In order to gain an objective understanding of the implementation and effectiveness of CDB’s English media project, CDB is inviting bids by competitive companies or individuals to provide an evaluation of the project. Please see the text of the TOR below for details. For more information on this evaluation, please contact Gabriel Corsetti, Chief Editor of CDB English, at firstname.lastname@example.org , or at (86) 10-64071400.
Interested bidders should apply to the email address below according to the TOR’s relevant requirements before September 5.
Bidding application email: email@example.com
Terms of Reference
1.1 Introduction to CDB
Created in 1996, China Development Brief (officially registered as the Beijing E-share Civil Society Information Centre) is China’s first independent information platform in the non-profit sector. Using both English and Chinese media platforms including websites and social media, China Development Brief provides non-profit news, studies, analysis, experiences, and policies and laws to NGOs, research institutes, enterprises, policy makers, and the general public. CDB also provides recruitment, consultancy and resource-matching services for the non-profit sector. Our mission is to promote the sustainable development of the non-profit sector.
1.2 Introduction to the project to be evaluated
The projects to be evaluated include an ongoing project and the previous one. Both are funded by Bread For the World ( BfdW), a German NGO. The ongoing project is entitled “Promoting a Sustainable Chinese Civil Society through CDB’s Bilingual Development Media Platform”, lasting from January 2018 until June 2020. And the previous project was entitled “China Development Brief: Building a Bilingual Media, Research, and Services Platform to Catalyze Chinese Civil Society”, which lasted from January 2015 until December 2017.
The current project can basically be seen as a continuation of the previous project in terms of its basic objectives, strategies and target groups, however there are differences in the specific activities that the two projects include. The essential concept behind both projects is to promote communication and experience-exchange between Chinese and international NGOs and within the Chinese NGO community. The intervention strategy is to introduce trends, analysis, studies, experiences, and policies and laws in the Chinese nonprofit sector to its international counterparts, and introduce international experiences, studies, concepts and approaches to Chinese NGOs.
Ongoing project (2018-2020):
- information sharing and exchange among Chinese NGOs strengthened and improved;
- interaction and exchange promoted among Chinese NGOs and between Chinese NGOs and international ones;
Previous project (2015-2017):
- domestic and international understanding and support for the Chinese grassroots NGOs is strengthened and the nonprofit sector is energized;
- the operational capacity and collaboration of Grassroots NGOs is improved.
The two projects’ target groups are quite similar: it consists of Chinese NGOs, international NGOs, domestic and international nonprofit supporters, researchers, and observers.
- Cause and objective of the evaluation
The main purpose of this evaluation is to have an overall review of the performance and lessons of the ongoing project and the previous one in order to help CDB learn more and enable our funders to better assess our project. Specifically:
- To assess the achievement of project objectives at an outcome and output level as defined in the project proposal. Baseline data should be used.
- To identify lessons which can be learnt from the project.
- To analyze the relevance, impact, sustainability, efficiency and effectiveness of the project
- To provide recommendations for planning an extension of the project.
- Key questions the evaluation needs to answer
- Are project objectives relevant to needs of target people? How?
- Are the project approaches, strategies, and activities relevant/appropriate/helpful to the project objectives? How?
- How has local context been taken into consideration when planning the project?
- To what level are the project outcomes and outputs are achieved, or not achieved?
- How are target groups benefited by the project? Has the project solved their problems as defined by the project analysis?
- To what level is the implementation of the project activities in line with the planned time frame in the proposal?
- Is the cost for the project activities reasonable?
- How is the project monitored? And what monitoring procedures and mechanisms are available?
- Will the project contribute to the attainment of overall development goals?
- How did the project impact the interaction and experience exchange between Chinese NGOs and the international nonprofit community?
- Which aspects could be strengthened to reach a better impact? How?
- What kinds of factors have created obstacles for the project implementation? What has been done to extinguish/reduce the difficulties?
- What kinds of risks have the project come across? What has been done to anticipate and reduce the risk?
- How is the decision made in project implementation?
- Will the intended positive changes (foreseeably) have a lasting effect? And how?
- Has the project reached sustainability in terms of human resources and technical capacity? If not, how to reach it?
- Evaluation design/methods
While the evaluation needs to focus on the ongoing project, it is also expected to cover the performance of the previous project. Evaluators are expected to design the evaluation in their own style. However, the OECD-DAC standards need to be taken into account when designing the evaluation. Upon completion of the shortlisting, relevant project files will be sent to the final winner for more detailed project information. These files include the project proposal, project reports, and important communications on the project.
Additionally, some crosscutting issues such as policy and legislatures change in the Chinese non-profit sector will be to be considered in the evaluation.
- Process of the evaluation/ time frame
Most of the evaluation work will be done in the form of project documents study, website data checking, and discussions with project staff. Field visits are not needed. However, discussions with some randomly selected stakeholders will be necessary in evaluating the impact.
Required time frame:
- The offers shortlisting and contract discussion and signing: between September 10—20.
- Project document study, on site evaluation, and report drafting: September 20—October 9th;
- Evaluation result feedback with CDB: October 10—18th
- Deadline of final evaluation report submission: October 25th.
- Expected products
- Digital copy of the draft evaluation report in English with a maximum length of 30 pages emailed to CDB 3 working days before the evaluation result feedback meeting.
- Signed hard copy of the final evaluation report in English with a maximum length of 30 pages sent to CDB by October 25th.
Evaluation team should develop its own template for the evaluation report, but it has to include the following components:
- Cover page
- Table of content
- Executive summary (2 pages as maximum)
- Body of the report:
- Purpose and specific objectives for the final evaluation
- Methodology employed
- Conclusion and recommendation
- Supporting data should be included in appendices.
Evaluation report must reflect the truth of project achievements and problems, and must be frank and critical.
- Key qualifications of the evaluators
The evaluator(s) need to have proven experience and knowledge in:
- Evaluation of non-profit projects. Those with experience in evaluating non-profit experience exchange projects will be at an advantage.
- Familiarity with international evaluation practices and standards, especially the OECD-DAC standards.
- Good knowledge in information dissemination through websites and social media;
- Good command of English in evaluation report writing.
- Content of the evaluator’s offer
- CVs of all the evaluators involved. If the offer is in the name of an agency, documents reflecting relevant evaluation experience and legal status are also needed.
- Evaluation plan:
- Outline of the planned evaluation procedure;
- Short explanation and justification of the methods to be deployed;
- Proposed timeline of the evaluation, including proposed starting date and duration of project documents study, on site evaluation, evaluation results feedback, and the signed hard copy of the final report submission.
- Financial proposal, including:
- Evaluation fees
- Ancillary costs to be incurred, such as transport, accommodation, taxes, fees etc.