- Term Review of REDD+ Participatory Forest Management in South
- West Ethiopia Project
1. About the Development Fund
For more than 40 years the Development Fund (DF) has collaborated with local communities and civil society organizations in developing countries to improve the production of food and income generation of highly vulnerable and marginalized rural communities. DF’s vision is a sustainable and just world with freedom from hunger, poverty, and marginalization. Hundreds of thousands of small-scale farming households have received DF-support to develop resilient livelihoods and eliminate hunger, malnutrition, and poverty in their communities.
DF has stood steadfast in the forefront among development organizations promoting the empowerment of marginalized rural communities, pro-poor policies and appropriate solutions, particularly through approaches such as crop diversification, model-farmer, adaptive climate villages, affordable climate-smart agriculture techniques, community seed-banks, small scale irrigation and mechanizations, local natural resource management, microcredits and capacity building of civil society and grassroots organization. DF mobilizes the assets of small-scale farmers to ensure local contribution, involvement, and ownership, which is key to a sustainable, resilient, and equitable development.
2. Background and Context
2.1 Project description
The REDD+ Participatory Forest Management (PFM) in South-West Ethiopia (REPAFMA-SW Ethiopia, Phase III) project has been implemented since 2021 as part of Norway’s International Climate and Forests Initiative (NICFI) for the period 2021 - 2025. The project is implemented across 14 Woredas housing a contiguous forest block of high conservation significance covering parts of Oromia, Gambella and Southwest Ethiopia Peoples Regional States. Specifically, project implementation areas include Kefa, Sheka, and Bench Sheko Zones of the South West Ethiopia Peoples Regional State, Iluababor zone of Oromia Regional State, and Agnwa zone of Gambela People Regional State. The areas of project intervention fall within one of the 36 globally biodiversity hotspots and constitute Ethiopia’s largest remnant forest block and home for important plant genetic materials such as the wild varieties of Arabica coffee. Moreover, the project areas of intervention Serve as a water tower for the region and inhabited by communities which are hugely dependent on the forest resources for their livelihoods.
The main purpose of the project is to further develop existing PFM interventions and test innovative practical solutions concerning management, production, processing and marketing methods, as well as addressing the institutional set-ups and incentives needed for sustainable forest management in Southwest Ethiopia. A major focus of the project is to identify, appraise and pilot sustainable forest-friendly livelihood options for Forest Dependent Communities (FDC), involving socioeconomic analysis, monitoring forest condition in near-real time, trade-offs between sectors, land uses, and management approaches and strengthening relevant capacity of PFM institutions.
2.2. Objective of the project
The project integrates a wide range of activities to address related socio-economic, institutional, and environmental issues. These are linked and designed to contribute to the defined NICFI Impact and Outcome. The overall objective (the intended impact) of the project is to contribute towards reduced and reversed forest loss in Southwest Ethiopia. This will be achieved through three outcomes contributing to NICFI Outcome (intermediate Outcome).
NICFI Outcome (intermediate outcome): The rights and livelihoods of forest dependent communities are improved, also referred as NICFI Outcome (intermediate outcome)
Outcome One: PFM institutions manage forest resources sustainably.
Improved capability of Forest Management Groups (FMGs) to revise and implement Forest Management Plans and internal rules in Bench-Sheko, Kefa, Sheka, Iluabor, and Agnwa zones
Forest monitoring systems developed and maintained for PFM institutions in Bench-Sheko, Kafa, Sheka, Iluababor and Agnwa zones
Outcome two: Public institutions have the capacity to provide effective support to PFM institutions in sustainable forest management and diversified livelihoods.
Formal stakeholder collaboration platforms established in project intervention woredas of Bench-Sheko, Kefa, Sheka, Iluabor, and Agnwa zones
Best practice in implementation of PFM promoted among public institutions
Improved capability of public institutions at Woreda level to collect and analyse geo-data
Outcome three: Forest dependent communities have a diversified income base from forest friendly activities.
Livelihood options are diversified through forest friendly practices
Improved market options for forest friendly products
2.3 Project Implementation Modality
The REPAFMA-SW Ethiopia, Phase III project is implemented by DF in collaboration with Ethio Wetlands and Natural resources Association (EWNRA) and the Alliance of Biodiversity and Centre for International Tropical Agriculture (CIAT). EWNRA has been partnering with the DF since 2013 on earlier phases of the same project, and the Alliance of Biodiversity and CIAT since 2021. EWNRA’s role is to provide technical back-up to relevant public and community-based forest management institutions towards efforts in consolidating PFM activities across project intervention Woredas resulting in 569,111 hectares of forest landscape under PFM arrangements. The role of Biodiversity and CIAT mainly entails building capacity of relevant experts from local government and project staff on satellite based near real time forest monitoring and conducting surveys, assessments and analysis in key programme thematic areas to inform the design of strategies and plans to be implemented by EWNRA.
3. Objectives of the Mid-Term Review
The objective of Mid-Term Review (MTR) is to assess and document the performance of the Project and the extent to which the outputs and outcomes have been achieved, determining coherence, efficiency, and effectiveness. The MTR is forward-looking and will assess whether and to what extent results (i) are sustainable, and (ii) may contribute to achieving the intended impact.
In addition, the MTR will assess success factors and constraints, capture lessons learnt and document new knowledge and important topics for further enquiry, action, lobbying and/or influence. It will also review and assess the findings and recommendations of the Project Progress Reports.
The MTR will ensure accountability towards Norad as a donor as well as the target beneficiaries of the project. The findings of the review will be used by DF and its IPs to make necessary adjustments to the project for the remaining grant period. On this basis, the review shall also provide clear (actionable) recommendations for improvement and identify important areas for learning.
4. Review Questions
The MTR shall answer the following questions:
To what extent is the project successful in achieving desired results? Please provide a separate assessment according to each project-level outcome found in the results framework.
In terms of internal, project adjustments, if any, what concrete recommendations do you propose to the organisation for the remainder of the project cycle?
To what extent does the project work with or in coordination with other initiatives funded by NICFI? What are the learning points? Particularly the review is expected to explore the integration and complementarity of the project with the NICFI supported REDD+ Investment Program and suggest recommendation for improvement.
To what degree does the project seek to create alliances and foster synergies with civil society organisations and other partners, national or international, to ensure harmonisation of interventions in the given contexts?
To what extent has the communication/ collaboration between the partners and DF been adequate?
Is the project being implemented in the most efficient way compared to alternatives? Are the project objectives being achieved on time?
Are the approaches being applied by the project contributing to the sustainability of the project achievements?
To what extent does the forest friendly livelihoods options strategy promoted by the project contributes for sustainability of community forest management scheme?
Is the project applying a sensible exit strategy for transfer of responsibility and activities to other stakeholders (local government, community institutions)
Specific questions I - Contribution to NICFI Outcome
(Start the numbering with 1, 2, 3 etc) How does the project affect deforestation across project intervention Woredas?
How does the project lead to the protection of the forest and land rights of local communities? Relevant activities may include:(1) participation in relevant processes,(2) reports to relevant international legal mechanisms and instruments and(3) the exercise of free, prior, and informed consent (FPIC).Please provide concrete examples.
To what degree does the project contribute to integrating sustainable forest use by local communities into legal frameworks, area plans, and development strategies? Please provide concrete examples.
How does the project contribute to the protection of environmental and local communities by working for the adoption (and enforcement of) relevant laws and legal instruments? Please provide concrete examples.
How does the project strengthen local community capacities for sustainable management of forest of livelihood activities? Please provide concrete examples where applicable.
To what extent does the project contribute to poverty reduction, directly or indirectly? How is this measured and monitored?
Specific questions II – Contribution to NICFI Areas Strategic Interest
How does the project spur or employ innovative working methods, context analyses, partnership models, or similar innovations?
What are the impacts of the project, positive or negative, on women and gender equality and minority/marginalized communities? What are the lessons learned?
5. Scope of the Review
Temporal scope: The project builds on the two earlier phases of NICFI funded projects, i.e, 2013-2015 and 2016-2020, both were implemented by DF in partership with EWNRA. The current project runs from 2021 to 2025 and the review will be conducted for the period of April 2021 – June 2023.
Geographic scope: The geographic areas covered in REPAFMA-SW Ethiopia, Phase III project covers 3 regions, 5 Zones, 14 Woredas and 129 Kebeles or villages and 394 FMGs. Accordingly, the review will make sampling from Woredas in each region, sampling of FMGs from each sampled Woreda, and sampling of households from each sampled FMG. Therefore, to make it more representative the consultant shall take sufficient samples of households for each sampled FMG considering 95% Level of confidence with a 5% margin of error.
Activity scope: The review will be conducted for the whole project across the project intervention Woredas as indicated above under geographic scope.
How to apply - Tender submission and contact details
Please see further information in ToR (with Annex):
Tenders/offers to conduct the Evaluation will be accepted from consultants as well as firms, and must be submitted in two separate documents, one containing technical proposal and the other financial proposal clearly marked “Consultancy Service for Mid-term Review of the REDD+ PFM project” and sent by email to Lidia Bekele, Administration Assistant at DF Ethiopia email@example.com.
Please note that the bid must contain CVs of the proposed evaluation team. Financial proposal shall disclose all pricing information related to the consultancy service as described in this Terms of Reference in USD for international consultants. Fee (non-recurring and recurring costs), travel cost and other out of pocket expenses should be given separately as a lump sum. Conditional cost is not acceptable.
For further details or questions regarding this ToR for the Evaluation, kindly contact Sisay Kassahun, Country Program Coordinator: firstname.lastname@example.org