American Bar Association (ABA)

Consultant (Final Evaluation: The Justice Defenders Program)

American Bar Association (ABA)

Job Description

The American Bar Association (ABA) Center for Human Rights (hereinafter the Center) is seeking an evaluation consultant (hereinafter evaluator) to undertake a final evaluation of the Justice Defenders Program. Candidates with substantial experience evaluating human rights advocacy programs are preferred. This assignment will be remote. Background The Justice Defenders Program aims at 1) increasing adherence to international standards for the protection of human rights defenders; and 2) increasing awareness of threats to human rights defenders, the legitimacy of their activities, and the responsibilities of state and non- state actors under International Law. In order to achieve these objectives, the Justice Defenders Program (hereinafter the Program) provides pro bono legal assistance to human rights advocates working in difficult environments and vulnerable circumstances by:
  • Advising on, and raising public awareness of, sensitive trials and cases;

  • Connecting pro bono lawyers with requisite expertise with local lawyers to provide advice on international law standards, share best practices, and assist in developing advocacy and litigation strategies; and

  • Observing trials that have garnered local, regional, or international attention and/or have the potential of changing the law, for better or worse, within the country, and providing Analysis of those trials.

The Program’s global reach enables it to help human rights defenders in 65 countries around the world. The Program is sensitive to varied political and factual circumstances and its assistance is tailored to local contexts. With experienced staff and a dynamic network of pro bono lawyers at the ready, the Program is able to address acute crises or take on long-term projects as needed. Evaluation Objectives The Program commissioned a mid-term evaluation in 2016. The 2016 evaluation proposed a set of key recommendations that were incorporated in the Program’s work. As it enters its tenth year of operation, the Program is undertaking a final evaluation to identify successes and challenges, determine progress achieved in implementing the 2016 evaluation’s recommendations, and draw lessons for its future programmatic cycle. The objectives of this evaluation are to:
  1. Assess the Program in terms of its relevance, effectiveness, efficiency, impact, and sustainability.

  2. Measure how effectively and efficiently the Program’s outputs and outcomes have progressed in achieving its objectives.

  3. Identify opportunities for the sustainability of the Program.

  4. Develop lessons and recommendations that will inform the Program’s future directions.

Evaluation Questions The evaluation should assess the Program in terms of its relevance, effectiveness, efficiency, impact, and sustainability. It will answer the following overarching questions:
  1. To what extent has the Program achieved its objectives?

  2. What approaches are most effective in attaining the Program’s objectives?

  3. To what extent the objectives, outputs, and outcomes of the Program respond to the needs of Human Rights Defenders and to varied local contexts?

  4. How effective is the Program to respond to emerging issues?

  5. How effective are the adopted criteria in selecting cases?

  6. What improvements should the Program implement in its strategies or cases’ selection criteria to enhance its impact?

Evaluation Methodology The evaluator is expected to propose the evaluation Design and methodology. The technical proposal should include a detailed methodology to answer and elaborate on each evaluation question. However, it is recommended that the evaluation should use a participatory and mixed method approach- collecting and analyzing both qualitative and quantitative data using multiple sources- in order to draw valid and evidence-based findings and conclusions, and practical recommendations. Given the global Covid-19 pandemic, virtual Data Collection approaches should be considered. The evaluator will make use of data made available by the Center team and complement it with data collection methods. The Center team will work with the evaluator to determine the final evaluation methodology. Deliverables The evaluator will be responsible for ensuring the following deliverables are submitted to the Center in accordance with the agreed timeline:
  1. Work plan: based on initial meetings with the Center, the evaluator will submit a workplan team, detailing the evaluation approaches, report’s outline, deliverables and timeline.

  2. Inception report: Based on the desk review exercise and in-depth meetings with the Center team, the evaluator will submit a 15-page inception report. The report should elaborate on evaluation methodologies and questions, including how each evaluation question will be answered along with proposed methods, proposed sources of data, and data collection and analysis procedures.

  3. Draft evaluation report: The draft report will ensure that each evaluation question is answered with in-depth analysis of information and back up the arguments with credible quantitative and/or qualitative evidences.

  4. Final evaluation report: The final report will incorporate feedback and comments received on the draft report. Other relevant documents should be also presented to the Center team.

Assignment Duration This assignment is expected to begin on November 2020, and to be completed no later than February 2021. Level of Effort The expected level of work is approximately 55 working days. The evaluator is expected to:
  1. Prepare the workplan and evaluation design- 5 working days

  2. Review of the Program’s documents- 5 working days

  3. Prepare the 15- page inception report- 5 working days

  4. Conduct ~ 20 in-depth interviews- 10 working days

  5. Analyze ~5 case documents and primary data- 15 working days

  6. Prepare the draft evaluation report- 10 working days

  7. Incorporate the Center’s comments- 2 working days

  8. Finalize the evaluation report- 3 working days

Management Arrangements The selected evaluator will work closely with the Center team to design the evaluation, ensure the timely submission of deliverables, and produce the final report. The Center team will provide the evaluator with all necessary support to identify and access key stakeholders. Required Experience and Skills The candidate should have: Academic Qualifications:
  • A masters’ degree or equivalent in human rights, International Relations, social sciences, or other relevant fields. Experience:

  • 7-10 years of working experience in the field of human rights along with 7 years focused experience in conducting evaluations or assessment of advocacy programs.

  • Previous experience as a lead evaluator in participatory evaluations.

  • Strong analytical and writing skills.

  • Proven track record of implementing a range of qualitative and quantitative data collection tools and methods in program evaluation.

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