate, codify, and demonstrate at least one replicable, proof-of-concept, model for engendering thriving public school food gardens that are integrated into curriculum delivery, by June 2021.
 
Jala Peo Initiative’s Objectives
The main objectives of the Jala Peo Initiative include:

  • becoming the catalyst for the establishment of a dedicated school food gardening Community of Practice which will facilitate greater coordination and collaboration of stakeholders across the public, private and non-profit sectors.
  • enabling the collating, codifying and demonstration of multi-stakeholder enabled models of collaboration for the establishment of thriving public school food gardens where there were none;
  • enabling the collating, codifying and demonstration of low-cost models for the sustainable maintenance of thriving public school food gardens;
  • enabling the collating, codifying and demonstration of methodologies that integrate thriving public-school food gardens into curriculum delivery (at both GET[1] and FET[2] phases); and
  • advocating for enhancements/institutionalisation to the education system such that systemic barriers to sustaining school food gardens are mitigated and that the required support structures and resources are put in place, so that school gardens can thrive across the country.

The Jala Peo Initiative grew out of a collaboration between the DBE NSNP and the WesBank Fund through its Fund Manager, Tshikululu Social Investments NPC. The FirstRand Foundation, through its WesBank Fund, agreed to provide financial support for the development of this initiative. This support has been framed by the Foundation as a systemic social investment (SSI) and has a number of objectives, which were designed to support the WesBank Fund’s focus on food sovereignty and agricultural livelihoods.
 
WesBank Fund’s Objectives

  • Working with three provincial education departments (PEDs), establish three SFNG forums (one in each of the three education districts: Fezile Dabi, Vhembe[3] and West Coast).
  • Support each forum to identify and unlock resources that are already available to schools in that area, which could be drawn on to achieve the goal for 2020; and
  • Support each forum in the implementation of a mutually agreed project plan that will result in the greater integration of SFNGs in teaching the curriculum across all grades and subject areas.

Given that the WesBank Fund’s support for the Jala Peo Initiative has only been confirmed till 30 June 2021, the Fund committee is now seeking to appoint a suitably qualified individual/organisation to provide an overview of the outcomes of the Jala Peo Initiative to date; as well as understanding clear recommendations for a way forward for the initiative.

2.Project scope

 
The Jala Peo Initiative currently supports three District SFNG Forums, who are each made up of a different collaboration of stakeholders. Each Forum, in turn, supports a defined list of primary and secondary schools within their district. The Forums have chosen to focus their attention on one circuit each.  They were formed and established within their respective districts, as follows:

Province

Education
District

Town(s)

Circuit

Forum Members

Number of Schools

Free State

Fezile Dabi

Parys, Vredefort

# 5

12

19

Limpopo

Vhembe East

Sibasa, Thohoyandou

Sibasa

15

29

Western Cape

West Coast

Vredendal (+100km radius)

# 5

16

19

Each Forum is supported by a Project Coordinator (PC), who is employed by the project managing agent, and seconded to that education district. The PC provides project coordination, facilitation and secretarial support to the Forum and reports to the Forum chairperson. The project managing agency provides management oversight and support to the three appointed PCs.
 
The initiative is governed by a National Steering Committee, chaired by Tshikululu and consisting of a representative of the project owner (DBE) and their alternate, the project donor (WesBank Fund) and their alternate, and the management team from the project managing agent (JET Education Services NPC); along with the three PCs.

3.Type of evaluation
 
As this is the final year of the first five-year cycle of the Jala Peo Initiative, and the first evaluation to be conducted since the initiative was conceived in 2012, it is envisaged that this will be a mid-term evaluation.
 
The evaluation will be a combination of an implementation and outcomes evaluation.
 
Implementation evaluation: Focuses on the actual delivery of the initiative – the inputs, activities, and outputs. It explores whether the assumptions and the Theory of Change (TOC) are working or have worked in practice, and reviews the resources, systems, operational procedures, management and accountability structures of the fund’s approach to systemic investment. This sort of information can help social investors identify implementation failure.
 
Outcomes evaluation: Will focus on determining the extent to which the Jala Peo Initiative is likely to achieve its systemic objectives by assessing results of the initiative and its contribution to the programme. The evaluation should seek to assess the extent to which intended outcomes were achieved.

4.Evaluation objectives and questions

Objective

Key questions

1.Relevance:

  • Current status of the education sector in South Africa;

  • alignment with national policies, principally:

    1. education

    2. food and nutrition security

 

  • What empirical research has been done to date that is relevant to South African contexts, covering the following two core components of the initiative:

    • school food gardens as aides in curriculum delivery;

    • achieving impact through multi-stakeholder forums.

  • What is/are the status/needs of the education sector in South Africa, with specific reference to food and nutrition outcomes?

  • What is the status of the education sector in South Africa, with specific reference to multi-stakeholder collaboration?

  • What were the guiding views behind the implementation of the Jala Peo Initiative?

  • To what extent are the Jala Peo Initiative objectives and implementation of activities aligned with government policy (esp. regarding district-based development, national education and food security objectives)?

2.Outcomes

  • What are the outcomes of the Jala Peo Initiative on the following groups of participants:

    • learners;

    • teachers (and teachers-in-training);

    • school management team;

    • district education officials;

    • school communities; and

    • Forum members?

  • To what extent are there any indications of systemic change and/or adoption or incorporation by the state (e.g. departments of education or similar) that can be directly related or attributable to the Jala Peo initiative?

3.Efficiency

  • To what extent did the initiative achieve results

  • How efficient has the initiative’s implementation been to date

  • To what extent is the initiative’s model financially sustainable

4.Effectiveness

  • How effective has the initiative been against its original objectives?

  • To what extent does the initiative design lead to the achievement of intended outcomes?

  • How effective has the initiative been in meeting the current needs of the education and food system sectors in South Africa?

5.Sustainability

  • To what extent are the initiative’s results sustainable beyond the current implementation period

  • To what extent have sustainable partnerships been established through the initiative

6.Lessons learnt

  • What lessons have been learnt from the implementation of the Jala Peo Initiative?

7.Recommendations

  • What are the recommendations going forward? Some topics to explore could include (but are not limited to):

  • Should the initiative continue as is?

  • What should the initiative build on, and watch out for, should it decide to scale up (as per the Goal for 2025)?

  • How could the support of the WesBank Fund/FirstRand Foundation be leveraged for greater impact?

 5.Anticipated evaluation outcomes

 
The following outcomes are desired for the Jala Peo Initiative mid-term evaluation:

  • a review of empirical literature in this area of work, that is of relevance to South African contexts;
  • a precis of the inception and purpose of the Jala Peo Initiative;
  • an overview of the outcomes of the Jala Peo Initiative to date;
  • the value of the outcomes of the initiative on its intended beneficiaries (Learners; teachers; school management teams; school support staff; Forum stakeholders; and school communities);
  • a finding on how effective the initiative has been against its original objectives, as well as meeting the current needs of the education sector and food system in South Africa;
  • a finding on the appropriateness of the Jala Peo Initiative’s design;
  • a determination as to whether the initiative’s implementation is sufficient to achieve its intended impact;
  • a finding on which factors contribute to the success of the initiative as well as which factors hinder the potential impact of the initiative;
  • an assessment of the financial sustainability of the model;
  • suggestions on how the WesBank Fund could best approach partnering with other organisations to leverage greater impact going forward;
  • a determination of any early indications of systemic change and/or adoption by the departments of education or any other government department, that is directly related or attributable to the Jala Peo Initiative; and
  • clear recommendations on how the implementation of the initiative going forward could be strengthened.

6.Design and data collection methods

A mixed method approach is expected from the evaluation, taking into account both quantitative and qualitative data.  A utilisation-focused evaluation approach developed by Michael Quinn Patton could be used. This is an approach based on the principle that an evaluation should be judged on its usefulness to its intended users – in this case, the District Forums. Primary and secondary data collection methods will be used:

  • Secondary data collection: will include a review of documentation. This will include – but is not limited to – The Jala Peo Concept Note (c. 2016), Memorandums of Agreement with each of the three PEDs, JET Education Services’ PC reports as well as the project managing agent’s mid-year and annual reports to the WesBank Fund, annual programme reports produced for the WesBank Fund (produced by Tshikululu over the five-year cycle of the Jala Peo Initiative), and any other documentation that the stakeholders may provide. It will also include a desktop review of the state and needs of both the education sector and the food and nutrition security sector in South Africa. 
  • Primary data collection: could include semi-structured interviews with an identified sample of partners, semi-structured interviews with an identified sample of the WesBank Fund Committee, focus groups with beneficiaries (District officials, teachers, principals, gardeners, food handlers, learners and community members) , surveys, and direct and indirect observations made on site visits, and may include photographs (either by the evaluator or in a form such as Photovoice).

7.Deliverables
The following will be delivered to the WesBank Fund:

  • Inception report;
  • Evaluation framework and data collection tools;
  • Draft report;
  • Final evaluation of the Jala Peo Initiative – as per the above objectives and key evaluation questions;
  • presentation of the final evaluation findings to the WesBank Fund Committee;
  • presentation of the evaluation findings to each of the District SFNG Forums; and
  • presentation of the final evaluation findings to the Steering Committee.

8.Expertise required

 
The service provider is required to specify the evaluation team members, their areas of expertise and their respective responsibilities. The team must possess relevant qualification(s), each team member should possess at least a Postgraduate Degree (with the exception of junior team members). The team leader must have at least 10 years’ experience in evaluation, including some specific focus on similar systemic initiatives. Team member CVs should be included as part of the application.
 
The following expertise will be required:

  • a thorough understanding of the education sector in South Africa;
  • an appreciation of the intersecting nature of issues of food and nutrition security in community resilience;
  • experience in conducting similar evaluations;
  • skills and ability to conduct sensitive evaluations; and
  • a clear demonstration of commitment to transformation via provision of a broad-based black economic empowerment (B-BBEE) certificate and, where applicable, transformation policies and plans.

9.Roles, responsibilities and resources

 
Tshikululu Social Investments NPC, in partnership with representatives from the WesBank Fund, will manage the evaluation on behalf of the WesBank Fund. This will include contracting with the successful service provider (on behalf of WesBank Fund), making necessary introductions/connections to stakeholders that the service provider will need to engage, providing all necessary information/documentation that will facilitate effective implementation of the evaluation, receiving and reviewing all deliverables, and ensuring strong communication between all parties. The WesBank Fund Committee will make the final decision as to which service provider to appoint.
 
The service provider shall:

  • Conduct this evaluation in a professional manner;
  • Follow all the steps necessary for this evaluation as articulated; and
  • Store and handover all the information generated through this evaluation to Tshikululu in a confidential manner

Tshikululu will be responsible for:

  • submit requests for permission to conduct the evaluation to each of the three PEDs;
  • the appointment and contracting of the service provider;
  • the finalisation of the contract/service level agreement (SLA) with the service provider;
  • introducing the evaluation team to key stakeholders in each of the PEDs and to each of the District SFNG Forums;
  • ensuring the draft report is delivered timeously;
  • ensuring the final evaluation is delivered timeously; and
  • presentation of the final evaluation findings.
  • WesBank Fund’s responsibility will be for the payment of the evaluation. In addition, the WesBank Fund will provide input into the evaluation where needed. This includes the committee granting semi-structured interviews, as well as input into the draft evaluation report.

10.Time frames

Activity

Date

Publishing the TOR

11 January 2021

Deadline for submission of bids

01 February 2021

Presentations by shortlisted organisations

15-19 February 2021

Notification of outcome

24 February 2021

Appointment and contracting of the service provider

26 February 2021 

Beginning of evaluation

08 March 2021 

  • Desktop research, Steering Committee and Forum Stakeholder Interviews

March 2021 

  • Field work (introduction to PEDs, school interviews and site visits)

March 2021

Draft report to Tshikululu

09 April 2021

Submission of draft report with Tshikululu/WesBank Fund Committee inputs

16 April 2021

Submission of final report

04 May 2021

Presentation of the final findings to the WesBank Fund Committee

13 May 2021

Presentation of the final findings to the District SFNG Forums

by end May 2021

Presentation of the final findings to the Jala Peo Steering Committee

by end May 2021

 
These timelines are based on the latest version of the 2021 School Calendar, accessed 5 October 2020:
https://www.education.gov.za/portals/0/documents/publications/Amended%20School%20Calender%202021.pdf

11.Communication requirements

During the evaluation period, Tshikululu and the service provider will have regular progress meetings to monitor progress. In addition, a working committee will be established to ensure the effective delivery of the evaluation. These meetings will be scheduled on contracting the service provider, and each meeting would normally take 30-60 minutes in duration. The service provider will be expected to avail appropriate team members to each meeting.

 12. Ethics

Engagements with beneficiaries must always be sensitive to their relevant needs and circumstances. Maintaining the dignity of beneficiaries is paramount in all that we do.
 
Permission to conduct the evaluation will also be sought from each of the PED. The Jala Peo Initiative has a great deal of focus on learners – and it must be remembered that any engagement with learners will require a consent form to be signed by a parent/guardian.
 
The evaluation should strive to provide clear and detailed recommendations based on the current initiative outcomes, and the future structure of the initiative – including factors likely to play a critical in it being successfully scaled-up nationally and its long-term sustainability.

13.Proposal submission information

 
A comprehensive proposal to carry out the evaluation must be submitted by email on February 1, 2021. The proposal should be emailed to mdiza@tshikululu.org.za.  Any enquiries can be directed to this email address.
 
The proposal should sufficiently cover the following information and will be judged on these criteria:

  • Company details
  • Company B-BBEE Level. Please provide a certificate and, where applicable, provide transformation policies and plans (for South African based service providers).
  • Proposed methodology
  • Project plan
  • Comprehensive budget
  • Demonstration of expertise and previous experience (incl. evidence of previous similar evaluations)
  • Evaluation team (and their specialisations) 

[1] General Education and Training: grade-R through to grade-9

[2] Further Education and Training: grades-10, 11 and 12 (equal to levels 1, 2 and 3 respectively on the National Qualifications Framework)

[3] Now the ‘Vhembe-East’ Education District

Location: 
South Africa

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