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18.4.2021 : 5:25 : +0200

CALL FOR EXPRESSIONS OF INTEREST: Independent Evaluation of the Security Assessment in North Africa Project, Phase III, July 2018 – June 2021

SUMMARY

The Security Assessment in North Africa project is seeking an evaluator, or a small team, to undertake an evaluation which will support the next three years’ work of this multi-year project.

This evaluation requires specific background knowledge: Applicants must have, or the team must have, in-depth knowledge of North Africa and/or the Sahel region, in particular key actors working against arms trafficking, armed violence, armed actors and related measures and programmes.

The Small Arms Survey will consider applications from people with a research/academic background but would prefer experience of evaluation work and 'evaluative judgement' as well.

Ability to conduct interviews remotely using tools like Zoom, in English and French is required. Arabic would be an advantage. Analysis of the interviews will form the basis of the evaluative work. Reporting will be in English.

Gender/diversity, and sustainability, will be considered throughout the evaluation.

The final Terms of Reference, and the specific evaluation questions for the following three areas of interest will be developed at the start of the evaluation between the selected evaluator or team, the SANA project, and the Survey’s Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning specialist:

  • The impact of global phenomena such as the Covid-19 pandemic and climate change on security dynamics in the region, and possible trends.
  • The increasingly diverse range of actors producing knowledge-based products on security issues in the region, and their equally diverse sets of working methods. 
  • The Small Arms Survey’s evolving mandate and direct involvement in capacity development and policy support initiatives in the region, as part of other projects.

Timing: Closing date for Expressions of Interest is 14th March 2021, the evaluator/team is expected to start at the beginning of April 2021, to submit the first draft in mid-May, and the final draft in early June. An exact schedule will be agreed in the inception phase of the work.

Total budget for the evaluation work will be no more than 15,000 Euro.

(1) THE SANA PROJECT – PHASE III

Introduction

The Security Assessment in North Africa (SANA) is a multi-year project of the Small Arms Survey in North Africa and the Sahel-Sahara region. The overall project goal is to contribute to a more secure environment by enhancing knowledge on the core themes of small arms trafficking, armed violence, armed actors, and related measures and programmes. Policymakers, practitioners, researchers, and journalists engaged in the region are the project’s main stakeholders.

The first two phases of the project, from July 2012 to June 2018, successfully established SANA as a primary source of reliable information, analysis, and training. Phase III of SANA is building on the achievements of the first two phases and lessons learned. SANA continues to provide reliable information and analysis through the publication and dissemination of regular in-depth reports on the core themes in the five North African countries and in the neighboring Sahel-Sahara region. It has done so in the midst of evolving and volatile security conditions, and has had to adjust its methods of work to the constraints imposed by the global Covid-19 pandemic.

Background

The increasing availability and circulation of small arms and light weapons and border insecurity are worrying effects of the uprisings and conflicts that have affected North Africa in recent years. Libya’s vast small arms arsenal has been dispersed, both within the country and beyond. These weapons have helped fuel other conflicts, including in Mali and Syria, while security conditions remain challenging or are deteriorating in parts of Libya and in neighboring areas. Libya has since evolved into an important regional trafficking hub and a variety of non-state actors—including civilians, armed groups, and criminal groups—now hold and use small arms and light weapons. Renewed and embargo-busting international arms flows to Libya and the less visible cross-border flows between the North African and Sahara-Sahel states are of particular concern. Control over traditional trade and smuggling routes remains a source of competition between different armed actors.

The complex and volatile regional environment complicates the task of policy-makers and organizations seeking to improve security at the national and local levels. Access to reliable empirical information and analysis is particularly important for the design of appropriate policies and programmes to tackle these challenges; yet, only a few organizations are currently able to generate this nuanced and reliable analysis.

Geographical scope and target groups

SANA is primarily concerned with trafficking in small arms, movements of armed groups, and armed violence affecting North African countries (Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, and Tunisia) and the Sahel-Sahara countries (mainly Chad, Niger, Burkina Faso and Mali) and considers these issues from a transnational perspective.

The project targets all relevant actors who work to improve security conditions in North Africa and the Sahel-Sahara regions. They include governments in the region, donors, international organizations, non-governmental organizations, local civil society organizations, analysts and think tanks, and journalists. Some parts of North Africa have witnessed an increased opening of the media landscape, and the creation of new think tanks and research facilities. SANA serves as a resource centre on armed violence and small arms and light weapons, and encourages journalists and researchers to produce reports and studies using data collected in line with rigorous professional standards.

(2) PURPOSE OF THE EVALUATION

This is the third evaluation of the multi-year SANA project, whose work has been largely supported by the Netherlands.

The evaluation aims to support the development of the next three year phase of the SANA project, 2021-2024. In addition to considering broad questions about quality (e.g., of research content, of activities implemented) and identifying any improvements made to the project since the evaluation of the Phase II work, it should adopt a forward-looking focus to guide the positioning of future SANA work and added value in the midst of significant external and internal developments, and notably:

  • The impact of global phenomena such as Covid-19 and climate change on security dynamics in the region.
  • The increasingly diverse range of actors producing knowledge-based products on security issues in the region, and their equally diverse sets of working methods.
  • The Small Arms Survey’s evolving mandate and direct involvement in capacity building and policy support initiatives in the region as part of other projects.

The evaluator (or team) will be fully briefed and have access to all relevant project documents after a confidentiality agreement is signed. They will be expected to include gender/diversity, and sustainability, as considerations throughout the evaluation, and will work together with the Survey in developing the final Terms of Reference and the evaluation questions, as the first part of the contract.

(3) INTENDED USERS OF THE EVALUATION

Primary intended users are the Government of the Netherlands (main donor) and the Small Arms Survey (implementer), to inform planning and potential future funding for the next phase(s) of this long-term project, and to assess evidence that the current second phase is delivering long-term changes to people’s lives.

(4) CORE REQUIREMENTS - Expressions of Interest

Expressions of interest are invited from qualified evaluators or teams with the following language skills: written and spoken English (fluent/native) and spoken French (competent). Verbal proficiency in Arabic, as a third language, would be a significant advantage.

Applicants must have, or the team must have, in-depth knowledge of North Africa and/or the Sahel region, in particular key actors working against arms trafficking, armed violence, armed actors and related measures and programmes.

The Small Arms Survey will consider applications from people with a research/academic background but would prefer experience of evaluation work and 'evaluative judgement'.

Ability to conduct interviews remotely using tools like Zoom, in English and French is required. Analysis of the interviews will form the basis of the evaluative work. Reporting will be in English.

Please send your CV to the email address below, including details of recent relevant evaluation work and two referees, and a short note explaining in 500-1000 words why you are interested in, and why you qualify for, this assignment. If you have an innovative approach, are familiar with working with complexity, or bring other relevant expertise, please mention it.

Closing date/time is midnight Geneva time on 14th March 2021.

The evaluator/team is expected to start at the beginning of April 2021, to submit the first draft in mid-May, and the final draft in early June. An exact schedule will be agreed in the inception phase of the work.

Total funding for this evaluation work, including all costs, is limited to 15,000 Euro so the scope and depth should match this resource level.

The address for expressions of interest or questions is: MEL(at)smallarmssurvey(dot)org

 
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