Development Action Group
Terms of Reference
Proposal call for the evaluation of the Development Action Group
Proposal Call for the evaluation of the Development Action Group and funded programmes by Brot für die Welt
Established in 1986, Development Action Group (DAG) is a leading non-profit, non-governmental organisation working throughout South Africa to fight poverty and inequality and promoting integrated urban development. DAG enables communities to lead their own development by enhancing their capacity and resourcefulness, in partnership with the public sector and other stakeholders. Over the last 35 years, DAG has gone through several iterations on how to position itself in the urban sector. One of the key informants has been the four external organisational evaluations (1992, 1996, 2011 and 2016). The last evaluation, conducted in 2017 (period 2013-16) informed the development of the organisational Theory of Change and related projects and programmes. Subsequently in 2018, DAG undertook a significant organisational development programme that has shaped our overall learning and operational process. This Terms of Reference is to conduct an evaluation of DAG as an organisation as well as its projects funded by Brot für die Welt (BfdW) between the period 2016-20.
The 2021 evaluation has two purposes:
- To assess the effectiveness of projects and programmes funded by BfdW. This is broadly defined below in relation to our Theory of Change and programmatic objectives.
- To assess the effectiveness of DAG as an organisation in terms of its strategies, Theory of Change, and programmatic areas as outlined below.
The evaluation process is initiated by DAG, supported by key funder BfdW. The findings of this evaluation will inform conclusions, lessons learnt and recommendations to the programmes and effectiveness of DAG. It is primarily intended for informing DAG’s strategy and positioning in the sector, key supporting funders and external partners.
The evaluation comes at a relevant time both internally for DAG and within the external context. DAG has emerged out of significant funding challenges and has re-established itself as a key urban sector non-profit on critical urban issues. Many of DAG’s projects and programmes present several key strategic and sustainability opportunities, that can form part of future strategy. It also comes at a time when DAG is considering a comprehensive succession strategy for all levels of the organisation.
Externally, this evaluation is particularly timeous, with the COVID-19 pandemic that has signalled new direction of human settlements at the National Department. Furthermore, the discussions on land reform place urban land and shelter at the centre of the current political debates within the country.
Background to the organisation
DAG currently is organised in four interdependent programmatic areas, derived from our Theory of Change.
Derived from the Theory of Change, DAG has identified five programmatic areas below:
- Delivery of affordable housing: that works collaboratively with homeowners, contractors, and developers in order to deliver affordable housing. Target groups include working class households, tenants, landlords and community based organisations.
- Enhancing civic agency: Capacity development through the Active Citizens learning programme and provision of demand-based support (both organising and technical) to community based organisations. Target groups include community leaders, active citizens and community based organisations.
- Informal settlements and backyards: This programme supports various informal settlements and backyard groups across the Western Cape to realise housing and land rights. Target groups include residents living in informal settlements and backyards, sector partner organisations etc.
- Reimagining Neighborhoods: this focuses on enabling community capacity and active citizenry in order to unlock land, budget transparency and housing opportunities. Target groups include civic associations, community based organisations etc.
- Urban land tools: that focuses on facilitating and enabling new policy directions relating to Land Value Capture and urban land reform. Target groups include sector partner organisations, local, provincial and national governments etc.
Each of the programmes are involved in specific advocacy and learning. The programmes are generally oriented towards community-based organisations and citizen groupings.
Since 2016, BfdW has funded specific geographic and programmatic interventions at DAG, with a broad focus on three aspects of the Theory of Change that relate to Well Capacitated Actors (community residents, contractors and micro-developers), Enabling Environment for inclusive development (advocacy for pro-poor policy environment) and Innovative Models for Urban Development (through testing new models of housing and tenure types). Based on these, broadly, there are three project objectives:
- Planning for medium density affordable housing opportunities, whilst supporting micro-developers and contractors;
- Working with citizens and community-based organisations to develop programmes for transparent ward budgeting processes, land value capture mechanisms and urban land reform;
- Working with citizen groups, activists, informal settlement & backyard dwellers to develop neighbourhood plans.
DAG is governed by a Board of Directors. The Board has two subcommittees namely the Finance Committee, that reviews the financial documentation; and the Renumeration Committee, that reviews renumeration, policy and procedures for the organisation. The Board of Directors and subcommittees meet on a quarterly basis and are involved in strategy development, financial oversight and overall governance.
DAG’s management team, spearheaded by the Executive Director, manages the day-to-day operations of the organisation. The entire DAG staff is involved in annual planning and decision making around projects and programmes. On a quarterly basis, the staff meet to discuss the impact of the organisation’s programmes.
Source of funding
This evaluation will be funded jointly by DAG and BFDW under the current expenditure and income plan as indicated in the agreement A-ZAF-2018-0405.
Relevance of DAG strateg:
- Are the current BfDW projects still relevant for the needs of its beneficiaries and strategies of its partners and funders?
- Is the current DAG strategy and Theory of Change still relevant for the sector and the organisation?
Effectiveness of DAG:
- To what extent are the BfDW project objectives being achieved?
- What are the major factors that influenced the achievement or non-achievements of BfDW project objectives?
- To what extent have the different strategies and methodologies adopted by DAG during project delivery proved to be effective? Which strategies and methodologies employed have been most and least critical in terms of achieving the impacts?
- What is DAG’s unique offering to the urban development/housing sector?
- To what extent has DAG achieved its objectives as outlined in the Theory of Change?
- What are the major factors that influenced the achievement or non-achievements of DAG’s organisational objectives (programmatic and contextual)?
Efficiency of DAG:
- Were the BfDW project activities managed in a cost-effective manner?
- Were the BfDW objectives achieved within the timeframes?
- Were DAG’s overall programmes implemented in the most efficient way with regards to staff complement, costs, administration etc?
- Is the governance and management of DAG well suited to ensure strategic oversight and programme delivery?
- How well is DAG positioned (in terms of its capacity/skills of staff/management/board) to respond to the needs in the current context (needs of beneficiaries, funders, policy makers).
Impact of DAG:
- Did the overall BfDW project contribute towards to achievement of overall long term development goals?
- During the BfDW project, to what extent were the needs of the marginalised communities met?
- During the BfDW project, to what extent have public sector partners and other stakeholders felt that DAG’ strategies contributed to pro poor urban development?
- What are the unintended positive and/ or negative outcomes of implementing the BfDW project objectives?
- What are the main impacts as a result of DAG’s work from 2016-20?
- What are the unintended positive and/ or negative outcomes of implementing the organisational objectives?
- To what extent has DAG’s work influenced the policy environment?
- Are the programmes adequately monitored and evaluated to measure impact?
Sustainability of programme:
- Will the BfDW positive changes have a lasting impact?
- To what extent will the implementation of the BfDW project impacts continue after donor funding has ceased?
- What were the major factors, which influenced the achievement or non-achievement of sustainability of DAG’s overall programmes?
- What measures are in place to ensure sustainability of DAG and its related strategies?
Evaluation Design and Participatory Approach:
It is recommended that OECD/DAC-standards for evaluation design, methodology and standards are used.
Indicators as developed by DAG should be used to establish the achievement of our objectives. A qualitative approach should be given preference over quantitative approaches.
Stakeholder consultation: Interviews and discussion groups as required with CBO partners, urban sector NGOs and public sector officials. Interaction with DAG Board, DAG staff and project partners should also be integrated into the methodology for undertaking the evaluation. We anticipate at least ten individual interviews and atleast two consultative sessions with our community partners.
Analysis of existing documents: There are number of documents available including the organisational development report, succession plan, funder contracts, key organisational policies and procedures, annual reports from previous years and sustainability plan etc. These will be used to inform the evaluation design. There might be other secondary data such as policy documents and submissions that can identified as part of the inception report.
Recommendations and lessons learned: Prior to the finalisation of the conclusions, recommendations for the final report, a consultative workshop on key findings and recommendations should be presented to DAG management and staff. Conclusions are substantiated by findings and analysis. Recommendations and lessons learned follow logically from the conclusions.
Use of evaluation: The management team at DAG will be responsible for taking forward the conclusion, recommendations and lessons learnt. The results and its responses will be shared with the DAG board and other stakeholders & funders. This will directly inform the strategy development process during annual planning as well as the succession planning taking place at DAG.
The proposal to this ToR should be submitted by February 26, 2021
The evaluation will commence in April 2021 and conclude by July 2021. Preliminary findings and analysis should be presented to the management team in Mid-May.
Inception workshop and report: An inception workshop will be included with the management team to clarify scope, process and methodology. This will be documented as a part of an inception report (approx. 3-5 pages) which shall provide feedback on how the objectives, questions and reports as described in the TOR can be achieved within the evaluation. Suggestions can be made to supplement or restrict the TOR, but will be done in consultation with DAG.
For the inception report we suggest the following structure:
- Key data of the evaluation: Name, number, duration of the project/programme to be evaluated, title of the evaluation, principal of the evaluation (DAG), contractor of the evaluation, date of the report.
- Feedback/amendment to the TOR: Are all parts of the TOR clear to the evaluation team? Is the focus of the evaluation clearly defined? Suggestions for amendments of the TOR are presented (in a form so that the principal can accept or disagree).
- Current status of the preparation: Composition of the evaluation team (qualifications, allocation of tasks, who is team leader/coordinator?), estimated timetable and work days for the evaluation team. Report about identified problems and risks.
- Evaluation design and methodology: Refinement of the evaluation questions and define how the methodology will be used effectively and efficiently answer these questions. Report about the chosen qualitative and/or quantitative methods and further steps on how to implement them in the evaluation (selection of samples, strategies for analyses and collecting data, further specific evaluation questions, hypothesis on outcomes and impacts, description of the planned contacts and visits with explanation). Measures to be taken to get adequate information for gender analysis.
- Outline the support role that DAG would need to play for this evaluation, and if any steering committee is required.
- Tools for data collection and data analysis (e.g. presentation of questionnaires)
The final report shall be written in English (50 pages + annexures) and has – as a minimum - to include the following contents:
- Key data of the evaluation: see above “inception report” in a)
- Executive summary: a tightly drafted, to-the-point, free-standing document (about 5 pages), including the key issues of the evaluation, main analytical points, conclusions, lessons learnt and recommendations.
- Introduction: purpose of the evaluation, evaluation scope and key questions. Short description of the project / programme to be evaluated and relevant frame conditions.
- Evaluation design/methodology.
- Key results/findings: with regard to the questions pointed out in the TOR/inception report (including project/programme and context analysis), Assessment of the extent to which issues of equity and gender are incorporated in the project/programme.
- Conclusions based on evidence and analysis.
- Recommendations regarding future steps/activities/follow-up – carefully targeted to the appropriate audiences at all levels, relevant and feasible (if possible, for each conclusion a recommendation).
Key Evaluator Qualifications:
Submissions will be assessed on the strength of the proposal itself and on the experience of the organisation, consortium or individual.
Specific considerations with regard to the proposal would be:
- Appropriateness of the methodology proposed
- Cost effectiveness
- Specific considerations with regard to the experience of the proposer would be:
- Experience in the field of land, housing and urban development
- Experience in the NGO sector
- Experience in project evaluation
Contents of the offer
CVs of all evaluators involved
Outline of the planned evaluation process
Brief explanation and justification of the methods to be used
A complete financial proposal and cost structure that includes both the fee and any incidental costs such as transport, accommodation, taxes, fees and costs of workshops done as part of the evaluation, etc.
50% of the contract value on receipt of an acceptable first draft report and the balance on acceptance of the final report
DAG has a budget of R250 000 for this evaluation.
Submission of Proposal
Hard copy to the DAG office at 101 Lower Main Road, Observatory, 7925 or via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please direct any queries to DAG’s Executive Director, Aditya Kumar on 021 4487886.
For more about the Development Action Group, refer to www.dag.org.za
For other vacancies in the NGO sector, refer to www.ngopulse.org/vacancies