Terms of reference: Final Evaluation of Advancing Local Electoral Reporting (ALERT) in Bangladesh (November 2022 – February 2024) - Tenders Global

Terms of reference: Final Evaluation of Advancing Local Electoral Reporting (ALERT) in Bangladesh (November 2022 – February 2024)

Internews Europe


Final Evaluation of Advancing Local Electoral Reporting (ALERT) in Bangladesh

Internews overview

Internews is an international non-profit organization whose mission is to empower local civil society worldwide to give people the news and information they need, the ability to connect and the means to make their voices heard. For more information about the organization please visit: www.internews.com

Project overview

With the 2024 National Elections in Bangladesh on the horizon, voters need access to quality, impartial, and trusted Information about the electoral process, its transparency, and how it will impact their lives to make informed electoral decisions and hold power to account. However, journalists in Bangladesh lack the capacity to accurately report on the election process. Additionally, mis/disinformation in the Bangladeshi information ecosystem is widespread, particularly around election-related information, making journalists and other information providers jobs even more complex. Internews Europe (Internews), together with its partners Society for Media and Suitable Human Communication Techniques (SOMASHTE) and Centre for Communication and Development of Bangladesh (CCD), implemented a 15-month nationwide Action Advancing Local Electoral Reporting (ALERT) in Bangladesh with the specific objective of building the capacity of journalists, journalism lecturers and journalism students on elections reporting and fact-checking to support a more democratic society.

Internews Bangladesh: In Bangladesh, Internews has already laid the groundwork, building trust and empowering journalists in investigative and data journalism, as well as promoting the Right to Information Law, under the US State Department-funded Strengthening Independent Media in Bangladesh (SIMB) project. In addition, we have leveraged resources created through our USAID-funded INPIRES, OPTIMA, and Global Internet Freedom projects to inform our work in digital safety for journalists. Currently, Internews Bangladesh is implementing the Nagorik project as a consortium partner of USAID/CEPPS Bangladesh, focusing on a similar overall objective to ALERT.

Overall objective:

The overall objective of ALERT is to promote and protect, (i) human rights and fundamental freedoms; (ii) democracy: and (ii) the rule of law in Bangladesh.

Specific objectives (SO):

SO 1: Journalists working in national media have improved capacity to report on the electoral process.

SO 2: Journalists, journalism lecturers, and journalism students have improved fact-checking skills to address election-related mis- and disinformation.

Advancing Local Electoral Reporting (ALERT) in Bangladesh project is designed based on the following methodology:

Technical Approach: In preparation for the 2024 elections, Internews has developed a national strategic approach aimed at enhancing the capacity of the media sector. The organization has set forth ambitious plans to engage with both local and national media journalists across all 68 districts spanning eight divisions. Within this initiative, Internews has expanded on these plans by adopting a collaborative partnership approach, working alongside trusted local partners with extensive networks. The project has successfully achieved its intended impact by strengthening the skills of journalists, journalism educators, and students, particularly in the realms of election reporting and fact-checking. Partners SOMASHTE and CCD have tapped into robust national and regional networks encompassing journalists, media outlets, journalists associations, and universities. In conjunction with our co-applicants, we have leveraged international expertise and best practices to support independent media. Our programming has prioritized the inclusion of women, youth, and other marginalized populations, underscoring diverse views and participation. Through providing digital security training to the most vulnerable participants, we ensure the safety and security of all participants has remained a paramount concern throughout all project activities. Internews has promoted adherence to evidence-based journalism standards among journalists to bolster their resilience in the face of state-sanctioned threats.

Training Needs Assessment (TNA): Internews conducted a training needs assessment during the inception phase, which informed the development of training modules on election reporting and countering election-related misinformation/disinformation. These modules aim to provide Bangladeshi citizens with accurate information, enabling them to make informed decisions that support democracy. In response to the identified needs, Internews has maintained a high level of in-house technical expertise, global knowledge, and regional insight, along with the capacity to adapt to evolving circumstances. Internews has consistently followed an evolving framework, informed by ongoing due diligence processes, project-based monitoring and evaluation, and continuous engagement with stakeholders on the ground and within the broader donor and media development community. This approach has allowed Internews to better understand the specific challenges related to capacity building for journalists and independent media, freedom of expression, and information access. It has also enabled a particular focus on addressing these issues for women and socially excluded groups. Moreover, this process has facilitated the identification and selection of strategic partners and approaches that maximize impact.

Holistic Approach to Capacity Building: Key actors in media and journalism have received capacity-building interventions based on related activities. In response to the political instability in Bangladesh over the past year and a half, Internews has adopted a flexible approach to delivering trainings and capacity-building initiatives. Continuous monitoring of the political situation has informed the strategic deployment of training sessions at the district level, often in modular formats, to maximize participation and engagement rates.

Partnership Approach: This Action has achieved its impact primarily by leveraging international expertise and best practices. It has focused on enhancing the capacity of local media civil society organizations (CSOs), professional journalists in national and regional media outlets, as well as journalism professors, students, and content producers. The overarching approach adopted by Internews centres on beneficiary-led development. Consequently, Internews does not aim to impose changes on the mission or purpose of its media partners or create new media partners from the top down. Instead, the goal has been to equip existing media outlets with the tools and expertise necessary to maximize their reach and impact within their defined mission, as exemplified here.

Evaluation Purpose and Objectives

The purpose of the final external evaluation is to assess the overall performance and impact of our work and inform learning. The evaluation is commissioned by the Bangladesh Country Representative with the support of Internews’ MEL staff. It examines the impact of the action on beneficiaries and the sustainability of results. Internews employs international best practices, Development Assistance Committee of the Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD-DAC) evaluation criteria, one of the most widely prominent and adopted criteria of aid effectiveness. The criteria will be used to evaluate various aspects of the interventions including relevance, coherence, effectiveness, efficiency, impact, and sustainability. Internews will collaborate with selected candidate to collect information about the usefulness and trustworthiness of the election related content produced by the project. This is to understand whether stories produced by project are perceived as informative, trustworthy and responsive to the needs of information consumers of election related content. This evaluation has the following principal tasks, which must be assessed in the context of the political and environmental challenges that the project faced during implementation:

· Evaluate the project’s progress in achieving goals and objectives, examining qualitative and quantitative signs of potential impact. Assess the sustainability of results, specifically focusing on the project’s role in enhancing the capabilities of journalists, journalism teachers, and students to create high-quality election reporting content.

· Evaluate its contribution to countering mis/disinformation through the application of fact-checking skills and knowledge of the reform process. Measure the audience engagement and interaction with project-produced content using proxy measures.

· Examine external factors beyond Internews’ control, such as violence occurring in the lead-up to elections (attacking on journalists, torching on public/private property, fight between political groups), that influenced the project’s outcomes, necessitating adjustments to project activities. Assess the impact of changes in the operational environment throughout the project’s lifespan and their effects on project activities.

· Evaluate the project’s performance with respect to relevance, coherence, effectiveness, efficiency, impact, and sustainability.

· Identify and analyze the intended and unintended effects of the program on beneficiaries.

· Derive insights and best practices from the project, offering key recommendations to improve future interventions.

Evaluation Scope and Methodology

The evaluation covers the project implementation period from 15 November 2022 to 14 February 2024 and should encompass the entire scope of the project. Ideally, the work will be carried out in Bangladesh by a local national evaluator with language skills.

The evaluation should employ OECD/DAC criteria for assessing aid effectiveness, and a gender and inclusion lens should be applied throughout the evaluation process. The questions provided below can serve as a guide for the project’s evaluation and are open to discussion and agreement during the evaluation design phase.

  • Did the theory of change hold true?
  • Has the project responded to the needs of the target groups and continued to do so when circumstances have changed? (Relevance)
  • To what extent were lessons learned from the project challenges and successes and how were they applied to improve and adjust implementation? (Relevance)
  • To what extent have other interventions (particularly policies) supported or undermined the project intervention, and vice versa? (Coherence)
  • How compatible is the project with other interventions in Bangladesh? (Coherence)
  • Have the right things been done to achieve the project’s aims? Have the planned project objectives and outcomes been achieved (or are they likely to be achieved)? If not, what is needed to close the gap and improve the potential for impact? (Effectiveness)
  • Were the resources and inputs converted to outputs in a timely and cost-effective manner? Did the project achieve the planned outputs? Could the outputs have been achieved with fewer resources? (Efficiency)
  • What results have been achieved in the implementation of the project? What were the contributing factors to the achievement of the project? What were the main challenges/barriers to achieving the implementation of the project? How well did the project adapt to the significant political and security challenges during implementation? (Achievement)
  • What are the tangible outcomes (positive and negative) as a result of this project? Has there been a positive or negative impact on beneficiaries as a whole? How has this impact been ascertained? What specific, real difference has the activity made to the beneficiaries? Have certain groups benefited more or been negatively impacted more? (Impact)
  • Are the results sustainable? If so, how? (Sustainability)
  • Data collection tools

The evaluation will primarily concentrate on key donor performance indicators (EC outcome/output indicators), utilizing pertinent survey tools to assess project performance and success. The evaluator should address logistical and time challenges, adapting to respondents’ schedules and needs where feasible. The evaluation and associated research must adhere to Internews’ policies and protocols regarding data protection and security, following ethical guidelines for participant confidentiality and privacy. Ensuring the secure transmission of data at all stages of the evaluation is paramount. A non-disclosure agreement will be integrated into the consultancy contract.

The methodological approach and design of the evaluation will be collaboratively developed and agreed upon by Internews and the evaluator. The evaluator will assume responsibility for its complete implementation. The methodological approach should be participatory, inclusive, gender-sensitive, and culturally appropriate. The evaluator is expected to present the evaluation methodology, including the proposed sampling of stakeholders to be engaged, during the first week of the evaluation period. This methodology will be defined, discussed, and agreed upon with Internews. The evaluation should encompass, though not necessarily be limited to, the following tools:

The evaluation will involve the following methods:

· Desk Review: Conduct a comprehensive review of relevant project documentation, progress reports, previous pre- and post-workshop surveys, and assessments.

· Qualitative Interviews: Conduct individual and/or group interviews with project stakeholders, either online or in person.

· Focus Group Discussions (FGDs): Facilitate FGDs with beneficiaries and stakeholders, including representatives from Internews, the donor, partners, and NGOs operating in the same domain.

· Online Surveys: Implement an online survey with stakeholders and beneficiaries if deemed relevant to gather additional insights.

These methods aim to ensure a thorough evaluation by combining document analysis, stakeholder perspectives through interviews and surveys, and in-depth discussions with key participants.

Expected Deliverables

The evaluator is tasked with submitting an inception report outlining the comprehensive evaluation methodology and tools, followed by an evaluation report clearly structured to document the evaluation activities and results. The evaluation report will encompass the main findings, conclusions, recommendations, and a record of lessons learned. The evaluator will first present a draft report for feedback from Internews. In considering the provided comments, the evaluator will exercise independent and impartial judgment to refine the final report. The final version should not exceed 20 pages, excluding annexes and the executive summary. The report must include:

  • An executive summary highlighting the main findings, conclusions, and recommendations;
  • A detailed methodology section, making explicit the limitations of the evaluation;
  • An analysis of the project performance of the project in terms of relevance, coherence, effectiveness, efficiency, impact, and sustainability;
  • An analysis of the technical aspects and main achievement of the project;
  • Analysis of the underlying factors that affected the achievement of the project results; and
  • Recommendations that are specific, action-oriented, and tailored to all relevant stakeholders.


Internews anticipates that around 5-6 weeks will be needed to conduct this evaluation. The evaluator is expected to work a maximum of 25 working days and finish the assignment by April 30, 2024.


Est. due date and Est. LOE

Conduct desk review – 5 February 2024 – 3 days

Evaluation methodology and design – 15 February 2024 – 3 days

Data collection – 15 March 2024 – 10 days

Draft report – 15 April 2024 – 7 days

Integrate feedback and finalize report – 30 April 2024 – 2 days

Total – 25 days

Supervision of the Consultant

The consultant will be under the direct supervision of Internews’ Bangladesh Country Representative and Regional Research and Evaluation Manager. Internews’ staff will facilitate the consultant needs for the purpose of the evaluation.

Essential Qualifications

  • Knowledge of implementing projects in Bangladesh or neighbouring countries.
  • Master’s degree in social sciences, international development, evaluation, or related field.
  • At least 5 years’ experience conducting evaluations.
  • Experience with qualitative and quantitative M&E data collection and analysis methods.
  • Fluency in spoken and written English, Bangla with local dialect.
  • Excellent intercultural communication skills/cultural sensitivity and the ability to forge strong cross-cultural relationships demonstrated through previous experience.
  • Strong facilitation, presentation, writing, and communication skills.


  • More than 5 years’ experience as a professional evaluator for international development projects.
  • Experience conducting evaluations for media development projects.
  • Experience working in different countries across Asia.

How to apply

Application Guidelines and Requirements

Interested parties should apply to Internews Bangladesh via the following email: [email protected]. Due date for application is on 30 January 2024.

Applications should include the below documentation:

  • A 2–3-page statement of interest/draft proposal, highlighting how your methodological approach will address the scope planned for this evaluation as well as describing how your profile and experience meet the criteria.
  • A CV and 2 references.
  • Evidence of evaluation work (e.g. link to evaluation reports or PDF attachments), highlighting evaluation theories and approaches.
  • A short cost justification (not included in the 2-3 page limit) – including your salary history and/or daily rate for your last 3 consultancies.

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