Call for evaluations of the Network Debate Program

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Call for evaluations of the Network Debate Program

  1. 1. Invitation for proposal Evaluation of Network Debate ProgramBackgroundOpen Society FoundationThe Open Society Foundations (OSF) work to build vibrant and tolerant democracies whose governments areaccountable to their citizens. To achieve this mission, OSF seeks to shape public policies that assure greater fairness inpolitical, legal, and economic systems and safeguard fundamental rights. On a local level, OSF implements a range ofinitiatives to advance justice, education, public health, and independent media. At the same time, OSF builds alliancesacross borders and continents on issues such as corruption and freedom of information. OSF places a high priority onprotecting and improving the lives of marginalized people and communities.Investor and philanthropist George Soros established the Open Society Foundations starting in 1984, to help countriesmake the transition from communism. OSF’s activities have grown to encompass the United States and more than 70countries in Europe, Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Each foundation relies on the expertise of boards composed ofeminent citizens who determine individual agendas based on local priorities.Youth InitiativeThe Open Society Youth Initiative (“OSYI”) supports young people in their efforts to be agents of positive changeand advocates for the full and effective participation of all young people in the political, social and cultural life oftheir communities. OSYI operates globally to identify opportunities and threats to open society values that areparticularly relevant to young people making the transition from childhood to adulthood. While primarily focused onempowering youth directly through its operating and grantmaking programs, OSYI is also exploring how it mightdevelop a role in advocating for the adoption of sound national and international youth policies on behalf of youth.The Youth Initiative’s main office is in New York, but staff also work in Bishkek, Budapest, Kampala, Kiev, andLondon. Programs include Global Debates, which challenges universities to engage young people in policy issuescritical to their future. The initiative also supports debate programs in over 50 countries, with a particular focus on theMiddle East and North Africa, China and Southeast Asia, Latin America, sub-Saharan Africa, and Central Asia.The Youth Initiative works with its spin-off organization, the International Debate Education Association (IDEA)which is currently registered in three countries – the United States, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands, withpending registrations in Hong Kong and Belgium, to support international debate events and to provide technicalassistance to local NGOs. Events include an annual summer Debate Institute, as well as the International YouthForum. In addition, the initiative supports the IDEA website, www.idebate.org, which offers extensive resources fordebaters, information on international debate events, and a social network for debaters to interact with each otherglobally.The initiative supports the Youth Action Fund, a small grants program to fund youth-designed and youth-run projectsin Estonia, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Nepal, Serbia, Thailand, and Uganda.Additionally, the Youth Initiative promotes young people as partners in all aspects of the work of the Open SocietyFoundations. Along with the Open Society Media Program and five local Open Society foundations, the initiative hasdeveloped a media literacy curriculum to engage young people in critical discussions of how they perceive and use themedia. And as part of a broader effort to raise awareness of how public policy affects young people, the initiativegave seed funding for www.youthpolicy.org, an online community and resource center on international youth policy.Other projects have included training for young photojournalists who accompanied an installation from the OpenSociety Documentary Photography Project that traveled through the Middle East and North Africa; an internationalbarcamp in Turkey that brought together Open Society programs, foundations, grantees, and young activists to sharetheir work on web communities for marginalized youth, young people in closed societies, and national youth policies;{00020431.2}
  2. 2. and a conference in Nairobi for African youth with disabilities.Debate programNDP has supported projects and organizations in countries around the world for over 15 years but is currentlyembarking on a major new multi-year campaign to promote debate on college and university campuses worldwide,with a particular focus on undergraduates.The Open Society Youth Initiative encourages students to engage in critical, reasoned discussion about issuesimportant to their lives and communities and to advocate for positive change around the world. The Youth Initiativesupports debate programs and events in higher education and for young people around the world in any language.OSYIs new initiative, the Global Debates was launched in 2011 to strengthen debate programs at colleges anduniversities around the world. The goal is to help engage students in the policy issues that will have a lasting impacton their future. This $20-million program will, among other things, provide up to three years of funding to colleges,universities, and other educational institutions to promote and integrate debate across disciplines. Grants are availablefor institutions that have either very small debate programs or none at all. Grants are also available for institutionsseeking to promote public debates within the broader communities that they serve.PurposeThe two main purposes of the evaluations are to a. Evaluate the scope, character and results (at the level of outcome and or impact) of its Network Debate Program (“NDP”) over the past 15 years. b. Develop foundational framework, baseline/benchmark and methods for learning, monitoring and evaluation of the expanded debate programs over the next 3-5 yearsObjectives of evaluationMore specifically, the evaluation will have the following key objectives to: a. Capture the implicit and explicit theory (or theories) of change with which NDP was strategized, planned and implemented. b. Describe how NDP evolved, grew and developed over the period of time. c. Assess whether, what and how the expected (and unexpected) results in terms of outcomes or impact were achieved and how they contributed towards inculcating open society values (e.g. tolerance of the opinions of others, respect for the rule of laws, support for human rights) among participants. d. Review OSYI approach and strategy of developing and strengthening institutions with particular reference to the International Debate Education Association (IDEA) in terms of their relevance, effectiveness and sustainability particularly in reference as well as the size/scope of IDEAs current network in terms of individuals and schools/organizations. e. Survey and estimate cumulative (13 years) demographic and geographical coverage in terms of who, where, when etc of NDP and IDEA supported debates and participants. f. Develop case study of a sample of NDP and IDEA Alumni. g. Recommend concrete ways in terms of approach, strategy and management to make NDP more relevant, effective and sustainable. h. Recommend options of frameworks in terms of approaches, indicators, baseline/benchmark and tools for learning, monitoring, evaluation and reporting progress, outcome and impact of the next phase of NDP and IDEA strategy and programs over the next 3-5 years.Scope of Evaluation{00020431.2}
  3. 3. 1. The evaluation is specifically about the NDP-sponsored debate programs but this should be viewed in the overall context of OSYI and ‘debate for/in open society’ in general. 2. The evaluation will strive to cover as many of the 70 countries in which the NDP has worked over the course of its existence, but may also consider appropriate representative techniques. 3. The Evaluation will also require a review and assessment of the activities of the International Debate Education Association (IDEA), a spin-off of NDP and a current major debate-related grantee. IDEA is currently registered and has offices in three countries: the United States, The Netherlands, and the United Kingdom. IDEA also has satellite offices in Thailand and Kyrgyzstan. 4. The evaluation will engage with OSF NDP Sub-board and staff ; OSF country staff; IDEA board and staff; NDP supported debate participant youth, debate organizers and debate mentors/advisors as well as external debate community and experts for their observations, feedback, ideas and recommendations.Approach and Method a. This will be an independent, learning, forward-looking and critical but constructive evaluation. b. The evaluation will be rigorous. c. The evaluation will use tools, techniques and methods to generate appropriate qualitative as well as quantitative information and evidence to support the conclusions. d. The evaluation will use mainly participatory methods (interviews, focus groups) and review of relevant strategies and documents but as necessary will also use extractive survey tools. e. Final detailed methodology and tools for the evaluation will be discussed and agreed between OSF and the selected consultant (based on their proposal) in the next phase before signing at the time of signing the consultancy agreement.Audience a. The primary audience of this report is the OSYI Team (and the OSYI Board and the OSF Office of the Programs? b. The secondary audiences of this report are: IDEA Board, Secretariat and members. c. An appropriate version of the report will be shared with wider audience inside and outside the organiza- tion for sharing knowledge as public good.Deliverables a. A comprehensive report and an executive summary in report of the evaluation in English language with clear observations, conclusions and recommendations with all supporting information. b. A separate report of the baseline/benchmark of indicators against which OSYI and IDEA will monitor and evaluate NDP in the coming years. c. All primary data and database generated in the course of the evaluation. d. Presentation to the OSYI and IDEA teams by the Evaluation Team Leader.Time-frame Key Dates Deliverables November 15, 2011 Consultants’ proposal due December 1, 2011 Final TOR agreed and contract with the consultant signed December 1, 2011 – April 30, 2012 Actual evaluation work{00020431.2}
  4. 4. May 15, 2012 Final Report and presentationsManagement of the review a. The Evaluation is commissioned by the Director of OSYI. b. The Evaluation will be managed by the Director of OSYI. c. The Director of Learning, Monitoring and Evaluation in Office of Programs will provide technical sup- port and engage with the evaluation to generate learning for the larger organization. d. The consultants will submit the report of the review to the Director of OSYI.Invitation for proposal a. OSF will post invitation for proposal in its website and will also send targeted invitation to the selected individuals and firms. OSF will acknowledge receipt of each application it receives b. OSF will consider applications from organizations and individuals and/or teams of individuals. c. OSF will reserve the right to consider applications and appoint consultants. Consultants not selected will be informed within 3 weeks of the closing date of this invitation for proposals. OSF will not be obliged to give any details of its internal selection process or the reasons. d. OSF will interview Leader of the actual consultancy team or the principal consultant in the selection pro- cess. e. Consultancy agreement will be guided by OSF policies with appropriate law and regulations. f. Interested consultants will send a covering letter confirming their understanding and acceptance of the task and conditions together with the following: (i) a proposal for the review methodology, techniques and tools, (ii) a work plan and budget (iii) list of individuals to be deployed and their latest cvs (iii) capa- bility statement of the individual and institutions together with any evidence as deemed useful to support the capability statement. g. The successful applicant will demonstrate:  Experience and expertise related to youth, debate and debating.  Experience and expertise related to evaluation of international networked organization.  Competency in high quality both quantitative and qualitative evaluation and baseline/benchmark development.  Experience and expertise to evaluate web resources.  Track-record of and commitment to work within the tight time-frame and deliver on time. h. Please submit the proposal to Maryanne Olson (molson@sorosny.org) on or before November 15.{00020431.2}

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