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  • Iraq
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Norwegian People's Aid

Terms of Reference for Baseline Survey of the programme
“Enhancing Stability, Wellbeing, and Resilience of Women and Girls 15+ and Conflict-Affected Communities in Iraq”

The Norwegian People’s Aid (NPA) is a non-governmental organisation with roots in trade unions and labour movements. NPA supports processes towards democracy and equitable distribution of power through mobilisation, popular participation, and collective organisation. NPA’s Global Strategy affirms civil society as a key pillar for nation building; democracy and development, and views human rights as building blocks for development and redistribution.
NPA’s goal is to support human worth and equal rights for all, irrespective of sex, disability, ethnicity, religion, age or social status. The NPA vision is solidarity in practice. The vision demands commitment and action to protect life and health, build democratic societies and strengthen people’s ability to master their own lives. NPA is politically independent organisation.

NPA has been working in Iraq since 1995. Its vision is to support processes towards a democratic, safe and stable country where human rights are respected, people can freely participate without discrimination in the social and political processes, free from explosive ordinance, having access and control over the use and redistribution of resources. In this context, NPA, through its Development Humanitarian Cooperation (DHC) programme aims to work on strengthening the capacity of selected civil society actors to better protect and represent the interests of citizens, and hold the governing bodies and other power holders accountable.

Programme background:
Enhancing Stability, Well-being, and Resilience of Women and Girls 15+ and Conflict-Affected Communities in Iraq programme was launched 1st October 2023 and will continue until 30th September 2026. The programme is funded by the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The long-term goal of the programme is to improve social cohesion and socio-economic empowerment of conflict-affected communities in Dohuk and Ninewa Governorates in Iraq. By addressing the challenges and vulnerabilities resulting from conflicts and tensions in the country, the programme aims to create positive and lasting changes in the lives of the affected population. This includes promoting stability by fostering social cohesion, enhancing the overall well-being of individuals and communities, and empowering them economically. The programme seeks to address the root causes of instability and create an enabling environment for sustainable development and resilience among the conflict-affected population in Iraq.

The programme aims to address the complex challenges faced by communities in Iraq, particularly in Ninewa and Duhok governorates, as a result of decades of conflict, socio-political instability, and displacement. The focus is on promoting stability, social cohesion, and addressing the pervasive issue of Violence based on inequality between women and men that disproportionately affects vulnerable groups, including women and girls, people with disabilities (PwD), as well as ethnic groups such as Yazidi Internally displaced people (IDPs).
The programme focuses on efforts that strengthen women’s agency and decision-making power, recognizing that investing in women and girls’ empowerment to exercise their autonomy and rights. This will be achieved through a variety of strategies, including strengthening skills of women at grass-roots advocacy and advocacy efforts at community level. In addition to targeted interventions that offer women resources, knowledge, and opportunity for skills development and economic empowerment. Furthermore, supporting women’s agency will contribute to women’s overall empowerment.

The programme will strengthen the partner Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and Community-Based Organisations (CBOs) to actively coordinate and operate, ensuring their long-term sustainability and impact. Through a comprehensive capacity development plan, the programme provides targeted training, technical assistance, and guidance to enhance their knowledge and skills in addressing stability, protection, and preventing violent extremism (PVE) issues within conflict-affected communities. This includes conflict analysis, community engagement, programme design and implementation, monitoring and evaluation, and advocacy. By equipping these organisations with these essential tools, they become more effective agents of change, and better equipped to tackle the challenges faced by their communities.
The programme will also aim at building the awareness of stakeholders regarding equality between men and women, including local governmental entities, media actors, community leaders, activists, and local organisations to enhance a deeper understanding of the norms and dynamics of equality between men and women. The stakeholders will be equipped with the needed information and tools to address issues of inequality effectively, provide sensitive support services, and promote equality in the communities.

The programme is dedicated to enhancing social cohesion and preventing violent extremism in the south and west regions of Ninewa. It operates through two key strategies. Firstly, it selects and empowers six CBOs from a previous NL MFA-funded phase, capacitating them in mediation, negotiation, advocacy, and early warning mechanisms. These CBOs act as community voices, highlighting local needs and issues, while also collaborating with authorities to advocate for solutions aligned with the Iraq strategies.
The programme will empower specific community members, particularly vulnerable groups like women, youth, IDPs, and those with perceived affiliations. These individuals receive training and actively engage in designing and implementing community initiatives to counter violent extremism and enhance stability. By involving these marginalized groups in decision-making, the programme aims to address their unique challenges, fostering inclusivity and resilience within the communities.
The overall approach employs a three-tiered strategy: community empowerment, CBO capacity building and civil society coordination, and government collaboration. It aims to create a synergistic environment where communities, CBOs and relevant civil society actors, and the government collaborate seamlessly, amplifying social cohesion efforts, supporting returnee reintegration, and aligning with Office of the National Security Adviser’s (ONSA) strategy through the development and enforcement of Plan of Actions (PoAs). The ultimate goal is to enhance community resilience, foster active participation in stabilization efforts, and prevent the spread of extremism.

Programme outcomes and theory of change:
The programme has the following four outcomes:
Outcome 1: Strengthened Civil Society Organisations function more independently and effectively in implementing stability and protection interventions in Iraq.
Outcome 2: Conflict-affected communities are more resilient to violence and actively participate in community stabilization interventions.
Outcome 3: Conflict-affected women and girls 15+ are empowered, their decision-making abilities are enhanced, and have more confidence and control over their lives.
Outcome 4: Conflict-affected women have enhanced economic empowerment and increased employment opportunities and market access.

The first outcome serves as the cornerstone for the programme’s scale, sustainability, and impact. It focuses on strengthening the partner CSOs to actively coordinate and operate. The long-term success of this outcome hinges on the presence of robust local civic capacity, which entails CSOs having strong internal operational, programmatic, and advocacy capabilities. It also focuses on strengthening the capacity of CSOs and CBOs to effectively address the needs and challenges related to stability, protection, women empowerment and PVE within conflict-affected communities. By providing support and resources, the programme aims to empower these organisations to work independently and make a significant impact in their communities.
The programme will focus on enhancing partner organisations’ capacity to provide quality Violence based on inequality between women and men services, as well as improving their overall programmatic, financial, and organisational efficacy. This capacity development will include focused training, technical assistance, and mentoring to help partners improve their skills and knowledge in implementing high-quality interventions on Violence based on inequality between women and men including Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (MHPSS), advocacy, self-care, and male engagement. Capacity development activities will further focus on programme management, monitoring and evaluation, financial management, and organisational growth to improve partner organisations’ sustainability and effect.
The second outcome enhances community engagement and increases stability in the targeted areas of south and west Ninewa. Through a triangulated approach of community engagement, capacitation of CBOs, and collaboration with civil society actors and government entities, this outcome aims to restore trust, enhance social cohesion, prevent violent extremism, and stabilize the targeted areas. Building upon the success of the preceding programme while expanding its purview, the intervention advances local ownership, cultivates lasting capacities, and forges pathways to sustainable peace and stability.
The principal objective of this outcome is to fortify the resilience of conflict-affected communities in the south and west Ninewa regions. This is achieved through a multifaceted approach that operates at three distinct levels: the level of CBOs and civil society actors, the community level, and engagement with government entities.
For third outcome one of the programme’s core objectives is to empower conflict-affected women and girls aged 15 and above, acknowledging their unique needs and the barriers they encounter as a result of the Violence based on inequality between women and men. Recognizing the importance of a holistic approach, the programme employs a multifaceted strategy which involves different crucial components to give comprehensive support. The programme strives to promote empowerment and resilience in the face of difficulties by addressing the numerous challenges faced by women and girls in conflict-affected populations. The programme attempts to create an enabling environment in which women and girls can regain control of their lives and shape their own destinies through a combination of targeted interventions and inclusive efforts.
Another significant aspect of the programme, under this outcome, is grassroots advocacy, which aims to support women’s participation in decision-making and strengthen their roles in advocating and suggesting solutions to issues that affect their lives.
The programme has significant emphasis under Outcome 4 on improving women’s and girls’ economic empowerment. This approach is intended to actively respond to two key purposes: first, to reduce the impact of Violence based on inequality between women and men on the lives of survivors, and second, to prevent and reduce risks of Violence based on inequality between women and men in the lives of women and girls by breaking down the complex barriers and inequalities, as well increasing their self-reliance and independency.
Economic dependency often reinforces vulnerability, leaving women more susceptible to a variety of adverse circumstances, including Violence based on inequality between women and men. The program’s goal is to provide women with the skills, knowledge and means to effectively explore economic opportunities and apply the knowledge learnt, thus reducing their reliance on others, making positive changes in their lives, and increasing their overall agency.

Targeted beneficiaries:
The proposed programme aims to benefit and empower various groups and segments who have been disproportionately affected by the conflicts and destabilisation in Iraq.

Local community members. This includes individuals from communities that have been greatly impacted by conflicts and tensions, as well as areas where extremist groups have had strong support.

Local civil society. Local civil society organisations and groups, including women and youth groups and specific emphasis on minority groups and Yazidi communities, will receive comprehensive capacity development to lead actions within their communities.

Women and youth. The programme will specifically target women and youth, especially those who have become heads of households and assumed new roles as major actors in their communities.

Men and boys will also be included as significant programme stakeholders. Their participation and engagement are essential for challenging social norms, advancing equality, and mitigating Violence based on inequality between women and men.

Local authorities and traditional/religious leadership. Local and other authorities, as well as traditional and religious leaders across ethnic and religious backgrounds, will be directly involved as participants and beneficiaries. Their engagement will help raise awareness and garner support for the programme and its efforts in stabilizing the communities, as well as preventing and addressing the consequences of violent extremism.

Programme target locations:
The proposed programme targets the following locations:
Ninewa Governorate particularly Mosul City (East side) South Mosul (Al-Shora sub-district, Al-Qayyara sub-district, and Hammam Al-Alil sub-district); West Mosul (Al-Ayadhiyya sub-district, Qayrawan sub-district, and Sinjar district); and East Mosul.

Duhok Governorate covering Yazidi IDPs (Shariya, Khanke, Bajid Kandala 1, Bajid Kandala 2, Bersive 1, Bersive 2, Kaparto 1, Kaparto 2 and Chammishko). Along with three non-camp areas (Duhok city, Shariya town, and Khanke town) where there are Yazidi IDPs, Muslim IDPs, Yazidi and Muslim host communities.

NPA emphasises a result-based programme framework. The programme has clearly defined impact, outcome, outputs and inputs stated in the programme results framework with indicators. It is vital for the programme that intended outcomes are achieved within the programme duration. Whether intended programme results are achieved or to what extent, is identified through comparison between the initial stage of the programme with the final stage.
Therefore, it is necessary to establish the status before programme activities are initiated against the planned targets and indicators throughout the programme period and particularly important at the end of the programme. Specific emphasis should be placed also on measuring the baseline of attitudes, perceptions, values and behaviour of the targeted communities. These aspects haven’t been identified in detail and are especially challenging to measure. However, the programme plans to have some impact on these quality factors hence the need to establish some standards. The change achieved will be identified through a final evaluation compared against the original baseline results.

Establishing an initial benchmark (baseline) at the start of the programme is crucial, acting as reference milestone throughout the programme. The baseline will function as reference landmarks to measure the programme’s progress (outcomes and outputs and impact). Further, the baseline will also generate information that will be important to ensure quality, and establish changed in soft factors such as attitudes, stereotypes, opinions, perceptions, values, and behaviour.

Purpose of this consultancy:

Develop the tools and methodology for conducting the baseline for the programme, developing standard questions that can also be measured at the end-line evaluation of the programme as those questions will constitute an integral part of the monitoring plan.

Develop a baseline report which will establish benchmarks against the programme-defined results, indicators related to programme outcomes, outputs and inputs as per the programme results framework. The established benchmarks (baseline) will be compared to results at the end of the programme.

Key responsibilities:
The composition of the study team is up to the consultant/firm who can choose, depending on their internal system, ideas and logic. NPA recommends that the team should be composed of Team Leader/Focal point who takes overall responsibility for this baseline survey, and coordinate/liaise between NPA and the survey team.
Other important responsibilities are to select adequate numbers of enumerators and deploy them to gather data from the field. Supervision of the field work and quality (reliability and validity) of the data/information collected at field level is the primary responsibility of Team leader. Similarly, the Team Leader will work closely with NPA’s Programme Team. In each step and process, consultation with the NPA MEAL Manager is vital.
The consultancy/ consultant team will be primarily responsible to:

Develop/design a baseline methodology and survey with consideration of the basic Methodology described under point 4.

Share the baseline plan, study design including process, methods and questionnaires/checklist with NPA, collect feedback and finalize the study design.

Development of baseline questionnaires that can be reused in midline and endline.

Pre-test questionnaires, and other tools.

Debrief/discuss with the programme team about the effectiveness of the questionnaire, checklists and other tools used in the pre-test, collect feedback and finalize them.

Orient, train, and supervise the enumerators.

Carryout field work together with enumerators.

Ensure quality of information collected from fields, cross check with the validity of information collected and verify/revise where needed.

Data entry, translation, and analysis of baseline data collection.

Regularly update the NPA MEAL Manager on the progress of the study.

Update NPA in case of any emerging issues related to the survey during implementation.

Prepare a draft baseline report, setting relevant baseline values and establishing midline and end line targets, and share with the NPA programme team, and collect their feedback.

Presentation of major findings to NPA, and collect their feedback.

Prepare a final report incorporating feedback and suggestions, and submission of the final report (a compiled version of the report – both hard copy and electronic version in word format to submit within the below given period).

Collaboration with the NPA programme team in developing practical guidelines including questionnaires, surveys for ongoing monitoring of programme progress against indicators, based on the final baseline report.

Ensure data confidentiality as per the rules and regulations of the donor.
Key deliverables:

Baseline report with established methodology described in detail (how, what, where, and when) and baseline survey questionnaires that can be reused in the end-line reviews by NPA and its CSO partners.

All developed tools, questionnaires, reports, and guidelines should be delivered to NPA in soft and hard copy.

The main findings should be presented to the NPA Iraq Country Office through a power point presentation session.
This consultancy will combine basic programme document reviews, development of baseline methodology, baseline survey questionnaires, and collect data from field and data analysis. The interpretation of findings from the field in the perspective of the programme components/indicators, and development of a comprehensive baseline report. Development of basic practical guidelines, and checklists.

The preliminary draft report should be submitted to NPA Iraq by 15th March 2024 the latest and the final report should be submitted to NPA after two weeks days of receiving NPA’s feedback to the draft report, latest by 31st March 2024. The work is planned to commence no later than 01st of February 2024.

Users of the baseline:
The baseline study will map different actors and relevant CSOs that have an agenda to enhance the role of women and youth. Partners will provide support throughout the process, including facilitation of training and learning, and tailored capacity development to fill gaps identified in the baseline study.
The primary intended users of the baseline are:
– NPA Iraq Country Office
– NPA Head Office (MENA team and technical advisors)
– The donor
– Partner organisations.

Survey Approach and Methodology:
The baseline study should utilise a wide range of appropriate tools and methodologies to measure the status of the political, social, economic/financial, physical, natural and human assets including perceptions, attitudes, values of targeted communities/beneficiaries, and also of NPA NGO partners and governmental public service provider’s capacities within the framework of the programme and as spelt out in the programme document. The study findings will be primarily used by NPA and NPA’ programme partners.
The baseline survey shall employ both qualitative and quantitative methods for data collection and review of secondary information (existing reports, research etc.). The survey shall be conducted using semi-structured questionnaires (draft developed by consultant and approved by NPA) and key informant interviews (KII) as well as focus group discussions (FGD) will be conducted to triangulate and collect qualitative data. The baseline data should also include segregation of beneficiaries by women and men and age, ethnicity, disability and religious affiliation.
Primary data collection will be collected through mobilisation of qualified enumerators. An appropriate sampling methodology will be used to determine the sampling frame, sample size and respondents; however, the basic guidelines relevant to sample size and locations are identified below. The survey will be carried out in targeted programme locations within the programme target locations in Iraq. The baseline information should be collected so that information gathered should support an analysis of all relevant indicators and cross-cutting issues as defined in the Outcome Mapping / Result Framework (OM/RFW) and programme documents. The Focused Group Discussions and unstructured interviews with key informants will provide information for an assessment of the status, capacity and effectiveness of programme activities and services by programme, partners and public service providers, etc.
Survey Tools and Techniques:
Individual/beneficiary questionnaires, KII, and FGD will be primarily used in the baseline survey. The consultant will have to develop the questionnaires and focus group discussion checklists based on the results framework indicators at first and then share with the NPA team. The developed data collection tools should clearly establish benchmarks for each identified indicator. These benchmarks should also be supportive to set milestones for the programme.
Sampling Methodology and Sample Size:
The intended total number of primary/direct beneficiaries of this programme is 19,837 (direct). The major focus will be women, girls 15+, men and boys. A relevant percentage of primary beneficiaries should be taken as a sampling size for each of the programme locations. Concurrently key informant interviews need to be undertaken with NPA’s partners (four local partners). FGDs should be held with local stakeholders (to be identified together with NPA per target location: e.g. community leaders, women groups, CSOs, public service providers, working group, and other INGOs) for specific key indicators and any other key informants identified as relevant to the programme success. Sample size should be estimated by the consultant to provide mathematically accurate, statistically significant results. The consultant should ensure diversity in the target interviewees. Interviews should be conducted with women/men/youth, with community and religious leaders, with government actors with some of the local NGOs including programme partners.

Baseline Report Preparation and Submission:
The consultant/firm will have to prepare a draft report and share with the NPA team within two weeks after completion of field activities. NPA will provide feedback on the draft report and after incorporating the recommendations the report has to be finalised in two weeks for final submission. The report should be comprehensive consisting of benchmarks of all progress indicators set in the RFW and other crosscutting issues. Final report of the baseline survey should be submitted to NPA within 60 calendar days after the start of the contract.


Proven expertise in design and review of programmes focused on protection, women empowerment, human rights, democratization, stabilization and social cohesion, and PVE, as well as experience in the MENA context, preference will be given to candidates that have past experience with programme design, implementation and/or evaluation of development programmes in the MENA region.

Data analysis and writing up of evaluation reports experience is also key for this exercise. The consultant should possess extensive work experience, and in-depth knowledge on conducting programme evaluations.

The consultant or group of consultants should have post-graduate degree in development studies and human rights, or equivalent knowledge in the areas mentioned in the above two points.

Preferably, the Consultancy Company or the Individual consultant should deploy a multidisciplinary team compose of both women and men with a background of political and statistical data analysis qualifications.

It is desirable to have a postgraduate in political studies. Preference will be given to those who possess past experience working with INGOs and conducting evaluation surveys.

The consultant or group of consultants should have proficiency in English. Working knowledge of Arabic is plus.
Organisation of evaluation management:

An external consultant will be hired by NPA to conduct the evaluation and report to the NPA Steering Committee, consisting of the Iraq Country Office team (Country Director, Programme Manager, Projects Managers, and MEAL Manager) and Iraq Advisor at NPA Head Office.

The steering group will oversee and support the day-to-day delivery of the evaluation.

The donor will provide feedback on draft findings and recommendations, and inform NPA’s management response.

As needed, NPA will provide administrative/logistical support towards organisation of documentation, interviews, meetings, field visits, and workshops.

Desk Review should be conducted by the consultant to inform the methodology and development of the tools. In addition, the conducted desk review should cover the following documents:

Programme proposal;

Results framework;

Existing documents available at NPA and among partners; and

Due to the dynamic situation in which NPA and its partners operate, as well as the potentially life-threatening nature of the issues involved, it is essential that the consultant adhere to strict ethical, data protection/ confidentiality and security guidelines. The consultant will only be considered where the ethics and appropriate protocols are embedded into their organisational or private consultancy profile. The consultants have to demonstrate they are keenly aware of particular ethical and security issues that arise from working in this specific environment, including the protection of local communities and the need for vigilant data handling and management. The Consultant should adhere to NPA’s code of Conduct for non-staff and PSEA policy.

How to apply

The potential and interested firms/consultants must request the Invitation to Bid (ITB) document from the procurement department through the email mentioned below. NPA will hold prior discussions with short-listed interested consultants/firms to provide further clarification to the Terms of Reference (ToR) in order to ensure quality final quotations. Short-listed consultants/firms will be contacted by NPA for a meeting date/location/link for an online meeting (if needed) for the interview prior to a final revision of the technical proposal budget and finalization.

[email protected]

Evaluation Criteria:
The Firm/Consultant will be evaluated based on following criteria: The key factors stated below will be taken in consideration during the evaluation process

Previous work experience.

Methodological/technical aspects of carrying out the study and technical expertise in democratisations, socioeconomics, monitoring, and capacity development.

Previous experience/presence in Iraq/Middle East.

Total budget (detailed breakdown of consultant fees, activity costs, etc.).
Financial Limitation: The total budget should include the entire total cost of the consultant/firm to implement the above-listed activities, provide training materials and deliverables.
In the budget, the flight and accommodation costs should be indicated. All these costs should be covered by the consultancy firm.

Application procedure:
Applications should include the following:

Proposed methodology, work plan, budget, and sampling framework.

Proposal package/technical proposal.

Organization/team profile with organogram,

Previous demonstrated experience on similar consultancies with CVs of all team members indicating who the team leader is (experts with past experience/presence in Iraq are especially encouraged to apply/be part of the baseline survey team).

Total budget.

At least three previous references.

The total budget should include the entire total cost of the consultant/firm to implement the above listed activities and deliverables. In the budget, the flight and accommodation costs should be clearly indicated, as these will not be provided by NPA.

The application will be evaluated based on following criteria: The key factors stated below will be taken in consideration during the evaluation process:

Technical proposal – 70%:

Details and quality (adequacy) of methodology proposed for the assignment, tools, approach (30%).

Detailed implementation plan indicating time frame, data collection and analysis plans (15%).

Experience of implementing similar work with development organizations (15%).

Detailed description of the proposed team, position with the company with CVs (not more than three pages for each CV) of the proposed Team Leader and other key team members (10%).

Financial proposal in both USD or IQD based on the Central Bank of Iraq’s rate exchange rate (1 USD = 1,310 IQD) (consultant fees, clear breakdown of activity costs, etc.) – 30%

Deadline: 24 Jan 2024