Call for proposals: Consultancy services to conduct an evaluation of SAIIA’s work

We are looking for a consultancy service to conduct an evaluation of SAIIA’s work covered within the current strategic plan and funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) .

Terms of reference


The South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA) would like to engage the services of a Monitoring and Evaluation Consultant/Consultancy to conduct an Evaluation of its work covered in its 2017-2021 Strategic Plan supported by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida). Sida provides core funding to SAIIA in support of its various activities with a total budget of SEK 34 million for the period of 2017-2021.

Background to SAIIA 2017-2021 & Sida Funding

SAIIA is an independent, non-governmental foreign policy and development think-tank whose goal is a well-governed, peaceful, economically sustainable and globally engaged Africa. Located at the University of the Witwatersrand with a secondary office in Cape Town, it delivers evidence-based research on Africa’s key development and governance challenges and on global policymaking and initiatives that affect Africa. Its vision is to be the pre-eminent think-tank on Africa and on global issues as they affect Africa. It seeks to do so by providing input into national, regional and global policy development and promoting multi-stakeholder, balanced dialogue and debate on issues crucial to Africa’s advancement and engagement in a dynamic global context. It is both a centre for African and global research excellence and a home for stimulating public debate.

SAIIA’s work spans foreign policy, governance, the environment, economic policy and social development, linking local experiences with global debates. Our African-generated knowledge provides local and regional decision-makers with independent, evidence-based options for Africa’s future development.

SAIIA belongs to regional and global policy and knowledge networks which are also used as dissemination channels of its work. Apart from its research programmes, SAIIA also has a youth programme that promotes an awareness of international affairs among young people at school and university, equipping them with skills to become future researchers and leaders. Visit our website for more details.

SAIIA’S 2017-21 Strategic Plan was developed against the background of a much-changed financial landscape for think tanks, as well as a global and continental environment that now carries many more uncertainties. The Strategic Plan is supported by a Research Agenda Framework which outlines the key areas of research and policy focus during the period of the plan. SAIIA’s six research areas are framed under the following six research pillars:

1. African governance and the role of multi-stakeholder initiatives (MSIs)

2. Peace diplomacy and human rights

3. Resource governance

4. Climate change and the global commons

5. Economic diplomacy, trade, investment and regional integration

6. International development: Partnerships, South-South Cooperation and financing for development

As a non-governmental organisation (NGO), SAIIA’s work is funded by a number of external donors. Sida is one of the major funders of our current work and has provided core funding for many years, including the current strategic plan period.

In terms of the agreement with Sida, a number of specific policy processes that form part of SAIIA’s core activities, were identified as forming the basis of the evaluation. The selected policy processes form part of SAIIA’s overall results framework for the 2017-21 Strategic Plan. The targeted policy processes were identified based on the potential and likelihood to achieve the intended long-term results. The following are the five targeted policy processes:

1. The African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM)

2. The African Mining Vision (AMV)

3. The Paris Agreement on climate change

4. SADC regional integration focusing on promotion of regional value chains (RVCs)

5. G20 Partnership in Support of Africa’s development

Evaluation purpose

The main purpose of this evaluation is two-fold:

  • To provide an independent evaluation of the results achieved on the selected policy processes; and
  • To provide input for SAIIA’s upcoming strategy formulation process.

The Evaluation Report will primarily be used by SAIIA, Sida and Swedish governmental authorities but may also be shared with other donors.

Scope of work

The selected consultant will be tasked with conducting an evaluation of the work done and results achieved under the five targeted policy processes with some consideration as well of SAIIA’s broader support divisions focused on dissemination and communication. In addition, the consultant should provide a high-level assessment of the institute’s monitoring and evaluation system and the overall institutional backstopping. The scope would be confirmed in consultation with SAIIA.

Given the scope of SAIIA’s work, the institute will work with the successful consultant/consultancy to assess at least three of the policy processes in greater depth.

SAIIA will work closely with the consultant to identify stakeholders to be interviewed and will provide the following documents (not an exhaustive list) to inform the review process:

  • Sida contract
  • SAIIA Annual Reports to Sida
  • SAIIA Strategic Framework (2017-2021)
  • Research Agenda Framework (2017-2021)
  • Sida Baseline and related Reports
  • Relevant Donor Reports
  • SAIIA Policies and Procedures, Research Manual

The following evaluation criteria and key questions will be considered:

1. Relevance: To what extent are the activities and outputs produced under each of the policy processes appropriate and consistent with the policy discourse among targeted stakeholders? To what extent have partnerships been developed with and between relevant and key stakeholders?

2. Effectiveness: To what extent have the research outputs and engagements been effective in contributing to the likely achievement of the outcomes and impact as reflected in the results framework for each of the targeted policy processes? Were the planned objectives and outcomes in the project document achieved? What are the results achieved beyond those indicated in the results framework?

3. Efficiency: Are the resources and inputs converted to outputs in a timely and cost-effective manner?

4. Sustainability: To what extent are the project results (impact if any, and outcomes) likely to continue after the complete implementation of the current Strategic Plan? – Is stakeholders’ engagement likely to continue, be scaled up, replicated or institutionalised?

5. Impact: Has the project contributed or is likely to contribute to long-term policy changes as articulated in the organisation’s results framework?

Approach and methodology

The consultant is expected to provide a clear methodology on how this evaluation will be conducted to provide answers to the evaluation questions. The consultant is expected to conduct interviews with a

selection of major stakeholders, such as government policy makers, diplomats, donors, partners, other think tanks as well as the board and staff. Screening and analysis of carefully selected research outputs such as publications, events, annual reports, and other internal information will constitute another important source of information. The methodology should take into account government regulations on COVID-19 and the related restrictions.

Qualification of the consultants

The team of consultants shall:

  • Have minimum academic qualifications of a Masters degree in areas of Monitoring & Evaluation (M&E), Economics, Political Science or other related qualifications.
  • Have good knowledge and documented experience from the field of think tanks and M&E;
  • Have good knowledge and documented experience in areas of Africa’s democracy & governance, climate change, regional integration, development cooperation as well as other thematic areas defined in these ToR;
  • One of the members of the team, preferably the team leader should have conducted at least 3 evaluations for a think tank or similar organisation working in the same thematic areas. These evaluations should not be more than six years old and an access link or copies should be provided;
  • Have experience in interviewing government policy makers and diplomats;
  • Have good methodological, analytical and communication skills; and
  • Have good command of the English language.

Download the evaluation criteria, deliverables, estimated timelines and contact information.