The Sudan Country Office Strategic Note is the main planning tool for UN Women’s support to normative, coordination and operational work in Sudan. This evaluation will consider the Strategic Note covering the period January 2018 – December 2023. A new Strategic Note is due to be developed starting in June 2023.
The Strategic Note is linked to the UN Women Global Strategic Plan and country-level United Nations Development Assistance Framework 2018-23. The Sudan Country Office Strategic Note supports and contributes towards the following UN Women 2022-25 Strategic Plan Impact and Systemic outcomes:
4. Women, peace and security, humanitarian action and disaster risk reduction
|1: Global normative frameworks, and gender-responsive laws, policies and institutions
2: Financing for gender equality
3: Positive social norms including by engaging men & boys
4: Women’s equitable access to services, goods and resources
5: Women’s voice, leadership and agency
6: Production, analysis and use of gender statistics and sex-disaggregated data
The strategic note is aligned to Sudan’s national development plans, including the National Quarter Century Strategy 2007-2031 on Peace, Development and Improved Living Conditions of all people, the National Women’s Empowerment Policy (NWEP) (2007) and the adopted Sudan UNSCR1325 National Action Plan. It also supports Sudan’s commitments to meet Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment commitments in the SDGs, Beijing Platform for Action-BPA and related instruments.
The Strategic Note is grounded in the standards, principles and obligations of the Convention to Eliminate all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, Concluding Observations of the Commission on the Status of Women, Sustainable Development Goals, and the AU Protocol on the Rights of Women in Africa.
- Description of the Country portfolio
The Strategic Note includes a Development Results Framework (DRF) and an Organizational Effectiveness and Efficiency Framework (OEEF), both with performance indicators. The evaluation is expected to use this to assess organizational performance.
The total planned budget of the Strategic Note was USD 21.5m, of which 70% was for the Development Results Framework (DRF) and 30% for the Organizational Effectiveness and Efficiency Framework (OEEF). As of October 5, 2022, the total resources mobilized were USD 15.9m and expenditure was USD 10.8m. The Country Office is based in Khartoum, with 32 personnel, including four seconded gender officers to ministries, as of October 2022.
The work of UN Women responds to its three core mandates (normative, coordination and operational/programming). UN Women is a member of the UN Country Team, supporting gender mainstreaming across thematic groups. The main interventions undertaken under the Strategic Note are set out in Annex 1.
The Strategic Note Theory of Change (ToC) is set out below. The evaluation team will collaborate with the Country Office during the inception phase to review and refine (if needed) the TOC.
- If gender-responsive national policies and laws facilitating women’s equal participation and decision making in economic and social development exist and are implemented by a capacitated cadre;
- If women, especially the poorest and most excluded have access to, ownership, control and use of land, technology, finances, skills and other productive resources, especially in rural, climate challenged, conflict, post-conflict and humanitarian settings;
- If peacebuilding processes and humanitarian are well coordinated between the UN, Government and other development partners and align with nationally applicable global accountability standards;
- If the processes and actions are shaped by women’s leadership and participation and pay attention to protection of all women and girls;
- If enabling social norms and practices support women and girls equal participation in social, economic and pollical processes;
- Then women and girls in Sudan will enjoy their full rights and contribute effectively to economic, social and political development in peaceful, inclusive, resilient and prosperous communities;
- Because, stereotypes, structural and socio-cultural barriers to their participation as well as contribution to economic, peacebuilding and humanitarian action have been removed and grounded in supported in policies and laws informed by their voices, needs and experiences, especially in rural, conflict, post-conflict and humanitarian contexts.
The main rights holders’ and duty bearers’ capacities that the Strategic Note is attempting to develop are:
- Duty bearers: Government stakeholders across different ministries, including the women and gender commission and bureau of statistics, and parliamentarian council members. Humanitarian actors, implementing partners and key partners.
- Right holders: Urban/peri-poor women, women leaders and gender advocates, civil society, religious and cultural leaders, and youths.
The Country Office extended the original Strategic Note for two years. Additionally, the Country Office had to undertake an in-depth review of the Strategic Note to align to the change in political regime and the Country Office’s limited staffing capacity. The phased transition of United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID) led to the UNAMID’s Gender Unit portfolio being transferred to UN Women. In-depth restructuring has supported an expansion of the Country Office’s portfolio, including support to the political mission, UNITAMS (United Nations Integrated Transition Assistance Mission in Sudan).
One of the consequences of the coup is the disruption of the UN Women programs. UN agencies in Sudan has suspended its work with government and hence all UN Women’s work with government stopped. The CO’s workplan of 2021 invested in strategic partnership and projects with the government authorities, peace and security and economic empowerment and interventions on women’s political participation was also affected.
Given the current situation, UN Women’s programming in Sudan is now oriented on collaborating with civil society organizations and academia during the fourth quarter of 2022 and in 2023 however with hope that collaboration with government entities will resume in the coming months.
The Country Office has identified the following key lessons learned.
- Importance of collaboration: Stronger partnership with civil society is essential for UN Women to better reach women at the grassroots level. This could be supported by a mapping of potential NGO partners able to work within UN Women rules and regulations. It is critical to collaborate with specialized agencies to ensure gender integration in the macro-economic policy reform
- Strategic positioning: There is a valuable opportunity for UN Women to better position itself during the government transition, as a key partner to the international community. UN Women is also perceived by stakeholders as being best placed to coordinate stakeholders around normative gender issues. To take advantage of these opportunities, UN Women needs to refine its staffing structure, and increase its activities in the areas of coordination and normative.
- Purpose, objectives and use of the evaluation
The UN Women Evaluation Policy and the UN Women Evaluation Strategic Plan 2022-25 are the main guiding documents that set forth the principles and organizational framework for evaluation planning, conduct and follow-up in UN Women. These principles are aligned with the United Nations Evaluation Group (UNEG) Norms and Standards for Evaluation in the UN System and Ethical Guidelines.
The CPE has seven objectives:
- Assess the relevance of UN Women contribution to the intervention at national levels and alignment with international agreements and conventions on gender equality and women’s empowerment.
- Assess effectiveness, organizational efficiency and coherence in progressing towards the achievement of gender equality and women’s empowerment results as defined in the Strategic Note.
- Enable the UN Women Country Office to improve its strategic positioning to better support the achievement of sustained gender equality and women’s empowerment.
- Analyse how human rights approach and gender equality principles are integrated in the design and implementation of the Strategic Note.
- Identify and validate lessons learned, good practices and examples of innovation that can be scaled up and replicated to support gender equality and human rights.
- Provide insights into the extent to which the UN Women has realized synergies between its three mandates (normative, UN system coordination and operations).
- Provide actionable recommendations with respect to the development of the next Strategic Note.
The Country Portfolio Evaluation (CPE) is a systematic assessment to validate the contributions made by UN Women Country Office’s portfolio of interventions to development results with respect to Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment at the country level. It also assesses the Country Office’s organisational effectiveness and efficiency in delivering the planned results. It uses the Strategic Note (including the DRF and OEEF) as the main point of reference.
The intended uses and users of this evaluation are:
|Target Uses||Primary Users||Secondary Users|
|Learning: Formative (forward-looking) on effective, promising and innovative strategies and practices, to support improved decision-making||the UN Women Sudan country office and East and Southern Africa regional office, who will use the evaluation findings to inform the design of the new Strategic note||The UN Country Team and other UN agencies and other stakeholders delivering similar interventions in-country, to derive learning on effective and promising practices.|
|Accountability: Summative (backward-looking) for UN Women’s contribution to gender equality and women’s empowerment.||UN Women HQ, regional and country offices, national partners, rights holders and donors, to support accountability for development effectiveness.|
The evaluation will be utilization-focused, tailored to the needs of the organization through a participatory approach from the inception through to the development of recommendations.
- Criteria and evaluation questions
The evaluation will use selected OECD DAC evaluation criteria for the CPE. The table below sets these out, along with indicative evaluation questions.
|Criterion||Indicative Evaluation Questions|
|Effectiveness – the extent to which UN Women has contributed to achieving planned outcomes and mitigating negative externalities||
|Efficiency- the extent to which tactical decisions, organisational structures and management processes add to UN Women’s productive capacity||
|Coherence – the extent to which there is an interna|
The timing of this Country Portfolio Evaluation is intended to assess the effectiveness and lessons as we approach the end of the current Strategic Note. The period covered by the evaluation will be from 2018-2023.
All activities included in the Strategic Note will be considered, including normative, coordination and operational work in all thematic areas. The scope of CPE also covers regional or global program activities in the country. Joint programs and programming are within the scope of this evaluation. Where joint programs are included in the analysis, the evaluation will consider both the specific contribution of UN Women, and the additional benefits and costs from working through a joint modality.
CPEs focusses on outcome level results. Accordingly, they are not expected to:
- Collect output monitoring data;
- Analyse the achievement of impacts as defined by UNEG;
- Focus on evaluating UN Women’s corporate management or systems outside of the country context, such as regional architecture.
During the inception phase, the evaluation team will further define the scope and sampling approach, to establish the evaluation boundaries, including which stakeholders and initiatives will be included or excluded from the evaluation. This will draw on the evaluability assessment (see section vi), the final evaluation questions and the availability of data.
- Evaluation design (process and methods)
Evaluation Standards and principles, including gender and human-rights based approach
The evaluation will adhere to the the UNEG Norms and Standards (2016), the UNEG Ethical Guidelines (2020) and UN Women Evaluation Policy and Handbook, observing the principles of integrity, accountability, respect and beneficence.
The evaluation will be gender-responsive meaning that both the process and analysis apply the key principles of a human rights-based approach. It will analyze the underlying structural barriers and socio-cultural norms that impede the realization of women’s rights. The evaluation design will apply Good practices in gender-responsive evaluations and a suitable approach to assess the type, effectiveness and the quality of gender-transformative results achieved.
Data collection and analysis
The evaluation will employ a non-experimental, theory-based approach. The performance of the country portfolio will be assessed using contribution analysis, using the theory of change set out in the Strategic Note 2018-2023 as a basis. The evaluation will apply a mixed-method using qualitative and quantitative methods. The method will draw on data sources including documents, field information, institutional information systems, financial records, beneficiaries, staff, funders, experts, government officials, community groups etc. The evaluation will employ the following data collection methods:
- Document analyses undertaken primarily during the inception phase will inform the evaluation approach:
- Evaluability assessment to identify gaps in secondary data which will be used to determine the evaluation approach, including an assessment of the Theory of Change, the conduciveness of the context to undertaking the evaluation, the management structure at the Country Office and the quality and completeness of the Development Results Framework and Operational Efficiency and Effectiveness Framework.
- Contextual analysis of the key external influencing factors affecting realization of women’s rights in the country.
- Portfolio analysis of UN Women Strategic Note & Project Documents, synthesizing secondary results data for the Development Results Framework and the Organizational Effectiveness and Efficiency Framework of the Country Office.
- UN Women financial analysis of the budget, expenditure and trends in type of expenditures.
- Interviews and Focus Group Discussions with key informants identified through the stakeholder analysis (across all stakeholder groups);
- Surveys of UN Women personnel and UNCT partners, including Civil Society Organisations and government stakeholders (should the context allow).
Data collection methods should be gender-responsive. Cultural aspects that could impact the collection of data should be analysed and integrated into data collection methods and tools. Evaluators are expected to include adequate time for testing data collection tools. Data should be systematically disaggregated by sex and age and, to the extent possible, by geographical region, ethnicity, disability and migratory status. Specific guidelines should be observed. Data should be triangulated to ensure valid findings.
The evaluation is expected to apply a purposive sampling approach to take into account a diverse range of perspectives. The main interventions undertaken by the Country Office have been mapped into a sample frame for evaluation (see Annex 1). In addition, up to two Case studies could be selected for an in-depth assessment of contributions to outcomes. This will be updated in consultation with the Evaluation Reference Group at the inception stage.
Team Leader: The Regional Evaluation Specialist (RES) of IEAS will serve as the team leader, responsible for managing the coordination and day-to-day management of the CPE, leading the methodological approach, collection of data, analysis and report writing. As team leader, the RES will also be responsible for overseeing the work of the evaluation team members, managing the contracts and assuring quality of the work.
Evaluation team: Evaluation team members will include an evaluation expert to support the Team leader in designing and conducting the CPE and a national expert to provide key contextual information and support data collection in country.
 A theory-based design assesses the performance of the Strategic Note based upon its stated assumptions about how change happens. These assumptions can be challenged, validated or expanded upon by the evaluation.
 namely the UNEG guidance on Integrating Human Rights and Gender Equality in Evaluations (2014) and UN Disability Inclusion Strategy Evaluation Accountability (2019).
Duties and Responsibilities
Roles and responsibilities:
The National expert is expected to provide key contextual information and perspective to design a robust utilisation-focused CPE. The national expert is also expected to support the in-country data collection process.
- Support the team lead to design the Evaluation methodology including evaluation data collection tools
- Support the team lead to facilitate the inception workshop and drafting the inception report
- Under the supervision of the team lead, collect virtual/in-situ field visits for data collection
- Coordinate and communicate with evaluation stakeholders, including for exit briefs and evaluation preliminary findings validation meetings etc.
- Contribute towards the draft and final evaluation report.
Time frame and deliverables
The table below sets out the indicative timetable.
|Task||Time frame||Indicative month||Responsible party|
|Final Terms of Reference||2-3 weeks||Nov 2022||Team Lead, Country Office Management and IEAS leadership and peer reviewer|
|Evaluation team recruitment||4 weeks||Dec 2022- Jan 2023||Team Lead with HR team|
|Inception Workshop||1 or 2 days||Jan – Feb 2023||Team Lead and Country Office Management|
|Portfolio analysis and draft Inception Report||3-4 weeks||Jan-Feb
|Validation of draft Inception Report||2 weeks||Feb -March 2023||Evaluation Team Evaluation Reference Group (ERG), IEAS leadership and Peer reviewer|
|Final Inception report||1 week||Feb-March 2023||Evaluation Team|
|Data collection||3-4 weeks||March 2023||Evaluation Team|
|Data analysis, preliminary findings and draft report||3-4 weeks||April 2023||Evaluation Team|
|Draft report reviews||3 weeks||April-May 2023||IEAS Leadership, ERG and peer reviewer|
|Final Report||1 week||May 2023||Evaluation Team|
|Final report presentation||½ day||May 2023||Evaluation Team and ERG|
|Report brief||2 days||May 2023||IES evaluation team and Country Office Management|
Proposed level of effort:
- Dissemination and uptake
- During the inception phase, the country M&E focal point will work with the evaluation team to develop a dissemination plan. The plan will identify approaches to support dissemination and uptake for the target primary and secondary users of the evaluation, along with how this will be tracked. The evaluator will also be responsible for developing a short brief with key findings and recommendations that will be disseminated more widely.Once the CPE report is signed off by IEAS management, the Country Representative leads the follow-up process to facilitate its use such as in the form of issuing a management response within 6 weeks of CPE report finalisation and other dialogue with the Country or regional management as deemed appropriate.
Core Values: Respect for Diversity; Integrity; Professionalism.
Core Competencies: Awareness and Sensitivity Regarding Gender Issues; Accountability; Effective Communication; Inclusive Collaboration.
- Ethical code of conduct
UN Women has developed a UN Women Evaluation Consultants Agreement Form that evaluators must sign as part of the contracting process. The evaluators are also expected to provide a detailed plan on how the following principles will be ensured throughout the evaluation: 1) Respect for dignity and diversity; 2) Right to self-determination; 3) Fair representation; 4) Compliance with codes for vulnerable groups (e.g., ethics of research involving young children or vulnerable groups); 5) Redress; 6) Confidentiality; and 7) Avoidance of harm.
The evaluators must put safeguards to protect the safety of both respondents and those collecting the data. These should include:
- A plan to protect the rights of the respondent, including privacy and confidentiality;
- The interviewer or data collector is trained in collecting sensitive information;
- Data collection tools are culturally appropriate and do not create distress for respondents;
- The interviewer can provide information on how individuals in situations of risk can seek support
 based on the UNEG Ethical Guidelines and Code of Conduct.
 see UNEG Ethical Guidance for descriptions
Required Skills and Experience
- Master’s degree in gender/women studies, sociology, international development, or related area; or
- A Bachelor’s degree in gender/women studies, sociology, international development, or related area, with additional two years’ experience
- At least 5 years of relevant work experience preferably in the area of monitoring, evaluation or research on gender equality, women’s empowerment and human rights in Sudan
- Process management skills, including facilitation and communication skills with stakeholders
- Knowledge of the role of UN Women or the UN system and its programming, coordination, and normative roles at country level is an asset.
Fluent in English, and Arabic both written and spoken is mandatory.
Please note that applications without a completed and signed UN Women P-11 form will be treated as incomplete and will not be considered for further assessment.
UN Women Personal History form (P-11) can be downloaded from https://www.unwomen.org/sites/default/files/2022-07/UN-Women-P11-Personal-History-Form-en.doc.
UNWOMEN is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, nationality and culture. Individuals from minority groups, indigenous groups and persons with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply. All applications will be treated with the strictest confidence.
Applicants under consideration will be requested to submit:
- A brief summary setting out their relevant experience against the qualifications section, no more than 100 words per requirement.
- 200 words setting out what challenges they anticipate facing as they deliver the evaluation, and how they would manage these challenges
- A CV
- Two examples of recent evaluation reports where the applicants played a key role in delivery
- Daily rate in US$
- A statement to confirm their availability to deliver the assignment
- A statement to confirm that they are independent, and that they have not been directly responsible for the design, or overall management of the subject of the evaluation, nor expect to be in the near future, and that they have no vested interest and have the full freedom to conduct their evaluative work impartially.
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